The new induction heating equipment plant of Belgian company INDUCTOTHERM are seeing VERLINDE hoists being installed to back up the latter´s seven overhead cranes and two semi-gantry cranes. INDUCTOTHERM EQUIPMENT BELGIUM, is a member of the international Inductotherm group and has been since1985. The company specialises in the design, manufacture and commissioning of induction heating equipment for use in the steel industry. The company delivers between 20 and 30 metal induction heating installations annually.
A new factory for enhanced production
Serge Houet, new factory project manager said: "Our old plant at Herstal dates from the twenties and we absolutely needed to modernise our production organisation. To meet our needs for greater space we therefore took the decision to build a new plant of 10,000m² on the Hauts Sarts industrial estate in the commune of Herstal. We were already experienced in operating Verlinde lifting and handling equipment. Europa-Levage secured the awarded contract by proposing the supply of Verlinde hoists that met our specifications in every detail.”
Houet continued: "We are the only unit in the Inductotherm group to produce metal heating equipment by high frequency induction. Even if the technique has been with us for some time, the implementation for heating sheet metal plates up to 2.10m wide and being reeled off at 180m/min, requires mastery both of high frequency technology and of the design and cooling of the induction ‘reel’. The latter, made of 150mm cross-section copper bars, conveys tens of thousands of amps and produces an electromagnetic field appropriate to the temperature at which we have to handle the sheet metal.”
Precision, efficacy and low space requirements
He added: "The big advantage of induction compared with other methods of metal heating is that firstly there is no contact between the material and the source of heat, thus enabling fast and uniform heating while ensuring continuous reeling-off of the sheet metal. Secondly, the high density of power is available within a limited space at the scale of a steel plant. The induction heating equipment we deliver can be used, for instance, for paint baking or coatings on claddings or on electrical appliances, or even for the processes of annealing and in-line galvanising. The advantage of being able to put several heating units in line enables heating process requirements to be met while complying with the two additional parameters of the temperature of the metal sheet and of its reel-off speed".
VERLINDE hoists are integral to production organisation
Houet said: “Our new 10,000m² building includes a main bay that we call High Bay, 100x50m with a lifting hook clearance height of 9m. At right angles to High Bay, we have five ‘Low Bays’ 50x20m with a lifting hook clearance height of 6m. For our lifting / handling operations in these six bays we have installed seven overhead cranes, two semi-gantry cranes and eleven VERLINDE hoists.
High Bay equipment
Houet added: "The High Bay, in which we assemble parts and components made in the Low Bays, is equipped with a double girder box-type crane bearing two VERLINDE hoists, one a 32 tonne EUROBLOC type VT4 and the other a 3.2 tonne type VT1. These two hoists on the same overhead crane are used individually to move loads or together to turn parts over. We have also installed in High Bay another overhead crane, a single box-type, fitted with a 3.2 tonne VERLINDE EUROBLOC VT1 for back-up handling operations.
‘Low Bays’ equipment
Houet concluded: "The Low Bays have a lifting hook clearance height of 6m. The first four are equipped with single girder box type overhead cranes with a 3.2 tonne VERLINDE EUROBLOC VT1 hoist. In the fifth Low Bay a double girder box type overhead crane equipped with a 12.5 tonne EUROBLOC VT3 hoist and a 3.2 tonne VT1 hoist enable the handling of heavy items such as copper induction reels. Lastly, at the extreme end of each of the first two Low Bays, a semi-gantry crane with a 3m lift height, is equipped with a 1 tonne hoist to handle small loads. These two gantry cranes travel on one side on the same roller path.”