RMC loosens up with AES induction heater
RMC Equipment has conquered the common problem of seized metal with an AES hi3.5 induction heater.
The company specialises in hiring, servicing and repairing compact loaders, such as the Avant Tecno Compact Loaders and similar rugged equipment. The all-weather, outdoor nature of the machinery means its service and repair work frequently revolves around corroded metal, which used to be one of its biggest hurdles.
“A lot of the people who rent our equipment are in the equestrian world, and horse manure corrodes most of the metalwork around the hitch pins on the machines,” explains RMC’s proprietor, Peter Woolnough, “when it comes to getting pins and bushes out, you just can’t. It doesn’t matter how hard you hit it with a sledgehammer, and we’ve tried pushing them out with hand-pump bottle jacks – all sorts of things – they’re just in there solid.
“We could take an oxyacetylene torch to it and heat it up, but that obviously damages paintwork and the actual structure of the metal, so it’s not the ideal way of doing it. It’s very much your last resort. Sometimes, we’d have to say to the customer, ‘until it wears out a bit more, we just can’t get it out’. We couldn’t change what we wanted to change because we just couldn’t budge it.”
Peter subsequently procured AES’s hi3.5 portable induction heater to tackle such issues. It is specifically designed to loosen the likes of rusted bolts, stuck joints, bearings and hubs, by applying heat in a pinpointed and controlled fashion. It is much simpler, faster and safer than heating any material with an open flame and no specialist training is required to operate the equipment.
“The induction doesn’t damage the paint or the metalwork on the machine and it channels the heat so it’s exactly where we want it,” says Peter, who has also employed the AES hi3.5 in other capacities, “we mainly use it for getting corroded things apart, but it’s also helpful when you get different metals next to each other and they stick together. It just breaks the tension that they build up independently. We’ve been well impressed.
“We use it if we just want to bend a piece of metal – you just heat it up along the line into which you’re going to put it in a vice and bend it. That’s not its main use, but it does help to be able to put localised heat into something when we’re fabricating metal.”