Development of ultra-compact modular hybrid heat-treatment furnace "EC Hybrid II": World's most compact hybrid continuous hot-air circulation-type furnace with approximately 60% energy saving
October 27, 2020
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
Ecology and Combustion Inc.
Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (President Kingo Hayashi; head office in Higashi-ku, Nagoya City) and Ecology and Combustion Inc. (CEO Satoshi Takanashi; head office in Kita-ku, Hamamatsu City) jointly developed the ultra-compact hybrid heat-treatment furnace "EC Hybrid II," an improved version of the compact modular hybrid heat-treatment furnace "EC Hybrid I" that was developed last October, and are set to launch sales on November 2.
Heat treatment is performed at factories manufacturing automotive parts and other components to improve the strength and hardness, etc., of aluminum and other metal components. While large gas hot-air circulation-type heat treatment furnaces were conventionally used, "EC Hybrid I" developed last year enabled saving energy by approximately 50%, reduction in size and modularization to handle diversified low-volume production, due to gas/electricity hybridization and wind control, etc.
In proposing this new heat-treatment system, we discovered that there was increasing demand for a system that allows for cross-switching between electric and gas heat sources during heat treatment operations, as well as demand for further energy-saving, size-reduction and reduced heat-up time.
EC Hybrid II has achieved size reduction through the use of a new exhaust heat recovery burner that integrates the heat exchanger and gas burner, as well as enabling cross-switching during operation by separately installing the electric heater and exhaust heat recovery burner. Additionally, energy can be saved and time reduced for the heat-up process by further increasing the temperature of the circulating hot air through local combustion-suppression technology in the exhaust heat recovery burner. Furthermore, space can be drastically saved since the inspection space between modules is no longer necessary due to optimizing the placement of the control panel and combustion instruments/valves to allow them to be monitored and inspected from the same side.
This has made it possible to reduce size by over 70% and save energy by approximately 60% compared to the conventional model, as well as reduce heat-up time by approximately 40%.
EC Hybrid II will be offered to customers with heat treatment furnaces to enable them to achieve a more flexible production system in addition to greater energy and space saving capabilities.
Conventional gas hot-air circulation-type heat-treatment furnaces
EC Hybrid II
Heat treatment process of aluminum components
1 Heat the component to below the melting point and homogenize the alloy elements
2 Rapidly cool the component and place it in the aging furnace
3 Retain the component at a low temperature to increase strength and hardness
4 Cool the component and move on to the next step, such as processing and assembly
External view (2-furnace combination)
Gas (13A) 60kW Electric 20kW
10 million yen (per unit) (Note)
(Note) Units will be sold as multiple units combined together.