In April 2015, the European Commission announced that a project, proposed by Zinco and Gimeco, had been awarded one of the top 10 rankings in Europe.
The project is aimed at developing the most efficient hot dip galvanizing furnace prototype, in full scale, by the end of 2017. Approval from the European Commission has come as part of its Horizon 2020 Programme, which focuses on supporting industrial research and development based on strong knowledge skills. As a result, the EU has granted €1.2 million to the Gimeco Group, who will carry out a number of complex work packages starting in June 2015.
“It’s great challenge, as well as a quite unique expression of trust on the part of the EU Commission” says Mario Ubiali, CEO of Zinco and New Trends Manager of the Gimeco Group. “We truly believe this is an opportunity to refine our solid R&D capacity whilst coming up with the next great product.”
The new generation furnace will be centered around energy efficiency and prolonged kettle life thanks to in-depth work on heat flow dynamics. The National Research Council of Canada, a traditional ally of Zinco, is in the picture, carrying out some of the most up to date simulations on the functioning of high velocity furnaces. Results of these simulations are going to be presented for the first time at Intergalva 2015 in Liverpool.
“Customers need the best results with the simplest form of interface”, explains Ermes Moroni, founder of Gimeco. “We want to make our next generation furnace a true statement and a new standard for the industry.”
Big data is another key aspect in the project. Developing and mounting advanced sensors in the furnace, the Gimeco Group aims at giving customised control software a self-learning capacity that would constantly optimise energy efficiency and send detailed reports and alerts to the user, opening the door to a new era in mobile and remote control.
“Whatever the exact final result is going to be, the entire project will constitute one of the most robust and complex research projects ever carried out in the hot dip galvanizing industry on the topic of furnaces and kettle management”, adds Mr Ubiali.
With such a starting point, it is likely that interesting technical results will be made available to the industry in the next couple of years.