Baosteel, one of the largest steel producers in the world, is currently building a new cold rolling mill in Zhanjiang, a prefecture-level city located in China’s Guangdong province.
Once operational, the new mill will produce 1.65 million tons of medium and high-end metal sheets, including high-grade products such as auto sheets and home appliance sheets.
Pesmel’s delivery for the mill includes two automated coil-packing lines and two logistics systems integrating the lines with the mill’s production and storage. The start-up of Pesmel’s lines is scheduled for summer 2017.
Eight Years of Cooperation
Eight is considered an auspicious number in Chinese culture. Fitting, then, that it took Pesmel exactly eight years of work to win its first contract with the Chinese steel giant.
Cooperation between the two companies began all the way back in 2008, when Pesmel began to promote its packing solution to Baosteel.
“Baosteel being one of the biggest steel producers in the world, we were naturally interested in working with them,” says Mr Juha Suksi, Vice President, Metal Industry, Pesmel. “Especially since we had a unique and competitive product to offer.”
Different from traditional packing solutions, Pesmel’s system uses TEW (through-eye wrapping) technology to form an airtight package that gives the coil complete protection from outside moisture. Furthermore, mechanical protection ensures that the coil will not suffer damage during transport. The packing materials used are 100% recyclable, and thanks to packing optimization, packing material costs can be reduced by as much as 20–30%.
Pesmel is confident about its solution, and in order to achieve a breakthrough in the competitive Chinese market, the company has had an active presence in trade fairs around China for years. That is how Pesmel originally managed to attract Baosteel’s attention, too.
During the eight years since their first contact, the two companies have been researching coil packing materials and technologies together, with the aim to develop nothing less than a packing concept of the future.
“Extensive laboratory tests have been conducted, while dozens of visits have taken place both in Europe and in China to develop the concept,” Mr Suksi tells us. “To test the technology in practice, packed coils have been shipped from Finland to China, where they have been unpacked and found to be in impeccable condition.”
Now, with its new mill project in Zhanjiang, Baosteel finally decided to go for Pesmel’s solution and ordered its first two packing lines from the Finland-based company.
More to Come
Pesmel has its foot firmly in the Chinese door, and the company’s expectations for future sales in China are ambitious.
To begin with, Mr Suksi is confident that if everything goes well with the first delivery, there will be ample opportunities for Pesmel to win further orders from Baosteel in the future as well.
“They have hundreds of mills, after all, and new projects are launched constantly,” he states. “The idea always was to develop the new packing concept in a way that it could easily be expanded to other mills.”
When we reach Mr Suksi by phone, he is just back from his latest trip to China. In addition to the project with Baosteel, Pesmel is working on other ones around the country as well. Meanwhile, the company is actively searching for new customers.
“We have big projects underway in Tianjin, where Zhongwang Aluminium is building a large aluminium plant,” he says. “We are confident that projects with such giants as Baosteel and Zhongwang Aluminium will serve as great references for us and help us increase our customer base in China.”
Text by Industrial PRIME
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