Toshiba heat pump
Modern heat pumps come in many decorative varieties. Photo: Toshiba/ABK Qviller

Speeding up heat pump production

With electricity prices skyrocketing, the demand for energy-efficient heat pumps is rising exponentially. Expert in assembly lines and test stands, DATA AHEAD, is helping heat pump manufacturers ramp up production – facilitated by EFD Induction brazing equipment.

“We push your heat pump production to the next level”, promises DATA AHEAD. The German company which provides assembly lines and test stands for leading heat pump manufacturers must live up to their claim now that Europe is crying out for energy- and cost-efficient heating methods.

Andreas Scholz, Head of Sales & Customer Success at DATA AHEAD “We have more than twenty years of experience and have delivered equipment to 500+ renowned international customers”, says Andreas Scholz, Head of Sales & Customer Success at DATA AHEAD. “However, we see great advantages in induction brazing in terms of quality and speed and have therefore sought an expert in the field.

“We are certainly going to do our best to deliver on both”, says Sales representative at EFD Induction, Pedro Ferreira.  “With many decades of experience in the field, EFD Induction are experts at devising optimal induction brazing solutions for the HVAC sector, and I am confident that DATA AHEAD’s customers will be able to take full advantage of our solutions.

DATA AHEAD recently invested in a Minac mobile induction heater, which is used in a demo machine to present production processes at their plant in Nuremberg. They have also purchased several both mobile and stationary systems for end customers. The equipment will be used for induction brazing of tubes.

Because of its speed and precision, induction is ideally suited for such brazing tasks. Induction brazing is both easier and safer than traditional gas flame methods.

“That’s right, the process is much faster and the risk of error much lower”, Mr. Ferreira says. “You don’t need insulation shields because only narrowly defined areas of metal are heated, leaving adjacent materials unaffected, like plastic parts that are sensitive to melting for example.”

“Correctly brazed joints are strong and leak-proof”, he assures. “They are also very neat, and usually don’t require any further finishing.”

Heat pumps have become more and more common in Europe over the last decade. In 2021 sales grew by a whopping 34%, bringing the total number of installed heat pumps in the European Union to almost 17 million, which covers around 14% of the heating market. This record growth is part of a major shift towards decarbonization and sustainable heating. Indeed, heat pumps now save more than 44 million tonnes of CO2, but the potential for further savings is huge, since the heating sector is producing around 1000 million tonnes all in all.

We normally wouldn’t think of the Covid pandemic in positive terms, but there was a slim silver lining in this regard. Whilst stuck indoors during lockdown, many people saw the need to upgrade their homes and installed better heating solutions. The most recent incentive though is the war in Ukraine which has made the price of electricity shoot up as the supply of Russian natural gas has been severely restricted. Many now look towards winter with trepidation. Perhaps it is high time to invest in a more energy efficient way to heat up the living room?

The EU has launched a plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition. According to the REPowerEU plan, expanding the use of heat pumps is crucial for reducing the use of fossil gas in heating and cooling for homes, buildings and industry. In short, it is time to ramp up heat pump production.

Although the well-known supply chain challenges that affect many industries today may limit the supply of crucial components and create bottlenecks, DATA AHEAD stands ready to provide solutions that will help manufacturers produce heat pumps both faster and more cost-effective.

“We equip heat pump manufacturers with the most innovative assembly lines and state-of-the-art test stands that will drastically reduce cycle times and thereby increase output by up to 100%”, says Andreas Scholz. “This is why we have decided to incorporate EFD Induction heating equipment into our assembly lines, and we have very high expectations that this will boost production even further for our customers.”

Warm inside

An efficient heat pump will keep your living room temperature nice and cosy even though it's freezing outside. Photo: ABK Qviller