Case Studies

The case studies listed here provide an overview of a selection of projects which have been provided with SELLA CONTROLS safety and control systems.
Please contact us if you require any further information by using the enquiry form on our Contact Us page.

Steel Projects

Siemens VAI Radio Control and Manual Control Systems

Application: Taphole Drill and Mud Gun Control Systems
Installation Area: Toranagallu, India
Client: Siemens VAI Metals Technologies Ltd

SELLA CONTROLS is supplying radio control and manual control systems to Siemens VAI in the UK. These radio control systems and manual control desks will ultimately be used to control Taphole Drills and Clay Guns on the number 4 blast furnace at the Jindal South West Steel Ltd, No.4 Blast Furnace, Toranagallu, India.

The Taphole Drills and Clay Guns on a blast furnace are large machines which are used to release and stop the flow of molten metal from the bottom of the blast furnace. The taphole drill is a fully-hydraulic machine used to drill a hole at the bottom of the furnace to allow the molten metal to flow out into a trough system, and into crucibles for further processing. It moves into position and drills a typical Ø55mm hole through 3.5 meters of hard-baked refractory clay, before retracting. Once the required amount of molten metal has been collected then the hole is plugged using the mud gun.

Again this is a fully-hydraulic machine which slews into position with its nozzle against the open taphole, and then uses a ram cylinder at 315bar hydraulic pressure to extrude taphole clay from its barrel assembly and force it down the taphole. There are four taphole drills and four clay guns serving the furnace. The operating conditions for these machines are extremely arduous, and consideration for the safety of the operators is paramount. Hence the primary control for using these machines will be by the radio remote control system. Using radio remote control allows the operator to stand in the optimum position where he can get the best view of the operation but also stand in a safe position.

The manual control desks for drills/guns 1 and 2 will be located in the West Casthouse Control Room, and controls for drills/guns 3 and 4 will be located in the East Casthouse Control room. These desks will be used as a back-up to the radio control systems. The desks have been custom-manufactured to an agreed design. SELLA CONTROLS has supplied many similar applications to both domestic and international markets in previous years.

Tata Steel Europe All Sites Radio Control

Application: Radio Remote Control
Client: Tata Steel Europe
Installation Areas: Port Talbot, Scunthorpe, Redcar

The control of shunting locomotives has always presented unique challenges to safety and efficiency. Traditional methods are labour intensive, requiring an operator in the cab and at least one other on the ground.

This is inherently unsafe as the man on the ground cannot always be seen by the loco driver and communication between the two can be misunderstood leading to the possibility of severe or fatal accidents. The use of radio remote control on shunting locomotives in the UK has already proved to be highly successful with private industrial users. The use of failsafe radio remote control puts the control of the loco into the hands of the operator during the work of route setting and coupling/un-coupling wagons. (It puts the focus of control at the relevant point). ­

The conversions not only involve the fitting of a radio control system to the locos but also include the implementation of an interface system that could effectively control mechanical controls with 21st century technology. The remote control system fitted (Sella-Theimeg EC/LO) was the first remote control in the world specifically designed to adhere to the European safety regulations for radio controlled locomotives (EN 50239). The TH-EC/LO is the result of a software and hardware design effort which incorporates technology required by the latest European regulations, especially EN 50126, EN50128 and EN 50129. This guarantees the safe operation of a remotely controlled locomotive. Thus remote control becomes a major and important tool for increasing the availability and cost effectiveness of a modern shunting operation.

The system is suitable for all types of locomotives and fulfils the highest safety requirement of the risk class AK6 (DIN v 1925) and Safety Integrity Levels SIL3 (EN 50128), SIL3 (EN 50129) and SIL3 (IEC 61508) for these applications.

Tata Steel Europe Scunthorpe Wheel slip

Application: Wheel Slip/Slide Protection, Adhesion Control, Throttle Interface and Data Logging
Installation Area: Scunthorpe, UK
Client: Tata Steel Europe

A typical scheme has been implemented at Tata Steel Europe in Scunthorpe where SELLA CONTROLS has converted many locos on site to radio remote control to include traction PLCs, governors, new control desk and even new engines.

The following features were provided on the Scunthorpe locomotives:

  • Wheel spin and wheel skid protection. This reduces wheel and track wear and effectively eliminates wheel flat spots
  • Maximum power control to regulate tractive effort to optimise the power performance of the locomotive and to eliminate overloading of the drive train
  • Automatic sanding to improve adhesion where relevant by the application of sand
  • Automatic speed regulation which enables the whole train to be driven at a constant speed without driver intervention while loading, unloading or traversing a weigh bridge. The speed control automatically adjusts for varying railhead conditions, wheel adhesion and varying load
  • Multiple use of traction. Two locos may be coupled together and communicate via a serial link in order to improve load carrying capacity
  • Monitoring of various items such as traction current, traction motor temperature, earth leakage, reservoir and brake pressures, water/oil level for operational protection of the locomotive
  • Data logging. This includes fault recording, incident records and operational reports
  • New control desk for ease of use in manual control and new programmable governing system