When Pyrotek supplies capital equipment, consumable parts and advanced materials, it also often provides engineering expertise. For decades, Pyrotek has been delving deep into aluminium operation processes, helping operations achieve the maximum return on their investments.
Through Pyrotek’s 60-plus years of service in the aluminium industry, its engineering teams have accumulated considerable experience in high-temperature manufacturing environments.
Pyrotek’s engineering teams located around the world—in North America, Europe, China and Australia—each have broad technical experience and training. The teams include electrical and mechanical engineers and designers. Some teams have specialists in automotive engineering, machining, tooling, advanced materials, refractories and more.
“To provide engineering support, it is first key that we fully understand customer problems,” says Mike Tomassi, Chief Engineer for Pyrotek’s engineering group in Cortland, New York, USA. “This is why it’s critical to go into the plants, observe operations and see each customer’s pain, asking questions along the way until we can fully understand how we can best bring value.”
As manufacturers have had to reduce the number of in-house technical staff members they employ, they have grown increasingly more reliant on Pyrotek and other vendors for engineering and technical expertise.
“Our engineers visit customer plants to determine the needs and problems that can be improved with Pyrotek solutions,” says Samuel Rodriguez, Engineering Coordinator for Pyrotek in Apodaca, Mexico. “We most frequently offer technical support for aluminium, foundry and glass bottle manufacturers.”
The team in Mexico, like others at Pyrotek, routinely provides on-site measurements to ensure correct design of customer process layouts.
“We participate in customer process and product development, we profile different configurations for thermal insulation solutions, measure temperature throughout a production process to detect heat leaks, hot and cold spots, and analyze temperature homogeneity and record thermal cycles using thermocouples and data loggers,” Rodriguez says.
Each engineering group offers a wide variety of services. The teams, made up of roughly a dozen staff members each, are located around the world so they can be near customers.
“Pyrotek’s engineering team in Blansko, Czech Republic, regularly offers engineering services such as designing, calculations, manufacturing and installation, including commissioning as a whole package,” says Jiří Nečas, Production Manager for Pyrotek at Blansko. “This is primarily for launder lines, heated lids, filter boxes, foundry furnaces, degassing units, pre-heating systems, manufacturing of zinc recovery systems—and it’s done in cooperation with Pyrotek specialists for electromagnetic pump systems and others.”
Pyrotek engineering is becoming more skilled and experienced each year and is focusing on more complex systems and solutions. The engineering teams are growing the breadth of their services and field experience to take on new challenges in the future.
“We’re rapidly growing our experience in market segments like foundry furnaces and degassing units, as well as others,” Nečas says.
“I believe the future of the aluminium casting process is full automation,” Tomassi says. “This will require our team to continually look for ways to partner with customers and come up with new cutting-edge designs to support this industry shift.”
Pyrotek has helped many customers lower their overall product costs by reducing energy consumption, minimizing melt loss, reducing downtime and optimizing their new or existing thermal systems.
“Our teams are ready to support customers with thermal problems, so they can focus on what they’re experts at—processing and casting aluminium,” Tomassi says.
Pyrotek engineering groups serve the needs of customers globally, whether they are buying Pyrotek’s manufactured products or not. In addition to the aluminium industry, Pyrotek’s engineering services can serve customers in other industries, such as mining and minerals, or anywhere manufacturers use high-temperature processes. The engineering teams are looking to take on new challenges, and are working to increase their experience.
“We have recently supplied 3-D printed plastic auto-pour ladles to test robot paths, and also models to fabricate moulds for casting metals by the lost-wax method,” Rodriguez says. “We are currently setting up a tooling department. In the future, we can machine wooden and plastic models for foundry customer prototypes.”
Pyrotek engineering centres and sales teams work with aluminium operations to determine the best solutions to meet their needs.