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Williams Industrial Services






 

Heat Treat News

Nickel charts on InfoMine.com


Monday Morning Briefing. This past Friday we mentioned how  Bill St. Thomas had accepted a position with furnace builder Lindberg/MPH and promised you an official press release, well here it is. “We are pleased to announce Bill St. Thomas has rejoined Lindberg/MPH as Business Development Manager.  Bill began his career in the heat treat industry with Lindberg and brings 40 years of experience relative to custom designed heat treating furnace systems. Bill is based in the Detroit, MI area and will be supporting our customers, sales team and staff in North America. “We are excited to have Bill join the Lindberg/MPH organization in the capacity of Business Development Manager. We have experienced growth over the past couple of years, with his knowledge and experience he will be able to help us continue on our growth path. As Lindberg/MPH continues to grow, we are always looking to add good talent” – Steve Kempowski, President. You can reach Bill at (bill.stthomas@lindbergmph.com or on his mobile phone at (269) 252-6321. Perhaps you remember that last week we had a quick note about commercial heat treater Syracuse Heat Treat in Syracuse, NY and how the company is 84 years old which begged the question-is this the oldest heat treat in North America? We now know that another heat treater in the area, Rochester Steel Treating is 86 years old so perhaps this is the record.

Now this is a rather interesting development in the world of furnace building; "St.Marys, PA. Abbott Furnace Company, a leading manufacturer of continuous industrial furnaces and thermal processing equipment, is pleased to announce that it has acquired the intellectual property of Drever Furnace from The Rose Corporation, located in Reading, PA.  An excellent complement to Abbott Furnace Company’s expertise and technology in continuous powder metal sintering furnaces, brazing furnaces, and heat treating equipment, the Drever designs will be integrated into Abbott Furnace Company’s current product offering and manufactured in St.Marys. Ed Gaffney CEO of Abbott Furnace Company commented “We are very pleased with this acquisition and the value it brings to our company.  We look forward to working with the current Drever customer base to bring them a full complement of products and the customer service for which Abbott Furnace Company is so well known.”

In the UK well known heat treater Wallwork has this press release; "A new white paper discussing the application of vacuum brazing has been launched by metal thermal processing and hard coatings specialist, Wallwork Group. Taking additive manufacturing as its reference, it argues that vacuum brazing is a here-and-now additive process that is highly adaptable to meet current challenging technical requirements whilst being totally repeatable, scalable and commercially attractive. “Vacuum brazing is highly suited to the manufacture of complex components for aerospace, motorsport, medical, nuclear and other demanding fields,” asserts Peter Cookson, a vacuum brazing specialist at Wallwork and author of the paper. “With in-depth metallurgical expertise on hand we like to get involved at the earliest stages of design so that we can often optimise the component configuration, process and test procedures to meet multiple technical objectives.  Using vacuum brazing we can frequently achieve time and cost savings compared to other fabrication methods,” he added. The white paper is available as a download from the Wallwork web at http://www.wallworkht.co.uk/article/vac_braze_white_paper/. The company has Nadcap approved facilities for vacuum brazing at both Cambridge and Manchester and provides a nationwide collection and delivery service.

From California comes this item about Aerocraft Heat Treating Co. The first paragraph below came from the Los Angeles Times, while the second was subsequent to this and mentions the steps the company is taking.

"December 2/2016. “In a rare intervention, county health officials Thursday ordered two Paramount metal-processing plants to stop emissions of hexavalent chromium or shut down operations contributing to high levels of the cancer-causing air pollutant. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health directed Aerocraft Heat Treating Co. and Anaplex Corp. to “immediately take all necessary actions to eliminate the current nuisance endangering the health of the public, which may include full or partial suspension of operations.” The orders come two days after the facilities in the city southeast of Los Angeles were targeted with enforcement action by air quality regulators. The South Coast Air Quality Management District filed Tuesday for an administrative order to force the facilities to halt their emissions or shut down, accusing them of exposing Paramount residents to high cancer risks. Taken together, the moves mark a significant escalation by agencies that have been criticized by residents for slow and weak action in addressing longstanding health concerns over pollution from metal plants operating close to homes and schools".

"December 3/2016. The two Paramount metal processing firms accused by the South Coast Air Quality Management District of emitting high levels of the carcinogen hexavalent chromium said Friday they are taking steps to ensure their facilities and procedures are in compliance with environmental regulations. But one of the companies is disputing some of the AQMD's findings tying it to the elevated emission levels. Aerocraft Heat Treating Company and Anaplex Corp. listed the steps they have taken and plan to take in letters to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The department issued a directive Thursday saying that, based on the AQMD's analysis, the companies are violating the state health and safety code and endangering the health of the Paramount community.  The directive said the two firms must resolve the problem, even it means a partial or full shutdown of their operations. Public Health gave the companies 24 hours to submit a list of actions they had already taken to stop elevated emissions of the pollutant, as well as steps they plan in the future".

This press release relates to a company in Singapore.Codere want to inform readers of a recent successful pre-reception, which took place at our facility in Switzerland with a leading local commercial heat treater Twinvac Industries Pte Ltd, Singapore. Twinvac ordered at the beginning of the year the first fully automatic System 250 in Singapore targeting a number of niche markets locally. You can see in the photo below Mr. Freddie Chua and Mrs. Poi Tiang Ng along (Owners of Twinvac) with Alain Humair (Project Manager Codere) and David Howard from the Codere Sales department. The size of this installation is Ø900/ 1500 mm with gross weight capacity of 1.5 ton respecting AMS 2750E Class 2 Instrumentation D.  Twinvac chose this line due to Codere's flexibility with using two quenching mediums with only one high temperature furnace as well as their modular construction with rapid changing of temperature as well as atmosphere. Mr Chua mentions "Working in commercial heat treatment in Singapore, we require low running costs, short lead-times, maximising loading capacity and most important high quality heat treatment, which Codere installation respect" Twinvac have a broad range of processes available for vacuum and protective atmosphere treatment. Further information can be found on www.twinvac.com For more information on our product range can be found in www.codere.ch


It looks like Worthington Industries in Jefferson, Ohio is doing some business with SECO/WARWICK these days. "SECO/WARWICK has completed the installation of two replacement JET cooling chambers at Worthington Industries in Jefferson, Ohio. To provide Worthington with the most cost-efficient system upgrade, the cooling chambers were supplied so that the existing components such as, rolls, bearings, gaskets, sprockets, chain, etc. were used from the old chambers. The contract included removal of the faulty cooling chambers, installation and start up of the updated system. According to Jim Williams, Group Leader at Worthington Industries, ʺWe accomplished this project by partnering with the SECO/WARWICK team.  It was a coordinated effort to established lead-times for all of the necessary components as well as offsite fabrication of the two (2) jet cooling sections. We then identified a two week window for the demolition of the ‘old’ cooling zones, and installation of the ‘new’ jet cooling zones. The project was completed with minimal issues; as we continued to operate our usual production schedule.”  The goal of this new design was to lower the product temperature while reducing the volume of water to achieve this result. Worthington now runs a continuous 10,000 pounds per hour of production through the system lowering the temperature utilizing a state of the art jet cooling system.

And to round things out commercial heat treater Tecnotrat in Mexico sent us this picture of their latest addition, a very nice looking Dow batch IQ furnace line. December 5, 2016.

Bluewater

Used Equipment Available. New or relatively new additions to our list of used equipment include these items below. Remember if you don't see what you are looking for please let us know and we will do our best to find it for you. Feel free to contact us at; jordan@themonty.com. December 5, 2016.

A few examples include:

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Bill St. Thomas/Lindberg/MPH. If there is a captive or commercial heat treater in North America that doesn't know Bill St. Thomas we would be surprised. Bill has been selling heat treating equipment in North America for well over 30 years and we have a high opinion of the man bill.stthomas@lindbergmph.com phone 269-252-6321. While we are waiting for an official press release we can tell you that he is now Business Development Manager based in Detroit, MI area for North American Markets for furnace builder Lindberg/MPH, a position which he just moved into in the past few weeks. In a changing industry some things always remain constant and Bill is a constant in that he will always be selling new furnace equipment in North America at least as long as we can forsee. December 2, 2016.

Business Opportunities. "The Monty" has many top notch positions available in the heat treating industry which indicates both the shortage of good people available and also the fact that we get results for our advertisers. A small sampling of recent offerings are listed below. December 2, 2016.

Do you want results when it comes to filling a position within the heat treating industry? "The Monty" is the most economical, fastest way to fill that position. Looking for a job? Send us your ad and we will put it on the site free of charge for as long as you would like. When it comes to filling positions within the heat treating industry "The Monty" can't be beat. With a readership of over 20,000 heat treaters/month we will help you fill your position or help you find a job. Just contact jordan@themonty.com.

Mike Schneider/Timken Bearings. When we think of heat treating at bearing company Timken Company we think of Mr. Mike Schneider. For 38 1/2 years Mike has worked at Timken, one of the largest captive heat treaters in the world and after this length of time he is calling it quits. Mike's official title is SrTechnologist- R&D Materials and he has been based out of the North Canton, Ohio plant. Over the years we have had a few dealings with Mike and always respected his knowledge and common sense when it cames to heat treating. The end of December marks his retirement date and the industry will certainly miss his experience. December 1, 2016.

Syracuse Heat Treating Corp./Syracuse, NY. Commercial heat treater Syracuse Heat Treating in Upstate, NY recently added a vacuum temper to go with their VFS and Ipsen vacuum furnaces. What we also learned today is that Syracuse has to be one of the oldest commercial heat treaters in North America having been around since 1932 which means the company is 84 years old. I wonder if this is a record? November 30, 2016.

John (Chip) Keough. Yesterday as part of a news item about commercial heat treater Applied Process we mentioned in passing how it was rather a shame that the Keough family who have been such a part of the North American heat treating market for so long are no longer involved. Well we weren’t entirely correct. While Chip Keough is no longer working at Applied Process on a full time basis he is still on the Applied Process Board of Directors and active in an advisory role to Harold Karp and the top-notch, AP Team. This is in addition to his work at Joyworks Metalcasting studio/lab (his company) and his adjunct Professor work at the University of Michigan. November 30, 2016.

ATP

Applied Process/Harold Karp. When we hear about commercial heat treater Applied Process we wax rather nostaglic these days for the lack of Keoughs in the industry. Bob Keough started the ball rolling many years ago when he started Applied Process (salt processing) and furnace builder AFC which passed on to his sons John (Chip) Keough (Applied Process) and Bill Keough (AFC-Holcroft, Atmosphere Heat Treating). Applied Process was sold some time ago and AFC-Holcroft was sold earlier this year which means there are no Keoughs as far as we know still involved in the heat treating industry which seems rather a shame. All of this is a prelude to the fact that Applied Process now has a new CEO by the name of Harold Karp. November 29, 2016.

"Applied Process is pleased to announce the appointment of its new CEO, Harold M. Karp. Harold is a seasoned business leader, having successfully led four businesses over the past 30 years. Harold joins Applied Process from his most recent position as president/CEO and board director at Tecumseh Products Company of Ann Arbor, Mich., a leading global manufacturer of compressors and related products. He has a great deal of experience in business growth, new product development, operational improvement, quality/continuous improvement, and accretive acquisition. Harold's unique business management perspective comes from serving in various roles, such as CEO, president/COO and corporate controller, as well as from holding senior roles in sales, marketing, operations, business planning and product development.

"I am honored and excited to join Applied Process," said Harold. "I look forward to guiding the growth of this leading technology company." Harold is a team-oriented leader who ensures the business offers the "best in class" value to partners. His focus at Applied Process will be to grow the business through continued investment and by building upon the company's position as the worldwide leader in Austempering technology. In addition, Harold will lead Applied Process into offering new services to ensure customers have a competitive advantage in their markets.

Wall Colmonoy. "Wall Colmonoy’s Aerobraze Engineered Technologies, Oklahoma City, announced that it has won a full and open competition conducted by the United States Air Force for a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract for the overhaul of the F-16 Primary and Secondary Heat Exchangers. The F-16 has dominated the skies for over 30 years as a multirole and air superiority fighter in service in over 25 countries. Brian Martin, General Manager for Aerobraze Oklahoma City, stated, “As a major manufacturer and overhauler of heat exchangers for the USAF for over 33 years, it is with great pride that we continue to provide support to the United States Air Force. This new award demonstrates our ongoing commitment to increasing efficiency and cost savings for our customers, through extending the life of critical components for the aerospace industry.” Wall Colmonoy developed high temperature furnace brazing, which is used extensively in the heat exchanger manufacture and overhaul processes. Having pioneered the very first heat exchanger overhaul procedures, Wall Colmonoy continues to deliver significant cost savings and performance improvements to the United States Air Force." November 29, 2016.

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Monday Morning Briefing. Commercial heat treater Dependable Metal Finishing in Kendallville, Indiana had a small fire this past week which originated in the ductwork from the furnaces according to a number of news reports. The fire was relatively small but did require the assistance of the local fire department. We dug through our archives for past stories about Dependable and can offer you this one from just a year ago. "Dependable Metal Finishing/Kendallville, Indiana. Commerical heat treater Dependable Metal described themselves this way; Dependable Metal Treating, Inc. is a locally owned and operated heat treating facility located in Kendallville, Indiana. Incorporated in 1995, we have grown from a small 2 furnace operation to 10 integral batch furnaces with support equipment, automatic monitoring controls and a full metallurgical laboratory. In 1999 the state of Indiana granted Dependable Metal Treating the Quality Improvement Award. We are ISO Certified, W-HTX & CQI-9 compliant http://dependablemetaltreating.com/ Well I guess Ross Noble, President of Dependable is going to have to change his website to say 12 integral batch furnaces. The company will in the very near future be adding two more batch IQ furnaces to their operation. By the way 12 batch IQ’s in one location is a pretty good sized plant".

Corner Stone

SANDEN Manufacturing Poland. Furnace builder Remix in Poland tells us how they have received another order from a long standing customer. "Sanden in Poland who is affiliated with Sanden in Japan has ordered from Remix a furnace line for thermal soaking of injection molds after a coating process. SANDEN is a global leader in manufacturing of compressors for car air conditioning systems".

Heat Treatment Australia based in Brisbane, Australia continues to push ahead with big expansion plans in both the US and Australia. This photo shows their brand new vacuum furnace, just installed in Brisbane, Australia.

Auto maker Škoda in the Czech city of Mlada Boleslav recently placed an order with BOSIO the Slovenian subsidiary of AICHELIN which with the acquisiton of AFC-Holcroft of Wixom, Michigan became probably the largest furnace builder in the world. The order was for a roller hearth furnace for isothermal annealing of forged engine parts. A photo of a typical line can be seen below.

Canadian furnace builder Can Eng Furnaces International sent us this press release about an order they recently received. "CAN-ENG Furnaces International Limited has been contracted by a European leader in the design and development of Light Weighting Thin Walled Automotive Structural Castings to design, manufacture and commission an automated T7 Heat Treatment System for the processing of high integrity aluminum automotive structural castings. The high volume continuous line includes integrated handling systems connected to up/down stream processes.  The system is scheduled to be delivered and commissioned to the EU in third quarter of 2017. November 28, 2016.

Crio

Picture Time. To wrap up our heat treat news for this week we have these photos from “the old days”, well perhaps not that old. Our guess is that most of these photos are about 15 years old. November 25, 2016.

Danny McWilliams a heat treat rep in Texas now retired. John Hubbard who at the time was the owner of Hinderliter Heat Treat (now Bodycote).

A very young Chris Otten of FAG Bearings. Chris is now one of the top heat treaters with the company.

Tony Wu who at the time was with ALD-Holcroft in Wixom, MI. Now with Bodycote China.

Thanksgiving. Due to the US Thanksgiving we will not be adding any news items for today. Regular news will resume on November 25. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! November 24, 2016.

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Vacuum Heat Treating Equipment Repair and Rebuild Firm For Sale. Ever have a desire to own a small rebuilder of vacuum heat treating furnaces? If so now is your chance. A reader sent us this listing which is located in Connecticut, USA. November 23, 2016.

“Asking price is $600,000 USD, Gross Sales are $1.65 Million and included is furniture, fixtures and inventory which are valued at $450,000 USD. The company specializes in repair and rebuilding vacuum heat treating equipment and parts for this kind of equipment. It has long standing customer relationships in the US Northeast and supports all types of vacuum heat treating equipment. It has been around since 1983 and has 12 full time employees. The reason the company is for sale is that the owner wishes to retire”.

By the way WG Montgomery Ltd., has absolutely no vested interest in this sale, we just found it rather interesting what a vacuum furnace rebuilding company was worth or at least what the owner thinks it is worth. While the listing we received did not mention the company name a search on the internet pulls up the name in about 60 seconds flat.

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Ben Crawford/Paulo Products. Yes you did read that correctly Ben Crawford will be VP of Operations for commercial heat treater Paulo Products which is one of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America. To go with this announcement we just had to search through our photo files for pictures of Ben and we came up with the one further down. This was taken at a relaxed moment a few years ago in Brazil and features Ben and a very good mutual friend of ours Wagner Ribas who is another individual who we have a high opinion of and who has spent his life in the heat treating industry. The tale behind this photo will have to wait for another day. In the meantime though we have to say that Ben is a very capable individual who will do an incredible job at Paulo. November 23, 2016.

"Paulo is pleased to announce that Ben Crawford is our new Vice President Operations. Ben is succeeding Greg Glei, our current Vice President Operations.  During a transition period, Ben Crawford will take over as Greg Glei retires in early 2017. Ben is no stranger to the heat treating world with over 20 years of experience in commercial heat treating. Ben’s commercial heat treating experience includes positions with Harbor Metal Treating, Bodycote Thermal Processing, and Bluewater Thermal Solutions.  At Bluewater, he was Chief Operating Officer overseeing 17 plants.  Ben has also held management and executive positions at Independent Steel Castings, Vermont American, Gasbarre Products and Saran Industries.

Ben Rassieur, President, commented, “I am very excited that such a talented industry veteran as Ben Crawford has joined our team. Our plan is to continue Paulo’s growth and leadership in quality, customer service and technology. I am also grateful for Greg Glei’s 16 years of leadership at Paulo. Our plant operations are very much the better for his effort and achievement.“ About Paulo; Founded in 1943, Paulo is one of the largest providers of heat treating, brazing, and metal finishing solutions in North America. Headquartered in St. Louis, Paulo operates five divisions servicing the mid-west, great lakes, and southeast regions of the United States. Paulo’s customers include leaders in a variety of industries.

SECO/WARWICK, Świebodzin, Poland. Yesterday part of our Monday Morning Briefing included a story about a vacuum furnace explosion at furnace builder SECO/WARWICK in Poland. As it happens we at "The Monty" visited the SECO location in Poland just last year and have these photos of the company. The bottom picture shows the building where the explosion happened while the top photo shows another assembly location in the same city. We don't believe we will be recieving a press release from the company but we will say this. With three locations in Świebodzin and other locations around the world including the US there will be no delays in production and North American deliveries will be unaffected. At the end of the day you can't say this is a good news story but you can certainly say that this is a story which turned out as well as it could. November 22, 2016.

Custom Electric

McLaughlin Services/Avilla, Indiana. We welcome our newest advertiser, McLaughlin Services of Avilla, Indiana whose banner ad can be found at the top of this page. McLaughlin Services is one of the fastest growing furnace rebuilder/furnace maintenance/furnace building companies in North America. November 22, 2016.

Monday Morning Briefing. New Furnace builder SECO/WARWICK based in Świebodzin, Poland is one of the largest furnace builders in the world, we would probably rank them as number three in terms of annual sales. Over the weekend the company suffered a very large explosion while testing a new vacuum furnace at their main facility in Poland. While we do not know all the details we are expecting a formal press release from the company shortly. In the meantime the photos below show how devastating the explosion was-you can see that little of the walls remain. The miracle is that not a single person was even injured which is a testament as to how well the company conducts their testing procedures.

Worldwide commercial heat treater Bodycote issued a “Trading Update” November 18th http://www.bodycote.com/ We always enjoy these as they provide a very good indication about the health of the heat treating industry. This is an abbreviated version of the report;

"Group revenue for the four months ended 31 October 2016 was 12.7% higher than the same period last year and 3.1% lower at constant exchange rates, against somewhat weak comparables. Several new sites were acquired in the period with annualised sales of £14m. The contribution to full year 2016 EPS from the new businesses will be minimal while they are integrated into the Group. Revenues were 13.2% higher  (2.7% lower at constant exchange rates) after excluding revenues accrued in the same period last year in businesses subsequently sold or closed, most notably the Group’s former operations in Brazil. Aerospace, Defence & Energy revenues were 10.0% higher (4.2% lower at constant exchange rates) and Automotive & General Industrial revenues were 14.7% higher (2.2% lower at constant exchange rates). Aerospace revenues grew 2.5% with higher levels of growth in Europe partly offset by weaker revenues in the USA. Ongoing weak demand in Oil & Gas led to sector revenues nearly halving compared to the equivalent period of last year. The run rate appears to have stabilised at approximately £20m (at current exchange rates) being 3% of Group revenues. Car and light truck revenues increased 3.8%, as the Group continued to benefit from its investment in new capacity, particularly in North America. Heavy truck revenues declined 14.9%.Global general industrial demand remained on the trend seen over the last eighteen months as it continued to be impacted by the ongoing weakness in a wide range of industrial sectors; revenues declined 2.2%."

EJOTATF Fasteners de Mexico. "CAN-ENG Furnaces International Limited was chosen to design and commission a 500kg/hour continuous mesh belt atmosphere furnace system for EJOTATF Fasteners in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. This new systems for the hardening and tempering of high volume specialty fasteners includes a mesh belt controlled atmosphere hardening furnace, oil quench system, mesh belt controlled atmosphere  tempering furnace, post tempering cooling and advanced controls and monitoring sytem. The system has enhanced energy saving design features and an integrated state of the art combustion system that included self-recuperative burner technology providing significant heating efficiencies over conventional  recurperative burner technology. System is scheduled for commissioning the third quarter of 2017."

GE has a new Center for Additive Technology Advancement (CATA) in the Pittsburgh area (Additive Technology is what most people refer to as 3 D printing by the way). We mention them today because part of the plant includes these new Ipsen vacuum furnaces.

In the UK we see that Vacuum and Atmosphere Services (or VAS for short), Ipsen agents for the UK and Ireland, have successfully installed and commissioned a new Ipsen atmosphere line at commercial heat treater Meltham Thermal Engineers Ltd in Meltham UK. "The project was entirely managed by VAS, the UK's leading heat treatment service company. The Ipsen system comes complete with a 'Hybridcarb' atmosphere generator. Hybridcarb offers 98% gas saving verses standard endogas generator systems. The line also includes two energy efficient, water free sealed quench furnaces, tempering furnace, washing machine and loading system". Photo below.

Dowa Thermotech had the grand opening of their commecial heat treating plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico just a few weeks ago. Dowa is a Japanese company that ranks amongst the largest new furnace builders and commercial heat treaters on the planet. The photos below shows the new facility in Mexico as it appeared very recently. November 21, 2016.

AFC-Holcroft. "At its October Fall Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, the Metal Treating Institute (MTI), the world’s largest network of heat treaters in the world, recognized AFC-Holcroft from Wixom, Michigan with the Associate Member of the Year Award. Each year, at their Fall Meeting, MTI recognizes the supplier within their membership who has exemplified the highest levels of support and service to MTI members and the Institute with their expertise, service and commitment to the mission and objectives of the Metal Treating Institute. AFC-Holcroft has played an instrumental role in delivering their expertise as a supplier serving MTI members and heat treating industry. MTI Awards Chair, Jackie Peters stated at the Fall Meeting, “MTI has been able to serve the heat treating industry at the highest levels due to the support of suppliers members like AFC-Holcroft.  The award was well deserved.” President, Bill Disler, accepted the award on behalf of AFC-Holcroft. AFC-Holcroft has been a MTI member since 2008 and is engaged at many levels of MTI serving as a Diamond Member Supplier and exhibiting at MTI’s trade show Furnaces North America.  AFC-Holcroft has also graduated a few of their key executives from MTI’s industry leading YES Management Training Program. The Metal Treating Institute, established in 1933, is an international non-profit trade association for the heat treating industry based in Jacksonville, Florida with members in 38 states and 6 countries." November 21, 2016.

Ipsen Press Release. "Within the past few weeks, Ipsen has shipped five MetalMaster® vacuum furnaces to companies in locations around the world: Washington, South Carolina, Mexico and China. Comprised of both horizontal- and vertical-loading systems, these shipments will be used to process parts for the Commercial Heat Treating and Aerospace industries – a market where Ipsen and its equipment have a strong reputation and presence. These customized furnaces also varied in size, ranging from 36” x 48” x 30” (915 mm x 1,220 mm x 762 mm) all-graphite hot zones with a 2,000-pound (907 kg) load capacity all the way up to a 72” x 156” x 92” (1,829 mm x 3,962 mm x 2,337 mm) all-metal hot zone with moly heating elements and a 20,000-pound (9,072 kg) load capacity. www.IpsenUSA.com/MetalMaster." November 18, 2016.

Met-Tek Inc./Clackamas, Oregon. Earlier this week we had a news item about a fire at Met-Tek in Oregon, USA (the story and photos are further down this page). A follow up note is now in order. While the cause of the fire is still being investigated at first glance it would appear to be “operator error”. While the photos themselves were every heat treaters worst nightmare at the end of the day there were no injuries and damage was relatively minor. Industry suppliers stepped up to the plate pretty quickly with assistance as did competitors. The owner of the company, Mr. Jerry Shriner couldn't say enough good things about the reaction from fellow heat treaters in the area (and possible competitors). Commercial heat treaters such as Thermal Modification Technologies and Oregon Induction went out of their way to see if there was anything they could do to help out. We honestly believe that this is a really good industry where even competitors help each other out. November 18, 2016.

Remington Arms/Hickory, Kentucky. The Remington Arms facility in Hickory, Kentucky, USA is closed with the equipment going to auction the end of this month, November 30th to be exact. Included amongst the odds and ends is the complete heat treating department which consists of an Upton salt line, four older SECO/WARWICK pit type temper furnaces and a few other odds and ends. From what we have seen none of the equipment is real exciting and will probably end up being sold for pennies on the dollar if it isn't scrapped for lack of interest. November 17, 2016.

Lindberg/MPH/Press Release. "Lindberg/MPH announced the shipment of an electrically heated, gas nitriding, pit furnace with an ammonia dissociator system for heat treating parts. This heat treat furnace system performs a two-stage nitriding process to achieve high surface hardness of the steel parts. The ammonia dissociator provides dissociated ammonia during the nitriding cycle second stage. All of the equipment needed to perform this two-stage nitriding process has been provided with the system and is backed by the installation and start-up support of knowledgeable Lindberg/MPH service personnel. The pit furnace has a maximum temperature rating of 1250°F and work chamber dimensions of 28" diameter x 36" depth. A state of the art operator interface controls process parameters and is used to observe/archive historical data. The system will monitor and control the furnace temperature, fan speed, atmosphere flow, and cooling throughout the entire cycle. The state of the art PLC system installed on this system was the ideal choice to control the two stage nitriding process and meet AMS2750E specifications.” Jason Dobberstein, Inside Sales Manager" November 17, 2016.

Bill Jones/Solar Atmospheres. "William R. Jones, CEO of Solar Atmospheres, was presented with an ASM Distinguished Life Membership Award in October 2016 at ASM’s annual event held this year in Salt Lake City, Utah.  ASM Distinguished Life Membership is conferred on those leaders who have devoted their time, knowledge and abilities to the advancement of the materials industries.  Bill received this award with the following citation: “For innovations in the field of vacuum furnace technology and applying this technology to enhance metallurgical thermal processes around the world.” Bill holds a degree in electrical technology from the Pennsylvania State University.  His entire career has been associated with the development and application of electromechanical products, and since 1962 with vacuum heat treating furnaces.  He holds numerous patents in this field and has long been associated with ASM, Metal Treating Institute, and related technical organizations.

He received the Philadelphia Chapter Delaware Valley Metals Man of the Year Award in 1988 and the Philadelphia Chapter William Hunt Eisenman Award in 1992.  Bill is a Fellow of ASM International (1989), is the recipient of the ASM International William Hunt Eisenman Award (1995), the ASM Heat Treating Society’s George H. Bodeen Heat Treating Achievement Award (2005), and the Metal Treating Institute Heritage Award (2013). Bill founded Vacuum Furnace Systems Corporation (1978), Solar Atmospheres (1983), a commercial vacuum heat treating company with plants in Eastern Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania, Southern California, and Greenville, South Carolina, and Solar Atmospheres Manufacturing (2002), a vacuum furnace manufacturing company, and VPS (2016), a vacuum pump service and rebuild company.  Bill’s children and grandchildren (third generation) are active in the Solar family of companies. For additional information about Solar Atmospheres, visit www.solaratm.com, or call 1-855-WE-HEAT-IT. November 16, 2016.

Danieli Centro Combustion/DATAPAQ. "Commissioning a new slab reheat furnace, Danieli Centro Combustion capitalized on application-tailored DATAPAQ Furnace Tracker systems from Fluke Process Instruments. Two systems were used to profile slabs in four different production scenarios, to set up the furnace, and fine-tune energy consumption. This validation proved to the customer, a leading global steel manufacturer at their plant in Poland, that steel slabs are heated to the required temperature of 1280 °C throughout. The DATAPAQ TP3 data loggers go through the furnace with the slabs and collect temperature readings from 20 thermocouples attached at various depths inside the product." November 16, 2016.

Rohde GmbH. "Rohde GmbH has welcomed their first visitors in their new production site in Hanau, Germany. A Bulgarian Business delegation has visited the company during a trip organized by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy with the topic "Energy Efficiency in the Process Industry". Joern Rohde presented his company and Dr. Kluemper-Westkamp of Stiftung Institut fuer Werkstofftechnik IWT Bremen held a presentation on "Energy Efficiency in the Furnace Industry". The business delegation was impressed by the strong collaboration between IWT Bremen and Rohde.  November 16, 2016.

Dr. Klümper-Westkamp/IWT, Bremen

Met-Tek Inc./Clackamas, Oregon. Commercial heat treater Met-Tek out in Oregon is owned and run by a top notch fellow by the name of Jerry Shriner. Unfortunately the company suffered from what is probably a reasonably small fire although the pictures below certainly will get a lot of attention. November 15, 2016.

"Workers at Met-Tek Inc. at 15651 SE 125th Court called 911 this morning to report a container with cooling oil was on fire. The first arriving apparatus from Clackamas Fire found fire coming from a tank of oil, used to cool hot metal, near the front doors of the building and a second alarm was dispatched. Extinguishment was hampered due to the material burning was reactive to water so Firefighters had to use fire extinguishers to attack the fire. They were unable to extinguish the fire so Truck companies went to the roof to ventilate and allow the hot gasses and smoke to leave the building. The fire did not spread from the container and was allowed to burn until foam could be used to extinguish the fire and due to the large amount of foam needed a crew from the Portland Airport Fire and Rescued delivered foam. No employees or firefighters were injured and Haz Mat 27 from Clackamas Fire was monitoring the air near the building for hazards. Firefighters from Portland Fire and the Port. of Portland assisted at the fire. Fire Investigators are on scene and no cause has been determined at this time."

RÜBIG Engineering. We know of Rubig for their commercial heat treating division in Austria and for their well known line of nitriding furnaces which they have sold around the world. From the company comes this press release about their new gas nitriding technology. November 15, 2016.

"RÜBIG Engineering is one of the leading international suppliers in terms of nitriding and coating equipment for steel components, and has made a name for itself and its plasma nitriding system “MICROPULS® Everest”. Being installed at customer sites in more than 40 countries, MICROPULS® Everest stands for the top of nitriding. In order to take a further step in rounding off the product portfolio of a nitriding specialist, RÜBIG added the gas nitriding technology „GASCON K2“ to its range of available furnaces. Kick-off for this novelty was on October 26. With this step, the company now offers the most common methods of nitriding, which is the only surface hardening method combining high surface hardness, high compressive stresses and optimal tribological characteristics with lowest distortion.

“The decision to expand our product range was made because of a growing demand from customers appreciating RÜBIG’s nitriding competence, the professional project management and an optimal customer care. These conveniences will of course also be available for customers in terms of the new gas nitriding systems, which will intensify our partnerships.”, says Thomas Müller, COO of the engineering division. This rounded product program ensures nitriding specialist RÜBIG to master the challenge of delivering a high level of application, process and customer knowledge, combined with a variety of technically and economically optimal solutions. Besides the given mechanical engineering expertise, which RÜBIG considers a basic requirement, the company will demonstrate longsightedness on the market by taking a closer look on the overall process chain of the customer.

The process. Compared to its latest development plasma nitriding, gas nitriding convinces with thicker compound layers and a relatively high porous zone – two attributes essential in terms of special processes. Furthermore, the usage of controlled atmospheres makes efficient and economical treatment possible. Additionally, nitriding on all the surface areas is possible – even when having dense batches and inside smallest holes. All the areas which should not be nitrided can be masked by cover pastes.
RÜBIG group of companies.

Monday Morning Briefing. To start off with we have this news about ALD Thermal Treatment in Port Huron, Michigan which we would consider  the largest single commercial heat treater in North America.

"An automotive company is in the midst of a $5 million expansion that will generate additional tax revenue for the city, but will not add any additional jobs. The expansion is a move to make the company a viable part of Port Huron for another decade, said Jim Kassan, ALD Thermal Treatment vice president. The company uses heat to harden transmission gears and other automotive parts. One of its largest contracts is with General Motors. In addition to automotive contracts, the company has also heat-treated parts for aerospace industry companies. The expansion will allow the company to have the infrastructure to take on more work. While some work contracts are coming to an end, the company is looking to replace those with new automotive customers. Kassan said this assures that the company will remain a viable place of employment in Port Huron. The company located in the city in 2007. Kassan said the company is adding 8,000 square feet to its facility and buying new equipment. Construction is underway and it expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2017. The company currently employs 175 people".

We haven’t heard from furnace builder Thermo Transfer in Shelbyville, Indiana for quite some time but then right out of the blue we get this item about how they recently installed some new equipment.

“Thermo Transfer Inc. recently delivered and installed two gas-fired, double-door, car-bottom, T-5 aluminum aging ovens for an auto-parts supplier in central Indiana. Each oven has two self-propelled cars and is capable of processing 10,000 pounds per load. The cars are 11 feet wide x 19 feet long, and the oven has a 12-foot-high door opening at each end. The ovens incorporate the latest in burner, insulation, PLC and HMI technologies”. Ellwood Texas Forge, in Navasota, Texas is one of two closed die forging companies owned by the Ellwood Group Inc., headquartered in Ellwood City, PA. We mention them today because they just received Nadcap accreditation for Non-Destructive Testing in the past few weeks after having received Nadcap accreditation for Heat Treatment and Aerospace Quality System (AC7004) earlier this year. Nice looking heat treat as you can see in this photo.  

Want to see a Pretty Big Vacuum Furnace? How about this one? For those of us who still use inches and feet this furnace has working dimensions of roughly 5’ diameter by just under 15’ high.  

“Ipsen International GmbH, Kleve, Germany. Ipsen received a very special order from a Chinese company in the future-oriented power supply industry commissioned the Kleve-based specialists for innovative heat treatment plants and energy-efficient industrial furnace and plant systems with the construction of a vertical SuperTurbo®. This VST vacuum furnace impresses not only due to its usable volume of 1,520 x 4,520 mm but also allows multi-directional control of the cooling gas directions. On account of its usable length and the cooling rate required, the furnace was equipped with two rapidcooling units (1 cooling motor above and 1 cooling motor below). Ipsen was able to convince the client with this unique bespoke product in terms of quality, versatility and efficiency. The many highlights include the guaranteed high quenching pressure of 12 bar and the high quenching rate of the VST, which ensure uniform cooling capacity and heat output for consistently high component quality. On the whole, a convincing overall package, with which Ipsen as a reliable partner was able to contribute to the client’s success”.

From furnace builder ALD in Hanau, Germany we have this news item; "Dear Gord Montgomery team, I would like report to you a visit of the Turkey heat treatment association “MISAD” www.missad.org.tr at our new facility Hanau. The members of MISAD are mainly managing director or owner of heat treatment shops in Turkey. With a Bus around 20 members were picked up at the Frankfurt airport and after the tour a joined ride in the Bus to the HK in Cologne. A further highlight was the presentation from Richard Adenis, ALD-France about the new ASPN (Active Screen Plasma Nitriding) technology. ASPN is a new industrial solution that enjoys all theadvantages of traditional plasma nitriding but does not have its inconveniences. Different-size parts can be treated in the same batch. It also offers the possibility of oxynitriding and nitriding of stainless steels. In this photo we have  Gerald Hiller, ALD Product Manager, along with Koray Yavuz – President of MISAD and Richard Adenis, ALD-France all in the centre". November 14, 2016.

Remembrance Day. We will not forget . November 11, 2016.

Heat Treating Workforce. This article is from Ben Rassieur , president of commercial heat treater Paulo Products a privately owned company and one of the largest commercials in the US. Ben's comments reflect what everybody in the industry says, namely that finding experienced heat treaters is extremely difficult these days. November 11, 2016.

"As the economy continues its slow recovery, hiring is increasing and more and more companies are looking for skilled talent to grow their businesses. As unemployment begins to dip once again, it’s incumbent upon business owners to invest in their workforce for the benefit of both their employees and their customers. A well-trained workforce is both more resilient to such dips in the economy and better able to help companies like Paulo deliver the best results for our clients.

Unfortunately, too little attention is paid to programs which help develop today’s workforce, and the heat treating industry is often no different. In 2016, for instance, around half of St. Louis business owners surveyed said that a lack of skilled workers was one of their biggest barriers to hiring for new positions. Similar reports have come from the other markets in which we have plants: Kansas City, Nashville, Murfreesboro and Cleveland.  Few parents and teachers, today, encourage their children to prepare for a career in manufacturing. This is why Paulo is committed to on-the-job training and continuing development for workers in the heat treating industry. We are determined to offer our employees the opportunity to develop by working with the most advanced techniques in metallurgical engineering and ensure that their on-the-job responsibilities are backed up by an understanding of the industry as a whole.

In terms of progression, we’re also committed to making sure that personal initiative and accountability are rewarded. Paulo has initiated a formal Management Development curriculum designed to do exactly that. It helps to guarantee that internal promotions are merit-based and reward the most effective members of our team.

We firmly believe that on-the-job training and plentiful opportunities for continuing education are more than just the right way to do business. All of our employees who affect product quality are trained and evaluated to ensure that they are qualified for the job. We’ve seen that investing in our employees increases job satisfaction and leads to higher staff retention rates, ultimately leading to better results for our customers and more repeat orders.

We’re proud of the work we’ve done in developing the heat treating workforce of tomorrow, but like our employees, we know the business of learning and growth is never done. Paulo is committed to continuing to invest in creating the most skilled heat treating workers in the field. We have recently tripled the size of our Human Resource Development team to ensure that we are acquiring the best talent, providing the best training and identifying the best fit between Paulo’s people needs and the talents of our team members. Because we know that, ultimately, we’re only as good as our people."

Nitrex/Aurora, IL. Our friends at commercial heat treater Nitrex are sharing this information. November 10, 2016.

"The Nitrex operations in Aurora, IL just completed a deep case nitriding treatment for a large gear and pinion set intended for power generation service. The spec called for a nitrided case depth 0.025” to 0.035” (635 to 900 microns) on a proprietary steel grade and Nitrex was able to achieve final case depth of 0.0318 (800 microns). “What makes this special is that at case depths of only 0.020” we already see a deterioration of the nitrided surface as a result of excessive hardness or white layer or both even with sufficient controls – whatever the nitriding technology. To be able to go this deep and maintain a relatively thin and ductile white layer is why our customer had sought Nitrex out. The spec also called for a significant lower limit of typical nitriding temperatures which added to the inherent challenges of special handling and masking parts this big.” says Tom Cooper, General Manager of Nitrex – Chicago. The parts were treated in the plant’s new Nitrex Gas Controlled Nitriding Furnace that is capable of processing loads sizes of 62” diameter x 177” long (1.6m x 4.5m) and up to 25,000 pounds. Mr. Cooper expects to see more of these deep case nitriding from parts that are subjected to demanding mechanical loads which require increased fatigue strength and lubricity properties".

Pyradia/Somic Automotive Components. Pyradia is an oven and furnace builder in Quebec, Canada which over the years has made licensing agreements with a number of companies outside of North America, an agreement which appears to have worked for both sides. The company sent us this press about their partner in China, SAMT and an order they received from Somic Automotive Components in China. November 10, 2016.

"Last month, Mario Bouthillier, VP of Pyradia, visited our partner SAMT (Shanghai Advanced Materials Technology Co. Ltd) at their facilities in China to see completion of the manufacturing of a T6 heat treatment line composed of 2 Pyradia Drop bottom furnaces and 5 Pyradia ageing ovens with a load size of 1500mm x 1500mm x 1500mm for Somic Automotive Components Co., Ltd. Somic specializes in the production of automotive steering tie rod, suspension arm, ball joint and stabilizer bar link.  Almost a year ago, SAMT and Pyradia became partners for SAMT to represent the aluminum solution heat treating systems from Pyradia in China. SAMT already offers an impressive range of high quality vacuum furnaces as well as material testing services, in Shanghai. Here is a picture of Mario Bouthillier of Pyradia with Mr Sheng Li of SAMT". (Editors note; we have to say that the owner of Pyradia, Mario Bouthillier who is shown in this picture is a rather hyper, energetic guy with a real love of life).

Rochester Steel Treating, NY. Rochester Steel Treating a long established commercial heat treater in Rochester, NY recently ordered a brand new GM Enterprises vacuum furnace to compliment their other existing batch IQ and vacuum heat treating furnaces. RST is one of the largest vacuum heat treaters in Upstate, NY. This furnace which will be arriving in the next couple of months will have a 2500 lb load capacity, 2 bar quenching and working dimensions of  36” X 48” X 36”. November 9, 2016.

Electric Cars Changing the Heat Treating Industry? Janusz Kowalewski is a fellow we have known for many years and who we have a high opinion of. He is a prolific writer of heat treating articles and this includes this rather interesting theory about how future potential growth in electric cars could cause a serious retraction in the heat treating industry. November 9, 2016.

"Increased integration of electric cars is a threat to traditional heat treatment volumes and types.  The reason for this disruption is that electric vehicles do not need multi-speed transmissions.  Most hybrid electric vehicles (EHV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles  (PHEV) on the market use  single speed transmissions, constant-velocity transmissions (CVT), or even no transmission, such as the direct-drive in the Volkswagen e-Bora. On the other side of the equation multi-speed transmission components used in traditional vehicles require a number of heat treatment operations such as Carburizing, Carbonitriding, Hardening, Nitriding, and Stress Relieving.   For many decades, the automotive industry was one of the largest growing markets for heat treatment.   Until recently, 30% to 35% of global heat treatment was performed on automotive parts including transmission components. 

According to a study completed by Fitch Rating, in the next four years the electric car could be mass produced and become a major disruptive force in the heat treatment industry. The electrification of the automotive industry is not only limited to the cars but also to other industrial vehicles as well.   The Indian government is working on a scheme to provide electric cars with zero down payments in an attempt to become a 100 per cent electric vehicle nation by 2030.   China also introduced government policy that stipulates that 25% of all vehicles will be electric and locally built by 2020.  There are about 1.2 million electric vehicles on the road today, compared to the global fleet of about one billion, and annual electric car sales are currently less than 1% of total automobile sales.  Car battery prices have fallen by 73% between 2008 and today, to $268.00/kW/h.   Car manufacturers predict that the price should fall to $120.00/kWh for cars to become cost competitive and that threshhold can be reached by 2020.

More than 90 million transmission sets were produced for the global automotive industry in 2015, according to a recently published report from RnR Market Research. Of this total, more than 24 million transmission sets were produced in China in 2015.  The growing number of cars using multi-speed transmission will compensate for the lower number of gears used in electric car transmissions. The major change for the heat treatment industry is to utilize Low Pressure Carburizing (LPC)  and Carbonitriding technology.   There will also be increased automation in gear manufacturing using integrated manufacturing techniques such as the single piece flow.   Lighter material, smaller transmissions saturation of cars markets and Additive Manufacturing may decrease heat treatment grow potential for overall parts volume and weight by 2022"

Picture Time. A few weeks back in a press release about the heat treat show in Nashville, furnace builder Ipsen included a few photos from shows gone by. Like most we thoroughly enjoyed the old photos which gave us reason to go through our archives with the result that we have these pictures for you. This will become an occasional though regular feature of "The Monty" website in the years ahead. Feel free to send us your interesting photos from past days. November 8, 2016.

Dennis Duffy, The Duffy Company a good man who left us way too soon. Gord Montgomery, Steve Thompson, SSI.

Mark Sosnowski, Specialty Steel Treating, Don Longenette, (Timken Bearings at the time) and Rich Ott, Linamar Machine

Don Clark, another good man who left us before he should have, Gary Berwick now with Dry Coolers

Accurate Thermal Solutions. This press release from California talks about the very interesting alliance/co-operation between Accurate Steel Treating, Accurate Ion Technologies and Thermal-Vac Technology. November 8, 2016.

"Accurate Steel Treating, Accurate Ion Technologies, and Thermal-Vac Technology are pleased to announce the formation of a new strategic alliance known as Accurate Thermal Solutions. This powerhouse new company will provide customers with the premier single source solution for the full spectrum of heat treating and brazing services. “We are extremely excited to begin working with Accurate Steel Treating and Accurate Ion Technologies,” said Thermal-Vac CEO Steve Driscol. “Our alliance will allow us to service a larger section of our respective markets, providing our customers an even more extensive portfolio of brazing and heat treating solutions.” “I am confident that this is a great strategic move for both companies and their respective team members,” added Accurate Steel President and CEO Ron Loynds. “This alliance creates a more secure job base for both companies, enhanced team member opportunities for growth, and potential to share best practices in our demanding industry.”

The new company is a strategic expansion of each member’s capabilities and combines one of the largest steel heat treating company west of the Mississippi with Southern California’s premier brazing, heat-treating, and finishing facility. Accurate Thermal Solutions will fully integrate the resources of its members and expand their current offerings to include:  Engineering Services  Metallurgical Consulting  Advanced Process Design  In-House Plating Services to Support Furnace Brazing, Selective Nitriding, and Carburizing Requirements Accurate Thermal Solutions looks forward to serving customers’ heat treating and brazing needs with world class products and new, expanded offerings that are certified to the most demanding standards in the industry. For more information, please visit our respective websites at thermalvactechnology.com and accuratesteeltreating.com"

Monday Morning Briefing. Out in California aerospace supplier GKN Aerospace has been making some large investments in their captive heat treating department which includes 3 fairly new Ipsen horizontal vacuum furnaces, 2 bottom loaders with another horizontal furnace to be ordered in the very near future. These will be replacing a number of older Ipsen units which will be scrapped. It is always good to see an in house heat treater making a large commitment to the heat treating department. A reader send us this photo of part of the heat treating department at Ridge Tools up in Elyria, Ohio. Ridge manufacturers a wide range of hand tools.

Metex Heat Treating in Mississauga, Canada is expanding yet again. The company has just purchased another building of approximately 30,000 square feet which is immediately beside two of their other buildings and directly across the road from the fourth location. Metex over the years has become one of the largest commercial heat treaters in Canada and seems to just keep growing and expanding.  We have this press release from L & L Special Furnace. "L&L Special Furnace Co., Inc. has delivered a highly uniform box furnace for the quality control lab of a major steel producer in the United States. The L&L Model XLB112 has working dimensions of 11" wide by 10" high by 11" deep. The furnace is capable of heat treating a wide variety of tool steels - from D-2 to high-speed M-2, along with low-temperature tempering. It is equipped with a sealed case for inert atmosphere capability, as well as a fully functional atmosphere control panel with pressure regulator, flowmeter and manual shutoff valve".

SSI/UK. James Cross of the UK branch of controls company SSI has two announcements for us today; "Alex Larsson is a new sales engineer and SSi Product Specialist at Karlebo (Karlebo is our representative in Sweden). We're really excited about Alex joining the team as he has many years of experience with furnace control systems (and SSi products) from his previous role with Leax Group. Alex will be focusing on supporting SSi oxygen probe, gas analyser, flow meter, and control system customers for the Swedish market as well as providing gas analysis and temperature profiling/calibration services".

DEMSA ISIL İŞLEM-Heat Treatment/Turkey. In this photo we see James Cross of SSI/UK on the right, Cihan Balaban (left, Sarvion, SSi rep in Turkey) and Oğuzhan Demirci (centre, DEMSA ISIL İŞLEM-Heat treatment) agreeing on a deal to supply a gas analysis and SuperData SCADA system to measure and record process data from their continuous furnaces. This project represents the first SSi MZA system in Turkey. The MZA is an advanced infrared gas analysis system which collects data from multiple furnaces with a single sensor. It communicates directly with the oxygen probe controller and the SCADA system. We will be installing in Istanbul in December this year!

In Japan we see that commercial heat treater and furnace builder Dowa Thermotech a subsidiary of Dowa Holdings Co., recently built a new heat treatment department inside the Hamamatsu-kita plant of Dowa Thermoengineering. The new plant will offer vacuum heat treating and carburizing  with full scale production scheduled to start in May of 2017.
The plant will be dedicated to heat treating of automotive parts largely for Toyota. Currently DOWA THERMOTECH CO., LTD. provides heat treating services at 7 locations in Japan and 8 locations outside of the country. The Hamamatsu-kita plant is located in Hamamatsu City, Japan an important center for the automobile industry. It began operations in 2013 as a manufacturing base for heat treatment furnaces and now has a comprehensive structure encompassing the development, design, and manufacturing as a main factory. This photo shows one of the Dowa facilities in Japan as we saw it a couple of years ago. November 7, 2016.

Ipsen. "Ipsen’s TITAN® product line has had quite the journey over the past few years. Found in facilities around the world, these vacuum furnaces can operate in most languages, feature several sizes and configurations and have a small footprint. Now, the PdMetrics® software platform for predictive maintenance also comes standard on TITAN heat-treating systems. Most recently, Ipsen delivered two TITAN H2-size vacuum furnaces with 1.9-bar gas quenching and the PdMetrics platform to Japan. Shipped within three weeks of each other, these furnaces will be used by separate commercial heat treaters and feature 18” x 24” x 18” (455 mm x 610 mm x 455 mm) graphite hot zones with a 1,000-pound (450 kg) load capacity. They operate at temperatures up to 2,400 °F (1,320 °C) with ±10 °F (±6 °C) uniformity, and are capable of meeting applicable AMS 2750E and Nadcap requirements.

Through the PdMetrics platform – which securely connects to a network of integrated sensors on the furnace to gather and analyze data, run algorithms and provide real-time diagnostics – these TITAN furnaces provide sophisticated monitoring of critical systems and key parameters that improve the health and integrity of the equipment. Both companies also took a proactive approach to preventative maintenance by ordering one of Ipsen's many spare parts kits. These kits consist of consumable and preventative maintenance items to help ensure equipment uptime and keep the furnace running smoothly. Ipsen’s TITAN vacuum heat-treating systems provide an advanced solution in the form of speed, reliability and versatility of process capabilities. However, Ipsen is more than just an equipment manufacturer. They also offer expert-driven solutions for customers' needs through all stages of the system's life cycle, no matter the location – whether it is facilitating on-site installation, providing expert training and start-up assistance or delivering responsive field support and spare parts. To learn more about the TITAN system, visit www.IpsenUSA.com/TITAN.

About Ipsen. Ipsen designs and manufactures industrial vacuum and atmosphere heat-treating systems, supervisory controls systems and predictive maintenance software platforms for a wide variety of industries, including Aerospace, Automotive, Commercial Heat Treating, Energy and Medical. With production locations in America, Europe and Asia, along with representation in 34 countries, Ipsen is committed to providing 360° support for customers worldwide. Choosing Ipsen means choosing a partner in success." November 7, 2016.

TAV Vacuum Furnaces. TAV is the largest vacuum furnace builder in Italy and a well known supplier in Europe but do they manufacturer in North America? We are still trying to figure that out. Several times this year we have been told that TAV has set up a manufacturing location in the USA but darned if we have been able to confirm it. It is certainly quite possible but the North American market is already a crowded one with a number of top notch vacuum furnace suppliers and to enter this market would be a challenge to say the least. November 4, 2016.

MTI Awards. "Corporate President of Solar Atmospheres, Roger Jones has won the prestigious 2016 M. Lance Miller Legend Award from the Metal Treating Institute.  This award is given to individual who is a current or former MTI Member, Company Executive/Employee/Owner, and is given in recognition of a lifetime commitment to the betterment of the Metal Treating Institute, with one or more notable accomplishments.  Roger has served on numerous committees for MTI, and twice served on the Board of Trustees.  In addition to these positions, Roger served as MTI President in 2004-2005.

Additionally, Bob Hill, President of Solar Atmospheres of Western PA, won the esteemed 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the Metal Treating Institute.  The MTI’s Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding, significant, and well-recognized contributions of lasting importance to the Heat Treating Industry.  Bob has served on numerous committees for MTI, and is a past Board Trustee.  In addition to the many positions he has held for the Metal Treating Institute, Bob has served as President of the Institute in 2014. 

Today, Solar Atmospheres is the largest, privately owned vacuum heat treating company in the country, widely recognized for its world class quality and innovative vacuum heat treating solutions. For additional information about Solar Atmospheres, visit www.solaratm.com, or call 1-855-WE-HEAT-IT". November 4, 2016.

Wind Power/ZF. A few years back all in the heat treat industry in North American looked forward to the top end heat treating associated with wind power that was just around the corner. Furnace builders anticipated orders for large pit carburizing furnaces or monster batch IQ furnaces. Commercial heat treaters were positively giddy with the idea of carburizing cycles several days long and gear manufacturers prepared for all the business to come and made investments accordingly. Unfortunately all did not go according to plan, furnace builders saw little in the way of new orders and many of the companies which did invest have quietly moved on to other things. ZF made an enormous investment in their heat treating department in Gainesville, GA for the wind power industry and typical of ZF and much to their credit ended up with a state of the art installation consisting of pit nitriders and large batch furnaces-an investment in the millions of dollars. The department operated for a short period of time, and then closed down. Since then the furnaces have either been sold or moved to other locations, another victim of the wind power debacle in North America.  November 3, 2016.

HK16/Our Final Photos & Comments. SECO/WARWICK. One of the most fascinating technologies presented at HK16 wasn't a heat treating technology at all rather Holographic goggles. We were privileged enough to be able to test the system and while it took a while to understand how it works at the end of the day we were left with the feeling that technology such as this opens a multitude of doors. As an example an untrained worker in the middle of nowhere wearing the goggles would be able to send 3 D images of a furnace from a number of different angles to the service department in Poland who could in turn director the worker as to what needs to be done for repairs.

"Holographic goggles by Microsoft were originally conceived as a top secret project. It's not a surprise since the AR (Augmented Reality) technologies have been enjoying increasing interest in commercial applications and is among one of the most prominent new technologies global players have been continuously researching and developing. Holographic solutions naturally targeted the gaming market as early adapters. This technology, however, has gained interest among heavy industry representatives, including SECO/WARWICK, a leader in heat treatment solutions. "This is a new era of SECO/WARWICK equipment application - the interaction era. Probably nobody could envision that cyber goggles, which naturally apply to gaming, can be used in the metallurgy industry so soon after the introduction of the technology. The implementation of virtual technology to our production, maintenance and service processes has become reality", says Katarzyna Sawka, SECO/WARWICK Group Marketing Director. HoloLens is a device fitted on the head and equipped with a number of sensors, processor and screen in one. The cyber goggles are designed to implement previously mapped 3D models to the real time view.

Part of the SECO/WARWICK team with Katarzyna Sawka, SECO/WARWICK Group Marketing Director center right.

Kanthal introduced a new product as we can see here. In this photo we have Malin Pessa Project Manager and Alexander Kaulin with a retort made of Kanthal APMT material. "Kanthal, a division of Sandvik Heating Technology based in Hallstahammar, Sweden, has launched a range of cylindrical retorts for vacuum, controlled and oxidising atmospheres made from Kanthal APMT™ material with mantle diameters up to 520mm. The retorts are said to offer maximum process temperatures between 1200 and 1250°C depending on size and operating conditions, which is at least 100 to 200°C higher than existing NiCr retorts. The new Kanthal retort makes it possible to high temperature sinter and heat treat steels and Co-base components in an externally heated hot wall retort process, thereby offering outstanding process flexibility and economy. “The new Kanthal APMT retort means a completely new way of high temperature heat treating in vacuum and controlled atmosphere. No more damages on internal Mo or graphite elements since now all the heating is done externally with elements operating in air,” stated Bo Jönsson, Professor and senior technical expert on the Kanthal APMT material". November 2, 2016.

The PhoenixTm Booth.
Rhode Furnaces Booth.

Hauck Heat Treatment/Letchwork, UK. Commercial heat treater Hauck is justifiably proud of a recent award their Letchworth plant recently received. “The UK Industry Associations for Surface Engineering (SEA) and Contract Heat Treatment (CHTA) held their biennial Awards event in Manchester at the end of September. The Surface Engineering & Heat Treatment Awards were advertised as “a high profile flagship event, not only for the industry itself, but also for its customers and suppliers. It is a showcase event which is an opportunity to inform the world about the vital role surface finishing plays in UK manufacturing”. The Outstanding Company Achievement Award was won from our submission of a first-hand summary, including substantive evidence, of what Hauck Heat Treatment describe as “The Challenge”.

The specific example used in our entry was from the most effective of our 6 sites in the UK to demonstrate areas of success, although all our sites have a similarly impressive story to tell.  Hauck Heat Treatment Letchworth has taken tremendous strides in meeting customer demand and expectation whilst fulfilling internal Business KPI’s. In 2013, we became the very 1st Heat Treatment company in the UK to achieve an SC21 Award from ADS, and have held Silver status for the past 2 years.  November 2, 2016.

Winston Heat Treat/50 Years. It is quite a feat keeping a family owned business up and running for 50 years but commercial heat treater Winston Heat Treat in Dayton, Ohio just accomplished it. "Winston Heat Treat held its 50th year anniversary open house on Oct. 28th with over 300 in attendance.   Before the open house lunch,   Dan Herring, The Heat Treat Doctor, held a 3 hour seminar on heat treating basics for  Winston customer group of about 100, with emphasis on communication and improving product"November 1, 2016.

Dan Herring at seminar  with Gregg Temple (Winston Heat Treat) in the background

SSI attendees Bob Fincken and Jim Oakes of SSI with Winston HT President John Reger

Winston employees in front of new Surface Combustion Batch IQ line

HK16. We still have a few photos from the recent Heat Treat show in Cologne, Germany including these ones. We start of with this picture of HTS; Amongst the exhibits this year was this really neat "baby" vacuum furnace. It is produced by an Italian company by the name of HTS who offers them with up to 6 bar quenching. You might ask who needs a furnace this small? Apparently watch makers in Switzerland just love them. November 1, 2016.

UPC as usual had one of the most prominent booths at the show which they used to profile a brand new product to the market. We will let them tell us about it; "The MGS (Patent pending) is a new sensor designed to measure multiple gas components in a gas mixture. The actual model - presented at the HK 2016 in Köln - is able to measure H2 and simultaneous NH3 in Nitrogen, calculates Kn without the need of any information about gas flow rates and also measures the furnace pressure. More models to come soon". In this photo we see from the left; Karl-Michael Winter, Edgar Falkowski and Jens Baumann

IWT. In this picture below we see Dr. Hans-Werner Zoch who is the Managing Director of IWT.

Dennis Wammes. We will shortly be featuring an interview with Dennis, Sales Manager for commercial heat treater SHU in Ulm, Germany.

Bob McCulley. It is with great regret that we mention the passing of one of the best known heat treaters in North America, Robert (Big Bob) McCulley. For 24 years Bob worked at probably the largest captive heat treater in North America the Chrysler facility in Kokomo, Indiana. We first met Bob when he was running the entire department which at peak times had over 100 hourly employees and 6 supervisors. In 2008 Bob left the company and started his own manufacturers rep firm called Comprehensive Heat Treat Specialists where he represented some of the best known suppliers in the industry. Bob passed away this past Saturday and we will miss him as many in the industry will. November 1, 2016.

 

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