I.S. devices for industrial signal conditioning and process control in the steel industry

Using the PR 9113 temperature/mA converter and 4501 display programming front for a variety of applications throughout the plant has made signal monitoring more advanced at NLMK – and less complicated.

Located in Portage, Indiana, NLMK Indiana operates an electric arc furnace melt shop that produces continuous cast steel slabs and a hot strip rolling mill for processing slabs into flat rolled steel products. The company specializes in the production and sale of hot rolled coils primarily to pipe and tube manufacturers and steel processors. The company operates an EAF melt shop and hot strip rolling mill of 700,000 tpa and 1,100,000 tpa capacity, respectively. The company, established in 1992, has modern and well-invested production facilities allowing it to supply a wide range of high quality HR steel products.

Prior to deciding on PR electronics as their partner for signal conditioning, NLMK was using a mix of various signal conditioning devices and vendors and had no official site standard. In addition, the plant staff had issues with water cooling panels for the arc furnace process, which melts incoming scrap metal – the panels would overheat.

Overheating issues in the arc furnace process

To solve the overheating problems related to the arc furnace process there was a need to add temperature sensors and to connect resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) to the PLC. The staff at NLMK asked PR electronics for a demo of the PR 9113 temperature/mA converter. In addition to its temperature sensing ability, when they discovered that the device was able to isolate the I/O and display the process values and outputs via the PR 4501 display/ programming front, they were immediately impressed.

Easier troubleshooting

PR devices make troubleshooting an easier task for their technicians. According to Mr. Rick Marwitz, Process and Automation Engineering Manager, NLMK, PR devices are now used throughout the mill: “Overall, the PR devices are easier for us to troubleshoot. For example, instead of having to go to the PLC to determine if there is a broken sensor, we can use the display programming front on the devices at the process location. We have had PR devices installed for some time now, and the PR 9113 has become our mill’s standard for any I/O installation requiring temperature sensing, isolation, or signal conversion.

Baghouse installation with panel housing outside

The robustness of the PR 9113 has also impressed the technical staff at the plant: “After gaining some experience with the PR 9113, we decided to use it in another plant location also. In one of our baghouses we now have a panel housing where the PR 9113s actually sit outside, weathering all of the seasons,” explains Mr. Marwitz.  “The devices from PR have always remained steady and on point. There isn’t even a small heater on the inside of the panel to keep the temperature up. The PR 9113s are used here to collect data from our motor RTDs and we still have space in this panel for future racks.”

Also suited for the casting cooling system – and as future site standard

The PR 9113 is suited for a variety of applications in different areas of the plant, including in the casting cooling system. Here, the PR 9113s measure outputs from flow transmitters and send the signal to an I/P transducer. Adding the PR 9113s to this process has improved the control of cooling slabs that roll through to minimize defects, cracking, etc.

“The PR 9113 and PR 4501 make use of advanced technology and can be used for a variety of applications – but they are also robust and very easy to install and use. We are using the PR 9113 for a range of different applications – and with the PR 4501 we can read and communicate with a device on the spot. We will definitely consider using them as a future site standard”, Mr. Marwitz concludes.



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