KUKA Robot model KR-30
Meeting customer expectations and the highest quality standards is a priority for Ternium, involving the need to acquire state-of-the-art equipment and keep personnel training constantly up-to-date.
Proof of this is the acquisition of a KUKA model KR-30 robot, a piece of equipment already in operation at the Ternium Industrial Center Laboratory, used to perform mechanical tensile testing for steel produced in the new Hot Rolling Mill.
"This robot can perform automatic tensile tests on very wide ranges of materials, from commercial materials to high-strength structural materials for industries such as the automotive, industrial or white goods sectors, for instance," explained Antonio Mani, the Laboratory manager.
"Its capacity is 120 tons, and it can handle any type of material or grade being manufactured here in the rolling mill."
The robot has been integrated into a tensile machine and is currently located in one of the areas in the Laboratory. The equipment makes it possible to meet all the requirements set by current production standards at the Hot Rolling Mill.
Personnel have been trained to operate the new equipment.
Previously, this type of testing was done manually, highlighted Juan José Chávez, head of the Pesqueria Laboratory. "Now, with this robot, all the operator has to do is place the tensile test tubes in the magazine and leave the robot to do the rest."
“With this robot or integrated system, we can carry out tensile tests, R-value tests, N-value tests, and aging tests. Previously, we were able to test samples of up to 15 millimeters in thickness, but now thanks to the wide range of the hot rolling mill, we can perform tests ranging from one millimeter to one inch in thickness.”
Setting up and training this robotic system to carry out these specific functions was the task of the German technicians who also trained the laboratory staff.
“For Ternium, the acquisition of this robot means that it continues to be at the forefront of industrial development, remaining current and competitive. This equipment is state-of-the-art technology for automated systems used in testing steel products,” explained Mani.
"It is a very stable, standardized, and precise system. As it is fully automated, the test times are exactly the same, all take the same time, and we can run it 24/7, all year round."
The robot is used to perform mechanical tensile tests of steel produced in the new Hot Rolling Mill.
The installation involved working with the Department of Product Engineering and Automation, which helped to configure all the tests for the robotic system.
Julio César Torres, Project Engineer, pointed out that the new equipment is "unique" as there is none like it with the same capacity and characteristics in Mexico, or even in Latin America.
“This has been a major challenge for everyone in the working group, from defining the equipment engineering to the new functions involved. As it is all so automatic, we had to make a great many adjustments to our N2 platform so that we could import and export the results data and sample information, allowing us to continuously feed information back into the mill's production model,” he said.
Different tests are carried out to guarantee the quality of Ternium's steels.