ABB India expedites first flatness control system for high quality, food-grade aluminum foils

2017-04-11 - The technology, commissioned for PG Foils Ltd., ensures world class quality and consistency of output of aluminum foils, suitable for the food and pharma industries
Power and automation technology major ABB India has just commissioned India’s first flatness control system for manufacturing aluminum foils for PG Foils Ltd that ensures consistent thickness and flatness. These parameters are extremely crucial for high quality aluminum foils required for food-grade packaging to preserve product quality and freshness while adhering to high standards of hygiene.

PG Foils chose ABB’s flatness control technology for its manufacturing unit in Pipalia Kalan, Rajasthan, where the company manufactures plain and printed aluminum foils, foil laminates and flexible packaging material for various products.

A foil rolling mill reduces the thickness of cold-rolled aluminum coils from 300 microns to 6 microns. ABB’s Automatic Flatness Control (AFC) technology engineers consistent flatness at 1/6th the thickness of a human hair, suitable to be used in packaging. The high-accuracy technology ensures better flatness control with consistent flatness quality, lower material wastage, better yield, lesser breaks and lower downtime.

The scope of supply included an upgraded automation system with ABB’s powerful control platform AC 800 PEC with XF 801 fast I/O based system, critical to ensure precise thickness control while addressing challenges associated with extremely thin gauges and high speed of rolling that can lead to poor quality foil. A DCS 800 drive system for the mill, coiler and uncoiler ensures excellent control performance for high dynamic applications. It also includes a flatness control system on third-party Vidimon flatness measurement roll.

ABB designed and engineered a highly responsive automation system capable of excellent control performance for dynamic applications to ensure production of high-grade aluminum foils with extremely thin gauge at high rolling speeds. It reduces differences between the user-defined profile and system limitations by dynamically varying mill operational parameters.

The system is based on two methods of control - mechanical (bending and tilting) and thermal (nozzle). A larger part of the error is addressed by mechanical control while thermal control corrects the residual flatness error.

Automatic gauge control keeps thickness deviations to a few microns ensuring higher quality of metals strips. Speed-tension optimization, a technique used for thickness control in foil mills, helps achieve desired thickness reduction at higher mill speeds and optimization of the throughput.