Improving steel production processes case study

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SmartScan 50 improves efficiency of steel manufacturing in Gujarat district, India.

The steel corporation of Gujarat is India's leading manufacturer of metal products. The company produces hot and cold steel rolls and uses state-of-the-art technology in its plant to ensure high quality products to its clientele around the globe.

The problems

The hot and cold steel rolls production demands complicated processes involving several stages to achieve the final product. During the production process a layer of oxide is created on the steel rolls. Pickling lines ensure removal of this oxide surface by chemical treatment using hydrochloric acid prior to cold rolling process. The type of acid depends on the material that is being processed.

The steel corporation uses hydrochloric acid (HCL, 36%) for its pickling process. The acid is stored in a cylindrical tank of 4m (13ft) diameter and a capacity of 85Kg (187lb). The plant engineers sought a non-contact solution that will provide constant level measurement results of the hydrochloric acid in the tank.

There a few problems that may be encountered when measuring level using an ultrasonic gauging device. The tank's cylindrical shape and its conic ending may cause acoustic interferences during the reading process, resulting in an echo loss. In addition, the hydrochloric acid produces a highly corrosive environment inside the tank which may eventually damage the transducer and affect the accuracy of the measurement results.

The solution

Four SmartScan50 units were installed on top of four hydrochloric acid tanks. These tanks are located a long the pickling line enabling online pulling of the acid amount needed for the process. The SmartScan50 sensor was installed on top of the tank while the electronics was located remotely, enabling constant view of the measurement results on its LCD display. Due to its compact size, the sensor's installation was easy with no hassle. Moreover, its glass-reinforced epoxy material enables the SmartScan's sensor to cope with the corrosive environment inside tank and still provide accurate measurement results. Lastly, a sophisticated algorithm was initiated by the SmartScan to overcome the cylindrical shape of the tank that may cause interferences to the measurement results.

Summary

The four SmartScan 50 units installed in Gujarat steel corporation provide accurate and constant reading of the hydrochloric acid in the tanks, thus enabling the plant engineers an improved monitoring of the entire pickling process.

SmartScan 50L is a non-contact ultrasonic measuring gauge based on Solid AT' patented technology. Its measuring range is up to 12m (39ft) with 0.2% accuracy. It is equipped with 5 independent SPDT relays for alarm setup and provides RS232/RS485 digital communication as well as 4-20mA analog communication.

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