The features are mostly independent of one other. Selecting all or only some of the features allows the foundry to optimise its operation. To benefit fully from some of these features, the use of a bath level laser is recommended.
The control of the melting process (Feature 1) forms the core of Part Load Efficiency Control and means automatic control of the furnace "melting" and "holding" operating modes in daily melting operation. The operating modes are controlled in a way that ensures the bath level – the available melt quantity in the holding chamber – only ever fluctuates between its maximum (full bath) and a custom-adjustable minimum level. Controlling long periods of melting – and consequently long periods of holding – increases the efficiency of the melting process considerably and reduces specific energy consumption [kWh/t].
Feature 2 automatically closes the shaft cover during holding periods. The prerequisite for this is the presence of a shaft laser to determine the shaft fill level. Feature 3 can be used to define times at which the melting-free process should be started automatically. Feature 4 can be used to determine how full the bath should be at the start of the melting-free process. The furnace control system then controls the melting process according to Feature 1 in such a way that the bath will have reached approximately the desired filling level at the time specified for the melting-free process. Feature 4 is intended to ensure that there is always enough metal available during the melting process.
Taken together, this bundle of features optimises the melting phases to minimise energy consumption – no matter how the shift is going. The lower the furnace load, the greater the energy savings compared to operation without Part Load Efficiency Control. At the same time, the automation level of the furnace is increased, which increases overall work and process efficiency.