A large Indian pencil manufacturer has reduced its graphite-sintering-related costs by nearly a quarter after replacing its existing heat treatment containers (HTCs) with specially-engineered alternatives supplied by Morgan Advanced Materials’ Molten Metal Systems Business.
The containers are used to store graphite leads used in pencils as they undergo the sintering process, via a tunnel kiln. This method helps to ensure that the leads meet the quality required for use in pencils.
The manufacturer was experiencing a number of challenges with its existing material, the impact of which was higher than necessary operational costs and inferior pencil graphite quality. With this is mind, Morgan approached the manufacturer to understand whether it could provide a more effective solution over the local clay-graphite refractory materials used in its existing HTCs. The result was a solution that delivered improved sintered-graphite quality, lower energy costs, and reduced inventory costs, all of which contributed to significant reduction in the total cost of sintering.
The superior material quality of Morgan’s solution, which was comprised of a denser, ISO-pressed clay graphite material with a higher carbon content, resulted in a product with a life cycle four times greater than that of its predecessor. Due to this improvement, 75% fewer containers were used over a set period; helping to reduce overall storage and disposal costs.
Using its application engineering and materials expertise, Morgan helped to tailor a solution that overcame the dimensional issues inherent in the incumbent containers. Additional testing allowed Morgan to optimise the design even further. Not only did this bring about a substantial reduction in energy costs, due to the superior thermal conductivity properties of the material, but it also enabled a higher quality end-product by providing a providing a more consistent transfer of heat to the materials. Overall, this helped to bring the material rejection quantity down by more than 40%.
Mirco Pavoni, Global Technology Director of Molten Metal Systems at Morgan Advanced Materials, explained: “For sintering applications, a robust heat treatment container solution can have a decisive direct and indirect impact on total costs, which should be always taken into consideration when selecting containers of this kind.
“On this occasion we delivered a solution which resulted in an improved material quality, while slashing sintering costs by a quarter overall. Our industry-leading capability in this area places us in a strong position to add similar value in heat treatment applications.”
For further information, please visit: http://morganmms.com/HTCs