Associated equipment

Casting
Ultrasonic testing – sawing and packing

SMS group designs, supplies, constructs, and commissions machinery and equipment for the aluminum industry worldwide. It focuses particularly on aluminum casthouses, supplying:

1. Ultrasonic testing (Linear & helical testing)
2. Sawing and packing

Ultrasonic testing

Ultrasonic testing (UT) is an indispensable component of quality inspection for aluminum extrusion billets (logs) and forging stock. Depending on your application, you can choose fully automatic linear or helical testing stations. They are usually integrated in the production flow, or occasionally installed as stand-alone units.

Testing cast billets for internal cracks and cavities has been standard practice in aluminum casthouses for many years. But this usually takes place using portable hand-held UT equipment … which is unfavorable because it only checks random samples rather than the entire output. If you produce highly stressed components, particularly for the aircraft and automotive industries, you need to examine all the billets. It’s best to perform ultrasonic testing directly after casting to avoid costly further processing of faulty material.

Inspecting the as-cast surface usually achieves sensitivity in line with the standards ASTM B594 class A (1.2 mm flat-bottom hole reflection) and class B (2.0 mm flat-bottom hole reflection).

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Linear testing method

One option is a linear testing station. Here, two test probes, 90° apart, press elastically against the surface of the log as it moves lengthwise through the testing station.

The acoustic probe-to-specimen contact is maintained by a steady laminar flow of water, which forms a water cushion between probe head and log. During travel through the testing station, the system examines 100% of the log cores and not just the zones near the surface. It’s common knowledge that internal cracks and internal cavities are by far the most common material flaws in logs, so this method provides excellent quality verification. 

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Helical testing method

Also available is helical testing. This involves rotating the log while one or more probes move along its length. They inspect the log along a helical path. Your operator can adjust the pitch during testing by between 4 and 15 mm per revolution. Decisive here are parameters such as probe geometry, received signal-to-noise ratio, billet surface condition, internal grain structure, desired sensitivity class, etc. Helical testing inspects the entire log apart from an outer skin some 5 mm deep. To examine this skin layer you need further probes positioned at an angle to the billet surface (angle beam testing). Helical testing requires substantial capital investment and longer testing times per billet than the linear method. That’s why it’s only used for particularly meticulous quality testing standards.


Sawing & packing plants

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HE sawing plants also include this extra equipment:

  • Swarf exhaust system and optional automatic briquetting press
  • Scrap manipulator for efficient transfer of off-cuts into scrap containers
  • Marking devices, including hard-stamping and ink-jet marking, as well as our new “Hertwich Pintype Speed” extra-robust and fast pin stamping devices (cycle time 3 sec.)
  • Billet stacker for short or long billets
  • PET and/or steel band strapping unit with wooden runners plus storage and positioning device
  • Integrated weighing system with label printer and applicator
  • Overhead crane for discharging billet bundles

We have also designed installations to cut and stack long and short billets simultaneously. That could be one 6-meter billet plus two 800-mm billets produced from one 8-meter log. The plant stacks products independently from strapping, weighing, and discharging. So, while one bundle is being stacked, another is being strapped, weighed, and discharged.

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Hertwich circular sawing plants are integral to automated billet production facilities.

This is how they fit in: After cooling, the logs travel over storage conveyors and roller table lines to the billet saw. Here, they are cut into short or long billets as required. If necessary, the system automatically changes the parameters for new batches. That ensures fast and efficient implementation with no need for manual adjustments.

You simply download production parameters such as heat treatment recipe, finished cut length, bundle dimensions, customer data, etc. from the production planning system (PPS). Log travel throughout the plant is fully automated. Whenever the ultrasonic inspection station detects quality flaws, the relevant log sections are automatically scrapped at the saw.

Hertwich “log tracking” starts at the log laydown station and ends with completed billet bundles at the stacker crane.

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Sawing systems

Circular saws designed for specific requirements are a Hertwich specialty. Take for instance our Hertwich billet saw. It’s an extremely robust short-stroke model. Our objective during design/engineering was to achieve top vibration absorption and optimum blade life. That’s why the main components such as the machine bed, saw blade carriage, and clamping head are made of steel / concrete composite.

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Packing systems

Whatever your requirements, you’ll find the right packing equipment in the Hertwich range. It extends from single-layer bundling units with semi-manual strapping systems to multi-layer stackers for short and long billets with fully automatic strapping, feeding of wooden runners, and weighing.

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Swarf briquetting press

Our briquetting presses make swarf handling easy. They also significantly reduce the space you need for storing swarf boxes. There are clear advantages in using aluminum briquettes. Their high density makes them suitable for direct charging into standard reverb furnaces. 

Service

Contact

SMSgroup Deubler, Elke

Elke Deubler

Hertwich Engineering GmbH
Weinbergerstraße 6
5280 Braunau am Inn
Austria

Telefon : +43 7722 806 112
Fax : +43 7722 806 122

SMSgroup Wimroither, Günther

Günther Wimroither

Hertwich Engineering GmbH
Weinbergerstrasse 6
5280 Braunau am Inn
Austria

Telefon : +43 7722 806 -112
Fax : +43 7722 806 -122

SMSgroup Oberweger, Thomas

Thomas Oberweger

Hertwich Engineering GmbH
Weinbergerstraße 6
5280 Braunau am Inn
Austria

Telefon : +43 7722 806 112
Fax : +43 7722 806 122