HSD is a system for the real-time monitoring of ladle refractory wear.
Ladle refractories are subject to significant wear and must be periodically replaced. Failure to replace the refractory on time may cause ladle breakouts, with potential hazard for operators and damages to the steel plant. The HSD system enables to detect local refractory depletions at their early stage, rationalizing ladle maintenance and preventing breakouts. Local refractory wear in fact causes a “hot spot”, a localized temperature increase on the ladle wall, which can be detected from the outside of the ladle by means of thermal imaging.
The HSD system includes multiple thermal cameras displaced around the ladle, monitoring the whole external surface of the ladle in a station of interest of the production process (e.g., Ladle Furnace). The thermal cameras are all connected to a dedicated Ethernet infrastructure, which includes a PC-server for data elaboration. The thermal images are sent to the PC-server and analyzed by dedicated image processing. The HSD HMI software displays the thermal images in real time, highlighting the presence and locations of hot spots on the ladle surface. If a hot spot is detected, an alarm signal is generated and sent to the plant automation, enabling early maintenance and enhancing operational safety.


  • Prevention of ladle breakouts
  • Enable effective maintenance of ladle refractory
  • Improving operational safety


  • Automatic and real-time detection of refractory depletions (“hot spots”)
  • Dedicated HMI software displaying ladle thermal images
  • Reliable control over refractory wear
  • Enables effective ladle maintenance
  • Increased operational safety

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