A novel supervisory control system was developed for a boutique, walking beam-type, natural gas-fired industrial reheating furnace for steel slabs. The control system was developed to provide furnace temperature set points for the operators. The system development ideology was to utilise the considerable and inexpensive computing resources available today, to solve problems in real time in a discrete and digitised manner in place of complex analytical solutions. The control system utilises an entirely iterative regime to calculate the required furnace heating profiles to ensure that slab delivery temperatures are optimised. A two-dimensional slab conduction and radiation model was developed to fulfil the supervisory control function. The results are promising with estimated control performance at least as good as current manual achievement but with the benefit of additional information being provided to the expert human operator in the control loop.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston