AMETEK Land

How to accurately measure temperature for aluminium extrusion processes

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Courtesy of AMETEK Land

Accurate temperature measurements are critical in quality aluminium extrusion production. With the introduction of new high-tech aluminium alloys designed for high end applications such as aerospace, automotive or safety products we have seen an increase in requests for complex mechanical specifications and a decrease in final product weight. To meet the extremely high requirements and specifications of the final products, the extrusion and quench process temperatures are crucial and need to be monitored most accurately and continuously.

The popularity of our SPOT AL EQS (Aluminium Extrusion, Quench and Strip) application pyrometer combined with the new SPOT Actuator has increased dramatically due to its ability to offer unprecedented, highly accurate process temperature measurements and intelligent product and process tracking to continuously monitor temperature and improve process and product quality. Extrusion industries who produce lower quality profiles can increase production rates because their press speeds can now be increased. 

SPOT AL EQS Application Pyrometer – Accurate Plug ‘n’ Play Measurement 

The SPOT AL EQS, Aluminium Application Pyrometer, is the result of continuous product development, utilising the latest technologies, and lengthy site trials and is founded on AMETEK Land manufacturing expertise in aluminium application pyrometers since the early 1990's. In the late 1990's a second generation of AMETEK Land application pyrometers with improved processing was introduced, now followed by the current application specific SPOT AL EQS Pyrometer. 

By selecting the desired mode of operation– E, Q or S - Extrusion, Quench or Strip – locally configured on the pyrometer or remotely using the integrated web server via TCP/ IP with a standard web browser or directly connected to the PLC, the pyrometer measures an accurate product temperature for approximately 90% of all aluminium alloys, without the need for additional adjustments. For special alloys, it is easy to enter a reference temperature bias, based on just one thermocouple reading into the pyrometer remotely.

SPOT Actuator – Automatic Intelligent Product and Process Tracking

The new SPOT Actuator is the result of further product development and a desire to provide an intelligent function to automatically track and improve process temperatures. Remotely operated via Modbus TCP/IP by a PLC or manually via the integrated web server, which is accessible by a standard web browser, it can run without the need for additional software and is easy to access and use. The combination of SPOT AL EQS and the Actuator means that they can communicate directly with each other without the need for operator intervention.

Multiple intelligent scanning modes are also available. By selecting the hot spot mode will set the Actuator to dynamically track the hottest of multiple profiles as they exit the press or quench exit. For even bigger or complex profile geometries, it will automatically find the area emitting the most energy to ensure the correct metallurgical properties are recorded (extrusion mode). 

Finally, using the billet scan mode, the SPOT AL EQS and Actuator combination can scan the length of a billet as it arrives at the press and produces a full head to tail temperature profile. This allows press speed to be optimised for each billet.

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