Past Events

24th Annual Crane Symposium

Conference Details: 12–14 September 2017, Memphis, Tenn., USA

Conference Highlights: There were more than 150 attendees at Managing Technoloy — Big River Steel, which covered the assessment, selection and implementation of advanced technologies in modern steel plants. This program focused on the commissioning and start-up of Big River Steel, North America’s newest and most advanced steel mill to date.
The conference kicked off Tuesday, 12 September 2017, with a presentation by David Stickler, chief executive officer of Big River Steel (BRS), covering the corporate history, philosophy, project overview and business success of BRS. Its strict focus on energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, combined with the latest technologies implemented in the mill, led Big River to become the only steel production facility in the world to be LEED certified.
A presentation by Big River’s chief commercial officer Mark Bula followed, which highlighted the wide range of products the Flex Mill™ can produce to meet market demands as they change. Countless grades can be produced to supply top-quality products for the energy industry, automotive advanced high-strength steel and coiled plate, which has the largest cross-section capability of any domestic mini-mill.
Denis Hennessy presented on the plant operations and technical successes achieved. Included among these are the fastest start-up ever for an SMS Compact Strip Production® (CSP®) mill (after only 19 months of construction) and the being first flat-rolled mini-mill in North America to use an RH degasser. Various equipment features were highlighted, including the EAF, caster, hot strip mill, pickle line, batch anneal skinpass mill, as well as the combination continuous anneal and galvanize line.
The first day concluded with a presentation by Matt Denesuk of on creating a true “learning” steel mill and the complex artificial intelligence systems behind its operations.
The second day began with a presentation by Kevin Cotchen of SMS USA LLC on the project concept through start-up from the perspective of the steelmaking requirements, equipment specification and selection. Scott Ferguson of The Systems Group then talked about the EAF shells and roof with integral fume hole elbow, as well as the many challenges encountered in delivering the equipment in one piece from the fabrication facility in northeast Ohio. Thomas Anderson of Tenova followed with a presentation on the start-up, commissioning, and equipment details of the hot briquetted iron, alloy and flux material handling system that supplies the EAF and LMF.
Matteo Fabbri of ABB Switzerland discussed the modern rectifier and power quality system. Execution of the installation project was reviewed along with an overview of the equipment, which provides 176 MW of power to the furnace and features the largest DC twin reactor ever built. The final presentation of the morning was by Anil Kanagala of Primetals Technologies USA LLC on power solutions for the steel industry. Areas covered included the scope of supply, system design, technology and equipment highlights, schedule, and lessons learned from the project.
Joseph Laughlin of SMS USA LLC started the afternoon by discussing the advanced features and operation of Big River’s CSP mill. Juan Kessler of Russula Corp. then covered the challenges, layout, process technology and efficiency of the plant’s eco-friendly water treatment system. Michael Peretic of SMS USA LLC presented on Big River’s cold rolling operations, as well as the extensive smart and digital features working behind the scenes. The second day concluded with a presentation by Big River Steel’s Lenore Trammel, who discussed the company’s management philosophy, with an overview of the leadership, employee selection process, and keys that make the company unique and successful.
The following morning, attendees and members of the Project & Construction Management Technology Committee enjoyed a tour of Big River Steel.

1. Big River Steel chief executive officer David Stickler kicked off the Managing Technology — Big River Steel course on 12 September 2017. 2. There were more than 150 attendees at the course, which covered the assessment, selection and implementation of advanced technologies in modern steel plants.
Attendees of Managing Technology — Big River Steel had the opportunity to tour the facility on 14 September 2017.