Kienzle Prozessanalytik: Lubrivisor conquers new fields of application

Fibre-optic-based system for rolling emulsion control
Kienzle Prozessanalytik: Lubrivisor conquers new fields of application

The Lubrivisor system, presented by Kienzle Prozessanalytik at the Metec 2011 trade fair, will for the first time be used on a coupled pickling line/tandem rolling mill for measuring the residual amount of emulsion on strip surfaces. In future, it will be possible to use the measurement signals for controlling the application of emulsion and optimizing consumption of cooling lubricants. At the same time, the amount of residual hydrocarbons on the strip surface will be reduced, having a positive effect on downstream processes, such as annealing.

Lubrivisor systems measure the thickness of films of hydrocarbon-containing substances, such as cooling lubricants, on strip surfaces. They can also handle foreign oils, e.g. hydraulic oils, bearing oils or greases. The systems are already in use in numerous cold rolling and skin passing mills as well as in inspection and coil coating lines.

A novelty is that Lubrivisor systems can now also be used for inline control of oil or emulsion application to optimize the use of rolling emulsion. This, firstly, optimizes energy consumption by the rolling process and, secondly, minimizes the amount of residual hydrocarbons on the strip surface.

In contrast to other – IR-based – processes, the Lubrivisor is capable of measuring the thickness of a fluid film on any surface structure.

Also the drop-shaped structure that hot melt anti-corrosion agents exhibit on strip surfaces does not affect measuring accuracy. Therefore, the measuring position of Lubrivisor systems is directly behind the oiling machine. Homogenizing rolls, as needed by IR systems, are not required.

Due to the high scanning rate of 10 kHz, the system can cope with strip speeds of more than 1,000 m/min. This also enables the measuring head to be traversed across the strip at speeds of up to 1 m/s. Therefore, the system delivers not only exact single measurement values but also a graphical display of the film thickness in high spatial resolution across the complete strip width and length.

A further advantage is that the system can measure ultra-thin films down to just a few mg/m². Such thin films are typical for anti-corrosion fluids, such as Oxsilan, or anti-fingerprint coatings.

Lubrivisor systems are not only suitable for measuring the thickness of film layers but also for analyzing the cleanliness of the strip surface. For example, prior to coil coating, they can detect smallest amounts of greases and other contaminations on the strip surface.

With a diameter of only 30 mm, the measuring head is very compact. It contains no active components, only two fibre-optic cables. This makes it perfectly suited for the harsh operating conditions in rolling mills and facilitates integration into existing plants, especially due to the fact that the fibre-optic connection between the measuring head and the evaluation electronics can be up to 30 m long.

Kienzle Prozessanalytik offers the systems for stationary installation and, under the name „Lubrimini“, as mobile units. These manual devices, which will be presented at Metec, can be used, for example, in the incoming control of materials for measuring the oil layer on strip products or for single product inspection. Also for adjusting oiling machines or during the start-up of rolling mills, the manual units are extremely helpful, as they deliver exact results in a swiftly manner.

Lubrivisor systems measure the thickness of films of rolling oils, anti-corrosion fluids, alternative coatings, clear varnishes, greases, waxes or vegetable oils.

The measuring principle: A Lubrivisor system consists of a pulsed microchip laser as light source and of a photomultiplier as detector. The connection between the measuring head and the evaluation electronics is by fibre-optic cables. It operates on the principle of laser-induced, time-integrating fluorescence spectroscopy LIF(t). By this method, not only the intensity of the backscattered light but also the decay behaviour of the signal is evaluated. Unlike IR-based systems, this absolute measurement is not influenced by the surface structure of the strip. It delivers extremely precise results independent of the surface.

Kienzle Prozessanalytik at Metec 2011 in Düsseldorf:
Hall 3, stand C60

About Kienzle Prozessanalytik GmbH
Kienzle Prozessanalytik develops high-precision, high-speed optical systems for spectrometrical applications and measurement of lowest concentrations. The systems are designed for industrial use, especially for real-time online process control. Special light sources illuminate the substances or surfaces to be analyzed. Detectors capture the optical signal, and a high-speed electronic unit selects the useful signal.

Fields of application of these systems include film thickness measurements in the steel industry, cleanliness analysis in the automotive industry and in mechanical engineering, and monitoring tasks in offshore oil exploration.

Kienzle Prozessanalytik GmbH
Karl-Heinz Fröhning
Am Herbeder Sportplatz 14
58456 Witten
+49 (2302) 9732375

Regina Reinhardt
Süsterfeldstraße 83
52072 Aachen