“The application of robot welding technology in the rebar listing process can further optimize human resources and is effective in solving the shortage of key positions and reducing production costs.” Wang Xiaqun, director of the comprehensive management department of Fangda Special Steel Rolling Plant, said.
Since 2020, the steel industry has accelerated industrial upgrading and promoted intelligent manufacturing. Various automatic control systems have been better applied in the steel industry. Fangda Special Steel has keenly captured the market’s advanced technologies and timely adopted automatic rebar welding technology as another focus of the company’s intelligent manufacturing, making it a new way for enterprises to reduce labour intensity, improve production efficiency, and save labour costs.
The use of robots promotes refined process management at a higher level
Walking into the bar production line and high-quality special steel line finishing area of Fangda Special Steel Rolling Plant, you can see welding workers spot-welding the rebars that have been packed into bundles one after another. The furnace number plate is printed with the steel type, furnace number, specifications, weight, barcode and other information about the bundle of rebar. Customers can trace the product information through the furnace number plate. The furnace number plate is the “ID card” of rebar products, and its importance is self-evident.
It is understood that Fangda Special Steel Bar Line and High-quality Special Steel Line mainly produce rebar, and the listing work has always been completed by manual welding. When the production line is operating at full capacity, a high-intensity workload may lead to errors such as unstable welding quality, uneven welding positions, and incorrect welding by manual operations.
This kind of mistake is unacceptable for the refined management of enterprises. During a process quality discussion, the company’s rolling engineers decided to solve the problem once and for all.
To this end, the company established the “Automatic Welding Rebar Tag Research” project team, which brought together many senior engineers in steel rolling, machinery, electrical, safety and other fields to conduct research on the six-axis industrial robots, visual automatic positioning systems, sign printing systems, and signage involved in the project. Organize the positioning mechanism, electrical control system and other major components to carry out technical research. By introducing relevant mature domestic technologies and equipment and connecting with the company’s own MES production management system, the robot can automatically identify the end face, automatically count the number of rebars, and automatically print numbers. Important processes such as plate information and automatic welding number plates can be used to tag 12-40mm rebar. The maximum welding capacity can reach 80 bundles/hour and above. The welding firmness rate is greater than 99.9%, and the welding accuracy rate can reach 100%.
The successful online operation of this technology will play a positive role in meeting the full-load production needs of the production line, improving the accuracy and efficiency of the listing work, and optimizing the personnel in the position.
Intelligent equipment replaces manual work to improve quality and create double harvests
After the automatic welding equipment is put into use, each production team can optimize 1 person to other vacant positions, and the two production lines of bar and high-quality special steel can optimize 8 people. The optimized personnel can be replenished to other positions, thereby solving some job vacancies—conflicts among members. Calculated based on an average of 12,500 yuan per person per month, in terms of manpower optimization alone, it can create approximately 1.2 million yuan in benefits for the company every year. Due to the accurate and unified welding of automatic welding robots, the hidden benefits brought by the improvement of product packaging quality are even more obvious.
By continuously improving the automation level of the production site, we can not only improve the production operating environment and enhance the level of on-site management, but also make achievements in improving production efficiency, reducing employee work intensity, etc., and increasing the happiness of employees working in the enterprise.