The TREATperfect calculation module was developed by EBNER, and is currently in use at many batch-type furnace facilities. Over the course of this project, the module was installed at a batch-type furnace manufactured by Gautschi for the first time.
A customer in USA, had selected the proposed Gautschi batch-type furnace (designated as a “chamber” furnace). The bid included delivery of a temperature calculation model. To fulfill this requirement, EBNER specialists were enlisted by Gautschi to adapt the TREATperfect module for the Gautschi furnace.
Models that simulate thermal processes are shaped by two primary factors:
- Furnace design
This influences both heat transfer and the dynamics of atmosphere flow, and so influences the underlying formulae used in calculation.
- Control and regulation technology
This primarily influences the logical operations and conditional framework of the calculation.
The similarity of the conditions for atmosphere flow in a Gautschi chamber furnace for coils to those in an EBNER batch-type furnace for coils was a significant factor in making adaptation of the model feasible. Adaptation of our module for the Gautschi furnace involved close cooperation between Gautschi employees and digitization experts from our Research & Development Department.
Of particular note is the fact that, for this type of furnace, our calculation module is actually comprised of three different modules:
1) TREATperfect calculates the temperature of the strip coils in the furnace.
2) OFFLINE setpoint calculation calculates the furnace setpoints in advance, as well as the expected duration of the annealing cycle.
3) ONLINE setpoint optimization optimizes the processing parameters in the furnace during the anneal itself.
During commissioning and when the acceptance anneals were carried out, the model was fine-tuned by repeatedly comparing measured data from the facility with calculated temperature profiles. During this process, the efficient feedback loops that ran between the customer, Gautschi and EBNER were of critical importance: these allowed optimization to be carried out with complete data sets, until any deviation between simulation and reality had been reduced to an acceptably small amount.
Since commissioning, the facility and its calculation model have been producing aluminum strip coils of the highest possible quality.