Ongoing success for Hertwich continuous homogenization technology
The Spanish company Exlabesa Extrusion Padron SL has ordered a continuous homogenizing furnace with air cooling station, long billet stacker, billet saw, semi-automatic strapping and automatic weighing station from Hertwich Engineering, a company of SMS group, for its extrusion plant in A Coruña. The plant is scheduled to start production at the end of 2018.
With this investment, the plant, which produces extruded profiles for automotive, electrical and industrial applications, modernizes and optimizes its homogenization facilities. The new continuous furnace will replace several older batch furnaces.
Exlabesa will benefit from the new homogenization concept in several ways. Constant and optimum metallurgical properties are ensured by precise and uniform temperature control during heating, holding and cooling. The integration of all the working steps right up to the end product ready for dispatch in one continuous and fully automated sequence promises a major rationalizing effect. Ultimately, the tried and tested furnace design significantly reduces energy consumption and heat treatment time. Hertwich has supplied almost 130 continuous furnaces so far.
The gas-heated continuous furnace will be designed for an annual production of 32,000 tons of aluminum. The billets in a diameter range between 178 and 406 millimeters, at lengths of 6,500 millimeters, will be laid down in front of the furnace and evenly fed into it. The furnace operation can be flexibly controlled by means of the heating, billet transport and the required holding time. The heating concept ensures that the billets are heated evenly over the entire length.
Once the material has passed through the heating and holding zone, it enters the air cooling station.
After the cooling station, the billet saw will be installed. The saw will cut off the head and butt ends and divide the billets into processing lengths. The 4,800 to 6,500 millimeter long billets will be automatically stacked, semi-automatically strapped and weighed. All these processes will be integrated into the automated process, along with the necessary transports.
SMS group is a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. It has some 13,500 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 3 billion. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.