Mitsui's Subsidiary Develops Compact Induction Heaters

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, July 06, 2014
Compact Induction Heaters for Container Transport contributes to Reduced Transport Cost and Vertical Startup


MES Power-Electronics Industry Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding (MES) has developed a compact induction heater for heating before forging that can be shipped via container transport. Designed for use in the automobile industry, since the launch of sales the company has received numerous orders and already has delivered several units.

In the past, conventional induction heaters mainly were delivered to domestic production lines but with the growing rate of overseas production lines in the automobile industry, there was a growing trend of induction heaters being transported overseas. Our mid-tier induction heaters (300 – 600kw) are too large to fit in a container and shipment required transport on a bulk carrier. However, the development of a compact induction heater small enough to fit inside a container not only greatly reduces transport costs, but also constrains device disassembly during transport to a minimum. This can help a company achieve a vertical startup in the target country.

For this newly developed device, we reduced the size of the power source and height of the transporter to enable the device fit inside a 40ft high cube container. For the power source, instead of the commonly used thyristor inverter we chose to use a transistor inverter and designed a unit structure for the major circuits. This enabled us to reduce the width of the 2,300mm power source panel, to a size small enough to fit inside a container.

We also conducted a thorough evaluation of the devices for supplying materials to achieve a height that even when combined with the power source can still fit into a container.

The device also features standard functions for operation and maintenance management, including trend graph function that provides visual confirmation of operating data such as heat temperature and voltage to enable verification of device and heating stability. The device also includes a troubleshooting function that assists customers during initial response to problems.

Induction heating is a heating technology that uses high-frequency waves. This technology is used widely in cooking heaters and rice cookers, and is commonly known as IH (=Induction Heating). In the industrial sector, this technology is used for various heating purposes due to its numerous merits, including rapid heating, high temperatures, low environmental impact, and energy preservation.

Since 1966, over the past 40 years MES has established a top share in the field of induction heating for heating processes implemented before forging. Among Japanese auto manufacturers, which boast stringent quality control and high productivity, MES reaches an overwhelming majority share of the market.

In 2010, MES established MES Ferrotec China Co., Ltd., our base in China for the production, sales, and provision of after-sales services for induction heaters. Through this subsidiary we have established a system for supporting the global expansion efforts of auto manufacturers and auto parts manufacturers.


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