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Word class performance for wire drawing through improved quality of the manufacturing process


The new products developed within the project have been tested at a Pilot Plant and in limited batches of Industrial Production, getting significantly improved performances of the wet drawing process. The following results have been obtained:
Steel homogeneity and purity improved, 10% reduction of wire breakage.
Lubricant consumption reduced by 48%.
Die life increased by 43%.
Process wire breakage decreased by 45% in drawing (under evaluation in stranding).
Full exploitation of project results is planned within one year from the completion of the project.
The steel wire drawing industry in Europe has declined
substantially in recent years with marked decreases in
consumption, production, productivity and employment. The
supply and competition situation is just as bad with
extra EU exports dropping (by 16.3% 1988 1993,
Eurostat'93) and extra EU imports increasing all of
which signals loss of world market competitiveness for a
sector that is populated mainly bu small and medium sized
companies. Particular threats lie in the growing trend
towards lower priced imports (i.e. Czechoslovakia imports
into EU grew by 178% between 1988 and 1992, ISTAT 1994)
and the increasing demand for higher quality products and
in particular a switch to the more costly and
technologically difficult processing of high tensile
steel (in which Japan is currently leading the world).
Therefore, the macro objectives of this project are
directly linked to these threats which subsequently make
lower cost and higher quality of key importance to
Europe's survival in this sector. These macro objectives
can be translated into key industrial problems through
analysis of the drawing process, which can be seen in
terms of:
* loss of resources due to wire breakages (mechanical
behaviour) during different phases of processing
* use of non recyclable lubricants which have
negative environmental impact
* high turnover of costly dies due to wear
* increased cost & processing complexity of new high
tensile steel, set to replace current steel

Although the above four problem areas mainly regard cost
and productivity aspects they all have an impact on the
quality of the finished product, which itself is critical
when considering the safety conscious type of
applications it is used in (i.e. tyre manufacture, the
processing of steelcord for which will be used as
WIREMAN's pilot sutdy application). The key drawback with
current technology and available information is that it
does not support the interdependencies and
interrelationships of above problems in an integrated or
unified approach, thus ultimately impeding the
optimisation of process set up and control.
Therefore, to minimise waste and resource usage while
optimising the qualiity performance of the drawing
process WIREMAN will bring together, via a resulting
industrial monitoring and control system, the main
factors that influence these issues with the following
expected achievements:
Steel improve homogeneity and purity by 10%
Lubricant reduce recycling costs by 50%
Die increase die wear life by 50%
Process decrease wire breakages by 25% in drawing
and 10% in stranding phases

Although, WIREMAN will lead to an overall reduction in
material consumption and pollution emissions it will also
be fundamental in gearing up the European wire drawing
industry to the switch in future technology towards the
use of new super high tensile steelcord, which currently
incurs higher cost and processing difficulties.
The research approach will start from the separate
analysis of key parameter areas through modelling,
followed by their integration and subsequent development
of both new materials and an industrial process control
system. The final phase will cover the factory testing of
optimised materials and the resulting industrial system
giving feedback for the fine tuning of the source
The research will be assured through the multi discipline
and multi industrial make up of the consortium.
The industrial partners have been selected on the basis
of the role played by their company in the European steel
drawing industry, while the research organisations
involved consolidate a state of the art array of
disciplines necessary to the key research areas of

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts



Participants (7)

36,Avenue Guy De Collonge 36
69131 Ecully
Elsag SpA
Via Giacomo Puccini 2
16154 Genova
Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan
100 44 Stockholm
Plansee Tizit Gesellschaft mbH

6600 Reute / Tirol
52,Rue De La Haie-coq 52
93308 Aubervilliers
Saarstahl AG i.K.
66330 Völklingen
1A,welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover