Arlenico SpA and Feralpi Siderurgica SpA, two key Italian wire-rod producers, have each ordered a four-stand Meerdrive Plus finishing block from SMS group within one week. Both wire-rod finishing blocks will be integrated in the companies' existing plants.
Arlenico, owned by 50 percent each of the Duferco Italia Holding and Feralpi Siderurgica SpA, a special quality wire rod producer located beside the Lecco Lake, chose the four-stand Meerdrive Plus block to be installed in the existing wire rod line at its Caleotto plant. This will allow the company to serve the market with products of the tightest tolerances ever produced, as thanks to the heavy-duty machine supplied by SMS group and a sophisticated water cooling line included in the project, it will for the first time be able to apply the thermomechanical rolling process.
Feralpi, producer of rebar and wire rod for construction in Italy, located beside the Garda Lake, is investing in the four-stand Meerdrive Plus block in order to increase production and the rolling speed and be able to extend the size range produced and achieve enhanced final mechanical properties. Also in this case a sophisticated water cooling line will serve the four-passes wire rod sizing block.
Reducing otherwise required mill downtimes
Meerdrive Plus is a variant of the Meerdrive technology, a revolutionary drive concept for modern wire rod production. It uses individual drives with small low-voltage motors for each stand. Since all finished sizes are rolled in the Meerdrive Plus block, it is possible to realize "one-family rolling" in the rolling mill reducing the otherwise required mill downtimes for size and ring changing.
The Meerdrive Plus blocks, which will both be installed after an existing ten-passes block, will be four-stand "oval-round-round-round" sizing blocks, capable of rolling wire rod diameters from 4.5 millimeters up to 27 millimeters at speeds up to 120 meters per second - also at a temperature as low as 750 degrees centigrade. Excellent tolerances down to 0.05 millimeters and 50 percent ovality can be achieved.
These two new finishing blocks to be supplied to Arlenico and Feralpi are references number eleven and twelve, documenting the long success story of the Meerdrive technology which started with block number one supplied to Sinobras in 2007. Arlenico and Feralpi will benefit from a wide range of outstanding economical and operational advantages. For example, it will be possible to reduce the required roll inventory to a minimum.