The 3D Revolution in Induction Hardening
Perfecting the induction process relies on fine-tuning every small detail. In terms of the tool, this means the complex development process for the inductors using design software, high-precision production and the correct positioning of the tool in the machine’s connection system. Any deviation from this during manufacturing and every tolerance during tool changes jeopardize the accuracy and reliability of the process.
With the new, highly advanced 3D technologies, EMAG eldec has perfected all sensitive topics related to the tool. The result is the complete improvement in quality that allows induction hardening to be performed faster, more precisely and more efficiently. The following areas are critical for this:
- 3D CAD Model Development: We use 3D design software to develop the inductor. Throughout this process, the coolant flow, for example, can be very precisely calculated and analyzed—if there are any “dead areas” without any coolant flow or any turbulences, adjustments are made to the topology.
- 3D printing of inductors: For the second step, this design data can be very precisely applied to the selective laser melting (SLM) process: meaning the inductor is produced layer by layer as part of an additive manufacturing process. This allows for very small and intricate details giving way to a whole new range of workpieces.
- 3D quality control: A 3D measurement performed after production ensures the required dimensional accuracy and reproducibility of the printed inductor windings.
- 3D inductor socket with quality control: In the last step—i.e. insertion of the inductor into the machine—a newly designed socket by EMAG eldec makes the difference. The inductor base has a cone-shaped connection system that makes it very easy to perfectly insert the tool. Equally important: The new MIND-L 1000 hardening machine has a very sturdy structure for even greater precision.
Less Downtimes, Greater Process Reliability
Precise design, 3D printing without limitations and a tool socket without any “play” whatsoever—that is the base that induction hardening reaches, achieving a previously unknown level of quality. This new system allows for the possibility of creating a completely new range of workpieces. It will also eliminate time-consuming adjustments that would’ve been necessary in the past.
These innovations lead to drastic decreases in downtimes, increase tool lives and improves reproducibility for the entire process.
- Faster process and prototype development
- Optimal inductor geometry with improved coolant flow
- Intricate details possible for a new range of workpieces
- Increased workpiece quality
- Long tool lives and short downtimes
- Perfect reproducibility in inductor manufacturing
- High-precision tool socket without lengthy setup times
- Sturdy machine design