When a customer asked the Metal
Technology Group at Siemens Corp. to design a simple, robust,
reliable and inexpensive method to measure the thickness of
stationary aluminum plate on a hot-mill roller table, the U.S.
subsidiary of the German engineering conglomerate responded
But dont look for a
similar design coming anytime soon to an aluminum plate rolling
mill near you. "At the moment, it is a one-of-a-kind design and
installation," said Andrew Frampton, the Metal Technology
Groups new product manager for aluminum.
Frampton wont say how much
the design and installation of the measuring device cost,
noting that "plate mills can be twice as wide as this one so it
wont be an off-the-shelf installation." But he
acknowledged that "there are a lot of mills around the world
that might find a need for this kind of thing. Theres
definite interest in this kind of measurement among the 50 or
60 aluminum hot mills in the world."
Frampton confirmed that other
mills were interested in the Siemens plate measurement device,
primarily in North America, "and we are pretty sure of some
potential global interest."
The customer who asked Siemens to develop the instrument
said it was aware of several other plants interested in the
measurement device. "There has been some interest from other
mills in our group," a mill engineer said.