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Foundry Corporate News, Topic Melting Shop, Topic Pressure Die Casting

10. March 2013

StrikoWestofen: new Pilot Plant Centre in Wiehl offers individual training opportunities

StrikoWestofen: new Pilot Plant Centre in Wiehl offers individual training opportunities

Expert training

Well-trained personnel can make the daily operation of melting and dosing systems considerably more efficient and economical. This is why the StrikoWestofen Group runs a comprehensively equipped Pilot Plant Centre at its Wiehl location. Here the manufacturer of thermal process engineering for light metal casting offers its customers extensive theoretical and practical training courses. They focus on system availability and energy-efficient, resource-saving operation – aspects which are a significant competitive factor in daily foundry operation.


Production downtimes and standstills are great cost drivers in everyday foundry operation. For this reason, StrikoWestofen is improving its melting and dosing furnaces, not only with regard to energy- and material-efficiency but also with a view to shortened set-up times and an extended service life. Qualified personnel is vital in order to ensure reliable operation, to speedily detect and eliminate sources of error. Therefore, the StrikoWestofen Group has been offering an extensive customer training program for years now. “When our company moved to new premises, it was a logical step for us to create capacities for improved training measures as well. The result is our new Pilot Plant Centre, which offers us excellent training conditions for practical courses too,” explains Holger Stephan, head of “Service and Spare Parts” at StrikoWestofen. In two- to three-day seminars, the operators learn all the important details for the energy-efficient operation of melting and dosing systems.

Efficiency of a melting system depends on operator as well

StrikoMelter melting furnaces from StrikoWestofen now achieve energy consumptions of only 53 m3 of natural gas per tonne of molten aluminium and a material yield of up to 99.7 percent. This efficiency depends on a wide range of factors such as the quality of the furnace lining. The operator has an important role to play in ensuring the highest possible efficiency throughout the entire operating time of the system: if he has the necessary qualifications, he can detect and prevent possible weak points at an early state. For this reason, StrikoWestofen offers a total of two training blocks for operators of StrikoMelter melting furnaces. Besides the basic course, the in-depth course “Energy Efficiency” in particular helps to find possible weak points in everyday foundry operation and minimize energy losses. In a multilevel process consisting of training, evaluation of the actual situation and targeted modification of the system, StrikoWestofen achieves considerable improvements in terms of energy and material eiciency for the customer. These improvements ultimately prove to be an immediate competitive advantage due to the reduced piece costs for castings.

Westomat training: more than just dry theory

The Pilot Plant Centre in Wiehl has a fully functional Westomat dosing furnace which allows a wide range of scenarios to be simulated. For example, StrikoWestofen can simulate complete production cycles and thus provide a realistic training program. “The dosing furnace here at the Pilot Plant Centre can be operated with all of our currently available control systems. This allows us to take the individual needs of the participants into account and achieve the highest possible customer benefit. In contrast to training courses held on the customer premises, here we also have the opportunity to integrate deliberate faults into the dosing process and subsequently train trouble-shooting and fault elimination,” says Holger Stephan, explaining the advantages of training in Wiehl. This is because each minute of standstill in everyday system operation means enormous costs for the producer. If incorrect settings are not detected, reject batches which have to be booked as losses are the result. Besides the theoretical and practical seminars on Westomat aluminium dosing furnaces, StrikoWestofen also offers a training course on magnesium systems in Wiehl.

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