IMS was selected as the Electrical & Automation provider by an Ohio producer of bar products. From the inception of the project beginning with a thorough engineering study, IMS presented a comprehensive vision for the future. With a planned, systematic implementation, the customer realized that they could partner with a true value-added resource, to help maintain, upgrade, and support the mill’s operations and new requirements.
The existing controls were aging Reliance AutoMax PLCs and drives. The project challenge was more than just replacing old equipment, it was an understanding of how to “phase-in” the new equipment during limited downturns. The process required a scalpel more than a sledgehammer. Cooperation with mill operations was a must. The IMS phased-in approach took advantage of mill scheduled downturns and outages as time available for installation and commissioning efforts.
The user identified the most urgent needs, and the scope of Stage 1 was defined. It was now a matter of executing a documented plan. IMS provided a completed automation solution including network and drive system design; hardware and software engineering; design; build; and test. Installation and commissioning of the new equipment was completed during a week-long, annual outage. A very successful on-time completion of the first phase gave a green light for larger objectives in the next phase.
Stage 2 turned the attention to the main 10-stand rolling mill. The demands of integration between new and existing equipment were increased. Appling all lesson-learned and best practices, the hardware, software design and build, including operator stations and desks, HMIs, Level 2, were all brought together with the successful completion of the integrated Factory Acceptance Test. The event offered the perfect venue for operator training. During the mill outage, two parallel shear drives were replaced. The master control for the 10 stand mill was migrated from AutoMax to Rockwell Automation ControlLogix. The mill was back in operation on-time.
With the Rolling Mill upgrade complete, IMS looks forward to the next stages for the continued upgrade of the mill furnaces and delivery end.