Zinifex has ordered a zinc alloy induction holding furnace for its plant in Budel, Netherlands to further optimize the manufacturing of pigs and jumbos in the plant. The Zinifex Group, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, is one of the largest producers of lead and zinc with its two mines and four metallurgical complexes. The majority of zinc produced is sold as zinc alloys. Just the Dutch plant in Budel alone produces approximately 235,000 tons per year of zinc and zinc alloys in the form of both jumbos and pigs.
The new induction holding furnace will be inserted in an existing casting line between a coreless furnace and casting units. At present, the zinc alloys are produced in the coreless furnace, homogenized and then cast from the coreless furnace via a launder system into the jumbo moulds. In the future, the ready-to-cast coreless furnace will drain into the new holding furnace from which the zinc will be pumped to the casting units. This makes the coreless furnace immediately available for producing the next batch. The casting time saved by circumventing the coreless furnace enables the system components to be used more effectively, and substantially increases the alloy production capacity.
The induction holding furnace has an overall capacity of 35 tons zinc alloy and is heated with a 350 kW zinc channel-type inductor. It is equipped with a filling pocket, and pump pocket and a charging opening for return material. The holding furnace can be tilted 30° to change inductor.
The major factor in choosing INDUGA to supply the induction holding furnace was the company’s years of experience in foundry planning and furnace technology. As an example, INDUGA has supplied a large number of zinc furnaces for strip and piece galvanizing shops in recent years.
Start-up for the zinc alloy holding furnace is planned for June 2005.