Steel News

voestalpine Opens State-Of-The-Art Duo Rolling Mill at Böhler Bleche in Austria

9/23/2013 - voestalpine, the steel-based technology and capital goods group, is again improving its market position in the special steel segment with the opening of a state-of-the-art duo reversing rolling stand for the production of premium steel plates in Mürzzuschlag on 20 September 2013.
This is the largest single investment thus far for the Special Steel Division, which is headed by Franz Rotter, at the location of the Styrian, Austria, plant of Böhler Bleche GmbH & Co KG, a voestalpine Group company. The company invested a total of € 11.6 million in this expansion, which will raise the annual production volume of premium materials to 26,000 tons in the future.

The voestalpine Special Steel Division (former Böhler Uddeholm) is already operating in 60 locations in 50 countries; it is emphasizing accelerated internationalization, but also expanding existing production locations in Austria by making major investments. “With the commissioning of the state-of-the-art duo rolling mill in Mürzzuschlag, we are continuing to extend our value chain in the special steel field to include and engage our customers. The special features of the new rolling stand provide an enormous advance in quality and a significant increase in the capacity provided in Styria,” stateed Franz Rotter, Management Board member of voestalpine AG and head of the Special Steel Division. With the start-up of the rolling mill, an additional 2,000 tons of premium special steel plate can be produced starting in the next business year.

Expansion of technology leadership and long-term survival of the production site
The duo rolling stand at the Böhler Bleche GmbH & Co KG locations produces plate with thicknesses ranging from two to ten millimeters and a maximum width of two meters. A particular feature of the plant is its state-of-the-art, fully automatic handling and thickness gauge. The drive motor has an output of 2.8 MW and the gearbox alone has a total weight of 115 tons. The new facility was installed in only six weeks—a record. “The expansion of the Mürzzuschlag facility is an important step to improve voestalpine’s competitiveness. Today, we are already the worldwide market and technology leader in many fields. By creating additional capacity for heat treatment and using optimized manufacturing technology, customer requirements can be fulfilled even better in the future so that the results will ensure the production site’s long-term survival,” said Rotter. With its 520 employees, Böhler Bleche GmbH & Co KG in Mürzzuschlag is the largest employer in the Upper Mürztal valley region; with its annual revenue of € 155 million, it is a global leader in the manufacture of top quality special steel plate.

Special steel plate for the aerospace and chemical industries in 50 countries
The plate manufactured on the rolling stand is sought by international customers in important fields, such as the aerospace and chemical industries, the tool making segment, and energy technology. Plate produced here is used, for example, for engine mounts for the Airbus A330, but also for the production of containers and pipes for the chemical industry and for the manufacture of industrial blades. These premium materials are exported from Styria to more than 50 countries worldwide. In addition to its main markets in Europe, such as Germany, France, and Italy, the Mürzzuschlag production site also supplies many customers overseas, such as the U.S., South Korea, Japan, China, and Singapore.

Special Steel Division has 12,700 employees worldwide
The voestalpine Special Steel Division is focused on technologically sophisticated materials and customer-specific services. It is a global market leader for tool steel and one of the leading providers of high-speed steel and special forgings. The most important customer segments are the automotive, energy (both production and oil/natural gas exploration), and mechanical engineering industries as well as the consumer goods and aerospace industries. In the business year 2012/13, the division with its two business segments of High Performance Metals and Special Forgings, reported revenue of more than € 2.7 billion, of which around 40% was generated outside of Europe, and an operating result (EBITDA) of € 369 million. It has around 12,700 employees worldwide.

The voestalpine Group is a steel-based technology and capital goods group that operates worldwide. With around 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries and on all five continents, the Group has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1995. With its top-quality products, the Group is one of the leading partners to the automotive and consumer goods industries in Europe and to the oil and gas industries worldwide. The voestalpine Group is also the world market leader in turnout technology, special rails, tool steel, and special sections. In the business year 2012/13, the voestalpine Group reported revenue of € 11.5 billion and an operating result (EBITDA) of € 1.45 billion. It has around 46,400 employees worldwide.