The continuous casting operation is the starting point to solidify large volumes of metal into simpler shapes for further processing into plate, sheet and other products. By establishing proper and uniform dimensional measurements at this stage ensures better product yields and smoother downstream operations.
Not All Gauges Are Created Equal
Hot and hostile continuous caster environments demand different measurement technologies from those typically used downstream. For example, measurement sensors cannot survive near the product surface due to extreme heat conditions. Typically, they must be 1-2 meters or more from the surface of the product and environmentally protected from heat, steam and water. Also, measurement platforms must be mechanically stable to eliminate measurement errors when being subjected to extreme temperatures and changes from the process.
Challenges Using Mechanical Measurement Methods
Mechanical contact encoders have difficulty measuring the length and speed of hot slabs and billets with any degree of accuracy due to the extreme temperatures and slag-scale accumulation on the product’s surface. These mechanical systems are subject to slippage and debris buildup on the rotating measurement wheel, causing measurement inaccuracies. They also experience mechanical failure and require operators to perform routine calibration, maintenance and production line adjustments.
Non-Contact Laser Gauging is the Solution
The team at NDC has solved this serious problem with our LaserSpeed® Pro gauging system. It is designed to perform under the most extreme environmental conditions to ensure reliable and robust system performance in caster applications. The LaserSpeed Pro gauge directly measures the product length and speed, eliminating the measurement errors associated with contact measurement techniques. This cost-efficient, higher accuracy gauge is successfully used in many continuous caster manufacturing applications. Accurate cut length control, speed monitoring and control and mold oscillation monitoring are just some of the applications easily tackled by the LaserSpeed Pro gauge on a casting line.
The LaserSpeed Pro gauge can measure moving products at very slow speeds with better than +/-0.03% accuracy and without contacting the slab or billet. It can even accurately measure the length and speed of the line when it is at a standstill. And it can accurately measure the cast and scale equally as well. Maintenance costs are significantly reduced since the gauge can be mounted up to 3 meters from the slab or billet, reducing cooling requirements and premature failure risk due to excessive heat.
Taking the Next Step for Process Optimization
NDC's LaserSpeed Pro gauge ensures accurate, repeatable and reliable measurement performance to ensure your processes meet critical product specifications, deliver better product yields and avoid downstream waste.
Learn more about how our LaserSpeed Pro length and speed gauge can give you the competitive advantage.
NDC Technologies...Intelligence that transforms the world.