Billet handling systems
Available billet handling solutions range from manually operated billet grabbers to fully automated systems which provide automatic billet stacking from the moment the billets are put on the table (the entry of an automatic billet handling system) for processing through the homogenizing furnace, the cooling chamber and the billet saw.
The whole process is controlled by a dedicated PLC system that moves the billets from the entry point to the exit of the billet saw, based on menus in which the heat treatment curve in the homogenizing furnace, the cooling cycle in the cooling chamber and the required sawing operations are programmed.
The billets are grouped in the exact number depending on diameter for each layer. The layer is then moved over spacers that separate the layers and allow for air to pass between the layers in the homogenizing furnace and the cooling chamber.
The crane then will lift the layer by grabbing all spacers on each side and will stack the required number of layers to form the batch for the homoge-nizing furnace. The number of layers depends on the diameter of the billets.
Once the stacks are homogenized, the billet charging machine will automatically start the cycle to remove the previous batch from the cooling chamber and to advance the batch that has just completed the heat treatment cycle from the homogenizing furnace into the cooling chamber. In addition, a newly assembled batch is placed in the homogenizing furnace.
No operator intervention whatsoever is required between the depositing table and the exit of the saw.