Technology Article

Laser micrometer takes accuracy up a thousand notches.

Technology continues to change the way our Materials Support Team supports you. As part of continuous improvement of our own processes, Worthington Steel has introduced space-age precision in measuring steel thickness: using advanced laser micrometer technology.



Manual measurement vs. laser

Historically, steel thickness was spot-checked by hand, one measurement at a time. Even in the hands of an experienced expert, manual measuring was always subject to human error or inconsistency. X-ray or isotope devices can be used to provide continuous thickness traces through the length of coils, but the position across the width of the strip tends to be fixed, and management of the radioactive source can be problematic.

At our Cleveland processing plant, we installed laser micrometer technology and have been using it in production on cold-rolled strip products, while testing it in trials on hot-dip galvanized products.



Overall, we’re seeing that laser micrometer technology offers far greater accuracy and stability than measuring thickness by hand, as well as more complete data across the width and throughout the length of coils. Dennis McHugh, Manager Technical Services/Steel Support for Worthington Steel, explained, “Quite often, we attempt to describe a gauge profile in flat rolled steel through statistics and measurements, but the laser micrometer plot visually tells the complete story on any coil. It’s an invaluable tool for any close gauge tolerance application.”

In our trials, laser technology goes far beyond spot checking. As a steel coil strip passes between dual laser sensors, synchronized, non-contact measurement captures thousands of measuring points. In addition to eliminating human errors, this makes the gauge measurement immune to material vibration and less susceptible to environmental factors, such as dirt or steam, creating far more precise readings.



How this benefits us

For us, more accurate measuring is a productivity and product quality tool. More accurate measurement allows us to process products more confidently—as we detect gauge variations more quickly. We can set our cold mills to run at different targets within the tolerance range, without crossing limit thresholds. And the rich data we receive allows us to produce guided edge trim, analyze yield losses, and deliver tighter tolerances.


More important, you will benefit

For you, the steel you order from us will have the most complete inspection in relation to your specs.

At Worthington, we do a better job of supporting your materials because we invest in giving our experts the latest technology tools. We promise to continue delivering better solutions to keep your line up and running: for the right steel and the right specs, at the right time.

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