United States producer Keystone Steel and Wire Co. placed an order with Siemens Metals Technologies to upgrade the cooling conveyors of a two-strand wire rod mill in its Bartonville, Illinois production facility. The project includes new blowers, auxiliary systems as well as electric and automation equipment. This will enable Keystone to produce steel grades with higher tensile strengths with improved and more uniform quality, thus extending their product range. The new equipment is expected to be commissioned in late 2014.

The project is updating a mill built previously and modernized by the former Morgan Construction Company in the late 1980s. Siemens has also provided high speed shears and water boxes to Keystone in a multi-phased upgrade. Siemens' contract scope for the current upgrade includes five large blowers with Optimesh control system on each strand of the rolling mill, together with plenums, as well as close coupled switch disconnect, transformer, switch panel, drives and a new automation cabinet.

With this upgrade, Keystone will produce wire rod of greater tensile strength and uniformity to meet the demands of the cable market. The upgrade is part of an ongoing modernization project undertaken by Keystone to expand into markets for higher value-added products.

Founded in 1889 in Dillon, Illinois, USA, the Keystone Steel & Wire Company is a rod and wire products supplier that produces and processes quality steel that exceeds AISI and ASTM standards to meet stringent customer specifications. Located in Bartonville, Illinois today, it operates one of the largest wire mills in the world ,with more than 2,000,000 square feet of fully integrated manufacturing space, for annual steel capacity exceeding 700,000 tons.