Bauer carries out retrofit project 19 December 2022

?Bauer retrofit project Aperam conveyor drives The motor retrofit solution features a standardised shaft connection and foot adaptor plate, unlocking plug and play motor replacement

Steel producer Aperam selected Bauer Gear Motor to carry out a three-year retrofit project for the roller table conveyor drives at its Châtelet facility in Belgium.

Carrying out a large scale retrofit at any facility can be difficult, but at a steel mill, where extreme conditions and high productivity demands combine, particularly so. As equipment such as motors require replacement, plant operators need to install new units quickly to safeguard uptime.

While the operating life of a motor can exceed 10 years, eventually plant managers will need to upgrade to a new efficiency standard or replace faulty units. However, the footprint and interfaces of new equipment will almost never match up to the original, which can make retrofitting a modern motor problematic. Complex mechanical adaptations to fit the new unit can be time consuming. With demand and prices for steel and alloy through the roof, any extended downtime for a retrofit project at a steel mill must be avoided.

The Aperam Châtelet facility consists of a melt shop and a rolling mill, which produces durable steel and alloy. During routine inspections, maintenance engineers at the plant identified that the motors powering the roller table conveyors required replacement. Due to the weight of the slab, each roller was powered by its own motor. Therefore, carrying out a motor retrofit project – which would require mechanical adaptation for each unit – was unacceptable. Consequently, Aperam approached Bauer Gear Motor to provide a plug and play motor retrofit solution.

The Bauer retrofit solution features a standardised shaft connection using either a flange or coupling is expected to ensure increased ease and speed of installation. This is matched by a foot adaptor plate, which allows a changeover between the old and new motor. A plug and play design is said to eliminate the need for any costly, time consuming mechanical adaptations. Consequently, retrofitting new motors can be done with minimal downtime.

André, regional sales manager, North Europe, said: “Our extensive engineering knowledge in the metals industry and the OEM support we could provide were also deciding factors. One of the primary challenges was to deliver the volume of motors required within the timeframes of the plant’s scheduled downtime, but our production capacity ensured we could achieve this. Over three years, we have updated all the motors on the roller table conveyors, bringing the system up to a new efficiency standard while also streamlining future maintenance and retrofit work.”

By standardising the shaft connections and footplates for Aperam, Bauer streamlined the initial retrofit project, and all subsequent motor upgrades or replacements required for the roller table conveyors in the future. This ensures that as the Châtelet facility moves to improve energy efficiency and boost reliability, these dual aims can be achieved while safeguarding production uptime.

Operations Engineer

Related Companies
Aperam Alloys Service UK Ltd

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