Cold Rolling and Galvanising Steel Industries
- Their Present Status
in the global steel industry and the price decline in the world steel market have affected
Indian steelmakers too, including the cold rolled producers. Still the domestic producers
of cold rolled and galvanised steel have done remarkably well in recent times.
In November, 1996, World Steel Dynamics (WSD)
presenting a detailed Monitor report on Thin Slab-Flat Rolling (TSFR) mills
commented that The ability to produce very thin gauge material with good tolerance
will lead to hot-rolled coil replacing cold-rolled coil, and hot-rolled galvanising
replacing cold-rolled galvanised in certain applications. It also said that the
thinner gauge with good toerances permits the cold-rolling mills to be less complex, less
powerful and cheaper to build.
In the mid-nineties rolling of 0.90mm thick hot-rolled coils at the HYLSA plant in Montery
in Mexico opened up new vistas for thin-slab rolling of HR Coil for the global
steelmakers. Since the eighties, steelmakers in the developed world were giving major
thrust on rebuilding and upgrading their hot rolled mills. During the last decade these
steelmakers noticed a serious gap between the capabilities of cold and hot-rolling mills
and consequently many cold-rolling mills have been constructed and existing mills
The upgrading of existing cold-rolling mills have mostly involved installation of the
latest process control technologies, automatic roll changing and in some cases, converting
the tandem cold mill into continuous mills and fully continuos mills integrated with
accumulators or picking lines.
During the last decade, the Indian steelmakers have also installed modern cold-rolling
mills to produce high quality value-added products in cost-effective manner to face
domestic and global competition.
Technology upgradation in Indian CR Mills
Ispat Industrys cold-rolling and coated steel plant at Kalmeshwar near Nagpur in
Maharashtra was the first modern and highly advanced cold-rolling mill in India. It was
set up in collaboration with Hitachi of Japan. The HI- Combination Revising Mill, with
state-of-the-art technology is one of the best in India to day. The CR mill has a
production capacity of 285,000 tpy and a Galvanising line with a rated capacity of 175,000
tpy. The coating plant at Kalmeshwar with a capacity of 50,000 tpy was the first plant in
India to introduce colour -coated sheets in the Indian market.
Bhushan Steel and Strips Ltd., has commissioned a new 6-hi universal crown mill supplied
by Hitachi of Japan. The process know-how is from Sumitomo of Japan with feature of auto
shape control and the mill is producing sheets up to 1600mm width for applications in the
automobile and white goods sectors.
Jindal Strips Ltd (JSL) has commissioned its cold-rolling mill with an annual capacity of
90,000 tpy. Various equipments like the 20-HI mill, continuous annealing and pickling
lines, skin pass mill, strip grinding line, shearing and shitting lines have been
installed in the mill to produce high quality cold-rolled products with superior surface
finish in a cost-effective manner. The mill is supplying cold-rolled products conforming
to stringent quality requirements of the Indian Railways, coinnage, atomic energy etc.
Jindal Strips is fully equipped to supply materials in 2D, 2B, BA, No.3 and No.4 surface
finishes with precise dimentional tolerances and stringent requirement of flatness.
TATA Steels new Cold-Rolling Mill commenced commercial production in the middle of
2000-01. During 2000-01 it was scheduled to produce 410,000 tonnes of cold-rolled products
and export 40,000 tonnes. The mill will reach its full capacity of 1.2 Mtpy in 13 months
The mill configuration of the TATA Steels CR Mill complex which has been targeted to
be one of the best in the world will be as follows:
(a) A Hitachi five-strand 6-HI continuous tandem cold-rolling Mill, fully
coupled with a continuous pickling line, designed to produce Cold-rolled coils in the
range of 0.25 to 3.2 mm in thickness and 1,000 to 1,560 mm in width.
(b) 100 per cent hydrogen batch annealing facility of capacity exceeding 800,000 tpy
supplied by LOI, Germany capable of producing sophisticated cold-rolled products including
those for automotive and white goods sectors.
(c) A 4-H1 Skin pass mill supplied by IHI of Japan
(d) Two continuous hot dip galvanising lines-one for producing construction grade coils of
100,000 tpy and the second 300,000 tpy line designed to produce sophisticated Zinc coated
strips for the automobile industry.
(e) Recoiling lines with automatic features for 100 percent inspection before shipment.
(f) Automated packaging lines
With associated utilities and auxiliaries, this complex is a
state-of-the art addition to Tata Steels existing world class integrated steel plant
at Jamshedpur. Installed to add value to the hot-rolled coils from its hot strip mill, the
Cold Rolling Mill complex will make products to highest quality standards, surpassing what
is currently available in India.
Product Mix of Tata Steel's new CRMC are presented below:
|A. CRCA Steels
|Ordering / Drawing
|B. Galvanised Steel
|Galvanised for Construction
Galvanised for Engineering
Galvanised for auto appliances
Grand Total (A+B)
The coating thickness for galvanised steel would be 60-600 gm/sqm (both sides together)
and 60-200 gm/sqm for galvannealed steel (both sides together).
Nippon Steel of Japan, the technological adviser to the CRMC at Tata Steel, was associated
first in technology and equipment selection based on the needs of the Indian market.
POSDATA, associated company of POSCO, Korea has provided the CRMC, IT system encompassing
areas of inventory, scheduling towards timely compliance of orders.
Tata Ryerson, a 50-50 joint venture between Tata Steel and Inland Steel, USA, will help to
set up high tech service centres located near customers for accurate slitting and cutting
Lloyd Steels plant at Wardha in Maharashtra, has a production capacity of 225,000
tpy of CR Coils and 150,000 tpy of GP Coils. Technology and equipment for the plant has
been supplied by Mannesman Demag of Germany (now merged with SMS Scholeomam Siemag AG and
known as SMS Demag)
Other producers of CR products like Steeco Gujrat Ltd., Palez, Tinplate Co.of India Ltd.,
Jamshedpur, Jindal Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., Vasind, Tata Special Steels, Mumbai, Uttam
Steels Ltd., Khopoli, National Steel Industries, Indore, Siddharta Tubes Ltd., Indore,
comet Steels Ltd, Nanded, Pennar Indus. Ltd., Hyderabad, Ferro-Concrete Ltd., Indore,
Shree Precoated Steels Ltd., Mumbai, Shri Vishnupriya Industries Ltd., Panayam etc. have
also upgraded the technologies and are producing superior quality products-well accepted
in the domestic market.
Public sector plants
Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) has Cold Rolling Mill complexes at Rourkela and
Bokaro Steel Plants. The Indian cold rolling industry was born with the commissioning of
the cold rolling complex at the Rourkela Steel Plant of the then Hindustan Steel Ltd. In
June, 1961. Presently it has a production capacity of 433,000 tpy of cold rolled coils and
sheets as well as 160,000 tpy of galvanised products.
With the stabilisation of the modernisation project, the plant is producing high quality
products with superior surface finish and high degree of dimensional control to the
satisfaction of low-end customers By 2003, the plant will only produce value-added
products and cater only to the higher end of the market.
Bokaros CR Mill complex is the biggest in India with a capacity of producing 1.39
Mtpy of CR Coils and Sheets and 170,000 tpy of GP/GC sheets.
Bokaro has developed some new qualities of products like high-strength CR steels, EDD
grade CR Coils / Sheets and hi-strength strapping steel etc. It has also developed expert
systems for optimised annealing at its bell annealing line-I and for online elongation
factor management systems and coil weight estimation.
Presently, Bokaros presence in the auto sector is nominal and it caters for internal
components. After the completion of the on-going phase II modernisation the mill will
update and acquire technologies like roll texturising, horizontal annealing and stretch
Bokaro is concentrating on production of CR sheets with flawless surface finish with
emphasis on reflectance and cleanliness, gauge consistency and table-top flatness.
Bokaros hot dip Galvanising line which is a part of its CRM complex, is working
above the rated capacity and the quality of its galvanised products are of international
After the completion of the modernisation programme of the CR Mill Complex, Bokaro Steel
Plant will be able to compete not only in the low end segment of the market but also in
its high-end segment.
India cold-Rolling Industry Fragmented
Before launching the new CR Mill Complex, Tata Steel made a survey of the existing cold
rolling units/plants in the country which showed that the Indian cold-rolling industry is
highly fragmented in terms of unit capacities and width that can be rolled. The findings
are presented in Table -1
Table 1: No. of CR units in India:
capacity of units, width range total capacity and type of mill
Unit Capacity (tpy)
Width Range (mm)
Type of Mill
up to 30,000
up to 72,000
up to 300,000
up to 300,000
> 1 Mtpy
Of the 58 units shown in the above table, 53 were installed prior to 1991. The
capability of the Indian Cold-rolling industry can be broadly summarised as follows:
(a) About 40 to 50 per cent of the installed capacity can roll up to 700 mm width, can
largely make commercial grades with limited quantities of drawing grades for less surface
critical applications and is uncompetitive in cost
(b) SAIL, which has 40 per cent of the total installed capacity (prior to commissioning of
TATA CRMC) is cost competitive mostly in the low-end segment. After the completion of the
on-going modernisation of Bokaros CR Mill, the company expectes to be competitive in
the high-end segment of the market also.
(c) Of the total 58 units, 54 are stand-alone units without in-house hot-rolled coil
supply. Three are following the EAF-CC- Stekel Mill route and the one TCIL has the
advantage of hot rolling facility of Tata Steel.
(d) Indian CR producers are not yet having the capability to produce EDD and other
Consumption Pattern of CR products India
The broad sectorwise consumption pattern of cold rolled products in India as compiled by
CORSMA is furnished in Table-2
Table-2: Broad Sectorwise Consumption of CR Products
|Name of sector
||Consumption Share %
Furniture & Tube manufacturers
Oil and Gas
Market Segments for Cold Rolled Products
The segment-wise, CR products and their applications are furnished in Table-3
Table-3: Market Segments for products
Segment Product and Applications
Automobiles - Outer skin panels, inner critical components, reinforcement and under
Appliances - Refrigerator doors, side panels, washing machine panels
Electric Panels - Switch gear cabinets, computer and electric equipment cabinets
Engineering- Tubes, pollution control equipment, motors, transformers, ventilation
and air-conditioning ducting
Packaging - Drums, barrels and containers
Furniture - Almirahs, Chairs, office furniture components
Construction - Galvanised corrugated sheets for roofing, galvanised plain sheets.
Revised Demand, Domestic production and consumption of CR products
The revised demand, domestic productions and apparent consumption of CR products in India
between 1996-97 and 2000-01 is indicated in Table-4
Table-4: Revised demand, domestic productions and
consumption in India (000 t)
AC to D
|Data Source: JPC (P) = Provisional
Note: 1. Apparent consumption shown in the above table indicates the feed materials,
requirement of the galvanised units
2. The demand projected by the working group on steel was revised downwards from 1998-99
to make it more realistic
It would be evident from the above table that production of CR Sheets/Coils has increased
remarkably between 1996-97 and 2001-02 recording an average annual growth rate of 36.7 per
cent. However, the consumption of CR products suffered a decline in 1999-2000 and 2000-01
due to the slow growth of the industrial sector particularly the auto and engineering
The galvanised plain Coils/Sheets and corrugated sheets (GP/GC) are produced in India in
the thickness range of 0.2 mm to 1.60 mm and width range of 800 to 1560mm. The galvanised
products are tough, strudy, light weight, bright and corrosion resistant.
(a) Table 5 shows the estimated life of zinc coated products (galvanised) in various
Table 5: Estimated life (years) of zinc coated products in various atmosphere.
||Atmospheric conditions where applied
|Source : From an article by Shri U.K. Mittal, former Director (com), SAIL
(b) End-use Application of galvanised products
The major end-use applications of galvanised products are as follows:
(a) Drums (b) Buckets (c) Trunks (d) Tube (e) Storage bins (f) containers (g)
Air-conditioning units (h) Agricultural implements (I) Hoardings (j) Deserts coolers (k)
Interior panelling (I) Rolling shutters (m) Rural housing (n) Railway Platform (o) Factory
(c) Major Producers of galvanised products in India
The capacity of major producers of Galvanised products in India are presented in Table-6
Table-6: Major producers of Galvanised products in India
Rourkela Steel Plant 160.0
Bokaro Steel Plant
SIPTA Coated Steels 100.0
Uttam Steels Ltd.
Most of the leading producers in India are producing high quality galvanised products.
SAIL plants, at Rourkela and Bokaro are producing GP/GC Sheets of international quality.
Tata Steels new CRM complex has started production of galvannealed steels for the first
time in India. The specialised steel is mostly used in the auto sector for superior
weldability, surface finish and paintability. Tata Steels Continuous Galvanising
Line No.1 (CGL-1) will produce galvanised coils of construction grade for roofing, with
horizontal inline annealing furnace while its GGL-2 will produce IF/EDD/DD galvanised
Coils for auto, white goods and appliances with vertical radiant tube furnace. The
capacities of CGL-1 and CGL-2 are 100,000 tpy and 300,000 tpy respectively.
(e) Revised demand, domestic production and consumption of galvanised products in
The revised demand, domestic production and apparent consumption of GP/GC Sheets in India
are presented in Table-7. below
Table-7 : Revised demand, domestic production and
apparent consumption of GP/GC Sheets in India: 1996-97 to 2001-02
|Revised Demand (D)
AC to D
|Data Source: JPC (P)=Provisional.
NB- Demands revised by JPC from 1998-99
It is apparent from the above table that Indias domestic production of GP/GC sheets
has recorded a very high annual average growth of 49.6 per cent between 1996-97 and
2000-01. The apparent consumption during the same period has recorded and annual average
growth of 38 per cent.
During April to July in 2001, the domestic production of GP/GC sheets has recorded a
growth of over 13 per cent at 607,000 tonnes over 537,000 tonnes achieved during the same
period of the previous year, of all the steel products the performance of galvanised
products has been the best in recent times.
The slowdown in Indias GDP and index of industrial productions (IIP) growth
continues. In 2000-01, GDP growth declined to 5.2 per cent from 6.4 per cent in the
previous year while IIP growth slumped to 5.3 per cent from 6.4 per cent. In the first
quarter of IIP growth fell to a low of 2.2 per cent from 5.6 per cent and the
manufacturing sector recorded only 2.5 per cent growth as against 6.1 per cent during the
same period of the preceding year.
The sales of automotive sector, a major consumer of cold rolled products was dismal in
2001-02. Commercial vehicles, cars and utility vehicles sectors recorded negative growth
of 12.3 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively as compared to the previous year. Even the
two wheeler sector recorded a decline of 0.8 per cent in the above period. During
April-July, 2001, sales of commercial vehicles dropped by 10 per cent, that of car and
utility vehicles segment improved but had a negative growth of 0.4 per cent while the
two-wheelers recorded a growth of 5.5 per cent over the corresponding period of the
The impact of the slowdown is evident in the decision of Tata Steel to cut production at
its new cold rolling mill complex to 70,000 tonnes per month from its capacity of 100,000
tonnes per month during 2001-02.
The slowdown in the global steel industry and the price decline in the world steel market
has affected the Indian steel makers including the cold rolled producers. In such a
depressing situation, the domestic producers of cold rolled and galvanised steel have donn
remarkably well in recent times.
With further upgradation of technology, the domestic producers will be in a position to
face the present challenges. The Central Government should provide the necessary
infrastructure. CORSMA has made certain proposals for the benefit for the CR industry
which should be considered favourably be the concerned authorities.
If the efforts of the producers are effectively supported by the Ministry of Steel in a
positive manner, the cold rolling and glavanising steel industries will show major
improvements in the next two years.