Retiring After 37 Years

 

„Oh, well, what should I say? I’m simply lost to the charm of instrumentation and control technology,” says Elmar Staudt, “and that somehow started quite early with me.“ Today, after 43 years of working life, he is a technician in instrumentation and control at thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH in Andernach. To be correct, he is actually an expert for measurement technology in the team “Degreasing/Annealing/Continuous Annealing”.

thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH is Germany’s only manufacturer of tin plate. At the largest production site for packaging steel worldwide, it produces super-thin tin-plated or special chrome-plated strip in Andernach for, for example, food cans or aerosol packaging.

Rasselstein GmbH attaches a great deal of importance to the quality of the products of thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH. Perfect quality control is no longer possible today without precise and reliable online measuring Systems.

Staudt mainly monitors the continuous annealing furnaces 3-5. Furnace 3 gave cause for concern at the beginning of this year. The two thickness meters at the uncoiler of the continuous annealing furnace no. 3 had performed duty reliably for 37 years. Staudt: “They had become a little old in the meantime.” These thickness meters stemmed originally from Hartmann & Braun AG, the predecessors of IMS Messsysteme GmbH, and the last adjustments were made by the technicians from Heiligenhaus in 1981.

In February 2016 IMS delivered a new measuring system to the tin-plate manufacturers in Andernach, especially adapted to their space requirements. The two new isotope thickness gauges in the two levels of the uncoiler at the continuous annealing furnace no. 3 were integrated in a new E-frame. “For IMS that was no problem,” says Staudt in surprise.

Before installation of the modern thickness meters the technicians of thyssenkrupp had the possibility to convince themselves in the test bay at IMS in Heiligenhaus of how the measuring system would later work. To top it all, IMS finished installation and commissioning in Andernach one day earlier than planned. “You have to go a long way to find such service,” says Staudt in his admiration of the new measuring System.

The Long Road From Mechanical Relay to Highly Modern Measuring System

The continuous annealing furnace was built back in the 1970s and was the first of its kind in Europe at the time. Elmar Staudt remembers: “We did not want to give our customers the first forty to fifty metres of a coil because they did not meet our requirements. With the help of the isotope thickness meter at the uncoiler, we were then able to monitor our thickness tolerances.”

„You have to go a long way to find such service“,

says Staudt in his admiration of the new measuring system.

IMG_1819

Regarding isotopes, the americium isotope sources used have a half-life of around 432 years: “So we could have used them for several hundred years still,” says Staudt in appraising the isotope source. But, the German Federal Agency for Radiation Protection inspects the measuring system every year. After more than 30 years, the tightness of the isotope capsules was no longer given. Elmar Staudt was regularly involved in every inspection of the measuring system by the Federal Agency for Radiation Protection because he is also the company’s radiation protection officer. “Believe me, I take these things very seriously,” he tells everyone who asks him for his duties.

He is proud of furnace “3” with the new thickness gauges. “Top hats for what IMS has done,” says he. “The way this project worked, everyone wants.”

Much has become simpler today, because everything is manufactured in module technology and better and easier diagnostics are possible at the measuring systems.

When Elmar Staudt started his apprenticeship at Rasselstein back in 1973, there was no thought of such convenience. “It rattled audibly when the mechanical relays switched,” he says. The name of the job he learnt changed between mechanical technician to electrical technician and at some time to electrical-mechanical technician. One year later the occupation changed, and the mechanics dwindled into the background. Staudt was then “Information Devices Mechanic”, which then changed to “Information Electronics Technician”. Elmar continued to educate himself until someone said: “An electrician that can connect a motor can also do instrumentation and control.” A long way from the rattling relay to technician and radiation protection officer category B. He is proud of furnace “3” with the new thickness gauges. “Top hats for what IM has done,” says he. “The way this project worked, everyone wants.

At the moment, however, he is more concerned about the new toy car race track for his grandson: “We measure and control very exactly,” he says. He is, after all, keen on instrumentation and control from the bottom up.