Technology Committees


Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee Activities

The HSRTC held its meeting 15–16 October 2013, Toledo, Ohio, USA
The HSRTC was given a tour of North Star BlueScope on the afternoon of 15 October 2013. The meeting began on 16 October 2013, with Tom Weiler of Nucor Steel–Indiana encouraging the producer members to begin entering data into the AIST Process Benchmarker® (APB) system. With six companies on-board, the main focus now is to put data into the system. Eric Thokar of Siemens reviewed the status of Hot Flat Rolling Fundamentals — A Practical Training Seminar in conjunction with Plate Rolling Fundamentals Training, which will take place 3–6 March 2014 in Charleston, S.C., USA, at the Francis Marion Hotel. The course will finish with a tour of the Nucor Steel–Berkeley facility.
Jim Murphy of Quaker Chemical Corp. reviewed the HSRTC abstract selection and hot rolling sessions for AISTech 2014. Session titles were established and volunteers filled the session chair positions. A long discussion was held about averting commercialism in the technical presentations.
Presentations included: “The Wall — Improving Communication Between the Caster and Hot Strip Mill,” by Chris Davis of North Star BlueScope; “Energy Saving Advances in CSP Tunnel Furnace Rolls,” by Dan Miller of Duraloy; and “RMSTrax — Roll Shop Management,” by Joe Porter of North Star BlueScope, Dan Smith of North Star BlueScope and Ken Hutchison of ASE. The producer members then had an opportunity to share safety initiatives with the HSRTC.

The HSRTC held its meeting in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on 19–20 February 2013. Randy Patterson of Steel Dynamics Inc. opened the meeting and welcomed the attendees. He also thanked Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa Inc. for hosting a tour of its Steckel mill. Jim Murphy of Quaker Chemical Corp. reviewed the status of the Hot Rolling sessions for AISTech 2013, as well as the session chair responsibilities. Eric Thokar of Siemens VAI discussed the 2014 Fundamentals of Hot Rolling Training Seminar. The seminar will include a track on plate rolling fundamentals similar to that of the 2012 Hot Rolling Training Seminar. The date and location were discussed at length, and the final decision will be coordinated between the training subcommittee and AIST. A brief presentation about the Hot Rolling module of the AIST Process Benchmarker™ was given to help clarify the benefits of using the system. Tom Weiler of Nucor Corp. encouraged all the producers to start utilizing the system. Each representative from a producing company presented information on his mill, with a focus on lockout/tagout procedures and lessons learned from those procedures. The next HSRTC meeting will be held on 6 May 2013 at AISTech 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The HSRTC’s fall 2013 meeting location is yet to be finalized, but topics of discussion will include green initiatives and conservation, fall protection and cooling water.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met in Ghent, Ky., on 25–26 September 2012. The HSRTC chair, Randy Patterson of Steel Dynamics Inc., opened the meeting by welcoming the 35 attendees and thanking Gallatin Steel for hosting the tour of its hot mill. A safety roundtable discussion included the following topics: crane magnet arc flashing and lockout, tie-off anchor points and inspection, roof repair and netting, harness practice, high-angle rescue teams, lockout/tagout, pinch points, and employee and contractor training. Jim Murphy of Quaker Chemical Corp. proposed session plans for AISTech 2013 and solicited volunteers as session chairs. Eric Thokar of Siemens reviewed the status of the Fundamentals of Hot Rolling Specialty Training Conference for 2014. The committee agreed that the conference venue must include stadium-style seating at a location somewhere in the southern United States. Tom Weiler of Nucor Steel–Indiana explained that the Hot Mill module of the APB system is functioning, and he encouraged representatives from producer companies to begin entering their information. A significant amount of time was devoted to roundtable discussions, in which producers shared information about their mills, including safety and maintenance and reliability practices. The next HSRTC meeting was proposed for the spring of 2013, with a tour of Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa Inc.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met on 9 May in Atlanta, Ga., during AISTech 2012. Don Merchant of California Steel Industries opened the meeting. The committee reviewed and approved the committee mission statement to be: “Promote safety and advancement in hot sheet and strip rolling technologies and operating practices through information exchange and training.” The status of the Hot Strip Mill Roundup was discussed. This Industry Roundup will be published in the November 2012 issue of Iron & Steel Technology, so any revisions need to be sent to AIST staff by August 2012. The status of the Hot Mill module for the AIST Process Benchmarker system was discussed. The parameters need the final approval of the committee and the parameter definitions finalized. Tom Weiler of Nucor is leading this effort for the committee. Eric Thokar of Siemens gave a brief review of the 2012 Hot Strip and Plate Rolling Fundamentals course that was held in Orlando in February. The next course is scheduled for the spring of 2014. The elections for 2012–2013 HSRTC leadership were completed, with Randy Patterson of Steel Dynamics Inc. as the chair; Dave Hamblin of Nucor Steel – Berkeley as the vice chair; Jim Murphy of Quaker Chemical Corp. as the papers chair; and Eric Thokar as training chair. Patterson presented a plaque to Merchant to show the committee’s gratitude for his leadership during the past year. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for 25–26 September 2012 near Ghent, Ky., to include a tour of Gallatin Steel.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met 13–14 March 2012 in Ontario, Calif. Don Merchant of California Steel Industries opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to southern California. Amy Johnson of Quaker Chemical volunteered to take the minutes for the meeting. The AIST Antitrust Guidelines were reviewed and everyone in attendance agreed to abide by them. The meeting minutes from the 26–27 October 2011 meeting, hosted by Essar Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Canada, were reviewed and approved as written. The meeting’s agenda began with a safety discussion. Jim Murphy of Quaker Chemical reviewed the status of the Hot Sheet Rolling sessions for AISTech 2012. The majority of the program was set, with only a few authors who had not yet registered for AISTech. The AISTech 2013 Call for Papers topic for the committee was reviewed and approved as: “Hot sheet rolling mills and facilities: new, revamps or modernizations, including: ferrous-based (carbon, silicon, titanium or stainless steel) flat rolling and/or processing with new or revised technologies in width, thickness, shape, flatness, surface, temperature, productivity, yield and quality control. Other topics of interest include (but are not limited to): equipment design improvements; roll coolant and roll bite lubrication (both hot and cold); processing new steel chemistries (TRIP, TWIP and dual-phase steels); steering and camber control; slab sizing and width control; descaling and surface improvement systems; edge drop control; productivity improvement and start-up learning curve programs; sensors and gauge systems specifically relating to rolling and processing; furnace issues relating to the rolling process, design for safety and environment.” The Hot Rolling Fundamentals Training Conference that was held in February in Orlando, Fla., was discussed, and those who attended praised its success. The committee agreed to hold the conference every other year, but at a new location which would allow a mill tour at the end of the program. Eric Thokar of Siemens VAI agreed to continue to be the training subcommittee chair, with help from Don Merchant and Tom Weiler of Nucor Steel, Randy Patterson of SDI, Michael Peretic of SMS Siemag, Amy Johnson and Jim Murphy. The HSRTC agreed to have the Hot Mill Roundup published in the November 2012 issue of the Iron & Steel Technology magazine, but would like to include other mills that were not included in the past. Mr. Weiler discussed the progress of the AIST Process Benchmarker Hot Mill module. The list of parameters was sent out to the producing members for their input and comments. A safety roundtable discussion was conducted, with each attending mill’s representative commenting on its approach for “hands-free” handling of the sheet, new lessons learned and/or procedures implemented, and statistics of OSHA recordable accidents, lost workdays, total injuries and near misses. The HSRTC meeting met on 9 May 2012 during AISTech. The next HSRTC meeting is tentatively scheduled for 25–26 September 2012 at a location to be determined.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Canada, on 26–27 October 2011 with 28 committee members in attendance. Don Merchant of California Steel Industries opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to Canada and asking the attendees to introduce themselves. Tim Fawcett of HASTEC Rebs volunteered to take the meeting minutes. The AIST Antitrust Guidelines were reviewed and all in attendance agreed to abide by them. The minutes from the 2 May 2011 HSRTC meeting were reviewed and approved as written. Merchant led a review of and discussion concerning the 2011 Steel Industry Fatalities Statistics. Jim Murphy from Quaker Chemical Corp. led a review of the available abstracts for the AISTech 2012 Plate Rolling sessions. The committee then chose relevant abstracts and structured them into sessions. Don Merchant, Tom Weiler of Nucor, Eric Thokar, John Wallace of Butech Bliss and Amy Johnson of Quaker Chemical Corp. volunteered to be session chairs. Thokar reviewed the status of the Hot Flat Rolling Fundamentals — A Practical Training Seminar and explained how the program was modified to include the plate rolling track. The seminar will be held in Orlando, Fla. on 19–23 February 2012. The HSRTC reviewed the AIST 2011 North American Hot Strip Mill Roundup, which was published in the August 2011 issue of Iron & Steel Technology. They agreed to revise it as necessary and have it published again in 2012. Weiler updated the committee on the status of the AIST Process Benchmarker (APB) system that is currently being developed. Thokar gave a presentation on “Powerful Downcoilers.” The committee thanks Essar Steel Algoma for hosting a tour of their hot mill and Kate Kuuskman of Essar for arranging the tour. The next HSRTC meeting is scheduled for 13 March 2012 in Ontario, Calif., with a tour of California Steel Industries on 14 March 2012.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) held a meeting during AISTech 2011 in Indianapolis, Ind., on 2 May 2011. Tom Weiler of Nucor Steel – Indiana opened the meeting by welcoming everyone. Brendan Brophy of North Star BlueScope volunteered to take the minutes for the meeting. The AIST Antitrust Guidelines were reviewed and everyone present agreed to abide by them. The meeting minutes taken during the 25–26 January 2011 meeting were reviewed and approved as written. The committee elected their 2011–2012 officers: Don Merchant of California Steel, chair; John Manko of Duferco Farrell, vice chair; Jim Murphy of Quaker Chemical Corp., papers chair; and Eric Thokar of Danieli Corp., training chair. The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee mission statement was reviewed and approved without change to be: “Promote safety and advancement in hot sheet and strip rolling technologies and operating practices through information exchange and training.” Tom Weiler outlined the progress of the benchmarking database to date. He volunteered to lead this initiative for the HSRTC. A brief discussion ensued and volunteers were sought for the Hot Sheet Rolling Training Subcommittee. A plan to include plate rolling as a breakout session was discussed. The next meeting is planned for late October 2011 with a tour of Essar Steel Algoma.

The HSRTC, the MRTC and the Rolls Technology Committee (RTC) held a three-in-one-joint meeting on 26 Jan in Mobile, Ala., with a total attendance of 115. The joint meeting started with a safety presentation by Bernie Quinn of AM Health and Safety Inc. Jay Ondrovic of Nucor Steel then gave a presentation on the operator’s role in reliability. John Ballani and Tom Weiler led a discussion on Technology Committee best practices. The Reliability Achievement Awards were presented. The Gold Award was presented to Jeffrey Kroner of USS POSCO Industries for their implementation of a combustion reliability program within the framework of an established reliability-based improvement model, the Silver Award was presented to Scott Piech of ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor for the implementation of the WCER (World-Class Equipment Reliability Program) on the finishing stands of the hot strip mill, and the Bronze Award was presented to Tim Kuzmicky of USS POSCO Industries for their implementation of a spares consolidation process and facility modifications. Francesco Auteri of Pomini presented the new Pomini roll shop at the ThyssenKrupp Steel hot strip mill. Scott Posey of ThyssenKrupp presented an overview of their new facility. On Wednesday, 26 Jan 2011, all three committees toured the newest ThyssenKrupp facility.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met 25 Jan 2011 in Mobile, Ala. Tom Weiler of Nucor Steel–Indiana opened the meeting by welcoming all the attendees and thanking them for attending. Jim Sidow of Fuchs volunteered to take the meeting minutes. Mr. Weiler reviewed the AIST Anti-Trust Guidelines, and everyone agreed to abide by them. The minutes from the previous meeting, held 13–14 Oct 2010 in Charleston, S.C., were reviewed and approved as written. Eric Thokar of Danieli reviewed the proposed plate rolling curriculum that could be offered during the Hot Rolling Fundamentals course scheduled for February 2012. The HSRTC reviewed the current status of the AISTech 2011 session layout. They also agreed on the 2012 HSRTC Call for Papers topics. The committee had a group discussion on roll bite lubrication, led by a presentation by John Manko of Duferco Farrell. Stephen Lonn of ToyoSun gave a presentation on hot mill oil systems.

Monday, 24 Jan — MRTC STC Task Force meeting
Tuesday, 25 Jan — Separate MRTC and HSRTC meetings
Wednesday, 26 Jan — Joint MRTC, HSRTC and RTC meeting, plus p.m. tour
Thursday, 27 Jan — RTC meeting

The RTC held a separate meeting Thursday, 27 Jan 2011 following the three-in-one joint committee meeting. As one of the committees that took the lead in organizing the three-in-one meeting, they began with a discussion on the value of this combined meeting and tour. The general consensus was that it worked well and gave the opportunity for networking, learning what practices are working for other committees and sharing what has worked within their own committee. This was followed by a discussion on the RTC sessions for AISTech 2011, including an update on their joint session, identifying session chairs and expectations for these chairs, and finalizing their panel discussion. They then reviewed the topics for their Call for Papers for AISTech 2012 and decided to leave them as is since they still serve their purpose. This was followed by a technical presentation on “Differences Between Sealed and Non-Sealed Bearings” by Walt Kusnier and a presentation on “Environmentally Friendly Ways to Dispose of Grinder Sludge” by Joe Porter. Following the presentations, attendees held a general discussion on future RTC activities before adjourning.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met in Charleston, S.C., on 13–14 Oct 2010. The committee chair, Tom Weiler, welcomed everyone to the meeting and reviewed the agenda. One of the main topics developed for this meeting was mill clearances and alignment. The meeting began with Rich Corbett of Falk PLI discussing the advantages of using a laser tracker, particularly with respect to mill clearances and alignment. This was followed by producer presentations on items related to safety, maintenance and reliability, and environment. Joe Busch reported for Gallatin Steel, Dave Hamblin for Nucor Steel–Berkeley, Tom Weiler for Nucor Steel–Indiana and Bill Seres for Severstal Columbus. The HSRTC will offer their Hot Rolling Training Seminar again in 2012, and the feedback from their 2010 offering was reviewed. They also made plans to incorporate a half day dedicated to plate rolling topics. A discussion on the status of the benchmarking system was provided, and it was noted that the path forward would be finalized at the AIST Leadership Conference in November 2010. The HSRTC is also finalizing the Hot Strip Mill Roundup, which will be published in Iron & Steel Technology, and contacts were identified to gather any missing data. A review of the HSRTC sessions for AISTech 2011 took place, and the HSRTC discussed the opportunity to hold a joint session with the Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee. Tom Weiler then led a discussion on ideas, topics and formats for future meetings, including a potential joint meet

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met 3 May in Pittsburgh, Pa., in conjunction with AISTech 2010. The meeting began with a review of the morning HSRTC session. This was followed by a review of their mission statement, and it was decided to add “hot” to the statement so it would read, “...promote safety and advancement in hot sheet and strip rolling technologies and operating practices through information exchange and training.” An update on the status of benchmarking for the committee was discussed, followed by a discussion on completing the Hot Sheet Mill Roundup, to be published in Iron & Steel Technology. A review of the Hot Rolling Training Seminar was undertaken, with plans to offer this training again in 2012. Before adjourning, the HSRTC discussed options for their next meeting and elected officers for the coming year. To conclude the meeting, Tom Weiler presented a plaque of appreciation to outgoing chair Eric Thokar.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met 7–8 Apr in Birmingham, Ala. The meeting began with a safety discussion. This was followed by presentations from Tom Weiler of Nucor Steel–Indiana, Don Merchant of California Steel and Qiulin Yu of Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa on reliability and production issues. They also reviewed the status of several projects in their plants. The HSRTC papers chair, Jim Murphy, then gave an update on the status of the committee’s sessions for AISTech 2010. There was also a brief review of the 2010 AIST Hot Rolling Training Seminar and discussion on incorporating a separate half-day track for plate rolling when this course is offered again in 2012. The HSRTC members then toured the United States Steel Fairfield Plant hot mill, including the reheat furnaces, reversing roughing mill, finishing mill, and downcoilers. Those on the tour had the opportunity to discuss issues with the crews and supervisors. The next day began with Eugene Nikitenko of U. S. Steel giving a presentation on head-end gauge performance on hot bands and how one of the main contributors to this problem has been shown to be temperature prediction error. This was followed by an update from Eric Thokar of Danieli Corp. on the latest design for powerful downcoilers. Before the meeting came to a close, the subject again arose of incorporating a half-day session in the 2010 Hot Rolling Fundamentals Specialty Training Conference, which would focus on topics specific to attendees involved with plate. This will be reviewed with the Plate Rolling Technology Committee and then brought to their Training Subcommittee.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met on 22 Feb in conjunction with the Hot Rolling Fundamentals Specialty Training Conference in Orlando, Fla. Since many committee members participate in the conference, this meeting is usually held to cover items related to the conference. The discussion after the first day of the conference indicated that everyone seemed pleased with the quality of the presentations. The HSRTC then reviewed the chairs for the remainder of the course. This was followed by a review of the status of their sessions for AISTech 2010 in Pittsburgh, and all their sessions were completed. They also discussed their next offering of the Hot Rolling Fundamentals seminar and planned to meet with the Plate Rolling Technology Committee to incorporate a plate session into the training. The HSRTC is also working on a Hot Mill Roundup, and they reviewed its status and the steps necessary to complete it for the magazine. Finally, the HSRTC identified topics they would like to focus on for AISTech 2011, and prepared them for the Call for Abstracts.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met 30 Sep–Oct 1 in Ghent, Ky. Committee chair Eric Thokar of Danieli opened the meeting and reviewed the technical theme for the meeting, which was roll coolant and lubrication. The meeting began with a safety presentation and discussion by Butch Collins of Gallatin Steel and included guests from SSAB. Presentations were then provided by Tom Weiler of Nucor Steel, Dave Reilly of California Steel, Mike Claar of Steel Dynamics and John Vollmer of Gallatin Steel on plant safety performance and practices, hot mill reliability issues, and roll coolant and lubrication. Jim Murphy of Quaker then reviewed the plan for the committee’s technical sessions for AISTech 2010 and developed two hot rolling sessions. The HSRTC will pursue a joint session with the Computer Applications Technology Committee. Mr. Murphy also secured volunteers to chair these sessions. A brief discussion on the AIST Leadership Development Conference followed, and the committee was informed that they are well represented, with three officers planning to attend. A tour of the Gallatin Steel hot mill was conducted in the afternoon. A plaque of appreciation was presented to John Vollmer for arranging the tour and hosting the meeting. Daron Lloyd and Ned Mansour of Lechler joined the meeting and provided a technical presentation on optimizing cooling system performance. This was followed by a technical presentation and discussion on hot mill roll lubrication best practices by Mr. Murphy. The program and status of the upcoming Hot Flat Rolling Training Seminar was reviewed, with some minor adjustments recommended. The committee is also completing a hot strip mill roundup for North American hot mills, and this was reviewed, with the steps necessary to finalize it identified.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met at AISTech 2009 on 6 May. The meeting began with a review of the HSRTC sessions that had already been held and final preparations for their upcoming sessions at the conference. This was followed by the election of officers for the upcoming year, whereby Eric Thokar was elected as chair, Tom Weiler as vice chair and Jim Murphy as papers chair. A review of the committee’s mission statement found the statement to still represent the activities and mission of the HSRTC, so no changes were made. Mr. Thokar gave an update on the task he is leading to complete a Hot Mill Roundup to be published in Iron & Steel Technology. Following this, there was discussion regarding the upcoming Specialty Training Conference, “Hot Rolling Fundamentals — A Practical Training Seminar.” Members who also belong to the Plate Rolling Technology Committee also attended this meeting, as they wanted to discuss the possibility of including more plate rolling topics in the training seminar. After the discussion and in light of the timing, it was decided that, for now, the conference will remain as is, but could be open for future consideration. After some discussion on attendance at the two locations where this conference has been held, it was decided to offer the training seminar in February 2010 in Orlando, Fla. The HSRTC then reviewed potential meeting sites and dates for the fall of 2009. Jim Murphy, as papers chair, agreed to arrange technical presentations on lubrication for the upcoming meeting.

The Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee (HSRTC) met in Ypsilanti, Mich., on 30 Mar in conjunction with their Hot Flat Sheet Rolling Specialty Training Conference. The meeting was held at the conclusion of the first day of the seminar, so the meeting began with a review of the day’s presentations. The overall consensus was that it was a good start to the program, and there appeared to be a lot of interaction with the attendees. They then discussed their plans to renew an alternating-year rotation with the Cold Rolling Training Seminar. It was agreed to offer the Hot Flat Sheet Rolling seminar again in 2010 to return to the schedule. They agreed that it would be held in either Ypsilanti or Orlando, Fla., based on availability and other considerations. The HSRTC then reviewed the status of their technical sessions for AISTech 2009 and solicited two more papers from committee members to replace ones that had been canceled.  Two technical presentations were identified to be made at one of the next HSRTC meetings. This was followed by some discussion on the benchmarking database and plans to complete the hot mill round-up to be published in Iron & Steel Technology.