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Advanced technology for demanding electrical steel

Together with Shougang Zhixin Electromagnetic, a leading steel producer in China, Fives produced the first electrical steel product for electric vehicle motors at its Zhixin plant. The project demonstrates Fives’ commitment to its partners to provide dedicated solutions for demanding steel production.

Heating and cooling innovations

Shougang built a new annealing and pickling line (APL) to produce high-grade, non-grain oriented (NGO) electrical steel for the booming e-vehicle market. The new line required thermal technology that could keep up with its high capacity of 650,000 tonnes per year, which is much greater than a traditional APL.

Fives designed and supplied an annealing furnace that featured advanced heating technology and a flexible cooling system to meet the challenging thermal requirements for high quality electrical steel:

  • Dedicated models specifically designed for electrical steel to achieve metallurgical control.
  • Enhanced oxygen control for high product quality.
  • High temperature thermal technology and heat recovery system to lower operational costs.
  • Efficient thermal equipment combined with an emission reduction system.

The engineering and manufacturing of the main equipment were provided from China, while the burners, automation, and process instrumentation were delivered from France.

Unmatched partnerships

“We had a very challenging schedule, but we managed to produce the first commercial coil on February 1, 2024, just 16 months after the contract enforcement,” says Benoit Crunelle, Project Manager at Fives Stein Metallurgical Technology, Shanghai, a Fives subsidiary in China. “This success is due to our rigorous planning, well in advance of manufacture and delivery, regular and transparent communication with the client and the good working relationship between both teams,” he adds.

The partnership between Fives and Shougang continues with two more furnaces ordered for the new annealing and coating lines (ACLs) in 2023 to produce electrical steel for the demanding e-vehicle market.