SECO/WARWICK’s service team improves the design of the customer’s VIM technology.
The customer is a large supplier of solutions for the aviation industry, including jet engine turbine blades. The company has over a dozen plants in North America and Europe, and its plants process materials such as aluminum, magnesium and superalloys.
Scope of work, modifications and updates
The scope of modification covers two furnace design systems. The first one is a pumping system, in which the existing oil pumps will be replaced by dry pumps, which will significantly reduce maintenance and improve control of these mechanisms. Dry pumps are as efficient as oil pumps, but they require much less frequent inspection and service. Currently, pump manufacturers recommend dry pumps for furnaces operating in VIM technology.
The second area of modification involves the addition of an automatic crucible cover in the melting chamber. The purpose of this upgrade is to eliminate the cases where spatter from the melting process finds its way into the vacuum baffle of the furnace, necessitating cleaning.
Both modifications will improve the production process, reduce the risk of downtime and significantly extend the time between inspections and servicing of selected furnace elements.
The modifications apply to the furnace purchased from Retech, part of the SECO/WARWICK Group.
“Since we create furnaces from scratch, we perfectly understand their nature, because we are their architects, constructors, and not just a producer. The R&D Center of SECO/WARWICK Group has been working continuously for decades, looking for solutions not only related to new products and technological requirements of the market, but also verifying existing structures in terms of their improvements. With knowledge supported by experience and research results, we are constantly improving upon the technologies used years ago, both by our Group and external companies. Optimization of devices already operating at customers’ sites requires knowledge and experience, and we have a wealth of those assets. The proposed changes are always tailored to the individual needs of the client, where we find innovative opportunities to better use their existing equipment to help reduce new investment outlays,” says Robert Szadkowski, VP of the Aftermarket Segment at SECO/WARWICK Group.
Processes, applications, key parameters
The process of vacuum melting and casting is extremely technologically advanced. It requires enormous precision in the fabrication of individual elements and in designing the process architecture in order to run with optimal use of resources. Power turbines and jet engine turbines require high industry standards for materials and machining accuracy.
The most important parameters of this process are: warm-up speed, cooling, safety, automation, chamber size, process cleanliness and ecology.
Relationship – expert skills, speed of reaction
The Retech brand of SECO/WARWICK Group has served most of the world’s suppliers of critical components for the aviation and energy industry for many years. In this particular project, as part of the cooperation, in addition to the service and control work, a number of other technological modifications were made at the request of the client.
“For many years, we have been delivering ready-made technologies, modifying existing ones and improving processes based on the team’s experience. Retech and SECO/WARWICK engineers always work closely with engineers on the client’s side, creating appropriate procedures, improving processes, using operating devices in an increasingly effective way. This is how we understand partnership, one of our core values,” says Earl Good, President of Retech, a subsidiary of the SECO/WARWICK Group.