Important Issues related to Re-rolling mills in SME Sector...

Important Issues related to Re-rolling mills in SME Sector The steel sector in India consists of four branches namely (i) multi-million tons integrated steel plants, (ii) mini integrated steel plants, (iii) individual units of steel melting producing pencil ingots, and (iv) re-rolling mills which are rolling steel from billets, pencil ingots and scrap steel. Most of the units under last two categories are in small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. All the four branches which constitute the steel sector play a very important role in the steel economy of the country. Re-rolling mills has a considerable contribution to the steel production of the country.  There are around 1800 re-rolling mills in SME sector in India. The rolling capacities of these mills are mostly in the range of 8,000 tons per year to 80,000 tons per year. On a very conservative estimate, these mills contribute more than 20 % of the total production of finished steel in the country. Hence, these mills play a very important role in supporting the steel economy of the country. The conditions of the most of the re-rolling mills can be termed as not healthy. They operate with very old technologies and operate at low level of productivities and high level of energy consumptions. There are many problems and challenges associated with these mills. Several agencies have carried out detailed studies of the steel and re-rolling units of SME sector. Some of these studies have identified certain barriers associated with these mills (Fig 1) which include (i) high energy consumption due to the use of obsolete technologies, (ii) lack of awareness and knowledge on several fronts, (iii) lack of proper operational procedures, (iv) a negative mind-set among owners of the mills, and (v) lack of finance to effect necessary changes...