Sensors Provides Cost-Effective Alternative to Linear Encoders in Steel Rolling Mills

5th May 2009
ES Admin
MTS Systems Corp., Sensors Division's Temposonics linear-position sensors are now available with an improved linearity correction option, which makes them an attractive alternative to the magnetic linear encoders currently used in a number of rolling mills. MTS' magnetostrictive linear-position sensors are much more robust and cost-effective than incremental linear encoders and, with the improved linearity correction option, are able to offer the same high degree of accuracy.
High accuracy is essential to steel rolling, and MTS' Temposonics position sensors prove reliable and precise, even in this rugged environment, due to their shock and vibration resistance, said Matt Hankinson, Temposonics Marketing Manager. Temposonics sensors have been used in rolling mills for a number of years, but only now, due to improvements in linearity testing and correction, do they meet the demanding specifications required to be implemented on all, rather than just the first few, roll stands in the mill.

Rolling mill OEMs are subject to strict international standards regarding thickness and surface texture that must be met or even exceeded in the field; and adherence to these standards can only be achieved with highly accurate roller positioning. MTS' Temposonics linear-position sensors provide 20 microns or better linearity for both rod- and profile-style sensors, offering extremely accurate measurement signals and minimizing system-related delays for precise, dynamic control that equals, if not outperforms, that of magnetic linear encoders. MTS linear-position sensors are also shock- and vibration-resistant, providing OEMs with a more robust, reliable product. Additionally, MTS' position sensors are the more cost-effective measurement solution due to their lower initial investment cost and longer lifecycle.

Currently, at least two major roll stand OEMs have successfully switched from linear encoders to MTS' Temposonics R- or G-Series linear-position sensors.

R-Series sensors are rugged, industrial sensors that provide absolute, linear position measurement, and non-contact sensing technology with high-performance output protocols including SSI, DeviceNet, Profibus, DP, and EtherCAT. With linearity down to ± 20 microns or better, resolution of 1 micron, and repeatability within 0.001%, these sensors are ideal for applications that require accuracy, reliability, and consistency.

Additionally, R-Series sensors utilizing the SSI protocol have a more advanced microcontroller inside the sensor that is capable of providing both improved linearity correction, as well as a fast update rate. The fast update rate option fulfills high, dynamic requirements by shortening the cycle time for a measured value so the controller can read the absolute position values with an update frequency of up to 10kHz independent of measuring length.

G-Series sensors are rugged, industrial sensors that provide highly accurate measurements in either analog or digital outputs, offer enhanced diagnostics and programming capabilities, and are designed for backwards compatibility with legacy Temposonics products.

Both series are easy to install and are preset with individual parameters according to order specifications so as to avoid time-consuming on-site calibration.

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