Boulting, the multi-disciplined engineering solutions provider, has completed the refurbishment and installation of a turret head edge trimmer, scrap chopper and all associated equipment on the AP1 Line at Tata Steel's Orb Works, South Wales.
Tata's AP1 Line manufactures high specification grain orientated electrical steel coils for use in transformers and motor core/stator laminations. The side trimmers remove rough edges from the steel, producing a high-precision finish, without the need for prior processing through a dedicated side trimming line.
By installing the side trimmers - coils can be pickled and annealed ready for the next operation in one complete process. Benefits include reduced production costs, increased production throughput and improved strip edge quality, which in turn yields a product which is more competitive in world-wide markets.
Awarded in March 2012, the implementation programme spanned a total of 12 weeks - a requirement stipulated by Tata Steel. Boulting provided a complete project service from design and build to installation and commissioning for all drives, PLC, SCADA and plant cabling.
New drives and PLC hardware were engineered at Boulting's dedicated Electrical Switchgear and Intelligent MCC manufacturing facility at Penketh, Warrington, and retrofitted into existing control panels by the onsite team.
The trimmer control software was fully integrated with the existing Siemens S7319F Process Section PLC and to maximise autonomy of the production line, Boulting also programmed the trimmer turrets to automatically adjust according to coil tracking data within the Process PLC. Width measurements are established using a multi-turn Absolute Encoder interface to the Process PLC via Profibus DP. A revised iFIX SCADA provides a comprehensible operator interface.
Clive Russell, Boulting Senior Project Manager, commented "This was a great project to be involved with. We have helped one of key customers realise new efficiencies and cost reductions by streamlining their operations and, at the same time, had an opportunity to demonstrate our ability to successfully deliver a complete project service."
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