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Modular Billet-Heating and Forging

April 22, 2011
Inductotherms flexible, modular design results in finer and more accurate control of the billet temperature.

Inductoheat Inc. recently shipped a single-module, 500-kW / 3-kHz InductoForge® induction-forging system, together with material handling equipment, to an unnamed manufacturer of hardware and hand tools. The machine is designed to heat a wide range of billet diameters and lengths to 2,250ºF, +/- 50ºF.

This forging line begins with a 6,500-lbs capacity automatic bin tipper that deposits carbon steel billets into a rotary feeder, with automatic refill. The rotary unit feeds billets end-to-end on a continuous basis, using a start/stop motion sensor, and supplies a pinch-wheel infeed system that delivers billets with precision through the induction coils on heavy-duty skid rails.

The 500-kW/3-kHz power module supplies two, in-line forging coils and accurately heats the billets to 2,250ºF at a nominal rate of 300 pieces per hour. Process control is enhanced by IHAZ™ temperature modeling software, which enables advanced temperature control of the billet heating process. IHAZ software makes it possible to customize the billettemperature profile (Induction Heat Affected Zone) to suit the operation’s ideal billet-heating specifications. It can also generate the optimum-running parameters and set-points for Standby and Rapid Start, which are stored as a recipe in the billet heater’s AB Compact Logix PLC and AB PanelView 700+.

After the billets are heated to the ideal temperature profile, they exit the induction coil on a fastextractor conveyor, while the infrared temperature pyrometer activates the over-and-under accept / reject system.

Inductoheat is a part of the Inductotherm Group, which develops and manufactures induction-heating systems for a variety of industrial applications worldwide. The Inducto- Forge package is a modular billet-heating system designed with an emphasis on f lexibility and efficiency, with individually controlled (500-6,000 Hz) power modules.

The developers maintain that InductoForge’s flexible modular design results in finer and more accurate control of the billet temperature. The heavy-duty, single-size forging coil consists of cast end boards, copper windings and a long-life removable liner for heating a range of billet diameters and shapes.

Overseeing temperature control for the Inducto- Forge is the IHAZ temperature profile modeling computer program, which allows advanced temperature control of the billet-heating process and lets operators customize a temperature profile to suit the particular billet (or bar) heating application.

The associated material handling options include accept/reject systems, dual-coil shuttle systems, bin tippers, bowl feeders, step feeders, and twin-chain tractor in-feed drives.