The Gerdau combined bar and wire rod mill in Charqueadas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, has successfully returned to operations after the upgrade of the automation and drives. The commissioning was performed in 11 days during a programmed shutdown in March, 2020.
Gerdau awarded Russula the electrical and automation contracts in May, 2019. The Gerdau plant produces special steel for construction, stainless steel and tool steels for the automotive industry.
Equipment from the rougher trio, common mill, wire rod, bar mill and garret coiler exits were all included within the automation scope of supply. Four shears, the pinch roll and coilers underwent a DC drive upgrade to the ABB DCS880 model. All main legacy PLC processors, either based on Siemens S5 or ABB AC800M, and local IO racks, were replaced with new Siemens S7-1500 PLCs and ET200MP IO boards.
In November 2019, the Gerdau team visited the Russula workshop in Bergondo, Spain for the factory acceptance test. The visit was beneficial for the team to review the electrical and automation equipment functionality and identify any changes before the installation and switchover to the new controls.
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