Energy losses identification using Enerlly in Induction Billet Heaters in Forging industry
Heating metal parts in industries can be done in different ways including the use of induction heaters, gas-fired furnaces, electric heaters, fuel-fired furnaces, etc. Over many years induction heating has gained popularity because of its ability to heat with high intensity quickly and within the heater coil area. These properties, in turn, result in low process cycle times. Induction heating is also more energy-efficient and inherently more environmentally friendly than most other heat sources, including gas-fired furnaces. A considerable reduction of heat exposure is another factor that contributes to the environmental friendliness of the induction heaters. Billets or small metal parts are passed into the induction heating for quick heating. Induction heating provides better surface quality of heated metal with a significant reduction of scale formation and decarburization. It requires far less start-up and shutdown time, low labour cost and less shopfloor space requirement. Other important factors of induction heating machinery include quality assurance, high reliability and ease of equipment maintenance.
Many forging and hot forming industries use induction billet heating machines for metal heating purposes. One of the forgings industries in Pune had installed an induction billet heater of rating 450kW and production capacity of ~900 kg per hour. The operating temperature ranges from 1100 -1200 C which is normally operated for 5 to 8hrs per day. ENERLLY an energy monitoring and data analytics software tool which keeps a track record of the energy parameters for any machine helps in analysing the performance and calculating losses of induction billet heater. In this case, key performance indicator was observed to be 480-498 kWh/tonne. Enerlly analytics detected that per hour production rate for the IBH was very low compared to the rated capacity which is alarming. Energy consumption of IBH is including the “Drop Offs” and higher kWh/tonne indicates that “Drop Offs” were high due to which overall consumption is very high. All these losses in terms of the monetary value of Rs.28,000 per month were identified by Enerlly, which were affecting the financials of the plant.
It is possible to reduce losses from drop offs weight and reduce it or completely avoid it. Operators must be informed and trained regarding this issue. Enerlly IoT allows to set benchmark for any machine against which machines performance can be analysed. SEC was set at 430 kWh/tonne initially for performance improvement. Enerlly notifies about whether machine is being operated with energy efficiency or with losses by Key Perforance Indicators and Benchmarking feature. Idling time and break of more than 10 minutes must be avoided. Proper production planning and continuous batch production can yield good results in maintaining the SEC nearby 430kWh/ tonne. Hence best operating practices along with day to day analtyical data can help in achieving energy savings.
Early identification of losses can avoid future loss which can yield significant profits in the longer run. Energy team advises on best operating practices to be followed in industry which helps to operate equipments at optimum efficiency levels.