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Heat Treat News

Nickel charts on InfoMine.com

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Amsted Rail. A reader sent us this photo of the heat treating department at AmstedMaxion in Brazil. A summary of the company is below but what we can add is that Amsted manufactures components for the railway industry such as wheels and this involves heat treating in a number of their plants including Virginia, Russia and Brazil in a combination of pit and batch style furnaces.  "AmstedMaxion was created in the beginning of the new millennium, from the association between the US company Amsted Industries Inc. and the Brazilian company Iochpe-Maxion, a successor to FNV - Fábrica Nacional de Vagões, founded back in 1943. With seven decades of activities now, it appears as one of the main Latin American references in the development and manufacturing of steel cargo freight cars, cast steel wheels, bogies, wheel and axle sets and shock absorption and traction systems, in addition to providing services for repair, adaptation and modernization of freight cars and their components. A pioneer, AmstedMaxion serves all railways and their users in Brazil and abroad, including freight car leasing companies. In the largest steel casting plant of South America, parts of up to 6 tons are manufactured for application on machinery and industries of civil construction, mining, automobile and railway". July 1, 2016.

Corner Stone

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. July 1, 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.

Custom Electric

Oil & Gas Industries. The whole world knows that those manufacturers supplying the oil and gas industries have been struggling for some time now. While it is hard to see any upside to the downturn if there is one it is that there has been some good used equipment becoming available and this is a perfect example. A number of reasonably new Surface Combustion Allcase furnaces with working dimensions of 36 X 72 X 36 all of which appear to be in good condition and currently in production (although they will be shut down in the very near future). More details to come. July 1, 2016.

Qual-Fab

AFC-Holcroft. "A Tier 1 automotive supplier located in the Midwest has placed (2) orders with AFC-Holcroft for the supply of heat treating equipment related to the processing of aluminum. The first order will consist of a Roller Hearth Homogenizing Furnace for processing aluminum products. The complete system includes a multi-position loading table, a multi-position furnace, cooling station and multi-position unload table.

The second order is for a Solution Heat Treat Line, which will also be used for processing aluminum products. This system will include charge and discharge transfer cars, a multi-position solution furnace, water quench system, multi-position age furnace, multi-position accumulation charge and discharge tables, accumulation cross-over mechanism and a tray pull-off station. Additionally, AFC-Holcroft will provide their Remote Diagnostic Service™ during the furnace warranty period. This service provides a complete remote monitoring and diagnostic package including transmission and analysis of machine data, targeting the most common or noteworthy events and identifying root causes. The Remote Diagnostic Service transmits data automatically to AFC-Holcroft’s secure servers, eliminating the human time and cost associated with manually gathering historical data for the same purpose.

“While AFC-Holcroft is best known for providing equipment for the processing of steel components, we also have a long history of providing equipment to the aluminum industry” stated Mark Johnston, Aftermarket Equipment Sales. “This order is a further inroad into this growing market.” Field installation, start-up and commissioning are also included with both orders. About AFC-Holcroft: AFC-Holcroft is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of heat treating furnaces. The legacy companies that comprise AFC-Holcroft have a combined 225+ years of thermal processing experience. The company manufactures turn-key heat treating systems for applications including commercial heat treating, bearings, automotive, aerospace, mining, military, aluminum heat treatment, gear manufacturing, fastener manufacturing, and alternative energy industries. AFC-Holcroft, headquartered in the United States, has a global reach with direct sales coverage in North America and worldwide, while AFC-Holcroft Europe serves major industrial markets in Germany, France, and other European locations. AFC-Holcroft’s Asian Operations manages partners in China, India, South Korea, and other countries in the region, and the company also extends into markets in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, Russia, and Spain, through relationships with partners, many of whom have manufacturing capability. For more information, contact media@afc-holcroft.com." June 30, 2016.

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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 June 30, 2016.

A few examples include:

ATP

Where Are They Now? Don Longenette. Last week we informed you of how Don Longenette a very well known figure in the worldwide heat treating industry had left his position at international heat treater Bodycote. We can now say that Don is working with a company by the name of Abrasive Form of Bloomingdale, Illinois where he is Director of Facility Operations. Abrasive Form is a manufacturer of metal component parts including turbine blades, vanes, shrouds, rotors and sprockets which was acquired by private equity firm Calvert Street Capital Partners less than a year ago. It is interesting that the CEO of Abrasive Form is another ex Bodycote fellow by the name of Mike Sobieski. June 30, 2016.

Ipsen "Stuff". Well according to this news item furnace builder Ipsen is shipping a heck of a lot of new furnace systems to various parts of the US. June 29, 2016.

"In recent months, Ipsen has shipped 11 heat-treating systems across the U.S. to eight different states ranging from California to Massachusetts. This equipment will be used to process parts for companies in the Aerospace, Energy, Commercial Heat Treating and Coating industries. Among the equipment was a TITAN® H6 vacuum furnace, which was rented to fill a company’s immediate need for increased capacity. Two other TITAN systems were shipped with Ipsen’s PdMetrics™ software platform, which provides advanced predictive maintenance and connects customers to critical information they need to optimize operations and minimize unplanned downtime. These recent equipment shipments also included a horizontal MetalMaster® vacuum furnace with a 72” W x 156” D x 92” H (1,829 mm x 3,962 mm x 2,337 mm) radiation-shielded hot zone. This custom vacuum furnace system delivers cleanliness and uniform cooling for efficient, high-quality results. Other furnaces shipped included VFS® HEQ (external quench) and HIQ (internal quench) furnaces, as well as TITAN LT (low temperature) furnaces and H2-, H6- and H8- sized furnaces from Ipsen’s TITAN line. In addition to multiple vacuum furnaces, Ipsen also shipped a complete atmosphere heat-treating system designed to provide increased flexibility and help streamline production. This system included an ATLAS integral quench batch furnace and its ancillary equipment: temper, washer, loader, endo generator and load table."

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Bodycote/Covington, Georgia, USA. We have been hearing for some time how Bodycote has made a major investment in this facility, now we can see the official press release. June 29, 2016.

"Bodycote, the world’s largest thermal processing services provider, is pleased to announce that its new heat treatment plant in Covington, GA is now open. The brand new 60,0002ft facility, established to replace the existing Conyers plant, will primarily serve automotive and general industrial customers, offering all of the processes and capabilities which had been offered at the Conyers location as well as the addition of ferritic nitrocarburizing. At more than double the size of the plant it replaces, the new Covington facility immediately increases the capacity available to serve the Georgia and Florida marketplaces with a wide range of heat treatment processes. This investment is part of Bodycote’s further expansion in the Southeast USA. Bodycote is committed to offering world-class heat treating services and is investing in improvements as part of an ongoing strategy to provide the best possible capabilities, mix and geographical network to better serve customers."

Bluewater

Paper Chart Recorders-History? A call from a large captive heat treater caused us to reflect on how the largest change in the heat treating industry has been in the area of controls. Burners become a little more efficient, gas quenching keeps improving but controls-now this area has seen radical changes far more than anything else in the industry. For instance the captive heat treat we just referenced contacted us because they rightfully felt it was time to replace their paper chart recorders with electronic data-logging. Do you remember these paper chart recorders you see below? They have largely gone the way of the dinosaur having been replaced by video recorders which are cheaper, the data can't be altered, have no paper or pens to be replaced, are more accurate and a damn lot easier to read. Yes CQI-9 and other certifications demand these changes but at the end of the day the new video recorders are just plain better. So when was the last time we quoted a paper recorder? Probably about 10 years ago if you can believe it and we don't miss them in the slightest (although calibrating them with a hammer and screwdriver we miss). June 28, 2016.

Crio

The Induction World. A reader sent us this summary of the number of Induction systems for heating applications currently in use in the world. We will stress that this is mainly for heat treating applications as opposed to melting applications. As you can see the USA is estimated to account for a third of the systems in use around the world with suppliers EFD and GH Group providing 20% of these systems. Worth adding is that Inductoheat is generally considered to be the largest supplier of induction heating systems in the world. June 28, 2016.

Eurotherm

Monday Morning Briefing. We will start off the week with people news. First up we see that Jay Hendershot, Plant Manager at the Bodycote plant in Morristown, TN has parted ways with the company after 35 years at this plant. This location was originally part of the Carolina Commercial Group which became part of Bluewater Thermal which was then acquired by Bodycote a few years back. What makes it interesting is that the founding family of Carolina Commercial was the Hendershots. The global Hot Isostatic Pressing community lost a leader and innovator when Carl-Gustaf Hjorth, passed away on May 3, 2016, aged 69. A long-time member of the HIP community, Hjorth is survived by his wife, Christina, their three children and four grandchildren. Hjorth first went to work for the Swedish Institute for Metals Research, later joining ASEA Surahamars Bruk, a steelmaking company, in 1973.  ASEA Powdermet transitioned to ABB Powdermet in 1988 and then became Bodycote Powdermet when Bodycote PLC bought the ABB operation in 1994. Hipping is a very unique form of heat treating with Bodycote being the dominant player who finds it one of their most profitable processes. "Wall Colmonoy is pleased to announce that Nicholas W. Clark has been appointed to the position of President. Reporting to Nicholas will be all Wall Colmonoy business units: Alloy Products, Aerobraze Engineered Technologies, and Franklin Bronze Precision Components LLC. In March 2012 Nicholas started with Wall Colmonoy Limited (UK) as a Process Engineer rising to Deputy Managing Director. In October 2014, he returned to the U.S. as a Director and assumed responsibility for the Alloy Products and Aerobraze Engineered Technologies - Cincinnati business units and later the Finance and Accounting functions".

We don’t know whether outsourcing is becoming more popular or not but recently we have run across a few companies that have decided to send all of the their heat treating out to commercial shops as opposed to doing it in house. The most recent one we have heard about is Kocher & Beck USA Lp, in Suwanee, Georgia who recently sold their heat treating equipment. The company is a supplier of rotary die cutting technology. As we have mentioned several times Heat Treatment Australia is in the process of setting up a new location in the LA, California area. Below we see a photo of the fist furnace being installed.

Century Die Company, LLC., a blow mold specialist in Fremont Ohio, has added to their heat treating capability with a Lucifer Red Devil single chamber furnace.  Model RD7-H21 has a working chamber size of 9”H x 12”L by 21”D and heats to 2200°F. Bodycote shares really got sideswiped last week when the UK voted to leave the EU. Bodycote being based in the UK received the same treatment as most companies in the UK did-a kick in the teeth with the share price dropping over 7% in one day. This is actually better than the average which is small consolation. Ever wonder why everybody makes such a big deal about closed loop cooling systems on vacuum furnaces? This photo from furnace re-builder Mercer Technology tells you why. What you are looking at is the wall of a vacuum furnace which has been cut out to allow cleaning of the water jacket. We have seen some very nice vacuum furnaces destroyed over the years because some bonehead decided to cut a corner and use an “open” style water cooling system. June 27, 2016.

World's Largest Vacuum Furnace. Solar Atmospheres is installing what they claim to be the world's largest commercial vacuum furnace which is being built by Solar Manufacturing. Called "The Beast" we previously mentioned this 48' long unit capable of 150,000 pound loads but as a footnote to the story Roger Jones of Solar posted this video of the assembly of the furnace which we would consider very interesting. June 24, 2016.

European Used Equipment Available. For 19 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. June 27, 2016.

A few examples include:

Ion Heat. We welcome our newest advertiser Ion Heat whose banner ad can be found on the right side of this page. Ion Heat is a company which entered the growing field of Plasma (Ion Nitriding) a few years back and claims to have a far more productive system than others out there. The history of the company is below and we look forward to giving you some details about a brand new North American installation in just a few weeks. June 24, 2016.

“Ion Heat was founded in July 2012. The Company is a spin-off from the commercial heat treater Tratar S.A., a company in Colombia with over 35 years of experience in the heat treatment field. With four plants in two different countries and more than 5000 satisfied customers, Tratar S.A. has repeatedly been awarded for its dedication to quality and service, and recognized for its innovative mentality. In 2010, Ion Heat launched its first GlowTech plasma nitriding equipment prototype which was installed at the mother company Tratar S.A., where it is still in daily use. The company presented its first international sale in 2014, and since the same year it counts with the support from two sales representatives in the US. In 2015, the company extended its sales representation to Europe and Asia”. 

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Don Longenette. A very well known fellow in the worldwide heat treating industry is Mr. Don Longenette who until very recently was Engineering Manager, North America and Asia for commercial heat treater Bodycote. We understand that after over 12 years with the company he recently parted ways with them. Don is a very experienced, competent heat treater who previously worked for the Timken Company in Canton, Ohio. With his experience we would imagine he will stay within the industry. June 23, 2016.

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B.M.I. French vacuum furnace builder B.M.I. has added a new sales rep in the United Kingdom and Ireland, a company by the name of ALMOR Group based in Nottingham, UK. ALMOR has been around for quite some time and the company services and supports vacuum and atmosphere equipment in the UK and Ireland as well as acting as sales reps. B.M.I in turn is part of the Tenova Group which includes a number of furnace manufacturers. June 23, 2016.

Horsburgh & Scott/Cleveland, Ohio. We ran across a short story from AGMA about Horsburgh & Scott in Cleveland, Ohio. The story is below but basically they were congratulating the company on their longevity in the custom gearing industry. The story prompted us to add these notes about this very large in house heat treating department and the enormous capacity they have. Because of the size of the gears being produced by H & S the furnaces have to be sized accordingly which means pit furnaces with a capacity of up to 50,000 pounds which rivals the capacity of any batch furnace in North America or for that matter the world. The largest furnaces were built by Aichelin of Austria a few years back and are a standard pit design which is very common for heat treating of large gears.

Another example of this type of processing can be seen in the bottom two photos you see here. These were taken at a commercial heat treater in Bochum, Germany by the name of Reese and while the furnaces were built by another furnace company, in this case Rhode of Germany the technology and size of the furnaces as well as the parts being processed are very similar. The top two photos show the Horsburgh & Scott installation in Cleveland. June 22, 2016.

"At the recent American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) Annual Meeting, Horsburgh & Scott was presented an award and inducted into the newly created AGMA Hall of Fame for being one of 12 companies out of the 19 AGMA founding members that still remain in the industry today. Horsburgh & Scott was also recently awarded the Century Cup from Gleason Corporation and honorably recognized as a loyal customer of Gleason’s gear manufacturing equipment for more than 100 years. As the industry recognizes Horsburgh & Scott for its monumental achievements, the company is building on its success from the past 130 years and plans to continue to grow as a worldwide leader in gear manufacturing"

Ipsen ATLAS. This press release and the link below will tell you everything you need to know about the Ipsen ATLAS Batch IQ furnace. June 22, 2016.

"Take a close look at the ATLAS integral quench batch system from the comfort of your own desk! This ATLAS Walkaround Video provides an in-depth look at the features, benefits and technological advantages of the ATLAS furnace. It also showcases the inner-workings of the heating chamber, combustion system, quench tank, controls, loader and more – all of which allows the ATLAS to deliver precision and versatility. Watch the ATLAS Walkaround Video at http://bit.ly/M-ATLAS616. "

Sandvik/Sweden. Most everybody in the heat treating industry is familiar with Sandvik/Kanthal electrical heating products. Certainly we have known the name for years but not much beyond that. A recent visit to the company's headquarters in Sweden taught us a lot with all the details below in the form of a summary from Sandvik. Have a look at the photo second from the top-very large elements for a heating application in the aluminum industry and then a couple of photos below we see a small heating element.

On another note while this is not a travel website we have to add a few comments about the country after our first visit. Clean, safe, punctual, beautiful scenery and cities, good looking and friendly people-if we have one complaint about Sweden it would be that the country is expensive. At the risk of boring all of our readers the last two photos show in order the capital, Stockholm and in the last picture our editor in chief Dale Montgomery in the Archipelago off of Gothenburg, Sweden. June 21, 2016.

"At the Monty visit at Sandvik’s unit in Hallstahammar, Sweden, we went through the production of the Kanthal® branded metallic and ceramic resistance  heating elements, panels and systems. (Established in the 1930s, and merged with Sandvik in the 1990’s, Kanthal is today the world-leading brand in the area of heating technology. Its offering includes variety of products for heat treatment furnace - from resistance wire/strip materials and ceramic heating elements up to electrical heating systems and fully assembled modules. They all features values within area of heat in terms of generation, measurement and control of it.)

Amongst many other Kanthal products a range of custom-made metallic radiant tubes from their FeCrAl powder metallurgy alloys Kanthal APM™ or Kanthal APMT™ is being offered. Tubes from these Kanthal alloys outperform NiCr and ceramic tubes in both gas and electric-fired heat treatment units. The secret to the tubes superior performance lies in a high maximum operating temperature 2280°C (1250°C), exceptional resistance to corrosion and oxidation in combination with very good mechanical strength. Remarkable performance compared to NiCr and ceramic tubes has been demonstrated with 1000's of tubes installed in furnaces with high carbon potential atmosphere. In all these types of batch and continuous furnaces used for carburizing, hardening and carbonitriding the use of Kanthal APM or Kanthal APMT Tubes results in trouble free operation and large savings in furnace running costs. A service offering is newly added to the Kanthal portfolio which will strengthen their ability to use the Sandvik Group’s global resources to help solve the customers’ toughest problems with industrial heat.  The new service offering from Kanthal Services includes for example product development,  financial assistance, project management, commissioning services, payback calculations, i.e. from gas to electric conversions, simulation processes before your investment to minimize trial costs and maintenance service contracts".

Left to Right: Harald Roth, Dale Montgomery, Lena Wiig, Johan Imberg, Krister Wickman, Jakub Sartowski

Monday Morning Briefing. We understand that Mark Sowerbutts who was Vice President at AVS in Ayer, MA has left the company and is now working with a company by the name of Desk Top Metals who make 3D modeling systems. AVS makes top end vacuum furnace and vacuum forming systems. As we have mentioned before Heat Treatment Australia is setting up a brand new location in the LA, California area which will include a new JL Becker furnace which is Class 2 AMS 2750 and has the capability of processing stainless steels to H conditions up to 72" long and 5000Lbs. While we are in California why don’t we mention how the Bodycote plant in Vernon has received another approval; "Bodycote’s NADCAP-certified facility in Vernon, California has received special processes approval from AIRBUS Helicopter for heat treatment services. This qualification includes processes such as austenitizing, quenching and tempering".

Another commercial heat treater with NADCAP is Nitrex in Las Vegas; "Nitrex Inc. (Nevada corporation) is pleased to announce the accreditation of its North Las Vegas facility to the Nadcap aerospace quality standard for heat treating. Nadcap is the leading worldwide cooperative program of major companies designed to manage a cost-effective consensus approach to special processes and products and provide continual improvement within the aerospace and automotive industries. "The Nadcap accreditation is another step towards new growth opportunities, as the facility is currently working with several aerospace Primes and Tier 1’s for specific heat treating approvals. In addition to Nadcap, we also maintain AS9100 certification to ensure the highest level of quality that aerospace and defense manufacturers need.” said Joe Beal, Facility Manager. Since its opening in 2009, Nitrex - Nevada has been heat treating for the automotive, oil & gas, heavy equipment and power generation industries. Avdhoot Heat Treat Pvt. Ltd. in the Nasik, India area sent us these photos of a batch IQ installation which they are working away on.

AFC-Holcroft of Wixom, Michigan one of the largest new furnace builders in North America is finding things slower these days like everybody else but they continue to ship a lot of systems. Below we see a Endo Generator all ready to ship and in the second photo part of the company's spare parts department.

Left to Right: Bill Disler, Gord Montgomery

Left to Right: Bill Disler, Jordan Montgomery

Rep firm WG Montgomery Ltd. is pleased to announce that of July 1/2016 they will be repping for heating element company Custom Electric of Wixom, Michigan covering the Canadian market.

Left to Right: Gord Montgomery, Victor Strauss, Jordan Montgomery, Bob Edwards

Our good buddy Randy Rowland of Industrial Furnace Specialties in Justin, Texas is not letting a slow economy hold him back. This long time furnace rebuilder/installer has a brand new building and also recently became a rep for heating element company Custom Electric and controls company UPC. The city of Cleveland, Ohio wants to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 USD/hour from the current $8.10 USD/hour. For any company that relies on a great deal of unskilled labor this would be a killer and this is exactly what Universal Heat Treating in Cleveland is saying; "Michael D'Amato, president of Universal Heat Treating Inc., on East 93rd Street, said his family-owned business has been in Cleveland since 1965 but likely would have to shut down under the higher minimum wage. D'Amato said his company enjoyed a 2.7 percent profit margin last year – but would suffer a 7.7 percent net loss if forced to increase wages to $15 an hour. Moving costs would be too great, forcing the company to shutter its facility after more than 50 years, he said". June 20, 2016.

Ion Nitriding/Ion Heat. We would consider nitriding to be the fastest growing heat treating process out there-mainly gas nitriding but Ion/Plasma Nitriding is seeing a growing fan base also. There is a relatively new supplier of Ion Nitriding technology by the name of Ion Heat who claim to have made some very substantial improvements to current technology. We will be hearing a great deal more about this company in the near future but in the meantime this is what they have to say. June 17, 2016.

"Ion Heat, a company from Colombia, South America, will ship a second unit to a commercial heat treating company in North America in July. Ion Heat has various size units using bi-polar pulse power supplies and hot wall technology. Ion heat has a unique system using shared resources. This patent pending idea is used in the tandem system where there are two bases and two bells. The unit operates using one computer system and one central pump. One side can be loaded and the process started, the other side can then be loaded and heated close to the process temperature. Once the first side starts the cooling process the second side can be put into vacuum and the process started. This unique system can save up to 7 hours per day in process time. Ion Nitriding large loads can take 3-4 hours of heating and 4-5 hours of cooling time. Utilizing the shared resources system improves the efficiency without totally duplicating the system. For further information contact our North American Sales agent: Ray Monahan at rmonahan@htetps.com 864-915-7584. Andrés Bernal at ionheat@ionheat.com 216-452-7011".

"In the first photo below we see Andrés Bernal, President and the ION HEAT team. In the second we see Ray Monahan, US representative and Andrés Bernal, President of ION HEAT in front of the second unit to be exported to North America. In the third we see he gas panel being assembled. All of these pictures are in front of a tendem unit destined for a customer in North America and this system has working dimensions of 1.5 m in diameter and 2.2 m height and has a weight capacity of 6 metric tons".

Andrés Bernal, President and the ION HEAT team.

Monahan, US representative and Andrés Bernal, President of ION HEAT in front of the second unit to be exported to North America

The gas panel being assembled.

Pillar Induction. "Pillar Induction, of Brookfield, Wisconsin is celebrating 50 years of business, serving the thermal processing industry. Pillar takes pride in the fact it has always been on the leading edge of induction technology. Established in 1966, Pillar was based upon the designs of one of the founders, Phil Landis. Phil is still with the company today and is actively involved mentoring the new generation of design engineers. According to Phil, “Pillar’s success is credited to unique industry innovations, especially the development and application of solid state technology for industry requirements and a dedication to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction.”Pillar also manufactures systems for a wide variety of applications including hardening, tempering, annealing, stress relieving, brazing, soldering, warm forming, forging, curing of coatings, extruding, shrink fitting, melting, just to name a few. After five decades of technological advancements in the Induction industry, Pillar is still dedicated to finding ways to utilize the latest advances in power devices and controls. Pillar has been designing and manufacturing induction power supplies using IGBT and MOSFET power devices for the past 30 years. These devices represent the latest technology in power electronics for which Pillar now has a complete range of capabilities, covering sizes from 1 kW to 6000 kW and frequencies of 200 Hz to 400 kHz. Technically oriented, and sales and marketing driven, Pillar was founded on the strength of their people.

The Brookfield facility is home to an expert staff of engineering and manufacturing professionals, excelling in electrical and mechanical design and applications engineering. Pillar’s success is attributable to clearly defining and satisfying the customers’ diverse needs and an on-going commitment to remain an industry leader. Pillar Induction is part of the Ajax Tocco Magnethermic group of companies. Ajax TOCCO is a global leader in the design and manufacture of world-class induction heating and melting equipment for various industries throughout the world. In addition, the group provides a wide range of engineering and aftermarket services including laboratory process development, preventative maintenance, equipment repair and parts, coil repair and installation services. Headquartered in Warren, Ohio, Ajax TOCCO has manufacturing and service locations throughout the United States, Canada, Germany, Poland, Belgium, China, Japan, Thailand, the UK and Mexico. Thomas Illencik, President of Ajax TOCCO, stated “The Pillar brand has a long and respected history.”Pillar Induction, based in Brookfield, WI USA, is a leading supplier of induction heating and melting equipment for the foundry, heat treating, bar and tube (OCTG & API), forging and forming, and vacuum induction melting industries. More information can be found at www.pillar.com June 17, 2016.

Lindberg/MPH, Press Release. "Lindberg/MPH announced the shipment of a Pacemaker® integral quench furnace with an endothermic gas generator to a company in the die forging industry. The Pacemaker® furnace has a maximum temperature rating of 1850°F and work chamber dimensions of 30” W x 48” L x 30” H. The integral quench furnace system provides a total solution for the customer’s heat treating process." June 16, 2016.

Expanite A/S. We have mentioned before how Expanite A/S is some "super, duper" process for hardening of stainless steels. We are not enough of an an expert on this process to comment but their claims are impressive. We would very much welcome comments on this processes and will post them exactly as we receive them.

Expanite A/S. is opening a new treatment center in Germany. "The Danish pioneer within surface hardening of stainless steel Expanite A/S, is opening a new, 1.000 m2 state-of-the-art treatment center and customer service office in Frickenhausen near Stuttgart during the summer 2016. With this center, Expanite will move its business even closer to its customers – and in order to improve the service levels, thereby strengthen Expanite’s position as the preferred choice when it comes to offering wear and corrosion resistance solutions for stainless steel. CEO at Expanite Mr. Thomas Abel Sandholdt states: “We chose the Stuttgart area as hub for servicing the German and central European markets because of the nearness to these central markets and customers, and since the location offers an ideal platform to absorb the ongoing strong growth that is in the pipeline for the coming months and years. Expanite has already proven itself towards German customers as a very committed and reliable supplier - with unprecedented short lead-times alongside a superior product quality and performance – and now we can improve beyond this level. Further commercial expansion plans towards Switzerland, Austria, France, Benelux and Italy will also benefit significantly from our new facility in Frickenhausen." The treatment center in Stuttgart will be Expanite's third center, adding to the existing centers in Denmark and Ohio/US, and will provide customers with complementary services backup." June 16, 2016.

Construction phase at the Expanite heat treatment center in Frickenhausen

Ajax TOCCO/Press Release. "Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic recently shipped a 1000 kW PowerZone billet heating system to LC Manufacturing, located in Lake City, MI. The 1000 kW, 1.3 – 3.3 kHz system is designed to heat 1.06” to 2.875” diameter x 6.0” to 20.0” long carbon steel billets to forging temperatures. The system includes automatic changing of frequency for differing billet sizes. A PLC with touch screen display featuring ForgeView Plus Software is also included. The unit is loaded by a vibratory bowl feeder.

Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic®, a subsidiary of ParkOhio Holdings Corp.®, designs and manufactures world-class induction heating and melting equipment for various industries and applications throughout the world. In addition, the Company provides a range of services including laboratory process development, preventive maintenance, equipment repair and parts, coil repair facilities, and installation services through its locations in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. www.AjaxTocco.com" June 16, 2016.

Metex Heat Treat/Brampton, Canada. While we mentioned this furnace order some months back and have included regular updates about the installation here is the official press release now that the furnace is in operation. June 15, 2016.

CAN-ENG Furnaces International Limited has installed and commissioned a 6000 lb/hour Continuous Mesh Belt Atmosphere Furnace System for Metex Heat Treating Limited, of Brampton, Ontario, Canada. This new system was commissioned for the hardening and tempering of high volume fasteners and includes a computerized loading system, mesh belt controlled atmosphere hardening furnace, oil quench system, mesh belt tempering furnace, pre and post wash systems and a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system integrating enhanced features to support compliance with CQI-9 guidelines. The continuous quench and tempering system incorporates enhanced energy reduction design features achieved through the benefits of recuperative burner technology providing improved system efficiencies and reduced emissions. Founded in 1983, by Surjit Bawa P.Eng, Metex Heat Treating Limited serves high volume, Tier 1 Automotive manufacturers of stampings, fasteners and final assemblies in the Ontario, Quebec, Ohio and Michigan markets. From its three plants in Brampton, Ontario, Canada Metex processes over 60 million pounds of heat treated product each year”.

SAFED Laboratory/Mödling, Austria. "Customers and business partners from all over Europe attended the grand opening of the new SAFED lab furnace plant at AICHELIN in Mödling. They had the opportunity to learn all about the test facility on-site, as well as attend informative lectures. www.aichelin.com. The new SAFED wire mesh belt lab furnace will be used as a test facility for planned customer projects. Dr. Peter Schobesberger, CEO of AICHELIN Holding, and Dr. Thomas Dopler, CEO of Aichelin Ges.m.b.H, expressed their pleasure at the successful development of the SAFED location in Mödling. Also participating in the inauguration were Sonja Zimmermann, M.A., member of the Supervisory Board and the owner family of Berndorf AG, and Peter Pichler, Chairman of Berndof AG.

Tradition Links; Operating test facilities is a long-standing tradition at SAFED. At SAFED Suisse in Delémont, over the last 30 years more than 1,100 customers have taken advantage of testing the heat treatment of their products on-site. In 2012, the sister company AICHELIN in Lower Austria took over the production and sales of new SAFED plants. Which is why it was time to set up a laboratory furnace in Mödling, as well. The plant had already been used for three years by SAFED Suisse. It was updated to state-of-the-art technology for operation at the new location.

1,200 Degrees Maximum Temperature; Lab furnace type 12Bd20 is suitable for various heat treatment processes, such as bright annealing, hardening under protective gas atmosphere, carburizing as well as case-hardening, artificial aging, and annealing. With a maximum load of 30 kilos per running meter of belt, the furnace can reach a maximum temperature of up to 1,200 degrees Celsius. The processing time is between 7.5 to 60 minutes. The gas supply can consist of either nitrogen, endothermic gas, hydrogen, natural gas, or air. In addition to the technical features, topics such as plant safety and after-sales services were also of high interest during the grand opening in Mödling. Furthermore, customers were introduced to the new FOCOS 4.0 process control system. It allows for simple analysis of the heat treatment processes in a matter of seconds. Department head Martin Preisl presented the latest developments in SAFED wire mesh belt furnaces and gave the visitors a tour of the production halls, where numerous AICHELIN and SAFED plants are ready to be shipped.

About AICHELIN and SAFED; The Swiss company SAFED has been specializing in the development and production of heat treatment plants for serial parts made of ferrous and non-ferrous metals in the most diverse of industries since 1936. SAFED has been part of the AICHELIN Group since 2007, a global technology leader for high-quality industrial plants for thermal and thermochemical heat treatment of metal components. Larger SAFED plants have been planned, designed, and manufactured at the AICHELIN Ges.m.b.H. location in Austria since 2013. This provides additional benefits such as international know-how, diverse solutions, and a highly efficient sales force and service team for all SAFED customers". June 15, 2016.

Heat Treating Market Studies. Probably a couple of times a month we get e-mails promising to give us the most up to date study on the heat treating industry anybody could wish for. The most recent one which can be found at http://www.newsmaker.com.au/release/pdf/id/61895 provided us with this summary (which we have condensed).

"Global Metal Heat Treatment Market 2016-2020 a new research reports in its store. The analysts forecast global metal heat treatment market to grow at a CAGR of 6.16% during the period 2016-2020. One trend that is boosting market growth is the use of lightweight materials in automobile manufacturing. Stronger emission regulations and requirements for energy efficiency will lead to the production of lightweight vehicles in the next 20 years. For instance, the Mitsubishi concept XR-PHEV 2 is a lightweight SUV. This new PHEV is lightweight, compact, and highly fuel efficient. By reducing the weight of the vehicle, the amount of conventional steel used is significantly affected. It is expected that by the end of 2050, only one-fifth of the total materials used to manufacture a car will be conventional steel. High tensile steel and light metals (aluminum and magnesium) will gain importance. This factor will influence metal casting in the automobile industry for treating metals such as aluminum and high tensile steel. The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global metal heat treatment market for 2016-2020. The revenue calculated is based on the demand from end-user industries.

Key players in the global metal heat treatment market: Bluewater Thermal, General Metal, Keith, and Thermex. Other Prominent Vendors in the market are: American Metal Treating (Amt), East-Lind Heat Treat, Engineered Heat Treat, Houston Heat Treat, Pacific Metallurgical, Paulo, Thermtech, and Tri-J Heat Treating. Further, the report states that one challenge that could hamper market growth is stiff competition from regional players. There are more than 250 furnace companies worldwide that manufacture metal heat treatment equipment, 10% of which have very little influence on the market because of their low technical and production capabilities".

Maybe this is a good report-we have no idea since we have never considered it money well spent to buy one of these reports but generally we find these studies are all over the map and include metal refining, steel making and even some real heat treating (which is of course carburizing) which means they are so generalized as to be pretty well meaningless. To take it one step further it always appears that these reports are generated by individuals searching the Internet for numbers who have never, ever set foot in a heat treat. We will say though that growth of over 6%/year over the next four years which this company forecasts sounds good to us, so lets hope that these guys know what they are talking about. Having said that though the fact that the report mentions prominent heat treaters and includes Tri-J out in California on this list makes us wonder. Nice people, nice company Tri-J but one of the smaller heat treaters in North America.

Now here is another report which is interesting but whether it is accurate again we can't say but as usual we are skeptics. Have a look at the total value and then the relative market share which is interesting. "According to the latest research study released by Technavio, the global metal heat treatment market is projected to reach over USD 89 billion in revenue by 2020. Global metal heat treatment market by end-users in 2015 this company estimates at 32.23% for aerospace, 30.14% for automotive, 15.76% for industrial and 21.96% for others". We would have thought automotive was the largest by % but there is a slim chance that we are incorrect. June 14, 2016.

Advanced Heat Treat Corp. "Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT) would like to announce the addition of the following team member to their management staff: Janet Ekstrom has joined the Advanced Heat Treat Corp. team as Corporate Controller. Janet brings over 34 years of experience in financial and management roles. She earned her BA in Accounting from the University of Northern Iowa and was previously the Controller and Vice President of Finance at Kryton Engineered Metals. In her new role with AHT, Janet will be responsible for managing accounting, IT and support staff, while contributing to the overall strategic business plan and objectives for the company. Some of her responsibilities include implementation and execution of continuous improvements, financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting and more! “We are excited that Janet is joining the AHT family and are looking forward to her leadership and contributions to our management team,” stated Mike Woods, Senior VP. Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT) is a recognized leader in providing heat treat services and superior metallurgical solutions to companies across the globe." June 14, 2016.

Monday Morning Briefing. We will start off with a press release from Mercer Technologies about a new hire. "Mercer Technologies, Inc. is pleased to announce that Mr. Chris Benash has joined our field service operation as Senior Field Service Engineer.  Chris has a distinguished history in equipment engineering and maintenance with major heat treat companies such as Bodycote and Texas Heat Treat.  Chris will be responsible for a variety of projects including vacuum, atmosphere, induction and controls maintenance, trouble shooting, relocation and major rebuilds.  Mercer Technologies, Inc. is the leading provider of heat treat furnace repair, maintenance, rebuild and relocation including  used furnaces for sale". While most people think of ALD Vacuum Systems for vacuum carburizing they are now also in the vacuum nitriding business. Recently they installed two units (size 121218) at the ALD Thermal Treatment in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico which are now in full production with another one currently under construction for the ALD facility in Port Huron, Michigan with plans for it being commissioned in early 2017. The furnaces are manufactured by ALD, France where the company has another unit installed.   The picture below shows the units in Mexico a few months back.

SKF USA. Amongst the largest captive heat treaters in the world many are involved in the bearing industry with SKF being one of the largest. A number of the SKF facilities in North America have in house heat treating departments and this news item tells us about some of the changes. We have a few comments to add to this press release. The Hanover, PA plant mentioned here has an extremely impressive heat treat department which includes two roller hearth furnace lines with salt quenching (photos below). This will remain in place. As an unfortunate footnote we will add that this department had a death a few years back as a result of an explosion in one of the salt tanks. The Kaydon Ring facility will obviously close along with the heat treating department. The Georgia location will remain and grow as mentioned below.

"The "Kaydon Ring & Seal, an aerospace parts factory that has operated in Baltimore for nearly a century, will close within two years, when the plant's 222 jobs will be moved to Pennsylvania, the parent company said Thursday. SKF USA Inc., based in Lansdale, Pa., said it is consolidating manufacturing in the United States, where it employs about 3,500 people, and closing the plant in Baltimore's Pigtown and another in San Diego. Work being done at a factory in Hanover, Pa., will be moved to a Georgia facility, and the Baltimore production will shift to the Hanover plant, the company said. Manufacturing at the San Diego site will move to existing sites in Europe. All Baltimore employees will be offered jobs at the Hanover plant, said Monique Turner, a spokeswoman for SKF USA, a division of SKF, a Sweden-based global maker of bearings, seals and lubrication systems for the aerospace, oil and gas, and railroad industries, as well as for the military. Hanover, Pa., is about 90 minutes from Kaydon's Baltimore plant at 1600 Wicomico St. SKF purchased Kaydon Corp. in 2013. The Kaydon Ring & Seal factory, which makes industrial seals and rings for the aerospace industry, has been operating since 1917. The changes, to occur over the next two years, are expected to save SKF about $27 million. The Swedish company had $9.3 billion in sales last year. "These activities will strengthen our position in North America, making us more competitive and better able to support our customers by improving the utilization of our manufacturing assets," said Luc Graux, president of bearing operations, in the company's announcement. "They also provide the foundation for investments in the further development of our manufacturing processes and technologies."

Commercial heat treater Bodycote in Vernon, CA has received another process approval. "Bodycote’s NADCAP-certified facility in Vernon, California has received special processes approval from AIRBUS Helicopter for heat treatment services. This qualification includes processes such as austenitizing, quenching and tempering". Heat Treating Services Unlimited (HTSU to the common people) in South Carolina is continuing to grow and is now adding refractory work and combustion upgrades to their long list of capabilities. In addition the company has hired two more people, Michael Perkins, Combustion Engineer and Tod Davis a long time refractory guy. This gives HTSU three crews for furnace work which is pretty impressive. June 13, 2016.

Wirco To Resume Pouring Metal. May 20/2016 Wirco Incorporated suffered a fire at their Champaign, Illinois Foundry. This morning we were privy to a discussion with Mr. Chad Wright, President of the company who provided us with an update on the state of the foundry. The fire whose cause has not yet been determined started at approximately 8:50 PM the evening of May 20th and was extinguished at 3:00 AM the morning of May 21. The fire started in the "burn-off" room located in the northwestern portion of the building and was limited to a fairly small area which included the metallurgical lab, the CNC center and tooling storage. Other areas of the plant were affected by smoke but due to the ongoing efforts of over 100 individuals working around the clock areas outside of the fire have now returned to normal. Monday June 13th finishing operations and some casting operations will return to full production. While the fire effected some production areas all fabricating which is done in Avilla, IN is not effected as well as the "tubular" product division which produces products such as radiant tubes which is also unaffected. The metallurgical lab has been replaced on a temporary basis and is now back in operation. To maintain production of cast products Wirco has already made and is implementing plans for multi-shift metal pouring to produce castings to their usual high quality standard. While some pattern tooling was lost in the fire hundreds of their patterns were unaffected. New patterns are being made at a rapid pace to replace any that were lost and a new state of the art pattern shop is being constructed in Wirco Plant 2 (Avilla, Indiana) with the latest and greatest machining equipment available. Next week we will be interviewing Mr. Chad Wright who will provide more details. Wirco is one of the largest companies in North America providing high temperature, alloy components for the heat treating and steel industries. June 10, 2016.

Ipsen "Taking Control" Seminar. "Ipsen experts will be traveling to the Los Angeles, CA (July 12) and Dallas, TX (July 14) areas to teach a one-day seminar, Taking Control: Maintenance and Aerospace Compliance Strategies for Heat Treatment. In these seminars, you will learn how to master the nuances of maintenance and Aerospace compliance. You will also be able to take part in an open-forum discussion on your specific maintenance challenges in both the morning and afternoon. Specific topics covered during the seminar include:

  • Vacuum and atmosphere maintenance best practices
  • Optimizing operations with predictive maintenance
  • Achieving and maintaining Aerospace compliance

Ipsen has been providing training to the heat treatment industry for 30+ years, both on-site at Ipsen U and at customers’ facilities. These local seminars carry on the traditions of these trainings, teaching you best practices for regaining control of your equipment and offering expert insight into specific issues you might be experiencing on a daily basis. Each seminar is $60 per registration, including meals and handouts. Additional locations will also be available soon. Learn more and register now at www.IpsenUSA.com/Seminar-Registration-Form.

About Ipsen. Ipsen designs and manufactures industrial vacuum and atmosphere heat-treating systems and supervisory controls systems for a wide variety of industries, including Aerospace, Automotive, Commercial Heat Treating, Energy and Medical. With production locations in America, Europe and Asia, along with representation in 34 countries, Ipsen is committed to providing 360° support for customers worldwide. Choosing Ipsen means choosing a partner in success." June 10, 2016.

Used Heat Treat Equipment-What’s Hot? With the new furnace business being down substantially this year compared to the past few years it is a given that the used furnace business is also down and by large margins. Used equipment sales of large production furnaces such as pushers and mesh belt lines are hurting the most, carbottoms, rotary hearths and even batch IQ furnaces are also down. Pretty much the only areas that continue to see strong demand these days are specialty items such as nitriding furnaces and as always vacuum furnaces. Some things never change, 20 years ago positive pressure vacuum furnaces 2 bar and up were in high demand and after all these years a good positive pressure vacuum furnace still continues to sell almost as soon as it hits the market. As an example if we had 10 good condition 6 bar vacuum furnaces we could sell them today (as long as they were priced within reason), 10 good condition large batch IQ furnaces would take some time. June 9, 2016.

A & M Heat Treating Inc./Mississauga, Canada. Commercial heat treater A & M was started almost 25 years ago and over that period the company has seen tremendous growth, so much so that the company is now one of the larger commercial heat treats in Canada and well up the list in North America. While they offer a number of different processes they  are probably best known for their vacuum heat treating capabilities which includes vacuum carburizing and hardening in furnaces with up to 20 bar quenching. We mention them today because the company will shortly be adding another vacuum furnace, this one a large 6 bar quenching unit. June 9, 2016.

Where Are They Now? Greg McFee. Over the years Greg has worked with companies such as Bodycote, Thermal Tech Ltd. in Tallmadge, Ohio (which he owned) and most recently at Desert Fire out in Phoenix, Arizona. We lost touch with Greg a little while back but it appears that he is  President at Thermal Consultants in Massillon, Ohio which advises both commercial and captive heat treating companies. June 8, 2016.

Bodycote Periodic Table. In this news item from International heat treater Bodycote we see a "lighter" side to the company which we have never seen before. June 8, 2016.

"Creative people have long invented metals with mythical or magical qualities. Fictional metals have appeared in classical myths, books, films, comics and computer games for many years. Bodycote has a long history of working with various metals to increase their performance and meet their customers’ requirements. Sometimes, though, in the myriad worlds of fiction, real metals just don’t do what the author needs. Popular culture has given us an extensive list of metals and alloys with fantastical qualities. In addition to Marvel Comics, whose ‘vibranium’ and ‘adamantium’ are probably some of the best known due to recent cinematic releases, fictional metals have appeared in popular science fiction like Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who, TV shows such as Game of Thrones and the X Files, literature like the Lord of The Rings and video games such as the popular Minecraft franchise. Explore all these fascinating materials and many more in the Interactive Periodic Table of Fictional Metals. Visit the Interactive Periodic Table of Fictional Metals at http://www.bodycote.com/fictional-metals

Bodycote/Vasteras, Sweden. As previously mentioned the dominant player in the Swedish heat treating market is Bodycote with I believe a total of 7 facilities in the country-we have profiled 3 of the plants to date and this will mark the last location in the country that we are going to mention. This plant features a combination of completely automated sealed quench furnaces (batch IQ furnaces to North Americans), Vacuum Nitriding, Induction and a rather unusual carbottom style furnace with a water quench which looks exactly like a rather nice indoor swimming pool as you can see below. While the whole set up is well planned what most impressed us is how the batch furnaces are set up. As mentioned these are completely automated but what makes them rather unique is that the furnaces themselves are in an enclosed room with all loading and unloading done outside this area and transferred to the furnaces through an opening in the wall. The basic idea is that heat and smoke are kept separate from where most of the employees work and from what we witnessed it seems to work. Rather an ingenious idea which we have only seen once before in Japan. June 7, 2016.

Gord Montgomery, Tomas Klemets, General Manager, AGI, Sweden North, Stefan Lundin, Technical Manager

Sistem Teknik/Sottri Engineering. In Europe we see a reasonably large fish in the furnace building business Sistem Teknik of Turkey swallowing up a smaller fish Sottri Engineering of Italy. Sistem Teknik is an impressive furnace builder who seems to cover the gauntlet of furnace styles, everything from mesh belt systems to vacuum furnaces to press quenching systems (the picture below shows their plant a couple of years back). Sottri we know little about except that they seem to specialize in rotary hearth furnaces for both the forging and heat treating industries. June 7, 2016.

Bodycote/Hudiksvall, Sweden. If we had to summarize this plant in 50 words or less we would say “All Indians-no Chiefs”. The dominant player in the Swedish heat treat market is Bodycote with several locations, however Sweden is a reasonably large country with industry spread over a large area making quick turn around times rather difficult even for a company as large as Bodycote. Some very bright individual at the company came up with the idea several years ago of setting up a small plant in Hudiksvall close to several large customers but with a very low overhead. The end result was a facility with four new, modern furnaces capable of Ion Nitriding and Vacuum Nitriding, with four very qualified furnace operators and no local management  team. All requirements such as QC, Invoicing, Payroll, and HR are handled from other locations in the country allowing this plant to do what they do best-process  parts. In the photos below we see Mikael Fallstrom, VP, Bodycote AGI Division, Sweden, Harald Roth of KGO and Dale and Gord Montgomery. June 6, 2016.

Paulo Products/Rocky Glenn. Commercial heat treater Paulo Products, probably the third largest commercial heat treater in North America has a new Operations Manager at their facility in Kansas City, Missouri. June 6, 2016.

“I am pleased to announce that the new Paulo Kansas City Division Operations Manager is Rocky Glenn, effective May 23rd.  Rocky has an MBA and BS from Southwestern College (KS), and was a Sergeant/NCO in the US Marine Corps serving for 9 years.” – Tee Rassieur, Plant Manager. Rocky’s professional manufacturing experience includes being plant manager at the Greenbrier Corporation, where he led a turnaround situation for a $20MM rail car repair facility. He has also held various production leadership positions within the Eaton Corporation at several locations. His previous positions include Business Team Leader, Lean Manager, Continuous Improvement Manager, and most recently as Fabrication Manager at the Eaton facility in Omaha, NE”.

Nitriding Symposium 4th Edition. “Nitrex Metal, along with United Process Controls, is pleased to announce that the 4th edition of Nitriding Symposium (NS4) will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, USA from November 17-18, 2016. Nitriding Symposium is a triennial event that attracts metallurgists, engineers, plant supervisors, and manufacturing managers who deal with nitriding/nitrocarburizing in their manufacturing environment, and provides a bridge between academics, researchers, and the industry. More event details are available at www.nitriding.info.  We are inviting key academics, providers, and end-users of nitriding and nitrocarburizing from all over the world to present new developments and different technologies that are available or that are being explored, along with the topics below:

• Nitriding/Nitrocarburizing technologies & new advances
• Applications & case studies
• Nitriding stainless steels
• Wear, fatigue and corrosion resistance
• Distortion control
• Equipment developments
• Process controls
• Atmosphere sensors
• Plant integration and automation
• Simulation software

This is your chance to submit your work for presentation at NS4. The call for abstract is now open until August 26, 2016. Participants are invited to submit an abstract online at http://www.nitriding.info/register-now/speaker/. June 6, 2016.

United Tool & Die Company/Hartford, CT. Captive heat treater United Tool & Die in Connecticut, USA is updating their in house heat treating department and this includes replacing some older equipment. June 6, 2016.

“Wisconsin Oven Corporation announced the shipment of two industrial ovens to United Tool & Die Company in West Hartford, CT. An electrically heated draw batch oven with a pitted manual quench tank will be used for aluminum solution heat treatment of parts. An electrically heated enhanced duty walk-in batch oven will be used for aluminum aging and annealing of parts. The new equipment is replacing antiquated furnaces at the customer’s facility that were difficult to keep certified and consumed a lot of power to heat”.

Heat Treat Safety. It can never be emphasized enough that heat treating can be a dangerous business. The news item below from Hampton, Virginia USA is an example of how accidents can happen so easily and quickly. June 3, 2016.

“The administrator of the estate of a man killed in a Hampton workplace accident three years ago has filed a $12.5 million wrongful death lawsuit against the designer of the equipment he was trying to repair when he died. Aleksandr L. "Sasha" Berelovich, 54, a maintenance mechanic for Craft Machine Works, was crushed to death as he attempted to fix the door of a large industrial oven on the company's premises at Copeland Industrial Park. Berelovich, of Newport News, was an immigrant from Lithuania who had been working for Craft since 2004. The lawsuit, filed in Hampton Circuit Court in March but moved to U.S. District Court in Newport News in April, contends that the equipment's designers — Flinn and Dreffein Engineering — made a flawed and unsafe system. The oven, which Craft Machine Works used to heat steel on-site, is referred to in the complaint as a "car bottom heat treat furnace."

As Berelovich repaired the system, the complaint says, he "found himself trapped between the counterweight and the support travel structure." A co-worker saw he was in "imminent danger," but was "helpless to provide any assistance because the mechanism to stop the machine was not within reach." Though the co-worker ran to the "kill switch," the complaint says, "by the time he got to it, (Berelovich) had been crushed in the machine." The lawsuit was filed by Virginia Beach attorney Robert Haddad and Hampton attorney John Bane, on behalf of Douglas Hornsby, a lawyer who is serving as the administrator of Berelovich's estate. The complaint contends the oven system should have had "an enclosure or guard around the counterweight guide tower" to prevent injury, as well as "a kill switch within easy reach of the area where someone might find themselves in trouble." Instead, the complaint asserts, designers "made a decision" not to include the safety enclosures and placed the kill switch "far removed from where someone might get injured."

Berelovich's employer, Craft Machine Works, was not listed as a defendant in the case. Under workers' compensation law, the families of workers killed in industrial accidents cannot generally sue the direct employer for resulting damages. Aside from Flinn and Dreffein Engineering, the complaint also lists as a defendant F&D Furnace, which later bought the engineering firm. The suit also names three other companies that now have ownership interest in the firm: FCE LLC, of Pennsylvania, and two Italian firms, Olivotto Ferre and Danieli Centro Combustion. Several lawyers representing those defendants — including attorneys with the Norfolk law firm of Willcox and Savage and the Greensboro, N.C., law firm of Ellis & Winters — could not be reached for comment late last week. The defendants have not yet responded to the allegations in court, but have filed various motions asking the plaintiffs for more details. Among other things, for example, they want proof of who actually designed and installed the equipment, when it was installed, and any warranties that covered it.

According to a Hampton Police Division report into the accident, it was early in the day on March 27, 2013, when Berelovich was asked to fix the faulty oven door. A co-worker and witness told investigators that Berelovich turned down an offer to use lift equipment to get access to it. "He said, 'No, I can climb up there,' " the employee told police. About 9 a.m., after working on the door's toggle switch, Berelovich signaled to another worker to push a button to remotely open it, the police report said. The worker did that, but soon saw that Berelovich "was in a dangerous area where the oven door counterweight would cause harm to him." The co-worker said he "tried to stop the counterweight from descending on (Berelovich), but was too late," leaving Berelovich caught "between a steel beam and the weight." "I tried to get (the) counterweight off but it would not work," the man told police, saying he had to use the bypass switch to finally move it. He estimated the weight at between 500 and 600 pounds. Berelovich was pronounced dead on the scene. According to his obituary in the Daily Press, Berelovich was born in Ukraine, grew up in Lithuania and came to the United States in 1992. The family described him as smart, kind and outgoing. "He enjoyed art, technology, boating, writing poetry, and most of all, spending time with his family," the obituary stated. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Natalie Berelovich, his parents, brother, two grown daughters, two grandsons and several other relatives and friends”.

Hauck Heat Treatment/Anderstorp, Sweden. Hauck is the commercial heat treating division of Netherlands based Aalberts Industries and one of the largest heat treaters in the world-certainly amongst the top five globally. Hauck has always been a class operation with plants all over Europe and North America and the facility we saw yesterday would fit the bill. It was built in 1990 and acquired by Aalberts roughly 10 years ago and you certainly aren’t going to find quench oil on the floors, old alloy baskets in the backyard or smoke billowing out of the windows. The plant offers vacuum hardening and vacuum nitriding out of quite new furnaces which include several built by Schmetz, Ipsen and KGO-as a matter of fact we were able to witness the final touches on a very large Ipsen 6 bar quenching unit which is scheduled to go into production in just one week. Major customers for the plant include Volvo and Atlas Copco and the entire operation is run by a real nice fellow by the name of Lasse Siirtola who is Operations Manager. In terms of number employees it is not large at 15 but since the operation only offers absolutely top end heat treating we would imagine that the sales figures are impressive. June 2, 2016.

Harald Roth, KGO, Lasse Siirtola, Operations Manager, Gord Montgomery

Where Are They Now? Ismail Vahora. Ismail is a very qualified metallurgist whom we have run across a number of times over the years most recently at Dayton Progress Corporation in Ohio. Things changed at Dayton Progress and Ismail very recently accepted a position at ALD Thermal Treatment in Port Huron, Michigan as senior metallurgist. The ALD plant in Port Huron is a top notch facility concentrating on vacuum carburizing of transmission components and is quite possibly the largest single location commercial heat treater in North America. This certainly looks like a good fit to us. June 2, 2016.

HTSE Coference, India. "We are happy to report to you about a very successful event, International Conference and Exhibition on Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering in concurrence with Automotive Materials and Manufacturing which was conducted on May 12 to 14th 2016  at Chennai , India. This was Organised by ASM International Chennai Chapter. The event was very successful, more than 300 delegates attended the conference. There were 52 exhibitors from Heat Treatment equipment manufacturers, Service providers and many Auto component manufacturers. Chennai being one of the nodal auto Industrial place there was large number of visitors . The Inauguration of exhibition and   Conference was done by Mr. Sivanesan , Vice President Quality & Materials department from Ashok Leyland ltd. The Valedictory function Chief guest was Mr. Rajamani Director from  Simpson Amalgamation group , and the Guest of honor was Dr. Shivakumar , Director from CVRDE. There were six invited papers and fifty technical papers were presented in parallel session. The delegates from all over the world USA, Europe, Australia , UK  and Singapore attended. We are enclosing some photos of the event.For more details please go through www.htsechennai.com." June 2, 2016.

Bodycote/Angered, Sweden. The two photos we showed you yesterday were taken at the Bodycote (commercial heat treating) facility in Angered, Sweden which is close to the city of Gothenburg a large port on the western coast of Sweden. The Swedish market for commercial heat treating is estimated at 40 million euros/year and the captive market which includes in house heat treaters such as Volvo, SKF, Scania, Parker Hannifin, Atlas Copco and others would account for another 120 million euros/year. Commercial heat treating is dominated by two players with Bodycote being one and this location is the largest Bodycote facility in the country and also the head office for Bodycote, Sweden. The plant was built in 1990, expanded in 1998 and expanded again in 2008. Processes offered include carburizing, nitrocarburizing, vacuum nitriding, induction and some salt capacity. As far as equipment goes it is all top notch, fairly new and includes 7 Ipsen T-11 sealed quench furnaces, 2 Ipsen T-4 furnaces with salt quenching, a KGO vacuum nitriding unit, an Induction system and several custom built Ipsen nitrocarburizing units. What makes the plant especially interesting is that everything is completely automated-all of the batch units are “lights out” with literally nobody working the midnight shift although the plant has roughly 45 employees. Is heat treating in Sweden any different than any other place in the world? Of course not but we have to say that Sweden is meticulous about cleanliness, organization and modern and this is reflected at this plant and every other one we have seen so far in Sweden. We were suitably impressed. June 1, 2016.

Gord Montgomery, Harald Roth, KGO, Thomas Grivander, General Manager, Mikael Eisenbeisser, Technical Director/Purchasing Manager

Mikael Eisenbeisser, Techincial Director/Purchasing Manager, Gord Montgomery

PhoenixTM Order. "A major US aerospace manufacturer has placed an order for two PhoenixTM ‘hot box’ systems for monitoring the temperature profile of aluminum ingots during the reheat operation, prior to the hot mill. Each system is embedded into the ingot and gathers temperature data from thermocouples set deep within the product. As the reheat process is long duration and high temperature, the thermal barrier has to be evaporative (evaporating water protects the data logger), and because the ingot/slab rotates through 180° as it enters and exits the furnace, the system has to be engineered so that it does not shed any cooling water when rotating as this could seriously affect its performance in the furnace. A 20 channel data logger with RF capability will transmit the temperature data out of the reheat furnace to a PC running PhoenixTM ‘Thermal View’ software which allows full analysis of the complete reheat cycle.  For more information visit www.phoenixtm.com" June 1, 2016.

Expanite Process. Want to learn all about the low temperature Expanite process for corrosion resistant materials? The founders will be giving a presentation in Malta in June (Malta is a really cool place by the way but it is a bit of a haul for most of us). June 1, 2016.

“Expanite sponsors and speaks at Symposium on Surface Hardening of Corrosion Resistant Materials held at the University of Malta from 22 to 24 June 2016.During the two scheduled days, the 3 founders of Expanite will each give a presentation at the Symposium:Professor, Dr.Ir. Marcel A.J. Somers gives the opening lecture “Expanded austenite; from fundamental parameters to predicting concentration- and stress-depth profiles” –on June 22rd. Senior Researcher, Dr. Thomas L. Christiansen: “Gaseous surface hardening of titanium and titaniumalloys” on June 24rd .Expanite CTO, Dr. Thomas Strabo Hummelshøj: “Application of next-generation stainless steel & titanium surface hardening” on June 24rd.Low-temperature (below 500°C) interstitial treatment of corrosion-resistant alloys is a developing technology in surface engineering, resulting in performance enhancements in hardness, wear, fatigue and corrosion resistance. When applied to austenitic stainless steels, the resultant surface layer is described as expanded austenite. Major advances in understanding the technology and its application to austenitic, ferritic, martensitic and duplex alloys have occurred since the last symposium on this topic, held in Pittsburg in October 2014. The symposium program is the "state of the art" meeting, bringing together researchers from universities and government agencies all over the world, as well as providers and end users of low temperature surface hardening techniques. Papers devoted to all aspects of research on low-temperature processes (gas, ion and plasma processes) for surface enhancement of Corrosion Resistant Alloys (Fe-, Ni-, and Co-based Cr-containing alloys, as well as Ti and other passive alloys) by interstitial hardening (carburizing, nitriding and nitrocarburizing) will be presented”.

Heat Treating Sweden. The heat treating market in Sweden is reasonably large which is appropriate for a developed country with a reasonable manufacturing base. Over the course of this week we will profile a few heat treaters in the country including the one shown in the photos below. What you see are actually two completely automated lines, one featuring Ipsen T-11 Sealed Quench furnaces doing carburizing with the second line doing nitrocarburizing. Wednesday we will have the complete story about this plant along with a few more photos. May 31, 2016.



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