Infrared Temperature Measurement | Combustion & Environmental Monitoring

Vessel Manager - Ladle Refractory Monitoring System

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Fixed Thermal Imaging System for Plant Safety and Cost Control

The use of refractory lined vessels (ladles) to transport molten iron and steel is commonplace in steel plants world-wide. Over time, the refractory condition degrades until it must be re-lined. Traditionally, the timing of these re-lines has been based on previous experience and best practise information from the plant’s Refractory Manager. However, this mechanism can be unreliable and break-outs have occurred, causing severe damage to plant, personnel injuries and lost revenue due to production delays.

“A better method is required to ensure that safety is not compromised.”

Multiple Thermal Imaging Cameras monitor the external shell temperature of ladles as they transfer steel to the continuous casting machines. Each measurement station comprises 1 to 5 cameras mounted to give full coverage of the exterior of a ladle.

The thermal images and temperature data relating to individual ladles are stored, enabling engineers to identify long-term trends and make decisions about the repair and renewal of linings. The integrated image recognition software, using intelligent OCR technology, allows automated long-term trending of all ladles on plant.

Key Features

  • 360° image of ladle sides and base (5 camera system)
  • Automatic storage of long term trending data
  • Display, control and view measurement information from up to five thermal cameras simultaneously
  • Import of ladle ID number permits trending of ladle temperature variations, assisting with the generation of maintenance schedules
  • Exchange of information via Ethernet

Key Benefits

  • Cost savings via maximisation of refractory lining service life.
  • Improved safety for plant personnel. Gain confidence in plant safety through an integrated, automatic monitoring system.
  • Long Term Trending of surface temperature changes ensures an orderly predictive and preventative maintenance programme – monitor the number of ladle runs per re-line, see the effectiveness of a fresh re-line and maximise efficiency by ensuring correct pre-heat temperature.
  • Break-out Prevention. Early warning of developing hotspots, which could lead to molten metal break-out. See hotspots forming, monitor their maximum temperature and rate of change.