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A comparison of two set-up generation systems for cold rolling mills

Henrique C. Ferreira1, Carlos T. A. Pires2, Daniel Uehara1, Roberto M. Sales1

1. INTRODUCTION
Set-up generation is an important aspect in the operation of tandem cold mills. It defines speeds and powers for the
drives, stand reductions, roll forces and interstand tensions for the tandem cold mill control system. Set-up
optimization should lead to improved thickness regularity, surface finish and shape performance of the strip. The
importance of such optimization first appeared in (1) and it has been object of several works (2, 3, 4, 5).
In case of malfunction of the main processing unit responsible to execute the set-up generation system at Cosipa
tandem cold mill, a brazilian steel industry, the normal procedure for the operation is interrupted, being necessary
to use an emergency operation mode. As the process unit has low failure rate, the high cost of a redundancy
implementation is not justified. This is the main reason for the development of an alternative simpler system for setup generation, as presented in this work.
The proposed system is based on a cost function that evaluates the mill quality and productivity. The cost function
is minimized using the Nelder and Mead simplex method (6), and the process variable are evaluated by the cold
rolling model proposed by Bryant (1).

2. PLANT DESCRIPTION
The proposed set-up generation system was developed to be used at Cosipa tandem cold mill, a coil to coil, four
high, four stand mill, in which each stand is driven by two twin independent dc motors. Two hydraulics actuators,
installed at the top of each stand, complete the set of the stands. Table 1 presents the main electrical and
mechanical characteristics of the tandem cold mill.
Table 1: Electrical and mechanical characteristics
Annual production (tons)
Maximum speed (m/min)
Work rolls diameter (mm)
Back up rolls diameter (mm)
Stand
Power (kW)
Motors
Speed (rpm)
Voltage (V)
Material
Entry thickness (mm)
Exit thickness (mm)
Coil width (mm)
Coil internal diameter (mm)
Coil external diameter (mm)

1.248.000
1080
490 to 575
1270 a 1422
1
2
2 x 1800
2 x 1800
433 to 1046 433 to 1046
900
900
Carbon Steel
2.00 to 4.75
0.38 to 3.00
650 to 1575
610
1930

3
2 x 1800
433 to 1046
900

4
2 x 1482
200 to 485
700

3. THE PROCESS MODEL


Cold rolling mill process models have been developed for more than half a century. The most classic cold mill
process model, proposed by Bland and Ford (7), is composed by algebraic and integrals equations for forces and
torques calculation. Bryant (1), through model simplifications, developed a cold mill model composed only by
algebraic equations. This simple model demands low computational effort and shows satisfactory results. The setup generation system here considered uses the Bryant cold mill model.

1
2

(University of So Paulo, Department of Telecommunication and Control Engineering), Brazil


(COSIPA Companhia Siderrgica Paulista, Cubato), Brazil

Prior to rolling, set-up is calculated based on expected steady-state mill behaviour. The threading process, where
the strip must be successively introduced into the mill stands, is accomplished at low speed. After the threading of
the last stand, the mill is then accelerated to the desired operating speed. At the end of the coil, the mill is
decelerated to a low speed for the dethreading process and simultaneously it must already be set-up for the next
coil.
The rolling force P is a nonlinear function of the entry thickness hin, the exit thickness hout, the entry tension in, the
exit tension out, the entry yield stress kin, the exit yield stress kout, the coefficient of friction and the work roll
radius R
P = FP (hin , hout , in , out , k in , kout , ,R )

The entry yield stress kin and the exit yield stress kout are expressed by
k in = Fk (h0 , hin )

kout = Fk (h0 , hout )

The roll torque G is expressed by


G = FG (hin , hout , in , out , k in , kout , , P, R )

The deformed work roll radius R is expressed by

4P 1 - R2
R' = R 1 +

E R (hout hin )

where R and ER are the Poisson's Ratio and the Young's modulus for the work roll, respectively.
Through the stand the mass flow must balance, hence if the strip width remains constant
Vin hin = Vout hout

where Vin is the strip entry speed and Vout the exit strip speed. The exit speed depends on the forward slip f and the
work roll speed V
Vout = V (1 + f )
f = Ff (hin , hout , in , out , k in , kout , , R )

The motor power is expressed by

W =

GWSV
R GR

where WS is the strip width, R is the motor efficiency and G the gear efficiency.

4. COST FUNCTION AND MINIMIZATION METHOD


The cost function used in the proposed set-up generation system considers power drives, rolling forces and
tensions as the most important variables associated to quality and productivity. The cost function is given by
N 1

(J ( ) + J ( ) ) + J ( )
N

J=

i =1

i
P

i
F

j =1

where J is the total cost, JP and JF are stand i cost functions for power drives and rolling forces respectively, and N
is the number of stands. JT is the cost tension function of zone j between adjacent stands.
For each pattern of thickness and tensions between stands, powers and forces are evaluated using the process
model and the cost function is then calculated. The magnitudes of JP, JF and JT quickly increase when power, force
and tension are out of ranges considered ideal by process engineers. The structure for JP is given by

(i ) + P (i )
(i ) Pmax
min
P
(
(
i)
i )
2
JP = kP
(i ) P (i )

Pmax
min

nP(i )

The same structure is assumed for JF and JT.


There are several methods for functions minimization applied to cold mills optimum set-up calculation. In (2)
nonlinear programming is used and in (3) a genetic algorithm is considered. Like in (4), this work uses the simplex
method proposed by Nelder and Mead (6).
Reductions, tensions, rolling forces, powers drives and speeds associated to the minimum of the cost function are
taken as the optimum set-up for the tandem cold rolling mill.

5. RESULTS
The set-up generation system employed during normal operation conditions uses the process model proposed by
Bland and Ford (7). Table 2 presents, for 20 coils, the mean percent error between the values of the process
variables, calculated by the Bland and Ford set-up generation system and the values of the measured process
variables, the later being the base for the computation.
Table 2: Mean percent error between values calculated using the set-up generation system based on Bland e Ford
model and corresponding measured process variables.
Zone 1
Stand 1
Zone 2
Stand 2
Zone 3
Stand 3
Zone 4
Stand 4
Zone 5

Thickness
Fixed

Tension
Fixed

Force

Speed
8.0632.04

1.395.52
0.110.46 -9.251.48

13.4532.43
6.0329.74

5.636.65
-1.341.13 -8.262.98

7.9630.81
8.3330.51

5.125.57
2.001.54 -6.108.23

8.6129.14
4.6028.63

0.042.28
0.421.24

Fixed

Power

5.3937.57
4.7728.60

These results shows that the mill references generated by the Bland e Ford model are very close to the data
measure during the rolling of the coils, mainly for tension and force. However, differences a few percent greater
can be observed for values of stand speed and motor power. For these variables, the measured values during the
rolling of the coils are bigger than the ones calculated by the system.
The proposed set-up generation system was carried out in Matlab using the rolling mill process model proposed by
Bryant (1). To assess the performance of the proposed system, values of the set-up calculated by the main system,
for the same 20 arbitrarily chosen coils referred in the last section, were compared to the corresponding values
calculated by the proposed system. Table 3 presents the average deviation, in percent, between the two systems,
taking the main system as the base system.
Table 3: Average deviation in percent between set-up calculated by two systems.
Thickness
Tension
Force
Speed
Power
Zone 1
Fixed
Fixed
8.546.99
Stand 1
-5.524.78
3.452.61
Zone 2 -0.271.15 -0.856.76
8.836.61
Stand 2
1.215.74
4.092.48
Zone 3 2.312.54 5.007.04
6.136.58
Stand 3
1.157.15
3.763.29
Zone 4 2.381.12 4.459.04
6.016.40
Stand 4
3.237.50
9.0612.58
Zone 5
Fixed
Fixed
8.546.99

While thickness, tension and force deviations may be accepted in the ranges shown in Table 3, that is, strip quality
and process security specifications are maintained for these ranges, some special considerations must be made
with respect to speed and power.
In fact, it was observed that the difference between the torque models for the proposed and the main system is the
reason for higher speed and power values in the proposed system. In practice, this implies that some caution
should be taken if the total power is exceeded, but since there is some power reserve in the case of the main
system calculations, no additional action was necessary for the deviations in Table 3.

6. CONCLUSION
The set-up generation system proposed in this work, despite to be simpler than usual set-up generation systems, is
suitable to be used in emergency operation mode, because it is quick, safe and sufficiently accurate. Further
studies have been made in order to extend the set-up generation system to the threading and tail out phases of the
cold rolling mill process.

REFERENCES
1.

G.F. Bryant

Automation of Tandem Mills, The Iron and Steel Institute, London, 1973.
2.

I.C. Ozsoy, G.E. Ruddle, A.F. Crawley

Optimum Scheduling of a Hot Rolling Process by Nonlinear Programming, Canadian Metallurgical Quartely, 3, 31,
1991.
3.

D.D. Wang, A.K. Tieu, F.G. de Boer, B. Ma, W.Y.D. Yuen

Toward a Heuristic Optimum Design of Rolling Schedules for Tandem Rolling Mills, Engineering Applications of
Artificial Intelligence, 13, 2000.
4.

E. Fiebig, H. Zander

Automation of Tandem Cold Rolling Mills, Metallurgical Plant and Tecnology, 3, 5, 1982.
5.

K. Sekiguchi et al.

The Advanced Set-Up and Control System for Dofascos Tandem Cold Mill, IEEE Transactions on Industry
Applications, 3, 32, 1996.
6.

J.A. Nelder, R. Mead

A Simplex Method for Function Minimization, Computer Journal, 7, 1965.


7.

D.R. Bland, H. Ford

The Calculation of Roll Force and Torque in Cold Strip Rolling with Tensions, Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., 168, 1954.