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MICO Generators from eldec: Full hardness and Short Processes for the Tool and Mold Making Industry

Published 23 November 2016 | By EMAG eldec Induction GmbH

The production planners at Werkzeugbau Laichingen, in Ulm, Germany, have been relying on technology from eldec: Their cutting edges are hardened by mobile and robust MICO generators. This flexible technology significantly decreases and simplifies the production process.

MICO Generators from eldec

Complex molds at Werkzeugbau Laichingen: The active parts are hardened with eldec technologies

Significant Reduction in Cycle Time

The company Werkzeugbau Laichingen is a new eldec customer that relies on the advantages of induction hardening. At its locations in Laichingen and Leipzig, the German company has comprehensive knowledge and experience ranging from tool design to complete production processes, and comprehensive services for pressing and shaping tools.

MICO Generators from eldec

The cutting edge is heated by induction

The specialists also provide the in-house presses for the start and phase-out of series production.

Gottlieb Schwertfeger, who is in charge of purchasing and quality management at Werkzeugbau Laichingen, says that, We are able to respond to customer needs on extremely short notice, as missing or incomplete tools can cost a lot of money. We are continuously working to improve and further shorten our production processes. In pursuit of this goal, we recently changed the processes for cutting-edge hardening, which had been taking too much time overall.

MICO Generators from eldec

The mobile system can be moved quickly to different application locations on the factory floor. Operation is easy, allowing for quick hardening processes at the cutting edges.

In the past, tools were mostly treated on site by flame hardening. The alternative was laser hardening at external contractors - an additional logistical effort that has now become unnecessary thanks to the fast induction hardening process. Since the fall of last year, the company has used a MICO generator from eldec as the energy source. This flexible energy container is perfect for toolmakers. A generator, cooling system, and hose bundle are packed into a compact housing that is available with casters if required. Users are able to easily move the machine wherever it is needed on the factory floor and an intuitive user interface with a touchscreen simplifies the configuration.

The processes at eldec also ensure that MICO generators have high stability and a long service life as they are developed for challenging manufacturing applications. Before shipping, they undergo comprehensive testing and are held to extremely high quality standards.

Developing In-House Know-How

Reports Schwertfeger:

We are more than satisfied with the technology. We're already saving a lot of money. While we are improving our processes, we're also simultaneously developing new know-how around the technology which will later directly benefit our customers. For example, we are optimizing the hardening and subsequent annealing processes to improve the fit and configuration of the device for the relevant active part of the tool. The quality and efficiency of the process are continuously being perfected.

The technology is being used in a wide variety of punching, bending, and forming tools. It creates a uniform hardness distribution on many straight and arched surfaces and radii. The flexibility of the applied technology is very important.

MICO Generators from eldec

For eldec, the above application example has something of a model function, since experts are seeing a lot of market potential for their flexible generators, as Stefan Tzschupke, Head of Business Development Generators at eldec, confirms. "Our new MICO series is providing a major solution for the energy source and cooling system. It covers a wide range of services and can be fitted with many different tools, which gives toolmakers a lot of options for implementing perfect and efficient hardening processes. We want to bring these strengths to the market even more than before in the coming years."

MICO Generators from eldec

An intuitive user interface with touchscreen simplifies the configuration of the MICO

Read the full article on the EMAG eldec dedicated site.