Aluminium Werke Wutöschingen
New gas/induction heater with hot saw in patented “in-line” design as well as a new 8-chamber die heater for the new 44MN-12" press line P8 press line at the Wutöschingen plant.
The project is targeted at replacing the existing old 12-inch extrusion line in order to meet future high production demands. In addition to a new extrusion press, the customer also ordered a completely new outlet system. extrutec was charged with installation of a cutting-edge gas/inductive billet heating system with a downstream hot saw for this project. A vertical magazine designed as an “indoor” version for flexible billet storage, as well as a new fully automatic 8-chamber die heater in an overhead design complete this extensive installation.
Implementation of the billet preparation with hot saw:
The extremely limited space available meant that the plant had to be charged through the hall wall directly from outside. The chain magazine for low-noise billet charging and a vertical magazine for storing 216 aluminium billet were installed in the newly created production hall at a level of -1,250 mm below hall level for this reason.
It bears special mention that the gas heater’s concept permits quick emptying to the rear using reversible, powered furnace rollers. Billets that are no longer required and that may already have been heated will be returned to storage in specially reserved shafts in the vertical magazine in this case.
Once the billets are placed on the charging roller table in the heater axis, they are preheated in the ESU (Eco Shower Unit). This system, for which a patent is pending, uses the residual heat from the exhaust gases of the gas heater and generates water heated to up to 90 °C in an air-water heat exchanger. This is then directed onto the billet surface, which preheats the billets accordingly.
This preheating method not only saves up to > 10% of energy but also achieves an equally high performance increase of the heater system and reduces emissions. The billets preheated in this manner then pass through a billet cleaning system integrated in the ESU, where the billets are cleaned with hot water at a pressure of 210 bar and a water temperature of approx. 90 °C. After preheating to approx. 90 °C, additional heat is introduced into the billets in the downstream preheating zone. Then heating to the required basic temperature of approx. 400 °C takes place in the directly gas-heated section of the quick-heating furnace.
An extremely precise temperature taper, which is indispensable for current extrusion processes, is then applied in the patented new extrutec 2nd generation induction heater. This happens in-line between the gas heater and the hot saw. The latest converter technology warrants precise control with significantly reduced energy consumption.
The log optimally preheated in this manner is then cut precisely in a hot saw and fed to the new extrusion press.
The resulting chips are extracted by a high-performance chip extractor.
Implementation of the Die Heater:
In the field of die preheating, AWW has chosen to install a new fully automatic 8-chamber overhead die heater from extrutec.
This ensures the highest temperature tolerances and, in addition to a generous heating capacity of 8 also offers “on-board” storage space for 4 additional cold dies for other pending jobs. This die heater is already prepared for later operation with an automatic die crane, leaving nothing in the way of “unmanned” operation.
Installation of the overall facility was in August 2020.