Jasper Engines and Transmissions has said goodbye to the gas-fired furnace as part of the connecting rod/piston assembly process. In its place is an Ameritherm heat induction coil and RF power supply. The heating unit, coupled with an electronic timer, is used to assemble connecting rods with a more accurate control of the heat.
“It’s important we keep our heat to 400°F on the eye of the rod,” said JASPER Quality Technician Chuck Lynch. “That’s very hard to do with a gas-fired furnace, as temperatures can range from 275° to as much as 500°.”
A gas-fired furnace applies heat directly to the connecting rod. But with induction heating, the heat is actually produced within the rod itself by circulating electrical currents. The part never comes in contact with a flame. And since the heat is transferred to the rod by electromagnetic waves, there is no product contamination.
The basic components of the induction heating system are an RF power supply, a copper induction coil, and the material to be heated or treated. In this case, it’s a connecting rod.
The RF power supply sends alternating current (AC) through the coil, generating a magnetic field. When the connecting rod is placed in the coil and enters the magnetic field, circulating eddy currents are induced within the rod. The currents flow against the electrical resistivity of the metal, generating precise amounts of localized heat without any physical contact between the coil and the connecting rod.
The power supply is attached to a timing device set to 13 seconds. By using the timing device, JASPER knows exactly the amount of energy being induced into the eye of the connecting rod.
“We have seen a need for the heat induction device for problematic engines,” said Lynch, “where wrist pins come loose and go through the cylinder wall.”
Not only has this device given Jasper a more accurate control of the heat on the connecting rods, it has also increased productivity. “The RF coil is very user-friendly,” said Lynch. “The associate inserts the rod into the coil, then steps on a foot pedal to activate the coil and timing device. The associate knows that in 13 seconds, they will assemble the piston and connecting rod together.”
For additional information, visit www.jasperengines.com.