The slabs and billets that come out of the melt shop are white-hot and malleable. They can be put through rolling presses and turned into any shape required. Sometimes this is done immediately. Sometimes they are placed in a storage area to be processed later. Because the melt shop environment is so hazardous, the presses are usually some distance away from it. Cranes are needed to move the cooling, yet still hot, malleable shapes from casting to the rolling mill.
Moving hot metal
A billet or slab crane is usually an electric overhead travelling (EOT) crane that is very manoeuvrable. It needs to travel the long distance between the melt shop and the rolling area. It can move the hot, soft metal from the casting area into storage if needed. It should be able to feed the billets or slabs into the rollers when required. Perhaps the steel needs to be reheated in another furnace before shaping continues. The same crane can move the steel that has been shaped to another conveyor for further processing, or take it to a storage area.
Load handling devices for all shapes and sizes
The wide variety of products and shapes that come off the rollers means that the cranes need special load handling devices. Mechanical or hydraulic tongs can pick up slabs, magnets can take slabs, billets or coils and c-hooks can lift coils and smaller billets. Because the steel needs to be warm for shaping, there is some radiated heat, and the grabs need heat protection.
Every factory has a limited amount of floor space. A rotating trolley or lifting beam helps operators position steel more accurately onto the conveyors that feed the rollers or storage areas. Auxiliary hoists assist in positioning longer objects and in maintenance tasks.
Smart Features help make hard tasks easier
Konecranes slab or billet cranes are typically equipped with a number of Smart Features such as Sway Control, Slack Rope Prevention and Target Positioning. These Smart Features reduce the wear on your crane, extending its lifetime and lowering unplanned repair and maintenance costs. They also help drivers to complete difficult tasks easily, so the crane performs better. These cranes can even be fully automated, taking your factory that one critical step further.