Thermographic Monitoring in the Steel Industry

The steel sector is one of the most involved in Industry 4.0. Hand in hand with technologies such as Thermographic Monitoring, they have achieved very thorough and reliable process controls and supervision of equipment.

The bcbMonitor 4.0 is a system that has had special participation in this type of project, always hand in hand with the high thermographic technology that Teledyne FLIR represents. Its complete and intuitive interfaces, the flexibility to integrate quick access controls and additional processing such as element counting, area calculation and length measurement are highly appreciated. We detail below the main points of application:

SCRAP YARD

Every raw material warehouse is exposed to chemical reactions and fortuitous causes that produce an outbreak of fire. Early detection is key to being able to extinguish or prevent the fire.

MELTING FURNACE

One of the points with the highest activity of relevant temperatures. Starting with the integrity of the furnace itself, continuously inspecting the electrode for cracks and its correct position or also checking the external body of the furnace for leaks that are evident as hot spots. Inside the EAF you can also see the bubbling of nitrogen and if it has a sufficient level of slag to schedule maintenance or know if it is possible to add more scrap. Finally, when emptying towards the pot/ladle, we can detect when the maximum filling level is reached or also if the jet begins to pass slag and thus stop emptying.

REFINING FURNACE

The same care applied in the melting furnace towards the electrodes and the outer body of the furnace are also required here. When they finish preparing the alloy, the maximum thermal load has been received and it is a good time to inspect the pot and thus know if the refractory is in good condition or requires repair.

CONTINUOUS CAST

When the ladle begins to empty onto the distributor, it also matters a lot that no slag passes through. As it also contains a large thermal load, the external body of the distributor must be monitored, which usually has a double plate and therefore the temperature of the holes of the external plate must be inspected continuously, in order to know the temperature of the refractory body. Already in the casting, temperature monitoring gives us enough information to know how to prevent cracks on the slab or billet.

COOLING BED

Dimensional control is of great interest at this point. Thermography is used to make more precise measurements on parts that are red hot. In passing, it is possible to check the temperature of billets and slabs.

LAMINATION

Billet counting systems with optimum temperature and temperature out of range are highly required. You can also know the temperature in the head, body and tail of the same. Forming tools, such as rollers and dies, can also be inspected since their temperature influences the part’s lamination.