In down-hole fixed-cutter, rock or hammer drill bit manufacturing and rebuild operations, multiple tool inserts are individually brazed onto a single drill bit. These inserts may be polycrystalline diamond compact (PCD) or tungsten carbide insert (TCI).
Induction heating is a comparatively rapid, efficient method of preheating drill bits to 600 °C (1100 °F) in preparation for torch brazing of the diamond inserts. Let's take a look at the additional benefits of induction preheating:
- Safety: no preheating with an open flame or a hot furnace, which is safer and also introduces less unnecessary heat into the work environment.
- Better efficiency: instant on, instant off heating so it's only heating when necessary, there's no open flame or large oven heating.
- Throughput: induction heating reduces preheat time which of course boosts throughput.
- Better quality with braze temperature control.
- Repeatability: you can count on a precise, consistent quality braze every time with induction heating as it's not dependent on operator skill.
- Easy integration into lean manufacturing processes. Induction workheads can be placed away from the unit itself.
- Small footprint: induction systems are modestly sized compared to ovens which frees up valuable factory floor space.