Uploaded by IntelMet Technologies

Technical solution for hot coil marking

Tagging system for hot-rolled coils
Arcady Chernyakov
IntelMet Technologies
Coils traceability and quality requires accurate,
permanent coil identification immediately after
downcoiling, before the coil manufacturing sequence
becomes shuffled.
Historically, mills use chalk or stencils for manual
marking of coils with human-readable characters or
automatic paint spray equipment. Manual marking
methods, using chalk or stencils, are prone to human
error and are often illegible. Automated paint spray
equipment utilizes accurate downloaded information
but, if the marking equipment is not adequately
maintained, the markings may be difficult to read.
When workers downstream read human readable
characters, data reading errors often occur.
Transpositions, misreads, and data logging errors are
a few of the common mistakes.
Automatic OCR system (Optical Character
Recognition) which often used for recognition of
characters applied by automatic spray marking
machines is not reliable for variably positioned coils
with fluctuating marking quality. In addition, OCR is
not suitable for inventory collection in the storage
High quality barcode applied directly to the coil
could solve the problem. Bar codes can easily be
scanned in storage yards and during production
operations using inexpensive, industry-standard
bar code scanners.
Manual bar code tag attachment to cold (ambient to
approximately 300°C) coils is commonplace. For such
cold coils, paper tags and plastic tags are commonly
attached using wire, adhesive or a plastic pouch.
They are usually durable enough to survive shipment
and short-term storage.
However, currently there is no commercial adhesive
that will adhere a metal tag to hot coils having
Identification of hot coils requires a tag which can
survive temperatures that approach 1000°C and can
be securely attached in a manner which will survive
cooldown and annealing while maintaining
readability. Also, the tag must be able to survive
outdoor storage or sea transportation without image
or contrast degradation.
Such tags must be applied either to the
outside wrap of the coil (where crane operators can
see them) or to the coil side face or inside diameter
(where they can be read on coils that are stacked).
Tags that are stiff and “foldable” can easily be
attached so that they are viewable from two
For marking of the hot-rolled coils, we proposes to
use the MCL high-temperature metal tags with
barcode. The tag contains all of the data necessary to
identify each individual coil with the naked eye, as
well as a bar code that give us the possibility to
identify the coil using standard solutions like bar-code
readers (scanners). Many man hours are spent taking
inventory in the steel yard. A high quality bar code
attached directly to the coil can reduce this by at least
half. Not only does accurate inventory take less time,
but the coil yard can be updated in real time using
standard portable bar code readers with wireless
links. The location is scanned or entered by the coil
hauler, then the coil is scanned; in real time the host
system updates the location of each and every coil
stored in the yard.
Pannier Corporation introduced the MCL hightemperature metal tags in 1983 to enable
manufacturers in the primary metals industries to
reliably identify and track their products. Now
standard throughout the steel and aluminum
industries, our MCL barcode metal tags can do even
more than before.
surface temperatures greater than 500°C.
Another pitfall that the surface of coil should be
prepared before tag attachment – it should be free
of scale, residues of oil, water, etc. otherwise
adhesive will no adhere the tag to the coil. To
prevent the problem mills usually attach several tags
to the coil duplicate to each other but it increase the
total cost of marking.
MCL tags are made of stainless steel with a thickness
of 0.2 mm and covered with a layer of special
ceramics that changes color when exposed to the
laser beam. Tags can contain text, barcodes, matrix
2D-codes, logos and any other information that may
be needed for marking and identification of metal.
MCL metal tags withstand very high temperatures (up
to 1200 ° C), resistant to mechanical damages,
adverse weather conditions, acids and alkalis.
Information applied to the tag may be stored up to 50
years without degradation of its properties.
Example of coil marked by MCL high-temperature
metal tag shown at the Picture below:
Direct attachment to coil's surface - immediately
after downcoiling, the coil surface is usually smooth
with little or no mill scale. Here the tag is attached to
the coil using either manual or automatic coil tagging
methods. The preferred welding method is resistance
spot welding. Two or four small resistance spot welds
made through a single layer of the tag material are
adequate for tag attachment.
Example of the tag attached to the coil shown at the
Picture below:
Attachment to coil's band – if the coil strapped by
metal strap after downcoiling the tag could be
attached to the strap as an alternative to direct
In this case the same attaching method – spot welding
is used.
Spot welding attaches the tag to the outer or inner
wrap of the coil by pressing the tag and coil wrap
substrate together with sufficient force, while passing
a high weld current thru the tag-to-coil interface, to
form a melt pool and thereby bond the two steel
surfaces together.
Tag geometry for a given application is designed so
that the tag material is uncoated at the weld location
on the tag. Usually the tags are coated using a method
that leaves bare metal edges for welding. The
machine weld tip geometry is designed to match the
tag bare edge geometry.
This method provides very high reliability and quality
of attachment; coils with attached tags could go
through the mill operations like moving through the
roll tables, crane operations, etc. without tag
For band attachment, tags also could be provided
with elongated slots that facilitate tag attachment
when the coil banding operation is performed.
Manual or automatic attachment is possible.
Both ways – manual or automatic available for tag
applying to hot coils.
An operator using a handheld wand applicator
specially designed to manually apply tags to hot or
cold coils. Preprinted sequentially numbered tags
are used, or an on-demand industrial laser tag
printer, located near the marking station, is used to
produce tags on demand. The operator affixes the
bare edge tag to a (magnetic) tag applicator
mechanism at the end of the wand, presses the tag
firmly against the outer wrap or inside surface of the
coil, and then operates a finger trigger to initiate the
The IntelMark AS-W is a rugged, reliable, and
effective answer to coil marking requirements. It
creates large, clear, easy-to-read marking on the coil.
The IntelMark AS-W operates 100% unassisted,
requiring only occasional tags refilling and
maintenance. It was designed to operate in line, in the
extremely harsh and unfriendly environment of coil
rolling and finishing lines.
Because of its small base and long reach, it can be
placed virtually anywhere. It is particularly suitable
for installation in existing lines, where usually no
modifications of the lay-out are required.
The system can mark both cold and hot coils, with a
temperature be marked surface up to 1200 ° C
The IntelMark AS-W can be installed any place where
the coil is available in necessary position for the
duration of the marking cycle. Simple and easy to
implement interfaces are supplied to connect the
marking machine to existing Level 2 automation
systems. However, the IntelMark AS-W can also be
used as a stand-alone system.
A wide range of communication interfaces allows
easy integrating the marking machine with the
enterprise information system and receiving the
appropriate marking information in real time.
The machine also equipped by automatic skipping of
straps system.
IntelMark AS-W marking machine based on 6-axis
industrial robot fitted with a specially designed
marking head for tag attaching, spot welding system
and industrial laser printer for metal tags printing.
Tags can also be automatically applied to a coil by an
automatic tagging machine.
For coils marking INTELMET proposes to use the
marking machine from IntelMark AS-W line, which is
developed by INTELMET specialists specifically for the
steel industry.
As soon as a coil arrives at the marking position and
the conveyor has stopped, a start signal "coil
present" accompanied by the coil’s diameter and
width information is expected. When the signal
"start marking" has been received by the robot
controller the signal "robot is marking" is kept high.
The robot moves with the measuring pin installed at
the marking head towards to the coil and measures
the circumference of the coil in order to calculate
the approximate diameter and real position of the
The tags are printed with the identification data sent
by the plant's automation system, and are ready
when the product reaches the marking station.
The robot picks them up, places them on the face of
the coil, and attaches them. It then clears the area to
allow evacuation of the coil and gives a signal
“marker ready” and waiting the next coil.
The entire operation is fully automatic. The operator
interface can be placed in the line pulpit, and
extensive diagnostics are provided to insure that the
operators can deal with problems routinely (i.e. tag
stock level low).
The printer was designed by INTELMET specifically
for the harsh conditions of steel industry and is
equipped by some unique features:
Industrial robot - The coil-marking unit is based
on a standard KUKA or KAWSASAKI industrial
digital laser marking head with 2 galvanometers
for highest marking performance;
angle of laser beam exit adjustable
continuously for best marking quality;
integrated pilot laser for easy setup of a new
marking job and reduce the marking cycle;
two channel safety circuit on separate
connectors for flexible integration in the
production process;
controller unit with integrated graphical display
for intuitive operations;
Welding unit - A spot welding unit is designed
especially for use in
marking machine of
IntelMark family.
Industrial laser printer - IntelTag™ industrial printer
for print high-temperature metal tags for steel
marking based on 30 Watt CO2 laser and equipped
by fully automated shearing device that could
produce the tag with width starting from 4mm. The
maximum width of the tag could be 76mm and the
maximum length of the tag is unlimited.
The machine is supplied
by three-phase network
of AC current. Big LCD
display with blue
lightening that provides
an excellent readability
of working parameters.
Simple and easy-tounderstand control
provides quick and
effective setting of the
parameters of different
grades of steel.
The main features of the welding unit:
microprocessor control of the spot welding
multifunctional control board with LCD display;
automatically set parameters depending of the
indication and gradual adjustment of welding
time and power;
automatic transition to the cooling mode
(overheat protection);
Welding head - The welding head includes a
measuring pin in order to measure the diameter of
the coil, and two spot welding rods to attach the tag
to the coil’s surface. It’s also equipped by special
magnetic holder for pick up the tag from the printer
and hold them during the attaching operation.
Different tag formats available for this application.
Typically tag has size 76x101mm or 76x203mm with
uncoated metal bare edge at the top and bottom of
the tag width to accommodate good resistance weld
current conductivity.
The tag also could has a special coupon, which is
Main PLC cabinet and HMI interface – Main PLC
cabinet equipped with all necessary devices for input
and output as well as power supply. The data
exchange between PLC and Host Computer is
executed via Ethernet or Profibus.
folded-down at 90°. This tag geometry provides a 2axis view of the tag by both the crane operator and
an observer in the storage yard standing at the eye
of the coil.
The maintenance panel installed in the cabinet for
adjustment, repair and service of the machine. All
buttons on the maintenance panel are operational
when a selector switch on this panel is switched to
maintenance. As soon as switched, a signal is given
that the marker turned into maintenance mode.
When using this mode, all control from the pulpit
and host computer is blocked.
Pulpit HMI will be provided with a computer, LCD
monitor and a screen layout for system status and
alarm visualization.
HMI Operational function includes:
HMI installed at the operators’ pulpit should
function as a standalone visualization system
for status monitoring and alarm.
If there is a malfunction on the machine, HMI at
the pulpit should alarm the operator and
operator should be able to move manually the
machine to the home position.
With the HMI at the operators’ pulpit, operators
would be able to operate the machine with
semiautomatic and automatic mode.
INTELMET TECHNOLOGIES was founded more than 15
years ago and since these days we have been
producing technological solutions for product
marking, traceability and identification in steel
industry. Today we are one of the recognized
international supplier in these areas, among our
customers not only a major steel producers like
ThyssenKrupp, DUFERCO, Arcelor Mittal, EUROPIPE,
NLMK, etc., but also key engineering players like SMS
Siemag, Siemens-VAI, Fives Stain, SYTCO and many
others. It give us a deep knowledge of production
processes there are marking machines are installed
and significant experience in the development,
engineering and manufacture of high quality marking
Based on 2012Y results FORBES magazine included us
into TOP-5 marking equipment manufacturers for
steel industry.
Now we produce the full line of marking machines
under the IntelMark™ brand name for all type of
products: slabs, billets and blooms, hot and cold coils,
tubes and pipes, sheets and plates, etc.
INTELMET TECHNOLOGIES is also a developer of
integrated systems of identification and tracking of
metal under the trademark SteelTrace ™.
INTELMET TECHNOLOGIES is an official certified
supplier of marking equipment and technologies for
engineering companies SMS Siemag and SMS Meer
(Germany) (registration number 68-233-6583), Fives
Stain (France), ENCE (Switzerland), Siemens-VAI
(Austria) and SYTCO (Austria) and passed all
necessary audit procedures and control of the above
mentioned companies.
Our strength lies in our daily commitment to provide
to our customers the best solutions with completive
cost, which strongly focused on their real needs.
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