Since Covid-19 at the latest, digitisation has become a much more trendy topic than before. Advertising agencies that specialise in this topic, for example, can hardly escape from inquiries.
But what is the situation in industrial production? Digitization in a continuous casting plant sounds far-fetched, doesn't it?
The fact that many processes from an order and the actual production start are digitalized and automated has already arrived in many areas. But in most companies a continuous casting plant is still maintained in laborious manual work.
Such maintenance involves checking how the respective roller bodies of a segment relate to the casting radius. If the distance is outside the tolerance range, the roller body must be changed from the position so that it is back within the tolerance range. The more precisely the roller body fits, the higher the quality of the steel produced.
This test is still carried out in many productions with the traditional method of spying using feeler gauges. This means that a team places a template of sometimes several 100 kilograms on the segment. The distance between the roller body and the template is checked one-dimensionally.
Inaccuracies in the measurements can occur here, for example, due to the positioning of the template. But also the results when spying can vary from employee to employee.
Likewise, the template itself can develop a curvature through use and storage that is not visible to the human eye. In the end, this also influences the measurement result.
However, the greatest difficulty to date is the physical work and the associated risk of accidents. Although a crane is used in most cases, nevertheless, accidents at work occur again and again during transport and measurement with large templates.
The sigma3D GmbH has developed HD LASr on behalf of SMS group. A digital and innovative software solution that guides the user through the measurement with little training effort. The software has been specially adapted to the user in order to give him the best possible guidance during the measurement and thus achieve a better quality of the entire system.
A laser tracker with a corresponding measuring ball and the software are required for this. The software guides the user through the measurement process and indicates what is to be measured on the segment.
After the measurement, the user does not have to carry out the logging by hand as before, but receives it directly on the screen of his measuring laptop and can thus carry out the adjustment of the roller bodies directly.
This not only saves time, but also allows the employee to work much more flexibly and independently. In addition, all data is stored live in a database and can be called up at any time.
HD LASr has a slightly higher training time compared to the traditional measuring method, but often this is needed to become familiar with the laser tracker technology. The software itself, on the other hand, requires only a short training period.
The training effort for companies is always an investment question. In addition to the advantages of occupational safety and the flexibility of the measurement, there is also the question of quality.
For this reason, the data collected with the traditional alignment method was remeasured and compared with HD LASr. These showed that alignment with HD LASr leads to an improvement in accuracy by several tenths of a millimeter. For companies, the costs incurred in the short term due to the training effort are thus compensated in the long term by the higher quality of the products.
With traditional methods, companies usually can only meet the increased quality requirements with considerable investment, such as a plant conversion.
With HD LASr, sigma3D and SMS group have now succeeded in creating an application-oriented and innovative solution.
Existing plants can be improved effectively in their quality and the company can meet the requirements of the market again.
A solution that is becoming more and more important not only in times of digitalization.
sigma3D supports and develops other software projects besides HD LASr and is constantly expanding its software development division. The focus is on simplifying and facilitating work in the surveying industry. As an engineering office with more than 20 years of experience in the field of 3D industrial surveying, the company is aware of the importance of individual software development and is constantly advancing this area internally.
For this, modern software technologies and agile development methods are used. The team, which is spread over three locations, realizes individual software solutions for customers, among others in the steel and automotive industry.
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