StrikoWestofen supplies first StrikoMelter melting furnaces to South Korea
For the very first time, the StrikoWestofen Group has delivered two StrikoMelter melting furnaces to aluminium foundries in South Korea. This means that companies on the South Korean market are now benefiting from the advantages of the efficient technology from Gummersbach (Germany). In the first quarter of 2013, it was possible to successfully implement two pilot projects, each of which comprised the delivery of a two-chamber melting furnace. There is a long list of interested companies: “We are now facing concrete inquiries from South Korean foundries,” says Thomas Platzer, StrikoWestofen sales manager responsible for the market, happily. “Now that the excellent consumption values of our systems, in particular the low metal loss, have been confirmed via measurements made by the South Korean operators, we will be able to stand up well to the stiff local competition on the South Korean market too.”
South Korean producers of cast aluminium parts have been registering high growth rates for years now. Whereas Germany was just returning to the level of 2008 by 2012, production in South Korea doubled over the same period. In the year 2011, 54 percent of all aluminium cast parts produced worldwide came from Asia – and the trend points upwards. “On the Asian market in particular, and specifically in South Korea, there is an enormous potential for increasing the efficiency of the systems,” explains StrikoWestofen CEO Rudolf Riedel. “That’s why we are so happy that we have now implemented the first projects in South Korea.”
Pilot projects worth imitating
StrikoWestofen was able to successfully take a total of two melting furnaces into operation in South Korea in spring 2013. The conditions offered by both customers were totally different – but their requirements were not: the “Il Gangh” company has opened a completely new foundry according to the highest technological standards near to Gimjie. Il Gang decided to put a StrikoMelter two-chamber furnace of MH II type at the heart of the melting system. In addition, process reliability is increased permanently by an automatic weighing system and process visualization. “Besides the excellent energy efficiency of our system, the crucial point for Il Gangh was in particular the low metal loss,” sales manager Thomas Platzer explains.
The potential savings with regard to the operating costs were also the main factor motivating the foundry “Inzi Amt” in Dangjin to equip its plant with a StrikoMelter melting furnace. Just like the foundry Il Gangh, Inzi Amt manufactures die-cast parts for the automotive industry – including gear housings and cylinder heads. In the course of a modernization process, the locally built melting furnace has now been replaced by a StrikoMelter furnace. Besides achieving a considerable increase in process reliability, the technology made in Germany approximately halves the energy consumption. The energy consumption of 120 m3 of natural gas per tonne of molten aluminium has now been reduced to a nominal consumption of less than 60 m3 of natural gas per tonne. The considerably improved efficiency is also evident from the metal loss, which is especially low in the case of the StrikoMelter thanks to the EtaMax shaft geometry. “The basic raw materials are preheated via targeted use of the waste heat produced during the melting and holding process, thus allowing an extremely rapid melting process to be achieved. This reduces the entry of oxides and consequently the metal loss”, Platzer explains the EtaMax system. “The excellent result - a loss of less than 1.5 percent - has been confirmed empirically by many foundries worldwide. In field tests, they have now been validated for the South Korean market too, making them a reliable basis for those deciding on future investments in furnaces in the region.”