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High quality castings thanks to improved technology
Heunisch invests 2.5 Mio. Euros in a new electrical melting furnace
The cutting work at the new furnace is a hot business: the melting point of iron exceeds 1,500 degrees Celcius/ © Heunisch Guss
The Heunisch foundry recently opened a third electrical melting furnace at its headquarters in the spa town. It was a question of the quality of the products manufactured at the plant on the Hofmannstraße rather than the quality which ultimately led the executive team to purchase the furnace, which cost almost two-and-a-half million Euros.
The aspirations of the customers in the area of vehicle manufacturing, to whom Heunisch supplies many of its products, are increasing. On presenting the new furnace, managing director Wolfgang Heunisch explained that the manufactured products such as gear and differential casings are set to get lighter and lighter in weight in order to further reduce the weight of the vehicles and their fuel consumption – at the same time as an unchanged requirements profile.
Technical Director Dietmar Eckl describes it with the example of gear casings. While they previously had a wall thickness of nine to ten millimetres, the wishes and requirements of the customers are now heading towards "six to seven millimetres". At the same time, the requirements concerning the material are increasing. The same applies to boosters and cooling compressors.
High quality cast iron in the appropriate quality can be manufactured in new IT-controlled electrical melting furnaces. The medium frequency furnace has a melting output of up to six tonnes per hour. Both of the existing electrical furnaces and the coke-heated cupola furnace have a melting output of eight tonnes per hour.
"Despite today's difficult economic environment we are looking to the future at the Heunisch GmbH foundry with positivity." This was the starting situation, and provided the backdrop to the decision which led the two managing directors - Wolfgang Heunisch and his daughter Dr. Christiane Heunisch-Grotz - to invest in a new furnace. Despite the fall in the manufacturing of gear casings for tractors, which Wolfgang Heunisch explains with the keywords of "milk crisis" and "Russian embargo", thanks to some new shift arrangements in the company, "all our employees are still with us and they are still earning their crust".
In the event of uncertainties, the lower manufacturing rates will be compensated for with the use of short-time working arrangements. "Whatever happens, there won't be any redundancies. That is something our employees can rely on," says Wolfgang Heunisch, who has been part of the company's executive team since 1980.
The company also attributes "exceptional importance to living in harmony with our environment." In this respect, the new electrical furnace has been equipped with a modern ventilation system that includes continuous dust measurement and the adjoining chimney also has a sound absorber. The cooling technology of the furnace system has also been designed so that it provides the option of thermal recovery. In this context, the foundry is now feeding thermal energy into the town's district heating network.
Source: Heunisch Guss