Thyssenkrupp builds a new annealing and isolating line at the Bochum site
by David Fleschen
The ceremony to mark the laying of the foundation stone for the new annealing and isolating line was held today at the Bochum site. The modern and energy-efficient unit will be capable of producing even thinner electrical steel strips with particularly homogeneous mechanical and magnetic properties. The electrical steel is designed to meet the requirements of highly efficient motors used primarily in electric vehicles. With this goal in mind, the plant will produce up to 218,000 metric tons of non-grain-oriented electrical steel per year in the future. The investment amounts to about 150 million euros. The project partner is the plant builder SMS group from Düsseldorf. The unit is scheduled for completion by 2024.
In the coming years, the site on Essener Strasse will be expanded into a center of excellence for electric mobility. Dr. Heike Denecke-Arnold, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at thyssenkrupp Steel: "Materials for electric mobility are going to shape tomorrow's steel markets to an increasing extent. We intend to be a leading player in this with high-tech products from Bochum. The new annealing and isolating line will further strengthen our capabilities in thinner, highly silicized, non-grain-oriented electrical steel for electric mobility. With our steels, we will contribute to further increasing energy efficiency, for example, and with that also the range of electric vehicles."
The trend in electric mobility is also moving toward increasingly demanding grades. The new annealing and isolating line will meet these demands and significantly enhance the site's capabilities and capacities for non-grain-oriented electrical steel. In the new plant, the microstructure of the cold-rolled strip is recrystallized during the annealing process, following which it is adjusted to the corresponding texture. After the annealing process, it is provided with an insulating layer which is particularly important for the sheets used in electric motors and generators to increase the efficiency of the motors.
"thyssenkrupp Steel and the SMS group have worked together highly effectively for many years, a history that is underscored by the construction of the new annealing and isolating line. With this project, the SMS group is contributing to the production of high-quality materials as a basis for the electric mobility of the future. The cutting-edge annealing and coating technology used in this line ensures greater sustainability, energy and CO2 savings, hand-in-hand with cost reductions during commissioning and operation. The line will be equipped with intelligent digital systems, and is certain to deliver very high productivity with reduced maintenance costs," says Holger Behrens, head of the Flat Rolled Products area of the SMS group.
The new annealing and isolating line is scheduled to start operations in 2024, and is just one of the major investments within thyssenkrupp’s Steel Strategy 20-30 for the future. Through these and other optimizations in the production network, quality improvements along the entire process chain at the Bochum site will enable the company to remain competitive in ultra high-strength multiphase steels or in the high-tech electrical steel grades of the future. The implementation of Strategy 20-30 is thus also a signal for the development of Bochum as an industrial site, where thyssenkrupp currently employs about 2,400 people. "This new multi-million investment by thyssenkrupp Steel will secure the site and jobs in Bochum. We are delighted at this, and at the same time it shows that Bochum is also a location for sustainable production with a bright future," says Rouven Beeck, Managing Director of Bochum Wirtschaftsentwicklung (Bochum Economic Development).
Source and Photo: Thyssenkrupp