Latest from Melt/Pour

ABP Induction
Jonathan Weiss | Dreamstime
Aleksandr Matveev | Dreamstime
The successful deployment of the 10MW IGBT-based VIP-I® S-Plus™ system at Intat Precision Inc., underscores Inductotherm's dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in induction melting technology.

New Power and Performance for Induction Melting

Jan. 25, 2024
A 10-MW control unit is a “leap forward” for one automotive foundry, providing efficiency, precise power control, and reliability to the operation.

According to one definition, induction is “the process of making something happen,” to have control of it. Developing induction technologies that perform in an effective and energy-efficient way has been the work of Inductotherm Corp. for more than seven decades, and a new system the company installed recently is continuing that progress. Inductotherm Corp. recently commissioned a new, VIP-I® S-Plus unit powered by Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology, with an inverter rated at 10 MW at Intat Precision Inc., an automotive ferrous foundry in Rushville, Indiana.

Intat Precision produces castings for automotive chassis, powertrain, brakes, and other parts that OEMs require. Commissioning this unit represents a leap forward in induction technology, providing unmatched efficiency, precise power control, and reliability for the manufacturing of automotive cast parts. This revolutionary system combines Inductotherm’s decades of expertise with the latest advancements in Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology, resulting in a solution that meets the demands of modern automotive production.

While SCR technology has always been highly efficient, advances in IGBT technology can also result in higher-power systems that address metalcasters’ increasing need for melting efficiency. Inductotherm’s Technology Development department has been working on this new type of power supply for over a decade. It began with our less than 1 MW, modular IGBT power units and since then the Inductotherm team has been able to make modular multi-MW units. The high-efficiency, high-performance VIP-I® S-Plus™ system, incorporates advanced induction coils designed for heating and melting. The system combines Inductotherm’s expertise with advancements in IGBT technology, to meet the current requirements of automotive production.

One main advantage of the 10-MW VIP-I® S-Plus unit is that it is more energy efficient than the foundry’s previous units, reducing operating costs. What Inductotherm has achieved with this new product is a reduction in the energy demands of typical melt shops. For metalcasters striving to maximize their operational efficiency and maintain peak performance, this is the sort of technology that gives them control over their results.

In addition, the system is based on well-proven Inductotherm equipment designs, ensuring reliable operation. Adding to these advantages is the scalability of the new system. Its modular design will allow operators to expand the operation without compromising performance, as future production programs may allow.

Most recently, Intat Precision shared its feedback on the new power supply, which was overwhelmingly positive. Despite facing initial start-up delays due to it being the first of its kind, the largest IGBT unit in America, it has been consistently melting efficiently and effectively. According to Intat, the unit has been running seamlessly since our departure, with no need for any interventions or maintenance. While their units from the late ‘80s and ‘90s operated well, this new power supply has operated flawlessly.

In summary, the unit has been operational for six months, and Intat could not be more pleased with the performance of their new power supply. The successful deployment of the 10-MW IGBT-based VIP-I® S-Plus system at Intat Precision Inc., underscores Inductotherm’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in induction melting technology. This achievement strengthens the company’s position as a preferred partner for automotive cast parts manufacturers and other industries that may be seeking innovative solutions to enhance their production processes.

Michael Fanz-Huster is a District Manager with Inductotherm Corp.