Eleven hoists have been installed in the new induction heating equipment plant of Belgian company, Inductotherm, backing up the latter’s seven overhead cranes and two semi-gantry cranes.
Inductotherm specialises in the design, manufacture and commissioning of induction heating equipment for use in the steel industry.
Almost all of the company’s annual turnover of 40m is in exports to customers in China, India, USA, Korea, Japan and elsewhere.
Serge Houet, new factory project manager, “Our old plant dated back to the twenties and we absolutely needed to modernise our production. To meet our needs for greater space, we therefore took the decision to build a new plant of 10 000m².
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.
Low space requirements
He adds, “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, high density of power is available within a limited space. 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 galvanizing.
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. Says Serge, “Our new building includes a main bay that we call High Bay, 100m long by 50m wide with a lifting hook clearance height of 9m. At right angles to High Bay, we have five Low Bays 50m long by 20m wide 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
“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 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 another overhead crane, a single box-type, fitted with a 3.2 tonne Verlinde Eurobloc VT1 for back-up handling operations, in high bay.”
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 is equipped with a 12.5 tonne Eurobloc VT3 hoist and a 3.2 tonne VT1 hoist to enable the handling of heavy items such as copper induction reels.
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.
Serge adds, “We handle and move heavy, cumbersome loads across significant horizontal and vertical distances, so safety and reliability of the cranes and hoists operated by our personnel are decisive aspects. It was important for us that the equipment of our new plant benefitted from the latest handling equipment technology.
“For instance, for all overhead crane and hoist travel we decided on frequency variation speed control electric motors that offer great flexibility, greater precision, are jolt-free, offer low load sway and smooth braking thus keeping not only brake pad maintenance to a minimum but also ensuring low wear of mechanical drive components.
“For travel safety, we added anti-collision systems to the limit switches and rubber stops in order to eliminate any shock between equipment units. Finally, all cranes and hoists are radio-controlled.”
He concludes, “On the 32 tonne hoist in the high bay, an electronics force gauge displays the weight of the finished equipment, a useful datum for customer information and for purposes of transportation.”
Verlinde Cranes & Hoists,