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Tinplate strip inspection was a critical issue for ArcelorMittal in Aviles, as it had become the bottleneck for the plant. ArcelorMittal has the capacity to process 35,000 tons/month. Considering that 40% of this capacity needs to be reprocessed, and therefore inspected, a total of at least 14,000 tons/month needs to be inspected.
However, the inspection capacity at the Avilés plant prior to this project was only 12,000 tons/month. For this reason, FAGOR ARRASATE was commissioned by ArcelorMittal to supply a new Inspection Line in order to increase its inspection capacity and free up the existing stock of tinplate coil at the plant.
The installation of this new inspection line has been of great benefit to the Avilés plant. The inspection capacity has been increased to a total of 29,000 tons/month, which has made it possible to free up the plant's entire stock of coils in a very short time.
Thanks to an extremely high web speed (up to 1,200 m/min for 1st quality tinplate), it is possible to check in a very short time whether the coils coming from the tinplate line have been correctly identified as 1st or 2nd quality material.
The line has a single inlet, but has two outlets depending on whether the strip to be inspected has been identified as 1st or 2nd quality. This distinction must be made before introducing the coil into the line, which is designed to operate at a maximum speed of 1,200 m/min for 1st quality tinplate and 600 m/min for 2nd quality tinplate. In addition, it is a "full automatic" line that can be operated by a single operator thanks to its automatic coil loading on the mandrel, threading by means of magnetic tables and the possibility of automatically welding strip of different qualities, among other features.
Coils of up to 25 tons and 2,100 mm diameter can be introduced if it is 1st quality tinplate and up to 6 tons and 1,200 mm diameter otherwise. It can inspect strips between 600 and 1,250 mm wide and thicknesses between 0.1 and 0.5 mm. The inspection is vertical and is carried out from a cabin attached to the line by means of a mirror system. A separator at the exit of the welder allows the strip to be directed to its corresponding inspection and exit zone according to its quality.
Inspection and rewinding lines
The execution of this turnkey project has been an extraordinary success in terms of deadlines. In a matter of one year, the machine was up and running at full speed and the customer’s final acceptance was signed off. A record that is only possible thanks to an exquisite project management and continuous quality control from the engineering phase, through manufacturing and assembly; and, of course, thanks to the close collaboration between the FAGOR ARRASATE and ArcelorMittal project teams from the tender phase right up to acceptance.