Husqvarna has invested in a new industrial furnace from ElectroHeat, as part of improving the safety and quality of its cylinder factory. The oven is fully automated and can process 1200 cylinders at the same time – an impressive capacity that takes the production to the next level.
Husqvarna manufactures cylinders for hand-held products such as chainsaws. The cylinders are cast, machined and surface treated. The metal is heat-treated for three hours at 260 degrees to prevent internal stress in the metal structure. Traditionally, the cylinders have been packed manually in a basket set in an oven, but now the company has invested in a fully automated pass-through oven that processes 1200 cylinders at once. The oven also provides an even temperature for each individual cylinder during the heat treatment.
Claes Hogander at Husqvarna has been responsible for the installation and is today very satisfied with the end result.
– The new industrial furnace is part of our project “Smart Plant 2020” where the ultimate aim is that the products should not be handled manually, says Claes.
A big change
Since 1998, the cylinders have been heat-treated in the same way in their baskets. But the disadvantage has been an uneven temperature effect, as the cylinders in the far end of the 300-kilo baskets have been treated differently than those at the outer edges of the basket. In addition, these baskets have been handled manually, which has not been desirable from a work environment point of view. Claes Hogander has held various positions at Husqvarna and works, among other things, with environmental issues at the factory’s manufacturing unit. He has also been the project manager for the new cylinder furnace that has been installed.
A new type of intelligent industrial furnace
– The new industrial furnace is 12 meters long and 2.5 meters wide and handles 1200 cylinders at the same time, which in a constant flow are loaded with a robot at one end of the furnace, and comes out at the other end. There, another robot from ABB picks up the finished cylinders and places them in the pallet system. A PLC system from Siemens sets up all the logistics in the fully automated plant. You could say it’s a kind of self-playing piano!
An industrial furnace from Swedish ElectroHeat was chosen
– The industrial furnace was delivered in one piece and with 2 centimeters to spare, we managed to get it in, says Claes Hogander and looks content.
The impressive oven is manufactured by ElectroHeat in Gothenburg, who built it according to Husqvarna’s wishes. The furnace is connected to industrial robots and control systems where a low-alloy steel conveyor belt allows the cylinders to travel through the furnace itself. In heat treatment, it is important to have an even temperature and it is extremely important to be able to feel safe in an automated process where 650,000 cylinders must pass annually.
– The highest quality of our products is the goal and it is important to feel safe at a fully automated plant like this, I think we have reached that goal with our new oven, says project manager Claes Hogander at the Husqvarna factory.
All industrial furnaces have different requirement specifications
What about the manufacturer then? Well, at the ElectroHeat office in Gothenburg, they are of course happy to contribute with their efforts to automate the process.
– In this particular pass-through furnace, the flow and temperature uniformity was the most important, and the reliability, of course. We have over 40 years of experience in the manufacturing of various industrial furnaces, and we deliver globally. We have built all kinds of ovens, from an industrial oven that is 150 meters long, 10 meters deep and 5 meters high (an oven located in the USA and used for the manufacture of cable) to small handy containers that keep welding electrodes warm in a humid environment, says salesman Joel Lagerqvist at Electroheat.
Husqvarna Group has 13,000 employees worldwide and a turnover of around 41 billion SEK. The first Husqvarna factory was founded in 1689 in the form of a gunsmith. Over the centuries, Husqvarna has manufactured a large number of different products, including sewing machines, bicycles, motorcycles and kitchen equipment. Today, the range includes chainsaws, trimmers, robotic lawnmowers and riding lawnmowers. The group is also a leader in Europe regarding garden irrigation, and a world leader in cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries.
For more information, please contact:
ElectroHeat Sweden AB:
Joel Lagerqvist (Sales)
Claes Hogander (Project Manager)
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