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5/7/2009
Iride System (infrared intelligent device)

Sacmi has developed a new device for the kiln temperature collection

The facility to read tile temperatures accurately in a “strategic” area of the kiln, such as the Rapid Cooling zone, is absolutely invaluable in the drive to control surface flatness and ensure higher quality output and reliable repeatability of firing schedules. In short, this facility makes it possible to associate the recipes of various mixes and materials with the thermal conditions of the kiln.
This concept has led Sacmi to develop a temperature acquisition system that uses four pyrometers to measure the surface temperature of the products in the kiln in real time.

The system is composed of four pyrometers, a PLC, and data acquisition/management software integrated in the supervision system.

Installation of the pyrometers in the crown of the kiln makes it possible to monitor temperature trends both over the kiln section (i.e. temperature differences between kiln centre and walls or between tile centre and edges) and along the tile feeding axis.

Specifically, the following two measurement types are possible:

  1. Measurement of the average surface temperature of the “sheet” of tiles.
    This involves the calculation of the average surface temperature of the sheet of tiles in transit under each pyrometer. This value is significantly more representative than the “ambient” value read by the zone thermocouple. Once they have been acquired, displayed and stored, the average values allow the operator to take prompt action in relation to the currently programmed recipe in order to improve tile firing and hence production efficiency of the kiln. To avoid skewing of the average value result, temperatures measured in correspondence with gaps between tile rows and those measured in relation to spaces on the line caused by production downtimes (i.e. below the “Basic Threshold”) are eliminated.
  2. Tile “thermal profile” measurement.
    The operator can request the storage and subsequent on-screen display of the detailed thermal profile of tiles transiting under the optical pyrometers.
    The thermal profile is utilised to carry out an in-depth examination of the reaction of the product to a change in kiln operation (opening/closing of a valve, etc.) or to highlight and investigate a specific product defect.
    The number of measurements that can be carried out on each tile depends on the kiln conveyor speed.

The temperatures read by the pyrometers are more stable and reliable than values measured by conventional thermocouples. This is because thermocouples are influenced by draughts and turbulence inside the firing chamber, they suffer from slow reaction and response times, and rather than acquiring spot temperature values they provide an ambient temperature reading.

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