Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Ergonomical inspection of hot rolled coils in a hot strip mill

In a hot strip mill the continuous casted slabs with a thickness of 210 mm are rolled into hot coils with a thickness between 1.25 mm and 12.5 mm. One of the most important characteristics of the steel strip is its surface quality. The surface quality is inspected on several stages of the production process (eg in the hot strip mill). The surface quality of the hot rolled coils is inspected on-line by means of manually cut tail ends of the coil. This demands important cognitive performance and a large psycho-physical strain on the workers who have to make these inspections. This research was started to improve the circumstances under which the inspection of hot-rolled coils is performed in most European hot strip mills.

It was decided to install an on-line inspection system (through video-cameras) such a video-system not only avoids the dangers and health-risks that occur during the cutting off of the tail end of the strip during manual displacement of hot material or during scrapping of the tail end, but also those that occur during visual inspection (incidental contact with hot material, radiation). Due to the new UNILUX-inspection system, defects can be detected over the whole length of the coil and the evolution of these during the rolling program. Furthermore new defects can be detected, which could not be detected previously (eg scale on the head end of the coil). Therefore it was necessary to review the existing defect codification system. Furthermore the inspector himself can enter all of his remarks regarding the on-line inspection in a quick and user-friendly way. Mainly due to the installation and the integration of an on-line surface inspection system by means of video cameras, the following was achieved:
decrease of the psycho-physical strain;
improvement of the cognitive performance;
decrease of the physical labour during the surface inspection of the hot rolled coils in the hot strip mill.

Reported by

John Kennedylaan 51
9042 Gent
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