Since 1937, GHI been designing and manufacturing industrial furnaces for melting, heat treating and heating any type of metal. GHI Furnace uses cutting-edge technology, which enables us to identify anomalies, provide support for in-use improvement, and plan predictive maintenance activities. The aim is to minimise unexpected downtime and to maximize the potential of our installations.
GHI provides to worldwide customers (1) Turnkey plants. GHI has developed an extensive range of turnkey plants in response to the growing demand for integral solutions. Industrial furnaces (2) Industrial furnaces for melting, heat treating and heating any type of metal. (3) Auxiliary equipment. GHI supply is rounded off by a wide range of auxiliary equipment for providing an integral solution to customer requirements. (4) Smart SAT 4.0. Through our after-sales service, we maintain a relationship with customers throughout the service life of equipment. GHI is a global leader and has engineered and delivered the largest rotary furnace in the world.
GHI has delivered 8000 installation’s products and services to 1250 companies, in 48 different countries, and sectors around the world, among them aluminium production, automotive, aeronautical, railway, steelworks, renewable energies, zinc, etc. Customers include ALCOA, BEFESA, ThyssenKrupp, CIE Automotive, FAGOR, NEMAK, ARCELOR MITTAL, CAF, GM, GESTAMP, DAIMLER, VW, RENAULT, SCHAEFFLER, AIRBUS, EADS, SKF among many others.
One of the challenges of the automotive industry in recent years is to meet the demand to reduce fuel consumption, assuming a reduction in CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. On the other hand, automotive sector has always been looking for increase the safety of the occupants of the vehicle in the event of a collision.
In order to obtain this double objective, a series of steps have been taken aimed at optimizing the structure of the vehicle, using other materials than conventional low-carbon steel for the manufacture of the vehicle structure or implementing advanced manufacturing techniques such as the technique of hot stamping. By means of this technique, parts with the required safety characteristics are obtained, even owning a weight reduction with respect to traditional methods of cold stamping.
Hot stamping is a current process for the manufacture of structural parts in the automotive sector. Hot stamping is a process by which a sheet is subjected to a load between two dies, while the entrance temperature of the sheet is bigger than the austenitization temperature of about 900-950 °C. This process takes advantage of the high ductility of the piece due to its high initial temperature and then proceeds to a rapid cooling to achieve the martensitic hardening of the piece.
This items serves as a filter in support of selecting the case and demonstrators associated to the Digital Transformation Pathway Cases Catalogue (see ConnectedFactories Coordination and Support Action - Information sharing and analysis)
Within Qu4lity use case, GHI with the collaboration of Innovalia and SQS, is building a ZDM scenario based on the development of a smart and connected hot stamping process with the ability to correlate the furnace operation parameters with the quality control of the stamped parts, extending in this way the product lifecycle control loop, making the operator more involved in the process thanks to the new platform developed.
We are building a connected environment through the industrial furnace smartization, but also implementing an IT solution that enables data gathering and transferring on real-time to GHI server, where then the data analysis is performed.
Operators are more involved in the whole process, but mainly receives valuable information of the furnace operation through the real-time monitoring interface of the platform. Also daily reports provide them valuable information.
The Beyond Platform also gathers data from other assets, not only from the furnace, so they can potentially optimised as well. On the other hand, there are aspects regarding the industrial furnace that mainly affects to the whole factory level, as for example, a reduction on the energy consumption or a reduction on the defective manufacturing that can be achieved thanks to the data analysis provided through this tools.
The Beyond platform implemented provides valuable information with daily, monthly reports and deeper analysis in concrete operations that allows technicians to optimize the machine (industrial furnace) operation.
As it is described on the Autonomous Smart Factories, in this use case, in addition to the tools that make possible to improve and optimize the manufacturing connected process, it also intends to highly reduce the defective manufacturing increasing the product lifecycle control loop, improving the manufacturing process thanks to the information provided through the product quality control process.
In this use case, GHI and Innovalia will share data in a trust manner through an IDS connector, so that GHI will be able to find correlation between the quality of the parts and the furnace operation parameters.
By the time this sharing data solution has been devise just for the use case, but also a business model in here can emerge as GHI is getting more restrictions with customers that do not want to give the governance of their process data.