At their steelplant in Völklingen, Germany, Saarstahl AG has successfully commissioned a new five-strand billet caster, supplied by SMS Concast, a member of SMS group. The caster is designed for a nominal annual production of 850,000 tons and the casting of 180-millimeters-square billets.
The new five-strand continuous casting machine – called S1 by Saarstahl AG – is equipped with latest technological features such as CONVEX molds, hydraulic mold oscillators, mold and strand electro-magnetic stirrers, mechanical soft reduction and an electrical & automation system prepared for the full implementation of Industry 4.0. The S1 casting machine at Saarstahl is the first caster in the world designed with mechanical soft reduction (MSR) technology for a billet cross section of 180 millimeters square. It produces billets in a wide range of steel grades, including bearing steel, spring steel, cold-heading and free-cutting steels.
Saarstahl AG was the first manufacturer in the world to apply mechanical soft reduction in billet casting. With the new S1 caster, SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. It has some 14,000 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 2.8 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.
Saarstahl AG is now even better positioned to further strengthen its leading position in this technology and to successfully cope with the volatile and increasing market demands. In addition to the technological features, the caster is equipped with a complex discharge system, with a turnover cooling bed equipped with a forced cooling system to cool the billets down to 100 degrees Celsius.
Saarstahl AG is a world-leading producer of high-grade steels. The company has cooperated with SMS Concast AG for many years. In 2003 and 2008, SMS Concast had already supplied two casting machines to Saarstahl AG.