North Star BlueScope Steel marked the opening of a $700 million facility expansion in Delta, Ohio. The project created more than 100 new jobs and included a third electric-arc furnace (EAF), a second slab caster and a new shuttle facility. The expansion will increase the company’s annual hot-rolled-coil production by 950,000 net tons. The company said it continued to operate throughout the build, and it will make the first slab off the new caster in June.
Novelis Inc. will invest $2.5 billion to build a new low-carbon recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Ala. The facility, which will have an initial capacity of 600 kilotonnes of finished aluminum goods per year, is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs. More than half of the capacity will be used to serve growing demand for aluminum beverage-can sheet in North America. According to Novelis, the facility will be the first fully integrated aluminum mill built in the United States in 40 years. The plant will make significant use of advanced automation and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and robotics. Site work is currently underway, and the company expects to begin commissioning in mid-2025.
L&L Special Furnace Co. received orders for a floor-standing box furnace for heat treating saw blades and for a large floor-standing, fiber-lined furnace that will be used to stress relieve and temper large steel castings. The box furnace has an effective work zone of 34 inches wide x 34 inches high x 44 inches deep and includes an electric vertical door, an alloy hearth and a complete control system. The furnace's primary function is to heat treat a range of tool steels that are used for saw blades. The floor-standing furnace has an effective work zone of 36 inches wide x 36 inches high x 72 inches deep. It includes a pneumatic vertical door, 24-inch-high convection alloy fan, a complete control system, castable piers and a cast-alloy load platform for forklift loading.
SECO/VACUUM, a SECO/WARWICK Group company, received an order for a 2-bar vacuum heat-treating furnace from an automotive components manufacturer. The single-chamber furnace, which has a chamber size of 36 x 36 x 48 inches and a load capacity of 3,300 pounds, will increase the company’s annealing production of fuel-injector components. The high-pressure-quench unit will complement an existing SECO/VACUUM furnace in operation at that location since 2002. Because the new furnace is a nearly identical model, they share standard components and will reduce the necessary inventory of spare parts.
Tenova was awarded two contracts by Tenaris, a manufacturer and supplier of steel pipes, for its mill in Dalmine, Italy. Both contracts are related to the steelmaker’s investment in special steel production. The Dalmine project is divided into three phases, two of which will be supplied by Tenova. The first phase consists of a meltshop ladle furnace that will be used for secondary metallurgical treatment of the liquid steel. Tenova will design and supply a heat-treatment furnace for special steel bars for the second phase of the project. This movable-hood-type furnace is specifically designed to charge very large bars 12 meters (39 feet) long. It is equipped with 34 hydrogen-ready self-recuperative burners capable of using up to 100% hydrogen as a fuel source.
Novelis Inc. broke ground on a $365 million highly advanced recycling center in Guthrie, Ky. With an annual casting capacity of 240 kt of sheet ingot, the facility is expected to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 1 million tons per year. It will add approximately 140 new jobs and will be built adjacent to Novelis’ existing automotive finishing plant in Guthrie. The new recycling center will be equipped with industry-leading processes and capabilities, including advanced shredding and sorting technology, as well as energy-efficient innovations to support the company’s sustainability goal to reduce energy intensity by 10% by 2026 and be net carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner.
Atlas Tube, a division of Zekelman Industries, opened its newest steel mill in Blytheville, Ark. The company’s second in Blytheville, it will be dedicated to producing jumbo hollow structural sections (HSS) as large as 28 inches OD with walls up to 1 inch thick. According to Atlas Tube, the $150 million project is the largest private investment in the U.S. steel industry in the last decade. It is expected to create over 75 new jobs. The company says the 515,000-square-foot facility will be the largest continuous electric resistance welding (ERW) mill in the world, rolling HSS from 8 to 22 inches square.
Andritz received an order from CAF MiiRA to supply a wheel heat-treatment line for the company’s manufacturing facility in Beasain, Spain. The plant has been designed for train wheels with diameters of approximately 19.5-59.1 inches (500-1,500 mm). Production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2024. The heat-treatment line will enable automated and flexible operation. Andritz’s scope of supply includes high-temperature pusher-type kilns, a transport system for the pusher cars, chain conveyors, manipulators, tilting table, safety engineering, automation and visualization equipment. The pusher-type kilns feature high energy efficiency in conjunction with heat recovery to heat the combustion air.
Solar Manufacturing Inc. received an order for a vacuum heat-treating furnace order from a firearms manufacturer based in the United States. The furnace has a hot zone measuring 36 inches x 36 inches x 48 inches with a weight capacity of 5,000 pounds. It has a maximum operating temperature of 2400°F (1315°C) and heats to 2500°F (1371°C) for hot zone bake-out. The furnace design has a temperature uniformity of ±10°F and is AMS 2750-compliant with vacuum levels in the low micron range. For rapid turnaround for work cooling, a 100-HP gas blower is provided for operation at 15 PSIG (2 bar) in nitrogen gas.