BaoShan Iron and Steel Co. (Baosteel) Makes Technological Leaps Look Easy
When you’re building the first Reducing/Sizing Mill (RSM) in Asia, and only one of the very first on the planet (after US Steel/Kobe in Cleveland and Belgo Mineira in Brazil) you expect things to go wrong.
Add to the mix that you’re running 100% Hi-Carbon, alloy steel – 250,000 tons worth – during your first year, you expect a lot of bumps along the way.
But Baosteel, in Shanghai, China, ran one of the smoothest mill startups we’ve ever seen, and did it by working closely with their key suppliers. Baosteel’s new Morgan mill produces springs, welding rod and tire cord grades of steel, using a 31 stand array, inclusive of a conventional 10-stand wire rod block and a 4-stand reducing sizing block. Production has been scheduled for 400,000 tons (full capacity), all with world-class dimensional tolerance and surface finish.
The mill construction and start-up, including commissioning, hot testing and initial production was completed in record time. The project began in January, 1997, and saw first production in March, 1999. Baosteel worked closely with Morgan and SinterMet for training and joint technical discovery, to ensure the startup ran smoothly.
The results were impressive.
Baosteel saw only two rolls broken and fewer than 6 exhibiting thermal cracking during the 1st year of testing, commissioning and production. SinterMet supplied 100% of the rolls for the mill startup and more than 90% of the tungsten carbide rings supplied since.
“Baosteel was the perfect example of the kind of partnership we strive for with every customer,” said Roger Li Fang, Director of International Sales with SinterMet. “We made 10 site visits to the Baosteel facility to make sure we produced product that worked consistently and effectively.”