HKM's Steelworks use FLIR P-Series Infrared Cameras to Inspect, Maintain and Optimize Production Processes

Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann GmbH (HKM), located in Duisburg, Germany, manufactures pig iron and steel. HKM also operates a coke plant and a sintering plant, a factory where iron-bearing particles are formed into pellets or pulverized to be charged again into the blast furnace.

"Steel production is a long, powerful, energy intensive chain of processes. If something goes wrong, the whole chain is blocked, usually with unpredictable consequences for workforce and infrastructure. Infrared contributes to keeping the production going" says Ralf Ponczeck, who together with his colleague Dirk Ehrich is responsible for thermography at the HKM plant.

Coke Plant Furnace
Coke Plant Furnace Thermal

The two technicians, both ITC certified Level III thermographers, are assigned to HKM's Energy Management Department, as measuring and calculating heat development is vital to determine and reduce the plant's energy output. They use a P640 infrared camera, equipped with 14 bit FireWire video streaming (called SC640) calibrated to + 2,000 C and equipped with 24 and 80° lenses. The camera has to function in extreme conditions in terms of temperature, dust and thermal load. Process engineers responsible for production levels call on them to inspect or monitor the heat load on engines, gears, structural casting plant elements as well as the proper functioning of cooling elements which are in direct contact with 1,000 °C hot molten steel rounds.

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