Start of Trial Operation of Spco-ROBO SAMPLER, the World’s First Hot Rolled Bar Steel Sampling Robot-Significantly Improves Safety and Productivity

10. Oct, 2023


In October 2023, JP Steel Plantech Co., a steelmaking plant engineering manufacturer (head office in Yokohama, Japan; President and CEO, Representative Director: Keiji Wakahara), delivered the first hot rolled bar steel sampling robot for bar steel hot rolling lines, Spco-ROBO SAMPLER (*1), to a domestic electric arc furnace steelmaker and started trial operations of it. This is the world’s first sampling robot for bar steel hot rolling lines (according to our research).

Placed on a cooling bed, Spco-ROBO SAMPLER can cut steel material with a gas cutter and remove the cut material, all such operations performed by itself through robot control. Spco-LENGTH (*1), a system that measures the length of a product using a machine vision camera (*2), instantly determines the end position of the material to be cut out, and then transmits the data to the robot.

Previously, operators had to approach hot steel material at temperatures approaching 1000℃ to visually measure, cut, and remove it. This robot fully automates these processes, improving safety significantly. The robot also eliminates the need to stop the line on each occasion, leading to improved productivity.

Moreover, Spco-ROBO SAMPLER can handle various types of steel materials, from bar steel to shaped steel, without arm replacement (patent pending). Another feature is maintainability. For example, the special fire protection sheet that covers the robot for use in harsh environments is of a jacket type for easy attachment and removal. 

Under the banner of “Green & Smart” (“Green”: technological innovation to promote decarbonization; “Smart”: making products smart using the latest technology), Steel Plantech continues to provide technologies respectful to people, society, and environment by developing and supplying products and services incorporating the latest technologies.

(*1): Smart Products S-Series
Spco-ROBO SAMPLER and Spco-LENGTH are products from the Smart Products S-Series that are being developed in response to customers’ needs, such as: ensuring factory safety and achieving labor-savings using robots; improving operation and product quality by using images, AI, and big-data analyses; and providing operational support service based on process analysis. We aim to centrally integrate operations rooms, which used to be installed at each plant, and make systems smarter, by methods such as remote operation and one-man operation.
(*2) Machine vision camera
Imaging camera for position detection and inspection

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