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Mönchengladbach, August 19, 2020

Five measures that immediately improve the productivity of your drawing line

An impressive all-rounder: higher output, better quality, extended life span

The performance of our new drawing lines for bright steel is around 20 percent higher compared to older lines. At the same time, quality, safety, and ease of maintenance have been enhanced and processes are more transparent with the use of innovative measuring technologies and digitalization. What's more, thanks to a comprehensive modernization concept, these improvements can also be made to existing drawing lines.

Bright steel drawing lines are like endurance athletes. Continually performing under the toughest conditions while meeting ever-growing demands. That is why SMS group has optimized products and developed new solutions in all areas of drawing line production. As well as new equipment, SMS group offers the high-efficiency replacement or overhaul of individual assemblies for all machines installed in a drawing line – from the prestraightener through the drawing unit, hydraulic shear, and 2-roll straightener, right up to the chamfering machine.

By identifying our performance modules according to productivity, efficiency, quality, and Industrie 4.0, customers can see the benefits of a new technology or service at a glance. This modularity applies not only to the overview of services but also to the machine design concepts, regardless of whether they were supplied by SCHUMAG, KIESERLING, or SMS group. 

Measure 1: Re-engineer for high strengths

The new drawing line is SMS group's most advanced solution. With the new generation of coil preparation system and the new prestraighteners, it creates the ideal conditions for high degrees of forming and high-strength materials of over 1,300 MPa.

Measure 2: Increase production
The combination of optimized process in the coil preparation unit, fast line changeovers for new products, and the high drawing speed of the caterpillar units make the difference in productivity.

Thanks to the new safety concept, the new KiKaHa 3500S pay-off reel enables plant operators to prepare the next coil at full production speed. This boosts productivity by five to ten percent on average.

The newly designed caterpillar drawing system reaches speeds of up to 250 meters per minute. The bar length tolerance has been reduced from ± 5 millimeters to just ± 1 millimeter. The high availability of the line, which is achieved by the need for fewer wear parts and the use of an automatic lubrication system among other things, adds to its enhanced performance.

Measure 3: Reduce shutdowns
Our Technical Service supports its customers for the whole lifetime of their drawing line.

Shutdowns for maintenance are also reduced significantly, as all of the newly designed units are not only maintenance-friendly but also easily accessible. By replacing entire assemblies, SMS group has made service simpler, easier to plan, less expensive, and more time-efficient. Our Technical Service unit offers the efficient replacement or overhaul of all machines in a drawing line, from the pre-straightener to the drawing unit, hydraulic impact shear, two-roll straightener, and chamfering machine.

Measure 4: Optimize quality

Another innovation is the automated die adjustment (ADA) system, for which a patent is pending. This ensures that a high degree of material straightness is already attained during the drawing process. For this purpose, a laser measuring device is installed in the area of the impact shear. It uses a laser grid to detect the bar alignment, producing highly precise results. If there are any deviations from the straightness, the drawing die is automatically re-adjusted.

The ability to make motorized adjustments of the die holder using a joystick controller while production is still underway generates additional productivity advantages compared to equipment with a manual die adjustment system.

There is also a whole range of options available for the flying shears. The old, existing Bachmann control system for the impact shear can be brought right up to date by installing an upgrade kit. With the mechanical shears, you can go a step further and replace them with a hydraulic impact shear, which is more powerful and precise and requires less maintenance.

Numerous improvements were also made to the well-established two-carriage drawing machines, which are familiar to many users. In particular, these include the electrohydraulic drawing jaw control system, which can be individually adjusted to suit the product or material, thus avoiding quality defects.

Measure 5: Analyze data

Visualized data are used to identify optimization potential, and the drawing process can be taken right to the limits of maximum productivity. As a result, productivity is enhanced, machine capacity utilization is maximized, the desired quality can be reproduced, the equipment is protected against overload, and the wrong material can be detected.

The new forming force measuring system has integrated sensors directly behind the motorized die. It provides data for digital process monitoring and continuous quality documentation and enables the process to be analyzed in real time. So, by measuring the forming force on the drawing die, information on the machine load can also be obtained.

Digitalization also features heavily in the straightener: the straightening force measuring system can be used to improve the tolerances and thus the quality of the products.
 An overhaul of the roll assembly and, if required, a redesign of the roll contour, enabling higher-strength materials to be straightened, also help to achieve this.

As a result of new, high-strength materials, digitalization, and Industrie 4.0, coupled with the industry's demands for certified processes, existing plant and equipment need to be updated. Not only that, if plant owners are to respond effectively to growing competitive pressure, performance levels must be improved significantly. In order to achieve this, we have developed an array of different innovations. We can build new solutions into equipment currently in use and integrate them seamlessly. Stefan Huppertz, Service Engineering Long Products, SMS group

With the sensor technology and analysis options, these upgrades are the core element of an Industrie 4.0-capable plant. With its Genius CM® and SMS-Metrics systems, SMS group provides customers with a smart, digital monitoring and analysis tool. This enables plant operators to see all the results and trends as well as process data correlations for the plant on a web-based, intuitive interface. This "digital laboratory" can be used to find the ideal parameters for the drawing line as well as for individual processes.

Maintenance and service are also designed for maximum performance and geared for future requirements. In this way, not only can the existing S5/S7 machine control system be upgraded with the TIA (totally integrated automation) concept – a state-of-the-art portal solution for digitalized processes – help and advice from the experts can also be provided in no time using the remote maintenance function. When it comes to the identification of spare parts, plant owners are assisted by eDoc – SMS group's electronic spare parts catalog that features smart ordering functions.

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