What is the use of robots in steel industry?

Industrial robots are known as “the jewel at the top of the manufacturing crown”, and their R&D, manufacturing, and application are important symbols to measure a country’s technological innovation and high-end manufacturing level. At present, the application of industrial robots is in a stage of rapid development. China has been the world’s largest consumer of industrial robots for eight consecutive years. South Korea has the highest density of industrial robots. The data of traditional manufacturing powerhouses such as Japan, Germany, and the United States are also far ahead.

As an important part of intelligent manufacturing, robots have the advantages of good repeatability, stability and reliability, and high work efficiency. very important role.

This article will expand on the following aspects:
1 Application significance of robots in intelligent manufacturing of the steel industry
2 Working principle of robots in intelligent manufacturing of the steel industry
3 Application of robots in intelligent manufacturing of the iron and steel industry
4 Application examples of robots in intelligent manufacturing of the iron and steel industry


What is the use of robots in the steel industry?

The robots used in the intelligent manufacturing of the steel industry can not only perform work automatically according to the pre-programmed control program, but also accept human command, and can also act according to the principles and guidelines formulated by artificial intelligence technology. The robots used in the intelligent manufacturing of the steel industry integrate various advanced technologies (sensing technology, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, bionics, etc.) Working in a suitable working environment has an important impact on the sustainable development of the steel industry.


use of robots in steel industry


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1 Application significance of robots in intelligent manufacturing of the steel industry

1.1 Improve smelting efficiency and improve smelting effect

The application of robots in intelligent manufacturing in the steel industry can improve smelting efficiency. In the case of non-stop blowing, the robot can measure the temperature and carbon content of molten steel. Based on the measurement results, it can start dynamic calculations and calculate the amount of oxygen and The amount of coolant added, which not only improves production efficiency but more importantly, the hit rate of the endpoint continues to increase.

1.2 Shorten the smelting cycle and improve production efficiency

The robot can perform automatic sampling and temperature measurements without stopping blowing down the furnace during the converter-blowing process. The end-point control accuracy is high, the blowing end-point hit rate is high, and the post-blowing rate is low, which greatly shortens the smelting cycle.

1.3 Improve working conditions

During the smelting process, workers need to take manual temperature measurements and sampling. Workers not only have to endure high temperatures but also risk being splashed to carry out temperature measurement and sampling work, which poses a great threat to workers’ health and life safety. In the steel industry, the application of robots for steelmaking can not only free workers from dangerous working environments but also improve work efficiency and reduce labour intensity. After the realization of robot steelmaking, human activities in the high-temperature area near the converter have been significantly reduced. There are no traces of tools such as temperature measuring guns, sample spoons, and shovels, and traces of residual steel slag on the ground, and the site environment can be kept clean. Workers have more opportunities to consider the operation data and skills of converter production, and the overall quality is changing from physical strength to technical intelligence.


2 Working principle of robots in intelligent manufacturing of the steel industry

The working principle of the robot in the intelligent manufacturing of the steel industry is to imitate various body movements, ways of thinking, control, and decision-making abilities of humans. That is, through learning and memorizing motion trajectories and behaviour rules, or according to pre-programmed control programs, or even through self-learning, self-planning, and self-decision-making, control the body’s movement position, posture, trajectory, operation sequence, and action time in the workspace, etc., drive the end effector of the main body to complete a series of predetermined actions.

To realize the imitation process, from the perspective of control, the robot can achieve this goal in the following four ways.

First, teach and reproduce. Teach the manipulator how to move through the “teaching box” or “hand in hand”, the controller will memorize the teaching process, and then the robot will repeat the teaching action again and again according to the memory.

Second, programmable control. Prepare the control program according to the robot’s work tasks and motion trajectory in advance, then input the control program to the robot controller, start the control program, and the robot will complete the actions step by step according to the program; if the task changes, just modify or It is very flexible and convenient to rewrite the control program. Most industrial robots work in the first two ways.

Third, autonomous control. This method is the most advanced and complex control method in robot control. It requires the robot to have the ability to recognize the environment and make autonomous decisions in a complex unstructured environment, that is, to have some intelligent behaviour of humans.

Fourth, remote control. The robot is controlled by a human with a wired or wireless remote control to complete a certain task in a place that is difficult or dangerous for people to reach. Such as anti-riot robots, military robots, robots working in nuclear radiation and chemically polluted environments, etc.


3 Application of robots in intelligent manufacturing of the iron and steel industry

3.1 Application of robots in automatic temperature measurement and sampling in intelligent manufacturing of the steel industry

Robotic temperature measurement and sampling are one of the characteristics of an intelligent electric furnace. The robot temperature measurement and sampling technology is a high-performance automation equipment based on an industrial robot, which uses the flexibility of the robot to automatically install the probe, and automatically insert the gun body into the high-temperature molten steel from the door of the electric furnace for temperature measurement and sampling, and automatically remove the waste probe. The robot temperature measurement and sampling system has a high degree of automation, easy operation, and safe and reliable operation, which significantly improves the operating environment for workers and improves the intelligence level of the electric furnace.


AI in steel industry, Steelmaking robot


3.2 Application of robots in automatic unbundling of intelligent manufacturing in the steel industry

The cold-rolled strip steel is produced in the form of steel coils. Before production, each steel coil must be unbundled, uncoiled, and strip-threaded, and then accelerated to normal speed to work, which takes up a lot of production time. Applying the robot in this working stage, it can automatically cut off the steel coil strap coming from the previous unit, and can also automatically measure the specific position of the strap and curling through the rotary movement of the head of the firewood binding machine. After cutting the strap, It also automatically crushes the cut straps to the smallest size and discharges them into the waste hopper. The application of industrial robots for unbundling can free workers from repetitive manual operations, reduce accidents, and improve production efficiency.


3.3 The application of robots in the automatic labelling of intelligent manufacturing in the steel industry

In the cold rolling production process, after the steel coil is bundled, it will arrive at the labelling station with the steel coil trolley. At this time, the automatic labelling robot will receive the steel coil data sent by the main control system, and print, pick up and stick the label, the movement of the steel coil trolley will be blocked during the robot labelling process. The robot labelling device will use vacuum adsorption to absorb the label, then calculate the size of the steel coil, and use the labelling robot arm to stick the label to the designated labelling position according to the size of the steel coil. During the labelling process, it is necessary to press the surface of the steel coil with the labelling head to fix it, and then use the rollers to smooth and compact the label so that it can be firmly pasted on the surface of the steel coil. Finally, the labelling robot returns to the standby position and unlocks the export steel coil trolley. The automatic labelling robot can save a lot of time and workload of manual labelling, reduce working time and improve production efficiency.


Welding Robot


4 Application examples of robots in intelligent manufacturing of the iron and steel industry

1) Shougang Silicon Steel Cold Rolling Smart Factory

During the construction of the silicon steel cold rolling intelligent factory demonstration project, Shougang fully utilized its advantages in the metallurgical industry and the integration ability of the control system to overcome difficulties and make bold innovations. During the application process, the mode of “system integration first, independent development follow-up” is actively adopted, and the on-site application of robots is actively promoted in the process links of cutting, bundling, and labeling in the project.

Through the key research and project implementation of the intelligent system of the unbundling robot at the entrance of cold rolling, the robot can replace the manual and automatically receive instructions from the control system, intelligently adapt to the production rhythm, and embed the video recognition technology into the system to improve the robot’s diverse perception capabilities and autonomy. Adapt to improve the ability to control quality. Through the implementation of the robot application project, the digital modeling and visual display of the whole production process of the silicon steel-cold rolling plant will be promoted, the operation interaction will be realized, and the fault prediction and alarm display of key parameters such as equipment and process in the production process will be realized, and a unique system will be formed. Shougang’s characteristic “robot swarm + Internet + intelligent management and control” intelligent manufacturing system integration solution. Further actively promote the promotion and application of intelligent safety, intelligent detection, intelligent replacement, intelligent error-proof, and intelligent metallurgy special robots in the whole process of Shougang Iron and Steel, adding a touch of bright color to the construction of Shougang’s smart factory.


2) China Baowu Hot Rolling Workshop

The roll-grabbing robot is holding a roll, turning the iron arm, and gently placing it on the grinder. Next to it, the unmanned AGV trolley automatically transports the polished roll to the next station. Over there, the unbundling robot removes the straps from the steel coils.


roll grabbing robot


What robots will replace are 3D jobs in the steel industry, namely dangerous (high risk), dusty (poor environment), and difficult (difficult). By replacing people with robots, the production site can be reduced and unmanned, and employees can be liberated from harsh environments and dangerous positions.


robots in steel industry


3) Laiwu Iron and Steel replaces human-operated robots

Lofting, grinding, testing, and a set of operations are smooth and smooth, and this series of inspection and testing operations are easily completed by a robot team composed of five robotic arms.

The steel slag rapid analysis system in the steel section of the chemical laboratory is designed by the quality assurance department of the company. As one of the important links in steelmaking, the liquid steel composition inspection has been operated manually for a long time. While consuming labor costs, there are also labor costs. Unfavorable factors such as errors.


grinding robot


The automatic temperature measurement and sampling robot replaces the manual temperature measurement and sampling. Employees only need to stand at a distance and press the button, and the automatic temperature measurement and sampling robot will quickly and flexibly complete the temperature measurement and sampling. ensure accurate data.


sampling robot, temperature measurement


More and more robotic arms are used in production positions to further reduce the labor intensity of front-line workers, optimize human resources, ensure accurate production data, and help enterprises develop as an “arm”.

All in all, smart manufacturing and machine substitution are the general trends. Robots are especially suitable for repetitive labor that can be regularized. It is more meaningful to implement in the bottleneck link that restricts automation capabilities. It can release production line capacity and increase automation rates. The conditions and significance of the implementation after the steel is greater than those before the iron.


Article source: “Application of Robots in Intelligent Manufacturing of Iron and Steel Industry”


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