The Whyalla Steelworks has now implemented 100 initiatives in its continuous improvement (CI) program – with a new mould bottom measuring device taking the honours.
Accurate measurement of the mould bottom open is important to reduce variation in cast product width. Usually, the mould bottom is calculated by measuring the mould top opening and mould tapers. Calibration of the cast slab width was then verified by physically measuring the bar and weight which often required adjustment.
To combat the inconsistencies, a direct laser measurement system was developed to verify the mould bottom opening during mould set up prior to each cast. This has resulted in reduced cast variation and improved our ability to investigate deviations to cast width tolerances.
Just like other CI initiatives, this new measuring system is helping the steelworks to improve efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness, as well as demonstrating innovative thinking.
Since the CI program was introduced, about 1,600 employees have contributed to the 100 initiatives with many more ideas being generated and actioned.
The success of the CI program is testament to the active engagement and participation of employees and their out-of-the-box thinking to solve problems – both big and small.