According to a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy, the melting process accounts for more than half of the energy consumed in the metal casting industry. Although furnace design, fuel, and the method of heating metal scrap plays a large role in the amount of energy used in the process, there are two ways that automated metal scrap processing and material transfer equipment can also contribute to efficient melting.
1. Turn Metal Scrap into Pucks.
Briquetting machines compress metal chips, loose turnings, and swarf. This process squeezes out spent cutting fluid and transforms the metal scrap into dry pucks. Because the pucks are more uniform in size and weight than batches of chips and turnings, the loads of pucks sent to the furnace can be melted more evenly to reduce heat loss. The entire briquetting process—from shearing the material, compression, and fluid collection—is automated. Additionally, the pucks optimize container fill and are easy to store.
If you decide to sell the pucks to a recycler instead of melting them, you can expect to get more value for the pucks—up to 25% higher. Looking for an additional benefit? With supplementary processing facilitated through fluid filtration and recycling equipment, the spent fluids can be re-used, which will reduce fluid replacement expenses.
2. Meter-Feed Metal Scrap to the Furnace.
Furnace feeders that automate the transfer of metal scrap to the furnace by meter-feeding die scrap, casting metal, or other materials directly to the melting furnace also contribute to a more even melting process.
By steadily feeding material, furnace feeders help prevent temperature drops in the molten bath. Furnace feeders with an oscillating trough facilitate a clean discharge of material to eliminate carryover. They can run in batch or with continuous feed. These conveyor feeders decrease cycle times and keep workers at a safe distance from high-temperature furnaces.
To improve operational efficiency in die casting applications, consult with a trusted supplier of metal scrap processing and metal scrap transfer solutions. Inquire about automation solutions that will improve melting processes and deliver low total cost of ownership.