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SKF Conro Low is a re-lubrication free roll unit for the horizontal stage of continuous casting machines: Caster Analyst is an on-line casting roller monitoring system.

SKF Conro Low is greased and sealed and reduces the main cause of continuous casting-line stoppages: rollers that become jammed from the scale and hardened grease build-up in the hot and wet conditions of the caster.

SKF Conro Low has been designed as a drop-in replacement unit, dimensionally interchangeable with existing roll segments.

This simplifies installation and virtually eliminates the chance of installation errors that would adversely affect the product quality and service life.

The sealed and unitised concept of SKF Conro Low also eliminates the problems and costs around pumped-grease installations that cycle several times every hour.

For example, there is no grease reservoir, no grease pumping station and reduced energy needed to pump the high-viscosity lubricant.

No contaminated or baked grease gets into the bearing arrangement, which can cause blockages.

There is no grease reclamation, water separation or disposing.

It is estimated that some concast mills consume 50-70 tons of grease a year.

No grease gets in recycled water, where it could block the water spray nozzles and cause poor cooling, leading to poor product quality.

SKF Conro Low units include a self-aligning system that can accommodate a high degree of roll expansion fluctuation, which occurs in concast mills.

This is achieved using a CARB toroidal roller bearing in the non-locating position and an SKF spherical roller bearing in the locating position.

CARB features an inner ring that moves independently of the outer ring, enabling it to accommodate shaft deflections and move smoothly in the axial direction without inducing internal axial loads.

SKF Conro Low is based on the SKF Conro designs for concast top-end applications that have proven successful in many applications since their introduction a few years ago.

SKF Caster Analyst is an on-line monitoring system that analyses process loads and temperatures so that in-line adjustments can be made to increase throughput and product quality and reduce maintenance actions.

The system comprises rugged load and temperature sensors positioned on the roll lines; these send measured data to the SKF Caster Analyst program located on a remote PC server.

The analysed data allows mill operators to adjust taper settings, modify process speeds or identify causes for production stops such as bent rolls, misalignment and cooling problems.

This means it contributes to increased productivity by reducing planned and unplanned production stops.

SKF Caster Analyst customers have found that effective process monitoring can provide: better and more consistent quality; more effective grade changes through detailed machine operating-condition data; possibilities to adapt the casting sequence to minimise machine load; and input in to how to improve practices.

The SKF Caster Analyst system has three layers of hardware BHE (bearing housing electronics) fitted into the bearing housings for the sampling of sensor data.

The data is transmitted from the units via robust digital communication.

RSE (roll stand electronics) collects and concentrates data from up to six BHEs.

A PC-server works as a system master to set up the system and collect all data for storage, distribution and evaluation.

The PC-server communicates with up to 63 RSE units via a fieldbus.

The flexible layout of the system makes it scalable enough to fit small and large installations.

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