Induction furnace technology and energy efficiency

ABP Induction Systems GmbH, headquartered in Dortmund, Germany develops and manufactures induction melting furnaces and induction heating equipment for the foundry, steel and forging industries including suitable automation solutions. These induction systems are used for melting, holding, pouring and heating metals and are used in the manufacture of components for the automotive industry, mechanical engineering, energy industry (particularly wind power) or the construction industry (e.g. pipes, valves or pumps).

In the field of high-performance induction systems, ABP Induction sees itself as a technology leader. In Germany, the company is also the market leader and the world‘s second largest manufacturer. The equipment is manufactured in Dortmund, in Vadodara in India and in Shanghai, China. 65% of the equipment made in Dortmund is exported. Worldwide sales and service are handled by a total of eleven branches of ABP in all major markets.

ABP Induction has its roots in two companies: the Swedish company ASEA and BBC from Switzerland. The Dortmund site was founded by BBC in 1922 and the first industrial furnaces were built there from 1923. In 1988 the two companies merged to form ABB. The induction division was hived off from ABB in 2005 and ABP Induction Systems GmbH was established. Today the company is owned by the US financial investor CM Acquisition.


ABP Twin-Power® design, hydraulic station and pump stands in two climate controlled containers for reduced installation times

In 2008 ABP Induction merged with the Pillar Induction Group – another expert in induction melting and heating – thereby adding further sites in the USA and China. This merger has turned the ABP Induction Group into one of the global leaders in the industry.

Since the invention of the first functional channel-type induction furnace by the former company ASEA in the Swedish town of Gysinge in 2003, the company has continued to advance induction technology. A total of 30 patents have been filed. The most important ones include the Twin Power technology in which two furnaces operate with a single power supply, a crucible push-out device and transverse-field heating.

As a manufacturer of equipment for particularly energy-intensive industries, ABP Induction is also involved in the EU project NIWE, exploring efficient processes associated with induction technology. ABP invests approximately 1% of its annual turnover in research and development, which is carried out exclusively in Dortmund.

The engineering work required in developing new or planning restructured facilities is constantly increasing in scope and complexity. This is especially the case of small and medium size steel melt shops.

Highlights presented at the GIFA 2015 exhibition included the Optipour® camera version automatic pouring control system and the Presspour® type OCC pouring used for holding and the automated pouring of ferrous and copper alloys.

Optipour® – Camera version
The automatic pouring control system Optipour® camera version is an automatic pouring control system which requires a minimum of monitoring and provides constantly high quality castings. Two different measurement techniques for measurement of the bath level in the pour cup are available for the various requirements.

By measuring a specific area within an exactly adjusted measuring field you can reach an almost proportional measurement of the fill level of the cup. This signal is used to control the stopper actuator.


ABP MF Induction furnace, type FS 30 (3 t) for continuous batch melting

The camera module is built as a closed system and is connected via a standardised signal with the regulating system. This means a high long-term reliability as it is possible to change it later on against nearly every available system.

Optipour® uses real-time level measurements in order to monitor and control the level of iron in the pour cup. As the level increases, a system actuator throttles the stopper rod to reduce the pouring rate, preventing overpouring of the mould.

The automatic positioning of Optipour® makes it possible to use smaller pour siphons. At the end of a pouring operation, Optipour® is capable of bringing the pour cup level to a level set by the operator, thus reducing the total quantity of iron poured and increasing the yield. Less iron needs to be remelted and as a result power, alloy and material handling costs are reduced.

Using a high speed, fast response actuator, the Optipour® reacts exactly to level changes in the pour cup. If the level drops to a selected set point, the system instantly increases the iron flow, thereby maintaining the desired iron level in the cup.

Since a high and accurate iron level in the pour cup is maintained throughout the entire pour, Optipour® ensures that the slag is not pulled into the mould but stays floating on top of the iron. The result is higher quality castings thanks to less slag inclusions.

Presspour® type OCC
The pouring furnace Presspour® type OCC is used for holding and the automated pouring of ferrous and copper alloys. As far as cast iron is concerned, available are models with a total capacity of 2 900 kg to 25 000 kg and an inductor power of 130 kW to 500 kW.

The pouring furnace with its pressure-tight cover has a cylindrical shape. The feed and discharge channels end in the bottom of the vessel (siphon principle). This configuration ensures practically slag-free pouring.


ABP Ecotop® hoods for fume extraction in all positions

An electro mechanic drive with a variable adjustment unit moves the stopper after the selected pouring program. This can be done by either using the teach-in method or the closed-loop mould level control called Optipour®.

In order to adapt to varying pouring positions, the furnace can be moved lengthwise and perpendicularly to the casting system.

Power supply
The inductor is connected to the power supply system via a furnace transformer, which permits selection of the various furnace voltages for holding and superheating.

The inductor of the Presspour® furnace is a quick-change unit lined with a corundum or magnesite-based spinell-forming dry mass responsible for keeping the melted metal warm. The inductors are supplied optionally as channel-type (air or water-cooled) or crucible-type (water-cooled) inductors.

Continued automatic monitoring of the furnace system guarantees safe operation at any time. All along, the control of the entire pouring procedure is possible.

At the designing stage, the main emphasis was placed on a simple operation and maintenance of the system. With the help of detailed instructions, an efficient and quick training of technical personnel is enabled to ensure, for instance, assembly, operation and troubleshooting.

Power supplies
ABP offers for the power supply of their induction furnace systems converters using different technologies: thyristorized converters and IGBT converters.

The basic function of a converter system is to convert line frequency, three phase power from the utility network to a variable, load governed frequency that is appropriate for a particular induction melting or heating load.


The ABP pouring furnace Presspour® type OCC

6, 12 or 24 pulse rectifiers are used in these converters. The pulse count refers to the number of current pulses drawn from the three phase utility network per cycle of line voltages. The greater the number of pulses per cycle, the smoother the current will be. Smoother current helps to avoid harmonic distortion of the utility line voltage. Low distortion of the line voltage is necessary to avoid problems with other equipment connected to the utility lines.

In over 100 years of serving the metal casting and forging industries, ABP Induction Systems enthusiasm for molten metal has always been strong.

For further details contact ABP Induction Furnaces on TEL: 011 623 1814/17 or cell number 072 158 1117 or email You can also visit