Emergency Support Call and Upgrade of Steel Mill Line Controls

After a steel mill client experienced a flooded basement and damaged equipment, E Tech Group upgraded the obsolete drives, PLC, and HMI, as well as an automatic tension control mode.

Project: Increase Production Capacity and Shore Up Safety

A leading steel company hired E Tech Group to increase throughput and safety on the customer’s six-stand cold mill line. Additional project goals were to reduce head and tail off gage, reduce inner stand strip breaks, reduce electrical downtime, and improve safety.

Solution: Follow the Audit’s Recommendation in Control System Design

E Tech Group conducted a mill drafting study to determine HP and speed limitations, reviewed the mill model, and set up proper procedures. We conducted an equipment audit to determine the failure rate and root causes, before implementing the audit’s recommendations.

E Tech Group’s control system integrators implemented:

  • Monitoring and tuning of the inner stand tension
  • An MG set stand
  • One custom 12 pulse drive to fit on existing gen base
  • A screw-down clutchless control.

We also regulated the voltage to the speed reg. Our automation engineers then performed a safety study and implemented recommendations. We performed installation, startup, and commissioning of all relevant systems.

Results: Real-World, Real-Time ROI via Improved Safety Automation

This successful project accomplished several things for the client:

  • Reduced head and tail off-gage
  • Reduced strip breaks, WR, and BU roll wraps by 50%
  • Improved strip shape
  • Increased annual tonnage
  • Reduced electrical downtime by 50%

As such, this project resulted in a quick ROI for the client, with whom we have worked on other control system upgrades and retrofits since. E Tech Group offers metal manufacturers automation solutions of any size, from integrating a single piece of equipment to providing facility-wide control system builds or upgrades. Our breadth of experience in the industry provides us with the specialized knowledge needed to create intuitive automation systems that set our clients up for success.