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Relationship generates 25% more product for regenerative reverberatory furnace

On-site analysis, teamwork and customized computer modeling provide welcome relief for aluminum producer's cast house challenges.

Issue: As the economy rebounded and demand increased, an aluminum customer’s cast house became a bottleneck. Air Products had previously presented the benefits of oxy-fuel combustion for their operation, so the customer re-engaged Air Products in search of a production increase of 25% for one of their reverberatory melting furnaces.

Solution: After spending time onsite with the customer’s engineers and operators, Air Products had the necessary data to build a computer model of the furnace. The computational modeling was critical, allowing us to simulate the furnace temperature and melt rates if oxy-fuel burners were installed at the plant, in conjunction with their regenerative air-fuel burners. Visiting Air Products’ Combustion Labs in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the maintenance manager for the facility was very clear, stating “We need a partner, not a supplier.” He stated that their specialties are melting metal, casting billets and making aluminum extrusions, not oxy-fuel combustion. With Air Products’ oxy-fuel system and the new collaborative relationship, the project was a success and the customer is now melting 25% more metal per day, resulting in more extrusions and higher profits. Based on this success, they are looking to expand the use of our oxy-fuel systems to their other furnaces.

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