FCT Anlagenbau GmbH of Sonneberg, Germany, is a leading producer of high temperature sintering furnaces for high-performance ceramics, metal injection moulded parts, cemented carbides, or for silicon infiltration of CFC components.
The company’s recent focus has been the development of an innovative plant concept whereby near-net shape components can be subjected to a brief induction heating or cooling cycle for the quick sintering of large piece numbers. This plant concept, for which a patent is pending, was first presented to a specialist audience with significant success at Ceramitec 2012 in Munich earlier this year, and has since been available for test runs at the company’s test centre.
As compared to conventional sintering plants, the quick-heating induction furnace, FCI 600/150-100-SP, comprises a continuous multi-chamber system in module build that permits flexible adjustment. Production is possible in inert gas atmosphere and/or in vacuum operation. Quick heating rates by inductive heating permits short cycle times.
The company claims that energy savings of about 30% are possible plus lower maintenance costs both in material effort and maintenance effort. The use of crucible carriers allows a variety of parts geometries to be processed.
Dr. Frank Kampmann, manager of FCT plant construction, stated, “Success in the market requires trend-setting technologies plus patent protection of new developments. Filing for a patent for the innovative quick-heating system is an important amendment of the property rights portfolio of FCT Anlagenbau that permits us to develop our leading position in this segment and offer our customers plants at the latest state of the art.”