A producer of aluminum billets and alloys in Italy contacted Daniels Fans with an aluminum heat treatment furnace challenge they were facing. The process involved four aluminum heat treatment furnaces, each furnace with three circulating fans. The objective was to reduce cycle time for the heat treatment process.
Following a review and analysis of the operation, the Daniels Fans team provided a fan design, which delivered the performance efficiency the company needed.
Lower airflow, resulting in reduced circulation within each the furnace, was having a direct effect on its ability to achieve a homogeneous temperature gradient. This resulted in longer cycle times for the processing of heat treated aluminum in the furnaces. The process delay led to decreased productivity and problems with meeting product demand.
In order to achieve a tighter temperature tolerance across the load, and subsequently reduce cycle time, it was necessary to improve on the re-circulation rate within each furnace. Fan replacement was considered, but needed to be accomplished working within the dimensions of the existing fans.
The Daniels Fans team selected and provided a reversible fan design that enabled higher airflow at the necessary operating temperatures and within the existing space. Replacement fans capable of reversible flow operation at a higher speed were recommended to reduce the process cycle time.
One furnace was initially upgraded in order to evaluate the improvements gained.
The new blower selected enabled higher air flow at the operating temperature (650°C / 1200°F), which is the result of thermal management and materials selection, and is backed by over 40 years of experience. Compliance with existing dimensions reduced installation time to a minimum.
The new fan installation resulted in significant cycle time reduction. Four weeks after the installation of the initial fans, follow-up feedback indicated that the furnace cycle time had been reduced by 15 – 20% as compared to the performance rates achieved with the original fans. The company was so pleased with the results that they immediately placed an order for upgrading the remaining three furnaces.