AE-Group awards StrikoWestofen large maintenance and modernization contract for dosing furnaces
Convincing products, convincing service: these benefits have now led to a major new contract for the StrikoWestofen Group (Gummersbach, Germany). Up to 2014, the renowned manufacturer of thermal processing technology will be in charge of the refractory lining and modernization of a total of 14 Westomat dosing furnaces operated by the AE-Group (Gerstungen, Germany). “After operation periods of up to 17 years, it has now become necessary to reline the existing systems,” explains Holger Stephan, manager of the Service und Spare Parts department at StrikoWestofen. “Extensive measurements and thermographs allowed us to identify additional opportunities for optimizing the refractory design. In the context of a comprehensive modernization, we will reduce the energy consumption by up to five percent.”
The refractory lining of a dosing furnace makes a significant contribution to its efficiency. All new Westomat dosing furnaces supplied by the StrikoWestofen Group now have a refractory lining which is specifically designed in terms of angles and processes occurring in the furnace chamber and with regard to the materials used. This is necessary to achieve the system’s excellent values for consumption and precision. For this reason, it is a good idea for operators of dosing systems of this kind to combine the necessary relining with updating the layout of the furnace chamber.
AE-Group: comprehensive counselling
The AE group, which has several locations in Germany and Poland, has now decided to take this step. The high-pressure die-casting company has been operating Westomat dosing furnaces for several years now. In the framework of the upcoming relining, StrikoWestofen will equip a total of 14 systems with state-of-the-art technology. “The potential savings are considerable,” – that’s the analysis made by Holger Stephan, manager of the Service and Spare Parts department at StrikoWestofen. “The modified refractory lining reduces the energy consumption by around five percent.”
In the context of their consulting services, the technicians from StrikoWestofen carried out a detailed analysis of the existing situation. This included measurements of the current energy consumption as well as thermographic images. “The thermographs clearly show the places in the furnace at which the most heat is lost. In close cooperation with Mr. Drehmann, maintenance manager at the AE-Group, we have worked out an extensive modernization schedule on the basis of these images,” Stephan explains.
Relining combined with modernization
“Originally, we were planning to renew the refractory material, and we had considered using local suppliers of refractory furnace linings to do this,” says Robert Drehmann summing up. “However, the StrikoWestofen concept of an optimized furnace chamber geometry was a convincing proposition for us: this allows an additional improvement of the energy efficiency of our existing systems. On the basis of the data collected, it was even possible to make guarantees with regard to the energy efficiency values which can be achieved after modernization. It will not take long for these savings to make up for the additional costs of planning and execution.”
In order to disrupt production operations as little as possible, StrikoWestofen is providing the AE-Group with a Westomat dosing furnace via the company’s in-house leasing service. “In this way, we guarantee smooth execution of the necessary modernization measures,” says Stephan. “To make commissioning after relining as quick and easy as possible, the furnace bodies are disassembled on the premises of the AE-Group and overhauled and dried in our factory. The systems are ready to be taken into operation immediately upon their return to the AE-Group. This makes expensive and time-consuming initial operations with porous plugs unnecessary.”