Ipsen was recently awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,662,888 B2 for the development of a new loading system. Chief Engineer Craig Moller, the named inventor on the patent, began formulating this design five years ago for use with a large vacuum heat-treating furnace. The patent solves an inherent problem associated with the design of car-bottom loading systems: the need to disconnect the heating elements each time the system is used. Ipsen’s loading system functions as an alternative with its ability to leave the furnace’s heating elements intact in the bottom of the hot zone. The newly patented system also contains elements including unrestricted length or load weight and jackscrew mechanisms that gently raise and lower loads onto the hearth to avoid any potential damage.
To view a video of the loading system entering a large vacuum furnace and utilizing these jackscrew mechanisms, visit http://youtu.be/zUqZfsnfIL4. The loading system also uses wheels that permit sideways movements, allowing it to function as a cross-transfer unit between furnaces. The loader’s sideways position is further accomplished with encoder strips mounted in the floor.