9 April 2013

Steel Caster Loading Safety: Corus Construction & Industrial – UK

The Requirement

During the steel casting process, a bucket of molten steel must be placed on a casting cradle with a crane. The cradle is not visible from the crane operators’ cab and it is imperative that the loading process be undertaken in a safe and efficient manner.

The Solution

The planning and implementation of an integrated wireless CCTV system utilising multiple WaveMAX units in a “point-to-multipoint” configuration provides the crane driver with a clear view of the cradle loading point from within the mobile crane cab. This enhances the safety and productivity of the operation.

Located in Scunthorpe, Corus Construction & Industrial is the largest integrated iron and steel making plant in the UK. Integrated steel production facilities spread across a 2000 acre site produce approximately 4.5million tonnes of steel plates, sections, wire rods and billets every year to a number of different markets including construction, shipbuilding & engineering. Corus Northern Engineering Services (CNES) were engaged to develop a CCTV system to enable the safe and efficient loading of the caster cradle with buckets of molten steel.

CNES is one of the largest engineering services groups in the UK, with bases in Teesside, Scunthorpe, Workington and Rotherham. CNES not only works with customers inside the Corus group, but also outside of the steel industry, in sectors such as cement, mining and quarrying, oil & gas, automotive, aerospace & defence, nuclear and construction. During the casting process, a crane operator is required to pick up 450 tonne buckets of molten steel, transport them within the casting facility and carefully load them onto a rotating casting cradle. To do this safely it is essential that the crane operator has a clear view of the bucket as it is lowered onto the cradle. However, this was not possible as the location point on the cradle is not visible from the crane operators cab.

The need for a wireless solution

To overcome this problem CNES planned the use of four CCTV cameras focussed on the loading point from different angles, the video signals from which would be relayed to a screen monitor in the crane operators’ cab.

However, given the mobile nature of the crane, the use of cables between the cameras and the crane cab was not practical – an alternative method was required. CNES approached Wavesight, who, following the completion of a detailed site survey, proposed the use of its WaveMAX system to create a wireless CCTV transmission solution.

Creating a point to multipoint wireless CCTV solution

Four strategically positioned analogue CCTV cameras are located around the loading point on the casting cradle. Each camera is connected to a WaveMAX wireless transmitter via encoders which digitise the video signal. The digitised video signals are transmitted by the WaveMAX units via sector antennas to a dual diversity antenna located above the crane cabin.In the crane cabin an additional Wavemax unit receives the wireless video from the cameras and feeds it to a video matrix via a decoder, enabling the crane operator to switch between the camera feeds on a monitor screen. Particular attention was paid to the type of antenna used and their positioning in order to maintain the wireless link between the camera systems and the crane as it is moved.

Installation Support & Services

A number of installation issues were resolved by Wavesight engineers visiting the site and advising on the best practice for WaveMAX unit and antenna placement. In addition to supplying the WaveMAX products and assisting with their installation and commissioning, Wavesight’s experienced technical support team completed a detailed site survey and provided full product training and technical consultation throughout. Being UK based and having local design and manufacturing capabilities enabled Wavesight to provide a unique service including systems advice and problem solving.

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