The third typical application is to document plate flatness and use this information for quality assurance and customer support. This can be done in separate finishing lines or in combination with shearing or leveling as described above.
A Shapeline system will automatically document and evaluate the flatness according to current norms or customer-specific rules. This is a foundation for elimination of complaints, increased market share and improved guarantees.
To illustrate this, consider the following communication between a metal plate producer and the customer. A Shapeline system makes life easier and more efficient when communicating with steel users. As long as the identity of the plate/strip/sheet is known, it is possible to retrieve the measurement data.
This is a fictive steel manufacturer/user communication:
User: “Good morning! This is Ben Bensson at ACME Steel products.”
Steel producer: “Good morning. How are we doing today?”
User: “Fine, fine. However, I have some flatness issues with some of your steel plates.”
Producer: “OK. Can you describe the problem?”
User: “They seem to have edge waves. I cannot get the plates into our laser cutting machine. But, some of them work if I rotate them 180 degrees.”
Producer: “Do you have a plate ID?”
User: “Yes. Here is one: <ID#>. It has been cut into 3.1 m lengths and I had problems with one of the sub-plates. I had to rotate it and force it into the machine.”
Producer: “OK. Wait a minute… Got it!
I can see you have a wave in one end, but the plate fulfills your ASTM-requirements.”
User: “ASTM is usually OK, but we have higher requirements on the edges. ASTM is too wide here.”
Producer: “OK. Let us take a look at the edge waves. I will cut that part out of the software.”
“You have an edge-wave of about 2 mm. Is that too much?”
User: “Yes it is. The plate is 5 mm thick and the slot is only 7 mm. Either I cannot get it into the machine or it gets stuck inside. It actually causes me a lot of problems.”
Producer: ”I can see it is less wavy on the other edge…
… but the whole plate has waves. Even in the center.”
User: “I can live with the rest of the waves, but the total of thickness + waves must be less than 7 mm.”
Producer: ”OK. What I can do is to update the evaluation for you so we fulfill this constraint for all plates sent to you. It will be subject to a small price increase. Do you want a proposal for that?”
User: “Yes, please. Send me a quotation. And thank you for your support!”