Rolling Mill Shutdown: Precision, Speed, and Safety

Pictured: Steeve Perron, Nelson Fortin, Nicolas Girard, Sébastien Levesque, Sandra St-Gelais, Dale Fortin and Mathieu Bonin. Special thanks to Régis Martel, Mathieu Diotte, Jean-François Migneault and François Boulé (not pictured) for their exceptional work during this major shutdown.

The planned shutdown of the rolling mill at the Alma Works casthouse was successfully completed thanks to the engagement and efficiency of the teams. The project, which ran from 9 to 17 September, did not result in any health, safety, or environmental incidents. It was a resounding success that demonstrates the agility and quality work of the employees.

The vibration analysis team, which carries out preventive work on equipment to ensure its full efficiency, was able to identify a defect before it caused any issues.

This was a great move by the vibration analysis team,” said Dale Fortin, Mechanical Engineer. “It saved us up to eight months of preparation time to plan the rolling mill shutdown and work proactively rather than reactively.”

The vibration problem was at the core of the speed reducer in the coiler, which winds the wire that feeds in as a straight one-centimetre rod at a speed of about 80 km/hour. Fortin explained, “It was a very precise job because we had to change the very core of the mechanism. This is the most complex mechanical part of the rolling mill, consisting of about ten assemblies. Thanks to the meticulous work of the maintenance team, we were able to complete the project safely and on time. The success of this project is the result of the excellent work of all the employees involved.”

The preparatory work allowed the team to think through the various stages of the project, plan the materials needed to complete it, and anticipate potential scenarios. In addition, the team was able to plan the shutdown of the rolling mill around existing supplier orders so as to continue to meet demand and avoid delays. All of this was achieved while ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved.