An intelligent manufacturing project of Baosteel fills a gap in the industry: through revamping, No.3 Caster of the Steel-making Plant of Baoshan Base becomes the world first to adopt 4 robots—1 ladle robot, 1 tundish robot, 2 mold powder robots to operate collaboratively, which has realized automatic operation with robots for protection slag feeding, attach and detach of the ladle SN cylinder, attach and detach of the ladle shroud, tundish temperature measurement and sampling, etc. during the continuous casting process.
After operation for more than 4 months, the new production line has successfully completed the main functional test recently. The result of the functional test shows that completeness degree of the operation functions, operation performance accuracy and automation degree have all reached the international leading level. This is a new achievement made by Baosteel to promote the integrated application of industrial robots and vigorously promote intelligent manufacturing. It is also a solid and powerful step for creating the intelligent manufacturing model path of thick plate production line in steel-making.
In recent years, the smelting area has become the focus and difficulty of promoting intelligent manufacturing in Baosteel due to its complex production process, poor site operating environment and high labor intensity of operators. The No. 3 continuous caster was put into production in December 2004. It is an one-machine two-strand thick slab continuous caster. Due to the long service time, the equipment aging and some technical obsolescence have been difficult to meet the market demand for continuous casting slab quality. Therefore, the Steel-making Plant, with the support of the company, decided to make a comprehensive revamping for No.3 continuous caster and meanwhile adopt the robot to realize automatic casting for practicing the intelligent manufacturing that starts with few people or even no people in some posts.
In order to ensure the success of revamping, with the leading of Steel-making Plant, Baosteel Engineering, Baosight Software and Baosteel Investment Management Department, Baosteel Equipment and Materials Procurement Center, Baosteel Equipment Department, Shanghai MCC 20 and so on have established a can-do project team with excellent abilities. The whole team takes the independent integration of the project as its own responsibility, work together to optimize various parameters and improve various functions, fully analyze the difficulties and problems on the site, so as to make common suggestions. During the revamping process, the main tool of the tundish area robot, the shroud holder, was easily stuck after being used for a period of time, which led to that the robot could not be used normally for half a month. The project team members brainstormed and developed specific measures for the site working condition through design calculation, site observation and measurement, so that the problem was solved fundamentally. Under insistence day and night of the team members, all kinds of abnormal conditions were solved in an orderly way, making the most advanced and intelligent continuous caster in China become more and more mature after it was put into production successfully.
Working environment on the traditional casting production line of steel-making is very poor, the high temperature, thermal radiation, steel spatter, high-temperature flue gas and the jagged layout of equipment in ladle operation area are all harmful to the physical and mental health and safety of the casting operators. Now, four robots of No.3 continuous caster are operated expertly on the production line at the same time, which not only greatly reduces the work load and labor intensity of front-line casting operators, but also eliminates the mistakes caused by manual operation. In addition, it reduces the interaction between people and equipment, eliminates safety hazards, reduces danger sources and greatly improves the essential safety. Besides, the physical quality of the slab has been improved effectively.
The next stage, Steel-making Plant will solidly promote the overall plan and stage plan of intelligent manufacturing of steel-making, eventually forming eight intelligent centralized control centers, including hot metal processing center, converter center, refining center, continuous casting center, crane central control center, ladle central control center, steel slag remote control center and roasting center, so as to build a new generation of intelligent, networked, integrated and highly effective production line. Meanwhile, by means of intelligent process quality management, dynamic cost optimization management, equipment status diagnosis and prediction, and intelligent production planning and scheduling, to construct intelligent workshop management system of steel-making plant, so as to achieve the goal of each stage of intelligent manufacturing of steel-making.
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