Härtewerk Chemnitz GmbH, one of the largest German commercial hardening plants (Lohnhärterei), has purchased an innovative solution from Seco/Warwick.
The new system is a horizontal, two-chamber furnace from the CaseMaster Evolution product group — a Super IQ®, featuring FineCarb® low-pressure carburizing and oil quenching system.
This is the first Seco/Warwick furnace equipped with vacuum heating at the Härtewerk Chemnitz GmbH German plant and the first Super IQ solution (vacuum heating with optional atmosphere furnace style oil quenching) in Germany. Europe is the second market, after North America, to operate a furnace with the new generation technology for carburizing.
The system ordered by Härtewerk Chemnitz GmbH — the Super IQ — is a two-chamber vacuum furnace with oil or gas quenching and low-pressure carburizing. It has a heating chamber, loading and unloading vestibule, and a quenching bath. The load can be cooled dynamically in two different media: in an inert gas (1.5 bar abs) in the quenching vestibule above the oil table with gas flow forced with a blower installed in the ceiling of the vestibule or in quenching oil. Permanent graphite insulation in the heating chamber and graphite heating elements ensure long and reliable operation under industrial operating conditions. The heating system provides quick and even heating of the load, also in low temperatures, which makes it possible to reduce the heating time significantly. The highly efficient oil circulation system ensures thorough load penetration during quenching, and the load is cooled down quickly and uniformly. This equipment enables the users to perform a variety of heat-treatment processes, heat, and chemical treatment, as well as low-pressure carburizing and quenching.
“CaseMaster Evolution is a range of equipment perfectly suited for commercial hardening plants,” said Maciej Korecki, VP, vacuum business segment at Seco/Warwick Group. “It can successfully replace legacy atmosphere equipment featuring gas carburizing that is not environmentally friendly. The furnace to be delivered to Germany will significantly increase the capacity of our partner and improve the quality of treated details. Super IQ solves the nuisance associated with atmosphere furnaces for heat treaters since they can be switched on and shut down without spending additional time and energy. It is economical since it does not need to be maintained under specific temperature parameters during an outage, as in conventional atmosphere furnaces. Vacuum treatment also increases the final product’s quality and improves the process’s safety. It is performed under non-combustible conditions.”
Seco/Warwick, one of the largest global suppliers of metal heat-treatment solutions, continuously invests in research and development, creating more and more innovative solutions. One is a two-chamber furnace from the CaseMaster Evolution – Super IQ range, featuring both an oil quenching system and the patented FineCarb low-pressure carburizing system. Its primary advantage consists of the high-quality vacuum carburizing technology and operational flexibility. The furnace works only when needed, thanks to the start-stop system. The unique design eliminates a flammable and explosive atmosphere. The risk of fire or explosion is thus wholly avoided. The perfect uniformity of carburizing (LPC) provides flawless effects even with tightly arranged loads and parts with complex geometry. Another advantage is the highly accurate and precise LPC process simulator (SimVaC).
Super IQ, is a hybrid system combining the features of conventional and vacuum furnaces, designed mostly for carburizing processes under elevated temperatures and equipped with traditional oil-bath quenching. The industry requires a cleaner, faster, and more efficient carburizing method. Compared with conventional methods, Super IQ brings benefits in terms of increases in overall productivity. It operates under higher temperatures, which translates into shorter cycle times and thus more efficient production.
For an experienced European concern, Härtewerk Chemnitz, selecting Seco/Warwick technology is an excellent market recommendation. Commercial hardening plants are one of the most demanding industries since their needs are comprehensive, and the processes must be optimized. In the German plant, Super IQ will replace legacy atmosphere technology.
“With the furnaces from Seco/Warwick, we want to expand our capabilities for mass-produced processing parts,” said Kai Werlitz, technical operations manager, Härtewerk Chemnitz GmbH. “The machines we have worked with so far had required time-consuming and expensive preparation, especially when the equipment was not at the right temperature. Unfortunately, this is the main shortcoming of atmospheric furnaces. They require constant readiness, so they must be kept at temperature even when empty and when the manufacturing process is halted or stopped. From a financial point of view, it is less beneficial to shut down and cool down existing furnaces than to keep the equipment ready for manufacture, resulting in high maintenance costs. The Super IQ furnace that we have ordered eliminates not only these difficulties but also enables efficient heat treatment with very high repeatability and uniformity of the carburized layer, which with atmospheric furnaces was only possible to a limited extent.”
Combining a proven and reliable vacuum furnace design with conventional oil quenching technology guarantees reliable and very efficient operation. Super IQ enables efficient and clean hardening processes while providing stable economies. This is particularly important when energy prices are rising steeply across Europe.
Härtewerk Chemnitz GmbH is a leading commercial hardening plant on the German market. Chemnitz and Chomutov plants provide a wide range of services related to metal heat treatment and guarantee high quality. More than 500 customers in Germany and Europe’s mechanical engineering, automotive, and metalworking industries have put their trust in Lohnhärterei Härtewerk Chemnitz GmbH.
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