Steel News

Chinese Mill Upgrades Caster Automation, Plant Controls

3/31/2020 - China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd. has commissioned a new integrated control center (ICC) to run a casting plant at its Shanghai steel works. 

According to project contractor Primetals Technologies, the new center allows the No. 3 continuous caster at the company’s No. 1 steel works to be monitored and operated from a single location. 

“The objective was to reduce the number of personnel working in the hazardous area (liquid steel area) and to relocate the work to the air-conditioned ICC. Standard tasks, which previously had to be performed manually, can now run automatically,” Primetals Technologies said.

As part of the project, Primetals Technologies modernized the level 1 and level 2 automation systems and outfitted the caster with a number of automation software and technology packages, including its LevCon mold level control, DynaWidth automatic slab width adjustment, the DynaFlex Osci hydraulic mold oscillator, the Mold Expert breakout detection system, an electromagnetic stirrer and a fully automatic dummy bar insertion system for top feeding.

It also equipped the control center with human-machine interface touch panels and installed two casting platform robots in the ladle and tundish section. The robots are used for ladle shroud manipulation, temperature measurement and sampling, application of tundish powder, and lancing, Primetals Technologies said. 

Perhaps the most notable feature of the upgrade is the installation of a digital access system that relies on facial recognition. 

“Cameras are installed at every gate. These control access to the individual areas by means of a facial recognition system. This system guarantees that only authorized and appropriately trained personnel can gain access. In addition, it was also possible to implement precise access control for external partners such as Primetals Technologies during the commissioning phases,” Primetals Technologies said. 

Baoshan Iron & Steel is part of China Baowu Steel Group Corp. Ltd.