Ipsen China-Pusher Furnace Orders. We mentioned this interesting news item recently on our “Monday Morning Briefing”-now we are able to provide a few more details. There are two photos below, the top one was provided by Ipsen as part of this press release, the second shows our "Editor in Chief" Dale Montgomery touring the Ipsen facility in Shanghai a couple of years back. December 6/2013
“SHANGHAI – As the demand for high volume, mass-produced Automotive components rises, so does the demand for high-quality heat treatment systems to ensure durable parts. Ipsen China has begun work on several furnace builds for a European automobile manufacturer and one of the top worldwide Automotive OEMs, both repeat customers. With these orders, Ipsen China has stepped up production in order to deliver a total of five pusher furnaces, all reaching completion within one month of each other. These atmosphere heat treatment pusher furnaces will all be installed and operational in 2014. Three of them will be used to heat treat automotive transmissions; the other two will be used to heat treat rear axle gears. These bottom charging, pre-heating, fully automatic carburizing furnaces keep atmosphere consistent and the processes uniform. They have very tight-fitting doors and multiple zones (a heating, a hardening and two carburizing zones), which provide improved control and short cycle times. The pusher furnaces are well equipped to handle these customers’ large capacity and high production needs. Their features ensure excellence in the carburizing process. In addition to the five pusher furnaces being built, three batch atmosphere furnaces are also being manufactured at Ipsen China. Ipsen's RTQ 10 batch atmosphere furnaces are configured for nitrocarburizing and provide users an excellent return on investment. These state-of-the-art atmosphere furnaces are what customers expect from Ipsen, a world leader in thermal processing technology. Ipsen also employs the largest and most skilled Aftermarket Support Team in the business to meet your needs for furnace controls upgrades, replacement hot zones, parts, maintenance and service. Choosing Ipsen means choosing a partner in success".
SOLO Swiss/Heat Treatment Beijing. Swiss furnace builder SOLO Swiss Group sent us this brief press release about the recent heat treat show in Beijing, China. December 6/2013
"SOLO Swiss Group was pleased to take part in the 16th International Exhibition on Heat Treatment Beijing with its partner Guangdong Strong Metal Technology, in the China National Convention Center from 25th to 27th November 2013.
The Beijing International Exhibition on Heat Treatment has a very important significance. The purpose is to master the focus of international heat treatment development, present the most advanced technical process locally and abroad, set up the exchange platform for the colleagues of heat treatment industry and facilitate the good cooperation between enterprises. Meanwhile, the exhibition make its contribution in solving problems and better development of the heat treatment industry to meet the requirement of the manufacturing industry and economy.
Thermo-Fusion Inc./Hayward, California. For our top news item for today we have a look at what commercial heat treater and brazing company Thermo-Fusion out in California is up to these days. This is a family owned firm which has done quite well over the years and continues to grow. For instance these are recent additions and changes the company has made in the past year. http://www.thermo-fusion.com/Home.php
- 2012 the company added an Ipsen Titan H48 with convection heating, giving them a total of 3 vacuum furnaces.
- 2012 Thermo Fusion replaced their 10 year old salt pot for dip brazing aluminum with a new one, still with a 42"x48"x48" work zone.
- 2013 the firm is in the process of adding a Beavermatic parts washer and a Beavermatic temper. The parts washer will replace an older one, and the temper will be their 3rd high temperature, large (40"x48"x48" work zone) temper furnace.
- 2013 when it comes to approvals Thermo-Fusion has just been approved and recommended for AS9100 Rev C certification, in addition to their ISO9001:2008 existing certification.
- business continues to be good, this year they have seen a down-tick in defense heat treating and brazing, but an up-tick in medical, aerospace and semiconductor.
We have to say congratulations to the company, obviously they are doing well and investing back into the business. December 5/2013
Business Opportunities. We are always adding new job openings and individuals looking for jobs within the industry. Our newest job listings are for a grand total of Three Account Managers Required at Bodycote, a Heat Treat Specialist needed at a captive heat treater in Georgia, USA, an Electrical and Mechanical Engineer at Premier Furnace in Michigan, an Outside Sales Rep at Steeltech, Nitrex Is looking for an Industrial Engineer, and Furnace Manufacturer Gasbarre is looking for a Sales Manager. December 5/2013
Do you want results when it comes to filling a position within the heat treating industry? "The Monty" is the most economical, fastest way to fill that position. Looking for a job? Send us your ad and we will put it on the site free of charge for as long as you would like. When it comes to filling positions within the heat treating industry "The Monty" can't be beat! With a readership of over 20,000 heat treaters/month we will help you fill your position or help you find a job. Just contact
Seco Warwick Press Release."Meadville, Pennsylvania–SECO/WARWICK Corp. has commissioned an advanced new furnace design that provides improved durability for stainless steel heat treating. This vacuum furnace is equipped with a 15-bar gas quenching system and a full HMI data retrieval control package is for a manufacturer of stainless steel products in the northeast United States. The Super Expanite process improves the hardness and corrosion resistance for stainless steel. It is not a coating, but rather a new treatment process. About SECO/WARWICK Group; The SECO/WARWICK Group and its five business segments produce vacuum furnaces, atmosphere furnaces, controlled atmosphere aluminum brazing furnaces, aluminum process furnaces and vacuum metallurgy equipment in its manufacturing sites in Poland (SECO/WARWICK Europe S.A.), the United States (SECO/WARWICK Corp. and RETECH Systems LLC), India (SECO/WARWICK Allied Ltd.), Brazil (SECO/WARWICK do Brasil Ltda.) and China (SECO/WARWICK RETECH Mfg. (Tianjin) Co., Ltd.). Sales, service & spare parts offices in Germany (SECO/WARWICK Services GmbH) and Russia (SECO/WARWICK Russia) complete the worldwide customer care network.
Read more: www.secowarwick.com. SECO/WARWICK Worldwide provides industrial metal heat treatment furnaces used in a variety of processes for material finishing and component manufacturing applications. We supply furnaces to customers involved with steel, titanium and aluminum production as well as aluminum recycling, forging, automotive, aerospace, commercial heat treating, HVAC/R, electronics, wind energy, medical equipment and nuclear industries." December 4/2013
Used Equipment Available. We have lots of additions to our used equipment listings these days in spite of the general shortage of good used equipment. Recent additions include a JL Becker Mesh Belt Annealing Furnace, a Wellman Mesh Belt Annealing Furnace, aHunterdon Variable Reactance Transformer, a CI Hayes 6 Bar Semi-Continous Vacuum Furnace, a very large Beavermatic Batch IQ Furnace, a VRT Power Supply for an Ipsen Vacuum furnace, and an immaculate AFC-Holcroft Pusher Line. If you don't see what you are looking for please let us know and we will try to find it for you. email@example.com December 4/2013
Edwards Vacuum Pump Press Release."CRAWLEY, WEST SUSSEX, UK. (03 December, 2013)— Edwards Group Limited (NASDAQ: EVAC), a leading manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products and abatement systems and a global provider of related value-added services has supplied a range of vacuum pumps including rotary vane pumps, mechanical boosters and magnetically levitated turbomolecular pumps to UNI Plasma, an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) based in Korea, for coating applications. UNI Plasma manufactures coating and in-line sputtering systems for end-users making touch-panels, used for various mobile display devices. The end-user had been using ball-bearing type turbomolecular pumps which need frequent service. The lack of local service support meant that the equipment had to be exported outside the country to get serviced every two years, which resulted in maintaining an expensive inventory of standby pumps to prevent down-time loss and production shortfall. The order includes Edwards’ STP magnetically levitated turbomolecular pumps which use magnetic bearings to ensure a consistent, reliable performance and requiring virtually no maintenance. Partnering with the customer locally and providing prompt support ensured an excellent three way relationship between Edwards, UNI Plasma and the end-user. This has resulted in a mutually beneficial relationship that should lead to future opportunities. Edwards has a large base of customers for in-line sputtering application, and so has extensive experience in this sector. V Rangajaran, Industrial Market Sector Manager, Asia, Edwards commented, “We are delighted to work with UNI Plasma to provide long term benefits by offering customised solutions with superior technology, virtually no maintenance and trouble-free operation. Our breadth of experience across the world with such applications makes us a supplier of choice for OEMs looking for trouble-free vacuum solutions.” Edwards are at the forefront of vacuum for all industrial coating applications, including roll to roll coating, batch coating, in-line coating and touch-panel lamination systems, providing high quality, reliable and cost effective vacuum solutions with reduced environmental impact.
About Edwards; Edwards is a leading manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products and abatement systems and a leading provider of related value-added services for the manufacture of semiconductors, flat panel displays, LEDs and solar cells and a leader in vacuum technology for industrial, pharmaceutical, chemical, scientific, process, glass coating and food packaging industries as well as a wide range of R&D applications. Edwards has over 3,300 full-time employees and over 500 temporary workers operating in approximately 30 countries worldwide engaged in the design, manufacture and support of high technology vacuum and exhaust management equipment. Edwards' American Depositary Shares trade on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol EVAC. Further information about Edwards can be found at www.edwardsvacuum.com" December 4/2013
Guler Furnaces China. We received this very interesting news item from Mr. Byron Stewart the son of Tom Guler of Australia who was a very colorful individual from Australia who had spent his entire life in the new furnace business-Tom unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago. Byron is following in his father’s footprints and the result is the very impressive installation you see in the attached photos which is located in the south of China. Byron has been working with a local company by the name of Beijing Huahai Zhongyi Industrial Furnaces Co Ltd, (HHZY) and together they built and installed the equipment you see at a company by the name of Alnan which is a rolling mill producing aluminium and apparently the largest in the world which represents a 3 Billion Euro investment. The furnace you see on the left has a furnace capacity of 4000 kg, working dimensions of 2000 x 1200 x 700 and a 6 bar pressure quench. Byron has actually been testing the furnace and recently successfully ran 4,000 pounds of H13 steel. It would appear that Guler and HHZY will be working together in the future on a number of future projects including large bottom loading vacuum furnaces most based upon Tom’s designs. December 3/2013
European Used Furnaces. In an effort to help our European readers we have just listed a section on our website for Used Furnaces located in Europe. While our initial product offerings are limited to a very nice Ipsen pusher, two vacuum furnaces and two Ipsen Batch IQ furnaces we expect with time that this will grow. If you are located in Europe and you find you have surplus heat treating equipment we would be very pleased to work with you. Drop us an e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to answer your questions about listing used equipment.
http://www.themonty.com/europeanusedequipment.htm December 3/2013
ASM Press Release. "ASM International and the ASM Heat Treating Society are pleased to announce the recent release of the Heat Treater’s Guide Companion, now available in the Apple and Google App Stores. The free app provides ready reference data on nearly 170 carbon and alloy steels and includes information on chemical composition, similar steels, characteristics, forging instructions, and recommended heat treating practices and processing sequences. The app is geared towards engineers, metallurgists, technicians, sales engineers, and managers so they can quickly access the data conveniently at a client’s site, on the shop floor, in the lab, or at the office. The app was developed so it can be used by itself or as a companion to the popular and trusted ASM International Heat Treater’s Guide print and online database products, which provide additional heat treating information such as representative micrographs, isothermal transformation diagrams, cooling transformation diagrams, tempering curves and data on dimensional change. “More and more, ASM Heat Treating Society members and other industry professionals are requesting mobile access to data and information needed to accomplish work-related tasks. The Heat Treater’s Guide Companion is a first step in responding to that need, providing users with a fast, easy way to look up steel heat treating recipes,” stated Roger A. Jones, HTS President and Corporate President of Solar Atmospheres. “The app has generated a lot of interest and excitement within the heat treating community, and we’re excited to be a part of that.” Download the app today"!Apple devicesAndroid devices
About ASM Heat Treating Society; The ASM Heat Treating Society is the world’s premier membership society dedicated to the advancement of heat treating as a theoretical and applied discipline. It is the largest membership organization of its kind, with a heritage dating back to 1913. December 3/2013
Monday Morning Briefing. So how are you doing these days? According to the Metal Treating Institute (MTI) heat treaters are not doing too badly these days. "Year to date sales for the Metal Treating Industry for October 2013 were $738.5 million USD, a decrease of -3.5% from 2012 when sales for January-October equaled $765.0 million. Sales for the Metal Treating Industry for October 2013 totaled $78.6 million, an increase from 2012 when sales for October equaled $73.7 million. All nine districts reported higher sales in October 2013 compared to the previous year".
In Sandusky, Ohio auto parts supplier, and captive heat treater (atmosphere furnaces, Induction hardening) KBI suffered a small fire this past weekend. According to the company’s website this is what we know about the firm. "KBI was formed on May 1, 2008 with the purchase of the Sandusky Bearing Operation from Delphi by HHI. The Sandusky facility is a comprehensive engineering and manufacturing site. HHI was formed in 2005 through the partnership of George Thanopoulos and KPS Capital Partners, LP with the charter of restoring manufacturing in America and the creation of value for all stakeholders. This is the report on the fire that was sent to us. "Workers at KBI were evacuated from the facility for a brief spell late Friday after a machine caught fire. Perkins firefighters were dispatched to the Hayes Avenue plant at about 10:20 p.m., arriving to find the machine burning. They used foam to quickly snuff the flames. Firefighters said the fire started when oil in the heat-treating machine somehow ignited. Only a handful of workers were in the facility, given the holiday weekend. No one was injured, although crews had to evacuate part of the building because of heavy smoke from burning oil. They planned to let everyone back in after clearing the area".
In Canada we see that commercial heat treater A & M Heat Treating in Mississauga, Ontario is planning on installing a very impressive ALD 20 bar vacuum carburizing furnace. A & M was formed over 20 years ago and has grown to become one of the larger commercial shops in Canada with a wide range of vacuum, atmosphere, nitriding (both gas and plasma) and continuous capabilities.
In the UK we have been told that temperature uniformity company Phoenix TM has hired a fellow by the name of Stephen Biggs as National Sales Manager for the UK and the USA. "Phoenix Temperature Measurement (PhoenixTM LLC) is pleased to announce the addition of Stephen Biggs in the role of National Sales Manager covering territories in the UK and USA. Stephen joined PhoenixTM in October 2013. He has many years experience in technical business to business sales in the electronic and electrical industries and has already carried out successful ‘Hot Box’ temperature uniformity surveys. Stephen has traveled extensively throughout the USA and world markets. Please join me in welcoming Stephen to his new appointment. Dave Plester, Vice President PhoenixTM LLC www.phoenixtm.com. Fluidized Bed Furnaces. Recently we were asked our opinion of the value of a fairly new fluidized bed furnace. the vendor seemed rather shocked when we suggested it probably had no value beyond the components. We have nothing against this type of heat treating technology but we know from experience that very few heat treater even consider fluidized beds any longer. And to round things out this morning we have this press release about an acquisition in the industry. "Selas Heat Technology Company LLC (“Selas”) announces today that it has completed the purchase of Webster Engineering & Manufacturing Co. LLC (“Webster”) based in Winfield, Kansas. Webster is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of custom and semi-custom multi-fuel boiler burners for the commercial, institutional and industrial markets. The Company’s burners combine advanced control technology with proven combustion performance to provide the heat source for the transformation of water to potable hot water, hot water for heating, and steam for heating and process applications. For over three decades, Webster’s proven designs have helped customers reduce emission levels, and provided higher efficiencies for new systems as well as replacement installations. Webster’s most recent innovation, the patented Temp-A-Trim® system, senses combustion air temperature and automatically controls the fan speed to create a constant air flow mass for combustion, thereby maintaining optimum fuel/air ratios to enable maximum burner efficiency.
“Selas continues to expand its technology portfolio thereby further enhancing our World of Combustion Solutions available now to a broader customer base. Complementing Selas’ deep heritage in process heating markets (furnaces, ovens and open-firing systems), Webster’s penetration in the boiler burner market segment positions Selas closer to achieving its strategic goal as a leading edge single source for all combustion technologies,” said David S. Bovenizer, CEO of Selas and Founder of Lionheart Ventures.
About Selas; Selas Heat Technology Company LLC (selas.com) has been dedicated to providing quality heat technology solutions since 1896. Selas has served the advanced thermal processing needs of tens of thousands of customers, providing mixers, blowers, balanced zero-ratio regulators, valves, air heaters, flame safeguard devices for single and multi-burner applications, nozzle-mix family burners (dual and single fuel package, velocity, self-recuperative, immersion tube), pre-mix family burners (including radiant flame shape Duradiant® furnace burners for 1450°C, ceramic and surface emitting infra-red, ribbon, and tunnel), ultra-low NOx flat flame burners, oxy-fuel burners, combustion gas mixers, gas blender valves, flame arrestors and blowouts, BTU monitors and controls, flow meters, and much more". December 2/2013
Francis Liebens/IHEA. We see that Mr. Francis Liebens, CEO of Solo Swiss Furnaces in Switzerland has been appointed as a board member to the Industrial Heating Equipment Association. Great guy Francis and we have no doubt at "The Monty" but that he will bring that special "French Flavor" and enthusiasm to the meetings-as you can tell we are rather fond of Francis because of this enthusiasm. The photo below shows Gord Montgomery and Mr. Liebens at the recent heat treat show in Wiesbaden, Germany. November 29/2013
"Mr Francis Liebens, President & CEO of SOLO Swiss has been appointed as member of the board of The Industrial Heating Equipment Association. The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) is a voluntary national trade association representing the major segments of the industrial heat processing equipment industry. Established in 1929 to meet the need for effective group action in promoting the interests of industrial furnace manufacturers, the organization has expanded and currently includes designers and manufacturers of all types of industrial heat processing equipment used for the melting, refining and heat processing of ferrous and nonferrous metals and certain nonmetallic materials and heat-treatment of products made from them. Included in their member's product scope, but not limited to, are: furnaces: ovens; dryers; heaters; heating equipment; kilns; induction and dielectric apparatus; coke ovens; tanks for melting glass; salt bath or salt bath furnaces; oil, chemical and petro-chemical processing equipment; industrial combustion equipment; accessories for all the foregoing; and auxiliary equipment such as atmosphere generators, process controls, quenching apparatus, equipment for heat recovery and industrial washers".
Hartownia Bialystok/Bialystok, Poland. As part of our Monday Morning Briefing earlier this week we included this rumor; “We are going to start with Europe today where we ran across a very interesting rumor at the recent Wiesbaden, Germany heat treat show, a rumor which we have heard repeated several times since then. Rumor has it that the EU is subsidizing an investment of approximately 15 million Euro to build a brand new heat treating facility somewhere in Europe. This story goes on to say that one furnace European furnace builder was single sourced for this order which includes approximately 15 furnaces and ancillary equipment. We believe there is some substance to this rumor and we will keep you updated”. As a result of this posting several readers elaborated upon the story so at this point this is what we have been told. This is apparently a brand new commercial/captive operation by the name of Hartownia Bialystok which will be up and running in the spring of 2014 with up to 120 employees. The order for the equipment was awarded several months ago to a major European furnace manufacturer and this will include a number of different styles of furnaces including nitriding and vacuum furnaces which amounts to a multi-million dollar order. If all of this is true this would be one of the largest new furnace orders in Europe in 2013. As a footnote to this story we have been lead to believe that like many large furnace projects this order was not without a certain amount of controversy due to the fact that the unsuccessful bidders feel (rightly or wrongly) that the buyers mind was largely made up before the actual bidding process. We can’t say whether this is true or not but having been involved in a number of large furnace projects it is quite possible. We do know that tensions are running high over the bidding process and we would not be surprised to hear more about this story. November 28/2013
US Thanksgiving. We wish our good friends in the USA a very enjoyable Thanksgiving. For our readers outside of North America we can say that Thanksgiving is a time to rejoice for the food that we have, the friends that we know and most importantly the families that we cherish. November 28/2013
16th International Exhibition on Heat Treatment, Beijing. The last time we were at this show was a few years back and at the time it was a relatively small show. However over the years it has grown and we understand that the most recent one was fairly well attended with a number of both domestic and foreign exhibitors most of whom felt the show was worthwhile. To give you a taste we have these photos. November 27/2013
Mr. Bill Disler, CEO, AFC-Holcroft, Mr. CK Zhou, AFC-Holcroft, China, Samuel Chen, Fengdong Furnaces, Tony Wu, Bodycote.
Pete Reh, Solar Manufacturing, Damian Bratcher, SSI, Gary Berwick, Dry Coolers, Rick Jones, Solar Manufacturing, Bill Disler, AFC-Holcroft
Fang Li and Dylan Buckley of DCMC Thermal Technology (Dry Cooler’s Chinese facility)
Global Heat Treatment Industry. Very seldom does a week go by without a phone call or e-mail from an individual asking about the size of the Global Commercial Heat treating industry, the size of the New Furnace Sector or what percentage of the new furnace market is Atmosphere as Opposed to Vacuum. Our stock response is that we have yet to see a report that we would consider to be exact (or even close for that matter). With this prelude we have just such a report for you today from an individual by the name of Janusz Kowalewski email@example.com which is one of the most complete we have seen so far. Janusz has spent most of his life in the industry in areas such as Poland, USA, China and India and we value his opinion. So without further accolades lets see what Janusz has to say and keep in mind to click on the Continued Button at the end of this brief introduction for the full story and all the graphs. November 26/2013
"Heat treatment is a combination of operations involving the heating, holding and cooling of metal in the solid state for the purpose of obtaining certain desirable metallurgical properties or surface modification. Heat treatment consumes 17% of US Industrial Energy usage and consists of 2 to 15% of the total production cost. (Source: IHEA). The global heat treatment volume is in the range of $65 to $75 billion. This volume range doesn't’t included induction and primary iron and steel heat treatment. The global heat treatment volume estimate is gathered from local heat treatment association’s statistics and correlated with countries’ car production and countries GDP. The common belief is that North America is a $20 Billion industry with 15 million vehicles manufactured in the US in 2012 and $15 trillion GDP. China manufactures 19.5 million vehicles, has more than half of the US’s GDP ($8.3 trillion), and its manufacturing sector generates the equivalent of 30% of its GDP (compared to the US where the manufacturing sector makes up around 12% of its GDP). The China heat treatment market volume should be approx. $11 billion or more. The European Union manufactures 12 million vehicles and has the same combined GDP as the US – its heat treatment volume, cannot be much lower than the US". Continued
Monday Morning Briefing. We are going to start with Europe today where we ran across a very interesting rumor at the recent Wiesbaden, Germany heat treat show, a rumor which we have heard repeated several times since then. Rumor has it that the EU is subsidizing an investment of approximately 15 million Euro to build a brand new heat treating facility somewhere in Europe. This story goes on to say that one furnace European furnace builder was single sourced for this order which includes approximately 15 furnaces and ancillary equipment. We believe there is some substance to this rumor and we will keep you updated. Staying in Europe for the time being we see that Ipsen has landed a pusher furnace order from Mercedes Benz. "Ipsen Breaks New Ground in Heat Treating; Mercedes Benz recently ordered a custom designed Ipsen pusher furnace for heat treating gear parts. The enormously powerful installation takes up a comparatively small space but performs extraordinarily well – all with very low energy consumption. The three-track furnace works with two gas-tight doors to inhibit oxygen flow into the furnace and thus guarantees a highly pure atmosphere. To assure the highest degree of flexibility the installation is able to quench parts in its oil bath while also having the capability to quench them in a hardening press. Ipsen applied the new, patented Ecofire-Preheat process, during which waste endogas is used as burning gas in the pre-heating furnace, as well as a new insulation technology which reduces the heat loss by approximately 30 percent in comparison to conventional designs".
While we are at it we will throw in two more Ipsen news items. The first concerns Ipsen, Shanghai, China where we understand the company has 5 two row pushers sitting on the floor ready for shipping by January, 2015. We have heard these are all for repeat customers. The second item is in the form of a press release from the company where they tell us about recent orders. "Over the last couple months, Ipsen has shipped furnaces to customers in the U.S. and seven additional countries: Russia, India, Brazil, Germany, Russia, Singapore and China. These shipments representative of Ipsen’s diverse product portfolio, included TurboTreater®, TITAN® DS, TITAN Temper and several sizes of TITAN vacuum furnace units, three of which were 12-bar. Shipments also included a custom top loading furnace, a VFS® HEQ and an Ivadizer® - Aluminum Deposition furnace. The furnaces were shipped to companies in the Aerospace, Automotive, Commercial Heat Treat, Medical and Tool and Die industries. The customers receiving furnaces were both first-time and repeat customers. One notable customer Ipsen has partnered with in India initially had one TITAN DS furnace. Ipsen shipped three TITAN DS furnaces in August and an additional three in October to this customer in the MIM industry. Ipsen offers a wide variety of heat treat equipment lines plus custom-built solutions. Ipsen’s world-class engineering team has the experience and resources to design and deliver advanced custom thermal processing systems. Some features that can be tailored to your specifications are: horizontal or vertical configurations; manual or automatic loading systems; custom load size/configurations; high pressure gas quenching; and control systems to support your stringent requirements. From the moment a new furnace is delivered, the Ipsen support team is ready to facilitate on-site installation, expert training and start-up assistance. Ipsen also provides responsive field support and spare parts that fit your custom design. Choosing Ipsen means choosing a partner in success. Learn more about our products and services at www.IpsenUSA.com". In the US we see that the recent Nitriding Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada was a real success with visitors from around the globe. The photo below from the Symposium shows Michael Korwin of Nitrex, Sebastian Bischoff of Rohde Furnaces in Germany and Michael Winter of UPC.
From the US we received this press release from a furnace builder that we know little about-ANT Furnaces in which they announce a new order. "ANT Furnaces [All New Technologies LLC] announces it has received an order from a leading Los Angeles, CA, aerospace manufacturer for the supply of a high temperature, high vacuum and atmosphere furnace. The end use is development of satellite and deep space propulsion systems. The furnace is customized to meet the demanding specifications of this high performance materials project. The tantalum metal hot zone includes exclusive design features for increased uniformity, supported by a nickel-plated water-cooled copper coldwall and surrounded by an SS 304L high vacuum chamber for use with a high vacuum turbomolecular system. Gas delivery includes mass flow controls and residual gas analysis of the process environment. The system is produced oil free for operation in a certified clean room laboratory. “Our team is excited to be selected again for this mission-critical project”, said Eric Gisonno, president of All New Technologies. This leading aerospace group currently operates additional systems produced by our group which have been in service 25 years. ANT has deep roots in aerospace systems; examples of previous aerospace applications include ultra-high temperature and vacuum furnaces for accelerated lifetime testing of materials now located in the farthest positions obtained by earth vehicles, and characterization furnaces for ultralight armor materials used to protect satellites against micro-meteors and their even more destructive vapor trails". Also in the US we see that Lucifer Furnaces has landed an order from a company by the name of VOSS Manufacturing. "Voss Manufacturing, a manufacturer of heat-transfer tooling and equipment, expanded its facilities with the addition of an atmosphere furnace supplied by Lucifer Furnaces. Voss Manufacturing decided to increase capacity and throughput by adding a furnace for larger batches. The Sanborn, N.Y.-based company also wanted to eliminate costly and time-consuming stainless steel wrapping of parts with a furnace operating with a nitrogen atmosphere". And to round things out we have a “happy story”. The picture below shows Vincent Rhode son of Natasha and Jorn Rhode of Rhode Furnaces in Germany. Being a Canadian I am sure our readers understand why we are rather partial to this photo. November 25/2013
IBC Coatings/Seco Warwick. "SECO/WARWICK has commissioned a 12 Bar Universal HPQ™ (High Pressure Quench) vacuum furnace to IBC Coating Technologies, Inc. in Lebanon, IN. This Low Pressure Vacuum Carburizing furnace with high temperature convection heating is for hardening and carburizing bearing steel and aerospace components. The furnace is designed with a hot zone of 24” x 24” x 36” and a maximum temperature rating of 2400° F and 1,300 pound gross load capacity. It has 12-bar pressure quenching. Additional features include isothermal quenching and modifications to address the low distortion and demands of high performance bearings and gear markets. It is the second vacuum furnace that IBC has purchased from SECO/WARWICK.
About IBC Coating Technologies, Inc. IBC develops diffusion surface treatment technologies for anti-wear and anti-corrosion applications. IBC’s innovative surface treatments, based on Plasma-chemical and Diffusion reactions – Boriding, Nitrocarburizing, Chrome Carbide, Vanadium Carbide, etc. are used in different applications with very good results. IBC Coating Technologies INC is a privately owned company located in Lebanon, IN, USA. The company started its activities in July of 1996 as a research and development project, based on the know-how and experience of its founders. The company has expanded the array of its services in material treatments. Read more: http://www.ibccoatings.com/.
About SECO/WARWICK Group; The SECO/WARWICK Group and its five business segments produce vacuum furnaces, atmosphere furnaces, controlled atmosphere aluminum brazing furnaces, aluminum process furnaces and vacuum metallurgy equipment in its manufacturing sites in Poland (SECO/WARWICK Europe S.A.), the United States (SECO/WARWICK Corp. and RETECH Systems LLC), India (SECO/WARWICK Allied Ltd.), Brazil (SECO/WARWICK do Brasil Ltda.) and China (SECO/WARWICK RETECH Mfg. (Tianjin) Co., Ltd.). Sales, service & spare parts offices in Germany (SECO/WARWICK Services GmbH) and Russia (SECO/WARWICK Russia) complete the worldwide customer care network. Read more: www.secowarwick.com. November 25/2013
Ben Crawford Interview. We are very pleased to be able to offer an interview with one of the better known individuals in the North American heat treating industry (and a heck of a nice guy), Mr. Ben Crawford. November 22/2013
1. Ben you and I go back quite a while and as far as I know your entire working life has been in the heat treating industry. Could you give us some background about how you got started and what positions you have held over the years?
"Good morning Gord, you’re correct, we have shared drinks globally! I started my career out of college working for Harbor Metal Treating in 1993 as a Lab Technician. My role expanded quickly to Office Manager, Quality Manager and at the age of twenty-five I was named Plant Manager. Following that experience I left thermal processing for approximately six years and worked in the investment casting industry. During that time I worked as Plant Manager for Independent Steel Castings Company (New Buffalo, MI) and National Sales and Marketing Manager for Vermont American (Auburn, AL). In 2002, I returned to thermal processing working for Bodycote-Indianapolis managing the heat treat and NDT operations. Soon I was promoted to Senior General Manager overseeing the Indianapolis and Cincinnati facilities. By the end I was Regional Manager-Midwest managing thirteen facilities. In early 2008, I was recruited and hired as Division President-Midwest by the private equity firm GSO Capital Partners which was acquired by Blackstone. Bluewater had twenty facilities in 2008. By the end of 2009 we closed the plating facility in Chicago and consolidated operations in Canada as well as the Coldwater/Fairfield brazing operations. In 2009, I was named Chief Operating Officer by the board of directors."
2. You mention the two largest commercial heat treaters in North America, Bodycote and Bluewater. Bodycote is of course publicly traded whereas Bluewater is owned by a private equity firm. Does this lead to a different management style in the two companies?
"Having the opportunity to work for both Bluewater and Bodycote has been a tremendous experience that provided me valuable skills, business tools, analytics, training, education and wonderful friendships. Both companies have the drive to consistently improve YoY. This occurs whether you are working in private or public sectors. Whether it is share price or a private investment fund the demand for value creation is real in either company. Return is created by improving shareholder value while having intense focus on safety, continuous improvement activities and the development of customer partnerships. Tremendous attention is given to benchmarking with heightened visibility on key metrics that drive the overall business. The financial metrics maybe slightly different for the given sector but key metric indicators are generally the same."
3. I realize Ben that you are a heat treater not a financial advisor but to what do you attribute the rising share price of Bodycote? It has doubled in the past couple of years and while this has slowed down recently it has reached levels I never expected to see.
"Execution of strategic initiatives to achieve their global plan while improving YoY has led to strong results the past few years. The company is globally diversified by location and end markets that help mitigate risk. Bodycote has continued to make acquisitions that support their strategic plan. They have made investments in coating technologies as well and have developed partnerships with global companies such as General Motors, Rolls Royce and many more. The attraction to investors is that the thermal processing industry has a high variable cost component such as utilities and labor. Most facilities do not produce inventory and the ability to change invoice to cash generation tends to be short compared to traditional manufacturing. Based on interim statements, I gather that the executive team of Bodycote has excelled in utilizing company assets matched with strong cost control delivering overall improved performance thus the continued rise of the share price over the years. This is currently in conjunction with many end markets lagging in sales. Essentially the company has executed, delivered or exceeded investor expectations."Continued
Ben Crawford, Wagner Ribas (Maxitrate, Brazil)
Jeff Brooke Wedding; Left to right: Mark Fortuna, Bill Junkins, Brooke "Junkins" Hemmer, Jeff Hemmer, Jeremy Hedman, Jim Hedman, Jason Junkins and Ben Crawford
Aerobraze/Mercer Technologies Press Release."Aerobraze Engineered Technologies, a division of Wall Colmonoy, selected Mercer Technologies, Inc. to rebuild an Abar HR50 and a VFS HL7272 Vacuum Furnace for the Cincinnati, Ohio facility. Mercer Technologies will improve the overall performance and efficiency of the furnaces by rebuilding them in accordance with Aerobraze’s Nadcap quality standards. With the refurbishment of the Abar HR50 and VFS HL7272, Aerobraze Cincinnati will increase its overall capacity by 40%. The furnaces will support components that measure up to 54” w x 42” h x 72” d, complimenting Aerobraze’s total offerings. A state-of-the-art digital system will provide real-time furnace control and electronic transmission of certifications to customers. A new cooling system will reduce cool down cycles and improve throughput.
"We are pleased to have Mercer Technologies rebuild our Abar HR50 and VFS HL7272 Vacuum Furnace at Aerobraze Cincinnati. Our goal is to facilitate continued growth and partnership with our highly valued customers by investing in technology and innovation. This increase flexibility will allow us to meet and exceed customers’ expectations as we work to support their requirements in the aerospace, automotive, energy and the commercial marketplace,” states Edward Ridge, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Wall Colmonoy. Both units have been sent to Mercer Technologies, Inc. Rebuild Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. The furnaces will undergo a complete remanufacture including a rebuild of motors and transformers; new hot zone; new pumps; and new digital control console. Vacuum pumps will be rebuilt by sister company Midwest Vacuum Pumps. Both companies are under The Mercer Group which offers one-stop shopping for your heat treat needs.
About Aerobraze Engineered Technologies; Aerobraze Engineered Technologies is a division of Wall Colmonoy that manufactures engineered components and provides technological solutions for aerospace, energy, defense and transportation industries. The division meets aerospace quality standards in applications using the processes of brazing, surfacing, welding, thermal processing, fabricating, machining and overhauling. Quality standards include: ISO9100, AS9100 Revision C, EASA.145.6085, Nadcap approvals in brazing, heat treat, welding, coating, NDT and chemical processing, along with FAA-Repair License and a FAA-DER on staff allows the division to meet all our customer high standards. More information about Wall Colmonoy and Aerobraze Engineered Technologies is available at www.wallcolmonoy.com. Aerobraze Engineered Technologies. Strategic Collaboration for Smart Innovation. A Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business
About Mercer Technologies; Mercer Technologies offers the Green Vacuum Furnace Series. These furnaces utilize existing components remanufactured to original or improved specifications. By reusing the furnace steel, M-Tech prevents forming more than 180 tons of carbon dioxide and saves enough energy that would continually power fifty average American homes. Improving an existing vessel will save the customer money, production time and is environmentally friendly. Contact Mike Mercer Jr., firstname.lastname@example.org, 812- 466-0440". www.mercer-tech.com or www.themercergroup.us. November 21/2013
Bodycote Turkey."MACCLESFIELD (U.K.) – Bodycote is pleased to announce plans to establish a Greenfield site in Turkey to meet growing demand from its existing customer base. The new site, expected to be operational from early Q3 2014, will be located in the Gebze region of Istanbul which is an established automotive centre and home to major OEMs including Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, Honda and their supply chains. This developing region is seeing increased investment in business and infrastructure, with a new road bridge connecting Kocaeli Bay and Bursa. Access will also be improved to other important industrial areas including Kocaeli, Duzce, Adapazari and Eskisehir. Bodycote’s new facility will be equipped with modern sealed quench (IBQ) furnaces and will provide services including vacuum heat treatment, induction heat treatment, nitrocarburising, and Bodycote’s proprietary Corr-I-dur® process. Paul Clough, President of Bodycote’s Automotive & General Industrial division for Northern & Eastern Europe, commented: “This latest investment is an indication of Bodycote’s commitment to the region and will further increase our existing footprint in this developing economy whilst at the same time confirming our position as market leader. The investment is the first phase of a strategic plan for the region which will ensure that we meet our customers’ quality demands and capacity expectations.”
Currently, Bodycote has four heat treatment plants in Turkey, which are accredited to ISO 9001, AS 9100, TS 16949 and comply to CQI-9. All four plants are expected to achieve ISO 14001 during 2014. The new Greenfield site will provide increased capacity to meet customer demand and will enable a more streamlined, quality-focused service. Further info
About Bodycote; With more than 190 locations in 26 countries, Bodycote is the world’s largest provider of thermal processing services. Through heat treatment, metal joining, surface technology and 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". November 21/2013
Solar Atmospheres/South Eastern US Expansion. It is rather ironic that just yesterday we had a press release about how manufacturers and consequently heat treaters (both captive and commercial) are flocking to the US Southeast. This press release emphasizes the fact that this is the new land of opportunity at least in North America. November 20/2013
Solar Press Release. "Souderton, PA. November 19, 2013 - Stephen Prout will oversee the expansion of Solar Atmospheres into the southeastern States. Solar Atmospheres, currently with two high-value vacuum heat treating facilities in Pennsylvania and one in California, announced today their intended expansion into the aerospace and automotive rich geographies of the southeast United States. Roger Jones, Corporate President, indicated that “Steve’s first task will be site acquisition. We see the southeastern United States as a significant growth market and we plan to bring our vacuum furnace heat treatment expertise to that region with a significant investment within the next 3-5 years. We know for a fact that there are many prime aerospace and automotive suppliers in the region along with many Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. We also know that there are many other bustling industries in the area that would benefit from technically competent vacuum heat treatments. We plan to be there to service their needs.”
Steve Prout, most recently with Bodycote Thermal Processing, Athens, Alabama, was chosen to head this effort because of his character and years of experience in the commercial heat treat industry. October, 2013 makes it 17 years since Mr. Prout started in the commercial heat treating industry serving as a production manager, plant manager, business development manager, and general manager with companies that include the American Brazing division of Paulo Products, a St. Louis-based contract heat treat company, as well as Bluewater Thermal Solutions, a Greenville, South Carolina-based commercial heat treatment company, and most recently with Bodycote Thermal Processing, a daughter company of Bodycote PLC, based in England (LON:BOY). According to Roger Jones, the Solar family of companies could not be “more thankful that Steve agreed to join us. He is the type of person we look for and we’re convinced he will do well within the Solar group of companies. We anticipate much success in the southeast.”
ABOUT SOLAR ATMOSPHERES; Solar Atmospheres is one of the world’s largest providers of commercial vacuum heat treating services. Through unmatched technical expertise, equipment, and quality assurance, Solar's thermal processing produces bright, scale-free parts with minimal distortion. For clients requiring an "out-of-the ordinary" application, an in-house R&D team of metallurgists and scientists develop innovative, custom process solutions. Serving over 18 markets, Solar's state-of-the art services include vacuum brazing, carburizing, nitriding and advanced processing of raw materials such as Titanium, Tantalum, and nano powders. With over 50 furnaces ranging from lab sized to the world’s largest commercial vacuum furnaces, Solar can efficiently handle any size job. Headquartered in Souderton, near Philadelphia, Solar also operates plants in Hermitage, near Pittsburgh and in Fontana, California, near Los Angeles. Please visit www.solaratm.com for more information."
Bodycote Interim Management Statement. The largest commercial heat treater in the world, UK based Bodycote has just released their Interim Management Statement which can be found at http://www.bodycote.com/. At time of printing the financial markets were not impressed with the company's results and share prices of Bodycote saw a significant decline. November 20/2013
"Bodycote is issuing its Interim Management Statement covering the period from 1 July to 18 November 2013. The financial and operational data set out below relates to the four months from 1 July to 31 October 2013 (the “period”) unless otherwise stated. All comparative comments in this statement reflect comparisons with the corresponding period in 2012. Full year results for 2013 will be issued on 27 February 2014. Current trading; Reported revenue growth for the period was 6.9% (3.6% at constant exchange rates, with an organic decline of 1.3% and with acquisitions adding 4.9%). Sales in the Aerospace, Defence and Energy (ADE) business were lower by 0.2% (2.6% lower at constant exchange rates), all of which was organic. At constant exchange rates, sales in Western Europe declined by 1.4% and in North America by 4.0%. Commercial aerospace revenues have grown, as expected, in both North America and Europe, and industrial gas turbine sales have further increased in all territories. There has been continued lower demand from the Oil & Gas sector, particularly for onshore requirements in the USA and reduced revenues in the defence sector which together have more than offset gains elsewhere. Revenues in the Automotive and General Industrial (AGI) business were higher by 12.9% (8.9% at constant exchange rates). Acquisitions added 9.1% and organic sales were lower by 0.2%. In Western Europe, sales at constant exchange rates were ahead by 0.9%, all of which was organic. North American organic revenues declined 6.8% at constant exchange rates, while the acquisitions completed in 2012 added 48.0%. Car & light truck revenues have grown well in both North America and Europe and at a higher rate than in the first half. Heavy truck sales have turned positive in Europe but remain very weak in North America. In contrast, General industrial demand has also remained weak, especially in the mining and construction equipment sectors in North America. Emerging market sales grew modestly".
Where Are They Now? Alfred Hutwagner. We lost touch with long time commercial heat treater Al Hutwagner a couple of years back when he parted ways with Bluewater Thermal. However as very few people ever leave the industry it was no surprise that we just learned he is working with commercial heat treater Aremac Heat Treating. Nice guy Al and we were glad to renew his acquaintance. Digging through our notes about Aremac we came across this press release from April of this year. November 19/2013
"April 2013. Aremac Heat Treating, LLC. Manufacturer and commercial heat treater Aremac based in City of Industry, CA has announced a large project in Eastman, GA for which all the details can be found below. Two thoughts struck us about this press release. The first being that industry in the southeastern USA continues to grow largely at the expense of other regions of the US. The second is that the number of jobs vs the capital expenditure is out of whack. A $2 million USD investment does not equate to 60 jobs, so our conclusion would have to be that there will be further investment down the road which will justify more hiring.
Heat treating company will create 60 new jobs, invest $2 million in metal-treating facility. Eastman, GA, March 18, 2013-Aremac Heat Treating, LLC announced it will expand its heat treating operations in Eastman. The facility is in the design-phase and the company plans to be in operations in the Third Quarter of 2013. This project will result in the creation of 60 new jobs in Dodge County within five years. "We have finalized our decision to move here. It is nice to be wanted, to be part of a community, where we can join in the moral and social fabric and add to the functioning parts of this community," stated Denny Butler, Vice President, Aremac Heat Treating, LLC. Aremac is in the process of expanding its heat treating operations through the establishment of a new facility in Eastman. This facility will benefit currently underserved markets along the East Coast. Aremac's new approximately 28,000 square-foot facility will be located on 10 acres adjacent to the Heart of Georgia Regional Airport and Middle Georgia State College's Aviation Campus. This area is home to several other industries serving the aerospace market, representing a growing strategic industry cluster. Positioning itself near existing companies such as Dynamic Paint Solutions and Heart of Georgia Metal Crafters, Aremac's decision to locate adjacent to the Heart of Georgia Airport will continue to strengthen the area's exposure to the aerospace industry.
More than 500 aerospace companies have operations in Georgia, employing more than 86,000 Georgians. Georgia's nationally-recognized Center of Innovation for Aerospace (COI) is the state's one-stop-shop for aerospace solutions to industry needs. The COI-Aerospace tackles opportunities large and small, from assisting with federal contracts to prototype manufacturing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Nearly half a billion dollars is spent annually on cutting-edge, university-backed engineering R&D, putting them in reach of the latest aerospace technologies. Aremac provides numerous services, including hardening, tempering, vacuum heat treating and more. By working with alloy materials such as aluminum, nickel-based, steel, titanium, and other metals including beryllium copper, plain carbon steels, mumetal, brass and bronze and ductile iron, Aremac has successfully positioned itself as a recognized leader in the metal treating industry. Aremac provides heat treating services for recognizable aerospace companies such as Boeing, Bombardier, Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Goodrich. Aremac also provides services for other companies, such as Alcoa and Parker Hannifin, with operations in the area".
ASM International Chennai India, Chapter. " Super Systems recently conducted a technical talk for the Chennai India Chapter of ASM International. The presentation was titled, Modern Approach to the Quality Control of HT Processes Based on CQI-9 Requirements. The chapter announced that the session had an all-time record attendance with more than 80 attendees. The presentation team was comprised of Mr. Shrawan Kumar, Furnace Atmosphere (SSI Partner), Mr. Damian Bratcher (SSI Director International Operations) and Mr. Stephen Thompson (SSI President). While in India, the team took a few hours to visit one of the Wonders of the World. ASM International, formerly known as the American Society for Metals, is a professional organization for materials scientists and engineers working with metals. Super Systems, Inc., based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, develops and manufactures products for the thermal processing industry. The products include probes, analyzers, controllers, software solutions, and engineered systems". November 19/2013
Solar Atmospheres Press Release. "Solar Atmospheres of Western PA president, Robert Hill, was presented the high honor of ASM Fellow (FASM) in the field of materials at the October 29th ASM’s 100th Anniversary Annual Awards Dinner in Montreal, Canada. Industry professionals and technical leaders alike recognized Mr. Hill’s achievements for “expanding the applications and technical knowledge of vacuum heat treating titanium for the future of lightweight and energy efficient commercial and military airframes.” Mr. Hill is a 33-year member of ASM International and in 2000 served as the Chairman of the Philadelphia Liberty Bell Chapter. Most recently, Mr. Hill served on the ASM Board of Trustees from 2009-2012. Additionally, Bob served on the ASM Technical Programming Committee for five years culminating as the co-chairman of the Heat Treating Society Conference Programming committee where he coordinated over 100 technical presentations for the Heat Treating Society’s Conference and Exposition, aka The Heat Treat Show. Bob’s knowledge of the highly technical titanium thermal processing marketplace is demonstrated by his receiving the prestigious Titanium Achievement Award from the International Titanium Association in 2009. At that time, it was well documented by Boeing engineers that the Boeing 787 program was in great peril due to the Ti 555-3 heat treating dilemma. Mr. Hill, his team and their equipment were largely responsible for getting the program back on track, trimming the aircrafts weight and avoiding any weight or heat treat related cancellations.
Mr. Hill is currently serving a one-year term as President of the Metal Treating Institute (MTI), an organization boasting the largest network of commercial heat treat companies in the world with well over 350 member companies. ASM International established the honor of Fellow of ASM (FASM) in 1969 to provide recognition to ASM members for their distinguished contributions to materials science and engineering. Bob Hill notes, “I’m most honored to be inducted into ASM’s Hall of Fellows. It is a high privilege and I look forward to continuing the work of moving the industry forward with the help of ASM – the leading society for metals and materials scientists and engineers.” November 19/2013
Monday Morning Briefing. We will start off by mentioning a brand new equipment addition which was just added to this website-an ALD Single Chamber Vacuum Carburizing Furnace. The only reason this makes our “Monday Morning Briefing” is because it is very unusual to run across a fairly new vacuum carburizing unit on the used market. From ALD we move on to Portland Oregon to have a look at one of the largest commercial heat treaters on the west coast, Stack Metallurgical where we see that the company has been adding a great deal of new capacity. Stack recently ordered a new Surface Combustion gas fired batch IQ line with working dimensions of 36” X 72” X 36”, a Solar Manufacturing vacuum furnace Model HFL 5748-21 Q, two large temper furnaces from McLaughlin Services and a 12 bar Ipsen vacuum furnace. If you ever get the chance (and assuming Stack will allow it) this is a commercial operation that is well worth seeing. Bloom Engineering Company Inc., in Pittsburgh, PA which offers combustion systems has a new President Mr. David Boyce. Dixie Heat Treating Company in Florence, Alabama recently closed their doors. This was a relatively small operation offering batch IQ and pit processing.
It is virtually impossible in our Monday Morning Briefing to not mention the largest commercial heat treater in the world Bodycote. Today they are mentioned as they continue to be in the hunt for coatings company Metco. If successful this would be a very important acquisition for the company. "Swiss industrial machinery maker Sulzer has attracted strong interest for its Metco coatings unit and the sale is well on track, the company's chief executive said on Friday. Sulzer hopes it could get about 800 million Swiss francs ($871 million) from the sale of Metco, the world's largest producer of thermal spray coatings, catering to the car, chemicals and energy industries. "We got high interest and we are well on track," Chief Executive Klaus Stahlmann told an investor conference in Zurich. The company hopes a deal will be signed in the first quarter of 2014. Sulzer is selling the unit to concentrate on more lucrative businesses making pumps and equipment and providing services for the oil and gas industry. Rival coatings companies, the Swiss group Oerlikon and Britain's Bodycote and two private equity firms, including EQT, have made it through to the second round of an auction process to be held on January 8, sources familiar with the matter have said". We realize that many commercial heat treaters are scared to death of Automotive Heat Treating due to the cyclical nature of the business and the notoriously small margins but some companies might want to reconsider this. It is expected that in 2014 North American auto production will hit 17 million units and that in 2015 the industry will set a record at 17.6 million. With heat treating capacity already pushing the limits we would expect that for at least the next two years heat treaters servicing the auto industry should be doing quite well thank you. To back this up we see that automotive parts supplier and captive heat treater Borg Warner Inc., reported a 65% rise in quarterly profit with net income rising to $166.8 million in the third quarter ended September 30 compared with the same period in 2012. This is in spite of the fact that the company closed an operation in Cortland, NY earlier this year that had several sintering furnaces.
A trend that we have seen develop over the past few years is vacuum heat treaters and vacuum furnace manufacturers buying their Molybdenum From China. While there was some initial reluctance due to fears about delivery and quality these fears seem to have been alleviated and more and more users are willing to consider buying from Chinese sources. Moving to Brazil we see that our friend Claudio Brum of furnace manufacturer and commercial heat treater Combustol in Sao Paulo, Brazil has changed direction slightly. Since the beginning of September he is now the Technical and Commercial Manager of the Combustol Commercial Heat Treating division. This is after working for 40 years working in the equipment area (33 years for Combustol). At its recent Fall Meeting, the Metal Treating Institute (MTI), the world’s largest network of heat treaters in the world, recognized Jeff Uhlenburg, from Donovan Heat Treating in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the Award of Industry Merit. "This award is given to the MTI member in recognition of their current and on-going commitment to the betterment of the commercial heat treating industry with one of more notable accomplishments. MTI President, Jim Roberts stated during the award ceremony, “It goes with out saying, Jeff gives it his all everyday. He is from a great line of heat treaters in his family, being the fifth generation. He has served the industry with all his heart being active on the local and national level. Throughout his career, Jeff has been involved in numerous industry issues in manufacturing testifying to Congress on many occasions through the National Association of Manufacturers on healthcare, labor and energy. Jeff is epitomizes the type of business owner who looks past his business to see how he can help the industry be better for everyone.”
And to close things out for today and keeping with the item about Jeff Uhlenburg achieving the MTI Merit award we have this press release about Bob Hill who will be the new President of MTI for 2014. "Hermitage, PA. November 13, 2013 – Solar Atmospheres of Western PA president, Robert Hill, was recently elected president of the Metal Treating Institute, Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Mr. Hill becomes the Institute’s70th president. Mr. Hill has served on the Institute’s Board of Governors since 2008. He was instrumental in establishing the organization’s Technical Standards Committee in 2011 and has served on a variety of different committees including the Programming Committee, the Executive Committee, a Benchmarking Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee. In 2011, Mr. Hill was honored to receive the President’s Award, an award given by the then serving president as the one person in the organization that had contributed most to the furtherance of the Institute. In 2012, Mr. Hill’s company, Solar Atmospheres of Western PA, won the Commercial Heat Treater of the Year Award from Industrial Heating magazine and the MTI. Solar Atmospheres of Western PA has been a member of MTI since 2001. Mr. Hill indicated that he was “very happy to serve the MTI in this capacity. I look forward to the challenges ahead and embrace the opportunity to build MTI to be an even more all-encompassing organization for commercial and contract heat treaters around the globe.” The Metal Treating Institute (MTI) is the world’s largest collection of commercial heat treaters with locations in 40 states, 6 countries, and over $1.2 billion in annual sales. More information can be obtained about MTI by going to www.heattreatonline.com". November 18/2013
Marc Walters/Bodycote. Experienced heat treater and proven manager Mr. Marc Walters joined commercial heat treater Bodycote in April 2012 as manager of the Metal Improvement plants in Columbus OH and Ft. Wayne IN (Metal Improvement was of course acquired by Bodycote). Shortly thereafter Marc was given responsibility for two more plants, the existing Indianapolis IN plant and the newly acquired (Bluewater) Greensburg IN plant. Bodycote must think highly of his capabilities as he recently was given the task of overseeing the former Bluewater sites in the Southeast, Fountain Inn SC, Reidsville NC, Morristown TN, Conyers GA, and Athens, AL. Mark has relocated from Columbus to the Atlanta area, near the Conyers plant. Scott Calardo, VP of Strategic Projects, had been in charge of the plants in the Southeast since acquisition and has been overseeing their acquisition although the plan all along was to appoint a Regional Manager for the southeast who would transition under Scott. Scott by the way must be a busy fellow as he also has integration responsibility for the 3 former Specialty HT plants and is involved with Bodycote’s expansion in China. We congratulate Marc Walters on his new responsibilities. November 15/2013
Ipsen Press Release."PECATONICA, IL – Which of Ipsen’s special formulas do you prefer – the refractory body of Alumina that can withstand exceptionally high temperatures and reduces cracking during thermal cycling or the flexible, clay-bonded body of Fused Silica which provides more thermal shock resistance? Ipsen engineers developed both formulas over several years to be long-lasting, handcrafted and durable. Both can be cast into a variety of shapes. And both come with great initial lead times and Ipsen’s committed and responsive service.
“Who will you choose?” was the question posed by Ipsen Ceramics in the months leading up to the Investment Casting Institute’s 60th Anniversary Conference and Expo Oct. 7-8, in Pittsburgh, PA. Visitors, both at the Expo and online, were encouraged to vote for whichever special formula they use in their custom firing processes. Voters for Alumina were large and in charge, easily outnumbering those preferring to use Fused Silica for making their ceramic parts. One lucky voter won an iPad! The prize went to Daniel Shelton, senior foundry process manager at Consolidated Precision Products in City of Industry, CA. To see just how tough the competition got between Alumina and Silica, check out Alumina’s not-so-modest acceptance speech and the events leading up to it at http://bit.ly/IpsenCeramicsICI2013. “Throughout the Expo, we were able to connect with more than 40 different companies at our booth, where we tallied votes, answered questions and gave away Ipsen beach balls and pens,” said Dan Binz, Senior Sales Associate, who represented Ipsen Ceramics at the Expo.
About the ICI Conference and Expo
The ICI Conference and Expo is consistently the largest gathering of companies, suppliers and students solely dedicated to the investment casting industry. More than 90 companies showcased products and services related to the industry. In addition to exhibitor booths, event highlights included presentations of Intern Scholarship Awards, Casting Contest Awards, technical papers and a panel discussion. Nearly 700 people attended the 2013 ICI Conference and Expo, the second best attendance ever.
Ipsen Ceramics, founded in 1952, as a department of Ipsen Lab of Rockford in Rockford, IL, was incorporated as a separate company in 1957. Ipsen Ceramics has grown to become a recognized world leader in the design, development and manufacturing of technical ceramics and remains dedicated to these efforts. Ipsen Ceramics is also a leader in performing Custom Toll Firing with temperature firing capabilities up to 3000°F (1760°C). Ipsen Ceramics remains focused on providing superior service and quality products at a competitive price. Choosing Ipsen means choosing a partner in success. For more information, please visit ipsenceramics.com." November 15/2013
ALD-Holcroft Vacuum Carburizing Seminar. To go along with the press release below about the upcoming ALD-Holcroft Vacuum Carburizing seminar in the US we have a photo from the last seminar ALD hosted which was in Port Huron, MI a couple of years back. From left to right we see Jim Demarest and Marco Moser of Safe-Cronite, Paul Armitage, Service HT, Jim Wilbur and Brian Russell, Dry Coolers. November 14/2013
"(November, 2013) ALD-Holcroft Vacuum Technologies Co., Inc., Wixom, Michigan has announced the dates for the 8th Vacuum Carburizing Symposium, to be held in 2014 on May 6th and 7th. This 2-day event will be held at the Ford Motor Company Conference and Exposition Center in Dearborn, Michigan. The Symposium will feature two days of information and presentations by industry experts, with audience participation encouraged. The evening of May 6 will be highlighted by a private cocktail and dinner reception at a Ford light truck assembly facility. Guests will have plenty of networking opportunities and the chance to enjoy multi-media experiences along with private tour access to an actual Ford Motor Company assembly line in operation. Presentation topics will be announced in early 2014 and will cover highly specific and technical subjects relevant to the vacuum carburizing process, including recent innovations, best practices and the business of vacuum carburizing. The speakers will be available for question-and-answer, as well as open discussion during several networking opportunities. This event will appeal primarily to business executives, design engineers, manufacturing engineers, drive train engineers, metallurgists, commercial heat treaters, current and prospective users of vacuum technology, and industry leaders in the carburizing community. ALD-Holcroft encourages interested parties to monitor the company's website (www.ald-holcroft.com) as well as industry publications and other media for additional details as they become available. Registration for the event is required. ALD-Holcroft offers MonoThermR, DualThermR and ModulThermR vacuum-based heat treating systems for the NAFTA market. For free literature on vacuum-based heat treating systems, call ALD-Holcroft Vacuum Technologies Co., Inc. at (248) 668-4130, or visit our website at www.ALD-Holcroft.com."
Solar Atmospheres of California Press Release. "Solar Atmospheres of California (SAC) announces that Stephen W. Lodge Sr. has accepted the position of Outside Sales Manager. Steve will maintain and promote sales in the western United States, Canada, and Mexico regions for SAC. With over 34 years of experience and knowledge to drawn upon in the aerospace and industrial metals industries, Steve will provide customers with exceptional support. SAC president, Derek Dennis says, “For our customers’ sakes, we’re thrilled to have Steve join Solar. He is one of the most talented, experienced, and customer-sensitive sales people in this industry and in our region.” Steve can be reached on his cell at 909-248-6093 or via email email@example.com. Prior to accepting this position Steve’s career included engineering, quality and sales, and market development positions with Firth Rixson, Titanium Industries, Frisa Aerospace, Forgital USA, Bohler Uddeholm, and RTI International Metals.
ABOUT SOLAR ATMOSPHERES OF CALIFORNIA; Solar Atmospheres of California specializes in vacuum heat treating, vacuum brazing and vacuum carburizing services. Using state-of-the-art furnace technology, Solar serves over 18 metal working industries including Aerospace, Medical and Power Gen. With processing expertise and responsive service, Solar processes small or large parts efficiently with a wide range of vacuum furnaces. Sizes range from lab furnaces to 24 feet long. Solar's unique capabilities, consistent quality and responsive service produce bright scale-free parts with minimal distortion that are delivered on time. With an in-house R&D team of metallurgists, Solar works with customers to develop innovative, custom solutions. For more information, visit www.solaratm.com" November 14/2013
Metlab. Now isn't that fellow Mark Padob, President of commercial heat treater Metlab in Wyndmoor a nice guy? You can read how nice he is below. Mark by the way is on the far right in the picture below. Metlab by the way has probably the largest commercial pit carburizing capabilities in North America. November 13/2013
"Metlab was pleased to host the Wyndmoor, PA Fire Department at it’s factory today and present them with a meter for measuring ammonia gas in the atmosphere, as well as a cash donation. Metlab uses ammonia in one of our heat treating processes to harden the surface of steel parts like gears, automotive crankshafts and camshafts, die casting molds and forging dies, plastic mold tools and other components. The most common use of ammonia is agricultural as a source of nitrogen for fertilizer, but it is also used in water and waste water purification systems, and industrial refrigeration systems. The detector will allow for determining the amount of this gas in the atmosphere to ensure safe levels in the environment. Without their own detector, the Fire Department, in the remote possibility that ammonia needs to be measured in any location in Wyndmoor needs to rely on the Montgomery County Hazardous Materials response team to visit the site and use their own detector. The detector is accurate enough to measure ammonia in parts per million, and is sensitive enough to measure extremely low levels of the gas".
Is There a Helium Shortage? The vast bulk of heat treaters will never in their working lives have the need for helium however it is not uncommon amongst vacuum heat treaters entirely because of it's quenching properties. Helium is a preferred furnace quenching atmosphere because it is is four times better than argon, with helium thermal conductivity 10 times better. As helium is truly a nonrenewable gas that is difficult to mine due to its light molecular structure the issue came up several years ago that there was a shortage, a shortage that would only become worse. Subsequent to this it appeared that efforts were being made to increase the supply and this was the basis of an article which recently appeared in an industry magazine, an article written by a Mr. Barry Ashby. However according to the comments below there is a very real and definite shortage of helium and if these comments are correct the issue will only get worse. November 12/2013
"Barry, If you want to know the facts about industrial grade helium, CP grade, I suggest you contact the major gas suppliers like Air Products for the facts. Our plants collectively have been placed on restricted allocations for over a year. We have a coming government defense project where we will have to obtain a DOE rating in order to get the helium to perform the contract. Several years ago we could buy helium in quantity at about $8 per hundred CF. today the price is over $30 if you can get it at all. The price for a helium birthday balloon today is about $10. The price will soon be $30 if available at all. One of the problems is the use of helium for the MRI machine where for public health they have priority. This demand ever growing world wide is driving up demand exponentially for an ever shrinking commodity. Helium is only available from very selected natural gas wells and is not a manufactured commodity like nitrogen, hydrogen, ammonia, carbon dioxide, etc. This is a very sensitive subject to industry and the public needs to know the real facts. William R. Jones, CEO, FASM Solar Atmospheres Inc. Bill Jones, Solar Atmospheres.
Barry, I read with interest your article titled “Up, Up and Away -- Helium Issues” in the October issue of "Industrial Heating" magazine. Barry, I could not disagree with you more. There truly IS a worldwide shortage of Helium! Putting politics aside for a moment, you need to realize: 1. Helium is truly a nonrenewable gas that is difficult to mine due to its light molecular structure. 2. The BLM in Texas that you refer to is a finite storage facility only. The Helium gas never gets replenished. It has been projected that by the year 2016 the last molecules of Helium will be exhausted. 3. This BLM facility currently supplies 40% of the world’s Helium. 4. The Helium sold from the BLM is artificially priced by our US government. (In a true supply and demand situation, a child’s party balloon would cost $100+!) 5. Helium is a byproduct of natural gas DEEP well drilling! Our current abundance of cheap natural gas domestically is coming from relatively SHALLOW wells. Therefore, the deep hole Middle East natural gas wells capable of producing helium have ceased operations. They cannot compete with our domestic shallow well natural gas pricing. 6. The plant in Wyoming that you referred to has never opened their doors and has been beleaguered with delays. Barry, the Helium shortage is much more than a political football. It is much bigger than that. At Solar Atmospheres we would typically and gladly spend $500K per year for helium. This specialty gas enables us to meet certain metallurgical properties in quenching and gain production efficiencies that no other gas can safely provide. Of course, our preferred gas supplier would love to keep this revenue stream going, instead they curtailed our helium supply by 50%. This curtailment has provided us the opportunity to openly search the market via other gas providers. Some providers have reduced helium molecules to share with current customers only, others have none at all. Therefore, my business plan going forward is to eventually eliminate helium usage all together. Barry, we actually DO need to get “our knickers in a knot.” Sincerely, Bob Hill President, Solar Atmospheres of Western Pennsylvania."
"European Conference on Heat Treatment 2014 and 21st IFHTSE Congress. Munich, Germany 12-15 May 2014
The 2014 European conference on heat treatment is merged with the 21st Congress of the International Federation for Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering. This joint event, organized by AWT Bremen, Germany, in close cooperation with IFHTSE and other European associations for heat treatment, will take place in May 2014 in Munich, Germany, at the “Haus der Bayerischen Wirtschaft”.
• Thermochemical treatment (carburizing, nitriding, ...)
• Surface hardening (induction, laser, plasma ...)
• Coating technology and coatings (PVD, CVD, thermal spray, ...)
• Design and construction of industrial heat treatment equipment
• Equipment for measurement and process control
• Quenching technology, equipment and quenchants
• Environmental aspects of heat treatment and surface engineering
• Tribology and tribological testing methods
• Wear and wear protection
• Modeling and simulation of heat treatment and surface engineering processes and phenomena
Centorr Vacuum Industries/Press Release. "Centorr Vacuum Industries announces it will be building its 6th MIM-Vac M furnace in 2013 expanding its customer base for the Metal Injection Molding market. This includes multiple furnaces to Dynacast International for their new Metal Injection Molding Operation. Dynacast is a global manufacturer headquartered in Charlotte, NC. In February 2013 they announced they would be adding Metal Injection Molding to their service offering. The addition of MIM as a manufacturing process means that it will expand its ability to produce small, complex components using a wider variety of metals, strengthening its commitment to higher quality, precision engineered components for its customers. CVI has over 30 years of successful MIM furnace building experience. It’s new business is comprised of a smaller research-sized unit designed with a 2 cu ft hot zone (12x12x24) and a larger production size unit at 9 cu ft with an 18x18x48 size hot zone. Other sizes are also available. The new MIM-Vac M (modular design) has a number of design improvements including advanced Molybdenum hot zones with “wide-flow” gas-plenum retorts using Sweepgas™ technology for consistent gas flow dynamics over all parts. It has a compact furnace layout with construction on a structural steel base for fast installation and easy hookup of all utilities, yet provides full access to major components for ease of maintenance, with no cumbersome panels to remove. About Centorr; Founded in 1954, Centorr Vacuum Industries is a high temperature vacuum and controlled atmosphere furnace manufacturer with an installed base of over 6500 units worldwide. They are located in Nashua, NH with a fully staffed Aftermarket Field Service group, and Applied Technology Center offering R&D support and toll production service. For more information please visit www.centorr.com About Dynacast; Dynacast International operates 22 manufacturing facilities in 16 countries around the world and has over 3000 employees. They service a variety of industries including automotive, consumer electronics, healthcare, hardware, computers, and peripherals and many others. More information can be found at: www.dynacastmim.com"
Ipsen/MTI Associate Member of the Year Award. To go with this news item about MTI and Ipsen we can add that Pacific Metallurgical out on the west coast of the US was named heat treater of the year. November 11/2013
CHERRY VALLEY, IL – At its annual Fall Meeting held Oct. 10-13, in Las Vegas, the Metal Treating Institute (MTI), the world’s largest network of heat treaters, recognized Ipsen with its Associate Member of the Year Award. Each year, MTI recognizes the supplier within its membership that has exemplified the highest levels of support and service to MTI members and the Institute with their expertise, service and commitment to the mission and objectives of the Metal Treating Institute. “Being a member of the Metal Treating Institute has been such a valuable experience for Ipsen, with the opportunities it provides for training, reviewing financial data and benchmarking surveys, and networking with commercial heat treaters across the globe. We are truly honored to be named MTI’s Associate of the Year,” said Mark Heninger, Vacuum Products Manager for Ipsen. Ipsen has been a member since 1995, an exhibitor at every Furnaces North America Expo since its inception in 1995 and graduated numerous executives from MTI’s Y.E.S. Management Training Program.
About MTI; The Metal Treating Institute is an international non-profit trade association for the heat treating industry. MTI is based in Jacksonville, Florida with members in 38 states and 8 countries.
Nickel Pricing. Far and away the determining factor when it comes to alloy components for heat treating furnaces is nickel so we are pleased to say that it is remaining relatively constant
with the October nickel average at $6.38/lb, a 2% increase from September. November 11/2013
Global Market for Heat Treatment Equipment. Over the years we have been asked a number of times what is the size of the worldwide market for heat treating equipment. According to Mr. Janusz Kowalewski, Managing Director / CEO of ALD Dynatech Furnaces Pvt. Ltd., in India (an individual whose opinion we very much value) it is in the range of $4.375 to $5.5 Billion USD/year. What you are seeing below is a small taste of what you will see in a full report from Janusz which we are looking forward to publishing before the end of the month.
"Global Market for Heat Treatment Equipment. The estimated annual global heat treatment equipment sale is between $4.375 and $5.5 Billion excluding ovens, induction and iron and steel furnaces.
Source: Janusz Kowalewski
Approximately 250 furnace companies around the world manufacture a heat treatment equipment. The list of 250 companies does not include oven, induction and steel and iron equipment producers. The U.S. (54) China (40) and the European Union (27) hold the majority in equipment manufacturers. The list of 250 companies is an arbitrary number and doesn't’t match the countries’ national data. For example, the Chinese Heat Treatment Association claims that there are 750 companies related to heat treatment, and India’s furnace manufacturers claim there are 50, but not all companies are heat treatment equipment manufacturers. Most likely, from the list of 250 furnace manufacturers, 10% of the companies should not be on the list because of their low technical and production capabilities. At the same time, an additional 10 %. should probably be on the list, but I could not locate them and attach their technical significance. My omission of companies that should be on the list will not change the total approximate number of furnace manufacturers around the world. The 250 companies from the list are in 34 countries and on every continent. The majority of furnace manufacturers are privately owned with several exceptions. Amongst the 12 biggest furnace companies in the world two are privately owned (Ebner and AFC-Holcroft), three are owned by investment groups (MHT/LOI, Ipsen,), four are owned by industrial conglomerates (Aichelin, ALD, Chugai Ro, DOWA) and two are publicly traded companies (SECO/WARWICK, Fendong)".
Aichelin/Nitrex Metal Technologies. "Aichelin Heat Treatment Systems of Plymouth, Michigan will manufacture and install an additional Flexiclean washer into the Nitrex Metal Technologies facility located in Burlington, Ontario. The Flexiclean is electrically heated and has a specified load size of 900mm (W) x 1,200mm (L) x 1050mm (H) and has a maximum gross loading capacity of 1,500 kg. Flexiclean is an environment friendly cleaning system that was developed in response to demand for an equivalent replacement of the environmentally harmful chlorinated hydrocarbons used for cleaning before and after heat treatment. The new Flexiclean will allow Nitrex Metal Technologies to expand its current capacity". November 7/2013
Bill Jones/MTI Heritage Award. "Mr. William R. Jones, CEO of Solar Atmospheres, Inc. received the Heritage Award at the Metal Treating Institute (MTI) Fall Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 12th. This most prestigious award is given in recognition of the individual’s lifetime commitment to the betterment of the commercial heat treating industry with one or more notable accomplishments. Only nine people in the seventy-eight year history of MTI have ever received this award. MTI 2011-2013 President, Mr. Buster Crossley, presented the award by introducing Mr. Jones as an “icon in the world of heat treating.” He went on to say, “When you hear his last name, you know who is being talked about. He is a graduate of Penn State with a degree in electrical technology, with more than 40 years of experience developing vacuum furnace, and processing technology. He is a Fellow of ASM International (FASM), and received the national Eisenman Award for applications of vacuum technology for outstanding contributions in practical industry applications. He served as President of Abar Corporation for five years, and in 1978 founded the Vacuum Furnace Systems Corporation (VFS) to engineer and build vacuum furnaces. In 1983, he and his son, Roger, formed their own company, Solar Atmospheres, to make use of the technology advancements they had discovered. Mr. Jones holds numerous patents related to vacuum furnace design and application. He has authored numerous technical articles and papers for ASM, the Metal Treating Institute, and Industrial Heating magazine.”
ABOUT SOLAR ATMOSPHERES; Solar Atmospheres is one of the world’s largest providers of commercial vacuum heat treating services. Through unmatched technical expertise, equipment, and quality assurance, Solar's thermal processing produces bright, scale-free parts with minimal distortion. For clients requiring an "out-of-the ordinary" application, an in-house R&D team of metallurgists and scientists develop innovative, custom process solutions. Serving over 18 markets, Solar's state-of-the art services include vacuum brazing, carburizing, nitriding and advanced processing of raw materials such as Titanium, Tantalum, and nano powders. With over 50 furnaces ranging from lab sized to the world’s largest commercial vacuum furnaces, Solar can efficiently handle any size job. Headquartered in Souderton, near Philadelphia, Solar also operates plants in Hermitage, near Pittsburgh and in Fontana, California, near Los Angeles. Please visit www.solaratm.com for more information". November 7/2013
Alfe Heat Treat/Defiance, Ohio, USA. It is always a joy to see a top notch, clean, state of the art heat treat and this one fits the bill. Alfe bills themselves as the largest commercial aluminum heat treater in North America, we have no cause to doubt it and the Defiance location is one of their finest. This location is approximately nine years old and runs one and only one type of product-aluminum engine blocks. This the company does on a grand scale to the tune of 3500/day which equates to one engine block every 24 seconds which in turn equates to 140 million pounds of product a year a truly impressive figure. This is accomplished through 5 Can Eng basketless style solution/quenching/aging lines each completely automated through robots which handle all the parts. The result is that while the company runs 3 shifts/day, 7 days a week each shift requires only two operators. From start to finish each block is identified by a S/N and can be tracked through the entire process which also includes harness testing and machining (although machining is done by a different company). All of these results are data logged and the results of heat treating, hardening and machining can be accessed even 10 years after each part of processed. While the fellow in charge of the operation, John Holifield has over 30 years of experience in this field he hastened to add that a great deal depends upon the fellows in the photo below. To compliment this news item we include the press release below which was issued earlier this about their sister plant in Saginaw, Michigan. November 6/2013
“March 2013. Alfe Heat treating, the largest aluminum heat treater in the US announced today that is has closed a deal with a major automotive manufacturer to heat treat V6 engines at its Saginaw operations plant. The long term project will start in late 2014 utilizing existing equipment and manufacturing. “The Saginaw metal casting facility has a reputation for providing the automotive industry with highly automated heat treat operations ensuring consistent quality processes while minimizing cost, said John Holifield, VP, Alfe. This contract underscores our ability to continually exceed the expectations of our customers and further solidifies our long term commitment to the local Saginaw community. We expect to expand our workforce by 75% in the fall of 2014 as we prepare to increase our capacity for the new engine”.
Left to right; Shane Wisda, Production Supervisor, John Holifield, VP, Alfe, Gary Peatee, Quality Manager, Kurt Becher, Maintenance Manager, Gord Montgomery
Global Heat Treating Market. Just last week we suggested that the value of the global heat treating market is in the range of $30 Billion/USD per year with the USA accounting for $20 Billion of this figure. A number of readers suggested that this did not pass the “smell test” and we can’t argue. Janusz Kowalewski, Managing Director / CEO of ALD Dynatech Furnaces Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India sent us this report on what he feels is the true size of the total market. We have a high opinion of Janusz and he has obviously researched this topic quite thoroughly. Note that what you see below is just a small part of a report he sent to us-the complete report will appear on this website shortly. November 5/2013
“Global Heat Treatment Industry; Heat treatment is a combination of operations involving the heating, holding and cooling of metal in the solid state for the purpose of obtaining certain desirable metallurgical properties or surface modification. Heat treatment consumes 17% of US Industrial Energy usage and consists of 2 to 15% of the total production cost. (Source: IHEA). The global heat treatment volume is in the range of $65 to $75 billion. This volume range doesn't’t included induction and primary iron and steel heat treatment. The global heat treatment volume estimate is gathered from local heat treatment association’s statistics and correlated with countries’ car production and countries GDP. The common belief is that North America is a $20 Billion industry with 15 million vehicles manufactured in the US in 2012 and $15 trillion GDP. China manufactures 19.5 million vehicles, has more than half of the US’s GDP ($8.3 trillion), and its manufacturing sector generates the equivalent of 30% of its GDP (compared to the US where the manufacturing sector only makes up around 12% of its GDP). China heat treatment market volume should be approx. $11 Billion. The European Union manufactures 12 million vehicles and has the same combined GDP as the US – its heat treatment volume, cannot be much lower than the US. Many countries have considered heat treatment as a strategic activity for the proper development of its economy and standard of living. For example, Poland and China have significant subsidies and grants provided to furnace manufacturers that develop advanced technologies”.
Bodycote Press Release. "I am pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Gibbons as President Aerospace, Defence and Energy (ADE) Heat Treatment and Surface Technology, with effect from the 1st November 2013. Tom will take over responsibility for our ADE Heat Treatment and Surface Technology business on a global basis and will be based in Dallas, Texas. Tom will be a member of the Executive Committee reporting directly to the Group Chief Executive. Immediately prior to joining Bodycote, Tom was President and CEO of HM Dunn Aerospace having previously been President of Sargent (a Dover Company). Tom has spent the majority of his career growing and improving businesses at a number of companies including Lord Corporation, Parker Hannifin and Moog. He has a Bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Harvard University.
Group Chief Executive, Bodycote." November 5/2013
Solar Press Release. "Souderton, PA. November 04, 2013 – Dr. Dianne Chong, Ph.D., FASM, recently toured the Solar Atmospheres headquarters in Souderton, PA. Dr. Chong is the Vice President, Materials, Manufacturing, Structures & Support in the Operations & Technology department of Boeing Engineering. Prior to her role as Vice President, Dianne was Director of Materials and Process Technology for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. She is a past President of ASM International 2007-2008, and the recipient of the 2012-13 ASM Liberty Bell Chapter William Hunt Eisenman Award. Senior executives and sales management from both Solar Atmospheres and Solar Atmospheres of Western Pennsylvania escorted Dr. Chong throughout her tour of Plant “A”. “We were honored to host Dr. Chong and give her an in-depth look at our thermal processing operations” says Roger Jones, Corporate President Solar Atmospheres. Dr. Chong’s visit consisted of an extended tour of Plant “A”, lunch, and further discussions about Solar’s capabilities. The topics of the discussions included Solar’s vacuum carburizing and vacuum gas nitriding processes, annealing services, heat treating of tooling, brazing, sintering and special processing.
About Solar Atmospheres
Solar Atmospheres is the world’s largest provider of commercial vacuum heat treating services. Through unmatched technical expertise, equipment, and quality assurance, Solar’s thermal processing produces bright, scale-free parts with minimal distortion. For clients requiring an "out-of-the ordinary" application, an in-house R&D team of metallurgists and scientists develop innovative, custom process solutions. Serving over 18 markets, Solar's state-of-the art services include brazing, carburizing and nitriding. With over 50 furnaces ranging from lab-sized to the world’s largest commercial vacuum furnace, Solar can efficiently handle any size job. Headquartered near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Solar also operates plants near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in Fontana, California. Please visit http://www.solaratm.com for more information.
ASM International serves materials professionals, nontechnical personnel, and managers worldwide by providing high-quality materials information, education and training, networking opportunities, and professional development resources in cost-effective and user-friendly formats. ASM is where materials users, producers, and manufacturers converge to do business." November 5/2013
Left front, Mike Moyer, Sales Director, Dr. Diane Chong, Boeing, VP Materials, Manufacturing, Structures & Support, Tim Steber, Sales Manager, Left Rear, Don Jordan, Corporate Metallurgist, Bob Hill, President, Solar Atmospheres of Western PA, Roger Jones, Corporate President, Solar Atmospheres, Inc.
Monday Morning Briefing. We start off with two rather sad news items from furnace builder Can Eng in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Mr. Pete Mackenzie, P.Eng. passed away Friday. Pete was a top notch individual who was a retired Can-Eng employee, and former Vice President of Engineering, (1966 to 1997). After Pete left Can Eng he stayed very busy with his furnace consulting business. Also we have this note about Major Ken Elliott another long time Can Eng employee. "ELLIOTT, Kenneth - At his home, Major Kenneth Arthur Elliott passed away peacefully on Friday, November I , 2013 . He has joined his beloved wife the late Shirley Elliott and his brother the late Robert Elliott. Survived by his children Dave (Patti) and Lori (Dan) Elder. Grandpa will be sadly missed by his grandchildren Justin, Katie (Mark), Danielle (Adam), Jason (Crystal), Jessica (Garret) and great grandfather to Ashlea. Ken was a long time employee of Can-Eng Furnaces as an engineer. He was also a member of the Royal Regiment of Canada with the rank of Major. The family will receive friends at the HULSE & ENGLISH FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 75 Church Street, St. Catharines (905-684-6346), on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. A Memorial Service will be held in the Chapel on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 11:00 am. Memorial donations in memory of Kenneth to Wellspring Niagara would be appreciated by the family. On-line tributes may be made at www.hulseandenglish.com"Mark Manning, General Manager of Thermal Modification Technologies (formerly Beaver Heat Treat) out in Oregon has announced that he is retired as of the end of October 2013. Mark is a top notch fellow who knows his stuff. Jennifer Koziak an experienced metallurgist has parted ways with rock drill manufacturer and captive heat treater Boart Longyear in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and is now working as a Quality Engineer with aerospace parts supplier and captive heat treater Northstar Aerospace in Milton, Ontario. Sandi Martin will be joining her father Tom Martin at heat treat rep firm Thermtek LLC in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. In a rather surprising move Tracy Glende, President of the Aerospace, Defense & Energy division of Bodycote in Dallas, Texas has parted ways with the company and has been replaced by Tom Gibbons who was President of a company by the name of HM Dunn. The photo below shows Tracy on the left when he started with Bodycote a few years back.
In related Bodycote news we see that Bodycote is still in the hunt for Metco. If Bodycote were to be successful with this acquisition it would position them as one of the largest in the world when it comes to spray coatings. "Oct 31 (Reuters) - Bankers are working on financing packages of around 560 million Swiss francs ($624.69 million) to back a sale of Swiss machinery manufacturer Sulzer's coatings unit Metco, banking sources said on Thursday. Credit Suisse was hired earlier this year to manage the sale of Metco, the world's largest maker of thermal spray coatings, catering to the car, chemicals and energy industries, which could fetch 800 million Swiss francs. The sale attracted interest from a number of private equity firms and strategic corporate buyers, which submitted tentative bids earlier this month. Two peers, Swiss Oerlikon and British Bodycote and two private equity firms including EQT have made it through to the second round of an auction process on Jan. 8. Oerlikon, Bodycote and Sulzer were not immediately available to comment. EQT declined to comment. Bankers are preparing debt packages of 5.5 times to six times Metco's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around 98 million Swiss francs to back private equity bids, the bankers said. The debt could be a mix of senior leveraged loans and high yield bonds, denominated in Swiss francs, euros and dollars, they added. Sulzer is selling the Metco unit to concentrate on more lucrative businesses making pumps and equipment and providing services for the oil and gas industry".
Recently we suggested that the Global Heat Treating Market is worth $30 Billion/year. Well not everybody agreed with us and one reader sent us convincing proof that it is worth more in the range of $65-$75 Billion USD/year. More on this later this week. Induction heating company Ambrell recently announced that they have sold an EKOHEAT 35-kW/30-kHz induction heating system to a fastener manufacturer. The company will use the EKOHEAT to preheat blanks prior to forging to create fasteners. Commercial heat treater Euclid Heat Treat in Euclid, Ohio has made an impressive investment in the form of a large Ipsen vacuum furnace with both oil and gas quenching capabilities. Euclid is a family owned business and quite a bit larger than the average North American commercial heat treat.
And to round things out we have this interesting news item (and really cool picture) from Mr. Damian Bratcher, Director International Operations for Super Systems Inc., about the heat treating department of auto parts maker Dana, in Toluca, Mexico. "DANA Toluca Mexico; DANA Corporation has many divisions ranging from Light Vehicle to industrial applications. DANA has two facilities in Toluca de Lerdo, Mexico. The facilities in Toluca help DANA lead the industry with drivetrain innovations for the commercial vehicle market that increase fuel efficiency, reduce maintenance, and lower life-cycle costs. Between the two facilities there are over 20 batch furnaces. All of these furnaces run with generator produced Endothermic Gas. It has to be a unique challenge processing parts at an elevation of 8750 feet (2667 m). This facility along with a nearby Hitchener plant may be the highest elevated heat treatment facilities in the world. I was wondering if anyone knew of a facility at a higher elevation. The team responsible for obtaining good metallurgical results are Ricardo Ontiveros and Deanna Herrera pictured here with Damian Bratcher, Director International Operations, Super Systems Inc". November 4/2013