Induction Heating Equipment Uses
Geronimo Alloys acquired its first induction heating equipment in 1983. The equipment was manufactured by Inductotherm and was used to power Geronimo’s melt furnaces. We were extremely slow in utilizing the concept of the equipment for other uses. At the end of 2014, we purchased an induction heating unit from Radyne, a sister company to Inductotherm. The unit is a 35 KW power unit. By January of 2015 we had incorporated the unit into a robotics welding area. We had been pre-heating for welding with a torch and MIG welding by hand a series of parts, taking approximately 42 minutes to do each part. The labor cost was $30.00 per hour. The induction heating unit allowed us to reduce our pre-heat time from 25 minutes to 2 minutes. The robotic welding cut the weld time to 8 minutes and the labor cost was reduced to $15.00 per hour. The induction heating also produced a clean part with no residue from the torch that had been used to pre-heat prior to the induction unit. The induction unit, the robots, and the PTA welding system cost a total of $150,000.00. It paid for itself in six months. The PTA welding produced a very smooth weld with no flaws. This allowed us to reduce the amount of cladding thickness prior to machining. The powder cladding material was 1/3 the cost of the MIG wire. The results are that we saved time, labor, raw material, and machining cost. The machining cost was reduced because the weld was much smoother and did not break inserts like the MIG welding and it reduced the insert wear. It actually machined faster.
Although the induction heating unit was bought to pre-heat parts to be welded, we quickly found other uses for the unit. We now use the unit to braze dissembler metals together, we separate press fits (such as bearings), and harden with our unit. We also do some heat treating. We are working on the ability to heat treat in a non-oxygen atmosphere. It seems that not a week goes by without us finding another use for the unit.
Geronimo would like to work with you on your heating, hardening, and heat treating needs. Another area where Geronimo Alloys places themselves apart from everyone else is their idea and concept of employing a true and productive team approach. Recognizing that the client is an expert in their own needs and specifications, the machining, design, welding, and foundry staff will collaborate with the customer to ensure that goals are met with clear understanding and agreement.
At Geronimo Alloys, that it exactly what you will find: the right people using the right equipment and materials. What really makes them stand apart from their competition, in addition to their depth of knowledge and manufacturing experience, is their innate understanding of the importance of properly supporting and serving their clients, both existing and new, with an unwavering dedication to being available to meet the needs of their customers 24 hours per day, and 365 days per year (except for leap years, when they are ready to serve their clientele 366 days!).
An interesting side comment is that we discovered that almost none of the induction heater manufacturers provided true programmable capabilities with their units. The units have the ability to run recipes where you can input various operations, but you get no feedback from the piece being heated. In other words, the machine will automatically increase temperatures to a given point and hold that power setting for a given period of time. The machine then shuts down. If the operator is not watching, goes to the restroom or is called somewhere, the piece being heated begins to cool. Geronimo turned the problem over to its sister company NavMac, LLC. NavMac does research and development on industrial problems. NavMac produced a fully programmable unit (Horus) that controls the induction heater and up to 5 other on/off functions. We have been using it for more than 6 months and it works like a champ.