Wirco Ipsen

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Heat Treat News

Nickel charts on InfoMine.comMolybdenum charts on InfoMine.com


Easter Weekend. Due to the Easter Weekend there will be no news updates on "The Monty" for Friday April 18/2014. Regular news updates will resume Monday April 21. April 18/2014.



Heat Treat Safety. Fires in heat treat departments are certainly not an uncommon occurrence and as far as we can tell the number #1 cause is water in quench oil tanks. Jeff Smith jeff.smith@sbscorporation.com of SBS Corporation gives us a thoughts about what this is caused by and a solution. April 17/2014.

"Heat treating has always been a dangerous occupation although in the last 30 years the incidence of fires has been greatly reduced. The  elimination of water in oil quenches has been one of the keys to this increase in safety.

Prior to 1974 there was little choice for oil cooling. Water and shell and tube heat exchangers were the recognized mode to maintaining quench temperatures. To safeguard against water leaking into oil,  furnace engineers would design the cooling system with the oil pumped at a higher pressure than the water so a leak would put oil in water..not good but much better than undetected water in a quench tank. The problem with this designed was that water, either tap water or cooling tower water, was very easy on pumps...they will run for decades without losing pressure or capacity. Oh the other hand quench oil gets very acidic as it ages and attacks any brass or bronze in the system. Pump impellers were often made of bronze and heat exchanger tubes were most likely copper. The acids in the oil erode these metals and would cause the impellers to wear ( think lost pressure) and these heat exchanger tubes to develop pin holes( think big fire).

With the introduction of air- cooled heat exchangers and the elimination of water in quench tanks a heat treat is a much safer place. Loads will still get hung up half way submerged and fire fighters will still try to pour water on oil fires but at least one obvious hazard has been eliminated in most quenching operations. The day of the waterless heat treat can't be too far off into the 21st century".


CIEFFE FORNI INDUSTRIALI. We welcome our newest advertiser Italian furnace manufacturer CIEFFE FORNI INDUSTRIALI whose banner ad can be found on this page. CIEFFE was established in 1984 and in 1987 it became what is  known today as CIEFFE FORNI INDUSTRIALI, enriched by high-skilled professionals. CIEFFE FORNI INDUSTRIALI designs and manufactures metal heat treatment furnaces and lines for: automotive components, aeronautical components, railway applications, windmill applications, energy & power generation, nuclear power applications, forged components, medical Components and provides Thermal Treatment solutions designed for high end applications with maximum flexibility. Technological know-how is obtained through continuous research of innovative solutions with a particular focus on energy savings and cost reductions. Currently the company is installing a complete batch IQ production line for SFS Corporation in Medina, Ohio. April 17/2014.

Heat Treatment Forum Poland. The first annual heat treatment forum was held in Poland last week and we have this report about how the event turned out. April 16/2014.

“The 1st annual Heat Treatment Forum Poland organized by the Global Heat Treatment Network in cooperation with IndustrialForum took place last week in Wroclaw (Poland) and it was quite a success. This premium meeting with top speakers from the main global players in the heat treating world has already been recognized as the best access to Eastern European customers. More than 200 registered participants attended the lectures and technical sessions and there were more than 30 exhibitors. A number of the largest commercial heat treaters in the world such as Bodycote, Hanomag, VacAero and Hauck were present. Also Polish Institutes & Univeristies.  Customers came from sectors such as automotive, energy, heavy industry and aerospace. Furnace makers included AFC Holcroft, ALD, ALD-Dynatech, AMP, ECM, Ipsen, IVA, KGO, Remix, Rohde, Rübig, Schmetz, Hermann Schwammberger, Seco/Warwick, Systherms, Tenova, Nitrex and industry suppliers such as Burgdorf, EuroFluid, Avion, SSI, FOKA ENGINEERING, United Process Controls, GTD, Lohmann, Schunk, Kronmeyer, AHOTEC, Herakles, Eclipse, Guenther, Stange, Graphite Materials and German printing house Vulkan Verlag. “During this event Michel J. Korwin was inducted into the Heat Treatment Forum Hall of Excellence. This Heat Treatment Forum Award will be award achievements of people of the heat treatment industry with the title “Member of the Heat Treatment Forum Hall of Excellence”. Mr. Korwin (owner of Nitrex Metal Inc and United Process Control) became the 1st Member, for his very successful industrial implementation of the controlled gas nitriding idea NITREG. His technology leadership has been proven  for years in hundreds of installations worldwide (last group of pictures). The next events organized by the Global Heat Treatment Network are the 1st EuropeanNitridingSummit (October 2014) and the 1st EuropeanVacuumCarburizingSummit (December 2014). Both European tours will be starting in Poland. The photos below show you the forum with the third group of photos showing; Presenters, Robert Noebauer / Rübig, Prof.Dr.W.Swiatnicki / Warsaw University of Technology (presenting Nanosteel), Karol A. Forycki / Global Heat Treatment Network and the two participants addressing most of the questions from the audience: Thomas Wingens / Tenova and “Professor” Hans Veltrop /Veltrop Consultancy. The last group shows Michel Korwin of Nitrex.


Kaori Heat Treatment Company/Taiwan. Not often do we run across news items from Taiwan but we have this interesting photo of a new Ipsen MetalMaster high temperature brazing furnace being installed as we speak at Kaori Heat Treatment Co., LTD in Taiwan. This apperently is the second brazing furnace at their new Kaohsiung facility.  April 16/2014.


Vac Aero Press Release. Vac Aero is both Canada’s largest commercial heat treater and well known around the world for their new vacuum furnaces. This press release tells us about a new order the company received and which is just about to go into production. April 15/2014.

“VAC AERO Commissions a Vacuum Furnace at an East Providence, RI-based Aerospace Manufacturer!Burlington, Ontario, April 14, 2014 - The production-scale, 2-bar VAH3436 horizontal vacuum furnace with work zone dimensions of 24” wide x 24” high x 36” is designed to process aerospace parts under high-vacuum and partial pressures with excellent process control and is rated at a normal operating temperature of 2400°F (1316°C). The hot zone is comprised of curved graphite elements and the heavy duty hearth is constructed with quickly removable rails of pure molybdenum designed to support a uniformly distributed load of 1000 lbs at 2400°F.  The vacuum chamber and door are constructed of carbon steel and feature a double-wall, water-cooled design. The furnace operating system is based on VAC AERO's versatile HC900 interactive hybrid control package with SCADA and complete network integration capabilities and remote monitoring and control. The furnace is expected to run at full capacity next month.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: www.vacaero.com

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Doksan Heat Treat/Ankara, Turkey. Commercial heat treater Doksan in the capital city of Anakara actually has a fascinating history which we will be explaining within the next few days. For today we look at one of the two facilities the company has in the Ankara region of Turkey. This particular shop is not large by any means but it works around the clock doing Induction hardening with several systems including the 3  metre vertical scanner you see in the background. In the foreground of this picture you see from left to right; Matt Cross, SSI Europe, Cihan Balaban of Sarvion (we will be having a complete write up about Cihan and Sarvion in the next few days), the owner of Doksan, Mr. Gurkan Gencler and Gord Montgomery. We would expect the second location which as mentioned we will be profiling in the next few days is going to make quite a mark on the local heat treating community. April 15/2014.


Bodycote/Ankara, Turkey. You know darn well that if there is a need for heat treating worldwide commercial heat treater Bodycote will be there. Such is the case in Ankara. This location was one of four which Bodycote purchased in 2005 from Istas which is now 80% owned by Bodycote. Out of the 50 or 60 Bodycote locations we have seen over the years this is probably the smallest however it has a long and rich history and must be profitable for the company. While we were not allowed photos of the plant we can show you who is largely responsible for running this plant. From left to right we have; Cihan Balaban (Sarvion), Firat Saci, Plant Manager and a very experienced fellow, Onur Kenar, Quality Manager, Matt Cross (SSI Europe) and Gord Montgomery. April 15/2014.

Klein Tools/New Heat Treating Facility. As we can see captive heat treater Klein Tools (who actually has a help wanted ad on this website under business opportunities) has just opened a brand new in house heat treating department in Mansfield, Texas. Now we will have to see what this consists of, hopefully more on this in the very near future. April 14/2014.

"Klein Tools Opens New Heat Treating Facility in Mansfield, Texas on April 10, 2014. MANSFIELD, Texas, April 10, 2014 /NEWS.GNOM.ES/ — Lincolnshire, IL based Klein Tools, the number one hand tool choice of professional electricians in the United States, is opening its new state-of-the-art heat treating facility today at 10 a.m. at 501 Easy Drive, Mansfield, TX. Klein Tools’ employees, local officials and industry representatives are invited to tour the brand new heat treating facility and view how the best tools in the industry are made.Known for its exceptional quality, Klein Tools continues to invest in U.S. manufacturing and is committed to maintaining its place as the favorite among electricians. Klein is the only major tool manufacturer worldwide focused on electrical and utility applications. It offers a full line of electrical tool products, using only the highest quality materials and superior workmanship to deliver the best-performing and longest-lasting hand tools in the industry.“Since 1857, Klein Tools has been manufacturing tools in America, and it’s as important for us to keep that tradition now as it was more than 150 years ago,” said Thomas R. Klein, president of Klein Tools. “The opening of our new heat treating facility in Mansfield will help us keep up with product demand, streamline operations to stay competitive and provide American jobs in advanced manufacturing.”Klein Tools has already added a total of 200 jobs in Mansfield with two advanced manufacturing plants through the help of Texas Governor Perry. Klein Tools chose Mansfield in part because of incentives from The Texas Enterprise Fund, which was created to entice businesses to relocate to Texas.

Custom Electric

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 (and this listing is not on the website yet), two Surface Combustion 36 X 72 X 36 1400F gas fired gas tempers, a modest CI Hayes High Temperature Furnace, two small Radyne Induction Systems, two Batch Recirculating Ovens, a small Sunbeam Batch IQ Nadcap Certified, a beauty of a Super 30 Allcase, a Gleason Model 529 Press Quench, with a Rotary Hearth Furnace, and 3 monster Surface Combustion Batch IQ Furnaces. A very large Beavermatic Batch IQ Furnace along with an immaculate condition AFC-Holcroft Pusher Line are also recent. If you don't see what you are looking for please let us know and we will try to find it for you. jordan@themonty.com April 14/2014. A few examples include:


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.

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Business Opportunities. "The Monty" has never had so 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 openings includes these; a Production Manager required at Bodycote, a Sales Engineer needed at Gabarre Furnaces, a Quality Manager Position at Bodycote in Grand Rapids, MI, an Outside Sales Rep required at Steeltech, a Metallurgical Engineer Opening, and as Account Manager at Bodycote in Fort Wayne, IN.

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 jordan@themonty.com. April 14/2014.

Sistem Teknik/Turkey. Heat Treating furnaces in Turkey appear to either come from Turkish furnace builders, German manufacturers, used equipment dealers in Europe or occasionally from North American builders (more on that later). Of the Turkish builders far and away the dominant player is a company by the name of Sistem Teknik which by any standards is a good sized builder with anywhere up to 100 employees depending upon business conditions. This is a company which covers it all from vacuum to batch IQ, mesh belt and roller hearth. As an example we saw under construction a monster horizontal vacuum furnace with 10 bar quenching, a mesh belt quench and temper line and a roller hearth. However the one that fascinated us the most was a line under construction which is dedicated to heat treating clutch plates. This is the second of two being provided for auto parts maker Valeo and there are 3 more of these lines coming up for various customers. The line is completely automated and consists of a carousel style hardening furnace followed by a press quench then by another carousel style temper. We have seen a number of rotary hearth style systems for clutch plates but the advantage of this style is the small footprint required. To give you a better idea we have two photos below which give you a very good idea of the design. April 11/2014.


Ipsen/PMF Industries. “CHERRY VALLEY, IL – PMF Industries in Pennsylvania selected Ipsen to manufacture a vertical MetalMaster® vacuum heat treatment system. PMF will use this furnace to manufacture stainless steel, flowformed products for the Aerospace industry. This particular MetalMaster vacuum furnace has a 48” x 84” (1,219 mm x 2,134 mm) all-graphite hot zone with a 6,000-pound (2,722 kg) load capacity. It utilizes gas cooling to 2-bar, absolute pressure and operates at temperatures of 1,000 °F to 2,400 °F (538 °C to 1,316 °C). The furnace also features a 35-inch (889 mm) Varian diffusion pump and Ipsen’s CompuVac® control system. The need for a clean manufacturing environment and overall uniform cooling drove PMF to select Ipsen’s MetalMaster. Respected as a workhorse in the Aerospace industry, the MetalMaster’s design has maintained ultimate performance and reliability for more than 45 years, with 500+ installations worldwide. It delivers the cleanliness and uniform cooling that customers request, while also providing a cost-effective, versatile and adaptable vacuum furnace system. Ipsen equipment is also capable of meeting Nadcap and AMS 2750E applicable requirements.

MetalMaster heat treatment furnaces are available in a wide variety of sizes and configurations, including horizontal or vertical designs and all-metal or graphite insulated hot zone packages. This multi-purpose vacuum furnace series features a specially engineered heat exchanger and turbine blower designed to optimize gas flow for more efficient cooling and excellent temperature uniformity of ±10 °F (±5 °C) or better. In addition to Ipsen's CompuVac control system, MetalMaster offers other high-productivity options, including specialized instrumentation, increased pumping capability and material handling systems. From assisting the efforts of NASA by providing brazing technology for rocket nozzle design to supporting Aerospace suppliers for the brazing and stress relieving of turbine blades, vanes, diffusion cages and combustion chamber liners, Ipsen’s world-class engineering team has the experience and resources to design and deliver the advanced thermal processing systems that allow our customers to innovate. Choosing Ipsen means choosing a partner in success. Learn more about our products and services at www.IpsenUSA.com.

About PMF Industries
Since 1961, PMF Industries has been a pioneer in the development of the flowforming process by continually expanding their expertise and capabilities in metal forming and fabrication, allowing them to serve a wide array of industries: Aerospace, Environmental, Food/Beverage, Defense, Filtration, Medical, Nuclear, Pharmaceutical and Power Generation. PMF continuously develops proprietary manufacturing processes as a result of in-house research and collaboration with research organizations in the U.S. and Europe to develop new technologies. PMF offers concept to completion manufacturing with engineering consultation across a broad range of manufacturing capabilities, including flowforming, rotoforming, electromagnetic forming, hydroforming, laser cutting, machining, heat treating, press forming and others. Visit www.pmfind.com to find out more about PMF Industries.

About Ipsen
Ipsen designs and manufactures industrial vacuum furnaces, atmosphere furnaces and supervisory control systems for a wide variety of thermal processing markets, including: Aerospace, Commercial Heat Treating, Medical, Energy and Automotive. With production locations in Europe, America and Asia, along with representation in 34 countries, Ipsen is committed to providing support for customers worldwide. April 11/2014.

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Cremer Furnaces. While Cremer Furnaces of Germany is not a well known name in the North American heat treating market we have seen a number of their very innovative sintering furnaces at PM auto parts maker Stackpole in 2 of their facilities in Canada. It would appear that the company has acquired another furnace builder in Germany. April 11/2014.

“Cremer Thermoprozessanlagen GmbH, based in Düren, Germany, has announced the acquisition of the majority of shares in SOF Equipment GmbH. Based in Eschweiler, Germany, SOF manufactures a range of furnaces for various industries including Powder Metallurgy (PM) applications. Cremer has been a manufacturer of industrial furnaces with a focus on the Powder Metallurgy (PM) and Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) technology sectors for almost 50 years. The company produces a range of furnaces including walking beam, belt, pusher, multi-tube, drum type, batch type and rotary-hearth systems. “The acquisition of SOF by Cremer strengthens the market position and will provide an extended product range, more powerful technology and innovation support, plus an optimum service from a single source,” stated Dipl.-Ing. Ingo Cremer. Following the transaction, SOF Equipment GmbH has been renamed in Cremer-SOF Engineering GmbH and Ingo Cremer has been appointed General Manager (CEO).“

Corner Stone

Clarence C. Hanson/Ajax Induction. It is with regret that we mention the passing of Mr. Clarence C. Hanson April 3 2014. Mr. Hanson was with induction company Ajax Magnethermic for over 25 years retiring as President of the company. Ajax Magnethermic (now Ajax Tocco) is a US based company and one of the largest in the world when it comes to Induction heating systems. April 10/2014.


Onerler Isil Islem/Bursa, Turkey. To date we have been extremely impressed with the quality of heat treating in Turkey probably largely because so much of it is new. Heat treating in Turkey appears to concentrate heavily on the auto parts industry with some aerospace and "general industrial" heat treating thrown into the mix. Onerler Isil Islem is a third generation commercial heat treater which fits this description to a tee with a mix of the most versatile of all heat treating equipment batch IQ (sealed quench furnaces), some very high end vacuum furnaces with some large capacity Induction systems. The company moved into this plant just 1 1/2 years ago and the whole plant was designed with an eye to the future such as the structure of the building. The very high, heavily vented ceiling is designed to reduce the build up of soot on the wall and ceilings with lots of extra space for future equipment additions which the company is already planning. At this point we should add that Isil Islem means Heat Treatment in Turkish. April 10/2014.


Keighley Labs, UK, Press Release. Work on the final phase of Keighley Laboratories’ ambitious new heat treatment facility is nearing completion, with its state-of-the art nitriding furnace newly commissioned and undergoing production trials and its sealed quench gaseous nitrocarburising unit currently being installed. Ancillary process equipment, including a solvent degreaser and pre- and post-treatment washers for removing any surface contaminants, are also being integrated into the streamlined workflow arrangement. Housed in a 5,000 sq ft purpose-built department, with a thermal insulation envelope designed to ensure optimum energy efficiency, the £1 million plus development adds the latest low temperature, low distortion thermochemical processes to the Keighley Labs’ heat treatment portfolio. It will meet more sophisticated surface engineering requirements for its existing customer base in the railway, mining, oil & gas and general engineering sectors, whilst opening up new applications in the aviation, nuclear power and renewable energy markets. In due course, the West Yorkshire company is hoping to gain NADCAP accreditation for this new department, to match the Materials Testing Laboratory accredited status for its Technical Services division. “We will have the new vertical pit, gaseous nitriding facility up and running in the spring of 2014, at which point we shall have amongst the best, most up-to-date low temperature, low distortion resource in the independent heat treatment sector, with the very latest process control software,” says Michael Emmott, Divisional Commercial Director for Keighley Laboratories Heat Treatment division.  “We’ve had a lot of interest from customers wanting to send jobs for processing already, but we wanted to conduct sufficient trial runs in order to obtain repetitive results, which will ensure meeting the quality and precision standards that the industry expects of Keighley Laboratories.”

Gaseous nitriding and nitrocarburising are heat treatment processes that enhance the surface properties of finished and near-finished metallic components. The gaseous nitriding process promotes wear resistance, together with corrosion resistance in the case of nitrocarburising, and these low temperature techniques ensure minimal distortion of the workpieces. In nitriding, the surface of the ferrous metal is enriched with nitrogen to improve wear resistance, fatigue strength and other characteristics; whereas with nitrocarburising small amounts of carbon are also introduced into the process, resulting in a more flexible compound surface layer, with good lubricant retention properties, as distinct from the classical white layer of gaseous nitriding. The furnace interface is via the latest SuperData SCADA software package, complete with full colour HMI touchscreen. This provides recipe-driven process control, continuous data logging, an EasyTrack load entry system, paperless recording and rapid access to historical records; accurate temperature control is achieved by three zones of heating elements, controlled by a sophisticated internal cascade system. SSI technicians have already delivered on-site software training, so that Keighley Labs specialists can adjust the basic programming to suit the company’s own processing routes.

Keighley Laboratories gaseous nitrocarburising sealed quench furnace is an IPSEN TQ7 gas-fired unit, which consists of a process-tight chamber with an integrated double-walled quench chamber, enabling the complex heat treatment cycle to take place in a protective environment. For their new processes, Keighley Labs envisages treating a wide variety of components, helping to substantially improve wear resistance, fatigue life and anti-corrosion properties. Both low distortion techniques mean that finishing operations such as post-grinding and machining can be eliminated or kept to a minimum. “With some of the most modern furnace equipment and process control technology outside the captive heat treatment sector, this enables us to compete with independent contractors throughout Europe,” says Keighley Labs MD, Debbie Mellor. “We shall be able to regulate the precise parameters for single- and multi-stage processes to suit exact customer specifications, allowing us to provide a service that is second-to-none.” For further information, contact Keighley Laboratories Limited, Croft House, South Street, Keighley BD21 1EG, tel 01535 664211, memmott@keighleylabs.co.uk , www.keighleylabs.co.uk April 9/2014.

Super Systems

Bodycote/Istanbul, Turkey. In November 2013 commercial heat treater Bodycote issued this press release about a new location in Istanbul, Turkey (the press release is further down is below). The photos below show the building as it stands now which represents very fast progress. We understand that the facility is on time and that this location is actually on the Asian side of Istanbul and that the previous plant which is currently on the European side of the straights of Bosphorous will be closed with the equipment from the old location beginning moved to the newer location plus some new equipment. April 9/2014.

"Nov, 2013 Press Release:  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-durR process".

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Bodycote/Bursa, Turkey. In our on going quest to see heat treating around the globe we visit Turkey for a look at a number of captive and commercial heat treaters in the country. It was not that long ago that Turkey would not have registered on anyones radar when it came to heat treating but due to it’s proximity to Europe, a relatively stable government (current issues aside), a nice climate, a well educated workforce and attractive labor rates ($2.00 USD per hour for furnace operators being not uncommon) the captive and commercial heat treating industry is a booming one. No surprise then that worldwide commercial heat treating giant Bodycote entered the market almost 10 years ago with the 50% purchase of commercial heat treater Istas. Istas (Bodycote) was and still is the largest commercial heat treater in the country with four locations with a new plant being constructed just outside of Istanbul. The first location we have visited shows a typical Bodycote model with a strong emphasize on batch IQ equipment, vacuum heat treating, Induction and some continous capacity. As expected this is an impressive, larger than average commercial heat treater with modern equipment including what is probably the largest vacuum furnace in a commercial operation in Turkey. By the way since 2005 the company has increased their ownership of Istas to the point that Bodycote has far and away the largest ownership stake in the company. In the one photo below we see from left to right; Emre Ozgun, Plant Manager, Cihan Balaban of Sarvion, Matt Cross of SSI Europe, Erhan Ayas, Sales & Marketing Bodycote and Gord Montgomery. More to come on this and other Bodycote locations around Turkey. April 8/2014.

Solar Manufacturing Press Release. “Solar Manufacturing Issues Podcast on Heating Elements. Souderton, PA. 4/8/14 – Solar Manufacturing published the latest podcast in its bimonthly series in cooperation with Industrial Heating called “Vacuum Heat Treat Minute”.  This second installment of 2014 has Mr. Bill Jones and Mr. Jim Nagy of Solar Manufacturing discussing the use of moly and graphite heating elements inside a vacuum furnace. The podcasts are available free of charge and can be accessed through the Industrial Heating website at www.industrialheating.com/media/podcasts/2731 or the Solar Manufacturing website at www.solarmfg.com/multimedia/podcasts.  If you would like to be alerted when the next podcast is posted, please email your request to info@solarmfg.com. ABOUT SOLAR MANUFACTURING; Solar Manufacturing designs and manufactures all types of vacuum heat treating, brazing, sintering, carburizing, and nitriding furnaces, as well as offers replacement hot zones and spare parts for various vacuum furnace brands.  To learn more about Solar Manufacturing’s diverse product line and services, contact Pete Reh, Vice President of Sales, at 267-384-5040 or pkr@solarmfg.com.  For more information on Solar Manufacturing visit www.solarmfg.com.” April 8/2014.

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Monday Morning Briefing. We start off with rather a sad news item about a long time heat treater in Texas who recently passed away. This note comes from Danny McWilliams who was a good friend of Joe's. Joe McKinney passed away last Thursday the 27th of March.  He lost a 3 1/2 year battle with pancreatic cancer.  Joe worked for AMT heat treat for a while, but his longest time was with Jerry Luce at Metroplex Heat Treat, Texas then with Bodycote-Arlington when it changed hands.  Joe was in charge of the Ion Nitriding, and was so good at it that when Bodycote took over, they sent him to Europe to teach the trade to several Bodycote plants. Joe was our hunting buddy.  He was someone you wanted to go hunting with.  He was a fine man, and a lot of us will miss him dearly. The industry is also losing another good man. Mr. Jeff Mays. Jeff was in charge of the heat treating department of SKF Bearings in Hanover, PA. Jeff's last day with the company was just this past week as he was forced to retire due to back issues. The heat treating department (pictured below) was constructed just a few years back and is one of the nicest we have ever seen featuring two Aichelin roller hearth salt lines. April 7/2014.

What the heck is happening to Bodycote (commercial heat treating) share pricing these days-it seems to keep climbing with no end in sight as you can see from this news item. "Bodycote PLC (LON:BOY)'s stock had its "buy" rating restated by research analysts at Jefferies Group in a report released on Tuesday, AnalystRatings.Net reports. They currently have a GBX 895 ($14.89) price target on the stock. Jefferies Group's target price would suggest a potential upside of 10.90% from the company's current price. Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Numis Securities Ltd reiterated an "add" rating on shares of Bodycote PLC in a research note on Thursday, March 20th. They now have a GBX 770 ($12.81) price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of Bodycote PLC from GBX 540 ($8.99) to GBX 655 ($10.90) in a research note on Monday, March 17th. They now have an "underweight" rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Nplus1 Brewin raised their price target on shares of Bodycote PLC from GBX 700 ($11.65) to GBX 850 ($14.14) in a research note on Thursday, March 13th. They now have a "buy" rating on the stock. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company's stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of "Hold" and a consensus price target of GBX 731.06 ($12.16)". In NY state it looks like the end of the line for Modern Heat Treating & Forging in Buffalo. This family owned business appears to have closed their doors for the last time. Please note that this is the Buffalo location only the Akron, NY facility is a separate entity specializing in vacuum heat treating.

New furnace builder Lucifer Furnaces recently received an order from the University of Washington for a furnace that will allow students to heat treat more parts in-house. The furnace, which has a work chamber of 18 x 24 x 36 inches, replaces a smaller, antiquated unit. In addition to heat treatment, the furnace can be used in casting and forging processes. EFD Induction recently sold its largest single-shot short-circuit ring brazing system to ABB, a global leader in power and automation technologies. The system, which was installed at ABB's plant in Vittuone, Italy, can braze rings with a diameter up to 1,500 mm (59 inches). And in more personal news heat treat rep firm WG Montgomery Ltd. recently became the Canadian rep for alloy company Wirco out of Avilla, IN. The photo below shows Gord on the right along with some of the top management of the company. The second photo shows Wirco's foundry in Champaign, IL.

Edwards Limited Press Release. One of the best known names when it comes to vacuum pumps for vacuum furnaces sent us this press release. April 4/2014.

"Edwards continues strategic growth with opening of new us service center. A sign of Edwards’ commitment to improvement and efficiency. NIAGARA, NEW YORK, USA. (1 April, 2014) — Edwards Limited, a leading manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products and abatement systems and a global provider of related value-added services, is excited to announce the upcoming opening of its new vacuum and abatement Service Center in Glenwillow, OH.  This state-of-the-art center will replace its current remanufacturing hub in Strongsville, and will include Edwards’ latest remanufacturing and repair methodology as well as expanded product repair capability. “This is not simply a relocation”, commented Stephen Abate, the Americas Service Director at Edwards.  “We have reached the capacity of our Strongsville center and, in looking to the future, are eager to expand and improve our operations in Ohio.” The Glenwillow site has been designed to upgrade to the latest service processes and global best operating practices and will allow Edwards’ service teams to better support their valued customers in the United States. Overall, the new service hub will facilitate the lean manufacturing standards1 that Edwards holds itself to around the world.  New training facilities will provide a forum for hub staff, field service engineers and customers to benefit from hands-on instruction.  Brand new equipment and a streamlined layout will improve efficiency.  The combination of increased capacity and upgraded technology will support Edwards’ planned future growth and additional product lines. “This center is a statement of our commitment to our wide customer base”, added Abate.  “As our business grows, we need to respond to increasing service demands from our customers in the general industrial sectors, research and development labs, chemical process industries and the semiconductor industry.  This move-up will allow us to do just that and we look forward to providing even better service in 2014 and beyond.” The new center will begin operation on April 25, 2014.  After this date, all correspondence should be sent to the new address: Edwards, 7905 Cochran Rd, Glenwillow, OH".


European Used Equipment Available. Surplus Heat Treating Equipment. For 15 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. jordan@themonty.com April 4/2014.

A few examples include:

Aichelin Group Press Release. "AICHELIN Group signed cooperation contract with BSN Thermoprozesstechnik.  The market for press-hardened steel sheets for the automotive industry, so-called blanks, is one of the most rapidly growing markets in the thermo-process sector and has quadrupled within the last decade. In order to take account of this dynamic development, two veritable “champions“ in this industry have now signed a trendsetting cooperation and license contract in order to comply even more precisely with their customers’ highly demanding and innovative challenges. Based on their common vision “We will not do anything but we will strive for perfection in what we do” Aichelin and BSN signed a license treaty in December 2013, which stipulates a close technological cooperation between the two companies according to the “best practice“ principle.

Their common service portfolio comprises design, engineering, manufacturing, delivery and starting-up as well as the after-sales service of ready-for-use plants for the heating of blanks for subsequent press-hardening for the automotive industry as well as the hardening of shafts and other steel components. “We have developed an innovative furnace whose walking beam technology allows to heat laminated blanks or components up to the right temperature within the shortest period of time and then subsequently convey them into the press with maximum precision”, says Dipl.-Ing. W. Schütt, managing partner of company BSN, regarding the technology process, which has been patented in the meantime.

Close cooperation across three continents and three time zones; For a promising customer, a major supplier in the automotive sector, BSN and Aichelin are already working intensively on the technological solution as well as the actual design for four comprehensive plants. “The particular challenge with this first project consists in the fact that the customer has demanded two plants for his sites in Europe as well as one for China and one for the USA, which are to be supplied within a continuous period of 18 months. The customer trusts in the new cooperation with BSN, which combines the innovation, precision and internationality of our sites in a unique way in order to carry out the project according to the customer’s wishes and in due time. The placement of an order is imminent“, says Dr. Thomas Dopler, CEO of Aichelin Ges.m.b.H., Mödling, Austria, who will assume overall project responsibility as an operative parent company.

About AICHELIN : AICHELIN Group has been a global leader in the supply of plants for the heat treatment of metal components since 1868. In addition to the manufacturing and service of industrial furnace plants for various sectors, Aichelin Group produces induction heating plants as well as industrial gas burner systems. The photo below shows;  Sitting : Werner Schütt, CEO BSN Thermprozesstechnik GmbH, Dr. Peter Schobesberger, CEO AICHELIN Holding GmbH. Standing : Bernd Schütt, BSN Thermprozesstechnik GmbH, Dr. Thomas Dopler, CEO AICHELIN Ges.m.b.H". April 4/2014.

Aberfoyle Metal Treaters Ltd./Ontario, Canada. Aberfoyle is one of the coolest commercial or captive heat treaters we have ever seen due to the size of the furnaces the company operates which you can see in one of the photos below. The press release below tells us of a small management change at the company. April 3/2014.

"We are pleased to announce the following management changes effective today: John Beingessner – President, Tom Bell – General Manager, Colin Hall – Plant Manager. Commenting on the change in presidency, outgoing President and company founder, Harry Hall had this to say: “It is with great pleasure that I announce that Mr. John Beingessner has been appointed President of Aberfoyle Metal Treaters Ltd., effective April 1, 2014.  John joined our company in 2010 as Vice President & COO. Prior to joining us, John served as President of B&W Heat Treating Ltd. in Kitchener, Ontario from 2004 to 2010 and served that company in various management positions for a total of 24 years. Since forming the company in 1989, I have had the honour and good fortune to lead and grow it over the last 25 years. I am eminently proud of our achievements and the solid reputation we have developed throughout North America and beyond. I will be staying on with the company for at least one year promoting sales and marketing. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers, suppliers and associates who have supported us over the years.” Tom Bell and Colin Hall will continue to perform their current duties but will now have additional responsibilities and authority in management and operations. About AMT; Aberfoyle Metal Treaters is a leader in commercial heat treating, grit blasting and coating services for heavy industrial fabrication, steel making, power generation, aerospace, petrochemical and other specialty markets. 2014 marks our 25th Anniversary in business. Any questions or comments should be directed to: Harry Hall – hhall@aberfoyle-mt.com, or John Beingessner – johnb@aberfoyle-mt.com "

Polish Heat Treatment Forum. Next week is the first annual Polish Heat Treatment Forum and the organizers are pretty excited about it, so much so that they sent us this summary. April 3/2014.

"We now have close to 200 registered exhibitors and presenters and the visitors are many times that! All of the exhibitors booths are spoken for. International participants are coming from the US, Canada, India, France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Lithuania. Most of the major equipment manufacturers and their suppliers will be in attendance. Leading international companies from the automotive, energy, aviation, marine, mining, bearing and machinery sectors will be in attendance as well as the largest commercial heat treaters in Europe.  http://www.heat-treatment-forum.pl/homepage/

Certified Heat Treat/Wes Carrollton, Ohio. Just yesterday we told you about the terrible tragedy at commercial heat treater Certified Heat Treat where a worker lost his life. The Dayton Daily News just today had this story about what happened. April 3/2014.

"The heat treating company in West Carrollton where a worker died this week said it will work with federal safety officials to have "the safest workplace possible." This morning's statement by Certified Heat Treating follows the death of James L. Mitchell, 48, of Vandalia. Mitchell likely died late Sunday night after getting caught in a door while working with a furnace at the company's building on Infirmary Road, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. "We at Certified Heat Treating are shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Jim Mitchell at our facility here in Miamisburg," according to the company's statement. "Jim had worked here for 25 years. Jim was a dedicated worker and he was highly regarded by all who had the privilege of working with him. Our feeling of loss is profound and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. "As a company, we have strived to maintain a safe working environment," according to the statement. "In the light of this tragedy we are taking a close look at those efforts and we are working with OSHA to ensure that we have the safest workplace possible". Mitchell was alone at the time of the accident and his body discovered later, said Bill Wilkerson, area director for OSHA's Cincinnati office. Wilkerson said the business has no history of OSHA-related complaints. An autopsy of Mitchell's body was scheduled for Monday afternoon. Preliminary results may be released today, according to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office".

Härterei 2014 (Heat Treat Shop 2014). We have this news report about the recent heat treat show in Munich, Germany.  "After Wiesbaden the second largest HT Conference in Germany is the Annual Heat Treatment Convention in Munich called Härterei 2014 (Heat Treat Shop 2014) which is arranged by MWS Dr. Schreiner. VDI MWS stands for Münchner Werkstofftechnik-Seminare (Munich Material Technology Seminars and Exhibitions) and is organized by Dr. Alexander Schreiner and his son Daniel Schreiner, with support from Dr. Olaf Irretier and his company IBW.  This annual event took place last week and was celebrating its 30th anniversary. The idea to have an annual heat treat show in Munich was born in1984 during the Wiesbaden show and since that time it is held every year in Munich. Dr. Schreiner is a very experienced fellow having worked with Bosch and BMW and ending up with a PhD from the Technical University of Munich.. He also worked with Günter Rübig setting up their heat treat shop in Wels/Austria in 1986. For his achievements and also on the occasion of that 30th anniversary, he was honored by MD (Editors note; MD is Managing Director or GM in Europe) of furnace manufacturer Rübig, Mr. Thomas Müller with a very special present (nobody knows what is in the wooden case in the picture below). By the way MWS Dr. Schreiner VDI recently joined the GLOBAL HEAT TREATMENT NETWORK, a global network of over 80 heat treatment experts worldwide, acting in Europe, Asia and the Americas (more about that to come soon)". April 2/2014.

From the left T.Müller, Dr.A.Schreiner, Dr. O.Irretier

The photo above shows the attendees at the show and even here in Canada we recognize several well-known faces in this photo such as; Günter Reuss (owner of the very inventive vacuum furnace manufacturer Systherms GmbH), Olaf Irretier (IBW), Thomas Müller (MD of Rübig), Werner Schwan (Bosch), Rainer Braun (MD od Burgdorf), Karol A. Forycki (leading member of the Global Heat Treatment Network), Willi Wingens (owner of Technotherm, biggest commercial heat treater around Stuttgart, Germany), Markus Reinhold (R&D Director Ipsen) and Stefan Heineck (Stange).

Certified Heat Treating/Miamisburg, Ohio. Rather a very upsetting story about a death at commercial heat treater Certified Heat Treating in Ohio. All we know is what you see below. "WEST CARROLLTON -- The man who was found dead in an air duct early Monday morning has been identified as 48-year-old James L. Mitchell. Police say Mitchell, from Vandalia, was found about 1 a.m. Monday at Certified Heat Treating. The Montgomery County Coroner's Office says it has performed an autopsy but has not yet released a cause of death". A police statement said this; "WEST CARROLLTON -- We are working to find out more information about a situation in West Carrollton. Officers were called to Certified Heat Treating just before 1:00 this morning on Infirmary Road. According to scanner traffic, the call out was for someone injured in the air duct. The coroner's office has confirmed to us that a body was brought to them from the scene". April 2/2014.

Dave Rinz. Recently we mentioned the passing of a well known individual in the vacuum furnace industry, Mr. Dave Rinz. These are the funeral details; "Funeral Service Notice. There will be a funeral service for Dave Rinz on April 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM at St. John the Evangelist in Lambertville, NJ. It is located just over the New Hope bridge on the left hand side. The address is: 44 Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530". April 2/2014.

April Fools. The news item below is quite obviously an April Fools joke, a time honored tradition in many Western countries where playing a joke on the unsuspecting public is a long time tradition. The most famous example of this is of course US film director Orson Wells who had a fake radio broadcast back in the 1930's about Martians landing in the US (this was based on War of the Worlds by HG Wells). Panic in the streets ensued but we have no doubt but that is was a ratings hit. Having said that there is a small grain of truth in that bat guano actually has some properties that would aid in altering the properties of metal although we have grave doubts that we will ever see bat guano in a heat treat department (although if the environmentalists ever gain the upper hand there is a strong possibility). April 2/2014.

New Heat Treating Technology. While the heat treating industry is a conservative one there does from time to time appear a technology which truly does promise to revolutionize heat treating. Dr. Scott MacKenzie, PhD, FASM  and Gary Berwick two individuals that we have a very high regard for and who are well known in the industry submitted to us details of a fascinating new technology which is going to change the way we do things. If this delivers as it promises we could see a fundamental change in furnace manufacturing especially in vacuum heat treating. What you are reading is the condensed version of the report, the full 32 page technical article can be found by clicking on the link in this news item. April 1/2014.

"A black swan is an unexpected technological innovation that totally disrupts existing markets. In our world of heat treating, there haven’t been many examples.  But there may be one happening now.  One that will rapidly decrease the cost of heat treating and the capital equipment required.  Will this render vacuum heat treating obsolete?  We refer to a major study just completed by a University in Romania.  Prof. Be'la Ferenc Dezso Blasko has come up with a new way to heat treat, similar to fluidized bed or salt bath nitriding.  But instead of aluminum oxide or nitriding salt, bat guano is used.  Guano analysis translates to 10 percent nitrogen, 3 percent phosphorus, and 1 percent potassium or potash.  The natural components in the guano nitrides tool steels at low temperatures (under 800°F/425°C) with virtually no distortion. This “game changer” actually  has historical roots dating back to the middle ages for protection of cannons and bells and is described in the original translation from Latin by Herbert Clark Hoover translation of De Metallurgia, written by Georgius Agricola in 1556.  Hoover was the 31st president of the United States, member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, and Mining and Metallurgical Society of America. CLICK HERE for the technical article just released.  The only downside of this technology is that (to be rather course and blunt) bat shit really stinks!

Monday Morning Briefing. Let’s start off by having a look at how commercial heat treaters in North America are doing these days.  According to Metal Treating Institute (MTI) YTD sales for the Metal Treating Industry for February 2014 were $140.8 million USD, a decrease of -1.4% from 2013 when sales for January-February equaled $142.8 million USD. Sales for the Metal Treating Industry for February 2014 totaled $71.4 million, a decrease from 2013 when sale for February equaled $71.7 million. Four out of the nine MTI districts reported higher sales in February 2014 compared to the previous year. The worst performing areas were Canada down -18.1% and the US Southeast down -11.2%. How about an interesting rumor? Rumor has it that ALD-Holcroft just landed a multi-million dollar order for a ModulTherm vacuum carburizing system from an automotive company in the US. Since we have mentioned ALD-Holcroft the photo below shows a 10 chamber ModulTherm® system installed in Europe, this particular one being used  for vacuum carburizing of automotive transmission components. 

Bluewater Thermal one of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America has a new COO-Mr. Jeff Hemmer. Jeff was previously Director of Operations for the company and he is replacing Mr. Ben Crawford who left the company a few months back and is now Sales Manager for furnace builder JL Becker Company in Michigan. So what is happening with commercial heat treater Modern Heat Treating & Forging Inc. which has two locations in Upstate NY? This family owned business appears to have closed the doors on their plant in Buffalo but nothing definite seems to have been decided. It is always difficult to see companies struggling and we would assume that this has to do with the enormous decline in manufacturing in this area. Where are they now? Martin Beaton. Martin was a Division Manager with commercial heat treater Bodycote overseeing the Great Lakes area. It is a testament to Martin that even though he parted ways with the company a few years back we still get people asking what he is up to. Well Martin is prospering as you would expect and is now involved in the Mergers and Acquisitions business. Speaking of Bodycote what does the investment world think of the company these days? "Bodycote PLC (LON:BOY)‘s stock had its “add” rating reiterated by equities researchers at Numis Securities Ltd in a research report issued on Thursday, AnalystRatings Nework reports. They currently have a GBX 770 ($12.69) price objective on the stock. Numis Securities Ltd’s target price would indicate a potential downside of 1.09% from the stock’s previous close. Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of Bodycote PLC from GBX 540 ($8.90) to GBX 655 ($10.80) in a research note on Monday, March 17th. They now have an “underweight” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Nplus1 Brewin raised their price target on shares of Bodycote PLC from GBX 700 ($11.54) to GBX 850 ($14.01) in a research note on Thursday, March 13th. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at N+1 Singer raised their price target on shares of Bodycote PLC from GBX 700 ($11.54) to GBX 850 ($14.01) in a research note on Thursday, March 13th. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Bodycote PLC has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of GBX 717.84 ($11.83). Shares of Bodycote PLC traded down 1.86% on Thursday, hitting GBX 764.00. The stock had a trading volume of 61,584 shares. Bodycote PLC has a 52 week low of GBX 460.20 and a 52 week high of GBX 801.5001. The stock’s 50-day moving average is GBX 723.8 and its 200-day moving average is GBX 671.. The company’s market cap is £1.447 billion.The company also recently declared a dividend, which is scheduled for Friday, May 2nd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 9th will be given a dividend of GBX 19.10 ($0.31) per share. This represents a yield of 2.56%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, April 9th". Furnace builder Pyradia in Longueil, Quebec sent us this photo of an oven the company recently installed. What we are looking at is a  walk-in Paint Curing Oven delivered to a Quebec based manufacturer of high precision parts for the Aerospace industry.

And to round things out we have this report from Swiss furnace builder Codere. To go with these comments we have the photo below showing the shop as of just a few days ago. "Codere wants to inform readers of a busy beginning to 2014 as there has been much activity with large orders being placed meaning they are almost planning already for 2015. In February we received an order from a well-known Singapore contract heat treater who purchased a line respecting AMS 2750E Class 2 Instrumentation in our high temperature furnace with both oil and salt quenching options. With this order Codere predicts further growth and interest in our product range in the Asian market. In the aerospace industry, Codere has received large interest due to our well-known reference Safran Group installing two lines in France and Mexico. This company participates in a number of high profile programs, such as the Rafale of Dassault Aviation, the Eurocopter Tiger, the very large civil carrier Airbus A380, as well as the future Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A400M which is a military aircraft. Speaking of market entry we have recently sold two labs furnaces to a company active in the supply of various sized valves for the automobile industry in the United Kingdom. Our workshop is presently full with a number of installations for Russian customers from varied industries.

Also there are two orders for Russia scheduled to be manufactured later this year for different domains. Codere have identified new projects in the German market with our new pro-active agency structure in place from the beginning of 2014. More news to follow with our next update on activity. Our action plans are already in place to increase our presence in the Asian market through our new network of agents in China and the ASEAN countries. Codere with our modular construction have seen existing customers seeing increases in production have received new orders in the Swiss, Slovakian and Croatian markets to name a few. Finally Codere have completed the pre-reception of our first Chilean customer last week who was very impressed with our flexible system to break the monopoly, which exists in their local market. If readers are interested to learn more about our product range or activities, please don't hesitate to contact David Howard from the Sales department either via mail at d.howard@codere.ch or by telephone 0041 32 4651010"   March 31/2014.

Bosio/Aichelin Press Release. Now this is an impressive furnace installation! Never in our lives have we seen or heard of a pit furnace with a working depth of 72'. Pretty cool. March 28/2014.

"72 ft Pit Furnaces and Quenching Unit commissioned by BOSIO. "Bosio, a member of the AICHELIN Group, announces the successful commissioning of a 72 ft Pit Furnace, a 72 ft Split Type Furnace and a PLC controlled Spray Quenching Unit of the same size for the heat treatment of turbine rotors with a length up to 52 ft and a rotor weight up to 175 tons. The furnaces are available with gas or electric heating up to a temperature up to 2000°F. Different heating zones ensure a temperature uniformity of ± 9°F. The PLC controlled Spray Quenching Unit can adjust the quench speed by shutting on/off selected zones and switching between the quenching medias water, air or air-water mixture. For better uniformity the parts can be rotated during quenching. A wireless transmitter ensures real time temperature measurement during the rotation. For interested customers Bosio can also provide a simulation of the cooling process for their specific application. All furnaces built by the AICHELIN group ensure a very energy-efficient and environmentally friendly operation with consistently excellent product quality and reproducibility. This furnace technology is now also available in the US and will be built by US based AICHELIN Heat Treatment Systems Inc., in Plymouth, MI.

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. Located in Plymouth, MI, AICHELIN USA has been offering heat treatment systems in the US 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 www.aichelinusa.com"

Surface Combustion Press Release. "Surface Combustion Inc., a manufacturer of thermal-processing equipment, made a major investment in its Waterville, Ohio, facility. The expansion includes a 22,000-square-foot addition to its existing facility that will enhance the company's flexibility and capacity to better serve the changing needs of its global customer base. The project doubled the amount of work bays, which are more expansive, to accommodate larger equipment assembly and testing. Other upgrades include 11 high-capacity jib cranes and two 20-ton overhead cranes. The foundation and utilities have been designed to support a duplicate expansion adjacent to the current facility." March 28/2014.

Ipsen Press Release. "CHERRY VALLEY, IL – In the first quarter of 2014, Ipsen’s Engineered Components Group has seen a large increase in vacuum and atmosphere furnace hot zone and retrofit orders compared to the same period in 2013. Orders include 27 hot zones, 37 controls upgrades and 23 mechanical retrofits for several Ipsen customers, both domestically and internationally, in Steel Brazing, Tool & Die, Medical and Commercial Heat Treatment industry sectors. “When our customers are looking to prolong the life of their investment, upgrades and retrofits are an ideal solution,” said Fred Roth, Ipsen’s Engineered Components Manager. “By upgrading your controls to meet industry standards, installing a new hot zone or updating features on your furnaces, you can increase its production capabilities and its lifetime significantly.” Updating your hot zone can increase your efficiency and improve cycle times.

Ipsen provides high-velocity, one-piece plenum hot zones supported by a heavy-duty, double-wall steel plenum that allows for easy installation and maintenance removal, outstanding energy efficiency and long-term reliability. By layering high-performance graphite-felt insulation under a carbon fiber shield to create a heat-loss barrier, Ipsen’s all-graphite hot zones deliver superior thermal efficiency. For processes that are metallurgically sensitive to contamination caused by graphite, Ipsen offers an all-metal hot zone for increased control over demanding processes. Ipsen’s proven, time-tested hot zone designs deliver superior, long-lasting results. A variety of upgrades to your heat treatment systems allow you to breathe new life into your business by helping you meet demanding industry standards, increase capabilities, save time and be more energy efficient. Adding a SCADA system or a VPN router to your controls can save you time on monitoring and maintenance. Upgrading to a new pumping system can decrease cycle times.

Ipsen upgrades provide the operational flexibility you need to refine your processes for precise, repeatable results. Planning ahead for upgrades and retrofits can help ensure minimal downtime and a smooth transition. Ipsen’s Engineered Components Group works closely with customers to plan delivery and installation during plant shutdowns or other optimal times in order to avoid an interruption in production. As always, Ipsen maintains the quality fit, finish and reliability of all retrofits and upgrades regardless of the original equipment manufacturer. Whether it’s a standard upgrade or a completely custom configuration, Ipsen’s Engineered Components Group can provide a package to precisely fit your needs. Visit IpsenUSA.com/ECG for more information." March 28/2014.

Colt's Manufacturing Fire. Colt's, the gun company and captive heat treater in West Hartford, CT suffered a fire in their heat treating department the morning of Tuesday, March 25th. Our understanding is that this location has roughly half a dozen batch IQ furnaces which makes it not a bad sized captive heat treat department. According to the news report below the fire started in the ductwork from the furnaces. We would estimate that perhaps half of heat treating fires originate in oil coated duct work from heat treating furnaces. March 27/2014.

"WEST HARTFORD — A fire that began in the heat treating department at Colt's Manufacturing on New Park Avenue caused the factory to be evacuated Tuesday morning. West Hartford firefighters were able to contain the fire to the room where it began. No injuries were reported and about 500 workers were able to return to their jobs after firefighters completed their work. The fire's cause remains under investigation. "Crews did an excellent job getting on top of it quickly and keeping it in the room of origin," West Hartford Battalion Chief John Deckers said. Firefighters were called about 8:30 a.m. for a report of a fire in the building's duct work. It was declared under control at 9:14 a.m".

Dave Rinz. Dave Rinz a well known fellow in the vacuum furnace industry passed away this past weekend. A lifelong associate of Dave's, Mr. Bill Jones of Solar Atmospheres kindly provided these memories of Dave. March 27/2014.

"Dave started with Abar in the mid 1960's at our original plant in Willow Grove, Pa. as a design draftsman back in the day when we used drafting boards, no computers then. He was hired by Charlie Hill the company founder. We sold an aluminum power metal sintering furnace to Chrysler. Although we tried hard we could never meet production rates with that furnace and Chrysler canceled the order. Sad day. Rather than eat the furnace, Dave was given the job to completely redesign the hot zone to a vacuum annealing furnace for electron tube parts for RCA in NJ, which he did very successfully. Dave graduated to the sales department and was very successful on many projects throughout the USA. Dave relocated to LA for Abar and set up a sales office. Latter he joined VFS as our West Coast sales manager. In about 1984 Dave sold at that time the largest bottom loading vacuum furnace in North America to then VacHyd in the Torrance Calif. area. That furnace was 10' dia. X 8' high and rated for operation to 2800f with an all metal moly hot zone and three 35" diffusion pumps. The furnace is still operational today. Dave finished his career with VFS as Vice President and retired to Florida some 12 years ago. Dave had many firsts in his life, and their is no question he will be welcomed home,  "well done thou Faithful Servant"." William R. Jones, Founder, Vacuum Furnace Systems 1978

Dave Rinz. It is with regret that we mention the passing of Mr. Dave Rinz, Saturday March 22, 2014. Dave was one of the best known individuals in the vacuum heat treating industry that we have ever run across and we at “The Monty” had the privilege of working with him many years ago. Dave had long time experience with vacuum furnace manufacturer Vacuum Furnace Systems of Souderton, PA., a company he was with for many years. While we are awaiting details of his memorial service we can say that Dave brought a great deal of passion and experience to the vacuum heat treating industry. He will be missed. March 26/2014.

Rexnord/Precision Gear Holdings. This small press release caught our attention because Rexnord does a great deal of heat treating in-house and Merit Gear in Anitgo, WI which is also mentioned has a very nice batch IQ line and large pit carburizing set up.

"Rexnord Corp. said Tuesday that it has purchased Precision Gear Holdings LLC, which owns Antigo-based Merit Gear LLC and Precision Gear LLC, in Twinsburg, Ohio, for $78 million in cash. Precision Gear Holdings employs 190 people and has $45 million in annual sales. Merit Gear is a manufacturer of gearing and gearboxes for the oil and gas market. “Merit’s capabilities and offering are highly complementary to our core Falk product line,” said Dean Vlasak vice president of innovation and energy for West Milwaukee-based Rexnord. The Falk product lines include gear drives, open gearing and fluid couplings. Precision Gear LLC makes specialized gears used in the aerospace and other industrial markets. Its acquisition will expand Rexnord's aerospace gear manufacturing capabilities and provide additional products and services, said  Darryl Mayhorn president of Rexnord Aerospace. “Precision Gear represents an ongoing strategic investment into Rexnord’s aerospace product portfolio within its Process and Motion Control platform,” said Mayhorn. Rexnord (NYSE: RXN), which has 7,300 employees worldwide, makes process and motion control, and water management products". March 26/2014.

Solar Atmospheres Press Release. "Vacuum heat treat services expert, Solar Atmospheres of Western PA, announced today the installation of a new high-temperature, high-purity, production-scale, 2-bar vacuum furnace in an environmentally controlled room for heat treating and brazing of small to mid-size loads. This new furnace will allow Solar to service customers with small to mid-size furnace loads more efficiently, economically, and precisely. The “Mentor” furnace, designed for processing medical, tool & die, aerospace, nuclear, and other industrial heat treated or brazed parts was installed and commissioned in the Hermitage, Penna., plant one hour north of Pittsburgh, Penna. Because the furnace is enclosed in an environmentally controlled room, Solar’s customers are more assured that the dangers of humidity and resulting discoloration of some metal parts will be eliminated or severely reduced.

Michael Johnson, sales manager at Hermitage, said, “This new furnace will give us the ability to process a variety of loads we were not competitively able to quote using our larger furnaces. The Mentor is a great furnace and we’re excited about the heat treating and brazing opportunities that this little workhorse is opening up to us.” The furnace, designed and built by sister company, Solar Manufacturing, is installed in an environmental cleanroom where humidity and temperature remain stable compared to typical heat treat facility conditions. The controlled environmental will allow Solar to more quickly and efficiently process parts providing quick turnaround to customers.

The furnace has an effective workload area of 12” wide by 12” high by 18” deep, is capable of holding a load of up to 250 pounds, and is rated at a normal operating temperature of 2500°F/1370°C. The hot zone is constructed of high-efficiency graphite felt and boards and allows for rapid heat-up and cool-down cycles. In order to achieve desired metallurgical properties for some metals, the furnace is equipped with a 2-bar quenching capability. The furnace went online in March 2014 and is expected to run at full capacity before October 2014. For more information on The Mentor furnace or on Solar Atmospheres of Western PA, please visit www.solaratm.com

ABOUT SOLAR ATMOSPHERES OF WESTERN PA; Vacuum heat treating and brazing services provided by Solar Atmospheres produce bright, scale-free parts with minimal distortion. The Hermitage, Pennsylvania, plant 60 miles north of Pittsburgh specializes in vacuum thermal processing of large, mainly titanium manufacturing parts.  This facility houses the world's largest commercial vacuum furnace (80” wide x 60” high x 432” long work zone - 150,000 lb. workload capacity) which uniquely benefits the aerospace industry. With a variety of furnaces processing smaller parts, Solar Atmospheres serves 18 different industries. State-of-the-art services also include carburizing, nitriding and R&D. Additional plants are located in Fontana, California, and Souderton, Pennsylvania. www.solaratm.com". March 26/2014.

Environmentally-controlled room with The Mentor furnace for processing of small to mid-size vacuum heat treat furnace loads. Pictured is Solar Atmospheres of Western PA Quality Manager, Susan Generalovich.

Endothermic Generators. At last count there were at least 10 companies in North America that could very competently design and build an Endothermic generator. Well the field just got more crowded. In just the past few months McLaughlin Services in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Atmosphere Engineering of Milwaukee, Wisconsin have both entered the new endothermic generator market. In the case of McLaughlin Services the company has already sold and installed a couple of units and they bring with them a rather novel idea-renting and leasing generators which so far appears to be attracting a lot of attention. Atmosphere Engineering in turn is a company which has been very successful in selling flowmeters and also their patented EndoInjector system which allows a generator to only produce the amount of endo gas required by the furnaces, an idea which has taken over the market. AE is now also in the Endothermic Generator business offering a system which we saw exhibited at the Heat Treat show in Wiesbaden, Germany last year and which we believe was designed in Germany. Personally we are starting to think this is becoming a very full field especially when sales of endo generators have slowed down over the past few months. March 25/2014.

Oerlikon Leybold Press Release. "Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum receives the Red Dot Product Design Award for the PHOENIX L500i. The results of the annual Red Dot Product Design Awards are in – and Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum has won this prestigious award for the design of the leak detector PHOENIX L500i. Searching for the best performances and excellence in the field of product design, the jury of the Red Dot Award recognized Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum’s efforts for an intelligent and innovative design. The PHOENIX L500i will be presented at the Analytica, 01. - 04. April in Munich, together with the TURBOVACi turbo molecular pump series recently launched at the Pittcon Chicago. The Red Dot Design Award stands for belonging to the best in design and business and is an international indicator for outstanding design quality on an international level. Thus, the distinction with the Red Dot does not only increase the awareness level of the awarded products, designer of companies, but it is also reflected in the Design Rankings and the evaluation of the design value. The ‘Red Dot Design Award’ is aimed at all those who would like to distinguish themselves through excellent design, which is selected and evaluated by a competent expert jury in the areas of product design, communication design, and design concepts. “Congratulations to the team of Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum and Christian Bunse, the designer, who developed the PHOENIX L500i award winning design with us,” lauds Dr. Martin Fuellenbach, CEO of Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum. “The jury of the Red Dot Award have voted and recognized Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum’s design performance. As the vacuum market features a multitude of leak detectors from a variety of suppliers, the new design had to deliver special features for additional customer benefit – and not just the technical parameters, which are of course also delivering best-in-class performance.”

Industrial design paired with excellent technology; The concept for the design of the PHOENIX L500i leak detector came from the desire to combine the sophistication of a very high tech piece of equipment within an esthetically pleasing and functional appearance. Vacuum leak detection is an integral solution and fully complementary to achieve and maintain the vacuum in technically complex systems by finding potential leaks and thus ensuring vacuum performance. This new leak detector was aimed to distinguish itself from the already existing competitive products. The smooth aerodynamic lines of the housing provide for a very modern and even futuristic look and feel which is quite different from many competitive products on the market today. The entire unit is compact making it easy to maneuver into tight work spaces thus providing a significant advantage to end users. The handle itself has been tucked away beneath the top of the housing so that it does not stick out or interfere with the work area around the leak detector while also keeping with the smooth contours of the outer housing. The simplified controls have been optimized and positioned with ergonomic considerations in mind." March 25/2014.

Monday Morning Briefing. Life is not fair. Earlier this year Harold Greg Fletcher passed away unexpectedly at the age of  60. Harold had spent 30 years working for alloy supplier Hyper Alloys of Roseville, MI and his lifelong dream had been to purchase the company which he was able to do January 1st 2014.  Unfortunately he passed away just 3 weeks after buying Hyper. While we never met Harold we had exchanged e-mails with him and the little we knew of him supports what his friends and customers felt which is that he was a top notch individual. We have been lead to believe that furnace builder Can Eng International of Niagara Falls, Canada recently landed an order for a mesh belt furnace system from fastener manufacturer and captive heat treater Infastech (Decorah) LLC in Decorah, Iowa. We believe this means the company will now have a total of 4 mesh belt lines when this installation is completed. While there have been few sales of mesh belt lines in the past few years there now seems to be some increased demand for this style of furnace. And speaking of Can Eng we also have this press release.  "Can-Eng Furnaces International Limited has received an order for Russian Railcar Builder Tikhvin Chem Mash for the supply of Two (2) Car Bottom Furnaces used in the stress relieving of Tanks and Heads for the production of railway tank cars. The facility will be located in the Tikhvin Industrial Complex, Tikhvin Russia, approximately 230 km east of Russia’s northern city of St. Petersburg.  The tanks and heads to be heat treated are a maximum 3600 mm in diameter and the length of the furnaces are approximately 25000 mm. With a load rating of the equipment at 40 tons, a door on car design and a unique spring loaded door seal; the furnaces can be installed within the purchasers 7200 mm under hook overhead crane workshop. CAN-ENG has previously supplied the Tikhvin Railcar Building Plant (TVSZ) a fully automated robotically loaded 73,000 ton/year railway casting Normalize and Quench and Temper facility for undercarriage components, mainly side frames, bolsters, yokes and couplers. A fall 2014 start-up is planned". 

The first Heat Treat Forum in Poland is being held in just two weeks and to compliment this show we see that a Polish heat treatment association has been formed. Polish heat treatment association has been formed. "Several Polish and international companies acting in Poland such as commercial heat treaters, furnace manufacturers, suppliers and engineering companies formed this past week the first Polish heat treat association. The official signature ceremony will take place during the conference and exhibition HEAT TREATMENT FORUM Poland 2014,  Central & Eastern Europe (April 8-10th, Wroclaw)  www.heat-treatment-forum.pl We told you last week how AMG (the parent company of vacuum furnace builder ALD) were releasing their 2013 financial results which we have below. Please note that this is for the AMG Engineering division which includes the company’s heat treating activities and that this is not for the company as a whole. "AMG Engineering`s fourth quarter 2013 revenue decreased $2.3 million, or 3%, to $67.0 million.  Revenue from turbine blade coating furnaces increased 34% to $4.8 million, the result of one significant order.  This increase was offset by a 27% decline in heat treatment systems to $12.8 million. Order backlog decreased 18% to $109.7 million at December 31, 2013 from $133.5 million at September 30, 2013.  AMG Engineering generated order intake of $39.6 million in the fourth quarter 2013, a 42% decrease compared to the fourth quarter 2012, and a 0.59x book to bill ratio.  Customers delayed investment decisions during the quarter due to market uncertainty and lower than anticipated end market demand. The fourth quarter 2013 gross margin was 23%, consistent with the fourth quarter 2012.  Improved profitability on certain large projects and an increased focus on cost control resulted in a consistent margin, despite the slight decline in revenue. The fourth quarter 2013 EBITDA decreased $5.3 million, to 4% of revenue from 11% of revenue in the fourth quarter 2012.  The EBITDA decrease was the result of the $0.8 million decrease in gross profit and a $2.4 million increase in SG&A compensation expenses. Capital expenditures were $0.7 million in the fourth quarter 2013, which were primarily maintenance capital expenditures for the heat treatment services business".

Last year commercial heat treater Applied Process of Livonia, MI issued a press release about their expanision plans. As probably the world’s largest batch austemper processing company we felt it well worthwhile to have a look just this past week at what they have accomplished. The photos below show the new addition as well as some of their equipment. http://www.appliedprocess.com/ March 24/2014.

Front Row - Chris Bixler (Principal Process Engineer), Richard Lemaitre, Shawn VanDyke (Shift Supervisor), Don Grewe Back Row - Jeff Brown, Josh Buchau, Terrell Hicks

HTI/Logansport, Indiana. Well we've already profiled one commercial austemper company in the US so let's have a look at a second again one of only a handful in North America that exclusively does austempering. In this case we are looking at HTI in Logansport, Indiana. Founded in 1976 the company operates four mesh belt austempering lines ranging in size with the largest capable of 2,000 pounds/hour. Our impression of the company was that it is capable, well run, well organized and a little over the average in terms of annual sales for a commercial heat treater in North America. Most of the equipment we saw was not new but it was all in impeccable condition and maintenance is top notch. An item that we noticed with interest was a salt reclamation system provided by a German company by the name of Rohde which was installed a couple of years ago. Salt reclamation systems make a great deal of sense but only for a reasonably large austempering facility. In this case the company says it was an excellent investment. In these photos we see the very passionate President of the company Mr. Chico Rodriguez (when we say passionate we do not mean excitable but rather an individual who is quite obviously loving what he is doing).  March 21/2014.

AFC-Holcroft/Wixom, Michigan. Every furnace builder in the world will probably tell you the same thing which is that furnace demand by type is constantly fluctuating. As an example a number of years back mesh belt furnace lines were in high demand by fastener manufacturers and then demand dropped off to almost nothing as fastener companies fled to Taiwan. Recently however there has been a small resurgence of mesh belt furnace orders with a couple of orders recently placed or about to be placed. The same sort of cyclical demand is also seen for pusher furnaces, salt equipment and batch IQ furnaces. This all leads to our recent visit to new furnace builder AFC-Holcroft in Wixom, Michigan. Over the years visits to the company have shown everything from the largest Batch austemper furnace ever built, roller hearth lines, multi row pushers and always a mainstay of the company Batch IQ furnaces. A visit earlier this week showed us a number of batch IQ units either 36” X 48” X 36” or 36” X 72” X 36” size and quite a number of new endothermic generators all in various stages of construction. The photos below give you a bit of an idea about what is on the floor. In the one photo you see from left to right Tracy Dougherty (Sales Manager), Bill Disler (CEO) and Gord Montgomery. March 20/2014.

Atmosphere Heat Treating Inc./Wixom, Michigan. It would be very interesting to know what percentage of the total worldwide heat treating market both captive and commercial is austempering. It is a small portion of that there is no doubt but is it 10%? 5%? 2%? We very honestly do not know and if anybody has an estimate we would be very interested in hearing what their thoughts are-personally our guess would be about 5%. With this preamble out of the way we look at one commercial heat treater in North America which is one of only a handful of commercials that focuses exclusively on austempering and which is one of the largest, Atmosphere Heat Treating Inc., which has two reasonably  large operations in the Detroit, Michigan area. Our focus today is their newest location which was built in roughly 1996 and which features a total of 3 AFC-Holcroft mesh belt austempering lines each with a capacity of roughly 2,000 pounds/hour. Hey we could ramble on about the plant but the pictures below will give you a far better idea than we could ever put in print. Suffice to say that it is clean, well organized and seems to run like clockwork. To add credence to this we can say that judging by the happy, happy employees in the picture below it has to be a great place to work. From left to right we have Gord Montgomery, Gary Czopp (Quality Director) and Skip James (Maintenance Manager). March 19/2014.

Heat Treat Safety. As part of our occasional series on safety within the heat treating industry we have this rather curious article which appeared on a British website www.mondaq.com. We say curious because the incidents this article describes go back a number of years but  the author of these comments felt it necessary to  point out just last week how companies are responsible for  workplace safety issues and that past safety issues can and will be considered in current or future prosecutions.

”United Kingdom: Do Prosecutions Outside The UK Affect Sentencing In The Courts Of England And Wales? The 2009 case of R v Bodycote HIP contains an important warning to multinational organisations in the UK in relation to the impact of health and safety prosecutions against their branches abroad. Two of Bodycote's employees working at the company's Hereford manufacturing plant were found collapsed on the stairs leading to a concrete lined pit into which argon gas had leaked. The two employees subsequently died of asphyxiation. The investigation discovered that the ventilation systems for the pit were not operational and that the low oxygen level warning mechanisms had been disabled. The company was fined £533,000 and ordered to pay costs of £200,000, amounts it unsuccessfully sought to reduce on appeal. Although a very tragic case for all concerned, the fact pattern is not in itself particularly noteworthy apart from a small but significant feature. The court considered, and gave substantial weight to, the fact that a similar incident had occurred a few years earlier which had led to the death of two employees at a HIP plant in California, USA. The court heard that the two Californian employees had died from asphyxiation as a result of inhaling argon and nitrogen gasses and concluded that the company had not adequately heeded the warnings from the failures in the Californian plant. This failure was considered by the court to amount to an aggravating factor in assessing the fine to be imposed on the company for the UK incident and this approach was approved by the Court of Appeal.

A number of organisations operating in the UK have branches in various countries abroad. In light of the Bodycote decision, weight will be placed by the English Courts on prior, similar convictions in other jurisdictions when assessing domestic incidents, this should be a cause for concern. Even if an organisation has an unblemished safety record in England and Wales, its global behaviour may be scrutinised and may act as an aggravating feature in subsequent domestic incidents. This is of particular relevance to organisations with branches in jurisdictions where corporate attitude to health and safety is not as highly developed as in the UK, since convictions in these jurisdictions may well come back to bite the company domestically where fines are typically higher and court attitudes tougher.

This case highlights how important it is for international organisations to ensure that their various global branches implement and actively manage health and safety policies across the board and do not take some jurisdictions more lightly than others in the belief that potential breaches of local safety laws in those jurisdictions would have a limited impact on their business. Similarly, the mere fact that an organisation has a clear safety record domestically is not the be all and end all, but will be a factor that is assessed alongside its international safety record. Coordination and cooperation are the key words and organisations should at all times ensure that the relevant local teams responsible for health and safety are in constant communication and that any lessons that have been learned are fed through to the other branches in order to avoid replicating the same mistakes which lead to avoidable injury, loss of life and financial consequences.The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances." March 18/2014.

Monday Morning Briefing. We start off today Monday March 17th with a press release from vacuum furnace builder Vac Aero of Oakville, Ontario, Canada. “VAC AERO Commissions First of Two Vacuum Furnaces at a New Hampshire-based Castings Manufacturer. Burlington, March 14, 2014 - The VAH5050 HV-2 horizontal vacuum furnace with work zone dimensions 36” wide x 36” high x 50” deep is the first VAC AERO furnace to be installed at this facility and will replace an old existing furnace. The hot zone is comprised of curved graphite elements and the heavy duty hearth is constructed with quickly removable rails of pure molybdenum designed to support a uniformly distributed load of 3000 lbs at 2400°F. The lightweight design’s low thermal mass enables faster quenching and longer life. The furnace is equipped with an external recirculating inert gas quenching system and includes gas storage and dual loop cooling systems. The furnace operating system is based on VAC AERO's versatile HC900 interactive hybrid control package with SCADA and complete network integration capabilities and remote monitoring and control. We understand that the furnaces are being installed as we speak. From Vac Aero we go to Bluewater Thermal one of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America. If you recall last year we mentioned how their Kitchener, Ontario facility had added a new batch IQ line to compliment their existing equipment which consists of several batch IQ units, salt processing and a very large aluminum department. The photo below shows the new furnace installed and in production.

Gord Montgomery, Shawn Scott (General Manager), Jason Mazza (Furnace

Continuing with Bluewater Thermal we have these facts and figures to add. The company is owned by a venture capital firm so sales figures and financial's are not public knowledge, however we ran across these very impressive numbers recently. In the past 5 years the company has been very aggressive in their growth targets and this included acquiring a commercial heat treater in the Houston, Texas to expand into the growing oil and gas markets. Over this period the company increased revenue by 72%, EBITDA by 540%, and gross margin from 22% to 39% (it is unknown whether this takes into account the sales of the company’s CCHT division in the Carolinas which was sold to Bodycote some time back). Again very impressive numbers. Where are they now? Gary Howard who has spent most of his life in the heat treating industry with companies such as AFC-Holcroft, Rexnord and Chrysler recently accepted a position as Service Engineer with new furnace builder GM Enterprises of Corona, CA. Keith Stewart is another fellow who has spent a great deal of time in the heat treating industry. We first ran across him many years ago when he was a Business Development Manager with Bodycote. We lost track of Keith but apparently for the past few months he has been Senior Metallurgist at Joy Global in the Milwaukee, WI area. Joy is a large captive heat treater with a number of different locations doing heat treating.

In the Induction world we see that equipment supplier Ambrell sold an EKOHEAT 15-kW/100-kHz induction heating system to a supplier of automotive automation solutions. The system will be used to harden the teeth of starter ring gears. AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group will be releasing their 2013 financial results Wednesday March 19th 2014. And why do we care? AMG is the parent company of ALD one of the world’s largest manufacturers of vacuum furnaces. Our understanding is that the company had quite a good year so we will be very curious to see just how good it was.

And to close things out for today Ipsen sent us this interesting photo of a new batch IQ installation they did in Turkey. The picture below was taken at commercial heat treater Önerler Isil Islem in Bursa, Turkey www.onerler.net and shows an atmosphere furnace type ATLAS-XL GRM. Standing in front of the furnace are  three generations of the founding family of the firm. From left to right; Oguz Öner, Orhan Öner, Adem Öner and Onur Öner. The heat treating market in Turkey is a large and growing one and we at “The Monty” will be having a closer look at it in a few weeks. March 17/2014.

What's it Worth? As part of a periodic series about the value of used heat treating equipment we have a look today at Endothermic generators. What you see below is a Surface Combustion 3 retort, gas fired endo generator with a capacity of 7,500 CFH. The multi-bottle configuration first hit the market probably 25 years ago and since that time it has proven to be a tremendous success, so much so that most generator manufacturers almost exclusively offer multi-bottle configurations or single bottle units which can be expanded. The cause for this success is the fact that retorts can be turned off if endo gas requirements drop but more importantly is that each retort (or bottle) operates independently meaning any retort can be shut down for regular maintenance. New a unit like this is worth over $150,000 USD and in this case the asking price for this unit is $79,000 which we would consider reasonably priced. However having said that the demand for endothermic generators has dropped in the past year and endo generators, any size, any make and any age are not selling like like they used to. The demand for any type of heat treating equipment is cyclical and we would assume that a unit like this will sell at some point in time for fairly close to the asking price. March 14/2014.

Ipsen Press Release. "CHERRY VALLEY, IL – Ipsen (IpsenUSA.com) announced today that the company will exhibit at the 19th annual MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition, April 8-10, 2014 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz. The company will appear at booth #2501/2503 near the entrance of the pavilion. Ipsen representatives will be on hand at this three-day event to feature their vacuum brazing equipment, which can perform a variety of heat treatment processes to meet customers’ needs. Vacuum brazing, carried out in the absence of atmosphere, uses a specialized furnace and delivers significant advantages: extremely clean, flux-free braze joints of high integrity and superior strength. Other benefits of vacuum brazing include heat treating or age hardening of the work piece as part of the metal-joining process, all in a single furnace cycle. Like conventional brazing, vacuum brazing is easily adapted to mass production, making it a popular choice in the Aerospace industry. For more information on brazing, visit IpsenUSA.com/Brazing

About MRO Americas; The Aviation Week MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition will explore the future of aviation and defense maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) through a series of drill-down discussions and networking opportunities drawing nearly 6,000 industry and government professionals. The event features the industry's largest exhibition floor, which will draw more than 400 solution providers to communicate actionable solutions, build contacts and exchange ideas. To learn more about the Aviation Week MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition or to register, visit http://events.aviationweek.com/current/mro/ or call +1-212-904-6344.  On Twitter, follow @aviationweek, @avweekevents, #MROAM, #MROMIL. To learn more about all Aviation Week events, visit http://www.aviationweek.com/events." March 14/2014.

NOXMAT GmbH Press Release.  "New single stage recuperated gas burner from NOXMAT at a budget price. NOXMAT a leading manufacturer of industrial gas burners from Germany has developed a new burner K-RHGBE, combining the recuperator and flame tube in one single component made of SiSiC ceramics (Single stage combustion). The main feature of this burner is that they give the users a significant price advantage but maintain the same high quality and robustness of the NOXMAT combustion Technology that thousand of users worldwide have come to expect and appreciate from the NOXMAT brand. www.noxmat.com" March 14/2014.

Industrial Heat Treating Inc. Files for Chapter 11. A recent news report says this; "Industrial Heat Treating Inc. has filed for Chapter 1 bankruptcy protection as it grapples with unpaid loans, tax liens and other costs. The North Quincy, Mass., based heat treater listed assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million, according to documents files in US Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts and signed by company President and Director Lynne Davis". The company’s website describes the company this way; "Industrial Heat Treating, Inc., in business since 1942, provides Vacuum, Aluminum and Induction Heat Treating, Annealing & Stress Relieving, and Gas Nitriding". While is it reasonably unusual for commercial heat treat companies anywhere in the world to seek bankruptcy protection primarily due to the fact that commercial heat treating is a profitable industry with no inventory costs it does happen from time to time. While we don’t know the circumstances of this company we have to say it is a shame to see such a long standing company in such straights. March 13/2014.

Nitrex Metal/Press Release. "Nitrex Metal will be present at the Heat Treatment Forum 2014 held from April 9-10, 2014 in Wroclaw, Poland to discuss "Controlled Nitriding and Ferritic Nitrocarburizing: A Technology Competitive in terms of Quality and Cost". The presentation will cover aspects of gas atmosphere control and metallurgical results together with applications. The influence of precise control during the heating and cooling stages on layer properties will also be discussed. The 1st Heat Treatment Forum is an international conference and exhibition held in Poland and organized at the request of international companies interested in developing win-win collaborative relationships with partners from Central and Eastern Europe. The event covers a broad range of heat treatment processes, technologies, software and equipment. The exhibition running alongside the conference will provide a platform for heat treating suppliers to showcase their products and services to a global audience. Looking forward to meeting you in Wroclaw". March 13/2014.

Heat Treating North America.  Last week we had this news item about yet another captive heat treater in the US moving south, in this case to Mexico to take advantage of lower costs.

Federal-Mogul Corp./Chicago Precision. Auto parts supplier and captive heat treater Federal-Mogul, Chicago Precision Division is joining an ever growing list of manufacturers in Canada and the northern US moving south to lower cost areas of doing business. In this case this division is picking up and moving manufacturing and their large captive heat treat to Mexico. While both captive and commercial heat treating in North America is generally doing quite well these days there is a shift from the high cost areas of doing business in the North to the more business friendly areas in the south. The Carolinas and Mexico in particular are seeing unprecedented growth in heat treating these days.”

While the trend for manufacturers and consequently commercial heat treaters to move from Canada and Northern US states such as NY, NH, MI, WI, IN and IL to southern regions of North America started some years ago it is a trend which is accelerating day by day. With high energy costs, suffocating government regulations, high taxes, strong unions and despicable weather to boot the reasons to move south far outweigh any advantages to remain and moving they are. Starting with the assumption that heat treating of automotive parts represents the largest sector of heat treating in North America we see that the largest beneficiary is Mexico with their growing automotive sector. Also going into the mix is the fact that Mexican labor costs are less than 20% of the levels in the rest of North America and you have a winning prescription for manufacturing in Mexico in spite of the violence and crime. In 1998 Mexico became the largest supplier to the US auto sector and since that time we have seen that a vehicle built in the US now has on average $4,000 USD worth of parts made in Mexico which is 4 times more than in the 1990’s while Canada has seen it’s share drop to $1,500/vehicle and continuing to drop.

Also winning are the Southeastern US states such as the Carolinas, Alabama and even Texas which are the site of most new assembly plants and parts manufacturers. Getrag, ZF, Boeing, BMW, Mercedes and others have all picked the southeastern US as the site for new facilities (it is no wonder that Bodycote paid a premium for the CCHT portion of Bluewater Thermal a couple of years back). As a "northerner" we are not optimistic about the future of manufacturing and heat treating in the northern regions of North America but the world goes on and the nature of business is that it is always in a state of flux. While the refrain in the early 1800’s might have been “go West young man, go West” it has in our opinion changed to “go South young man, go South.” Perhaps the South did win after all. March 12/2014.

SECO/WARWICK Corp./Meadville, PA. The press release (s) below tell us about several new people at furnace builder SECO/WARWICK in Meadville, PA.

Bill Euliano has been names Aftermarket Director for North America at SECO/WARWICK Corp., Meadville, PA.  In this role, Mr. Euliano is responsible for all aftermarket services including technical rebuilds and upgrades, renewal parts and field service.  He joined SECO/WARWICK in 2011 as Operations Manager. Mr. Euliano has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Gannon University, Erie, PA. He also completed graduate degree courses for an MBA from Gannon University, and he has an associate degree in elementary education from Butler County Community College. He has worked in the automotive, fabrication, LED lighting, and heavy truck industries as well as furnaces for the glass industry.  He has served in various roles throughout his career, including manufacturing engineer, quality manager, engineering manager, materials manager and plant manager.

Mark Hemsath has been appointed Thermal Group General Manager for North America with SECO/WARWICK Corp. in Meadville, PA, USA.  In this role, Mr. Hemsath will direct the sales, design and production for traditional heat treat and atmosphere furnaces.  In addition, Hemsath will continue to be the sales point of contact for the southeastern United States. Mr. Hemsath brings over 25 years of experience in industrial furnace Sales and Design to SECO/WARWICK as owner/President of MH Thermal, Hemsath Corp., and Lee Wilson and Thermotech Industries (all Furnaces related).  He has worked as a Business Manager for Indugas, Inc. (a Furnace design company), Business Development Manager for LEWCO, Inc. (Conveyors and Ovens), and VP/CFO of Lumberjack Mordam Music Group. Hemsath earned his B.Sc. in Business Administration at Miami University and MBA with a concentration in Finance and Project Management from the University of Toledo.

Andrew Paris has joined SECO/WARWICK Corp. as Chief Operations Officer at the Meadville, Pennsylvania engineering and manufacturing facility.  As COO, Mr. Paris is responsible for all functional operations including project management, purchasing, estimating and manufacturing for North America. Paris is a graduate of Grove City College where he earned a BSME.  His 17 year career at GE Transportation began as part of the Operations Management Leadership Program and progressed into various supply chain leadership roles in the locomotive and mining businesses.  Most recently, he served as Manger of Locomotive Production, Sales, and Inventory. March 11/2014.

TAV SpA./Press Release. TAV ships heat treatment and brazing furnaces to a large aerospace company; Italian vacuum furnace manufacturer TAV SpA, is shipping a special vertical vacuum furnace with working dimensions of 2300 mm x H 3000 mm for heat treatment and brazing to a long time customer and well known aerospace company in France. TAV SpA is also shipping three horizontal vacuum furnaces for heat treatment and brazing to the same customer for their Mexican facility. All these furnaces are completely designed, manufactured and tested by TAV qualified personnel in compliance with the required norms and regulations. March 11/2014.

Monday Morning Briefing. For Monday March 10/2014 we are going to start off in an area that doesn't make our heat treating news that often-the growing heat treating market of Poland. First off the first ever Polish Heat Treat Show & Exposition (whose banner ad can be found on this page) is shaping up to be a success with only 9 booths still available. Moving on we hear that worldwide commercial heat treater Bodycote (who is always at the forefront of growth areas, as an example the company had a presence in China long before it registered with any other heat treaters) is in the process of setting up a new facility in Wroclaw, Poland and that the equipment has already been ordered including 3 furnaces from Seco Warwick. Staying in Poland we see that another commercial heat treater this one from Germany, Härterei Hauck will open a new shop in Dzierzoniow, Poland this year. Härterei Hauck was founded in 1936 and in the 1990's the company was acquired by Dutch company Aalberts Industries N.V., one of the largest commercial heat treaters in the world. In addition to these two new facilities Hanomag based in Hanover, Germany will have their new plant in Poland in operation July or August of this year. We mentioned this last year and stressed that this plant will concentrate first on aluminum heat treating and later on steel. Another new location in Poland is Hartownia Bialystok which we mentioned some time back. While this project is proceeding rumor has it that they are a little behind schedule.

Endothermic Generators for Rent? A furnace manufacturer in Avilla, IN, McLaughlin Services is offering endo generators for rent. This would be for a 3,600 – 4,000 CFH unit which can be expanded to 12,000 CFH. We have no idea whether this will prove to be a real success story or not but it certainly is an interesting idea-we will have to revisit this down the road to see how it turns out.

Lindberg and Blue M have always been well known brands in the new furnace business and according to this press release the companies now have new owners. "SPX Corp. completed the sale of its Thermal Product Solutions (TPS) business to Resilience Capital Partners, a Cleveland-based private-equity firm, for approximately $43 million. TPS designs and manufactures industrial and laboratory ovens and furnaces as well as environmental temperature cycling and stability test chambers. The company has facilities in White Deer, Pa.; Riverside, Mich.; and Malaysia. Its product brands include Tenney, Blue M, Gruenberg, Lindberg and MPH. The Lindberg product brand supplies equipment solely to the heat-treating industry". Remember the recent auction at Sifco which featured 3 very impressive vacuum furnaces? Our understanding is that each went to a different buyer will the large VFS unit going to commercial heat treater Rockford Heat Treaters in Rockford, IL. Tony Moran, V.P.  of commercial heat treater Thermal Modification Technologies (formerly Beaver HT) in Tualatin, Oregon is pretty pleased with the way things are going these days. The photo below shows Tony in front of his brand new McLaughlin Services LLC gas-fired temper.  

As part of our Monday Morning Briefing we earlier mentioned Aalberts Industries in the Netherlands as one of the largest commercial heat treaters in the world. The company recently released their 2013 financial results which shows the company had a very good year. http://www.aalberts.nl/en While Aalberts is very strong in commercial heat treating in Europe because the heat treating division is a relatively small part of this company it is always difficult to figure out how much of the total sales and profit comes from the heat treating group as opposed to their other divisions. And to round things out Hightemp Furnaces in India (part of the Dowa Group of Japan) is having a very good year. They recently announced new orders for Mesh Belt Lines, a Roller Hearth furnace, a Mesh belt temper and several other items. While the bulk of these orders are for the Indian market at least 2 or 3 were for customers in Indonesia and Thailand. http://www.hightemp-furnaces.com/ March 10/2014.

Federal-Mogul Corp./Chicago Precision. Auto parts supplier and captive heat treater Federal-Mogul, Chicago Precision Division is joining an ever growing list of manufacturers in Canada and the northern US moving south to lower cost areas of doing business. In this case this division is picking up and moving manufacturing and their large captive heat treat to Mexico. While both captive and commercial heat treating in North America is generally doing quite well these days there is a shift from the high cost areas of doing business in the North to the more business friendly areas in the south. The Carolinas and Mexico in particular are seeing unprecedented growth in heat treating these days. March 7/2014.

Heat Treat Market Studies. For today we go off on one of our favorite rants “Heat Treat Market Studies”, those paid for up front studies which claim to give a good complete report about the size of the heat treating industry either in terms of total sales worldwide (either commercial or captive or both), the number of vacuum furnaces sold yearly around the world, batch IQ furnaces sales whatever. Investment bankers and industry suppliers are always particularly keen on finding a nice, neat report which accurately sums up the key players in our industry, total sales sorted by various categories and preferably company names and contacts.

People there does not exist good accurate reports such as these for the simple reason that this is a very fragmented industry where most of the players are privately owned companies unlike lets say the auto industry. Right off the bat the definition of heat treating is very vague-does this include steel making, foundries glass making or just real heat treating such as carburizing and vacuum heat treating? We have yet to see a study which outlined these parameters. As an example we have run across the report mentioned below several times over the years and while we confess we have not read the report the preamble and list of companies mentioned does not fill us with confidence. While all the companies mentioned below are firms we generally have a high opinion of (although some we know little about beyond the name) this brief list seems to have several of the largest players in the industry while ignoring others of a similar size while at the same time mentioning a couple of the smaller ones. If anybody does run across a really accurate, top notch study of the heat treating market please let us know but until then we remain very skeptical of these market studies and we would respectfully suggest that readers be very careful when paying for these studies. March 6/2014.

"(http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/zc3rss/global_heat) has announced the addition of the "Concise Analysis of the International Heat Treating Market" report to their offering. One of the main trends witnessed in the Global Heat Treating market is the integration of heat treatment processes in production lines. As a result of increasing globalization, several companies across industries such as Automotive, Aerospace, and Rail are becoming highly competitive. To increase their operational efficiency, several organizations are streamlining their operational processes. In addition, to develop cost-effective, quality products that are competitive in the international markets, companies are now automating their factory operations for improved business operation. As an operational strategy, companies are integrating heat treatment processes with the production lines. This increases the operational efficiency of manufacturing organizations. According to the report, one of the main factors driving the market is the need to develop superior quality products. The use of heat treatment processes helps organizations to improve the structural accuracy of a metallic product by enhancing its tensile strength and yield strength. Hence, in order to develop high-precision products, several companies across industries such as Automotive, Aerospace, and General Machinery opt for heat treatment processes. Further, the report states that one of the main challenges is the requirement of high initial investment. The success of any organization depends on its competitiveness and overall operational performance. The total cost of heat treatment processes is one of the major factors contributing to the profitability and competitiveness of any manufacturing organization across industries."
Companies Mentioned:

  • Aalberts Industries NV
  • Bluewater Thermal Solutions Corp.
  • Bodycote plc
  • DOWA Group
  • Jones Metal Products
  • Metal Technology
  • Nihon Parkerizing
  • Quality Steel Treating
  • Therelek Engineers
  • VAC AERO International

Heat Treating Forum & Expo/Poland. In just a few short weeks there will be the first ever Heat Treating Forum & Expo in Poland as you can see from the banner ad on this page. There seems to be some confusion about this Expo and consequently we received this rant from one of the organizers of the Expo. Bottom line is that this Expo has nothing to do with another Spanish based conference also in Poland at some future date.

"We are receiving too many questions about a Spanish (?) heat treatment conference in Poland.  Sorry guys, it is not our idea and we do not understand the “speed dating” concept behind it. To answer these questions we have this to say;  THE REAL MEETING OF HEAT TREATERS  IN POLAND will take place 5 weeks from now http://www.heat-treatment-forum.pl/agenda/ in Wroclaw, Poland April 9-10th.  You will meet top speakers, main global players, all of the major equipment manufacturers and your main customers from Central Eastern Europe during this premium meeting supported by the Global Heat Treatment Network.  The next big European HT event in Poland, supported by the Polish Heat Treat association is already planned for this October! So, stay tuned… " March 5/2014.

Heat Treat Case Study. A manufacturer of very high end auto parts components in the southern US has an interesting dilemma. On a yearly basis the company sends approximately $100,000 to $150,000 USD worth of work to a commercial heat treater who is located 200 miles away. Depending upon the material the parts are  either through hardened, carbonitrided or case hardened. The dilemma for this company is that they can’t live with the turnaround time provided by the commercial shop (up to two weeks) but the volumes are so low it is almost impossible to justify bringing the work in house. If we assume that all the parts can be run at different times in a small batch IQ line does it make sense to bring the work in house? Doubtful. While this company could find a small used batch IQ line for $100,000 USD there is still shipping, installation finding a trained furnace operator and floor space involved all of which is going to substantially raise the initial cost. In addition as there are 3 different processes there is certainly a large learning curve involved in getting the processes correct. Our feeling is that this manufacturer would be far better served and have a lot less headaches by agreeing to a surcharge for a faster turnaround time. March 4/2014.

UTTIS Press Release. "UTTIS Industries SRL and NOXMAT GmbH form a new Partnership in February 2014. The two companies would like to announce that UTTIs, a furnace manufacturer from Romania and NOXMAT, a leading manufacturer of industrial gas burners from Germany have formed a strategic partnership. UTTIS will take over the Sales and Service activities for NOXMAT industrial gas burners in the territory of Romania. The photo below shows from the left; Mr Octavio Schmiel (Head of Business Development, NOXMAT), Mr Matthias Wolf (General Director, NOXMAT), Mrs Petruta Druga (General Director, UTTIS), prof. Leontin Druga, Ph.D. (President of the Romanian Heat Treatment Association, UTTIS), Mr Cristian Badina (Production Manager, UTTIS)." March 4/2014.

Aichelin USA. We welcome our newest advertiser Aichelin USA who along with their parent company Aichelin in Austria ranks amongst one of the largest most respected new furnace builders in the world. Their banner ad can be found on this page. March 4/2014.

Monday Morning Briefing.  Last week we had this news item; “SIFCO Industries/Minneapolis, MN. Going back to 2013 SIFCO Industries announced that they were closing their location in Minneapolis which handled the turbine components repair business. At the time the reason given was that its repair business wasn't’t bringing in enough profits and that its outlook for future profits was a factor in the closure. The heat treating aspect here is that this location had in house heat treating capacity and all of the equipment is currently being auctioned off. While there are a number of heat treating items the real prizes are a VFS 5000 pound capacity NAPCAP Certified Vacuum Furnace Model HL88X60 and an Abar Ipsen 3000 pound capacity NAPCAP Certified TurboTreater Model H54X48-2BAR. Both of these are highly desirable items and we would expect them to go for absolute top dollar in this rather tight used equipment market. It will be interesting to see where these end up”.

As it turns out there were 3 vacuum furnaces in the auction and all sold to different buyers who we assume are end users. Including the 15% buyers premium they sold for  $345,000 for the 5000 lb VFS (mfg 1993), $316,000 for the 3000 lb Ipsen (mfg 1998) and $126,000 USD for a 1,000 pound capacity VFS.  All three furnaces were in excellent condition, with newer hot zones and each included their own captive water cooling system.  The only downside was that the controls on all the furnaces were original. These prices are roughly 40% of the price of new and gives you an indication about how tight the used equipment market is these days.

Commercial heat treater Bodycote had an explosion at their facility in Indianapolis as we can see from this news report. Obviously the reporter for this story did not do his homework as they mention an “auto parts maker”. "Two employees of a Near-Northside auto-parts maker were injured and hospitalized earlier today in an explosion at the company. The blast occurred at 12:56 p.m. at Bodycote Thermal Processing at 500 W. 21st St., according to a news release from the Indianapolis Fire Department. An unidentified 30-year-old man had burns on up to 20 percent of his body and was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in serious condition, because of the possibility of respiratory tract burns, IFD said. A 29-year-old man who may have suffered a concussion was taken to Eskenazi in stable condition. IFD said the explosion was caused by a flash explosion in a furnace that had been shut down at about 8:30 a.m. today. There was no fire after the explosion, IFD said. The company’s engineers as well as investigators from IFD, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration are assisting in the investigation."

Continuing with Bodycote we have this news report about reaction to their financials which were released last week. "(BOY) substantial City-based fan club was in buying mood after the heat-treatment specialist revealed that underlying pre-tax profit jumped by a tenth in 2013 to £104m. In a falling market, its shares rose over 8 per cent to levels last seen in 1998. Margins are accelerating and a fourth year of strong cash conversion encouraged management to announce a special dividend of 10p a share. Clearly, the second half was much better than the first, when organic sales, which exclude foreign exchange and acquisition benefits, fell 5 per cent. They slipped just 1 per cent in the final six months, and finance chief David Landless tells us sales had moved into "modest positive territory" in early 2014. Margins improved significantly last year, too. A 70 basis point increase to 17.3 per cent explains why organic profit fell just £0.4m, even though the form lost almost £15m of sales. Crucial to Bodycote's success is its impressive pricing power. Customers prefer not to change suppliers and they'll pay good money for critical services. Margins at the automotive and general industrial division jumped 130 basis points, driven in part by high value stainless steel processes. Broker Credit Suisse expects more in 2014 and forecasts an increase in adjusted pre-tax profit to £113m, giving adjusted EPS of 44.1p (from 41.3p in 2013)." Metal Treating Institute (MTI to you) just issued this report about the commercial heat treating market in Canada and the US. "With 142 heat treaters reporting in December 2013, year to date heat treat sales for the Metal Treating Industry for year ending 2013 were $877.0 million, a decrease of -2.0% from 2012 when sales for January-December equaled $894.5 million.  MTI’s forecasting company, DeWolf Associates forecasted sales to be down 1.6%. Sales for the Metal Treating Industry for December 2013 totaled $66.8 million, an increase from 2012 when sales for December equaled $62.1 million. Seven out of the nine MTI districts reported higher sales in December 2013 compared to the previous year." 

Out in Oak Creek, Wisconsin we see that SteelWind Industries is adding to their heat treating department. “SteelWind Industries Inc., a privately held steel fabrication company based in Oak Creek, has expanded its heat treating services and is looking to acquire new businesses. The company purchased two new natural gas-fired furnaces that have the ability to heat metal to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. SteelWind, which fabricates metal for mining equipment, tanks and architectural uses, now has eight furnaces. "We are using this time to prepare for increased demand into the future," said vice president Jason Geiger. "We are also seeking additional businesses or product lines to acquire that would complement our core capabilities in fabrication, heat-treat, blast, paint, machining and assembly." SteelWind management wants to buy another company that has a steel product that needs to be fabricated in-house, heat-treated and blasted”. And in other new furnace orders we see that Wisconsin Oven Corp. shipped a custom-designed conveyor oven to be used for drying wooden alcohol barrels to a leading distillery. The natural-gas-fired oven, which features 79,000 CFM of recirculation air, can dry 160 barrels per hour. The barrels are loaded on the conveyor belt two rows wide for a heating time of 20 minutes. The oven offers three zones of heating for a total of 3,500,000 BTUs and a cool-down system that utilizes a motorized damper to draw cooling air into the oven and exhaust it out at a volume of approximately 10,000 CFM.

To round things out we would like to bring to your attention our two newest advertisers, ASM International, one of the foremost organizations in the worldwide heat treating industry and Italian vacuum furnace builder TAV both of whose banner ads can be found on this page. March 3/2014.

Phoenix TM Press Release. New ‘Hot Box’ Thermal Barrier TS08 for Temperature Profiling in Aluminum Brazing Processes. March 3/2014.

"Temperature profiling systems are typically used to measure product temperature throughout the brazing cycle and consist of thermocouples attached to the aluminum product, conveying temperature information to a data logger, which travel together with the product, through the furnace to produce the thermal profile.
Built specifically for use in controlled atmosphere brazing (CAB) furnaces, where aluminum components for automobile cooling and air conditioning systems are brazed, the TS08 thermal barrier range addresses the problems that can occur with profiling systems traditionally used to monitor product temperatures in these furnaces.  These problems include:

  • Fast deterioration of the high temperature cloth inside the thermal barrier due to hydrofluoric acid attack (caused by chemicals in the flux combining with moisture from inside the barrier). This cloth protects the microporous insulation and when worn through, will allow the thermocouples to directly abrade the insulation, widening the exit of the barrier and allowing more heat into the system. This will damage the data logger that the thermal barrier is meant to protect.
  • Out-gassing of oxygen from air inside the ‘hot box’ or thermal barrier into the nitrogen atmosphere of the furnace. This can affect the quality of the braze in the products surrounding the system.

These problems have been addressed by PhoenixTM in the design of the new TS08 ‘Hot Box’ thermal barrier:

  • All high temperature cloth exposed to the furnace atmosphere has been removed, and thermocouples exiting the barrier rest on a stainless steel casing rather than abrading any insulation.
  • Oxygen is removed from deep in the microporous insulation by heating the insulation in a high vacuum, then back filling with nitrogen. Further to this the thermal barrier is fitted with a nozzle which allows it to be purged with a low pressure nitrogen flow just prior to placing in a furnace.

The TS08 thermal barrier also features thermocouple separators to prevent thermocouples ‘bunching’ when the barrier is closed, and makes it easy to identify the individual thermocouples (see photo below). A major US auto manufacturer has been using the PhoenixTM TS08 thermal barrier in their furnaces for the last 18 months and reports that they have carried out around 2000 successful runs during this period. For more information contact: Stephen Biggs, National Sales Manager, PhoenixTM LLC. Email: stephen.biggs@phoenixtm.com  Phone: 727 608 4314 www.phoenixtm.com"

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