Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel to Spend $14.5 Million Upgrading Hot Strip Mill

Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation today announced it will add automatic roll changers at its 80" Hot Strip Mill. The $14.5 million project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2005 and will improve productivity and increase the mill's capacity from 2.8 million tons to 3.2 million tons per year.

The automatic roll changers will be installed on the mill's six finishing stands, reducing the time needed to change rolls from as much as 40 minutes to 8 - 10 minutes per roll change. On average, rolls are changed between four and six times during each 24 hours of running time.

"The installation of the automatic roll changers is another significant step in our program to improve the efficiency of our primary operations," said Harry L. Page, Vice President of Engineering, Technology and Metallurgy. "In 2000, we added additional segments to our twin strand caster that increased its productivity. The addition of our electric arc furnace will improve our steelmaking productivity. The installation of the automatic roll changers will allow us to roll our full output from the caster, while also providing us with the opportunity to convert purchased slabs or toll roll slabs for others."

The majority of the automatic roll changer installation will be conducted during regularly scheduled weekly downturns at the mill. This will include all excavation and installation of equipment in front of the mill. Machining work on the finishing stands themselves will be done during a 10-day outage scheduled for the fourth quarter.

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