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Heat Treat News

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Merry Christmas! The offices of WG Montgomery Ltd., will be closed for the Christmas holidays from Dec. 19th to Dec. 28th with regular news items resuming December 29th. We wish our friends, associates and customers a very Merry Christmas. Gordon, Dale and Jordan Montgomery. December 19/2014

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Used Equipment Available. Our list of the best priced used furnace equipment in the industry keep changing. So what have we added in the past couple of weeks? First up are some enormous Ipsen Batch Carburizing Furnaces, an almost unused CEC Batch IQ Line with working dimensions of 36" X 48" X 32", also available is an immaculate Inductoheat Induction Power Supply, a very rare offering just added are two almost new, very large Ipsen Pit Gas Nitriding Systems in like new condition. Other recent offerings include a complete Metallurgical Lab with all the equipment only 3 years old, a Surface Combustion Vacuum Furnace, a Leco Microhardness Tester Model LM100AT in excellent condition, and a very impressive Abar Ipsen Vacuum Brazing Furnace, with a flexible asking price. If you don't see what you are looking for please let us know and we will try to find it for you. December 19/2014

A few examples include:


Ipsen Press Release. "CHERRY VALLEY, IL As the holidays approach, now is your chance to win big with valuable heat-treating information and an iPad 4! Subscribe to The Ipsen, Harold to receive relevant industry information, updates and other resources delivered straight to your inbox. All new subscribers will be entered into a drawing to win an iPad. Existing subscribers will be automatically entered. The contest ends on January 31, 2015, and the winner will be announced on the blog in February. Subscribe now for your chance to win at

Over the past five months, Ipsen has posted weekly content to their new blog – from informative videos, expert tips and throwback photos to A Daily Checklist for Preventive Maintenance and their ongoing series, Finding Leaks in Your Vacuum Furnaces. Focused on sharing tips of the trade, as well as breaking down technical and complex material, this blog provides readers with valuable, up-to-date thermal processing information. Regardless of the parts or processes you run, Ipsen is committed to providing the most pertinent materials and resources. Whether you like your information in short, easy-to-understand blurbs or in-depth technical papers, Ipsen has the answers you need in the format you prefer. Make sure to check out Ipsen’s posts and how-to videos on The Ipsen, Harold,, as well as their various articles and technical resources at Don’t hesitate; visit today and see how Ipsen can help you." December 19/2014


Wallwork Press Release. "Wallwork Consolidates Position as Official UK CemeCon Coating Provider. Having operated an exclusive licence agreement with the German pure diamond coating specialist CemeCon for over 12 months, Wallwork Cambridge report growing business from UK manufacturers. The licence agreement and an investment of over £1.2 million at their Cambridge site enables Wallwork to replicate key CemeCon processes for the coating of rotational tooling. For other coatings the company has direct express channels to CemeCon in Aachen for turnaround in 48-72 hours.

Ian Haggan, Wallwork business development manager, explained, “In aerospace, motorsport, nuclear and other areas of engineering coating performance, technical service and rapid turnaround in processing components are key factors. The addition of genuine CemeCon coatings alongside our own products means we have a more comprehensive portfolio and can solve many more metal problems for our customers. Over the last 12 months we have also made major improvements to logistics so that we can deliver a rapid and reliable turnaround on processed components.” To fully replicate the CemeCon process, Wallwork has installed an automatic wet process system for component preparation prior to coating. This is integrated with the high capacity CemeCon 800/9XL magnetron sputtering coating system for round shank tooling and carbide inserts coating. The process produces a super smooth micro thin film, free from droplets and pinholes. This finish can be further enhanced by post-coat wet processing if required.

Patent CemeCon coatings available include TinALOX SN2, Hyperlox, ALOX SN2, CCAluspeed and HSN2. In addition, the company provides the complete line of CemeCon CarbonSpeed, FiberSpeed and MultiSpeed pure diamond coatings. With a dedicated in-house fleet of over 35 vehicles, covering every part of the UK, Wallwork offer a 48 to 72 hour turnaround service for UK tool manufacturers, tooling contractors and end users.  The Cambridge factory works with aerospace majors, engineering component suppliers and universities. The facility is NadCap approved, operates under AS9001 quality assurance systems and has multiple company approvals. Processes are backed by on-site professionally staffed metallurgical laboratories, equal to those of leading universities, to provide coating characterisation, compliance verification and documentation. Ian Haggan concluded, “We have an even stronger relationship with CemeCon who recognise that as an independent coating specialist, with no links to tool producers, we bring both expertise and a quality of service that is not commercially compromised. We have streamlined our systems to process components and handle shipments more quickly offering clients a reliable rapid turnaround service.” December 19/2014


Solar Atmospheres Press Release. "Hermitage, PA. December 15, 2014 - Solar Atmospheres of Western PA (SAWPA) announced today that it has attained an approved supplier status for Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.  SAWPA has received approval for the heat treatment of steel and titanium alloy components used in the production of Bell Helicopters. Bob Hill, president of Solar Atmospheres of Western PA states, “Solar Atmospheres of Western PA is extremely honored to provide precise, thermally vacuum processed parts for the world’s premier provider of vertical lift aircraft – Bell Helicopter.  This rotary-wing approval compliments the multiple fixed-wing approvals that currently exist.” For more information about Solar Atmospheres of Western PA, please contact Mike Johnson at (866) 982-0660 ext. 2223, or, and visit us at" December 18/2014

Solar’s alloy grid supplier, Steeltech Ltd, flew their Bell Jet Ranger in from Michigan to Western Pennsylvania for this specific photo opportunity. Note- in the foreground is the largest vacuum furnace that is commercially available in the world.

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Donusum Isil Islem/Turkey. As the year winds down we happened to be going through some heat treating photos we have taken over the years and we came across these two which were taken earlier this year in Turkey. This was such an unusal heat treat setting that we felt it worthwhile to include them again as a couple of our favorites of the year.

"Donusum Isil Islem/Istanbul, Turkey. This captive/commercial heat treater has the record as far as I know for the highest heat treat in the world. The parent company offers various types of steels and as a service for their customers Donusum provides hardening, vacuum hardening and very shortly gas nitriding all on the fourth floor of their warehouse and office building near Istanbul. There is a bit of a press release in this news item as the company is just completing construction of their first gas nitrider which will be equipped with a new SSI Nitriding control system with the entire system coming on line in just a few months. As a matter of fact in the one photo you can see a picture of Matt Cross, head of SSI Europe climbing a ladder to see into the furnace. Other photos also show a very impressive and fairly new Schmetz 10 bar vacuum furnace, the outside of the building with the heat treat on the top floor and another hardening system already in place. April 14/2014." December 18/2014

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Gord Montgomery/The Monty Interview. Heat treating is a family industry as many of you may know. Recently I, Jordan Montgomery, just started working with my dad and he was a little reluctant to do an interview with me but after a little prodding I managed to talk him into it. Here are the questions I came up with and I hope you enjoy the interview. December 17/2014

1. What was your first job within the industry?

"My father William started a small rep business in Canada in 1969 concentrating on power transmission products and castings. Shortly after he started the business he was approached by Alloy Engineering and Casting of Berea, Ohio about selling their products to the heat treating industry. Gradually over the years the power transmission business shrunk and the heat treating business grew until roughly 10 years later he was selling only heat treat related products. Back in 1979 when I was 21 he talked me into working for him as a salesman, which I reluctantly agreed to on a temporary basis-I am now 57 and my father Bill is a very healthy 80 and long since retired. So my first job in the industry was as a manufacturers rep which of course is what I still am."

2) So where did “The Monty” come from?

"I well remember doing an interview with Michael Korwin, founder of Nitrex a few years back and one of the questions I asked him was why he started Nitrex. His answer would was the same as mine-to feed my family. While the rep business has always provided the Montgomery’s with a respectable income it was obvious to me that with Canada and Upstate NY being small territories for Heat Treating and getting smaller that I would be able to feed my family, keep a roof over the heads and have some luxuries but not much more. “The Monty” was my idea to supplement my income by selling used equipment, the idea of advertising as an example never crossed my mind."

3) What do you find to be the most enjoyable part of your career?

"Bill St. Thomas, a well known individual in the industry hit the nail on the head just the other day when he said he loves seeing how things are made. Since heat treating is part of the manufacturing process I have been lucky enough to see how cars are made, guns, jet engines and on and on-I never get tired of that. But the best part is travelling to interesting places and meeting fellow heat treaters around the world-I never cease to be amazed how I can be in a country on the other side of the world and within minutes of meeting a heat treater we realize we have ten or twenty mutual friends." Continue Reading


Heat Treating Services Unlimited, Inc (HTSU):  "This past weekend HTSU held their annual Training, Year End Meeting and Christmas party with employees from all five offices.  During the Training on Friday, Neil Revis was given a service award for 15 Years with the company.  He was awarded a Plaque then taken outside to be presented with a Harley Davidson V-Rod motorcycle as a personal gift from HTSU owners Kyle and Ronda Favors. Congratulations to Mr. Neil Revis for 15 Years of Service with HTSU!" December 17/2014


VAC AERO Press Release. "Burlington, Ontario, December 15, 2015 - VAC AERO has sold a VAH4848 HV-6 high-pressure quench vacuum furnace to a manufacturer and integrator of high performance aerospace systems and components. The furnace is designed to have rapid heating rates while maintaining tight uniformity at high vacuum levels and is equipped with a gas quench system capable of quench pressures up to six bar. The furnace features a 36” wide x 30” high x 48” long carbon hot zone with a heavy duty hearth designed to support a uniformly distributed load of 2500 lbs. VAC AERO’s decades of experience operating aerospace heat treating facilities allows them to offer customers training, technology transfer as well as hands-on instruction and collaboration. About VAC AERO International Inc.; Founded in 1959, VAC AERO International provides vacuum heat treating and thermal & paint coating services as well as vacuum furnace systems and controls to aerospace and high-tech industries worldwide. VAC AERO operates 6 production facilities near Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec, Canada as well as in 2 production facilities in Poland. More information can also be found at:" December 16/2014


Business Opportunities. "The Monty" has many top notch positions available in the heat treating industry which indicates both the shortage of good people available and also the fact that we get results for our advertisers. A small sampling of recent offerings include these; Texas Heat Treating is looking for a Process Engineer, a company in Israel is dlooking for advise from an Experienced Gas Fired Furnace Individual, Tri City Heat Treating in Rock Island, Illinois needs a Process Developer and a commercial shop in Ohio needs a Heat Treat Manager.

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 December 16/2014


Bodycote/Istaş, Turkey Press Release. "Representatives of AFC-Holcroft were honored to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of a new Bodycote facility October 20th, 2014 at Bodycote Istaş near Istanbul in Gebze, Turkey.  The event was attended by plant personnel, global representatives of Bodycote, invited guests,  members of the press and various dignitaries including the Mayor of the city of Gebze.  A plant tour and reception completed the festivities.   AFC-Holcroft has many installations at Bodycote facilities worldwide, and recently delivered a complete UBQ integral quench batch furnace line to the Gebze plan"              

Photo Above from from left to right: Bilgi Çengelli – R&D / Training Manager, Ron Waligora – Manager of Mechanical Engineering, AFC-Holcroft, Marc Ruetsch – Managing Director of European Operations, AFC-Holcroft Europe, Volkan Kara – Plant Manager Gebze, Mustafa Mermerci – Sales Manager İzmir, Ali Demir – Sales Manager Gebze

Photo above from from left to right: Fahrettin Goncal – Shareholder Bodycote Istaş, Aydın Telseren – Shareholder Bodycote Istaş, Barış Telseren – VP AGI Eastern Europe (South), Ali Toltar - Mayor of Gebze, Paul Clough – President AGI UK, Northern and Eastern Europe, Erol Kınalıkuzu – Founder of Istaş, Tamer Taşkın – Founder of Istaş, Ahmet Demirok – Shareholder Bodycote Istaş.   December 16/2014

Super Systems

European Used Equipment Available. Surplus Heat Treating Equipment. For 16 years “The Monty” has been very successful at putting buyers and sellers of used heat treating equipment together and we now bring this model to Europe. If you have surplus heat treating equipment we would be very happy to help you find a buyer on a non-exclusive small commission basis. Please let us know what questions you have and we will be happy to answer them. If you are a buyer looking for a particular item please let us know and we should be able to find it for you. December 16/2014

A few examples include:


Premier Furnace Specialists/Pusher Furnace Order. As part of our Monday Morning Briefing yesterday we included how Premier Furnace of Michigan had landed an order for a pusher line from a company in Texas. No customer name was mentioned which prompted a flurry of questions from other furnace builders asking if we had any idea who the end customer was? No we don’t know who the end customer is but what we did learn that this is for use in a non heat treat application and that this particular line does not include a quench. We are certainly taking nothing away from Premier, this is a very respectable order however (at least with us) if it doesn't have to do with heat treating our attention span gets very short. December 16/2014

Corner Stone

Monday Morning Briefing. For a change lets start off in India where we see that one of the largest furnace builders in the country Hightemp-Dowa has capped off a very good year with a large order. The order is for a continuous gas carburizing line integrated with a wash, temper and supporting automation. The order comes from an auto parts maker in the city of Pondicherry near Chennai which is the auto capital of India. The managing director of Hightemp Dowa, Mr. Gopal Mahadevan has this to say; "As usual we were competing with the best in the business from all of the top furnace companies in India. At the end of the day I guess the customer found true value in Hightemp – Dowa’s, technical and commercial offering. Business for our furnace division has grown considerably this year necessitating that we set up one more new furnace facility to meet customer demand." Now this is rather interesting. Basically one of the best known equipment salesman in the industry is making a change; "Bill St. Thomas Joins Aichelin Heat Treatment Systems. Aichelin Heat Treatment Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce that Bill St. Thomas has joined our staff as Business Development Manager. Bill is a longtime ASM and HTS member and has published several articles and presented many technical papers on a variety of heat treating applications. He brings nearly 40 years of heat treating expertise and knowledge to our team and will be covering the North America market from our office in Plymouth, MI. Aichelin is a world leader in thermal processing equipment with our headquarters located in Austria and several manufacturing plants around the world. You can visit the Aichelin USA website at or contact Bill at About AICHELIN Heat Treatment Systems Inc.: Established in 1868, AICHELIN is an international leading supplier of heat treatment plants with manufacturing facilities all over the world. AICHELIN has been producing heat treatment systems in the USA since 1989. We offer the full range of AICHELIN products as well as service and customized solutions for heat treatment and cleaning. For more information, call 734-459-9850 or visit "

Premier Furnace Specialists of Michigan has landed an order from a Texas company for a fully automatic two row pusher furnace. Darned if we can figure out who the end customer is and even local heat treaters are puzzled as to who purchased this. While there are a few pushers in Texas they aren't nearly as common as the Northern US states which feature a lot of automotive heat treating which is generally who uses pusher lines. Precision Solutions of Richmond, Utah recently received a couple of dual chamber furnaces from Lucifer Furnaces. Rick Bailey who was with Metal Improvement Company (now Bodycote) in Kansas recently joined National Heat Treat in Houston, Texas as Chief Metallurgist.

In the "trends" department we saw a Nitrogen/Methanol system at a captive heat treater recently and it looked rather "antiquated". 20 years ago these systems owned a significant part of the heat treating industry in North America but with advances in Endothermic Generator technology, rising methanol prices and dropping natural gas pricing I am amazed that any company with a natural gas supply would continue to use Nitrogen/Methanol. Buy a new generator and the payback in any area of North America that we have seen is less than a year-a no brainer. The auto industry in North America is booming these days and with gas pricing dropping like a rock a lot of people are betting that it will continue. Certainly Ford Motor has been making some large investments and this includes a multi million dollar investment in more heat treating equipment for their Livonia, MI transmission plant. It's interesting that while Ford and Chrysler continue to do a lot of heat treating in house GM now does very little having closed down most of their large captive heat treating departments in 2009. ESCO Corp., a manufacturer of heavy parts for the oil and gas and mining sectors added a few furnaces this year which came from Nutec Bickely. There were a total of 4 supplied to their Newton Mississippi plant each with working dimensions of 8' X 8.5' X 9.5' high and an operating temperature of 2100F. Esco by the way has a commercial heat treat location in Oriskany, NY by the name of Steel Treaters. Anyway want to have a look at the furnaces? December 15/2014

Christmas Card? It's not often that we see a Christmas card dedicated solely to heat treating. It's kind of light weight but still good for a laugh. December 15/2014

Custom Electric

ALD France? One of the best known names in the worldwide heat treating industry is ALD Germany and ALD-Holcroft in the US however ALD France was a new one on us. Here is the story; ALD France was incorporated in 2014 as a “daughter” company of ALD Germany and is a merger of FNAG (Furnaces Nuclear Applications Grenoble) and long standing furnace builder TIV of Grenoble, France. FNAG provides heat treating furnaces to the nuclear industry and TIV is a supplier of vacuum tempering, gas nitriding, vacuum brazing and active screen plasma nitriding furnaces. Combined the new company will have sales of roughly $30 million USD. The President of ALD France is experienced ALD employee Karl-Heinz Grosse who is shown in the one photo below. FNAG and TIV will be moving into one building just outside of Grenoble January 2015 and the new location is shown in the photos below. In related news ALD France is entering the Gas Nitriding business and within the next few weeks will be shipping two brand new units to the ALD Thermal Treatment facility in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Each furnace has working dimensions of 1.8 X 1.2 X 1.2 meters (roughly 48” X 48” X 72”) and will be equipped with UPC controls. December 12/2014


Largest Vacuum Carburizing Installations North America. Yesterday we had a list of the largest vacuum carburizing installations in North America and as always with our “top 10” lists we went to great lengths to stress that while these lists are pretty accurate we don’t claim that they are 100%. As it turns out while several people did feel that the list was very accurate two individuals pointed out that we had missed one of the largest VC installations in North America, ZF Industries in Gray Court, SC. If you refer to yesterdays list you will see that it has been corrected. December 11/2014

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CAN-ENG Press Release. "CAN-ENG Furnaces International Limited has commissioned a 1500 lb/hr Continuous Mesh Belt Atmosphere Hardening Furnace System for a Large North American Fastener Manufacturer.  The system is designed to provide atmosphere hardening and tempering of high volume fasteners and includes a computerized loading system, mesh belt controlled atmosphere hardening furnace, oil quench system, pre and post wash systems, and enhanced part tracking.  CAN-ENG included its ERS™ technology to reduce the overall energy requirements, while maintaining the systems output capacity and product quality. Our state-of-the-art combustion system integrates new self-recuperative burner technology which provides significant benefits in heating efficiency over conventional recuperative burner technology.  To complement the self-recuperative burner technology, this system is fitted with a modern radiant tube heating system which provides improved system efficiencies and reduced emissions.  Along with this enhancement, CAN-ENG’s atmosphere reduction technologies were included as a secondary means of reducing energy consumption. The system has been integrated with CAN-ENG’s computerized part tracking, recipe control and data archiving system, for process control.  

CAN-ENG’s Continuous Mesh Belt Atmosphere Heat Treatment Systems are recognized worldwide and meet or exceed stringent quality code requirements. This Continuous Mesh Belt Atmosphere Furnace System is fully compliant to meet the requirements of AIAG CQI-9 Heat Treatment System guidelines. Commissioning was completed in Q3, 2014. For further information please contact Tim Donofrio – Vice President, Standard and Aluminum Products at CAN-ENG Furnaces International Limited is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company with its head office and manufacturing facility located in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada.

Established in 1964, CAN-ENG Furnaces International Limited has grown to become a leading designer and manufacturer of thermal processing equipment for ferrous and non-ferrous metals.  Whether manufacturing a simple, manually controlled furnace or a turnkey automated system, CAN-ENG focuses on the development of high volume continuous industrial furnaces for challenging applications.  For CAN-ENG Furnaces International Limited is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company with its head office and manufacturing facility located in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada." December 11/2014

Largest Vacuum Carburizing Companies in North America. While vacuum carburizing has made enormous strides over the past few years it still remains a relatively small part of the overall heat treating market in North America with one notable exception-automotive transmission components where it has come on like gangbusters over the past 10-15 years. Before we get into our list of the largest users of vacuum carburizing systems in North America we are going to share these thoughts. First there are a number of suppliers of vacuum carburizing systems including SECO/WARWICK, Surface Combustion, CI Hayes (the pioneer of vacuum carburizing now part of the Gasbarre Group), Ipsen, Solar Manufacturing, ECM and ALD. However this list is clearly dominated by ALD of Germany and ECM of France. Second we should point out that for a number of reasons vacuum carburizing certainly is more of an “in house” thing as opposed to an outsourced process although there are some exceptions to this. Third as always we will cover ourselves by saying that while we consider this list to be fairly accurate we won’t for a second say that it is 100% correct. And fourth while most of the companies on this list are involved in the auto industry once you get past number ten you start to see installations in the Aerospace, Bearing and Heavy Equipment industries. December 10/2014

#1) Ford Sharonville, Ohio, Transmission Plant. When you turn out 180,000 gears per day you need a lot of heat treating capacity which in this case means almost 60 vacuum carburizing cells.
#2) Jatco, Mexico. This might be a surprise to a lot of people but Japanese “transplant” Jatco in Mexico has almost as many vacuum carburizing cells as Ford Sharonville. Again transmission components.
#3) ALD Thermal Treatment, Port Huron, Michigan/Saltilo, Mexico. With over 50 cells in operation in the US and Mexico ALD TT is the largest commercial vacuum carburizer out there.
#4) Linamar Gear, Mexico. Another transmission components supplier which makes our list.
#5) Chrysler, Kokomo, Indiana. Surprise, surprise another supplier of transmission components. Incidentally this facility is one of the largest captive heat treats in North America.
#6) ZF Industries, Gray Court, SC. ZF has one of the newest vacuum carburizing installations of any company on this list.
#7) GKN Driveline, Merritt, NC (formerly Getrag). Transmission components.
#8) Axle Alliance, Detroit, Michigan. These ECM units go back quite some time now.
#9) Bodycote, Frazier, Michigan/Empalme, Mexico. Now wouldn’t you have been surprised if Bodycote didn’t make this list? And guess what they run in their VC systems? Transmission components for GM.
#10) Midwest Thermal-Vac, Kenosha, Wisconsin. Midwest is a commercial heat treater that was actually partly started by ECM many years ago. It has long since ceased to be part of ECM but remains a large VC house.

SECO/WARWICK/Seat Group. "SECO/WARWICK is in the process of completing the modernization of the first of two pusher furnace lines for automotive components. This staged project began in March 2014, with the work being performed at SEAT Components in El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. The first modernized line is finishing the final testing phase of the project. The repair of the second system will start in November and is scheduled for completion in March of next year.  Due to the positive results from the first system, SEAT Components has placed an order for modernization and refurbishment of next two heat processing lines to improve total system efficiency. The technical rebuild will cover the replacement of furnace lining, burner system and fan assemblies of both the heat treat and tempering furnaces. Included in the modernization project is the addition of a washing machine and material handling system. The SEAT Components plant decided to replace the existing control cabinet with new, updated control system.

About the SEAT Group; SEAT is the only company in its sector with the full-range capacity to design, develop, manufacture and market cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting more than 80% of its vehicles, and is present in more than 75 countries. In 2013 SEAT achieved a business volume of 6,473 million euros, the highest figure in its history, with worldwide sales of 355,000 units. December 10/2014

Southwest Metal Treating Corp./Fort Worth Texas. Southwest Metal Treating of Fort Worth, Texas (not to be confused with Southwest Heat Treat in Houston, a Bluewater company) has been on a bit of a roll recently adding more capacity, modernizing and generally staying pretty darn busy. This commercial heat treat owned by Mr. Ryan Fussell makes for our top news item for today on the basis of their latest addition. The company just brought on line a brand new AFC-Holcroft gas fired batch IQ line with working dimensions of 36" X 48" X 36". The line will compliment existing batch IQ and continuous furnace capacity. We went through our photo section for pictures of Southwest and we came up with the one below which we always get a kick out of. It was actually taken at Aberfoyle Metal Treating in Canada and shows the President of Aberfoyle, Mr. Harry Hall on the left and Mr. Ryan Fussell of Southwest on the right. We get a kick out of the photo because of the sheer size of the furnaces at Aberfoyle, some of the largest in North America. December 9/2014

Vacuum Carburizing. Regular readers will know we love our top 10 lists-largest furnace builders in the world, largest commercial heat treaters, largest captives and most influential people to name a few. One thing we have never done though is a list of the largest vacuum carburizing heat treaters in North America and we think it is about time. Consequently later this week we will present you with our list of the companies in North America with the most number of vacuum carburizing cells. It will be no surprise that most are captive heat treaters as opposed to commercials but a couple of the names on the list especially the number two position might surprise some people. December 9/2014

Monday Morning Briefing. We are going to start off today in Monterrey, Mexico where we see that a commercial heat treat has been sold. Processos Termicos was a pretty good sized operation at one time with batch IQ, continuous and vacuum heat treating furnaces. It was sold recently to a company by the name of Noranco who provides components to the aerospace industry. Interestingly enough they did not buy it as a heat treating operation although they are keeping some of the equipment. The rest of the equipment has been largely sold and dispersed around North America. It’s been quite some time since we last saw this plant but the photos below show it as it appeared a number of years ago.

From Mexico we are going to bounce over to the UK to have a look at a commercial heat treater by the name of Tamworth Heat Treatment in Staffordshire who has this to say about a new vacuum furnace the company has. "Tamworth Heat Treatment have installed a new high vacuum, high temperature vacuum furnace at their site in Tamworth, Staffordshire. The investment of some £350K is part of the continuous improvement activities at the company and demonstrates their commitment to keep pace with the changing demands of industry. The new equipment  compliments the existing eight vacuum furnaces and  with the high vacuum capability, along with the availability of Nitrogen and Argon  as process gases , it provides a facility for the treatment of stainless steels, super alloys and Titanium along with the potential to develop high temperature brazing. Using  PC supervisory  and SCADA based control systems ensures a high degree of temperature uniformity is achieved and satisfies the AMS 2750 Specification requirements  for thermal processing equipment. The equipment was made in the Midlands by Vacuum Furnace Engineering and shows the commitment of Tamworth Heat Treatment to midlands engineering and the provision of a modern up to date processing facility for our customers throughout the UK and Ireland." Nice looking installation.

From Mexico and the UK we move on to the US starting off with a commercial heat treater in PA by the name of Bennett Heat Treating & Brazing. Quite the history for this company-it was formed in 1923 and purchased by in 1956 by Anthony J. Quaglia (the Quaglia family still own the company by the way). A full service heat treater the company has just added a Nitrex completely automated and digitally controlled gas nitriding furnace. Interesting that in the past week we have run across two brand new Nitrex installations the other being Vacu-Braze also in PA. This reinforces our oft stated view that nitriding is one of the fastest growing heat treat technologies out there. In captive heat treating in the US we have this story from Wyman-Gordon. While we have a sneaking suspicion that the furnaces were provided by O’Brien & Gere of NY we wouldn’t bet on it. Again at the risk of repeating ourselves (which we are want to do) the growth in manufacturing and consequently heat treating in the Carolinas is quite remarkable. "DILLON, S.C. -- Wyman-Gordon Co. – a manufacturer of large titanium and super alloy forgings for the aerospace and power generation markets – will celebrate their announcement of the creation of more than 400 jobs with a ground breaking at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at its Dillon County facility located at 152 Caldwell Drive, Dillon. Wyman-Gordon’s new facility will house multiple, post-forging operations ranging from heat treating to machining, delivering a more streamlined process with an improved level of service for customers. The Dillon facility will be sited on 60 acres located at 152 Caldwell Drive. The proximity to Wyman-Gordon’s customer base and South Carolina’s growing aerospace industry were key factors in the selection process, according to the company. Originally founded in 1883, Wyman-Gordon was acquired by Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC) in 1999, and operates facilities in five different countries, including the Czech Republic, England, Mexico, Scotland and the United States."

Ever hear of Capps Manufacturing out in Wichita, Kansas? Neither had we but this supplier of aerospace components claims to have one of the largest aluminum heat treating furnaces in the US Midwest. News to us but a useful piece of information to file away in case they ever produce a heat treating edition of Trivial Pursuit (don’t hold your breath-wouldn’t be a big seller). Probably 4 times a week we come across a story about the stock price of international heat treater Bodycote. This is the latest (note that the market cap of of company is the 1.171 Billion British Pounds which is probably the value of the next 3 or 4 commercial heat treaters combined). "Panmure Gordon reissued their buy rating on shares of Bodycote PLC (LON:BOY) in a research report released on Tuesday morning. Panmure Gordon currently has a GBX 700 ($10.92) price objective on the stock. Shares of Bodycote PLC (LON:BOY) opened at 615.50 on Tuesday. Bodycote PLC has a 52 week low of GBX 542.50 and a 52 week high of GBX 832.00. The stock’s 50-day moving average is GBX 610.6 and its 200-day moving average is GBX 671.7. The company’s market cap is £1.171 billion."

In people news we see that very experienced heat treater Tony Quintanilla is looking for a new challenge. Tony was Plant Manager for Nitrex Inc. in Franklin, Indiana. To be closer to grandchildren and probably for the weather he recently moved to San Jose, CA. He would like a new challenge within the industry and if you would like to get in touch with him just drop us a line. Stan Meeks who was most recently with commercial heat treater Byron Products in Fairfield, Ohio is now back with commercial heat treater HTG. Never met Stan but he seems like a nice guy. Powdered metal company and in house heat treater Atlas Pressed Metals in DuBois, PA has added a couple of new people. Chris Sconzo has recently joined the Atlas Pressed Metals team as Plant Manager. Sconzo brings more than 25 years of manufacturing, engineering and leadership experience, including plant management, product marketing and senior level management. He most recently served as plant manager at OSRAM Sylvania for the Pennsylvania region sites, including the plant in St. Marys. Also Diane Laubacker, who recently moved back to her hometown of DuBois, also returned to her previous employer as the latest addition to the Atlas Pressed Metals quality department. We would like to bring to your attention our newest advertiser, Italian company FCS who is a provider of catalysts for industrial furnaces. Our European friends tells us that they do a top notch job at what they do.

And to round things out we have this press release from another of our advertisors, Ajax Tocco. "Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic Corporation supplied three (3) Temper Ovens to a major automotive parts manufacturer in Mexico for the tempering of CV joints.  Each oven is designed for a maximum operating temperature of 250°C with uniformity of +/-  5°C.  The continuous belt,  variable speed conveyor, carries  more than 240 parts per hour through the oven and cooler system, which are robot loaded and manually unloaded. Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic®, a subsidiary of Park-Ohio Holdings Corporation®, designs and manufactures world class induction heating and melting equipment for various industries and applications throughout the world.  In addition we provide a range of services including laboratory process development, preventative maintenance, equipment repair and parts, coil repair facilities, and installation services." December 8/2014

Vacu-Braze/Perkasie, PA. Yesterday we briefly mentioned commercial heat treater Vacu-Braze however the changes the company is making certainly deserves some more details. Founded in the early 1980’s the company currently occupies a 6,000 square foot building with roughly 15 employees which concentrates on vacuum heat treating and vacuum brazing of small lots with a fast turn around time What we saw in this location were a number of reasonably new vacuum furnaces including an Ipsen “Titan” and a Solar Manufacturing 2 bar unit with working dimensions of 30” X 48” X 30”. Now for the fun part. The company now has another location in Quakertown, PA with 40,000 square feet under roof. While currently there is little in the new building it will shortly house 2 very nice ALD vacuum carburizing furnaces, a new Nitrex gas nitriding system, Induction heat treating, Flame hardening and solution nitriding which makes for a remarkable leap for the company. Our visit was part of a Technical Exchange program with the management of Vacu-Braze hosting individuals from one of the fastest growing commercial heat treats in Texas-National Heat Treat of Houston Texas. The top photo below shows from the left; Gord Montgomery, Eddie (Maintenance Manager, National HT), Robert Gutierrez (Owner National HT), George Baxter (Vacu-Braze), Ralph Puerta (Owner Vacu-Braze), Ed Boll “Superboll”. The second photo shows part of the Vacu-Braze team and the last picture shows the new Solar vacuum furnace. December 5/2014

Ipsen Press Release. "CHERRY VALLEY, IL – With the Aerospace sector’s demand for a variety of quality parts, companies continue to rely on Ipsen for high-performance heat treatment equipment that is capable of meeting their specific needs and specifications. Regardless of the process being run or the type of parts being treated, Ipsen’s versatile product lines have the capabilities to meet customers’ wide range of requirements. Recently, three separate companies purchased different Ipsen furnace models, all of which will be used to fulfill the diverse needs of the Aerospace industry. Ipsen shipped two of the heat-treating vacuum furnaces to Texas; the third furnace was shipped to the United Arab Emirates. While all of these furnaces will be used to process parts for the Aerospace industry, they all varied in size and model, as well as the type of parts they will produce:

  • The Horizontal TurboTreater® with 6-bar partial pressure will be used to process fasteners. This specific furnace features 36” x 36” x 48” (914 mm x 914 mm x 1,219 mm) all-metal hot zone with a 3,000-pound (1,361 kg) load capacity. It operates at temperatures of 1,000 °F to 2,400 °F (538 °C to 1,316 °C) with ±5 °F (±3 °C) temperature uniformity.
  • The Horizontal MetalMaster® with 2-bar partial pressure will be used to process engine parts. This specific furnace features 24” x 24” x 40” (610 mm x 610 mm x 1,016 mm) all-metal hot zone with a 1,500-pound (680 kg) load capacity. It operates at temperatures of 1,000 °F to 2,200 °F (538 °C to 1,204 °C) with ±10 °F (±5 °C) temperature uniformity.
  • The TITAN® H4 with 2-bar absolute pressure will be used to process parts for gas turbines. This specific furnace features 24” x 28” x 48” (610 mm x 710mm x 1,220mm) all-metal hot zone with a 2,000-pound (900 kg) load capacity.

Ipsen continuously supports the needs of our customers by providing reliable, quality products that can perform a variety of processes while still meeting the high standards set forth by Aerospace manufacturers. Ipsen is committed to providing heat-treating equipment that can handle each individual customer’s processes and is capable of meeting Nadcap and AMS 2750E requirements. Learn more about the products Ipsen has to offer at In an effort to help simplify compliance with the Aerospace industry’s specifications, Ipsen also provides expert-created resources that cover a variety of topics, including furnace classification, AMS 2750E, Nadcap and more. These and other resources can be accessed at" December 5/2014

Vacu-Braze/Perkasie, PA. Don't you love seeing heat treaters doing well and expanding? We certainly do. Vacu-Braze is a medium sized commercial heat treat which concentrates on vacuum heat treating. We had the pleasure of spending some time with the owner Ralph Puerta just yesterday and we have a tale to tell you which involves adding a second location of 40,000 square feet and a pile of new equipment and processes. Tomorrow we will give you the details along with some photos. December 4/2014

L&L Special Furnace Co. Press Release. "L&L Special Furnace Co., Inc. has manufactured a high uniformity box furnace used for hydrogen annealing. The furnace has been supplied to an industry leader that manufactures aerospace, medical and research and development supplies to a worldwide client base.

Steel hydrogen annealing is a treatment of steel where it is heated to and held at a specific temperature, followed by a controlled cooling process. It is a heat treatment process to remove oxygen, carbon, sulphur and other impurities. The process also prevents hydrogen embrittlement.

Steel hydrogen annealing softens metals and simultaneously changes the properties of the metal, improving:

• Machinability
• Facilitation of cold-work
• Mechanical and electrical properties
• Stability of dimensions

The primary purpose of the furnace is to evenly heat to an internal stabilized temperature of 1,750°F. The furnace is held at this temperature for a predetermined amount of time and then cooled using an external venturi cooling system. The furnace is first loaded with product in a work envelope of 17” wide by 17” high by 25” deep. It is then purged with 10 volume changes of nitrogen or until the oxygen level is below 1%. After that, the furnace is capable of introducing hydrogen up to 100%. The dew point of the hydrogen entering the furnace is -40°F or better due to the use of all stainless steel lines. The furnace control system is driven by a Honeywell HC900 control system with touchscreen. This computer-based control system includes a CPU and operator interface with Ethernet capabilities. Modular construction makes the HC900 expandable, with many input and output options. HC900 software monitors and logs all of the thermal data from a remote computer. The furnace is divided into six zones, each with independent PID loops. The thermocouples are type K and allow for consistent operation at 1,750°F. Options include mass flowmeters, dewpoint analyzers, ammeters and voltmeters. All units come with a three-day all-inclusive startup service within the continental US and Canada. International startup and training service is available by factory quote. The furnace has been surveyed and is capable of ±10°F at 1,750°F throughout the work envelope. If precise temperature control and uniformity is a key to your process, then L&L’s XLC series is a great choice. L&L also has many other sizes available." December 4/2014

AFC-Holcroft Press Release. "STAMPING MANUFACTURER ORDERS AFC-HOLCROFT AUSTEMPER SYSTEM (December, 2014) A large stamping manufacturer has ordered a mesh belt austempering furnace system from AFC-Holcroft. This is the 5th AFC-Holcroft austemper furnace line at the facility. The system will be used for the austempering of metal stampings, and consists of a mesh belt austempering furnace with integral salt quench tank, a conveyorized wash/rinse tank, and an endothermic gas generator to serve the line. In addition, the line will include AFC-Holcroft’s BeltMaster™ System for monitoring and controlling the furnace line. The hardening furnace will be reinforced with a free standing structural steel support frame so that an excavated pit is not required for the salt quench tank. The salt quench tank will include a secondary containment tank. Delivery of the line will be second quarter of 2015.

About AFC-Holcroft: AFC-Holcroft is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of heat treating furnaces. The legacy companies that comprise AFC-Holcroft have a combined 225+ years of thermal processing experience. The company manufactures turn-key heat treating systems for applications including commercial heat treating, bearings, automotive, aerospace, mining, military, aluminum heat treatment, gear manufacturing, fastener manufacturing, and alternative energy industries. AFC-Holcroft, headquartered in the United States, has a global reach with direct sales coverage in North America and worldwide, while AFC-Holcroft Europe serves major industrial markets in Germany, France, and other European locations. AFC-Holcroft’s Asian Operations manages partners in China, India, South Korea, and other countries in the region, and the company also extends into markets in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, Russia, and Spain, through relationships with partners, many of whom have manufacturing capability. For more information, contact" December 3/2014

National Heat Treat/Houston, Texas. The dramatic drop in oil pricing pricing recently has lead many to wonder how this will affect the suppliers to the gas and oil industry and consequently the captive and commercial heat treaters who service the industry. To date it appears to have had little effect in the heart of the oil industry in North America-Texas. To bear this out it is our understanding that rapidly growing National Heat Treat in Houston, Texas will be making some major investments. Rumor has it that the company will shortly be investing $3,500,000 USD in expansion plans which might include a second location which we would assume will be in Texas but this has yet to be confirmed. We do hope to shortly be able to elaborate on this rumor. December 3/2014

Super Systems Inc./Selas FLO-SCOPE. "SSi is excited to announce the acquisition of the Selas FLO-SCOPE® product line. Effective immediately, SSI will support and deliver the manual FLO-SCOPE® with an electronic version of a gas flow meter soon to follow. “Customer service and innovation are the pillars of our organization,” explains Stephen Thompson, president of SSi. “This line of manual and electronic gas flow meters presents an excellent opportunity for us to expand our portfolio of quality products to the thermal processing industry. “With our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and our staff of engineers, we are excited about our ability to bring focus to this product line and provide the same level of service that we have always maintained with all of our products.” The gas flow meters will be available in various sizes covering all combustion and process gases commonly used in the thermal processing industry.  Selas will remain a strategic partner with SSi for providing the FLO-SCOPE® to their customer base on relevant applications.

About SSi; Super Systems Inc., based in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been developing and manufacturing products for the thermal processing industry since 1995. SSi’s products include probes, analyzers, controllers, software solutions and engineered systems, and now flow meters. With over 100 years of combined experience, SSi continues to satisfy industry demands with innovative technology, enabling customers to be more efficient and to produce higher quality products. For more information on SSi’s capabilities, visit

About Selas; Selas Heat Technology Company 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, package burners, nozzle-mix burners, self-recuperative burners, radiant flame shape burners, ultra-low NOx burners, combustion gas mixers, gas blender valves, flame arrestors and blowouts, BTU monitors and controls, flow meters, and much more. Selas delivers heat technology solutions to the glass, fiberglass, steel, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, chemical, petrochemical, automotive, plastics, ceramics, food processing, heat treating, powder coating, textiles and commercial/industrial boiler industries, all with the highest manufacturing quality, customer service and aftermarket support. Selas brands include Pyronics, Maxsys Fuel Systems, Ray Burner, Ensign Ribbon Burner (ERB), Red-Ray Infrared burners, and Webster Combustion." December 2/2014

Heat Treating a Family Affair? While heat treating is an essential part of the manufacturing process it always appears to be the “poor cousin” and never receives the recognition it deserves. Because of this relatively low profile few young people think of heat treating as a career with the end result that many in the business are in it because previous family members were heat treaters. The list is endless and we will give you an example the Montgomery Clan. This photo shows Bill Montgomery who started WG Montgomery Ltd., a small rep business specializing  in the heat treating industry 45 years ago in 1969. Bill has been retired for a number of years but flanking him we have Gord Montgomery with 35 years in the business and Jordan Montgomery who at the age of 18 started working at commercial heat treater Metex Heat Treating, followed by a long stint at Vac Aero International. Jordan joined WG Montgomery Ltd, earlier this year after many years of working for the company part time. If you have a family photo you would like to share we would be more than happy to post it. Perhaps the Van Dorphy’s of Lone Star Heat Treat in Texas, the Moore family of Specialty also in Texas, the Balks of Hansen Balk in Michigan or the Buttners of Thermo Fussion in CA, the Braddock family of Braddock Heat Treat in Florida or the Raisseur family of Paulo Products to name just a few would like to provide family photos? By the way the photo below was taken at the Scottish St. Andrews Ball in Toronto which explains the kilts. December 2/2014

Monday Morning Briefing. For today Monday, December 1st we will start off with people. First up we have Mr. Arvid Casler. Arvid was Chief Metallurgist for commercial heat treater FPM for almost 9 years  starting at the Chery Valley facility and eventually ending up at the Elk Grove location. Recently he left the company and is now metallurgist with Heligear/Northstar Areospace in Bedford Park, IL replacing Paul Pfiefer who moved on to Worthington Steel. Heligear/Northstar is a manufacturer of gears for helicopters who has in house heat treating at their locations in Bedford Park and Milton, Ontario, Canada. While not large heat treat departments they are quite respectable as you would expect and feature rotary heath furnaces and press quenching amongst other processes.  Mr. Sanjeev Deshpande was President of commercial heat treater Atmosphere Annealing with several locations around the US Midwest. He left the company a few months back and is now President of Metal-Matic Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. Metal-Matic is a tube manufacturing company with three locations in the US Midwest.  Mr. Bill Donnelly recently became the new southern territory manager for Braddock Metallurigcal in the south eastern US. Braddock we recently named as the 10th largest commercial in North America with a total of 7 locations. Mr. Tench Forbes who was Industrial Vacuum Marketing Manager with vacuum pump supplier Agilent left the company November 14th-no idea what his future plans are.

Scot Forge of Spring Grove, IL certainly is a going concern. Earlier this year we mentioned how the company was adding two new tip-up furnaces of their own design which can handle parts up to 90” X 90” X 392” and two car bottoms able to handle parts up to 840” in length. From what we have heard these are now up and running or will be very shortly. However this is not all the company has been up to. In conjunction with their partner Ellwood Group Inc., the two companies are adding a 10,100 ton press and three additional forging furnaces at their location in New Castle, PA. Production is slated to start in the first quarter of 2015. Powdered metal company American Fine Sinter has announced that it will begin a $16 million expansion project at its North American headquarters in Tiffin, Ohio, early 2015. The project involves the construction of 100,000 ft2 of new manufacturing space, additional office and storage space, as well as an $8 million investment in new automation and manufacturing equipment. We believe that this will include more sintering furnace capacity but we wouldn’t swear to this. Surface Combustion of Waterville, Ohio recently landed an order for two large batch IQ furnaces from a commercial heat treater in the southern US. While we wouldn’t call these custom furnaces certainly they each have working dimensions which are not the standard 36 X 48 X 36 or 36 X 72 X 36 size. We assume at this point in time that construction has already started. Going way back to 2012 it was announced that aerospace company ASCO was setting up a new location in Stillwater, OK. The plan did go ahead and as far as we know is now in full production. We now have a photo of part of the company’s vacuum heat treating department showing a new Solar Manufacturing furnace. News reports claim that they have one of three vacuum furnaces in North America that has the capacity to heat up to 4,000 pounds at one time, which is a rather surprising claim.

From oven supplier Wisconsin Oven we have this press release. "Wisconsin Oven Corp. shipped a horizontal quench system to be used for solution heat treating of forged aluminum gun parts. The customer provides heat-treating services to a large gun manufacturer. Two solution heat-treating ovens were purchased along with three aluminum aging ovens. The solution heat-treat system has a maximum temperature rating of 1250°F (677°C), a work chamber of 4 feet wide x 4 feet long x 4 feet high and is designed to heat a 1,000-pound load of aluminum to 950°F (510°C)." Auto parts supplier Linamar Gear of Guelph, Ontario, Canada which has the largest batch IQ installation in North America recently ordered a brand new 9,000 CFH endothermic generator from AFC-Holcroft of Wixom, MI. I guess when you aim to make 1 million bicycles per year you need to do a lot of heat treating. In China Dahon Company is moving into a 650,000 square foot building in Shenzhen which will have all processes under one roof including heat treating. Wonder what type of heat treating you need to do for bike components? Furnace manufacturer SECO/WARWICK is going to be hosting a Webinar called “Consumption of ammonia in the regulated ZeroFlow® Gas Nitriding Process." The webinar will be presented in English December 11th of this year and will be free of charge. It is being hosted by Prof. dr. hab. inż. Leszek Małdziński – Associate Professor of Poznań University of Technology.

And to round things out we have this press release from Pregl Services, Inc. of Janesville, Wisconsin. "Pregl Services, Inc. (Pregl), providers of comprehensive aftermarket support to the thermal processing industry, today announced a contract to rebuild a large vacuum furnace hot zone for a large commercial heat treater in the Central U.S.  Pregl graphite spray nozzles feature an innovative tapered lock mounting system, which allows the nozzles to be attached to the INSIDE of the plenum.  This makes installation and replacement of the spray nozzles significantly easier.  In addition, each nozzle is secured with Pregl’s unique graphite washer.  The washer improves the sealing capacity of each nozzle to the composite board insulation, which improves the overall efficiency of the furnace. The hot zone rebuild will include: removal of all insulation, shielding and hardware; repair and replacement of all damaged components; cleaning and repair of the plenum; and the installation of new insulation, elements/element hangers, Pregl’s innovative spray nozzles, and shielding.  The hot zone will be rebuilt at Pregl’s facility in Janesville, Wisconsin. ABOUT PREGL SERVICES:  Pregl Services, Inc. was founded in 1997 by experienced vacuum furnace professionals to provide reliable, expedient, cost-effective, value-added repair, rebuild and reconditioning services to the thermal processing industry. For more information, please visit us at"  December 1/2014

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