Vetorial, one of the largest independent pig iron producers in Brazil, awards Russula a contract to upgrade its rolling mill located in Villa Hayes, Paraguay. The multi-phase revamp will replace obsolete control equipment with the latest generation of totally integrated automation.
With a consistent GDP growth of approximately 6% since 2010, a quick constitution of legal entities for commercial purposes and the lowest corporate taxation in the MERCOSUR, Paraguay is becoming a good choice for investors. Russula is very pleased to win its first contract in Paraguay and have the opportunity to expand into this growing market.
The rolling mill, located less than 30 km away from Asunción in Paraguay, produces round bars, angles and also wire and rod. The primary objective of the electrical and control upgrade is to replace the obsolete Procontic PLC and antiquated Veritron drives.
Currently, the existing control system and HMI are so obsolete that the operators do not receive enough inputs from the process to make informed decisions. In addition the recipe system is very limited. With a modern control system, the operator with have a dependable source of information coming from the mill. A new recipe system will be installed to aid in production management. Also the new system will simplify the troubleshooting, which will improve the rolling mill availability.
The project will be divided in two phases to reduce the downtime and impact on production. The first phase consists of replacing the rolling mill PLC with a S7-1500, the latest PLC technology launched by Siemens, and installing a new HMI system and drives for the continuous mill. The new HMI system will be developed on a TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal platform.
Russula will develop the interfaces between the new control platform and some of the existing equipment that will remain in place. For example, the existing BBC Veritron drives still have a reliable thyristors bridge. Russula proposed to replace the control part of the Veritron drives with a new ABB DCS800, while maintaining the thyristor bridge and also the existing bus bars and cabinet. This is a reliable solution, and commonly implemented by Russula for antiquated rolling mills. The economic benefit is enormous.
Commissioning of the new control system and electrics is scheduled for June, 2017. Russula South America will collaborate with the best technical experts from its network of global offices to guarantee a minimum shutdown period.
After the conclusion of the first phase, the second phase consists of upgrading the remaining PLCs and drives. This phase focuses more on rolling mill process improvements.
A well-planned and executed upgrade to a modern control system not only improves mill availability and reliability, but can also provide a more flexible production platform. Flexibility is the key to staying competitive in today’s steel market.
The continuous rolling mill at Vetorial produces bar, angles, wire and rod in Villa Hayes, Paraguay. Obsolete electrical and control equipment will be replaced with the latest generation of control technology that will improve the rolling mill process stability.
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