EPS vs. Acid Pickling Capital Cost Comparison
To compare the capital costs of a new EPS project and a new acid pickling project, the competing systems must have very similar output. Based on processing low carbon strip of 10mm (0.250″) thickness or less, we found that a push-pull hydrochloric acid pickling line utilizing 4 pickling tanks matched the output of a 2-Cell EPS Coil Line. Therefore, the capital cost comparison below is based on those two competing systems.
The acid pickling line chosen is an actual operating line, not a model. It’s in North America, was supplied from a reputable equipment manufacturer, and is considered ‘service center duty’ because, among other reasons, it does not include a tension leveler. By contrast, EPS is a ‘tight line’ process with its uncoiler and recoiler providing the same overall tension as the entry and exit bridle rolls of a tension leveler found in ‘mill duty’ acid pickling lines. Therefore, to place the competing systems on equal footing, the cost of a tension leveling system must be added to the acid pickling line cost below.
4 Tank Acid Pickling Line
2-Cell EPS Coil Line
Summary of Capital Cost Comparison
For pickling of low carbon coils up to 0.250”, EPS has the capital cost advantage over a tension-leveling push-pull acid pickling line of comparable capacity in each category:
- 25% lower equipment cost
- 30% lower installation cost
- A $1.3 million savings in building cost
Combining these factors together, the EPS line capital cost is roughly 70% of the acid pickling line costs.
If you introduce high carbon, alloy steels, AHSS and silicon steels into the mix, the EPS capital cost advantage expands, because while the EPS line’s output would be lowered modestly for these grades, the acid pickling line’s output would drop dramatically (see details). Raising the acid line’s output back to parity would require additional acid tanks and more building space, while the EPS capital cost would increase only marginally.