Japanese steel producers rely increasingly on laser measuring technology from TBK
by Hans Diederichs
Yamato Steel Co. Ltd., Japan, has ordered a PROgauge light-section system from TBK Automatisierung und Messtechnik GmbH, Graz, Austria, a company of SMS group, for its Kokyo section mill. The laser gauge will be designed to measure a wide range of medium and heavy sections, including H-beams and channels. The system will also include the SurfTec surface analysis function to detect on-line surface defects in the hot condition directly after the last mill stand. This allows inline detection of defects originating from the rolling process or from defective material, securely rules out the risk of processing defective material, and drastically reduces the frequency of manual inspections. The gauge combines two functions, shape and size measurement and surface analysis, within one unit. The high scanning rate and the great number of measuring points allows the surface to be represented in 3D.
The gauge for Yamato Steel can be retracted from the mill line into a service position. Due the space restrictions, the device will be lifted vertically from the pass line. The system for Yamato Steel will be customized to comply with the local conditions and the requirements of the customer. Due to the in-house design and manufacturing capabilities, TBK is able to comply with such highly specific requirements.
TBK supplied a gauge of similar design to Nucor Yamato Steel, U.S.A., a joint venture company between Yamato Steel and Nucor. The successful project execution, the smooth start-up and the good performance of the gauge at Nucor Yamato were reasons for Yamato Steel to order the gauge from TBK.
Thanks to the good reputation and outstanding performance of TBK gauges and their successful introduction in the Japanese market, five measuring units have been sold to Japanese customers within a period of only 18 months. The first system was sold in Japan in 2016 for the measurement of wire rod after a finishing block. Following that order, further gauges of different designs have been sold to reputed producers of wire rod, medium and large sections, including beams, angles, rails and sheet piles of up to 1,000 millimeters or more.
The TBK laser measuring system for Yamato Steel will start operation in December 2020.
Source and photo: SMS group