As part of its rolling mill extension, AMAG Austria Metall AG, headquartered in Braunau-Ranshofen, Austria, is also increasing its homogenizing capacity. In 2014 und 2016, three new Hertwich batch homogenizing furnaces have been commissioned. Two more furnaces have already been ordered and will be commissioned at the end of 2016 and early in 2017.
The batch homogenizing unit, designed and supplied by Hertwich Engineering is notable for its integrated data processing and fully automated operation. The five new homogenizing furnaces, each having a capacity of 200 tons, will be combined together to one complex. On the support table of the rolling slab store each rolling slab is identified by storing its batch and rolling slab number to the system. All other information is provided by Hertwich MES. A stacking crane transports the slabs to a weighing station where they are measured and weighed. In accordance with the production program specified by MES, the stacking crane fully automatically transports the slabs from the store to the central stacking machine. Individual layers are separated by spacers to ensure that hot or cold air reaches the entire slab surface.
Spacers are taken from a magazine and positioned individually on the slab surfaces by the automatic loader. A charging car takes up the stack, moves it in front of whichever unit has been selected and transports the complete stack into the furnace. The heat treatment follows each recipe predetermined by the control system, with high precision.
At the end of the holding time the charging car transfers the homogenized material directly to the opposite air-cooling stations. Depending on the alloy range processed, some of these are made in an open, and some in a closed design. The closed cooling stations are particularly required for high-alloyed materials, for which a low cooling rate or a complex cooling regime is required.
After the cooling process has ended the stacks are discharged by the charging car and then transported back to the store. By use of the stacking crane they are destacked and either returned to the store or removed for further processing.
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