Way to decarbonization as a convincing factor in successful changeover
A new era is beginning at the traditional foundry Kovis in Slovenia: The specialist for the production of castings made of gray and
nodular iron has switched melting operations from conventionally heated cupola furnaces to CO2-neutral medium-frequency
induction furnaces from ABP. “Good ideas create the future” is Kovis’ slogan, which the company has once again succeeded in
demonstrating with this conversion. As a technology leader, ABP Induction is playing a decisive role in this megatrend in the
foundry industry: With the IFM series, it boasts high-performance induction melting furnaces with state-of-the-art process
control for demanding foundries worldwide in its portfolio. Kovis has made use of this: The plant is already in reliable day-to-
Kovis in Slovenia is a well-known player for its combination of tradition and continuous development in the production of castings. Development
and innovation open up entirely new business opportunities for Kovis, and so the switch from the cupola furnace to the promising induction
technology was a logical step when the foundry was due for modernization in 2019: Furnace system, molding system, sand preparation and
many other components were to be replaced. In doing so, Kovis is also taking into account the challenges involved in environmentally friendly
production: In 2050, the European Union wants to be CO2 neutral. Many industries are feeling the pressure to take action to decarbonize.
Given the long amortization periods for capital goods in many industrial sectors, this already affects today’s budgets. A key field in this context
is the switch to low-CO2 and, in the long term, climate-neutral production technologies in the metal processing sector – as it still accounts for
a dominant share of CO2 emissions in industry today. The increase in process and material efficiency as well as induction melting offer great
ecological and economic potential. Kovis and ABP are consolidating all of this here, and in this respect the changeover at Kovis from cupola
furnace technology to CO2-neutral production with induction furnace technology is not only a logical step, but the investment was also a far-
“Our primary goal in switching to a different type of furnace was to increase the capacity and productivity of our foundry by 80 percent,” explains
Anže Tekavčič, production manager at Kovis, “in addition, the environmental factor was also very important in our decision. For one thing, the
induction furnace reduces the carbon footprint compared to the cupola furnace. Furthermore, the energy efficiency of induction furnaces is
much higher than cupola furnaces. Energy consumed per ton of molten iron decreased by nearly 50 percent.” Still, the induction furnace offered
far greater flexibility in feed material, both when looking at part size and steel-to-pig iron ratios. “The latter is very important, especially nowadays,”
says Anže Tekavčič, referring to high prices and material shortages on the market.
The important step in this project was the simulation of the potential needs and the corresponding future system of Kovis. The ABP Meltshop
Designer was able to show off its skills as a tool: “This involves software developed in-house, which we can use to demonstrate which solution
is best for the customer when it comes to material flow in the foundry,” explains Alexander Keller, who played a key role in managing the project
in Slovenia on the ABP side. The ABP experts can develop simulations for different foundry situations, present alternatives in the furnace design,
and incorporate different configurations from the ladles to the filling of the molding plant. Regardless of whether the current production environ-
ments or variations for future melting processes are important to the customer, it is basically a matter of finding the bottleneck in the simulated
environment that could disrupt production – in other words, optimizing processes and operations.
“This collaborative, innovative advance planning and ABP’s technology expertise enabled us to take a decisive leap towards placing the order,” says
Alexander Keller. “In addition, one of our existing customers arranged a visit with Kovis so that the company had the opportunity to obtain detailed
information from the ABP network.” Ultimately, the ABP solution offers massive potential benefits in terms of operation and maintenance, especially
about efficiency, system availability, and environmental friendliness. And so, once the contract was awarded, the system was installed and accepted
in September 2020. Two IFM 7 induction furnaces with 6.1 MW power (TWIN-POWER®) and 11.7 t capacity have been used since then. The ABP
automation package also includes the melting processor PRODAPT® Enterprise for demand-oriented control of the system and the melting process.
The interaction between ABP experts and Kovis staff on site went off without a hitch. The excellent handling of the project is also evident in the
adherence to the planned project timeframe and the smooth commissioning. “The order from Kovis is therefore a great success for ABP Induction
in Slovenia and an excellent reference for the entire Southern and Eastern European market. At the same time, the system represents the current
state of the art in terms of digitalization,” explains Alexander Keller.
The environmentally friendly operation of the ABP induction furnaces type IFM is based on different modules. Thanks to the TWIN-POWER® principle,
converter power can be distributed freely, continuously and without additional switches to both furnaces. As such, scenarios such as melting with one
furnace and simultaneous sintering or holding with the other are now possible. The concept results in increased inverter utilization, lower maintenance
costs and lower investment costs compared to separate power supplies. In addition, with the PRODAPT® Enterprise melt processor already mentioned
the PRODAPT® Enterprise melt processor takes over the demand-oriented control of the energy supply for melting and holding operation, cold start-up,
sintering and communication with charging. Operating data and statuses are recorded and displayed in the HMI and processed for targeted data exchange
with the plant management system. And thanks to ABP’s global presence, the sun never sets in the ABP world – so there is always an employee available
digitally for Kovis whenever needed.
About ABP Induction
ABP is a leading manufacturer of induction furnaces and systems for inductive melting and holding for the metal and metalworking industries. ABP is an
expert in melting, pouring, holding and heating iron, steel and non-ferrous metals with design, production, assembly and services for foundries, forges
and steelworks. The ABP Induction Systems Group with over 400 employees has companies in the USA, Mexico, Sweden, Germany, South Africa, Russia,
India, Thailand and China. It is represented by service and sales partners in most of the world’s industrialized countries.
ABP Induction Systems GmbH
Phone: +49 231 997 2633
ABP Induction LLC
1460 Livingston Ave.
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Phone: +1 732 932 6400
Fax: +1 732 828 7274
ABP Induction Systems GmbH
Phone: +49 231 997 0
Fax: +49 231 997 2293
ABP Induction Systems GmbH
Ryazanski prospect, 75/4
Phone: +7 495 620 57 26
Fax: +7 495 620 57 26
ABP Induction Systems Pvt. Ltd.
E-120 / Unit-2, Manjusar GIDC Industrial Area
Savli – 391775, Vadodara
Phone: +91 2667 264808/809
Fax: +91 2667 264810
ABP Induction Systems (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.
No.118, Lane 289 Fulian II Rd.
Phone: +86 21 5639 1278
Fax: +86 21 5639 0822
ABP Induction, LLC
607 1st St. SW
Massillon, OH 44646
Phone: +1 330 830 6252
ABP Induction Systems SRL de CV
Priv. La Puerta 2882-4
Parque Ind.La Puerta
Santa Catarina, NL 66350
Phone: +52 81 8390 2775
ABP Induction Furnaces (PTY) Ltd.
77 Heidelberg Rd.City
Deep / Johannesburg
Phone: +27 11 623 1814/17
Fax: +27 11 623 1809
ABP Induction AB
Spännarhyttans Ind. Område
738 92 Norberg
Phone: +46 223 23135
Fax: +46 223 21429
ABP Induction Ltd.
80/1 Moo 11, Phaholyothin Road
Tambol Klong Nueng
Amphur Klong Luang
Phone: +66 25 29 34 57
Fax: +66 25 29 34 84