With steel mills operating at high speed, a breakage in the strip can cause serious and costly damage to equipment. Ternium SA, one of the leading steel manufacturers in the Americas, wanted to find a way to minimise these breakages, thereby safeguarding the mechanical integrity of the mill and ensuring maximum process continuity.
The company has 17 sites (in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombi, and the USA) and plants covering the entire manufacturing process from iron ore extraction to the manufacture of high-value-added products.
Its Mexican plant in Monterrey operates a pickling line tandem cold mill and is focused mainly on producing high-quality automotive products. Ametek Surface Vision
was contracted to install one of its SmartView systems on the line to provide automated monitoring of surface quality issues on the coils passing through the mill, which has a rolling capacity of 6,000 tonnes a day.
The SmartView system combines advanced software with rugged and proven hardware to deliver precise real-time detection and classification of material defects.
The system’s surface inspection and monitoring capabilities, together with synchronised high-resolution colour camera technology, are supported by powerful LED lighting arrays for the high-quality image capture of defects using multiple inspection angles; and because all hardware is non-proprietary, Ametek Surface Vision can select the ‘best-fit technology’ for each application.
The SmartView system correctly detects and classifies the defects responsible for the strip breakages, including those that are not readily identifiable.
The system, developed by Ametek Surface Vision and Ternium working in partnership, involved the implementation of SmartView’s colour-coded classification tool to identify defects on a gradient of severity and the connection of the system to the plant’s PLC, which enabled automatic line speed reduction if a defect was detected.