ACERINOX S.A.| Innovative roll cover solution enhances safety and operational efficiency in hot mill operations | South Africa
In February 2022, a critical challenge arose at Columbus Stainless hot strip mill when a finishing mill backup roll (BUR) suffered a catastrophic failure, posing a risk to personnel and equipment.
The subsequent investigation revealed the likelihood of internal stresses in spalled rolls causing spontaneous breakage. To address this, a cross-functional team embarked on a mission to create a preventive solution that prioritised safety without compromising operational efficiency.
The team swiftly devised a unique concept: a roll cover made from repurposed conveyor belts. This cost-effective design, engineered to absorb impact and contain shattered roll pieces, eliminates the need for personnel to be in proximity during installation and removal. In just three months, the concept evolved from idea to reality, resulting in a functional prototype.
The impact has been transformative:
1. Safety: Personnel safety is vastly improved, as the risk of injury from spontaneous roll breakage is mitigated.
2. Adaptability: The cover’s adaptability to different roll sizes, types, and mills ensures broad applicability.
3. Cost-effectiveness: Beyond safety enhancements, the project boasts remarkable cost-effectiveness, with negligible material costs and efficient deployment.
This innovative solution not only safeguards employee wellbeing but also epitomises the fusion of creativity and practicality in addressing unforeseen challenges.