Business Unit

AMG Engineering, based in Hanau, Germany, is the worldwide market leader in vacuum metallurgy, the technology leader in vacuum heat treatment, and the most important supplier of vacuum heat treatment services worldwide.

AMG Engineering designs, engineers and produces advanced vacuum furnace systems. The core competency of the business unit is to supply technologically-advanced vacuum furnace systems to the automotive, aerospace, energy (including solar and nuclear), superalloys and specialty steel industries. Examples of metallurgy furnace systems produced by AMG Engineering include vacuum induction melting and vacuum remelting, powder production systems, solar silicon melting & crystallization, precision casting, turbine blade coating and vacuum heat treatment systems.

AMG Engineering´s heat treatment centers offer heat treatment services on a long-term tolling basis using furnace und process technology developed by AMG Engineering. This enables customers to minimize start-up costs and equipment investment while keeping their manufacturing operations updated with the latest developments and technology. AMG Engineering operates facilities on this basis in Germany, the United States, and Mexico.

AMG Engineering operates under the ALD Vacuum Technologies brand name.

Products

AMG Engineering offers furnace systems for:

  • Vacuum remelting
  • Plasma melting
  • EB-melting
  • Induction melting
  • Powder production
  • Sintering
  • Precision casting
  • Turbine blade coating
  • Solar silicon crystallization
  • Vacuum heat treatment
  • Vacuum case-hardening with gas-quenching
End Markets

AMG’s vacuum furnace systems are integral in the advancement of product technology in high growth industries, such as automotive, aerospace and solar energy. In aerospace, AMG is a world leader in the production of vacuum furnaces for titanium production, which is critical in the design of new lightweight planes for greater fuel efficiency. AMG is also the global leader in electron beam technology for coating of turbine blades, which enable the turbine blades to withstand the heat of the engine. These vacuum metallurgical processes allow large-scale mass production of turbine blades, which reduce fuel consumption by up to 30% and emissions by 15% and more.

In solar energy, AMG’s silicon melting and crystallization furnaces provide customers with high-purity polysilicon solar wafers that deliver some of the highest sunlight-to-energy conversion ratios in the industry.

AMG is offering case-hardening systems for serial production in the automotive industry which can be directly integrated into the manufacturing environment. This technology allows producing highly efficient transmissions and injection systems with reduced fuel consumption and emissions. For customers in that industry who do not want to invest into furnace equipment, AMG is offering these processes in their own heat treatment service centers on a tolling basis.

Recent Innovations

Plasma Arc Melting (PAM)
Under ALD research and development activities, a new high power plasma torch was created (2 MW), which resulted in 3 orders in 2016. These included a 3-torch pilot type R&D-furnace, a 3-torch production furnace (Titanium alloys), and a 5-torch production furnace (premium grade Ti-alloy).

Powder Metallurgy Furnaces (VIGA and EIGA)
The standard design of a Vacuum Inert Gas Atomization (VIGA) system comprises a Vacuum Induction Melting (VIM) furnace where the alloys are melted, refined and degassed. The refined melt is poured through a preheated tundish system into an inhouse developed gas nozzle where the melt stream is disintegrated by the kinetic energy of a high pressure inert gas stream. The metal powder produced solidifies in flight in the atomization tower located directly underneath the atomization nozzle. The powder gas mixture is transported via a conveying tube to the cyclone where the powder fractions are separated from the atomization gas. The metal powder is collected in sealed containers which are located directly below the cyclone.

ALD has developed atomization systems where a variety of melting processes can be combined with inert gas atomization. The atomization systems built by ALD have a modular design and are applicable from laboratory scale (1– 8 crucible volume), through pilot production (10 – 50 crucible volume) up to large-scale atomization systems (with 300 crucible volume).

In the EIGA (Electrode Induction melting Gas Atomization) process, prealloyed rods in the form of an electrode are inductively melted and atomized without any melting crucible at all. The melting of the electrode is accomplished by lowering the slowly rotating metal electrode into an annular induction coil. The melt stream from the electrode falls into the gas atomization nozzle system and is atomized with inert gas. The EIGA process was originally developed for reactive alloys such as titanium or high-melting alloys. It can also be applied to many other materials.

SyncroTherm® Heat Treatment Furnaces
The all new SyncroTherm® unit from ALD Vacuum Technologies is a one-piece flow heat treatment furnace system mainly for the automotive, tooling and aerospace markets. It provides for the first time the complete and total integration of vacuum heat treatment into the manufacturing work center.

The case hardening process is drastically accelerated in the SyncroTherm® unit, so that the process matches the cycle-time of soft-machining. Instead of big batches with multiple layers, the components are treated in one layer only. These so called “2D-batches” guarantee a rapid and very homogenous heat treatment for all heat treatment steps such as austenitizing, carburizing and quenching. This homogenous treatment guarantees optimum reproducibility of the heat treat quality and offers a significant potential for lowering heat treatment distortions which on the other hand reduce hard machining costs.

Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs)
CMC is a new fiber reinforced ceramic material made of Silicon Carbide (SiC). Near Net shape parts are formed by stacking of SiC-fiber-sheets; silicon infiltration of the stack creates CMCs. Application of CMC in gas turbines gives significant advantages compared to super alloys, including:

  • Increased operation temperatures (400-500°F)
  • Reduced weight to 1/3
  • Superior rupture strength

Project Digitization
In the last few years, the idea of implementing new information technologies, especially internet-based technologies in machinery to improve productivity and create new values, is beginning to be realized.

ALD is a supplier of equipment that produces and treats high-tech materials which will provide both techniques and services. For example, predictive analysis of machine components to predict failures and reduce unscheduled downtime enable our customers to “plug-in” ALD machines into their production IT-landscape and optimize the operation, material flow, and maintenance processes. These digital services enable our customers to harvest and use information of the equipment digitally.

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