3D print technology supports safety solutions in Brazil
At Juiz de Fora in Brazil, ArcelorMittal is using 3D printing solutions to improve the cost and speed of innovation in its engineering, maintenance and R&D processes.
Once we’ve got the technology established, we can produce a prototype of the necessary parts, creating a number of advantages in terms of safety, cost, quality and time. The 3D printer equipment manufactures plastic parts which can then be tested before being built to scale.
"We are testing the technology so that, in the future, we can expand its use in our steel plants to meet different demands from all areas in an agile manner," says the site leader of ArcelorMittal Sistemas, Wanderson Terror.
The pilot project involved teams from IT, rolling and engineering, with excellent results. João Batista Costa is the mechanical maintenance analyst in our rolling department. He led the development of a safety switch to prevent steel coils from becoming unlashed, thus reducing stoppages and eliminating the risk of hand injuries.
Another device produced was the coil compactor. "Our spare parts are sent to Monlevade [350km away]. In order to secure one spare part, which would have to be imported, I designed it and made the mold using the 3D printer. It worked, and then I sent it to be manufactured from metal," explains João.
In another application, technicians were able to test out the prototype of an air curtain to prevent scale from forming on the refractory bricks of the furnace ceiling. "The idea was accomplished without major investments," João adds.