Laser systems ensure safe transport through the furnace - Scanning laser triangulation sensors replace camera system

Arcelor Mittal has awarded LAP an order for supply of a laser optical positioning system for beam blanks for its Esch Belval works in Luxemburg. The system will be used to measure length and position of beam blanks on the roller table feeding the walking beam furnace of the rolling mill for piling sections. The new system will ensure optimal charging of the furnace at all times.

The core elements of the system are two Antaris Scan triangulation distance sensors. The scanning sensors are arranged above the roller table to the left and the right of the furnace. 

When longer beam blanks arrive at the furnace, the two Antaris sensors scan both bloom faces simultaneously. Length and position of the beam blank on the roller table are computed based on these two distance measurements. Shorter beam blanks are pushed against a mechanical stop which is moved into the roller table whenever necessary. The Antaris sensor opposite the stop determines the length of the beam blank by measuring the distance between the free face end and the stop. 

When the length measurement is completed, the operators of the walking beam furnace will move the beam blanks in an optimal charging position, using the continuous laser-based measurement of the face ends, thus showing the position of the beam blanks in real time. 

The Antaris Scan sensors will replace a system of line-scan lasers and matrix cameras which determine the position and length of the beam blanks by way of image processing algorithms. 

The new solution is much simpler in that the Antaris Scan sensors need to be calibrated only once - when the system is first started up. The new Antaris Scan sensors are self-adapting to varying light conditions and surface colors, eliminating the previously needed permanent adjustment of image processing parameters. Thus, this LAP solution reduces the great calibration and maintenance effort involved in the operation of its precursor camera systems.

The specified measuring accuracy for length measurement and positioning of the beam blanks on the roller table in front of the furnace is +/- 10 mm. At any time, the set-up of the measuring system can be checked, calibrated and referenced by means of a calibration piece. 

As the Antaris Scan sensor heads are protected by a housing over pressurized by purging air, they do not require any regular maintenance. Two separate purging air units supply the sensors with instrument-grade filtered ambient air.

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