Heat Treatment Systems for Suspension Components
The system operates fully automatically. It consists of a loading station, a solution-annealing furnace, a water quench tank with lifting/lowering platform and attached drip-drying station, a traversing car, a straightening area, an artificial ageing furnace, an air cooling section and the unloading section.
All part handling operations are fully robotized. The recirculating air is directly heated using natural gas, with burners installed in the ducting. Inside the furnace the air is recirculated by powerful fans mounted on the furnace roof. The hot furnace atmosphere is applied to the charge from all sides. Heating is achieved by the high-convection principle. The entire furnace consists of multiple sections which can be separately controlled.
Automotive manufacturers require absolute repeatability in the process management of safety part manufacturing. To this end, the furnace system complies with the following requirements:
- high temperature uniformity and very precise temperature control throughout the furnace chamber;
- rapid and uniform heating of each part and of the entire furnace charge;
- rugged and reliable low-wear conveyor system;
- minimum pre-cooling of parts between opening of the furnace and immersion in the quench, achieved through rapid part transfer;
- minimum possible deformation of castings in the water quench;
- high degree of automation, avoiding manual intervention if at all possible;
- All process and handling sequences are controlled at plant level by PLC-equipped switchgear. Man/machine interfacing is based on a master visualization system. Various annealing parameters are stored in the form of recipes. Current charge data are written to memory and recorded at the end of the process.