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Monday Morning Briefing

We told you a couple of weeks back about Mark Hemsath rejoining furnace builder SECO/WARWICK but here is the official press release; SECO/VACUUM Technologies, LLC (SECO/VACUUM) is pleased to welcome Mr. Mark Hemsath as director of nitriding and special vacuum furnaces. Mark had previously held a position with SECO/VACUUM’s sister company, SECO/WARWICK Corp., as manager of the thermal group from 2014 – 2017 before taking time away to serve as director of sales and marketing with Advanced Heat Treat Corporation in Waterloo IA. Mr. Hemsath will be the primary contact for gas Nitriding furnace applications in North America; he will cover the Southeast USA from North Carolina to Texas for all SECO/VACUUM products; and he will handle special vacuum furnace products throughout North America. Mr. Hemsath boasts a long and rewarding history in thermal processing, having operated his own heat treat furnace manufacturing and alloy fabricating company from 1993-2009. He has also designed, built, and sold vacuum, Nitriding, hydrogen annealing and various other furnaces since the 1980s. And he is a descendant of a well-respected leader in thermal processing; his father acquired nearly 65 patents as vice president of technology for Midland Ross, parent of Surface Combustion. SECO/VACUUM welcomes Mark to the team!”

L & L Special Furnace in the US recently sold a furnace into New Zealand of all places. We probably would not have mentioned this but New Zealand? Seriously?” L&L Special Furnace Co., Inc. has commissioned a large resistance box furnace and quench tank in New Zealand for a leading aerospace manufacturer of landing gear and associated components. The company has supplied a model XLA3472 with an effective work zone of 22” high by 34” wide by 68” deep. The oil quench tank provided with the furnace is capable of quenching parts up to 24” by 36” in oil.” French furnace builder BMI recently landed an order for a vacuum nitriding furnace from a North American customer. We mention it because BMI does not concentrate on the North American market and we seldom run across them on this side of the pond.  Southwest Heat Treat is expanding. Southwest Heat Treat in Houston, Texas, a division of Bluewater Thermal (and not to be confused with Southwest Metal Treating in Fort Worth which is owned by our buddy Ryan Fussell) is adding this furnace. We don’t know anymore than you do-possibly a tip up or carbottom furnace since the company is very heavily oil and gas?

“Dutch” Summers, Jasco Heat Treating. If you’re a heat treater in NY state you know the name “Dutch” Summers, if you are outside of NY you probably have never heard of the man. Jasco Heat Treating in Rochester, NY has been around for forever and is one of the larger heat treaters in the area. Jasco Heat Treating is one of a few companies owned by “Dutch”. “John “Dutch” Summers, CEO of Graywood Companies, Jasco Heat Treating and Jasco Pharmaceuticals LLC, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award, presented by Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology. The award, which is given to entrepreneurial leaders within the upstate New York region, was presented at Oak Hill Country Club on June 6. Summers manages Graywood Companies, a Rochester-based holding company managing residential and commercial real estate. For decades, he also served as CEO of Jasco Tools Inc., a global provider of standard and specialty cutting tools, custom components and heat treatment services. He was the third employee at Jasco Tools, which was founded by his father in 1951. Summers began running the company in his 20s and grew Jasco Tools into a holding company overseeing four businesses, one of which became the largest tool-and-die manufacturer in Rochester. In 2014, Jasco Tools was acquired by Michigan-based Arch Global Precision LLC.

We have this last photo from the recent IFHSTE Conference in South Carolina, USA which shows much of the executive committee; Scott MacKenzie, Houghton International, Andy Banka, Airflow Sciences, Rob Goldstein, Fluxtrol, Lesley Frame, University of CT, Bill Mahoney, ASM CEO. The scary thing is every single person in this photo is smarter than I.

From TE Wire & Cable we have this press release; “On July 11th at 2 pm EST, CCPI Europe Limited and TE Wire and Cable Company will be hosting a free webinar presenting the Low Drift Dual Wall MIMS Cable. This low drift mineral insulated wire technology (types K and N) is the greatest thermocouple wire innovation in more than 50 years!  This product was developed to improve temperature measurement accuracy, extend thermocouple life, and significantly enhance drift characteristics. The Low Drift MIMS Cable has no changes of instrumentation, wiring, or operational procedures, and it’s still a type K or N thermocouple. This MI construction shows less drift than any other form (drift reduction > 80% above 1100 °C). The webinar will be led by Trevor Ford, who oversees CCPI’s UKAS Accredited Calibration Laboratory and is the Technical Director of CCPI Europe Limited. To learn more, the link to sign up for the webinar is: “

To round things out we see that Atlas Pressed Metals in Dubois, PA is adding 45,000 square feet on to their plant bringing it to 100,000 square feet in total. Being a powdered metal components manufacturing facility  the company does sintering in house but this addition will NOT include any additions to the heat treat department. PA is of course the powdered metal capital of the world.  June 18, 2018   


Robotic Laser Heat Treating?

Even in the conservative, staid heat treating industry change happens and this would appear to be a very substantial one. We have abbreviated this story slightly but there will be more to come; June 15, 2018   

“Laser Hard, Inc. has invested in the world’s first mobile robot for targeted laser hardening and tempering of metal surfaces. This state of the art Robotic Laser Heat Treating System is the first production system of its kind in the United States. The robot combines the latest innovations in laser technology and optical pyrometry (temperature control). It utilizes a six axis robotic arm which articulates with a two axis tilt-able rotary table. This movement control provides the capability to project the laser beam in free 3D movements precisely following contours of parts with complex geometries. Laser Hard, Inc. is a partnership between the Learn family of Phoenix Laser Solutions and the Peters/Wilkosz family of Peters’ Heat Treating, Inc., both with deep roots in the Meadville community.  “This technology will connect the vast knowledge that we both have acquired in two different fields; it will take the science of metallurgy and the craft of toolmaking to new horizons”, said Blair Learn, owner of Phoenix Laser Solutions. The Laser Heat Treating processes include hardening, tempering and annealing; therefore delivering the same properties as conventional heat treating, but with added benefits of accuracy and adaptability to work piece geometry. The improved accuracy is made possible by the heat treatment process being delivered via laser energy. With the recent advancements in laser technology, highly efficient and vastly more powerful instruments are now available. When this technology is integrated with the latest advancements in robotic automation, the heat-treating process can now be adaptively applied to simple or complex geometries. The flexibility of this system imports basic part coordinates from a component through a convenient scanning function, which replicates a virtual 3D workpiece, providing exact dimensional details of the areas where hardening is required. This doubling down in advanced technology coupled with optical pyrometry, provides the ultimate competitive advantage by achieving accurate and repeatable case depth hardness with work piece versatility, which eliminates secondary machining of unwanted hardened surfaces.

The digitally controlled laser heat source elevates temperature for heat treating by localizing energy directly to the required work area. The following benefits are provided via this process:

  • The surrounding area of the workpiece receives minimal to nil thermal load;
  • Pinpoint accuracy of workpiece surface hardening;
  • For quality control, the hardening process is documented with an onboard temperature control and charting, ensuring process reliability and reproducibility.

You cannot find the same precision through induction or flame hardening. The actual hardened surface is not cosmetically compromised as much as an induction or flame hardening operation; the treated area quite often will require little or no hard finish time. The precision repeatability of the technology assures us of a hardening process that is much more accurate than anything else that is available today. In addition, the machine is portable, so if a customer has parts that are too large to move or cannot be easily disassembled for processing the machine can be brought to their facility.

About Laser Hard, Inc.: Laser Hard was formed as a partnership between Peters’ Heat Treating, Inc. and Phoenix Laser Solutions, both of Meadville, Pennsylvania, “Tool City, USA”. It is a strategic partnership between two companies who have a depth of knowledge in both heat treating and laser technology, respectively. Both companies have a long history as part of the manufacturing supply chain. Phoenix Laser Solutions is now in its third generation of family ownership and Peters’ Heat Treating is second generation. “The synergy between our two companies made this opportunity too good to pass up. We feel that we will be on the forefront of a technology that is sorely needed for many applications and not yet readily available in the United States”, said Doug Peters, President of Peters’ Heat Treating, Inc. Learn more at

About Peters’ Heat Treating, Inc.: Since 1979, Peters’ Heat Treating, Inc. has been one of the leaders in the precision parts heat treating industry. Located in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Peters’ Heat Treating has three locations servicing the tristate region. Processing capabilities include: vacuum processing, neutral hardening, carburizing, gas nitriding, cryogenics, annealing, stress relieving, black oxide coating, induction processing, sandblasting, integrated straightening and metallurgical testing. Peters’ is compliant to ISO 9001:2015, Federal Firearms guidelines and International Traffic & Arms Regulations. Learn more at”

Bodycote Share Price

Just look at them go! “Shares of Bodycote (LON:BOY) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Monday . The company traded as high as GBX 1,046 ($13.93) and last traded at GBX 1,040 ($13.85), with a volume of 381106 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at GBX 1,019 ($13.57). A number of analysts recently commented on BOY shares. Numis Securities restated a “hold” rating and issued a GBX 925 ($12.32) price objective on shares of Bodycote in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Peel Hunt restated a “buy” rating and issued a GBX 965 ($12.85) price objective on shares of Bodycote in a research report on Tuesday, February 20th. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a GBX 1,100 ($14.65) price objective (up previously from GBX 980 ($13.05)) on shares of Bodycote in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Liberum Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and set a GBX 1,050 ($13.98) target price on shares of Bodycote in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a GBX 1,020 ($13.58) target price on shares of Bodycote in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of GBX 1,008.08 ($13.42).” June 15, 2018   

Jeff McLaughlin Interview

We are pleased today to be speaking with Mr. Jeff McLaughlin, founder and owner of McLaughlin Services in Avilla, Indiana which is soon to be part of McLaughlin Furnace Group LLC.

Jeff, I think if we talk about your background to begin with it will give us a good insight into how McLaughlin Services came into being. Where and how did you get started in the heat-treating industry?

I Graduated Hobart Welding School in Troy Ohio in 1992. My first job was a welder/ ironworker, building gas station canopies. That was not for me. So I got into a maintenances position in a mobile home factory. I married a lady whose grandfather was Dean Ramer. Dean and I talked for sometime about me coming to work at Advanced Thermal Technologies Inc (ATTI).   I started there in 1993 as a maintenance man/welder. Working my way up the ladder, I became a maintenance manager/ purchasing manager.  Dean and Dave VanderKaay, the owners, were two great mentors to me over the course of my career at (ATTI).  They taught me the hands on operation and maintenance of a heat treat company. ATTI was sold to a company known as MP Steel, where I stayed on as maintenance manager. MP Steel had several plants throughout the Midwest, and had a fire at plant #1, where everything was lost. MP Steel was sold to Advantage Thermal Services. I stayed working at Plant #2, where I built and installed many furnaces through the years.

Over the course of my career I met a lot of good people that told me I was way more than a heat treat maintenance guy. Well I guess them guys were right, huh! To name a few of them, Randy Simmons of RMA, and John Hansen of Met-Pro, who you know. I thought to myself, if all these guys, with years of experience, are telling me this, then what do I have to lose? In April of 2007, I formed McLaughlin Services LLC with $10,000 dollars. I primarily grew my company on nights, weekends, vacation days, holidays, etc, -whatever it took.  Moving forward to April 2010, I left ATS to focus on McLaughlin Services LLC full time. My experience as an in-house maintenance manager is reflected today in the core principles of McLaughlin Service, LLC. Timely service when production is down and reliability and ease of maintenance on new equipment are a few examples. All the hard work I’ve put in the heat treat industry sure has paid off!

When you first started your working career was the idea of starting and running your own business a focus for you or something which just happened.

For years, as I worked at the heat treat, I wanted to be the guy that changed the furnace industry. My goal in life is to make a difference with my unique designs of furnace building. I saw many things on the equipment that weren’t quite right and never understood why they were always the same. Nothing seemed to change. Now, I’m changing up the industry.

On a very personal note you and I had a very good mutual friend, Randy Simmons who also started his own furnace business. It turned out to be a real success but unfortunately Randy passed away a number of years ago at a young age. Did you regard him as a mentor?

Yes, Randy was one of the people that pushed me to where I am today. He told me that I was going to change the furnace industry with all the ideas I had. I helped Randy with his furnace company in Thailand off and on over the years until his passing. I truly miss working with him. I really wish he was here to see the growth and development of McLaughlin Services LLC and my expansions. June 14, 2018   

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Trisha McLaughlin, Marketing and Jeff McLaughlin, McLaughlin Services

Brevini Wind/AFC-Holcroft

In a recent article we spoke about how the failure of the wind energy industry in North America at least in terms of developing domestic suppliers had spilled over into the associated heat treating which is certainly no surprise (by the way as far as we know nobody else other than “The Monty” has ever written about the relationship between the failure of the wind industry and how it effected heat treaters).  An example which we used was Brevini Wind Division in Muncie, Indiana which closed some time ago with the equipment being sold off, this included a really nice, state of the art AFC-Holcroft batch IQ line with oversized working dimensions (36″ X 54″ X 72″ possibly?) It came on the market recently with what we suggested was a rather high asking price. Well either we don’t know our stuff, the asking price was flexible or demand was higher than we expected because it has now sold to an undisclosed buyer. We do expect more details to come. June 14, 2018   

First Load!

It is always an exciting moment when that first load successfully comes out of a new furnace. Commercial heat treater Thermetco in Canada received a new AFC-Holcroft batch IQ furnace earlier this year as you can see below. The other photo shows the first load coming out of the furnace just the other day-what a sight to see. June 13, 2018   

Baker Furnaces, Brea, California, USA

We welcome with open arms our most recent advertiser Baker Furnaces in California whose ad can be found on this page. Baker offers a number of services of interest to the heat treating industry including Calibration and Uniformity Services, replacement parts, installation services, even new furnaces and ovens. All of the details can be found at  June 13, 2018   

Ambrell Expansion

Ambrell (you know the Induction heating equipment guys) recently moved into a new facility in Rochester, NY, USA. Looks like a nice facility but we have to say the old one which we have visited in the past was quite respectable. Rochester surprisingly enough has a reasonable number of companies associated with the industry, this includes Gleason Works (press quenching equipment and captive heat treating). Rochester Steel Treating, Bodycote and several other captive and commercial operations. “Ambrell, an inTEST Company and leading manufacturer of induction heating solutions worldwide, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate its new 80,000 square foot (7,430 square meters) facility in Rochester, NY. The $2.1 million project, which started in September 2017, included a complete company relocation from its previous manufacturing facility in Scottsville, NY. The new facility in Rochester is double the size of the Scottsville location. “This is an exciting and special day for us,” said Tony Mazzullo, President of Ambrell. June 13, 2018   

“We built this facility from the ground up and have many organizations and individuals to thank for their contribution and hard work.” Mazzullo continued, “From the electrical, plumbing, painting and other contracting firms, Rochester is a community where the construction trades are second to none.”

Thermal Processing in Motion, Spartanburg, SC

Time to wrap up our coverage of the recent “Thermal Processing in Motion” conference in Spartanburg, SC, USA. We can add that there were approximately 140 attendees from 15+ countries and 32 exhibitors. June 12, 2018   

Janusz Kowalweski, Gord Montgomery, Scott MacKenzie

Michael Hager, Verder Scientific

Rick Sisson, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, D. Scott MacKenzie, Ph.D, Lesley Frame and Rafael Colas.  Rafael and Rick were awarded IFHTSE fellows. Lesley was my vice chair to Scott

Where Are They Now? Jamie Kuriger

We have been running across Mr. Jamie Kuriger for many years now, first when he was with graphite supplier Toyo Tanso at their location in Connecticut and then when he was with furnace builder Ipsen in Rockford, Illinois. Jamie has switched his career path slightly in that he is now on the commercial heat treating side of the industry. He recently accepted a position at international commercial heat treater Bodycote as Sales Manager – North America East, Aerospace, Defence & Energy – Heat Treatment. We wish him the best. June 12, 2018  

John Hansen, Michigan International Speedway

There is probably not a single captive or commercial heat treater in the Michigan, USA area who do not know John Hansen of rep firm Met-Pro Inc. For probably 40 years John represented companies such as controls company SSI in the area and every single heat treater had a healthy respect for him. A reader sent us this interesting “human interest” story John and his great love of auto racing. The story tells us how John has a permanent spot to park his RV and view the races. June 12, 2018   

“Michigan International Speedway is the ideal vacation spot and since 1968, many fans have camped at the two-mile oval for a summer getaway.  The rolling hills and forest make for a natural back drop to any campground.  Guests who come to camp can choose the one that meets their style.  And as often happens, life changes. What once started out as a party weekend, transitions to more of a family campground before even moving to a quiet campground close to the track. John Hansen has been coming to the races for years, but was at a crossroads recently.  He faced the reality that he might have to stop coming because of a life change.  But when APEX opened, it was the spot for him.  He was the first to buy in to APEX and has continued to come.  In fact, he wanted to keep his spot that he reserved it last year even though he was unable to attend the race.

 “I have so many memories that I find it hard to remember my favorite.” Hansen said.  My son dropped his stuff after shopping halfway down the stands and they were hooked on the cross beams in the stands.  We had to call security to come up with a machine to get it down.  That turned into a lot of fun getting that thing down.”Hansen and his wife camp in APEX campground now.  They like to experience the thrill of the race, but also the convenience of watching the action right from their camping spot.  But they used to camp at Graves Campground.”

Monday Morning Briefing

To start off the week we have to say that we find this to be a very interesting press release. Advanced Heat Treat Corp., based in Iowa is one of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America. What this press release tells us is that the company is adding a large addition and investing in new furnaces. Please note that the company now has 55 Ion and Gas Nitriders which is quite something; “Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT) is pleased to announce it has officially broken ground on a new 15,000 square foot expansion at its corporate headquarters at 2825 MidPort Boulevard, Waterloo, IA 50703.  This marks the first expansion at its corporate headquarters since it broke ground on the airport location back in 1998.  The new addition will allow AHT to segregate its trademark processes, UltraGlow® Ion Nitriding / Nitrocarburizing and UltraOx® (Gaseous Ferritic Nitriding/Nitrocarburizing and Oxidation Treatments) and maintain its state of the art manufacturing feel and presence.  The new expansion will also bring with it two new gaseous ferritic nitriding/nitrocarburzing units w/sizes up to 13’ tall and 5’ wide. The new additions will be twofold:  (1) the larger unit (13’ x 5’) will allow AHT to grow its longer-like product line, for processing long plastic injection screws for the plastics industry, hydraulic cylinder rods for the agriculture and/or construction industry lines and various pump, motor, shaft components for the oil and energy industries and (2) the smaller unit (4’ x 5’) will be designed to capture more of the aerospace product line market; this unit will be targeted to be Nadcap approved by late 2018 / early 2019.  By doing so, AHT will then have two (2) Nadcap approved processes inside its walls:  Ion Nitriding and Gaseous Nitriding. “This expansion will allow us better control of product flow, inventory control and process capacity,” says William Cowell – VP Ion Nitriding / Plant Manager. “We’ll be nearly doubling our gaseous nitriding capacity w/these additional units and with the floor space, we’ll be able to better accommodate our customer demands.”  AHT currently has 55 Ion / Gaseous Nitriding units across its four (4) locations:  2 in Waterloo, IA, Monroe, MI, and Cullman. “I’m excited on many counts.  One, we’re adding capacity/backup to an already growing agriculture/construction market. Two, we’re targeting to add a new Nadcap process in order to expand further into the aerospace market and meet more of our aerospace customer demands and requests.  And three, we’re gearing up to go even bigger in 2019:  with the expansion, we’ve planned to build / design a gaseous unit that will process parts up to 20 feet.  This unit will allow us to enter various markets for growth” stated Mikel Woods, President.”

Friday we had a photo of two Batch IQ furnaces being built for a North American heat treater however it was a bit of a teaser as we did not mention the builder or buyer. The buyer is Cambridge Heat Treat in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada a family owned commercial heat treater who has made some major investments in the past few years including a very impressive Ion Nitriding system from Rubig of Austria and a gas fired vacuum furnace from SECO/WARWICK. In this case the company has purchased two batch IQ furnaces from Surface Combustion in Ohio. We have known Cambridge for almost 40 years now and we have seen it grow from a fairly modest shop to a quite impressive operation.

As a matter of fact this is not the only major new project which Cambridge Heat Treat is investing in these days. In addition to the two new furnaces mentioned above they are also in the process of rebuilding and installing these two used batch IQ furnaces, each of which has working dimensions of 36″ X 48″ X 36″.

Something else that we talked about last week was Nickel Pricing. The chart on the right hand side of this page shows how in 1 year the price of nickel has almost doubled. While we can’t give you an exact figure about how this would effect the price of a 330SS rod basket or a HT base tray we can certainly say that it would make for a substantial increase. We have no crystal ball so we can’t tell you what the future will bring however this is little reason to believe that we will see any price decreases in the near future but the trend as you can see it up, up and away. We leave it up to you to decide if you want to accelerate your alloy purchases to avoid possible (probable) price increases. Out in Nevada commercial heat treater Nevada Heat Treating recently added an aluminum drop bottom oven which means they can now offer Aerospace Accredited Aluminum Heat Treating. Nevada Heat Treating is located in Carson City and if you want a trivia question how about this one?  What CEO of a major worldwide furnace builder use to run Nevada Heat Treating? The answer is Pat McKenna who is now CEO of Ipsen North America.

We talked a little bit about the recent “Thermal Processing in Motion Conference” in Spartanburg, SC which we attended this past week. We will have some more photos of this event later this week but for today we will provide you with this one note about how Dr. Valery Rudnev of Inductoheat received two awards for his efforts in the heat treating industry. “Dr. Valery Rudnev was recognized during the opening ceremony of the American Society for Materials (ASM International) Thermal Processing in Motion conference. Dr. Rudnev, Director of Science and Technology at Inductoheat Inc., an Inductotherm Group Company, received two prestigious awards for his contributions in the field of induction heating and heat-treating. Dr. Rudnev was elected as a Fellow to The International Federation for Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering (IFHTSE), “For his preeminence in induction heat treating and modeling of the induction heat treating process” (IFTSE, 2018). Dr. Rudnev was also presented with the ASM International “Best-Paper in Heat Treating” award for co-authoring an article entitled “Revolution – Not Evolution – Necessary to Advance Induction Heat Treating.” The ASM International Heat Treating Society, Research and Development Committee, established this award to recognize the best papers in the heat treat industry each year.” June 11, 2018   

Where Are They Now? Mark Hemsath

Mark is like many in this industry, in that he is in it because his father was in the business, as a matter of fact if I understand correctly Mark’s father has something like 80 patents for ideas related to heat treating furnaces. Mark has followed in his Dad’s footsteps and spent quite some time with furnace builder SECO/WARWICk before moving to the commercial heat treating side of the industry. We ran across Mark at the just completed “Thermal Processing in Motion” conference in Spartanburg, SC where we found out that he is back at SECO on the vacuum side of the equation. June 8, 2018   

Batch IQ Furnaces

We have these photos of two almost completed batch IQ furnaces which are currently on the floor of a furnace builder in the US. What you see are two 36″ X 48″ X 36″ units which will be shipped within the next few weeks to a North American customer. Monday as part of our “Monday Morning Briefing” we will tell you who the builder is and who the end customer is. June 8, 2018   

Thermal Processing in Motion Conference & Exhibition

June 5-7th, 2018 saw the “Thermal Processing in Motion Conference & Exhibition” in Spartanburg, SC, USA and “The Monty” was in attendance. This event is a joint venture between ASM and IFHTSE (International Federation for Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering) and attracted roughly 150 exhibitors and visitors. Over the years we have attended many, many heat treating exhibitions and conferences and each has a different “flavor”. For instance IFHTSE events in general are not organized to be everything to everybody, rather their focus is very much on the academic side of heat treating and consequently their events attract some of the most knowledgeable and academic experts in the industry-this was no exception. Well organized and interesting this was an exhibition designed for learning. These photos show some of the exhibitors and attendees, a few more will follow over the next few days. June 7, 2018   

Bill Gornicki, ALD, Dale Montgomery

John Ludeman, Mikel Woods, Advanced Heat Treat Corp.

Mike Coburn, Ron Graham, AFC-Holcroft

Josh Harvey, Heat Treating Services Unlimited

Janusz Kowalweski, Ipsen

ECM Technologies

“ECM Technologies is about to ship its 11th ICBP Jumbo to a North European customer. This system is designed for low pressure carburizing of large production volumes. June 6, 2018   

View from ECM workshop

ICBP Jumbo Transfer chamber

This installation, fitted with 9 carburizing chambers and a gas quenching cell, is ready to be delivered, respecting a tight 7 months lead-time before shipment thanks to a highly integrated manufacturing process. In this high activity period in Europe, this is a noticeable success. 

While ECM Technologies’ ICBP FLEX is the most known and most spread solution worldwide, the ICBP JUMBO focuses on easy maintenance access, without having to stop production thanks to smart solutions. This is a real advantage for large production systems. ICBP JUMBO users benefit from reduced downtimes, better maintenance scheduling and a leaner production flow. Thanks to the optimization of its industrialization processes, ECM Technologies was able to successfully fulfill the customers’ challenging requirements.”

Heat Treating Technologies, Lima, Ohio

Recently we told you how commercial heat treater Heat Treating Technologies in Ohio had invested in several brand new batch IQ furnaces. From a local newspaper we have this update saying that the installation is now complete. June 6, 2018   

“A local company has installed the final piece of their $3 million dollar expansion project. Heat Treating Technologies brought in their third and final heat treating furnace Monday(6/4/18) morning. These machines are the largest production furnace ever produced and will be used to make parts more durable for the agriculture and automotive industries. Heat Treating Technologies has seen an increased demand for their services and the expansion was needed so they could meet that demand. “It’s going to provide more capacity for our current customers because they are picking up volume and it’s going to allow us to maybe pick up a few extra customers along the way and expand and grow as a business,” said Amberly Deibel. Deibel says they have hired six people since Heat Treating Technologies started their expansion project and are looking at hiring another eight by August to help with the increased workload they have.”

Ouch This is Going to Hurt!

Thursday the US announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum products. Friday we were told by two US companies involved in the high temperature alloy industry that prices would be rising by 20% immediately which we mentioned yesterday in our Monday morning briefing. Today we heard from 5 other US suppliers to the heat treating industry including capital equipment companies that prices would be rising although outstanding quotes would be honored for 30 days. We don’t believe upcoming prices increases in the industry are entirely due to new US tariffs but it is certain that there is a great deal of pressure on raw material prices and that will translate into higher prices for virtually every product required by the heat treat industry.  June 5, 2018   

SECO/WARWICK “Heat Treatment 4.0”

September 12-14th furnace builder SECO/WARWICK will by hosting their 21st heat treating seminar in Świebodzin, Poland. While we at “The Monty” will not be in attendance we do have this photo of the last time we visited this facility;  “The role of optimization, transparency and automation in production processes grows steadily, and affects maintaining and gaining of competitive advantage. Definitions, trends and changes brought by the 4th industrial revolution in the heat treatment of metals, will be explained by experts at the 21st edition of the SECO/WARWICK seminar, which this year gains a new title: “Heat Treatment 4.0” and a new convention. “As a leader in metal heat treatment solutions, we closely monitor the situation in the industry. Keeping our finger on the pulse, we observe changes in the sector and analyze all reports. We combine this knowledge with a passion for innovation, thanks to which the seminar we organize ensures such a high substantive level and a program that perfectly fits the current trends,” says Katarzyna Sawka, Global Marketing Director at SECO/WARWICK Group. The three-day event (12-14/09/2018) will cover an Open Day combined with a visit to the heart of the company in Świebodzin and lectures included in three thematic blocks: hybrid technologies, optimization and transparency of production processes and intelligent tools including SECO/PREDICTIVE maintenance 4.0. In a word, Industry 4.0 in heat treatment discussed during the 2 days of seminar.”  June 5, 2018   

JPW New Plant

We very seldom run across this company however it appears to be a growing, expanding manufacturer of ovens and furnaces so what the heck-we always like mentioning companies in the industry that are growing.  June 5, 2018   

“Williamsport, PA (June 1, 2018) – JPW Industrial Ovens and Furnaces yesterday held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, in conjunction with the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate the opening of a new manufacturing facility. Attending the event were several elected officials and members of the regional business community including: Congressman Tom Marino; Lycoming County Commissioners Jack McKernan, Rick Mirabito and Tony Mussare; and Williamsport Mayor Gabriel Campana. JPW’s Plant 2, located at 3607 West Fourth St., Williamsport, will produce the company’s expanding line of standard industrial ovens. Plant 1, located in Trout Run, will continue to craft custom-made industrial ovens and serve as the company’s headquarters. Plant 2 began operation in January and, with 10 new hires in place, production of the company’s standard product line is quickly accelerating. The company anticipates that an additional 15 new employees will be hired between now and 2020.”

Monday Morning Briefing

Happy Monday, if you are in the US your alloy costs just went up-probably a lot! This is for two reasons; A quick glance at our nickel price chart on the right side of this page will tell you that nickel per pound is pretty close to $7.00 USD a level not seen since 2015. As experienced heat treaters know there is no time lag between when nickel goes up and basket prices go up-the price increases are immediate. Second and more important are the new US tariffs which went into effect June 1/2018. We have now heard from two suppliers of alloy products telling us about the increases with one mentioning 20%-wow that kind of hurts! Aero Gear is in Connecticut is expanding again. They have made our news section in the past for having a top notch heat treat department the centerpiece of which is a Solar Manufacturing vacuum carburizing system. “As the sky-high demand for jet engines shows no signs of slowing down, one Connecticut manufacturer is rising up to meet the challenge. For over three decades Aero Gear in Windsor has been a key player in complex gearbox assemblies for the global aerospace market. Now the company continues to set a course for success as it completes a 24,000 sq ft expansion of its facility. The overall majority of their Lean Flow processing is conducted within their modern climate controlled 69,000 sq. ft. facility, including unique gear processing capabilities such as Low Pressure Vacuum carburized and hardened heat treatment, super finishing, balancing, and non-destructive testing. The new space will have a total of 100,000 sq ft with 175 employees, plus provide a brand new lobby, conference room, offices, and manufacturing space for several new programs.” June 4, 2018   

Bob Dilk of ZF, TRW in Rogersville, TN, USA will be retiring this month. Bob has had a long, varied and interesting career as a Heat Treat Metallurgist. As you would guess this plant has an in house heat treating department dedicated to auto parts. Northwest Territorial Mint / Medallic Art Co., in Dayton, Nevada is auctioning off some equipment June 6. There is a little bit of heat treating equipment included mainly in the form of some annealing ovens. Nothing fancy but they might be worth a few bucks to the right person.  We told you how all the remaining equipment at captive heat treater Rexnord in Indianapolis, USA was being auctioned off. Well all the good heat treating stuff is gone and the “dregs” are left. You can see an example below-$150.00 and it is yours if we understand correctly, personally we think it is overpriced.

On May 24th we had a news item about an energy storage system being installed at commercial heat treater Thermal Vac Technology in California. The purpose of the system is to cut down on peak demand charges. The founder of the company Mr. Steve Driscol sent us some more details about the system along with some news about how the company is expanding;  “Our new system is in phase one of a three part strategy to become energy independent. Phase one deployed a battery storage system to store energy and redistribute at the appropriate time. Phase two will be to cover our three acre campus with solar panels that will generate over half a megawatt to supply the energy storage system and power auxiliary systems. Phase three will deploy a series of Cogen systems to heat our plating facility’s tanks and provide the balance of power necessary to become energy independent. The roll out will be over four years and represent a capital investment of 5.5M. I believe we are the First in the US as an independent brazing and heat treating organization leading this technology. Generating our own power will also assist in the concurrent roll out of our industrial gas generating systems that depends on electricity to produce industrial gas, we are slated to install Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and Argon generation in the next three years. These considerable investments will bring two major vendors under cost control who’s price climbs every year. I have to tell you I’m really looking forward to controlling those costs. We have purchased two more industrial buildings in close proximity of our general campus this year bringing our total facility’s to 74,000 sq. ft. including our Santa Fe Springs steel treating facility (City Steel Heat treating). The steel treating facility has seen capital investments over the past 18 months of 1.5M and will be NADCAP approved in November 2018, the facility is in top condition and rapidly becoming a top rate steel treating facility. We will deploy the same energy independence to those facilities as well in the near future. We hope to have some other significant announcements later this year regarding our growth. Have a great day, Steve”

Furnace manufacturer Diablo Furnaces has a new rep on the US East Coast;Dave Wolfe of Augusta Energy Solutions, LLC will represent Diablo Furnaces as East Coast Sales Representative. June 1, 2018 …..We are pleased to announce Dave Wolfe has recently joined forces with Diablo Furnaces as East Coast Sales Representative for the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine. Dave comes to Diablo with a Thermal Processing background, which spans from technical sales since 1990 to controls engineering. Working within this industry and understanding the manufacturing of ovens and furnaces, we are pleased to welcome Dave as part of the Diablo Team. Diablo offers new thermal processing equipment, retrofits, upgrades, recontrols, service and parts. Furnace builds include IQ Batch Furnaces 900 lbs to 6,000 lbs, Tempers, Ovens, Washers, Charge Carts, Car Bottoms, Belt Furnaces, custom and others. For more information on how Dave can assist you, please call: AUGUSTA ENERGY SOLUTIONS, LLC., Annville, PA 17003, Phone: 717 202-5609, E-mail:, ATI Forged Products in Wisconsin, USA is expanding their heat treatment department; “The planes flying over the ATI Forged Products facility on South Packard Avenue in Cudahy serve as a regular reminder of the mission-critical work completed in the 1.4-million-square-foot plant. They are also a working example of why ATI is investing $95 million to increase its isothermal press and heat treating capacity. “You can stand here and tell what planes have those engines and what planes don’t, especially when they take off,” ATI Forged Products president John Minich said as he entered one of the plant’s buildings while a Southwest Airlines flight passed overhead. The engines Minich is referring to are the next generation of jet engines, designed to be quieter and more fuel-efficient. To be more fuel-efficient, the engines need to run even hotter, requiring parts made from alloys that can withstand higher temperatures. ATI uses an isothermal press and advanced heat treating to achieve the unique properties needed for parts to withstand the heat of a jet engine.”

John Storm, Contour Hardening

“John Storm, President and CEO of Contour Hardening Inc. (CHI), passed away on May 13, 2018, at the age of 63. A member of ASM International, John studied Metallurgical Engineering at Purdue University and graduated in 1977 with a BSMetE degree.  After a co-op with US Steel in Gary, Indiana, John started his career at the Detroit Diesel Allison (DDA) Division of General Motors.  While at DDA, John helped pioneer work with dual frequency induction hardening to strengthen gears and shafts by creating a uniform hardened case pattern. In 1986, his entrepreneurial spirit was sparked as he ventured out to co-found CHI with the goal of supplying the industry with innovative induction hardening systems.

Under his guidance, CHI has grown to be a leader in the field of induction hardening. The company has facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Silao, Mexico, and has supplied equipment and heat treating services all over the world. He holds over 200 U.S. and International patents on a variety of processes and applications.  In 2003, John formed the Real Power Division of CHI, which manufactures chassis-integrated electric generator systems for trucks. In 1998, he combined his love for Indy Car racing with the development of ultra-lightweight transmission gears heat-treated using CHI’s Micropulse technology. The CHI gearbox contributed to Arie Luyendyk’s 1997 Indy 500 win, and Scott Goodyear’s second place finish in that same race.

John received many awards and accolades in his life, but none he cherished more than the “Distinguished Engineering Alumni” award bestowed on him in 2004 from the Purdue University Materials Engineering department. John is survived by his wife, Mary Ann (Gibbs) Storm, daughter Emily Ann (Storm) Smith (Donald L.A. Smith), daughter Allison Ann Storm, and grandson Charles Storm Smith.” June 1, 2018   

Diablo Furnaces Press Release

Burk Glogowski completes Pyometry Course; June 1, 2018…Burk Glogowski has completed the Pyrometry course by PRI and is certified to conduct SAT and TUS evaluations based on NADCAP Interpretation of SAE AMS 2750D. As Diablo Furnaces continues to grow, we have expanded our services and offerings to coincide with our customer’s needs, which include the SAT and TUS evaluations. Diablo Furnaces is an OEM of atmospheric thermal processing equipment ranging from IQ Bath Furnaces, Tempers, Washers, Charge Carts, Car Bottoms, Mesh Belt Furnaces, custom, parts and service. For more information, please contact Anne Miner at 815-636-7855 ext. 223 or 815-558-4542. June 1, 2018   

Bodycote plc/Trading Update

We would imagine there are some pretty happy Bodycote shareholders today, at the “The Monty” posted that shares were up 65 to 990 GBp. All the details can be found at

“Bodycote, the world’s leading provider of heat treatment and specialist thermal processing services, is issuing a trading update covering the four-month period from 1 January to 30 April 2018 (“the period”), ahead of the Company’s 65th Annual General Meeting, which will be held at 12.00pm today.  Current trading ; Group revenue for the four months ended 30 April 2018 was £243m, 7% higher than the same period last year and 10% higher at constant currency. On a divisional basis, ADE revenues were up 5% to £94m (up 10% at constant currency), while AGI revenues were up 9% to £149m (up 10% at constant currency). Within the overall Group result, Specialist Technologies’ revenues grew 12% at constant currency. The following review of the Group’s markets quotes all movements based on growth against the same period in 2017, at constant currency.

Car and light truck revenues grew 8%, with continued strong growth in Emerging Markets and good growth in Western Europe, while North American revenues were down slightly. Civil aerospace revenues grew 4%, held back by restrained demand in France stemming from capacity shortfalls in the aerospace industry supply chains. Overall growth of energy revenues was 24%, with continued strong growth in onshore North American revenues, as well as early indications of an upturn in Western Europe oil & gas revenues. Large frame industrial gas turbine (IGT) revenues were down in North America in line with the cut backs in IGT production announced by the OEMs at the end of 2017. In Western Europe, the IGT declines were more than offset by the increase in business from the new Long Term Agreement with Doncasters. General industrial revenues were 11% higher with good growth across all geographies.  Margins have continued to improve although the profit drop-through from incremental sales has been partially offset by increased investment in business development.”  May 31, 2018   

Aichelin 150Th Birthday

May 17th Austrian based furnace manufacturer Aichelin celebrated their 150th birthday with a very large party at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. The 150 guests came from in house heat treats, commercial heat treaters, industry suppliers, associated companies and news outlets. We at “The Monty” were in attendance and have these photos to prove it. With all due respect to Aichelin and the incredible job they did organizing the event the highlight of the evening was the venue itself-the famous Porsche museum. May 31, 2018   

Porsche Museum, Stuttgart

Our host Peter Schobesberger, CEO of Aichelin on the right

Stephen of Vulkan-Verlag,  Antoine Cantenot, CEO of SAFED, Horst Linn

Friedrich Forst, Daimier, Bill Disler, AFC-Holcroft

Uwe Schmelzing, Technical Director, Hauck HT, Ralph Matthaus, wittman, Achim Stassen, SEW Eurodrive

Orchid Memphis Upgrades Vacuum Furnaces

Medical implants company Orchid Memphis has upgraded the controls on three VFS vacuum furnaces. We were not familiar with this company before but with 3 vacuum furnaces they have a respectable in house heat treating department. May 31, 2018   

“Medical implants manufacturer Orchid Memphis has modernized three Ipsen VFS vacuum furnaces in Memphis, TN, USA with process control upgrades from United Process Controls (UPC). Orchid Memphis was contending with underperforming controls that were compromising furnace efficacy, productivity and uptime. The improvements also make it easier for Orchid Memphis to streamline its maintenance process and manage maintenance tasks.

This way, leak-up rates, events and alarms are automatically and accurately reported. Moreover, upgrading with new controls and automation ensures that Orchid Memphis meets the more complex and stringent requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical implants. “There was no need to start from scratch”, noted Rob Freeman, UPC services engineer heading the upgrade. “The furnaces were robust, but existing controls needed reengineering to enhance the flexibility of operations and to meet the specific needs of Orchid Memphis in a cost-effective manner. By maintaining a focus on long-term operations, furnaces were upgraded to new business demands without incurring high upfront costs associated with new assets.”

Ronald Damewood, Tri City Heat Treat

We just found out that former Metal Treating Institute member and former President of Tri City Heat Treat in Rock Island, Illinois, Mr. Ronald Damewood passed away recently. Tri City is a third generation commercial heat treat and one of the largest in the Illinois area. We express our condolences to the family. May 30, 2018   

“LAKELAND, Fla. – Ronald R. Damewood Sr., 79 years old, from Lakeland, Florida, passed away on March 14, 2018, at Lakeland Regional Hospital. Ron was born on July 17, 1938, in Monmouth, Illinois, to Ralph and Anne Damewood. He graduated from Davenport Central High School. Ron married Pamela Wolfe on December 16, 1977, in Preemption, Illinois. Ron and Pam lived in Coal Valley and Bettendorf before retiring in 2006 and enjoyed their retirement in Lakeland, Florida. Mr. Damewood started working at his father’s company in 1961, Tri City Heat Treat. From 1980 – 2006, Ron was President of Tri City Heat Treat. Ron’s model was not to be the biggest, but to be the best in the Heat Treat Industry. He was a past member of the Metal Treating Institute, American Society of Metals. Throughout his life, Ron loved racquet ball, bowling, camping, horseback riding, water skiing, snow skiing, trout fishing, bow hunting, hunting with his sons and grandsons and golfing with his buddies.”

Quench Oil Coolers “R” Us

One of the most successful ad campaigns ever in the heat treat industry came from the SBS Corporation, manufacturers of air cooled quench oil coolers. The ads were entitled “A Quench Oil Fire Can Ruin Your Whole Day” and the backdrop was a drawing of a massive explosion with lots of flames-it always reminded us of a battle in the US war of Independence. The product itself is very simple, almost maintenance free, relatively inexpensive and almost indestructible which means it is no surprise that air cooled quench oil coolers are the norm around the world (we should mention that there are now other suppliers such as Dry Coolers offering very similar products). Well with the weather warming up and quench oil temperatures moving onto heat treaters radar we should mention that “The Monty” can now be called “Quench Oil Coolers “R” US. As of this morning we had 15 used units available on our “Miscellaneous” page-these range in size from 2’ X 2’ all the way up to a 6’ wide X 12’ long, 3 fan unit. Remember these things last forever (40 year old units are not uncommon) so save yourself some money on a used unit. May 30, 2018   

Click To See Quench Oil Coolers

FEIMEC 2018, Brazil

Thomas Kreuzaler of Heat Treat Rep firm TECHPROPRO in Brazil sent us these comments and photos about a recent show they exhibited in. May 30, 2018   

“TECPROPRO gathered a selection of partners which exhibited at the recent  FEIMEC 2018 fair in the Expo São Paulo. Attendance was good and we had over 300 visitors at the booth.  These companies invested both time and money into making the show a success for us.”

  • STANGE – process controls, sensors and software
  • LINN HIGH THERM – special and laboratory furnaces
  • HEMO – part cleaning systems
  • CODERE – modular and automated heat treatment lines with oil and salt quenching
  • PVA – industrial vacuum systems for pressure sintering
  • PLATEG, part of PVA – plasma nitriding systems

In this photo we have from left to right; Horst Linn Junior – managing owner of LINN HIGH THERM, Wolfgang Rein – Sales Manager of PVA/PLATEG, Cataharine – Sales Assistant, and Thomas Detlef Kreuzaler – Managing Owner of TECPROPRO and Frank Theisen – Sales Manager of STANGE

AGCO/ Marktoberdorf, Germany

We always appreciate it when a large “in house” heat treat gives us the opportunity to have a close look at their heat treating department which is why this news item is such a treat. AGCO is a worldwide manufacturer of agricultural equipment through brands such as Challenger, FENDT, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra, the facility we are talking about today manufacturers the FENDT brand of tractors which are considered to be the amongst the best quality on the market. The facility has 3,000 employees manufacturing components and assembling the tractors-in the final picture below you will see the completed product a tractor worth roughly $500,000 USD. The heat treating department is dedicated to transmission components for their own use only. By any standards the heat treat is large one with a 2 row Aichelin pusher furnace 10 years old, numerous batch IQ (sealed chamber) furnaces and several other continuous lines including one feeding a press quenching system which is pictured in one of the photos below. The cleanliness and organization of the whole plant is a sight to see, everything is immaculate and the whole heat treat is air conditioned which is a sight you don’t see very often. We told you how the Aichelin pusher is 10 years old-look at it and tell us if it looks a day over “brand new”, this even holds true for the batch furnaces which are over 20 years old but certainly don’t look like it. We have to assume that the Heat Treatment Manager Mr. Peter Hiemer is largely responsible for this, certainly we know that the furnaces are “wiped down” every single day which explains why they look so clean. We would like to thank Achim Schneider of Aichelin who arranged the visit and proved himself to be a very knowledgeable heat treater and a great host to boot. May 29, 2018   

Peter Hiemer, FENDT, Achim Schneider, Aichelin, Gord Montgomery, “The Monty”

Achin Schneider, Aichelin, Peter Hiemer, FENDT

Monday Morning Briefing

Recently we had a news item about Lake City Heat Treating in Warsaw, Indiana adding another HIP furnace to the two they already have. As a foot note to this story we have this photo of a new building they are constructing for the furnace. Because of the enormous pressures involved with a HIP furnace a great deal of caution has to be taken with the installation. As an example of a well done installation we have this older photo showing a HIP furnace installed at Bodycote in Camas, Washington. May 28, 2018   

Furnace builder SECO/WARWICK sent us this press release; “Tube Investments of India Ltd., one of the leading Indian tube manufacturers, strengthens its manufacturing base in South India with a new SECO/WARWICK roller hearth tube heat treatment furnace for bright annealing and normalizing. The SECO/WARWICK roller hearth furnace system solution, that has been successfully commissioned for Tube Investments of India Ltd., is custom designed for the heat treatment of carbon steel tubes (ERW and welded), cold drawn welded precision steel tubes, mother hollow tubes and as drawn tubes.

It is equipped with single ended self-recuperative radiant tube burners, automatic ignition system, flame monitoring system. The furnace operation is controlled by PLC based control panel, which ensures auto control and close monitoring of system parameters which in turn assures better quality of processed materials. Unique furnace design and temperature control systems results in fast heating rates with close temperature uniformity within load.

The companies’ close cooperation and dialogue on the development of new solutions strengthens Tube Investments market position – with technology designed by SECO/WARWICK, Indian tube manufacturer will offer its customers faster delivery with better quality.”

We had an article recently about how the dream of large scale heat treat investments to service the wind energy industry died a slow and painful death in North America. One of the casualties we mentioned was a company called Brevini Wind headquartered in Italy, who back in 2010 expanded their facility in Indiana, USA to service the wind energy. In 2016 the company announced that the plant in Muncie would be closed and the equipment sold.

One of the items available is a really top notch batch IQ furnace line which you can see below. Our understanding is that the asking price is $750,000 USD to which we say-good luck with that!

Scroll down this page to May 22 and you will see a news item about a large captive heat treater in Germany by the name of Hirschvogel Automotive Group.

In the news item we speak about the company’s large in house heat treat department and also mention about their switch from fabricated to cast fixturing for their pit furnaces. Alloy supplier Lohmann GmbH., of Edelstahlgießere, Germany asked that we mention that they are the supplier of this fixturing.  Furnace builder Aichelin of Austria recently celebrate their 150th anniversary at a party held at the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, Germany an event which we at “The Monty” attended and which was a real sucesss. We have this photo for today with a couple of more to come. In this photo you see from the left Klaus Loeser of ALD, Peter Schobesberger, CEO of Aichelin, and Bill Disler, CEO of AFC-Holrcroft.

Commercial heat treater Solar Atmospheres in Greenville, SC recently welcomed the ASME Greenville Section for a tour of their 57,000 square foot vacuum heat treating and brazing operations as you can see in this photo.

Where Are They Now? Bernie Parry

After a lifetime spent in the heat treating industry with companies such as Surface Combustion and AFC-Holcroft few in the industry have not run across Bernie Parry. Originally from Wales, Bernie used his engineering expertise to great advantage when it came to designing furnace systems and selling them. Bernie kind of, maybe retired from AFC-Holcroft a few years back and while we at “The Monty” have kept in close touch with him a captive heat treater asked us the other day what he was up to-hence this update. Bernie’s retirement didn’t last long and he rejoined the industry a little while back selling investment cast products for Heat Treat Central in Michigan. Experience like Bernie’s is unique and we are glad it was not lost to the industry. We searched through our files and came up with this picture from 2016 showing Bernie and Gord Montgomery at the wedding of Carlos Torres of Mattsa Crio in Mexico back in 2016. If you would like to get in touch with Bernie we would suggest May 25, 2018   

What’s It Worth?

What you are looking at is an 8 year old SECO WARWICK vacuum sintering furnace in excellent condition and we mention it today because this is a perfect example of a used furnace which is not especially price sensitive-let us explain. This furnace has everything going for it; it is relatively new, manufactured by a very respectable company,  SECO WARICK, is in excellent condition and has a very attractive asking price of $140,000 USD and yet it (and its twin) have languished on the market for some time now-why? The answer is simple-there is very little demand for a furnace such as this. With 1 bar quenching only and no diffusion pump the systems have a very limited potential market. If somebody needs a vacuum sintering furnace this is an excellent deal, if nobody needs a vacuum sintering furnace even an asking price of “free” is too much (we of course exaggerate slightly-these are not going to be free). Other examples of furnaces which have limited market appeal and are consequently not especially price sensitive would include Cast Link Belt furnaces, pushers-even the evil “fluidized bed” type of furnace would fall into the same category. May 25, 2018   

What is Upcoming at “The Monty”?

Things to look forward to at “The Monty” include an in depth write up and photos of an enormous Captive Heat Treater in Germany, photos from the recent 150th Anniversary Party for Aichelin, an interview with Jeff McLaughlin of McLaughlin Services, some more used equipment listings which includes Batch Temper Furnaces, photos from the upcoming “Thermal Process in Motion” conference in SC in two weeks, a story about an Overpriced Batch IQ Furnace and lots more. May 25, 2018   

Thermal-Vac Technology/Energy Storage

A reader recently sent us a note about how commercial heat treater Thermal-Vac out in California recently invested in an energy storage system as a way of cutting peak demand charges (Thermal-Vac owned by Steve Driscoll is a top notch company by the way). May 24, 2018   

ROCKLIN, Calif., May 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — JLM Energy recently signed agreements to install energy storage systems for Modern Postcard® in Carlsbad, Thermal-Vac Technology and Continuous Coating Corporation in Orange. Energy storage will enable these businesses to reduce commercial demand fees, resulting in millions of dollars saved. Thermal-Vac Technology is a 33-year industry leader and premier brazing, heat-treating and metal finishing facility located in Southern California Edison utility territory. JLM will be installing a 750 kW/1500 kWh Gridz energy storage system.” It would appear that the system stores electricity during off peak periods (electricity provided either by solar or other sources) for use during peak demand periods allowing the user to avoid the added costs associated with peak periods. The story caught our eye as heat treaters, especially heat treaters running a number of electrically heated vacuum furnaces have long searched for a way of cutting down on energy costs. In Europe no heat treater would operate a vacuum furnace without some form of “energy optimization” system however it has been slow to catch on in North America. Dibalog of Germany offers such a system and had some moderate success in North America a few years back installing between 10 and 20 systems at companies such as Pratt & Whitney in Texas however at the end of the day the company largely abandoned the US market because of the very slow acceptance by North American heat treaters. The Dibalog system is a good one but for reasons unknown to us, the technology has never excited North American customers.

Business Opportunities

Please take a look at our most recent employment offerings.  If you see anything you like don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at or 905-271-0033.  May 24, 2018   

Item # O357 Quality Control Manager
Item # O356 Heat Treat Machinery Maintenance Leader
Item # O355Heat Treat Quality Engineer
Item # O354 Seeking Plant Metallurgist
Item # O353 Plant Manager Wanted
Item # O352 Senior Applications Engineer

Löttechnik Burkhard, Kaufbeuren, Germany

Last week we jumped at the chance to see a captive/commercial heat treater by the name of Löttechnik Burkhard located in Kaufbeuren, Germany. Family owned Burkhard Group actually has three different companies dedicated to producing auto parts, making components for tank cleaning systems and also heat treating. The heat treat division was opened in 1995 and roughly 15% of their capacity is dedicated to heat treating their own parts with the remainder dedicated to commercial heat treating. While we say heat treating the company is largely focused on soldering and brazing components in a number of mesh belt furnaces. It’s a very nice, clean operation with quite new, modern furnaces. In the photos below you see Tanja and Juergen Burkhard along with Joern Rohde of ROHDE Schutzgasöfen GmbH and Gord Montgomery. Tanja and Juergen are holding what is a fairly typical brazed part. May 24, 2018   

Wallwork Heat Treatment

In the rather “weird” but strangely interesting category we have this video from one of the largest commercial heat treaters in the UK, Wallwork Heat Treatment in Bury, UK. It certainly caught our attention as we have stood in exactly the spot where this video was taken as you can see in this photo from March of 2013. We are willing to bet that you have never before seen somebody ride a dirt bike over a vacuum furnace. May 23, 2018   

Peter Schobesberger, Aichelin

We are very pleased to be able to offer you this interview with Mr. Peter Schobesberger, CEO of one of the largest furnace builders in the world Aichelin. We were able to speak with Peter at the company’s 150th anniversary which took place in Stuttgart, Germany this past week.  Peter going by memory it is about 3 years since our last interview which can be found at In that interview you gave us the background of Aichelin so I see no need to go over that again. Instead let’s look at what has changed since then. May 23, 2018   

This moment celebrates the 150th anniversary of Aichelin, a very impressive moment for the company- it must make you and your team very proud to be part of it.  What would you like to say about this celebration?

“We are very happy to celebrate this anniversary with a lot of close business partners today in Stuttgart. Aichelin Group is in excellent condition and we are looking forward to the future. This is also a day where we are grateful to all the people from the heat treat community which have helped us in all the decades. For us it is also a mission to continue with all our passion to serve this market in the future in order to be on top for many more decades.”

While there have been a number of changes at Aichelin over the past few years it would appear that the acquisition of US based AFC-Holcroft is the most significant-how did this come about? (at this point I should mention that WG Montgomery Ltd., “The Monty” is a longstanding AFC-Holcroft rep covering Canada and Upstate, NY.)

“For sure, this acquisition was one of the big steps in Aichelin’s history. There were attempts from Aichelin to get a substantial presence in North America since the 1980`s however up until 2016 our success was limited to European based companies, which were familiar with the Aichelin furnace philosophy. This unfortunately though was limited to only a minority of the US heat treatment clients. So it was obvious that Aichelin should team up with a US based partner to gain more influence. We had this plan in our minds for a long time, but in 2016 the timing with AFC Holcroft was perfect. Like in a marriage: Both have to say “Yes” at the same time, which we did.”

Click To Continue Reading

Peter Schobesberger, Gord Montgomery

Codere Furnace Order

“Over a busy period for Swiss furnace manufacturer Codere SA, David Howard of the Sales department wants to tell readers about a new market entry and successful pre-reception for a leading Aerospace Manufacturer in Tawian working with Safran group and GE Aviation. The main reference part in question for this order to Codere was the landing gear, which is considered to be one of the critical structures of an aircraft which plays a major role for flight safety during its takeoff and landing procedures. The landing gear is designed to absorb and dissipate the kinetic energy of landing impact, thus the effective technical strategies will be focused on the manufacturing techniques for machining Ultra High Tensile Steel and special processes for subsequent surface treatment and non-destructive testing. The company in question does not want to be named but respects NADCAP norms  for the following processes Conventional Machining, Nonconventional Machining, Heat Treating, Chemical Processing and Surface Enhancement – Shot Peening with accrediation from Safran group among others. They first entered into Aerospace industry by incorporating with AIDC manufacturing commercial aircraft components in 1995.

 This furnace measuring  Ø 900 mm with useful height 1500 mm with a gross weight capacity of 1.5 ton respecting AMS 2750E Class 2 Instrumentation D. This furnace will be located in a new building the fourth, which has been constructed since 2009 in the South of Taiwan. Codere were chosen as preferred supplier due to supplying to such solutions for landing gears from medium size up to 3 metres in length over the last 15 years in the global market. Aerospace leaders have been attracted by the flexibility of the System 250. Customers have been interested with possibility of 2 furnaces with 1 oil bath or two quench tanks for example oil & water working with 1 furnace in the same line for multiple alloy types such as iron, aluminum, titanium and copper. Rapid heating up to working temperature in austenitising & carburising furnace with transfer times respecting AMS 2750E  norm’s is another important factor considered. Codere has unique advantages against traditional batch furnaces. There has been growth especially in salt quenching processes (ADI, martempering, bainitic hardening), titan treatment, aerospace projects respecting AMS 2750E or Automobile (CQI9) and multi product series (Flexibility needed for temperature & atmosphere). Other installations, which are next in the production line at Codere are for the rail, watch-making, precious metal, tooling, defense and auto industries. Codere suggests you follow us on Twitter page for the most recent updates @Codere_CH & if you have any questions on our website, please don’t hesitate to contact David Howard at for further information or call + 41 32 465 1010”  May 23, 2018   

Rexnord, Indianapolis, Indiana

Back in 2016 ball bearing manufacturer Rexnord announced that their facility in Indianapolis would be closing and the production moved to Texas and Monterrey. The plant again made the news in 2017 for political reasons (as you can see below). The final bell tolled for the company just last week when all of the remaining equipment was sold, this included some Surface IQ equipment and an AFC-Holcroft rotary hearth furnace which you can see below. Nothing exciting the furnaces but probably saleable. May 22, 2018   

“November 22/2017. It’s the end of an era for an Indianapolis manufacturing plant as the remaining few Rexnord workers clocked out for the last time on Wednesday.The company announced in 2016 they were moving their operations to Texas and Monterrey, Mexico. Last October, the company employed more than 300 workers at its west side plant, which made ball bearings for equipment around the world.The fight to keep jobs in Indianapolis received national attention during the 2016 Presidential process, with President Trump getting involved with Carrier’s exit from the state and calling out Rexnord for “viciously firing all of its 300 workers.” Workers at Rexnord had hoped that the president would step in on their behalf like he did with Carrier but it never happened. Rexnord is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, comprised of two strategic platforms, Process & Motion Control and Water Management, with approximately 7,700 employees worldwide, according to its website.”

Hirschvogel Automotive Group

Based in Germany Hirschvogel Automotive Group is a worldwide supplier of automotive components. The location we visited last week in Denklingen, Germany has 3,000 employees making forged automotive components and as you have probably already guessed has a very large in house heat treating department. With the largest rotary hearth furnace we have ever seen, multiple pusher furnaces, cast link belt furnaces and a number of pit annealing furnaces we really do feel we are not exaggerating when we say large heat treat department. To add to this impressive list of equipment the company is two weeks away from starting up a 2,000 kg/hour gas fired pusher line which will be completely automated. The photos below show a small portion of the heat treat department which features 8 pit annealing furnaces all built by Rohde of Germany. The owner of the company, Herr Joern Rohde can be seen on the left in one of the photos below, to his left is Herr Stefan Maiwald, Maintenance and Herr Martin Mair, Heat Treat Department.  Incidentally all the fixturing for the pit furnaces which you see in these photos is investment cast. It turns out the company has been using fabricated fixtures for many years however they recently switched over to investment cast on the basis that while it is more expensive up front in the long run it is cheaper because of the life.  May 22, 2018   

Victoria Day Holiday

The offices of WG Montgomery Ltd., (The Monty) will be closed Monday May 21 due to the Canadian National holiday in honor of the birthday of Queen Victoria. Regular news updates will resume Tuesday May 22. May 21, 2018   

SEW EURODRIVE , Bruchsal, Germany

If you’re in the gear business you know SEW Eurodrive. If you’re in the heat treating business you probably also know SEW because their plants around the world generally include substantial heat treating departments. For these reasons we are very lucky to give you an in depth glimpse of the heat treat department at one of their larger facilities which is located in Bruchsal, Germany. The overall facility covers many acres, the heat treat department is relatively new-the furnaces you see below are approximately 10 years old were built and installed by Aichelin. What you see are multi chamber batch furnaces with oil quenching designed for case hardening of gears and shafts along with washers, tempers, charge cars, shotblasting equipment and a very complete lab-in short everything required to run a state of the art heat treating department. Even a cursory glance at these pictures will show you that this is a meticulously maintained heat treat which is very much in line with the whole plant. While this installation is fairly typical of the heat treat department of a major gear manufacturer we will also say that this is a finer example than many. May 18, 2018   

Achim Schneider, Aichelin, Achim Stassen, SEW, Gord Montgomery

Achim Stassen, Manager Hardening/Grooving, SEW Eurodrive

Lindberg Furnace Order

“Riverside, MI – April 18, 2018: Lindberg/MPH announced the shipment of an electrically heated rod overbend atmosphere box furnace to the aerospace industry. The box furnace will perform a heat treatment on parts within the work chamber under a reducing atmosphere generated from a nitrogen methanol panel. The atmosphere box furnace has a maximum temperature rating of 2000°F and work chamber dimensions of 24″ wide x 36″ deep x 24ʺ high. A recirculating fan distributes atmosphere and heat evenly within the work chamber and temperature uniformity is +/-25° F at 2000°F. The rod overbend box furnace also utilizes an integrated carbon control circuit for neutral hardening.” May 18, 2018   

Ipsen U Course

The first Ipsen U class of the year was held in April where attendees received an extensive overview of furnace equipment, processes, maintenance and more. This three-day course also provided hands-on training and casual open-discussion for all levels of experience in the heat-treating industry. Participants traveled from several states, including California, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as from other countries, including Israel and Mexico. Attendees found the hands-on demonstrations and engaging presentations from experienced instructors to be most helpful.Ipsen will continue hosting its series of Ipsen U classes June 5-7, August 7-9 and October 2-4. Register today for an upcoming 2018 Ipsen U course at” May 17, 2018   

Aichelin Furnace Installation

We just toured what is one of the most impressive captive heat treat departments that we have ever had the chance to see, a department dedicated to heat treating transmission components. It was so impressive that it warrants a full blown write up, a write up which is going to have to wait until later this week but for the time being we will show you these two photos. May 17, 2018   

Toxic Substances

A real issue in the North American heat treating industry is that of ground contamination as a result of manufacturing practices many years ago. Generally any contamination was a result of ignorance of the possible health effects of using or dumping certain substances. So the question is; “are companies responsible for the use of substances which time has proven could possibly be unhealthy?” We ran across this case from Wisconsin, USA which comes from the “Watertown Daily Times” (we have abbreviated this story); May 17, 2018   

“MADISON — A federal judge has dismissed a Watertown couple’s lawsuit alleging the demolition of a vacant factory next to their South Third Street home caused the release of toxic substances that damaged their health and property. Acting on a motion by the owner of the former furnace and transformer plant and two companies involved in its demolition, District Judge William Conley concluded that William and Nancy Liebhart’s suit did not prove their claims.”The Liebharts simply have not adduced evidence that defendants have violated the relevant standards under the (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or the Toxic Substances Control Act),” Conley wrote in a March 30 opinion. The Liebharts’ owned properties at four South Third Street addresses including their former home at 1115 S. Third St. The properties are adjacent to the former Hevi Duty factory site is about 5.3 acres and consists of a 174,000-square foot plant and office building. Heat-treating furnaces, transformers and hot plates were made at the plant beginning in the 1920s and continued until 1971. All operations ceased in 2005. SPX Corp. purchased the property and in 2009, retained TRC Environmental Corp. to conduct an environmental site assessment which found polychlorinated biphenyls, PBCs, a toxic substance, in the concrete floor of the plant. In November 2014, TRC submitted plan to the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf SPX to demolish the Hart Street factory. Months later, the EPA approved the plan. The demolition was completed in March 2015. SPX later completed an analysis of soil taken from the demolition site and the Liebhart’s property, which contained varying levels of PCBs. In September 2016, SPX submitted a plan to the Department of Natural Resources to remove contaminated soil from their property and has been waiting for permission to further sample soil on Liebhart’s property.” 

Wittman Harterei, Germany, Expanding

Commercial heat treater wittman harterei in Uhingen, Germany will shortly be doubling the size of their plant and adding some more furnace capacity. The company was founded in 1998 and the main focus is a number of very large Aichelin Sealed Quench (Batch IQ) furnaces. With almost 40 employees the company has found business to be brisk enough to warrant a multi- million euro investment in the firm. The General Manager Ralph Matthaus (top notch fellow by the way) took the time to give us a very complete tour today and what we saw was a very clean, modern and well run shop with completely automated furnaces meaning virtually no operator involvement. While we say this is a commercial heat treater who obviously serves a number of different industries Wittman also has a sister company across the street which produces gears, all of which are heat treated by wittman. The expansion will be completed by the end of this year and we hope to be able to give you an update then. May 16, 2018   

Gord Montgomery, Ralph Matthaus (Wittmann Harterei)

Ralph Matthaus (Wittmann Harterei), Joern Rohde (Rohde)

Graphite Materials, WG Montgomery Ltd.

WG Montgomery Ltd., recently became the North American reps for Graphite Materials, a company based in Oberasbach, Germany which is one of the leading suppliers of graphite fixturing and components for the heat treating industry. These photos show a visit between the two companies which happened earlier this week. May 16, 2018   

Gord Montgomery and Rolph Terjung

Mr. Alexander Kern (Engineering), Mr. Dr.-Ing. Rolf Terjung (CEO), Mr. Gord Montgomery, Mr. Roland Weeske (Head of Business Unit Specialty Graphite)

Allgemein Gold und Silberscheideanstalt, Pforzheim, Germany

We have a very brief story about this company in Southern, Germany. Basically the company refines gold, silver, copper and other metals and consequently has a very interesting but quite private heat treating department. We are lucky to be able to share with you this photo of Gord Montgomery and Joern Rohde standing in front of one of the pit stress relieving furnaces provided by Rohde Furnaces. The furnaces stress relieve coils of silver and copper which is a pretty cool sight to see. May 16, 2018   


“Peters’ Heat Treating, Inc., headquartered in Meadville, Pennsylvania (USA), has invested in a new UBQ (Universal Batch Quench) integral quench furnace and two 1400°F gas fired UBT temper furnaces for their headquarters facility.  This new furnace equipment will be integrated into an existing complete UBQ furnace line purchased previously from AFC-Holcroft, and adds an additional 3,500 pound gross load capacity to the existing line.  They have also invested in a new 1400°F gas fired UBT temper furnace for their McKean, Pennsylvania facility.

Peters’ Heat Treating has made significant investments in furnace technology to expand their production capability and gain entry into new markets.  In 2014, Peters’ Heat Treating became first-time customers of AFC-Holcroft, and have gone on to make additional investments in AFC-Holcroft equipment in subsequent years. “This investment shows the continued commitment by Peters‘ Heat Treating to invest in the latest technology and we’re excited to be a part of it,” said Tracy Dougherty, Sales Manager at AFC-Holcroft.  This latest UBQ furnace will interface with existing tempering furnaces, spray-dunk washer, automated transfer car and an EZ™ Series endothermic gas generator and other companion equipment and offers the flexibility to heat treat a wide range of parts and a number of metallurgical processes.

About Peters’ Heat Treating, Inc.:   Since 1979 and now into the second generation, Peters’ Heat Treating, Inc. has been one of the leaders in the precision parts heat treating industry. Located in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Peters’ Heat Treating has three locations servicing the tri-state region. Peters’ Heat Treating has been historically known for their specialization in vacuum heat treating; however, with the AFC-Holcroft equipment expansion, Peters’ has dramatically increased their capacity for oil hardening and carburizing. Processing capabilities include: vacuum processing, neutral hardening, carburizing, gas nitriding, cryogenics, annealing, stress relieving, black oxide coating, induction processing, sandblasting, integrated straightening and metallurgical testing.

About AFC-Holcroft: Founded in 1916, AFC-Holcroft, is one of the US market leaders in the production of industrial furnace equipment for ferrous and non-ferrous metals.  The company manufactures turn-key heat treating systems for applications including commercial heat treating, bearings, automotive, aerospace, mining, aluminum heat treatment, gear manufacturing, fastener manufacturing, and alternative energy industries.  Member of the Aichelin Group since 2016 and headquartered in Wixom, Michigan, AFC-Holcroft operates its own subsidiaries in China and Switzerland and has a global presence through a network of partners located in Australia, Brasil, China, India, Mexico, Poland and Spain.

About AICHELIN Holding: The AICHELIN Group, as part of the BERNDORF Group of companies, is a manufacturer of industrial furnace equipment for different industry segments and provider of after-sale services. AICHELIN Group also operates in the field of induction heating and in the manufacturing of industrial gas burner systems. The group’s production sites are located in Austria, Germany, France, Slovenia, the US, China, and India.  Altogether, the AICHELIN Group has 1,100 employees worldwide and ranges among the largest producers of heat treatment plants globally. For more information, contact”  May 15, 2018   

Solar Manufacturing

“Solar Manufacturing recently shipped a large horizontal front loading vacuum furnace to a titanium manufacturer and fabricator located in the Midwest region of the United States.  The furnace includes a molybdenum shielded hot zone and heating elements, with a work zone size of 54″ (1.37m) wide X 54″ (1.37m) high X 144” (3.66m) deep and a weight capacity of 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg).  The furnace is specifically designed for processing titanium alloys for the aerospace, medical, and other industries.  It is fully compliant to aerospace specification AMS2750E.  The large work zone size and heavy weight capacity of the furnace requires safe and effortless loading and unloading of the furnace, accomplished with a robust, motorized loading truck.  The furnace is capable of processing in an argon atmosphere or in high vacuum in the 10-6 Torr range with a 35″ Varian diffusion pump assisted by a Leybold booster pump and a Leybold dry mechanical roughing pump.  The furnace incorporates the new SolarVac Polaris® control system with large HMI graphic touchscreen overview.  Programming capabilities include gas quench rate control up to two bar pressure with an AB variable frequency drive.  Precise temperature control up to 2400° F (1316° C) is accomplished utilizing digital power trimming technology.” May 15, 2018   

Solar Manufacturing designs and manufactures a wide variety of vacuum heat treating, sintering and brazing furnaces and offers replacement hot zones, spare parts and professional service.  To learn more about Solar Manufacturing contact Pete Reh, VP of Sales, at 267-384-5040 x1509, or via email, and visit us at”

Monday Morning Briefing

We start off today in Benton, Illinois looking at a brand new captive heat treat. Going back to August of 2017 Mincon, a manufacturer of drill bits announced that they would be making a $2 million USD investment in a heat treating department for their plant in Benton (the full press release follows). It is our understanding that the heat treat department is just getting going. “Benton’s Mincon manufacturing plant, which specializes in industrial sized drill bits, is making some big additions to their location and a big financial investment in Benton itself. The company currently makes large industrial shipments of their product to Africa, Australia and many other places around the world. Regional Sales Manager Matt Jones added that the business is planning an extensive expansion including a new heat treat plant and new office space. To start the new development will mean three to five new jobs in the office area, Jones said, and eventually the possibility of 10 to 15 new jobs once the heat treat operation is up and running. The plant currently employs around 30 total employees in their production facility. The new office will be up and running by mid September, Jones says. The building for the heat treat plant will be completed by October, with the materials to begin setup arriving shortly after. The heat treatment operation should be up and running by the end of the first quarter of 2018, Jones added. “Right now the heat treat is the only thing we have to farm out,” said Jones. “Being able to do this in house is going to save us a lot of time and is going to turn a one week turn around for our customers into a one day turn around and will help us build a better product.” The photo below shows a number of parts being “racked” before heat treating.

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. Reports First Quarter 2018 Results. As the parent company of ALD (the commercial heat treat and furnace building company) some of our readers might possibly, maybe, be curious about the financials for their parent company AMG. Bottom line is Revenue increased by 20% to $308.4 million in the first quarter 2018 from $258.0 million in the first quarter 2017 and the company looks healthy. For those of you real curious about the company the results can be found on line and the heat treating portion of the company is in the AMG Engineering Division. In the UK Stewart Griffiths, who was for a number of years with Hauck Heat Treatment, quite possibly the second largest commercial heat treater in the world has changed his career path. Stewart is now with Fluke Process Instruments the Datapaq people. That would be an interesting change from using the equipment to selling the equipment. Recently a 5 year old Ipsen Titan vacuum furnace appeared on E-Bay of all places. It had working dimensions of 2′ X 2′ X 3′ and an operating temperature of 2400F. We don’t know the buyer but we understand the sale price was $85,000 USD.

Atmosphere Annealing, a division of Premier Thermal Solutions (PTS), recently added Ferritic Nitrocarburizing (FNC) to its capabilities at it’s Lansing, Michigan, USA plant.  When we think of Atmosphere Annealing we primarily think of large volume, continuous annealing furnaces but certainly FNC is a process with a very bright future in front of it. If you recall Atmosphere Annealing and it’s sister company NitroSteel were purchased by a investment firm by the name of Z Capital Partners back in March of 2017 and the company renamed Premier Thermal Solutions.

Commercial heat treater ALD Thermal Treatment recently made some people changes which we mentioned briefly, here are a few more details andpictures. Hector Ibarra has been promoted to Vice President of Business Development North America, in his new role, Hector Ibarra will be responsible for all sales activities for the North America Market (Canada, USA and Mexico) in addition to his responsibilities for the Mexico Operations. Hector Ibarra has been with ALD for a little more than 5 years in several Director positions the latest as the responsible for the ALD TT Ramos plant for which he will remain involved.

 Chuck Sefcovic has been added to the Sales team as Director of Sales for New Customers in Canada and United States, Chuck comes from a long successful career in the automotive industry and he will expand the presence of ALD services beyond current customers and geographical locations.

Edwin Orozco has also been added to the Sales team as Director of Sales for Mexico. Edwin has more than 15 years of experience in the automotive industry and he will continue to promote ALD in Mexico and expand our customer base.  

Rohde Furnaces. Two years ago we visited the new facility of Rohde Furnaces in Hanau, Germany which was almost but not quite completed. We now see the plant completed. Rohde is a family owned furnace builder with a long history both in Germany and around the world. May 14, 2018   

Natasha, Konstantin, Vincent and Joern Rohde.

Texas Is Back! Houston Heat Treat

Tough times in Texas the past few years with the slowdown in the oil and gas industries but things have been picking up the past few years and we believe we can now say with some certainty that things are looking good for captive and commercial heat treaters in the state. A good example is commercial heat treater Houston Heat Treat in Houston, Texas. Things have picked up to such a degree that the company finds it necessary to add equipment. Currently being installed is a Surface Combustion “Super 36″ batch IQ furnace with working dimensions of 36″ X 48″ X 36”.  While the company will be adding several other furnaces in the near future this is the first one we can mention. May 11, 2018   

Heat Treating Germany

One of the largest and certainly one of the most advanced heat treating markets in the world exists in Germany and it is a market we have spoken about many times over the years. Next week we will be visiting a number of very large captive heat treats along with several commercial heat treats around the country. We will have photos and write ups about each and a summary about how the industry looks in Germany and Europe these days. While we will not be visiting the German heat treat shown in the photo below, we will leave you with this bit of trivia-what you are looking at is most likely the largest pit carburizing furnace in use in a commercial heat treat anywhere in the world. May 11, 2018   

Lake City Heat Treating, Warsaw, Indiana

Commercial heat treater Lake City Heat Treating is expanding and adding more “Hipping” capacity later this year. Lake City is one of only a handful of commercial heat treaters around the world who offers Hipping, the largest one of course is Bodycote. The Warsaw, Indiana area by the way is a hotbed of vacuum heat treating both captive and commercial heat treaters with companies such as DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Applied Thermal Technologies and a few others all largely serving the medical industry. “Lake City Heat Treating is pleased to announce the construction of a 6,000 square foot addition to its facility in Warsaw, IN. The company is excited about the expansion, which speaks towards its continued growth in production and expanding its heat treating capabilities. The new building also allows Lake City Heat Treating the space to bring in new machines and equipment, including a new Hot Isostatic Press in late fall 2018. Lake City Heat Treating specializes in vacuum heat treating of stainless steels, cobalt and nickel alloys and vacuum heat treatable steels for aerospace, medical and other quality-critical industries, with Cryogenic, Hot Isostatic Pressing and Tempering services also offered. LCHT offers the heat treating capabilities and capacities to meet customers’ exact requirements and specifications.” The photo below comes from the Lake City website  May 10, 2018   

Dokka Fasteners/Ipsen/McLaughlin Services/Asia

If you ever needed an example of how close knit the world wide heat treating industry is-this is it.   Back in 2012 a Norwegian company by the name of Dokka Fasteners (a manufacturer of fasteners for the wind energy industry) set up a brand new plant in  Michigan. As we mentioned a few weeks back the operation was a victim of the failed wind energy industry in North America and consequently the plant closed in 2015 with most of the equipment being put up for sale. Included in the surplus equipment was a really top notch Ipsen “Titan” automated batch IQ line, a replica of a system the company has in Norway and which was built at a cost of roughly $3 million USD-we believe the line was built at Ipsen in Kleve, Germany. The line was eventually bought by a furnace builder/rebuilder in Avilla, Indiana by the name of McLaughlin Services. Very recently the entire system was sold by McLaughlin to a captive heat treater in Asia with McLaughlin  Services rebuilding as necessary and also providing a McLaughlin Tru-Mix 4200 endothermic generator. So to summarize a Norwegian company buys a furnace line built in Germany, installs it at a plant in the USA, from where it is eventually sold to a captive heat treater in South East Asia-it is indeed a small world. This photo shows the furnaces when they were installed in Michigan. May 9, 2018   

Expanite/MAN Diesel

From “Expanite” a supplier of a “super duper” stainless steel hardening technology we have this press release; May 9, 2018   

“MAN Diesel & Turbo’s newest generation of gasdriven engines already plays a key role in the sector’s fuel conversion from oil to alternative energy. When developing the engine, Expanite and MAN Diesel & Turbo collaborated in solving the installation of their gas injection valve in the engine. An important part of the solution came from Expanite – a surface hardening technology that makes stainless steel extremely wear and corrosion resistant.

 Per Brandt, manager at MAN Diesel & Turbo, says: “Originally, we had specified a chrome plating in our cylinder cap for mounting our gas injection valve, but it could not always stay tight as there were high requirements for chrome surface quality. We tried unsuccessfully with different solutions. Fortunately, someone had heard about Expanite’s surface hardening, and although stainless steel is usually softer than chrome surface, it turned out to be the solution. A design change coupled with Expanite’s hardening technology solved our challenge. In cooperation with Expanite we relatively quickly found a hardening that made our surface resistant against scratches and corrosion. The solution passed our test in service where the system remained sealed and tight and in addition the solution was also easy and cost efficient to implement.”

Heat Treat Industry Interviews

An interview yesterday with Mr. Geoffrey Somary of furnace manufacturer Ipsen leads us to “blow our own horn” a little. Without a shadow of a doubt there is no other source in the industry which has done as many interviews as “The Monty” and these can be found at In this section you will find interviews from the past and current CEO’s of “Bodycote” the world’s largest commercial heat treater, “Bill Gornicki” of “ALD”, Gunther Braus from “Dibalog”, Damian Bratcher of “SSI” and over 50 other individuals all well known in the heat treating industry. If you would like to be interviewed for “The Monty” please let us know. May 9, 2018   

Geoffrey Somary / Ipsen

Recently we interviewed Mr. Pat McKenna, President & CEO of furnace builder Ipsen. As a follow up to that interview we have been looking forward to speaking with Mr. Geoffrey Somary, COO at Ipsen Group who is going to give us more of a global perspective about the company. May 8, 2018   

Perhaps it is a sign of age Geoffrey but it seems that I preface many of my interviews with “we have known each other for some time now” and this interview is no different-how long have we known each other now?

We first met at the Reno FNA show in 2006 when I was leading VFS prior to merging that strong brand together with Ipsen.   I believe I gave you a deck of ‘VFS Reno 2006’ playing cards – which are now treasured by collectors worldwide.

I got a little ahead of myself with my first question, what is your background and how did you into this industry?

Born and raised in New York City – I left the Big Apple to attend Northwestern University where I received my mechanical engineering degree. I spent the first 17 years of my career at a German-owned technology company where they asked me to train for my first two years near Stuttgart.  During this time, I learned the German language – I was also there to help take down the Berlin wall and I still have a piece of it.   In 2005, Ipsen recruited me to join the team as Vice President Technology and that started my journey with Ipsen which is now nearly thirteen years.

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Columbus McKinnon Fire, Virginia, USA

We really know very little about this facility or the cause of the fire beyond what we were sent below. We can add that though that there was a fire at the plant back in January of 2017 that injured a firefighter and that the plant has roughly 220 employees making chain hoists for cranes and other products. May 7, 2018   

“Three fire crews rushed to the scene of a fire early this morning at the Columbus McKinnon plant in Damascus, Virginia. Dispatch received a call at 7:05 A.M. that the heat treat area of the plant, located toward its rear, was on fire. Crews from Damascus, Abingdon and Glade Spring arrived, with the earliest at 7:15 A.M. The Damascus Rescue Squad was also on scene. Roughly 150 employees of the plant evacuated. Crews remained on scene from 7:15 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. The heat treat area sustained fire and smoke damage to the roof, while the entire plant sustained minor water damages. After emergency crews left, employees entered the building and returned to work. The heat treat section of the Columbus McKinnon plant was affected by smoke and water damage. The Damascus Fire Chief and general manager now say they’ll assess the situation once the power returns. The entire building was not affected, and parts may reopen today.” 

People News

Where are they now? Scott Workman. We firmly believe that everybody in the worldwide heat treating industry knows Scott Workman. Scott is an experienced heat treater who has worked at a number of captive and commercial heat treats around the world including VW in China, Stanley Black and Decker in Texas and Mushashi in South Carolina (which closed a number of years ago. We just ran across Scott who is now with a company by the name of FOMAS Inc., a manufacturer of seamless rings located in York, South Carolina, USA (formerly this company was known as “The Ajax Rolled Ring & Machine” Company). The company operates a number of rotary hearth and tip up furnaces. May 7, 2018   

Dean Louis Russell V. On May 1 Louis Russell V. was born to Dean Russell Junior and his wife. Dean Russell Junior is the son of Dean  Russell Senior and the two are amongst the best known heat treat reps in the US, having repped companies such as Ipsen and Dry Coolers for many years. Congratulations to the whole family.

Jak Kozma, AFC-Holcroft Retirement

Many readers of The Monty will recognize the name Jak Kozma.  Kozma served for many years at AFC-Holcroft in various engineering and project management capacities, which brought him in contact with some of the company’s biggest clients.  He was at times involved with some of AFC-Holcroft’s more technically complex projects and systems throughout his career. Now after 50-some years working in the furnace/thermal processing systems business, Kozma is retiring. May 7, 2018   

“Kozma was literally born into the business, specifically the J.A. Kozma Company, founded in Detroit in 1928 by his grandfather.  He is fond of saying he was born in a furnace, and once the heat got in his blood, there was no quenching it.   His life’s work has been spent in the furnace industry, and even in childhood, his goal was to become a successful furnace chief engineer.

Following his graduation from the University of Michigan in the early 1970’s, Kozma worked in the family furnace business but eventually moved on to a heat treat and forge plant as a plant engineer, and then onto several different furnace manufacturers before joining Holcroft (now AFC-Holcroft) in 1987.  As a global company, AFC-Holcroft afforded Kozma many opportunities to travel and see the world as part of his assignment.  In typical style, one of his favorite recollections was a return trip to Moscow’s Red Square, with the specific goal of playing Frisbee in Red Square while wearing his beloved University of Michigan logo ball cap – much to the bewilderment of the local population and the annoyance of Russian security officials.

“Looking back on my career, I now realize that I loved every minute along the way, filled with many opportunities, challenges, successes, and yes – some failures” said Kozma.  “For me, working hard and always staying focused allowed me to learn and grow in the furnace industry I was born into.  My bonus was meeting and working with so many talented and interesting people and having fun along the way.  I can honestly say that I fulfilled my childhood dream to be a successful furnace chief engineer and more (in my mind anyway), and for that I am extremely satisfied.”

ALD Thermal Treatment, Ramos Arizpe, Mexico

Arguably one of the largest and most successful commercial heat treaters in North America is ALD Thermal Treatment (ALD TT) with plants in Port Huron, Michigan, USA and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Both plants have a very strong focus, vacuum carburizing of automotive transmission components. The Ramos, Mexico plant is worth mentioning today for a number of reasons;

First off Tuesday, August 21, 2018 the plant will be celebrating their 10th anniversay with a big party, a plaque and announcements about future plans. At the same time a symposium will be held for individuals and companies interested in learning more about Low Pressure Carburizing with High Gas Pressure Quenching, its benefits and the theory behind it. We understand this is open to anybody who would like to attend but please verify that before you pay for your plane tickets. Also worth mentioning is that our good friend Hector Ibarra who was Director of Operations has been promoted to Vice President Business Development North America (although he will continue to be responsible for all Mexico Operations plus the North America Sales teams). Additional changes include hiring two new sales people, Chuck Sefcovic, based in Port Huron who will handle the USA and Canada and Edwin Orozco who will be covering Mexico. We look forward to providing you with photos of the event in August. May 4, 2018   

EXCO Colombia

While you don’t see many fluidized bed heat treating systems anymore the companies that utilize them seem to like the technology. Such is the case with extrusion mold company EXCO in Columbia, South America who uses this Procedyne system to heat treat their dies. May 4, 2018   

Tratar, Colombia

We now visit the largest commercial heat treater in Columbia, South America a company by the name of Tratar who we mentioned last week because of their plant in Lima, Peru. Tratar was founded in 1983 in Medellin, Columbia by Roberto Bernal which means the firm is celebrating their 35th anniversary. In 1998 a second plant in Bogota, Columbia was started with the Lima plant added in 2009. Each of the plants is reasonably similar in that they feature a mix of pit carburizing furnaces, box furnaces, a fluidized bed furnace in the case of Medellin and plasma nitriding systems in Lima and Medellin.

Medellin has roughly 25 employees between their machining and heat treating operations and Bogota has 14 employees. Like commercial heat treats around the world (and there is little difference anywhere in the world-trust us) the plants run 24 hours a day/7days a week. We mentioned the company was founded by Roberto Bernal-Roberto is still heavily involved but as is the case with many companies in the heat treat industry the next generation is taking over. Andres and Jimena Bernal (son and daughter of Roberto) are now doing much of the day to day running of the business. Both are generally in attendance at ASM and FNA shows in the USA and the annual heat treat show in Germany in October of each year. May 3, 2018   

From Left to Right; Tahana Velez, Andres Bernal, Gord Montgomery, Roberto Bernal, Jimena Bernal, Steven Sossa

 From Left To Right; Jose Domingo Guerra, Jimena Bernal, Roberto Bernal, Andres Bernal, Francisco Monsalve, Steven Sossa, Lina Carmona

Heat Treating Technologies Update

Last week we had a news item about commercial heat treater Heat Treating Technologies in Lima, Ohio adding another batch IQ furnace. The press release we received mentioned a complete batch IQ line with an estimated value of $3 million USD. At the time we suggested that perhaps this figure was incorrect. We received this very polite note from the company with these comments. We are very happy to mention this and impressed by the growth of the company. May 3, 2018   

“You are correct in your assumption that the story was incorrect and we appreciate you noting so on your website! We have received one 36 x 72 Surface Combustion batch furnace and will be installing one additional draw furnace and 1 spray wash. We will be receiving 2 more 36 by 72 batch furnaces over the next 2 months in addition to the draw and spray wash. When all is said and done we will have 8 batch furnaces, 6 draw furnaces and 4 spray washes. The end result is that we have doubled our capacity over the past three years. Regards, Amberly Deibel”

Heat Treating Technologies Adding Batch IQ. Commercial heat treater Heat Treating Technologies of Lima, Ohio (owner Rick Diebel) is adding yet another Batch IQ furnace to the 8 the company already has as we can see below. With all due respect to everybody involved we believe that somewhere along the line this story got slightly distorted as we have yet to see a batch IQ line worth $3 million USD. April 25, 2018     

“Business is good for an Allen County industry as they’re investing millions into their company. Heat Treating Technologies on East 4th Street, getting a delivery that will meet the demand they have been facing. At a cost of 3-million dollars, a new draw furnace and quench tank is a big step for the company that started at this location back in 1993. They see the investment as a good move with the quality workforce that they have and the increasing demand for their services. “We provide heat treating services and what that means is that it’s a thermal process that we put the steel though that makes it harder and more durable in cars, automotive parts, agriculture, trucking,” explained Amberly Deibel, Heat Treating Technologies. Deibel says the expansion will bring with it at least 10 new jobs.”

Fred Hamizadeh, American Axle & Manufacturing

We have always considered American Axle & Manufacturing to be one of the largest captive heat treaters in North America and consequently one of the larger ones in the world since they are a global company. This would make Fred Hamizadeh, who was Senior Manager, Heat Treating – Driveline Manufacturing Services for the company a very influential individual in the heat worldwide heat treating industry. His name comes up today because we see that he recently became a Director for the company. What exactly this means we aren’t sure but because of Fred’s presence  in the industry we feel this change is worth mentioning. May 3, 2018   

Ion Heat, Colombia, South America

Compared to builders of batch IQ furnaces (sealed quench), vacuum furnaces or even mesh belt furnaces the number of builders of Plasma (Ion) Nitriding furnaces is very short-off the top of our heads we can only think of a handful, virtually all being based in Europe. An exception to this is Ion Heat a relatively new company which is based in Colombia, South America. In 2008 commercial heat treater TRATAR with plants in Peru and Colombia, started an R & D project with the goal of developing a simple, dependable Plasma nitriding system. After several years of testing Ion Heat was formed in 2012 and the end result is the company has a number of systems around the world including North America, South America and Asia. Ion Heat now has almost 50 employees and while best known for their Nitriders the firm also builds atmosphere furnaces, furnaces for third parties and is involved in a large vacuum furnace project. This photo shows part of the Ion Heat team as we saw them this week. May 2, 2018   

Picture Time

From time to time we reach into our photo archives and see what we can pull out in the way of interesting photos of the heat treat industry from years gone past. This is what we dug out today. May 2, 2018   

Gord Montgomery on the left with Ron Prattis and his son on the right. Ron has been with Bodycote in Kitchener, Canada for many years now-good man.

Bob Fincken, SSI, Kyle Favors, HTSU and David Carpenter of Southwest Specialty Heat Treat Inc., of Virginia

Tony Wu who was with ALD at the time. Tony has been with Bodycote in China for a number of years now.

Esteban Aguilar Garcia of CRIO, Damian Bratcher, SSI and Eric Jossart of Atmosphere Engineering at Associated Spring in Monterrey, Mexico

Phil Dennis, Founder of H & S Heat Treating in Port Robinson, Ontario, Canada. Phil passed away a number of years ago but just hearing his name puts a smile on our face. A top notch individual.

Wind Energy-Another One Bites The Dust

April 13 of this year we had the news item below about how the wind energy industry never proved to be the gold mine for the heat treating industry that many had expected. At the time we mentioned  the most recent casualty, a gear manufacturer in the US Midwest but we did not provide a name. The company we alluded to was Brevini Wind and these photos show the installation. We also include the original press release from when the furnace order was placed (again below). May 1, 2018     

“Around about 2010 suppliers of components for the wind turbine industry in North America were poised for the good times. Companies such as ZF, GE, Gleason, Dokka Fasteners, Vancouver Gear and a host of others were investing heavily in their manufacturing facilities in the never doubted belief that the good times were at hand. There was no doubt but that wind energy was the way of the future and this would of course lead to furnace builders being deluged with orders for furnaces to heat treat wind turbine components such as gears, bearings and fasteners. And of course these were not just any furnaces but top end units designed for deep case carburizing with state of the art controls. Dokka Fasteners built a large plant in Michigan just for heat treating bolts for windmills, ZF invested heavily in a plant in Georgia to make gears for windmills, Aichelin installed a really top notch pit furnace installation in the US Midwest just for gears, Gleason Works in NY was on the verge of a substantial investment in batch IQ furnaces for windmill parts, Vancouver Gear bet heavily on wind energy  and a host of other companies also invested, all in the certainty that the good times were close at hand. Except of course the good times never happened. Which brings us to the latest casualty another gear manufacturer in the US Midwest who has also closed their plant recently and dumped the really nice heat treat equipment on the used market. While we can’t share the name with you yet this photo shows a portion of the department and specifically the base trays for the furnaces. More to come.  April 13, 2018” 

August 2010 News Item; AFC-Holcroft Supplies Equipment to Process Wind Energy Gearboxes for Wind Energy Company Brevini. AFC-Holcroft is pleased to announce the receipt of a new furnace order for a sealed quench furnace line that will be used to process specialized components utilized in the wind energy market. The furnace line is based on AFC-Holcrofts standard, modular UBQ (Universal Batch Quench) family of products, but was modified to optimize its efficiency for the mix of products required by this customer. Brevini Wind, headquartered in Italy, is expanding their facility in Indiana, USA where the equipment will be installed. AFC-Holcroft is pleased to be part of the premium Brevini supplier base as they expand their business units around the world.”

Fengdong Furnaces

We are pleased to mention our newest advertiser Fengdong Furnaces of China. Fengdong is the largest new furnace builder in the country and one of the largest in the world, their ad can be found on the top right of this page. Fengdong has the experience and capability to supply most types of furnaces including Atmosphere, Batch, Continuous and Vacuum. May 1, 2018     

Zhu Wenming, Chairman of Fengdong, Gord Montgomery

Medical Tools Manufacturer Selects SECO/WARWICK

Recently a UK company installed a SECO WARWICK vacuum furnace for medical tools. May 1, 2018     

In the last quarter of 2017, a UK company installed a 6 Bar vacuum furnace for the production of medical tools, e.g. bypass.  The complete heat treatment cell enables the operator to automatically heat and cool in a single closed loop system.  The gas quenching system provides efficient cooling with an absolute minimum of part distortion – a critical benefit for precision components where errors are not an option.”

The “Lost” Incan City of Machu Picchu, Peru

We at “The Monty” are veering dangerously away from our oft repeated goal of reporting only on items having to do with the worldwide heat treating industry but we couldn’t resist on this one. During an ongoing trip to visit a furnace manufacturer in Columbia, South America and commercial heat treaters in Columbia and Peru we took a side trip to the “lost” Incan city of Machu Picchu in Peru. In spite of the fact that there is no heat treating in the area Machu Picchu is still quite a sight. In the one photo below Dale and Gord Montgomery of “The Monty” can be seen.  April 30, 2018     

Premier Furnace/BeaverMatic Expanding

From furnace builder Premier Furnace/Beavermatic in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA we have this note about a 22,000 square foot expansion the company is adding. To go with this news item we went through our notes and found this press release from May of 2015 when Premier acquired the intellectual property assets of Beavermatic. April 30, 2018     

“Premier Furnace/BeaverMatic is pleased to announce the start of construction of an expansion at their plant 1 facility in Farmington Hills, MI.  This expansion will provide space for a state of the art testing and training facility, additional manufacturing capabilities, as well as increased office space to allow Premier/BeaverMatic to accommodate business growth and customer needs.”

The additional 22,000-square foot space is expected to be completed by fall 2018

May 11, 2015 “Premier Furnace Specialists Inc. of Farmington Hills, Mich., recently acquired the intellectual property assets of BeaverMatic Inc. of Rockford, Ill. Now with the purchase of the BeaverMatic IP, Premier Furnace will be able to greatly expand its product offerings and presence in the marketplace. Under the BeaverMatic name, Premier Furnace will continue to manufacture BeaverMatic’s line of I.Q. furnace systems, car bottoms, box furnaces, pit furnaces and tip-up furnaces. Premier Furnace will also continue to manufacture its line of pusher furnaces, roller-hearth furnaces, batch furnaces, brazing, sintering, annealing mesh-belt furnaces, pit furnaces, endothermic/exothermic generators and water systems.”  

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