Colour marking system in a steel works

Sheet steels are manufactured in a variety of sizes and qualities for use in, e.g. ship building, automobile construction or pipe manufacturing.
Sheet steels are therefore colour coded after straightening in order to ensure that the rolling mill consigns the correct sheet steel and the customer can correctly identify the components. The marking ink used in this process is mixed and supplied in 20 litre tanks.
Changing daily temperatures in the hall of the rolling mill and the evaporation of solvents affect the viscosity of the ink. It is important that the viscosity is maintained within a narrow band to ensure that the signature mark does not become altered as a result of the ink running, taking too long to dry or even becoming illegible. As the ink cannot be tempered, the viscosity is adjusted by the addition of solvent or additional ink.
Until now, viscosity used to be measured two or three times each day using a DIN flow cup. However, the measurement values often vary widely during a 3-shift operation as, e.g. the ink temperature is lower during the night shift while at the end of the early shift the ink is again considerably warmer.
With a ViscoScope VA-100 / VS-D250 process viscometer, the ink viscosity is now measured continuously and a trend defined. Using this trend, it is now possible to adjust the ink viscosity to optimum effect throughout the day. This eliminates needless wastage of ink and solvent through incorrect dosing.
The sensor is installed in the pipe to the marking head with no dead volume. The transmitter is connected to a process control system in order to visualise the viscosity trend.
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