The risk of a ladle breakout will always be present in steelmaking, with equipment damage and loss of production as the costly consequence. Your production and operation routines could minimize this risk, but the fact remains; as long as liquid steel is transported using ladles – breakouts will occur from time to time. Besides the economic impact of a ladle breakout it is a very dangerous event and there is a potential risk of personnel injuries and loss of life. The LadleSafe system is designed to help you avoid this costly and dangerous situation. Ladlesafe pays for itself – but if the pay back is quick enough you know best. What we do know is that a typical medium severe ladle breakout, including associated costs, corresponds to the purchasing cost of the LadleSafe system. Avoid one breakout and the system is paid for. We also know that the yearly cost for steel ladles refractory in a medium BOF steel shop typically spans Euro 5–15 million. Increase the ladle refractory average lifetime by 1–2 % using LadleSafe and the system is paid for in a year.
If the answer to any of the above is YES, LadleSafe is what you are looking for. LadleSafe is based on infrared camera technology using data analysis to evaluate the steel structure thermal status of your ladles.
How it Works:
The crane operator positions the ladle in the measurement position, ensuring that all sides of the ladle are inside the field of view of the thermal cameras. The measurement position is usually located at the end of the liquid metal processing, close to the casting bay.
Once the ladle is in position, the crane operator starts the measurement by the use of a touch screen monitor. The system reads the ladle I.D., performs a few checks, and then starts the retrieving of thermal data used in the analysis. Typically the analysis result of the thermal status is returned to the crane operator within seconds. The result is summarised in a recommendation which assists the crane operator in tracking down dangerous ladles. Based on the analysis results the operator decides if the ladle is safe to continue using.
The operator is also given the opportunity to study some parts of the ladle analysis in detail as well as study a graphical display of the previous measurement results of the present ladle.
Breakout Early Warning – Early warning of potentially dangerous ladle hot spots. LadleSafe detects hot spots long before they are visible to the naked eye (red hot), thus allowing preventive actions to be taken long before a critical situation occurs.
Temperature Trending – A LadleSafe measurement of the ladle steel structure temperature distribution also presents the temperature evolution over time. This information is useful for the refractory maintenance personnel.
Ladle Refractory Lifetime – LadleSafe allows ladle refractory lifetime to be maximised. A direct measurement of the ladle steel structure temperature when in use is likely to reflect the refractory status. Thus, as long as the temperature stays below a predefined value, the refractory should be safe to continue using.
Data Mining – LadleSafe contains a measurement results database to be used for evaluation purposes. This opens for a more precise ladle fleet management which avoids excess thermal loads on some ladle individuals and prolongs ladle refractory lifetime. Database mining is also useful in tracking down production actions detrimental to the ladle refractory.