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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   

Used Equipment

“The Monty” has one of the most complete lists of Used Heat Treating Furnaces in North America, a list which is updated weekly. 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.  August 21, 2018   

Item # VF341 Ipsen VFC-424-R Vacuum Furnace $35,000 USD
Item # I178 Inductoheat Pick & Place Induction System $85,000 USD
Item # VF340 Vac Aero 2 Bar Vacuum Furnace $220,000 USD
Item # B458 Box Furnace, 70” X 42” 2,000F $80.000 USD
Item # VF339 Centorr Vacuum Furnace $25,000 USD
Item # B457 Surface Combustion “Super 72” $29,000 USD

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   

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.  August 21, 2018    

Item # O350 Sales Agents Wanted
Item # O349 Heat Treat Engineer Needed at AAM
Item # SE001 Metallurgical Engineer Seeking Employment

Item # O348 1st. Shift Maintenance Technician / Supervisor
Item # O347 Heat Treating Manager/Metallurgist/Materials Engineer

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   

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