German manufacturer Fontaine Engineering und Maschinen GmbH makes hot-dip galvanizing equipment, which several U.S. automakers use for coating metal strips. Since 2010, Fontaine has installed sensors in the equipment’s edge-coating control system to ensure uniform coating.

German manufacturer Fontaine Engineering und Maschinen GmbH makes hot-dip galvanizing equipment, which several U.S. automakers use for coating metal strips. Since 2010, Fontaine has installed Temposonics sensors in the equipment’s edge-coating control system to ensure uniform coating. Made by MTS Sensors, Temposonics are magnetostrictive linear-position sensors that offer inherent linearity, accuracy and repeatability in all types of environments.

Fontaine galvanizing equipment performs standard hot-dip coating. The metal strip is dipped into molten metal and moved vertically. It then passes through an air knife that directs controlled air pressure toward the strip to push off excessive coating material, which falls back into the galvanizing bath.

Throughout the coating process, Temposonics sensors ensure center alignment of the strip to the air knife. This is because the sensors, which are mounted above the air knife, contain rods that point toward each other and are oriented to the center line of the air knife. These rods provide constant feedback to the positioning system.

The edge-coating control system also features two sliders with ceramic rolls that move toward and touch the strip edges. Each slider is fitted with a U-shaped position magnet that surrounds the sensor rod without touching it.

When the strip moves left or right during coating, it shifts the sliders and position magnets in the same direction. The magnets indicate the position change to the sensors, which measure the deviation of the strip from the center line.

Output signals are sent to an electric motor, which eliminates the deviation and automatically adapts the air knife’s position to that of the strip. This eliminates the need for an operator to manually move the air knife each time the strip moves.

The edge-coating control system ensures a uniform metal coating of 30 to 300 grams per square meter on each strip side, at line speeds from 98 to 700 feet per minute. It can be used on metal strips from 2 to 82 inches wide and 0.008 to 0.25 inch thick.

Temposonics sensors have a measuring range of 1 to 200 inches and a compact, modular design that allows for easy machine integration. They require no maintenance because position measurement eliminates direct contact between the position magnet and sensing element. The sensors have a measuring interval of 0.5 to 3.1 microseconds and a linearity deviation of 0.01 percent.

For more information about linear-position sensors, call 919-677-0100 or visit www.mtssensors.com.