Reveal CAST is a complete surface inspection system. It consists of one or more imaging cameras, laser illumination units, a control cabinet, and the Reveal software platform. Reveal CAST takes images automatically of the product surface as it passes the system. Depending on the case, hundreds or even thousands of high-resolution images are taken from the moving object surface. The Individual images are stitched together by adaptive algorithms to form a single full super-resolution panorama-like image of the object surface. Simultaneously, during the imaging, the automatic defect detection algorithms start to scan the surface for anomalies. The high-resolution surface images with detailed defect detection results are displayed to the operator in real time to support fast and objective decision-making. All the imaged surfaces with their associated quality and defect information are stored in the Reveal CAST user interface for later use. Even years of production can be stored.

Related to acquiring Reveal CAST

Who owns the images received from Reveal CAST?

Our customers own the images generated by Reveal CAST. If needed, all the image and defect data acquired by Reveal CAST can be exported to the customer MES/databases.

What is the typical payback time of using Reveal CAST?

The payback time of using Reveal CAST varies and it depends on many factors (target process, surface type, detectable defects, etc.). Typically, the payback time is estimated to be only months after the purchase.

What is the image storage format (JPG, TIF…)? What other information is stored?

The standard image format is JPG, but we are not restricted to that format. Regarding stored data, all final images and defect data (classification, characteristics, position and size) are stored in Sapotech database by default.

What long-term data storage options Sapotech supports?

Reveal CAST supports several data storage options. As Reveal CAST can be offered in a variety of architectural configurations (full cloud based, hybrid cloud or local installation), the storage options vary.

Reveal CAST is designed to support different data storage technologies like regular mass storages, cloud storages or customer specific legacy storages (for example. Object/document databases or network storages).

By default, Reveal CAST provides several months of internal storage, and this can be extended to cover storage of production data for several years. The architectural configurations and storage options are always optimized and customized based on the customer needs.

Is it possible to expand the scope of Reveal CAST? I mean if we first start with top and bottom inspection of our slabs, can we later add side (narrow face) inspection?

Yes. It is easy to add more imaging and illumination components to an existing system. Reveal CAST is designed to be scalable in terms of hardware and performance. The additional imaging units can be installed also on other sides of the object. Also, due to compactness of the hardware, additional imaging units can be installed to inspect very specific areas, for example to focus entirely on the corners of the object.

So far, majority of our customers have installed more equipment after the initial Reveal CAST installation to solve new challenges they are experiencing in their production.

Can I integrate Reveal CAST to my own factory MES/ Level1-3?

Yes. All our products can be integrated to the customer MES/Level1-3. We regard openness as one of the core values of Reveal CAST. This way, information flow between MES and Reveal CAST can be implemented easily both ways.

What server Sapotech products use? Do I need to install a program in the production plant?

You don’t need to install any additional local program in your production plant to use Reveal CAST, the only software you need is a modern web browser (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Edge). All the information generated by Reveal CAST is accessible via our web-based user interface. If needed, you can access this information from anywhere and at any time.

If I have multiple Reveal CAST installations (i.e. one on caster one on hot rolling mill), can information be shared between these two systems?

Yes, in fact, having multiple Reveal CAST installations at the process chain enables our customers to control and monitor their processes more efficiently. For example, information we get from the Reveal CAST installed in the continuous caster can be directly used before and during hot rolling. This way, the operators using Reveal CAST at the hot rolling mill can access the information of Reveal CAST installed at the continuous caster.

Related to installation and maintenance of Reveal CAST

How much time does it usually take to install Reveal CAST in the production line?

The installation time depends on the location and the scope of Reveal CAST system. For example, a two-sided Reveal CAST (top and bottom inspection) installation on a continuous caster is around one week. Because of the compact design of Reveal CAST, the required civil work is kept to a minimum.

In the best-case scenario, the installation can be done without production breaks, which is a huge advantage for our customers.

Is it possible to use existing structures available in the production line to install Reveal CAST?

Yes. It is possible to install imaging components to existing structures such as a bridge over the roller table. Illumination units are installed next to the roller table and depending on the installation location, existing balustrades, poles and fixtures could be utilized to attach the cameras. If there are no existing mechanical structures, Sapotech supplies L or U shape beams to install Reveal CAST system components. The beams are very easy to setup and provide a mechanism to turn Reveal CAST equipment to the side of the roller table in case that the roller table needs maintenance (i.e. changing rolls).

What does Reveal CAST use for equipment cooling?

As we have designed all the hardware to be used especially for the metallurgical sector, we have also come up with superior technical approaches in keeping our equipment cooled.

Today, Reveal CAST uses only air cooling to keep the equipment at correct temperature and, at the same time, keep the equipment clean.

What type of maintenance Reveal CAST needs?

In operation Reveal CAST requires very little physical on-site maintenance. This is because the amount of hardware that we use is minimum and our hardware protection has been designed for the metallurgical sector taking into consideration the specific environmental conditions.

As an example, on a continuous caster, the most common maintenance requirement is to keep the optics (protective glasses) clean. This cleaning procedure is typically repeated once every three months for top imaging, and once every month for bottom imaging. The cleaning procedure takes less than a minute to perform.

Related to Reveal CAST applications

For which processes/products Reveal CAST can be applied?

Reveal CAST can be used to inspect the surface of flat, long, round and rolled products during continuous casting, grinding/scarfing, hot rolling, cold rolling and even in open-die forging. In any situation, Reveal CAST provides the customers with tools for visualizing, monitoring and assessing the quality of the product from high to low temperatures. Reveal CAST can be applied even to surfaces moving at very high speeds, even up to 40 meters per second.

Also, Sapotech has created, in-house, protective casings for the cameras and illumination units. For the bottom side imaging, Sapotech has also designed a casing, which has self-cleaning features in case of, for example, dropping solid particles into it.

Due to its compact hardware design, Reveal CAST equipment can be installed in very tight locations with limited visibility of the surface.

Reveal CAST is already applied in some of the harshest conditions of the metals processing (i.e. Hot rolling mills).

I produce aluminum/stainless steel/carbon steel billets, can I use Reveal CAST?

Yes. Reveal CAST can be used in all metals. We have successfully applied Reveal CAST for several metals: aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon steel products.

In addition to the surface inspection, what other measurements are offered by Reveal CAST?

Reveal CAST is a full featured surface inspection system and in addition to assessing the surface quality of metal products, it has a lot of additional features such as:

  • Width, length and thickness measurement
  • Shape measurements
  • Surface topography measurement
  • Temperature measurement
  • Speed measurement

Related to Reveal CAST capabilities

Can Reveal CAST monitor all sides of the object e.g. slab?

Yes. Reveal CAST can inspect automatically all the faces of an object (slab, billet, bloom, plate, rounds, beams).

What is the maximum object width to be inspected with Reveal CAST?

Reveal CAST works on objects that have more than 3500mm width, for example. The system is designed to be scalable according to different dimensional specifications. Typically, objects we image are between 110mm and 2200mm in width but Reveal CAST can easily be scale up to cover wider objects.

What is the maximum temperature of the surface that Reveal CAST can inspect?

Reveal CAST works on the solid surface of a product that has any temperature. The cooling of the equipment and the thermal protection are designed accordingly. Currently, we have installations imaging solid surfaces up to ~1100C degrees. It should be noted that Reveal Platform Technology (that Reveal CAST is based on) is also being applied to liquid metallurgy, where the temperatures can reach even 1800C.

Does vertical vibration of the object cause problems in surface quality analysis or distortion in taken images?

No. As Reveal CAST is designed to take images at very high speed, the vibration does not affect the surface quality analysis or image quality. The images are taken at very short exposure times (<50us) and within this timespan the motion of the object is not even detectable.

Can Reveal CAST see through the scale?

No optical system working in visible spectrum can see through scale. However, if the scale is bound very tightly to the surface (i.e. scale is not loose) Reveal CAST is able to see bigger surface features like cracks.

Some steel producers use descalers (for example high pressure water nozzles) to get rid of any scale on the surface, before inspection or rolling, for example.

Interestingly, as Reveal CAST provides a clear visible data of the scale formation, our system can be used to help tuning the casting process in order to minimize scale formation.

My product moves at high speed during production, can Reveal CAST still be used?

Yes. Reveal CAST can be used at very high speeds. We have verified the functionality of Reveal CAST even at speeds of 40 meters per second!

The unique approach of Reveal CAST is to use high speed imaging accompanied with high-speed illumination. This enables us to work at virtually any speed achievable in the steel plant.

Can Reveal CAST detect corner cracks?

Yes. Due to the unique adaptability of Reveal CAST, it can be used to image and detect cracks on any side of the target object, including corners. In fact, Reveal CAST is used to inspect the surface condition of any side of the product (top, bottom, sides and corners). Reveal CAST works even on round objects!

Is there air flickering in the images taken from hot objects with Reveal CAST?

Very minimal. For Reveal CAST, air flickering has little impact on the surface quality analysis. As the exposure times of imaging are short and the illumination power is high, the optical distortion caused by hot air is kept to a minimum. For example, we have never had to use external hardware (i.e. a fan) to cope with optical distortions related to hot air. This applies even in situations where slab/hot band temperatures exceed 1000C.

Does Reveal CAST measure the depth of cracks?

Using Reveal CAST, our customers have learned that measuring the depth of cracks using optical approaches is not needed or even feasible. This is because the optical depth of a crack is usually different from the real physical depth of a crack.

For example, if a crack is optically measured to be 1mm in depth, in reality it can be several millimetres deeper. No optical systems today can measure the true depth of the cracks, as the depth is not optically visible.

However, our approach is to provide such a high detailed /image, that it is possible to estimate the severity of a crack from this 2D (side illuminated) image. In fact, our approach is very similar to how humans do assessment and evaluation of cracks on the surface.

Using Reveal CAST, this evaluation can be done automatically (with algorithms), with better resolution, in hot condition and for moving objects! Thus, this is something that the human eye cannot achieve.

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