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Thanks to an infrared system from Heraeus Noblelight, Ahle Springs, of Lindar-Karlsthal, Germany, can now achieve improved quality in the coating of vehicle suspension springs.

Ahle Springs designs and manufactures springs, which are used mainly in the motor industry but also in machine and gearbox manufacture, in ships’ engines, or as braking accumulator systems for tracked vehicles. 

Because of the ever-increasing quality requirements relating to the coating of vehicle suspension springs, Ahle Springs decided to examine their current coating and drying methods. Quality improvement required increasing the coating thickness. However, it was also important that existing production processes should be changed as little as possible.

One possibility was to increase the coating thickness with a two-layer lacquer. With this approach, however, two stages were required. First the primer needs to be applied and dried bef0re the final coating is applied in the next stage. Because of this additional stage the production process needed to be changed so that the system did not meet the company’s objectives.

An alternative is a two-component coating, laid down on the pre-heated spring. Among those techniques considered were convection ovens and NIR infrared. However, both of these technologies came with disadvantages. Gas-fired convection ovens take up a lot of space and are accompanied by high investment costs, while NIR infrared systems are less efficient and incur high capital cost.

Finally, the company found the best solution in infrared radiation. Infrared systems have a small footprint and the new infra-red oven can therefore be located directly before powder coating plant, with little change to the existing production layout. The oven heats the springs before powder coating, which is then cured by a warm air oven.

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Key product features

  • Two-component powder coating
  • Space-saving installation
  • Pre-heating of springs up to 140°C
  • No significant change to the existing production line
  • A mobile system
  • Connection with a heat-recovery system
  • Shortwave QRC® Infra-red emitters with nano reflectors
  • Four, 81.45kW infra-red modules,60 emitters
  • Heats the product to 145°C at 2m/min

Heraeus Noblelight

Heraeus specialises in the production and application of high quality energy sources covering the electro-magnetic spectrum from ultraviolet to infra-red. It has over 40 years experience in infra-red technology and offers the expertise, products and systems to provide efficient and effective solutions to drying, heating and curing problems throughout industry.

A globally leading technology group, Heraeus is headquartered in Hanau, Germany. Founded in 1851, it is a family-owned portfolio company which traces its roots back to a pharmacy opened by the family in 1660. Today, Heraeus combines businesses in the environmental, energy, electronics, health, mobility and industrial applications sectors.

In the 2017 financial year, Heraeus generated revenues of €21.8 billion. With approximately 13.000 employees in 40 countries, the FORTUNE Global 500-listed company holds a leading position in its global markets. Heraeus is one of the top 10 family-owned companies in Germany.

With technical expertise, a commitment to excellence, a focus on innovation and entrepreneurial leadership, we are constantly striving to improve our performance. We create high-quality solutions for our clients and strengthen their long-term competitiveness by combining unique material expertise with leadership in technology.

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