Construction of Hot Rolling Mill for Ternium in Mexico progresses
The state-of-the-art Rolling Mill means that Ternium will be able to manufacture special grade steels for its customers, mostly from the automotive and white goods sectors.
The main piece of mechanical equipment is the Finishing Mill, installed last November 2020, the heart of the rolling mill, containing 7 cages and powered by PrimeMetals, in an area requiring work of extreme precision to perform mounting and alignments with minimal tolerances.
It’s worth pointing out that due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the customer decided to halt activities for four months, slowly coming back on line in controlled fashion as from August to tackle the most important aspects of the project.
Work in times of COVID-19
Techint E&C's top priority is to care for the health and safety of its employees which is why the company rolled out a series of protocols for application at its different projects in order to continue working in the context of the pandemic.
In the case of the Hot Rolling Mill, Techint E&C and Ternium took the joint decision to carry out periodic health checks on the construction personnel. Changes were made to recondition common areas such as workshops, dining halls and offices to respect safe distancing, reconfiguring personnel buses and halving their transfer capacity, while workers were split up into cells for rapid action in case of infection.
The company also introduced other mandatory measures such as the use of facemasks and faceshields, ensuring respect for 2-meter safe distancing and encouraging people to wash their hands frequently, among other actions.
Pipe assembly greater complexity
Techint E&C and its customer defined the strategy to assemble the pipes at the outset, with an emphasis on the installation of hydraulic equipment and pipes to be run in parallel with the installation of the air, water, ice water, fire protection system, nitrogen and gas services, necessary for the operation of the rolling mill.
At the peak of the Pipe installation phase, a 660-strong crew were laying some 90 tons per week. At this point, the key obstacle was to assemble 1,200 tons of pipe in the basement of the rolling mill, since logistics challenges and the impossibility of being able to use lifting equipment endowed what would have been a conventional assembly with an extra degree of complexity.
The mill is completed with two new 420 t/h walking beam reheating furnaces supplied by Tenova. The first furnace has already concluded the dry-out in January 2021, where the slabs are received and heated to the optimum point for processing, while the second furnace is in progress and is expected to be finished by middle of 2021.
Both furnaces, designed by Tenova, are top and bottom fired with radiant burners and side burners which allow them to guarantee an outstanding performance in terms of reheating and low emissions.
Currently, Techint E&C has 1,200 people working on the different work fronts to meet the new operations schedule defined by the customer. One of the key challenges over the last few months has been managing the incorporation of the staff during the pandemic since activities were resumed.