Developing a Business Case for the Robotisation of Knife Changes |
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Tata SteelDeveloping a Business Case for the Robotisation of Knife Changes

Application deadline 12-04-2016
Placement type Placements



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12-04-2016 (For Past)




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What's your job?

Side-trimming of steel strip
Within the Cold Mill area we have two pickle lines in which we pickle the steel strip (with HCl) in order to clean it from rust. During the pickle operation we also remove the edges of the strip, in order to cut the material to the specified width and to improve the edge quality.
The side-trimming of the strip is achieved by rotating scissors that are mounted on the line. Due to the cutting operation the blades get increasingly blunt, hence they need to be replaced in regular intervals. This replacement is a manual job, which leads to several issues:

  • safety risks for employees due to the size of the work area and the weight of the knives
  • quality issues on the strip in case the blades are not mounted in an exactly aligned and correct manner
  • delay time on the line

Robotising the manual work of changing the blades has never been an option, due to the cost effectiveness of manual labour. However, recent improvements in robot technology, accompanied by price reduction in this area may imply that this type of technology gets into scope for a cost driven industry as the steel business.
We are therefore interested to see whether robotisation of blade change can improve the strip edge quality, the longevity of the blades, and the reduction of delay time, all at a cost effective manner.

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Is this you?

Hereto we would like to offer a three-month industrial placement at Tata Steel Ijmuiden to draft a proposal on robotisation of this operation. As part of the study we expect the successful candidate to:
A) Conduct an analysis on the type of operation and to select a proper type of robot (from a technical point of view). The analysis should be based on

  • the exact quality needed for setting up the blades (based on specifications on for example alignment)
  • the amount of delay time needed for blade change
  • the environment (amount of space, and possible effects of dust)

B) Estimate a cost benefit analysis based on

  • the initial investment cost for purchasing and installing a robot
  • estimated annual maintenance costs

C) Presentation to the management team whether to proceed in robotisation or not.

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What do we offer?

An interesting and challenging assignment in the field of energy efficiency.
We offer you a paid internship with proper guidance. In consultation with you, we start with drawing up your assignment to make sure that it fits the requirements of your university. You can gain valuable experience within a large organization and Dutch only manufacturing industry. You can count on a no-nonsense and result-oriented organization, within which you can make a concrete contribution to the realisation of improvement objectives.

During your training period you can regularly participate in events such as student tours and lunch lectures. We also offer the possibility to make use of our Library Services. When you are in your final Master of Bachelor internship, you can temporarily become part of our internal Association for young professionals "The Magnet".

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What's your department?

At Tata Steel in IJmuiden we manufacture just over 7 million tonnes of strip steel, predominantly for the automotive, construction, energy, and packaging markets, which makes us one of the largest steel sites in the world. About half of the total volume passes through the Cold Mill, where we pickle and cold roll the material.

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Working at Tata Steel

Technology / Industry
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Headquarters Holland
Employee abroad