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Induction heaters offer technical benefits and safety features

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Induction heaters offer technical benefits and safety featuresSchaeffler is improving its HEATER range of FAG induction heaters to include several technical innovations, which not only improve the safety and reliability of the devices, but also maximise plant and machine availability for end users.

Schaeffler’s HEATER range includes seven induction heater models, which are suitable for the mounting of bearings – or other circular steel components such as gears, couplings, pulleys and bushings – with a minimum bore diameter of 10mm, up to bearings with outside diameters of 1500mm, with a maximum weight of 1200kg.

High machine availability depends on the quality and reliability of individual machine components. Prior to mounting, workpieces such as bearings must therefore be heated uniformly. If heat output is too high, this can cause temperature differences between the inside and outside of the workpiece, which in turn can lead to cracks or distortions in the material. In order to prevent this, Schaeffler’s new redesigned FAG induction heaters are equipped with various new features, including temperature-time (ramp) controls, which prevent overheating of the workpiece. Schaeffler believes that no other induction heater currently available on the market is equipped with these controls.

Ramp controls now provide continuous temperature monitoring of critical heater components such as the main circuit board, coil and housing. An automatic overheating switch-off function is provided, ensuring that the heater’s induction coil never overheats, which reduces the risk of damage (stress fractures or cracks) to the workpiece.

The operator can now set the heating time (duration) to a certain temperature so that the temperature of the workpiece is carefully controlled and heated in a uniform manner. This means that the outside part of the bearing has sufficient time to warm up. The device controller continuously regulates time and power consumption, ensuring that the temperature difference between the outside and inside of the workpiece is small at all times.

Unlike conventional induction heaters, where the induction heating coil is positioned inside the bore of the workpiece, the coil on the FAG induction heaters is located inside the heater housing in a horizontal arrangement. Another safety feature provided is an infrared remote controller. Health & Safety regulations stipulate that an operator must not stand for long periods in an electromagnetic field. In terms of induction heaters, this means standing at a safe distance from the heater during the heating process. When using the HEATER10 and HEATER20, the heating process starts 5s after the start button is pressed, giving the user sufficient time to move away. However, when using the larger induction heaters (HEATER40 to HEATER 1200) an infrared remote control is provided, allowing the user to start the heating process from a safe distance.

Automatic demagnetisation

As workpieces become magnetised during the induction heating process, all FAG induction heaters incorporate an automatic demagnetisation feature, which ensures that the workpiece does not attract any unwanted metallic particles during the heating process, which could result in long-term damage to the workpiece.

All FAG induction heaters are now fitted with a new cooling element/heat sink, which dissipates heat inside the heater more effectively, providing further added protection against overheating. The heater housing is protected to IP54 against dust and water spray. Cabling is securely connected to the heater, minimising loose connections and ensuring reliable continuous operation. All these improvements ensure that the heaters are now suitable for mounting in series in volume production environments.

With the HEATER10 and HEATER20, a protective hard case is also available. All bench-top heaters are also now equipped with two support bars, which reduce the risk of damage to the workpiece during positioning. For the HEATER600 and HEATER 1200, a sliding table is provided to help reduce the risk of damage whilst positioning the workpiece.

For users who may be unsure of the size of induction heater they require, Schaeffler’s FAG Heating Manager software ensures that the correct selection is made quickly and easily. The user simply enters data about the workpiece to be heated, such as the dimensions and weight of the bearing (or selects the bearing from the Schaeffler bearing database provided). Using a special software algorithm, FAG Heating Manager then automatically selects the most appropriate heater model for that bearing. This software is freely downloadable from the media library at www.schaeffler.co.uk. By registering their existing HEATER online, users also benefit from a free warranty extension from 3 to 5 years.

For more information on Schaeffler’s FAG Induction Heaters, please call the Marketing Department on 0121 313 5870. Alternatively, email , or visit the website at www.schaeffler.co.uk.

 
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