Otto Kragt from AP&T’s R&D department says that process monitoring plays a decisive role in terms of ensuring a consistently high level of product quality 24/7.

Says Kragt: “Accurate process control is a prerequisite for achieving the desired formability and strength, and an optimized process also contributes to higher productivity. Monitoring also allows the customer to document the product’s quality. Process monitoring for hot forming of aluminum, however, requires different sensor systems than those used for steel.”

In a recently conducted Swedish cooperation project, AP&T, a company called Termisk Systemteknik from Linköping and University West in Trollhättan examined whether data collected with different types of image sensors can satisfy specific needs.

The project has promoted better understanding of sensor systems for measuring the temperature of aluminum under the conditions found at real production facilities where high-strength aluminum is hot formed. The results formed the basis for the design and development project on the production line.

During the project, Termisk Systemteknik developed a calculation model for predicting the impact of various factors on measurement accuracy. University West examined how emissivity in aluminum changes at different temperatures and with different coatings.

Termisk Systemteknik, University West and AP&T have jointly examined how different measurement systems work and under which circumstances they are useful in terms of determining, with sufficient accuracy, the temperature of aluminum plates with varying emissivity.