Fives delivers an HAPL to Chinese Steelmaker SWSS

HAPL 725 402-FIVES

Paris, January 3, 2014 - Fives has just signed off on an annealing and pickling line for hot-rolled stainless steel strips (HAPL) for the steelmaker SWSS (South West Stainless Steel). Fives designed the entire processing line, which combines a wide range of specialties and technologies the Group has developed for the steel sector, including thermal, mechanical and chemical capacities. This is a major reference for Fives in the stainless steel market.

A full HAPL line that integrates Fives' key expertise in steel

The annealing & pickling line has an annual capacity of 700,000 metric tons of hot-rolled stainless steel strips. In order to achieve the required quality level, Fives supplied high-precision equipment designed by its engineers which enables steelmakers to manufacture a finished product that meets their quality and performance objectives.

With a capacity of 128 tons/hour, the furnace can heat stainless steel strips (from 2 to 6 mm thick and from 900 to 1,350 mm wide - Austenitics series 200 and 300) to 1,150 °C at process speeds of 80 meters/minute. It combines a water cooling section with a soft cooling section to secure the cooling control and excellent strip flatness. The technologies in this section optimize and reduce the furnace's energy consumption.

The pickling section includes a state of the art design that integrated the latest materials and included automatic features to efficiently and effectively remove the sludge from the system while maintaining the optimum concentration of chemicals. This is combined with a system that minimized the water consumption by utilizing the spent water from various subsystems as the feed makeup water in others minimizing the flow sent to the waste water treatment facility. All of this is managed by an elegant control system with an intuitive and user friendly interface.

Fives also supplied the terminal equipment necessary for the smooth continuous strip running all along the Line and in particular, mechanical equipment such as, pay-off reel, tension reel, shear, strip accumulators, scale breaker, as well as the strip centering systems. These equipments stem from Fives' substantial mechanical know-how and will contribute to the line's performance in the long run. A partner supplied the electrical section.

The project was a client partnership

The contract to supply the line was signed in October 2011. The project was done over the span of 17 months, from signing the contract to the first coil. The line reached its 500t annealed and pickled coil in the second week of production. Right now, it is producing more than 2,700 coils per month.

Private steelmaker SWSS invested in this new line to increase its production capacity by adding another steel processing line to the HAPL line it already had. Fives won the bid for the engineering excellence of the equipment it provided and the line itself, but also because it has total control of its manufacturing chain. Like most of the mechanical equipment, the heating furnace was made right near the client at the local Fives plants in China.

Benoît Caratgé, Fives' Director of the Steel Division, said, "The project was a great example of what Fives is capable of - it is now handling the long-term supply of a reliable high-performance steel processing line to a highly selective client."

Mr. Kang, Vice President and Technical Director of Jinguang Group, praised the work the Fives teams accomplished as well as the partnership spirit between the contractor and the turnkey integrator, saying, "Two years ago, very ambitious targets were set in terms of production for this new HAPL line. Today we are very pleased with the swift achievement of these operational goals, with a good level of quality and energy consumption 20% lower than line 1."

The line was Fives' first contract with the Jinguang Group, SWSS's parent company, which has already chosen to renew its trust in the group by placing an order in December 2011 for two rolling mills for its subsidiary TCSS.


Sichuan Jinguang Industrial (Group) Co., Ltd. was founded in March 1990 and devoted to comprehensive utilization of resources group corporation, including a collection of nickel, chromium, coal mining, ferroalloy smelting and stainless steel producing. Jinguang Group witnesses a successful growth of more than twenty years. Its stainless steel products and stock reach an output of 1,500,000 tons and has provided 7500 employment opportunities to the community. In 2012, the Group achieved sales revenue of 19.2 billion RMB, ranked 99th in Chinese Top 500 Private Enterprises and 70th in China's Top 500 Private Enterprises of manufacturing.

Jinguang group has developed a full industrial chain of mining -- ferroalloy smelting -- stainless steel producting (steel making, hot rolling, pickling and cold rolling etc.).

Currently, Jinguang group owns or holds by partnership the resources of nickel, chromium and manganese mineral in Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai, Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa and others. At the same time making stainless steel core industry bigger and stronger, Jinguang group is gradually moving towards a diversification pattern. Now it has been involved in the financial, real estate, logistics, energy, coal mining, coking coal and other industries.


In Steel, Fives' goal is to help steelmakers enhance their performance and the subsequent competitiveness.

It has developed the most reliable & innovative technologies and offers a range of expert service, from the layout of a facility to revamping services, including the design, manufacture and retrofit of mechanical, thermal, tube & pipe finishing equipment and the supply of surface treatment technologies.

Fives employs 1,000 people dedicated to steel applications, with the capacity to run projects everywhere. They partner with steelmakers to help them meet the quality requirements they want to reach, also for the sectors with the most demanding steel applications.