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A stand-alone thickness control does not automatically leads to an effective quality control. Thickness consistency during the manufacturing process on a flat product has a great impact on final material's properties, but there are much more variables involved into the process. Measure a single variable is not enough to control your final product's quality, if this variable is not cross referenced with others. Our integrated systems are able to find correlations between different variables acquired at the same time. For example, how much the vibrations and the speed of the process influence the thickness deviations? When does the amount of coating affect the final thickness?

Acquiring a variable is only the starting point of optimization. Many think that installing a measurement systems automatically improves the process quality. Unfortunately this is not the case: there is a substantial difference between improving and monitoring the process. In modern industry, time is an essential variable. The analysis of the data after it has been acquired requires time and dedicated personnel. Our solutions are a valid help for process operators by highlighting relationships between variables that in manual mode would require a very long time.

The ultimate result of adopting our solutions through our systems is the process optimization . This optimization goes through operational procedures, system integration, addition of tools, monitoring tools, additives, structural improvements, etc. We offer a 360-degree service with the sole purpose of improving your process.

  • Measure variables
  • Inspect data
  • Control the process
  • Produce reports
  • Store data
  • Analyze and cross reference data

In-line and non-contact thickness control is a key element for the quality of the final product. Systems based on the measurement of density by absorption still represent the only possible solution for complex lines and critical environments. Laser or surface current systems can be an economic alternative only on clean rework lines, on non-reflective surfaces or in very special cases where there are no criticalities. The same non-contact technology offered lends itself to detecting not only the thickness, but the continuity and density of an artifact. It is therefore able to compare densities and thicknesses even without quantifying them. In some conditions, a laser measurement by triangulation can be very useful to provide, at steady line, a data with an accuracy, albeit not micrometric, an absolute preset value of the X-ray system. The latter is just an example of how we combine different technologies into integrated systems to perform advanced functions. The ultimate goal is not only to provide a datum of the thickness measurement in a given point or surface, but to use numbers to optimize the process.

Depending by the Customer's needs, we are able to supply specific or all-in-one solutions to measure the thickness in its entirety. Usually the discriminant is if the measure it must take place only in one point (more often in the center of the line), only at the edges at a fixed distance, both things together or if it is needed a system that measures continuously the cross profile and the thickness in the center of the line.
Our range of solutions include:

  • Single point (centerline) continuous thickness measurement
  • Three point (centerline + edges) continuous thickness measurement with static sensors and static frame
  • Continous cross profile scanning with moving frame
  • Continous cross profile scanning with moving sensors and static frame (single kit of sensors for all the width)
  • Continous cross profile scanning with moving sensors and static frame (three kit of sensors for all the width, static at the center and moving sensors at the edges)
  • Full cross profile instantaneous scanning with static frame

We truly believe that our systems will help our Customers to produce more and better. Our measurement systems, such as thickness gauges, coating gauges, etc. are capable to improve your production quality starting from the first pass. A stand-alone thickness control does not automatically leads to an effective quality control. Thickness consistency during the manufacturing process on a flat product has a great impact on final material's properties. Thickness control quality is directly proportional to final product's quality, but there are much more variable involved into the process. Measure a variable is not enough to control your final product's quality, if this variable is not cross referenced with others.

What is the Advanced Automatic Gauge Control and how it works?
It consists in 4 steps:

  • ONLINE DATA ACQUISITION
  • ONLINE / OFFLINE (BIG) DATA STORAGE
  • ONLINE DATA CROSS-REFERENCING
  • OFFLINE AND POST PROCESS DATA ANALYSIS

The AAGC performs the real time identification of a possible unusual data and identify the relationships between variables which may have been caused and evaluate the impact on the overall process result. Our AAGC solution (gathering high speed data from sensors), is capable to discover groups or "families" in some way or another "similar" to each other, generalizing known structure to forecast following process presets in order to minimize unwanted behaviors due to known errors. Our main target is to help our Customers to produce better, faster and cheaper, by helping to identify the possible process bottle-necks. In few words, our solutions are capable of cross-checking, comparing and providing predictive suggestion and post process statistical reports data to obtain the best from the production line.

A classic application of Advanced Automatic Gauge Control is to provide a very fast input (less than 1 ms) of the thickness deviation from a target set in a continuous rolling mill for steel. A classic example of advanced automatic control is the complete closed circuit with feedback or feedforward interaction with the rolling mill, on the Tandem V stands process line, which reduces the thickness of the steel strip from 5 mm to 0.7 mm with the tolerance of 0.1 microns at the last step. The thickness of the final product, as well as determining its conformity with respect to the request for use, has an important impact on the mechanical characteristics of the material itself. Our systems are able to automate different types of cold rolling plants, continuous or reversible in order to optimize their physical and chemical-physical characteristics.
AAGC finds its natural application on hot steel strip mills that require very high performance, accuracy and response speed, given the speed of the process. The control of the centerline takes place continuously, in order to guarantee the activation of the actuators over time as small as possible and therefore obtain an immediate thickness correction. All our systems are designed and applied for constant use, 24/7, in critical environments and with very severe environmental conditions and with very low maintenance, they guarantee extremely high MTBFs, given the operational difficulty of ordinary and extraordinary maintenance activities.
AAGC is applied to the production of aluminum foil with a target thickness of 7 microns for the production of thin aluminum films by lamination. The system adopts extremely accurate compensations of the chemical composition and of the variability of the alloy of the material and of the temperatures of both the material itself that of the air around the point of the measurement.

There is no better or worst. Our systems can be a valuable help, in the hands also of expert process operators. Our systems are able to be online, measure and archive decades of processing routines, 24/7/365 and to create online and off-line processing reports that can be consulted at any time. Most software tools are provided included in the basic equipment and can satisfy most of the production needs. Apart from the latter, there are a series of additional possibilities that allow an advanced consultation of the processing data by means of dedicated software platforms, mobile or integrated with existing management systems.

It's not easy to predict, and it depends mostly on the process line. But for sure it will help to minimize process errors. How is the impact of an error in your production line? The advanced automatic gauge control (AAGC) is an advanced thickness control system in the metals making process. It is based on the acquisition and integrated management of process variables, which in addition to the thickness, determine the characteristics of the finished product. It performs the real time identification of a possible unusual data and identify the relationships between variables which may have been caused and evaluate the impact on the overall process result.