Otto Fuchs KG ordered a new melting furnace and two tiltable holding and casting furnaces from Hertwich Engineering, to expand aluminum melting and casting at Meinerzhagen, Germany. Fuchs produces customized aluminum and magnesium alloy automotive wheels for high-end vehicles, including Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Porsche, and Rolls-Royce. The group forges 2.5 million wheels per year, as well as 41 million forged suspension parts, among other vehicle components.
Hertwich Engineering is an SMS group company. The value of the contract was not reported.
The Ecomelt-PS150 furnace will be the fifth furnace of that design installed at Meinerzhagen, and will have a capacity of 7.7 metric tons per hour. Each of the two tilting furnaces will have a designed capacity of 20 metric tons.
Otto Fuchs recycles return materials (e.g., head and butt ends, burrs and swarf) for quality and homogeneity, as well as process efficiency. Scrap is charged from the top into a vertical shaft and preheated to a maximum temperature of 500°C.
Combustion gases are ducted from the main chamber to the melting chamber and the preheat shaft.
At the bottom of the shaft, the preheated material is immersed directly into the flowing melt bath. An electromagnetic liquid-metal pump ensures proper melt flow between the furnace chambers and the flooding of the shaft floor.
The two single-chamber furnaces, which are part of this order as well, will be placed in the casthouse between melting furnace and casting unit. The molten metal will be transferred from the Ecomelt melting furnace to one of these furnaces for possible re-alloying. Finally, the melt will be transferred via a casting launder to the casting machine, as needed. Both of these furnaces will be hydraulically tiltable. This arrangement ensures a continuous casting operation and reduces downtime for alloy change.
SMS noted that increasing demand for automotive aluminum products is raising the volume of scrap for recycling, citing a forecast for German scrap production volume to exceed 1.5 million metric tons in 2020.