Induction hardening is well known for its high level of reproducibility. However, also here, disturbances can affect the quality. Besides the geometry, alloy and heat treatment history/processing history of the workpiece, especially the heat treatment parameters during hardening determine the quality.
After hardening, the workpiece quality can only be measured directly and comprehensively by sample testing. For this reason, we place great importance on good real-time process monitoring, which enables our customers to reproduce the cleared and released process. We have been utilising the ELO-PROCESS successfully for years. Process-relevant data such as frequency, converter power, workpiece power and water volume are recorded in real time, monitored and visualised as curves on a separate process computer.
The new intelligent process control (IPC) is now moving a step further. It enables additional functions in the form of individual assistants:
- The geometry assistant enables the inductor to be scanned at freely selectable positions by utilising a tactile sensor and sets the correct position in relation to the component.
- Based on an initial test process, the hardening depth assistant provides support during setting the correct hardness depth and optimal performance.
- The trend assistant additionally evaluates the ELO PROCESS data and enables detection of drift and scattering in the process.
- Depending on the selected hardening process, the hardening error assistant can even help to locate the cause of the process deviations.
Consistent quality control of all variables of the induction hardening process allows for obtaining reproducibility, prevents downtime and increases the productivity of the system significantly.
In its role as a tool, the inductor determines the geometry of the hardening zone during the heating up process. Even small deviations can have a considerable impact on product quality. In order to detect and evaluate these deviations, SMS Elotherm GmbH has developed the precise ELO-PROCESS online quality monitoring process.
In a two-stage process, the power on the inductor is determined both without a workpiece as well as during hardening with a workpiece. The ELO-PROCESS therefore ensures consistent product quality, fewer rejected workpieces and sustainable error analysis.
- Online quality monitoring, controlling and workpiece control
- Post-finishing of workpieces despite process interruption
- Controlling the distance between the workpiece and inductor
- Monitoring of the inductor position and inductor clamping
ELO-FRESH controls two types of cooling water media via multiple sensors: the circuit for the cooling of electrical components and the circuit for quenching the workpieces. Depending on the measured values, the controlled variables are adjusted during operation to always maintain the optimal conditions. This high-precision control of the cooling water composition ensures increased inductor service life, stable hardening results and minimises the maintenance required – the right approach to reducing costs and achieving a fast return on investment.
- Longer inductor service life
- Water quality monitoring
- Notification in the event of inductor leakage
- Long-term damage is prevented
- Monitoring of the water consumption
The innovative ELO-MIND inductor management system from SMS Elotherm GmbH is the benchmark for the integration of induction hardening technology in your digital system landscape.
Based on state-of-the-art RFID technology, ELO-MIND provides a range of functions which increase your process reliability and sustainably prolong the service life of the inductors!
- Secure unique inductor identification
- Access to all service life data
- History and forecasts
- Your direct line to Elotherm Service