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Better pouring for better castings

With a global footprint for engineering, manufacturing, service and sales and with more than 36,500 installations worldwide, including more than 4,000 in Europe, Inductotherm is in a unique position to offer foundries globally proven efficient and reliable systems to give customers the competitive edge. The ‘Global yet Local’ strategy serves the industry well says Paul Orban, director of sales at Inductotherm Europe Ltd: “With the large installed customer base and our network of engineering and manufacturing resources, comes vast knowledge and experience of applications of melting and pouring technologies. It is this experience of working with foundries, understanding and meeting their requirements, which enables us to provide new and innovative solutions as the industry moves forward.”

The cheese has moved

In the ever-changing world of manufacturing and with disruptive technologies being developed for the manufacture of electric vehicles, green and renewable energy plant, additive/metal powder manufacturing and numerous others, foundries have responded to meet the new demands of these disruptive technologies. Often these new demands require better control and precision from the melting plant for the pouring of metal. Inductotherm has an ever growing and evolving range of solutions for precision pouring across the company’s range of furnaces, all of which are increasingly being utilised by foundries.

Lip axis pour, twin axis pour, slow pour, double trunnion, servo rollover, servo tilt pour – are different designs for pouring precisely into either a mould or vessel. These pouring designs have specific advantages over pouring into a ladle with a standard pour geometry furnace. By pouring directly into a mould or process vessel tundish, the molten metal can be expected to have: less inclusions in the melt, virtually no loss of temperature, less turbulence during pouring, less bi-films and oxidisation, and the ability to pour within an inert atmosphere to minimise gas pick-up. All these factors lead to the production of higher quality castings, less re-work, and less scrap, resulting in higher productivity and efficiency for the foundry.

Orban explains: “For each application we listen carefully to customers’ requirements, gain an understanding of what is to be achieved, using our company experience to work collaboratively with customers to provide the most effective solutions – this is where our vast experience of applications is leveraged for the benefit of foundries in the engineering of our solutions. Rarely are new requirements totally new to Inductotherm, somewhere in the world and somewhere within the Inductotherm Group of companies we will have come across the same or similar applications and by using the knowledge already gained we are able to provide, in most cases, timely solutions based on proven designs.”

Standard pour furnaces with the usual options for: platform height, pit guards, water cooled lead positioning, fume hoods, lids, fume rings, load cells, inert gas systems and lining pushout are the basis for the furnace system and are customised for each application to suit the precise needs for pouring – customisation can be in the form of changing the diameter/height ratio of the furnace body, changing the design of the stanchions, changing the design of the trunnions, changing hydraulic controls, inclusion of servo controls with closed loop control. All these technologies and designs are developed, proven, and working in foundries today. The adding on of servo-controllers and motors, PLC’s, HMIs, and closed loop control may sound new and complex to some foundry engineers. However, these technologies have been used in Inductotherm’s product ranges for decades, with the company’s automation and controls engineers using the latest proven rugged industrial technology to provide these solutions.

Orban says: “Inductotherm Autopour, Unheated Tundishes and Flexipour systems – used in foundries on high-speed moulding lines – provided the basis for controls being used in our furnace pouring technologies. There can be no harsher test than running equipment that supplies a high-speed moulding line with molten metal, absolute reliability in all its forms is required.”

Not just pouring

As well as the range of pouring options, new requirements associated with furnaces come along too. For example, the ability to move the furnace backwards and forwards along a track – from a charging position to a melting and pouring position. Or the ability for the furnace controls to interface to robots handling investment casting moulds prior to filling from the furnace, or the ability to automatically control the speed of pour (kilograms against time) from the furnace to provide a uniform metal stream at the correct rate, vitally important for the correct performance of a downstream production process. New requests around controlling the movement of the furnace in different ways are the new norm and Inductotherm is at the forefront of providing solutions and melting plant to meet these requests.

Orban says the company’s heritage is a huge advantage: “Inductotherm understands that all investment in melting plant is a long-term investment and with a reputation gained from designing and manufacturing ruggedly constructed, reliable, efficient furnaces for more than 60 years. Additional features being added as options to provide necessary functionality to the various parts of the product range are designed in the same way – rugged and for the long term. For new additional requirements for furnace designs and features, Inductotherm is a long-term partner, with a comprehensive range of proven furnaces and technologies providing world-class solutions to foundries for today and into the future.”

Inductotherm is a world leader in induction technologies, manufacturing melting, holding, heating and pouring systems for virtually all metals:

  • Grey, ductile, malleable irons.
  • Steels and nickel cobalt-based alloys.
  • Copper and copper-based alloys.
  • Aluminium and it’s alloys, zinc and reactive metals.
  • Precious metals.

With proven induction melt technology for every foundry.

Contact: Paul Orban, director of sales, Inductotherm Europe Ltd, Tel: +44 (0) 1905 795100, email: [email protected] web: www.inductotherm.co.uk