24 March, 2018

Sarclad specifies Penny + Giles tilt sensors for precision measurement system (Jan/Feb 2012)

30 January, 2012

Penny + Giles, a business group of Curtiss-Wright Controls and designer and manufacturer of high precision sensing technology, is supplying its STT280 tilt sensors and SRH280DP rotary sensors to Sarclad to provide critical measurements for an In-Chain Strand Condition Monitor – a precision, online measurement system used to monitor continuous casting machine rolls used in the steel making process.

The In-Chain Strand Condition Monitor (In-Chain SCM) is permanently installed in the steelmaking process to enable automatic fixed-roll alignment and roll-gap measurements to be performed at the beginning of every casting, without affecting production activities. The Penny + Giles sensors were specified to meet the stringent requirements of a system that is robustly engineered to endure the extremely hostile casting environment.
Commenting for Sarclad, In-Chain SCM manager Richard Cowlishaw said: “With a continuous cast system able to produce in excess of US$1million worth of steel a day time is of the essence, so interrupting production to measure the condition of the casting machine could cost steelmakers huge amounts of money. Installing a Sarclad In-Chain SCM system ensures that measurements are taken automatically at the start of every cast, so that costly downtime is avoided and quality of product is maintained.”
The Penny + Giles STT280 tilt sensors are fitted to the In-Chain SCM to measure the fixed-roll alignment of the casting machine using spring-loaded blades that tangent pairs of rolls to measure the angles between them. The data is then processed to identify rolls and segments that are out of position relative to other rolls within each segment.
Compact size and robust construction
Sarclad had previously used inclinometers, but specified the Penny + Giles tilt sensor because its compact size and robust construction proved more effective and robust for the application. In addition, because measurements are taken while the continuous cast system is moving, inclinometers were prone to resonate or create a spike output. In contrast, the STT280 tilt sensor features 3D-MEMS technology, which provides a naturally-damped response that is unaffected by knocking or vibration. This feature is especially important for continuous steelmaking operations where accurate measurements are vital, as Cowlishaw explains. “The steel making process involves pouring molten steel into a caster mould and oscillating the mould to prevent the liquid steel sticking to the sides while it solidifies.
“The vibrations from the action of the oscillator affect the measurements taken with traditional inclinometers by producing spiked rather than smooth outputs, which corrupts the measured data. The caster operates from ninety degrees vertical to zero degrees horizontal, so in order to accurately measure between the two angles it is necessary to measure beyond them. Penny + Giles were able to customise the STT280 sensor to measure between 92 degrees and -2 degrees, providing the calibration points we needed outside the measuring range.”
He added that Sarclad was so impressed with the Penny + Giles sensors that they have also been installed on its traditional Strand Condition Monitor, which is the offline equivalent of the online In-Chain system. Sarclad also uses Penny + Giles SRH280DP rotary Hall effect sensors to measure gap displacement on the In-Chain SCM system, replacing the rotary inductive position sensor (RIPS) used in the original design.
Maximum resolution
When Penny + Giles introduced the SRH280 rotary Hall effect sensor to provide uniform feedback, Sarclad reportedly realised its benefits immediately, even though it was only initially launched as a single channel sensor. However, the range was programmable, which allowed the company to get the maximum resolution from the 30 degree rotation output they required. Sarclad now fits the recently developed Penny + Giles SRH280DP two channel version, which can be configured with both channel outputs increasing with clockwise or anti-clockwise shaft rotation, or one clockwise with one anti-clockwise.
The SRH280DP is fitted as part of a gap transducer, which has a spring-loaded rotary arm that extends out to contact the caster rolls to provide an absolute measurement for the distance between the pair of opposing rolls.
The IP68-rated SRH280DP sensor provides reliable and accurate rotary position measurement for extreme industrial environments where shock and vibration can occur. It operates from either a 5Vdc regulated or 9 to 30Vdc unregulated power supply and is available with analogue (0.5 to 4.5Vdc) or digital (PWM) output signals.
Photo caption: Sarclad In-Chain SCM Measuring Cassettes.

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