German Fan Manufacturer Invests in UNI HEAT System

The parent company of a U.S.-based induction heating equipment manufacturer was selected to supply an induction heating system to an international fan manufacturer, replacing their aging heating system with a UNI HEAT system.

Elektror, headquartered in Ostfildern, Germany, purchased the induction heating system from EMAG eldec, the parent company of eldec LLC, a heating equipment supplier in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Elektror has two production sites in Waghäusel, Germany, and Chorzów, Poland, and creates industrial fans and side channel compressors. The Waghäusel site, which manufactures nearly 250 devices a day, purchased the UNI HEAT from EMAG eldec in hopes of achieving precise induction heating of motors for their fans.

Induction heating is used to manufacture the electric motors that drive Elektror’s fans and side channel compressors by combining the empty stator housing and the motor winding. To achieve this, the housing is first heated to a temperature of 280 to 300 degrees Celsius. This causes it to expand and allows for the motor winding to be inserted. Once they have cooled down, both components establish a form-fitting and solid bond. Although Elektror used the joining process previously, their former induction heating system was in need of improvement. For instance, it did not indicate the component’s actual temperature after heating, which led to extended throughput times when joining the empty stator housing and the motor winding. The company hoped to improve this process and make it more reliable.

Roland Sand, head of the production team at Elektror, found Emag Eldec with an Internet search for potential suppliers that would have the required expertise and proximity to Waghäusel to deliver timely service. His company then visited the EMAG eldec site in Dornstetten and discussed the project. “In the end,” he said, “it was EMAG eldec’s extensive experience with induction turn-key solutions that convinced us.”

Roland Sand (2nd from left) with colleagues at Elektror and a representative from EMAG eldec (Source: EMAG eldec).

Roland Sand (2nd from left) with colleagues at Elektror and a representative from EMAG eldec (Source: EMAG eldec).

The two companies collaborated on subsequent development of the UNI HEAT system. They worked out details regarding the control unit, safety, and the design of the new comprehensive solution, including a modified induction heating process. To ensure precise heating results, they set an induction rod to plunge into the hollow component rather than using a ring inductor, which enclosed the component from outside.

 

They implemented several steps to develop process reliability. First, the operator places the empty housing in the custom-fit workpiece carrier and pushes it inside the UNI HEAT. As soon as he closes the front door, the first mechanical processes are initiated in the machine; the component is lifted and encompasses the inductor when it reaches its processing position. The actual induction heating then only lasts 30 to 120 seconds depending on the size of the housing. When complete, a warning light signals to the operator that the component can be removed. The actual component temperature is continuously shown on the operator panel.

The operator then places the hot housing on a mold, which is ready at the cooling location. He pushes the motor winding from the top into the housing. The component is cool in approximately two minutes and then placed on a conveyor belt.

The machine undergoes many retooling processes, because Elektror produces a variety of motor sizes, and sometimes the batches change several times a day. The process is brief; the operator loosens two screws on the inductor mount, removes the inductor and attaches one of six different inductors for the various empty housings. The workpiece carrier is simply set down and can be changed easily in a few seconds. The program on the operator panel can be set in just a few clicks, which completes the process.

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