Lights-out factory - Smart sensors and camera-based solutions

In our industry, the "Lights-out Factory" is basically the equivalent of a self-driving car. In addition, the degree of automation in metallurgical plant and equipment is set to grow further. This can only succeed if the relevant sensors are used to view, hear, and collect data.

In our Learning [Steel] Plant, we rely on smart sensors and thus on the gapless collection of data, on transparency, and on dynamic and self-optimizing solutions that effectively supplement existing equipment in the extremely harsh environment of the metal industry and make them fit for the future.

With X-Pact® Sense, plant owners have a wide range of solutions based on visual, acoustic, and haptic evaluations. Intelligent algorithms process the input data to produce the correct results quickly and effectively, evaluate them in an intelligent manner, and pass them on in a targeted manner to other applications using modern communication standards.

This involves compact units, in which sensor, evaluation, recording, and communication technologies are brought together in one device. The components are designed for use in the harsh environment of a steel mill and satisfy all relevant mechanical and thermal requirements.

X-Pact® Sense sensors and cameras featuring smart logic and SMS group domain know-how give your plant intelligence and open up a range of new possibilities. The process automation system can be expanded on the basis of the new information provided. The production process becomes more efficient and flexible.

Not only that, it is highly energy efficient and requires less maintenance.


  • Slag detection with X-Pact® Sense

    Slag detection with X-Pact® Sense

    All in one: sensor, evaluation, recording and communication

    Timely, safe and intelligent slag detection, automatic tapping process support, overflow detection at the converter mouth incl. data evaluation and alarm function.

    Key features

    • Easy integration into existing and new production facilities
    • Data exchange with the plant automation system
    • Support for the operating personnel



    • Increased tapping process reliability
    • Low maintenance


    • Controlled slag amount


    • Intelligent evaluation algorithms
    • Web interface
    • Connectivity
  • Strip center measurement with X-Pact Sense hotCAM

    Strip center measurement with X-Pact ® Sense hotCAM

    Use of a closed-loop algorithm to calculate the strip center line deviation and provides a levelling correction signal for the hot rolling mill stands. 
    For the different rolling sequences (head, filet, tail end) different control methods are used. Smooth transition between the control actions in the different phases is ensured. 
    The X-Pact® Sense hotCAM itself is designed against harsh environmental conditions like high strip temperature, fog, steam, dust and vibrations.
    The hotCAM continuously takes images of the hot strip or plate. Only the thermal radiation of the hot strip is taken into account.

    Key features

    • Improved process stability and reduced cobbles in the finishing mill and coiler area due to better strip guidance
    • Increased yield due to less cobbles and less roll changes
    • Tight strip dimension accuracy for stable thin gauge production down to 0.8 mm
  • Ladle identification with X-Pact® Sense

    Ladle identification with X-Pact® Sense

    Full automatic infrared all-in-one ladle recognition system

    Use of patented infrared technology to identify the ladles for the vacuum process.

    Key features

    • Flexible installation distance (1m – 15m)
    • Reliable for temperatures > 300°C
    • Only (PoE) LAN-cable connection / no additional electrical periphery required
  • Reliable measurement of suction pressure in BOF

    Suction Pressure Measurement with X-Pact® Sense

    Reliable measurement of suction pressure in BOF

    Our solution includes sensor and flame size evaluation in a single device, resulting in an intelligent machine learning method for suction pressure calculation.
    Suction pressure is evaluated based on flame size and additional process parameters. Communication takes place in a PC-based solution.

  • Torpedo tracking with X-Pact® Sense

    Seamless tracking and coordination of torpedo vehicles

    Key features

    • Complete traceability of cars and accurate timing
    • Reduction of manual activities and manual mistakes
    • Integration with automation of blast furnace and melt shop



    • Reduction transfer and handling time up to 20%
    • Minimum heat loss of hot metal
  • Linear position measurement with X-Pact® Sense

    Robust linear position transducer for HGC

    Today’s market demands regarding narrow product tolerances for rolled materials require highly precise position transducer systems. Transducer systems need to grant a high dynamic and, beside all this, have to withstand the harsh environmental conditions as they are typical for rolling mills.

    Usually linear position transducers can be used both for new installations and for replacing technically out-of-date systems. Especially for revamps it is required to minimize the impact to the existing installation on site.

    Linear position measurement with X-Pact® Sense is the state-of-the art plug-and-play system required to achieve today’s demands upon rolled products. It is ready-to-use and can be installed easily without adjustments via oscilloscope. As a state-of-the-art system it provides additional diagnosis features.

    The transducer is maintenance-free and comes with a long-term availability of spare parts.

    Key features

    • High resolution
    • No adjustments via oscilloscope
    • Easy integration, low size, pin-compatibility
    • Additional diagnosis via Profibus available
    • Long-term availability of spare parts
  • In-situ gas measurement with X-Pact® Sense

    Maintenance free and fast insitu laser gas technology

    Key features

    • Maintenance free solution with no gas extraction and gas preparation
    • Very fast gas sampling < 1s
    • No gas preparation room required



    • Improved model response due to fast process feedback
    • Higher system availability
    • Lowest OPEX (maintenance)
  • Leakage detection with X-Pact® Sense

    Detect water leaks instantly

    Key features

    • Increased personal protection
    • Prevention of downtimes of the plant
    • Detected leakage -> prompt reaction
    • Avoiding negative media and loss of image due to environmental impact



    • Increased overall safety for personnel
    • Reduced interruptions of production


    • Production cost optimization


    • Advanced process control and prevention of injuries
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