An ever-increasing customer understanding of process capabilities and the very real need to put energy efficiency at the heart of production and investment plans has driven melting technology development to the point of guaranteed reliability, but what does this mean for the supplier?
From a commercial point of view of course melting solution providers need to sell equipment but with furnaces lasting longer and longer, the commercial implications point to a reduced need for new equipment. Managing director of Inductotherm Europe Ltd, Steve Hill FICME says in reality the expertise of the company’s customers and the consistency of the equipment has been a real bonus for the world-leading induction company. “Over the past ten years equipment is becoming more and more reliable,” he told Foundry Trade Journal. “The customer has demanded more efficiency because they have to. Energy costs are significant and of course costs need to be reduced where possible. This is a very exciting time for us because it is the demands and needs of our customers that help drive our own technological advances.”
Inductotherm is often tasked with providing solutions that will allow furnaces to achieve lower kilowatt per hour usage to reduce energy costs. “The lower the consumption the better for the customer. Everyone needs to save as much as possible but performance and reliability are vitally important to ensure that production schedules are still met.”
Inductotherm is not afraid to push the boundaries and has been working with foundries throughout the world to maximise induction melting potential. The market is varied and the company has built an esteemed reputation for working with foundries of all sizes, whether a customer needs a precious metal melting furnace, medium size non-ferrous, iron or steel melting furnace, or a large high power iron or steel melting furnace system. The company’s expertise enables its engineers to apply the same principles whether foundries want one small furnace or a complete, large-scale advanced induction melting system.
Inductotherm equipment is robust and lasts a long time but foundries need more out of their melting technology and control systems these days and it isn’t just energy efficiency that is driving development. Data collection and connectivity is now a significant aspect of running a twenty first century business. This, Hill says is a dominating aspect of today’s supply chain. Thankfully it is possible to upgrade melting equipment without the need to buy a totally new system. “Retrofitting is becoming increasingly popular,” Hill revealed. “Our customers need more data and they need the furnaces and melting systems to be able to provide relevant data. Retrofits make systems more automated.” This means foundries can retain a furnace and control panel that is still perfectly fit for purpose but increase its connectivity facilities. Today’s need for SIM modules, web browsers, WiFi, Bluetooth and LAN connections are all able to be retrofitted to existing older Inductotherm melting technology to give even greater data collection results. Retrofitting is also an important option for companies needing to comply with more recent legislative requirements.
Even the company’s latest technology that can monitor the total melting plant from transformer to cooling can be retrofitted. Of course many companies still need to increase capacity and either replace or incorporate new with existing equipment but for those where this isn’t necessary, retrofitting means that more recent technological advances can be incorporated into an already proven system.
Inductotherm Europe Ltd has a widespread network and has also increased its service capability in Germany, Italy and Spain with more service engineers able to cover the needs of customers in mainland Europe.
Far from suffering from the problem of equipment not needing to be replaced, Inductotherm has highlighted how this has in fact enhanced the company’s commercial abilities by proving that the equipment is reliable and indeed adaptable – a win/win for both customer and supplier.
Contact: Steve Hill, Inductotherm Europe Ltd, The Furlong, Berry Hill, Droitwich, Worcestershire WR9 9AH UK, Tel: +44 (0) 1905 795100, email: email@example.com web: www.inductotherm.co.uk