TimkenSteel successfully cast the first heats through a jumbo caster designed, manufactured and supplied by SMS Concast in November 2014. Now the company is ramping up production to full capacity. The vertical-type caster has been designed to process a wide range of steel grades, including plain, low-alloyed and high-strength carbon steels; Mo-, Cr- and Ni-alloyed tool steels; and high-performance bearing steels. It has an annual production capacity of 1 million tons of special steel grades and measures 80 meters from the top of the ladle turret down to the foundations in the basement.

 In combination with a new ladle treatment station, the caster will not only boost the production capacity of the Faircrest plant by 25%, it will also facilitate the production of a wider range of large-diameter bars. It produces two bloom sizes: 560 x 610 mm and 280 x 430 mm. The engineering teams of TimkenSteel and SMS are currently preparing hot commissioning of the plant. The goal is to gradually ramp up production to 60% over the course of 2015 and reach full capacity by the middle of 2016.