Nadcap & CQI-9 Compliance Made Easy

 

Ipsen Organizational Changes

As Ipsen focuses on supporting the industry, several strategic changes will be made in the company’s organizational structure to strengthen their position as the leading global provider of integrated heat treatment solutions. “We are in an exciting period of growth for Ipsen, which has been built on both innovation and exceeding customer expectations. The Ipsen Group focus ensures that we continue to strengthen Ipsen performance in all global markets, delivering the same quality and performance anywhere in the world,” said Geoffrey Somary. As part of this growth, Somary will leave his USA position and focus fully on his Group responsibilities with CEOs at all entities (Europe, USA, China, Japan and India) continuing to report directly to him. Somary started at Ipsen in 2005, and for the past four years, has held the dual responsibilities of Ipsen USA CEO and Ipsen Group COO. Jake Hamid, who has been with Ipsen since 2007, will also leave his position as Ipsen USA COO and move into the position of Ipsen Group Director of Global Product Development and Manufacturing.

Ipsen USA is pleased to announce that Patrick McKenna is promoted to Ipsen USA President & CEO, responsible for all entity functions including Sales, Engineering, Operations, Service, Finance and Human Resources. McKenna states, “My focus from day one will be on delivering the highest quality products and services to our customers and ensuring that the established Ipsen performance culture continues far into the future.” McKenna has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and has served on the Metal Treating Institute Board of Directors for 10 years (2016 President). He worked at Ipsen as a Mechanical Engineer for four years before leaving to co-found a successful commercial heat treating and brazing company. He divested his interest in that company in 2015 and returned to Ipsen as Vice President of Sales.

Other promotions include Pete Kerbel to Ipsen USA Vice President of Sales, who takes on responsibility for sales of new equipment, retrofits and parts. Kerbel started at Ipsen in 2008 and most recently was the Director of Aftermarket Sales, which when combined with service, totals nearly 50% of annual sales for Ipsen USA. With 2017 expected to be the eighth straight year of growth for Ipsen USA, there is a new generation of experienced leaders that have earned their promotions (in addition to those listed above). The expertise and commitment of these individuals, and the entire Ipsen Team, will allow them to continue guiding Ipsen forward down a winning path – a path that always focuses on innovation and ensuring one satisfied customer at a time. August 18, 2017   

Pictures From The Past

As you would expect over the almost 20 years that “The Monty” has been around we have accumulated more than our fair share of pictures from the heat treat industry which we share on a regular basis. Here are three from days gone by. If you have a picture from the past you would like to share we are interested. August 18, 2017   

Gary Berwick on the left (Now Dry Coolers), Dennis Wagen, Jeff Smith on the right (SBS) 

Left to Right; Gord Montgomery, Bill Keough (Ex-owner AFC-Holcroft), Bill Disler (CEO AFC-Holcroft)

Tom Wright on the right (Wirco) 

Tremec Corp./Wixom Michigan

A year ago Tremec, an auto parts supplier based in Mexico announce a brand new plant in the Detroit, USA area. Plans have come to fruition and the new location is on the brink of opening. A burning question in our mind is whether this location will have heat treating in house. The new plant is over 100,000 square feet which is certainly large enough to house a respectable heat treated and the Tremec location in Queretaro, Mexico which we have visited in the past certainly boasts a very large in house heat treat department which includes batch IQ furnaces and pushers. We honestly don’t know whether this location currently has heat treating or will in the future but when we find out you will be the first to know. August 17, 2017   

“A Mexico City-based automotive supplier will invest $54 million to establish a manufacturing facility in Wixom, a move that will create 133 jobs, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced Thursday. Tremec Corp., a wholly-owned business unit of Kuo Group, plans to lease and equip a new building at 46643 Ryan Ct. to serve as the company’s U.S. headquarters, sales and technical center, as well as an advanced automotive transmission production operation, according to the MEDC. The project represents the company’s first major manufacturing operation in the U.S. Tremec, founded in 1964, established operations in Michigan in 1975 and today has 27 employees at its technical and sales office in Plymouth Township. The 1,450-employee company produces transmissions, torque components and powertrain products for high-performance vehicles, including passenger, commercial and heavy duty vehicles. The new facility will allow Tremec to make investments and create jobs related to the design, development and manufacture of transmission and other powertrain products for the North American automotive and heavy equipment sectors, according to the MEDC.” 

Different media for quenching metal explained

Commercial Heat Treater Paulo from time to time sends out interesting summaries about various aspects of heat treating-this is one.  August 17, 2017   

Quenching metal parts is a critical step in heat treating, and it’s only gotten more complicated over the years as an increasing variety of specified material properties drives the development of the differing techniques that deliver them. Here, we discuss the popular media in use in the industry and explain how metallurgists choose which one is best suited for certain parts.

 Different media for quenching metal explained; Quenching is one of the critical stages in the heat treatment because it’s during that process that added hardness is locked into metal parts. The concept is relatively simple: Heat a metal and then rapidly cool it to make it harder. But in terms of the chemistry involved, the process is complex and trade-offs abound as metallurgists must decide which quenching medium and method will achieve the specified finished qualities.

 Severity of quenchants; The severity of a quench refers to how quickly heat can be drawn out of a part. Different quenching media have different degrees of severity. Caustics are the most severe quenchants, followed by oils, then salts and, finally, gases. The makeup of metal parts, the parts’ cross sections and the specified hardness to be achieved dictate which quenching medium is used. Generally, low-hardenability parts made from carbon steel and low-alloy steel require more severe quenches to achieve a specified hardness. High-alloy steels, which are much more hardenable, are best quenched in less severe media.

 Caustics; The most severe quenches are executed with water, brines and caustic sodas. While these quenchants can pull heat out of parts more quickly than other quenching media, faster isn’t always better. Quenching in caustics dissipates heat so quickly that metal parts are at risk of cracking and warping due to the drastic variation in temperature between the part’s surface and its core. In addition, workers must take special precautions when using caustic materials because they’re harmful when inhaled or exposed to skin and eyes.

 Oils; Quenching metal in oil is the most popular method because it is relatively severe but with a diminished risk of cracking and warping. In addition, a wide range of parts quench well in oils because the temperature and blend of quenching oils can be adjusted to suit desired end results.

For example, if a part’s cross section and hardenability mean it’s best suited for fast quenches, “fast” oils are used. These oils are formulated to extend the amount of time during which the highest rate of cooling takes place. Quenching in fast oils is best suited for low-carbon steels and low-alloy parts. As the method’s name indicates, these quenches do not take long. Conversely, sometimes cooling needs to be slowed. Hot oils—which are kept at higher temperatures—cool metal surfaces, but not so quickly that a part’s core temperature and surface temperature differ too widely. High-alloy parts with intricate designs quench well in hot oils, as the method reduces the risk of warping and cracking associated with differences in surface and core temperatures. Quenching in hot oil is a slower process compared to quenching in fast oil. Because oil is flammable, workers must know the flashpoint of the oil in use as well as the load weight and surface area of the products in the workload to avoid fires during quenching.

 Molten salt; Quenching metal parts in molten salt (also called salt baths) comes with a further reduced risk of distortion or cracking of parts because they’re hotter than hot oils. This means cooling is more controlled and uniform compared to colder, faster and more severe quenches. The hotter the quenchant, the less severe the quench. The less severe the quench, the lower the risk of distortion. Different mixtures of salts have different melting points and working ranges, offering added versatility as a quenching option. On the other end of the spectrum, some salt mixtures have high melting points and working ranges and can be used to heat parts.  Salt baths are a long-lasting heat treating and quenching solution as long as they’re properly maintained. This includes ensuring oxides are regularly removed from high-heat salts and sledging out high-heat salts that contaminate quench salts on salt-to-salt lines.

 Gas; Quenching metal via gas in vacuum furnaces has become more popular for parts that require high hardness and specific finishes with significantly reduced risk of distortion. In gas quenching, parts are sealed in a vacuum chamber before being blasted with gases. The rate of cooling of a part can be precisely controlled by adjusting the pressure and speed at which the gas is delivered. Additionally, since gas quenches occur in vacuum chambers, parts emerge significantly cleaner compared to other quenching media. Nitrogen is the most popular gas quenchant due to its relatively low atomic mass, wide availability and low cost. Helium and argon are also used in gas quenching. Specified material properties dictate which gas quenchants are to be used. High-alloy tool steels and jet engine turbines are common examples of parts often quenched in gas.” 

ThermoFusion Adds Austempering and Marquenching Capability

“ThermoFusion, the pre-eminent supplier of brazing and heat treating services in Northern California, has announced the expansion of their heat treating services. ThermoFusion now offers marquenching and austempering, in addition to their annealing, hardening, vacuum and hydrogen services. Marquenching and austempering use a less aggressive quenchant, reducing the cooling rate slightly, and reducing distortion caused by rapid temperature change (thermal shock).  In high carbon material, these alternative processes allow for the formation of bainite instead of martensite, which allows spring steels to remain “springy” as they get hard. “Marquenching and austempering are not readily available from California heat treaters, due to their complex process parameters. We’re proud that we’re able to offer these expanded capabilities to our customers.”, said Glen Ottinger, President of ThermoFusion. For more information, contact Nils Kjell, Director of Sales & Marketing, at 510-782-7755 x225 or nkjell@thermo-fusion.com.  Visit ThermoFusion on the web at thermo-fusion.com.” August 16, 2017   

Where Are They Now? Jeff Bell

We had several dealings with Jeff Bell over the years, during his times with Hinderliter, Lindberg and subsequently Bodycote. We always found him to be a friendly, competent guy which was why over his 38 years in the industry he held positions such as Regional Manager for Hinderliter (now Bodycote), Integration Manager for the acquisitions of Brasimet in Brazil by Bodycote and subsequently Group Operations Director for Bodycote Oklahoma, Texas and California. We lost track of him some time ago but just ran across him in a completely different industry. Apparently after he left Bodycote Jeff completely left the heat treating industry for the retail business, namely Home Brewind and Grilling. Now that is quite a change of direction. August 16, 2017   

Unitrat Tratamento Termico, Brazil

Boasting one of the ten largest economies in the world Brazil has long had a large heat treating industry both captive and commercial. The past few years have not been kind to the heat treating industry in the country and while things are improving Brazil has always had it’s own special challenges. For instance Bodycote invested heavily in their plants in Brazil but at the end of the day they never proved to be a profitable as hoped for  (profitable at all might be the question) and the company exited the Brazilian market some time back. We at “The Monty” have always had a fascination with the country so we were interested to learn recently that some ex Bodycote employees have been hard at work growing one of the local heat treaters. Marcio Magalhaes, who was the GM at the Bodycote,  Jundiai Plant and Cassiano Horta who was the GM at the Campinas plant bought a small, struggling heat treat by the name of Unitrat Tratamento Termico and have turned it into a growing shop concentrating on continuous furnace. We look forward to some more details about the company but we leave you with these photos from the Bodycote era in Brazil. August 15, 2017   

 

P.H. Heat Treatment/South Africa.

The article below from commercial heat treater P.H. Heat Treatment in South Arica (one of the largest in the country) caught our eye as in just 3 short weeks “The Monty” will be visiting this plant along with several others in South Africa and reporting on the heat treating industry in that country. “Since it obtained its licence from heat treating and manufacturing services company Nitrex, in Canada, heat treatment specialist P.H. Heat Treatment provides the automotive industry with controlled nitriding and ferritic nitrocarburising processes for automotive components, which form part of the Nitreg® range. “The difference between these processes and conventional gas and salt bath nitriding is the ability to control the nitride (white) layer hardness and thickness, overall case depth and hardness, resulting in excellent quality and repeatability. Further, each Nitreg® treatment is tailored to the requirements of each type of component,” says P.H. Heat Treatment managing member Cecil B Zlotnick. He adds that these processes are all carried out at low temperatures between 450 ºC and 600 ºC, compared with conventional case hardening. The Nitreg® processes result in hard-wearing, anti-seizure and corrosion resisting surfaces.

Zlotnick says that all automotive components are subject to stringent quality testing after heat treatment, supported by a fully equipped metallographic laboratory. “Here components or test pieces accompanying them are checked for case depth, microhardness and microstructure.” He notes that the Nitreg® process is applied to automotive components such as actuator housings, bearings and needles, brake pistons, camshafts, crankshafts, clutch hubs, engine valves, gears, piston rings, rocker arms, fuel injectors, seat tracks, wiper shafts and shock absorbers. P.H. Heat Treatment received the licence from Nitrex in 2004 and has been providing high-quality heat treatment on automotive components since then. Zlotnick further points out that, if manufacturers wish to extend or initiate high technology component manufacturing currently not produced in the country, P.H. Heat Treatment is able to support them with its expertise in a range of heat treatment. The company has also provided conventional processes for various industries, including automotive, such as neutral hardening, atmosphere normalising, carbon restoration, various case hardening treatments (gas carburised and carbonitrided), annealing and tempering, as well as subzero treatment.”  August 15, 2017   

Alcoa Commissions 3 “Hot Box” Systems

“Alcoa, Warrick IN, a major producer of sheet aluminum for ring pull cans, etc. have recently commissioned three PhoenixTM ‘hot box’ systems for monitoring the temperature profile of aluminum slabs through their pusher preheat furnaces.  Each system is embedded into a slab and gathers temperature data from thermocouples set deep within the product to ensure all parts of the slab have reached the specified rolling temperature, maximizing efficiency of the preheat operation and avoiding excessive roll wear.  A 10 channel data logger with two way RF capability transmits the temperature data out of the furnace to a PC running PhoenixTM ‘Thermal View’ software, allowing complete analysis of the process. As these processes are long duration and high temperature, the thermal barriers supplied used evaporative technology (evaporating water) to protect the data logger. Because the aluminum slabs rotate through 180° as they enter and exit the pusher furnace, the PhoenixTM systems were engineered to retain the evaporating water during the rotation, maximizing the thermal performance. The systems were designed to fit within the boundaries of the aluminum slab, and allowed easy access to the data logger when loading and unloading from the hot slab. For more information visit www.phoenixtm.com”  August 15, 2017   

Monday Morning Briefing

We start off in the UK with the Contract Heat Treat Association (The MTI Equivalent in the UK) with this announcement; The UK’s Contract Heat Treatment Association will again be partnering the Surface Engineering Association and Wolfson Heat Treatment Centre in co-sponsoring the second “Surface Engineering & Heat Treatment Industry Conference/Exhibition” on 13 October 2017. Staged in England’s historic Kenilworth, initial information about the event can be found at www.sea.org.uk/events/index.htm/surface-engineering-heat-treatment-industry-conference-2017. Offers of presentations on advances in industrial heat treatment processing will be welcomed by CHTA’s Alan J Hick at mail@chta.co.uk.”  

Commercial heat treater Paulo in the US has these two mentions; Dustin Lawhon joined Paulo July 31st.  As our Nashville plant grows so does the customer base.  Dustin is tasked with strengthening our partnerships with existing Nashville customers and supporting them as they grow. Dustin will be based at the Nashville plant and reports to William Rassieur, Vice President Sales. Paulo is happy to announce Emily Rassieur is joining us effective July 31st. Her role, HR Management Associate, is a new one which is designed to provide exposure to a variety of HR disciplines and provide management training and experience. She will be based in St. Louis at Paulo Corporate Headquarters.” Commercial heat treater Byron Products in Fairfield, Ohio is adding some more mesh belt processing capacity in the form of an Abbott furnace.

If you are in the market for furnaces for processing aluminum wheels there is an auction coming up which includes a number of aluminum ovens all made by Major Engineering in Australia. The only catch is that the auction is in Australia which is not going to be of interest to most people. Now here is a scary sight, heat treat rep Marty Keylon in CA assembling flow meters! Now that we have had our fun at Marty’s expense this is what he has to say; “I spent a week in Milwaukee “Waukee Engineering” and Cincinnati “UPC United Process Controls” doing some rep training. I learned all about Instruments “well I knew a little” UPC’s many different models and all the Oxygen Probe’s they have. Spent some time in the factory building probes and looking at all the different processes they do to calibrate and test the probes and instruments.”

 

Induction company Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic has a new manager for Tubular Products; “Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic (ATM) announces the promotion of  Donald Gibeaut to “Manager Tubular Products.” Don has worked in the induction industry for over 36 years and has achieved great success in the pipe and tube markets. In his new position, Don will work with all ATM brands to promote and increase market share in the tubular industry including Heat Treat, Quench and Temper lines, Emmedi welders, coating systems and all other associated tubular processing products. Don has a background in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State University and has participated as FIA Instructor, Tenaris University Instructor and presented many papers for AMM, FIA and Brazil Senafor Conference.”

 “Solar Manufacturing Receives Vacuum Furnace Hot Zone Improvement Patent; A new U.S. Patent, No. 9,702,627 B2, was awarded on July 11, 2017 to Solar Manufacturing, Inc. for an innovation in vacuum furnace hot zone design.  This hot zone improvement centers on the configuration of heating element supports, providing for simpler, streamlined manufacture of the support assembly.  The new design further provides for easy assembly and disassembly of heating elements, a significant improvement over prior designs. Inventors are Robert Wilson, Solar Manufacturing’s VP of Engineering, and Mark Hughes, Senior Design Engineer. Copies of U.S. Patent No. 9,702,627 B2 may be obtained by visiting www.uspto.gov.  For additional information about Solar Manufacturing, visit www.solarmfg.com, or call Keith Reim, Corporate Marketing Manager, at (215) 721-1502.” August 14, 2017   

Ipsen Press Release

Shipping 15 atmosphere and vacuum furnaces last quarter, Ipsen USA continues to provide diverse, effective heat-treating solutions to customers around the world. This equipment was sent to China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United States – all in support of the Aerospace, Commercial Heat Treating and MIM industries. The shipments included:

  • Two large, vertical (bottom-loading) MetalMaster® vacuum furnaces, each with a 120” (3 m) diameter work zone and 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) load capacity.
  • Five standard TITAN® vacuum furnaces complete with PdMetrics® (Ipsen’s cloud-based predictive maintenance platform that provides real-time diagnostics, text alerts and peace of mind).
  • Debind and sinter vacuum furnaces for the MIM industry.
  • ATLAS integral quench atmosphere furnace, which was delivered six weeks after order placement.
  • Several sophisticated, custom-built vacuum furnaces that will process parts for the Aerospace industry.

Several customers also took advantage of the ICS (Ipsen Customer Service) Team’s aftermarket support offerings, ordering spare parts kits to help keep the furnace running smoothly. Ipsen’s global ICS Team provides comprehensive, ongoing support throughout the equipment’s life span for any brand of furnace. This includes facilitating system installations, as well as providing startup assistance, expert training, spare parts and maintenance  programs. You can learn more about the extensive support and training they offer at www.IpsenUSA.com/ICS. For immediate technical support, to order parts, schedule service and more, call the Aftermarket Support Helpline at 1-844-Go-Ipsen (1-844-464-7736). August 11, 2017   

Why nitriding steel is growing in popularity/Paulo

Summary; Nitriding has continued to evolve from its roots of accidental discovery in early 20th century metallurgy. Today, the process is becoming chosen for a broadening variety of parts and applications across industries due to its relatively low temperature and precision.

Why nitriding steel is growing in popularity; A case-hardening technique in use since the early 20th century, nitriding steel has been an effective lower-temperature heat treatment for workpieces since even before engineers and metallurgists fully understood it. Its appeal lies in the ability to harden a part by dissolving nitrogen into its surface without austenitizing, thus all but eliminating the risk of distortion. That opened the door for improving an ever-widening variety of parts. Its popularity grows as the industry realizes the technique is effective across a broad variety of parts and applications.

Origin of nitriding steel; Metallurgist Adolph Machlet developed nitriding by accident in 1906. That year, he applied for a patent that called for replacing atmosphere air in a furnace with ammonia to avoid oxidation of steel parts. Shortly after he sent the patent application off, he noticed that treating parts in an ammonia atmosphere at elevated temperatures caused a “skin, casing, shell or coating” to develop around a piece that was extremely difficult to corrode or tarnish. Also in 1906, German metallurgist Adolph Fry led a research program during which he made the same discoveries Machlet made. He also noticed that adding alloying elements to iron heavily influenced the results of nitriding. Machlet’s patents for nitriding in the U.S. were approved in 1913 and 1914; Fry received patents in Germany for his process in 1924.

How it works; The process of nitriding steel begins by heating parts in a furnace to a relatively low temperature (between 950 and 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on a part’s intended use) compared to other heat treatment methods. At these low temperatures, the iron remains ferritic—that is, the phase changes that alter the structure of the iron do not occur. But the temperature is high enough for ammonia molecules injected into the furnace to break apart once they contact the workpiece. That breakup releases nitrogen atoms, which dissolve in the steel and form the desired diffusion zone. A minimal intermetallic compound layer also forms. One benefit of nitriding steel as opposed to using other heat treatments is that modern nitriding equipment allows for computer-controlled injection of ammonia to achieve varying case depths. Another is that parts are slow cooled rather than cooled rapidly via quenching, a process that further limits the risk of distortion. The precision of the process is such that parts’ intended qualities are achieved in a single step; they do not need to be softened down to specifications via tempering.

Increasing popularity; Because nitriding steel workpieces offers superior surface qualities with minimal risk of distortion, the process has become a mainstay treatment of parts across a variety of industries:

  • Manufacturers of automotive parts choose to nitride gears, crankshafts and valve parts because the process imparts hard diffusion layers to the part surface. The increased fatigue strength resists the formation of surface and subsurface cracks.
  • Nitriding has become an attractive heat treatment option for makers of tool steels and forging dies because it imparts added surface hardness without the risk of distortion and resists tempering on forging dies and soldering on aluminum casting dies.
  • Makers of firearms nitride components such as gun barrels and slides because the process decreases friction coefficients, increases wear resistance and fatigue strength and imparts moderate corrosion control.

Expect to see the popularity of nitriding to continue to increase. The techniques and technologies in play will only get better; the process will only become more precise. If engineers haven’t considered new material and design possibilities that can arise from specifying nitriding, now is a good time to start. August 11, 2017   

Linamar De Mexico, S.A.

Auto parts giant Linamar has just closed the heat treating department at their facility in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. This location was founded in 1998 and has always included a fairly large captive heat treating department consisting of a number of Lindberg batch IQ furnaces, a picture of which can be seen here. The heat treat department was always a well run asset for this location however with a change in the material the heat treating department became redundant. The furnaces have all been sold and are going to another company in Mexico. August 10, 2017    

AMG Financial Results

Not familiar with the name Advanced Metallurgical Group? Perhaps heat treaters will be more familiar with ALD and ALD Thermal Treatment of which AMG is the parent company. The group just announced their second quarter financial results a summary of which can be found here. ALD Thermal Treatment operates three commercial heat treating facilities, one in Germany, one in Mexico and one in the US which is also the single largest commercial heat treat in the US. ALD the furnace company offers vacuum carburizing systems, vacuum nitriders, and vacuum furnaces amongst other offerings. August 10, 2017    

“AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has reported fiscal results for its second quarter 2017. According to the company’s report, it recorded a total revenue of $262 million for Q2 2017, up 6% from $248.3 million in the same period 2016. EBITDA for the second quarter 2017 was $31.9 million, a 22% increase from $26.0 million in the second quarter 2016. Net income attributable to shareholders slightly decreased to $13.1 million in the second quarter 2017 from $13.4 million in the second quarter 2016. Dr Heinz Schimmelbusch, Chairman of AMG’s Management Board and CEO, commented, “We are very pleased that AMG’s strong cash flow generation for the first six months of 2017 enabled the company to end the quarter with net debt in line with the prior year end, despite substantial capital investments in the first half of 2017 in AMG’s lithium project in Brazil, and titanium aluminide expansion in Germany.” AMG Engineering; AMG Engineering designs, engineers, and produces advanced vacuum furnace systems and operates vacuum heat treatment facilities, primarily for the transportation and energy industries. The segment reportedly signed $76.9 million in new orders during the second quarter 2017. According to AMG, the Engineering segment continues to experience strong demand for turbine blade coating, Powder Metallurgy and plasma remelting furnaces for the aerospace market and heat treatment furnaces for the automotive market. “The strong results in AMG Engineering reflect our efforts to diversify our product offerings in recent years, including the introduction of powder metallurgy and SyncroTherm in-line heat treatment furnaces,” stated Schimmelbusch.” 

 

Metal Treating & Research Company Fire

Commercial heat treater Metal Treating & Research Company in Denver, Colorado suffered a very serious fire recently, the details such as they are, are below. Metal Treating & Research is one of the few commercial heat treaters and certainly the largest in Colorado, a beautiful state but not known for manufacturing.

“ADAMS COUNTY – A metal treatment facility was evacuated Wednesday afternoon as crews from multiple agencies worked to put out a fire. Adams County Fire tweeted about the blaze at around 1:30 p.m. As of 3:30 p.m., firefighters said the blaze was mostly out, but crews are still working on hot spots.  One firefighter is being evaluated for minor injuries. Smoke was seen billowing from the building, and at least one wall suffered heavy damage.” August 9, 2017    

Mainstream Engineering/Rockledge, Florida

“A controlled atmosphere aluminum brazing (CAB) system has been installed by Mainstream Engineering. This system will be used in the manufacturing of advanced heat exchangers and cold plates for military, government and commercial applications. This system allows Mainstream to braze a wide assortment of very large cold plates and heat exchangers using a variety of aluminum alloys. On a selective basis, Mainstream will also be offering tours of their CAB facility to those with an active interest in aluminum brazing. According to Mainstream Engineering’s Technology Leader for Thermal Control, Dr. Josh Sole, ʺWe’re pleased to expand our research and production capabilities with the addition of a new system that enables us to process a wide variety of products quickly and efficiently.”  SECO/WARWICK Corp. Managing Director Jonathan Markley remarked, ʺSECO/WARWICK is committed to delivering brazing technology that provides our customers with the flexibility they need to meet the ongoing challenge of adapting to new alloys and customer requirements.”

Based in Rockledge, FL, Mainstream Engineering is a solution-oriented business specializing in manufacturing, and research and development. They have been manufacturing equipment and performing R&D for most U.S. government agencies as well as many government prime contractors for over 30 years. They are new to the CAB industry and just purchased their first CAB furnace to produce heat exchangers and electronic cold plates that will integrate with their high-heat-flux active thermal control systems. Bringing the CAB system in-house improves quality by providing process control of all variables, ensures confidentiality with sensitive military solutions, and lowers costs and lead times.

SECO/WARWICK’s Universal Batch CAB line is a standard CAB product offering. This line offers versatility through its ability to braze products in both horizontal and vertical orientations. It provides tight temperature uniformity, atmosphere integrity, and can be used as a batch R&D line for periodic production or as a production line working 24/7. It also has faster heat-up rate abilities which will allow braze temperatures for trials to be prepared within hours instead of full shifts.” August 9, 2017    

ECM USA Vacuum Furnaces

ECM USA Vacuum Furnaces, have recently purchased a PhoenixTM through furnace temperature monitoring system for their new ‘Synergy Center’ R + D plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The system will be used in their NANO furnace for developing heat treatment recipes for customer products, furnace development, TUS surveys, and commissioning at customer plants. The PhoenixTM system will operate in low pressure carburizing and carbonitriding environments using a PTM12 series 20 channel data logger to store and transmit (via RF) data directly from inside the furnace. The RF telemetry used in this system is capable of two way transmission, allowing reset and data ‘catch up’ when required. The PhoenixTM system is particularly suitable for temperature profiling in LP carburizing furnaces where trailing thermocouples are time consuming and difficult to use, as it can be charged and discharged to the furnace as a normal load. August 8, 2017   

Related technical paper: http://www.phoenixtm.com/assets/Uploads/industry-application/Challenges-and-Benefits-of-Temperature-Profiling-in-the-Heat-Treatment-Industry.pdf For more information visit www.phoenixtm.com

PhoenixTM TS02-130-1 ‘hot box’ system with 20 channel data logger)

Automotive Corporation’s Bearing Division Bolsters Production

A global automotive corporation’s American based bearing division placed an order with Can-Eng Furnaces International for a mesh belt furnace system for heat treating thrust races, retainer/cages, and washers. The new, CQI-9 compliant production line features built-in flexibility that allows for both neutral hardening and carburizing. Included with the system is: An atmosphere controlled hardening furnace, salt quench, two-stage post-quench washing system, salt reclamation unit, temper furnace salt holding tank and CAN-ENG’s Level 2 SCADA system – PETTM. The electrically heated system utilizes unique loading combinations on its belt to meet production requirements while achieving the customer’s required low residence times for the system’s hardener and quench. Additionally, through the integration of CAN-ENG’s PETTM System, the automotive supplier gains access to vital tracking of products’ status, detailed process data for continuous process improvements, comprehensive equipment diagnostics, cost analysis, & inventory management. August 8, 2017   

Canadian Civic Holiday.

Due to the national Canadian Civic Holiday we will be resuming regular updates on Tuesday August 8, 2017. August 7, 2017   

Press Release from Waukesha WI

To this brief press release we will also say that Therm-Tech is one of the largest commercial heat treaters in the US Midwest with over 100 employees. August 4, 2017   

“Therm-Tech of Waukesha successfully completed the API Q1 audit from the American Petroleum Institute. The API Q1 quality standard is developed and published by the American Petroleum Institute. API Q1 certification is intended for organizations that supply products and services to the oil and natural gas industries. API Q1 is related to the ISO 9001 standard and places a heavy emphasis on Risk assessment, risk management, management of change and contingency planning. Therm-Tech is one of the only commercial heat treating companies in the US to achieve this certification.”

Bloom Engineering Press Release

“In an effort to allow for better focus on key industry sectors of aluminum and steel, Bloom Engineering has reorganized its sales team into two industry focused teams.  Don Whipple and Scott Brown will head the aluminum and steel teams respectively.  Each team will focus on its own area of expertise, and will be able to provide better support to existing industry customers.  Furthermore, it will be easier to coordinate efforts to capture more market share and to bring in new customers. Mr. Whipple has spent his entire career in combustion with a particular focus on the aluminum industry, and has designed, commissioned and fixed countless systems for all facets of aluminum production.  Mr. Brown comes to Bloom from a furnace OEM, bringing a depth of knowledge and experience of steel making, with a particular focus on processing lines such as galvanizing and annealing. Michael Black, Vice President of Sales is excited about the possibilities.  “Scott and Don bring a tremendous wealth of experience in their respective segments of steel and aluminum; [the new sales structure] should help us spread their specific application knowledge within the group, and more importantly to our customers.”Matt Valancius has been promoted to Director of Marketing and Aftersales Support, including all spare parts sales and service support.  Mr. Valancius earned a Bachelors and an MBA from University of Pittsburgh, and has held various positions in Bloom over the past twelve years.  He ably led the marketing group immediately prior to the promotion; his expanded role will allow for a cohesive approach to aftermarket activities for a smoother customer experience.” August 4, 2017   

Where Are They Now? Chris Bixler

After many years with Applied Process in Livonia, Michigan most recently as Manager of Engineering, Quality and Information Systems Chris recently became Plant Manager of Metlab in Wyndmoor, PA. Applied Process has two locations in the US with the second in Oshkosh, WI. We have always considered the term “recognized industry leader” to be a very overused phrase but in this case we have to say that when it comes to salt quenching and particularily the ADI process it does apply to Applied Process. Metlab is a long established commercial heat treater who has some of the largest pit carburizing furnaces in North America. August 3, 2017   

Are Things Picking Up in Texas?

It’s been tough times in Texas over the past few years due entirely to the oil and gas industry slow down but are things picking up? The general consensus is that the future is looking up and at least one heat treater has decided that more capacity is in order. Texas Heat Treating Inc., based in Round Rock and with a location in Fort Worth has just added more capacity in the form of a Surface Combustion 36” X 72” batch IQ furnace bringing the total between the two locations to 15 not counting their Super 30 line or pit furnaces. Granted this was a furnace which was actually bought new a couple of years back but the fact that Texas Heat Treating is now brining it on line tells you they see business growing. By the way both of their labs are now 17025 accredited which they are pretty proud of. August 3, 2017   

Hauck Heat Treatment/Dzierżoniów, Poland

From Hauck, one of the larger commercial heat treaters in the world we have this press release about a new wash system the company has just installed in their facility in Poland. We had the opportunity to visit this plant when it was brand new and it is a beauty as you can see in the one photo below. The new wash systems compliments an already impeccable facility.  “In June 2017, due to the continuous development of Hauck Heat Treatment Dzierżoniów and our desire to improve process quality, we installed a new EMO Oberflächentechnik cleaning and degreasing machine (model VAIOCS S), with a batch size of 1220mm x 910mm x 760mm.” August 3, 2017   

Metals India earns Aerospace accreditation, bags govt. contracts

For years now one of the largest readership areas for “The Monty” has been India and their growing heat treating market. As a consequence we received this press release from Metal India one of the largest commercial heat treaters in the country and one whose banner ad can be found on this page. August 2, 2017   

“Metals India, North India’s largest heat treatment services (for automotive industry) provider, is pleased to announce that it has earned AS9100C quality management certification for aerospace industry following a recent audit. Metals India has long served India’s automotive manufacturers. The certification is a part of the company’s ongoing expansion strategy to foray into the aviation sector. Aerospace companies, right from small component manufacturers to aerospace primes, can now avail highest quality heat treatment services at competitive prices.

The 38-year-old firm has also bagged prestigious government contracts in the aviation industry. Metals India recently also joined hands with the country’s first private small arms manufacturing plant to provide heat treatment services to components of small weapons like X95 carbine and assault rifle, Galil sniper rifle, Tavor assault rifle and Negev Light Machine Gun (LMG). This is a part of India’s first JV with the Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) under the “Make in India” campaign. About Metals India: Metals India specializes in providing heat treatment services for the complete manufacturing industries, including Defense, Railway, Aerospace, Automobile, Surgical, plastic molds, tools & Dies etc. The company has acquired an enviable position in the Indian industry since last 3 decades as a commercial heat treater. The Indian company brought about a revolution in heat treatment space with latest technology in Vacuum Furnaces, Plasma Nitriding and Induction Hardening. It has been widely recognized for high standards, quality and service. Metals India, under the leadership of Chairman Mr. Rakesh Gupta, also heads ASM’s North India Chapter and is instrumental in building trade synergies among materials professionals and organizations.”

Ajax TOCCO Press Release

“Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic has completed the installation of a twin bead weld preheat system for SAW (submerged arc weld) process at a manufacturer of high capacity heavy duty fork / lift trucks. This is the second installation at this facility for Ajax TOCCO. The first install was single bead preheat system. The new twin bead floating inductor weld preheat system simultaneously heats two corners of a 30-foot long, 5-ton weldment at a rate of 28 inches per minute to 250 degrees F. The sections of the weldment that are joined are 1-inch thick. Preheat time has been reduced from 2 hours down to 10 seconds. Over 700,000 BTU’s worth of natural gas-fired infrared heaters have been replaced with a single Ajax TOCCO 35 kW TOCCOtron AC induction heating power source. Total fabrication time was reduced by over 60%, allowing the manufacturer to produce one weldment per shift versus one weldment every 2.5 shifts. For more information; Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic Corporation, sales@ajaxtocco.com www.ajaxtocco.com” August 2, 2017   

Ion/Gas Nitriding Comparison

From Michel Korwin, founder of Nitrex we have these very interesting thoughts about Ion Nitriding as opposed to Gas Nitriding. August 1, 2017   

“A few weeks ago, I read an interesting article written by Edward Rolinski, in which he presented in a very accessible and professional manner the basic differences between Gas and Plasma (Ion) nitriding technologies. As you certainly know, Nitrex has been specializing in Gas nitriding/nitrocarburizing technologies for over 30 years. In fact, I built our first Gas nitriding furnace in 1984, with fully automatic controls based on PLC and a PC running an early DOS operating system, and it ran successfully for 15 years. Over the years we installed close to 500 nitriding systems in more than 70 countries and also spent over $15M on R&D developing nitriding technologies together with furnace hardware and supporting software and controls.

Today, Nitrex is more than a supplier of turn-key nitriding installations; it also operates a large international network of commercial heat treating plants. We not only offer the largest Gas nitriding capacity in the US, but also a significant amount of Ion nitriding services as well. Based on our accumulated experience with both technologies over the years, I thought it would be interesting to elaborate on the differences between these two. Ion or Gas nitriding each have their own ideal applications, but neither of them is a universal solution for all applications. For instance, Ion nitriding is the only choice for nitriding powder metallurgy parts with low density and it is also very efficient for parts with very large masking surfaces, while Gas nitriding is unbeatable with low and medium carbon steel as well as cast iron.

In Mr. Rolinski’s article, details about emission control have been overlooked and I believe it’s important to clarify a misconception on the subject. Even though Gas nitriding uses ammonia in the process atmosphere, there are high efficiency neutralizers like the Nitrex IN Series that eliminate the effluent gas problem and thus make the process compliant to the most stringent international emission standards. In the case of Ion nitriding, it needs to be mentioned that although it does not use ammonia in the process, it uses nitrogen and hydrogen, which by reverse reaction produce ammonia at the exhaust end of the furnace. When comparing the two technologies it is also important to note the following;

  • the requirements of batch washing is very similar for both technologies
  • the preparation of a batch is much simpler for a gas process and therefore the preparation costs in most cases are lower
  • Rolinski writes that a traditional Gas nitriding furnace, even with automatic control, can consume up to 100 times more than an Ion one. This, however is incorrect with respect to advanced Nitrex technology. Our furnace consumes a very similar amount of gas to what an Ion one does for a comparable batch.
  • The common marketing argument used by Ion manufacturers is the shorter processing time for Ion. This also is incorrect when comparing it with an advanced Nitrex system for which process times from floor to floor are shorter.
  • An important element for users is CAPEX and ROI. The initial investment cost for an Ion installation and a very good quality Gas Nitriding System like Nitrex, is very similar. The difference in ROI is 2-3 times faster in advanced Gas than in an Ion system with the assumption that the selling price is the same per part treated. This is due to the ability of 2-3 times the density of the Gas vs. Ion charge with the ability of obtaining the highest homogeneity and repeatability.
  • Due to the lack of basic elements of thermochemical control, which perhaps does not constitute a major obstacle for repetitive loads, but is definitely a major difficulty for varying charges, Ion nitriding requires operators with very high qualifications. With Nitrex Gas nitriding, on the contrary, the operator is not involved in any technological decisions and his qualifications not relevant.

Both technologies have greatly improved over the years and surmounted many of the problems encountered in the past. Today they are complementary in many ways; however, neither is necessarily the best solution for everything. One still has to weigh the benefits and shortcomings before using either method. Finally, I hope that these comments have further shed some light on the subject of nitriding and will instigate even more interest in these technologies.” Best regards, Michel J. Korwin

Monday Morning Briefing

Just last week global commercial heat treater Bodycote announced their Interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2017, a very brief summary of which can be found here with the complete report available at http://www.bodycote.com/en The markets loved the results by the way with the share price either at record highs or pretty close to it; Bodycote achieved strong revenue growth in the first half, with good momentum in virtually all parts of the Group. Notably, the General Industrial business, which represents almost 40% of Group revenues, experienced a broad based recovery after over three years of decline. Automotive and Aerospace also moved ahead. Bodycote revenues grew 18.8% to £345.7m in the first half (2016: £291.0m) corresponding to a growth of 8.3% at constant exchange rates. The five sites acquired in 2016 provided 3.5% of the constant currency growth such that organic constant currency growth was 4.8%. The contribution of recent greenfield investments made up 2.0% of the growth at constant exchange rates. The remaining 2.8% of the constant currency growth stems primarily from the macro-economic tailwind the Group has seen since the second half of 2016. Oil & gas remains a drag on growth although now much less pronounced than in previous periods. The onshore business in North America did register strong growth in the second quarter but subsea continued to decline.” Diamond Heat Treat in Rockford, Illinois, USA recently announced that they had purchased a new Ipsen “Titan” vacuum furnace, we now have a photo of the unit installed. Diamond if you recall was purchased earlier this year by a venture capital firm by the name of Calvert Street.

Centre for Heat Treating Excellence Award. “Columbus resident and Cummins Inc. employee Steve Ferdon received the Distinguished Service Award from the Center for Heat Treating Excellence at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The award is presented to an individual who has made a significant, commendable and long-standing contributions to the promotion of CHTE as well as the heat treating industry. Ferdon is the director of Global Engineering Technology in the Fuel Systems business unit as Cummins. He has been a member of CHTE since 2010 and has served as chair of its board of directors since 2012. CHTE is an academic-industry partnership headquartered on the campus of WPI in Worcester, Massachusets.” Precision Heat Treat out in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada has been sold. Precision is a reasonably small commercial heat treater (which reflects the amount of manufacturing in BC) which has been owned and run for the past 20 years by Helen and John Davidson. They have been looking for a buyer for some time and we are pleased that it finally worked out for them. John Levensky has been in the heat treating industry for many years, typically in a sales position for companies such as Bodycote, Solar Atmospheres and until recently Accurate Steel Treating in Southgate, California. John very recently made a move and is now Business Development Manager for Delta Heat Treating in Huntington Beach, CA.

Wallwork Press Release. “Wallwork Group are at Offshore Europe 2017 on Stand 3C147. Many manufacturers in the oil, gas and energy industries rely on the company’s services to ensure that their engineered components meet the stringent quality standards needed in such harsh environments. The company is Schlumberger approved and operates to ISO9100 and ISO9001. As a major supplier of heat treatment services to the aerospace industry, they also enjoy main tier manufacturer approvals. Wallwork use their own fleet of vehicles from three locations and provide a nationwide 24/7 operation to ensure fast order turn-around. Hardening and tempering imparts optimum hardness, strength and toughness. Sometimes this can help component designers save weight and material by avoiding unnecessary over-engineering. Another advantage is a potential to eliminate additional final finishing processes – saving both time and money. Plasma and gas nitriding has many benefits for the oil and gas industry manufacturers. Particularly, increasing wear and anti-galling properties significantly improves finished part performance. Tufftride and Quench-Polish-Quench services produce parts that are exceptionally hard wearing and resist fatigue whilst ensuring there is minimal or no dimensional change. Also, surfaces begin to exhibit a self-lubricating behaviour.”

Commercial heat treater Paulo has been making some very large investments in their Nashville, TN, USA facility over the past couple of years; The past two years Paulo has significantly invested in the Nashville Division. The facility was expanded, adding 30,000 sq ft. from an adjacent building which was connected to the existing facility. Updates to the vacuum department include a SECO vacuum furnace capable of low pressure carburizing and the installation of a GM (60″x36″x36″) vacuum furnace with 15 bar quench and an 8000lb capacity. Also added were two deep freeze units and 8 Paulo designed tempers. The atmosphere department has also grown.  The integral quench line has been expanded by purchasing and installing two new AFC 36X48X36 furnaces. The furnaces are fully equipped to provide conventional heat treat processes as carburize, carbonitride, neutral hardening but has been expanded to include hot oil quenching and ferritic nitrocarburizing . Three Paulo built tempers were added to support the increase in capacity. A pass-thru washer has been purchased and will be installed in the 3rd Quarter of 2017.  As far as the future goes Paulo has this to say; “The final vacuum furnace is being installed and will be released for production in August of 2017. Coming soon are new office spaces including plant management offices, conference rooms, customer experience center, and a remodeled quality laboratory. Our Nashville team has grown with the plant, from 46 employees at the end of 2015 to over 60 today.” July 31, 2017   

Summer Holidays

The offices of WG Montgomery Ltd., (The Monty) will be closed for summer holidays from Monday July 24 until Monday July 31 when regular news items will resume. July 24, 2017   

Ipsen 1 Million Dollar Investment

Ipsen believes that one of the most valuable things a company can do is invest in others. They are also committed to advancing the heat-treating industry with the latest innovations and updated equipment. As part of that commitment, they are investing $1,000,000 in the industry this year. Companies can take advantage of Ipsen’s investment by trading in their old furnace to receive a $50,000 credit toward the purchase of a new TITAN® vacuum furnace (applies to the 2017 list price of any TITAN model). Ipsen will accept a trade in of any brand heat-treating furnace (vacuum or atmosphere) in any condition. To receive this credit, transactions must take place by October 31, and the new TITAN furnace must ship from Ipsen’s facility by December 31, 2017.

The TITAN vacuum furnace comes complete with PdMetrics®, an advanced predictive maintenance software platform, and it incorporates years of customer feedback to deliver user-friendly features, all while maintaining a global platform, small footprint and short delivery times. Available in several sizes and horizontal or vertical configurations, the TITAN provides powerful performance for both experienced and first-time heat treaters. It is Ipsen’s hope that this investment results in future growth and innovations – for you, your customers and the industry as a whole. Learn more about this opportunity at www.IpsenUSA.com/Invest.  

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 an extensive network of global locations and partnerships in America, Europe and Asia, along with representation in 34 countries, we continue to provide expert-driven solutions that strengthen heat treatment throughout the world. Learn more at www.IpsenUSA.comJuly 24, 2017   

Thermotec 2017

Thermotec 2017 is the largest heat treat show in Japan and similar to Thermprocess in Germany it is also held every 4 years, this year it is July 19 to 21 which means it is just starting. Ian Chen who is in attendance very kindly sent us these photos. July 21, 2017   

Ian Chen and Dick Lu of Marstate Industrial Corporatio

Ian Chen and Xiao Jun Zhu (General Manager of Fengdong Corporation)

Ian Chen and Johnny Xu ( general manager of Marathon China)