eldec joins the EMAG Group: mapping the entire production process
21.05.2013 - Oliver Hagenlocher
"Turnkey" is one of the defining catchwords for mechanical engineering of the future. Complex, automated production lines are designed as "turnkey" solutions. Ideally, the entire solution should come from a single source. For years, the EMAG Group has been meeting this requirement for a wide range of automotive components. By integrating eldec Schwenk Induction GmbH into the Group, the mechanical engineering experts at EMAG have added yet another technology specialist to their ranks. eldec develops and manufactures innovative induction hardening machines, generators for induction heating systems as well as inductors. This will open up new possibilities for the EMAG Group. In the future, the entire mechanical engineering process for a production line with hardening processes will take place with the Group.
eldec is the perfect addition to the EMAG's group expertise. Based in Dornstetten near Freudenstadt, Germany, the company has been developing complete hardening machines for decades. Featuring a modular design, these solutions are perfectly tailored to a range of workpiece dimensions, hardnesses or batch sizes. eldec even designs and manufactures heating tools (inductors). The company also has a second production site for these products in the USA as well as a global sales network. The heating technology specialists joined the EMAG Group in February 2013. With this move, EMAG has acquired a company whose technology is a perfect fit for many of EMAG's typical production processes.
Induction hardening is useful for a variety of workpieces that are processed on EMAG machines. For example, power steering components and differential gears use workpieces that are induction-hardened after soft machining. Thanks to eldec, EMAG can now deliver the entire process.
Accurate contour hardening with SDF® technology
Thanks to their adjustable frequencies and maximum power density, eldec induction hardening machines with SDF® generators are outstanding for accurate contour hardening of complex surface geometries. Short process times minimize component warping. This reduces the need for remachining or allowances. SDF® technology is also excellent as a highly flexible solution for smaller batch sizes because medium and high frequencies can be used and controlled completely separate from each other.
Advantages of SDF® technology:
- Simultaneous heating with medium and high frequency
- Accurate contour hardening of complex surface geometries
- Can also be easily used solely as an MF or HF generator
- Combination of pulse width modulation and pulse package control
- High-speed PLC with eldec control print: short clock frequencies for extremely fast control
- Maximum power density => short process times
- Short process times
- Can be integrated into automated lines
- Low power consumption / workpiece
- Little or no scaling
- Minimal component distortion
First joint development already completed
eldec technology also integrates perfectly into EMAG machinery, as demonstrated by a new system. The eldec VL-H is the result of collaboration between the two companies and also the first pick-up hardening machine in the world. With this system, all the advantages of EMAG automation come into play during the hardening process. The component is picked up by the pick-up spindle of the machine, heated and hardened by the inductor and then also removed by a spindle. The decisive advantage of this approach is that it is a complete machining process since it is entirely governed by the pick-up concept. The production line is perfectly automated and harmonized.
New opportunities in the market
Decision-makers at EMAG Holding are also expecting new market opportunities for the future thanks to the integration of eldec. The heating technology specialists at eldec not only develop hardening systems, they also manufacture generators, the power source for induction technology. Generators are at the heart of many other processes such as soldering or joining workpieces. As a result, the EMAG Group can now tap into other industries outside of the automotive sector, such as the power industry.