ABB wins $2.5M drives order to futureproof Kanthal rolling mill

ABB wins $2.5M drives order to futureproof Kanthal rolling mill

Comprehensive drive system and project management package for Swedish mill will boost performance, uptime and efficiency.

Kanthal - the largest supplier of steel within the global Kanthal Group - has selected ABB to supply and install a new drive system, including motor, frequency converter, transformer and controls for the company’s Hallstahammar blooming mill in an order worth USD $2.5 million. The assignment also includes mounting of a new 70-ton gearbox.

ABB will manage the project from end-to-end. This includes removal of an existing DC motor and drive system, in place since the 1950s, and installation of a modern AC design. The scope also covers all electrical and mechanical mounting, concrete work, commissioning and equipment testing. The new drive system will enhance performance and availability, with fewer unplanned stops and access to ABB’s service expertise and spare parts.

“Any interruption due to problems with the blooming mill can halt our entire production so this significant investment is crucial to minimize business risk for the future,” said Anders Björkroth, project manager, Kanthal. “Replacing the existing DC motor with the latest AC design ensures a reliable, efficient and stable platform for our rolling operations.”

Removal and replacement of the existing 60-ton ABB DC motor will take place over six weeks during summer 2021. The new ABB drive system will offer numerous benefits to Kanthal, including increased reliability, improved performance, built-in regulation of reactive power, immunity from network malfunctions and improved total efficiency of around 3.5 percent.

ABB motor with modern AC design
ABB motor with modern AC design

“ABB’s extensive field experience, and trusted solutions will help Kanthal guarantee the future of this mill,” said Björn Jonsson, Hub Business Line Manager, North Europe, Process Industries, ABB. “The fact that ABB has previously implemented similar overall commitments with heavy engine replacements in a short time means great security for the customer. ”

Kanthal selected ABB’s solution following a feasibility study of three alternatives. With the chosen solution, Kanthal will benefit from existing contacts with local ABB service and experts, as well as easy access to spare parts.

Upgrading to ABB’s cutting-edge technology will be a major boost for operators, with a monitor in the operator’s cab showing system information to facilitate both driving and troubleshooting the blooming mill.

Kanthal® is a world-leading brand for products and services in the area of sustainable heating technology and resistance materials. Kanthal® is a part of the Sandvik Group.

ABB is a trusted partner and leading supplier to the metals industry, offering a complete range of products, services and end-to-end solutions that improve productivity, quality, safety and cost-efficiency in iron, steel, aluminium and other metals production processes. With over a century of experience, ABB’s offerings are expertly tailored and highly process-specific, serving the entire industry from material yard and primary manufacturing to casting, rolling and processing lines. Across the whole metals value chain ABB demonstrates a commitment to optimizing operations with high performance products and digital solutions.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 144,000 employees.


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