Maximum efficiency, minimum energy costs: a StrikoWestofen equipment modernisation programme (EMP) has significantly improved the efficiency of a StrikoMelter furnace installed in 1991 and unlocked new performance levels.
MGG in Tegelen, Netherlands, specialises in sandcasting complex aluminium components weighing up to 50 kg, such as oil sumps for lorries, heat exchangers and industrial components. Re-melting the returns with complex geometry was causing above-average energy consumption during melting process and consequently higher operating costs.
The StrikoMelter furnace system at MGG had been doing its job reliably for 27 years. However, nearly three decades of intervening innovation created an ideal opportunity to improve performance while reducing energy consumption and operating costs during melting. To significantly increase the performance and efficiency of the melting process of return material, MGG embarked on a comprehensive melting furnace modernisation with StrikoWestofen.
The comprehensive package of improvements delivered exceeded MGG’s expectations which led them to commission an upgrade on another of their three StrikoMelter furnaces in 2019.
The steps to efficiency
To help the machine achieve brand-new performance levels, in addition to the furnace control modernisation, existing gas and electricity technology has also been reconditioned. To increase the efficiency of the furnace unit, a hot gas baffle and a laser scanner have been installed and the furnace pressure control has been upgraded. In the final step of the overhaul, the furnace was relined and heavy steel plates have been installed to avoid premature wear.
The laser scanner was installed to permanently monitor the filling level ensuring the shaft is always optimally filled. Precious energy is also saved by the integration of a hot gas baffle which resembles a lid designed to keep the heat in the shaft and optimise its use.
The furnace body also got a comprehensive overhaul. The StrikoWestofen service team modernised the steel construction of the melting chamber and the exhaust hood and adapted the design to match more recent StrikoMelter models.
A “win-win” modernisation
After completing the modernisation process, the melting performance of the StrikoMelter increased by around 15% and energy consumption dropped by 27%. Theo van den Berg, Head of Melting Department at MGG Netherlands says: “The costs for the necessary retrofitting processes are recuperated quickly thanks to the increased availability of the installation and the increased melting capacity.
“For reasons of process technology, we are reliant on a high, but most of all, stable bath temperature. Here, we can easily reach 820 degrees. Thanks to the impressive results, we soon want to modernise the second oldest of our three StrikoMelter.”
Holger Stephan, Vice President of the Service and Spare Parts division of StrikoWestofen concludes: “When basic equipment is structurally sound and in good working condition, modernisation can make furnaces state-of-the-art again.
“As featured in the modernisation project for MGG, innovative technology such as the laser scanner and the hot gas baffle as well as new switching systems, gas and electrical engineering, relining, steel plates and a new furnace pressure control can be retrofitted on all our StrikoMelter product lines. Our new technology and innovations can significantly change the performance of foundry’s old equipment.”