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Steel rolling mill poses challenges for table drives

29 December 2015

Heavy loads, frequent severe shocks, extreme temperatures – achieving reliable drive operation is challenging in this Bahrain steel rolling mill.

In recent years, a large steelworks complex has been erected in Bahrain's Hidd industrial zone. Its approximate annual production of 600,000 tons of steel covers one sixth of all previous beams and section imports of the entire Middle East.

Steel industry specialist, SMS Meer was responsible for the design and installation of a heavy section rolling mill at the Hidd plant, which required scores of gear drives to handle typical rolling mill load cycles - most notably, S5 intermittent duty, as well as S9 duty with non-periodical load, speed variations, and frequent overloads.

Beams weighing as much as 16 tons pass on roller tables through the reversing mill, and the many drives installed along these tables must cope with the alternate acceleration and deceleration of these blanks, not to mention the high ambient temperatures of this Middle Eastern location.

SMS Meer also needed other resilient and powerful drives for additional machinery, including a straightener with double supported rollers that rely on hydraulic adjustments. Determined to keep the need for special drives to a minimum, SMS Meer sought a comprehensive portfolio of units that they could deploy throughout the plant. The solution was provided by Nord Drivesystems, drawing on a portfolio of proven robust designs.

Nord’s drives are encased in single-piece housings and feature gears with helical teeth, machined and finished to tight tolerances, all of which provides superior stability even under high radial and axial loads. And if greater resilience and durability is required, the company can also provide options such as reinforced shaft materials and stronger bearings. In addition, shock-absorbing housing materials help reduce the impact of abrupt rough movements, while special synthetic lubricants (ISO VG220) and special coatings are available to cope with extreme ambient and operating temperatures.

In addition to the 600 and more roller table drives installed at the Hidd plant, SMS Meer has made use of other Nord products, including standard parallel shaft gears for chain conveyors at the cooling bed, replacing special drives that had previously been needed for this application. Four large, high-torque industrial gear drives used for straightening the heavy blanks in front of the rollers were fitted with input and output shafts on both sides, enabling them to be operated in either direction. These industrial gears required special output shafts with suitable borings and were equipped with encoders supplied by SMS Meer. 

Collaborating with SMS Meer for more than a decade on numerous projects, Nord is a seasoned supplier of drives to the metals processing industry for applications ranging from roller tables to cooling beds, and from shear lines to casting ladles.

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