An ambitious project began in autumn 2014 on the banks of the Mississippi in Arkansas. Big River Steel broke ground on one of the largest and most modern rolling mills in North America. Herkules takes part in this major project with the supply of four roll grinding machines.
Initially, the new mill will produce 1.5 Mt of hot strip per year in different qualities. Part will be converted immediately to cold rolled and galvanized sheet.
Top quality machine tools are of the essence here. The products have to meet very demanding requirements. Cold-rolled carbon or silicon steel gets used in electrical applications such as rotating parts of motors. Hot-dip galvanized AHSS quality (Advanced High Strength Steels) cold strip goes particularly to the automobile industry, predominantly for structural parts. The US market for these products is growing again.
Competence from two continents
The high product quality requires excellent roll qualities. It puts high demands on the roll grinders. That is why Big River Steel obtained Herkules expertise. They ordered four grinding machines: two WS 600 x 6500 CNC universal roll grinding machines for backup and work rolls, and two WS 600 x 6500 CNC Monolith™ work roll grinders. All rolls can be machined with or without chocks, a major advantage in production efficiency. Furthermore, the Monolith™ design of the work roll grinders saves on foundation costs.
Two of the machines are manufactured at Herkules in Siegen, two at Herkules USA in Ford City, PA. The advantages for the customers are obvious. The double capacity of plants on both sides of the Atlantic guarantees quick delivery. The physical proximity allows for swift and straightforward service.
In the project, Herkules supplies machines to SMS Millcraft LLC, a subsidiary of SMS Siemag, Düsseldorf, Germany. Big River Steel commissioned SMS Millcraft with the construction of all facilities, including electrical, automation and environmental technologies.
The quality and reliability of the Herkules products had impressed the SMS group before: Herkules already supplied several machines to the SMS group in Germany.
In Mississippi, the first steel is to be produced in spring 2016. The initial annual capacity is to be doubled in a later step. Herkules' participation in this project shows once again that quality prevails.