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Melting Technology Furnace Efficiency - Maximize Aluminum Yield and Cut Casting Costs

| Editor: Nicole Kareta

StrikoWestofen has developed a new guideline which helps aluminum foundries to get specific cost drivers under control. The guide shows where problems can occur and which technical solutions are available to solve them.

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The metal yield guide spans melting, transfer and dosing, and examines how losses due to oxidation, spillage and contamination can all be minimized.
The metal yield guide spans melting, transfer and dosing, and examines how losses due to oxidation, spillage and contamination can all be minimized.
(Source: gemeinfrei / Unsplash)

Metal loss and excessive energy consumption are two of the biggest threats to aluminum die casting profitability. Depending on aluminum grade, a metal loss of just 1 % of an annual melting output of 5,000 tonnes could equate to an average financial loss of 70,000 EUR, while around 25 % of the total cost of die cast parts is associated with energy consumption.

Both are common issues that can be readily addressed by focussing on melting and dosing furnace processes and efficiency.

New guidance developed by StrikoWestofen seeks to help aluminum die casters tackle these specific cost drivers by identifying where problems can occur and the technical solutions available to help remedy them.

Speaking about the series, Dr. Theodoor van der Hoeven, VP Product Development, StrikoWestofen, commented: “Any metal loss that occurs between melting and casting reduces the available yield which in turn negatively impacts return on investment. Complete elimination of metal loss still is an impossibility, but what many aluminum die casting foundries don’t realize is that with the right measures and optimal conditions, yield can much higher. Using our StrikoMelter furnace, for example, it can in fact be as high as 99.75 %.

“This is exactly why we wanted to produce a simple and informative guide which looks at each distinct process from furnace to casting, explains what might lead to metal loss at each stage, and presents measures die casters can implement to mitigate that risk.”

The metal yield guide spans melting, transfer and dosing, and examines how losses due to oxidation, spillage and contamination (impacting quality and therefore potential scrap rate) can all be minimized. The guide also includes advice on how aluminum die casters can cut metal loss by reducing the overall number of processes involved.

Also featured in the resource series, ‘5 ways to save energy when melting and transferring metal’ provides advice on reducing energy consumption.

Theodoor continued: “Aluminum die casting is an energy intensive process and given that the melt-shop alone can account for as much as 77 % of the overall energy costs involved, identifying energy hot spots and having practical tips on improving energy efficiency in those areas can make a big difference to a foundry’s bottom line.”

The downloadable guide looks specifically at savings linked to data monitoring, optimizing melting furnace shaft fill, melting periods during low utilization, energy efficient metal transfer and dosing and at maintenance measures.

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