Hindalco’s Finishing Lines – an Indian Story of Success

Hindalco Industries Limited is the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group. A US$ 26 billion metals powerhouse, Hindalco is an industry leader in aluminum and copper. Hindalco has ramped up its capacity to meet the significantly higher demand for its hard-alloy products by purchasing two new finishing lines from ANDRITZ.


View on degreasing section from drive side. Hot-water tank covered exhaust system and additional extraction hood


Since 2007, with its acquisition of Novelis, Hindalco is now the world’s largest aluminum rolling company and the global leader in value-added high-end flat rolled products and aluminum can recycling. With alumina refining, aluminum smelting to downstream rolling, extrusions and recycling, Hindalco enjoys a leadership position in aluminum and downstream value-added products in India.

The customer’s history with ANDRITZ

In 2018, Hindalco Industries took the next step by going further downstream in its product chain. ANDRITZ Metals was chosen to supply two state-of-the-art finishing lines. During the sales project, there was a lot of competition from other global players with reference plants in India or even at other Hindalco plants. On the other hand, ANDRITZ had no previous reference in India. The technological know-how, especially the degreasing with hot water instead of acid and alkali, was another key factor to meet the customer’s requested quality and specifications. Strategically, the ANDRITZ team decided to work with the Hindalco project team right from the time when they were preparing the basic concept, which was way back in early 2017. Excellent teamwork between ANDRITZ companies with strong customer relationship has helped earn the customer’s trust. Hindalco ultimately believed that only ANDRITZ was capable of delivering the right equipment with the right quality at the right time.

Degreasing and tension leveling - the projects

Hindalco awarded ANDRITZ METALS Germany, ANDRITZ AG and ANDRITZ Technology India to supply, install, and commission a tension-leveling line (TLL) and a hot-waterdegreasing line (DEG) for cold-rolled hard alloy aluminum strip at its plant in Hirakud, Odisha at the beginning of 2019. On the tension-leveling line the first coil was levelled on November 17, 2021. On the degreasing line the first degreased coil followed 5 months later. Final acceptance of the lines took place in May 2022 for the TLL and in June 2022 for the DEG.

The plants are used to produce highly surface sensitive grades of aluminum for e.g. transport and composite panels and also thinner gauges for construction material. Hindalco has consolidated its flat rolled products (FRP) at its Hirakud facility. The lines consist in principle of almost identical entry sections, tension leveling section or degreasing section, and exit section.

In the entry section, the coil is transferred to the uncoiler by the coil transport unit and thus fed to the plant. The leveler guides the strip onwards to the cropping shears section. Excess strip thicknesses are detected there automatically by an optical sensor and cut out of the strip. A stitcher combines the strip tail with the strip head so that continuous strip feed is always guaranteed. To protect all following machines in the lines, the stitch is covered automatically by adhesive aluminum foil before notching. Trimming shears cut the strip to the desired width. In the tension leveling line, the strip runs over a double bridle unit into the tension leveler which creates the necessary strip shape and elongation, measured by tension control and a ANDRITZ Metals shapemeter roll. After leaving the high-tension area over the double exit bridle unit, the strip is inspected from top and bottom in a dark and bright field inspection system. It is followed by a 4 m flatness measuring table.

In the degreasing line the strip enters the precleaning section with a design spray pressure of 20 bar, followed by the high-pressure section with 80 bar and a final cleaning section with again 20 bar. The hot water cleaning section uses DI-water at 70°C. After the cleaning, the strip is dried by an air knife and a strip dryer. The exit section of both lines allows the operators to take samples or separate coils, which are semi-automatically strapped and transferred to the exit coil skids.

The collective execution

Novelis is one of the global frontrunners in the foil business and it is the technology provider for the Hindalco Hirakud FRP facility and, therefore, involved during the engineering phase of the project. The major part (60%) of the equipment was manufactured, assembled or procured directly in India – at a first-time setup. At the start of the project, a workshop in Hirakud, India was held to introduce all involved entities and to learn from previous experience and discuss all involved technologies. Specialist from Novelis, Aleris, Adiya Birla supported the discussions between Hindalco and ANDRITZ team members from India, Austria and Germany. Contract execution started with high pressure in the beginning of 2019.

A close and tight collaboration between several customer entities and three ANDRITZ locations was a crucial success factor during the first year of project execution. A weekly conference call was held between the project managers and the engineering managers. Another novelty in this project was that the teams from Hemer, Vienna, Spišská and Bangalore worked simultaneously and in parallel in the ANDRITZ Metals Engineering database (CDB) - a challenge, but a great relief for collective designs and data exchange for procurement activities, which, in a way, demonstrates ONE ANDRITZ approach.

In a joint basic design meeting in Hemer in the fall of 2019, the entire line was visualized and reviewed with the customer for the first time. On the one hand, the customer was able to walk through his lines in virtual reality (VR glasses), presented with the completed 3D model of the lines via VR goggles, in which he could move freely with the help of joysticks and controllers. On the other hand, the line was simulated using a digital twin (ViSe). The simulation with digital control stations allowed the complex automatic sequences to be tested before the start of commissioning, which led to a significantly reduced startup on site. Likewise, a pre-acceptance of the visualization and operation of the plant in “live mode” took place during the simulation.

But even the successful launch, the well-coordinated interfaces, the scheduled procurement, or the weekly meetings could not foresee or absorb the Covid-19 pandemic starting in February 2020. As India was even more affected by Covid-19 than Europe, it was not possible for our customer to stick to the original schedule. Therefore, the installation phase of the projects was postponed, in retrospect by 12 months.

Finalizing the projects

Constrained by Covid-19 impacts and strict travel restrictions, TLL erection was started by ATECH in July 2021 and, after several interruptions due to additional Covid-19 waves, was completed in September. As the commissioning of the TLL began, the assembly of the DEG started. A strong presence on site by commissioning experts and project management from India and Europe and a good customer relationship in the final project phase made it possible to complete both lines already a few months after the first coil. We have proven to ourselves and to the customer, that even in the most difficult time, a successful execution and completion of the project is possible if you are stubborn enough.

Thus, technology, teamwork, tenacity and customer relations are the four pillars of this success. This breakthrough will definitely open gates for ANDRITZ for phase-2 from Hindalco’s hard-alloy expansion and to all big players in the Indian aluminum industry who are now planning major expansion in the near future.

Identical Entry Section of both lines (here: DEG) uncoiling speed up to 300 m/min


The interview between Sandip Roy and Guido Burgel, about the project, market and business development and the importance of a trustful customer relationship

Sandip Roy, Director of Downstream at Hindalco Industry Limited and Guido Burgel decided on the orders for Hindalco HIN-TLL and HIN-DEG together in the fall of 2018. Both know the project from the first contact between Hindalco and ANDRITZ, are part of the Steering Committee, always involved in the execution, and decision makers for the acceptance of the lines in the first half of 2022. Mr. Sandip Roy was a key contributor to the requirements and technology of the plants, laying the foundation for the project's success. We talked to both about this project.


Mr. Roy, Hindalco and Mr. Burgel, ANDRITZ


Dear Mr. Roy, dear Mr. Burgel, you both personally launched the project in 2018 by handshake. Is this the first project between ANDRITZ and Hindalco?

Mr. Roy: We had a slitting line from Sundwig, which was relocated from Rogerstone, UK and recommissioned in Hirakud FRP in 2013. We have long relationship with ANDRITZ.
Mr. Burgel: It is the first direct project in India between both parties for a new capital investment – of course, business relations already existed between ANDRITZ and companies belonging to the Aditya Birla Group.

What kind of products will these lines produce? Are there special quality requirements from your customers and was there a change in their demand within the last years?

Mr. Roy: These lines were procured for processing highly sensitive surface grade of aluminium (transport, electronics, road signage, composite panels, road sound barriers etc.). Meanwhile, there were some changes in the market. The building and construction industry asks now for materials with thinner gauges, high surface quality and flatness below 3I. This TLL should be able to produce this product.

The Kick-Off of the projects was in March 2019, less than a year before Covid-19 outbreak. Especially India was affected very hard. How is it possible to realize two projects like this, even when 80 % of the project took place during pandemic times?

Mr. Roy: This was a big challenge for both Hindalco and ANDRITZ to continue the project even during Covid-19. We had mobility issues but thanks to the online support, we could continue our job, though at slower space. Also, ANDRITZ ensured delivery of the equipment in time and also ensured presence of the installation team at the site, even during the peak of Covid-19 time.
Mr. Burgel: For me, the following four reasons were crucial for the successful project implementation under these completely new circumstances: Trust between the parties, the project teams already saw each other f2f before the Covid-19 lockdowns, local setup of ANDRITZ with less dependency from Germany, new technologies like HoloLens used during the installation phase.

How important do you think it is, that the project team of Hindalco, ANDRITZ Metals Germany, ANDRITZ Technologies and ANDRITZ Metals Austria never changed during the entire execution time?

Mr. Roy: This was very useful. As both the lines had critical commitments in term of product performance, having one team with the same people from start till the end of the projects was key to successfully reach all performance acceptance parameters. Most of our jobs happened during Covid-19 time. So even online meetings were productive as people knew each other.
Mr. Burgel: This is the key for successful project execution – to know the partner on the other site and to build up a partnership and a trustful relationship. Not all agreements will be executed in a contract change, it is important to trust each other and keep your word, and both project teams did not live this contract in terms of a customer-supplier relationship. They acted as partners and supported each other during these difficult times.

More than 60% of the equipment was sourced in India by our local ANDRITZ entity in Bangalore. How much do you think this contributed to the success of the project?

Mr. Roy: It had brought down our cost considerably and also was easy for us to regularly monitor and inspect budgets, deliveries, parts, etc.
Mr. Burgel: First of all, this was the key for ANDRITZ to be competitive. Especially with the Covid-19 lockdowns occurring during execution, it was important that ANDRITZ employees were able to be on site and support our customer with the support from the German colleagues using new technologies like HoloLens.

Mr. Roy, do you expect the same setup for future projects?

Mr. Roy: Definitely yes. We will continue with this approach for all our future projects

Mr. Burgel, what do you think: How will the project management be like in the future, in 10 years for example? Also f2f or only online?

Mr. Burgel: The only “positive” side of Covid-19 was that virtual meetings got a push and acceptance, which would have taken an additional 5-10 years without the pandemic. It will change execution in some ways. Regular meetings can be held more remotely, but it will never replace the face-to-face contact between the project execution teams. As mentioned in one of the other questions a trusting, open and honest relationship is the key for a successful execution, For this, personal contact is still necessary, and that’s a good thing. During commissioning and optimization, new technologies will make the troubleshooting easier, as the specialists around the world can see the situation through the eyes of person on site and help with their experience and knowledge.

The company Hindalco Industry Limited belongs to the Aditya Birla Group and is part of one of the biggest conglomerates of the world. How important is the business in India and also the expansion in hard alloy projects for your group?

Mr. Roy: We are expanding our capacity in India and we will be ordering similar equipment within next 3 -6 months.

The new phase 2 of the hard alloy project in Sambalpur Lapanga plant is located only few kilometers from phase 1 in Hirakud. A giant field with new hot and cold rolling mills is in construction phase. Would you be willing to share some details?

Mr. Roy: As mentioned before, we are going to have a similar set up there.

How important is it for ANDRITZ to get involved in this expansion project and (hopefully) be the supplier of the finishing lines?

Mr. Burgel: India is a very interesting market for ANDRITZ. Based on the successful execution of phase 1, we are eager to participate in phase 2 and with the established setup between the product home in Europe and our local entity in India, we will be able to make a competitive offer, with all the advantages in terms of spare parts, known technology and practices of phase 1.

Change of topic: We have seen that throughout the entire works, only the highest safety standards and concepts are being applied. Can you explain your company’s approach to HSE?

Mr. Roy: Health and Safety of our staff and onsite is of utmost importance for us. I must congratulate the entire project team including ANDRITZ for zero incidence during the project team
Mr. Burgel: AFR is only a KPI, for sure an important one. For me, it is much more important to work on a safety culture. All employees shall consider safety to be a top priority, that they directly approach team members if they are working unsafely, taking short cuts, etc. But also to give people feedback on positive safety behaviors. It is our most important obligation as an organization to ensure that all our employees leave their working place healthy.

Green steel production has become very important. Is there a similar approach for aluminum production?

Mr. Burgel: Of course, the upstream production facilities have a much greater impact than that of downstream equipment. But here also, we have to develop smart application to reduce our GHG footprint.
Mr. Roy: Our products are greener, smarter and stronger. We consider sustainability while conceptualizing project in term ICP (Internal Carbon Pricing ) IRR and ICP NPV. Hindalco is set on a decarbonization journey to net ‘0’ carbon. Decision makers need to keep that in mind while approving energy intensive projects.

Final question to both of you: Any plans to meet in person?

Mr. Burgel: I will visit our office in Bangalore in December. If possible, I will also try to meet Sandip during this trip.
Mr. Roy: Looking forward to our personal meeting.

Mr. Sandip, Mr. Burgel, thank you for this very interesting interview and I wish you all the best. We hope to continue this story with phase 2 at the Lapanga plant in Sambalpur.


Hindalco Industry Limited, part of the Aditya Birla Group, is one of the largest integrated primary producers of aluminum in Asia. Hindalco’s acquisition of Aleris Corporation in April 2020, through its subsidiary Novelis Inc., has cemented the company's position as the world’s largest flat-rolled products player and recycler of aluminum. In India, the company’s aluminum units across the country encompass the gamut of operations from bauxite mining, alumina refining, coal mining, captive power plants and aluminum smelting to downstream rolling, extrusions and foils. Today, Hindalco ranks among the global aluminum majors as an integrated producer and a footprint in 9 countries outside India.

Identical exit section of both lines (here: TLL) Final grades with < 3 I-units


Line Data




Hot water degreasing line

Tension leveling line


Cold-rolled aluminum strip from series 3xxx, 5xxx, and 6xxx

Strip thickness

0.27 mm – 4.0 mm

Strip width

700 – 2,100 mm

Process speed

250 m/min.

300 m/min.

Annual output

150,000 tons

100,000 tons

Contact us
ANDRITZ Metals Germany GmbH
Finishing lines
Get in contact
  • Finishing Lines PDF : 11.6 MB