In January 2020, about 30 experts from seamless tube producers met in the SMS group workshop in Treviolo (Italy) to see the world’s most advanced seamless tube plant.
In 2018, Jiangsu ChangBao Precision Steel Tube Co., Ltd (China) awarded SMS group the contract to supply a new, state-of-the-art PQF® (Premium Quality Finishing) seamless tube plant with related automation. In January 2020, SMS group invited interested customers to see the world’s most advanced seamless tube plant in the SMS group workshop in Treviolo, Italy. The event combined a workshop tour and technology presentations about the latest steps in PQF® evolution as well as measuring technology and further technological features. The agenda was rounded off by a speech from the customer as well as a lively discussion and technical exchanges.
Centerpiece of the event was the PQF®, which will be used by ChangBao to produce seamless tubes within a diameter range of up to 6 5/8 inches and wall thicknesses between 4 and 20 millimeters. Its annual capacity is 300,000 tons of tubes. These will be used in oil and gas production (OCTG tubes) and must satisfy very high quality and tolerance requirements in accordance with API standards.
With the BCO-type PQF® plant (Bilateral Change-Over) the stands are changed at both sides of the mill. The compact, easily accessible construction enhances the user-friendliness of the plant. The drive is simpler in design and is easier to service. In addition, the hydraulic capsules (hydraulic adjustment) are directly connected to the mill frame. This ensures the rolling forces are distributed symmetrically over the mill, resulting in a further significant improvement in wall thickness variations. This increases both the efficiency and flexibility of the mill.
The scope of supply for ChangBao’s new seamless tube plant includes performance modules, which were also shown in the workshop and discussed in the technical presentations. For example, the CaliView® measuring system developed by SMS group allows for fast, inline calibration of all rolling mills, and guarantees the perfect alignment of the mill line.
The LASUS® measuring technology can replace the otherwise commonly applied radioactive isotope technique by a safe laser technology. The new technology is extremely environmentally friendly and ensures monitor control with the PQF®-SecControl® technology as well as the FTS function (front and tail end sharpening) in real time.
Any yield losses are minimized using the latest modules in the CARTA® neo technology system. The main functions CEC (Crop End Control for reducing thick ends), WTCA (Wall Thickness Control, Average), and WTCL (Wall Thickness Control, Local) have been significantly improved. Furthermore, new features and a restructured workflow support the operator and help to optimize the evaluation and planning.
In addition, SMS group showed MEERgauge® – a true shape size measurement system – and the online surface defect detection (SurfTec®). The surface measurement system integrated in the MEERgauge® system helps plant operators to determine the precise position of the anomalies on the bar surface at the time of rolling and to evaluate the data using special algorithms. The system provides the plant operator with information on the cause by classifying the defects.