Our previous update introduced the EPS Generation 3 Cell which increases EPS speeds by over 20%, lowers operating cost proportionately, and greatly simplifies and reduces maintenance.
That update focused on the ‘Gen 3’ enhancements made to the EPS Turbine Chamber itself. Today, we share the enhancements to the terminal equipment and the balance of the EPS Cell that complete the picture by
- further increasing line speed,
- producing an even cleaner surface,
- reducing floor space required for the line,
- improving line efficiency through reduced setup and thread time, and
- reducing maintenance of the entire coil line by approximately 50%.
The specific enhancements are detailed below. We are currently implementing them in the new EPS Coil Line at TMW, which will have a pickling capacity in excess of 20,000 monthly tons while occupying just 33 meters of line length. View our progress in this short video:
COIL PREP STATION AND THREADING
Efficiency improvement can begin before the coil is even threaded. The Coil Prep Station, shown below, is designed to let you remove bands, crop the coil head, measure thickness and width and position the coil right next to the uncoiler mandrel. It also includes a special instrument to quickly measure yield strength, eliminating the need to crop off a sample and go perform a conventional off-line yield test.
Once the coil is on the mandrel, improved threading and guiding enhancements allow you to easily feed the coil through the line and have it clamped in the recoiler within three minutes. Part of this is placing the uncoiler at a lower elevation so the material pays off ‘uphill’, which helps prevent occasional reverse bending of the coil head.
MILL DUTY SCALE BREAKER/ROLLER LEVELER
TMW EPS Coil Lines will incorporate a patent pending high-performance combination Scale Breaker and Roller Leveler combined into a single compact machine. This machine was designed specifically for EPS Coil line applications and AHSS grades by Allor Manufacturing, a highly regarded maker of steel mill equipment. It expands capacity up to 6 mm for scale breaking and 10 mm for roller leveling.
It’s well known that a scale breaker placed ahead of the EPS Cell will increase line speed as much as 35% – 40% by removing the looser outer layers of scale. This new machine accomplishes that and brings added benefits of:
- expanding the maximum thickness for scale breaking from 3 mm to 6 mm,
- a space saving footprint versus separate scale breaker and roller leveler units,
- the capability to run thicker strip and AHSS grades,
- an anti-crossbow function that improves flatness, especially for thicknesses > 3mm,
- wet rinsing for cleaner removal of loosened scale,
- automated setup.
This last point provides big efficiency gains by eliminating guesswork and manual setup of the unit. Here’s how it works: the operator enters material thickness and width, but ordinarily would not know yield strength. No problem – the yield strength instrument at the Coil Prep Station measures yield and automatically sends the value to the Scale Breaker/Leveler over the line control. With this information, the Scale Breaker, Anti Cross Bow, and Roller Leveler stations on the unit are all set up and activated or deactivated as needed.
IMPROVED FILTRATION SYSTEM
The magnetic filter section of the EPS Cell Filtration System has been replaced by an expanded double vacuum filtration section. This provides better performance when pickling HSLA, stainless and silicon steel. This simpler system requires fewer pumps, less piping and it:
- filters scale from the new ‘wet’ Scale Breaker/Leveler, so a separate filtration system is not needed,
- ‘fine filters’ 100% of system water for a cleaner EPS surface and extended pump life,
- can be installed outside of the EPS line’s building to significantly reduce overall line space,
- eliminates nearly all maintenance since the magnetic separator is no longer used.
The photo below shows this improved Filtration System being installed for the EPS Version 2.3 Coil Line at TMW’s Technology Center. Space has been saved inside the plant by locating the Filtration System in this exterior structure. Additional space saving is accomplished by also placing the line’s heat exchangers in this structure. (click photo to enlarge)
At TMW we have also chosen to place the main drive control cabinets in this exterior structure. That isolates them from the dirty, noisy processing plant environment, so they stay cleaner and are easier to access and work on. It’s also makes it easier to cool them, because we can maintain the exterior structure at a lower temperature than the main plant.
POST RINSE BRUSH UNIT
A single-stand high speed rotating roll brush is installed immediately after the final EPS Cell of a Generation 3 Coil Line. Brushing can be disengaged (normal), set to a light brush to remove traces of smut on the surface, or set to deep brushing to actually reduce Ra for the rare occasions when a smoother surface is required. The post rinse wash is located after this brushing unit to produce an even cleaner EPS surface than before.
EPS GENERATION 3 IS ALMOST HERE
Installation of these new enhancements on the EPS Generation 3 Coil Line at TMW’s Technology Center are in their final stages, as shown in the photo below. The line will begin operational testing and commissioning within a month, then it will commence pickling of conventional grades, AHSS, silicon steel and stainless – all on the same line, with no downtime or changeover needed between these different products. Stay tuned for additional updates, including video footage, as progress continues. (click on below image to enlarge)