StrikoWestofen is installing the eleventh StrikoMelter furnace for CastAlum, a Welsh automotive aluminum diecaster established 2000. “Material yield, energy consumption and the excellent quality of the melt convinced us right from the start,” according to managing director Keith Brown. “That is why it seemed natural for us to resort to these tried-and-tested systems when it came to expanding our capacities.”
Further capacity expansion is planned during 2015, Brown indicated, which will involve more new melting systems from StrikoWestofen.
CastAlum was established 14 years ago with just one customer, but now it is supplying automotive accounts around the world, including customers in Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Asia. It has been operating with melting furnace technologies from StrikoWestofen from the beginning.
“The efficiency of the entire diecasting process is decisively influenced by the melting and holding of the raw materials,” Brown said. “The level of performance and running costs of the StrikoMelter melting furnace technology has certainly contributed — and continues to contribute — to CastAlum`s competitiveness in winning major new contracts for our products.”
The basis of the StrikoMelter system is a shaft geometry known as EtaMax, which uses hot exhaust gases from the melting and holding process to preheat the charge material — reducing the thermal energy consumption of the actual melting process.
“The extremely low material losses of less than 0.3% are repeatedly proving to be a significant competitive advantage for our customers in this highly competitive international market,” according to John Paterson, the manager of Striko UK. “After all, energy consumption and metal losses add up to about 95% of the total operating costs.”
At the diecasting plant in Welshpool, each of the fully automatic casting cells has a StrikoMelter furnace of its own, and the capacity and the volume of liquid aluminum kept ready are perfectly adapted to meet the requirements. The existing StrikoMelter furnaces at CastAlum melt not only ingots, but production returns too.
“The strategic structure of the system with individual casting cells ensures that it is always the same aluminum quality and alloy that is being handled,” according to Paterson.