Automation makes steelmaking safer and more efficient

1. Opportunities for smart steelmaking

Iron and steel enterprises have begun to transform from a large-scale and extensive production model to a high-quality, high-quality, and clean production model. On the one hand, with the increase of scrap steel resources, the long-process model of blast furnace ironmaking will gradually shift to the direction of smarter and cleaner electric furnace steelmaking; on the other hand, in China and other countries, converter steelmaking still plays a leading role.


Automatic steelmaking


“At present, the steel industry is not only facing severe external situations such as global overcapacity, fluctuations in raw material prices, trade conflicts, and tariff barriers, but also facing urgent internal challenges such as order diversification, miniaturization, and early prediction of customer needs. To deal with challenges, Iron and steel enterprises must do a good job in economic cost and raw material cost management.

Automated production is an important means for iron and steel enterprises to reduce costs. At present, the degree of automation of steelmaking enterprises is not high, and the development potential is huge. The automatic tapping model has been successfully put into operation in the steel plant. This model not only considers the tapping process itself but also integrates a large number of safety precautions to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment even if accidents occur during the tapping process.

Not only that, the converter steelmaking model that can control the composition and temperature of molten steel without sub-guns, and the full-process energy optimization and production process optimization models that can span across different stations in ironmaking, steelmaking, and refining areas Process industry optimization solutions also provide comprehensive support for intelligent steelmaking.


2. Limitations of traditional steelmaking

The traditional tapping process has a low level of intelligent control and often requires manual operation. Manual tapping not only has safety risks such as high temperature and dust in the operating environment, but also has quality problems such as unstable tapping quality easily caused by large differences in operators. The defects of these traditional tapping techniques have plagued the steel industry.

Most of the current ladle circulation is manually operated. In the process of circulation, people often choose steel ladles based on experience, and problems are likely to occur when the scale of the steel plant is too large and there are too many steel ladles. In order to keep the molten steel temperature from being too low, some operators will deliberately increase the tapping temperature in each previous process flow to meet the temperature before entering the stage to meet the requirements of pouring steel, but the excess temperature loss and energy consumption will increase the cost.

To solve this problem, we can start with the following aspects. For example, the heat capacity and refractory information of the ladle must be accurate, the target temperature of the ladle optimization must be reasonable, the utilization rate of the ladle must be reasonable, and the transportation time must be accurately grasped. Only in this way can the purpose of increasing production be achieved while reducing energy consumption.

The concept of automatic tapping control can monitor the operating status of the equipment in real-time and give feedback on abnormal situations, so as to ensure that automatic tapping can always operate in a safe environment, ensure the stability and high efficiency of tapping operation, and meet the needs of different furnace conditions and different steel Different types and different processes have requirements on the tapping sequence. The tapping status is monitored through the video monitoring system, and the interference in the tapping process is screened by using image recognition technology, and the automatic tapping program is optimized to finally achieve the goal of automatic tapping and production efficiency.


smart steelmaking


Are the conditions for automated tapping mature? The answer is yes. At present, in the metallurgical industry, technologies such as ladle identification technology, laser positioning, and 3D laser scanning can be used to realize automated production. The ladle management system will put the ladle in the correct position at the correct time through the ladle positioning technology. This will optimize the production process to the greatest extent and reduce the processing time; when the day car is running in the best condition, it will also reduce the wear and tear; the clear path and way of ladle means improved safety.

Steelmaking automation requires many auxiliary systems, such as the automatic crane system. With the automatic crane system, it is possible to expand the automation of processes such as ladle transportation, and mixing molten iron, and scrap steel.

In addition, the automatic tapping process also requires intelligent robotic arms to replace employees for temperature measurement and sampling. In this way, steelmaking automation can be achieved by combining the ladle circulation process and the process of automatically adding scrap steel to molten iron.



3. Advantages of automatic steelmaking

Automatic tapping has attracted much attention in the industry. In the process of automatic tapping, the automatic tapping control system will synchronously control the tilting position of the converter and the position of the ladle car, and at the same time, it will also control the ladle feeding of the alloy chute and the slag blocking machine ditch.

The system has the advantages of reducing the amount of slag, shortening the tapping time, homogenizing the ladle plus alloy composition, minimizing staffing, improving the working environment and personnel safety, increasing reusability, reducing the pressure of the gearbox, and increasing the yield.

How to ensure safety in the tapping process? If the environment of the converter is not ideal, it will cause some sensors to be burned during the production process.

According to the production situation of the converter, the system adopts the normal production mode when the signal is normal, and triggers the corresponding production mode when the signal of some sensors has problems. At the same time, there are measures to ensure safe taping.

If there is a problem in production, the first thing to ensure is safety. For example, if a steel overflow occurs during the tapping process, the converter will stop immediately. Depending on the situation, the next step is to continue tapping or to ensure safety. In order to ensure safe production, 3 different types of tapping modes are designed, and the system will obtain the tapping weight data of converter tapping.

If the on-site signals are all normal, the system model will calculate the converter tapping angle at which molten steel normally enters the ladle based on the erosion of the tapping hole lining and the static pressure of molten steel. When the signal available to the converter decreases, the tapping angle can be controlled using a reference curve based on the tapping weight. When the ladle car weighing signal is not available, the tapping angle can be controlled using a reference curve based on tapping time.

For the situation of steel slag or molten steel overflowing at the furnace mouth, the operator can detect through the camera, and continue the tapping process while ensuring safety.

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