Brazilian steel producer Usiminas has recently granted the provisional acceptance certificate (PAC) to Primetals Technologies for the modernization of a welding machine at a steel plant in the city of Ipatinga, in the southeastern part of Brazil. Usiminas was founded in 1956 and produced thick plates, hot strip, cold rolled, electro-galvanized, and hot dip galvanized steel. The welding machine ensures that the strip is straightened according to the desired quality levels before being sent to customers.
New Network, Increased Availability
Thanks to the new solution, including a new network system, new human-machine interface, and control systems, the availability and operational functionality of the welding machine improved. Additionally, maintenance work is now easier to execute after modifying the position of the controller. The new system uses state-of-the-art software, like the TIA portal, which now allows Usiminas to process new types of materials. The essential functions of the new solution include a thyristor bridge control system, a technology package for the welding current control system, an electric drive for the welding carriage, and a valve amplifier for controlling the pressure and positioning of hydraulic and servo valves.
One challenge was to find a new solution for the welding machine’s control system. The new technology is very well-developed by the team from Primetals Technologies. Thanks to the new supervision system, the operational team gets greater agility and the possibility to register new classes of materials in the weld recipes table. The previous system, which was 20 years old, was less flexible. For example, the operators had to perform trial-and-error cycles for weld materials not included in the existing table.”Fernando Martins Soares
Usiminas and Primetals Technologies have partnered on several modernization projects, including a new Level 2 automation system for slab caster No. 2 at the Ipatinga plant, an upgrade of the main drives of the tandem cold mill, and a modernization of the entry section drives for the pickling line and tandem cold mill (PLTCM). Positive experiences from these projects contributed to Usiminas’ choice of supplier for the most recent modernization project at the steel plant in Ipatinga.