thyssenkrupp Steel continues to systematically implement its 20-30 strategy for the future. The ceremony to mark the laying of the foundation stone for a new annealing and insulating line took place at the Bochum site. Even thinner electrical steel with particularly homogeneous mechanical and magnetic properties can now be produced thanks to the modern and energy-efficient unit. These are designed to meet the requirements of highly efficient motors, which are used above all in electric vehicles.
The investment amounts to around 150 million euros, and the project partner is the plant manufacturer SMS group from Düsseldorf. In the future, the plant will produce up to a maximum of 218,000 tons per year of non-grain-oriented electrical steel; completion is scheduled for 2024.
Electromobility expertise in Bochum
Over the next few years, the site on Essener Straße in Bochum will be expanded into a center of excellence for electromobility.
"Materials for electromobility will increasingly shape the steel markets of the future. We want to play a leading role here with high-tech products from Bochum. The new annealing and insulation line will further strengthen our capabilities in thinner, highly silicified non-grain-oriented electrical steel for electromobility. With our steels, for example, we will help further increase the energy efficiency and therefore also the range of electric vehicles," explains Dr. Heike Denecke-Arnold, Executive Vice President Production at thyssenkrupp Steel.
Efficiency of motors
The trend towards ever more demanding grades is continuing in e-mobility. These demands are met by the new annealing and insulating line and the capabilities and capacities available at the site for so-called non-grain-oriented electrical steel are once again significantly improved.
The microstructure of the cold-rolled strip is recrystallized in the new line during the annealing process. The appropriate texture is then set and an insulating layer is subsequently applied after the annealing process. To increase motor efficiency, this is particularly important for sheets used in electric motors and generators.
"The many years of good cooperation between thyssenkrupp Steel and the SMS group is underlined by the construction of the new annealing and insulation line. With this project, the SMS group is making a contribution to being able to produce high-quality materials as the basis for the electromobility of the future. The state-of-the-art annealing and coating technology used in this line will ensure greater sustainability, energy and CO2 savings, and cost reductions during commissioning and operation. Equipped with intelligent digital systems, very high productivity of the line is ensured with reduced maintenance expenses," says Holger Behrens, Head of the Flat Products Product Area of the SMS group.
Secure location in Bochum
The commissioning of the new annealing and insulation line is scheduled for 2024, and the project is just one of the major investments under the Steel Strategy 20-30. This and further optimizations in the production network will utilize quality improvements in the entire process chain of the Bochum site to remain competitive for higher-strength multiphase steels or for the high-tech electrical steel grades of the future. The implementation of Strategy 20-30 is therefore also a signal for the development of the Bochum industrial site, where thyssenkrupp currently employs around 2,400 people.
"This renewed multi-million investment by thyssenkrupp Steel secures the site and jobs in Bochum. We are very pleased about this and at the same time it shows that Bochum is also a location for future-proof and sustainable production," says Rouven Beeck, Managing Director of Bochum Economic Development.