Based in Holzminden, Lower Saxony, Germany, the Schlicht Druckguss die casting plant sees Italpresse Gauss die casting machines handle around 1,700 tonnes of aluminium every year, all fed with liquid metal from its melting plants.
“Our Westomat dosing furnace works extremely hard feeding our busy production lines – having to replace their linings at some point is inevitable”, said Mr. Hans Jürgen Kubiak, technical leader at Schlicht Druckguss. “What isn’t inevitable is keeping this process quick enough to avoid any potentially damaging downtime. At least that’s what I thought ahead of trying StrikoWestofen’s replacement service.”
Replace and repair, without the risk
A furnace lining in need of repair or poorly repaired/fitted can increase total energy consumption by as much as 30%. It can also lead to pressure tightness problems, resulting in dosing inaccuracies, and to a poor fit of parts – all of which can negatively impact furnace service life, productivity, and melt quality.
They need to be repaired properly. The problem is refractory repairs can take a long time. This translates to production downtime that can threaten profit. “Which is the scenario we were facing when we needed to repair the lining on our Westomat 650 SL ProDos xp”, continued Mr. Hans Jürgen Kubiak. “So when StrikoWestofen offered us the opportunity to try their fast-turnaround lining and pre-fabricated refractory parts, we were keen to see exactly how fast, and how effective, the service could be. We definitely weren’t disappointed”.
5-day delivery, long-term advantages
StrikoWestofen’s in-factory lining and pre-fabricated refractory interchange parts service meant that Schlicht Druckguss received its new lining, complete with all new seals and wear parts required, in just 5 working days.
Holger Stephan, who manages the Service and Spare Parts division at StrikoWestofen, said: “Our customer needed a quick turn-around solution. The fact we have in-house relining capabilities and always hold standard sized precast refractory parts in stock, meant we could replace, lacquer, pressure test, and have their finished furnace lining ready in an incredibly short space of time.”
Less downtime was not the only benefit delivered. The high-grade materials used by StrikoWestofen, together with the latest asbestos and ceramic fibre-free insulation techniques, mean outside wall temperatures of approx. 60° C and less are achieved on replacement linings. This ensures minimal energy loss.
Holger Stephan added: “The materials and techniques we use also help prolong service life – a very high level of mechanical abrasion resistance is achieved. Additionally, because components are pre-dried at around 500ºC at our factory, this virtually eliminates the risk of later contamination of the melt with hydrogen”.
A fast-turnaround, tailored
The prefabricated elements offered by StrikoWestofen as part of their innovative re-lining service are suitable for all common aluminium alloys, with development of parts compatible with special alloys also available on consultation, making the service a perfect fit for the range of parts, moulds and tools produced by Schlicht Druckguss.
Mr. Hans Jürgen Kubiak concluded: “We knew the whole idea behind this service is speed, even so we were really impressed. To have a ‘good as new’ furnace in only five days is such an achievement and saved us so much time. It worked perfectly for us and we will certainly be using the service again when it is time to look at any of our other furnaces”.
For further information on StrikoWestofen’s solutions for aluminium die casting, visit www.strikowestofen.com