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Metals Production - Steel, Aluminum

Dimetix laser distance sensors, manufactured by Dimetix AG, are the proven choice for position sensing in a variety of industrial applications requiring monitoring of position, level, or size. These sensors have the range, accuracy, and speed to monitor position and motion of guided transfer cars carrying massive loads in a busy steel production environment. Properly integrated, they are also rugged enough to withstand the dust and environmental extremes of a typical steel production facility containing furnaces and various types of transfer mechanisms.

We have supplied many sensors to steel mills for transfer car positioning, billet size, level control, and crane position. Molten aluminum can easily be measured with the lasers, as well as red hot steel coming down the caster line.

Coil diameter and cutoff length are just applications that we commonly sole in the metals processing side of the industry.

Dimetix D-Series Metals Industry Overview

Title: Coil Diameter Measurement in Slitting Operation

Description: Dimetix lasers are great for both dark and bright materials. That is why they are ideal for measuring shiny coils.

Title: Monitoring Transfer Car Position

Description:  A global steel production facility was experiencing downtime because the large transfer cars (200 feet in length) used to transport massive, red hot steel plates were overshooting their shuttle positions or colliding with the barrier stops at the end of a rail guided transfer line. The production stoppages were caused by the malfunction of floor mounted micro-switches, which were triggered by the transfer cars and positioned at 6 points along a 55-60 foot track.

To replace the malfunctioning micro switch system, a non-contact distance laser measurement system was designed, installed, and implemented by a local integrator. The replacement system consisted of two Dimetix laser distance sensors enclosed in NEMA 4X rated protective housing and corresponding reflective target plates attached to the transfer car and a display/controller consisting of a panel-mounted serial display and analog transmitter.

The protective enclosures housing the lasers also included a vortex compressed air cooling system to continuously monitor temperature and cool the inside of the enclosure. The same compressed air stream was passed over a boron silicate glass viewing window with a unique perforated silicon gasket that directs a stream of clean, cool air over both sides of the viewing window. The continuous flow of air over the viewing window maintains the temperature inside and outside the housing and also provides an air purge to prevent dust accumulation.

Title: Hot Metal Application: Dimetix DAN-30-150 Laser in Very High Temperature at Steel Production Mill

Description: Dimetix laser distance sensors very well suited for hot steel mill environments because they afford an accurate, non-contact method of determining the position or dimensions of materials that are too hot to touch. The demanding production processes and harsh environmental conditions are often beyond the capabilities of conventional sensors that rely on contact with the material being measured.

Title: Saw Blade Alignment

Description:  In this application two Laser Distance Sensors are mounted on each end of an extrusion to measure the difference in distance to the saw blade. A micro-controller records the distances and provides a quick and easy display of the front-to-back alignment for review as desired. The system includes misalignment tolerances to trigger an out-of-tolerance condition for the operator. These principles can easily be applied to any alignment application. By using at least three sensors, target straightness can also be monitored. The range of the available Dimetix Laser Distance Sensors enables measurement from a few inches up to 500 meters.

Title: Laser Controlled Cut-off Solution

Description: Traditional contact measurement methods are vulnerable to mechanical failure of parts, strings, and cables that wear, break, or stretch, and they also have the potential to damage the surface being measured. Increasing operational demands, maintenance requirements, and the growing importance of efficiency, however, are factors in metals production.

Range, accuracy and durability are the factors setting laser sensors apart from other measurement technologies. Laser distance sensors can provide an economical approach to improving quality, as well as an affordable technological advantage for increasing efficiency, reducing waste, and eliminating production outages related to mechanical failure.

One of our partners recently played a leading role on a team of integration partners to design and implement a laser-controlled cut-off system as part of an expansion project for a new steel production facility. The new facility is open ended and subject to the harsh operating conditions typical in steel production. In addition to the massive Behringer saw at the heart of the steel bar cut-off solution.

Title: Measuring the Size of a Hot Bar in Rolling Mill Using Dimetix Lasers

Description:  In this application, Dimetix lasers were set up to measure a hot bar during the rolling process. The bar was about 1800°F during the heating process which wasn’t a problem for the lasers since they’re built to withstand extreme temperatures and harsh environments.

Title: Auto Manufacturer Monitors Liquid Aluminum Level with Lasers in Casting Operations

Description: A major auto manufacturer with facilities in the USA has implemented laser level detection in their aluminum die casting operations.