Steel coils are high quality raw materials for high quality products especially in the automotive industry but also in the "whiteware" sector with constantly increasing demands for steel manufacturers and processors. In a joint project, the three biggest European steel manufacturers ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe have developed an open concept for coding and forwarding quality information to their customers. The concept is currently at the Eurofer in Brussels for further coordination and distribution; other steel manufacturers have now joined the consortium.
The key to the whole concept is the printing and detection of a 1D barcode on the coil as identification of the position of additional quality information which is coded and forwarded to customers. This enables customers to handle marked section of the coils selectively in the further processing and thus to reduce consequential costs in the processing as well as in quality assurance with a higher utilization factor.
Barcode reading systems from OCTUM (CRS and BRS) central elements of the Quality Tracking solution.
The barcode reading system from Octum (CRS = Customer Reading System and BRS = Barcode Reading System) developed especially for this application meets the requirements of the steel manufacturers and their customers for a reading system in a harsh industrial environment as defined and documented in the "white book V2.2". The first generation of reading systems have been in use since 2012; we have been supplying the series reading systems which comply with the current state of the white book since 2015. The system reads the barcode with high reliability on all steel surfaces at speeds of up to 300 m/min. The installations at the steel manufacturers and their customers have confirmed the high read rates of >98% on all steel surfaces. 100% read rates are also achieved in line installations and on freshly printed coils. Damages to the codes, additional printing between the 1D codes and surface reflection do not impact the reading. The reading system adapts automatically to prevailing conditions. There is no need for manual intervention or parameterization. The installation and operation of the BRS is easy to do.
The process connection are defined and implemented differently depending on the application requirements (at the steel manufacturer or the steel manufacturer's customer), customer-specific adaptations beyond the white book are also possible at any time. A Quality Information Server is also required for installation in customer systems to provide the coded quality data in so-called info files. This component can be provided also directly from OCTUM.