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Casting Solutions

Casting Mission in the far north!

In order to be equipped for the future, Alteams Finland decided to invest in a new low-pressure casting machine from Kurtz. Joint discussions were held to determine how this casting machine, adapted to the needs of Alteams, should be equipped. The inspection of an almost identical machine at an existing Kurtz customer and the associated exchange of experience ultimately convinced Alteams across the board.

Alteams had clear ideas for the new machine and the requirements differed significantly from the existing systems on site. Ultimately, however, the final decision-making aid was practical experience and thus the inspection of a machine during production. The main focus of the practical test was on the furnace exchange: process and costs, how is an exchange carried out and how much time is required? In contrast to the existing systems, Alteams decided to work with crucible furnaces in the future. The main reason for this was the requirements for the cast part, for which an appropriate melt quality was a key factor. Refilling, cleaning, density index and melt analysis are all carried out in the crucible furnace. In order to increase production and be able to cast continuously, the decision was also made in favor of an exchange furnace concept. The furnace is changed using a crane. Centering and coupling systems are installed on furnace and casting machine so that the exchange itself can be carried out as quickly and safely as possible. The furnace has a capacity of 1,100 kg and can be operated with one to five riser tubes. The riser tube is the direct interface to the mold, and temperature losses are avoided thanks to Kurtz´s “DOM technology”.

 

Die cooling as a quality factor

Alteams´ main low-pressure products include electric housings with high quality requirements. Die cooling is another key factor in achieving such requirements. 16 regulated water cooling systems are used as main cooling system, supported by 16 air cooling circuits. The water cooling circuits can be blown out with air independently of one another at the end of each cooling cycle. The fact that cooling is controlled not only by time, but also and above all by temperature, is relevant to the process. In addition to the cooling time, 12 thermocouples determine the use of cooling. Recording the temperature prevents a cold mold from being cooled further.

 

Alteams Finland during the acceptance test at the Kurtz machine factory in Kreuzwertheim
Alteams Finland during the acceptance test at the Kurtz machine factory in Kreuzwertheim
From left: Robert Katny (Kurtz), Teemu Seppalä and Pauli Kestikievari from Alteams
From left: Robert Katny (Kurtz), Teemu Seppalä and Pauli Kestikievari from Alteams

Quality assurance is a top priority at Alteams. The function “Quality Management Sheet” enables the documentation of every single casting. Recording the data is not only the “birth certificate” of the casting, but also a reflection of the results and is used for process optimization. The machine was installed and commissioned in Laihia, Finland, at the end of October and casting has been taking place since the beginning of November. We would like to thank Alteams for the trust they have placed in us and wish them every success for the future. Good luck!

 

Kurtz AL13-13SC

Highlights of the Kurtz/Alteams machine AL13-13 SC

  • Crucible exchange furnace with 1,100 kg capacity
  • Use of 1 to 5 riser tubes via DOM system
  • Manual on-site panel for teaching furnace filling level and pre-pressure determination
  • 16 regulated water cooling systems
  • 16 air cooling systems
  • Cooling circuits can be used as mixed circuits
  • Blowing out the water circuits with air
  • All machine axes via measuring systems, no mechanical adjustment of initiators
  • Recipe management for machine and casting parameters
  • Parallel guidance
  • Kurtz ejector system
 

About Alteams

Alteams started its operation already in the 1940s and has its roots in Finland. Since 2002, it has operated as a global team of around 1,600 employees in total (end 2022), with production sites in China, Finland, Poland, and India offering the whole value chain, starting from R&D and design assistance to delivery of ready aluminum castings.

Alteams’ customers are global market leaders in the communication network sector and leading multinational companies in power electronics, renewable energy, energy transmission and distribution, drive technology, industrial automation, marine engine and power generation, e-mobility and clean technologies. Five different casting processes are used: High-pressure die casting, low-pressure die casting, gravity die casting, shell mold casting and sand casting. At the Laihia site in Finland, the focus is on low-pressure and high-pressure casting with about 100 employees. In future, parts for e-mobility and industry will also be produced here on the Kurtz AL13-13SC low-pressure die casting machine.

 

Alteams site in Laihia, Finland
Alteams site in Laihia, Finland
 
 
 

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