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Primetals implements AI solution to detect cross strip cracks on rolled intermediate products at thyssenkrupp

Thyssenkrupp reduces downtime using AI

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Autor: Birgit Schmunk

Datum: 30. Nov. 2023

30 November 2023 | A computer vision assistant from Primetals checks rolled intermediate products for strip cross cracks. Therefore, errors can be detected early which allows the protection of the rolling mills from damage.

Primetals Technologies has implemented a digital assistant at thyssenkrupp Hohenlimburg to detect strip cross cracks. This is the first computer vision-based solution from Primetals Technologies developed specifically for this purpose.

Reduced downtime

The main benefit for thyssenkrupp is the reduction of downtime and roll wear in the hot strip mill. If a slab has a transverse crack, it will show up in the roughing train, with the crack increasing with each pass. If damaged roughed strip enters the finishing mill, the crack can spread further and cause holes in the rolled material. In the worst case, such a defect can lead to incorrect rolling and damage to the line and other production equipment. To prevent this, transverse cracks must be detected as early as possible so that operators can intervene in time.

Immediate warning

A camera located on the exit side of the roughing mill feeds a live video stream to the digital assistant developed by Primetals Technologies. Using a machine learning model, the assistant processes the live images and checks them for cracks. If a crack is detected, the operator is immediately alerted. The digital assistant also transmits the information to the customer’s intelligent automation system for further analysis. If cracks are detected early in the process, unnecessary downtime and damage to the system can be avoided.

The digital assistance system will continuously optimise its performance as it is self-learning and able to detect new types of cracks.

Crack detection

Crack detection


Close research cooperation between Primetals and thyssenkrupp

thyssenkrupp Hohenlimburg GmbH, based in Hagen/Westphalia, employs around 900 people. The plant stands for more than 150 years of experience in the processing of hot-rolled Hohenlimburg centre strip (precidur®). The steel product is used as a primary material in the cold rolling industry and is also used in direct processing, mainly in the automotive supply industry.

Primetals Technologies has a close partnership with the steel producer, including a research collaboration to fine-tune process parameters using AI algorithms. A recently completed project is the modernisation of the drive system of the hot strip mill in Hagen.

The machinery and plant manufacturer Primetals Technologies was founded in 2015 as a joint venture between Siemens VAI Metals Technologies and Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery. Headquartered in London, UK, the company employs around 7,000 people worldwide.

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(Source: Primetals/2023)