Sonflow selects Seco/Warwick technology

Sonflow, the Scandinavian manufacturer of heat exchangers, selects Seco/Warwick vacuum furnace technology. (Courtesy: Seco/Warwick)

Seco/Warwick will deliver a vacuum furnace to SonFlow for copper brazing adapted to the individual needs of European customers worldwide. A special nozzle design and electrical penetration assembly will ensure that the device is perfect for the production of the latest, high-capacity plate heat exchangers for industrial, HVAC, off-shore, and sanitary purposes to be manufactured in the Kolding plant.

SonFlow is a European manufacturer which has historically been known mostly for the manufacture of high-capacity industrial pumps. The company is expanding into the plate heat exchanger business. Manufacturing state-of-the-art and powerful heat-exchangers has provided the incentive for the plant to purchase a furnace that will satisfy the current production challenges associated with the brazing process

Seco/Warwick has delivered many vacuum solutions to multiple companies that use brazing technologies. This proven furnace is suitable for copper brazing processes for large-dimension heat-exchangers. The working area of the device (900 × 900 × 1,200) will enable the SonFlow plant to perform in-house brazing, without the need to outsource work to third parties. Power savings, one of the pillars of the SonFlow mission, is ensured by the graphite chamber, and the shortened cycle time is guaranteed, thanks to the vacuum level of 10-3 mbar.

“Every new contract, customer, or industry means numerous consultations and partnership dialog. The goal is always to respond to the customer’s needs and to adapt the furnace, process, and technology so that the solution is custom-made. This also applies to the brazing technology. Years of experience and the above approach have resulted in developing a special design of the cooling nozzles, optimum for brazing companies. This dedicated solution consisting of the special nozzle design for these radiator applications prevents excessive deposits of brazing residues in undesired areas of the heating chamber. With this design, the risk of damaging the device during the brazing process is eliminated,” said Maciej Korecki, VP, vacuum business segment at Seco/Warwick Group.

“We hold more than 60 technological patents, collaborate with dozens of technical universities and have our own metallography laboratory — SECO/LAB® — all these elements guarantee real support for our customers and for ourselves when it comes to solving problems and satisfying needs. This is a huge source of pride, but also a challenge,” Korecki said.

The vacuum furnace on order is a proven design which has been operated in nearly 70 countries around the world. The working area enables efficient heat treatment of the relatively large components of heat exchangers that will be manufactured by SonFlow. Characteristic features of this design include a robust medium vacuum system based on two Leybold Root’s pumps.

The contract between Seco/Warwick and SonFlow is unique not only for the properties of the device purchased, but also for the processes associated with the order itself. As part of the contract implementation, Seco/Warwick designed the external water-cooling system of the furnace. This portion of the project will be executed directly by SonFlow, with the use of its pumps and heat-exchangers for the fabrication.

“Heat exchangers require complex joints which can be achieved only with brazing technology. There are not many partners that are able not only to deliver the device, but also have extensive knowledge about the technology used and are willing to share it with others. We are very glad that our companies developed such a synergy,” said Aage Søndergaard Nielsen, president and owner at SonFlow.

“Seco/Warwick is a renowned expert in copper brazing. The vacuum furnace ordered, with specially redesigned nozzles and electrical penetration assemblies enabling safer copper brazing, will ensure a longer and more reliable operation for us during brazing in industrial conditions,” Nielsen said.

SonFlow specializes in the manufacture of high-capacity pumps in various sizes for many applications (industrial, wastewater, off-shore and sanitary). It also markets a wide range of spare parts under the DanPumps brand.