A steel pipe manufacturing plant in Texas, USA, needed a system to handle mill stands used for seamless pipe manufacturing. The plant’s mill stands needed to be continuously changed to produce steel pipes of varying diameters.
As always, there were several challenges we needed to address.
Firstly, the loads needing to be moved weighed up to 65 tons. Up to 6 mill stands needed to be handled at the same time. The equipment needed to be moved in two directions, both parallel and perpendicular to the SRM rolling mill. A heavy-duty motorized rail cart system was needed to move one or more mill stands into the necessary positions. Even the plant itself presented a number of operational challenges.
To optimize the production cycle, 8 industrial heavy-duty motorized rail carts were employed.
- 6 rail carts, each with a 65-ton capacity were used to move the mill stands to the rolling mill. They therefore moved parallel to the rolling mill. These carts could be called “mill stand carriers” and use an RFID transponder to recognize specific mill stands.
- 2 rail carts, one with 100-ton capacity, were used to transport the “mill stand carriers” (together with the mill stands) from the rolling mill area to the storage area and vice versa. These moved in a perpendicular direction to the rolling mill, under the “mill stand carriers.”
The design and development of the entire system was entrusted to Morello. This included all industrial motorized rail cart operations and handling in response to production requirements, the accurate positioning of the carts, automatic battery charging, safety-related aspects, Wi-Fi communication with the plant’s IT systems, data exchange and diagnostics linked to the centralized system.
Click here to see the system in action: