Hot commissioning of annealing and pickling line for cold strip at Aperam Stainless Belgium

March 2021 saw the successful commissioning of the new annealing and pickling line at Aperam Stainless Belgium with the production of the first marketable coils of AISI304 austenitic steel grade. The line at Aperam's Genk plant in Belgium was supplied by SMS including mechanical equipment, process technology, furnace technology, electrical equipment and automation controls.

Installation and commissioning under the restrictions given by the global pandemic was an extraordinary challenge, which the teams of Aperam and SMS – working in close partnership – mastered successfully.

The line processes both austenitic and ferritic grades. With the commissioning of state-of-the-art and future-oriented plant technology, Aperam enlarges its product range by adding material grades for the most demanding applications and improves lead-time and flexibility to meet the upcoming market demands. Higher efficiency increases cost competitiveness and helps realizing Aperam's environmental targets.

The line stands out due to its high degree of automation and resource-saving processes. This new annealing and pickling line represents the second line at Aperam's Genk works supplied by SMS.

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