Mark Devaney highlights Danieli Corporation, and how it became recognized as one of the most innovative and reliable companies in the metals industry.
Danieli Corporation designs and manufactures machinery and plants for the steel industry. It’s a company that stands by its strategy to continuously improve process know-how in the design and manufacture of competitive plants – from ore to finished flat and long products – and engages personnel in a creative and motivating atmosphere that rewards merit, professionalism and the ability to achieve business objectives.
“At Danieli, our research-and-development objective is constant technological improvement,” says Mark Brandon, Danieli’s chairman and president. “It is our goal to provide innovative and production-cost-winner plants and to maximize benefits to our customers.”
Today the Danieli Group has five main centers: Buttrio, Italy (Danieli headquarters), Pittsburgh (Danieli Wean United), Smedjebacken, Sweden (Danieli Morgardshammar), Paris (Danieli Rotelec) and Olpe, Germany (Danieli Fröhling).
Danieli’s impressive customer list includes well-established names from all over the world, such as: Acciaierie Bertoli Safau (Italy); Altos Hornos de Mexico SA (Mexico); Al Ezz Steel Rebars Company SAE, (Egypt); Alfa Acciai Srl (Italy); Amsteel Mills Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia); An Feng Steel Company (Taiwan); ARMCO Inc., (United States); Baoshan Iron & Steel Corporation (China); Bethlehem Steel Corporation (United States); The Broken Hill Pty. Ltd. (Australia); Birmingham Steel Corporation (United States); Bokaro Steel (India); Bangkok Steel Industry (Thailand); China Steel Corporation (Taiwan); Nucor Steel (United States); Ipsco Steel (United States); and Dofasco (Canada).
“Danieli Wean United takes pride in that many of its innovations and technologies have contributed greatly to the manufacturing of quality steel,” says Brandon. “Because of its dedication to providing the latest technology and manufacturing know-how to its customers, Danieli Wean United has implemented more processing lines and flat-rolling mills than any other supplier in the world.”
On July 3, 2000, the first billets were successfully rolled at the new Pulogadung Steel high-speed wire roll mill in Jakarta, supplied by Danieli Morgardshammar. The new state-of-the-art plant has a production capacity of 300,000 tons per year of 5.5- to 16-millimeter-diameter quality wire rods in coils weighing up to 1,800 kilograms, at a finishing speed of 100 meters per second. The mill is made entirely of ESS compact cantilever stands, plus a 10-stand, high-speed, twist-free block and controlled cooling/coil forming and finishing facilities.
Danieli Centro Combustion has supplied the 50 tons-per-hour walking hearth reheating furnace. Danieli Automation has supplied all electricals and the automation system. This will be one of the most modern wire rod mills in Indonesia and in the neighboring countries. Danieli Centro Met is the division of Danieli Corporation responsible for the design and supply of equipment for electric furnace-based melt shops. The product line includes electric arc furnaces (both alternating-current and direct-current), ladle furnaces, vacuum degassers (VTD and VOD), as well as billet and bloom continuous casters. All activities in the United States and Canada are covered from this office.
Beginning with a New Concept
Danieli’s origins date back several generations, when two brothers, Mario and Timo Danieli, founded the Angelini Steelworks in Brescia, Italy. This was one of the first reference plants in which electric arc furnaces were used for making steel. Danieli was thus one of the pioneers in the industrial application of the minimill concept, an idea now used throughout the world. Part of the Angelini Steelworks was transferred to Buttrio, Italy. In those days, the company manufactured tools for forging plants and auxiliary machines for rolling mills. Luigi Danieli took over the family business, which at that time employed 50 people and occupied an area of approximately 5,000 square meters.
The first minimill was installed in Germany and the first continuous casting plant was installed in Italy. The success of the minimill concept spread to Spain, the United States and the Far East. The first large turnkey order was placed with Danieli for a steel mill in the former East Germany. Danieli supplied numerous plants on a turnkey basis in the United States, the Far East, the former Soviet Union and North Africa, considerably increasing the Group’s turnover.
Large-scale investment made in research enabled the company to achieve a leading position worldwide in the supply of plants for commercial long products. In the United States, Danieli conquered 80 percent of the long-product plant market.
Danieli acquired Morgardshammar AB, a Swedish company founded in 1856 and a world leader in the supply of plants for long products in special steels. Centro Met AB in Sweden was founded and specialized in steel refining processes for quality steel production. By the end of the 1980s, the Group was also an international leader in the supply of plants for long products in specialty steels.
With 99 years of continuous presence in the metals industry, Danieli Wean United is recognized as a worldwide leader in the supply of thin slab casters, top quality hot- and cold-rolling mills, strip processing lines and materials-handling equipment. Danieli Wean United can supply equipment, know-how, engineering and turnkey services for all ferrous and nonferrous flat-rolling and processing needs.
A strategic decision was made to expand into the flat product sector. In support of this strategy, the Group acquired Wean Industries and United Engineering in the United States, founded in 1929 and 1901, respectively. Between 1950 and 1980, these two companies were accountable for a share of some 60 percent of the plant and equipment supplied to the ferrous and non-ferrous flat product industries. In order to strengthen its leadership in the field of plants for long products, the Group acquired Sund Birsta in Sweden and Rotelec in France. Danieli’s world leadership for long products in commercial and special steels was maintained with an international market share of some 65 percent. The 30 percent market share obtained by Danieli in the flat products sector in 1999 placed it among the leading manufacturers of plants and systems for flat products. The group decided that it would be strategically sound to continue manufacturing noble equipment in-house and, consequently, $150 million was invested in its mechanical workshops.
“Attention to market demands, dedication to research and development and the allocation of resources and knowledge to product evolution are the essential characteristics of the winners in the competition for technical leadership,” says Brandon.
Upon analyzing the evolution and trends in the markets for cold-rolled strip, Danieli recognized a clear need to improve plant performance, flexibility and overall product quality. As a result of this, Danieli Wean United, the flat product division of the Danieli Group, launched an aggressive campaign to develop new equipment to compete more efficiently in this market sector. The result is the new Danieli 6-high 3C rolling stand. This new mill concept allows a superior range of control with an original design for roll crossing and shifting. In the Danieli 6-high 3C, the intermediate rolls are crossed to improve profile control and flatness performance of the conventional actuators. The design and automated control logic, also provided by Danieli, increases the operational range of the mill with a gradual and flexible approach. The crossing of the intermediate rolls is automatically activated when the product characteristics or the critical operational conditions peak and the required quality and tolerances are no longer achievable with the conventional actuators.
The operational flexibility and favorable distribution of forces specific to the Danieli 6-high 3C stand allows for rationalization in the use of the stand actuators, thereby resulting in lower production and maintenance costs and improved plant efficiency. “With these features, the new Danieli 6-high 3C stand provides the flexible, efficient, performance-enhancing technology with which producers can face and win the challenges of the market,” says Brandon.
Equipped with the most modern facilities, the Danieli manufacturing and assembly shops rank to levels of absolute excellence worldwide. More than 1,000 skilled designers work every day on more than 350 CAE/CAD/CAM stations to feed the Group’s three main workshops. Only at Danieli headquarters in Buttrio, more than 150 machine tools (80 percent of which with CNC) are housed in more than 45,000 square meters; the assembly shops cover more than 22,000 square meters and are equipped with hoisting means having capacities of up to 200 tons.
In order to guarantee the highest quality, Danieli has in-house gear manufacturing and heat treatments: gear-cutting and -grinding shops with a capacity of 9,600 tons per year and processing up to 28-module gears; and nine pit and bogey hearth furnaces, with total nominal capacity of more than 11,200 tons per year, for hardening and tempering, case hardening and Nitrex treatments. Also planned is the expansion of the structural steelworks production area, which will bring the output to approximately 600 tons per month.