The Website of Choice for Captive and Commercial Heat Treaters Since 1999

Vakuum-Härtetechnik Schwer GmbH Adding Nitriding Capacity

In Tuningen, Germany we see that commercial shop Vakuum-Härtetechnik Schwer GmbH will shortly be adding gas nitriding capacity. Founded in 2008 by the current owner Mr. Hanspeter Schwer with 4 employees the company has grown to 60 people, with 4 vacuum furnaces, 17 tempers and a typical workload of 1,200 orders per week. Like many heat treaters around the world the company if finding business to be great with sales for 2018 20% better than in 2017 which prompted the company to make a major investment in a new field for them-vacuum nitriding. The furnace will be provided by Rohde of Germany and should be in production within the next few months. Like many heat treat companies this is a family owned business with Hanspeter being joined by his sons Christian and Christoph. October 23, 2018      

Gord Montgomery, Joern Rohde, Christoph Schwer, Hanspeter Schwer and Christian Schwer

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 jordan@themonty.com or 905-271-0033. October 23, 2018      

Item # O355 Chicago Brazing Company For Sale
Item # O354 Metallurgist Wanted
Item # O353 Controls Engineer Wanted
Item # O352 Sales Positions Available
Item # O351 Metallurgical Engineer Wanted
Item # SE002 Metallurgical Engineer Looking For A Job

Solar Atmospheres Commissions Large Car Bottom 

“Solar Atmospheres of Western PA successfully commissioned a brand new 20 foot long car bottom furnace that has a total load capacity of up to 30,000 pounds. The Class 2 furnace, built by John Becker’s Heat Treat Equipment Inc., located in Canton, Michigan, was installed and fully tested for the first time in Hermitage, PA. The 60 inch square by 240 inch hot zone envelope easily passed the stringent AMS 2750E Temperature Uniformity Survey (TUS) of +/- 10°F from temperatures of 300°F to 1450°F. The survey passed on the very first attempt and was put into production immediately.  This new piece of equipment will serve to compliment Solar’s lower temperature work – especially where surface oxidation is of little concern. It will also be used to economically process many “downstream” processes, including multiple tempering operations, which typically follow vacuum austenitizing treatments. Pictured is the inaugural run of six 4140 rolls that weigh a total of 12,000 pounds. The rolls are used for a variety of steel making industries from forming angles to rolling rebar. For additional information, contact Mike Johnson at 724-982-0660 x2223 or mike@solarwpa.com, and visit us at www.solaratm.com.” October 23, 2018      

Used Equipment

“The Monty” has one of the most complete lists of Used Heat Treating Furnaces in North America, a list which is updated daily. Our most recent additions are mentioned below. If you don’t see what you are looking for please let us know at jordan@themonty.com or 905-271-0033.  October 23, 2018      

Item # G202 AFC 4500 CFH Generator, Endo Injector
Item # VF345 Vacuum Temper Furnace Unused $250,000
Item # T355 Wisconsin Oven $19,000
Item # VF344 C.I. Hayes Vacuum Furnace $90,000 O.B.O
Item # B460 Super 30 Batch IQ $45,000

HK 2018 Cologne, Germany

Well it is now a wrap for the HK 2018 heat treatment exhibition in Cologne, Germany and actually the end of the large heat treat shows for 2018 and we are breathing a sigh of relief. We have these final pictures from the show. October 23, 2018      

Uttis Furnaces; Petruta Druga, Cristian Badina, Gord Montgomery

IVR Furnaces. From Right to Left; Rudy Bastianello, Denis Santoni, Lucia De Marco, Daniele Pizzol, Marco Fresch
The SECO/WARWICK Team

Front Row; Mr. Andrea Bressan, Mrs. Rossella Boso, Mrs. Melissa De Marco, Mr. Luigino Da Re, Mr. Peter Schweighofer, Mrs. Katia Cais, Mr. Alberto Foda, 

Back Row; Mr. Roberto Carpenè, Mr. Angelo Scipione

Aodh Mac Fhionnbhairr, Bodycote, Gord Montgomery

Roland Weeske, Bastian Schott, Monica Robl, Eduard Lassel, Nidaa Seif-Eddine, Dr. Ing. Rolf Terjung

Monday Morning Briefing

Last week we had a “teaser” news item about what is probably the largest commercially available pit gas nitriding furnace in Europe if not the world, we are now going to give you some more details. Since 1860 Härterei Carl Gommann GmbH in Remscheid, Germany https://www.gommann.de/en/company/  has been offering commercial heat treating and has become what could arguably be the largest commercial heat treater in Europe when it comes to gas nitriding (by the way for our North American readers Härterei means hardening). The company has over 30 furnaces and we would  consider the centrepiece to be several mammoth pit gas nitriding furnaces with a working depth of up to  11.300 meters (over 33’), a diameter of up to 4.100 mm (13’) and a weight capacity of up to 100 tons with the larger furnaces being provided by furnace builder KGO of Germany http://kgo-gmbh.de/ (the website has both English and German and their banner ad can be found on this page). To give you an idea about the size of the furnaces the one photo shows Harald Roth of KGO and Volkher Diehl of Carl Gommann standing in the pit beside one of the largest furnaces. In addition to gas nitriding the company y also has a very substantial plasma nitriding department.

Gord Montgomery, Harald Roth, KGO

Harald Roth, KGO, Volkher Diehl, QA Manager, Carl Gommann Company

In the US we see that Tracy Dougherty, long time Sales Manager of furnace builder AFC-Holcroft was recently promoted to Vice President Sales, a promotion which in our opinion is very richly deserved. We hunted through our file photos for an interesting photo of Tracy and came up with this one of Tracy from a couple of years ago taken during a rousing game of paint ball in Michigan. Tracy is standing on the right hand side of the stage dressed in blue. AFC-Holcroft is based in Wixom, Michigan and is one of the largest furnace builders in North America.

In Mexico captive heat treater Kern Liebers in Queretaro recently placed on order for a very large pit nitriding furnace a furnace which is not scheduled to be shipped for some time still. In the meantime later on this week we will tell you a lot more about the company, their various heat treating locations around the world and their plans to vastly enlarge their nitriding capacity in China. Lets move to Canada where Thermetco https://thermetco.com/en/home/ just outside of Montreal is making some major investments, investments which include a move to another building. Over the past year the company has invested in a brand new batch IQ line, vacuum capacity, new cooling systems and a host of other investments all while they move from downtown Montreal to a very impressive brand new building on the South Shore. This photo shows one of the company’s batch IQ lines being moved into the new building. Thermetco is one of the largest, if not the largest commercial heat treater in Quebec.

How about heat treat “stuff” from the UK? Commercial heat treater Wallwork has added a £130K in-house mechanical testing facility to their Cambridge facility; Our new £130K in-house mechanical testing facility, certified by UKAS, at our Cambridge plant is boosting customer order turn-around times. “Destructive testing is mainly specified by customers in Aerospace, however, it is becoming increasingly common in motorsport, medical devices and other industries where there can be no compromise in product integrity. The new facility gives us much quicker results than going out to an external testing lab,” explained Andy Fox, operations director at Cambridge.” A couple of our favorite people in the UK heat treating industry are Matt and James Cross of furnace controls company SSI UK. Matt started the business many years ago and his son James has been following in his footsteps for the past few years. Things change and James has taken a position with another controls company and will be relocating outside of the UK. We can’t say enough good things about both Matt and James but at the end of the day sometimes an offer comes along which is too good to turn down-we wish James the best of luck. Hauck Heat Treatment Ltd., in Letchworth, UK is pretty pleased with their brand new TAV vacuum furnace which just arrived as you can see below. It is not yet installed but getting close. TAV is an Italian manufacturer of vacuum furnaces which has a very strong presence in the UK.  October 22, 2018   

Harterei Reese/Bill Andreski

Earlier this week we had some really cool pictures from commercial heat treater Reese in Bochum, Germany (scroll down a bit to see the very large, red hot gear about to be quenched). To further show how small the heat treating industry is, it turns out that a fellow we know well, Mr. Bill Andreski of MobilMetals in Cleveland, Ohio, USA has worked extensively with Reese over the years helping the company in the US market. To take it one step further Bill’s son (also named Bill) actually worked at Reese in Germany several years ago. Bill Andreski by the way is a well known rep in the US selling for companies such as SSI, Heat Treat Central and AFC-HolcroftOctober 19, 2018   

Wittman Harterei, Germany, Expansion

Back in May of this year we had this note about Wittman Harterei in Germany expanding and promised you some updates (our original post is below). We can now say that the expansion is moving along quite nicely and that it will include two brand new Vacuum Nitriding units. This photo was taken at the just completed HK 2018 show in Cologne, Germany after furnace builder Rohde received an order for a second unit. From left to right: Raphael Raatz (Deputy Technical Director at Rohde), Natasha Rohde with Konstantin, Joern with Vincent Rohde, Ralph Matthaeus (General Manager Haerterei Wittmann) and Andreas Wiesemann (Technical Director at Rohde). October 19, 2018   

May 16, 2018; 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.”

World’s Largest Pit Nitriding Furnace?

We are 99% sure that what you are looking at is the largest pit gas nitriding furnace in Europe and quite possibly the world. It has working dimensions of 4 meters diameter (12′) and a depth of 8 meters (24′) and a weight capacity of 100 tons. We looked at it very recently and will give you all the details next week. October 18, 2018   

HK 2018 (Heat Treatment Congress)

We have our first update from the HK 2018 Heat Treatment Congress in Cologne, Germany. As always the show is impeccably organized and well attended. We have these photos to give you a feel for the event. In the first photo we see Dr. Winfried Grafen, Head of AWT (the heat treating organization in Germany) and Peter Lankes of HTC. Peter commented that the HK 2018 event is excellent and that in his opinion the quality of the technical seminars was excellent and superior to most other exhibitions including ones which the ones he attended at the recent FNA exhibition. October 18, 2018   

Pat McKenna, President, Ipsen USA, Marc Angenendt, CEO, Ipsen Europe

Thomas Dopler, CEO Aichelin Moedling,Bettina Deuretzbacher, Market Communication Aichelin Group Sladjana Jokesz, Assistant to CEO Aichelin Holding Sandra Hinterdorfer, Market Communication Aichelin Group Harald Berger, Market Communication Aichelin Group Wolfgang Brosche, Business Development Aichelin Group Matthias Wolf, CEO Noxmat

From left to right: Raphael Raatz (Deputy Technical Director at Rohde), Natasha with Konstantin, Joern with Vincent Rohde, Ralph Matthaeus (General Manager Haerterei Wittmann) and Andreas Wiesemann (Technical Director at Rohde). Picture was taken after Rohde received the order for the second furnace for Haerterei Wittmann: a chamber furnace for niriding during HK 2018.

Härterei Reese

If we start off with the basic premise that real heat treating involves carburizing of large parts with oil quenching involved then one of the giants in the industry would be Härterei Reese, a very large commercial heat treater with 4 locations in Germany, Bochum, Brackenheim, Chemnitz and Weimar. Like many in the industry this is a family owned company started in

1948 and with roughly 250 employees it is a big operation. We have mentioned the company before for a number of reasons, the main one being that it boasts the largest pit carburizing furnace we know of, a monster with a working diameter 5,000 mm (196″). A typical load can be seen in these photos (Bochum facility) which shows a large gear about ready for quenching. By the way as a Canadian we got a great deal of joy out of the fact the company hoisted a Canadian flag in our honour. October 17, 2018   

From Left To Right; Phillip Reese, Mr. Dollekes, Plant Manager, Joachim Reese, Gord Montgomery, Norbert Schremb, Martina Reese, Gerd Reese, Ulrich Reese

Cambridge Heat Treating, Canada

Like many captive and commercial heat treaters around the world commercial heat treater Cambridge Heat Treating http://cambridgeheattreating.com/ in Cambridge, Canada are finding the need for additional capacity. This photo shows one of two batch IQ furnaces the company just installed, as a matter of fact this was the very first load run though this furnace. October 17, 2018   

KGO Gmbh, Germany

At this moment the HK 2018 Heat Treatment show which is the largest heat treat exhibition in Europe in 2018 is taking place. We at “The Monty” are in attendance and taking the opportunity to see a number of companies in Germany which are related to the heat treating industry. One which we visited today was furnace builder KGO located just outside of Cologne. In these photos we see the KGO team and also a batch IQ furnace which is currently under construction. October 17, 2018   

Paulo Ads Hot Isostatic Pressing

Well, well we see that Paulo has joined a very small elite group of companies in North America able to offer Hot Isostatic Pressing (or HIPPING which is a lot easier to say). We have this press release from Paulo and further down the Wikipedia definition for those not familiar with this relatively uncommon heat treating process. “Paulo is excited to announce the purchase of a Hot Isostatic Press from Quintus Technologies.  The HIP vessel will be installed in the Cleveland Division’s recent expansion and primarily support densification and heat treatment of investment castings and additively manufactured parts. Paulo’s Cleveland Division currently supports the Aerospace and Power Generation industries with Heat Treatment and Brazing. The addition of HIP will provide additive manufacturers and casting houses a one stop shop for thermal processes. The working dimensions of the vessel are 26” diameter and 68.9” height. The vessel is capable of a maximum temperature of 2552F and maximum pressure of 30,000psi of Argon.  This size and configuration is well suited to support additive manufacturing and the ability to combine HIP and heat treatment will allow for faster turnaround time through thermal processing. Scott Herzing, Vice President Engineering, commented, “This is an exciting addition for Paulo. We see the market for HIP expanding, with a large part attributed to additive manufacturing. We want to be a part of that. Working with a market leading company like Quintus is a good fit for Paulo and this partnership will allow us to continue to do what we have always done, help our customers succeed.”

 “Wikipedia Definition; Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) is a manufacturing process, used to reduce the porosity of metals and increase the density of many ceramic materials. This improves the material’s mechanical properties and workability. The HIP process subjects a component to both elevated temperature and isostatic gas pressure in a high pressure containment vessel. The pressurizing gas most widely used is argon. An inert gas is used so that the material does not chemically react. The chamber is heated, causing the pressure inside the vessel to increase. Many systems use associated gas pumping to achieve the necessary pressure level. Pressure is applied to the material from all directions (hence the term “isostatic”).” October 17, 2018   

BULTEN, Sweden/HQM Heat Treatment, Germany

So, what the heck does a fastener manufacturer in Sweden have in common with a commercial heat treater in Germany? They are both getting set to receive new furnaces from Aichelin in Austria.

Back on September 3 of this year we had a press release about how captive heat treater BULTEN in Sweden had ordered a second cast link furnace line from Aichelin (this is the abbreviated press release we used at the time); “Swedish fastener manufacturer BULTEN has commissioned heat treatment specialist AICHELIN with the production of a cast link belt furnace for heat treating of high-strength steel screws and nuts. At 80 meters in length, the furnace has a capacity of 2 tons per hour and is scheduled to be shipped by December 2018. It is the second industrial furnace plant for the Swedish Hallstahammar site.” This photo which we took yesterday and shows the almost complete furnace in the Aichelin plant in Moedling, Austria with the man in charge, Mr. Thomas Dopler, CEO of Aichelin, Moedling. October 16, 2018   

HQM Heat Treatment is a commercial heat treater with locations in both West and East Germany. In the photo below, you see a large “through feed” sealed quench furnace (batch IQ for us North Americans) almost ready for shipment to the company. This the 10th sealed quench furnace provided to HQM over the years plus ancillary equipment.

Roger A. Jones Named 2018 ASM Fellow

Solar Atmospheres’ CEO, Roger A. Jones, will be awarded the distinguished honor of ASM Fellow (FASM) at the upcoming ASM Awards Dinner being held on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at the MS&T18 Conference in Columbus, OH. According to ASM, “The honor of Fellow represents recognition of  distinguished contributions in the field of materials science and engineering, and develops a broadly based forum for technical and professional leaders to serve as advisors to the Society.”  Roger’s citation reads: “For advancing production vacuum thermal processes and procedures for large and heavy assemblies utilizing state of the art vacuum furnaces, for the enhancement of the overall heat treating industry.”  Roger’s comment on becoming FASM, “I am extremely honored to receive this most prestigious ASM award. This highest award in the field of materials science signifies the culmination of my 45 year vacuum heat treating career. I would like to thank ASM, my colleagues who recommended me and my family for all of their support over the years. I am so proud to be inducted into the ASM 2018 Class of Fellows.” October 16, 2018   

Monday Morning Briefing

A few weeks back we had a story about Complete HT in Milwaukee buying another heat treat in the area, Commercial Heat Treating Inc. As a footnote to that story we have this article; “The operator of the Harbor District’s first apartment and retail development is planning to to buy a nearby site overlooking Milwaukee’s Kinnickinnic River. The site includes a 30,000-square-foot industrial building that houses Commercial Heat Treating Inc. That firm is merging with Complete Heat Treating, 1530 S. Barclay St., and is moving out. The building likely will be demolished to make way for new construction. October 15, 2018   

There were a number of news reports about a fire at auto parts supplier and captive heat treater Linamar in Guelph, Canada most of them overblown. At the end of the day it was quite a minor incident with little damage. Linamar has the largest batch IQ installations in North America and is one of the fastest growing auto parts makers in the world. “There were no reported injuries following a fire at Linamar Gear early Tuesday morning. Shortly before 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 9, Guelph firefighters were called to a reported fire at 32 Independence Place. On scene, firefighters saw smoke coming from the roof of the building. According to a news release from the fire department, there was a “fire inside a heat treating furnace within the building.” The news release adds that the fire was quickly brought under control and subsequently put out once the natural gas shut off valves were found on the roof of the building. There were no reported injuries to Linamar staff or to firefighters. The cause of the fire, along with a damage estimate, is currently under investigation.”

Where Are They Now-David Pye. As a long time consultant to the industry David is a well known figure in the industry. Recently he made the decision to move back to the US; ” Hello Gordon, This is David at Pye Metallurgical International Consulting. I am back in the USA and relocating into Hampton Virginia. I am resurrecting Pye Metallurgical International Consulting and heat treat education.  Web site is at http://www.heat-treatment-metaallurgy.com  You will see that it contains a great deal on India. I have worked extensively in India on defence projects, forging/machining heat treatment, surface treatment, also on educational training, on Heat Treatment of metals.”

Radioactive Firebrick. A heat treater recently sent several furnaces to a scrap dealer where they were refused due to the fact that the brick was supposedly radioactive. The scrap dealer would accept the furnaces but only if all the brickwork was already removed. Now this is a new one on us and we did a little bit of digging-one used equipment dealer said that he has run across this several times over the years but each time it proved to be a scam, basically if he accepted a lower price for the scrap the problem would go away. However in this situation the heat treater trying to scrap the furnaces actually observed supplementary hand held scanner in use which did seem to indicate radioactivity in the brick but not in the all metal sections of the furnace. Has anybody out there run across a similar situation? It’s a first on us but anything is possible. Nickel pricing. The graph below showing nickel pricing over the past 5 years should bring joy to every heat treaters heart. Basically we see it on a slight downward trend after some peaks earlier this year and remaining at a mid point compared to the past few years. At the end of the day this means relatively stable pricing for baskets, trays, radiant tubes and fixturing.

Furnaces North America (FNA). The largest heat treat exhibition of 2018 in North America (FNA) is now over and we have these final photos from the exhibition;

 Bernie Parry of Heat Treat Central

AFC-Holcroft

 Furnace Builder Rohde of Germany

What’s upcoming? We have a number of real interesting things lined up for the near future which include; a completely redesigned “The Monty” website, a visit to the largest atmosphere furnace company in the world Aichelin in Austria, an interview with Mr. Marc Angenendt, CEO of Ipsen Europe, complete coverage of the HK18 Heat Treat Exhibition in Cologne, Germany, a profile of several captive and commercial hear treaters in Germany and some interesting announcements about “people” changes in the North American heat treating industry.

Furnaces North America

Another Heat Treat exhibition in this case the Metal Treating Institute (MTI) Furnaces North America show is now over. Lasting from Monday October 8th to Wednesday October 10th in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA the show attracted approximately 1,500 visitors. We at “The Monty” would call it a success and we will say that everybody we spoke to agreed that it was well organized and well attended. Having said all of that we do have one complaint, a complaint which we made at the last show and that has to do with the hours that the actual expo was open-in this case 11:15 AM to 5:30 PM on Tuesday and from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM on Wednesday. Our feeling is that two half days do not do justice to the amount of time and money invested by the exhibitors and many of the visitors. The flip side is that the day is split into early morning technical sessions followed by the Expo itself which makes for a more organized, planned day. We freely admit that we are in the minority on this and also freely admit that the event was very successful and we as always had fun. You will find some photos of the event below with more to come over the next few days. October 12, 2018   

The McLaughlin Services Team

Quench Oil Specialists Idemitsu

Furnace Controls Company Eurotherm

Nicholas Spieldenner and Chad Haines, Wirco

 Cleveland Electric

SECO/VACCUM Sells Vector Vacuum Furnace

“Vector®, one of the SECO/VACUUM (a SECO/WARWICK Group company) flagship vacuum furnaces, will soon enhance the in-house heat treat capabilities of another company in the tool & die industry. The company taking possession of the furnace has multiple Vector furnaces and chose to purchase another one to meet growing customer demand. The company has been using equipment designed by SECO/VACUUM for more than twenty years. Now, due to increased demand, the company is expanding its capabilities, and because of the long-term, successful history with SECO/VACUUM, the consistent performance of the furnace, as well as the excellent service they’ve received, the company stayed with SECO/VACUUM and purchased another Vector.

Test Results; The purchase process included validation tests of tooling dies in a similar, nearby furnace. The positive test results confirmed the company’s resolve to grow their relationship with SECO/VACUUM. The furnace being delivered is a horizontal, front-loading Vector furnace with a capacity of 2,650 lbs. Vector is a tool and die industry star; “Vector is the most popular gas quenching vacuum furnace design in the industry. It is SECO/VACUUM’s workhorse product line, with built-in capabilities for heat treating a wide range of products and processes. Other tool and die companies may find the purchase of a Vector furnace an economical way to bring heat treating in-house or enhance current in-house heat treating capabilities. Considering its ease of use and low maintenance needs, Vector is an ideal choice for the tool and die industry,” said  Piotr Zawistowski, Managing Director of SECO/VACUUM Technologies. Learn more about Vector at https://www.secovacusa.com/product/vector-single-chamber-high-pressure-gas-quench” October 12, 2018   

New Commercial Heat Treat Plant in Mexico

The photo below shows the framework of a new commercial heat treating facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The facility is being built by one of the largest commercial heat treaters in the country, CRIO. This facility will be the third the company has with the others located in Queretaro and Saltillo. While we at “The Monty” have visited the plants in Queretaro and Saltillo our photos have become rather dated so Esteban Aguilar, GM of CRIO very kindly provided these updated pictures of the Queretaro location. CRIO is closely associate with MATTSA the largest new furnace builder in Mexico. We will keep you updated on the San Luis Potosi project which will include updates on what equipment the company plans to install. October 11, 2018   

Technetics Auction-What’s It Worth?

Recently as part of a Monday Morning Briefing we mentioned that machine shop Technetics in Oxford, MA, USA was auctioning off some equipment including this vacuum furnace; “Abar HR 50 Vacuum Furnace, 36W x 30H x 48D Load, Atmospheric Quench 30 HP Fan, 20” Diffusion Pump, Stokes 412 Mechanical Pump, Graphite Hot Zone Insulation w/Moly Elements, Furnace Partially Rebuilt in 2009, Touch Screen Controls w/PLC, Wiring, Plumbing, Valves and Hot Zone”. The auction did indeed take place October 9th and as we predicted the furnace sold immediately for top dollar. To be exact it sold for $185,000 USD which included the furnace, spare parts, a spare vacuum pump and a leak detector. Top dollar indeed but no surprise to us. No idea who the buyer was. October 11, 2018   

Kentucky Heat Treating/Bodycote

So just two days ago we broke the news about worldwide commercial heat treater Bodycote acquiring Kentucky Heat Treating of Winchester, Kentucky, USA (scroll down this page for all the details). As a foot note to this story we have this very interesting photo of John Hubbard (former CEO of Bodycote, now with Thermal Process Holdings), Ed Stenger (former owner of Kentucky Heat Treating) and Dan McCurdy (President, Bodycote Automotive and General Industrial Heat Treatment, North America and Asia). This makes for an interesting photo and shows you how close the heat treating industry is. October 10, 2018   

Furnaces North America

Live from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA we have these photos from the FNA show which is happening as we speak. October 10, 2018   

 The ATP Team

 Griffith and Bill Braddock (Braddock Metallurgical), Gord Montgomery

Jim Demarest, SAFE Cronite, Buster Crossley, Texas Heat Treating, Gord Montgomery

 Jordan & Gord Montgomery (The Monty),  Jack Kalucki and Paul Gofas (Nitrex Metal Inc.)

Mike Neumann, Paulo, Jordan Montgomery, “The Monty”, Josh Hale, ISP

Bodycote Acquires Kentucky Heat Treating

Rumors have been circulating that commercial heat treat giant Bodycote has made yet another acquisition, with the rumors suggesting that it is Kentucky Heat Treating in Winchester, Kentucky, USA. To either confirm or deny this rumor we approached Mr. Dan W McCurdy, P.E., President, Automotive & General Industrial HT, Bodycote, North America & Asia. Dan did indeed confirm that Bodycote acquired Kentucky Heat Treating October 4, 2018 from the previous owner, Mr. Ed Stenger. Dan also had this to say; “We are very happy to have the company join our Automotive and General Industrial Southeast Region which also includes Morristown (TN), Fountain Inn (SC), Athens (AL), and Covington (GA).”

From the Kentucky Heat Treating website http://www.kyheattreat.com/index.html we have this description of the company;The Kentucky Heat Treating Company was founded in 1967 in Georgetown, Kentucky to service the Lexington IBM typewriter plant and other commercial accounts in the area. It was located in a 16,000 sq ft plant and utilized batch integral quench equipment. In 1981, the company was sold. Since that time there have been many changes and considerable growth both in size and equipment. In 2004 the company relocated to Winchester Kentucky and is currently occupying a building of 65,000 sq ft. Over the years, due to customer requests, we have added a number of new furnaces including vacuum furnaces up to 10 bar quenching, multiple batch IQ furnaces, car bottoms and nitriding furnaces.” October 9, 2018   

Furnaces North America

While the exhibition portion of the Furnaces North America (FNA) show in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA is not yet open a number of companies are taking the opportunity to hold sales meetings prior to the show. These three photos were taken at the SSI (furnace controls) sales meeting which was held the morning of Monday, October 8. Each of these three companies, “The Duffy Company” (Chicago, USA area), “SSI Mexico” and Jack Bai of SSI, China received orders for sales growth of over 20% in the past year. October 9, 2018   

Duffy Company

Jack Bai SSI China

SSI Mexico

Monday Morning Briefing

It would appear that pre registration for Furnaces North America (FNA) which takes place next week shows a total of 1449 registered attendees-this includes both visitors and exhibitors. A very quick break down shows that roughly a third of this total are actual heat treaters. We would be curious to know whether this attendance is good, bad or indifferent as compared to previous shows. If you follow this link https://www.themonty.com/10-largest-north-american-captive-heat-treaters/ you will find our list of the largest captive heat treaters in North America with heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar being ranked as the largest on the continent. Having said that, the company recently celebrated  “Manufacturing Day” at their facilities around the world which included a tour of their Technical Center in Illinois. We mention this today because the photo below was obviously taken in the heat treat department with the Atmosphere Furnace Company logo very predominantly displayed in the background. October 8, 2018   

Recently there was a very significant acquisition in the commercial heat treating industry in North America when Premier Thermal Solutions acquired Alfe Heat Treating-between you and I we will very confidentially predict that we will be hearing about others in the near to medium future. In the mean time here is an opportunity in the Chicago area, a small brazing company for sale. “Chicago area furnace belt brazing company. This represents an excellent opportunity as a stand alone company, or as an addition of furnace brazing to the local heat treaters list of processors, a local brazing company who wants to expand their sales & customer base, or the perfect opportunity for an outside the area thermal processor to enter the Chicago market with a well established customer base. Owner anxious to retire!  For information contact: Steven Hamel, Lemah Associates Ltd., 847-433-9296, Lemahassocltd@yahoo.comSpeaking of commercial heat treating Metex Heat Treat in Canada have been invested like mad fools this year to be able to keep up with demand. The photo below shows their most recent acquisitions an AFC-Holcroft Batch IQ furnaces with working dimensions of 36” X 48” X 36”, we believe this is now their 5th batch IQ furnace this size. In addition the company recently replaced an older Rogers cast link belt furnace with a newer Can Eng mesh belt unit.

German fastener manufacturer KAMAX announced earlier this year that they would be setting up a brand new manufacturing facility in Mexico which would be in production early in 2019 (the official announcement is below). We mention this because the facility will include an in house heat treating department. “German manufacturer Kamax announced plans to invest US$ 45 million in the municipality of Leon, Guanajuato to build a plant dedicated to the production of high strength fasteners for the automotive market. The facility, Kamax first manufacturing site in Latin America, will be located in the Colinas de Leon industrial park. The company plans to open 215 job positions in order to star operations by March 2019.  Kamax has already orders in Mexico for US$ 25 million, company officials said during the ceremony to unveil the investment plan, which took place at the Hannover Messe 2018 industrial fair in Germany. The company employs 3,300 workers at facilities in Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, United States and China. Around 72% of its sales come from light car manufacturers while the remaining 28% comes from the commercial vehicles segment. BMW, General Motors and Volkswagen are among its main customers.”

 Where are they now-Mike Wellham. Mike was CEO of commercial heat treater Bluewater Thermal where he did a darn good job of running the company. Mike left the heat treating industry a little while back and we understand that he is now President, COO and Board Member at Advanced Integration Technology. According to Fred Hamizadeh, who is in charge of heat treating at American Axle & Manufacturing (another company we ranked among the ten largest captive heat treats in North America) the AAM is looking for 2 heat treat engineers  with experience in gas carburizing and/or induction heat treating. We understand the positions can be found on the AAM website. We had a note not that long ago about Siegener Werkzeug- und Härtetechnik GmbH in Siegen, Germany ordering a band new Rohde vacuum nitriding furnace. SWF ordered the furnace, received the furnace and a week after receiving it ordered another unit, again from Rohde. We will be visiting this facility next week and hope to have some more photos.

Brazing Company For Sale

Chicago area furnace belt brazing company. This represents an excellent opportunity as a stand alone company, or as an addition of furnace brazing to the local heat treaters list of processors, a local brazing company who wants to expand their sales & customer base, or the perfect opportunity for an outside the area thermal processor to enter the Chicago market with a well established customer base. Owner anxious to retire! October 5, 2018   

For information contact: Steven Hamel, Lemah Associates Ltd., 847-433-9296, Lemahassocltd@yahoo.com

Process Electronic Gmbh Gains ISO 9001

“Process-Electronic GmbH, a member of United Process Controls and a global supplier of industrial process control and automation solutions for heat treating OEM and end users, is now certified ISO 9001:2015. The company previously earned certification under ISO 9001:2008 in 2008 and has been audited and registered since 1999. The latest ISO 9001 standard places higher requirements on companies to improve communications, efficiency, and implementation of continuous improvement, and likewise demonstrates commitment to customer satisfaction and high-quality products and services.

“ISO 9001:2015 is another step forward to assuring that customer needs are identified and met,” noted Dieter Borth, Quality Manager of Process-Electronic. “The processes we have implemented in Germany make it possible to identify opportunities for the constant improvement of operational performance, which has a positive impact on our company as well as our end-market customers. Delivering high-quality customer-focused control solutions has always been a fundamental part of our business, from our start in 1974 through today, and across all the companies of United Process Controls.” October 5, 2018   

Furnaces North America Attendance

Next week will see the FNA (Furnaces North America) show which is being held in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and the big question as always for the exhibitors will be attendance-good, bad or indifferent? We have always been strong believers that when the industry is healthy so is attendance at heat treat shows and we assume this to be the case next week and yet we have come across a rather odd scenario. Over the past week we have spoken with a few heat treaters both captive and commercial who say that they would love to attend but can’t-and the reason? Because business is so good they can’t afford the time away. Whether this is a wide spread scenario is hard to say but it would be rather ironic if attendance was lower than expected because individuals are too busy to be able to attend. October 4, 2018   

Titanium Heat Treatment Services/UK

Lets have a look at a commercial heat treater in the UK, Titanium Heat Treatment. We first ran across the company back in 2016 when we had this press release about the company.  “2016 POST; Titanium Heat Treatment Services/ Buckinghamshire, UK. There is a brand new commercial heat treater in the UK which just opened for business, Titanium Heat Treatment Services in Buckinghamshire. The company says that it will offer Heat Treatment of Titanium, Aluminium and Precipitation Hardened alloys for the motorsport industry. We don’t know much about the company except that the director is a fellow by the name of Pawel Danielewicz who was with TTI Group (now Hauck Heat Treatment) for many years.” Fast forward to 2018 and obviously the company is doing well with a new location and more equipment arriving as you can see in the attached photos. We will keep you updated. October 4, 2018   

P&L Heat Treating & Grinding Expansion

In Youngstown, Ohio, USA P&L Is finding business to be good enough to warrant an expansion and more vacuum furnaces which brings joy to our hearts at “The Monty”. We will hasten to add that the joy in our hearts is not because we sold P&L their new equipment but because we always like to see commercial heat treaters doing well. “A $460,000 expansion for a city heat-treating firm moved one step closer to execution Tuesday morning. The city’s Design Review Committee, at its monthly meeting, approved a proposal from P&L Heat Treating & Grinding Inc. to erect a 9,135-square-foot pre-engineered metal building adjacent to its 25,000-square-foot building at 313 E. Wood St. “It’s a big time for us,” William Pociask, P&L President, told members of the committee. “It’s an exciting time because we’re expanding. We’re growing labor-wise, size-wise and equipment-wise.” The expansion will house additional vacuum furnaces for heat treating of metals, Pociask said. The company recently picked up “a big contract” with American Axle & Manufacturing Inc., a major supplier to the North American automobile industry. “That did quite a bit for us,” along with general optimism regarding the economy, he said. The company already is running around the clock to keep up business, and he said he plans to add at least three employees to P&L’s existing workforce of 17.” October 4, 2018   

California Brazing Purchases Ipsen Vacuum Aluminum Brazing Furnace

To this press release we will add that combined California Brazing and their sister company Nevada Heat Treating are one of the larger heat treating/brazing companies on the west coast of the US.

“Newark , CA – California Brazing recognizes the Aerospace industry’s need for optimal thermal processing equipment and is continuing to expand their capacities to better support the industry’s increased demand for aluminum brazing services. California Brazing offers manufacturing sequence expertise with capabilities for rapid prototyping through turnkey manufacturing of brazed assemblies that require furnace brazing, machining and outside process supplier management. They recently purchased their fourth vacuum aluminum brazing (VAB) furnace . This VAB furnace features a 38″ x 40″ x 62″ (964 mm x 1,016 mm x 1,575) all-metal hot zone with a 1,500-pound (680kg) load capacity, and it operates at temperatures of 500 deg F to 1,200 deg F (260 deg C to 650 deg C) with +/-5 deg F (+/-3 deg C) temperature uniformity. It is also equipped with a 35-inch diffusion pump and Ipsen’s

CompuVac(R) controls system. Featuring multiple individually controlled heating zones, Ipsen’s vacuum aluminum brazing furnaces provide fast cycle times and precise, uniform heating of the workload. According to Jeff Ager, General Manager at California Brazing, “California Brazing is committed to meeting our customers’ requirements by continuing to invest in brazing and machining equipment to further improve capabilities, lead times and quality.” As such, California Brazing will use this VAB furnace to expand their capacity and manufacture a variety of aluminum-brazed assemblies, such as cold plates, heat exchangers, waveguides and antennas, for their customers in the Aerospace, Defense and Semiconductor industries.” October 3, 2018   

SECO/VACUUM Furnace Becomes Centerpiece in New Processing Line For Global Manufacturer

“A global manufacturer has chosen SECO/VACUUM, a SECO/WARWICK company, to supply a second vacuum furnace to its US-based manufacturing operations. This second furnace, a vacuum temper furnace for tempering and stress relieving metal parts, is part of the company’s new US-based manufacturing expansion and becomes a centerpiece in a new processing line for the company. This horizontal, front-loading furnace is designed specifically for the customer needs with an all-metal hot zone for clean vacuum processing. The unit includes a convection fan and a pressurized gas quench for quick cooling. After weighing design, cost, and delivery options from multiple furnace manufacturers, the customer chose SECO/VACUUM thanks to the company’s special vacuum temper furnace design, competitive pricing, and timely delivery.

SECO/VACUUM offers vacuum furnaces of all type, sizes and capabilities from vacuum oil quenching and low pressure carburizing to high pressure gas quench.  Even basic units such as the vacuum temper are part of the broad offerings.  Each year SECO/VACUUM and its parent company, SECO/WARWICK, build scores of vacuum furnaces for the global heat treating markets.

About SECO/VACUUM Technologies. SECO/VACUUM Technologies LLC is a fully-owned entity of SECO/WARWICK Group in Europe. Through technological leadership, SVT offers unmatched vacuum furnace innovation and performance.  Through its commitment to service, SVT provides its customers with the best support in the industry and the lowest cost of ownership. Visit  www.secovacusa.comOctober 3, 2018   

Largest Commercial Heat Treaters North America

Yesterday we had a press release about Premier Thermal Solutions acquiring Al-fe Heat Treating. With this acquisition we were required to redo our list of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America, a list which can be found at https://www.themonty.com/largest-commercial-heat-treaters-in-north-america-august-2018/ To cut a long story short Z-Capital a name unheard of in the heat treating industry a couple of years ago now through their acquisitions ranks as the third largest commercial heat treater in North America. October 2, 2018   

Z Capital-Backed Premier Thermal Solutions Acquires Al-Fe Heat Treating

This past Friday we posted a rumor about a major acquisition in the North American commercial heat treating market. Well surprise, surprise our rumor proved to be true as you can see below. With this acquisition Z Capital becomes one of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America-tomorrow we will tell you where the company now ranks in terms of the largest in North America. October 1, 2018   

“LANSING, Mich., Oct. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Premier Thermal Solutions (“PTS” or the “Company”), a leading provider of metal heat treating services, today announced that it has acquired Al-Fe Heat Treating (“Al-Fe”), the largest commercial aluminum heat treater in the United States. For 40 years, PTS has provided commercial metal processing services to a variety of industries, including automotive, heavy truck, energy, wire rope, heavy equipment, rail, agriculture and aviation, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Atmosphere Annealing and NitroSteel. Since opening its first plant in Lansing, Michigan, in 1978, PTS has strategically expanded to five facilities in four locations across the Midwest.  “With the acquisition of Al-Fe, PTS has expanded its service offerings to include both ferrous and aluminum heat treating services. This is an important diversification of our portfolio as we expect to see substantial growth in the use of aluminum in the automotive industry as well as in a variety of other industries that we serve,” said Steve Wyatt, President of PTS. “In addition to its aluminum processing capabilities, Al-Fe is Nadcap certified which will allow PTS to enhance its service offerings in other end-markets such as aerospace and defense.”

“Al-Fe is a valuable addition to PTS’ product and service portfolio and we are pleased to welcome the Al-Fe team to the Z Capital family,” said James Zenni, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Z Capital. “Strategic growth is a core component of our investment strategy for PTS and this acquisition represents an important step in creating one of the largest commercial heat treaters with the most value-added and diverse service portfolio in the United States.” “We are thrilled to have closed this transaction and expect to announce incremental acquisitions over the next 12 months,” said Rahul Sawhney, Senior Managing Director of Z Capital. “After carving out PTS from its prior owner in 2017, the PTS executive team, with the support of Z Capital’s operational resources, solidified PTS’ infrastructure, making the Company acquisition-ready. Not only does Al-Fe add incremental heat treating capabilities, but also further strengthens the collective talent at PTS, which will be instrumental in continuing to provide superior customer service.” Premier Thermal Solutions was acquired by Z Capital Partners, LLC in 2017.”

Monday Morning Briefing

We start off with an interview with Mr. Ben Crawford, a very well known individual in the North American heat treating industry and the new President of Contour Hardening (Ben Crawford Interview) We would like to add that if you look at our home page https://www.themonty.com/ you will see phase I of our new and improved website. Over the course of the next month we will changing the entire website to add new capabilities, better graphics, new features and more advertising options. Last week ASM hosted their second Heat Treat Conference in Querétaro, Mexico and we have been told it was a success with roughly 200 attendees. The general consensus would appear to be that the show is small but growing and has a very bright future. We have these photos for you; October 1, 2018   

Bill Gornicki, ALD 

Rick Jones and Pete Reh of Solar Manufacturing 

Mike Coburn of AFC-Holcroft 

Gary Berwick, Dry Coolers

Last week we told you how Jason Orosz was making a move to Nitrex Metal Inc. (if you look for lasts week post you will see why we would consider Jason to be “newsworthy”). It turns out that his title will be Vice President of Heat Treating. At commercial heat treater Paulo we see that Scott Herzing has been promoted which is well deserved in our opinion; “Scott Herzing, a 20 year Paulo veteran, was previously the Manager of Project Engineering.  In that role Scott led dozens of plant expansion efforts, equipment installations and start-ups, and the construction of the greenfield facility in Mexico. He has also been instrumental in developing and implementing our state-of-the-art control systems. Scott will continue to lead the Project Engineering, Automation Engineering, and Fabrication Shop, and will now also lead the Metallurgy Department. Scott commented, “I look forward to leading the Engineering Department to meet Paulo’s strategic goals and to continue to support our plants with world class systems.” Former Vice President of Engineering, Al Baethke, will remain with Paulo and assume a new position as Director of Process Engineering. In this role Al will be able to devote more time to process improvement and continuous improvement efforts across Paulo. Al is a 27 year Paulo veteran and his experience will play a vital role in meeting our strategic goals for continuous improvement.”

Herzing PHOTO

Komatsu will be building a brand new captive heat treat as part of a brand new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. There is a lot of verbiage in this press release that you can ignore-the only thing we care about is the mention of an advanced heat treat shop to be built.; “Komatsu Mining. Corp. announced plans Thursday to build a $285 million state-of-the-art headquarters and manufacturing campus in Milwaukee. Komatsu intends to build a new corporate headquarters and manufacturing and training facilities at the former Solvay Coke site along the Milwaukee riverfront on Greenfield Avenue. The 54-acre site, to be called the South Harbor Campus, is near the location of the company’s original machine shop off South First Street. The planned campus would include about 170,000 square feet of office space, a 20,000-square-foot museum and training building, and 410,000 square feet of manufacturing space, consolidating two of Komatsu’s current Milwaukee-area facilities into a central location. The project is expected to be completed in 2022. Plans call for advanced machine, heat treat and fabrication shops; state-of-the-art technology, research and development, and robotics labs; an office complex and data solutions center; a global training and conference center; and a City of Milwaukee public riverwalk adjacent to the campus. Komatsu is the world’s second-largest builder of mining equipment after Caterpillar.”

Remember back in July there was news of a US Military Helicopter Crashing in South Korea with 5 passengers killed? Turns out the cause was faulty heat treating;  “A team of civilian, government and military experts has tentatively concluded that defects in the rotor mast caused the July crash of a marine chopper that killed five troops, a source said Monday. The team reportedly explained the interim results of its investigation to the families of the victims on Sunday. The military authorities had planned to explain the results to the media on Monday, but delayed the plan to Friday. The MUH-1 Marineon, the Marine variant of the KUH-1 Surion helicopter, crashed shortly after a maintenance checkup at a military airport in the southeastern city of Pohang on July 17. It was seen falling after its rotor blades became separated from the fuselage just seconds after takeoff. Investigators apparently believe that cracks were created in the rotor mast due to a flawed heat treatment process by a subcontractor.” Last week we had a note about a US commercial heat treater who suggested that they were the only commercial shop in the US American Petroleum Institute (API) approved. As it turns out another commercial heat treater in the US popped up to say that they also are API approved. Permian Heat Treaters in Odessa, Texas also has this certification http://www.permianht.com/

Acquisition In The Commercial Heat Treating Industry

Regular readers of “The Monty” will know that we pride ourselves on having the most up to date news and rumors in the worldwide heat treating industry so here is a fascinating rumor from the commercial heat treating industry in North America which we will (partially) share with you. Cast your eyes upon our list of the largest commercial https://www.themonty.com/largest-commercial-heat-treaters-in-north-america-august-2018/ and you will see our list of the 13 largest commercial heat treaters on the North American continent based upon annual sales. This rumor tells us that one of the companies on this list just acquired another one of the 13 largest on the continent with an official announcement to come this Monday. “The Monty” will be there to give you the complete story which we believe to be true-although we are hedging our bets as you can tell. September 28, 2018   

John Hubbard Awarded Distinguished Engineering Alumni of the year, 2018

“John Hubbard, P.E. has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni of the year award from the CSU Washkewicz College of Engineering.  Hubbard earned a Bachelors of Metallurgical Engineering and MBA from CSU and has spent his career in the Thermal Processing industry.  He sold his company (Hinderliter Heat Treat) to Bodycote, plc (LSE : BOY) and then assisted them in growing into the largest thermal processing company in the world serving as President of North American businesses then as CEO of the global business.  After retiring in 2009 he enjoyed riding motorcycles in many parts of the world until 2016 when he joined with Calvert Street to forming Thermal Process Holdings to create a new North American heat treating group.  Hubbard, a Registered Professional Engineer has served as past President of Metal Treating Institute and past President of ASM Heat Treat Society.  Hubbard has received the Bodeen Heat Treating Achievement Award from ASM Heat Treating Society, Hephaestus Award from the Nitriding Symposium and Distinguished Alumni from Claymont High School (Uhrichsville Ohio).

ABOUT THERMAL PROCESS HOLDINGS, INC.: The TPH team has a stated goal to build a diversified, professionally-managed business generating over $100 million of revenue.  TPH currently owns and operates two businesses:  Diamond Heat Treat, a Rockford, IL-based heat-treating company; and Certified Heat Treating, a Springfield, OH-based heat treating company.  September 28, 2018   

Solar Atmospheres Develops Vacuum Furnace Heat Exchanger Cleaning Process

“In the operation of vacuum furnaces the quench gas heat exchanger fins can become clogged with various debris and dirt that is very difficult to completely clean with standard pressure washing and other conventional methods. The clogged heat exchanger greatly impedes quench gas flow, resulting in reduced work cooling rates. Our special process involves 12 hour soak submerged in a suitable tub using a water base cleaning agent. Recirculated forced water jets wash out the accumulated dirt from deep inside the heat exchanger. It is then pressure washed and blown dry with nitrogen gas. The heat exchanger is cleaned to an as new condition and then returned to the user. For more information on the cleaning process, please contact Bob Sandora at bob@vacpumpservices.com or visit www.vacpumpservices.com, an affiliate of Solar Atmospheres. For additional information about Solar Atmospheres, visit www.solaratm.com, or call 1-855-934-3284.” September 28, 2018   

AFC-HOLCROFT ADDS DANIEL HILL TO SALES TEAM

“AFC-Holcroft is pleased to announce the addition of Daniel Hill as the newest member of their sales team.  Hill will be based out of the company’s headquarters in Wixom, Michigan, focusing on key account management as well as new lead generation.  Hill will report to Tracy Dougherty, Sales Manager at AFC-Holcroft. Hill earned his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan and his M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Michigan. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer (Mechanical Engineering) through the State of Michigan.

Hill spent 12 years at Detroit Stoker Company in various roles, which included New Contracts Proposal Engineer /R&D Engineer, Aftermarket Proposal Engineer/ Project Engineer, Manager of Engineering and Director of Engineering & Quality Assurance. Most recently, Hill held the position of Engineering Manager at Fives Cinetic Corporation.  “We believe our customers will benefit from Dan’s experience and strong technical background”, said Tracy Dougherty, Sales Manager, “and we’re excited to have him on board as part of the AFC-Holcroft team”.

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. 

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 media@afc-holcroft.com.” September 26, 2018   

ThermTech Expansion

Tuesday of this week we had a press release from commercial heat treater ThermTech of Waukesha, WI about a very large expansion they are going through. This press release adds a few more details;

“Commercial heat-treating business ThermTech broke ground on a 13,000-square-foot expansion of its Waukesha facilities on Friday. The purchase of a large heat-treating furnace at a reduced price because of a business closing in Indiana prompted the expansion. “We had to make a quick decision on the purchase,” a project description submitted to the city of Waukesha says. “We are incredibly busy, and need the capacity. That said, we also realized that the equipment would not fit in any of our current locations.”

ThermTech has facilities at 301 and 305 Travis Lane with the addition going on the former. The company also owns a facility at 1511 Pearl St. in Waukesha and leases a number of facilities around its headquarters. The expansion actually utilizes the same footprint as a 2010 expansion plan that would have used the space for a corporate office center. The city approved the plans at the time, but the company ultimately did not move forward because of the recession.” September 27, 2018   

Names in The News

Mr. John Schweir for the past couple of months has been owner of Ultimate Vacuum Services in the Hartford, CT, USA area. We are assuming that Ultimate Vacuum offers servicing of vacuum furnaces based on the fact that John was with VescoMcLaughlin Services (a very well known vacuum company in the US Northeast) and Bodycote as a Maintenance Manager.

New Management at National Heat Treat. Commercial heat treat National Heat Treat in Houston, Texas, USA has relatively new management. Mr. Michael Pendley is now Vice President of Operations and General Manager-Mike has worked at companies such as Baker Hughes in the past and was an instructor for ASM in a past life. Also Mr. Michael Walters is now Quality Assurance Manager, Michael’s past experience includes FMC Corp., and Aker Solutions. National is a “full service” commercial shop which offers vacuum, batch IQ and Nitriding. September 26, 2018   

 General Electric India Installs Ipsen Vacuum Furnace

As we speak General Electric in India is installing this very impressive Ipsen bottom loading, vacuum brazing furnace. It is impressive and Ipsen quality is always top notch but the color? This is the first time we have ever seen a bright green vacuum furnace although Hansen Balk in Grand Rapids, Michigan might have one since they paint all of their vacuums different colors. We are sure the color was selected by GE themselves. September 26, 2018   

Heroux Devtek Installs a SECO/VACUUM Brazing Furnace

Landing Gear manufacturer Heroux Devtek recently installed a SECO /VACUUM aluminum brazing furnace at their location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Apparently this is the first Nadcap approved vacuum aluminum brazing furnace in Canada. SECO had this YouTube video filmed which is rather interesting to watch.  September 26, 2018   

ThermTech Announces Major Expansion

ThermTech of Waukesha announces expansion plans to better serve its customers.  The company will add 11,000 square feet of production space to its facility at 301 Travis Lane in Waukesha, WI along with two new major equipment lines. 

  • A large AFC Holcroft IQ batch furnace line with a working zone is 56” W x 72” L x 36” H. This furnace is capable of quenching 9000lbs. 
  • A Gasbarre/Becker large double zone hardening furnace where each zone is 54” W X 54” L X 54” H along with two matching tempering furnaces.

The addition of these two furnaces will enable us to shorten lead times and reduce testing costs for carburizing and forging customers respectively.  ThermTech has also made additional improvements in blast capabilities with the installation of a large roto-blast cell installation from Pangborn.

 With the new expansion, ThermTech will now occupy 75,000 square feet at its Travis Lane campus, with an additional 85,000 square feet at its Pearl Street campus. ThermTech has engaged Keller Builders to complete the project by mid-December.  The project is being funded by Westbury Bank, Joe Pieper Sr. VP Commercial Lending, and the SBA through WBD, Steve Kohl, Vice President. Steve Wiberg President, Quote: “ThermTech is adding floor space and capacity. The new large AFC equipment will allow ThermTech to decrease lead times and decrease customer testing costs by increasing batch size.  While not unique, it is one of the largest batch IQ furnaces in the Midwest.” Mary Wiberg Springer, Vice President, Quote: “ThermTech strives to remain responsive to the needs of our customers, and this expansion is one example of that. The ingenuity of the American manufacturing sector has been unleashed!  Especially in the pipeline, fracking, mining and construction markets. With the huge influx of business that we have experienced in the last 600 days, we are excited about the new capacity and capabilities this IQ line will allow. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers at the highest level, improving turn around and maintaining high quality.” The new line will result in several additional jobs.  ThermTech is firmly rooted in the Waukesha Community, founded by Charles E Wiberg in 1982.   Currently owned and operated by brother and sister, Steve Wiberg, President and Mary Wiberg Springer, Vice President.   In 2017, they also purchased the building at 1511 Pearl Street.  Currently they employ 140 people on the two campuses.  ThermTech believes in providing the best pay and benefits possible in their industry.  They have also established an onsite medical clinic, including free integrated medical care, chiropractic care, and massage therapy.  They are also currently engaged in improving their safety culture hoping to achieve the OSHA SHARP certification by 2019.  

About ThermTech: Since 1982, ThermTech has been a recognized leader in providing quality heat treating services. Serving tooling, defense, oil & gas, mining, construction, medical, and general metal manufacturing companies, ThermTech’s highly skilled staff, of experienced professionals, embracing servant leadership, has been recognized as being able to meet the rigorous quality standards required by our major customers. ThermTech is certified for ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D in both metal heat treat and metal finishing. They are the only commercial heat treat company also certified by the American Petroleum Institute (API)for heat treating services. The company has an in-house laboratory and offers a full menu of testing and metallurgical consultation. Lastly, ThermTech utilizes the Bluestreak™ Manufacturing Execution and Quality Management System software designed exclusively for the metal finishing industry. www.go-bluestreak.com”  September 25, 2018   

Monday Morning Briefing

In Oxford, MA, USA machine shop Technetics is closing their facility and auctioning off their equipment with the auction being held October 9. Included in the offering is an “Abar HR 50 Vacuum Furnace, 36W x 30H x 48D Load, Atmospheric Quench 30 HP Fan, 20” Diffusion Pump, Stokes 412 Mechanical Pump, Graphite Hot Zone Insulation w/Moly Elements, Furnace Partially Rebuilt in 2009, Touch Screen Controls w/PLC, Wiring, Plumbing, Valves and Hot Zone”.  It would appear to be in reasonable shape-will it sell? In a heartbeat. A used Abar, Abar Ipen or Ipsen vacuum furnace will always sell pretty well no matter what the condition-it is just a matter of price about how quickly it will sell. It’s interesting how many people get into the heat treating industry because their father or grandfather were heat treaters-such is the case with Jason Orosz. His father Dave Orosz worked with H & S Heat Treating in Port Robinson, Ontario, Canada for many years and also with Nitrex Metal Technologies in Burlington, Ontario (we should add that Dave had an ownership stake in Nitrex). Jason started working with Nitrex before it was acquired by commercial heat treater Bodycote in 2016. His position at Bodycote involved both the Burlington plant as well as responsibilities with a number of other facilities both in Canada and the US. Just last week Jason made a bit of a career change and joined Nitrex based in Montreal. Jason is a good man who knows his stuff and we have no doubt but that his career in the industry will continue to prosper.

Our friends at Texas Heat Treating in the USA sent us this press release; “Texas Heat Treating is proud to announce that it has received certification of its Quality Management System to the AS9100D standard.  The AS9100D standard includes all requirements of ISO 9001:2015, and adds specific aerospace industry requirements.  The scope of the certification is “Heat Treating, Mechanical and Non-Destructive Testing”, and encompasses both the Round Rock and Fort Worth facilities.” Furnace builder SECO/WARWICK just held their 21st seminar last week, a seminar which took place at their facilities in Świebodzin, Poland an event which we understand was a real success. We have a couple of photos of the event to show you. The 21st SECO/WARWICK seminar is behind us. The three-day event included: 1 Open Day, 2 days of seminars, 20 lectures, 4 thematic blocks, 150 specialists – both scientists and businessmen – these are the numbers summarizing the 21st seminar organized by SECO/WARWICK which has come to an end. This time, the organizers and the speakers focused on the optimization, transparency and automation of the heat treatment of metals. These are the issues that, in the coming years, will play the most important role in the industry development, largely affecting the market position of the companies. The “Heat Treatment 4.0” seminar was an opportunity to have a look at the trends and the forecast changes in this dynamically developing industry.”

In the UK commercial heat treater Wallwork gives us an update about what they are up to these days. “Advanced and precision engineers seeking metal heat treatment and PVD coatings will see a much expanded offering from Wallwork Group on stand Q6 at the 2018 show. A new Newcastle facility is now fully integrated into the group. Cambridge has increased vacuum brazing capacity with an additional furnace and gained further Rolls-Royce accreditations. While at Birmingham more Aluminium processing has been added. Howard Maher, group sales manager, explains, “The 12 months since the last show has been all about meeting rising demand and customer expectations. With added reach in the North East and Scotland, existing and new customers there get an even faster turnaround on orders. Capacity for processing Aluminium at our Bury HQ, was being stretched and it made sense to expand this at Birmingham to provide an even faster service to customers in the midlands and south. Vacuum brazing capacity again was under pressure so adding a new furnace at Cambridge will meet rising customer demand there.” The company has also added new fully accredited mechanical testing facility and so no longer have to rely on external testing. Running tensile, compression and hardness tests on materials and components prior to and post heat treatment, is now much quicker and feeds data into refining existing metal heat treatment processes and component design.”

In Slovakia, Europe Oerlikon Balzers has just opened a new facility featuring nitriding systems. “Oerlikon Balzers, a leading provider of surface solutions, has inaugurated its second production centre in Veľká Ida, Slovakia. The new plant marks another stage in Oerlikon’s growth strategy in the automotive industry, a major investment which meets the highest quality and environmental standards and offers automotive manufacturers state-of-the-art heat treatment processes. Together with the service centre opened in 2015, the Veľká Ida plant now represents Oerlikon Balzers’ largest and most important site for coating and heat treating of automotive components. The nitriding process is carried out in heat treatment systems developed and manufactured by Oerlikon Balzers.”

In Louisiana, USA Valve part manufacturer Gem-Trim just received their fifth box furnace from L & L Special Furnace Co. “L&L Special Furnace Co., Inc., has supplied an electric box furnace to a plant located in Louisiana that is a global supplier of large industrial valves for various industries. This is the fifth  L&L furnace supplied to this facility. The furnace is used to both heat treat and temper various rings and seals deployed in the manufacturing of valves used in the power-generation field. It is also used for general heat treating of various steels prior to machining. The furnace has an effective work zone of 34” wide by 34” high by 32” deep.” September 24, 2018   

Lindberg MPH/Alberta Industrial Heat Treating

Last year furnace builder Lindberg MPH based in Riverside, MI issued a press release about a nitriding furnace order they were very understandably proud of. We can now show you a picture of the unit. The furnace is now installed and operating at Alberta Industrial Heat Treating in Edmonton, Canada a company which is associated with Apollo Machine also based in Edmonton. Alberta Industrial by the way is quite a new heat treater having opened within the past couple of years. September 21, 2018   

Jeff Lane Joins McLaughlin Furnace Group, Inc.

To this press release we will add that we interviewed Jeff McLaughlin earlier this year, an interview which can still be found at https://www.themonty.com/jeff-mclaughlin-mclaughlin-services-june-2018/

“McLaughlin Furnace Group is pleased to announce that Jeff Lane has just joined their team in the role of VP of Operation. Jeff brings with him many years of experience in the heat-treating industry primarily in the position of Facilities Management. Jeff is excited about the opportunity to be working at McLaughlin Furnace Group where he states that he appreciates Jeff McLaughlin’s passion and future growth plans. Jeff has been away from heat-treating for the last couple of years working for a company that makes custom portable pump packages. He is happy to be back after some time away and looking forward to seeing many of the great people he has worked with over the years. Jeff McLaughlin has this to say; “We have worked with Jeff Lane a number of times over the years and have always been impressed by his knowledge and dedication to the industry. We are excited that he will be working with us in the future”. McLaughlin Furnace Group is based in Avilla, Indiana and designs and builds custom heat-treating equipment, repairs and modifies existing equipment and provides troubleshoot and consulting. It is good to have Jeff back in the industry.” September 21, 2018   

New Britain Heat Treat Fire

Earlier this week we mentioned about the fire at New Britain Heat Treat in Connecticut, USA. The U Tube video below shows the fire but we will say that it is very upsetting for any heat treater to watch. September 20, 2018   

StandardAero Component Services, New Repair Facility

We mentioned a while ago how StandardAero was adding a new facility and more heat treating capacity. Here is an update. As an added bonus we have a photo of part of their heat treating department at one of their North American facilities (obviously this is one of their older facilities). Typically the company uses bottom load vacuums for their heat treating which is nothing unusual in the aerospace industry. “StandardAero Component Services recently cut the ribbon on a new 206,000 sq. ft. repair facility, directly adjacent to its current 236,000 sq. ft. component repair facility in Cincinnati, nearly doubling its capacity to accommodate rapid growth in customer demands during 2018 and beyond. Hosting a ceremony to dedicate the new facility on September 14, StandardAero CEO, Russell Ford and Rick Stine, President of StandardAero Components, Helicopters & Accessories, were joined by employees and more than a dozen invited guests and dignitaries — including customers, city and state of Ohio officials, including representatives of U.S. Congressional offices, along with local economic development executives. The new facility has been converted into a high-tech aerospace component repair shop with new flooring, lighting and HVAC systems.  StandardAero is actively moving parts, equipment and people into the building.  During 2018, StandardAero also increased shop capacity by an additional 60,000 sq. ft. with expansions of its facilities in Hillsboro, Ohio and Miami locations. Overall investment to fund the expansions will exceed $20 million in construction and capital equipment, when completed. StandardAero Component Services offers a comprehensive, One-Stop-ShopTM of repair and overhaul capabilities to provide industry leading turnaround times and meet customers’ repair requirements. Some of the company’s major process capabilities include cleaning, NDT and inspection; cold spray; thermal spray and coating; plating; welding/brazing and heat treatment; painting, stripping and surface prep; manual and CNC machining; and extensive composite capabilities.” September 20, 2018   

Scot Forge, Spring Grove, Illinois, USA

We see that forging company and captive heat treater Scot Forge is looking for an experienced Heat Treat Supervisor for their facility in Spring Grove, USA. While we have heard a lot about Scot we have never had the chance to visit this plant which is a shame because it has an enormous and very interesting heat treat department which includes a remarkable number of furnaces-in total 51 Car bottom, tip-up, and pit furnaces with capacities to 76 ft long or 20 ft in diameter. One of these days we will have to see if we can do this company justice and take a tour of the facility. September 20, 2018   

New Britain Heat Treating Corp., Fire/New Britain, Connecticut

“Firefighters battled a stubborn blaze at a Whiting Street heat treating plant Thursday afternoon as the fire continually reignited from the chemicals used in the business. Two firefighters were sent to the hospital to be treated for exposure to chemicals, Fire Chief Raul Ortiz said. The fire erupted at New Britain Heat Treating Corp. at 216 Whiting St. at 4 p.m.

The company treats tooling and airplane parts and uses oil and propane as part of the process, Ortiz said. More than two hours after the blaze was called in, fire companies from Hartford, West Hartford and Waterbury were at the scene. “It’s all hands on deck,” Ortiz said.  Heavy fire was showing from the front of building within minutes of firefighters arriving as a column of black smoke rose over Whiting Street. The blaze was immediately upgraded to a two-alarm fire. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was called in to deal with any hazardous materials, Ortiz said. Crews sprayed foam from the outside the building. The metal roof was unstable and in danger of collapse so no firefighters could get inside, Ortiz said. After battling the blaze for about an hour and a half, the flames reignited. Apartments to the east side of the building were evacuated. Two hours later the blaze was melting the aluminum siding on the multi-family house next door. New Britain Heat Treating Corp. has been a fixture in New Britain for decades. The building appears to be a total loss.

Richard Ruiz was delivering air plane parts to the business at around 4 p.m., but when he pulled up he realized the building was in flames. “It was already gone when I got here,” he said. “I’ve been delivering parts here for 15 years.” Curious neighbors watched the scene and commented on what a loss it was for the city.  “I drive by all the time,” said Lexus Thomas who lives on nearby Maple Street. “It’s been here I don’t know how long. It’s really a shame. Whoever worked there is now out of a job.” September 19, 2018   

Midwest Thermal Vac/Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA

When Midwest Thermal Vac was formed by Fred Otto back in 1999 it was one of the very first commercial heat treaters in the world to offer vacuum carburizing. While VC has become relatively mainstream over the past number of years Fred can truly be considered a pioneer. Fred started off working with ECM all those years ago and has continued to do so, as a matter of fact he still processes many R & D loads a week for the company. After all these years Midwest is now a substantial operation with vacuum carburizing, vacuum heat treating and plasma heat treating, as a matter of fact Fred was the first in North America to purchase a system from Ion Heat in Colombia as you can see in the one photo below (Ion Heat’s banner ad can be found on this page). Another photo below shows Fred in front of the original ECM VC system, a system which has the nickname “Mona” which explains the Mona Lisa picture over the furnace. Midwest is finding business to be so good these days that the company will shortly be adding another 8,000 square feet. We alluded yesterday to the fact that Fred has just received a brand new patent and we should say more about it. The patent was issued August 21/2018 by the US Patent office (patent number 10,053,763 B2 to be exact) and covers “Carbo-Nitriding Process for Martensitic Stainless Steel and Stainless Steel Article Having Improved Corrosion Resistance”. The patent is in conjunction with SKF of Gothenburg, Sweden. Good for Fred, we can say that we met him when he was just starting out. September 18, 2018   

Good People Are Hard to Find

Every single captive and commercial heat treater in North America says the number one issue these days is finding good people, forget good people-any people would summarize the situation better. So this news item about the Bluewater Thermal (commercial heat treating) facility in Benton Harbor, MI caught our eye. We say good for Bluewater and good for the Offender Success program who put the wheels in motion. When Johnnie Walter got out of prison on parole in May 2017 he didn’t think he’d be able to get a job. Now, “He’s my biggest success story,” says Carolyn Moscardelli, general manager of Bluewater Thermal Solutions in Benton Harbor. Thermal Solutions heat-treats steel for mainly the automotive and construction industries. The company has 13 sites in the Midwest. At the Benton Harbor location, seven furnaces run for three shifts, seven days a week. The company will soon add two more furnaces, Moscardelli said.“It’s hard to find people who want to work,” she said. But Walter wants to, and so does his co-worker Bob Balay. Balay rides his bike to work, and Walter had been walking to work before recently buying a car. Walter said he’s gotten his own place and is paying all his own bills. Balay said he just got his own place. “I got out of prison in March, and within about two months I was working here. They gave me a chance, and I’ve been busting butt ever since,” Balay said. “Having spent 10 years in prison, I didn’t expect to get a job. I didn’t think anybody would hire me.” Walter said when he first got out of prison he rode his bicycle to Michigan Works every day to work on job applications. He said he’s “extremely grateful” to have been hired for a job after entering the Offender Success program at Kinexus. Historically, a person coming out of prison has a hard time getting a job. But human resources experts say labor shortages in some sectors are prompting employers to consider hiring ex-convicts to fill vacancies, especially in the manufacturing and construction industries. In Michigan, the Offender Success program strives to put felons to work by matching them with employers who are willing to hire them.” September 18, 2018   

Monday Morning Briefing

We are going to start off today in Germany which we haven’t done in a while. Commercial heat treater Siegener Werkzeug und Haertetechnik GmbH in Siegen (Germany) is getting pretty close to receiving a brand new vacuum nitrider from furnace manufacturer Rohde of Germany. We will let them give us the details.  “ This photo shows a chamber furnace for nitriding, nitrocarburizing and oxidation processes with working dimensions of 60/60/120 which is going to Siegener Werkzeug und Haertetechnik GmbH in Siegen (Germany) in a couple of days. The photo was taken after run off and acceptance by the customer. In the picture below we see from left to right; Andreas Wiesemann (technical director of Rohde), Raphael Raatz (deputy technical director of Rohde), Joern Rohde (CEO) with Konstantin Rohde, Peter Haebel (technical plant manager at SWF) and Nils Voepel (head of technical operations at SWF).”

We now move to Wisconsin, USA to see how Complete Heat Treating is making some large investments. Good news is breaking out all over-it is unusual to find a heat treater these days who is not growing and adding capacity and Complete Heat Treating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is no exception (by the way if the name is familiar it is because we mentioned just a few weeks about how the company had acquired Commercial Heat Treating Inc., also of Milwaukee). Founded in 1939 as Wisconsin Steel and now operating under the names Complete Heat Treating, Wisconsin Steel Industries and Commercial Heat Treating this is a company which specializes in big work and we mean real big work-castings, forgings, weldments and plates up to 100,000 pounds. While the company is doing well at this market the decision of owners Jake and TJ Dolhun is that they want to add other processes and that is exactly what they have been doing. Recently the company purchased an aluminum drop bottom oven and a batch IQ furnace both of which will be installed in the near future. You see part of the team below in front of their largest furnace, a direct fired unit capable of 2100F and loads up to 1 million pounds which puts them in a very small group of companies able to handle loads this size.

Where are they now-Norm McDonald. We first ran across Norm a few years back when he was working for fastener manufacturer and captive heat treater Dokka Fasteners in Michigan. When the plant closed down we lost touch with him, however as it turns out Norm is like most of us and has stayed in the industry, and now he is at MNP (Michigan Nut Products) in Utica, Michigan. And guess what? MNP is a fastener manufacturer and captive heat treater (he is a good man we should add). By the way all the equipment at Dokka is currently in Viet Nam waiting to be installed which should happen later this year. We have this photo of the Dokka plant when it was in the process of being closed.

Midwest Thermal Vac out in Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA is absolutely booming these days and adding more capacity, the most recent addition being a “Titan“ 12 bar vacuum furnace from Ipsen. We are going to have a full profile of Midest and it’s owner Fred Otto later on this week which will mention his most recent patent.

Rex Heat Treat, Lansdale, PA. Recently we ranked Rex Heat Treat as one of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America https://www.themonty.com/largest-commercial-heat-treaters-in-north-america-august-2018/ When we ran across this news item about electrical costs our first thought was good for Rex for being recognized for what they contribute to the local economy.   “The biggest electric customer in Lansdale plans to take advantage of a new borough discount, and borough officials say they’re happy to hear it. Rex Heat Treat, a local fixture for nearly eight decades, plans to apply for the biggest discount available under the borough’s recently updated electric incentive. “As far as I’m concerned, this is a win-win: for the borough, it’s a win for them, and I think it’s a great idea,” said council President Denton Burnell. “They were looking at us, and they were looking at other locations, and because of this incentive they decided to stay here,” Burnell said. Rex Heat Treat is located on West Eighth Street and specializes in hardening, treating and tempering metal products, from mining equipment to missile components and everything in between. The company was founded by J Walter Rex and Elmer Erb in 1938 in a two car garage on third street before moving to the current location in 1958, and two subsequent generations of the Rex family have grown grown the company ever since.   Rex is currently the largest electric customer in town, according to borough Manager John Ernst, who said the company’s current electric bills run from $70,000 to $80,000 per month, and after a planned expansion project will grow to $125,000 to $140,000 per month, even after the discount.

ECM USA, 20th Anniversary. We have already spoken a little about the 20th Anniversary Celebration of furnace builder ECM which was held in Pleasant Prairie, WI, USA last week. We have these two additional photos to go with that news item. September 17, 2018   

Toyo Tanso; Tex Morita, President, Jeff Bremmer, Sales Manager, Michio Ando VP, Director of Sales

Raul Medina, Bodycote, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Henry Durnwald, Plant Manager

FPM Heat Treating

Earlier this week we posted a photo of part of the management team of commercial heat treater FPM-it is now time to add some details to that photo. According to the infallible heat treat news source “The Monty” FPM is rated as the seventh largest commercial heat treater in North America https://www.themonty.com/largest-commercial-heat-treaters-in-north-america-august-2018/ Founded in 1979 in a 13,500 square foot building FMP now has 3 plants in the US Midwest dedicated to commercial heat treating with a fourth plant basically handling all the needs of a single, large manufacturer. So from their rather humble beginnings the company has now grown to almost 300,000 square feet under roof and over 200 employees. We would describe the firm as being a full service operation with a total of 15 batch IQ furnaces, 9 vacuum furnaces all NADCAP approved rated at up to 10 bar, multiple mesh belt lines with a number of other processed thrown into the mix. In addition the company is quite proud of their “straightening” abilities which we have always (rightly or wrongly) considered more of an are than a science. It is always difficult to come up with one reason why a company is successful but in this case FPM puts a lot of it down to a lot of good long term employees, the fact that redundancy is built into every process and that they have been successful over the years in taking over the heat treating needs of captive heat treaters. For trivia time we have this; “Where does the FPM name come from”? The company was originally formed by 2 Feltners,  1 Perrone (the accountant) and 1 Manseau-as you can see from the names attached to the picture Jim Feltner and George Manseau are like many of us in this business, in it because our fathers and grandfathers were. September 14, 2018   

From the left; Jim Feltner, VP, Bill Koziel, President & CEO, George Manseau, General Manager, Bob Ferry, VP, Engineering & Quality

ECM USA 20th Anniversary Technical Conference

Furnace manufacturer ECM USA of Pleasant Prairie, WI., USA is celebrating their 20th anniversary in the USA with a Technical conference as we speak. The event started Wednesday September 12 and will conclude the evening of Thursday, September 13th. Attendance is a very robust 90-100 people and the event includes a number of technical sessions with some of the top suppliers in the industry. The photos below give you a good idea about what is happening as we speak. September 13, 2018   

Laurent Pelissier, CEO, ECM Technologies, Yvan Trouillot, GM, ECM Greentech, Dennis Beauchesne, GM, ECM USA

Jim Demarest, VP Sales, SAFE Cronite, Jeff Schlais, Absolute Furnaces Controls

Ipsen, Rockford, Illinois, USA

As one of the oldest and largest furnace manufacturers in the world, Ipsen needs little introduction.  With that said, we at “The Monty” recently had the chance to tour the company’s manufacturing facility in Rockford, Illinois (Cherry Valley to be exact), a tour which is always interesting. While the Rockford facility has the ability to build any of Ipsen’s product lines, the main focus here is on vacuum furnaces.  To take it one step further, in additional to their other vacuum furnace product lines, every one of Ipsen’s over 300 “TITAN” model vacuum furnaces have been built in this facility. While the plant itself is quite modern, it is steeped in history which makes for an interesting visit. For instance, the one photo below shows a Harold Ipsen designed prototype vacuum furnace from the 1950’s (this is the picture showing the “satellite” shaped object). A second photo below shows reproduced copies of patent drawings sketched by Harold.  This sketch and others like it are displayed throughout their brand new training room. The two other photos show vacuum furnaces in various stages of construction.  It is truly fascinating is see row upon row of brand new furnaces, all in various stages of construction. During our visit a fascinating story was shared with us, a story which we hope to be able to share in more detail in the future. Ipsen recently completed the largest vacuum furnace they have ever built, a furnace which is believed to be the largest vacuum furnace ever produced anywhere in the world. All we can share with you is that due to its size it was built in a specially engineered annex to Ipsen’s Cherry Valley facility, and it shipped to an Ipsen customer located in the USA. We hope to share more details and photos of this furnace in the near future. September 13, 2018   

Contour Hardening Appoints Ben Crawford As CEO

“Contour Hardening is proud to announce the appointment of Ben Crawford as its new CEO and President. Ben’s proven leadership abilities and more than twenty-five years of experience in the heat treat industry, will prove invaluable as Contour Hardening enters a new phase in the company’s development. Contour Hardening, based in Indianapolis, Indiana (United States) with additional operations in Silao, Mexico, is an innovation-driven company with a strong portfolio of products and services that significantly improve heat treat processing techniques for products across multiple industries around the globe.

The appointment of Ben Crawford follows the recent passing of Contour Hardening’s founder, CEO and President, John Storm. Ben Crawford officially took the helm of Contour Hardening on July 30th, 2018. Prior to that, Ben was involved with three of North America’s largest providers of heat treat services: Bodycote, Bluewater and Paulo. With those companies, Ben held a number of titles, including COO, Vice President and Regional Operations Manager and was responsible for directing up to $100 million in revenues, twenty-facilities and seven-hundred employees in three-countries.

When addressing his plans for Contour’s future, Ben Crawford said, “To lead Contour as a global provider of heat treat services is exciting. Contour Hardening has an extensive team of scientific problem solvers including metallurgical, controls, mechanical and electrical engineering”. Asked about his strategy for Contour Hardening’s immediate future, Ben said, “With the installation of robotics, Contour Hardening will advance treatment applications with controlled and repeatable processing methods. Our recent award of General Motors- Supplier of the Year demonstrates our commitment to processing to the strictest standards by eliminating variation”. Ben Crawford has proven track record of excelling in diverse management positions. We are confident that Ben’s background will be an asset for Contour Hardening going forward and extend a warm welcome to him.

ABOUT CONTOUR HARDENING. Contour Hardening (www.contourhardening.com) is a full service induction hardening system manufacturer, specializing in induction hardening systems, contract processing, and application development work. The company was founded in 1986 and brings more than 30 years of industry leading research and innovation in the discipline of heat treat techniques and processes.” September 13, 2018   

Tri-City Heat Treating Company Expanding

Out in Rock Island, Illinois, USA commercial heat treater Tri-City is expanding. This family owned business was founded in 1960 and is now into it’s fourth generation with Rick Damewood the President representing the third generation. It now has over 50,000 square feet under roof, 60 employees and is able to offer quite a few different processes however lets talk about their expansion plans. Phase 1 of the plan is a brand new batch IQ furnace with water quenching which will be ordered shortly. Phase 2 involves greatly expanding the company’s aluminum processing equipment to meat increasing demand from their customers. These are the good times in the heat treating industry and progressive company’s such as Tri-City are taking advantage of the good times by investing in new equipment. September 12, 2018   

Rick Damewood, President Tri-City Heat Treating, Gord Montgomery

Uttis Romania/Wesman India

To this interesting news item we can add that we received another very interesting news item from Uttis Romania back in April of 2017 when they announced that they had secured a very nice order from Daimler in Romania (this news item is below the most current one).

“We are pleased to announce that at the beginning of September, Wesman India and Uttis Romania entered into a license agreement for manufacturing industrial furnaces in India based on Uttis design projects. Wesman has a long and good reputation on Indian market and together with Uttis team will built a strong cooperation focused on top equipment design and process knowledge. The furnaces that will be installed and commissioned will have Wesman-Uttis name on them.” September 12, 2018   

APRIL 2017 PRESS RELEASE; “UTTIS has recently commissioned a case hardening line in controlled atmosphere and technology for planety gears production at Daimler plant in Romania. The case hardening line comprises 2 units sealed quench furnaces, washer unit, tempering furnace, endogas generator, loading/unloading devices, other auxiliary equipment. Maximum gross weight of a batch is 1000 kg and the equipment technical availability is 98%. The monitoring/control  system for batches controls case hardening programs, batches traceability and process simulation. Cooling of the agitators and quenching oil from the atmosphere furnaces  is ensured by a heat exchanger air-oil, without any cooling water. The endogas generator provides automatic adjustment of the endogas flowrate and dewpoint, maintaining uniform pressure at evacuation.” 

“The Monty” Weekly Updates

Subscribers to “The Monty” will have noticed that you are now receiving a brief weekly news update-e mailed to you Monday Mornings. This is a new feature we are offering and it consists of a quick summary of the top news items from the previous week along with recent used equipment additions and job postings. If you feel this is too much of a good thing please let us know, conversely if you would like this on a more regular basis we would also appreciate hearing that also. The full “The Monty” all 150 pages will continue to be mailed to you at the beginning of each month and the website will of course be updated Monday through Friday. September 12, 2018   

Commercial Heat Treater Thermetco Expands Capacity with AFC-Holcroft Furnace Equipment

Canadian commercial heat treater Thermetco, located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, has expanded their heat treatment production capability with the purchase of a new AFC-Holcroft UBQ (Universal Batch Quench) furnace and a UBT (Universal Batch Temper) furnace.    The equipment will be used for general heat treating and offers the capability of providing metallurgical processes such as carburizing, carbonitriding, annealing, tempering, stress relieving, and other processes.  AFC-Holcroft UBQ batch furnace equipment is designed to not only encompass a wide range of metallurgical processes, but thru its modularity and expandability, offers flexibility in production capability as needs change.

Thermetco is the largest commercial heat treater in Quebec, offering several different heat-treating processes, with well-known customers in the automotive, aerospace, energy and petrochemical industries. “The Thermetco team has a history of building thermal processing equipment in the past and were able to quickly identify many of the key factors that make the UBQ an industry leader, including recovery rates, maintainability, Batchmaster™ controls, Remote Diagnostics™, energy saving high/low endo flow, multiple speed quench, etc.”, states Tracy Dougherty, Sales Manager at AFC-Holcroft.  “This order marks the first purchase of AFC-Holcroft equipment by Thermetco.  We’re very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Thermetco expansion plans.”

Delivery took place in the first quarter of 2018. The equipment was installed and commissioned at the company’s newly built manufacturing facility in Chateauguay (suburb of Montreal). About Thermetco. Founded in 1982, Thermetco began operations in stress relief treatments. Since then, they’ve made it their priority to build a team of professionals who can master the latest and most sophisticated heat-treating technologies. Today, Thermetco is recognized as a leader in heat-treating throughout the metallurgical industry, and offers services in the following applications:

  • Heat treating
  • Non-destructive testing (NDT)
  • Metallurgical testing services
  • Consulting services and training

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.  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 media@afc-holcroft.comSeptember 11, 2018   

PlaTeG Plasma Nitriding System

PlaTeG is relatively well known in Europe for their Plasma (Ion) Nitriding systems but the company is almost completely unknown in North and South America. Having said that PlaTeG sent us this photo of a really cool installation they have in Korea. What you are looking at is a horizontal PulsPlasma Nitrider PP800 4300×10500 H. It has working dimensions of 3.000 x 1.500 x 7.000 mm and a maximum load weight of 40t (this translates into 118″ X 59″ X 275″ for us North Americans). This is a damn big nitrider by any standards. September 11, 2018   

FPM Heat Treating

Recently we ranked commercial heat treater FPM in the US Midwest as the 6th largest commercial heat treater in North America. So who are these good looking fellows framing the FPM sign? Later on this week we will introduce you and tell you a bit more about FPM. September 11, 2018   

Monday Morning Briefing

Friday we announced how Aalberts Industries of the Netherlands had acquired a surface treatment facility in Greenville, SC to compliment their existing heat treating facilities in North America. To round this story out we can say that their Accurate Brazing division in Greenville has just added a second facility.  Steve Francis, President of Accurate has this to say; “Yes Gord you are correct, the Pelham Road Facility is our 2nd plant in the Greater Greenville area and yes, it is brand spanking new. We now operate 4 facilities along the east coast … and growing. The new Pelham Road facility has also achieved AS9100 and NADCAP accreditation within the last few months.” We have these two photos of the new plant and it certainly looks extremely impressive. September 10, 2018   

In July we had a news item about new ownership at furnace builder Meapfornin in Italy, this will refresh your memory; Italstart announces today that it has aquired Meapforni, a company that specializes in the design, manufacturing, and servicing of industrial furnaces.  Italstart is a holding company founded by Mr. Francesco Pieropan and Ms. Paola Canal and others colleagues and investors . Both executives have extensive experience in the industry, having held positions at Cieffe Forni Industriali, as Vice President of Sales and General Manager respectively. Meapforni is based in the Northeast of Italy, a short drive from the international airport of Venice. This is a region that is well known internationally as a pole of high quality industrial production and technology innovation.  The company was started in 2015 by Arcangelo Pessot, the original founder of Cieffe and its President from 1984 to 2014.  Mr. Pessot will stay on with the new company, assuming the position of Vice President of Business Development and R&D.” We are expecting an update about how the company is doing but for the time being we have this photo of Paola Canal at her desk.

According to MTI figures sales for commercial heat treaters in Texas are roaring back after a long painful period due to the slump in the oil and gas industries. We are certainly seeing this and a good example is Lark Heat Treat in Houston, Texas. Lark Heat Treating was founded in 1978 by brothers Frank and Gene Clark and over the years it has grown into one of the larger heat treaters in Texas offering most heat treating processes including vacuum heat treating. The company is in the process of adding two more vacuum furnaces including a real beauty, a 5 bar Ipsen bottom load furnace with working dimensions of 72” OD X 96” high. Originally this was installed at a Pratt & Whitney in Florida and it is an extremely impressive furnace. Lark is a company we have always had a high opinion of. To go with this news item about Richard Sisson we have this photo taken at a IFHTSE event in SC earlier this year. Richard is on the left; Richard Sisson Jr., George F. Fuller Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Manufacturing and Materials Science and Engineering programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has been named a fellow of two materials science professional societies, the International Federation for Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering and the American Ceramic Society. Sisson, a Dartmouth native who directs the Center for Heat Treating Excellence, part of WPI’s Metal Processing Institute, received the first fellowship at a South Carolina conference in June, where he also delivered one of three keynote addresses, “Challenges and Opportunities for the Heat Treating Community: Threats, Risks, and Benefits.”

The Performance Review Institute was originally set up to administer NADCAP which is why the organization is of interest to any heat treaters involved in the aerospace industry. October 25the PRI will be hosting a free event in Pittsburgh, PA-these are the details; “Could you shape the Aerospace Workforce of the Future? On October 25, leading aerospace manufacturers, airlines, training providers and technical experts will gather at this unique conference and networking event. “Our involvement with eQualified has given Abaris the opportunity to enhance the content of our aerospace training courses and build lasting relationships with aerospace industry stakeholders. Our membership is invaluable because it gives us the opportunity to work alongside our customers (and potential customers).” – Mike Hoke, President, Abaris Training. This is a free event taking place on October 25, 2018 at The Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania, 337 Fourth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, USA.

Addressing A Challenging Situation; There is a critical shortfall of qualified special process personnel in the aerospace industry, as well as a skills gap created by an increasingly globalised workforce. This has increased pressure on all organisations to reduce the time required to train new personnel and ensure they achieve adequate standards of competency at all levels. Confirmed speakers include Abaris Training, Honeywell, and Solar Atmospheres. Register online or contact Bethany Bauer at bbauer@p-r-i.org or via telephone on +1 724 772 8644.”

Furnace manufacturer Rubig of Austria recently announced that they are expanding into China and it would appear that the team is coming together. In this photo we see Leon Zhao completing his training at Rubig in Wels, Austria. Leon will be responsible for after sales service and sales in China.

We started off today talking about Greenville, SC, USA so we might as well finish with Greenville. This photo shows the Bodycote facility in Greenville which is both Nadcap and AS9100D certified. This division reports amazing growth these days.

Aalberts Industries Acquiring Roy Metal Finishing Company

You might be scratching your head as to what the heck this has to do with heat treating, well we will tell you. Aalberts Industries in the Netherlands is a very large conglomerate which includes amongst their many divisions Hauck Heat Treatment which in Europe is one of the largest commercial treaters with over 30 plants. In North America Aalberts has four heat treating/brazing operations, Ionic Technologies in Greenville, SC and Accurate Brazing in Goffstown, New Hampshire, Manchester, Connecticut and Greenville, South Carolina. What this press release is telling us is that Aalberts has taken the very logical step of adding a Surface Treatment facility to compliment their existing heat treating and brazing plants-the fact that the new acquisition is just down the street from their two plants in Greenville, SC is an added bonus. Make sense now? September 7, 2018   

“Aalberts Industries N.V. has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Roy Metal Finishing Company, Inc. (RMF) based in Greenville, South Carolina, USA, generating an annual revenue of approximately USD 30 million with 200 FTE. RMF, founded in 1961 by Donald Roy and built by Clifford Roy, operates from three service locations and is specialised in corrosion protection surface technologies for the automotive, general industries and aerospace end markets. The service locations are strategically positioned near many OEMs in the southeastern region of the USA. RMF is an industry leader in areas of process technology, innovation, customer service and operational efficiency. While working in close cooperation with its customers, RMF’s process development team continuously focuses on R&D and improving their self-developed surface treatment lines. The experienced management team of RMF, led by John Pazdan, will continue to manage the company. They will also drive a jointly made business plan aimed at expanding our Aalberts surface treatment business in North America. We will add new surface treatment technologies to the portfolio, accelerate business with our global Key Accounts and further expand our Aalberts surface treatment service network.”

Delta Star Orders Pyradia Oven

Want to see an example of a Pyradia Oven? We just listed an almost unused one on our “Draw/Temper” Page https://www.themonty.com/draw-temper/ Pyradia was recently awarded a contract for a Walk-in oven for Delta Star Inc., a company specializing in engineering and manufacturing of high quality transformers. Delta Star power transformers are individually designed and manufactured to exceed the highest industry standards and the exact specifications for the particular application. The walk-in oven will be heated electrically and will be used for drying applications.” September 7, 2018   

Southwest Heat Treat, Houston, Texas, USA

We used the photo below in our September, 2018 issue of “The Monty” which went out earlier this week to over 8,000 subscribers. The photo was taken at “Southwest Heat Treat”, in Houston, Texas one of the Bluewater Thermal Solutions facilities in North America. We would like to think that this represents the sun shining again over the Texas heat treating market which has suffered over the past few years because of the low oil and gas prices. September 6, 2018    

Four Solar Atmospheres Facilities Obtain AS9100D & ISO 9001:2015 Certifications

All four Solar Atmospheres facilities have recently obtained certifications to AS9100 Revision D and ISO9001:2015.  Solar has held AS and ISO quality management systems registration certificates since 2001. These latest releases are the most demanding international standards required of suppliers to the aviation, space, defense and medical industries.  The certification preparation followed a rigorous process of evaluating existing procedures and aligning them with the new requirements. Solar’s Quality Management Systems ensure continuous improvement in productivity, efficiency and high class product quality.

Edward Engelhard, Corporate Quality Manager, states: “A key portion of this latest revision highlights the need for top management’s commitment and risk assessment.  We at Solar have a daily commitment to quality vacuum thermal processing, from senior management on down. The adherence to strict specification requirements and to uncompromising process execution provides a service that not only meets, but often surpasses our customer’s expectations.” Solar management wishes to thank all of our hard working staff for their continued commitment to maintaining these highest quality standards. Please visit our website for all current certifications and approvals. www.solaratm.com/why-solar-atmospheres/certifications For additional information about Solar Atmospheres, call 1-855-WE-HEAT-IT (1-855-934-3284), and visit us at solaratm.comSeptember 6, 2018    

Akron Steel Treating Company Day? You Bet.

Akron Steel Treating Company Day in the City of Akron was declared on Friday, August 31, 2018 by the Mayor of the City of Akron in recognition of 75 years in business. Joseph Powell, Steve Powell, Matt Moldvay, all of the ASTC Family and I enjoyed reminiscing and we all look forward to our next chapter in business! September 5, 2018   

C3 Data forms partnership with CCPI Europe

“US-based software company: C3 Data announces CCPI Europe Ltd. as its exclusive UK & European distributor for its furnace compliance software products. Here are the details of the press release: Nathan Wright, CEO and founder of C3 Data, states “CCPI has a long history of technology innovation in the field of temperature measurement. This, combined with their highly experienced sales resources in both the UK and Europe, makes them the ideal partner for C3 Data. We are excited to introduce our innovative software to the UK and European aerospace and automotive manufacturing industry.”

Jonathan Golding, Managing Director of CCPI Europe, added, “CCPI Europe is delighted to partner with C3 Data to take this technology forward into Europe. CCPI Europe; a Marmon Engineered Wire & Cable / Berkshire Hathaway company, is well positioned to promote this new technology across multiple industries and corresponding applications. Our depth of application knowledge and industry ties in heat treatment and thermal processes in Europe, now with the support of the C3 Data team, will allow CCPI Europe to support this technology in cooperation with forward-thinking customers”

About CCPI: Founded in 1984, CCPI Europe provides high-quality temperature measurement solutions to the aerospace, automotive, aluminum, and other industries. They are experts in the fields of manufacturing and calibration of temperature sensors, working in partnership with customers to ensure their customer expectations are exceeded. http://ccpi-europe.com

About C3 Data: C3 Data provides software products to simplify the furnace compliance process for heat treaters and pyrometry calibration labs seeking to comply with Nadcap (AMS2750) & CQI-9. Providing real-time visualization of furnace compliance through cloud-based and mobile software, C3 Data’s solutions are streamlining pyrometry testing processes to drive efficiency and provide peace of mind, knowing furnaces are qualified and audit-ready. http://c3data.com”

To learn more about C3 Data’s software solutions in the UK & Europe, please contact: Julian Bloomfield jbloomfield@ccpi-europe.com

To learn more about C3 Data’s software solutions in North America, please contact: Matthew Wright mwright@c3data.com

September 4, 2018    

Ipsen-How Large is the Company?

As one of the older companies in the furnace manufacturing business it would be a very unusual heat treater who is not familiar with the Ipsen name. We happened to run across a rather dry press release about Ipsen recently and tacked on to the end of the press release was this rather interesting summary about the size of the company; “IPSEN (www.ipsen.de), based in Kleve, Germany and Rockford, USA, and with several facilities in Asia, manufactures high temperature heat treatment systems for a wide range of industrial purposes, including but not limited to aerospace, automotive and industrial machinery end-markets. With 25 global subsidiaries and a workforce of approximately 900 employees, IPSEN generates revenues in excess of €220m. On the basis of more than 10,000 active systems, IPSEN maintains the largest installed base in the market. This, together with a comprehensive offering (incl. spare parts, installation and maintenance services as well as software upgrades and retrofit), allows IPSEN to obtain almost half of its revenues from the aftermarket segment.” September 4, 2018    

Codere Says Business is Great!

Furnace builder Codere SA in Switzerland is updating us on 2018 furnace orders; “Codere SA want to inform readers on recent pre-receptions which have taken place in our workshop over the last week for Slovakian and Russian customers. Codere’s workshop is at full capacity at present and have orders to be realised with a number of installations in Switzerland, France and Hungary to come before the end of the year. In the photo below is a customer from Slovakia who is a leading commercial heat treater as our flexible System 250 compliments his wide range of customer requests for case hardening processes. They bought the first line in 2007 for 500 kg brutto (Size 70/100), which was followed by a furnace (1000°C) extension in 2015 due to increasing work orders. In 2018 this customer has obtained an order to heat treat train components in large quantities and Codere customised their batch size to respect 1150 mm useful height in their batch line  for carbursing case depths up to 3-4 mm.

 The second photo is for commercial heat treater based in Russia for research and development as they invested in a high temperature furnace with options of oil & water quench on various materials with gross weight of load being 30 kgwith required washing, tempering & annealing processes. 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). Codere suggests you follow us on Twitter for the most recent updates @Codere_CH & if you have any questions on our website, please don’t hesitate to contact David Howard at info@codere.ch for further information or call + 41 32 465 1010”  September 4, 2018    

BULTEN Orders Cast Link Belt Furnace

“Swedish fastener manufacturer BULTEN has commissioned heat treatment specialist AICHELIN with the production of a cast link belt furnace for heat treating of high-strength steel screws and nuts. At 80 meters in length, the furnace plant has a capacity of 2 tons per hour and is scheduled to be shipped by December 2018. It is the second industrial furnace plant for the Swedish Hallstahammar site. Ten years after its first delivery for this site, AICHELIN has now been able to land the follow-up order for a second 2000 kg/h cast link belt furnace plant. Thanks to the positive references at BULTEN, the current project was finalized within a few months only between the first request and the final negotiation. The plant line measures 80 x 10 meters and weights around 180 tons; counting liquids and components, even 230 tons. AICHELIN is delivering the electrically heated high-temperature hardening furnace and the protective-gas-tight tempering furnace with oil or emulsion hardening baths. Moreover, measuring and switching systems are included, as well as the process control system FOCOS 4.0 for the new plant (as well as an update of the data acquisition of the existing plant) and a protective gas generator. As with the previous order, the customer provides the loading and unloading device and the component washing machines under their own direction.” September 4, 2018    

Labor Day Holiday

Due to the international Labor Day Holiday the offices of WG Montgomery Ltd., will be closed for Monday, September 3/2018. Regular news updates will resume Tuesday September 4/2018. September 3, 2018    

ALD Tratamientos Termicos, Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico

Tuesday August 21st, 2018 ALD Thermal Treatment celebrated their 10th anniversary with a party and a seminar about their specialty Vaccum Carburizing (low pressure carburizing). In attendance were customers, City Major representatives and local industrial associations, personnel from ALD Heat Treatment Services plants including Port Huron Michigan and Limbach-Oberfrohna Germany. While we spoke about this event earlier we now have these additional photos.  August 31, 2018   

Management staff of ALD Heat Treatment Services (Germany, U.S.A and México)

 Jesus Calderon, Plant Manager of ALD Tratamientos Termicos

Hector Ibarra and Jesus Calderon with representatives of Ramos Arizpe city major and local associations

Operative staff of ALD Ramos Arizpe

Darren Anthony Baysigner Obituary

July 21, 1965 – August 28, 2018. Darren Anthony Baysinger, 53, of Brazil, Indiana, passed away on Aug. 28, 2018, in Cicero, Indiana, after a spirited battle with cancer. He was born on July 21, 1965, to Frederick A Baysinger and Mary Alice McShanog Baysinger. Darren was a 1983 graduate of Brazil High School. He worked various places prior to finding his work home at Mercer Technologies in Terre Haute with his beloved boss, Mike Mercer Sr., and other members of his “work family” who he loved dearly. Darren traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and also a few other countries working on commercial furnaces, and was well loved by his clients everywhere. Darren was preceeded in death by his father, Fred Baysinger ;and brothers, Daniel and David Baysinger. His love of family was evident by his devotion to his mother, Mary Thomas, who survives; and his children, who were not blood relatives, but couldn’t have been loved more.

His world revolved very much around the lives of these special kids, who are so important to our family. He is survived by Nikki, Dylan, Nathan, Andrea and Kaleb, all of Terre Haute. He is also survived by his sisters and brothers-in-law, Dana and David Stout of Cicero, Indiana, and Erma and Bobby Harvey of Terre Haute; brothers and sisters-in-law, Doug Baysinger and Jana Reek, and Rob and Becky Baysinger of Oklahoma, and Greg Baysinger of Illinois. He is also survived by his close nieces and nephews, Allison and Chelsea Knox, and Daniel and Amber Baysinger; and other nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and many close friends. The family would like to thank those who helped with his care, including the IU Cancer Center doctors, nurses and other staff members; and the Transition Hospice team who aided in his care on the final days. A celebration of life will be held at the Benwood Mount Lebanon Church at 945 E. 1200 North, Brazil, Indiana, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, with his uncle, Dick McShanog, officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Celebrate Recovery (a Christian 12-step program) at Crossroads Church in Westfield, Indiana Contributions can be made in Darren’s memory at: www.forourneighbor.rocks August 31, 2018   

Dowa Thermotech Setting Up Heat Treating Plant in North Carolina, USA

To the press release below we will speculate with probably a great deal of accuracy about what this facility will look like when finished. Dowa is an enormous Japanese conglomerate and amongst their many divisions are two which are of interest to us; their furnace manufacturing division and their commercial heat treating division-for this story we are going to concentrate on the heat treating division. The company currently has heat treating facilities in Japan, Thailand, India, Mexico and the USA. Each is a very impressive top notch facility which concentrates largely on the automotive sector, specifically heat treating for Japanese automotive companies.   Based upon what we have seen at other Dowa plants we can say with a great deal of certainty that all of the equipment will be designed and built by Dowa (although some manufacturing might be outsourced). The furnaces will largely consist of batch IQ furnaces (sealed quench) and through feed style furnaces-basically small single row pusher furnaces. All of the equipment will be very automated although not to the same extent as Dowa plants in Japan mainly because labor in NC is far  less expensive. On one final note we will say that $22.5 million USD buys a lot of furnaces so this is going to end up being a very substantial heat treating facility when finished. The photos below show some of the Dowa plants in Japan which we at “The Monty” visited a couple of years back.

“Raleigh, N.C. – Dowa Thermotech Co. Ltd., a global provider of industrial furnaces and heat protection treatments, will open a new facility in Lee County, North Carolina, USA creating 109 jobs, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company plans to invest $22.5 million in Sanford with plans to serve clients in the automotive and industrial machinery supply chains. “ Dowa Thermotech, with headquarters in Nagoya, Japan, is a subsidiary of Dowa Holdings Co. Ltd., a global company operating in a wide range of industry sectors including nonferrous metals, metal processing and environmental management and recycling. Dowa Thermotech specializes in the manufacture of industrial furnaces and offers high quality commercial heat treatment services. The company provides heat protection for metal engine parts, transmissions and other rotating elements that operate in harsh environments. “I hear that North Carolina has been chosen as the easiest state to live at all times and it is truly our honor to build our new factory in this a wonderful state,” said Ryuji Tsuji, President for Dowa Thermotech. “We dream of building a great factory in this area with your support.” August 30, 2018   

Heat Treater Adds SECO/VACUUM Gas Nitriding Furnace to Expand Capabilities

A large North American heat treater expands their capabilities by adding a new  ZeroFlow® precision gas nitriding vacuum furnace. This horizontal, front-loading furnace is designed specifically for precision gas nitriding, ferritic nitrocarburizing, and post oxidation, in a retort-style furnace with vacuum purge. The new furnace complements a prior SECO/WARWICK gas nitriding furnace already in production. It extends the customer’s capabilities by offering greater capacity to its growing nitriding customer base. Among its many benefits, the ZeroFlow® gas nitriding method precisely controls the case depth and nitride layer formation including white layer, achieving high surface hardness, improved wear resistance, and longer fatigue life.

Only SECO/VACUUM offers the proprietary ZeroFlow® control technology.  The combination of vacuum purge and only using ammonia as a process gas reduces gas usage and emissions. SVT’s gas nitriding furnaces achieve optimum results by using uniform high convection heating and precision nitriding potential control.  Along with vacuum purging, the operating cost reductions and repeatable quality are unmatched for nitriding a variety of metals.

About SECO/VACUUMSECO/VACUUM Technologies LLC is a fully-owned entity of SECO/WARWICK Group in Europe. Through technological leadership, SVT offers unmatched vacuum furnace innovation and performance.  Through its commitment to service, SVT provides its customers with the best support in the industry and the lowest cost of ownership. Visit  www.secovacusa.com  August 30, 2018   

Heat Treatment Australia, California Facility

Numerous times in the past we have mentioned the largest commercial heat treater in Australia, Heat Treatment Australia, both to cover their facilities in Australia and also to mention their newest facility in California. As it turns out their location in California proved to be rather short lived as they quickly outgrew it. The result? The company will very shortly be moving into a new facility at 10140 Romandel Ave, Santa Fe Springs, CA. The move will also include a bunch of new equipment, the details of which we will give you shortly. In the meantime we have this photo of the new plant. August 29, 2018   

Where Have all the Heat Treaters Gone?

A number of years back Jim McNeal of International Search Partners sent us this article. It is very kind of Josh Hale of ISP to update the article for us. August 29, 2018   

 “There are issues in our industry and always will be, but the number #1 issue I keep hearing about these days is how hard it is to find experienced heat treaters. I know for a fact, that a significant number of heat treaters lost their jobs in the recent recession. I also know, for a fact, that a number were forced into other industries. Whether this explains why an experienced person is so hard to find is open to debate. Perhaps this, coupled with the fact that heat treating is a job that few individuals in their early 20’s consider, explains the shortage. Be that as it may, I can think of numerous examples where retired heat treaters are asked to return by their previous employers either on a full time or part time basis. This is a situation that I personally do not see being resolved in the near-future.”

 The above quote from is from the January 2011 issue of The Monty. Now, almost 10 years later, not a lot has changed, as many of you are still asking, “Where Have all the Heat Treaters Gone?” When this question was first published, Jim McNeal, founder of International Search Partners which has specialized in recruitment for the heat treat industry since 1998, responded that this is “an interesting question, and one that I have dealt with in one form or another since I started recruiting.” Jim went on to elaborate that recruiting young people into heat treating has always been a challenge. As society becomes more technologically advanced, heat treating struggles to compete with the bells, whistles, and “sex appeal” of other industries. This continues to be the case as many young people entering the workforce for the first time are lured into hi-tech or web-based companies.

Jim also referenced a “general lack of work ethic in our young people,” as a cause for the talent shortage in the industry. While today there are certainly young people out there willing to put in the proverbial “honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” there are still plenty of heat treaters out there struggling to fill hourly positions where the only requirement is to “show up every day and work hard.” The original quote also asks where are all the experienced heat treaters? In 2011, the US economy was just coming out of the Great Recession, and while true that many people had lost their jobs or changed industries, Jim made the point that during a slower economy, employees are less apt to make a career change. Of course, the current bull run is one of the longest in history, but there is still trepidation in the market. For someone currently employed and happy with their career, it is very difficult to compel them to move. While the broader economy has recovered, individuals remain risk averse.

 The best heat treaters have their heads down and are working hard. They’re not actively looking on job boards, so they need to be solicited directly, individually and professionally. The only way to really tap into the top echelon of candidate and recruit them to a new opportunity is to do so proactively. That’s why enlisting the services of a professional search and placement firm like International Search Partners is crucial to providing access to hiring top talent. For over 20 years, ISP has been the premier recruiting solution for the Heat Treat industry. The salary information provided is based on information gathered over that time and from interviewing 500+ industry professionals per year. If you’re hiring now, or exploring new opportunities for yourself, we are uniquely positioned to be your partner for success and would love to work with you. Please contact us at info@ispards.com or 619-465-9621.

Magnetic Specialties Ships Transformer for Wire Annealing

Magnetic Specialties recently shipped a 360KVA, three phase, 60HZ transformer for use in wire annealing.  The transformer features an extended primary winding with multiple taps to adjust the output voltage of the high current secondary.  The tap can easily be changed via the three phase tap switch mounted to the front of the enclosure.  The delta connected secondary winding is designed for line currents up to 6,500 ARMS.  The delta connection was made with large aluminum bus bars due to the high secondary current. The core and coil, along with the custom NEMA 1 enclosure, were designed using Solidworks 3D modeling. For additional information about Magnetic Specialties, email sales@magspecinc.com, call 267-384-5231, or visit www.magspecinc.comAugust 29, 2018   

Ipsen Bottom Loader-What’s it worth?

This is a very large Ipsen bottom loading vacuum furnace with working dimensions of 48″ diameter X 54″ deep. Two bar, completely rebuilt, 12 month warrantee and two bar quenching. Asking price of $525,000 USD which is roughly half the price of new. Is it worth the asking price? The general consensus is that used furnaces never sell for more than half the price of new which means that this is really pushing the limits. The wild card in this case is that very few large bottom load furnaces are ever sold in any given year and the fact that this is pretty much ready to go means it might be attractive to a company in a hurry. The jury is out on the asking price of this item. August 28, 2018   

Weekly Updates From “The Monty”

“The Monty” will now be sending out weekly updates of “The Monty” covering the most interesting heat treat stories and trends in the industry. This will be brief, to the point and will cover only the stories which we believe are most relevant to captive and commercial heat treaters. As always we appreciate your input-if you feel that this is overkill or conversely if you would like to include your message in our weekly news brief we would be happy to do so. August 28, 2018   

International ThermProcess Summit Atlanta, GA, USA

This event was recently held and we have this summary from the organizing committee. We are pretty sure that the fellow looking rather bored in the photo below (seated at the table-centre) is none other than Gary Berwick of Dry CoolersAugust 28, 2018   

Industry leaders and executives gathered in Atlanta from July 30 – August 1, for the second ITPS (International ThermProcess Summit) and by all accounts and comments, the event delivered a wide array of timely and critical information.  One attendee exclaimed, “Had I known how good the content was going to be, we would have brought our entire management team!  We certainly will next time.” Anne Goyer, IHEA’s Executive Vice President, noted that attendee evaluations showed executives felt the speakers and their presentations were very valuable.  “I have been involved in organizing conferences and summits for more than 35 years.  This year’s ITPS was one of the highest evaluated events we’ve ever produced.” From the opening session where attendees learned about the “Factory of the Future” from Dr. Irene Petrick of Intel, to the closing presentation on “Transitioning Your Business to the Next Generation” by The BrainzoomingTM Group founder Mike Brown, the audience was engaged throughout the entire event.”

From left at table: Chad Spore – John Deere (speaker), Phil Chizek – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), Gary Berwick, Dr. Irene Patrick, Intel Corp (speaker), Chris Misorski, Mercury Marine

Monday Morning Briefing

Commercial heat treater FPM with several plants in the US Midwest sent us this press release; “FPM is pleased to announce the successful re-certification of our Nadcap accreditation! Plus all three of our commercial heat treating locations upgraded to the new ISO 9001-2015 certification standards. To demonstrate their continued commitment to quality, FPM Heat Treating announces that they have been successful in achieving Nadcap recertification accreditation for Heat Treating. “Our employees recognize the importance of producing top quality heat treat processing to service the Aerospace Community. We continue to show this commitment by providing excellence in Aerospace Quality and Heat Treat Processing.” “Compliance via Nadcap accreditation is a milestone in demonstrating manufacturing excellence.” said Joe Pinto, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Performance Review Institute. “By obtaining Nadcap in Heat Treating, FPM Heat Treating has proved to the industry that they are committed to quality and aerospace safety.” For more information about FPM Heat Treating please visit fpmht.com or feel free to call and/or email (sales@fpmht.com; 847-228-2525)”. ALD Thermal Treatment in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico celebrated their 10th anniversary with a big party and a discussion about vacuum carburizing at their facility just last week. The event was a hit and we have this photo of part of the plant tour. August 27, 2018   

From California, USA we have this press release from ThermoFusion; “ThermoFusion Hires 2018 Interns. ThermoFusion, helping make America great through heat treating and brazing services, announces the hiring of its summer intern for 2018.  John Sheckel, a Materials Engineering student from San Jose State University, joined ThermoFusion for a 3 month practicum of heat treating and brazing. As an intern, John will learn and practice material testing (pre and post heat treat), incoming and outgoing inspection, furnace calibration and operational adherence to AMS 2759/D. ThermoFusion is a company focused on the long term growth of manufacturing in California, and takes social responsibility seriously. We began our Internship Program in 2011, to provide practical experience for engineers to better understand theoretical lessons.  John is our 7th intern to be hired into the ThermoFusion Internship Program.” In Canada Northern Heat Treat is in the process of moving into a much larger facility because business is so good. The company which has been around for over 25 years is moving from a 28,000 square foot location into a 54,000 square foot facility. The move will include some new ovens.  In the one photo we see the owners George Sidun Senior and Junior.

People News; In the where are they now category we see Danny McWilliams who for many years was the heat treating rep in Texas and the surrounding states. Danny has this to say; “Just wanted to let you know that I’m still alive and kicking.  Going on 1 1/2 years of retirement.  Keeping very busy.  Every Wednesday I get to go grocery shopping with Dianne, and she allows me to push the cart.  Haven’t progressed to the point that I get to put items in the cart, but she assures me that someday I will reach that point.” Premier Thermal Solutions (Premier) is excited to announce the hiring of Jennifer Howe as Regional Sales Manager.  Jennifer will be responsible for all aspects of sales within her territory of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Canada.  Jennifer will report to Sara McMurray, Director of Sales & Marketing. We mentioned Ron Graham moving to Paulo recently but here is the formal announcement;Ron Graham has joined the Paulo team as Key Account Manager for the Cleveland Division.  Ron is an industry veteran with experience selling heat treatment furnaces to a national customer base. He joins the growing Cleveland Division which is in the process of an expansion.   The Cleveland division primarily focuses on Aerospace, Power Generation, and Agriculture processing. Ron’s experience both as a small business owner and various sales and account management roles will be an asset to the Cleveland team and Paulo as a whole. Ron is based in Toledo, Ohio but will be onsite at customer locations and at the plant in Willoughby on a regular basis.” We regret to mention the passing of Dr. Hans Tensi one of the founding fathers of modern heat treating metallurgy – what some would call the 3rd Generation of Heat Treating.  In Texas Outside salesperson Brian Taylor made a switch from National Heat Treating to Houston Heat Treat. Both are in the Houston area.

The world is certainly a smaller place and events on the other side of the world can cause ripples around the globe. Turkey represents a large, very modern captive and commercial heat treating market, an example of which can be seen in the photo below showing a new gas nitriding installation. However recently the currency, the Turkish lira has been taking a beating which has caused several furnace suppliers in the US and Europe to see cancelled or delayed orders with customers waiting to see what happens. One such company that got caught in the crossfire is none other that ourselves at “The Monty”. Time will tell what happens.

Back in August we had a brief story about how Aremac Heat Treating in California was closing their facility (their plant in Georgia is not effected). As of mid August the CA location was not accepting new work. A very unfortunate situation however it is no surprise that the remaining heat treaters in the area are reporting higher sales. “To our Valued Customers, This year has brought us many challenges, but the greatest one of all is Aremac having to say GOOD-BYE to SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. We were unable to renew our building lease and secure a new location locally. Thus, we made the difficult decision to leave CALIFORNIA and expand our operations in EASTMAN, GA. Currently, the GA facility is AS9100, NADCAP, Boeing, GE and Pratt and Whitney approved and we will continue to add other prime approvals as customer needs dictate.”

Bob Robbins, Cambridge Heat Treating

It is with regret that we mention the passing of Bob Robbins, founder of commercial heat treat Cambridge Heat Treating in Cambridge, Canada. Bob founded the company in 1982 and over the years he and his family have turned into a very successful company. Bob will be missed. August 24, 2018   

ROBBINS, Robert (Bob) William 80, of Cambridge, Ontario passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 22nd at Freeport Hospital. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday August 25, 2018 at T. Little Funeral Home, 223 Main Street, Cambridge, Ontario at 2:30 p.m. Visitation will be at the funeral home prior to the service beginning at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to Diabetes Canada or the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated. Bob was born March 14, 1938 in Mount Forest, Ontario. He was married to Eleanor (Orton) for 60 years. Bob was a life-long resident of Cambridge. After working as a heat treater at CMC-Ingersoll Rand for 30+ years, he founded Cambridge Heat Treating in 1982. Today the business remains owned and operated by his children. He enjoyed 30 years of cottage life at Conestoga Lake, where he and his family built their cottage. He was an avid fisherman who enjoyed his remote fly-in fishing trips. After retirement he thoroughly enjoyed his frequent trips to Las Vegas and Niagara Falls playing craps and cards. Bob is survived by his wife Eleanor and their four children, Randy (Barb), Cheryl (Bob Mortimer), Peter (Lisa), Don (Tracey), his brother Ivan (Thorman); seven grandchildren, Michele, Stephanie, Mikaela, Bradley, Madison, Jodie and McKenzie; three great-grandchildren, Jaxson, Zachary and Benjamin. He was preceded in death by his mother Helen Thorman, father Melville Robbins, sister Evy Robbins and grandson Chris Robbins. Online condolences may be made at www.tlittlefuneralhome.com 

Don and Peter Robbins

Applied Process, Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA

We promised you updates about the new Applied Process commercial heat treating facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA and this is the first installment. This will be one of the largest new heat treating facility investments in North America in 2018.  “Livonia, Mich.-based Applied Process opened its doors to the public to celebrate the beginning of operations in Fort Smith. The company purchased and renovated an abandoned building at 5400 North 6th Street for $2.751 million starting in January. The overall expansion has been between $8 million and $10 million, counting the addition of industrial equipment. The location was once a spice warehouse for OK Foods. For Tim Allen, president and CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, the process started “about a year ago.”

According to the company’s recruiting brochure, the average entry-level production wage is $31,500 and the company pays up to 95% of health insurance premiums. After adding in another $3,600 in average entry-level bonus and profit sharing, the total compensation comes out to about $49,600, or roughly $23.85 per hour for new hires with no experience. Plant manager Rusty Rainbolt told Talk Business & Politics the facility had 20 employees when it officially opened last month, that it hopes to add “another 5-6 soon, and over the next five years, we’re going to grow that number up to about 50.” “We started as a half-size facility with three furnaces, and we’ll grow out to six,” he added. The current plant size is about 51,000 square feet.

Applied Process specializes in austempering heat treatment processing. It has “a diverse industry base,” Rainbolt explained. “We work in everything from automotive to aerospace to mining and construction and agriculture. Big customers of ours would be Ford Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler, John Deere, Caterpillar, all the way to railroad companies.” August 24, 2018   

Largest Commercial Heat Treaters in North America

Very recently we put together our list of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America ranked by annual sales https://www.themonty.com/largest-commercial-heat-treaters-in-north-america-august-2018/ It was no surprise that we received a number of comments/questions about the list with two topics in particular coming up. The first was basically “Are we sure about the ranking and why isn’t so and so company included on your list”? As we pointed out while we are very sure about our rankings we are not going to guarantee it 100%. For instance we were asked about some of the larger players in Texas and why they aren’t on the list-well yes there are some very big heat treaters in Texas but they are generally single shop operations and while large we don’t believe they are amongst the 13 largest in North America. One company which came up repeatedly was Specialty Steel Treating based in Michigan https://www.sst.net/ Yes this is a very large company and quite possibly deserves to be on our list but quite frankly we were not able to come up with a good estimate of their sales. The second topic which we ran across multiple times in various forms was “I belong to Metal Treating Institute (MTI) which tells us on a regular basis where we stand in relation to others in our area. If as you say Bodycote is far and away the largest commercial heat treater in North America why doesn’t their name appear on the MTI lists?” The answer is that not every commercial heat treater in North America belongs to MTI and this includes Bodycote which means they will not appear on these reports. As always we enjoy feedback-good, bad or indifferent. August 23, 2018   

 TorqTek Auction

In Charleston, SC, USA TorqTek is having an online auction of some of their surplus equipment which includes a few heat treat items which should attract some interest. A rotary hearth furnace and some ovens come to mind but the highlight, a couple of Gleason 529 Press Quench units which are still listed have already been sold.  A fellow by the name of Norm Laurens of Cincinnati swooped in at the last moment and bought them up prior to him shipping them off to Japan. This is an online auction which starts Thursday, August 23rd. TorqTek Design and Manufacturing LLC (TorqTek) emerged out of GETRAG Precision Gears LLC, in Charleston, South Carolina-now TorqTek is part of AAM. August 23, 2018   

Congressman Kelly Visits Solar Atmospheres of Western PA

This past week US Representative Mike Kelly (PA District 3) was thrilled to tour Solar Atmospheres of Western PA. The congressman, a leading supporter to small business, was able to observe and hear firsthand how tax reform has influenced Solar’s future. Kelly was extremely pleased to hear how the tax reform bills, that he supported, have spurred tremendous private investment and job creation within the Hermitage PA facility.  While touring the 80,000 square foot state of the art facility, Representative Kelly was able to marvel at the operation of the world’s largest 48 foot long vacuum furnace. In addition, the Congressman observed a vast array of defense, aerospace, and medical components being thermally processed within smaller vacuum furnaces.

The Congressman stated, “I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Solar Atmospheres in Hermitage last week. It is truly a world-class facility that I’m proud to represent right here in the Shenango Valley.  It was fascinating to learn more about what they are producing, and just as importantly, how they are producing it. I was particularly glad to speak with Solar’s dedicated professionals about the specific policies I can support to help them thrive in our community, including tax reform and the revival of the Export Import Bank.” For additional information about Solar Atmospheres, contact Mike Johnson at 724-982-0660 x2223 or mike@solarwpa.com, and visit us at www.solaratm.com. For more information about U.S. Representative Mike Kelly, visit www.kelly.house.govAugust 23, 2018   

Hardline Heat Treating, Southbridge, MA, USA Expanding

To add to this story we an say that Hardline is what we would consider a “full service” commercial heat treater in that the company offers vacuum heat treating, carburizing, marquenching and carbonitrding amongst other processes http://www.hardlineheattreating.com/   August 22, 2018   

“Town councilors Monday approved a 10-year tax increment financing agreement with Hardline Heat Treating Inc., a 14-year-old company in need of space to continue growing in automotive and firearms markets, and entry into aerospace. The company thermally treats metals to improve wear, toughness and aesthetics, has 36 employees and operates from 134 and 73 Ashland Ave., in a combined 18,000 square feet. During the 10-year TIF, the company plans to invest $3.2 million and add 10 jobs, company president Robert Chalue Jr. said. It will spend $1 million to purchase the two buildings it occupies, pay $1.8 million for construction and $400,000 for new equipment, Mr. Chalue said. Expanding and renovating 73 Ashland Ave., which is to occur first, would increase its space from more than 25,000 square feet to more than 41,000 square feet. The expansion and renovation of 134 Ashland Ave. would occur in a second phase, at least a year after the other building is completed and operational. Ms. Scrivens described the company as “bursting at the seams,” and in requesting the TIF, Mr. Chalue said the company recognizes the need to invest in unskilled labor. He said its wages are $40,000 to $55,000 annually for its unskilled labor force. In addition, the company has been hard hit by increased costs in power, Mr. Chalue said. It’s spending $30,000 to $40,000 a month, and because of supply and demand, those costs are expected to increase by 30 percent, he said.”

Premier Thermal Solutions Added Capacity

Just last week we posted our list of the 10 largest commercial heat treaters in North America and in the #8 spot we had Premier Thermal Solutions https://www.themonty.com/largest-commercial-heat-treaters-in-north-america-august-2018/ (our guess by the way is that the company has annual sales of roughly $50 million USD). Their name comes up again today because they are adding more capacity. August 22, 2018   

“Premier Thermal Solutions is pleased to announce it is increasing oil quench and temper capacity at its Atmosphere Annealing Mt. Hope Facility in Lansing, MI.  Through the enhancement of an existing roller hearth tray furnace, the facility will double its oil quench capacity. The additional capacity is in response to increasing demand seen from many of the industries that Atmosphere Annealing serves including automotive, energy, heavy equipment, heavy truck and rail .  The furnace will be online in Q1 of 2019. “This is a really exciting time for our organization.  With the conversion of this furnace, we will be able to react quickly to market needs, expand into new markets, and provide faster turnaround for our customers,” said Sara McMurray, Director of Sales and Marketing. “The expansion not only provides us with additional capacity to meet our customers growing demand, it also provides additional back-up processing capabilities to further protect our customers’ critical supply chain.” Steve Wyatt, President, stated.”

Complete Heat Treating Buys Commercial Heat Treating Inc.

Family owned commercial heat treater Complete out in Milwaukee, Wisconsin recently purchased Commercial Heat Treating Inc., also located in Milwaukee. Complete specializes in very large parts up to 53′ long X 22′ wide X 15′ High and weighing up to 100,000 lbs., which require annealing, tempering, stress relieving, quenching or normalizing. One of the photos below shows the previous owner of Commercial Heat Treating along with our good friend Thomas Wingens.  August 21, 2018   

Ceramaterials Founder, Dr. Jerry Weinstein Transitions to Retirement

“CeraMaterials, a leading provider of thermal processing solutions, would like to congratulate Jerry Weinstein on his retirement from the company.  Over the last decade, Jerry built CeraMaterials into a thriving global organization supplying a myriad of thermal processing and electro-chemical materials along with consultative engineering support.  Utilizing e-commerce and a skilled network of sales representatives, Jerry established CeraMaterials as the go to company for maintenance managers and engineers alike.  “My approach was always to get customers what they needed in a timely fashion and at an affordable price.  It sounds simple, but many companies fall short in one or both of these areas.  Our ability to execute quickly as a “one stop resource” is what sets us apart.  My successor, Jeff Opitz is equipped to bring CeraMaterials to the next level, while maintaining an unwavering commitment to our core philosophies,” says Jerry Weinstein.  Jerry will continue to consult with CeraMaterials as well as consult under his own company CeraGraphi Solutions, www.ceragraphisolutions.com.  “Consulting is a way for me to remain engaged while allowing free time for my personal pursuits,” says Weinstein.

“CeraMaterials success is a result of Jerry’s tireless work and brilliant thinking; I will continue to lean on Jerry for technical guidance while growing the business.  I wish Jerry and Jocelyn much happiness as they move to a new season in their lives.  It’s an exciting time for the company,” says CeraMaterials President, Jeff Opitz.

 ABOUT CERAMATERIALS AND GRAPHIMATERIALS CeraMaterials is a full service provider of thermal processing materials, serving the commercial heat treat, aerospace, steel, industrial oven, electro-chemical and craft artist industries.  CeraMaterials can be found online at www.ceramaterials.com.   GraphiMaterials, a subsidiary of CeraMaterials, focuses exclusively on carbon based products and custom engineering services.  GraphiMaterials can be found online at www.graphimaterials.com.”  August 21, 2018   

Is Social Media Relevant to the Heat Treating Industry?

For years now we have been told that having your company name prominent on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.) is crucial in this day and age. We at “The Monty” have always been a bit skeptical, however like all companies with a product to sell we did not want to miss out on any possible advertising tools.  The result was that starting about a year ago we became active on LinkedIn (which appears to be the most business friendly venue of the bunch). “The Monty” now has almost 4,500 followers, our posts regularly attract thousands of views and as far as we can tell the revenue generated is $0. It is quite possible that indirectly sales have been generated because of our LinkedIn presence but we would be hard pressed to point to one single dollar earned as a result of our efforts. We will keep at it and see what the future holds. August 21, 2018   

Monday Morning Briefing

There are a number of events coming up in the worldwide heat treating industry which deserve a mention; August 20, 2018   

Applied Process; Earlier this year commercial heat treater Applied Process announced the opening of a brand new location in Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA. Well everything is on track and the Grand Opening happens this week; “Applied Process, Inc., the worldwide leader in austempering heat treatment technology, will expand with a new multi-million-dollar heat treatment plant in Fort Smith, Ark. The 51,000-square-foot plant will house six furnaces and add at least 30 jobs. The plant is expected to be fully operational in the 3rd quarter and will serve customers in the Midwest and South. “We are very excited to announce our expansion in Fort Smith,” said Chief Executive Officer Harold Karp. “Record sales performance in 2016 and 2017, combined with a strong new product forecast, make this the right time to expand.” Applied Process plants in Livonia, Mich., and Oshkosh, Wis., will remain in operation, serving the automotive, agriculture, aerospace, heavy truck, railroad, mining industries, as well as the military. The Oshkosh facility houses the world’s largest integral quench batch austempering furnace which is capable of austempering parts up to 20,000 lbs. in weight.” The photo below shows part of the Livonia plant.

ALD Thermal Treatment; August 22nd and 23rd sees a large celebration and LPC Seminar at ALD Thermal Treatment in Saltillo, Mexico. The celebration is in honor of their 10th anniversary while the seminar is entitled Basics of LPC (Low Pressure Carburizing). It is designed to give attendees a basic understanding for the successful application of the LPC-process. Besides the basics of the process and the equipment, the furnaces can be seen in action on the shop-floor at ALD-Thermal Treatment.

Akron Steel Treating; Akron Steel Treating in Akron, Ohio, USA is having a big party to celebrate their 75th year in business. The event will occur Friday, August 31/2018 and we believe everybody is welcome. We visited the company just 2 weeks ago and have this photo of the President, Mr. Joe Powell in the batch IQ department.

ECM USA. It is hard to believe but furnace manufacturer ECM USA is celebrating their 20th anniversary in North America. The event will happen September 12th and 13th of 2018 at the company’s location in Pleasant Prairie, WI and will include both a technical conference and an open house. A number of speakers will be in attendance including our friend Mr. Dan Herring who always gives an interesting and very informative talk (with a bit of humour thrown in).

Heat Treat Mexico 2018. Back in 2016 ASM had their first technical seminar in Queretaro, Mexico which we at “The Monty” attended. It wasn’t a super large event but we thought it was well organized and reasonably well attended. “The ASM Heat Treating Society presents Heat Treat Mexico 2018 scheduled for September 25-28, 2018 at the Fiesta Americana in Queretaro, Mexico. This global conference will attract professionals in the industry such as maintenance supervisors, metallurgists, and production engineering staff and will provide a bridge for relevant new technology and applications for thermal processing.”

FNA 2018. The largest event in North America in 2018 will be FNA 2018 (Furnaces North America) which this year takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA October 8-10th. This event is organized by MTI (Metal Treating Institute) which always does a very good job. If you are only going to one show in North America in 2018 this is the one you should attend. We have this photo from their last show which was held in 2016 in Nashville, TN.

HK 2018. The largest European heat treatment show of 2018, HartereiKongress will be held October 16th to the 18th in Cologne Germany. As you would expect this mainly features exhibitors and attendees from European companies but there is a smattering of North American and Asian suppliers also in attendance (along with our good friends from Ion Heat in Colombia, South America). This is an annual event which we highly recommend.

Jones Metal Products-Do Captives Make Good Commercial Heat Treaters?

Located in West Lafayette, Ohio metal forming company Jones Metal Products Company is celebrating their 95th year in business.  The company is now under the direction of Marion Sutton, the third generation of family leadership. Doing primarily aerospace work the firm has been doing vacuum and aluminum heat treating in house for a number of years before they ventured into the commercial heat treating business. Generally in-house heat treaters do NOT make good commercial heat treaters  for a number of reasons (the now long gone Magna Powertrain facility in Syracuse, NY was an extreme example. Running high volume, low cost annealing work for outside customers through large pushers designed for heat treating high end automotive gears proved to be not a good idea). Anyway it would appear that Jones is an example of a manufacturer successfully doing commercial heat treating.

Over the years the company had invested in vacuum and aluminum drop bottom capacity entirely for their own products. At some point in time Jones realized that there was a need for aluminum heat treating services in their own backyard, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The end result is that the firm now does about $500,000 per year in commercial heat treating (both vacuum and aluminum) a number which is growing rapidly. Our personal feeling is that one of the main reasons that the company has seen such success at commercial heat treating are their approvals which include AS/ISO, NADCAP and ITAR Registration. Whatever the reasons its interesting to see a company branching out based upon their own internal strengths. August 17, 2018   

Brand New Cincinnati Sub Zero System

Kent Howell, Tool Room/Production Manager, Jones Metal Products, Gord Montgomery

Solar Atmospheres Hosts Teachers Camp

 “Solar Atmospheres, Inc. recently hosted the ASM International Teachers’ Camp to its Souderton, PA facility. The camp was sponsored by the ASM Philadelphia Liberty Bell Chapter. Twelve teachers from across the country, including one from Canada and three Temple students, spent a week at Temple University’s Ambler campus learning the basics of Materials Science Technology (MST) as taught at the high school level. They worked hands-on with metals, ceramics, polymers and composites to develop a greater appreciation for the importance of these materials to modern life. The ASM Materials Camp – Teachers is a proven program that strengthens the curriculum in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the secondary level. By introducing teachers to the engineering professions through Materials Science, ASM influences students for years to come.” August 17, 2018   

Akron Steel Treating is Having a Party!

Akron Steel Treating of Akron, Ohio, USA will be having an open house later this month to celebrate their 75th anniversary in business.  We at “The Monty” jumped the gun a little bit and decided to tell you early what the company is celebrating. The company was founded in 1943 by Prosper Paolucci Powell, father of the current owner, Joe Powell.   Prosper at the time was working in the heat treating department of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Akron when he was approached by the US army to set up a heat treating shop in his home garage to heat treat firing pins for firearms.   The army provided the furnaces and parts and a very successful endeavor was born.   Through the end of WWII all the little machine shops that sprung up in and around Akron heard about Prosper’s heat treating shop in his garage.  At the end of the war Prosper asked the army what they were going to do with the furnaces and the answer was “make us an offer”.   Prosper said he had no money to buy them and the US army response was “we will accept your offer” and the rest is history.

In 2018 we see a very successful commercial heat treat operation, Nadcap Certified, with 50,000 square feet, 48 employees and a multitude of heat treating processes including salt bath processing, batch IQ furnaces, vacuum heat treating and Joe’s favorite the “IntensiQuench®” water quenching processes.   (Joe has two new patents pending.)

Early in 2018, Joe put into place a sucession plan for the company which involves Matt Moldvay, VP of Sales (and a long time heat treater), Joes’s daughter Christina Somogye (a mechanical engineer by background), and Joe’s nephew, Steve Powell who is VP of Quality.  The three currently own 30% of the company with Joe maintaining majority control.  Over the next 15 years the new shareholders will complete the buyout of Joe.    By the way Joe’s advice is that if you go this route it is crucial that you work carefully through a CPA and a succession planner.

And his plans for the future?    He will remain at Akron and while he is doing this he will be setting up “Integrated Heat Treating Solutions” a heat treat consulting company which will integrate part design and lean manufacture with experienced heat treaters; the goal is “better” hardened parts at a total lower cost of manufacture.    Anybody who has met Joe Powell will instantly know that the man is not just focused on money and profits but rather by a very deep, intense love of metallurgy and heat treating – a very strong credit in our opinion and a passion which is shared by many of the most successful heat treaters in the business. August 16, 2018   

Akron Steel Treating Salt

Matt Moldvay, VP of Sales, Akron Steel Treating

Joe Powell and Gord Montgomery. What you see is a portable Intensiquench unit which has been used at a number of forging shops to utilize the Intensiquench process for heat treating forgings-to great effect we will add.

Joe Powell in the Batch IQ Department of Akron Steel Treating

Advanced Corporation for Materials & Equipments Co., Ltd. Advertises With The Monty

We would like to welcome our newest advertiser Advanced Corporation for Materials & Equipments Co., Ltd. (ACME).  ACME provides high end industrial heating equipment.  They specialize in a lot of different furnaces but for more information please take a look at https://www.acmefurnace.net/ August 16, 2018   

Mincon Group to install AFC-Holcroft Batch Furnace Lines on Two Continents

Mincon Group, headquartered in Shannon, Ireland, has purchased 2 separate, complete batch style integral quench heat treatment lines from AFC-Holcroft. The equipment will be utilized for the heat treatment of components such as those used in heavy industries like mining and drilling.  The both batch furnace lines have features designed to reduce distortion of the products being processed.

One complete furnace line, consisting of an integral quench batch furnace with an effective load size of 36” x 72” x 56”, tempering furnaces, washing and conveying equipment, controls system and accessory equipment, will be sent to the customer’s manufacturing facility in Benton, Illinois, USA, and another smaller size line with an effective load size of 36” x 48” x 36” will be delivered to Perth, Australia.  The size of the line in Benton is noteworthy in that the furnace load size is considered very large by industry standards (furnace has a gross load capacity of 6000 lbs or 2722 kg), yet AFC-Holcroft offers this size as one of its standard designs, with numerous installations of this size presently in operation.

“We’ve seen tremendous demand for on the part of manufacturers to continually improve control, quality, consistency and reduce distortion.” stated Tracy Dougherty, Sales Manager at AFC-Holcroft.  “The addition of these batch furnace lines will allow Mincon to increase production using brand-new equipment that meets their need for high quality and productivity.  We’re excited to be a part of their continued growth in the market.”   AFC-Holcroft is one of the leading companies supplying heat treating furnaces; and as a global company, are able to support the customer’s activities worldwide.

Mincon Group PLC was founded in 1977 in Shannon, Ireland. Mincon manufactures and distributes a range of precision engineered hard rock drilling tools for a variety of industries including Mining, Exploration, Waterwell, Geothermal, Construction, Horizontal Directional Drilling, Oil-Gas and Energy.   They have invested heavily in modern manufacturing facilities in countries around the world including Ireland, USA, and Australia, which have been outfitted with the latest machinery – allowing Mincon to control all aspects of the production process. Delivery of the line for Benton, Illinois took place in the first quarter of 2018, and Perth, Australia will follow at a later date. http://www.mincon.com/

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 media@afc-holcroft.comAugust 15, 2018   

Largest Commercial Heat Treaters in North America August 2018

 It is now almost 20 years since “The Monty” put together our first list of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America. This is roughly the 4th update to our original ranking and like most things it gets better with age. It’s a difficult task ranking what are largely privately held companies with little desire to share sales figures however after all these years we are quite proud of the accuracy of this list. (note; we are not going to guarantee 100% but, in our conceit, we feel it is possible).  The basic criteria: August 14, 2018   

-this ranking is based upon sales figures for 2017

-sales would include plants in the USA, Canada and Mexico (although Bodycote’s figures do not include their operations in Mexico)

-we are only considering companies whose core business is commercial heat treating. As an example, our understanding is that Commercial Steel Treating in Madison Heights, Michigan and their associated companies such as Curtis Metal Treating have sales in the area of $100 million USD per year. However, most of their sales are finishing as opposed to heat treating and for that reason we have excluded them.

-as a publicly traded company we have no issue sharing Bodycote’s sales figures, however we have refrained with all the others on this list.

-while we started off with a “Top 10” list it grew to a “Top 13” list as you can see. The reason being that some of these companies are so close in size that it is difficult to include one and exclude another.

-as always we appreciate comments and corrections and indeed look forward to them

  • Bodycote https://www.bodycote.com/  It is absolutely no surprise that UK based Bodycote dwarfs all others in North America, as a matter of fact they dominate in almost every single area of the world. Total North American sales in 2017 were $325 million USD (excluding Mexico). The US and Canada account for 34% of the group’s total sales.

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Monday Morning Briefing

We have a treat coming up for you Tuesday of this week, our updated list of the 10 Largest Commercial Heat Treaters in North America. We have been doing this on an occasional basis for almost 20 years now and as far as we can tell “The Monty” is the only source in the world that does this. It is so clear cut who the largest is that we are not going to keep you in suspense. In 2017 total North American sales for “Bodycote” were $325 million USD (not including Mexico), this number by the way represents 34% of total group sales. The next 9 will probably not be a surprise for those who know the industry well, however the order might be. News? Perhaps not but the unique design of this custom designed Wisconsin Oven caught our eye. It features three (3) pneumatically operated drawers. Each drawer has a maximum loading capacity of 6,600 pounds and uses air cylinders that are permanently lubricated.

Remember Sona Precision Forge in Selma, NC? It was a auto parts maker with a fairly large captive heat treat department which closed down a couple of years ago. It restarted for a short period of time under the name Selma Precision before it closed down again. The equipment is certainly very saleable however it appears that for the past year or so it has been sitting there idle and that there are no real plans for it. What’s it worth? “Abar Ipsen “TurboTreater” vacuum furnace. “2 Bar quenching. Working dimensions of 36″ X 36″ X 24″. 18″ diffusion pump, Stokes 671 booster pump and 212H roughing pump. Yokogawa CX 2000 controller and CM31 vacuum gauges. Hot zone is approximately 6 years old. Moly elements with graphite insulation.” While this is an older furnace it is in excellent condition and came with an asking price of $225,000 USD. It looks like it sold fairly quickly at roughly 95% of the asking price which is about what we would have expected. Furnaces like this do not come on the used market that often.

We’re trying to figure out the story on this vacuum furnace. It is located in San Antonio, Texas and is part of an auction of surplus equipment located at a defense supplier in the area however we are struggling to find any details about it.

Juan Eliseo Cruz ortega at ALD Thermal Treatment in Mexico is moving up the ladder and now has the official title of Maintenance and Service Sales Director. Erika Zarazua is somebody else moving on up. Erika is now Project Manager at Global Thermal Solutions also in Mexico. Global Thermal Solutions provides calibration and pyrometry services. Eric Boltz in Cincinnati, Ohio has been in the industry for some time, mainly having to do with furnace controls. Looks like he made a change and is now selling high temperature fans of all things.  Looks like Hauck Heat Treatment in Poland has a new Sale Manager; “We are pleased to welcome Łukasz Turowski to our Hauck Heat Treatment team in Poland. Lukasz joined our Poland sales department in May 2018 Lukasz has worked as a sales representative in the heat treatment industry (including laser hardening technology) for several years. His experience will prove to be very valuable to our customers and to our team. After graduating from Silesian University of Technology in the field of materials engineering, he became an International Welding Engineer (IWE). He continued his education in management and received the Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) In his free time Łukasz likes spending time with his family. He loves physical activities such as functional training.” August 13, 2018    

Siegen Tool and Hardening to Add Rohde Vacuum Nitrider

In Siegen, Germany we see that tooling supplier and commercial heat treater “Siegen Tool and Hardening Technology GmbH” is adding additional heat treating capacity. In the fall of 2018 this will include a ROHDE Schutzgasöfen GmbH vacuum nitriding system similar to the system in the photo below  which is located at commercial heat treat HTU in Mühlhofen, Germany. Siegen Tool & Hardening currently has a number of furnaces which includes vacuum hardening up to 15 bar and the ability to offer Plasma nitriding and nitrocarburizing. August 10, 2018    

Where Are They Now-Ron Graham

Ron has been in the heat treating industry for a number of years now mainly selling capital equipment, as a matter of fact we enjoyed working with him for a period of time. Well Ron switched hats recently and is now a Key Account Manager for commercial heat treater Paulo Heat Treating in Willoughby, Ohio. If you recall we mentioned this location recently, mainly for the fact that it is going though an enormous expansion. Below you can see Ron’s “mug shot” and a picture of the Paulo plant which was taken very recently. By the way Paulo will be mentioned in the near future in our list of “The Largest North American Commercial Heat Treaters”-you might be surprised at where the company ranks. August 10, 2018   

Alex Bast Joins Cambridge Heat Treating

For many years Alex worked in the very impressive heat treating facility of Schaeffler Bearings in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. For a new challenge Alex recently made a substantial change and joined Cambridge Heat Treating in Cambridge, Canada where he will be in charge of quality. In the first photo below we see Alec on the left and Peter Robbins one of the owners of the company on the right. Cambridge has several batch IQ furnaces, vacuum furnaces up to 10 bar and a Rubig Ion Nitrider. The second photo shows Peter and Don Robbins in front of a SECO furnace which was new a couple of years ago. August 9, 2018   

PhoenixTM And Temperature Profiling in the Aluminum Industry

 In today’s manufacturing market aluminium is increasingly becoming the material of choice being lighter, safer and more sustainable. With estimated growth in global aluminium demand in 2018 of 4-5% both primary and secondary processors of aluminium are rapidly looking to improve the efficiency of their operations. Manufacturers looking to replace existing materials with aluminium are needing new methodology to prove that new thermal processing of aluminium parts and products is done to specification, efficiently and economically.  Helping with this need PhoenixTM offers a range of temperature profiling solutions designed specifically for applications in the Aluminium manufacturing market. Whether reheating aluminium slabs/ingots or log homogenization in a continuous pusher or walking beam furnace, solution reheating (T6) aluminium automotive parts, CQI-9 & AMS2750 TUS, CAB brazing radiators or powder coating aluminium extrusions, plus many more a unique system solution is available. In many situations PhoenixTm has worked directly with key industry players to develop bespoke solutions for unique process challenges.  August 9, 2018   

http://www.phoenixtm.com/assets/Uploads/industry-application/Aluminium-Processing-Temperature-Profiling-Solutions-from-PhoenixTM.pdf

ALD Mexico 10th Anniversary and LPC Seminar, August 22nd & 23rd

In a few short weeks ALD Thermal Treatment will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in Saltillo, Mexico-an event which will be combined with a seminar about Low Pressure Carburizing. We have no doubt but that this will be an excellent and informative event and well worth attending. Below we have two photos of this plant when we visited a couple of years back. August 9, 2018   

Seminar- Basics of LPC (Low Pressure Carburizing); This seminar gives you a basic understanding for the successful application of the LPC-process. Besides the basics of the process and the equipment, the furnaces can be seen in action on the shop-floor at ALD-Thermal Treatment. The seminar is intended for personnel working in the fields of process-technology, quality, planning, scheduling and production (shift leaders). All conferences are in English. Date: August  22nd and 23rd , 2018. Venue: Hotel DoubleTree Suites, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. Cost: 550 USD per person. Info and registration: ventas@aldtt-mexico.com

What we Know About US Trade Tariffs-Alloy Components

Several times in the past few weeks we have mentioned about the new US trade tariffs and how they will affect the heat treating industry. We have heard stories about flanges and fittings imported into the US from Asian suppliers seeing very large tariffs. We have seen that moly products described as “furnace parts” will now have a 25% tariff applied and now we are seeing that (no surprise) alloy components from outside of North America will also see new tariffs. Nickel prices have been rising for some time now which has been raising the price of components such as baskets, radiant tubes, base trays and fixturing and now we have increased tariffs which are further going to increase costs. Interestingly enough that while you would expect that only suppliers from outside of the US would be raising their prices because of increased tariffs it looks like domestic US suppliers of alloy components are raising their prices in step with foreign suppliers meaning that we all will be paying more for alloy. August 8, 2018   

Bernard Family Clock Tower, Michigan, USA

If it has to do with the heat treating industry “The Monty” is on it. Read on to see the connection with our industry; “A groundbreaking ceremony is being held today on the campus of Michigan Tech for the new Bernard Family Clock Tower. The clock tower will be located outside the Memorial Union Building near the MEEM. The clock tower and a student scholarship are being made possible by a donation from the William and Ilene Bernard Jr. family. Bernard received his bachelor’s in metallurgical engineering in 1969 and is the CEO and Chairman of Surface Combustion, Inc., a leading manufacturer of thermal processing equipment, headquartered in Maumee, Ohio. Bernard was born and raised in Houghton and says he is grateful for his Michigan Tech experience. “If Michigan Tech was not in Houghton, I would not have had the opportunity to attend college and then experience the success that my highly regarded Michigan Tech degree enabled,” he says. “My family and I are proud of our Copper Country roots and are grateful for how Michigan Tech enhances the community.” August 8, 2018   

Molybdenum Costs Going Up Substantially

Most heat treaters are familiar with molybdenum (moly) as a material which is extremely resistant to high temperatures. While relatively common in many vacuum furnace applications both for fixturing and hot zone linings moly use is light in atmosphere applications. While it has a number of advantages in high temperature applications it does have two drawbacks;  the high cost and the fact that it is not shock resistant, meaning it doesn’t distort but will break. With this background out of the way we get to the point of this story which is that US tariffs recently put in place mean higher prices and this is immediate. We understand that moly mill products (basically the raw material) are seeing small tariffs in the region of 5% however moly products described as “furnace components” are seeing tariffs of 25% which is really going to hurt a few heat treaters. August 7, 2018   

Meritor Automotive Auctioning Off Heat Treating Equipment

Auto parts manufacturer Meritor in Morganton, NC is having an on line auction starting Tuesday, August 14, 2018. While the auction mainly consists of gear cutting equipment and related items which no self respecting heat treater cares about it does include some heat treating equipment. Featured are some Induction systems and a few ovens. From what we have seen nothing super exciting but we are sure it has some value. August 7, 2018   

What’s Are Two Real Old Gleason Press Quench Units Worth?

We weren’t sure whether to file this under “what’s it worth” or “your joke for the day”-at the end of the day we decided to be polite and file it under “what’s it worth”. Gleason press quench units are top quality units and a 537 model which is what these are (2 available) generally solicit some interest when they go on the market. However as we say in North America these were “ridden hard and put away wet” which is why we burst out laughing at the asking price of $80,000 USD each. $20-$25K each is more the range we would suggest.  Needless to say you will not be seeing these listed on our website-at least not at anywhere near $80K each. August 3, 2018   

Texas Heat Treating Bringing More Furnaces On-Line

Earlier this week we had two news items about Texas Heat Treating Inc., making investments. Well here is another news item about the company; “Texas Heat Treating’s Fort Worth operation has brought on-line its seventh “Super 36″ integral quench furnace. This furnace was purchased new in February 2015. In consideration of declining oil-filed activity at the time, full commissioning and production use was delayed. Given current customer demands the furnace, with its associated fixturing and required qualifications, is now in use. The furnace is used for Carburizing and atmosphere-controlled Hardening. It has a work zone of 36″ x 36″ x 72″ and a work-load rating of 6,000 pounds.” August 3, 2018   

People “Stuff”

Steve Sumner who was Plant Manager at Applied Process in Livonia, Michigan has parted ways with the company. Applied Process has locations in Michigan and Wisconsin and is known as one of the larger commercial heat treaters in North America which specalizes in salt quenching, in particular the ADI process. From Germany we have this;  Bernhard Högner joined Hauck Heat Treatment in May 2018 to steer strategic sales for Hauck Heat Treatment Germany. He will develop strategic markets and will take care of the key accounts of our German plants. After his successful mechanical engineering studies at the RWTH Aachen, Marcus worked as a sales engineer. Afterwards he was the sales manager at a medium-sized business constructing special purpose and straightening machines for many years. Here he developed international sales structures. Bernhard lives in Wülfrath, Germany and is father to two children and is interested in music, football and travelling.

Out in Denver, Colorado we see that Steve Bailey who was manager of machine shop Qualtek is no longer with the company. Qualtek has a small (but very neat) in house heat treating department. At the age of 74 Allan Hick of CHTA has announced that he will be retiring within the year. CHTA (Contract Heat Treatment Association) is the UK organization for commercial heat treaters and Allan has been organizing it and their newsletter “Hotline” for as long as we can remember. John Lewis who was with furnace manufacturer Baker Furnace, Inc., in Brea, California (whose ad can be found on this page) is no longer with the company. August 2, 2018   

“Super 30” Allcase Available

The vendor of this furnace needs to remove it by the end of August 2018 and for that reason he has asked us to list it at a very special price. It is a 1970’s vintage Surface Combustion, gas fired “Super 30″ batch IQ furnace with working dimensions of 30″ wide X 48″ deep X 30” high. It is complete, ready to go and dismantled for loading on a truck. Asking price is $39,000 USD which for a complete “Super 30” is a darn good price. jordan@themonty.com

Sandvik acquires US-based Custom Electric Manufacturing

On a personal level this makes for a very interesting news item as WG Montgomery Ltd., has represented Custom Electric of Wixom, Michigan for a number of years now. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a good photo of the Custom Electric team but we do have this fairly recent photo from Kanthal (Sandvik) in Sweden. We have a very high opinion of both Custom Electric and Sandvik and have no doubt but that this will be an excellent marriage.  August 1, 2018   

“Sandvik acquires privately owned Custom Electric Manufacturing Co., headquartered in Wixom, Michigan, USA. The company is a leading manufacturer of original equipment and replacement heating elements on the North American market. “Through this acquisition we add further strength to our leading position in industrial heating systems. I am pleased to welcome the Custom Electric Manufacturing team into Kanthal and Sandvik Materials Technology”, says Göran Björkman, President, Sandvik Materials Technology. In 2017, the company had revenues of 5.2 million USD, approximately 20 employees and a strong sales network in North America. Custom Electric Manufacturing will continue to go to market under its own brand.  The transaction was closed today, and the business will be reported as part of the Product Area Kanthal within business area Sandvik Materials Technology. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The deal is accretive to earnings per share from the start. Stockholm, 1 August 2018”

Ben Crawford, Contour Hardening Update

Last week we mentioned about how Ben Crawford, a very well known name in the North American heat treating market had recently become President and CEO of Contour Hardening based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Well as it turns out our news items are even more up to date than we thought, Ben actually started Monday of this week so this represents his second day on the job. Ben is replacing the previous President and CEO of the company Mr. John Storm who unfortunately passed away recently. Incidentally we have always thought of Contour Hardening as mainly a provider of induction heating equipment however that is incorrect. The main focus is induction heat treating, so much so that the company is probably the largest commercial induction heat treater in North America. August 1, 2018   

Texas Heat Treating

It brings joy to our heart to see captive and commercial heat treaters in Texas back to investing in new equipment. Texas Heat Treating one of the larger commercials has this to say; (we are attaching this rather dated photo of the Fort Worth facility to go with this news item) July 31, 2018   

“Texas Heat Treating’s Fort Worth operation has purchased a new Ipsen 6-Bar Turbo Treater vacuum furnace. Heat treating in vacuum furnaces is preferred, or required, for a variety of metals and applications. THT has offered vacuum heat treating for decades, but the “6-bar” cooling capability of this new furnace meets many of the most challenging customer requirements for cooling rates. The work zone dimensions are 36” x 36” x 48”, with a load rating of 4,000 pounds. In addition Texas Heat Treating’s Fort Worth operation has expanded within its second building at 5113 North Freeway. Highlights of this expansion include the following:

  • Creation of layout and infrastructure for Vacuum Furnace Department
  • Added space and improved workflow for incoming work
  • Relocation of Final Inspection Department, including climate control
  • Addition of a third shot-blasting table for post heat treat cleaning
  • Addition of Magnetic Particle Inspection equipment
  • Move and upgrade of administration offices and conference room.

Picture Day

On a regular basis we change our interesting heat treat photos and today is the day https://www.themonty.com/ Have a look to see if you, your company or your competitor shows up-and feel free to send us your interesting photos. July 31, 2018   

Monday Morning Briefing

We begin with a company by the name of DAE-IL who just broke ground on a new facility in Murray, Kentucky, USA to manufacturer auto parts. All of this is of course just “background noise” as what we find most interesting is that the company will be incorporating heat treating also. “A Korean automotive parts maker and local officials ceremonially broke ground on Monday on a $50 million facility in Murray. South Korea-based DAE-IL Corporation (DIC) is building a 295,000 square-foot facility in the Murray West Industrial Park. Construction has already begun and is expected to take between 12-14 months to complete. The company plans to hire 120 full-time employees within five years. DIC President Jung Ryol “Johnny” Kim said the company manufactures parts, gears and components for the automotive and heavy equipment industries. Customers include GM, Tesla, Hyundai, Kia and others. “As the global demand for our product is growing rapidly, we wanted to have this new facility here in the United States to satisfy our U.S. customers,” Kim said. “I heard that Kentucky is at the heart of the automotive and aerospace industries and it has already achieved great technological investment and… has contributed growth to the national economy. With the highly skilled workers of the community, we will continue this trend for sure.” He said DIC is planning to produce in Murray various gears of the powertrain for internal combustion engine vehicles. The company will then manufacture gear boxes and differential assemblies for new cars. “With these additional products, DIC will be at the forefront of the advancement of electric vehicles.” He expects the company will reach an annual sales of $100 million within six years. “As our business grows, we will expand our investment and be hiring to meet the demands,” he said. MCEDC chair and former state Senator Ken Winters said the project is “the largest start-up investment” Murray has ever had. Winters said the new jobs include forging, heat treating and machining gears and drivetrain parts. The company will be hiring engineers, technicians and office staff, he said. Winters also noted local entities getting involved through metal recycling, accounting and insurance services. July 30, 2018   

These are the good times in the heat treating industry but there are also headwinds to contend with, the big one being US Tariffs. Whether you agree or not with the tariffs being enacted the bottom line is that they are causing prices to rise. One supplier to the heat treating industry had this to say, obviously pretty well every supplier is in the same boat. “Big news was announced last week regarding import weld fittings and flanges (see highlighted info below).  We anticipate that domestic suppliers will also follow suit.  “Effective immediately: Import Weld fittings are going up 35% due to the Largest Import Foundry trying to circumvent the 25% tariff.  Now their tariff will be 182%. “ For what it’s worth a market study claims the Worldwide Heat Treating Market will be worth $122.34 Billion USD by 2025. If we understand correctly this covers captive and commercial heat treating as well as equipment sales. Maybe, maybe not-we tend to be pretty skeptical of these market studies about the size of the industry. Starting August 14th, 2018 there will be an on line auction for equipment at the Meritor facility in Morganton, NC. It features a few heat treat related items such as induction equipment and ovens. Stuff looks not bad so it will probably sell.

Last week we posted a list which we compiled back in 2011 about the “Rising Stars in the Heat Treating Industry”. Two individuals we mentioned were Jamie and Trevor Jones from the Solar group of companies. Roger Jones gave us this update about what they are up to now;  Hello Gord, thanks for posting this from 2011. Just to update two people for you, Jamie A. Jones is now President of Solar Atmospheres, overseeing the entire Souderton PA campus. This consists of three buildings. Trevor M. Jones is now the CEO of Solar Manufacturing and is overseeing the company, and the construction of the new Solar Manufacturing building in Sellersville PA.” Speaking of Solar we have this photo and write up about their recent sales meeting; The third annual Solar Atmospheres Sales and Marketing Summit was held this year at the corporate headquarters located in Souderton, PA. Sales managers from the four Solar Atmospheres commercial heat treating sites attended and discussed the overall sales from the previous year and the unique processes and developments that were taking place at each plant. Multiple opportunities were cited and a plan to execute marketing initiatives for those opportunities was developed.”

 

From Nitrex Metal and UPC we have this press release; “Nitrex Metal in concert with United Process Controls is pleased to announce that Prof. Jerzy Michalski, a recognized specialist in the design of gas #nitriding processes and modeling of nitriding atmospheres, is this year’s recipient of the Hephaestus Award. The award is bestowed upon individuals in the field of #heattreating whose contributions have had an impact on surface engineering, materials science, and industrial processes or production techniques. The award will be presented to Prof. Michalski during the 3rd Novatherm Seminar, taking place October 4-5, 2018, in Poland.” Wall Colmonoy is having one of their periodic Brazing Seminars;  Preserving the tradition originated by the late Robert Peaslee, a brazing pioneer who invented the first nickel-based brazing filler metal, Wall Colmonoy offers a fall session of Modern Furnace Brazing School on October 16-18, 2018 at Wall Colmonoy’s Aerobraze Brazing Engineering Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Engineers, technicians, quality managers, production managers, and others will participate in “hands-on” practical applications while learning about brazing technology from the industry’s leading brazing engineers. For over 60 years, Wall Colmonoy engineers have been gaining practical experience on actual problems in brazing plants around the world.

We have often considered Metlab in Wyndmoor, PA to have some of the largest pit furnaces in North America and they probably do however Overton Chicago Gear is no slouch either. This captive/commercial heat treater can handle carburized parts up to 15,000 pounds, 110” long and 98” in diameter. The company also has two of the largest press quench units in North America at 84” in diameter.

While we are on the topic of large pit furnaces we should mention these ones in Germany. They were built by Rohde Furnaces in Germany a few years back and installed at commercial heat treater HÄRTEREI REESE in Bochum, Germany. Able to handle parts up to 196” (5,000 mm) in diameter Reese claims they are the largest pit furnaces in Europe and we would not dispute that (maybe in the world for that matter). While the furnaces themselves have been an unqualified success there have been issues-namely that the company struggles to keep them full, especially with wind energy slowing down. Reese by the way is one of the largest commercial heat treaters in Germany with over 270 employees. If you want to see a really cool photo of the furnaces in operation we would suggest this link, it is real cool to see the size of the parts being heat treated; https://www.haerterei.com/en/hardening-techniques/case-hardening/

AMSTED RAIL BUYS AFC-HOLCROFT FURNACE LINE

“(July, 2018)  Amsted Rail®, a global leader in fully integrated freight car systems for the heavy haul rail market has added a new, complete AFC-Holcroft UBH line to meet a growing need for additional heat treatment capacity.  This latest purchase includes a batch style carburizing furnace, two expansion modules to increase endothermic generator gas output, a rotary hearth reheat furnace for press quenching, and a continuous integrated parts washer and temper furnace.

“The batch furnace itself has an effective load size of 72 inches by 72 inches by 56 inch with a gross load capacity of 13,000 lbs, which is considered very large for this type of equipment, but is in fact one of AFC-Holcroft’s standard sizes,” stated Tracy Dougherty, Sales Manager at AFC-Holcroft.  “The ability and experience to provide equipment for reliable processing of such large loads is just one of the benefits that AFC-Holcroft is able to offer, and one more thing that sets us apart from our competitors.” 

Amsted Rail® is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois (USA), with locations spanning the globe, in every significant railroad market.  The equipment is scheduled to ship to a joint venture facility located in Eastern Europe, in the third quarter of 2018.

About Amsted Rail: Amsted Rail® is the world’s leading provider of fully integrated bogie systems for the heavy haul freight market, with facilities spanning 40 locations across 10 countries and 6 continents. Through their state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, Amsted Rail® is redefining industry standards for innovation and technology, providing customers worldwide with unmatched performance and reliability for the long haul.

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.  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 media@afc-holcroft.com.” July 27, 2018   

Bodycote’s 2018 Interim Results

Bodycote the world’s largest commercial heat treater just yesterday released their 2018 Interim financial results and they are impressive, although at the time of this posting the financial markets were not overwhelmed with the shares down a touch. All the details can be found at https://www.bodycote.com/ Highlights: July 27, 2018   

  • Revenue growth of 8.7%; headline operating profit growth of 15%5
  • Further improvement in return on sales to 19.0%
  • Free cash flow of £39.4m
  • Specialist Technologies’ growth of 11%5
  • Emerging Markets’ revenue growth of 22%5
  • Interim dividend of 5.7p, up 8%

Ben Crawford/Contour Hardening

Yes you did read that headline correctly, Ben Crawford is now President and CEO of Contour Hardening-lets backtrack a bit though. Ben started at the very bottom of the ladder in the heat treating industry many years ago and since that time he has worked at both captive and commercial heat treaters as well as a stint at furnace builder Gasbarre. Most recently he was VP of Sales for commercial heat treat Paulo. However for the past few weeks he has been at Contour Hardening, a company which describes itself like this; July 26, 2018   

Contour Hardening is a full service induction hardening system manufacturer, specializing in induction hardening systems, contract processing, and application development work. CHI manufactures induction hardening machines using an advanced computer-controlled patented induction heating technology known as the Micropulse Process.  CHI developed the Micropulse Process to rapidly harden gear teeth and other irregularly shaped parts requiring a high degree of case depth hardening and pattern accuracy.” Ben is a good man, and a fellow we would consider a friend so we wish him the best of luck.

What’s It Worth?

“Abar Ipsen “TurboTreater” vacuum furnace. 2 Bar quenching. Working dimensions of 36″ X 36″ X 24″. 18″ diffusion pump, Stokes 671 booster pump and 212H roughing pump. Yokogawa CX 2000 controller and CM31 vacuum gauges.Hot zone is approximately 6 years old. Moly elements with graphite insulation.” 

We have often said that the two types of furnaces with the highest resale value are recent model batch IQ furnaces and good condition vacuum furnaces-this is a perfect example! A reasonable size, two bar quenching, diffusion pump and in immaculate condition. The asking price is hefty at $225,000 USD for a furnace probably 30 years old but in our opinion the price is not out of line and it will probably sell for pretty close to the asking price. Always feel free to ask us at “The Monty” what equipment is worth, we will be glad to give you and experiences (and free) opinion. July 26, 2018   

Epiroc/SSI

From James Cross of controls company SSI Europe we have this news item; “I spent last week in Sweden commissioning a multi-zone gas analyser (MZA) for Epiroc (formerly Atlas Copco) in Sweden. The system was designed specially for Epiroc using SSi’s standard 3-Gas NDIR sensor. 8 furnaces will be continuously sampled, giving Epiroc’s process and maintenance teams full visibility of their furnace’s CO, CO2, and CH4 values. CO and CO2 are key process indicators which can be used to calculate the furnace’s carbon potential. Using Modbus RS485 communications, the NDIR carbon potential can then be compared to the SSi oxygen sensor instrument’s carbon potential and automatically corrected and alarmed if there is a deviation. CH4 values provide useful maintenance data, since high CH4 values are associated with excess uncracked hydrocarbon resulting from leaks or burner tube issues. XGA Viewer software provides remote charting. The most critical element of installing these systems is minimising leaks between the furnace and the sensor, even tiny leaks can produce significantly inaccurate readings. This can be a frustrating and time-consuming process when there are long tube lengths involved, but it is ultimately rewarding. On this system, the gas analyser returned a carbon potential value of 1.22% whilst the furnace’s oxygen probe control instrument was reading 1.20%. This level of deviation provides Epiroc with the certainty that their parts are being processed in the correct environment and reassurance that if there is a deviation between the two values, it is caused by a furnace issue and not a sampling issue.”July 25, 2018   

Where Are They Now? Dan Jelescu

Dan is a long time, very experienced Metallurgical Engineer who was with commercial heat treater Vancouver Heat Treat for many years until the company closed some time back. He moved to captive heat treater and gear manufacturer Standard Machine in Saskatoon where he was until very recently (Standard Machine has a heat treat department which consists largely of pit carburizing furnaces). Dan left the company recently and is looking for a new position, if you would like to get in touch with him feel free to drop us a note jordan@themonty.com July 25, 2018   

Rising Stars in the Heat Treat Industry

Going back to 2011 we had a article called “Rising Stars” in which we mentioned a number of relatively young people in the industry who were making their mark (as far as we know this is the only time this has been done in the industry). For reasons unknown to us a reader asked if we could reprint the article which we are glad to do. While a number of these individuals continue on in the industry and are indeed doing well others we have lost touch with or they have left the industry. For instance Stephen Gladieux of Applied Process and Josh Longenette of Bodycote we know have both changed career paths. July 25, 2018   

“Rising Stars. Recently we embarked upon a quest to find out from our readers who they would consider the “Rising Stars” of the industry-those who will one day be taking over from the older generation. We had a substantial number of suggestions all interesting, some of these individuals we know, others we have not run across before but in all cases we congratulate them. Our basic criteria was individuals relatively young, that are making a difference and received several votes. We have to confess that several would not have occurred to us and caught us by surprise but not up to us. Below are suggestions we received and we will emphasize that they are in no particular order and have nothing to do with the votes received. December 12/2011 

  • Josh Rolfing, General Manager of Metals Engineering in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA (commercial heat treating).
  • Carlos Torres, Mattsa Crio, Mexico (new furnaces, commercial heat treating).
  • Jörn Rohde, President, ROHDE Schutzgasöfen GmbH, Germany (new furnaces).
  • Jamie A. Jones”, General Manager Solar Atmospheres Souderton PA., (commercial heat treating).
  • Mike Cote, Alcon/Castalloy, Cleveland, Ohio (castings, fabrications).
  • Ankit Gupta, Metals-India, Faridabad, India (commercial heat treating).
  • James Cross, SSI, UK (controls, instrumentation).
  • Stephen Gladieux, General Manager, Applied Process, Suzhou, China (commercial heat treating).
  • Josh Longenette, Plant Manager, Bodycote, Rancho Dominguez, CA (commercial heat treating).
  • Scott Brown, CMI Industry Americas Inc., Salem, Ohio (new furnaces).
  • Trevor Jones, “Principal Engineer” R & D, Solar Atmospheres, Souderton, PA (commercial heat treating).
  • Brad Luce and Rudy Saucedo who a couple of years back started Modern HT in Richland Hills, Texas (commercial heat treating).
  • David Rascke, Atmosphere Engineering, Greenfield, Wisconsin (flow meters).
  • Greg Matula, Engineering, Elino Industrie-ofenbau Carl Hanf GmbH, Germany (new furnaces).”

Vacuum Furnace Wanted

Now can anybody help this fellow out? If so feel free to drop us an e-mail and we will put you in touch jordan@themonty.com ; “Looking to purchase a drop-deck/bottom-load VACUUM furnace with a minimum inside diameter of at least 92″ to accommodate some of our standard assemblies that run up to 86″-88″ OD. Prefer 72″ inside height. Alternate loading configuration (i.e., car load), as well as used and/or international sources would be considered in an effort to reduce the cost considerations. Upon request, we can provide pictures, sketches or a size chart of the items being annealed, if needed.” July 24, 2018   

United Process Controls Open House

“Our two offices in Wisconsin have finally come together under one roof, and now that we’ve settled in, it’s time to celebrate with an open house. United Process Controls invites you to join us at our new facility in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on August 21, 2018, for an Open House celebration. Customers, associates, suppliers, and local business partners, as well as family and friends are welcomed to see our new operation, meet our expanded team, and learn more about what we do. We’re also celebrating with a barbecue and refreshments. If you plan to attend, please RSVP online. We owe our success to individuals like you, so thank you for your support and hope to see you at this special event.

WHAT’s the hype? Open House celebration with appetizers, barbecue, and refreshments.

WHEN? Mark your calendar: Tuesday August 21 from 2pm until the party lasts.

WHERE’s the party at? 6724 South 13th Street, Oak Creek, WI 53154

WHO can attend? You and anyone you would like to bring.

RSVP? Yes. Please confirm no later than Thursday August 16. Click here to register.” July 24, 2018   

Monday Morning Briefing

We start off in the UK for this news item about an ammonia leak at commercial heat treater Beta Heat Treatment. This reminds us of the rash of ammonia leaks in the US just a few years back. Ammonia is a critical ingredient in “chrystal meth” (an illegal drug) and drug dealers quickly learned that heat treaters were a source for ammonia, which lead to a rash of thefts generally leaving the tanks leaking ammonia which prompted several evacuations. For this reason ammonia tanks in North America are now typically surrounded by fences, razor wire and spotlights.

“About half-a-tonne of the gas was believed to be have leaked from Beta Heat Treatment Ltd in Summerton Road, Oldbury, West Midlands, on Friday. West Midlands Fire Service was called at 18:00 BST and homes and businesses in a 100m (328ft) radius were evacuated. Police urged people to keep away and paramedics are also at the scene. The ambulance service assessed one person at the scene but they did not need hospital treatment. The fire service said six workers had already got themselves out of the site as crews arrived. They have not been seriously injured. A spokesman added that a “damaged valve” is believed to have caused the leak at site, which uses ammonia to harden steel.” July 23, 2018     

We regret to mention the passing of Rod Holstein. Rod worked for commercial heater HTG in the USA for over 40 years. Although Rod retired in 2015 he continued to work with the company on a part time basis right up until the end of 2017. “Funeral service for Rodney V. Holstein, Sr., 73, of Eastlake, will be 10 a.m., Thursday, July 19, 2018 at Davis-Babcock Funeral Home, 4154 Clark Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094. Family will receive friends 4 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at the funeral home. Rod passed away peacefully Sunday, July 15, 2018 at Regency Hospital with his family by his side. He was born June 9, 1945 in Charleston, West Virginia. Rod was a trusted and loyal employee of Hi Tecmetal Group, Thermal Treatment Division. He was respected for his knowledge of the heat treating industry. He took the advice of a former boss to learn all that he could about the trade. Rod was a loving husband, father, and papa. He loved camping, golfing, taking long country rides, and Cleveland sports. He was very patriotic and loved everything about our country. Over the years, his pampered and loved dogs went with him and his wife. Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Carol (Crookham) Holstein; children, Laurie Holstein, Lisa (James Spikes) Holstein, and Rodney (Holly) Holstein, Jr.; grandchildren, Kelli, Michael, Matthew, Joshua (Melissa), Stephanie (Eric), Sabelle, and Eric; and several great-grandchildren; sisters, Renee Potter and Gerri Holstein. He also leaves behind three nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his son, Jack Holstein in 2004; and his parents, David and Aderinne Holstein. Final resting place will be in Willoughby Memorial Gardens following the service on Thursday. Family suggests in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, www.stjude.orgor to Lakeshore Assembly of God, 8880 Lakeshore Blvd., Mentor, OH 44060.”

Zach Morgan, Super Systems; “Instrumentation and Controls leader Super Systems, Inc (SSi) recently added to its existing Los Angeles-based team with degreed Engineer Zach Morgan. Zach previously worked at SSi’s global headquarters in Cincinnati, OH. Zach has been exposed to a variety of captive and commercial Heat Treaters during his tenure with SSi, quickly becoming fluent in vacuum and atmosphere controls. Steven Christopher, a member of the SSi-West Coast team, has expressed excitement about Zach’s addition: “I have followed Zach’s success through our company over the recent years. He has done a great job managing small and large projects alike. In every case he has excelled and built a reputation as a reliable, knowledgeable controls engineer. He is a great addition to our SSi West Coast team and gives us an opportunity to increase our bandwidth for both existing and new customers.” Living within 15 minutes of LAX, Zach will be only a direct flight away from the majority of the western USA-from the Rockies to the Pacific. Zach is trained in SSi Instrumentation, Allen Bradley RS500/5000 Platforms and Honeywell UMC800/HC900 Controllers. zmorgan@supersystems.com http://www.supersystems.com/

Commercial heat treater Traitements D’Acier S T in Quebec, Canada is adding a couple of batch IQ furnaces. Traitment D’Acier is a company which offers a few different processes. Speaking of batch IQ furnaces here is some useless trivia for you. The Batch IQ furnace was originally designed by US furnace builder Surface Combustion in the US almost 65 years ago and it is now the most common style of furnace in North America and probably the world.

American Axle & Manufacturing (formerly Torqtek) down in Charleston, SC will be sending some equipment to auction, this includes some heat treating equipment such as a rotary hearth furnace and a couple of press quench units. Laser Heat Treating. Until recently when we visited a company by the name of Laser Hard in Pennsylvania, USA we had never run across commercial laser heat treating. Oddly enough we just ran across a second commercial heat treater in North America offering laser heat treating. The company is Synergy Additive in Michigan and we know virtually nothing about them.

Where are they now? Paola Canal. For almost 25 years Paola was with Italian furnace builder CIEFFE as Area Sales Marketing Manager before joining Ipsen for a little over 3 years. While Paolo took a brief interlude from the industry she recently joined holding company Italstart which just announced that they have acquired furnace manufacturer Meapforni. We have this photo of Paola from the German heat treat show back in 2015.

Wisconsin Oven sent us this press release; “Wisconsin Oven Corporation announced the shipment of four (4) electrically heated enhanced duty walk-in ovens to an automotive parts manufacturer. These industrial ovens will be used for aging aluminum parts. The walk-in ovens have a maximum operating temperature of 260°C (500°F) and work chamber dimensions of 6’0” W x 15’0” L x 6’0” H. Guaranteed temperature uniformity of +/- 10°F at 200°C (392°F) was documented with a standard nine (9) point profile test in an empty chamber under static operating conditions.”

And to round things out we have this photo from Southwest Heat Treat in Houston, Texas showing a large load being processed in a carbottom furnace.  Southwest is part of Bluewater Thermal one of the largest commercial heat treats in North America.

Bodycote Opens New Heat Treatment Facility in UK

Since we are mentioning the new Bodycote facility in the UK we will slip in that at the time of publishing Bodycote shares were trading at 1,037 GBX which might be an all time high. July 18, 2018   

“Bodycote, the world’s largest provider of heat treatments and specialist thermal processing services, is pleased to announce the opening of a new facility in the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), Rotherham, Yorkshire, to support the aerospace and power generation markets in the UK and Europe. Simon Blantern, Vice President of Sales Europe for Bodycote’s Aerospace, Defence & Energy heat treatment division, adds: “This investment demonstrates Bodycote’s continuing commitment to align resources to serve both the aerospace and power generation markets.” The new facility, fully operational in 2018, will offer a number of heat treatment processes. Additionally, major OEM approvals will be secured along with Nadcap accreditation.

About Bodycote. With more than 180 accredited facilities in 23 countries, Bodycote is the world’s largest provider of heat treating and specialist thermal processing services. Through classical heat treatment and specialist technologies including Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP), Bodycote improves the properties of metals and alloys, extending the life of vital components for a wide range of industries, including aerospace, defence, automotive, power generation, oil & gas, construction, medical and transportation. Customers in all of these industries have entrusted their products to Bodycote’s care for more than 30 years. For more information, visit www.bodycote.com. For more information, please contact: Simon Blantern, Vice President of Sales, Europe – ADE Heat Treatment Email: simon.blantern@bodycote.com / Tel: +44 (0)1625 505300″

Has The Time Come for Carbon Fibre Fixturing?

This is the 5 second summary of Carbon Fibre Fixturing; “CFC fixtures withstand heat of up to 1,300 °C, tremendous temperature fluctuations and a high weight load and still stay “in shape”. This makes them the ideal workpiece fixture for use in heat treatment, for example, when hardening metallic components. The material used is CFC (carbon fiber carbon composite) and was first used in space flight. In the last 15 years, thanks to its outstanding material properties (dimensionally stable, robust, durable, lightweight), it has become firmly established in heat treatment.”

For years now we have from time to time come across carbon fibre fixturing in heat treating furnaces-and have always been suitably impressed at the weight (almost nothing), life (virtually indefinite), lack of distortion (none) and tolerances (very tight). What we have not been impressed by is of course the price (damn expensive is how we would summarize it). A funny thing has been happening in the past little bit though-namely we have been running across more and more examples of CFC fixturing, still mainly in vacuum furnaces but every once in a while in an atmosphere furnace. We have been a little puzzled as to why the higher profile of CFC fixturing after all these years until a captive heat treater running transmission parts in a vacuum carburizing furnace told us his payback period-2 years which made us sit up and take notice. In this particular case the customer explained to us that longer life and less distortion were important issues but the reduced weight was the deciding factor insofar as he was able to increase production by 20% due to the fact that he was able to get away from heavy, sand cast, multi layer fixturing. Combine this with the life and you end up with numbers that will impress any heat treater. While CFC fixturing is still largely in the realm of vacuum, recent developments mean that CFC fixturing can be used in an oil quench application meaning that we will start seeing more and more in atmosphere furnaces (although oxidation is an issue). We don’t expect to see CFC fixtures taking over the market in the near future we do see it becoming more and more popular. More on this interesting trend to come. July 17, 2018   

Where Are They Now? Larry Midla.

We had a conversation today with a long time heat treater whom we had lost touch with. Larry has spent his entire life in the heat treating industry both on the captive and commercial side of things. For a number of years he ran his own heat treat shop, Low Country Heat Treat in South Carolina before closing it a few years back. His other positions include a consulting position with Bosch (auto parts, captive heat treating) and a stint at teaching most recently. As it turns out Larry is now thoroughly enjoying complete retirement in Charleston, SC, USA-we wish him the best. July 17, 2018   

SECO/WARWICK, Meadville, PA

A very well known name in the furnace manufacturing industry is that of SECO/WARWICK headquartered in Swiebodzin, Poland, however having said that our focus today is on the company’s North American headquarters located in Meadville, PA. It’s a number of years since we visited this location and we were curious about the changes, as it turns out there are many. First off there are now two companies at this location, not just one: SECO/VACUUM Technologies under the direction of Mr. Piotr Zawistowski which obviously concentrates on the vacuum furnace industry and SECO/WARWICK Corp. under the direction of Jonathan Markley, which is involved with a very wide array of thermal processing atmosphere furnaces, CAB furnaces (controlled atmosphere brazing), and aluminum processing and melting equipment. To give you an idea about the relative size of each division, SECO/WARWICK Corp., has roughly 55 employees while SECO/VACUUM has 12. An interesting fellow Jonathan Markley by the way. His working career started with General Electric in Erie, PA (just down the road from Meadville) where he was largely involved with the mining industry which meant a small change of direction when he joined SECO/WARWICK Corp. in 2013. He quite obviously loves the industry and has taken a very hands on approach, as an example one local heat treater told us that shortly after Jonathan joined the company he picked up the phone, called our friend and asked what he could he do to become a trusted supplier (we understand a friendship was born out of this single phone call). We mentioned about changes we saw during this visit-the first thing we noticed is that the plant and the offices have all been substantially upgraded and modernized over the past few years. The photos below show the plant as it is today along with some equipment almost ready to ship. By the way with locations around the world SECO/WARWICK has the ability to build in several different locations, and where equipment is built is based upon what makes the most sense for the customer. July 16, 2018   

Don Marteeny, VP, Engineering, Jonathon Markley, Managing Director, Gord Montgomery

Italstart/Meapforni

A couple of weeks back we promised to tell you about a very substantial change in the Italian-and obviously the entire European furnace building industry. Things always take longer than expected but we now have this update. July 16, 2018   

 “Italstart announces today that it is acquiring Meapforni, a company that specializes in the design, manufacturing, and service of industrial furnaces. Italstart is a holding company founded by Mr. Francesco Pieropan and Ms. Paola Canal and others colleagues and investors, both executives with extensive experience in this sector, having held positions at Cieffe Forni Industriali, as Vice President of Sales and General Manager respectively. Meapforni is based in the Northeast of Italy, a short drive from the international airport of Venice. This is a region that is well known internationally as a pole of high quality industrial production and technology innovation.  The company was started in 2015 by Arcangelo Pessot, the original founder of Cieffe and its President from 1984 to 2014.  Mr. Pessot will stay on with the new company, assuming the position of Vice President of Business Development and R&D. Mr. Pieropan states: “We are very excited by the opportunities that are represented by this new entity. Our management team has a combined experience in the field of industrial furnaces exceeding 40 years.  Our design team team has developed state-of-the-art technology and our production facility is capable of turning out all different types of atmospheric and non-atmospheric furnaces.  We have plans to expand our marketing efforts internationally and to build a highly recognized brand in this sector.”

Jody Turin/Bodycote

One of our favorites at commercial heat treater Bodycote just retired. Jody Turin, based in the Boston, USA area worked with Bodycote for many years in a number of different positions which included safety and marketing. Jody retired at a relatively young age to pursue a number of different interests. We wish her the best of luck in retirement and look forward to keeping in touch in the future. July 16, 2018   

Ipsen USA Ships 18 Furnaces in Q2 Including Record-Breaking Vacuum Furnace

“Ipsen USA continues its outstanding performance through the second quarter with the shipment of 18 furnaces to companies in six states in the U.S. and two companies overseas. These shipments included multiple atmosphere furnaces, plus the shipment of one of the largest vacuum furnaces Ipsen has ever built. This horizontal furnace features a 210,000-pound (95,254 kg) load capacity that is equipped with eight 35” diffusion pumps and a stainless steel shielded hot zone assembly that is capable of achieving ± 5 °F temperature uniformity.

Ten atmosphere box furnaces were shipped to a company in the Aerospace industry, while one temper furnace went to a U.S. based Commercial Heat Treater. Other shipments included three TITAN H2 (18” W x 24” L x 18” H) 2-bar furnaces and three TITAN H6 (36” W x 48” L x 36” H) 2-bar furnaces. All of these TITANs are equipped with Ipsen’s unique PdMetrics® software for predictive maintenance.

Many of these companies took advantage of Ipsen’s support offerings, which include Ipsen U training, spare parts kits and installation supervision/start-up. Ipsen continues to support the diverse needs in multiple industries around the world with innovative heat treatment processes that utilize the latest technology. Visit www.IpsenUSA.com/Products to learn more about the extensive solutions Ipsen has to offer.

About Ipsen.  Ipsen designs and manufactures industrial vacuum and atmosphere heat-treating systems, supervisory controls systems and predictive maintenance software platforms for a wide variety of industries, including Aerospace, Automotive, Commercial Heat Treating, Energy and Medical. With production locations in America, Europe and Asia, along with representation in 34 countries, Ipsen is committed to providing 360° support for customers worldwide. Choosing Ipsen means choosing a partner in success.” July 13, 2018   

Laser Heat Treating

A couple of weeks back we had an announcement about Peters Heat Treating Inc., investing in laser heat treating along with a partner, Phoenix Laser Solutions. As a follow up to that announcement we visited Laser Hard and saw laser heat treating up close and personal. Very interesting technology and obviously a large investment on the part of Peters and Phoenix. We will be very interested in where the technology goes. July 12, 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. Customers can now economically benefit from the Key Benefits below, as they provide the ability to achieve perfection in custom surface hardness and case depth accuracy, while lowering post manufacturing and machining process cost. Key Benefits include:

  1. Precision Delivery: The laser heat treating system provides the advantage of focused energy to only the specific areas where hardening or tempering is required, thus significantly reducing, if not eliminating the need for secondary machining of undesired hardened areas. Once Laser Hard’s skilled technician programs the layout of a customer’s workpiece, the advanced robotic laser system precisely follows the workpiece contour in freeform 3D movements, thus allowing parting line edges, grain surface, nubs or individual points to be hardened with exacting precision.
  2. Depth Control: Unlike conventional heat treating systems, the energy output of this advanced laser system is digitally controlled with exacting measure, to assure the desired case depth hardness is achieved. The temperature-dependent control of the laser, governed with a real-time pyrometer, delivers precise energy to the location, achieving the measured degree of hardening required.
  3. Mobility: The system is 100% portable, allowing it to be taken to the components requiring heat treating. The self-driving tracks allows the unit to be brought directly to the work station while the components remain in position, saving expensive teardown costs. Forget about time-consuming dismounting of heavy components – Laser Hard can simply drive the laser with its self-propelled crawling chassis directly to the part to be hardened. On site, the flexible, wide sweeping robot arm easily reaches even the most challenging work pieces.

The Robotic Laser Heat Treating System is the ideal tool for targeted partial hardening or tempering of metal surfaces. It can be utilized for products that are normally induction hardened, products that are normally case hardened and surfaces that are normally nitrided to improve wear characteristics. For example, on large plastic injection molds, you will be able to finish machine with pre-hardened tool steels and then laser harden the shutoff areas/parting lines and wear surfaces. This will save the tool maker hundreds of hours of finish machining on a hardened tool yet still provide the long life expectancy for the end users. Applications for Robotic Laser Heat Treating include:

  • press break forms
  • cutting edges
  • bend or forming radii
  • gear teeth
  • splines
  • bearing journals
  • feed screws for plastic injection molding machines
  • cam faces
  • punches
  • pocket floors

Due to the temperature control of Laser Hard’s laser, the heat can be applied precisely to the desired area, which makes it possible to achieve exactly the required degree of hardness, without material distortion of the surrounding areas. The component’s surrounding areas receive little or no heat load. During heat treating, the process and parameters are being documented by an onboard quality system to ensure quality of the process and reproducibility. With its self-driving tracks, the robot can effortlessly be driven directly into the desired area. Once on site, the flexible robot arm moves in free 3D movements, reaching even the most demanding, three-dimensional workpieces without issue. Therefore, there is no need to remove the components to be heat treated. Burlings, scars, or single dots are not a problem. The only requirement for the laser is free access to the work piece surface to be treated.

Blair Learn, Doug Peters

Paulo

For today Thursday, July 11 we have two news items about Paulo, one of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America. July 12, 2018   

“Chad Simpson Promoted to Director of Quality; Chad joined Paulo in early 2017 as Corporate Quality Manager.  Since that time Chad has overseen the successful completion of dozens of internal and external audits, including transition audits from ISO/TS 16949 to IATF 16949and from AS9100 rev C to rev D and Nadcap recertification audits.  Chad has also led efforts to standardize quality documentation across all Paulo facilities and in risk assessment and mitigation planning. Chad commented on the new role, “The core of our quality mission at Paulo is to help our customers succeed.  I am excited to embark on this new opportunity, as the Director of Quality, to lead the quality efforts and move Paulo to the forefront in the Heat Treatment and Metal Finishing solutions realm.  Our customers rely on our quality processes to ensure the reliability of their parts.  I look forward to the growth of this great organization now and in the future.”

Paulo had a fire, a small fire at their facility in Tennessee. As you can see it was quickly extinguished with very little damage.  “Firefighters responded to a fire at a local multi-furnace heat treat facility Tuesday morning. Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department sent two ladders, three engines and two rescue vehicles to help fight the blaze. The fire was called in around 11:43 a.m. from Paulo, a sheet metal heat treating facility in the 1300 block of Rutledge Way in Murfreesboro. “A machine they use, the exhaust system caught fire,” MFRD Battalion Chief Mark McCluskey said. “When we first got to the scene, we had a lot of smoke.” The machine itself, designed to work at several hundred degrees Fahrenheit, was undamaged, manager Dave Timken said. “It was a small fire in the roof, and it was just an awkward place to put it out,” Timken said. “No one was injured, everyone’s fine.” The damage from the fire was restricted to some insulation and a section of the roof, McCluskey said. “It’s all made to get really hot,” he explained. Scorching temps Tuesday morning required MFRD switch out crews regularly, especially for the teams on the roof. To help fight the fire, fire personnel ran 700 feet of large diameter hosing out to the hydrant at the curb, McCluskey said. Paulo employees had all evacuated the building by the time fire crews arrived around 11:47 a.m. They had reentered the building and started work again by 12:45 p.m. “(MFRD) responded well, and came out just to make sure everything was ok,” Timken said. “Thankfully it was really small, just in an awkward place to put it out.”

CAN-ENG To Deliver A Mesh Belt Hardening Furnace

“CAN-ENG FURNACES INTERNATIONAL LTD. has been contracted to design and commission a complete Large Capacity Fastener Hardening Furnace System for a Tier 1 Automotive Supplier based in Detroit.  This contract is a result of successfully delivering multiple systems to this customer over a twenty-year period and supports the capacity increases for this Fastener Manufacturing company, which offers wire processing, heat-treating, coating and packaging services.

CAN-ENG Furnaces International, Ltd. was contracted to see through the design and commissioning for a complete high quality automotive fastener hardening furnace system that closely integrates a Computerized Part Tracking and Metering System, Pre-Washer, Mesh Belt Hardening Furnace, Oil Quench System, Post Washer, Temper Furnace, Soluble Oil System, Endothermic Gas Generator and Level 2 Automation System.  The contracted system is engineered to produce at a rated capacity of 6000 lb. (2700 kg) per hour.

CAN-ENG’s customers continue to enjoy the benefits associated with time-tested Mesh Belt Furnace designs which promote soft loading and handling features that minimize part damage and mixing potential.  Custom designs provide energy efficient alternatives to forward-thinking users that are focused on the lowest cost of ownership procurement. This customization includes reduced energy consumption heating systems, reduced atmosphere consumption and improved system maintainability and useful service life. This project is currently being processed through manufacturing and is planned for commissioning Q1 2019.

Established in 1964, CAN-ENG Furnaces International Limited is a leading designer and manufacturer of thermal processing equipment for ferrous and non-ferrous products for automotive, aerospace, forging and foundry manufacturing industries. CAN-ENG focuses on the development of high volume continuous industrial furnaces for challenging applications. CAN-ENG is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company with its head office and manufacturing facility located in Niagara Falls, Canada, close to major transportation hubs and easily accessible from anywhere in the world to service globally. For more information, please contact Tim Donofrio – Vice President of Sales at tdonofrio@can-eng.com or visit www.can-eng.com.” July 12, 2018   

Who the Heck is Adoh Mac Fhionnbhairr?

Pronounced “Ay Mac Inver”, Ay’s official title is Group Head of Corporate Development for worldwide commercial heat treater Bodycote. However that doesn’t tell us a great deal so let’s put it this way: Ay will be working with our good friend Mario Ciampini, to find acquisitions for the company which means if you have a heat treat for sale Ay is the man to talk to. Based in Dusseldorf, Germany his background is Irish (which explains the barbaric spelling of his name, almost as bad as the Scottish) and while new to the heat treating industry he strikes us as a pretty sharp guy. Ay is shown in the photo below (middle) flanked by Mario Ciampini and Gord Montgomery. This photo was taken at the Bodycote facility in Burlington, Canada-the history of this plant is below. As a special, bonus photo we have this one of Biji George, Regional Manager for Bodycote also taken at Bodycote, Burlington. By the way the last time we had a photo with Biji was about 15 years ago when he was with Heat Treating Services in Michigan. July 11, 2018   

SEPT 2016; “Bodycote, the world’s largest thermal processing services provider, announced today that it has acquired Nitrex Metal Technologies. Nitrex Metal Technologies specializes in precision gas nitriding and ferritic nitrocarburizing in both batch and continuous forms. Continuous gas nitriding and ferritic nitrocarburizing are unique in the industry and are particularly suited to high-volume automotive work. The addition of Nitrex Metal Technologies to the Bodycote Group broadens the range of thermal processing services that Bodycote offers, which already range from conventional atmosphere heat treatments like batch IQ, vacuum, and induction to more exotic specialty technologies like LPC, BoroCote®, and Corr-I-Dur®. Dan McCurdy, President of Bodycote Automotive and General Industrial Heat Treating in North America and Asia, commented that “Nitrex Metal Technologies is a great addition to the Bodycote Group. Along with the rest of Bodycote’s existing service offerings, this acquisition really cements our position as the go-to expert source for all things nitriding”.

Mario Ciampini, Adoh Mac Fhionnbhairr, Gord Montgomery

Biji George

Advanced Heat Treat Corp./New Additions

 “Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT), a recognized leader in heat treat services and metallurgical solutions, announced today the addition of three new sales and marketing employees: Vasko Popovski, Jason Taylor and Lindsey Newcomb. The new sales and marketing leadership will help prepare the company for increased national growth.

 Popovski, Regional Sales Manager for AHT’s Michigan facility, joins the team with over 25 years of experience in heat treatment, metallurgy and engineering. Taylor, Regional Sales Manager in Alabama, brings nearly 20 years of experience in tool and die knowledge; and Newcomb, Marketing Manager in the corporate office located in Iowa, rounds out the growing team with over a decade of sales/marketing experience, most recently at a global business process outsourcing company. 

 AHT President Mikel Woods commented, “The team’s diverse experience will help take AHT to the next level and allow us to expand our penetration in the southeast and Great Lakes regions of the United States.”   Popovski will focus on heat treat needs in the Great Lakes area. The Michigan AHT facility offers ion (plasma) and gas nitriding, ferritic nitrocarburizing, UltraOx®, stress relieve, s-phase nitriding and more.   Taylor will cover sales in the southeast region of the country. The Alabama AHT facility also provides ion (plasma) and gas nitriding, ferritic nitrocarburizing, UltraOx®, stress relieve and sphase nitriding. 

 “With our knowledgeable sales staff and multiple locations, we’ll be able to better serve our customers and give them the UltraGlowing® experience in every location, every time,” added Woods.   Learn more about Advanced Heat Treat Corp. and its 20+ surface treatments at www.ahtcorp.com or by calling (319) 232-5221. “ July 10, 2018   

Jason Taylor

Lindsey Newcomb

Vasko Popovski

Parker Hannifin Auction

Parker Hannifin in Laval, Canada is closing down and amongst the items up for auction is this gas fired mesh belt furnace line. There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with it but our guess would be that it sells for almost nothing or more likely is scrapped. An auction with only a single item of heat treating equipment and in Montreal to boot is unlikely to attract much if any attention and this is not a furnace which will have broad appeal anyway. July 10, 2018   

Gasbarre Furnace Group/J. L. Becker Automated Temper Furnaces

“Gasbarre Furnace Group/J. L. Becker recently shipped a pair of 36” x 48” x 36” Electrically Heated Temper Furnaces to a major drive supplier in the Southeast. The furnaces are designed to preheat workloads prior to hardening and temper workloads after hardening. Their maximum workload capacity is 4,000 lbs. The furnaces are designed to operate from 300°F to 850°F with a temperature uniformity of ±5°F. Roller rails and a chain guide allow the furnaces to be loaded and unloaded by the company’s existing powered transfer cart. A motorized damper aids the furnaces to quickly cycle between high and low operating temperatures. The control systems each incorporate an Allen Bradley CompactLogix PLC and ELO HMI which enable the furnaces to be installed in the customers existing “lights out” automated system. Located in Plymouth, MI, Gasbarre Furnace Group/J. L. Becker has been designing, manufacturing, and servicing a full line of industrial thermal processing equipment for over 40 years. For more information; Patrick Weymer at (815) 721-6467 or via email at pweymer@gasbarre.com” July 10, 2018   

Bodycote Syracuse, NY

“Bodycote experienced a fire at its Syracuse, NY location on Friday, July 6. There were no injuries but the facility has been rendered unserviceable. Bodycote will continue to provide heat treating services for customers from other Bodycote locations in the region via Bodycote’s freight logistics network until Syracuse services are reinstated. Questions should be directed to Dan McCurdy, President of Bodycote AGI NAA at dan.mccurdy@bodycote.com.” July 9, 2018   

Aremac Heat Treating/California

Last week we mentioned how Aremac Heat Treating was closing their facility in California. This official press release tells you why. July 9, 2018   

“To our Valued Customers, This year has brought us many challenges, but the greatest one of all is Aremac having to say GOOD-BYE to SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. We were unable to renew our building lease and secure a new location locally. Thus, we made the difficult decision to leave CALIFORNIA and expand our opertions in EASTMAN, GA. Currently, the GA facility is AS9100, NADCAP, Boeing, GE and Pratt and Whitney approved and we will continue to add other prime approvals as customer needs dictate. We will be phasing out our California operation over the next 3 – 4 months. During this time, we will do whatever we can to help you transition to another local provider or we can transition your work to our Georgia plant for processing. On behalf of our team here at Aremac Heat Treating, LLC, I want to thank you for your patronage throughout the years. It has been a privilege and an honor to partner with you and service your heat treating needs. Yours Truly, Ed Grott, Vice President/General Manager, Aremac Heat Treating, LLC”

Sinterite

Yesterday we talked about St. Marys, PA, USA being the powdered metal capital of the world and some of the companies involved in it including furnace builder Sinterite. Sinterite is part of the Gasbarre Furnace Group which also includes C.I Hayes in Rhode Island, USA and J.L Becker in Michigan. Sinterite was formed in 1978 largely to service the powdered metal industry and currently has approximately 60 people. While we just stated that Sinterite was formed to service the PM industry, that is not entirely accurate in 2018 as roughly half of the 25-30 systems the company produces annually are for sintering with the other half being used for annealing and brazing applications. To break this down a little further out of those 25-30 systems per year about 25% are going to customers outside of North America. Furnaces are of course the backbone of the firm but to compliment that the company also does a great deal of high temperature, alloy fabricating both for their own furnaces, competitors furnaces and for industries completely unrelated to heat treating. By the way the company also works closely with their two sister companies and indeed we some a number of components being manufactured for the JL Becker division. According to the President, Mr. Mark Saline business is excellent (our words not his) and this follows on 2017 which was also a good year for the company. While everybody in the group photo below deserves to be mentioned two people in particular need to be singled out; Shirley Gaffey who as Customer Service Coordinator is often the first point of contact for customers (far left) and Mark Saline (far right). July 6, 2018   

Caleb Bennett, Sales Associate, Josh Partlow, Sales Engineer

The Death of Nitrogen/Methanol Systems

A visit to a captive heat treater the other day showed us a Nitrogen/Methanol system which has become such an unusual sight that we actually noticed it and felt it was worthwhile commenting on. 40 years ago carburizing atmospheres were produced exclusively by endothermic generators (yes granted there were other systems such as pack carburizing, Toluene and a few others but they had such a small market share that they really aren’t worth mentioning). Generators at the time did an adequate job-but no more than adequate due to the lack of control and the amount of maintenance required which gave Nitrogen/Methanol systems an opening. And the gas companies seized the opening and quickly gained a reasonable market share with their legitimate claims that Nitrogen/Methanol was more consistent, cheaper and required very little maintenance. The two technologies existed side by side for quite some time until endo generators themselves started to improve with the advent of atmosphere control, air cooling and systems designed to match generator output to demand (the output limiting technology by the way was introduced by Eric and Jason Jossart of Atmosphere Engineering, now part of UPC). Combine this with the fact that Methane has dramatically increased in price while natural gas has dramatically decreased in price and you can see why Nitrogen/Methanol systems have largely disappeared from the North American market. And that is our industry trend for this week. July 6, 2018   

RÜBIG Group Expands Into China

Very recently we mentioned about how furnace builder RÜBIG would be expanding into China-we now have the official press release. July 5, 2018   

“AUSTRIA/TAICANG: The focus of the internationally successful RÜBIG Group is sustainable growth. The opening of RÜBIG Industrial Furnaces (Taicang) Co., Ltd. in China was therefore a significant step in further reinforcement of its technological leadership in the production of plasma and gas nitriding equipment. The foundation of the company shall further improve on its internationalisation and help all of its customers to secure their competitive advantage in the field of heat treatment of steel and aluminium materials.

 Advantages for the customers; RÜBIG Industrial Furnaces has already installed plasma and gas nitriding equipment in more than 43 countries, while the support for Asian customers was always provided from the head office in Wels, Austria. “To satisfy the ever-increasing quality requirements and equipment reliability, mainly where the automotive and aerospace industries and their suppliers are concerned, the foundation of a new company was a step of a strategic importance and its timing could not have been chosen better”, claims Thomas Müller, COO of RÜBIG Industrial Furnaces. By means of its subsidiary in Taicang, the traditional company guarantees the customary high standard of “made in austria” quality and quicker response times. The man in charge who carries this responsibility locally is Liang (Davis) Zhang, a graduate material scientist who brings along well-founded experience from metallurgy and strategic sales

About RÜBIG Group; From its establishment in 1946, RÜBIG developed from a small drop forger to a successful centre of excellence in metals. With its locations in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, USA and China, the RÜBIG Group forms today a globally efficient technology network. At the same time, about 400 employees play the role of the main driver encouraging the development of technology and innovations.
 RÜBIG Heat Treatment division is an expert in the heat treatment of steel and aluminium materials and offers individual solutions for customer-specific heat treatment requirements. RÜBIG Industrial Furnaces produces plasma and gas nitriding systems as well as plasma-aided coating equipment as its premium segment. RÜBIG Die Forge produces, besides linch pins and flat link chains, also components according to the customer’s documentation.”

  

From left to right: Peter Buchegger (responsible for sales in the region of China), Liang Zhang and Keyan Liu (project execution RÜBIG Industrial Furnaces)

Advanced Heat Treating/St. Marys, PA

The history of commercial heat treater Advanced Heat Treating is the history of St. Marys, PA itself. St. Marys is a quiet little town of roughly 20,000 people very much off the beaten path in Pennsylvania which very surprisingly is known as the powdered metal capital of the world. Back in 1939 St. Marys Carbon started manufacturing carbon products in the nearby town of Ridegway, which lead to the company producing powdered metal bearings starting in 1952. The rest of the story is history as they say with many of the best known names in the powdered metal business having plants locally, names such as Keystone, Stackpole, GKN and Metco all being common names in the area (by the way two furnace builders have grown up in the area to serve the industry, Sinterite and Abbott Furnace). Interestingly enough most of the powdered metal companies do not heat treat in house but send product out to local commercial heat treaters such as Advanced. Advanced has roughly 30 employees and has on site batch IQ furnaces, mesh belt and steam equipment. Business is booming for the company and within the next few months construction starts on a 15,000 square foot addition. Our host, Mr. Roy Seltzer can be seen in the photo below second from the right in front of one of the companies Allcase furnaces. July 5, 2018   

Happy 4th of July to all our American Friends

Peters Heat Treating, Pennsylvania, USA

Way back in 1979 Doug Peters founded commercial heat treater Peters Heat Treating in Erie, PA and the man has never looked back since. We visited Doug just last week and he told us about the changes over the years. The company now has three locations, Race Street in Meadville, PA, West Road in McKean, PA and McHenry Street in Meadville (the plant in Erie was closed many years ago, and Doug has a new venture in Meadville doing laser heat treating but that is a story for another day). The location on McHenry Street was acquired by  Doug in 2013 as an almost brand new building of roughly 15,000 square feet and is now what we would call his “batch IQ facility” due to the fact that it now houses two very new AFC-Holcroft batch IQ furnaces with room for at least one more (the photo below shows this plant). Current plans have the building doubling in size within the next year and the Race Street plant closing with the equipment moving to this building (McKean is largely vacuum furnaces). Doug is a lucky man in that the company is a family affair with his wife Jackie involved, both children and a son in law-what more could a person want? Doug reports that business is good and getting better-we believe he deserves all this good fortune. July 4, 2018   

Heat Treating of Aircraft Landing Gear

We generally consider heat treating of aerospace components to be real “top end heat treating” because of the extremely tight specifications such as NADCAP which need to be followed. We’re pleased to be able to show you this photo of the in house heat treating department of an aerospace parts manufacturer, a very rare occurrence due to the fact that secrecy is always high in aerospace facilities. In this particular case this company manufacturers landing gear and heat treats them in large pit carburizing furnaces. We have seen the same parts processed in large bottom loading vacuum furnaces with oil quenching also. July 4, 2018  

Paulo Cleveland

Back in March/2018 we had an announcement about commercial heat treater Paulo expanding their plant in Willoughby, Ohio, an expansion which included a number of brand new vacuum furnaces being provided by GM Enterprises of California (one of the photos below shows most of the Paulo, Willoughby team when we visited). We now have this update from Paulo; July 3, 2018   

“The growth of the Cleveland Division continues with one of five new vacuum furnaces delivered. The 60″x42″x42″ furnace is set in place and is currently being wired and piped.  The furnace will be ready for production late July. This represents the first step of a larger expansion that includes a new building. The furnace features an all metal hotzone and 15 bar Argon quenching with an 8,000lb capacity. This added capacity will enable the Cleveland team to continue to quickly turn critical aerospace components with precisely controlled cooling rates. As Aerospace Prime Contractors see backlogs growing to record levels, Paulo continues to invest in increased capacity and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure our customers succeed.”

Mexico Heat Treatment Congress 2018

David Howard of European furnace builder Codere (whose ad can be found on this page) attended the recent Heat Treatment Congress in Queretaro, Mexico. Here is what he has to say about the event;

“This event was more international than other years as there were exhibitors from Mexico, USA, Japan and Europe as well as the usual commercial heat treaters from Mexico but also visitors as far away as China, Peru, Colombia and Guatemala. In the photo is our agent José Antonio Ramirez from RT@I who respresents Codere SA aswell as an innoviate company from Bulgaria called Ionitech who offer Plasma Nitriding solutions. In the photo is the third generation  (l to r) Mr. Boncho Varhoshkov, David Howard from Codere SA, José Antonio Ramirez and Mr. Alexander Varhoshkov.

During the conference Codere made a presentation on their molten salt applications & unique solution for undertaking martempering, austempering among other treatments giving a number of customer examples. Ionitech were introducing themselves to the Mexican market who have sold plasma nitriding units across Europe, Asia and even as far as Australia. They presented a number of test parts, which received much interest from the audience in attendence. Further information on their product range can be found on www.codere.ch & www.ionitech.com” July 3, 2018   

Koyo Bearings/Super Systems

 “Dahlonega Ga: Super Systems Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio and JTEKT Corporation’s Koyo Bearings brand have completed a controls and software upgrade to deliver more efficiencies through technology enhancements in their heat treating operation at JTEKT’s Dahlonega manufacturing facility. 

 The scope of the investment includes all engineering, installation, controls and software for their gas-fired hardening furnace line.  The new automation included a turnkey retrofit of new control cabinets as well as software necessary for furnace control and historical process data review.  The controls and software provide JTEKT with the confidence to heat treat parts to meet the highest standards with complete traceability for its Koyo brand bearings.  The instrumentation and software for the update included the hardening furnaces, quench, washer/rinse and temper equipment. 

 “We have been fortunate to work with JTEKT on a number of automation projects over the years and we are looking forward to participating in more innovative heat treating opportunities in the Dahlonega facility,” says Bob Fincken, Super Systems National Sales Manager.  “The new control cabinets provide a more electrically safe environment with individual lock outs, isolated disconnects, controllers, AC Drives, programmable logic controllers (PLC), instrumentation, HMIs, motor starters, prints, and of course some of the best services in the industry, led by our VP of Engineering, Scott Johnstone” continues Mr. Fincken.  “SSi’s ability to understand our needs and provide customized solutions has been a tremendous benefit to us”, says Michael Rebula, Heat Treat Supervisor at JTEKT.

For the last decade, Super Systems Inc., based in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been developing and manufacturing products for the thermal processing industry. SSi’s products include probes, analyzers, controllers, software solutions and engineered systems. With over 100 years of combined experience, SSi continues to satisfy industry demands with innovative technology, enabling customers to be more efficient and to produce higher quality products.

 Koyo is the JTEKT Corporation brand for bearings.  JTEKT engineering and manufacturing capabilities range from super large bearings with outer diameters of seven meters to miniature bearings with inner diameters as small as one millimeter.  Utilizing new materials and the latest in manufacturing technology, JTEKT Corporation stands at the forefront as a technological leader in the global bearing industry.For more information on SSi’s capabilities please visit our website at www.supersystems.com” July 3, 2018   

Canada Day

Monday July 1 is a national holiday in Canada, Canada Day! The offices of WG Montgomery Ltd., will be closed to celebrate the holiday, regular news items will resume Tuesday July 3rd. July 2, 2018   

Metlab Furnace Upgrades

Commercial heat treater Metlab in Wyndmoor, PA, USA is generally considered to have the largest commercially available pit carburizing furnaces in North America. Read about their recent upgrades and changes.

“As part of its continuing maintenance improvement program, Metlab  recently completed a rebuild and upgrade of its two large heat treating furnaces. These furnaces, designated P-1 and P-2 are believed to be the largest atmosphere controlled pit furnaces in North America. With work zones measuring 12′ in diameter by 8′ tall and 15′ in diameter by 10′ tall, the equipment is used to neutral harden, carburize and harden, nitride, anneal, and stress relieve large components or multiple quantities of parts. With a capacity of up to 50,000 pounds per heat treat cycle, typical components processed include large gears and bearing races, rocket exhaust nozzles, forgings, castings, large weldments and other industrial components.

A capital expenditure of more than $ 200,000 included new nickel base alloy retorts, cast ceramic floors, insulation and upgrades to the furnace structure. The furnaces utilize different atmospheres to process parts including endothermic gas for neutral hardening and carburizing, ammonia for nitriding, or nitrogen and/or argon for scale free processing. The furnaces rely on sand seals to contain the different gases. The sand seals for both furnaces were also redesigned and replaced. In addition, finned copper tube coils for cooling the sand seals were changed with closed welded stainless steel chambers for better efficiency.

The rebuild to each furnace took about a month. While the nickel base alloy and stainless steel for the retort and sand seals were purchased as fabrications, Metlab maintenance personnel took over 350 hours to weld the different components together. A temperature uniformity survey (TUS) after completion demonstrated that the furnaces meet the strict requirements of AMS 2750E.  As part of the upgrades, Metlab utilized funds received from a Small Business Advantage Grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection. This grant was used to incorporate a closed loop recirculating water system to cool the sand seals and fans of each furnace. The cooling water requirements of the furnaces is in excess of 20,000 gallons per week. The savings in water, not to mention the environmental benefits of recirculating water, are substantial and were recognized by the DEP as a significant benefit, resulting in the grant. Equally important is the elimination of the need to discharge heated water into the sanitary sewer system.

The Small Business Advantage Grant provided a 50% matching grant for funds spent on the equipment to Metlab. The cost of the recirculation system, purchased from Dry Coolers, Oxford, MI, including piping modifications and installation was about $ 35,000.00. Metlab began the planning and purchasing of the furnace upgrades and cooling equipment in late 2016. Acquisition of funding as well as material and components allowed the project to be completed in early 2018.” June 29, 2018   

P-2, Metlab’s largest atmosphere controlled furnace, showing the new nickel base alloy retort and sand seal installed. Also shown in the foreground is plumbing for the new water cooled sand seal.

Metlab maintenance personnel welding the cooling chamber for the sand seal on the furnace.

A load of windmill bearing races being removed from Metlab’s furnace designated P-1 prior to quenching in an 18,000 gallon oil tank. Each of the three races measure about 6 feet in diameter by 12 inches tall, weighing more than 2,000 pounds after carburizing.

Rocket exhaust nozzle forging being hardness inspected by an Metlab inspector, after normalizing, hardening and double tempering in Metlab’s largest furnace, P-2.

Zenith Cutter Invests in Ipsen TITAN® Vacuum Furnace 

“Zenith Cutter, a manufacturing company based in Loves Park, Illinois, recently purchased a TITAN® H6 vacuum furnace with 2 bar gas quenching that will be used at their Metkraft facility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This furnace features a graphite work zone measuring a 36” x 48” x 36” (915 mm x 1,220 mm x 915 mm) with a 3,000-pound (1,360 kg) load capacity. It is capable of operating at temperatures of 1,000 °F to 2,400 °F (538 °C to 1,315 °C) with ±10 °F (±6 °C) temperature uniformity. The furnace is also equipped with a closed-loop water system and Ipsen’s PdMetrics® predictive maintenance software. The company also took advantage of Ipsen’s support offerings, which include Ipsen U training, a spare parts kit and installation supervision/start-up.

Zenith Cutter manufactures industrial knives, cutter blades and related accessories t markets including corrugated products, converting, plastics, recycling, tree care, roofing, textiles and wood products. They previously used atmosphere heat-treating for production but have transitioned to using vacuum equipment. Ipsen’s TITAN vacuum heat-treating are available in several sizes with horizontal or vertical configurations, nitrogen or argon quench and graphite or all-metal hot zone construction. To learn more about the TITAN system, visit www.IpsenUSA.com/TITAN.”    June 29, 2018   

Aremac Heat Treating, LLC/California

Aremac is a commercial heat treater with two location in the US, one in City of Industry, CA and the second in Eastman, GA. Both plants offer what we would consider to be “high end” heat treating such as vacuum heat treating of aerospace parts. Very unfortunately we understand that the facility in CA will be closing due to circumstances beyond their control. We also understand that this will have no effect on the location in Georgia. June 28, 2018   

Aaron Ackerman Buys Met-Pro Inc.

I’m sure many of our readers know John Hansen of Heat Treat Rep firm Met-Pro Inc. who is based out of Michigan.  What you may not know is that John recently sold his business to Aaron Ackerman. Although the transition has been happening for a while now Aaron officially took over as of June 1st.    Aaron comes from a sales position at Wirco where he spent 15 years getting to know the ins and outs of the industry.  He’s representing several different companies which include Super Systems Inc, South-Tek, Custom Electric, and Wirco. After 40 years in the business John Hansen is still helping Aaron on a regular basis but he’s spending more time enjoying life these days. June 28, 2018     

What’s Industry Standard for a Relocation Package?

From the “Employment” file we have this article about what a standard relocation package in the heat treating industry consists of. We thank Mr. Josh Hale of International Search Partners. June 27, 2018     

In addition to our core business of offering search and placement solutions to companies in the heat treat industry, we also consult with clients on a variety of topics related to human capital, such as recruiting, hiring, terminations, onboarding, etc. One of the most common questions we get asked is about offering relocation packages to new hires. Unfortunately, there’s not really a “one-size, fits-all” response to this one…  However, there are some general tips and guidelines that are useful to be aware of:

  • Flat Rate vs. Reimbursement. Usually when hiring a new employee that requires relocating, the company will pay for all or part of moving expenses. Sometimes that means that the company will hire movers, pay for temporary housing directly, etc. Or, the company will reimburse the employee for approved costs with receipts. Another option is for the company to forgo a full reimbursement and instead offer a “sign on” bonus for the new employee to use as they see fit. Many companies and employees prefer this flat rate option over reimbursement or direct payment. From the company’s perspective, this is the simplest solution and for the employee it offers the most flexibility. Sign on bonuses of around $5k for most mid or entry level positions and up to $10-20k for upper management is typical.
  • Whichever way a company decides to pay for a new hire’s relocation, it’s important that both parties know what they’re getting themselves into. Of course, everyone’s personal situation is different, and the costs associated with moving a family of four with a 2000 sf house is quite different from moving bachelor out of a studio apartment. This website has proven helpful to us in the past for giving a reasonably accurate estimate of what costs to expect: https://www.moving.com/movers/moving-cost-calculator.asp
  • Most relocation packages will have some type of contingency clause meant to protect the company should the employee leave before the employer has gotten a sufficient return on their investment. This typically requires the employee to be responsible for paying back their relocation bonus or reimbursements should they choose to leave before a certain timeframe, typically 2 years.
  • Talk to a Professional. There really is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to relocating an employee. At the end of the day, it’s all negotiable and comes down to what the employee and employer agree is fair. We’ve seen situations where an employee has agreed to relocate himself without any assistance and very lucrative relocation packages that have equated to nearly a full year’s salary and everything in between… However, we always recommend that you consult with your lawyer and accountant before straying so that you’re well informed about any potential legal or tax implications before entering into any formal relocation agreement. 

For over 20 years, ISP has been the premier recruiting solution for the Heat Treat industry. The salary information provided is based on information gathered over that time and from interviewing 500+ industry professionals per year. If you’re hiring now, or exploring new opportunities for yourself, we are uniquely positioned to be your partner for success and would love to work with you. Please contact us at info@ispards.com or 619-465-9621.

Solar Atmospheres of Western PA Acquires Large Car Bottom Air Furnace

Solar Atmospheres of Western PA has invested in a brand new car bottom air furnace that is 20 feet in length.  Delivery of this new piece of equipment will be in July of 2018. The furnace will be surveyed in accordance with AMS2750 and is uniform within ±10°F (Class 2). The furnace has a working zone that is 60-inches square by 240 inches long and will handle a workload up to 30,000 pounds. With a maximum operating temperature of 1400°F, this furnace will accommodate not only the tempering of large tool steel components but also age hardening of 15-5 PH, 17-4 PH, and nickel-based alloys.

Solar is typically known around the world as a “vacuum only” heat treater. However, there is a great need for heat treating non finished parts and materials in accordance with the same specifications (AMS, MIL, Boeing and Airbus) within different atmospheres where surface oxidation is permissible. This new 20 foot air furnace will allow the “raw material customer” an option, while being more price competitive than with a vacuum environment. This new investment will only complement the vast array of large vacuum furnaces that Solar operates every day. For additional information, contact Mike Johnson at 724-982-0660 x2223 or mike@solarwpa.com, and visit us at www.solaratm.com. June 27, 2018     

ALD Thermal Treatment, Inc., Port Huron, Michigan

Last week we mentioned we would be profiling what could be the largest single location commercial heat treat in North America, today we are expanding on that. ALD Thermal Treatment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Germany’s ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH and a member of the Engineering Division of AMG NV. The company has three locations, ALD Thermal Treatment Inc., in Port Huron, Michigan, USA, ALD Tratamientos Termicos, S.A. in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico and VACUHEAT GmbH in Limbach-Oberfrohna, Germany (another brand new location in China will be operational by the second quarter of 2019. The plant will be located in Taicang which is near Shanghai and will specialize in low pressure vacuum carburizing). Lets start with Port Huron; this plant has a total of 41 chambers for low pressure vacuum carburizing and 3 ALD Vacuum Technologies Vacuum Nitriding furnaces either installed or shortly to be installed (in the one photo below you can see a new Vacuum Nitrider).  Given the number of furnaces, the process and the type of parts the company is heat treating we are fairly confident that this plant is either the largest single location commercial heat treat in terms of annual sales in North America or pretty darn close to it. Recently this plant was re-tooled for a new product line which required adding 6 automated chambers for Cryo Treatment with each chamber capable of -300F. Future plans are ambitious  and include pursuing NADCAP Aerospace Certification (planned for third quarter of 2019), possible robotic automation for fixturing loads and pursuing an ISMS system (Information Security Management System) for risk avoidance and security assurance. Notice the one photo below with all the General Motors Supplier Quality Excellence Awards on the outside of the building? Both Port Huron and the Ramos facility have received this award for the past 4 years running-2014 through 2017. We really haven’t touched upon the facility in Germany, VACUHEAT but we can say that 2017 was a record year for sales for the location and 2018 is looking even better. So if anybody ever asks you which is the largest single location commercial heat treat in North America you can with assurance say ALD Port Huron-but don’t put any money on it just in case. June 26, 2018   

Rolf Terjung Graphite Materials, Jim Kassan ALD, Eduard Lassel Graphite Materials, Roland Weeske Graphite Materials, Ismail Vahora ALD

Ismail Vahora ALD,  Eduard Lassel Graphite Materials

Ismail Vahora ALD,  Jim Kassan

Enrique Lopez ALD, Jim Kassan ALD, Kelly Peters ALD, Chuck Sefcovic ALD, Ron Hartinger ALD

Enrique Lopez ALD, Kelly Peters ALD, Jim Kassan ALD, Chuck Sefcovic ALD, Ron Hartinger ALD

Monday Morning Briefing

Sit back and relax for a few minutes as this is a longer “Monday Morning Briefing” than usual. First up we go to a furnace builder based in Wels, Austria by the name of Rubig. Rubig is known around the world as a manufacturer of Plasma (Ion) Nitriding systems and vacuum furnaces. It would appear that the company is taking the Chinese market very seriously these days as they are setting up a brand new subsidiary by the name of Rubig, Industrial Furnaces (Taicang)Co., Ltd. based in China. We have no idea how much of a presence the company currently has in the country. Speaking of furnace builders Williams Industrial Service Inc., in Ohio is having a great year, so much so that they are adding this addition; “Williams Industrial Service, Inc., an industrial heat treat furnace supplier located in Bowling Green, OH, is pleased to announce the addition to our existing building, as seen below.  This additional space will be necessary to accommodate all the projects we are currently building.  Additionally, Williams’ plans to add several skilled trades and another engineer, so if anyone is interested, you can reach us at 419-353-2120 (williamsBT@wisfurnaces.com).  Ask for Brent.  The new building will be ready to go once the concrete has cured and the heating systems are installed, around August 1, 2018.” June 25, 2018   

Not to be outdone our friends at Solar Manufacturing are now breaking ground on a brand new building; Solar Manufacturing, Inc. began a new chapter in its history today with a groundbreaking ceremony for a new manufacturing facility at the Sellersville Business Campus in Sellersville, Bucks County, PA.  Due to substantial growth in recent years, Solar Manufacturing expanded into two separate manufacturing facilities located a few miles apart.  The new property will allow the 15 year old Company to combine its nearly 50 employees under one roof for more efficient production and triple their current space.  Gorski Engineering of Collegeville, PA will be the general contractor.  The nearly 60,000 square-foot building will be built on 8.55 acres and is expected to be completed in early 2019.  The new building will contain a two-story office space of nearly 20,000 square feet and 40,000 square feet of crane-served, manufacturing space.  Bill Jones, CEO, said of this $8 million project, “Solar Manufacturing has been very fortunate to experience steady growth over the past 15 years.  We needed more manufacturing space to expand and grow our business.  Bucks County and Sellersville Borough have been very supportive and welcoming.  It is an ideal location for us.” Solar Manufacturing is a member of the Solar Atmospheres Family of Companies.  Solar Atmospheres is a commercial heat treater with headquarters in Souderton PA, and has four US facilities with over 60 vacuum furnaces in operation.  The close affiliation between the companies affords Solar Manufacturing with an unparalleled testing ground for improving furnace design, operation, maintenance and repair.  Together, they offer unmatched expertise to advance the art and science of vacuum furnace technology. For more information about Solar Manufacturing, please contact Pete Reh at 267-384-5040 x1509, or via email pete@solarmfg.com, and visit us at www.solarmfg.com.” Pictured left to right below: Jim Nagy, President; Bob Wilson, VP of Engineering; Scott Jacoby, Corporate Controller; Myrtle Jones, Owner; Bill Jones, CEO/Owner; Trevor Jones, CEO; Nick Cordisco, Service Manager; Pete Reh, VP of Sales; Rick Jones, International Sales Manager

 

In people news we have this from Phoenix TM.  “We are pleased to announce that Mike Handscombe has recently joined Phoenix Temperature Measurement as National & International Sales Manager. Mike, comes to PhoenixTM with extensive experience of working in the Paint and Powder Coating markets over the last 30 years. Having worked previously for both Nordson & Jotun Mike is well versed in the importance of temperature profiling in the paint and powder coating market. His previous market experience will be invaluable to helping him provide current and future PhoenixTM customers a professional consultative service. 

Mike will be supporting the entire PhoenixTM range of temperature monitoring solutions used in Industrial Heat Treatment & Furnace Surveying, Paint Thermal Cure, Food Thermal Processing and Ceramic Firing Markets.  Mike will be managing sales into the UK and will be working alongside Steve Biggs to support our activities in the USA. Please join us in welcoming Mike to the PhoenixTM team and what will be an exciting and challenging new role.” Mike Handscombe mike.handscombe@phoenixtm.com Mobile UK: +44 (0) 7718648845 Cell USA: (727) 2049280. For additional information, please contact Dr Steve Offley at  +44 (0) 1353 223100; +44 (0) 7890 197636, steve.offley@phoenixtm.com” 

We regret to mention the passing of Russell Gordon Sherman who was known by just about everybody in the Titanium heat treating industry; “Sherman’s claim to fame is his research and development concerning alloys and heat-treating protocols for the titanium industry, expanding upon the usability of the metal during the formative years of the titanium industry. These advancements recently landed Sherman, 92, a lifetime achievement award from the International Titanium Association. Sherman’s research helped pioneer the high-volume production of titanium aerospace fasteners (the stuff that keeps airplanes and other air and spaceborne vehicles held tightly together), at a critical juncture in the United States’ history– during the Cold War years of the 1950s, when the United States and the Soviet Union were fighting for space supremacy.”

Commercial heat treater Paulo has a new Director of Information Systems; “Paulo’s John Hynes has been promoted to Director of Information Systems from his previous role as Manager of Information Technology.  John has been with Paulo for just over one year.  Prior to joining the Paulo team, he worked for a family-owned regional movie theater chain for 28 years. His final position there was Senior Manager of Information Security and Technology with wide ranging responsibilities for technology in a 1100+ person organization. Founded in 1943, Paulo is one of the largest providers of heat treating, brazing, and metal finishing solutions in North America. Headquartered in St. Louis, Paulo operates six divisions servicing the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Southeast regions of the United States and northern Mexico.”

In Montreal, Canada aerospace company NSE AUTOMATECH recently ordered a high temperature furnace from local furnace and oven builder Pyradia.

And to round things out commercial heat treater ALD Thermal Treatment in Port Huron, USA very recently installed this brand new vacuum nitrider. Lots more about ALD later on this week.

Braddock Metallurgical

To this news item we will add that Braddock is a family owned company (3rd generation?) and one of the largest commercial heat treats in North America. We will also add that the company dominates the commercial heat treating industry in Florida and is a very strong player throughout the US Southeast. June 22, 2018   

Braddock Metallurgical Aerospace Services is proud to announce additional capacity at its FAA approved and NADCAP certified southeast Florida facility. To serve you better and more efficiently we have added a high temperature gas fired heat treat furnace line to: Solution Anneal, Solution Anneal with water quench, Normalize Anneal, Stress Relieve, Precipitation/Age hardening, Temper. Capable of handling sizes of up to 6ft x 6ft x 4ft.”

What’s Upcoming?

For the week starting June 25, 2018 we have a number of interesting news items for you. We will tell you about a well known furnace manufacturing company just setting up a facility in China, we will be showing you a few photos of what is probably the Largest Single Location Commercial Heat Treater in North America and we are going to have a close look at Laser Heat Treating. In addition we expect to have some very interesting news about Furnace Building in Europe, we are going to profile a couple of Commercial Heat Treat Shops in the USA and have a close look at a facility making New Vacuum Furnaces. This plus some more real interesting StuffJune 22, 2018   

SECO/WARWICK Poland

June 5 we had a brief news item about furnace builder SECO/WARWICK’s upcoming event in Poland. As part of that news item we included a photo of the SECO facility which we took a few years back. Well it is no surprise that, that photo is rather dated so we have these pictures of the plant as it looks like today.  June 21, 2018   

Ipsen Press Release

Ipsen Ceramics recently completed the task of relining the bricks on one of their roller hearth kilns. This re-bricking project brings the kiln’s throughput back to full operating capacity. Additionally, the kiln can now reach greater operating temperatures – up to 2,650 ºF (1,454 ºC). These improvements mean greater efficiency and more flexibility when processing various materials, such as thermal barrier coatings. Beyond improvements to its equipment, Ipsen Ceramics is also expanding its business connections. They are collaborating with ceramics distributor, Carpenter Brothers based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, along with 19 of their sales representatives throughout the United States to gain exposure across multiple industries.

 About Carpenter Brothers; Carpenter Brothers has been in business for 100 years and is a dealer/distributor/representative for manufacturers of industrial supplies and equipment. They specialize in foundry and metal casting equipment. The 100 years of Carpenter Brothers’ continuing success is attributed to the high-level expertise on specific foundry processes and products as well as the technical and manufacturing knowledge of their sales and customer service personnel. Learn more about Carpenter Brothers at www.CarpenterBrothersInc.com.

 About Ipsen Ceramics ; Ipsen Ceramics specializes in the toll firing business, serving a variety of industries such as aerospace, automotive and petrochemical. The materials they process are used in many different applications: gas, oil, polishing, precious metals and thermal barrier coatings. In addition to toll firing, Ipsen Ceramics manufactures high-temperature refractories, which can be used in a variety of applications. Learn more by visiting www.IpsenCeramics.com.” June 20, 2018