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Zero Defect Wire - Innovative testing approach results in defect-free wire for our customers 

2024-02-08 | 

From the billet to the finished wire product - we are revolutionizing wire testing technology with a cross-border approach. This breakthrough not only optimizes quality assurance, but also offers our customers in the wire industry decisive advantages.

Conventional quality assurance along the integrated wire production route

The continuous flow of quality information from the steel mill to the manufacturer of the cold heading parts comprises several strict inspection steps. These include chemical analysis and dimensional inspection in the steel mill, optical surface inspection in the wire rolling mill and microstructure and eddy current testing in the drawing mills. In a final step, the final inspection at the customer - the manufacturer of the cold heading parts - provides important performance indicators such as the scrap rate and tool life. The information usually flows in one direction: from the steel mill to the rolling mill, then to the wire drawing mill and finally to the customer - the manufacturer of the cold heading parts.

The new cross-border testing approach from voestalpine Wire Technology

The new cross-border integrated inspection approach enables holistic process and quality data acquisition across various production stages. State-of-the-art data analysis and homogeneous data platforms are used throughout the steelworks, rolling mill and drawing mills. The entire production process is analyzed and forms the basis for the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP), identifies weak points and provides a starting point for possible optimizations.

Zero Defect Wire - a vision becomes reality

voestalpine Wire Technology's new cross-border testing approach makes the vision of zero-defect wire a reality and brings decisive advantages for customers:

  • Significantly reduced scrap rates due to improved test results. Scrap rates due to surface defects on the wire can be significantly reduced.
  • Ensuring the premium quality of wire products through continuous improvement based on test results and customer feedback.
  • Well-tested homogeneous materials significantly improve the customer's total cost of ownership.

Innovative testing technology - opportunities and challenges

Our wire testing technology sets standards in the industry. The testing systems from voestalpine Wire Technology are capable of testing billets, wire rod and drawn wire without any problems.

Despite the challenges posed by the high rolling speed, the vibrations during the rolling process, the high temperatures and the scale, voestalpine Wire Rod Austria GmbH is able to carry out thorough wire rod tests.

Our inspection process starts in the steel mill, where we use surface defect inspection with deep learning methods (DeepOI) to inspect billets with certainty. The DeepOI method improves the use of existing optical systems through the use of a neural network and active learning. This enables continuous improvement of models and classification of surface defects. In wire rod production, including the cooling steps, inline testing enables the continuous testing of billets and wire rod.

Optical surface inspection is also being trialed for inline billet inspection. State-of-the-art technologies are used in our production process, such as automatic eddy current hot wire testing during the rolling process and AI-supported optical defect detection.
This optical defect detection "FALCONN" is an in-house development and, supplemented by the analysis of other process data, allows conclusions to be drawn about optimizations.

Mass flow control, laser measuring devices, the FALCONN visual system and eddy current testing therefore supplement the tests on the ends of the wire rod that are otherwise standard in the industry.

We constantly strive to further optimize our testing technologies for drawn wire to meet our customers' individual needs. Our testing technologies for drawn wire include inline inspection through EC testing, visual systems and dimensional inspection. We have also introduced a marking and reporting system that allows customers to receive inspection results from inline measurements and, in future, defect markings.

Our wire products meet the highest quality standards and we offer our customers flawless wire products. Interested in our wire product portfolio?