Steel strip manufacturer uses airknives to reduce energy costs on production line

The Problem

The strip steel at the ThyssenKrupp Dortmund Beta plant is primarily for the automotive industry. It is engineered to bespoke requirements for many different vehicle manufacturers to meet specific performance requirements. The complex production processes, including special tempering, permit body parts to be made up to 30% lighter, including crash-relevant parts.

During the manufacturing process of steel strip at the plant, scale has to be removed from the strip’s surface before it passes through the rolling mill.  To achieve this de-scaling, the strip passes through an acid ‘pickling’ bath. The acid is then neutralized by passing through a ‘washing’ bath. Afterwards, the strip is dried to avoid the risk of corrosion. Previously, the drying process was done by the blowing air that had been heated to 120oC via a steam heat exchanger across the travelling strip which was both inefficient and ineffective.

The Solution

A new drying system supplied by ACI’s German distributor, Carl von Gehlen Spezialmaschinen und Zubehör GmbH & Co. KG of Mönchengladbach, has been installed which has resulted in significant energy savings and consequent cost reductions.

The ACI air knife system includes 4-off 2000mm long 316 stainless steel air knives powered by a 45kW EV blowerwhich is housed in an acoustic enclosure.

The Outcome

The new air knife system has achieved the required drying duty whilst reducing blower energy consumption by 50% and completely eliminating the steam powered air heating system.


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Air Knife Systems

ACI Air Knife Systems are blower-driven solutions that increase production efficiencies and save you significant running costs. Our air knife systems have a uniform slot design that projects an uninterrupted sheet of precisely controlled, high velocity air – thereby supplying a powerful flow across the entire surface of the product being processed.