Technology at the highest level
Spartherm is constantly investing in new technologies and new machinery in order to be able to work in an optimal and economical way. The latest production equipment includes e.g. a blasting-priming and painting plant that has been installed within six months in a hall that has been built for this purpose. A surface refinement plant with a long conveyance distance requires more than 1200 sqm of free space. The load-bearing capacity of these conveyors is 250 kg. In the first station of the interconnected installation, the bodies, doors, etc. are blasted; not sandblasted using compressed air but “pelted” using very small steel beads. That might sound unprofessional, but regarding environment and energy issues, this is the better alternative as here, it is not necessary to produce compressed air and no finest dust is created. Using small turbines and the acceleration and centrifugal force resulting in this connection, small steel beads are fired at the body from eighteen different angles.
After this step, the components are automatically transported into the dipping chamber. In this secluded chamber, up to four bodies are, in a 2m deep dip tank and with a cycle time of six minutes, provided with an environmentally friendly corrosion protection. After a drip distance of 10m, the components directly enter an 18m long drying channel, in which there is a constant temperature of 80° Celsius. For this distance, the conveyor needs another three minutes. Afterwards, the component reaches a closed spray booth, in which the components that after the installation of the fireplace will still be visible are manually sprayed with up to four different layers. From there, the components are once again sent to a drying channel being thirteen metres long in order to leave the surface refinement plant’s circuit after a total of 45 minutes and to be sent to the provisioning with fireclay.
For us, it has also been interesting that the environmental conditions for the blasting chamber and – even more – for the afterburning of the air-gas mixture from the drying chambers represent almost 40 percent of the investment costs. With 380 units per day in double shift, Spartherm has created the capacities in order to be prepared for the future.
In Poland, we invested in a coil plant. For this purpose, we had to build a new hall, as well, as the existing production area of 11,000 sqm was not enough (1,500 sqm). This hall accommodates the coil plant that is 28 m long and 2.5 m broad. Coils are rolls with steel sheets that are unwound and straightened in a rolling mill with 100 rolls. The coils’ weight lies between 9 and 11 tons and they dispose of ca. 220 m steel sheet with a thickness of 3 mm. The plant can be operated at a speed of 60 m per minute. The raw material stock permanently contains ca. 400 tons of steel. An overhead crane spans the complete hall in order to provision the machines and stocks. At the end of this section, there is a computer-controlled cutting line stacking the sheets having a length of 3 and a width of 1.5 m in a steel sheets stock. From there, the three Trumpf laser plants are loaded in a computer-controlled way. From a control centre, these plants are fed with programmes and they work in a fully automated way, in the loading, in the processing and the de-stacking. These three plants work 24 hours a day, 340 days per year and can also be checked and controlled by means of a data line from any place in the world. Currently, more than 1,000 different cutting programmes are executed there as at Spartherm, we only offer laser components.