In recent years, high thickness cut-to-length lines are having continuous changes, adapting to the constant evolution in steel and looking ahead to future trends that the market may demand
The main function of this type of lines is to flatten and cut the strip from a coil and to stack and pack the obtained formats. The line must achieve this by following a series of specifications for which it was designed.
The specifications that are currently requested for high thickness cut-to-length lines include the following:
This type of line must incorporate the most up-to-date and complete safety measures to avoid work risks, such us: loading cars pit cover, protective guards on all machines, perimeter line enclosure with electronic locking system doors, photoelectric barriers, emergency stop buttons on all control panels and interlocking devices on all machines for maintenance tasks. In addition, all dangerous areas must be clearly indicated with adds that inform operators of any risks, as well as the necessary protection measures.
This type of line can produce high levels of sound pollution and this is another factor that must be taken into account. Fagor Arrasate recommends placing at least the hydraulic group and stacker into cabins to reduce the effects of atmospheric and sound pollution. Nevertheless the best solution is to install a cabin around most of the cutting line. Machines must be extremely rigid with a simple design so as to assist with maintenance. Deflection must be at a minimum in critical machines such as the straightener and levellers.
It is recommended that brushing and cleaning equipment is installed in the line to eliminate the calamine and dust detached from the metal sheet while it is in the straightener and leveller, as these measures reduce problems caused by this type of dirt in the installation. The motor-drives installed in the machines must be optimized for the line to perform at its best and be as efficient as possible to reduce energy consumption.
Furthermore, the machine should have a co-generation system that takes advantage of the energy generated by the motors when they operate as brakes. The energy generated can be distributed to other parts of the installation or factory.
Automation of the processes increases productivity and reduces work risks. Processes such as automatic coil loading, automatic shear clearance regulation, pre-setting the position of the leveller rollers and changing the leveller cassette must be fast and automatic.
There should be a human-machine interface (HMI) with easy to use screens that can be used to control all operation in an intuitive way of the paremeters of, maintenance, diagnosis and tele-assistance in remote mode.