In the steel industry and particularly in pipe manufacturing, quality and dimensional accuracy are essential. By integrating in the production line the automated measurement of all produced pipes using contact-free measuring systems, dimensional accuracy is significantly increased, and the process is much faster and less complicated than the manual measurement of production samples. Robust LAP laser systems have proven themselves for years in real-world applications. They measure external diameters and ovality online and immediately identify flaws. LAP measuring systems help maintain consistent dimensions, reduce scrap and increase throughput.
Round pipes and rectangular pipes, high-pressure pipes, water pipes, oil and gas field pipes, boiler and construction pipes, axle and roller bearing pipes. Depending on the size and application, they are welded or manufactured without seams. Many pipes must withstand high pressures and external and internal forces. Quality and dimensional accuracy are essential.
The greater the dimensional accuracy of the pipes leaving the rolling process, the less they have to be refined, there is less scrap, and production is smoother. The time it takes to lay long oil and gas pipelines is significantly reduced when the pipes are dimensionally accurate. “It’s amazing,” notes Torsten Krüger, head of marketing for the metal industry at LAP, “some manufacturers still use highly imprecise manual one- and two-point measuring systems. Workers place a caliper gauge directly on the glowing metal, sometimes wearing only safety glasses or protecting their face with their other hand.” This type of manual measurement is time-consuming, imprecise and very dangerous.
Laser measuring systems in today’s pipe industry
“Modern,” “safe” and “effective” are all words that describe automated measurement using contact-free LAP measuring systems. They allow 100% control and high dimensional accuracy by collecting and evaluating data from different pipe production stages as well as the finished pipe. Modern pipe production lines that use LAP laser measuring systems are able to maintain narrower tolerances than required by the relevant standards.
For more than 25 years, LAP GmbH has specialized in the development, production, installation and commissioning of laser measuring systems for measuring the dimensions of unfinished and finished products in the metal and steel industry. LAP supplies solutions for extreme requirements. Despite the great amount of dust and scale, LAP laser systems yield highly precise measurements with fast processing times, including simultaneous measurement of several different sizes.
Optimize production by measuring outer diameters and ovality
The robust RDMS systems by LAP measure the outer diameter of pipes while they are being rolled. RDMS measuring systems downstream from modern pipe reducing rolling mill stands have three measuring axes offset by 120°, and the unique patented LAP three-point evaluation allows measurement of three point diameters and ovality that is so important in the rolling process.
Workers can immediately intervene in the rolling process when deviations in the tolerances arise. The dimensions of the pipes remain accurate, and subsequent modifications are unnecessary.
Standard equipment in modern rolling mills: Pipe end measuring systems at the end of the production lines fully integrated into the automated production system that detect all the important pipe dimensions such as diameter, wall thickness, perpendicularly, ovality and phase profile. In planning, the detected end dimensions of the pipes can be used to optimize the arrangement of pipes and pipe ends. This in turn can reduce the cost of laying the pipes.
Contact-free measurement improves cost-effectiveness
Torsten Krüger is enthusiastic: “The patented RDMS profile measuring system for pipes rolled with three rollers reliably measures ovality and 3 point outer diameters of pipes up to 500 mm. Online measuring allows you to immediately react to changes in the process and rectify problems then and there. Frequently, you can correct the rolling process before other pipes are rolled with incorrect dimensions.”
LAP measuring systems allow the systematic verifications of pipes dimensions in the multiple stages of pipe production. Deviations from the target dimensions for the individual stages are transparent; everyone involved in the process is kept up-to-date on ongoing quality and can immediately correct the process.
LAP laser measuring systems therefore enhance cost-effectiveness by improving quality, reducing scrap, increasing throughput and providing seamless documentation.
State-of-the-art technology is used in a new light section profile measuring system for various shaping aggregates in the production line. The profile measuring system can display the outer cross-section at any location along the pipe. This is a valuable tool for optimizing the production process and verifying the final dimensions. The system continuously detects each pipe profile in the production line over the entire length of the pipe with a high peripheral resolution up to 1 angular degree, and a profile measuring rate up to 100 Hz. In addition to measuring round pipe profiles with diameters ranging from 50 to 750 mm, this measuring procedure recently developed by LAP is particularly helpful in the production of rectangular pipes, hot-formed hollow sections, and special profiles.