The growing flexibility in production, the ever-smaller batch sizes, and the increasingly expanding production mixes are requirements that apply nowadays to production processes in the steel industry. Alongside these factors, the continuing further development of automation technology is an essential prerequisite for staying competitive and supporting production staff with the latest automation solutions.

The Quicksetting module, which has been successfully in use for many years for ERW welded tube plants, was newly implemented in 2019. With the new implementation, it received an update using current software technology and a new, web-based user interface. At the same time, this new Quicksetting module was integrated into the X-Pact® brand family.

Combining the automation system with an intelligent database software creates the link between plant engineering, technological know-how, and operation. The X-Pact® Quicksetting system provides intelligent connectivity and systematic networking of knowledge and data and, in doing so, sets a new standard in plant automation.

SMS group has developed an innovative integrated solution for the shortest possible change-over times for ERW welded tube plants. The centerpiece of this solution is the X-Pact® Quicksetting system. It reduces change-over and setting times in welded tube plants and thus increases productivity. At the same time, product quality can be reproduced and continuously improved by means of database-supported plant settings. The system fulfills the current requirements for high flexibility in production with ever-smaller batch sizes and wider production mixes.

The X-Pact® Quicksetting stores the parameters and roll data for the product portfolio in a database. The data record can then be gradually supplemented to include the plant owner’s customized settings.

As part of X-Pact® Process Guidance, X-Pact® Quicksetting easily allows you to get the best out of your plant: The intuitive user interface of the intelligent, database-supported software is used by the operator to set the desired tube format and transfer it to the plant – the corresponding settings are then executed automatically. The settings can be easily stored to achieve reproducible results. In this way, tubes with the same parameters and quality can be reliably reproduced later.

What’s more, the system provides a platform and with it the possibility of running multiple licenses for welded tube plants on one physical server.

X-Pact® Quicksetting reduces change-over and setting times in welded tube plants and thus increases productivity

Key features

  • Higher productivity with quick-change system incl. X-Pact® Quicksetting
  • Optimized processes, process-oriented, ergonomic and simple operation
  • Technologically suitable setup values can be chosen for the product
  • Reproducibility and reliability of system settings
  • Systematic cross-linking of knowledge and data
  • Extensibility of the system with the addition of other modules and applications

Optimized processes

With the X-Pact® Quicksetting roll management module, the ideal configuration and the required rolls for the subsequent tube format can be planned while production is underway. Everything is ready and in place before the size change. In this way, tube producers can measurably reduce changing times to a minimum.

State-of-the-art web-based user interface

Accessing the user interface via a web browser is a future-proof solution that offers the greatest versatility. Based on the specified setting, the database provides the relevant setting data and transfers it to the operator panels on the plant. The PLC system then positions the rolls automatically. The language of the user interface can be selected and translations can be quickly input.

Ever increasing know-how

Based on SMS group’s forming process expertise, the system can be used to create different variants within one product family. Once the product quality has been approved, the operator uploads the settings to the product database. In this way, data sets for new sizes can be created and optimized on the basis of similar product settings. The longer the plant is in operation, the greater the inventory of optimized setting data.

Forward thinking and reliable

The system also takes roll redressing into account and automatically corrects the positions and speeds in line with the current roll diameters uploaded into the system.

Last references

Over the past few years, our customers have seen the increasing need for larger, HSS in the bridge, transportation and building markets. In the North American market, for example, Zekelman Industries and its Structural Atlas Tube Division have been relying for several years already on tube welding technology supplied by SMS group. At the world’s largest continuous ERW tube welding line installed in Blytheville, USA, the intelligent X-Pact® Quicksetting system is helping the new welding line to satisfy the strictest requirements in terms of product quality and throughput. The system will also ensure a modern level of automation and reliable system settings at the new plants for Padana Tubi & Profilati Acciaio in Guastalla, Italy, and for Bull Moose Industries in Chesterfield, USA. As part of a modernization project, SMS group has successfully implemented the X-Pact® Quicksetting system at Arvedi Tubi Acciaio in Cremona, Italy.