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FURNACES

COATINGS

TESTING AND ANALYSIS

STEEL AND SHIPBUILDING

Allegheny Technologies choose Fives’ Stein Digit@l furnace technology

Intumescent coatings for the fire protection of structural steel

The importance of thermomechanical and cycle fatigue testing

A durable, high-tech hydraulic system is essential for a ship’s engine

www.steeltimesint.com Digital Edition - July/August 2016 - No.3

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CONTENTS DIGITAL EDITION - JULY/AUGUST 2016

FURNACES

COATINGS

TESTING AND ANALYSIS

STEEL AND SHIPBUILDING

Allegheny Technologies choose Fives’ Stein Digit@l furnace technology

Intumescent coatings for the fire protection of structural steel

The importance of thermomechanical and cycle fatigue testing

A durable, high-tech hydraulic system is essential for a ship’s engine

www.steeltimesint.com Digital Edition - July/August 2016 - No.3

Picture courtesy of Friedrich Kocks GmbH & Co KG. KOCKS Extracting Block type EXB 315/3 currently operating at Benteler seamless tube mill, Louisiana, USA

AUTOMATED GUIDED VEHICLES

EDITORIAL Editor Matthew Moggridge Tel: +44 (0) 1737 855151 matthewmoggridge@quartzltd.com

2 Leader

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5 Product news The latest news technology 18 Handling Lighter weight AGVs Furnaces 22 Two new furnaces for US hot-strip mill 24 Enhanced combustion technology

Consultant Editor Dr. Tim Smith PhD, CEng, MIM Production Editor Annie Baker

27 Steel and shipbuilding Efficient hydraulics

Advertisement Production Martin Lawrence SALES International Sales Manager Paul Rossage paulrossage@quartzltd.com Tel: +44 (0) 1737 855116

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30 Steel and construction Ready for the challenge?

Sales Director Ken Clark kenclark@quartzltd.com Tel: +44 (0) 1737 855117

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Managing Director Steve Diprose stevediprose@quartzltd.com Tel: +44 (0) 1737 855164 Chief Executive Officer Paul Michael

Coatings A measure of performance

27

SUBSCRIPTION Elizabeth Barford Tel +44 (0) 1737 855028 Fax +44 (0) 1737 855034 Email subscriptions@quartzltd.com

35 Continuous casting Mould lubrication improvements

Steel Times International is published eight times a year and is available on subscription. Annual subscription: UK £173.00 Other countries: £247.00 2 years subscription: UK £311.00 Other countries: £445.00 ) Single copy (inc postage): £39.00 Email: steel@quartzltd.com

38 Testing and analysis Thermo-mechanical and cycle fatigue

Published by: Quartz Business Media Ltd, Quartz House, 20 Clarendon Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1QX, England. Tel: +44 (0)1737 855000 Fax: +44 (0)1737 855034

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42 Tubular steels Differentiating factors

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Steel Times International (USPS No: 020-958) is published monthly except Feb, May, July, Dec by Quartz Business Media Ltd and distributed in the US by DSW, 75 Aberdeen Road, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437. Periodicals postage paid at Emigsville, PA. POSTMASTER send address changes to Steel Times International c/o PO Box 437, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437.

43 Process control Control system retrofit

Printed in England by: Pensord, Tram Road, Pontlanfraith, Blackwood, Gwent NP12 2YA, UK ©Quartz Business Media Ltd 2016

ISSN0143-7798

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38 Digital Edition - July/August 2016


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LEADER

“Robots building robots. Now that’s just stupid.”

Matthew Moggridge Editor matthewmoggridge@quartzltd.com

Digital Edition - July/August 2016

“It’s a robot. Ash is a goddamn robot!” This immortal line from Ridley Scott’s Alien will stick with me forever, along with other memorable film quotes that I’ll refrain from mentioning in this leader, although “My friend wants his hand back” from the first Mad Max is worthy of recognition. The reason for airing the Alien quote is simple: steel production is moving fast towards greater automation and, of course, ‘smart manufacturing’ or ‘industry 4.0’. We’re talking about digitalisation, folks, and while I would imagine the notion of robots replacing steelworkers is a long, long way off – how dangerous would that be? – the steel industry needs to get to grips with what Alvin Toffler once described as ‘future shock’. And let’s be fair to the steel industry; it’s not as if it hasn’t acclimatised itself to digitalisation. As this issue proves, there’s a lot of stuff being done and plenty of research and development going on surrounding the subject. At last year’s World Steel Conference in Chicago, during a discussion about digitalisation, I suggested via email that the building blocks of digitalisation were

all in place, but what the steel industry lacked was connectivity. Now there’s a good piece of ‘Industry 4.0’ terminology. In other words, bringing everything together, linking everything up. I mention technology and digitalisation and all things ‘futuristic’ for two reasons: one, Steel Times International will be organising an ‘Industry 4.0’ conference next year – more details to follow, but if you have an idea for a presentation, email me soon – and two, this issue has a kind of ‘technology’ bias. There’s a lot of ‘techy’ stuff going on at present that shows how far the steel industry has progressed in terms of controlling the steel making process. This digital edition of Steel Times International opens a few windows on to the world of digital manufacturing and shows how technology, in various guises, be it Fives’ Stein Digit@l furnaces or Transbotics’ automated guided vehicles, has infiltrated the world of steel production. But let’s finish with a quote from Jeff Vintar from I, Robot. “Robots building robots. Now that’s just stupid.”

www.steeltimesint.com


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INNOVATIONS

New poppet valve

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US-based Hunt Valve, a company with almost 100 years of experience in the field of fluid power engineering solutions, has introduced a new poppet valve for descaling applications that it claims will last three to five times longer than traditional poppet valves. “By eliminating the effects of water hammer and system shock, this innovative poppet value technology promotes safety in the plant and cuts operating costs in half,” according to the company. In a steel mill environment, persistent water hammer in high pressure piping systems often leads to burst pipes, cracked welds and descale header damage. Hunt Valve’s proportional poppet descale valve can be programmed to eliminate water hammer in the system. The company claims that speed is only reduced for the last 10-20% of the stroke, just before completely shutting off flow to the descale header. This slow rate of closure can be fine-tuned via the integrated local control interface or programmable logic controller (PLC). “By replacing all fast-closing poppet valves in the descale system with Hunt Valve’s proportional poppet design and eliminating water hammer, companies save up to US$250,000 a year in replacement costs for damaged descale headers and pipes,” explained Tim Pulcini, Hunt Valve’s business development representative. “This helps reduce annual plant operating costs for descale valves and piping by as much as 50% and decreases unexpected downtime.” Extended service life To combat the high-velocity fluid flow created by the valve’s slow rate of closure, the proportional poppet descale valve incorporates ceramic seating surfaces that prevent wear from the fluid flow. Optimising the valve’s useful service life, the full ceramic seat is three to five times more durable than conventional seat materials such as heat-treated stainless steel. No other industrial valve manufacturer provides ceramic wear protection at this level, claims Hunt Valve.

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Simplified maintenance The proportional poppet valve’s electromechanical linear actuator avoids the maintenance and reliability issues commonly associated with all types of media-actuated valves. Unlike traditional poppet valves that use dirty descale water as a hydraulic media to shift the main valve, the proportional poppet valve actuator is not a wetted part and is completely isolated from the descale water. Because it uses an electrical actuator, it eliminates the moisture and contamination problems associated with pneumatic actuation. Extended warranty The proportional poppet descale valve is ideal for the OEM builder who wants to provide the highest level of customer satisfaction and avoid warranty issues after installation and start-up. However, if a failure occurs during this extended timeframe, it is covered. Because of the valve’s exceptional durability, Hunt Valve is able to offer an extended warranty, which allows the OEM to pass the benefit along to his or her customer. The extended warranty also assures aftermarket customers that the valve technology will deliver a significantly longer service life than traditional poppet valves, resulting in maintenance cost savings over the life of the valve. Additional features The proportional poppet descale valve incorporates Hunt Valve's patented balance chamber design feature. It offers proximity switches or linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) position feedback for constant monitoring of the valve’s position. The valve has a pressure rating of 5,000 psi (320 bar) and is available in sizes DIN 10 to 250 (0.5” to 10” in diameter). It is offered as a drop-in replacement for an existing valve without requiring any costly piping modifications to install the new valve. For further information, log on to www.huntvalve.com

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www.steeltimesint.com

Digital Edition - July/August 2016


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INNOVATIONS

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Hoists and cranes – the captains of industry The importance of an ever-expanding industrial world should not be underestimated. After all, long-term, sustained industrialisation is a key driver for economic development, a fact recognised by the world’s most important leaders. It was no accident that President Obama made a personal appearance to open the planet’s largest industrial exhibition, Hannover Messe, earlier this year, becoming the

first US president ever to do so. Technological innovation, such as that exhibited at Hannover Messe, is paramount in helping industrial companies achieve competitive gain and accrue market share. These technologies must be robust, reliable and require little maintenance. Only this way can the industrial sector maximise its output. For example, take humble hoists and crane systems such as those manufactured by J D Neuhaus (JDN). These lifting mechanisms have become the mainstay of material handling operations globally as so many industrial tasks require lifting and manoeuvring which without mechanical assistance would prove unproductive. Even hoists and cranes, however, are constantly evolving. Today’s models place great emphasis on long service life, ecological compatibility and recyclability – all of which is achieved without any detriment to safety or performance. And perform they must. The wide-ranging demands of industrial applications for these products mean that cranes and hoists manufactured by companies such as JDN, are engineered for extremes. Imagine, for example, the cold, dark, isolated, dangerous conditions in which underwater divers have to operate, or the fast-paced, high temperature, heavy atmosphere that steel workers must endure. Or how about the howling gales and driving rain encountered by oil rig operatives. Even under extreme operating conditions such as these, JDN hoists and cranes, which are available with individual lifting capacities up to 100 tonnes, move loads reliably and with precision, day after day, year after year. They are in use in more than 70 different commercial sectors,

including oil and gas, mining, the chemical industry and heavy plant construction. The 100% duty cycling of the equipment, which can either be used directly in applications or as sub-components of other OEM materials handling devices, allow workers to work longer and harder with maximum safety and the minimum of stress and physical effort. A further benefit is the streamlined design of the latest cranes and hoists, which ensures that maintenance is non-invasive and both quick and simple to perform, thus minimising non-productive downtime. In practice, benefits such as these have had a resoundingly positive impact at countless industrial companies, where huge increases in productivity have been achieved. To ensure this advantageous position continues to move forward, the global service offered by J D Neuhaus helps industrial users guarantee the continuous operational availability of hoists and cranes, aiding the delivery of product longevity. With JDN Global Service it is possible to diagnose, find a solution and fix the problem, in any remote corner of the world. Ultimately, for long-term structural change, industry plays a pivotal role. It creates many productive, formal jobs at an early stage of development. It also drives technological development and innovation to sustain productivity and growth in manufacturing and other commercial sectors. In short, the prosperity of the global economy relies on industry, and industry relies on technology. Only by selecting optimised, proven technologies engineered for extremes, can worldwide industries continue to grow. For further information, log on to www.jdngroup.com

Turboden supplies ORC unit to Arvedi steel plant in Italy Turboden, a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), a leading player in the development and supply of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbogenerators for distributed power generation employing renewable sources and waste heat, signed an order with Acciaieria Arvedi for a new waste heat recovery ORC unit to be installed at the Arvedi Steel Plant in Cremona, Italy. The Turboden 100 HR ORC unit, designed for 10 MW nominal capacity and operated at 7.5 MW for the first years, will convert the off-gas waste heat from the steel melting electric arc furnace (EAF) to electric power. The heat recovery system configuration includes a saturated steam heat carrier circuit to convey the heat from the furnace exhaust gas to the ORC unit. This new system will be coupled to the existing Tenova Consteel system, which heats and feeds metallic charge to a 250-ton EAF, one of the largest in the world, for a combination of heat recovery and environmental sustainability. The heat recovery system will be put in operation at the beginning of 2017. The waste heat boiler, to be supplied by TENDigital Edition - July/August 2016

www.turboden.com

OVA, will be installed on the primary EAF off-gas line in parallel to the existing quenching tower and will produce saturated steam. During the EAF process, the saturated steam (heat carrier) will transfer thermal power to the ORC turbo generator working fluid, which then expands in the turbine to convert incoming thermal energy into electric power by means of an electric generator.

The main drivers for this project are energy production valorisation, with a consequent reduction in CO2 emissions of approximately 23,300 t/y, and access to White Certificates (documents certifying that a certain reduction of energy consumption has been attained). For further information, log on to www.turboden.com www.steeltimesint.com


INNOVATIONS

www.primetals.com Primetals CGL processes first coil A Primetals Technologies continuous galvanising line (CGL) processed its first coil at the end of March 2016 at Baosteel Zhanjiang Iron & Steel Co’s plant in Zhanjiang, a port city in Guangdong Province in China. Primetals Technologies won the contract in August 2013. The new CGL No. 2 is designed to galvanise 465kt/yr (metric tons) covering a wide range of

www.steeltimesint.com

steel grades for automotive and home electrics appliance uses. Baosteel Group Corporation, one of the largest iron and steel conglomerates in the world, was established in November 1998 and boasted an annual steel production of 43.3Mt (metric tons) in 2014. According to Primetals, Baosteel produces high quality products for domestic and international markets.

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Baosteel Zhanjiang Iron & Steel Co became part of the group in 2012. The CGL is part of a production complex recently set-up to serve customers in southern China and Southeast Asia. CGL No. 2 has a capacity of 465kt/yr and processes strips with widths between 900mm and 1,860 mm at strip thicknesses ranging from 0.45 mm to 2.3 mm. Product grades include CQ, DQ, DDQ, EDDQ, SEDDQ, 440-590 CQ, 390-440 DQ, 440 DDQ, 340 BH and 590 DP steels. Primetals Technologies was the main contractor for all imported equipment at the plant – the furnace, after-pot cooling equipment, as well as their instrumentation and software. Additionally, the company offered supervising services for erection and commissioning as well as operator training. Electrical Equipment was supplied by BAOSIGHT (Shanghai Baosight Software Co Ltd). Other mechanical equipment in the line was supplied by BSEE (Baosteel Engineering & Technology Group Co Ltd). Both partner companies are subsidiaries of Baosteel. For further information, log on to www.primetals.com

Digital Edition - July/August 2016


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INNOVATIONS

Ratio Pyrometer with automatic colour transition LumaSense Technologies has introduced the IMPAC IGAR 6 advanced infrared thermometer. The system is compact and offers 1-colour, 2-colour, and ‘smart’ operating modes for non-contact temperature measurement in ranges between 100° to 2000 °C. According to Daniel Schueftan, LumaSense’s global product manager for pyrometers, the product is unique because of its wide temperature range and LumaSense’s ‘seamless switchover technology’. The “switchover” technology, known as Smart Mode, allows the pyrometer to measure temperature in 1-colour mode at low temperatures (100 °C to 250 °C) and then transition to 2-colour mode to provide the advantages of measurements in ratio mode at higher temperatures (280 °C to 2000 °C). The automatic, smooth transition from 1-colour to 2-colour measurement occurs between 250 °C and 280 °C. In addition, the pyrometer can operate in 1-colour mode (100 °C to 2000 °C) and 2-colour mode (250 °C to 2000 °C). “The large temperature range, compact size,

and new Smart Mode make the IGAR 6 Advanced pyrometer ideally suited for many different industrial manufacturing applications,” said LumaSense CEO Stephen Abely. Sample applications include induction heating, hardening, tempering/annealing, brazing, sintering, vacuum processes, coating, and laser heat treatment. Attendees at Sensor & Test Expo in Nuremberg, Germany and at AISTech in Pittsburgh, USA, previewed the instrument last month and raved about its large temperature range, the different operating modes, and other features, such as automatic emissivity determination and optional line optics. These additional features make it unique and create opportunities to measure processes not considered previously and those not measured with appropriate accuracy. The IGAR 6 Advanced joins the Series 6 family

www.lumasenseinc.com

of digital, compact infra-red thermometers and leverages highly accurate infra-red technology to determine the temperature of a surface. Like other Series 6 pyrometers, the IGAR 6 Advanced shares the available Series 6 sighting options such as through-lens-sighting, laser targeting, and TV module and can be connected to a PC through an RS485 to USB connection. IMPAC, acquired by LumaSense in 2007, has almost 60 years of experience in infrared and non-contact temperature measurement. For further information, log on to www.lumasenseinc.com

New Indian blast furnace success Between 16 March and 21 April 2016, all performance guarantee tests for the No. 3 blast furnace at Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd’s (RINL – or Vizag Steel) steel plant at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India, were successfully completed, according to steel production technology specialist Paul Wurth. A consortium consisting of Paul Wurth Italia S.p.A, Paul Wurth India Pvt. Ltd and Larsen & Toubro Ltd, were responsible for the construction of the blast furnace. DASTUR Company – RINL’s consultant – and all concerned RINL (Vizag Steel) departments, signed protocols certifying the successful completion of all performance guarantee tests.

The tests were related to hot metal production (average and peak production rates), fuel rate, gas cleaning efficiency and pollution, including cast house and stock house stack emissions, ambient dust concentration and noise level parameters. According to Paul Wurth, the test results confirm the robustness and quality of the newly designed and constructed blast furnace, highlighting quality parameters and productivity in accordance with customer expectations and in line with the contractual framework of the agreed contract. “It is particularly remarkable, that these tests were successfully passed within the normal production conditions of the inte-

grated steel plant as a whole and after a longer period of operations from the blow-in date of the furnace,” said Paul Wurth. RINL’s No. 3 blast furnace can produce 2.5Mt/ yr of hot metal, with greater operational efficiency than before, enabling RINL to increase overall production at Visakhapatnam to 6.5 Mt/yr of finished products without increased costs. For further information, log on to www.paulwurth.com

www.paulwurth.com

Digital Edition - July/August 2016

www.steeltimesint.com


INNOVATIONS

9

The gloves are on!

www.honeywellsafety.com

www.emersonindustrial.com/automation

Vertigo Check & Go gloves from Honeywell are said to combine high-performance-polythene (HPPE) fibre with a highly visible numbers system to deliver best performance safety, comfort and durability. According to Honeywell, the gloves are designed for strength and yet they are lightweight and cut-resistant. The gloves are designed to help safety managers ensure that workers are wearing the right protection for their level of cut injury risk and are reinforced with Honeywell’s innovative

Spectra fibre, one of the world’s strongest and lightest man-made fibres, commonly used in high strength fishing lines and bullet-resistant body armours, the company claims. The range includes the new Spectra black Vertigo glove, which has been introduced specifically for dirty environments and meets a growing demand for a dark-fibre glove with cut resistance levels 3 and 5, which meets industry standard EN388 measures of abrasion, cut, tear and puncture performance. Both long and short versions of the Vertigo

Check & Go cut-resistant gloves range are available in white fibre as with either a polyurethane coating (for dry environments) or nitrile coating (for wet and greasy environments). Stephanie Quilliet, product manager lead for general safety at Honeywell Industrial Safety, said that the company’s guiding principle is to provide gloves that maintain and enhance productivity. “From our research, we found that workers often find cut-resistant gloves too heavy and uncomfortable to wear, plus white liner gloves in dirty environments were more likely to be discarded when the dirt became visible.” She added that Honeywell can offer industrial workers the protection, comfort and durability they need when carrying out tasks in challenging industrial environments. For more information, log on to www.honeywellsafety.com

New high-power modular drives

Cost-effective leak detection

Control Techniques, an Emerson business, has extended its range of high-power modular drives. The company’s Unidrive M and Powerdrive F300 variable-speed drive ranges are now available in the larger frame size 11, providing a flexible method of building compact, reliable high-power solutions. Paralleled together, Unidrive M can control asynchronous and permanent magnet motors in systems up to 2.8 MW (4,200 hp). The new frame 11 is a 250 kW (400 hp) module that allows system builders to create high-power solutions with the smallest number of components, keeping both footprint and costs to a minimum. Unidrive M differentiates itself on performance with extremely fast current control algorithms and high switching frequencies. Active Front End (AFE) solutions deliver unparalleled torque precision and power quality. Unidrive M modules can be paralleled into a wide range of flexible solutions to solve all system needs including Active Front End and multi-pulse rectifier configurations. They can be controlled by Control Techniques’ Unidrive M600, M700, M701 and M702 controllers. Control Techniques also offers a full range of high-powered drive products tailor-made for fan, pump and compressor applications from 90 kW to 2.8 MW. The Powerdrive F300 series features a modular design and can control permanent magnet or standard AC induction motors. This modular approach to building high power systems also provides the flow industry with flexibility while keeping complexity low.

Leak-Master is a cost-effective way of eliminating leaks from packaging and components. It is claimed that the system makes it possible to detect even the smallest of leaks in products, components or packaging – whether for food items – with or without a protective atmosphere. According to Witt-Gasetechnik, the detection method is simple but effective. The test sample is placed in a water-filled chamber. Compressed air is used to evacuate the air space above the water level. At leakage points, the resulting vacuum causes air or filling gas to escape and bubble to the top of the chamber in a clearly visible way. Witt-Gasetechnick says that the great advantage of this method is that the Quality Tester can quickly and easily determine whether the product is leaking and from where, making it possible to introduce changes to the manufacturing and packaging processes. Witt offers an electronic control touchscreen module, which makes it possible to record, save and transmit all test results. It is also possible to carry out strength tests in the dry chamber and perform altitude simulation tests on products that need to be transported by air freight allowing potential packaging weak points to be identified before transportation. Leak-Master Easy is available in five variants with chamber volumes ranging from 20 to 215 litres. Installation and commissioning is easy, Witt claims. The test device is low-maintenance and inexpensive to run, intuitive controls mean trained staff is not necessary and the acrylic housing is hygienic and easy to clean. It can be emptied using a drainage tap in the base.

For further information, log on to www.emersonindustrial. com/automation

www.wittgas.com

For further information, log on to www.wittgas. com


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INNOVATIONS

Tenova’s flexible modular furnace Tenova, a leading supplier of technologies, advanced engineering products and services for the mining and metallurgical industries, has developed the Flexible Modular Furnace (FMF), for JINDAL Steel and Power Limited’s Raigarh steel plant in India. According to Tenova, this ‘innovative technology’ is designed for steelmakers that are currently using a significant amount of hot metal in their charge mix and are ready to move or return to scrap-based steelmaking. At JSPL’s Raigarh steel plant, JSPL converted its existing Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) into a Tenova FMF. Adopting the new Tenova technology, JSPL gained a saving on production costs of around US$15-18 per tonne of steel, resulting in an annual saving of approximately US$15-20 million – achieving a return on investment in less than four months. The furnace can produce 32 heats with an 89% guaranteed yield and has the potential to produce 36 heats with operational excellence. Furthermore, it succeeded in producing 42 heatsthrough on 14 November 2015 – a world record. The project was commissioned on 31 August last year and was successfully completed in a short span of six months from the effective start of the project. With efficient planning and collaborative teamwork, the project was accomplished in 10 days of furnace shutdown against an expected 28 days. Silvio Reali, Tenova’s senior vice president, said: “This project shows the results of integrated

co-operation between Tenova’s different centres of expertise – an international team of Indian, Chinese and Italian professionals, perfectly synchronised, brought an excellent result to the customer, who will benefit from our cutting edge technology. Furthermore, it represents a milestone for the launch of the FMF solution in the Asian market.” Tenova JSPL has rated Tenova as a GRADE A vendor. “Despite many challenges, Tenova fully accomplished the objectives of this project and the contractual schedule,” said Alessio Lorenzi, Tenova project manager. “Our partner, JSPL, has greatly appreciated both the high technological content of our solutions and our professionalism, defining the whole as real added value. “This success was also due to the great co-operation between Tenova’s professionals and the project and operation team of JSPL, a partner who demonstrated that it shared our same industrial vocation.” The FMF solution, claims Tenova, is also suitable for steelmakers looking for a transition from BOF to EAF-based steelmaking and for EAF steel shops that want to increase the percentage of hot metal in their charge mix. Tenova’s FMF is a modular smelting furnace concept that can be developed from core equipment called the ‘base module’ with specific add-ons and has the flexibility of converting various charge mixes of raw material (scrap, DRI, liquid hot metal, pig iron, etc). Each module is

designed with specific features in order to fit the requirements of the charge mix. There are clear opportunities and applications for FMF, according to Tenova. A full range of metallic charges can be smelted, the company claims, keeping capital costs to a minimum. Flexibility is also a clear advantage of FMF, claims Tenova. It is ideal for markets where developing lower footprint steelmaking operations is crucial. FMF fits certain specific charge mixes too and becomes even more convenient than more classical solutions. The JSPL project marks an important milestone for FMF in the Asian market. In India, high-energy costs and inconsistent or poor availability of raw materials has led the industry to explore cost-effective steel making methods. Alternative methods to build flexibility for charging different types of raw materials into a furnace – such as that offered by FMF – are the order of the day, and very much essential to control the cost of steel. In China, FMF could be the first step towards modernisation of oxygen steel plants. Tenova claims that the EAF revamp into an FMF-base module at JSPL’s Raigarh steel plant was a great success and that the innovative technology employed enables the Indian steelmaker to reduce production costs and boost performance levels. For further information, log on to www.tenova.com

www.tenova.com

Digital Edition - July/August 2016

www.steeltimesint.com


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INNOVATIONS

Energy efficiency guide from ExxonMobil ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, and ENER-G have created a free guide to energy efficiency measures for the steel industry. The guide provides advice and practical recommendations on how managers can prioritise productivity while also saving energy. It recommends adopting an integrated energy strategy, including smart metering and control strategies, energy audits, decentralised energy generation such as combined heat and power (CHP), and changing to more energy-efficient lubricants. The guide also offers best-practice tips on reducing energy demand in offices, factories and warehouses; summarises the financial help available for implementing energy efficient measures such as CHP; describes how the right lubricant selection can help companies save energy; and provides guidance on legislative and regulatory compliance. "Industrial energy bills can be reduced by as much as one fifth through simple, cost-effective measures to cut wastage," said Chris Marsland, technical director for ENER-G. "The guide outlines how on-site energy generation using efficient, low carbon technologies, such as combined heat and power, can create enormous savings. The latest research shows that inefficient energy production is costing the UK £9.5 billion per year, whereas decentralised energy production using CHP can achieve cost savings of up to 40% over electricity sourced from the grid and heat generated by on-site boilers."

www.mobilindustrial.com The guide also contains advice from experts on how high-performance synthetic lubricants can help companies save energy. “High-performance lubricants, such as the Mobil SHC Gear series, can help businesses to enhance energy savings, improve productivity, and provide safety benefits by cutting unscheduled maintenance,” said Andrea Jacobsen, industrial marketing manager for Europe, Africa and Middle East at ExxonMobil. “The steel sector, like many other energy-intensive industries, is looking at ways to cut its energy consumption without hampering productivity. We hope this guide will help increase awareness of the important role that lubricants can play in attaining that goal.” Jacobsen highlighted the case studies in the guide, pointing out how these demonstrate the practical benefits of Mobil-branded lubricants. “In addition to helping customers to reduce costs, these lubricants can also help businesses achieve the requirements of ISO 50001 Energy Management certification. This is why lubricant choice should be a key consideration for companies that are looking to become more energy efficient.” ExxonMobil claims that it has a range of lubricants with proven energy efficiency benefits, such as the Mobil SHC 600 Series, which is formulated to provide balanced performance in demanding applications at both high and low temperatures. According to ExxonMobil it’s SHC 600 Series products have demonstrated up to 3.6% improvement in energy efficiency in controlled

laboratory testing* while also providing excellent resistance to oxidation and deposit formation at elevated temperatures. Their exceptional resistance to rusting and corrosion offer additional protection, which can help increase productivity, the company claims. *Energy efficiency claim relates solely to the performance of Mobil SHC 600 when compared to conventional (mineral) reference oils of the same viscosity grade in circulating and gear applications. The technology used allows up to 3.6% efficiency compared to the reference when tested in a worm gearbox under controlled conditions. Efficiency improvements will vary based on operating conditions and application. For further information, log on to www.mobilindustrial.com

CSP’s new coking plant now fully operational After the first of two new coke oven batteries was made operational in May 2016, Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica de Pecèm (CSP) has successfully produced coke from its second new battery. That the company is producing coke from the second new battery marks an important milestone for CSP’s new coking plant project, which is part of its greenfield integrated steel plant construction in the state of Cearà in Brazil’s Northeast region. The steel plant will have the capacity to produce 3Mt/yr of steel slabs. Posco Engineering & Construction contracted Paul Wurth for the engineering, supply of key components and erection and commissioning of supervision services for the coking plant facilities. The company designed and supplied two identical batteries with 50 coke ovens each and an oven height of 7.6 m. This is the first time that such a battery type has been installed in this part of the world – a milestone for the local industry. Each of the batteries is designed to produce 673kt of coke per year. Besides the batteries themselves, the new coking plant integrates a whole range of stateof-the-art Paul Wurth cokemaking technologies, such as Schalke coke oven machines, process Digital Edition - July/August 2016

control and automation, the coke quenching system as well as the gas treatment and by-product plants. A particular focus is given to the environmental aspect thanks to in-house developed products such as the SUPRACOK level-2 system for coke oven plants and the SOPRECO Single Oven PREssure Control. All these features will enable the customer

to meet the highest standards in terms of coke productivity and quality, emission control, energy consumption, user friendliness and plant safety.

For further information, log on to www.paulwurth.com

www.paulwurth.com

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Outokumpu upgrades measuring equipment Leading global stainless steel manufacturer Outokumpu is in the process of upgrading vital ultrasonic level measuring instrumentation on chemical storage tanks at its plant in Sheffield in the UK. The tanks are used to store concentrated acid, spent acid and acid-contaminated water. The original Hycontrol level measuring equipment fitted to the 15 tanks has, it is claimed, provided sterling service over the past 20 years. The tanks vary in shape and size resulting in a range of different instruments being used, consisting of separate transducers and instrumentation. Over the past two decades, however, level measuring technology has advanced significantly in terms of electronics, instrument interface technology and transducer design. Not surprisingly, given the highly corrosive environment, the original equipment was showing some signs of wear and tear. Although it still functioned satisfactorily,

Outokumpu engineers decided it was time for an upgrade, giving them the chance to rationalise the instrumentation and connectivity to the site’s central PLC. Following a site visit, Hycontrol’s engineers suggested installing Microflex-C devices on all 15 tanks. The Microflex-C is a compact ultrasonic unit with integrated transducer, offering a number of important benefits. The loop-powered units simplify inter-connection and the standard PVDF (Polyvinylidene fluoride) transducer face is compatible with 355 hydrofluoric acid, the most aggressive substance stored on-site. With a measuring range of eight metres, the Microflex-C can be configured to display level or volume with set-up carried out via an integral keypad. Outokumpu has upgraded 10 of the tanks. The steelmaker’s electrical operations engineer Stewart Wilson is pleased with the rationalisation. “The installation and calibration procedures for

the integrated Microflex C units are very straightforward and connectivity has required minimal changes to our system. The use of a single type of instrument for all the different tanks is very beneficial and we expect to upgrade the remaining five tanks in due course,” he said. For further information, log on to www.hycontrol.com

Ton Dong A Corporation contracts Danieli The Italian industrial technology group Danieli has been contracted by Vietnamese steelmaker Ton Dong A Corporation to supply a new hot dip galvanising line (number six) for its new facility at Binh Dong in Vietnam. The new line follows hot on the heels of other recent orders from Danieli including cold reversing mill number two, galvanizing line number five and cold reversing mill number one, installed in 2012.The new HDGL will have a total annual production capacity of 0.35Mt/yr and maximum process speeds from 180 mpm for GI products and up to 200 mpm for GL. The incoming strip, cold-rolled or pickled and oiled hot-rolled coils, will be in the thickness range from 0.25 mm to

www.danieli.com 2.5 mm and up to 1,250 mm in width. The new line relies upon the knowledge and experience of several Danieli divisions including Danieli Wean United for the mechanics, Danieli Centro Combustion for the annealing furnace, Danieli Kohler for the Air Wiping System and Danieli Automation for software and process control. The new line will be designed with future upgrades in mind and the aim is for both Ton Dong and Danieli to produce the first galvanised coil by the end of November 2017. For further information, log on to www.danieli.com

A new Centricut brand air curtain for underwater cutting with ESAB plasma systems has been introduced by Hypertherm. The air curtain is designed for use with the Centricut brand quick change torch for ESAB PT-36, PT-600 and PT-19XLS torches. It mounts directly on to the quick-change torch and, once installed, produces a curtain of air that surrounds the plasma arc to keep it free from the effects of water. A simplified design makes the air curtain, smaller and lighter than its OEM counterpart and because it is mounted to a quick-change torch, it is easier to install and remove from the table. This saves time and frustration, claims Hypertherm, and makes changing consumables much more efficient. The air curtain is adjustable to any position and works with all three Centricut quickchange torches for ESAB plasma systems. “The introduction of this air curtain expands the appeal of the Centricut brand quick-change to the 20% or so of ESAB customers cutting underwater,” according to Cynthia von Reckwww.steeltimesint.com

linghausen, product marketing manager for Hypertherm’s Centricut brand. “These customers are now able to enjoy the convenience and time-saving benefits of the quick-change torch without sacrificing cut quality.” Centricut products are designed with critical-to-function tolerances and are precision-manufactured to deliver the best quality product every time, Hypertherm claims. Businesses interested in a free trial of any Centricut product or a technical consultation to improve their cutting process can contact Hypertherm direct on 0031 165 596907 ext 5452 or their authorised Hypertherm distributor. Hypertherm designs and manufactures advanced cutting products for use in a variety of industries. Its product line includes plasma, laser and waterjet cutting systems, in addition to CNC motion and height controls, CAM nesting software, robotic software, and consumables.

www.hypertherm.com

Air curtain for underwater cutting

For further information, log on to www.hypertherm.com Digital Edition - July/August 2016


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Free UKAS certification from AMETEK Land

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AMETEK Land, a supplier of industrial infra-red non-contact temperature measurement equipment, has announced that buyers of its Cyclops C100L will receive a designated three point UKAS certification to ISO/ IEC 17025:2005 as standard. Widely used in the metal and glass production industries, as well as in ceramics, petrochemical and refractories, the Cyclops C100L portable non-contact thermometer provides UKAS certification against three temperature points as specified by AMETEK Land, which are 650 °C, 1200 °C and 1450 °C (1202 °F, 2192 °F and 2642 °F). Those temperature points were selected based on the most commonly requested temperature

range for UKAS certification of the Cyclops C100L based on extensive certification experience. Each Cyclops C100L shipped will be supplied with an individual UKAS certificate linked to the instrument’s serial number. Richard Gagg, AMETEK’s global IR product manager, said it was the first time the company has provided certification with a new product as standard and at no extra charge. “Companies that choose our UKAS-certified Cyclops C100L will find that their instrument will be fully traceable, reducing risks to their business and ensuring peace of mind. When dealing with extremes of temperature that rely on accurate measurement, having instruments that are UKAS certified is essential to maintain the highest quality standards,” said Gagg.

All new orders of the full suite of Cyclops models, including the C100L, also will be supplied with a free-of-charge, heat-resistant/thermal protective jacket, as standard. The jacket, provides protection against excessive heat and dust and is used in the steel, foundry and glass industries. UKAS certification on the Cyclops C100L and the protective jacket are supplied as free additions on new orders, with no change to the existing selling price. UKAS Certification ensures that the Cyclops C100L temperature measurement system offers the best operating performance, improves the accuracy of customers’ measurement capabilities, and meets required national and international quality standards. The company’s certification laboratory in

Double Salzgitter order for UK-based Fives Bronx Salzgitter Mannesmann Stainless Tubes (France), a leading manufacturer of seamless stainless steel and nickel-based alloy tubes and pipes, has awarded Fives with a contract for the design, manufacture and supply of a Bronx six-roll 6.CR9.S straightening machine, complete with ancillary electrical and hydraulic control systems. The German steelmaker ordered a similar Bronx machine six months earlier – a six roll 6CR10-HD straightening machine – to process high-yield

stainless steel tubes up to 280mm in diameter, and at wall thicknesses of up to 50mm. This equipment will be integrated into an existing space-restricted workshop in order to withstand the arduous loads associated with processing such thick-walled tubes. Both machines will be installed during the summer shutdown after a full inspection at Fives’ workshop in England, where the group has been manufacturing its straightening products for the

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production of tube, pipe, bar and profiles under the Bronx brand for more than 75 years. Jon Dunn, managing director at Fives Bronx, Fives’ subsidiary in England, said that the second contract was awarded to Fives because of the excellent working relationship developed with Salzgitter over the past year. For further information, log on to www.fivesgroup.com


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ability. It incorporates user-friendly features, such as precise view of target spot with simultaneous digital display of temperature in the viewfinder, choice of operating and calculating modes, digital output and out of range alarms’. AMETEK claims that the Cyclops is capable of storing up to 9,999 measurement points inside the thermometer, making it an ideal tool for plants with multiple locations and a requirement for regular monitoring. Handheld units are suitable for Bluetooth or USB Connector for data download/upload, while a Route mode, one of four –Single, Latch, Burst and Route – allows capture and storage of measurement data repeatedly at set locations around a plant. Free-to-download Land Cyclops Logger

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the United Kingdom is certified to the international standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories) and by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to offer a comprehensive service for the traceable certification of infra-red thermometers, thermal imagers, scanners and blackbody sources over the range -10 °C to 2500 °C (14 °F to 4532 °F). With the certified lowest calibration uncertainty outside the National Physics Laboratory for temperatures above 500°C, AMETEK Land claims that it is recognised as the industry leader in accuracy. The Cyclops C100L is described by AMETEK as a ‘high-quality, portable, non-contact thermometer that provides precision spot temperature measurement with unmatched accuracy and reli-

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Software delivers a technically advanced user experience, as it connects a Cyclops portable pyrometer to a PC or mobile device allowing the user to view, analyse and record live temperature readings. For further information, log on to website www.landinst.com

Modular air dryers extended

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For further information, log on to www.hilineindustries.com

www.hilineindustries.com

The Atacama range of modular air dryers from Hi-line Industries Ltd has been extended to incorporate a third filtration tower. This ensures full compliance with BS EN 12021 standard Respiratory equipment – Compressed gasses for breathing apparatus and is currently the only standard to indicate contaminant levels for breathing air both in the UK and EU. This latest development ensures that appropriate models in the Atacama range can be safely utilised in demanding environments. In addition, the emergency services and fire brigades have vital need for reliable and high quality breathing apparatus. According to Hi-Line Industries, the Atacama range is suitable for use in a wide range of paint and paint shop-related applications and tank cleaning operations. Bulk water, in liquid and gaseous form, needs to be eliminated from the breathing air. BS EN 12021 states that this should be at a pressure dewpoint not exceeding -11°C. This is because any water entering the filtration system will render the catalysts useless. This is why on all breathing air purifiers the first stage of the purification process is a desiccant air dryer. The ‘Atacama – CT’ breathing air dryer is controlled by a Hi-line HDC 1 solid state digital controller, which has an LED digital dewpoint display built-in as standard. It is pre-set on the breathing air application to change over to stand-by once a dewpoint of -15°C PDP is achieved. This ensures air quality security and maintains energy efficiency. Once the air is clean and dry after passing through the desiccant dryer section of the unit, the third vessel containing activated carbon and a catalyst, removes odours, taste substances, oil vapour/aerosols, carbon monoxide and various other gases. A fourth new component is a particulate filter, installed to filter out dust particles and carry over from the desiccant, allowing the operator to breath clean, dry and oil-free air, free from contaminants.

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Incremental encoder for harsh environments

Johannes Hübner Giessen has developed an incremental encoder Ex FG 40 for applications in extremely harsh environments and with stringent explosion protection requirements. These include paint shops in the steel sector. The company’s Ex FG 40 is certified according to both the latest Directive ATEX 2014/34/EU across Europe as well as the international IECEx concept for Zones 1 and 2 (gas) and Zones 21 and 22 (dust); the precise marking is: II 2G Ex db IIC T6-T5 Gb (gas) and II 2D Ex tb IIIC T85°C Db IP6x (dust). Dual certification means it is possible to deploy the Ex FG 40 in a very large number of countries without the need for additional national certificates of conformity. The device is built to achieve protection level db (flameproof enclosure) for gas-laden environments and tb (protection by enclosure) for dust-laden environments. The Ex FG 40 is a further development of the standard Hübner encoder FG 40, from which

the electronics are derived. In contrast, the mechanical components are completely new. Distinguishing features include extremely rugged construction – thanks to a thick-walled enclosure; long service life – due to large ball bearings; a robust stainless steel shaft with feather key; resistance to shock and vibration and high-level corrosion protection thanks to a high-quality anodic coating. The Ex FG 40 offers a wide speed range up to 6000 rpm and is suitable for an ambient temperature range of -40 °C to +60 °C. It is possible to deploy the device up to 4000 m AMSL. The device is made of salt-water-proof aluminium and offers a user-friendly wiring option. It possible to install an encoder perfectly aligned to the lay of the cable, thanks to a flange attachment option with a 30° grid alignment. The terminal box cover can be removed from the rear of the Ex FG 40 so the user can terminate the wiring for the power supply and signals according to requirements. Such an arrangement facilitates variable cable lengths whereas completely sealed devices can only offer a predetermined fixed cable length. If the user has several encoders in use, for example installed

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at various motors, the latter means he will have to carry a large stock of individual device types with different cable lengths. Installing the Ex FG 40 reduces the variety of versions and lowers the costs for spare parts. The Ex FG 40 can be deployed with dual signal output for applications requiring a second output signal. For higher-level controls or as a redundant signal where increased safety requirements are imposed, a second output signal can be required. Dual signal output means the user does not need to install a second encoder or an additional pulse splitter. The dual signal output is optionally available with HTL, TTL or sinus signals. Utilising precision optical scanning, the Ex FG 40 generates a very high signal quality, with up to 1 million pulses per rotation. The maximum transmission frequency is up to 200 kHz. For further information, www.huebner-giessen.com

‘Shaping possibility’ Hypertherm, manufacturer of plasma, laser, and waterjet cutting systems, has unveiled a new tagline in support of its vision and a new website designed to support the industrial cutting and robotic needs of individuals and companies around the world. Hypertherm’s new “Shaping Possibility” tagline replaces the “Cut with Confidence” tagline in use since the beginning of this decade. The new tagline conveys the company’s role in providing products, services and expertise to help customers achieve their vision, and expresses all that is possible with Hypertherm products in the hands of hard-working manufacturers and fabricators. “Through our products and the service and support of more than 1,400 Hypertherm Associate-owners and thousands of authorised partners, we help our customers cut parts and

achieve their business objectives,” explains Evan Smith, Hypertherm’s president and CEO. “We are proud to help ‘give shape’ to their vision and are grateful for the opportunity to work together to produce the machines, buildings, bridges, ships and other things that shape our world.” Hypertherm has also introduced a new website. Site visitors can compare different cutting technologies and platforms, troubleshoot cutting challenges, and connect with Hypertherm experts around the world. The site includes major navigational changes and powerful search features that make it easy to find content, while smart, responsive design aids viewing on computers, tablets, and smart phones. “For both new and long-time fabricators, the new Hypertherm.com provides useful content to help people make informed decisions and get

the most out of their Hypertherm products,” said Denise Champagne, leader of Hypertherm’s corporate communications and brand management team. “We are enabling people to tap into our nearly 50 years of cutting expertise to get the information and support they need to complete new projects and bring their vision to life. We are also providing more information than ever before on topics we see as critical to our success, like environmental sustainability and lean manufacturing, in the hopes that other companies can learn from our work.” Hypertherm designs and manufactures advanced cutting products for use in a variety of industries including manufacturing. Its product line includes plasma, laser and waterjet cutting systems, in addition to CNC motion and height controls, CAM nesting software, robotic software and consumables. For further information, log on to www.hypertherm.com

www.hypertherm.com

www.steeltimesint.com


INNOVATIONS Power management company Eaton has launched a range of spin-on filters designed to protect pumps, valves, compressors and hydraulic systems from contamination as per ISO 2941, ISO 3723 and ISO 2942. According to the company, the filters are designed to provide one of the highest levels of cleanliness for hydraulic systems. They provide trouble-free operation for the mining and materials handling, power generation, oil and gas, construction and forestry industries. Eaton’s spin-on filters feature cartridges that are engineered to fit into many leading filter systems on the market. The product line includes an extensive range of sizes, ratings and material for hydraulic, lubrication and other fluid applications and have a high dirt-holding capacity to ensure consistent filter efficiency and long service life even at high pressures. Spin-on filters provide the following benefits: • Compatible with a variety of mediums such as oils, fuels, emulsions, glycol water and synthetic fluids • Cartridge pressure values in 12, 25 and 35 bar bar • Flow rates up to 180 l/min

• Wide range of operating temperatures from -25 °C up to +110 °C Eaton’s filtration division claims to be a leader in liquid filtration. The company argues that it can help companies improve product quality, increase manufacturing efficiency, protect employees and equipment, and help achieve sustainability goals.

new two-tone ED24/7 everyday trousers have a 245gsm fabric that ensures they are tough, but light enough to retain agility. Furthermore, the company claims that they are free of any exposed metals, such as zips and buttons. Handy cargo pockets give easy access to tools, says Dickies. The two-tone colourways means that ED24/7 trousers are easy to match with many other items of clothing in the company’s workwear range. Redhawk Stud Front coveralls are claimed to be Dickies’ most affordable workwear if economy is a requirement. They are claimed to be functional and durable and retain all of Dickies’ traditional construction standards. A concealed

stud-fronted pocket design prevents scratches to paintwork. If SRC sole unit and anti-slip properties are essential, Dickies recommends its Deltona Boot, which it believes might be the best value safety boot on the market. Toe-cap and midsole protection is metal-free, according to the company, and this minimises weight. The uppers are manufactured from a water-resistant black leather and have a breathable lining. Dickies’ Preston boot is a steel-toe cap boot, with the addition of steel in the midsole for underfoot protection. The Preston boot’s uppers are made from high quality full grain leather with water resistant properties and a breathable mesh lining. They provide a comfortable ride, with a cemented rubber outsole and a shock-absorbent heel.

For further information, log on to www.eaton.com/filtration

www.eaton.com/filtration

www.eaton.com/filtration

Eaton launches spin-on filters to protect valves, pumps, compressors and hydraulics

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Dickies launches two-tone to workwear range Global workwear supplier and manufacturer Dickies has introduced a number of new products and ranges for 2016. with style and functionality offering unsurpassed value for money. The company claims that workers can still turn up to the workplace ‘looking trendy’ while wearing the right kit without breaking the bank. Its

For further information, log on to www.dickiesworkwear.com

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Lighter weight AGVs For decades, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) have played a critical role transporting heavy loads throughout steel manufacturing facilities – reliably, safely and cost-efficiently. Now, the latest generation of AGVs for carrying heavy loads – with a significant reduction in vehicle weight – are minimising maintenance and power requirements by up to 60%, delivering a new level of streamlined performance and cost efficiency for primary metals manufacturers. By Jim McMahon* GIVEN the highly competitive nature of the primary metals industries, particularly steel manufacturing, process uptime and consistency of throughput are necessary to operational efficiency and profitability. The use of automated guided vehicles has played a pivotal role in facilitating process constancy in these manufacturing operations. The primary metals industry has long relied on automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to transport heavy-load aluminium and steel coils, ingots, plates, wire, work rolls, turnstiles, and press brake dies and punches, into and out of storage, and throughout both hot and cold production processes. Interfacing with multiple auto-transfer devices, AGVs provide reliable heavy-load raw material and product handling, with less potential for product damage, compared to manual and overhead methods of transport. Utilising a combination of logic software, and wired and, most often, wireless navigation, automated guided vehicles can perform tasks that are not possible with other transport systems – such as the uniform movement and positioning of huge loads of over 200,000 pounds, to within a fraction of an inch of their designated targets, without rush and noise, and with a high degree of safety for workers and the operational environment. Despite obvious benefits, the heavy loads that AGVs transport impart huge forces upon these vehicles, resulting in significant maintenance and power requirements to keep AGV fleets functioning. Now, a new generation of lighter-weight, heavy-load AGVs has become available, which are considerably lighter than

conventional heavy-load AGVs. The new models incorporate design, navigation, sensor and power improvements that significantly streamline their operational performance, cost of maintenance and return on investment, over and above older automated guided vehicles used in the manufacturing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. New heavy-load AGV design AGVs built to transport heavy loads of primary metals or finished products – such as 120,000 pound steel ingots, or heavy loads with weights of over 200,000 pounds – have typically been designed so that the weight of the AGV is 40% to 60% of the expected load. An AGV engineered to carry a 60,000-pound aluminum coil, for example, would have a designed vehicle weight of between 25,000 to 35,000 pounds. This 40% to 60% ratio has been the conventional AGV design practice for decades, but has now changed with the introduction of a new generation of lighter, more efficient AGVs. The new models are engineered to reduce wear and tear, and energy, and weigh considerably less than conventional models. “This weight reduction has been achieved through a complete redesign of how heavyweight AGVs have been engineered since the early 1990s,” said Chuck Russell, vice president at Transbotics Corporation (www. transbotics.com), which has *Freelance writer

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been involved in the development of light-weight, heavy-load AGVs for the primary metals industry. “Factually, there has not been a significant major redesign in the basic structure of these vehicles over the past 20 years, that is, until now.” These new AGVs not only match the payload requirements of contemporary


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heavier models, but match or exceed those vehicles’ structural stress thresholds. Such claims have been validated by a number of major manufacturers within the primary metals market, which have already vetted and embraced this technology within their plants. “The implications of a vehicle this size that had a 5% or even a 20% weight reduction are of enormous consequence to companies operating within the metals industry,” added Russell. “Maintenance, and wear and tear requirements for the vehicles are commensurately diminished. Energy draw needed from AGV batteries

is reduced. And repairs required for plant floors, caused by the AGVs and their load weights, are also significantly lessened.” Electronic independent-wheel steering In addition to structural redesign of this new generation of heavy-load AGVs, they have also been engineered with electronic independent-wheel steering, which has considerable implications for AGV operability, vehicle maintenance and repair requirements, and damage to plant floors. Many heavy-load AGVs in operation within aluminium and steel manufacturing plants, and many of those first put into operation before 2000, were often equipped with Ackermann steering links. This arrangement of linkages, commonly used for steering automobiles and trucks, remedies the problem of setting wheel angles in a turn, given that each wheel needs to trace out circles of a different radius. The problem is that Ackermann steering geometry only approximates the required steering angles, allowing inaccuracies, which result in wheel scrubbing. With such heavy loads in transport, the end result creates considerable repair and maintenance requirements. The wheel scrubbing not only increases amp draw, but can also cause concrete and tyre wear. “Newer AGVs, with electronic independent-wheel steering, do away with Ackermann steering geometry completely,

The newer lightweight heavy-load AGVs are designed to carry equivalent payloads but with less vehicle weight

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and the issues it creates,” continued Russell. “Additionally, the vehicle can now drive sideways or in any direction, enabling shorter trips, thereby reducing the fleet size.” The electronic four-wheel independent steering provides tight manoeuvring, smoother cornering, and all-directional vehicle travel. Battery performance Since battery run time is directly proportional to vehicle and payload weight, reduction in vehicle weight on the new AGVs directly impacts the run time of its batteries. Therefore, any weight reduction exhibited by these new-generation AGVs translates into longer run time from the batteries before requiring recharge. New battery technology also contributes to further weight reduction, faster recharge times and overall better system performance. Maintenance The new AGVs, with their weight reduction and electronic independent-wheel steering, deliver a sizeable reduction in maintenance and repairs. Realistically, as much as a 60% reduction in annual maintenance, per vehicle, can be achieved. “Contributing to this is the accessibility of the AGV to perform maintenance or repairs,” explained Russell. “With conventional heavy-load AGVs, access to wheels, gears and other moving parts is, for the most part unexposed, requiring the vehicle to be hoisted or moved into a pit to be serviced. This is an inherent difficulty prevalent in many earlier heavy-load AGVs.” Because of the unique design of the latest AGVs, however, wheels, gears and other moving parts are easily accessible without the need for hoisting or service pits. This means that much of the maintenance requirements, and even repair, can be performed on the plant floor, without major interruption to the use of the vehicle. Navigation The latest new-generation AGV systems comprise one or more vehicles that move around predetermined routes to perform transport functions as directed by a stationary control system. They are Digital Edition - July/August 2016


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equipped with navigation systems, based on laser and/or inertial guidance. Laser navigation systems are based on target triangulation to keep the vehicles on course. The vehicle is equipped with a rotating laser beacon, which scans 360 degrees around the vehicle for laser targets mounted on columns, walls and stationary machinery. The reflections from these targets are measured relative to angles from the vehicle, and triangulated to allow the vehicle to determine its position. This position is compared to a CAD-type map stored in the vehicle’s memory. The system uses positive-positioning feedback in real time, computing algorithms hundreds of times per second. The targets are typically located 20 to 50 feet apart, on both sides of the path to provide sufficient navigation resolution. The steering is adjusted accordingly to keep the AGV on track. It can then navigate to a desired target using the constantly updating position. Laser navigation can obtain tracking accuracy of about +/- .75 inches on vehicles of this size. Inertial navigation systems use a gyroscope onboard the AGV to detect changes in vehicle direction and attitude. Each vehicle has a CAD-type map of the system layout in its memory. The vehicle steers by comparing information from the gyroscope and odometry sensors (which estimate change in position) to the map, and making necessary course corrections each time it passes over a magnet or transponder. Typically, the tracking of inertial navigation systems is +/- one inch of the true path. Magnets or transponders are embedded in the floor every 30 to 60 feet to maintain the tracking accuracy. “Both navigation methods can be seamlessly combined in a concept called multi-navigation, which switches back and forth from laser to inertial guidance without stopping the vehicle,” added Russell. “This allows the AGVs to move throughout a plant and outside, where one system alone may not have access to the physical surroundings or weather conditions necessary to support that system.” The AGVs travel nominally at 2 mph, and are equipped with outboard laser bumper sensors for object detection. Covering the vehicle 360 degrees including upwards, the sensors are designed to cause the vehicles to adjust their speed, or stop if necessary, if an obstacle is detected in their path. Once the path is clear, the AGVs will automatically continue their mission. www.steeltimesint.com

60,000 pound aluminium coil being loaded onto a lightweight AGV

Some bumper sensors have a range starting at about 1,500 lux (the SI unit of illuminance and luminous emittance). These new AGVs use the latest in safety laser technology, incorporating 15,000 lux systems, with a 10 times higher tolerance to light. PC-based real-time controls The smooth functioning of these new AGVs is dependent on their control system, which has the task of co-ordinating the orders received from the plants’ process system or ERP, then directing the work for the automated guided vehicles. It is a Windows and SQL database architecture that is able to uniquely operate within a single platform. Communication is provided by two-way radio transmissions between the vehicles and the computer. The controls provide real-time management of the system’s operation, including management information, load prioritisation, load status, productivity statistics and reports, and workload analysis. It allows associated functions to be automated – such as with receiving, raw materials storage, hot line processes, roll mill processes, cold mill processes, finished product storage and shipping. The positional status of each AGV is continuously being updated through the control system, at least once per second, regarding such factors as whether it is loaded or unloaded, emergency stopped or soft stopped, operating in manual mode and battery level. A simulation module simulates the AGVs in the system. An HMI

graphical interface gives the operator a graphical overview of the AGV locations in the system and monitors each in real-time. “Operational flexibility is clearly inherent within this new-generation, heavy-load AGV system,” said Russell. “Not just in its capability to direct and manage the fleet of AGVs, but also in its expandability. Any number of automated guided vehicles can be added to the network, at any time plant production needs require.” As automated materials handling remains a critical component of primary metals manufacturing, heavy-load AGVs will continue to play an important role in influencing plant efficiency. Heavy-load AGVs enable significant efficiencies to primary metals manufacturing. They improve production flow by bringing material to the operators, thereby cutting cycle times, and eliminating wait, walk and search time. They reduce work-in-progress inventory. They cut labour costs by eliminating simple jobs related to material movement, and permit reassignment of those workers to areas where they can add more value. They virtually eliminate product damage with gentle handling of loads. And they provide flexibility of process flow within the plant, as needs change. The latest generation of heavy-load AGVs is delivering a new level of streamlined performance and cost efficiency for primary metals manufacturers. t For further information, log on to www.transbotics.com Digital Edition - July/August 2016


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FURNACES

Two new furnaces for US hot-strip mill Fives, an international industrial engineering group, and ATI Flat Rolled Products, a subsidiary of Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI), one of the most diversified speciality materials and components producers in the world, commissioned new reheating furnaces for the world’s most powerful hot-strip mill. By Dieudonné Hounliasso* and Sachin Sawant**

FIVES designed and supplied two reheating furnaces employing its Stein Digit@l Furnace Advanced Technology. Both furnaces boast a production capacity of 300 metric tons per hour for the steelmaker’s new hot rolling mill designed to roll highly diversified and sophisticated steels and alloys. The new mill, supplied by Siemens, is part of a new advanced speciality metals hot-rolling and processing facility built in Brackenridge, Pennsylvania, USA. The facility is designed to produce a product mix that includes stainless alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, nickel-based alloys, zirconium alloys and other speciality alloys that can be used in the aerospace and defense, oil and gas/chemical process industries, medical, automotive, food equipment and appliance, machine and cutting tools, construction and mining markets. The two furnaces (Fig. 1) can heat a wide range of products including stainless steels, non-stainless steels, ‘High Temperature Alloys’ (HTA), cobalt-based products, alloys of chrome and titanium-based products. The furnace performance is in strict compliance with environmental regulations in Pennsylvania, USA. The challenge ATI Flat Rolled Products asked Fives to supply a sustainable technical solution ensuring the lowest possible environmental impact and the lowest operation expenditure. Fives took up the challenge because it possesses Stein Digit@l Furnace Advanced Technology (Fig. 2), an ecoversatile reheat furnace that meets the requirements outlined above. Fives has been designing and supplying

Fig 1. Discharged slabs from the Stein Digit@l Furnace® Advanced Technology

MAIN FURNACE CHARACTERISTICS Number of furnace Furnace length

2 1,622” (41.2 m)

Furnace width

524” (13.3 m)

Fuel

Natural gas - GHV =1,000 BTU/scf KEY PERFORMANCE DATA

Capacity Charging temperature Discharging temperature Specific Consumption NOx level @ 3% O2

300 tph 0 to 1,600°F (871°C) 1,500 to 2,350 °F (815 – 1288 °C) ≤ 1.10 (MMBTU/t) 0.070 pound/MMBTU

reheat furnaces for the steel industry under the Stein brand for more than 140 years. The company developed the Digit@l control concept while all other suppliers of steel reheat furnaces in the world continued, up until 2004, to rely upon traditional technology with a proportional control. Following demand from steel producers worldwide since 2005, suppliers of traditional technology recognised the advantages of the Digit@l furnace and started to adapt their conventional technologies in order to create a complex

* Dieudonné Hounliasso, deputy vice-president, Fives Stein, a subsidiary of Fives (France), Dieudonne.HOUNLIASSO@fivesgroup.com ** Sachin Sawant, engineer, process control and automation – HRPF, ATI Flat Rolled Products, Brackenridge (USA), Sachin.Sawant@ATImetals.com Digital Edition - July/August 2016

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FURNACES

23

hybrid type control, which still retains the drawbacks and limitations of the proportional system. NOx emissions The two Stein furnaces in operation at ATI’s new hot rolling and processing facility in Brackenridge, USA, since 2014 (Fig.3), feature unbeatable NOx emissions, thanks to specially developed third generation AdvanTek low NOx burners. The lowest possible NOx emissions is the result of ultra-low NOx furnace performance, which equates to a 20% reduction in NOx emissions compared with other reheating furnaces on the market. Flexibility and high efficiency The advanced digital technology employed by Fives allows flame length adjustment to be fully decoupled from the burner power control, and flame length can be adjusted for individual burners. These combined factors mean that the heating quality can be optimised irrespective of the steel grade. The furnaces are designed to operate in accordance with the needs of the rolling mill. Thanks to the abovementioned flexibility, furnace performance is optimised across a range of different production conditions. On average, Stein Digit@l Furnace Advanced Technology saves 5% on fuel consumption when compared with conventional reheating furnaces on the market. Low cost operation Thanks to straight-line furnace casing and the fact that all burners are of the same type and located on the sides of the furnace, maintenance costs are reduced due to minimum required intervention time and long life of furnace refractories. Conclusion Demand for highly efficient technical solutions are vital for steelmakers due to the high impact of reheating furnaces in terms of energy consumption during steel production. Fives has made environmental performance a top priority for its equipment and technologies and has positioned itself as a leading player in the creation of a more sustainable industrial future. Energy efficiency and environmental performance are key for all of the company’s products and is the goal of the Fives Group’s Engineered Sustainability® eco-design program. www.steeltimesint.com

Fig 2. Layout of the two Stein Digit@l Furnace Advanced Technology

The fact that Stein Digit@l Furnace Advanced Technology has been given the Fives Engineered Sustainability® brand, means it is classified as a ‘best-inclass’ product in terms of environmental performance. Allegheny Technologies Incorporated expressed its satisfaction in successful performance of Stein Digit@l Furnace® Advanced Technology commissioned at ATI’s new Hot Rolling & Processing Facility in Brackenridge, USA. t

About Allegheny Technologies Allegheny Technologies Incorporated is one of the largest and most diversified speciality materials and components producers in the world with revenues of approximately $3.4 billion for the 12-month period ending 31 March 2016. Major markets include aerospace, automotive and construction. For further information on Fives Group, log on to: www.fivesgroup.com

Fig 3. View over the Stein Digit@l Furnace Advanced Technology

Digital Edition - July/August 2016


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FURNACES

Enhanced combustion technology This article explains the results of the application of an enhanced combustion system known as Air-BFGLPG-O2, designed by Swiss Melting Technologies for an Indian steelmaker. The aim was to decrease CO2 emissions and minimise the operational costs of the steelmaker’s galvanising furnaces. The obtained results, validated by more than three years of continuous operation, overcome the initial forecasts, so that at present the application of the same technology for the company’s continuous reheating furnaces is under evaluation. By Franceso Dentella* THE usage of pure oxygen in the steel industry has many well known applications, like its adoption for operational enhancement of blast furnaces (O2 injection/enrichment) or EAF furnaces (supersonic injection or oxy-fuel burners). During recent years, however, rising energy costs and the pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has prompted the development of new applications for pure oxygen usage in the steel industry, including the following: e Oxy-fuel burners for ladle preheating station (before EAF molten steel tapping). e Oxy-fuel burners to minimise the consumption of standard fuels (i.e. NG, LPG) in steel reheating furnaces, both continuous or discontinuous. e Oxy-fuel burners to boost furnace pull rate in continuous reheating furnaces.

State-of-the-art technology The application of Oxy-fuel burners – or Air-Oxy-fuel burners – in steel reheating furnaces is a relatively new technology, recently implemented for two main reasons: 1. To increase existing furnace pull rate (tons of metal produced per hour) both in continuous or batch furnaces. 2. To reduce operational costs and the consumption of standard fuel (diesel or NG). 3. To solve specific bottlenecks such as a temperature not increasing because of the limited capabilities of the existing air-fuel burners.

Detail of SMT preassembled valve skid for Oxy-gas combustion

As a parallel activity of technological development, a leading manufacturer of continuous reheating furnaces has adapted its equipment design in order to partially replace standard fuels (such as NG or LPG) with recovered gaseous fuels, such as BFG (blast furnace gas) or COG (coke oven gas) or a mixture of both. The conventional limitation for using these technologies are: e While they can be adopted for continuous furnaces working constantly at high temperatures (i.e. over 900°C), nobody has developed an application for batch or small furnaces, working at temperatures below the self-ignition value of 750°C e They can be adopted with a “physical limitation”: normally that the fuel mixture cannot have an energy content (LHV) less than 2.000 kcal/Nm3. In the case of BFG, for example, (approx 750 kcal/Nm3) it is needed to add LPG (23.000 kcal/Nm3) or NG (9.000

kcal/Nm3) in order to rise the fuel mixture LHV. There are many examples of these technologies worldwide: 1. In the USA and Northern Europe there are several steel reheating furnaces working with oxygen to support the combustion system Air-NG or Air-LDO 2. In India and China there is a wide adoption of low LHV gas mixture (BFG, COG, COREX,…) in steel plants for continuous reheating furnaces and lime shaft, but not for batch or discontinuous reheating furnaces. Based on previous experiences accomplished while developing both oxyfuel and air-fuel combustion systems and burners, Swiss Melting Technologies SA, formerly Dentella CHP, combined all the benefits of each ‘mature’ technology and developed an innovative control system and equipment design to allow: 1. Revamping of an existing furnace

* CEO Swiss Melting Technologies info@melting.ch Digital Edition - July/August 2016

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25

FURNACES

Table 1

STD

SMT-1

SMT-2

LPG SAVING

ONLY LPG

ONLY LPG

BFG-LPG

BFG-LPG

BFG-LPG

BFG-LPG

SMT1vs STD

SMT2 vs STD

SMT2 vs SMT1

LPG Nm3/t*

LPG kg/t

LPG Nm3/t

LPG kg/t

LPG Nm3/t

LPG kg/t

%

%

Delta %

PIPE1 9,50 19,00 2,48

4,96

0,90

1,80

74

91 17

PIPE2 9,50 19,00 1,80

3,60

0,76

1,52

81

92 11

PIPE3 9,50 19,00 1,40

2,80

0,55

1,11

85

94 9

PIPE4 9,50 19,00 1,60

3,20

0,35

0,70

83

96 13

PIPE5 9,50 19,00 1,60

3,20

0,42

0,85

83

96 12

FLAT1 5,00 10,00

1,90

3,80

0,75

1,50

62

85 23

FLAT2 6,00 12,00

0,80

1,60

0,60

1,20

87

90 3

FLAT3 5,00 10,00

N.A.

N.A.

1,00

2,00

N.A.

80 N.A.

* average data coming from similar furnace installed at different customer plants

to adopt Low LHV fuel even if originally designed for standard fuel. 2. Design of suitable furnace adjustments to meet Low LHV fuel requirements when the furnace is still at the design stage. 3. The control system automatically adjusts the ratio between all fluids (fuel 1, fuel 2, Oxygen, Air) without requiring manual operation (full automatic mode). 4. To allow the control system to operate in manual mode in case of emergency or during furnace dry-out (initial slow heating of new refractory lining). 5. The control system implemented meets strict international safety standards for combustion plants, such as EN746-2:2010 and EIGA Guidelines. As a result, the SMT combustion system is so flexible in its control and optimisation, that it can operate the burner with various fuel combinations, including, therefore, variable Low LHV. i.e. e Max 23.000 kcal/Nm3 (pure LPG during dry-out or in case of lack of BFG). e Min 1.000 kcal/Nm3 (practically almost only BFG in standard operation). The practical results obtained during the first four years of running in industrial installations have shown that it is possible Table 2

YEARLY TON

SMT pre-assembled valve skid ready for shipment

to decrease the LHV value of the mixture down to 800 kcal/Nm3, therefore even below the design value tested. More importantly, this kind of result has been reached in furnaces working continuously, but at relatively low temperatures (from 1.000 °C down to an average of 600°C), and that is because all of them are finishing processes (galvanising

STD

SMT-1

lines) and not steel reheating furnaces. Tables 1, 2 and 3 highlight the results obtained during several years of optimisation of this new type of combustion system, starting from an original design (SMT-1) and moving towards a new implementation (SMT-2), in order to minimise operational costs and avoid risks for blasting.

SMT-2

LPG COST SAVING

OF STEEL PROCESSED

ONLY LPG

ONLY LPG

BFG-LPG

BFG-LPG

BEG-LPG

BEG-LPG

SMT1vs STD

SMT2vs STD

SMT2vs SMT1

STEEL t/year

LPG €/t

LPG €/year

LPG €/t

LPG €/year

LPG €/t

LPG €/year

€/year

€/year

€/year

PIPE1 22750

16,720

380’380

4,365

99’299 1,584

36’036

-281’081

-344’344 -63’263

PIPE2 19500

16,720

326’040

3,168

61’776 1,341

26’149

-264’264

-299’891 -35’627

PIPE3 16250

16,720

271’700

2,464

40’040 0.974

15’821

-231’660

-255’879 -24’219

PIPE4 19500

16,720

326’040

2,816

54’912 0,619

12’078

-271’128

-313’962 -42’834

PIPE5 18850

16,720

315’172

2,816

53’082 0,748

14’095

-262’090

-301’077 -38’987

FLAT1 26000

8,800

228’800

3,344

86’944 1,320

34’320

-141’856

-194’480 -57’624

FLAT2 39000

10,560

411’840

1,408

54’912 1,056

41’184

-356’928

-370’656 -13’728

FLAT3 13000

8,800

114’400

N.A.

22’880

N.A.

N.A.

1,760

-91’520 N.A

TOTAL/year 17’4850 TOTAL/year

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2’374’372

450’965

202563 -1’809’007 -2’171’809 -276’282

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FURNACES

Example of an SMT furnace design for pipe galvanising

Table 3

CO2 generated by ‘conventional fuel’ only combustion YEARLY TON

STD

SMT-1

SMT-2

OF STEEL PROCESSED

ONLY LPG

ONLY LPG

BFG-LPG

BFG-LPG

BEG-LPG

BEG-LPG

STEEL t/year

CO2 kg/t

CO2 t/year

CO2 kg/t

CO2 t/year

CO2 kg/t

CO2 t/year

amount of CO2 released in atmosphere. Despite the specific energy consumption of the production plant being basically left unchanged (kcal/ton of steel processed), we can assume the following: 1. “waste gas” is released anyway in to the atmosphere by the blast furnace and subsequently it already generates a CO2 source. Either it is recovered as alternative fuel or it is burnt in a torch 2. avoiding the use of supplementary ‘conventional fuel’ (i.e. LPG or NG) prevents the generation of new CO2 sources being added to the ‘waste gas’ source.

Next implementation under evaluation Due to the reliable performances achieved and thanks to the highly effective cost savings obtained with such a “small” furnace application, the same customer has now charged Swiss Melting Technologies with the task of performing a predictive evaluation for retrofitting its two continuous reheating furnaces (rolling mill). The two furnaces are already operated with pre-heated AIR and have adopted BFG as a main fuel, but enriched with LPG to reach an LHV value of 2.200 kcal/Nm3 of mixed fuel gas. Upgrading will allow the furnace to operate using a BFG-LPG fuel mixture at 1.200 kcal/Nm3, without any structural modification and generating a net saving of approximately EUR 4 million per year. The preliminary design has been already performed through some CFD and heat and mass balance, confirming the feasibility of such an implementation. Swiss Melting Technologies is responsible for the project’s detailed engineering. t

We could, therefore, estimate the annual reduction of CO2 emissions in the

For further information, log on to www.melting.ch

PIPE1 22750 0,053

1200,404

0,014

313,369

0,005 113,723

PIPE2 19500 0,053

1028,918

0,010

194,953

0,004 82,520

PIPE3 16250 0,053

857,432

0,008

126,358

0,003 49,929

PIPE4 19500 0,053

1028,918

0,009

173,291

0,002 38,116

PIPE5 18850 0,053

994,621

0,009

167,515

0,002 44,480

FLAT1 26000 0,028

722,048

0.011

274,378

0,004 108,307

FLAT2 39000 0,033

1299,686

0,004

173,291

FLAT3 13000 0.010

128,713

N.A.

N.A.

TOTAL/year 174’850

7’260

1’423

0,003 129,969 0,006 72,205 639

* CO2 released by BFG combustion not calculated, because it is a constant value per each of the three cases * Ton of CO2 generated by LPG combustion only, on annual production based on 6500 h/yr

Proven industrial results SMT’s latest generation combustion system has been applied to furnaces on galvanising lines for pipes and flat products where the original furnace geometry was adapted at the design stage by SMT’s engineering department. The results obtained in running eight industrial furnaces for a period of approximately three years of observation are collected in the next table. The Standard Technology (STD firing AirLPG only) is the conventional combustion system the same customer adopts in other production sites, where BFG is not currently available. The Swiss Melt Tech. first generation (“SMT-1” firing Air-BFG-LPG-O2) is the originally implemented combustion system, later replaced by the second generation (“SMT-2”) in order to improve its reliability and cost efficiency. In terms of plant economics, the calculation of the new operational costs executed by plant managers have shown the following potential saving on a yearly base, considering 6.500 hours of operation per year. As an additional benefit, from an environmental perspective, it can be considered a net reduction of the total Digital Edition - July/August 2016

atmosphere considering the “standard fuel” that has not been used versus a conventional technology, arriving at the following results (Table 3).

Details of burners installed in continuous furnace

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STEEL & SHIPBUILDING

27

Efficient hydraulics While over 600 offshore drilling platforms for oil and gas are on duty in the North Sea, the wells are gradually running dry. The task is now to dismantle the installations by 2040 in a way that is both environmentally friendly and affordable. State-of-the-art twin hull vessels are deployed for this purpose.

FOR maximum performance of the ship’s engine, a durable, high-tech hydraulic system is needed that is capable of withstanding high working pressures in a saline environment. Any defects result directly in costly maintenance and repair. The main power transmission elements are the piston rods in the hydraulic cylinders. To meet the demand for a compact package, they must also transmit more power while keeping the same design size. The solution is chrome-plated special steel bar, which is available from Ugitech. The product features include high resistance to wear, optimised corrosion resistance and good price-performance ratio – attributes that are the result of high competence in steel production, the company claims. Pioneering Spirit The largest and most state-of-the-art twin hull ship currently sailing the seas is the Pioneering Spirit owned by Swiss offshore service provider Allseas. The vessel, like other so-called pipelayers, is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system and transports platforms weighing up to 50,000 tons. The work boats are used to install and remove large structural elements of offshore oil rigs. The hydraulic system is the heart of the in-line and V-engines used in ship propulsion. On the high seas, demands for operational and occupational safety are extremely high. In the worst-case scenario, machine failure results in pollution on a grand scale and in an inability to manoeuvre the vessel. In addition to imminent distress at sea, risks also include high operating cycle costs originating from costly maintenance work. Consequently, it is all the more important that the corrosionresistant steel used is able to ensure reliable continuous output of the hydraulic system. Moreover, the system manufacturers and www.steeltimesint.com

The hydraulic cylinders in the hydraulic system of twin-hull ships are highly stressed parts that must withstand both high working pressure as well as corrosion

SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH

SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH is a leading provider of customised solutions in the speciality steel long products business. A global name in tool steel and stainless long steel, the company is one of two of the largest companies in Europe for alloy and high-alloy engineering steel. With around 9,000 employees at its production and distribution companies in over 30 countries across five continents, it supports and supplies customers wherever they operate. For further information, see web address at the end of this article.

the shipyards also keep an eye on material prices. At their plant in St. Etienne, France, Ugitech, a subsidiary of the SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH Group, has run a competence centre for chromium-plating of steel bar for over 40 years: the product UGICHROM is a special steel with high-performance chromium plating and optimally meets the requirements for the piston rods essential

for power transmission in ship hydraulics. “The decommissioning and dismantling of oil rigs has developed into an industry in its own right,” reports Mikaël Marret, product manager chromium plated products at Ugitech. “With our chromium-plated steel bar, we make an active contribution to the ongoing technical developments in this area of application.” Digital Edition - July/August 2016


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STEEL & SHIPBUILDING

1400

4462

4362 4404

4062

4418

4418

4057

4460

600

4305

800

4021

1000 C45-E355

Mechanical properties Rm (N/mm2)

1200

400 200 0 New grade

corrosion resistance - < > +

Ugitech produces chromium-plated special steel UGICHROM with excellent surface quality for a wide range of stainless steel grades

Hydraulics on the high seas The piston rod surface quality is decisive for process safety and functionality during use. This is because the material is subjected to a high working pressure. UGICHROM special steel with its low co-efficient of friction is ideal because it prevents signs of wear like leakage. “Zero error” – that is the claim of the shipbuilders. Special steel with chromium plating has the advantage that the corrosion-resistant stainless steel is also protected from corrosive media such as salty sea water. The lifecycle costs of the part drop. The thickness of chromium

as well as the surface quality of the bar and the homogenous distribution of chromium are essential for the quality of corrosion protection. “Thanks to our special electroplating technology, we are one of the few suppliers to offer excellent quality for a wide range of stainless steel grades,” Mikaël Marret emphasises. The UGICHROM chromium layer has a uniform thickness of 25 µm and has up to 2,000 micro cracks/cm2 – a result Ugitech developed together with its chromium supplier. This is because the number of micro fissures is an indication of the homogeneity and

fineness of the crack structure which in turn is decisive for the degree of corrosion protection. After electroplating, Ugitech polishes the special steel to ensure good surface roughness and thus the required wear resistance. Once the material has been tested, the bars are individually wrapped in plastic film or packaged in cardboard tubes to protect the material from damage during transport. Lightweight construction meets performance Another challenge steel bar faces when used in the hydraulic systems of stateof-the-art work ships is to improve performance without increasing part diameter and thus part weight. The lighter the part is, the less fuel is needed. Ideally, a steel grade would be used with extremely high mechanical properties. Selecting the best steel grade The companies of the Schmolz + Bickenbach Group support their customers in selecting the best steel grade. They also develop and produce special steel grades in their own plants for specific requirements. “Duplex steel is the optimum feedstock for the applications required at sea. Compared to austenitic stainless steel grades, it is also much more affordable,” explains

Ugitech S.A. Ugitech is a leading manufacturer of stainless steel long products worldwide. The company’s main products include billets, bar stock, wire rod, drawn wire that the company produces in its own steel mill and in its rolling mills and wire-drawing plants. The stainless steels are known for their excellent mechanical properties. They are used to manufacture a wide range of parts, such as valves, turbine components, welding wire or surgical instruments. With over 100 years of experience in steel production and ongoing metallurgical research, the company guarantees optimum steel solutions for demanding applications for its customers in the automotive, construction, process and aviation industries and medical technology.

Digital Edition - July/August 2016

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29

®

To protect the chromium-plated special steel from damage during transport, Ugitech wraps the bars individually in plastic film or in cardboard tubes

Quality

Mikaël Marret. “This is the reason why we have already adjusted our production volume of chromium-plated steel bars to the new market and customer needs.”

Innovation

Users profit from reduced costs UGICHROM steel bars also have excellent machining qualities: It has been optimised for machining and, unlike conventional chromiumplated steel bar, it improves the productivity of component manufacturing by up to 20% despite hard chromium plating. Users profit from reduced costs in piston rod manufacturing as well as a much longer lifetime of the parts when used at sea. t Check out Ugitech’s website for details of where the company will be exhibiting around the world from now until the end of the year. For further information on Ugitech, log on to www.ugitech.com

Technology

With over forty-five years in the Steel Industry, we have a wide variety of solutions to keep your mill rolling. The UGICHROM steel grades are available in diameters from 12 mm to 110 mm

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30

STEEL & CONSTRUCTION

Ready for the challenge? Conveyance tubes at Tata Steel, highlights the benefits of hot-finished multi-certified products. By Stewart Jones* WHEN specifying pipework for the built environment, ensuring that the product is suitably certified and can guarantee a high quality performance is paramount. As tubes are required to perform in a diverse range of applications, such as heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), steam services and fire protection, deciding on the correct tube specification to use can be both confusing and challenging. Complying with legislation Influencing factors to consider when choosing a specification include material cost, manufacturing processes and traceability to name but a few. However, key to the specification process, especially in critical environments where health and safety is paramount, is complying with legislation. BS 1387 is still frequently specified for building services pipework, despite this standard being withdrawn from use in 2004 – more than 12 years ago – and being replaced by BS EN 10255. BS EN 10255, requires CE marking to be applied, which ensures compliance with the European Commission’s Construction Products Regulations (CPR), demonstrating that the products meet specified legislative requirements. Cold-formed or hot finished? When a welded tube is being used, the manufacturing process also needs to be taken into account. Two options are available – cold-formed or hot-finished, both of which produce products of similar appearance, but there are several key differences to be aware of. A cold-formed tube is produced from steel strip that is shaped when cold and High Frequency Welded (HFW) to form the end product. Internal stress is introduced

When specifying pipework for the built environment, ensuring that the product is suitably certified and can guarantee a high quality performance is paramount

by the cold forming operation and by supplying the tube without any subsequent heat treatment of the weld region. Seam welding changes the microstructure and consequently, a cold-formed tube has what is known as a Heat Affected Zone (HAZ), a harder, less malleable region with a potential risk of cracking and, therefore, a greater possibility of product failure. Higher pressures A hot-finished tube undergoes an additional manufacturing process where it is heated to a temperature greater than 850oC. This normalising heat treatment removes the HAZ and refines the microstructure resulting in a uniform, stressfree end product with increased structural integrity and ductility. The hot-finishing process also provides a tube that is able to withstand higher pressures and can be bent to tighter radii than cold-formed products, without the risk of collapsing or creasing. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of hot-finished products remain consistent

when undergoing additional processing such as welding or fabrication. When supply of materials in accordance with the European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) is specified, cold formed HFW tubes produced against BS EN 102171 cannot comply with this legislation. Therefore, to ensure that a suitable product is obtained for the application, it is important to specify a hot-finished tube. Furthermore, by requesting BS EN 102172, a ‘GH’ (Get Hot) grade of hot-finished steel tube will be supplied, offering all the advantages outlined above and hence an increased margin of safety for the application concerned. Multi-certified tubes To guarantee compliance with the CPR and the PED, both of which are key areas of European legislation, it is necessary to have multi-certified tubes – products that meet both BS EN 10255 and BS EN 10217-2. Such products can be used with confidence, secure in the knowledge that they will be

* Customer technical services manager, Tata Steel Digital Edition - July/August 2016

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STEEL & CONSTRUCTION

31

suitable in every case. In this respect, Tata Steel, being a forward-thinking manufacturer, has developed a range of hot-finished multicertified branded steel tube products. For building services applications, Tata Steel has INSTALL PLUS 235. Consistently high quality Developed and manufactured within the UK, INSTALL PLUS 235 is suitable for all normal building services applications. As the steel used to make the tube is also produced by Tata Steel, a product of consistently high quality with full traceability can be guaranteed. By simplifying the specification process, multi-certified products instil a sense of confidence for the project engineer, that the tube is suitable and will perform adequately in service. Improved pressure integrity The INSTALL PLUS 235 range is ideal for building services applications such as HVAC systems (including chilled water and steam requirements) and low pressure gas. Drawing on the benefits of hot-finished products while utilising a higher grade of steel (235MPa), Tata Steel’s INSTALL PLUS 235 range offers improved pressure integrity compared to alternatives using 195MPa grade steel as per BS 1387. CE marked under the CPR Based on the next generation EN 10255 standard as well as EN 10217-2, INSTALL

The Building and Industrial Services Pipework Academy is the brainchild of Tata Steel and the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University in the UK

PLUS tube is CE marked under the CPR to satisfy both CAT3 (fuel, gas and air) and CAT4 (water), and can also be supplied with a Declaration of Performance (DoP), to further satisfy the EU CPR legislative requirements. In addition, as Tata Steel hot finished tubes are manufactured in accordance with BS EN 10217-2, products are fully PED compliant. Corrosion resistance Optional additions to further enhance this innovative product include Tata Steel’s specially developed external red paint, which delivers industry leading enhanced corrosion resistance and which is ideal for providing additional protection for

longevity in industrial and building service environments. As well as developing their various ranges of multi-certified steel tubes, Tata Steel, in collaboration with the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University, has established the Building and Industrial Services Pipework Academy. Hot finished tube – the benefits This educational partnership is intended to support the building and industrial services industry by clarifying pipework issues such as the importance of tube specifications, the benefits of using hot-finished tube products and technological advances within the sector, such as the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM). Correct specifications At a time when compliance with European legislation is critical, ensuring that tube and pipework specifications are correct, within an industry still typically referring to standards more than 10 years out of date, can be a daunting task. However, by using hot-finished, multi-certified products, compliance can be ensured providing complete confidence of product suitability. t

Tata Steel’s specially developed external red paint delivers enhanced corrosion resistance, it is claimed

www.steeltimesint.com

For further information, log on to www.BISPA.org For Tata Steel’s hot-finished tube range and the differences between hot-finished versus cold-formed tubes, log on to www.tatasteelconstruction. com/hotvscold Digital Edition - July/August 2016


32

COATINGS

A measure of performance Why conducting a survey of the dry film thickness of intumescent coatings is vital for ensuring the correct performance of any intumescent coating for structural steel. By Niall Rowan*

Thickness checks should also be conducted during and throughout the application process

THE use of intumescent (reactive) coatings for the fire protection of structural steel elements in buildings is becoming increasingly widespread. However, if the stability of the building structure during a fire is to be maintained as intended and the in-service performance achieved, the correct selection, application and maintenance of intumescent coatings in accordance with the manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s instructions is essential. The EAPFP has joined with CEPE (the European Council of paint, printing ink and artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; colours industry) and EAIPC (the European Association of Industrial Painting Contractors) to produce a European Industry Best Practice Guide on

the Application of Intumescent Coatings to Constructional Steel. This provides guidance on product selection and application as well as providing advice on ongoing maintenance. The guide explains that many factors should be considered during the application of any intumescent coating, including product storage, substrate preparation and application methods. But key to the correct performance of any intumescent coating is ensuring it is applied to the correct thickness. The thickness of coating required will vary for each steel section since it will be linked to the required fire ratings and the scope

of steel sections covered, in terms of shape and section factor. Thickness specification For each project, the owner or applicator must provide a thickness specification. This is a schedule of intumescent coating thicknesses that are to be applied to each of the steel sections to achieve the fire resistance periods given in the contract documents. This dry film thickness (the thickness of a fully dried coating) must be checked throughout the application process. And, since intumescent coating systems normally comprise a primer, intumescent coating and

* Technical officer with the European Association for Passive Fire Protection (EAPFP) Digital Edition - July/August 2016

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COATINGS

topcoat, when quoting dry film thickness, it should be made clear whether the quoted thickness refers individually to the primer, intumescent coating or topcoat, or to the system as a whole. The schedule of intumescent coating thicknesses supplied must include, but not be limited to, the following: • fire resistance period(s) required • steelwork references as noted on general drawings • steelwork section sizes and section factors • details of any partial fire protection provided by concrete floor slabs, etc • name of intumescent product(s) specified or selected • thicknesses of intumescent product(s) and topcoats for each section • method used to determine required coating thicknesses Because the steelwork delivered to site will often be treated with a primer applied elsewhere, the overall coating specification may be dealt with under separate contracts, with little co-ordination. Consequently, the owner should ensure that the primer is compatible with the proposed intumescent treatment (and vice versa). In order for the intumescent applicator to determine that he has applied the correct thickness of fire protection, he must know the thickness of primer underneath. It should be a requirement of the contract that steelwork delivered to site in primed condition should be accompanied by a documented record of primer thickness, supplied by the fabricator. If this is not available, the owner or applicator must conduct a primer thickness survey prior to commencement of intumescent application. Intumescent coating thickness Determination of correct thicknesses for the intumescent coating is a more complex process, as every construction project will contain a variety of steel section sizes and configurations. The correct film thickness must be determined for each section, in order to produce a list of section sizes with their associated film thicknesses for the entire project. The detailed breakdown of intumescent coating thicknesses will normally be the responsibility of the owner or applicator, who will usually prepare this in conjunction www.steeltimesint.com

with one or more manufacturers. In order to confirm the correct thickness of the intumescent coating, it is necessary to know the average thickness of anticorrosive primer. This should be subtracted from measurements of the intumescent coating after application, to establish the true intumescent thickness. Alternatively, adding the measured primer thickness to the amount of intumescent required will give a target thickness for the combined primer plus site-applied intumescent coating. Where a topcoat is included in the

33

readings per metre length on each face of a web; and two readings per metre length on the outer face and one reading per metre length on the inner face of each flange. For square and rectangular hollow sections and angles, this should be two readings per metre and for circular hollow sections, eight readings per metre length evenly spread around the section. These measurements should include a representative mix of section sizes, and difficult access sections as well as those that are easiest to access. All other sections should be measured with reduced

The use of intumescent (reactive) coatings for the fire protection of structural steel elements in buildings is becoming increasingly widespread

specification, its thickness is equally important. Correct application of the topcoat must, therefore, be confirmed in the same way as for the intumescent coating. In all cases, dry film thickness measurement and acceptance should be carried out in accordance with the procedure outlined below. Conducting a film thickness survey The applicator must provide suitable and adequate means of access, including to difficult and/or partially inaccessible areas. It is, therefore, important that surveys are scheduled when the fullest possible access is still available on-site. At least 10% of the steel sections should be measured at recommended locations along the section length. For I Sections, Tee Sections and Channels this is typically two

frequency; unless the detailed survey (of 10% of sections) identifies the dry film thickness is outside the specified range. If the detailed survey reveals a trend of unacceptable thicknesses, this should be taken into account when planning the remainder of the survey. In the worst case scenario, a full and detailed survey of all accessible sections may be required. If certain faces of the sections are repeatedly found to be unacceptable (e.g. top flange or one face known to be difficult to access), the remainder of the survey should include detailed measurements of that face as well as random measurements of other faces. Where no unacceptable trends are identified, the remainder of the survey should consist of random readings taken at a frequency of 4-5 readings per metre Digital Edition - July/August 2016


34

COATINGS

THE EAPFP EAPFP was formed in 1988 to act as a European voice on behalf of national associations representing manufacturers, contractors and other institutions involved in the fire protection to steelwork, timber, and other passive fire protection applications, including penetration seals and ductwork. Countries represented by EAPFP members include Austria; Belgium; Cyprus; Denmark; France; Germany; Ireland; Italy; Netherlands; Norway; Russia; Slovak Republic; Spain; and UK. The Association campaigns to raise the standard of fire safety in buildings and offers a range of publications and guidance notes in several languages. The EAPFP also has representation on the European Union Technical Committees involved in developing product standards across Europe.

length. Unacceptable low thickness areas should be marked up for remedial coating by the inspector. Coating thicknesses will typically be deemed acceptable if: • the average dry film thickness applied to each element is greater than or equal to the specified nominal value. • the average measured dry film thickness on any face of any member is no less than 80% of the specified nominal value. (Dry film thickness values less than 80% of the specified nominal value are acceptable, provided that such values are isolated and that no more than 10% of the readings on a member are less than 80% of the specified nominal value). • all dry film thicknesses are at least 50% of the nominal value • the average measured dry film thickness of any face of any member does not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended maximum thickness for the particular member shape and orientation. Acceptable standards Where inadequate thickness is identified prior to application of the final sealer coat/ decorative top coat, it is a relatively simple exercise to define the extent of the deficient area(s) and to apply further coat(s) of intumescent product to bring the overall thickness up to acceptable standards.

European Industry Best Practice Guide on the Application of Intumescent Coatings to Constructional Steel

Digital Edition - July/August 2016

However, if low thickness is not detected until after the sealer coat/decorative top coat has been applied, detailed guidance must be sought from the intumescent coating manufacturer. In some circumstances it may be possible to remedy the situation by the application of further coats of intumescent paint, but in the other extreme it may be necessary to remove previous coatings in order to build up the necessary fire protection from scratch. Where the intumescent coating thickness exceeds the limits stated in the manufacturer’s recommendations, guidance should be obtained from the manufacturer. A full record should be kept of the survey. This should identify the areas inspected with reference to the relevant drawings, and should include details of the environmental conditions; the dry film thicknesses per coat for each element of the structure; and the variations, corrective actions or concessions carried out in relation to environmental conditions or dry film thicknesses. t For further information on the EAPFP, or for a free download of the European Industry Best Practice Guide on the Application of Intumescent Coatings to Constructional Steel visit www.eapfp.com; or call +44 (0)1420 471616; e-mail: admin@eapfp.com

Particular attention should be paid to environmental conditions on site during application

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CONTINUOUS CASTING

35

Mould lubrication improvements A redesign of the obsolete mould lubrication circuits on two six-strand billet casters at SAIL’s Durgapur Steel Plant has improved oil quality and ensured more reliable and precise metering of oil to the mould. This, along with a portable standby mould lubrication circuit, has resulted in increased caster availability and a 14% reduction in mould oil consumption. By A K Verma1, T K Dutta2, S K Maji3 and U Kumar4

THE continuous billet casting plants in large integrated steelworks cast billets in multiple strands. The continuous casting plant (CCP) in Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP), India has two six strand billet casters casting square billets of section sizes 100X100 and 125X125. The moulds oscillate during casting to continuously move the just solidified shell down through the open-ended mould. The mould and steel interface needs to be lubricated for ease of oscillation and withdrawal of the billet from the bottom of the mould without tearing the still fragile shell of solidified metal which contains liquid steel within its centre. If the shell breaks due to excess friction stresses owing to lack of lubrication, the liquid steel flows out and a breakout occurs which results in stopping that strand and consequential loss in productivity Each of the two billet casters in CCP, DSP has a separate mould lubrication system using synthetic oil. Each comprises a reservoir with motor and pump to feed each individual strand, pipelines, mould distributors etc. There is also a main reservoir and relevant storage reservoir, level switches (high level & low level), a filter and a single pump-motor for the recirculation of oil. In the former system, six DC shunt motors drove six piston pumps, one per mould, at an output of 60cm3/ min and maximum pressure of 150 bar. A motor pump, an open top tank and barrel stand was used to refill the main reservoir. The oil passed through mild steel pipes to a distributor with four outlets, one each

Barrel

Front elevation

Side view

Barrel

Fig 1 The oil refilling arrangement Top view

to feed all four faces of each mould. The mould lubrication system was controlled manually through potentiometers controlling the speed of each DC shunt motor throughout casting. The flow rate of each lubrication pump was regulated by means of the respective potentiometer installed in the mould operator pendant. Each potentiometer supplied a reference signal to its relevant DC converter, installed in the plant electrical room. The flow of oil was stopped automatically in case of strand failure. The lubricant flow rate was inferred indirectly from the potentiometer setting. No speed/frequency reading was available to measure the speed of the pump. Due to wear and tear of the pumps

owing to prolonged use, accurate control of the oil discharge rate into the mould was impossible and was dependent on the operator’s experience. To compensate for the lack of accuracy in setting flow rate, the operators used to keep the lubrication pump speed setting such that the flow of oil was on the high side, to avoid lubrication failure in the moulds. While there were six lubrication circuits one each for the six working strands, there was no provision for any standby lubrication circuit which could be used in the event of a lubrication circuit failure. Additionally, there was no provision for quick coupling and non-return valves to connect any standby lubrication circuit should one be provided.

1 Process Engineering Group, Research & Development Centre for Iron & Steel, Ranchi – 834002, Jharkhand, India pe@sail-rdcis.com 2 RDCIS Durgapur Plant Centre, Durgapur, India, tkdutta@sail-rdcis.com 3 Continuous Casting Plant, Durgapur Steel Plant, Durgapur, India, swapankumarmaji@saildsp.co.in 4 Continuous Casting Plant, Durgapur Steel Plant, Durgapur, India, uksss01@saildsp.co.in www.steeltimesint.com

Digital Edition - July/August 2016


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CONTINUOUS CASTING

Fig 2 Portable standby refilling unit

To progressive block

Delivery line Suction line

Fig 3 Main lubrication unit and standby circuit connecting hoses

Consequently, if failure of a lubrication pump or motor occurred, that strand had to be shut down with consequential loss of productivity. Moreover, there was no working or standby motor and pump arrangement along with the necessary associated valve arrangement to recirculate the oil in the header tank to feed the lubrication pumps. The former system had only one motor and pump for recirculation. There was no standby portable motorpump with quick coupling arrangement for refilling oil to the header tank. Finally, there was no arrangement for protecting the oil in the refilling tank from contamination as the tank was open-topped. The former system suffered from obsolescence of the DC controlled pump motors and the reliability of the system had been reduced due to low availability of spares. Therefore, the need arose to develop a new oil-based lubrication system with greater reliability, higher precision of oil feed, recirculation of the oil and with standby circuits to ensure uninterrupted casting to improve caster availability and productivity. Features of the new system Following brainstorming for solutions to the various problems of the old system, several innovative features were introduced in the new method of mould lubrication. The issue of reliability of the refilling system, recirculation system, and lubrication circuits prompted the introduction of standby systems to ensure system availability in case of breakdown or maintenance. Consequently, an improved, oil-based mould lubrication system comprising AC (Alternating Current) VVVF (Variable Voltage Variable Frequency) grade motors, Digital Edition - July/August 2016

VVVF drives and lubrication pumps, was developed. It has a standby lubrication circuit that can be manually connected to any of the working strands. It also has a working and standby pump-motor arrangement for recirculation of oil. The new system also offers improved protection of mould oil from dirt during refilling by using an intermediate tank and barrel stand to place the oil drum on, as well as a refilling tank with motor-pump and accessories. As a precaution, a standby portable trolley mounted refilling motor and pump with quick couplings is available to connect to the refilling system on either caster (Fig 1). Oil refilling An oil refilling station is provided which facilitates easy filling of the refilling tank as well as controlling the ingress of dust into the oil from the dusty environment of the caster shop. The mould lubrication oil is brought in barrels which are placed on the barrel stand. From here, it is poured into an intermediate tank from where it runs by gravity through the pipeline into the fully enclosed refilling tank. As the oil is poured into the intermediate tank it is filtered through a cloth placed on top of the tank. This traps macro-sized impurities such as grease and other sediments. A second filtration takes place by a pressure line filter when the oil is pumped from the refilling tank to the main reservoir to ensure clean oil in the main reservoir. The refilling station consists of a barrel stand, intermediate tank, refilling tank with motor-pump, and accessories such as isolation valves, a pressure relief valve, pressure line filter, pressure gauge, level indicator, level gauge, strainer, air breather

and a quick coupling arrangement for connecting the standby unit. The pipelines are made of 304 austenitic stainless steel instead of mild steel as in the earlier system. A mild steel return pipeline is provided for directing the overflow of the main reservoir back to the refilling tank. The new arrangement has greatly reduced the chances of dust ingress into the oil. The pump, with filtration, ensures that only dirtfree oil goes to the main reservoir. The portable trolley-mounted refilling motor pump, along with flexible tubing, acts as a standby for refilling the motor pumps of either caster in event of a failure of the established refilling circuit (Fig 2). The arrangement for parallel connection of the portable unit uses the same pressure relief valve and pressure line filter as in the main refilling circuit. An electrical switch ensures only one of either the working or standby refilling motors can be run at the same time. Mould lubrication unit The reservoir along with accessories provides the main storage of lubricating oil. The oil is pumped and re-circulated in a pressurised header. A buffer tank is provided to store oil for emergency use. In case of failure of a recirculation pump, the buffer tank provides oil by gravity to all the lubrication pump intake ports. This supply is sufficient either for the breakdown to be rectified or, failing this, allow casting of a ladle to be completed. A non-return valve prevents back flow of oil from this buffer storage during a power failure or pump or motor breakdown. In the event of a lubrication system failure, a manual switchover from working to standby or vice versa is achieved by a www.steeltimesint.com


CONTINUOUS CASTING

switch on the main electrical panel. The appropriate isolation valve needs to be operated manually to hydraulically isolate the pump not in use. The pressurised header provides positive suction at the lubrication pump inlets. An AC VVVF grade motor and VVVF drive is provided for each of the six working strands and one for standby. Instead of the earlier DC shunt motors and DC drives which were chosen at the time for better speed control than AC motors, and hence better regulation of oil flow to the moulds, the new system is provided with the now available VVVF speed-controlled pumps to provide discharge rate of 10-60 cm3/ min and even higher flow rates up to 90 cm3/min if required at high caster speeds. The VVVF drives can accurately control the speed of the lubrication circuit motor and pump to precisely control the lubricant discharge coming from the pumps to the moulds (Fig 3). The VVVF drives also provide frequency display to infer the speed of the pumps. A standby lubrication circuit, in addition to the six lubrication circuits, per caster, is available to manually connect to any of the six working circuits of the six strands of the billet caster, in case of lubrication failure at any of the six strands due to motor or pump failure. The standby lubrication circuit is provided with a flexible tube and quick coupling arrangement to connect to a failed mould lubrication circuit. All working circuits are provided with quick release coupling to facilitate such connection, and have been provided with non-return valves to prevent backflow of oil through the failed pump. Pipelines of 304 stainless are used in the main lubrication unit and also between the individual strand circuits up to the flexible tube which connects the pipeline to the distributor block of each mould. Here, stainless 304 piping ensures no scale or corrosion in the pipelines. The 1:4 distributor blocks fit into the mould to divide the oil flow equally to all four walls of the mould through four outlets. Electrical system The main electrical panel comprises VVVF drives for each of the six working strands and an additional drive as standby. This controls the VVVF motor speed for each lubricant pump and so controls the flow of lubricant oil to each mould. Additional components control the overall system www.steeltimesint.com

Fan

ON/OFF Switch-1 ON/OFF Switch-2 ON/OFF Switch-3

1

2

5

6

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

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26

27

28

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30

31

4

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ON/OFF Switch-4 ON/OFF Switch-5 ON/OFF Switch-6 ON/OFF Switch-7 ON/OFF Switch-8 ON/OFF Switch-9

Earthing bolt

Lock

3

7

8

9

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

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52

53

Tube light Door switch

10

Hooter TB row-3

Fan

TB row-4

TB row-1 Input supply

Body

TB row-1 Motor output

Filter

Filter Earthing bolt

Front view Bottom view

Power input/output

Door

Earthing bolt Side view

Control cable input

Fig 4 The main electrical panel

to ensure sufficient lubricant in the tanks and are all interfaced with the existing PLC control system for the casters. A potentiometer is provided for each of the six mould operator pendants (MOP) on each caster to control the relevant VVVF drive of the lubrication circuit motor and pump and control the flow of lubricant to the mould by adjusting the motor speed. The standby circuit motor speed control potentiometer is installed in a separate operator control panel near the control pendants on the caster platform. When connected in case of a mould lubrication circuit failure, the standby circuit can be controlled through this operator control panel. Associated power and control cables are 1

3

37

provided to supply power to the mould lubrication unit as well as to interface the system with the existing PLC for each caster to synchronise mould lubrication with overall caster operation. The system is designed with a separate power feeding point for each strand as well as for the standby strand to avoid the possibility of the power tripping in all strands at once. Implementation The improved system has been installed on each of the two billet casters in CCP, DSP and has been performing satisfactorily since July 2012. The new features in the system have eliminated obsolescence, and improved the systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reliability and ease of operation. Introduction of these new systems has resulted in improved oil quality and oil flow control to the moulds. There has also been an improvement in lubrication circuit reliability and hence caster availability. Substantial financial savings have resulted on account of a 14.14% saving in lubricant synthetic oil consumption and a significant gain in caster productivity resulting from increased mould lubrication availability. t Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is the largest steel-making company in India, producing iron and steel at five integrated plants and three special steel plants, in eastern and central India. For further information, log on to www.sail.co.in 2

4

Fig 5 New mould lubrication system showing [1] Main Lubrication Unit, [2] Refilling System, [3] Progressive Distributor Valves, [4] Electrical Panels

Digital Edition - July/August 2016


38

TESTING AND ANALYSIS

Thermo-mechanical and cycle fatigue Thermo-mechanical and cycle fatigue tests are becoming increasingly important as alternative and more efficient tools when compared with conventional mechanical tests when it comes to defining a material’s safe application range. By Cemre Bayram* and Thomas Wiesener**

THE strength of a material can decrease exponentially at the increase of temperature and, as is well known, the continuous fatigue load at which a material can resist an infinite number of alternating load cycles is considerably lower than its Rp0.2. The basic strength of a material is not enough to assess a material’s durability under dynamic stress, and a material subjected to different combinations of dynamic loads and a number of cycles, depending upon to the testing temperature, shows a significantly different response. When fitted with the “T” additional module, the DIL 805A/D quenching and deforming dilatometer can apply dynamic loads (with a number of different profiles) superimposed to static tensile/compressive loads. Simultaneously it is possible to program a temperature program consisting of heating, cooling as well as isothermal steps. To complete DIL 805A/D analytical capabilities, during the test the TA-patented optical sensor can measure the cross-section of a specimen’s diameter and detect possible transverse dimensional changes as, for instance, sample necking. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the possibility of designing

experiments that, by combining various mechanical loads and temperature profiles associated with the evaluation of a number of parameters, in a single test enable a more thorough characterisation of a

Fig 1. Sample dimensions

material’s thermo-mechanical properties and assess its application range without the need for long and tedious tests that require several different devices. Material and method Test

Sample

Cycles

An ST37 steel was used to prepare three specimens, all of which were cylindrical, with a length of 10 mm and a diameter of 5 mm (Fig.1). Dimensional changes of the 10mm long section are directly measured using a highresolution LVDT to guarantee that only the expansion/contraction of the section of interest is recorded. Also, a selection of induction coils optimised for each specific sample geometry ensure that the section of interest is uniformly heated, and that only a small mass is heated up, so as to be able to apply extremely rapid heating and cooling rates. Fig.2 shows an overall view of the measuring chamber with built-in tension/ compression adapter and the optical dilatometer for the measurement of specimen diameter in real-time.

Force

Force speed

Force Peak

Temperature

Heating rate

(kN)

(N/s)

Hold Time (seconds)

Range (°C)

(°C/min) 3

1

1

100

± 4

100

0

200 to 600

2

1

100

± 4

100

0

200 to 600

3

3

1

100

± 4

200

50

200 to 600

1.5

4

2

100

± 5

200

50

200 to 600

1.2

5

2

100

± 5

200

50

600

0

6

3

100

± 5

200

50

600

0

Table 1: Experimental design

* Application Support Engineer TPP, ** Project Engineer TPP. TA Instruments - Waters GmbH Hüllhorst, Germany Digital Edition - July/August 2016

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TESTING AND ANALYSIS

Fig 2. Overview of measuring chamber

Fig 3. Measuring configuration

To ensure that rapid temperature changes are precisely measured and controlled without hysteresis, a thermocouple is welded directly to the centre of the sample. To allow the simultaneous measurement of dimensional changes of a specimen’s cross-section – and hence measure sample necking – for this study the instrument was equipped with the optical dilatometer and an induction coil with a central gap. Thus it was possible to determine the true stress in the sample, especially during tests with higher tensile stress. Fig.3 shows a specimen during a tension/ compression test with simultaneous measurement of the cross-section with the optical dilatometer. Table 1. reports the summary of the tests performed for this study. In the first and second tests, Specimen #1 was subjected to 100 cycles of an alternating load of ± 4 kN while heated from 200°C up to 600°C. For the third test, performed on the same specimen, the heating rate was halved to 1.5°K/min, the force speed doubled to 200 N/sec and, to separate the beginning of sample creep from pure elastic behaviour, the method also included a 50-second holding time at maximum and minimum force.

In tests four and five for Specimen #2 the alternating load was increased to ± 5 kN. However, while in test four the method was basically very similar to the previous one, test five consisted of one single 600°C isothermal stasis so as to study the sample’s mechanical behaviour under a dynamic force. Eventually, for the sixth and last experiment, Specimen #3 was tested applying the same dynamic force in isothermal conditions used in test five in order to compare the behaviour of preloaded Specimen #2 to that of a non-preloaded specimen

rel. change in length [%]

rel. change in length [%]

rel. change in diameter [%]

3.50 3.00

3.50

2.00

2.00

1.00

1.00

0.00

0.00

-1.00

-1.00

-2.00 150.0

Temperature [°C] 700

Force [N] 6000

250.0

350.0

450.0

550.0

Temperature [°C]

Fig 5. Specimen# 1 - Test 1 - T-rDL-rDD

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Temperature [°C] 300.0

6000

600

4000

250.0

4000

500

2000

200.0

2000

400

0

150.0

0

300

-2000

100.0

-2000

200

-4000

50.0

-4000

-6000 18000

0.0

100 0

2000

6000

10000

14000

-6000 0

400

800

1200 Time [s]

Time [s]

Fig 4. Time-Temperature-Force

rel. change in diameter [%]

30.0

30.0

20.0

20.0

10.0

10.0

0.00

0.0

-10.0

-10.0

3.00

-2.00 650.0

39

In Fig. 4 Time-Temperature-Force plots showing the temperature and force programs of test one and test three. Results All three samples failed within the intended test plan. Specimen #1 failed during the third test after 96 cycles, or in other words after a total of 296 cycles. Specimen #2 failed after 11 cycles during test five, after a total of 111 cycles. Specimen #3 ruptured after a total of 18 cycles of test six. In Fig.5 the results of the first test are shown as relative expansion and relative

True stress [N/mm2] 300 215 N/mm2 200

245 N/mm2

100

-20.0 200.0

300.0

400.0

-20.0 500.0 600.0 Temperature [°C]

Fig 6. Specimen #1 - Test 3 - T-rDL-rDD

0 -100 -200 -215 N/mm2 -300 0 4000

-264 N/mm2 8000

12000

16000 Time [s]

Fig 7. Specimen #1 - Test 3 - t-True Stress

Digital Edition - July/August 2016


40

TESTING AND ANALYSIS

True stress [N/mm2]

dy/dx [N/mm2/] 250000

300

250000

Rel change in length [%] 2.50

True sense [N/mm2]

300

Rel change in diameter [%] 2.50

114931 N/mm2

100

150000

100

150000

1.50

1.50

-100

50000

-100

50000

0.50

0.50

-50000 -0.00150

-300

-50000

-0.50 150.0

-300 -0.00550

-0.00450

-0.00350

-0.00250

-0.00850 -0.00750

-0.00650

-0.00550 -0.008450 -0.00350

True strain

Fig 9. Specimen #1 - Test 3 –True Strain-True Stress-Deri-

– Cycles 20 to 25

vation – Cycles 60 to 65 Rel change in diameter [%] 0.70

0.50

450.0

Rel change in length [%]

Rel change in diameter [%]

1.50

1.50

1.00

1.00

0.50

0.00

-0.50 650.0

550.0

Temperature [°C]

Fig 10. Specimen 2 - Test 4 - T-rDL-rDD

Rel change in length [%] 1.50

Rel change in diameter [%] 1.50 8000

0.50

-0.10

0.10

-0.30 275.0

350.0

True strain

Fig 8. Sample 1 - Test 3 –True Strain-True Stress-Derivation

Rel change in length [%] 0.70

250.0

-0.30

285.0

295.0

305.0

315.0

Temperature [°C]

-0.50 510.0

530.0

550.0

1.00

1.00 4000

0.50

0.50

0.50 0

0.00

0.00

0.00-4000

-0.50

-0.50 569.0

570.0 Temperature [°C]

-0.50-8000

571.0

573.0

577.0 575.0 Temperature [°C]

Fig 11:.Sample 2 - Tests 4 - T-rDL-rDD – elastic behaviour

Fig 12. Specimen #2 - Tests 4 - T-rDL-rDD – creeping

Fig 13. Specimen #2 - Tests 4 - T-rDL-rDD-F – creeping

change of diameter versus temperature. The change in amplitude of the relative expansion in length is rather obvious: At 200°C it was approximately 0.3% and the last cycles at 600°C increased the amplitude to approximately 2%.

the increase in amplitude of the expansion become significant. Also, in comparison to tests one and two, the amplitude of the dilatation drifted strongly along the direction of the tension. Sample breakage occured at the 96th cycle at an expansion of 30%. The true stress during this test was calculated from optical dilatometer data and is shown in Fig.7. Whereas up to 550°C the sample was subjected to a relatively stable stress of ± 251 N/mm2, above such temperature the stress increased to 264 N/mm2 until the sample fractured. Fig.8 shows true stress versus true strain and its first derivative for cycles 20 to 25, i.e. at a temperature just shy of 300°C, hence still in the elastic region. The first derivative (green curves) represents the material’s elastic module. The elastic module was fairly reproducible and was measured at approximately 144 kN/mm2. Fig.9 shows instead the same

parameters between cycles 60 and 65, i.e. at a temperature above the elastic range. Quite clear from the first derivative the deformation was no longer purely elastic and the module of elasticity had decreased to approximately 115 kN/mm2. In Fig.10 the results of test four. The amplitude of the expansion was larger because compared to the previous test, the force had been increased by 20%. Yet the specimen’s necking appears to be lower if compared with the first test on Sample 1.

Increase of amplitude This change in amplitude shows how the increase in temperature corresponded with a decrease in sample stiffness. Furthermore, it should be noted that whereas the increase of amplitude from 200°C to 400°C was relatively linear, above 450°C the trend was almost exponential. As a result, while the specimen’s initial diameter was 5.07mm, at the beginning of test three the very same specimen’s initial diameter was measured at 4.87mm. Consequently, as can be seen in Fig.6, in test three the applied force remained constant yet the specimen was subject to a comparatively higher stress. Above 550°C both the necking effect and Digital Edition - July/August 2016

Expansion proportional to force Zooming in the expansion curves of test four at low temperatures, Fig.11 shows the expansion was proportional to the applied force. The sample expanded isotropically and the expansion of both length and diameter were constant also during the 50 seconds at constant force step. Instead, as seen in Fig.12, increasing the temperature led to dramatic changes in the shape of the amplitude of expansion. www.steeltimesint.com


TESTING AND ANALYSIS

Rel change in length [%] 20.0

Rel change in diameter [%]

15.0

5.0

5.0

-5.0

-5.0

-15.0

-15.0 400

800

Rel change in diameter [%]

20.0

15.0

0

Rel change in length [%]

1200

1600

2000

15.0

15.0 5.0

5.0

-5.0

-5.0

-15.0

-15.0 0

1000

2000

3000

4000

Time [s]

Time [s]

Fig 14. Specimen #2 - Tests 5 - t-rDL-rDD

Fig 15. Sample 3 - Tests 6 - t-rDL-rDD

The average specimen length irreversibly increased because of creep, and the same occurred to the diameter.

sample continued to creep along in the same direction of the applied force, until the force was reversed. In the subsequent isothermal test at 600°C, subjected to the same dynamic force, Specimen #2 failed after only 11 cycles (Fig. 14). Isothermally tested at 600°C the fresh Specimen #3 lasted 18 cycles (Fig.15).

Increased level of zoom This becomes even more obvious in Fig.13, with an increased level of zoom and the force curve is added to the graph. Once the constant force step started, the

41

Conclusions The study demonstrated that it is possible to generate meaningful data about the temperature-dependent stiffness, the flow behaviour, the heat expansion, the resistance to dynamic loads and the necking behaviour of a sample in one single test. To obtain equivalent data with conventional testing devices would have required time-consuming and tedious tests generating incompatible data formats. Instead the flexibility in experiment design allowed by the DIL 805 A/D with the Tensile/ Compression and Optical Dilatometers, proved suitable for the determination of complex thermo-mechanical parameters. For the basic, in-detail characterisation of materials as well as for the applicationbased material selection, the process is accelerated by replicating force loads and temperature conditions similar to real-life conditions. t

For further information, log on to www.tainstruments.com

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Digital Edition - July/August 2016 03/03/2016 10:57


42

TUBULAR STEELS

Differentiating factors Distinct differences in tube production methods and can impact the specification of tubing material on any given project, argues Stewart Jones* WHEN specifiers and installers look for the correct tubing or pipework products for a project, legislative and engineering compliance is key. This – along with price – is often the determining factor when specifying a product. However, the manufacturing process of the tube and its consequent impacts should also be taken into consideration. Steel tubes can be hot-finished or cold-formed; and although both processes produce products with similar specifications, there are several underlying differentiating factors to be aware of. In the case of cold-formed products, the tube is produced from flat coil, which is shaped when cold, and then welded. It is during this process that the steel undergoes work-hardening and internal stresses are introduced into the structure. This particularly occurs at a distinct area known as the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) which is found along the welded seam. Producing a region of distorted grain structure within the steel, the tube becomes harder and less malleable to work with. The additional working and manipulation of the product during fabrication or installation can further increase the internal stresses, thereby increasing the risk of cracking and failure. For hot-finished tubes, the manufacturing process follows the same initial steps as the cold-formed process, but with an essential additional step – the formed tube is heated to high temperatures to relieve internal stress. This alters the molecular structure of the steel, allowing it to become uniform and, therefore, removing the HAZ and eradicating the weakened, stressed region. Hot-finished tubes are superior to cold-formed ones, as they offer a range of technical advantages as well as

delivering project cost benefits throughout fabrication, installation and during service. Hot-finished products provide: • An ordered and consistent microstructure • No internal stress that can promote cracking • Consistent and reliable mechanical properties • Improved structural integrity and ductility • Improved and consistent toughness • Higher pressure integrity • Greater factor of safety • No loss of strength during additional welding or heating • Improved performance against corrosion • Ability to be bent to tight radii without splitting or creasing

Tube specifications play a vital role in ensuring that specifiers and installers get the right product for their projects. Building services pipework is typically specified to BS1387; however, this standard was replaced in 2004. This is now over 12 years ago, and yet parts of the industry still refer to it. The correct standard that should be referred to is the successor, BS EN10255.

However, although updated, this standard does not clearly define the differences between hot and cold-formed products. In addition, due to the attractiveness of the UK market there has been an increasing number of non-UK manufactured commodity cold-formed tubes entering the sector; which can lead to tractability and compliance issues. The misunderstanding with regards to the correct standard to comply with, along with the various differences between hot and cold-form tube products, has left the sector confused surrounding the appropriate product to specify for each project. In order to help address this issue Tata Steel is collaborating with the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University to help establish BISPA (Building and Industrial Services Pipework Academy). This educational initiative will support the building and industrial services industry by improving awareness of pipework-related issues, such as tube specifications, the benefits of hot-finished tube products and new innovations, such as pipework BIM (Building Information Modeling). Not all tubes are the same. When specifying a tube, though a cost-effective solution is often the preferred choice, a deeper look into the manufacturing process of the products is strongly advisable. More specifically, tubes created through a hot-finished process, where the internal stresses and weakened regions of a cold-formed product are eradicated, produce an unparalleled level of reliability and durability, as well as delivering true fabrication, installation and service life benefits.  For further information, log on to www.tatasteelconstruction.com

* Senior customer technical services field engineer, conveyance tubes at Tata Steel Digital Edition - July/August 2016

www.steeltimesint.com


PROCESS CONTROL

43

Control system retrofit Sequenced changeover of all process control parameters by Synergy Systems yields successful implementation of system upgrade with minimal downtime SYNERGY Systems, Inc., a consulting engineering firm and recognised system integrator for Rockwell Automation, has announced the completion of a successful upgrade on the main blast furnace and stove control system at a major midwest steel producer. Unique to this 18-month project was the absence of production downtime experienced by the client, during the transition from legacy control system elements to a Rockwell Automation ControlLogix and Wonderware-based HMI platform. Synergy Systems termed its protocol on this project the System Transition Execution Plan (STEP). During the implementation of STEP, the client experienced no interruption in overall blast furnace or stove control system operations, as it transitioned from an older DCS (distributed control system) to the new system, which was entirely designed and installed by Synergy Systems engineers, working on-site at the steel mill with client personnel. Marc L. Hunter, Synergy Systems’ vice president, said: “We developed our strategy around a core principle that targeted zero downtime during the changeover. Essentially, we created a building block operation, in which each control input/ output on the old system was upgraded with parallel monitoring of performance

values and system read-outs. Only when each new component was functioning properly and the signals were inline with the existing monitored values did we execute the changeover of the control

strategies, which was then integrated loopby-loop into the new process LAN.”

Air header old

Gas injection old

Stove 41 old

www.steeltimesint.com

Full production Utilising this strategy, Synergy Systems

Digital Edition - July/August 2016


44

PROCESS CONTROL

Gas injection new

Air header new

enabled the client to maintain full production at the mill, throughout the entire project. Client engineering confirmed their complete satisfaction with the performance on this major project. The STEP upgrades included all the following procedures: replacement of legacy PLC hardware with AB ControlLogix, replacement of DCS/PLC interface, movement of I/O from DCS to ControlLogix, deployment of Wonderware HMI, movement of control from DCS to ControlLogix, Wonderware historian integration and finally Level 2 interface via Wonderware HMI. Essentially, the control scheme for each system element was installed in parallel to the legacy control, then connected to the new ControlLogix processor and monitored on a channel of the client’s overall process control LAN for comparison to the older output. Using the STEP approach, minimal process impact occurred and significant savings were realised for the client, both in operational expenses and total project costs. As Hunter explains, “This project, because it happened in steps, so to speak, could be costed as a maintenance, not a capital, expense. The major capital expenditure diminished, owing to our strategy of loop-by-loop cut-over and a gradual evolution of the graphical user interface, plus a progressive integration with the plant historian software. Collateral benefits to the client included a gradual weaning away from the legacy system, which allowed our team to thoroughly familiarise our client’s operational and maintenance personnel with the new hardware and software, as the changeover progressed.” Gradual transition The determination to upgrade this system had resulted from numerous factors, according to the client. The I/O had Digital Edition - July/August 2016

As these screens demonstrate, the legacy and new control screens were designed for a similar look and feel, which allowed the process control engineers at this major steel producer to implement the changeover more smoothly and with minimal learning curve.

become obsolete and the legacy system was UNIX-based, so many of the client’s current engineering staff on-site were not familiar with it. However, because a need existed to retain overall control strategies and functional client knowledge of system operations, Synergy Systems devised this STEP protocol to make the transition more gradual and self-teaching. According to the client’s plant production and technologies manager on the project, “The blast furnace and stove control systems needed to be upgraded from a legacy DCS (Distributed Control System) to a Rockwell Automation PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) platform, with Schneider Electric Software Wonderware human machine interface and historian, along with statistical reporting mechanisms. Synergy Systems was challenged with cost-effective project deliverables requiring a proven transition plan, zero production outages, minimal risk implementation with no impact to production or product quality, improved technology with future expansion capabilities, improved process controls, enhanced operator interface, significant improvements to system reliability and stringent budgetary guidelines. This project required verification and movement of nearly 2000 I/O points, installation of new workstations, network communication

Stove 41 new

upgrades, development of over 60 HMI screens with built-in diagnostics and alarms, extensive PLC programming, system functional documentation development and drawing approval, historian upgrades and on-site training. Finally, total project implementation and completion were required within a two-year period.” He continued, “Synergy delivered beyond our expectations on every challenge presented. The innovative approach, level of engineering delivered and tools selected ensured a successful transition without impact to our production or product quality. Synergy’s professional manner plus its willingness to listen and offer solutions always made it easy for our operations and automation team to work with them. The upgraded control systems have been in operation for nearly a year now, with high levels of reliability and efficient operations realised. Synergy proved to be an extremely cost-effective yet resourceful company, with a focus on the future of our mill control requirements. Our plant now has the technology to further enhance the automation strategies and drive flexibility and productivity that were not available with the legacy automation platform.” t For more information, log on to www.synsysinc.com www.steeltimesint.com


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