In light of the electricity supply con-straints in South Africa, the new-gener-ation energy-efficient induction tilt melting (ITM) range of furnaces from induction-heating solutions company Hot Platinum (HPT), was launched to the foundry industry in January.
It has since received a positive response from the foundry industry.
HPT MD Ali Brey says the furnaces, which are 30% more energy efficient and up to 75% more compact than older technologies, are used for the melting and casting of base metals and precious metals such as aluminium, copper, brass, gold, steel, stainless steel and platinum.
The furnaces are designed and manufactured in Cape Town and incor-porate the company’s induction power supply technology.
HPT technical director Irshad Khan explains that the induction heating technology is a frequency-conversion technology, commonly known as an inverter or power pack, which converts State-owned power utility Eskom’s standard 50 Hz supply frequency and three-phase 400 V to the requirements of an induction heating application. This typically ranges from 500 Hz to 50 kHz at an output voltage of 100 V to 1 000 V.
The ITM range is suitable for several applications, with a melt range from 10 kg to 1 t of steel and temperature generation from between 300 ˚C and 2 500 ˚C.
“By combining our knowledge on the latest advancements in induction technology and product design, as well as a high level of system automation, we developed a range of high-volume furnaces specifically tailored to the foundry industry. HPT has leveraged its expertise to launch the range of high-volume induction melters for use in applications ranging from 5 kW to 2 500 kW,” Brey says.
The key components of the system are the induction power supply, the cooling system, the melting and casting workhead, as well as its user-interface software.
A 400 kW power pack and its associated cooling system, occupies just more than 1 m2.
The melting and casting workhead has been designed to allow for the accurate and safe pouring of molten metal, while the double-axis pouring system reduces spillage and increases operator safety.
Similarly, a high level of system automation ensures a fully integrated system that is easy to use and allows the operator to focus on the melting and casting process, rather than on the equip-ment, to further improve safety.
The user-interface software allows easy and safe operation of the entire system and an intuitive colour touchscreen is used to display the various process parameters, including the total power used, which allows the operator to improve the efficiency of processes.
The ITM range has a high level of tech-nical support, with remote monitoring to reduce downtime and the systems can be configured to include multiple melting work-heads, which can reduce the total electrical power demand for a facility and increase throughput.
“HPT has integrated remote monitoring technology, supervisory control and data acquisition for operational and performance analysis.
“Further, if a fault occurs in the system, HPT technicians are able to log in using a global mobile communications link to establish the fault before arriving on site. They can then bring the required spares to site to ensure that the system is brought back online as quickly as possible,” Brey explains.
Meanwhile, Khan says, compared with the previous ranges, the new ITM range is robust and modular. It also has higher power capabilities, increased efficiency and is easy to use and maintain.
He notes that the company has already supplied a 0.5 t copper ITM 300K furnace to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Although HPT designs and manu-factures the furnaces locally to ensure it is able to offer customised solutions and high levels of technical support, it also exports the furnaces to Europe, the US, India, Russia, the DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
HPT also manufactures client-specific solutions for annealing, brazing, heat treatment, hardening and vacuum systems.