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Multiple Slit Rolling at Hylsa

Authors: Ernesto Sanchez M.

Arturo Gonzalez ,B.

Abstract. Earlier Revamping of Rolling Mill.

The ,North Wol!ks of Hylsa's Wire Originally rated at 150,000 tpy
Rod & Bar Divi'sion is home fora unique in one single strand, the cross country
technology for Multiple Slit Rolling. type mill underwent a modification and
Developed by Hylsa, this technology is revamping program in 1980 to enable
one of only a very few successful efforts semi..:continuous rolling with single slit
at this type of operation ina bar mill. for 9.5 mm R-bar.
The rolling facility, originally a In 1'988, the rolling mill was
cross COUlJtry mill, was first modified and modified by Hylsa to full continuous,
revamped for single slit rolling. In 1993 a with 14 stands, to roll 102xt02 mm
modern meltshop with a capacity for billets shipped from its Puebla Works.
450,000 tpy of billet was started up. ,Jt R-bars of 9.5 and 12.7 mm dia. were
thus became necessary to match the rolled by single slit. Higher sizes were
mill's rolling ,capacity to the actual billet rolled in one single strand. Later, two
production. additional stands were installed to use
billet of 127x127 .mm. Capacity of the
After studying potential processes reheatingfurna'ce was 55 tontHr.~
for mlJltiple slit rolling, 'Hylsa found that Maximum rolHng speed for the
with minor exceptions none of them had revamped mill; was 12.5 mts however, it
been able to operate outside the was. limited by the cooling table
conditions of the particular plant in which expUlsion system. Table 1 depicts
they were developed. The decision was average figures for the effective rolling
taken to develop the process in-mouse. rate during 1992 .

Table 1.- Effective 'Rolling Rate with Single Slit

R-bar No. of Speed Nominal HOlling Yield Working Effective Rolling

dia. (mm) Strands mls ~Hate Ton/Hr. ' '% Time % (1) RatEfT()ntHr~'- ·--··1

9.5 2 11.5 44.8 92.0 72.0 29.7

12.7 2 8.8 59.9 92.0 72.0 39.7
15.8 1 10.0 54.3 92.5 72.0 36.1:
(1) % of Working Time is based on 24 hrs/day. Actl:Jal Working! Time is 19.5 hrs/day due to electricity
cost at peak hours

39TH MWSP CONF. PROC., ISS, VOL. XXXV, 1998 - 749

First Attempts for Quadruple Slit

The first attempts for in-house direct hot billet charge to the reheating
development of quadruple slit rolling for furnace, it was decided to fully push
9.5 mm R-bar began in Hylsa in 1991 forward the in-house development and
when a rolling process was started with implementation of the process
slitting in two stages: one single diviSion, technology for multiple slit rolling best
and two additional single divisions in the fitted for the actual needs.
next stand. Although it proved to be
perfectly feasible, the results did not Constraints for Process Development.
match wha,t Hylsa was aiming for
regarding equipment simplicity, process For the development of the
flexibility and reliability, pass Multiple Slit Rolling process at Hylsa's
standardization and production rate to North Works, the following objectives
cope with the new meltshop's billet concerning production and product mix
production capacity. as well as equipment constraints had
to be taken into account.
Alongside with the first in-house·
developments, Hylsa perfo,rmed a • Production level in. excess of 400,000
worldwide survey and technical feasibility tpy with constant quality at
analysis on the technologies available. international standards.
By 1992 and after uns.uccessful attempts
to implement one of them with full • 70% of mill output should be 9.5
supplier's support, the conclusion was mm and 15 % of 12.7 mm in S-60
that they could not be adopted for the grade.
particular conditions, production rate aAd
reliability required by Hylsa for quadruple • The existing 16 stands, or less, must
slit rolling of 9.5 mm R-bars. be used where and as they were.

• In the roughing. train, at stands 5 t01 0

Development and Implementation of all together coupled toone drive,
Multiple Slit Rolling. there was no chanc.e for modifications

The aim of any technological leap, • limited motors power.

in processes or- equipment, is to bring
down both the capital and operational • One flying, shear and cooling table
cost as well as providing for simplicity with a rather obsolete expulsion
and reliability of the process' and system, with rotary kick off levers.
equipment. The pr.oduction·of, H-bar:is
very sensitive to manufacturing costs The Challenges.
because they are produced massively at
low profit margins. The particular conditions of the.
facilities as well as the goals set forth
With all these considerations in called for the development ofa unique
mind and with the coming on stream of technology that ought to meet the
the new meltshop in 1993, built with follOWing challenges :

750 - 39TH MWSP CO&. PROC., ISS, VOL. XXXV, 1998

improvement of working time aAd
• Standardization of daily production yield with a simplified pass design
rate for all R-bar sizes to capitalize for ease in adjustment,minimum
on the increased capacity of the use, oltooling and less rolls ar:1d
reheating furnace with hot 'billet charge. guides consumption.
• Fast implementation andleaming curve • Higlilest productivity in 9.5 mm R . bar.
to achieve maximum production rate
in tlile shortest time. Table 2 shows th,e present
• Simple and reliable process capable to characteristics of the meltshQP and
be adapted to actual needs. rolling facilities. '
• Lowest transfonnatior:1 costs by :

Table 2.- Present Characteristi~s of Hylsa ~s North Works

• Melting Furnace : AC, 5,900 mm dia., 90 tons/heat. 824 KVAltor:l,EBT, burner, lances.
• Ladle Furnace 1.S MVA, 4 oC heatir:lg rate, bottom/top gas rir:lsing, alloy trim., wire feed.
• Cont. Caster S strands, S.Om rad., 3.5 mlmin,1:01 to 152 sq. billet, high speed transfer.
• Automation Level 3 full automated process control.

ROiling F~Qllity
• Reheating Furnace: Pusher type, natural gas fired, 85% hot charge ratio at 500-S50 oC.
Capacity : 75 - 80 M ton/Hr. with hot charge, SO M tonlHr. with cold charge.
o Rolling 'Mill; Continuous type, 15 stands, 127x127 mm billet ·size.
Max. speed: 12.5 mls. (limited by furnace to 9.8 m/s)
• Cooling Table Wa:lkin,g beam type, 80 m long, fast expulsion system (Kicking type)
• Product handling High speed transfer, 3 ,automatic bundling machines.
, • Automation Level 2 full automated process control.

Process Implementation.

Project kickoff was in third quarter technology for mul\lP,I~d~ut rolling, as

of 1;993 starting witm the pass design ,for compared with the ,fo'r:tAer;'results with
which in-house devel'oped computer single slit.
programs were utilized. Basic and detail
engineering and fabrication of guides, This increase;'iwa's'fdue· mainly to
separating boxes, loopers and channels the contribution of roliln,g~the 9.5 mm R-
followed. bar in four strands" ,:"the' 12.7 mm in
three strands and~\":1f5:8 - mm-rrllVilo----
project duration was f,ive months. strands, all slitting;\PJ~\U;'lg made in one
Normal operation wasacmieved in less single step. YieIc1t~f~finished product
than one mQnth. By early 1994, the and working timef.i,were also improved.
effective rollir:1g rate increased almost Table 3 shows'tna figures for 1997" for
100%, as an average for R-bar sizes the same data as in Table 1, after the
processed with the in-house developed implementation of Multiple Slit Rolling.

39TH MWSP CONF. PROC., ISS, VOL. XXXV, 1998 - 751

Table 3.- Effective Rolling Rate with Multiple Slit

R..:bar No. of Speed Nominal Rolling Yield Working Effective Rolling

dia. (mm) Strands mls Rate Ton/Hr. % Time % Rate TonlHr.
9.5 4 11.5 89.6 93.5 84.0 70.4
12.7 3 9.0 92.0 94.0 86.. 0 74.3
15.8 2 1.0.0 108.5 94.0 86.,0 87.7
(1) % of Workir:1g Time is based on 24 hrs/day, Actual Working Time is 19$hrs/day due to electricity
cost at peak ·hours

Higher R"bar sizes up to 32.8 rom into consideration the constraints and
continued to be rolled without slitting in challenges as described above.
one strand as they were before.
With the support of computer
Pass Design, software specifically adapted fOr the
purpose, 'it was designed the
Desig n of passes from stand 1 geometric shape to solve a)1 rolling
down to 1'0 is· a .combination of squares variables for multiple slit, assuring
/ diamonds sequence being the same for that all strands are identical and with
all R-bar sizes. the closest deviation during the
rolling campaign for each size. Figure 1
From stand 11 to finisher, passes depicts the shape ' s geometry for the
were speCifically designed for multiple slit case of quadruple slit for each pass in
rolling. namely 4, 3 and 2 strands, taking last six stands.

Figure 1.- Quadruple Slit Rolling for 9.5 mm IR-bar (Last 6 stands)

Pass design is same

from stand 1 to 10 for
all A·bar sizes ~
Stand 1?

,/7 00
\ .~

~~~~ "......,.

Stand 14

0 Stand 150
, , 0

752 - 39TH MWSP CONF. PROC., ISS, VOL. XXXV, 1998

Rollingi :EQuipment Mbdifications.

Following modifications/additions box comprises two sets of slitting

wefe performed in the rolling facility. rollers which, in the case of quadruple
slit, separates in one ,single stage ,the
• Reheating Fce.: Elevated transfer ta:ble outermost and the two inner strands.
for'direct hot billet charging.
• Rolling Stands: Only minor adaptations Mill Control.
were required. Former stand No. 11
was took off line leaving 15 operating The particular disposition of mill
stands. drives where: stands No.1, 2 and 11 to
• Loopers : One looper was modified and 15 were each coupled to akin motors;
two added between present stands No. stands No. 3 and 4 coupled both· to one
10"11, 11-12 and 12-1'3. motor and stands No. 5 to 10 aU
o Separating Boxes: One Separating together driven by one motor; required
Box for 9.5 mm, 12.7 mm or 15.8 mm the modification of the mill' control.
was incorporated in, stands 13-14. These
boxes were constructed based on tbe A fully automatic step down
design of the geometric shape which control based on PLC's was designed
allows for the continuous multiple slit and installed for all motors converter to
rolling of billets :into bars. i,lssure the reliability of the new rolling
process. Interruptions due to stranding
Minimum number of passes was actually decreased by more than '50%.
achieved without requiring tension
relieving stations between the separating Figure 2 schematically shows
guide box and the finishing stand~ The the present rolling mill configuration.

Figure 2.- ROiling Mill Configuration ~Last 6 stands)

Stand 10 11 12 13 l4 t5

39TH MWSP CONF. PROC., ISS, VOL. XXXV, 1998 - '153

Present Operating Results.
Besides, maximum effective
Hylsa's technology for Multiple, rolling rate for lighter R-bar sizes is
Slit Rolling has been in continuous and being limited, at the present hot
high reliable operation for almost four charge ratio, by the reheating furnace
years. Normally, 90% of the mill output is capacity of 75-80 Ton/hr. 1997
produced with multiple slit rolling. expected production is 420,000 metliic
tons. Table ,4 depicts the average
The North Works' rOiling facility is figures for the present reswlts.
working only 19.5 hrs/day due to
restrictions in energy at peak hours.

Table 4.- Present Results. (Hot billet charge)

R-bar % of Montt:Jly No. of Speed Furnace Yield Working Production
dia. (mm) Production Strands m/s Tonslhr % Time % Ton/day
9.8 70 4 9.7 76 93.5 84.0 1246
12.7 15 3 7.2 75 94.0 86.0 1251
15.8 5 2 6.8 74 94.0 '86.0 1248
19.1 1 9.4 73 94.5 87.0 1249
25.4 ~10 1 5.2 72 95.0 92.0 1251
32.8 1 3.3 72 95.0 77.0 1249


By developing and implementing operational' cost with the fastest return

its own technology for Multiple, Slit on investment, have permitted Hylsa
Rolling, Hylsa has been able to : to make a new investrnent to further
upgrade this mill. Today is under
• Capitalize on the maximum available construction a whole new facility, with a
capacity of the reheating furnace. revamped reheating furnace of 80
• Maximizeprodl!Jctivity of lighter R-bar mtons/hr capacity with cold charge. The
sizes. rnill' capacity will be 470,000 mtpy.
• Simplify the pass design.
• Standardize production rate for all R-bar Following conclusions can be
Sizes. derived from this experience :
o Decrease downtime, rolls and tooling
consumption ..~ • 111 technology ,there isno "one good;
• Increase its technological assets in for £1,11" answers.
process and equipment for production • Tailor made, fitted to needs proven
of long; products. solutions is the sure shot fortoday's
demands on cost savings through
The overall result: Increase of the process, operation and equipment
rolling capacity at the lowest capital and technology for long products.

754 - 39TH MWSP CONF. PROC., ISS, VOL. XXXV, 1998