Man of action

Dirk Breuer, Head of Plant Maintenance

Dirk Breuer already has quite a few major projects under his belt. That’s because, as Head of Plant Maintenance, his responsibilities include ensuring that our plants function smoothly and run without faults. But shifting a rolling mill 500 kilometres from one of our production sites to another was no small task even for him.

“It was clear from the beginning that a simple removal would not be adequate,” says Dirk Breuer, looking back at the project. “Because, of course, our goal was to optimally integrate the rolling mill at the Gröditz location, and to be able to get the most out of the rotary hearth furnace and the upsetting and piercing presses. That meant that we also had to take the up- and downstream production stages into consideration during installation.”

A huge amount of planning and a lot of work followed. It took three months just to disassemble the rolling mill; the transport operation was carried out by 15 HGVs. And in the meantime a new foundation had to be laid at the new location. “The foundation pit was 24 meters long, 15 meters wide and more than eight meters deep,” says Breuer. A total of 900 cubic meters of concrete was used for the foundation, with around 200 tonnes of reinforcement steel.

That was a big challenge, but not the biggest, as it happens: “Production continued in the new building even while the construction companies’ staff and machines were busy at work,” he explains. “All that had to be coordinated and completed without compromising production processes or the safety of staff. And, of course, we also had to guarantee the structural stability of the building and the other machines.” No mean task for Dirk Breuer and his team. But just one year after disassembly began at the old site, the rolling mill went into operation again in Gröditz.

Summary

Big projects are nothing new for Dirk Breuer. But shifting a complete rolling mill during ongoing production was a challenge even for him.