SSAB is a Swedish company in the steel sector and in many ways a pioneer in the production of world-leading steel grades such as Hardox© for wear plates, Strenx© for performance steel, Docol© for automotive steel. SSAB is also a world-leader in the ambition to make steel production and use sustainable. One example is SSAB´s target to use hydrogen to produce fossil free steel in 2035. Another example is to provide material and services for making lighter and more environmentally friendly constructions. A base for this is Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) and Quenched & Tempered Steels (Q&T). Since year 2012, SSAB produces Hardox directly in the hot strip mill, a great challenge in terms of direct quench capacity and maintaining material properties and shape over strip width and length. The benefit is both economical (one processing step is omitted) and environmental (less energy and capacity is required). It has turned out that flatness is the most important and difficult property to master in a direct quench line.
Shapeline is a Swedish company focused on in-line optical measurement of flatness and other dimensions of flat metal. Shapeline has supplied flatness measurement systems since 1997 and now has a large number of systems in the world’s steel and metal industries. Shapeline´s ambition is to develop new technical solutions which deliver performance, reliability and information required by a developing steel and metal industry.
In year 2014, Shapeline and SSAB commenced a cooperation to develop a concept for flatness measurement which could be used to analyze how flatness affects laminar cooling and how incoming flatness transforms into outgoing flatness after the accelerated laminar cooling. The project, Opticool, has had financing support from Sweden´s innovation agency, Vinnova.
The first step in this was to develop means for reliable and high performance flatness measurement after the mill and the second step to measure both before and after laminar cooling to understand the mechanisms behind the flatness transformations.
The first part of the project to realize the flatness gauge for hot environments was reported by Kierkegaard and Hedberg in an earlier paper . This paper focuses on how the two gauges have been used to understand how the laminar cooling affects flatness.
Shapeline’s biggest order ever. SSAB Special Steels heavy plate mill in Oxelösund, Sweden has ordered five new Shapeline VeriFlex systems for precision flatness measurement of heavy plates.
The flatness gauge, located down-stream a Cold Plate Leveler installed one year ago, is capable of detecting small flatness defects and is already used for plate leveler adjustments and quality assurance of the 3.2 m wide stainless steel heavy plates.
Between the 6th and the 9th of June the Rolling 2016 conference in Graz, Austria, took place. Shapeline was represented by Dr. Pär Kierkegaard, Director of Marketing and Vice President, who presented a paper on hot band measurement titled Optical strip flatness and shape measurement in hot strip mills. Continue reading
This year’s AISTech-show took place in Pittsburgh, PA and was one of the largest AIST shows so far with over 7500 attendees (read more). Shapeline was present as usual and had the new VeriFlat®-sensor on display. The sensor was fully operational and demonstrated real-time measurement on a moving sheet in the booth, which caused a fair bit of attention. On Tuesday night, the annual Hospitality suite was arranged in the nearby Westin hotel by Shapeline and partners. It was the biggest hospitality suite so far with live music, two bars, food and several hundred guests. An event to look out for next year!
All in all, the spirit on the show was more optimistic than before, hopefully yet another sign that there is an up-turn in the global steel industry.
Last year Shapeline presented a paper titled: “A new generation optical flatness measurement systems” on the steel conference at AISTech in Cleveland. The paper was then selected to be published in Iron and Steel Technology, December 2015 and then received the 2016 Farrington Award price. Dr Pär Kierkegaard will receive the price on this year’s AISTech show. Continue reading
Shapeline has developed a system for hot band measurement based on laser lines instead of laser points or white light.
Flatness measurement sensors for hot strip mills have been used for a long time and most mills have some kind of flatness/shape measurement today. However, accurate flatness measurement under hot conditions often leads to inaccurate and unreliable results. Strip speed, heat shimmering, cumbersome calibration, water and moist are factors that complicates the measurement. Continue reading
Shapeline local representative, Paloma Gonzales from ICE presented a Shapeline paper titled: “Developments and Benefits from Optical Flatness Measurement in Strip Processing Lines”. The paper describes the differences between optical and contact based flatness gauges and where the two different techniques can be used. We thank Mrs Paloma for an excellent presentation.
The Chinese Technical Institute WISDRI, China, has ordered a Shapeline flatness measurement system for their new skin-pass / levelling process WISDRI CLPT-DS, to be supplied to Rizhao Steel, China. Continue reading