ABB control upgrade extends lifecycle of cycloconverters at Italian steel mill

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The new control software improves reliability, usability, performance and uptime for AST Terni sendzimir mill


Acciai Speciali Terni S.p.A. in Terni, Italy

Customer requirements:  Extend the lifetime existing drives controls, improve reliability and performance
Scope:  Cycloconverter upgrade package including AMC34 control platform
Application:  Sendzimir mill
Customer benefits:
  • Improved usability, flexibility and control
  • Increased reliability, process stability and uptime
  • Greater dynamic response supporting increased production capacity, reduced energy use and maintenance costs
Commissioning:  2020

For 136 years, Acciai Speciali Terni S.p.a. (AST Terni) has been manufacturing flat rolled stainless steel products for European and global markets from its mill in Terni. Italy’s no. 1 steelmaker also produces electro welded stainless tubes and forgings made of special steel.

A clear focus on continuous improvement ensures that the integrated cycle stainless-steel plant in Terni, Italy operates with maximum availability, productivity and cost-efficiency. In May 2019 the company turned to ABB for support in upgrading its existing drives at their no’ 8 sendzimir mill, part of the impressive steelmaking facility covering processes from melting to surface finishing treatments over one and a half square kilometers.

Collaboration and customer focus

“Our goal is to bring together the best that ABB has to offer for the benefit of metals industry customers which is why we brought together two different ABB teams from Process Automation and Motion business areas for this project. By leveraging our collective strengths, we provide our customers with in-depth access to well-experienced and highly skilled ABB experts to propose a competitive solution,” said Mukesh Jain, Global Product Manager, Metal Systems for ABB’s Metals business.  “This collaboration also ensured smooth delivery and completion of the cycloconverter upgrade project within the short execution time window including rapid start-up after installation and commissioning.”

The pandemic situation presented several challenges during the project, especially for factory acceptance testing (FAT), which generally requires ABB engineers to travel to the customer’s site.  However, thanks to ABB’s proactive and innovative approach, and excellent co-operation with AST Terni’s on-site personnel, the project could be carried out remotely and completed on time and, after a relatively short commissioning period, the new drives were delivered to AST Terni in August 2020.  

“We were very satisfied with ABB’s professionalism and determination to complete this project successfully despite the many additional challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Luca Onofri, AST Terni, “and we expect to benefit from the associated improvements in reliability and performance for years to come”.

Latest generation drives control platform

The AMC34 control platform, part of ABB’s cycloconverter upgrade package, provides high-control performance with better accuracy of motor model, resulting in greater dynamic response, which can in turn  increase your production capacity, lower energy consumption and maintenance costs and extend the lifetime of the equipment. Application software improvements also enhance flexibility and come with new built-in safety features.

Cutting-edge software tools in the system boost usability while less control hardware enhances the reliability of the control platform. The customer also has access to digital services, such as remote assistance for fast troubleshooting, allowing for a drastic reduction in unplanned downtime while lowering both operating costs and environmental impact by ensuring peak performance.

“We provide lifecycle support, including control spares parts guarantee until 2034. Additionally, we have a  network of field service engineers, who can assist customers should any issues arise,” added Jonas Fritschy, Service Product Manager, Motion Services at ABB.

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