Looking for the right partner, VIE got in contact with Kurtz Ersa. After numerous meetings and detailed technical discussions, the first contract and the joint project were fixed at Metal + Metallurgy China 2016.
VIE started directly with “coreless frames” and was thus able to generate a commission for the local market for these demanding body parts. The objectives and claims of VIE were challenging, as the frames ought to be cast directly coated twice – no standard for such large parts. Due to the requirements, only the FSC casting line with furnace shuttle could be considered, though directly with innovations. Up to then, size 18-16 with a clearance of 1,800 x 1,600 mm was standard for Kurtz machines.
These dimensions were cutting it very close for the large double mould used for the production of frames. For this reason, a decision was made for the new size 22-17 with more clamping area for large moulds. Besides the vast closing unit of the casting machine with a wide clamping area, the large low pressure furnace and the use of multiple riser tubes were also a key to success. A 2,800 kg furnace is used with currently up to ten riser tubes. For maximum line effectiveness, furnaces are changed mostly during the casting machines’ off times by means of the proven furnace shuttle. To fulfil the high quality requirements, the cooling makes a decisive contribution – for which the system has 64 mixed cooling circuits.
In cooperation with the customer, Kurtz has designed a high-capacity, extendable casting line, making it possible for the customer to expend further and thus to invest further in the future. This was a wise and foresighted decision: Entering the market with high-quality and light hollow cast frames, VIE could immediately convince the premium customers in the automotive branch. Soon, both delivered machines were producing at the capacity limit and an increase became necessary.
End of 2020 VIE placed the follow-up order for two further machines that will be installed in this line. The first cast is planned for August 2021.
Already equipped with two high-end machines, VIE decided for only two adjustments: First, the cooling circuits will be regulated instead of controlled – an important process factor for even higher quality and shorter cycle time. Second, the machines will be equipped with an exhaust system to extract the core gases. With these two add-ons VIE will certainly push the process even further to achieve the best quality at shortest cycle time.