Smart wire rod mill – High-speed special steel wire smart factory

After years of development, Qingdao Special Steel has built a relatively complete information system architecture, from production line-level basic automation, process control system, production control system (PES)/manufacturing management system (MES), integrated management system to data warehouse, built a bottom-up vertically integrated five-level computer system.

In the process of implementing intelligent transformation, Qingdao Special Steel selected this production line as a pilot demonstration for the implementation of intelligent factories in view of the high-speed, high-continuity, and high-precision rolling of high-speed premium special steel wire rods. Through the pilot, a number of key technologies were broken through. Improve product quality, reduce energy consumption, and achieve the purpose of reducing costs and increasing efficiency. At the same time, it also plays a demonstration role in the long steel production lines of national iron and steel enterprises.


Smart wire rod mill, high speed special steel wire


1. Ideas and main contents of smart wire rod mill construction


Qingdao Special Steel Wire Rod Intelligent Factory is committed to creating a modern high-speed wire rod production base for premium special steel with the fastest steady-state production, the best quality and the highest efficiency in the world. With the goal of building a benchmark for intelligent manufacturing, we strive to achieve a high degree of intelligence, informatization, and fewer people in the entire production line, reduce staff and reduce costs, increase production and efficiency, and improve economic indicators.


1) Intelligent centralized control


Intelligent centralized control is mainly divided into three major sections: centralized control centre, data analysis platform, and image recognition early warning system. Integrate the distributed operating rooms of the rolling line, and use the data analysis platform as the core to analyze and optimize production indicators, process parameters, and quality data, so as to improve product quality, reduce energy consumption, optimize costs, and improve economic indicators. At the same time, image recognition technology is used to realize intelligent analysis and monitoring of important areas and timely warning of abnormal production conditions.


2) Smart devices


Add a variety of fully automatic/auxiliary intelligent mechanical equipment to reduce the labor intensity of manual positions or completely replace manual labour.


(1) Composition analysis before the furnace


According to the on-site working conditions, advanced analysis technology is used for blank material analysis and robot automatic detection. Realize automatic grinding and analysis, and through information interaction with PLC and MES, realize automatic identification of steel grades, form an effective closed loop of detection information, and effectively prevent the occurrence of mixed steel.


(2) billet coding recognition system


According to the on-site working conditions, combined with the actual code spraying form of steel billets off-line, set up a code scanning or image recognition device to identify and check the relevant information of each billet, combined with the MES system, and effectively connect with the material tracking data of the upstream process.


(3) Full field of view temperature measurement of heating furnace


Multiple temperature sensors are installed in the heating furnace, and the temperature of each billet is sampled in sections and tracked in real-time, and distributed marking is carried out on the monitoring screen in the furnace, so that the furnace operator can more intuitively grasp the heating of the billet in the furnace In some cases, the collected data can also be used by heating the secondary model.


(4) Intelligent tagging


The disc and roll automatic tagging system project combines the MES system to realize the automatic printing of tags. The integrated automatic tagging robot can automatically make tags, and determine the appropriate position for automatic tagging through image algorithms, thereby replacing manual tagging and reducing tagging personnel. , Improve the accuracy of marking and reduce potential safety hazards.


(5) Automatic corner protection


An automatic corner protection device is installed on the baler body, and it is equipped with a related electric control system to realize automatic corner protection and reduce the number of personnel in corner protection positions.


3) Intelligent operation and maintenance


Intelligent operation and maintenance are the basis of intelligent manufacturing. The equipment status monitoring platform digitally manages the health status of equipment and provides technical support for equipment managers. By collecting and monitoring a number of characteristic parameters during the operation of key equipment in the production line (such as motors, bearings, gears, shafts, media, etc.), the real-time monitoring of the operating status of key production equipment in the rolling line is realized around the clock, alarm thresholds are set, and expert system diagnosis, develop maintenance strategies to achieve predictive maintenance and reduce unplanned downtime.


(1) Add sensors at multiple monitoring points and connect the data to the system;

(2) Establish a database to save the feature data of equipment components;

(3) Add fluid medium pipeline monitoring points and related sensors.


4) Intelligent logistics


Use big data, RFID radio frequency identification, image recognition and other technologies to automatically collect data from product warehousing, warehousing, movement, inventory, deployment, transportation and other operational links to realize logistics tracking and tracing, automatic control and optimal scheduling, and improve storage. Utilization rate, logistics turnover efficiency.


2. Main innovative progress


Compared with traditional production workshops, the construction of smart factories has the following improvements:

1) Integrated intelligent centralized control of production management and control, using EOW extended operating platform to improve the efficiency and convenience of human-computer interaction;

2) Equipment status online monitoring and diagnostic analysis technology, real-time positioning technology for equipment life cycle management, and improved monitoring and control capabilities for host equipment.

The heating furnace is equipped with a full-field-of-view temperature measurement system to achieve digital upgrades, organically integrate existing production facilities and production information, and strengthen real-time monitoring of the temperature of each billet in the heating furnace.

Using image recognition and an early warning system, through video AI recognition technology combined with machine learning algorithms, it can realize the intelligent management and control of dozens of key stations, help the on-site personnel to automatically monitor the production status and give early warning of abnormal conditions that may occur at any time, and prevent failures In the embryonic stage, prevent the expansion of production accidents.

3) Establish a data analysis platform to achieve lean production by collecting production process data and using big data analysis and expert decision-making models;

4) Improve intelligent equipment, adopt automatic and intelligent equipment such as intelligent labelling robots, automatic wrapping corner protection devices, etc., to realize dehumanization of the process and reduce potential safety hazards.

Establish an intelligent warehousing system, the intelligent three-dimensional warehouse and the intelligent unmanned crane cooperate with each other to realize the unmanned process of coil storage, storage and delivery.


3. Application situation and effect


Intelligent three-dimensional warehouse
Intelligent three-dimensional warehouse

1) Production operation – human-machine collaborative operation


Aiming the problem that there is no warehousing and logistics system in the current coil warehouse, it is impossible to realize informatization, unmanned, intelligent, and efficient management, and the finished product warehousing and product delivery process are complicated. An intelligent warehousing system has been established to realize man-machine collaborative operation.

The two intelligent three-dimensional warehouses are respectively located in the finished product span of the main factory building on the 5#6# high line. The unloading trolley belonging to the three-dimensional warehouse is connected to the PF line of the new line. The coil unloading trolley is unloaded and delivered to the three-dimensional warehouse storage by the translation rotary conveyor through the transfer platform. After receiving the goods from the stacker, the coils are automatically stored in accordance with the WMS instruction and the WCS system scheduling.

According to the delivery order plan, the stacker runs to the coiling position in the designated warehouse area through WMS instructions and WCS system scheduling, completes the pick-up, and places the goods on the inbound and outbound translation rotary conveyor, and the inbound and outbound RGV picks up and delivers the goods After arriving at the delivery platform, the unmanned vehicle passes the vehicle identification, positioning and scanning, and then performs full-automatic hoisting and loading with anti-swing throughout the whole process. The whole process of entering and exiting the warehouse is controlled by the hook number recognition system, WMS, WCS and other systems. A total of 9.072 million yuan of the cost was saved each year.

2) Equipment status online monitoring and diagnostic analysis


For the data collection of the equipment line in the rolling area, the monitoring personnel are relatively close to the red steel hazard source, and there are great potential safety hazards;

Some equipment bearings cannot be monitored due to location reasons, resulting in the inability to fully control the equipment status; secondly, the offline monitoring period is about 1-2 months, which is basically ineffective for sudden equipment failure monitoring, and it is difficult to control the situation in time; in addition, offline data On-site collection requires a lot of manpower. Currently, the monitoring time for each roughing reducer in the rolling area is about 2 hours;

There is a lack of inspection of oil products in the lubrication station, and when the oil product is not up to standard, it cannot provide good lubrication for the equipment.

Based on the vibration, temperature, current, voltage and other data of equipment operation, using artificial intelligence technologies such as fault mechanism modelling, big data analysis and machine learning, combined with equipment load status, intelligently diagnose equipment faults, and push faults according to fault levels to the personnel involved in the equipment. Thus, the development of equipment management from “spot inspection and fixed repair” to “predictive maintenance” has been realized.

At present, the number of host equipment failures has been zero for two consecutive years, the on-site inspection system has been optimized, and the data sampling cycle has been shortened to effectively reduce the inspection workload. Predict the service life of the equipment to achieve the purpose of predictive maintenance.

At the same time, adding an oil analysis system to the lubrication station can effectively detect the oil in all tanks in real-time, and remind relevant personnel to deal with it in time if the quality of the oil is lower than the standard level.


3) Safety control – real-time monitoring and identification of safety risks and automation of dangerous operations


At present, the production line and storage area of Qinggang are mostly manual intervention, and all related processes are also manual. There are many unsafe factors and on-site equipment in the complex working conditions of the production site, complex stacking of billets, and easily effect the sight of crane workers. cause accidents etc.

The two processes are completely unmanned by using intelligent label-hanging robots and automatic corner protection devices, which can optimize the personnel structure while improving efficiency. The safety risk of human intervention in this process is greatly reduced.

Using image recognition and early warning technology, real-time analysis of the monitoring screen, combined with machine learning algorithms, real-time and accurate capture of abnormal conditions in the screen, highlighting the abnormal screen, reducing the risk of on-site operations, reducing the operator’s attention to the monitoring screen of the whole plant, so that It can focus more on controlling production.

The image recognition early warning system is integrated with the early warning information in the data analysis platform to form a comprehensive intelligent early warning system for the steel rolling system. It greatly reduces the risk and work intensity of personnel in each process, optimizes 20 personnel positions, saves a warehouse area of 6,000 square meters, and improves delivery efficiency by 100%.


Intelligent tagging robot, Image recognition warning
Intelligent tagging robot, Image recognition warning

4) Energy Management – Energy Balance and Scheduling


Aiming at the problem of energy loss caused by insufficient or excessive combustion of billets in the heating furnace. The intelligent combustion system of the heating furnace has been established to realize the control of the overall heating process of the heating furnace and improve the utilization rate of gas energy.

Through the billet dispatching system, hot charging and hot delivery are adopted to realize the high-temperature transfer of billets from steelmaking to rolling, which avoids secondary heating of billets at the rolling side and reduces energy consumption. The rate of hot charging and hot delivery has reached more than 75%.


 conbustion system
Intelligent combustion system

5) Environmental protection management and control – emission early warning and control


The steel rolling heating furnace of Qingdao Special Steel uses mixed gas mixed with blast furnace gas and coke oven gas as fuel. Due to a large number of domestic gas users and the current situation of many emission points, the “pre-desulfurization” source control method is adopted to ensure that the flue gas is discharged up to the standard. After the treatment, the SO2 content of the mixed gas combustion is less than 35mg/m3. The water system equipped on the rolling line adopts an internal and external nested double circulation mode to achieve zero sewage discharge.


6) Quality control – accurate traceability of quality


Collect and integrate data from different subsystems, apply mathematical models and big data algorithms for statistics and analysis, complete control of product quality, improve the production process, improve the efficiency of fault analysis, improve product quality in general, and optimize costs Improve economic indicators described above; collect and store plant-wide data from different subsystems, and build a modular, scalable analysis solution specific to high-end plants on top of this platform to achieve “efficient, high-quality, low-cost “As the goal, help create a new lean manufacturing model.


7) Planning and Scheduling – Workshop Intelligent Scheduling


The original workshop has the following problems:

It is difficult to track the whole process of logistics, which cannot meet the group’s demand for refined material control.

The planning control is weak, the operation process is complicated, and the integrated planning and production of steel rolling have not been realized.

In order to conform to the company’s information structure, build the high-line MES system, connect the company’s production, supply and marketing system upwards, and connect downwards to various process automation systems, so as to realize the unification and smooth flow of logistics, business flow, and information flow in the high-line area, and realize the consistency of the production process. Planning and scheduling, consistent production control and management provide a solid information platform for production management, quality management, precise control of logistics, and optimal allocation of resources to meet the company’s modern production organization, coordination, and management requirements.

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