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Efficiency, performance, and safety – all in the melting pot at UK casting facility

As part of its ongoing commitment to investing in the latest technology to meet customer expectations, Wall Colmonoy Limited (UK) is fully refurbishing its casting department, including upgrading the melting facility with highly efficient furnaces from Inductotherm (Europe) Ltd.

As part of the upgrade at its Pontardawe, Swansea, facility in Wales, Wall Colmonoy turned to trusted supply partner Inductotherm to reimagine the company’s melting options to meet ongoing demand and to ensure compliance with new electromagnetic field regulations. The company has a long-standing relationship with the world-leading furnace equipment and induction melting specialist and, to further develop melting capabilities, the tried and trusted working relationship was once again called upon.

Wall Colmonoy is no stranger to state-of-the-art equipment, having already made significant investments in the company’s research and development laboratory – now regarded as one of the best-equipped laboratories in the industry in the UK for product development and technical support – and in an advanced machine shop. Having relied on Inductotherm technology for many years, the decision to upgrade resulted in both parties coming together to consider the most appropriate options that best suited current and future objectives for the casting facility to remain at the top of its game for years to come. The latest investment in the melting department includes the replacement of four existing Inductotherm Dura-Line® furnaces – workhorses for many years – with new, small steel shell designs to comply with new electromagnetic field regulations, which aim to reduce employee exposure to medium and high frequency EMFs.

Andrew Williams, project engineer at Wall Colmonoy Limited (UK), regards the refurbishment as a demonstration of Wall Colmonoy’s determination to serve its customers with quality castings, whilst also improving efficiencies and safety within the company’s manufacturing process. “Inductotherm was the natural choice, due to their expertise and Wall Colmonoy’s long-standing relationship with them. The constraints we have placed on them with the furnace design parameters have been very challenging, however Inductotherm has risen to the challenge and met all our requirements. They have been an invaluable source of information and we look forward to the completion of our state-of-the-art melting facility.”

Small steel shell furnaces

Based on Inductotherm’s steel shell furnace technology, the small steel shell furnace offers the advantages of this proven furnace design but in a smaller package. Small steel shell furnaces have a proven ‘free breathing’ coil design which uses heavy section copper tube for maximum efficiency. Together with full shunt coverage, these furnaces allow higher power densities. For reduced wear on power leads, small steel shell furnaces are designed with side entry power lead connections. They are also built with cast sectional top and bottom blocks.

The modernisation also includes the replacement of an old, hand operated, rollover furnace with a new small steel shell design as well as the refurbishment of an existing Inductotherm small steel shell furnace. A new VIP Power-Track® unit is also part of the ongoing improvements. The new small steel shells are being retrofitted onto existing Inductotherm VIP® power supply units already at Wall Colmonoy. In itself this gives an economical and flexible solution that helps to future-proof the equipment. The new furnaces have also been fitted with efficient fume extraction rings. Sam Wainwright, area sales manager for Inductotherm Europe Ltd, is proud of the achievement and highlights the way in which Inductotherm pushes boundaries to work with existing and new customers. “The new furnaces were specially designed and heavily modified to meet the very specific site conditions at Wall Colmonoy,” he tells Foundry Trade Journal. “However, Inductotherm’s flexible approach has meant that we have been able to meet all of Wall Colmonoy’s requirements.”

As induction technology specialists, Inductotherm customises heating and melting solutions for specific products and applications and is able to tailor advanced melting technology for very individual needs, meaning customers get exactly what they need in terms of efficient melting equipment from a reliable source. Careful control of the design of power, frequency, and coil geometry allows Inductotherm to design equipment with high levels of process control and reliability regardless of the application. The ability to contemplate retrofitting and modification as viable options to upgrade existing melting technology is an important consideration for companies looking to extend the life of their current furnaces and/or power supplies. Inductotherm has a proven track record of working with customers to get the best out of their melting facilities in this way and their extensive expertise means smooth transitions are possible.

Satisfying expectations

For Wall Colmonoy the objective is to match the company’s expertise and ability to remain dynamic in an ever-changing world with the installation of the latest equipment capable of meeting high expectations in an accurate and efficient manner. High quality and performance are critical to the company’s success, as is working alongside their customers as collaborators. This culture also extends to their suppliers, which is why they work so well collaboratively with Inductotherm – a company whose own global success is also a result of high quality, performance and collaborative working in the supply chain. With high expectations from both parties, it is clear to see that reputation may play a significant part in winning orders, but the ability to work in a timely and co-operative manner is why customers come back time and again.

Contact: Sam Wainwright, Inductotherm, Tel: +44 (0) 1905 795100, email: [email protected]

Wall Colmonoy

Wall Colmonoy manufactures surfacing and brazing products, castings, and engineered components providing value-added solutions and high-tech quality products. The facility designs and manufactures Colmonoy® (nickel), Wallex® (cobalt), Nicrobraz® (nickel), ColWear Plates, powders and parts for additive manufacturing, and as cast or fully machined precision components, with their Aerobraze UK facility also in situ. The site supports customers from around the world within many diverse industries including critical manufacturing: automotive, aerospace, glass container, oil and gas, rubber and plastic, food processing, steel, energy, nuclear and waste. www.wallcolmonoy.com

Inductotherm Europe Ltd

Inductotherm Europe Ltd is the European furnace division of the world-leading Inductotherm Group. From its UK base in Droitwich, Worcestershire (UK), Inductotherm Europe Ltd manufactures and supplies induction melting and automatic pouring products. The company satisfies all induction melting needs from small precious metal melting furnaces, medium size non-ferrous, iron and steel melting furnaces to large high power iron and steel melting furnace systems. www.inductotherm.co.uk