NIWE - New induction wireless manufacturing efficient process for energy intensive industries
Dates: January 2013 – June 2018
Grant agreement number:
NIWE project will demonstrate a new production process able to decrease the embodied energy of the foundry products by over 25%, reducing drastically its carbon footprint. The demonstration will be performed in the aluminium, iron and steel sectors.
The expected energy efficiency gains are due to a new furnace that, by means of a power transmission system based on induction, will allow a highly flexible production. This increase on the production flexibility attends to the current variability of the foundry products demand.
The current crisis has introduced a high variability in the demand, which can be measured in terms of quantity and diversity of the demanded products. The manufacturers are now forced to start and stop many times their production chains, change the moulds and, the most important in energy penalty terms, to reheat many times big quantities of raw materials. Consequently, the cost efficiency of the process has suffered a high decrease.
NIWE tackles these actual and current problems by providing a new furnace that will take the power by an inductive coupling. This will provide a very quick power transmission from the grid to the furnace. This power will be supplied to the heating system, which, depending on the foundry material could consist on resistances or induction heating.
The rapidity of the power transmission system, as well as the wireless operation, will allow the use of smaller furnaces. This way, the reserve of melted material for feeding the moulds will be smaller, and therefore the required energy to maintain it melted.
In addition, the wireless furnace will provide a flexible operation, allowing a quick modification of the factory layout, which will be based on easy interchangeable furnaces of different types and sizes, depending on the demand.
The main objective of NIWE is to develop and demonstrate new processes and equipment for the metallurgical energy intensive industries, (in the Aluminium, Steel and Iron sector) to reduce the energy consumption in the casting and manufacturing processes and to reduce the GHG emissions with the aim of achieving lower carbon footprint products. The expected results once the project is finished are:
Recommendations for new processes and equipment
New integral design of processes, materials and equipment for aluminium, steel and iron demonstrators through simulation
New detailed concept and methodology for manufacturing processes in the metallurgical industry
Construction of the three demonstrators
Operation guides for the new processes and equipment
Definition of new production models
CIRCE is in mainly in charge of developing the Inductive Coupling Power Transfer System (ICPT) for the new processes and equipment in NIWE project. It is also involved in the training and dissemination issues and the monitoring activities, as well as carrying out the LCA and LCC studies