The foundry becomes greener
Modern design for a modern production environment: the dosing furnace Westomat Plus+ was awarded the prestigious “Good Design Award” of the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.
In everyday foundry work, the new system not only has a smaller footprint – it also consumes less energy. The manufacturer of industrial furnaces StrikoWestofen (Gummersbach, Germany) designed the Westomat Plus+ to combine functionality with an attractive outer appearance. “We want to help foundries to create production facilities which meet today’s employee and customer demands with regard to working environment, quality and sustainability. The new Westomat Plus+ is one more step in the direction of our ‘Green Foundry’ initiative,” StrikoWestofen manager Rudi Riedel explains.
The dosing furnace “Westomat Plus+” recently won the renowned “Good Design Award” of the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design – putting it in line with lifestyle products such as Apple’s “iPhone”. “Demands can be made to improve the working environment in light metal foundries too” – that is the opinion of Rudi Riedel, manager of the StrikoWestofen company which makes the furnaces. “We are glad to assume the pioneering role here.”
In practice, the design of mechanical designer Jürgen R. Schmid also excelled with regard to its technical values: the Westomat Plus+ consumes only one third of the energy required by conventional ladle systems. At 0.06 percent, its metal loss has also been reduced dramatically. We make the foundry not only cleaner and more attractive – we make it greener too,” is how Riedel sums it up. “In this way, we are initiating a positive change of image for the foundry industry.”
Exceptional outer appearance, state-of-the-art technology
That the Westomat Plus+ can do more than just look good is also proved by a look inside: on the basis of thousands of examples of customer experience, every technical detail of the dosing furnace was tested. Now its more compact design gives it a smaller footprint in the production facility, while the optimised insulation distinctly minimises the heat radiated. “Working in the ‘hot hell’ has now become a thing of the past,” Riedel emphasises.
A new pneumatic unit makes the dosing furnace especially reliable and easy to maintain. In place of the usual heating rods, StrikoWestofen relies on overhead heating. This is easy to replace and ensures a service life which is up to three times longer than before. Additional time savings are allowed by the ease of charging using an enlarged funnel as well as the rapid installation and setting up of the system: the Westomat Plus+ is delivered with the base frame already installed.
It is optionally available in a fully encased version, thus reducing pinch points and increasing safety around the furnace. Also, the installation of a lift/tilt cylinder ensures that the frame can be tilted in any desired position. Cleaning and emptying are possible at all times. “We want to offer foundries technology which provides for a modern and efficient production environment,” Riedel explains. “In this way, we create a friendly working environment and turn our systems into flagships for foundries,” he adds. “This will convince our customers’ customers too.”