Friedrichshütte GmbH, a gray and ductile iron foundry owned by the Roemheld Group (manufacturers of workholding systems), has invested in a new electric melt shop for its foundry at Laubach, Germany. The project includes new melting equipment and installation/commissioning services provided by Inductotherm Deutschland GmbH, which indicates it will be completed in June.
A critical consideration of the project, according to Inductotherm Europe Ltd., “was the need to ensure economic melting and a better matched supply of molten metal to the molding line, along with the hillside location of the foundry and the resulting associated civil works issues.”
Inductotherm Europe Ltd. the European furnace division of the Inductotherm Group. It designs and supplies a range of melting equipment for iron and steel, nonferrous metals, and precious metals at its operation in Laubach.
The order includes two 3,000-kg, heavy steel shell induction furnaces, to be operated alternately using a 1,500-kW VIP® Power-Trak®, and one, 500-kg steel shell furnace. Inductotherm emphasized the furnaces incorporate the latest safety features, such as side guards and push-out devices.
The smaller furnace is ideal for melting special alloys, according to the supplier, and it will give Friedrichshütte a considerable advantage for targeting new markets.
Thermal energy loss is controlled by a closed-circuit air- and water-cooling system, which may be connected to a heat-recovery unit.
Melting process control is managed by Inductotherm’s Meltminder® 200 system.
The installation will include fume hoods for the melting platform, custom designed by IBO Anlagenbau GmbH to conserve energy and maintain air quality. The Tornado fume hood is described as a “double-acting system” that captures melting fumes during all operating phases. A telescopic channel for the right side hood was modified for the project, to create sufficient space for a second access to the furnace platform.
Friedrichshütte produces a wide variety of castings, from simple designs to complex, core-intensive parts, that weigh as little as 50 g and up to 20 kg. The foundry calls the new Inductotherm melt shop “a landmark” that will help it to reduce production cost and improve efficiency.