Automation in the processing of ferrous and nonferrous metals has increased speed and productivity, but also the need for accuracy to ensure compliance with industry quality standards. Vendors of test and measurement equipment are continually upgrading their systems for measuring dimensional characteristics, flatness and surface quality. Following is a sampling of the latest technologies.
RSI X-ray Gauge Measures Thickness
Radiometric Services & Instruments, LLC, Buckeystown, Md., has introduced the GaugeMasterPLC to its family of X-ray thickness gauges. GaugeMasterPLC is a new processing platform employing off-the-shelf PLC modules carefully selected to meet the demands of advanced, high-speed signal processing. It offers a long, supportable service lifetime while presenting the user with a familiar “PLC” operating environment, the company claims.
GaugeMasterPLC is suitable for all thickness measurement applications, from 5-micron aluminum foil to 60-millimeter steel plates, performing in the most severe environments. It features reliable, stable X-ray sources and incorporates such key RSI technologies as X-ray Spectrum Correction (XSC) and DynaComp Alloy Correction. XSC controls beam energy to maintain precise gauge calibration. DynaComp is an advanced alloy correction algorithm offering excellent performance for stainless steel, copper alloys and aluminum.
Optimum AGC control is assured with measuring rates of 0.5 milliseconds or faster. Two Second Standardization makes GaugeMasterPLC well suited for demanding hot and cold mill applications, the company says.
GaugeMasterPLC is also available as the processing platform for RSI’s low-power X-ray gauging system, targeted at process line applications, and is a processor upgrade for aging Americium (Am 241) gauges.
For more information, call 301-874-3494 or visit www.rsi-xray.com
Bradbury Flat Trak CL Monitors Flatness
The Bradbury Group, Moundridge, Kan., offers the Bradbury Flat Trak CL, which monitors material
flatness prior to shearing to reduce scrap. The system uses laser measurement to acquire an accurate surface shape profile. Happening in real time and displayed on the operator screen in the form of a three-dimensional topographical view, material shape is measured in I-Units, so verification of flatness is achieved per ASTM A568, the company claims. Flat Trak CL software analyzes the surface of the material and offers a suggestion to correct it. Once selected by the operator, the leveler backups will adjust, and immediate improvement will be seen on the screen. Once the material is flat within the preset I-Unit specifications, the software continuously monitors the shape. If a problem develops, the software will automatically adjust the leveler for correction. A multicolored light stack is mounted on the FlatTrak unit so that flatness can be monitored from a distance.
For more information, call 620-345-6394 or visit www.bradburygroup.com
AGT600 Designed for Small Processing Lines
Advanced Gauging Technologies, Plain City, Ohio, had added the AGT600 Compact Laser Gauge and S.P.C. Reporting System to its line of non-contact thickness gauges. The AGT600 optical measuring system is designed with flexibility and ease of installation in mind. The self-contained system is well suited for small processing lines where space for a gauge may be limited. It uses a rugged laptop or PC, so no control cabinet is needed. Measurement data can be wirelessly transmitted from the gauge’s C-frame to the laptop or PC, which typically is located at the operator control station.
The AGT600 provides for fixed-point measuring of any material processed in coil, sheet or strip form up to 8 inches across the web and up to 0.250-inch thick with an accuracy of 0.0004 inch. It also claims an industry first “Full Air Gap Measurement” feature that provides for unprecedented flexibility in installation by making pass-line height a non-critical requirement for accurate measurement. The gauge can be mounted in any orientation or angle depending on the layout of the processing line. Essentially a “plug and play” system, installation requires only one 120VAC power source to the C-frame.
For more information, call 614-873-6691 or visit www.advgauging.com
IMS XR X-Ray Gauge Measures Ferrous, Nonferrous Strip
IMS Systems, Inc., Mars, Pa., offers an update to its XR X-Ray Thickness Gauge. Service centers increasingly need to optimize their productivity and operating costs by running steel, stainless and aluminum on a single line, or on combined lines. IMS has responded to this trend by modifying its XR X-Ray Thickness Gauge to give service centers a higher degree of flexibility.
This hybrid non-contact gauge can measure carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum equally well. It is safer and easier to use than isotope gauges and has no impact on sensitive surfaces. Most significantly, when the power is turned off, an X-ray gauge does not emit radiation. In contrast, an isotope gauge using natural or man-made radioactive elements is hot all the time and must be handled carefully by certified technicians using NRC guidelines.
IMS XR hybrid thickness gauges are modular and may be integrated with new or retrofit lines of all types, including pickling, cold rolling, CAL/CGL, cut-to-length, slitting and tension leveling. They contain time-tested X-ray technology and feature optional integrated laser strip speed measurement. Besides the laser speed sensor with measurement accuracy of 0.05 percent, air wipes keep the laser windows clean.
The gauge’s X-ray tubes are made of metal ceramic and are rated 30 percent to 50 percent higher than normal operating power. Other attributes include lower statistical noise than isotope gauges, a robust ionization chamber and maintenance-free, greaseless cables. The XR Gauge is powered by a high voltage and digital X-ray controller. Having the control box remotely mounted guarantees minimal exposure to mill conditions and ensures controls are kept in top working order. The control box may be placed within 160 feet of the gauge.
For more information, call 724-772-9772 or visit www.imssystemsinc.com