Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Benefits of Induction Hardening

Case hardening process used to increase wear resistance, surface hardness and fatigue life through creation of a hardened surface layer while maintaining an unaffected core microstructure.

Induction hardening is used to increase the mechanical properties of ferrous components in a specific area. Typical applications are powertrain, suspension, engine components and stampings.

Induction hardening is excellent at repairing warranty claims / field failures. The primary benefits are improvements in strength, fatigue and wear resistance in a localised area without having to redesign the component.

Favoured for components that are subjected to heavy loading. Induction imparts a high surface hardness with a deep case capable of handling extremely high loads. Fatigue strength is increased by the development of a soft core surrounded by an extremely tough outer layer.

These properties are desirable for parts that experience torsional loading and surfaces that experience impact forces. Induction processing is performed one part at a time allowing for very predictable dimensional movement from part to part.

Induction hardening is a process used for the surface hardening of steel and other alloy components. The parts to be heat treated are placed inside a copper coil and then heated above their transformation temperature by applying an alternating current to the coil.

The alternating current in the coil induces an alternating magnetic field within the work piece which causes the outer surface of the part to heat to a temperature above the transformation range.

The components are heated by means of an alternating magnetic field to a temperature within or above the transformation range followed by immediate quenching. It is an electromagnetic process using a copper inductor coil, which is fed a current at a specific frequency and power level.

Hardening methods Interest in using induction hardening of gears continues to increase as process capabilities advance with the development of larger power sources for manufacturing facilities. At the same time, users want faster and more flexible and repeatable hardening solutions.

Hardening with or without specific tooling were the two main methods for hardening. Hardening methods using quench tooling include an operation using a specific tool and an operation under a quench press (die quenching).

The world of robotic handling offers manufacturers a new era of automation. Robots offer great alternatives in the area of pick and place processing by adding the ability to have six-degrees of movement, to pick from multiple positions, transfer to multiple positions, re-orient the part during transfer, load and unload inspection stations along the way, and pick billets directly out of a container. The return on investment is more than justifiable.

Companies can further customize and tailor the loading and in-feed process for an ever-changing product stream. Robots are being used to quickly extract hot billets and deliver them to the next process after the induction heater. Many companies are also using robots to transfer parts to presses and actively forge the parts in the press.

Leave a Reply