- Simetal Wiplant integrates mobile equipment in automation network of steelworks
- Additional data improves process management and condition-based maintenance
- Easier implementation of measuring points that are difficult to reach with cables
- Can be used to track and identify mobile components
Simetal Wiplant is a new platform developed by Siemens Metals Technologies for wireless data transmission in steelworks. Plant operators can now integrate distributed sensor systems and mobile equipment such as ladle cars, scrap chutes or transport cars featuring integrated weighing technology into existing automation networks. Siemens also offers Wiplant-based applications for condition-based maintenance or for integrating test points that are difficult to reach with cables. The additional real-time operating and machine data help to implement individual process steps in the steelworks more precisely, improve their coordination and match maintenance work to specific requirements. This optimizes material deployment, makes logistics more efficient and shortens production times. The battery-operated systems are designed for long service and reliable operation under tough ambient conditions.
Scrap is the main raw material in electric steel plants. But even in modern BOF (LD) steel mills, up to 30 percent scrap can also be processed economically nowadays. To enable production of different steel grades, the composition and the weight of the material used must be known exactly. Only then can the metallurgical process run precisely and the production plant be put to optimum use. To this end, different pre-sorted grades of steel scrap must be put together in a cost-optimized manner for each smelt and transported to the melt shop in good time. Permanently installed platforms for weighing the material make transport routes inflexible. Neither is it always possible to respond to changes in storage locations.
This is where Siemens offers both a flexible and a precise alternative. Scrap chutes, ladle cars and transport trucks with integrated weighing technology are linked directly to the steelworks’ automation system via wireless Wiplant technology. They transmit material and weight data to the process model for the smelting operation in real time. At the same time, a data management tool records and manages all measurements needed for the production process. These are stored in an archive together with the number of the respective smelt.
When it comes to modernization work or connecting special measuring points, wireless transmission is also a simple and low-cost alternative to hard-wiring. Simetal Wiplant is already used successfully in steelworks for measurement systems on the hot bottom of the converter. Here, cabled transmission could only be implemented at considerable cost due to the tough ambient conditions.