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Do, 16.03.2017 13:00
ptp20170316026 Companies/Finance, Science/Technology
AICHELIN Reliability at Work
Modern cast link belt furnaces for the fastener industry
Mödling (ptp026/16.03.2017/13:00) - In Europe, Northern Italy is still considered the Mecca of the fastener industry. When it comes to screws, nuts, pin bolts, and wheel studs, there simply is no way around "Made in Italy". The main production centers are located in Milano, Torino, Brescia, and Reggio Emilia. Industrial furnace producer AICHELIN has been a reliable partner when it comes to hardening the metal pieces, having supplied five renowned screw manufacturers with cast link belt furnaces in the last 18 months alone.
The AICHELIN Group based in Mödling near Vienna is one of the world's leading specialists for industrial furnaces. In total, the heat treatment specialist from Austria has already sold more than 100 industrial plants with cast link belt furnaces to the fastening industry. "We appreciate the trust our longstanding customers and the growing number of new customers have placed in us. It encourages us on a day-to-day basis and shows that we are on the right track by being focused on quality and technology, and that we will be competitive in the global market in the future," says AICHELIN Group CEO Peter Schobesberger.
USA Subsidiary with a Strong Presence
"We have further strenghtened our global market presence with the aquisition of US-based AFC-Holcroft." The US market leader in industrial furnaces for ferrous and non-ferrous metals has also been supplying the fastener industry for many decades and impresses with products that are tailor-made for customers. Plants with salt quenching are considered one of their specialties. "With AFC-Holfcroft as a member of our group, we have grown into a global company with strong local roots in key markets. Together, we have an excellent geographic presence, which will allow us to further strengthen our leading position," says Schobesberger.
Top Quality, Top Performance
Cast link belt furnaces from AICHELIN are perfect for hardening, tempering, and in part also carbonitriding massive components in large production quantities. They are used primarily for the manufacture of high-quality screws, nuts, pins, rail clamps, and chain parts, with sizes from M6 to M36 and component lengths of maximum 400 mm.
While the proven wire mesh belt furnaces from AICHELIN Group member SAFED are used for smaller mass-produced parts with a lower throughput (from 2 to about 800 kg/h), AICHELIN is focused on cast link belt furnaces with a performance in the order of 750 to 3,000 kg per hour.
Notable customers in recent years
Agrati is an international company specializing in fastening technology and fastening components, with a focus on the automotive market. The Agrati group has 12 production facilities and five logistics centers in Europe, the US, and China, as well as more than 2,500 employees, a yearly production of 160,000 tons, and a turnover of more than 650 million euros. A third AICHELIN plant, a cast link belt furnace, has recently been accepted for the Chinese facility YAF (Yantai Agrati Fasteners). This 1500kg/h heat treatment line was manufactured by AICHELIN Heat Treatment Systems Beijing Co. Ltd in line with our corporate standards.
BONTEMPI VIBO (Rodengo Saiano) is a privately held medium-sized company processing 25,000 tons of steel per year. On two different sites in Italy, screws and bolts are produced. As the AICHELIN plant acquired in 2010 at the Rodengo Saiano facility is running at the customer's full satisfaction, AICHELIN was able to conclude a contract on equipping the facility in Calabritto (AV) with its long-term representation E.M. CARUTTI Macchine Utensili in 2016. The scope of delivery is comprised of 1500kg/h protective gas furnaces with cast link belts, the switchboard, and the process control system FOCOS 4.0. This plant is currently in production at AICHELIN in Austria and will be delivered in the early summer of 2017.
Brugola (in Lissone) is an internationally renowned producer of bolts. Aside from their production facility at the headquarters in Italy, they have now placed an order at AICHELIN Mödling for a conveyor system with cast link belts for their US branch. The heat treatment plant will be used for medium-sized, high-tensile bolts, with a production output of 2000 kg/h. The conveyor system is currently in its commissioning phase; AICHELIN has delivered both furnaces as well as quenching tanks and protective gas generators as core components of the plant. E.M. CARUTTI Macchine Utensili and AICHELIN USA are available for assistance and support for the coordinated work packages and service of this large-scale project.
Fontana Luigi (in Veduggio Con Colzano) is a regular AICHELIN customer and ranges among the leading quality manufacturers of bolts as well. Among the company's customers are businesses such as General Motors, Caterpillar, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Porsche, FCA, Renault, and PSA. With their most recent order, Fontana Luigi further increase their production capacity. The heat treatment plant will be used for high-tensile bolts up to M24x250 mm at a treatment performance of 1900 kg/h. After completing the installation, the conveyor system is currently in its commissioning phase. AICHELIN delivered both furnaces as well as the switchboard and a process documentation system; auxiliary units such as the washing machine and loading are once again obtained from local and approved suppliers.
REVIFA Spa, with their headquarters in Fabbrico (ITALY) specialize in the production of bolts for the automotive industry. They are true bolts experts and have most recently acquired an AICHELIN furnace plant in 1995. REVIFA opted for the purchase of a new cast link belt high-temperature furnace with a performance of 1500 kg/h; a tempering furnace and a switchboard were also delivered. The furnace was delivered and installed in 2016; commissioning is scheduled in the upcoming weeks. Thanks to their acquired experience, other equipment such as firing, quenching tanks and cleaning systems were modernized by the customer.
By purchasing a cast link belt furnace from AICHELIN, customers also opt for proven technology and innovation. Using interior conveyor belts made of solid cast links in austenitizing and tempering furnaces brings with it significant advantages compared to external belts, especially in terms of quality and energy efficiency:
* The belt loading density is up to 2.5 times higher because the parts are loaded with stable casting lugs. This makes it possible to design more compact furnaces with lower housing wall losses.
* Additional energy is saved by using the conveyor belt's stored heat, because cooling losses are prevented with interior belts.
* The belt guide in the interior of the furnace allows the use of an inlet vestibule, which is a device that improves the heat treatment quality and lowers the consumption of protective gas.
* Massive components weighing up to 4 kg and with a length of 400 mm can be treated in AICHELIN cast link belt furnaces.
A typical cast link conveyor belt furnace system consists of:
* Loading device: The parts are emptied from the customer container into a bunker, weighed, and transported to the heat treatment plant as individually metered bulk material.
* Pre-cleaning plant: This optional facility ensures adequate purity of the parts, which is required for the subsequent heat treatment process. For example, often parts need to be separated from the drawing agents that were used as production aids during the manufacturing process.
* Austenitizing furnace: The heat treatment in high temperature furnaces takes place under protective gas; at temperatures above 860 °C, the necessary metallurgical transformation of the steel parts takes place.
* Oil hardening bath: The parts that were previously heated to a specific temperature are now dropped into a special quenching oil, giving them the desired surface hardness. The high-temperature furnace and the hardening bath are connected and sealed with protective gas, in order to prevent disruptive oxygen from entering.
* Post-cleaning plant: This facility is used to de-oil the parts after quenching in the oil bath. Belt and drum cleaning systems are used, and sometimes also centrifugal cleaners.
* Tempering furnace: In this second furnace with a cast link belt, the parts are tempered in a temperature range of usually 400-700 °C, in order to optimize the quality grade of the parts. The hardening results are adjusted by tempering under protective gas.
* Emulsion bath: The parts, which were heated again in the tempering furnace, continuously drop into a water-oil solution which ensures quick cooling of the bulk material. It is also possible to introduce additives to the bath for component protection, for example.
* Reloading facility: The heat-treated parts are then weighed into the customer's container and returned metered.
* Switchgear and Process Control System Focos 4.0: Each part of the plant is assigned an instrumentation and control system, which is combined into a single unit through a parent process control system with plant visualization. This also ensures that all process and plant data and the output of the required heat treatment protocols are safeguarded.
The Fastener Fair will take place from March 28-30, 2017 in Stuttgart/Germany.
World's Largest Supplier of Atmospheric Furnaces
The addition of AFC-Holcroft has turned the AICHELIN Group into the world's leading supplier of atmospheric furnaces. In addition to AICHELIN GmbH, AICHELIN Service, and AFC-Holcroft, the group also includes EMA Indutec, SAFED, BOSIO, and Noxmat. This makes the group a leading provider of high-quality plants and systems for the thermal and thermochemical heat treatment of metal components.
Austrian Compliance Award 2017 vergeben