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Williams Industrial Services




 

Heat Treat News

Nickel charts on InfoMine.com

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ALD Thermal Treatment/Port Huron, Michigan. While we don’t know for sure we would give you reasonably good odds that the largest single location heat treat in North America is ALD TT in Port Huron, Michigan. This is a company built largely on a single process and a single customer, the process being vacuum carburizing and the customer being GM. Each and every day this plant processes components for 5,000 transmissions and it does this in an extremely competent way having been awarded GM’s Supplier Quality Excellence award two years in a row now. In total this location will shortly have 40 carburizing cells which is the equivalent of 40 vacuum furnaces for all intents and purposes. We should back up just a touch though and add that while the largest customer is GM there are certainly others just as there are other processes including cryo treatments and Nitriding with a nitriding furnace scheduled for arrival shortly. ALD TT in Port Huron has two sister companies, ALD TT in Mexico who we profiled a few months back and ALD TT in Germany which we profiled quite some time ago. May 3, 2016.

Ray Crandall, Finance Manager and Mark Machiela, Maintenance Manager.

IFHTSE. Last week we covered the IFHTSE event which took place in Savannah,  Georgia. One of the main organizers of the event  Mr. Scott MacKenzie provided these thoughts both about the show and our original comments. May 3, 2016.

"I appreciate the coverage of the recent IFHTSE event in Savannah. While I agree that the IFHTSE events are more theoretical than other heat treating conferences, there is a great deal of practical and useful information.  For instance, in one of the papers, there was a “theoretical” paper regarding extending the life of furnace retorts and alloy fixturing by 20-30%+ with surface engineering of the alloy components.  Another paper described the method of extending the life of RA 330 (and cast equivalent) by pre-oxidizing using a specific thermal path.  This go directly to the bottom-line of many commercial and OEM heat treater.  Other conference papers described filtering methods that extended the life of quench oil.  Other papers were presented on minimizing failures of case/core in induction components.  While more specialized, examination of process variables on resulting microstructure of electron beam welded structures was also presented.  Control of vacuum carburizing, and gas carburizing were presented. 

The mission of IFHTSE is simply to educate; collaborate, coordinate, and foster recognition.  Through-out the world, there are numerous heat treating societies, including the Chinese Heat Treating Society, German, French, Brazil, Croatian, US (ASM), etc.  One of the problems is making sure that these organizations work together, and coordinate activities.  There are so many events, it is necessary to coordinate events to prevent events from occurring too close together, or at the same time.  Further, by coordinating the activities, we also collaborate as practical necessity.  This collaboration extends from the networking opportunities, to the research and academic/commercial relationships that develop.   

The purpose of technical conferences is primarily to educate.  While there is a great deal to be said regarding having practical papers, it is first necessary to lay the technical and theoretical ground work so that any innovation is reduced to practice.  In many respects, IFHTSE serves as the conduit in which many of the theoretical innovations are reduced to practice.  It is, in many respects, the interface between the academic community and the heat treating community. 

Lastly, we also foster recognition of young people, through the Linde Tom Bell Young Author Award, the IFHTSE Fellow, recognizing prominent heat treaters throughout the world; to the recent IFHTSE medal recognizing Sir Harry Bhadeshia. 

Again, I appreciate the coverage, and would encourage people to participate.

Scott "

D. Scott MacKenzie, PhD, FASM • Research Scientist – Metallurgy • Phone: +1 610.666.4007 • Mobile: +1 484.467.0285 • smackenzie@houghtonintl.com  
Houghton International Inc. • 930 Madison and Van Buren Avenues • P O Box 930 • Valley Forge, PA USA • 19482

Crio

Ipsen Insights. In this report we learn that Janusz Kowalewski has now joined Ipsen, we learn some more details about Michael Cousin's new position at Ipsen and hear about Ipsen's prevenatitive maintenance program. May 2, 2016.

"Expanding Atmosphere Support: Michael Cousin Joins the Ipsen Team. Michael Cousin recently started at Ipsen in the position of Senior Technical Manager – Atmosphere Products. Previously, Michael worked for AFC-Holcroft, Blackhawk Thermal Systems, Inc. and others. He also worked at Ipsen for four years as a Field Service Engineer, Lead Project Engineer and AMS Electrical Sales Engineer, respectively. As Ipsen focuses on providing customers with the latest advances in atmosphere technology, Michael will be instrumental in providing valuable insights and expertise. In addition, his 28+ years of experience with industrial process heating equipment and applications will allow Ipsen to continue expanding their support and knowledge base for atmosphere equipment. After graduating from high school, Michael joined the U.S. Army and served in the military intelligence field working on electronic surveillance systems. Michael served with distinction and spent the latter part of his tour in South Korea flying right seat in an OV-1D Mohawk. Upon leaving the military, he started working in the thermal processing equipment industry as an instrument calibration technician. He continued to expand his knowledge of furnace construction, combustion technology and furnace atmospheres over the years by taking a hands-on approach and working with some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry.  

Interview: Janusz Kowalewski, Ipsen’s Director of Business Development for ARGOS.
Joining Ipsen in 2016 as Director – Business Development of the ARGOS product line, Janusz Kowalewski’s valuable insight and global experience allow him to effectively implement new technologies and drive product development. Below are a few of his thoughts on the thermal processing industry:

Q: The general opinion seems to be that the industry is in a bit of a lull. Is the downswing affecting Ipsen (and if so, how)?

JK: With Ipsen’s focus on innovation and continually providing solutions that meet customer’s needs, we are experiencing solid growth across all industrial segments. Of course, since Ipsen is operating in all the major markets around the world, we are noticing different levels of activity in different geographical locations. For example, the North American and Mexico markets are already very strong, whereas activities in Europe are increasing – especially in the Aerospace, Automotive and Tool (i.e., 3-D Printing) industries. While the market in China is not as robust as other areas of the globe, India’s market is compensating for the slower rate of growth in other parts of Asia. Overall, Ipsen projects continued growth and strong results as we continue to focus on developing advanced technology and equipment that allow companies to refine their own operations in terms of reduced downtime and increased cost savings.

Q: Have you noticed any trends in business? Something like a particular process/technology becoming more or less prevalent or new customers cropping up in unexpected ways/places?

JK: What we have truly noticed lately is a substantial increase in demand for leaner and more environmentally friendly heat treatment processes that allow customers to streamline and shorten the production cycle. One example that substantiates this increase in demand is the development of furnaces with digital technology (i.e., Internet of Things) that can manage process variables, enhance productivity and optimize heat treatment operations. We are also noticing growing popularity around low-pressure carburizing (LPC), and in our estimates, LPC technology has much more room to grow in the near future. According to industry estimations, currently between 25-30% of gears are vacuum carburized, and assuming that the low-pressure vacuum carburizing market penetration reached that percentage in 2015, we are at the point where there will be an exponential increase in demand for vacuum furnace systems with LPC technology. This not only applies to traditional automobile transmission components and fuel injection nozzles, but also to saw blades and tool parts.

Q: In terms of LPC technology, the ARGOS vacuum furnace system seems to be one of the main products Ipsen is pushing. Is there anything that makes it particularly noteworthy?

JK: The multi-chamber ARGOS furnace line is designed for several heat treatment processes and provides several solutions that address a diverse range of user needs. One of its special features is its modular principle, which allows users to create a precise solution for their specific requirements. With its modular plug-and-play principle, the furnace system can be quickly installed and easily commissioned. These modules can then be assembled on one or two sides, depending on users’ requirements. In addition, today’s request of adapting the quenching intensity to the needs of different components – specifically hardenability and minimization of distortion – have also led to the increased production of quality components. The flow-optimized design of the ARGOS system’s gas distribution system, as well as its program-controlled, optional reversing flow direction helps ensure a uniform flow over the load’s entire surface area. The gas quenching module also minimizes the consumption of cooling gas with the incorporation of a compact housing design.

Growth of Predictive Maintenance: PdMetrics™. Ipsen’s PdMetrics predictive maintenance software platform delivers real-time furnace monitoring and sophisticated diagnostics that provide you with insights never before seen in the thermal processing industry. PdMetrics is currently available as a retrofit or with the purchase of a new furnace. Since its launch in January 2016, there are several PdMetrics platforms installed on operational customer furnaces. Interested in streamlining your operations with predictive maintenance software? Visit www.IpsenUSA.com/PdMetrics to watch the video and learn more."

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Used Equipment Available. New or relatively new additions to our list of used equipment include these items below. Remember if you don't see what you are looking for please let us know and we will do our best to find it for you. Feel free to contact us at; jordan@themonty.com May 2, 2016.

A few examples include:

Dean "Grandpa" Russell. One of the best known heat treat manufacturer reps in North America is Dean Russell who for years has been a rep in the US Northeast for lines such at Ipsen (new heat treating furnaces) and Dry Coolers (Furnace cooling systems). His son, Dean Russell (yes the same first name) who has worked with him for four years now became a father just this week making Dean senior a grandfather. Dean Junior and his wife Kate had their first child yesterday and her name is Lillian Leary Russell and she entered this world Happy and Healthy! Can we now all please call Dean Senior, Grandpa when we address him in e-mails and phone calls? April 28, 2016.

Corner Stone

Syracuse Heat Treating/Syracuse, New York. Things are slower in most parts of the world including North America but one area surprisingly enough that is doing not badly is New York State. For years manufacturers such as AAM, Emerson, GM and others have been fleeing this high cost area and taking some commercial heat treaters with them. Perhaps the fact that so many companies have left means that the remaining ones are doing not badly at all these days and one example would be Syracuse Heat Treating in Syracuse, NY. The company recently reconfirmed their NADCAP accreditation for Heat Treating, after concluding a positive auditing session. In addition to NADCAP approval, the company also has prime approval from UTC Goodrich, Parker Aerospace and Lockheed Martin and is seeking specific approvals from other aerospace primes. The firm’s successes have lead to some large investments including this really cool, plant wide water cooling system, furnace rebuilds and upgrades and some other substantial investments. The company is not the only one in NY to be making large investments but for today it will be the only one we mention. April 28, 2016.

Bluewater

Business Opportunities. "The Monty" has many top notch positions available in the heat treating industry which indicates both the shortage of good people available and also the fact that we get results for our advertisers. A small sampling of recent offerings are listed below. April 28, 2016.

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.

Largest European Furnace Builders. In researching the largest European new furnace builders in terms of annual sales we ran across a number of obstacles-none of which were a surprise to us. The largest of these challenges was the fact that most of these companies are privately owned and sales figures are not publicly available. This was further complicated by the fact that while some of the companies on our list do have overall company sales figures available, this would include areas completely outside of new furnace manufacturing which are not of interest to us. Tenova is a good example of this-an enormous company which dwarfs many of the others on our list but at the end of the day a number of their products are more related to steel making than what we would consider to be typical heat treating. So what we were left with are publicly available sales figures for a couple of companies on our list with the “honor” system being applied to most of the others. By this we mean that 2/3’s of the companies on our list shared their rough sales figures with the stipulation that they not be published. While we can’t verify these numbers we would say that they all generally fit with what we know about each company in terms of number of employees, presence in the marketplace and size of their facilities. Besides which if you can’t trust somebody in the heat treating industry who can you trust?

Another challenge is what constitutes a European furnace builder? Some of these organizations have facilities around the world, some of which generate more in sales outside of Europe than in Europe. We took the path of least resistance and decided if the head office was in Europe this constitutes a European furnace builder.

And what about Turkey? Sistem Teknik is a large, very impressive furnace builder in Turkey but Turkey is of course a country which straddles Europe and Asia so which is it? We decided that since the company is on the Asian end of the bridge that we would not consider them in our list but having said that we do want to mention them because of the high opinion we have of the company and the fact that sales wise they certainly would belong amongst the ten largest.

Originally we had planned on listing just the ten largest builders but this struck us as unfair as there is such little difference in sales figures between some of the companies that we decided to go with a list of most of the significant players. This lead to another point what is a furnace builder? We decided on companies dedicated to traditional heat treating furnaces such as carburizing, vacuum heat treatment and nitriding as opposed to low temperature ovens as an example.

And last but not least it is disclaimer time. For the reasons mentioned above we do not for one second claim that this list is 100% accurate but in our conceit we are confident that it is pretty darn close. We would like to thank all those who were kind enough to share information with us and we very much appreciate the trust they placed in us to be discrete. Without further ado. Go To List April 28, 2016.

Qual-Fab

IHEA. This past week the IHEA, the Industrial Heating Equipment Association held their annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. From the organization we have this summary of the event along with a few photos. Before we get into the press release we have to say we get a real kick out of the new President of the organization Mr. Daniel Llaguno who is President of furnace builder Nutec Bickley in Mexico. Great guy who is also a very good host. April 27, 2016.

"With the right mix of outstanding presentations and social activities set in a stunning location, IHEA’s 87th Annual Meeting was a resounding success!  IHEA members gathered in Colorado Springs last week where they Lt. Colonel Joseph Foster discussed our constitution as it relates to our election system; IHEA’s legal counsel, David Goch shared his thoughts on the upcoming presidential race; IHEA’s economist Chris Kuehl gave pretty positive economic outlook for the remainder of 2016; and Chief Master Sergeant Ret. Robert Vasquez of the U.S. Air Force Academy offered his thoughts on leadership and how values, purpose and vision play a role in successful leaders. Social activities included a wild west theme dinner, a golf & croquet tournament, and a tour of the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Garden of the Gods before concluding the three-day event. IHEA installed its 2016 – 2017 Officers & Board of Directors during the event as well.  Daniel Llaguno of Nutec Bickley became IHEA’s first international president during the event.  IHEA’s next event will be the ITPS Americas Summit for thermprocess industry executives from August 10 – 12 at Loews Hotel in downtown Chicago."

Ryan Neiss from Taylor-Winfield, one of IHEA’s newest induction members provides a company overview to IHEA members

First timers to an IHEA meeting, our “Blue Dots” get ready to line dance

Eventual IHEA 2016 golf champs, Devon Wachowiak of Rolled Alloys, Charlie Aiello of Midco International Inc., celebrate with Bob Fincken of Super Systems Inc. after he sinks a long putt

Daniel Llaguno, IHEA’s first international president, and his wife Katia welcome members to the IHEA President’s Gala Dinner

Eurotherm

European Used Equipment Available. For 17 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 27, 2016.

A few examples include:

The Moly Store Is Now Open. For many years WG Montgomery Ltd., in conjunction with Grammer Vacuum Technologies has been selling molybdenum products for the heat treating industry. Items such as heating elements, bar stock, wire, threaded rod and nuts and bolts. The product is proven over 10 years, is extremely well priced and is stocked in the US. Enough of a sales pitch, feel free to check out the "Moly Store" whose banner ad can be found at the top of this page. April 27, 2016.

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How Are We Doing These Days? Fair to Middling Is the Correct Answer. Commercial heat treaters, captive heat treaters and Industry suppliers pretty much all around the world report that things are slower these days. Not drastically slower but enough that everybody is a little bit concerned but not panicking yet. The brightest spot is the automotive industry with those involved with large vehicle sales doing great and those involved with small vehicles struggling. Aerospace remains good-all the other industries mediocre at best. Figures from Metal Treating Institute (MTI) support our thoughts about the commercial heat treating industry. Overall we and most in the industry remain optimistic although we all agree that furnace sales, alloy sales, controls sales and commercial heat treating sales will remain subdued for some period of time. April 26, 2016.

ATP

Solar Atmospheres. "Vacuum furnaces are highly flexible tools capable of providing numerous thermochemical conditions with various reactive gases at elevated temperatures and extreme pressures to alter the chemical or mechanical properties of materials.  Conditions inside vacuum furnaces are equivalent to conditions found on the planets in our solar system.  Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system at a constant 895°F with an atmospheric pressure 90 times higher than the air pressure on Earth. One planet recently in the media for robotic exploration is Mars.  Given conditions on Venus, one can recognize the extreme difficulties involved in sending robotic spacecraft to Venus for scientific experiments.  That is just what one company is trying to do.  Honeybee Robotics, with three locations in the USA, received NASA funding awards to contribute to developing future planetary exploration, space mining and in-situ resource utilization.  One of the projects is the High Temperature Venus Drill and Sample Delivery System to provide drilling and sampling operations in the challenging environmental conditions of the planet Venus.

Honeybee Robotics selected Solar Atmospheres to provide heat treating for the robotic explorer on drive train components comprised of a specialized alloy, Ferrium C61.  The alloy is designed as a high strength, high fracture toughness carburizing grade steel capable of high temperature applications in corrosive environments. Solar Atmospheres developed the difficult processing conditions required to optimize the properties for the specialty alloy and satisfy the demanding heat treat requirements.  The drive train components are vacuum carburized at 1825°F, high-pressure nitrogen gas quenched, frozen at -150°F, and tempered in a vacuum at 900°F.  Given the severe conditions used to process the alloy, one can understand why it was selected for the Venus drilling application.  April 26, 2016.

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Monday Morning Briefing. Thermal Metal Treating/Aberdeen, NC. Down in North Carolina we see that Mr. Jerry Ritter of Thermal Metal Treating has retired and sold the company to long time employee Mark Scott. We move on to Paulo Products who is adding some space. "Paulo Products Company is expanding its St. Louis footprint with a new facility adjacent to its St. Louis headquarters just south of Forest Park. Paulo, led by President Ben Rassieur acquired a 37,471-square-foot office/warehouse building at 5727 West Park Ave. from Tenzer Properties for $375,000. Rassieur said the building has sat vacant for a few years and would serve as future expansion space for Paulo. “Our current plant is essentially full up in the sense that we can’t add any new equipment in our current facility,” he said. “We saw the need to provide for future expansion. There’s not specific plans right not, but there’s only a certain amount of time that a property right next to your headquarters is available to you.”Rassieur did not disclose Paulo revenue figures. The company has about 370 employees companywide, with about 110 of them working at Paulo’s St. Louis headquarters at 5711 West Park Ave. Paulo also has offices in Cleveland, Kansas City, Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee". Remember Heat Treatment Australia who is setting up a new plant in California? We now have a picture to go with the story. What you are looking at below is their new facility.

In California Sergio Luevano who was with furnace builder California Heating (who we think of for aluminum drop bottom ovens) is now with Baker Furnace (who we think of for aluminum drop bottom ovens). Surprise, surprise. We are hearing that heat treat representative Kevin Brennan who was in the Grand Island, NY area is picking up stakes and moving to the southeastern US region to rep a number of HT lines including alloy company Wirco. With the shift in manufacturing in North America to the southern US and Mexico this comes as no surprise to us. Sister companies Bronson Precision Products Inc., in Bronson, Michigan and Royal Oak Boring of Port Huron, Michigan both closed their doors recently. We mention them because as suppliers of precision components both did a little heat treating in house. The remaining equipment which includes some induction systems and some nice parts washers will be auctioned off in June of this year.  

Furnace builder Remix of Poland (who was featured on our list of the largest European furnace builders recently) has this to tell us about a recent show the company attended. "Greetings from Düsseldorf, Germany, where we have just ended the 9th International Congress and Exhibition on Aluminum Brazing hosted by DVS (German Welding Society).  Once again AFC-HOLCROFT and Remix teamed up as exhibitors.  We were all assembled to unveil to exhibition delegates a completely redesigned patented CAAB® (Controlled Atmosphere Aluminum Brazing) furnace design, which was accompanied by a technical paper presented by Malcolm “Mac” McQuirk, in which test results taken during actual production operation proved the equipment offers extraordinary energy savings as well as reduced maintenance costs. Our team was represented by quite an international crew, consisting of persons from the U.K., Poland, India, Switzerland and USA. The photo below shows from left to right; Malcolm “Mac” McQuirk – AFC-HOLCROFT, Marek Kędzierzyński – REMIX, Ram Shivangi – HighTemp Furnaces, Marc Ruetsch – AFC-HOLCROFT EUROPE."

The International Federation of Heat Treating and Surface Engineering IFHTSE just concluded their most recent meeting which took place in Savannah, Georgia. IFHTSE is a very interesting organization which we have a high opinion of but having said that our personal feeling is that it is more "theoretical" heat treating than "practical" heat treating. This event was certainly well organized with a great location, hotel and sessions all organized by our friend Scott McKenzie of Houghton International, total attendance was roughly 175 people. The photos below show in order; Thomas Wingens presenting, Christoph Laumen (Linde gas) and Scott McKenzie opening the Linde evening and  Andreas Karl from BODYCOTE presenting. The next IFHTSE global meetings are; 2017 Nice, France, 2018 Xian, China and in 2019 Samara, Russia." April 25, 2016.

Ron Empson/Hy-Vac Technologies, Inc. Commercial heat treater Hy-Vac Technologies of Detroit, Michigan has a new owner, Mr. Ron Empson who purchased the company earlier this year. Ron has a long history in the industry working most recently with service and calibration company Heat Treating Services Unlimited (HTSU) who has multiple locations around the US. Hy-Vac services a number of industries including automotive, aerospace and medical and is roughly 50% aluminum processing and 50% vacuum heat treating. We have no doubt but that Ron will make a real success of the company. April 22, 2016.

Custom Electric

Lindberg/MPH. "Lindberg/MPH announced the shipment of two gas fired, cast iron pot furnaces to a leader in the automotive design and manufacturing industry. The two pot furnaces will be used for melting and holding Kirksite, an alloy of Aluminum and Zinc. About Lindberg/MPH. In addition to melting and holding furnaces for non-ferrous alloys, Lindberg/MPH is a leading manufacturer of standard and custom industrial heat treat furnaces, including pit, box, IQ, and belt type for the ferrous and non-ferrous markets. For more information on equipment solutions from TPS visit the website at www.thermalproductsolutions.com. April 22, 2016.

Robert “Bob” Balow. It is with regret that we mention the recent passing of Bob Balow 1946-2016. Bob was a long time resident of Racine, Wisconsin and founder of four companies. Born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on June 29 1946 he received his B.S. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then moved to Racine, Wisconsin and founded Accu-Temp Heat Treating  Inc. in 1975 where he worked with such companies as Harley Davidson, CNH, Pioneer Products and John Deere. Through his metallurgical knowledge and expertise, Bob was able to travel the world and consult for large corporations such as Johnson’s Was, General Motors, Miller-Coors and Lodge Manufacturing. He will be missed. April 21, 2016.

Ipsen/ARGOS Heat Treating System. As far as we know this is the first press release about the new Ipsen ARGOS low pressure carburizing system. It makes for interesting reading and the claims are quite impressive. April 21, 2016.

"Ipsen’s Global Development Team recently celebrated the first build and testing of the ARGOS heat-treating system. The ARGOS uses low-pressure carburizing (AvaC®) in combination with 20-bar nitrogen quenching to provide metallurgical properties never before seen in gas-quenching systems – even those utilizing 20-bar helium quenching. One industry visitor who witnessed the test run commented, “The ARGOS is likely the fastest inert gas quench furnace in the world.” This initial test was performed on one of the most difficult to quench vacuum carburized components: layshafts for large gears. Until now, helium gas, which is both expensive and declining in availability, was required to fully transform parts with very high cross-sectional thicknesses. Test outcomes showed that the shafts processed in the ARGOS system with 20-bar nitrogen quenching achieved higher surface hardness and core hardness values than shafts processed in the existing heat-treating systems that use 20-bar helium quenching. The ARGOS heat-treating system also offers several benefits, including:

- Flexible installation with a selectable number of carburizing, nitriding, subzero and high vacuum process chambers with a nitrogen gas and/or oil quench module  
- Excellent temperature uniformity during heating and cooling 
- Minimal and controllable distortion due to temperature homogeneity throughout the entire load and the reversible gas flow during cooling
- Extremely high gas velocity and volume due to Ipsen’s unique cooling system design

Overall, the ARGOS furnace line represents a significant milestone in the growing trend to operate low-pressure carburizing (LPC) lines in combination with inert gas quenching. For more information on the ARGOS heat-treating system and this industry breakthrough, visit www.Ipsen.de/en/ARGOS, or contact Janusz Kowalewski at Janusz.Kowalewski@IpsenUSA.com."

Lindberg/MPH. "Lindberg/MPH announced the shipment of a pit furnace to a leading manufacturer of mechanical components. This industrial pit furnace performs a steam treating process on tool steels. Steam treating produces an oxide film on the surface of the part which improves wear resistance, improves corrosion resistance, and provides a uniform blue-black finish. The heat treating furnace has a maximum temperature rating of 1250ºF. The work chamber is 39" in diameter with a depth of 36” and a total load capacity of 3,700 lbs. Vacuum formed ceramic fiber modules were utilized which have low heat storage and allow for fast heat up rates. The pit furnace utilizes a high limit controller to protect from over temperature conditions and an actuator for atmosphere flow control. This furnace utilizes ni-chrome heating elements on the interior of an alloy retort to efficiently heat treat parts in a steam atmosphere. A thermocartridge recirculating fan and solid wall baffle provide uniform atmosphere and heat distribution. About Lindberg/MPH. In addition to melting and holding furnaces for non-ferrous alloys, Lindberg/MPH is a leading manufacturer of standard and custom industrial heat treat furnaces, including pit, box, IQ, and belt type for the ferrous and non-ferrous markets. Lindberg/MPH customers cover a wide range of industries including aerospace/military, automotive, commercial heat treating, energy/oil, electronics and the forging markets. For more information on equipment solutions from TPS visit the website at www.thermalproductsolutions.com." April 21, 2016.

Metal Treaters Inc./Ipsen. Commercial heat treater Metal Treaters Inc out in St. Paul, Minnesota is a family owned business established way back in 1948 and now run by the founders son, Mr. Dale Roberts. The company is installing a new Ipsen Batch IQ furnace and you can see the details below. April 20, 2016.

"Ipsen recently shipped an ATLAS batch atmosphere furnace and ancillary equipment – temper, washer, loader, endo generator and load table – to Metal Treaters Inc. This complete atmosphere system will augment their existing atmosphere equipment and offer a higher level of flexibility with the ability to provide several processes: carburizing, neutral hardening and carbonitriding. This ATLAS furnace features a 36” x 48” x 38” (915 mm x 1,220 mm x 965 mm) load size with a 3,500-pound (1,600 kg) load capacity. It also operates at temperatures of 1,450 °F – 1,800 °F (788 °C – 985 °C) and has a quench oil capacity of 3,500 gallons (13,250 L). To learn more about the ATLAS atmosphere furnace, visit www.IpsenUSA.com/ATLAS

About Metal Treaters Inc. Metal Treaters Inc. offers full-service capabilities that include vacuum processing of tool steels, induction, carburizing, neutral hardening and salt bath nitriding (QPQ). Through steady growth and careful attention to the needs of precision manufacturing, Metal Treaters Inc. processes hundreds of jobs per day for a diverse range of customers. Advanced knowledge and skill, along with a 60+ year tradition of providing customers with quality workmanship, enable Metal Treaters Inc. to provide support to more than 900 satisfied customers. Visit www.MetalTreaters.com to find out more."

PhoenixTM. "A major US auto manufacturer has placed an order for a PhoenixTM ‘hot box’ system for performing temperature uniformity surveys (TUS) at their Mexican transmission plant. The system will operate in their low pressure carburizing furnaces using a thermal barrier engineered with gas quench deflectors specifically for high pressure gas quenches. A 20 channel data logger with RF capability will transmit the TUS data out of the furnace to PhoenixTM ‘Thermal View Survey’ software which guides the technician through the process and collates the TUS report in compliance with AMS2750 and CQI-9 specifications. For more information visit www.phoenixtm.com" April 20, 2016.

L & L Special Furnace/New Order. "L&L Special Furnace Co., Inc. has delivered a floor standing dual chamber box furnace to an aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul station in Oklahoma. The furnace is an L&L model QDA836 with the top chamber used for heat treatments of various steels and alloys up to 2,200°F. The bottom chamber is a tempering chamber that can be used to draw various steels as well as for aluminum thermal processing. The hardening chamber has working dimensions of 16” wide by 15” high by 32” deep. The tempering chamber has working dimensions of 14” wide by 12” high by 32” deep. The oven is equipped with a specially designed control/pyrometry package to allow it to conform to AMS2750E standards for class 2 equipment. Included in this package is a 1” NPT survey port located on the right side of each furnace chamber for uniformity surveys. This particular oven is used for titanium heat treatments along with several annealing processes. The multiple program control allows for several recipes to be stored and recalled for each individual process. L&L’s QDA series comes in several sizes up to nominal 24”wide x 24” high x 36” deep, and they are ideal for clients that want more control over their heat treating." April 20, 2016.

Titanium Heat Treatment Services/Buckinghamshire, UK. There is a brand new commercial heat treater in the UK which just opened for business, Titanium Heat Treatment Services in Buckinghamshire. The company says that it will offer Heat Treatment of Titanium, Aluminium and Precipitation Hardened alloys for the motorsport industry. We don’t know much about the company except that the director is a fellow by the name of Pawel Danielewicz who was with TTI Group (now Hauck Heat Treatment) for many years. April 19, 2016.

Sinterite News Item. Sinterite whose banner ad can be found on this page has this to say to us today; April 19, 2016.

"Sinterite, a Gasbarre Furnace Group Company, is proud to announce the renewal of its ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Accreditation through May 2019, allowing the furnace maker to continue to perform certified calibrations for furnace users, which is required by many of the Group’s customers. The accreditation is with the Laboratory Accreditation Bureau (LAB), headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. LAB specializes in the ISO Standard. Since first achieving this accreditation in 2013, Sinterite continues to advance its capabilities by drastically improving its “Measurement of Uncertainty” to a mere +/- 2.4°F. In addition, the company has increased its calibration parameters to now include Types “N” and “S” Thermocouples.

Like the other standards, ISO 17025 allows accredited companies to carry out procedures in their own way, but an auditor may ask the company to justify its methods. Sinterite’s accreditation proves the methods are valid and acceptable, and the calibration technicians are competent. There is now a documented quality management system in place. With this accreditation, Sinterite joins Gasbarre Press Division, Major Gauge & Tool and McKee Carbide Tool as Gasbarre companies with ISO Accreditation. Sinterite designs, manufactures and services custom continuous belt and batch furnaces for sintering, brazing, annealing, steam treating, drying and heat treating applications. The installed base of equipment is in excess of 1,300 units in more than 47 countries.  Sinterite’s quality design includes alloy and ceramic muffle systems, powder-handling equipment, custom fabrications, and the exclusively-manufactured HyperCooler sinter-hardening and rapid cooling system. The Sinterite manufacturing facility is located in St. Marys, Pennsylvania."

SECO/WARWICK. Furnace Builder SECO/WARWICK in this press release tells us about an upcoming seminar the company is having at the upcoming ET 16 show. April 19, 2016.

"Keith Boeckenhauer, Deputy Vice President – Aluminium, at SECO/WARWICK Corporation, will present “Continuous Homogenizing Furnace Utilizing Vertical Airflow to Improve Temperature Uniformity and Increase Processing Flexibility” at the ET ’16 Seminar under the “Billet Process and Equipment” technical session on May 5th between 8:30 – 8:55am. This presentation will cover what high quality requirements plant managers’ face in the homogenization of extrusion log and billet of 6xxx series aluminum alloys.

Further, cast house managers are often obliged to meet these requirements for a wide variety of log diameters, typically from 6-7" to 14-16". At the same time, they are striving to reduce operating costs, which are mainly related to energy consumption and workforce requirements. SECO/WARWICK, utilizing a vertical air flow continuous homogenizing technology, has developed an original concept for a continuous homogenizing plant. This furnace system provides a versatile and flexible operation. The concept of this innovative continuous homogenizing furnace system and the benefits it brings to the user in terms of production capabilities, efficiencies, and product quality will be given during the presentation of this paper. If you have a chance to attend this seminar we will be happy to meet you and talk with you about our Continuous Homogenizing Furnace. See you there. 

Bodycote/MedAccred Accreditation "Bodycote, the world’s largest heat treating services provider, is pleased to announce that its Derby, UK location is the first facility in Europe to earn the MedAccred accreditation underlining the high standards of quality achieved. The official approval was awarded on 7th of April 2016. MedAccred, administered by Performance Review Institute (PRI), is an industry managed approach to ensuring critical manufacturing process quality throughout the medical device supply chain. It establishes stringent consensus audit criteria based on industry and specific OEM requirements that ensure compliance and quality. Adherence to these requirements leads to greater process discipline, operational efficiency and ongoing improvement which results in higher quality and performance. Strategically located in the East Midlands, Bodycote Derby, which offers heat treatment and hot isostatic pressing (HIP) services, is fast becoming a centre of excellence serving the medical device and implants markets for the UK, Ireland and Europe". April 19, 2016.

Monday Morning Briefing. We will start off with a couple of “people” items the first being Jeff Lane. Jeff in an experienced heat treat engineer who has been with Stack Metallurgical in Portland, Oregon for some time but he parted ways with the company just this past week. We have a high opinion of Jeff as we do of Stack Metallurgical which is probably the largest commercial heat treater on the US west coast however we guess change is a constant. In Germany Hauck Heat Treatment in Remscheid, Germany has a new head of their Quality Assurance department, Mr. Frank Hufen who will be replacing Stefan Dehnert who will now be in charge of the Sales Department.  Hauck is of course one of the largest commercial heat treaters in Europe.

Can Eng Furnaces in Niagara Falls, Canada has landed an order from a major bearing manufacturer for a gas fired mesh belt temper furnace. Thermal Modification Technologies out in Oregon, USA is just about ready to start up a monster car bottom furnace. We will have photos and all the details later on this week if things unfold as they should. We have already mentioned Hauck today but we will mention them one more time. Their plant in Eindhoven, Netherlands recently installed two new SECO/WARWICK vacuum tempering furnaces which can also be used for annealing.  Both furnaces are certified and calibrated according to AMS 2750E class 2 regulations for Nadcap. This location now has 12 vacuum furnaces making it a pretty big operation.

We ran across a rather interesting and unbiased article about nitriding of gun barrels. http://www.idahostatejournal.com/which-is-better-nitriding-or-chrome-lining/article_0865236e-facd-5d88-9417-24885a3cea4f.html Basically the article talks about the relative merits of different types of nitriding and which might prolong the life of a gun barrel. Furnace controls company Super Systems, Inc., of Cincinnati, Ohio is well known for their traveling seminars which present an unbiased presentation about topics near and dear to all heat treaters hearts. The next two will be Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA.   "Super Systems Inc. is pleased to present seminars for the heat treating industry in the Raleigh, NC, and Atlanta, GA, areas. The date. Topics include CQI-9, AMS 2750 E, NADCAP audit findings, and atmosphere troubleshooting. The date for the Raleigh seminar is May 17 and for Atlanta is May 18. Each seminar is $60 per person.  To register, click here or call 513-772-0060". One of our favorite things about the heat treating industry is the fact that everybody knows everybody else. As an example we received this rather interesting photo showing individuals from CIEFE Furnace of Italy, HiTemp Furnaces of India and Dowa of Japan all visiting Venice, Italy. April 18, 2016.

Largest European Furnace Builders. In researching the largest European new furnace builders in terms of annual sales we ran across a number of obstacles-none of which were a surprise to us. The largest of these challenges was the fact that most of these companies are privately owned and sales figures are not publicly available. This was further complicated by the fact that while some of the companies on our list do have overall company sales figures available, this would include areas completely outside of new furnace manufacturing which are not of interest to us. Tenova is a good example of this-an enormous company which dwarfs many of the others on our list but at the end of the day a number of their products are more related to steel making than what we would consider to be typical heat treating. So what we were left with are publicly available sales figures for a couple of companies on our list with the “honor” system being applied to most of the others. By this we mean that 2/3’s of the companies on our list shared their rough sales figures with the stipulation that they not be published. While we can’t verify these numbers we would say that they all generally fit with what we know about each company in terms of number of employees, presence in the marketplace and size of their facilities. Besides which if you can’t trust somebody in the heat treating industry who can you trust? Without further ado. Go To List April 18, 2016.

Green Parts Separation. We always get questions and from time to time we have answers. This question which we recently received struck a chord with us, so much so that we considered it worthwhile to publish because this is a very common problem; April 15, 2016.

"I was wondering if I can pick your brain? One of the biggest problems I see at our facility is parts, green (un-heat treated) parts being left in the containers after the job has been ran. So far we have never sent un heat treated parts back to the customer but it still is a serious problem. I have worked for a heat treater in the midwest for 30 some years and we had this problem back there also. The people have been trained a number of times but this serious problem still exits. Have you ever heard of this problem from other heat treaters. Have they ever come up with a good solution?"

Our answer to this would be that this is an issue with every heat treater in the world, captive or commercial who use people. There is no easy answer to this except the obvious-make damn sure that there is no chance that untreated parts and heat treated parts are in the same area. Eliminate any possible mixing and you elimate any potential problems. The best solution we have ever seen is shown in the photo below. This heat treater has an indoor unloading area for incoming parts to be heat treated (the green parts). As the parts are unloaded they are immediately placed in fixtures or baskets which are then transferred by a conveyor through a wall to the actual heat treating department. Parts that are not fixtured never make it to the heat treating area and the bins that might possibly retain some parts again never make it to the heat treating area and presumably can easily be checked for retained parts before they are reused. The actual heat treating department is under strict rules to consider any parts on the floor as scrap and under no conditions should they be added to a furnace load, which is a common procedure for most heat treaters and adds one more check in the system. This is in our opinion the best solution we have seen but again this like any system cannot be considered 100%.

Bodycote/Fort Worth, Texas. We mentioned this news item some time ago but it now appears to be a definite. All the details are below but to quickly sum up, commercial heat treater Bodycote has a plant in Fort Worth, Texas on Montgomery Street. The city will be building a stadium in this area and recently agreed to buy the land for $7 million USD with the provision that Bodycote will relocate by the end of this year although it appears that the company does not yet have a new location to go to. While we are on the topic of Bodycote we will mention that the share price has been on an upward trend the past number of months which you can see in the graph further down.

"Fort Worth City Council voted 9-0 Tuesday night to spend $7 million to buy the remaining land on Montgomery Street needed for the planned $450 million arena project at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. The city will buy 2.567 acres from Bodycote, a U.K. thermal processing services company. It is the second tract the city is buying from the company. In December, Fort Worth officials paid $692,500 to buy 0.263 acre at Bryce Avenue and Montgomery Street. The new arena and parking garage will sit on 22.3 acres. Under terms of the sale, Bodycote will be allowed to stay on the property until Dec. 31. The city will still incur the cost of moving Bodycote from the property and setting up equipment at the company’s new site, which is not yet determined. Those costs have not yet been determined. “They’ve already been working towards planning a three-phase move starting this summer,” Alanis said. April 14, 2016.

Bodycote/Newport, South Wales, UK. "Bodycote, the world’s largest thermal processing services provider, is pleased to announce further investment in its surface technology facility in Newport, South Wales. Due to the significant growth in demand driven by regional manufacturers and their markets, Bodycote has invested in additional machining capacity to support new and current customers. The new cylindrical grinding capacity represents part of Bodycote’s strategy to support specific customers’ needs and enhance the existing broad service offerings that are valued by its customers. The additional capacity combines automated processing with pre-coating and secondary grinding capabilities. The integrated services at Newport enable manufacturers to shorten production cycles, reduce turnaround time and save costs by streamlining supply chains. Bodycote Newport, an ISO, AS9100 and Nadcap accredited facility, offers thermal spray coating with extended precision CNC finishing and approved non-destructive testing (NDT) capabilities." April 14, 2016.

Where Are They Now? Ed Chiu. Ed has had a long, varied, and experienced career in the heat treating industry. We first ran across him at a commercial heat treating facility in Ontario, Canada which was originally a Magna International heat treating facility which then became part of Bodycote. Since that time many years ago he moved on to Bohler Uddeholm in Mississauga, Canada then Can Eng Furnaces International and he is now in charge of the heat treating department at Commercial Spring again in Mississauga. We have always had a high opinion of Ed and that continues to this day. April 13, 2016.

Expanite Treatment. For some time now we have been running across the “Expanite Treatment” which claims to be a revolutionary heat treating process for stainless steel. We are completely unbiased on this as we know little about the process or how effective it is, but based upon the company’s impressive claims we are interested. This is what the company has to say.

"The Expanite treatment effectively removes the oxide film covering stainless steels. This allows controlled incorporation of carbon and nitrogen atoms in the underlying metal. The hardened layer is characterized by an expansion of the material structure. We call this zone expanded austenite, expanded martensite, or simply, Expanite. Expanite is a game-changing surface hardening process for stainless steel that will make you and your customers much more competitive. Our patented and proven technology, scientific know-how and flexible delivery model significantly improves product performance, quality, and reduces costs. Based on ongoing research since 2000, and founded in 2010 by leading scientists in the field of surface hardening, Expanite has its roots deeply planted in a fact-driven environment".

To add to these claims it would appear that Expanite has some impressive backers including Bluewater Thermal Solutions and global furnace supplier SECO/WARWICK. In addition it looks like a captive heat treater by the name of SSP Fittings Corp., in Ohio is impressed by the technology. To date the company has three locations including home base in Denmark, a location in Ohio and a plant near Stuttgart, Germany. The photo below shows a furnace being delivered to the plant in Germany which will soon be up and running. We will keep you updated on whether this technology proves to be a boom or bust for heat treating of stainless steels and we certainly welcome and appreciate your comments about whether Expanite will prove to be a revolution when it comes to heat treating of stainless steels. April 13, 2016.

Hauck Heat Treatment/Venlo, Netherlands. One of the largest commercial heat treaters in the world, and one found almost exclusively in Europe is Hauck Heat Treatment which is part of the Aalberts group of companies. Many times over the years we have mentioned and visited Hauck plants and in just a few weeks we will be visiting some of their plants in Sweden. This news item concerns their plant in Venlo, Netherlands who has this to say;

"Our plant in Venlo is very proud to announce that it has installed a new large vacuum furnace and two vacuum tempering furnaces which can be used for hardening and tempering as well as annealing processes in vacuum. The vacuum furnaces are state of the art in technical design and in the processes they allow. Their capacity is up to two tonnes per batch, with dimensions of: 1.5m x 1.2m x 1.0m (l x w x h). The vacuum hardening furnace can reach temperatures up to 1350 °C. The quenching pressure is 10 bar with the quenching medium N². This investment will significantly contribute in further expansion of the vacuum heat treatment capacity and services at Hauck Heat Treatment Venlo." April 12, 2016.

Alphatek/Houston Texas. Manufacturers rep and furnace rebuilding company Alphatek (Paul Zettler, Owner) is now repping for Premier Furnace Specialists in the US Southwest. April 12, 2016.

"Now Manufacturers and Service Shops in the Soutwestern United States will have better access to the Superior Products, Service, and Repair/Upgrade Parts of the Premier Furnace Specialists and Beavermatic Furnaces, Alphatek of Texas, Inc. has been named as the Southwest Sales Representative for the organization, responsible for expanding the territory of the Premier and Beavermatic lines. Alphatek Technicians will bring years of Vacuum Heat Treating knowledge to be available to Premier in the North, while being trained on the cutting edge technologies for Open Fire and Atmosphere Furnaces, developed and provided to customers for many years by Premier and Beavermatic. This will make Premier/Beavermatic and Alphatek, "one stop shops" for any Heat Treating Technology needed. Alphatek will continue to supply parts and supplies for Vacuum Furnaces and now the parts and supplies for Open Fire as well as Atmosphere furnaces will also be available from Alphatek, at its 12,000 sq ft. Service Center in Houston, TX.  http://www.alphatek.us"

Solar Atmospheres Press Release. "Solar Atmospheres, Inc. announced today that it has become the first company to receive MedAccred critical process reaccreditation.  Furthermore, Solar Atmospheres, Inc. successfully expanded its scope of accreditation to include Hardness Testing and Metallography & Microindentation Hardness.  MedAccred is an industry-managed critical process supply chain oversight program which was developed by leading medical device companies to improve device quality and most importantly enhance patient safety. The effort to establish MedAccred began in 2010 when the Performance Review Institute (PRI) was asked to consider the development of a Nadcap-style special process supplier accreditation program for the medical device industry.  An industry roundtable was organized and convened in 2012 among interested medical device companies and PRI.  Following this roundtable meeting, briefings were held with the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health’s (CDRH) Office of Compliance and the FDA’s Office of Global Operations within the Office of the Commissioner. The program purpose and scope was discussed, along with the results of proof of concept audits which were conducted to demonstrate the program’s viability. The FDA provided positive feedback and strong encouragement to pursue the development of the program. April 12, 2016.

IHI/A New Game In Town? IHI Corporation (“IHI”) of Japan has a business model which includes manufacturing heat treating furnaces and also doing commercial heat treating-a model very similar to other companies in our field such as ALD of Germany and Dowa of Japan. IHI Machinery and furnace Co., Ltd (“IMS”), IHI’s 100% subsidiary company, has built and installed over 2,000 vacuum furnaces over the years many of which are for vacuum carburizing. On the heat treating and coatings side of the equation the company already owns IHI Ionbond AG and IHI Hauzer technocoating BV and just last year acquired commercial heat treater VTN Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH of Germany. Now the company plans on taking their show further afield with investments in Mexico, the Southern US and Eastern Europe. Read through the press release below and you can see that their business model is the same as most Japanese companies, follow your customers as they set up in new locations be it Mexico, the US or Europe. It will be interesting to see how this progresses.

"TOKYO -- IHIwill invest some 10 billion yen ($91.1 million) over five years starting in fiscal 2016 in the thermal and surface treatment business for industrial applications, with plans to open new treatment facilities in Mexico, the U.S. and elsewhere. The Japanese company hopes to expand the business serving autoparts makers and cutting-tool builders, aiming to increase related sales by about 40% from fiscal 2015 to 50 billion yen in fiscal 2020. IHI plans to increase staff in the operations by 20% to around 2,000 over the same period. IHI has manufactured and sold equipment used in such processes but now can offer the service itself, following its 2012 acquisition of a Swiss surface treatment company and the 2015 purchase of a German thermal treatment business. The company expects growing demand for the treatment services as more advanced materials are used in automotive parts and industrial machinery.

Surface treatment involves coating nonferrous and other metals with aluminum or titanium materials to improve friction resistance, among other purposes. In February, IHI set up a surface treatment facility in Yokohama dedicated to serving other businesses, giving the company 42 such sites across 18 countries. Japanese companies customarily handle metal processing in-house. IHI will encourage them to outsource the process overseas. Farming out the process -- common in Europe and the U.S. -- saves capital investment and eliminates the need to add workers. IHI aims to be serving about 50 Japanese companies in two years. IHI will set up thermal and surface treatment facilities in overseas hubs of Japanese manufacturers of cutting tools and autoparts by securing buildings of 1,500 sq. meters or so. IHI plans to increase the group's fleet of surface treatment equipment by 25% in five years to around 250 units, and heat treatment equipment by around 20% to 85 units. Mexico, the southern U.S. and eastern Europe are potential sites to open more surface treatment facilities". April 11, 2016.

Ipsen. "Offered exclusively during the June 2016 Ipsen U, Streamline Your Maintenance Process: The Do’s and Don’ts Everyone Needs to Know will be taught by Jim Grann, Ipsen’s Senior Technical Manager. Jim is a technical expert whose 36 years of experience and interactions with customers around the world allow him to provide excellent solutions and support when troubleshooting furnace- and process-related issues. Knowing how to properly maintain and troubleshoot your furnace system is an excellent way to protect your investment, as well as minimize downtime, increase productivity, ensure a long lifespan and cut down on operational costs. In this special session, you will examine key areas for properly maintaining and troubleshooting your vacuum furnace, as well as discuss best practices for transforming your maintenance strategy. The June Ipsen U course will be held at NIU Rockford and take place from June 7-9. Whether you are new to the industry or need a refresher course on maintenance methods and best practices, these three-day Ipsen U courses provide a broad overview of furnace equipment, processes and maintenance – and have been providing training to the heat treatment industry for 30+ years. In addition, you can take part in one-on-one discussions with Ipsen experts, as well as participate in a leak detection demonstration and tour Ipsen’s facility. Courses are available June 7-9, August 2-4 and October 11-13. Learn more and register at www.IpsenUSA.com/IpsenU." April 11, 2016.

Say it Ain’t So Kieth. Kieth Stewart spent much of his working life in the heat treating industry, at least part of it as a Division Manager at Bodycote. A little while back he left the industry and became the owner of a franchise which fixes upholstery. Fair enough but saying that the industry is boring? Say it ain’t so Kieth!

"Entrepreneur Keith Stewart and his wife, Laurie, are fading and ripped upholsteries’ worst enemies. The Stewarts recently became the new owners of Oconomowoc’s Fibrenew, an upholstery repair and restoration service. Fibrenew repairs, re-dyes, restores and cleans leather, plastic, vinyl and fabric. Basically, if there’s faded or ripped fabric, Keith Stewart will do everything he can to bring it back to life. Keith Stewart became an entrepreneur after spending his entire post-college life in the metal industry, where he commercially heat-treated metal. He enjoyed his time doing it, but after several years of doing it he realized there isn’t a lot of change or innovation in the field. “We used to joke that heat treating is the second oldest profession,” Stewart said. “It goes back to the Middle Ages if not earlier. There isn’t anything going on and frankly, it was just boring. It was more interesting to try and do something new.” April 11, 2016.

Largest European Furnace Builders. In researching the largest European new furnace builders in terms of annual sales we ran across a number of obstacles-none of which were a surprise to us. The largest of these challenges was the fact that most of these companies are privately owned and sales figures are not publicly available. This was further complicated by the fact that while some of the companies on our list do have overall company sales figures available, this would include areas completely outside of new furnace manufacturing which are not of interest to us. Tenova is a good example of this-an enormous company which dwarfs many of the others on our list but at the end of the day a number of their products are more related to steel making than what we would consider to be typical heat treating. So what we were left with are publicly available sales figures for a couple of companies on our list with the “honor” system being applied to most of the others. By this we mean that 2/3’s of the companies on our list shared their rough sales figures with the stipulation that they not be published. While we can’t verify these numbers we would say that they all generally fit with what we know about each company in terms of number of employees, presence in the marketplace and size of their facilities. Besides which if you can’t trust somebody in the heat treating industry who can you trust?

Another challenge is what constitutes a European furnace builder? Some of these organizations have facilities around the world, some of which generate more in sales outside of Europe than in Europe. We took the path of least resistance and decided if the head office was in Europe this constitutes a European furnace builder.

And what about Turkey? Sistem Teknik is a large, very impressive furnace builder in Turkey but Turkey is of course a country which straddles Europe and Asia so which is it? We decided that since the company is on the Asian end of the bridge that we would not consider them in our list but having said that we do want to mention them because of the high opinion we have of the company and the fact that sales wise they certainly would belong amongst the ten largest.

Originally we had planned on listing just the ten largest builders but this struck us as unfair as there is such little difference in sales figures between some of the companies that we decided to go with a list of most of the significant players. This lead to another point what is a furnace builder? We decided on companies dedicated to traditional heat treating furnaces such as carburizing, vacuum heat treatment and nitriding as opposed to low temperature ovens as an example.

And last but not least it is disclaimer time. For the reasons mentioned above we do not for one second claim that this list is 100% accurate but in our conceit we are confident that it is pretty darn close. We would like to thank all those who were kind enough to share information with us and we very much appreciate the trust they placed in us to be discrete. Without further ado. Go To List April 8, 2016.

Atmosphere Engineering Company/Protech. Protech is a long standing furnace repair company in the US run by Pat Benner which has a relatively small but very loyal customer base. AEC as a growing company can certainly utilize the combined experience of this group making it a very good fit between the two companies. April 7, 2016.

AEC Service Group. "AEC is proud to announce the recent acquisition of Productive Technology, Inc. (PROTECH), a heat treat furnace service contractor based in Delta, Ohio. PROTECH’s reputation of high quality and complete service work extends back to 1983, when it was founded by Pat Benner and Dean Schmidt (retired). Pat will direct the group along with our service manager Brian Harshaw for the new Atmosphere Engineering service group. This acquisition has also brought 3 of his experienced technicians Mike Coffman, Tim McCormick, and Lee Miles to the team. This core represents over 100 combined years of experience within the heat treating industry. AEC will be taking over the PROTECH Delta, OH facility and maintaining this as a second manufacturing location for the service group to facilitate equipment rebuilds and inventory as needed. We are proud to be working together and are always happy to offer a more complete experience to our customers."

Left to Right (Lee Miles, Mike Coffman, Brian Harshaw, Pat Benner, Jason Jossart, Eric Jossart, Tim McCormick)

Advanced Heat Treat Corp./Waterloo, Iowa. "Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT) would like to announce a reorganization in the Sales & Marketing Department with the implementation of a new Technical Services Team! Aligned with the mission of “Exceeding Customer Expectations with UltraGlowing results”, this new team will be devoted solely to customers needs and will assist AHT customers immediately should they have questions regarding: Quote requests, Certifications and/or specification requirements, Part/production status.

Robert Alexander, who has over 19 years of experience with Advanced Heat Treat Corp. will be leading the team as Technical Services Manager. Bob has been in various roles with AHT, most recently as the Regional Sales Manager at the MidPort location in Waterloo, IA, assisting customers with quote requests and determining the right processes for their applications.

Also joining the Technical Services Team are Chad Brandenburg and Melissa Kappel, who are no strangers to AHT or their customers! Chad Brandenburg will assume the role of Technical Services Project Manager and brings eight years of experience handling multiple projects, expediting quotes and answering technical questions. Melissa Kappel will be joining the team as Technical Services Support. She has been with Advanced Heat Treat Corp. over 17 years where she has been instrumental in various projects to assist the Burton team in Waterloo, IA.

“We are excited to make this move to ensure our customers continue to receive timely responses to their inquiries. Putting the customer’s needs first is what sets AHT apart from our competitors, and this is another step in the direction to make sure we are doing everything possible to exceed customer expectations with UltraGlowing results!” stated Jack Smylie, Director of Sales and Marketing. Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT) is a recognized leader in providing heat treat services and superior metallurgical solutions to companies across the globe." April 7, 2016.

Where Are They Now? Brian Strebing. Now Brian is a very well known fellow in the North American heat treating market with over 35 years at companies such as Lindberg, Bodycote and Bluewater Thermal. Within the past couple of months he made a change and is now Engineering and Maintenance Manager at FPM Heat Treating in the Chicago area. Knowing his knowledge of furnaces we have no doubt but that he will do an incredible job for FPM. April 6, 2016.

Largest European Furnace Builders. In researching who should be on our list of the largest furnace builders in Europe a company we have been speaking with is CODERE of Switzerland. They sent us this summary of the company which provides some very interesting information such as their mention of salt quenching applications growing. Many years ago we predicted that salt quenching would one day go the way of the dinosaurs because of environmental considerations-well we were wrong and CODERE certainly proves this. April 6, 2016.

"CODERE SA has more than 30 years of experience in the construction of industrial furnaces for the process of heat treatment of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Specializing in manufacturing a range of customized industrial furnaces controlled under protective atmosphere (modular batch type, pit, pusher type & small mesh belt furnaces). On average Codere sell between 15-20 installations per year to various industries and one area they have seen drastic growth is in salt quenching process over the years with our modular construction, environmental advantages and technical advantages over existing players in the market, which has seen two of the largest bearing producers world-wide becoming customers in the recent past. In the recent past, they have entered the US & Chinese markets through working closely with our local partners Pyradia Canada & SAMT respectively under license. At present Codere has installations in four continents and see growth in the future in the ASEAN area, China and Mexico.  Please contact David Howard for further information on our company or product range d.howard@codere.ch"   

System 250 2 HT furnaces working with 1 oil bath

Solar. "The Philadelphia - “Liberty Bell” - Chapter was honored to host ASMI President, Jon Tirpak, at its National Officers Night meeting in March.  This chapter annual event invites ASMI’s current president to an extended afternoon executive and operating committee meeting.  The meeting is an opportunity for the members to get constructive opinion from the ASMI president on the chapter’s current activities and planning agenda.  It further allows the members to be personally informed of ASMI undertakings and goals.  The evening started with a social hour and dinner hosted by Liberty Bell Chapter Chairperson Jamie Jones, followed by Mr. Tirpak’s presentation on: Heavy Closed Die Hydraulic Forging Presses of the World – ASM Historic Landmarks.  Prior to the meeting Jon toured commercial vacuum heat treater Solar Atmospheres in Souderton, PA, where he met with the current ASM Philadelphia Chapter chairperson and five past chapter chairs.  For additional information about Solar Atmospheres, please contact Mike Moyer, Director of Sales at 215-721-1502 x1207, or mikem@solaratm.com, or visit us at www.solaratm.com." April 6, 2016.

Jon Tirpak receiving the chapter’s Liberty Bell memento from Chairperson Jamie Jones

Jon Tirpak and Solar Atmosphere’s Liberty Bell Chapter chairpersons, L to R:  Mike Moyer, Roger Jones, Don Jordan, Jon Tirpak, Trevor Jones, Jamie Jones, Tim Steber

Winston Heat Treating/Dayton, Ohio. We’ve always gotten a kick out of Winston Heat Treating in Dayton, Ohio. It is a family owned business, third generation we believe and the President, John Reger is one of the nicest people you will meet-a really genuine fellow. However we digress as we mention the company because they recently completed a large expansion to the building which included more atmosphere and vacuum capabilities. These photos show their brand new Surface Combustion ALLCASE Integral Quench Atmosphere Line and new DMP  CryoTemper.  Instrumentation on all units was provided by Super Systems  (SSI).    Pictured in photos are  John Reger,  David Reger, and Gregg Temple of Winston. Even with the demise of the local auto industry,  Dayton remains one of the largest manufacturing centers in the USA,  experiencing recent growth in the  aerospace, medical , tooling &  general  manufacturing sectors which explains this very large investment by Winston. April 5, 2016.

Monday Morning Briefing. We are going to start off with a "non story". Being a close knit industry rumors are always ripe and we recently ran across one that had commercial heat treat Cargill Heat Treat in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA closing their doors in the face of the downturn in the oil and gas industries. We gave the owner and founder Steve Cargill a call and were very pleased to hear that the rumor is completely unfounded. Steve said that yes things were slower but overall not bad. We went through our notes and came across this background about the company which we published back in January 2014. We also went through old photos and came up with this one taken in Texas a couple of years back.

"Where Are They Now? Steve Cargill. Most captive and commercial heat treaters in the US Midwest will be familiar with the name Steve Cargill who has spent a lifetime in the heat treating industry a large chunk of it with commercial heat treater Bodycote. Steve parted ways with the company last year and in September of 2013 started production at his own commercial shop Cargill Heat Treat in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. The company is operating out of a 10,000 square foot facility which concentrates on quick turnaround, small volume heat treating. Typically turn around time is 1-2 days with the longest delivery being 4 days. Currently the company concentrates on batch IQ, carburizing applications and will by the end of this year have 4 brand new batch IQ units. Future plans include adding gas Nitriding which is slated for the spring of 2014. Steve is a lucky man to be able to work with his wife Jaki and sons Austin and Garrett who handle maintenance and production. We are always a sucker for a small family owned company and we wish Steve the best of luck and have no doubt but that he will grow and prosper in the future".

Terry Profughi. We understand that Terry Profughi of HI TecMetal Group, Inc., based in Cleveland, Ohio is retiring. Terry is truly an icon in the commercial heat treating industry having started HI TecMetal Group, Inc., many years ago and growing it in to a very substantial operation. We were impressed by his entrepreneurial drive, energy, progressive vision and tenacity We believe his son in law Mr. Cole Coe will be taking over running the company. Mike Hayward/Performance Review Institute. PRI is the association which oversees Nadcap a program which had driven many a heat treater to drink. However certainly I always feel a little safer on a plane because of Nadcap.  Having served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Performance Review Institute (PRI) since 2009, Michael J. Hayward of Northrop Grumman has accepted the position of Chairman of the Board. The Performance Review Institute is a not-for-profit trade association that administers the Nadcap program on behalf of the leading companies in the aerospace and defence industries, and other complementary programs for the benefit of industries where safety and quality are shared values. We told you how we are providing regular updates from Metex HT in Mississauga, Ontario about the installation of their 6,000 pound/hour mesh belt line. As part of these updates we have this photo of the furnace being unloaded.

Vacuum & Atmosphere Services Inc./UK. One of the larger (largest?) companies in the UK for servicing and selling heat treating equipment is VAS. They are offering a relatively new service that of servicing, calibrating & undertaking TUS’s on equipment which appears to have been quite successful to date. The first photo below shows their plant as it now looks and the second picture taken a couple of years ago shows the man in charge, Mike Long along with Matt Cross of SSI, UK. VAS by the way is the Ipsen rep in the country.

Americans might sponsor race cars, those Canadians sponsor what else? Snowmobiles. Nitrex Metal sponsored this snowmobile and provided complimentary nitriding of transmission components in order to improve their service life. Their team rode to second overall in the SAE International Clean Snowmobile Challenge held in Houghton, MI on March 7-12.

Largest European Furnace Builders. We are busy updating our list of the largest European furnace builders http://www.themonty.com/largesteuropeanfurnacebuilders.htm and even before it is done some readers are debating about our criteria for the list. While we won't go into details about why some furnace companies are unhappy we will be completing our list within the next week. To round things out we have this press release from Wisconsin Oven. "Wisconsin Oven Corporation announced the shipment of one (1) Natural Gas Fired Three Zone Curing Conveyor Oven to a leader in metal fabrication. The oven will be used to cure a solvent based adhesive that will be printed on a continuous corrugated aluminum web. The curing oven will be placed in a complete printing line and is designed to handle up to a 24" wide corrugated aluminum web x 0.125" high, weighing up to 1 pound per square foot or less. The adhesive deposition will be up to 300 mg/sq. ft. on the top surface only". April 4, 2016.

April Fools! Earlier today we had a news item about Mr. John Hubbard, former CEO of international heat treater Bodycote ending his retirement with the acquisition of the one of the larger commercial heat treatment chains in North America. This was of course an April Fools story. While we personally would like to see John back in the industry he is having way too much fun in his retirement these days. April 1, 2016.

REMIX,Poland/International Galvanizing Conference. Furnace builder REMIX in Poland recently co-organized the 7th Exhibition of Corrosion Protection Technology and Surface Treatment called EXPO-SURFACE. This year the watchword of the Conference was "Economy and Ecology in Hot Dip Galvanizing Equipment”. The Conference was divided into six discussion panels that covered the following topics:

  • Polish, Czech-Slovak and CIS markets’ galvanizing branch analysis
  • the newest solutions concerning the steel surface preparation before the galvanizing process: zinc alloys, chemical composition of a zinc bath, research works on hot dip galvanized coatings
  • presentations of the economic and ecologic aspects arising from new design solutions of galvanizing equipment
  • REMIX R&D department results, presentation of the latest project covering thermo-diffusion galvanizing – technology of long life protective zinc coatings
  • steel surface preparation before galvanizing process
  • filtration systems in hot-dip galvanizing production halls, solutions for reducing pollutant emission.

We understand that the event was a complete success and that it will be held again next year. April 1, 2016.

 










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