Plant downtime is an enormous cost factor for foundries. So when it comes to refractory repairs to the dosing furnace, time is money. To speed things up, StrikoWestofen offers an innovative solution: pre-sintered refractory replacement parts that reduce downtime by about 60 percent compared to standard lining methods. Alupress, a manufacturer of high-end die-cast parts, carried out a relining using StrikoWestofen’s replacement part four years ago, and the relined furnace is still providing optimum results today.
The lining is the heart of a furnace. Its design makes a major contribution to energy efficiency. However, it is subject to wear and tear, and therefore has to be replaced after a certain time. This usually means a relatively long interruption to production – and high costs for foundries. StrikoWestofen has changed all this: in addition to performing conventional relining at its factory, they also offer pre-sintered refractory replacement parts for their “Westomat” dosing furnaces. The advantages of the method are immediately apparent: both removal of the old lining and fitting of the new one can be carried out directly at the customer site. This means furnaces no longer have to be transported over long distances for relining. Just seven working days of plant downtime are required – and that includes heat-up time.
Dedicated support – for the entire service life of a furnace
Material used in the manufacture of these refractory replacement parts is chosen based on the very latest technical knowledge. In addition to absolute pressure tightness, this means maximum mechanical abrasion resistance can be achieved. Components are pre-dried at around 500ºC at the StrikoWestofen factory, almost completely eliminating the risk of later contamination of the melt with hydrogen. Holger Stephan, who manages the Service and Spare Parts division at StrikoWestofen, explains: “For us, good support doesn’t end when a new foundry system is installed. We’re at your side throughout the entire service life of a furnace to ensure maximum productivity around the clock.”
Efficiency all round
The new relining method has proven its worth many times over. High-end die-casting specialist Alupress in Hildburghausen, Germany, is a case in point. A refractory replacement part from StrikoWestofen has been in use there for four years now. Enrico Sonnefeld, head of maintenance at Alupress, comments: “Not only does our dosing furnace still look like new – it continues to provide optimum results as well. In our opinion, relining using a refractory replacement part is definitely to be recommended.” The investment is worthwhile in more than one way: a refractory replacement part is not just fitted in a flash, it increases furnace efficiency too. Holger adds: “Our customers are reporting energy savings of up to 30% compared to a non-original relining. That shows us we’re on the right track.”
Since 2017 StrikoWestofen has been part of the Norican Group, a world leading provider of technology for the formation and enhancement of metallic parts. The Group is home to four leading, globally operating brands: DISA, Italpresse Gauss, StrikoWestofen and Wheelabrator. Together, they offer customers around the world a broad spectrum of solutions, spanning end-to-end grey iron foundry equipment, integrated light alloy casting solutions, high-end furnace technology for light metal, as well as surface preparation technology and services. Norican Group serves a wide range of industries, including the global automotive, aerospace, foundry and aluminium sectors, through a global network of engineering expertise, manufacturing capacity and local service support.