News & Press Releases

London, September 29, 2022

Primetals Technologies’ modernization of drives for plate mill in Slovenia ensures operational reliability and availability of spare parts

  • Replacement of outdated cycloconverter drives completed within expected timeframe 
  • Cost-optimized solution with VarioVerter cycloconverter control and the continued use of existing power units
  • Availability of plate mill ensured thanks to new equipment 

Slovenian steel producer SIJ Acroni, which is part of SIJ Group, has tasked Primetals Technologies with the replacement of the existing cycloconverter drive control for the upper and lower motors on the plate mill's roughing stand at the Jesenice production site in Slovenia. Rendering the old drives obsolete, Primetals Technologies installed the VarioVerter cycloconverter solution. 

Increased availability

The project aimed to increase availability and secure the supply of spare parts for the drives. Two main factors played a role when SIJ Acroni chose Primetals Technologies as supplier: a variable replacement concept and competitive investment costs.

Primetals Technologies' scope of supply included implementing two VarioVerter cycloconverter controllers, replacing the field control units, commissioning, and a new workstation for easy and remote maintenance and diagnosis of the drive system. The integration into the plate mill's existing basic automation control system was re-established, leaving the interface largely unchanged. To be able to reuse the existing power modules, Primetals Technologies’ tailormade connection cabinet with amplifier cards handles the hardwired interface between the controller and the thyristors. 

Additional functions

Installation and startup were completed on schedule. After a short startup period, the VarioVerter was adjusted to handle all products and yield strengths without restrictions. Additional technological functions, like ski control, were included in the control of the VarioVerter cycloconverter.

SIJ Acroni is Europe's leading producer of stainless quarto plates. The company also specializes in electric and custom steels, which are sold as hot and cold-rolled coils and heavy plates mainly for use in niche products. SIJ Acroni’s plant is located in Jesenice, about 60 kilometers northwest of Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia.

SJI Acroni’s plate mill in Jesenice, Slovenia. The steel producer benefits from increased mill availability and secured supply of spare parts for the drives. 

Primetals Technologies, Limited, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is a pioneer and world leader in the fields of engineering, plant building, and the provision of lifecycle services for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product, and services portfolio that includes integrated electrics and automation, digitalization, and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain—from the raw materials to the finished product—and includes the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and partners, with around 7,000 employees worldwide. To learn more about Primetals Technologies, visit the company website