Saving electricity costs is an ongoing effort for foundries that operate induction melting systems, and for their equipment and energy suppliers. Inductotherm and Powerit Solutions previously established a working arrangement to help induction melting foundries manage energy consumption using Powerit’s Spara DM™ “smart grid” technology (i.e., two-way digital communications) to control usage and take advantage of utilities’ incentive programs and rate structures.
Now, the two companies have introduced “plug and play” energy management, with three Inductotherm furnace designs prewired with Spara DM demand management technology. The first installation of such a system is at Milwaukee Valve Co., a producer of various valve products in bronze, iron, and steel alloys, for water and fluid management systems.
Milwaukee Valve had operated an earlier generation Powerit energy-management system, so upgrading to Spara DM made sense when it installed new Inductotherm induction furnace power supplies. Foundry manager Roy Pickhard wanted to ensure that the controls in place with his previous Powerit system, and the arrangement between Powerit and Inductotherm ensured that was so.
Inductotherm developed a new feedback and control interface that enabled Powerit to standardize demand management for all types of Inductotherm power supplies. The Inductotherm power supplies are delivered with an interface that allows the Spara system to provide demand control signals.
“The interface feature in the new Inductotherm furnace power supplies for Spara DM made the installation much easier and faster than it was with the Energy Director system we installed several years ago,” said Pickhard. “This allowed Milwaukee Valve to realize electricity demand charge savings almost immediately. In addition, the new Spara DM system provides more flexibility and control for us to customize to our usage.”