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trip-guide, a servo-hydraulic operated equipment of

a un-coiler of the Double Cold Reduction (DCR) unit
Sat Cold Rolling Mill (CRM), Bokaro Steel Limited
(BSL) maintains a constant processing track of the coils
throughout the processing in the mill to prevent a
staggered profile formation i.e., 'telescopicity' in the
finished coil at the re-coiler end of the unit. In the earlier
system, the mill's centralized hydraulic system caters both
conventional hydraulic equipments and servo-hydraulic
equipments from its common resources. However, at latter
stage, the performance of the servo-hydraulic operated
'strip-guide' has affected severely by poor performance of
the mill's huge centralized hydraulic system, as some of its
hydraulic parameters could not be controlled within the
narrow acceptable range, due to very old hydraulic
equipments, complicated pipeline networks, non-
availability of maintenance spares, etc. However, the
performance of the conventional hydraulic equipments of
mill is not affected much, as comparison to the servo-
hydraulic equipments, as their hydraulic parameters'
acceptable range is very broad. In order to improve the
performance of the servo-hydraulic operated 'strip guide
system', an independent and dedicated hydraulic power
unit was designed, developed and introduced by suitably
modifying the earlier centralized hydraulic circuit of the mill.
It has improved the performance of the strip-guide and
intern increased the availability and productivity of the mill.
Modified Hydraulic
System in Bokaro Steel Plant
- S. Thirumalai Selvam, S. Chaudhuri, I. Sanyal** and A.K.P. Singh*
Research and Development Centre for Iron and Steel (RDCIS)*
Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL)**
Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)
February 2012 32
For any rolling mill, having servo-
hydraulic operated 'Strip-Guide' at its
both ends i.e., un-coiler and re-coiler
ends, irrespective of its stages of
operation, has become process
necessity, for better coil-profile
formation, i.e., 'zero telescopicity' in its
output coils. The finished coils with
protruded edges got damaged during
further handling for packaging and in
transfers by different material handling
equipments and hence losses its value
to sometimes discard as scraps. The
'telescopicity' in the finished coil is
formed due to lateral movement of the
strip, while processing in the mill. The
servo-hydraulic operated 'strip guide
system' provided in the un-coiler of the
mill, continuously re-adjusts the track
position of the strip immediately, if any
lateral track movement occurs by
controlling the movement of hydraulic
cylinders of the mandrel of the un-
coiler, from which the strip un-wound
for processing. The strip guide system
i s ser vo-hydr aul i c oper at ed
equipment, which needs precious
control and monitoring over its input
hydraulic parameters for its fast and
accurate operations.
The strip guide system of DCR mill
February 2012 36
of CRM, BSL was earlier operated
through mill's common hydraulic
system. However at later stage, the
performance of the centralized
hydraulic system of the mill, which
caters both conventional hydraulic
equipments and servo-hydraulic
equipments of the mill, has a trend of
detoriation due to various infeasible
maintenance reasons, such as very old
equipments, complicated pipeline
network, different requirement of
different users etc. The poor
performance of the centralized
hydraulic system has severely affected
the performance of the servo-
hydraulic operated 'strip-guide' more
than the other conventional hydraulic
equipments of the mill, as the
requirement of servo-hydraulic
equipment is very stringent and
precious. Hence, the 'strip-guide' could
not prevent the formati on of
'telescopicity' in its finished coils, due
to its sluggish operation in the system.
In order to improve the performance of
the 'strip-guide', a dedicated and
improved hydraulic power unit was
designed, developed and installed by
suitably modifying the earlier mill's
centralized hydraulic system to isolate
the 'strip-guide' at DCR unit of Cold
Rolling Mill in Bokaro Steel Limited.
Implementation of the dedicated
hydraulic power unit for the strip-guide
has i mproved i ts performance
significantly, in terms of increased
availability and productivity of the mill.
Strip Guide System (SGS)
Strip guide system is closed loop
proportional hydraulic control system
uses a strip guide detector/sensor that
is located as close to the coil as
possible. The sensor located just after
the un-coiler and before the strip's
entry point into the mill is continuously
senses the edge of the incoming strip
and provides an along output
proportional to the lateral position of
the strip. The signal is processed by an
electronic controller. The electronic
controller compares the detector signal
to the set (guide) point i.e., neutral
point, any difference, results in an
output to the hydraulic servo system
which moves the un-coiler mandrel
along with the coil, repositioning the
strip until the strip edge is centered
in the detector's field of view. This
result in the un-coiler continuously
repositions the lateral deviations of the
guided strip edge to a referenced edge
position through hydraulic cylinders, so
that the strip is fed at a constant tract
and maintains continuously its track.
The principle operation of the uncoiler
Strip guide system is shown as
schematic in Fig-1.
Earlier Hydraulic System Of
The earlier DCR mill's centralized
hydraulic system of 15000 Liters
capacity is catering to almost all the
hydraulic equipments of the mill, such
as walking beam, entry guide car, exit
gui de car, un-coi l er mandrel
operations[1] etc., along with the only
servo hydraulically operated Strip
guide system through various control
val ves syst em f r om a huge
accumulator. There are 9 nos. of vane
type hydraulic pumps operated to cater
the total requirement of the mill. In
which 6 pumps are operated as main
and the remaining were stand-by. A
common hydro-pneumatic accumulator
used as a single storage receiver of the
whole system, from which different
tapping were taken for different
hydraulic equipments. Control valve
station provided for strip guide system
was regulating the hydraulic flow
control at 460 lpm @ 70 bar pressure to
operate the hydraulic cylinders,
provided at both sides of the mandrel of
the uncoiler to re-adjusts its positions,
against the lateral movement of strip
while processing through the mill. The
hydraulic cylinders are designed to
operate at a speed of 150mm/sec i.e.,
'correction speed' to match the
maximum lateral movement of the strip
and the mill speed. The performance of
the strip guide system is wholly
depending upon its correction speed.
Achieving the accurate correction
speed is again depend upon its input
hydraulic parameters, i.e., hydraulic
system's pressure, flow rate and
cleanliness of oil. However due to
numerous operational and maintenance
difficulties in the huge and centralized
hydraulic system such as, older
hydraulic equipments, complicated
pipeline networks, un-noticeable
leakages in the huge system, common
control system for servo-hydraulic
equipments and conventional hydraulic
equipments, etc., maintaining and
February 2012 38
control the precisions hydraulic
parameters, needed in the servo-
hydr aul i c oper at ed hydr aul i c
equipment,particularly for the high
speed 'strip guide system' had become
more difficult. These deficiencies of
the centralized hydraulic system had
led to poor performances, such as
frequent failures, slow in operational
speed etc., of the strip guide system,
which ltimately led to huge production
loss and bad profile formation of the
output coils respectively. As the DCR
mill is a finishing type mill and its output
coils are directly dispatched for
packing and forwarding to customer,
the mill is totally depends upon the
functioning of the strip guide system,
which actually controls the quality of
profile formation of its output coils.
Design Basis
The following mill data were taken
into consideration for design &
engineering a 'modified' hydraulic
system for the Strip Guide System :
Dedicated Hydraulic Power Unit
of SGS
To improve the performance of the
servo-hydraulic operated SGS, a
dedicated hydraulic power unit for
SGS was designed, developed and
implemented at DCR unit of CRM, BSL,
by isolating the SGS from the earlier
centralized hydraulic system, through
suitably modifying the centralized
hydraulic circuit. The modified
hydraulic circuit of SGS is capable of
controlling and monitoring the
performance of the SGS independently.
This modified and dedicated hydraulic
circuit enables the SGS to operate
smoothly and continuously at its
maximum capacity through precious
Width of strip/coil processed
Weight of the coil processed
Thickness of the strip
Maximum mill speed
System Pressure
Nos. of cylinders
820 1250 mm
15 - 18 tons.
0.15 mm to 0.80mm
30 m/s
70 Kg/cm2
Size of each cylinder
1050 mm
150 mm/sec
Flow rate of oil in pressure line 460 lpm
control over various hydraulic
parameters accurately.
The earlier hydraulic valves station
of the SGS was isolated from the main
hydraulic line of the 15000 L capacity
mill's centralized hydraulic system
through suitable circuit modification by
introducing suitable control valves and
isolation valves. Provision of suitable
control and isolation valves in all the
earlier pressure, return, drain lines
etc., of the earlier centralized hydraulic
system facilitates the modified SGS to
be operated also from the earlier
centralized system in case of any
emergency and failure in the modified
and dedicated hydraulic system. The
isolation of the SGS from the mill's main
hydraulic system was carried out by
taking due care of the hydraulic power
requirements for all downstream and
upstream equipments of the centralized
hydraulic system. The earlier hydraulic
'valves station' of the SGS and the
hydraulic cylinders of the un-coiler
mandrel are re-used in the modified
and dedicated hydraulic power system
t h r o u g h a p p r o p r i a t e d e s i g n
modifications. The 'valves station' of
the SGS is directly connected with the
newly implemented hydraulic power
unit of the modified hydraulic system.
The dedicated hydraulic system of
the SGS was designed to cater the
requirement of the existing hydraulic
cylinders to operate at their maximum
speed of 150 mm/sec. The actuation
velocity of the hydraulic cylinders is
very critical parameter for quick and
accurate response to correct the un-
coiler's position. The correcting
velocity of the cylinders is calculated
considering the mill's speed of
operation. The dedicated hydraulic
system was designed to supply the
hydraulic oil at the maximum flow rate
up to 600 LPM at 100 bar pressure. The
oil flow velocity is maintained at 4.4
m/s in the pipelines.
The dedicated hydraulic power
system of the SGS is consists of one
2000 litres capacity storage tank with
all its necessary safety and operational
accessories, 3 nos. of pressure
compensated variable displacement
axial piston pumps with their
independent drive motors assembly,
couplings, strainers, pre-filters,
pressure relieve valves, pressure
reducing valves, check valves,
isolation valves, duplex type pressure
line filters, 2 nos. of diaphragm type
accumulator with its accessories,
return line filters with check valve,
indicators / gauges, off-line plate type
heat exchanger, piping, flexible hoses
etc. The circuit diagram and actual
photograph of the dedicated hydraulic
power unit installed at site is shown
Fig: 2 and Fig: 3 respectively.
The dedicated hydraulic power unit
of the SGS is installed near the un-
coiler in the same level for fast and
accurate response of cylinders'
operation. A dedicated control panel
with various control features to operate
the equipments of the modified
hydraulic system is installed inside the
existing control room of DCR mill. The
three hydraulic pumps are grouped in to
three forms, such as AB, BC, AC for
regular operations, in order to maintain
one pump out of the three pumps kept
as stand-by, while other two pumps are
in operation. Control desk with various
indication lamps is also provided near
February 2012 40
1. System Flow Rate .. 460 LPM
2. System Pressure . 100 BAR
3. System Termination ..P.. 2.5NB
4. System Termination ..T.. 4 NB
Fig. 2 : Circuit Diagram of A Dedicated Hydraulic Power Unit
for Strip Guide System
the hydraulic power unit for visual
indication of the health and emergency
operational facility of the system. The
'control panel' of the dedicated
hydraulic system is also inter-
connected with the existing centralized
control system of the DCR mill through
suitable hardware and software
linkages for a centralized monitoring
and control from the mill's main control
Techno-Economics Benefits
The dedicated hydraulic system for
SGS was designed, developed and
installed at a capital cost of ` 35 lakh in
2008 and is in continuous operation
since then. The monetary benefits
accrued around ` 400 lakh till date on
the account of improvement in average
mill availability of 200 hrs/year,
reduction in average generation of bad
profiled coils by 70%, significant
decrease i n mai nt enance and
operational cost of the mill etc. The
'telescopicity' (bad profile formation in
the coil) i.e., lateral displacement
between wrap to wrap of coil has
reduced within the range of +/- 0.5 mm
from the earlier level of +/- 5 mm.
It Is established that no rolling mill
can be operated efficiently without a
Stri p-Gui de i n operati on. The
productivity of the mill is much depends
on the performance of the Strip Guide
System. An independent and a
dedicated hydraulic power unit to the
servo-hydraulic operated 'Strip Guide
System' would certainly improve the
performance of the servo-hydraulic
equipment than if it is operated through
centralized hydraulic power unit.
Introduction of a dedicated hydraulic
power unit to SGS in isolating from the
centralized hydraulic system at DCR
unit, Cold Rolling Mill at Bokaro Steel
Limited, has increased the mill's
availability by around 200 hrs per
annum. The coil's profile formation has
also been improved significantly.
The authors express their deepest
gratitude to the management of
Research and Development Centre for
Iron & Steel (RDCIS) and Bokaro Steel
Plant for allowing us to take up this
project and implementing it in DCR unit
of CRM. Co-operation and support
provided by the mechanical, operation,
el ectri cal , and Instrumentati on
personnel of CRM, BSL throughout the
execution of the project is thankfully
acknowledged, without whose support
the execution of this project would
have been impossible. The authors are
gratefully acknowledging the support
provided by the supporting staff of
Design and Engineering Division of
RDCIS, SAIL in Ranchi.
1. Operation and maintenance
manual of strip guide system installed
at DCR mill, CRM, BSL.