Specialty Metals Supplier

A specialty metals supplier was using outdated equipment and controls that required constant unplanned maintenance and expensive repairs. Premier Automation modernized the customer's system with precise controls that boosted uptime and greatly reduced wasted materials.

The Problem

A specialty metals supplier was using outdated MG sets in its 3-stand cold mill. Replacement parts were costly and hard to find.  Operators called maintenance up to 3-4 times per shift to manage downtime. The downtime disrupted time-sensitive production and cost the company more than the cost of upgrading in repairs, maintenance, and productivity.

The Solution

Premier Automation replaced the MG sets with static DC drives, enabling better speed control, reel tension control, and interstand tension control. The new PLC added quicker strip break detection, preventing breaks from damaging the mill work rolls and greatly reducing wasted material. Premier Automation executed the upgrade in small outages; short weekend outages minimized impact on productivity.

The Results

Premier Automation virtually eliminated maintenance downtime in the mill, empowering operators to manage the equipment directly with a user-friendly HMI. Upgrading the DC drives and PLC stopped the need for constant repairs, and the added strip break detection sharply decreased the cost of wasted materials and the risk of equipment damage.  By bringing the mill up to today’s technology, Premier Automation increased production efficiency and raised the customer’s bottom line.

Pain Points

  • Frequent downtime due to malfunctions
  • Outdated equipment with expensive repairs
  • High risk of wasted materials and damaged equipment

Technology used

  • Static DC drives
  • Strip break detection
  • PLC
  • HMI

Services provided

  • PLC upgrades
  • Engineering design services
  • Control improvements


  • Premier Automation virtually eliminated unplanned downtime
  • Extra mile measures such as quicker strip break detection and better speed, reel tension, and interstand control