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Williams Industrial Services




 

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Heat Treat News

 

Nickel charts on InfoMine.com

ATP

Ipsen Insights. "With summer ending and FNA 2016 right around the corner, we’ve been busy getting ready for Nashville and taking inventory of how things have been going here at Ipsen. And with the results in, we’re happy to say that we’ve seen strong Q3 orders that will keep our shop extremely busy during Q4, as well as into the first half of 2017. As a result of the steady demand, we are also close to adding another shift in production. Our aftermarket performance has also been keeping pace with a sharp focus on staying ahead of the industry curve for both quality and customer satisfaction. According to our Director of Ipsen Customer Service (ICS) Sales, Pete Kerbel, “Ipsen had a record start to the year, and we have continued to build on that momentum over the past few months. As always, we remain focused on quality and on-time shipments so that our customers can continue to meet their own production demands.”

Recent Growth and Additions to Field Service Support. These aren’t the only areas that have been growing, though; we have also been heavily focused on recruiting and hiring for the majority of our departments – especially Field Service. Over the past few years, we’ve focused on retooling ICS so we can be increasingly supportive of our customers’ needs and expectations. This focus has included expanding our designated Regional Service Centers, which are located across the United States, and are in place to support our customers’ needs locally. They are equipped with Regional Managers and highly skilled Field Service Engineers that offer immediate support for our customers. We also have dedicated personnel, including a global network of 100+ Service Technicians, that provide support to our international customers. With the number of customers utilizing our ICS Team, ensuring we have the necessary manpower to provide the fast response times Ipsen is known for continues to be a top priority. As we grow our team, we place a strong emphasis on having skilled personnel that are able to go above and beyond when handling your equipment and service needs. For example, during a recent hot zone installation, one of our Field Service Engineers discovered that the power feed connections, while currently serviceable, could potentially fail in the future. He then took the time to make sure the customer was aware of the potential issue and suggest a repair in the near future. It is this type of attention-to-detail and positive customer relationship that we pride ourselves upon and expect from all of our team members. In addition to expanding our Ipsen Team, we’ve also been focused on providing user-friendly services that allow our customers to easily, and quickly, receive the support they need. Some of these expanded initiatives include:

One-Day Shipment of Parts. Started in late 2015, our Quick Ship program offers 50 high-use, high-turnover replacement parts that you can order and receive with same-business-day shipment. You can also order other parts you might need online through our Parts Quote form.

Expanded Training Opportunities Across the United States; With our focus on our customer service and support offerings, we’ve also held several one-day seminars at locations across the United States. For 30+ years, we have been providing training to the heat treatment industry both on-site at Ipsen U and at customers’ facilities. However, for these seminars, an Ipsen expert travels to a heavily requested location to teach best practices for maintaining your heat-treating equipment. Throughout the day, they pull upon their years of experience in the industry and provide insight into specific issues you might be experiencing. We recently held two trainings in the Los Angeles, California and Dallas, Texas areas, both of which were very successful and well attended. Our next expert-taught seminar, which will be taught by Jim Grann, will take place on Tuesday, September 13 in Windsor Locks, Connecticut with additional locations available soon.

What’s Coming Next? Throughout these recent successes and growth, we are continuing to work hard and focus on serving our customers’ needs. Among the many industries we serve, the Aerospace market remains very strong for us, and we are also continuing to gain ground in the atmosphere market with our ATLAS heat-treating system. We will also be rolling out some new products and services in the near future. If you want an in-depth look at some of our newest innovations (and a chance to win some fun prizes), make sure to stop by and see us at FNA 2016, booth #201/203. We look forward to seeing everyone there! For more information about the services and support Ipsen provides, visit www.IpsenUSA.com/Ipsen-Customer-Service." August 26, 2016.

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. August 26, 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.

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Consolidated Engineering Company/Kennesaw, Georgia. "CEC has received a purchase order for a Mobile Gantry Drop Bottom Heat Treat Furnace System from a leading provider of aluminum alloys for aerospace applications. The solution furnace is a vertical tower furnace for aluminum alloys. The furnace is supported by one of two quench tanks – water and glycol in water. Also included is a vertical rinse with glycol thermal separation/reclamation. The new solution furnace is a key component in a large expansion by this company to satisfy increasing demand for their aluminum alloys. CEC was chosen as a partner based upon our technical competence and successful prior furnace installation in 2012".    August 26, 2016.

So How Are We Doing These Days? Caterpillar. The heat treating industry is slower these days but whether you are feeling the pain or not depends upon the industry. For instance the automotive industry is booming but the mining and construction industries are down with the result that Caterpillar, the giant in these industries is struggling. What this means is that Cat is closing a number of plants including at least two that do heat treating Jacksonville, Florida and Morganton, NC. August 25, 2016.

"Caterpillar Inc. said Thursday it will close five U.S. plants and shed about 820 positions as the construction-equipment maker continues to scale back its production and workforce in response to falling demand. The cutbacks are part of a strategy outlined by the Peoria, Ill.-based company in September to trim its workforce by about 10,000 positions and close or consolidate about 20 facilities through 2018. The company said Thursday it has shed about 5,300 positions so far. The plants in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Mississippi designated for closure mostly produce components for Caterpillar machinery and engines. Their operations will be merged into other Caterpillar plants or assigned to parts suppliers outside of the company during the next 12 months to 18 months Caterpillar has a world-wide workforce of about 114,000. Caterpillar’s 2016 revenue is expected to be down about 38% from the company’s peak level of  $66 billion in 2012, as the company struggles through a global sales slump for mining and construction machinery. Caterpillar said it would close a packaging plant for electric generators in Newberry, S.C., with 325 jobs and another plant in Ridgeway, S.C., with 75 positions that makes control panels for generators. A plant in Oxford, Miss., that makes hose couplings with about 240 jobs will be closed next year. Production of wheel-loader buckets and other attachments in Jacksonville, Fla, will cease by the end of the year, eliminating about 70 positions.  A plant in Morganton, N.C., that makes engines and other components is expected to end production next year, affecting about 110 jobs. Caterpillar also said it would demolish an idle plant near Peoria where it made engines until 2011."

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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 August 25, 2016.

A few examples include:

Bluewater

Advanced Heat Treat Corp. "Advanced Heat Treat Corp. announces that it has been awarded Nadcap Merit status for Heat Treating (Ion Nitriding) at the MidPort location in Waterloo, IA. “Achieving Merit status for the second time in a row is a huge accomplishment for us. Our team works hard each day to ensure the highest quality is given not only to our aerospace and defense customers, but every customer that sends parts to AHT! We are proud to offer the Nadcap certification for our ion (or plasma) nitriding services and hope our customers take pride in the fact they send their parts to AHT.” Stated John Ludeman, Director of Metallurgy and Quality Excellence. Advanced Heat Treat Corp. has held Nadcap accreditation since 2013. Having demonstrated their ongoing commitment to quality by satisfying customer requirements and industry specifications, the Nadcap Task Group has determined that Advanced Heat Treat Corp. has earned special recognition. This means that, instead of having their next Nadcap audit in twelve months, Advanced Heat Treat Corp. has been granted an accreditation that lasts 18 months!

“Achieving Nadcap accreditation is not easy: it is one of the ways in which the aerospace industry identifies those who excel at manufacturing quality product through superior special processes. Companies such as Advanced Heat Treat Corp. go above and beyond achieving Nadcap accreditation to obtain Merit status and they should be justifiably proud of it,” said Joe Pinto, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Performance Review Institute. “Benefitting from a less frequent audit schedule reduces audit costs and associated pressures and demonstrates the trust that the aerospace industry has in Advanced Heat Treat Corp., based on their past performance in Nadcap audits. PRI is proud to support continual improvement in the aerospace industry by helping companies such as Advanced Heat Treat Corp. be successful and we look forward to continuing to assist the industry moving forward.”

About Nadcap Created in 1990 by SAE Inc., Nadcap is administered by the not-for-profit Performance Review Institute. PRI is a global provider of customer-focused solutions designed to improve process and product quality by adding value, reducing total cost and promoting collaboration among stakeholders in industries where safety and quality are shared goals. PRI works closely with industry to understand their emerging needs and offers customized solutions in response. Learn more at www.p-r-i.org or contact PRI at PRI@p-r-i.org. About AHT. Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT) is a recognized leader in providing heat treat services and superior metallurgical solutions to companies across the globe. Their UltraGlow® family of processes includes Plasma/Ion Nitriding, Ferritic Nitrocarburizing (FNC), Gas Nitriding, UltraOx® (Black Oxide), Through Hardening, Carburizing, Carbonitriding, Induction Hardening, and many more. In addition to Nadcap, AHT maintains ISO/TS 16949:2009, GE GT193 Special Process Certifications, Federal Firearms License and is ITAR registered." August 25, 2016.

Qual-Fab

Rockford Products/Rockford, Illinois. It would appear to be the end of the line for fastener manufacturer and captive heat treater Rockford Products at their main location on Harrison Avenue in Rockford, Illinois. The news item below gives you a few details but to this we can add a few heat treat related facts. The company has 4 cast link belt furnaces and some batch IQ capacity which makes for a reasonably large captive heat treat department. Given the fact the they are older furnaces (which we have heard) and that the company closed down rather quickly we would have to assume that the furnaces probably have little value on the used market. August 24, 2016.

"A Rockford manufacturer is planning to permanently lay off 171 people on September 30. In a notice filed with the state on Monday by the CEO of Rockford Products, LLC, the mass layoff will affect employees at the company’s main location at 707 Harrison Avenue in Rockford. According to the statement, employees do not have bumping rights and the employees are not represented by a union. Rockford Products started back in 1929 and became one of the world's leading manufacturers of fasteners and cold form components. Ten years ago, the company had around 650 employees compared to the 171 they have now".

AFC-Holcroft/Aichelin. The acquisition of US based furnace builder AFC-Holcroft by Austrian based furnace builder Aichelin back in July was a very newsworthy event as it married two of the largest furnace builders in the world and created the largest atmosphere furnace company in the world. The ramifications and results of this marriage are still being assessed (dare we say even by the companies involved themselves?) but at the end of the day most would suggest that the two companies will play off of each others strengths. In the photo below we see an example of this marriage. From the left; Gord Montgomery (who was not involved in this acquisition), Bill St-Thomas, Aichelin Heat Treatment Systems, Tracy Dougherty, VP of Sales, AFC-Holcroft, Udo Brenner, CEO, Aichelin Heat Treatment Systems, Bill Disler, CEO, AFC-Holcroft and Will Smith, AFC-Holcroft. August 24, 2016.

Bodycote Ipswich, Massachusetts/Press Release. "Bodycote, the world’s largest heat treating services provider, is pleased to announce that its facility in Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA has earned MedAccred accreditation, underlining the high standards of quality achieved.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 New England, Bodycote’s plant in Ipswich is fast becoming a center of excellence for the region’s medical device and implants market, offering heat treatment services to process and strengthen medical implants, surgical and dental tools, and other medical devices. The plant’s close proximity to Bodycote’s hot isostatic pressing (HIP) plant in Andover, Massachusetts makes it an ideal source for a complete thermal processing solution.Bodycote continues to invest in new capacity and technology to support opportunities within the growing medical industry for classic heat treatment and HIP along with its Specialty Stainless Steel Processes (S3P) in North America. For Bodycote, the benefits of MedAccred to the supplier are evident. The process provides for consistent and standardized critical process audits which result in fewer redundant onsite audits by multiple OEMs and first tier customers. The MedAccred certification reinforces customer confidence in Bodycote as a premier quality provider of heat treating. August 23, 2016.

Eurotherm

Monday Morning Briefing. Friday we had a news item about an auction of heat treat equipment in Radevormwald, Germany in which we speculated about who was the owner of the equipment. Several readers let us know that originally it belonged to a commercial heat treater by the name Thoelen Heat Treatment Shop which went bankrupt sometime back (which is very rare a commercial heat treater going belly up-wonder how they managed that?). Our feeling was that from the pictures the equipment looked in good shape-scratch that idea as two people told us the equipment is pretty rough. When commercial heat treater Solar Atmospheres started up their facility in Fontana, California several years ago a number of people questioned how on earth the company was going to find enough business to make it a profitable venture. Well these photos show their almost  complete addition so I guess Solar did find enough business.

Fluidized Bed Furnaces have their fans but the fans are very much in the minority when it comes to this type of technology. We do not claim to be experts on this type of thermal processing but our understanding is that it does produce good results but is also pretty darn messy because of all the sand. So it caught our attention when a company called Akron Research and Technology in Ohio recently purchased a pretty nice unit which will shortly be installed. While we don’t know what the company will use it for Akron appears to be a pretty high end company who offers a corrosion resistant coating for the oil and gas industry. A recent news item mentioned how Heat Treatment Australia recently installed a new JL Becker furnace at their location in the LA, California area. The rep involved Mr. Marty Keylon sent us some photos and these comments. "Patrick Weymer "J L Becker sales manager" and I went to HTA "Heat Treat Australia" in Santa Fe Springs CA. last week and had a nice visit with Mitch Fahrney the Branch Manager and David Faglioni. He is the "Global Business Development Manager". This is what the new furnace looks like".

In the UK Vacuum and Atmosphere Services Ltd., is quickly becoming the dominant player in the heat treat sales and furnace servicing business. We are expecting a couple of press releases in the near future about new installations including one at Meltham Thermal Engineers. In the meantime we have this press release from the company. "The management team at VAS are pleased to announce, after successfully completing his training period Dave Longford will become our 12th Service Engineer. Dave’s training included 2 years on site training, VAS’s own ‘Understanding Vacuum Heat Treatment’ and ‘Vacuum Furnace Designs’ courses, vacuum leak detecting, Electrical maintenance, Electrical fault finding, software training and confined spaces. Dave, along with all our Engineers, will receive ongoing training, in line with our continued improvement programme. Further Training courses include the Ipsen advanced training course, which will take place at Ipsen’s headquarters in Kleve, Germany. VAS pride themselves on offering our Engineers unrivalled training and support throughout their career with us. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. Last week we had a couple of photos from South-Tek a supplier of Nitrogen generating systems. To add to those photos we have this one showing the sales team enjoying some time off.

Recently Houghton International Inc., a supplier of quenching fluids acquired Wallover Enterprises, a metalworking fluid and industrial lubricant manufacturer based in Strongsville, Ohio. The acquisition enables Valley Forge, Pa.-based Houghton to expand and improve its metalworking solutions capability. Furnace builder Nutec Bickley (whose banner ad can be found on this page) recently received an order for a box furnace from a forging company located in the Chicago area. The equipment, which has an operating temperature range of 1500-2200°F (815-1205°C), will be used for heating steel billets before forging. Steve Meyer, Manufacturing Engineer at Jorgensen Forge Corp., out in Seattle, WA recently retired. We had the pleasure of working with Steve several times on projects in his heat treating department. And to round things out we have this press release from Franklin Forge in Franklin, PA who you guessed it-have an in house heat treating department. "Franklin Bronze Precision Components announces John Nichols as General Manager.  John Nichols comes to Franklin Bronze with 30 years of experience in castings with a concentration in investment castings.  John has held leadership roles in general management, sales, operations and technical engineering.  As General Manager, John will lead the Franklin Bronze team to develop and grow the FBPC business with a strong focus on continuous improvement, quality, innovation and customer service.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University".  August 22, 2016.

Corner Stone

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. August 22, 2016.

A few examples include:

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Heat Treat Auction/Germany. This morning a notice about a heat treat auction in Germany floated across our desk and the equipment is interesting enough that we felt it deserved a mention. The equipment is located in Northrhein-Westfalia, Germany and our guess would be that it is a commercial heat treat plant as opposed to a captive but to date we are not sure. The equipment list is rather interesting, 2 Surface batch IQ lines with working dimensions of 36 X 48 X 36 and all related equipment all built in 1999. In addition there is a “Vega” (never heard of them) continuous furnace for hardening and quenching and a couple of vacuum furnaces made by AICO which is certainly not one of the better known brands. While these are the main items there are a number of others available also. All of the equipment is reasonably new and would appear to be in good condition. It has us very curious about what the story is behind this auction. We will check it out and hopefully give you an update shortly. August 19, 2016.

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GE Oil & Gas (Lufkin Industries) Auction. July 27th we mentioned an upcoming auction to be held at GE Oil & Gas which was formerly Lufkin Industries in Lufkin, Texas. The auction was indeed held August 11th and our prediction about the level of interest proved to be dead on the money. There were very few bidders (possibly because of the relatively high reserve prices) with the end result that a commercial heat treater in PA bought some of the equipment, another commercial shop in the Midwest bought part of the equipment and a third furnace which was sold at the auction ended up remaining as it did not meet the reserve price. August 18, 2016.

July 27th News Item. GE Oil & Gas (Lufkin Industries). Our top news item yesterday had to do with the changes at one of the larger captive heat treaters in Texas, GE Oil & Gas (formerly Lufkin Industries) in Lufkin Texas. Part of our story mentioned that at least some of the equipment would be auctioned off and we now have further details. The auction will be held August 11/2016 and will include a large inventory of items including as far as we can tell all of the heat treating equipment. This consists of a number of reasonably new Beavermatic Batch furnaces with capacities of up to 15,000 pounds which is a pretty darn big furnace. Based upon the age we would expect it all to sell at auction but because of the size and the modest market for used furnaces these days they will probably see modest interest at best.

On Site Nitrogen Generation. Heat treaters generating nitrogen on site is not a new concept, it must be 20 years ago now that we saw our first system which was at a FAG Bearings facility in North America. What appeals to heat treaters about generating their own nitrogen are the cost savings and the fact that they don't have to worry about running out. What doesn't appeal to heat treaters is the purity level which in years gone past was not high enough for vacuum furnace quenching applications which relegated the technology to nitrogen purging applications in atmosphere furnaces. However like everything the technology is rapidly evolving, the equipment is becoming cheaper and easier to use and in the case of South Tek-Systems down in Wilmington, NC they can now prove that the purity level generated is high enough to satisfy the 99.9995% level required in vacuum quenching applications. We are hoping for a press release about the two month old installation the company has at a commercial heat treat plant but in the meantime we can show you the South-Tek facility and some of the individuals who are making it happen. In the top picture we see from left to right Jordan Montgomery (WG Montgomery Ltd.), Jose Salvador (Mexico), Josh Harvey (HTSU), John Hansen (Metpro), Jordan Messick (South-Tek), KC, Willy and Jim Wilbur (Wm. Wright & Associates). August 18, 2016.

Crio

Linamar Corporation. As one of the fastest growing companies out there when it comes to auto parts we have mentioned Linamar a few times over the years, obviously because of their in house heat treating capacity which spans the globe. So when we ran across this rather interesting summary of the company from "Canadian Metalworking" magazine we felt this to be worth publishing. August 17, 2016.

"Rapidly advancing numbers are the norm at Linamar Corporation, a manufacturer of powertrain components for the automotive, industrial, off-highway, and energy markets and Skyjack™ telehandler equipment. The number of facilities keeps growing. The company has 57 manufacturing facilities globally and recently opened its new Detroit, Mich.-based McLaren Engineering Tech Center that provides engineering, testing, and prototyping capabilities for automotive OEMs and other Linamar entities. Consistent double-digit financial growth brought 2015 sales to $5.2 billion. The company currently employs more than 23,000 people. In Guelph, Ont., home of corporate headquarters and 22 facilities, the company’s need for dedicated employees drove area unemployment levels down to 3.9 per cent, about half of the national norm. It all started 50 years ago when Frank Hasenfratz, a Hungarian immigrant, converted a washing machine into a lathe and set up shop in his basement. Today his daughter Linda has stepped into the CEO position and Frank remains active on the board and pursues cost-cutting and lean initiatives within the manufacturing operations.

Linamar Gear is one of the Guelph manufacturing facilities with its own collection of ever-increasing numbers. The division’s 513 employees produce precision transmission and driveline components and assemblies, including highly complex gears, and keep work flowing through 22 heat-treat furnaces that work around the clock, possibly the largest heat-treat installation under one roof in North America. The division itself has a strong history of growth. In 2002 it was established to develop Linamar’s gear manufacturing capabilities in 12,400 sq. ft. located in another company facility. By 2005 it moved to its own 80,000-sq.-ft. building to accommodate gear machining and heat treating at one location. Further expansions brought the size of the sprawling facility to 223,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and office space. Adept at collecting certifications and awards, Linamar Gear has captured the ISO/Technical Specification 16949 certification, the Q1 Ford certificate, the QSB+ GM designation, and the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automotive) award for outstanding quality while manufacturing 32 million gears in the past five years. The division provides products to several automotive OEMs as well as to many of the Linamar sister companies. Heat-treat capabilities include carburizing, through hardening, annealing, normalizing, carbonitriding, quench pressing, induction hardening, deep freezing, and shot peening. Metalworking processes include hobbing, broaching, shaping, grinding, shaving, honing, laser welding and marking, spline rolling, assembly, balancing, polishing, turning, milling, and drilling.

Solar Manufacturing. We welcome our most recent advertiser vacuum furnace builder Solar Manufacturing of Souderton, PA whose ad can be found on this page. In just a few short weeks we at "The Monty" will be attending the open house at their facility Western PA to witness the unveiling of what is billed as the largest vacuum furnace in the world in a commercial heat treat plant. Needless to say we will have lots of photos to show you. August 17, 2016.

Custom Electric

Ipsen Seminar/Windsor Locks, CT. These traveling seminars have become popular over the years and Ipsen does a very good job of them. In this press release Ipsen mentions the next upcoming event. August 17, 2016..

"Ipsen to Offer One-Day Seminar in Connecticut, Focusing on Vacuum Furnace Maintenance and Aerospace Compliance Strategies. Following the success of recent one-day trainings in the Los Angeles, California and Dallas, Texas areas, Ipsen has announced that they will be providing additional trainings throughout the United States. Ipsen’s next expert-taught seminar will take place on Tuesday, September 13 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. During this one-day training, 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 throughout the day.
Specific topics covered during the seminar include:

  • Vacuum furnace 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. This local seminar carries on the tradition 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.

The 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."

Hauck Heat Treatment/Germany. Hauck Heat Treatment (part of the Aalberts Group and one of the largest commercial heat treaters in Europe) has this announcement about selling their facility in Fronreute-Staig, Germany back to the former owners. Selling a commercial heat treat back to the former owner(s) is not unprecedented as we have seen it happen a few times over the years but generally it seems like the former owners are the winners. When Hauck bought the location back in 2002 it had annual sales of 5 million Euros but what they are now we can’t comment on. August 16, 2016.

“We would like to inform you that effective on the 1st of July 2016, we sold our plant in Fronreute-Staig which was part of Hauck Heat Treatment Süd GmbH. The site with 17 employees is located in southern Germany close to the Lake Constance. It was acquired in 2002 to be part of the Hauck Group and has now been sold back to the former owner. The plant will continue to offer plasma heat treatments for customers under the corporate name of MPT Metallbehandlung und Plasmatechnik GmbH. The range of services and the know-how of the experienced workforce does not change. Additionally, there is a cooperation agreement between MPT and Hauck. We wish MPT much success for the future and are looking forward to a cooperative partnership”.

Heat Treatment Australia. HTA has been very vocal about the large investments they are making at their new plant in the LA, California area and their headquarters in Brisbane, Australia. We get a kick out of seeing heat treat operations come together and this is no exception. In this case you can see the water cooling systems which came from a US company being installed on the roof of the building. August 16, 2016.

Marco Marchetti, Accu Holding AG. This story is now a few months old and quite frankly we have debated about mentioning it as it might portray one of the top furnace builders in Europe in a negative light. However it has become a well known story, so well known that we can’t ignore it so here are the basic facts. Mr. Marco Marchetti was the Chairman, CEO and majority shareholder of Swiss company Accu Holdings which amongst it’s different divisions included Italian furnace builder CIEFFE. Earlier this year the Zurich prosecutor's office opened a criminal investigation into Mr. Marchetti with the result that not that long ago Mr. Marchetti was convicted and sentenced.  The details are not important but free to find on the internet for those with an interest. The publicity is obviously not good for CIEFFE and would not be for any company however as Mr. Marchetti did not run the business on a day to day basis nothing has changed at the company and there is no reason to think that there will be major changes at the company. August 15, 2016.

Where Are They Now? Michael Lister. Michael is a long time heat treater who recently left SECO/WARWICK in Meadville, PA where he was head of the Vacuum Furnace Team to join Flowserve Corporation to sell the SIHIboost and SIHIdry vacuum pumps to the metallurgical industry. Previous to that Michael spent 6 years in sales & sales management at Consarc (an Inductotherm group company) and 4 years in the commercial heat treating world in the early 2000s- 2 years at Metlab in the Philadelphia area and 2 years at Pennsylvania Metallurgical in Bethlehem, PA. August 15, 2016.

Expanite Surface Hardening. The Expanite process makes some very impressive (and if we understand correctly proven claims) about increasing the surface hardness of stainless steels along with other impressive enhancments. This abbreviated press release gives us some detaills. August 15, 2016.

"Unprecedented Galling Resistance of 316L after Expanite Surface Hardening. Galling, or adhesive wear, is a pervasive problem for stainless steels, of which the soft 300 series are notoriously prone. In an on-going effort to increase its database of engineering data, Expanite recently conducted the ASTM G98 Standard Test Method for Galling Resistance of Materials on AISI 316L, with and without Expanite surface treatment. The results were remarkable, and challenge the conventional wisdom that a 'hardness differential' in a material couple is required to resist galling. The test geometry involves a cylindrical button which is rotated 360° against a stationary block under increasing normal force. After rotation, the contact surfaces are visually inspected for galling, defined in the standard as "a severe form of wear characterized by localized, macroscopic material transfer, removal or formation of surface protrusions when two solid surfaces experience relative sliding under load". The load is gradually increased until galling is observed, thereby establishing the threshold galling stress.

Surface Hardening. The patented process that produced such results is known as Expanite. With Expanite, it’s possible to increase the surface hardness of stainless steels by up to 10 times, while maintaining or even enhancing corrosion resistance. This method is considered unique since it’s suitable for austenitic-, ferritic-, martensitic and duplex stainless steels. Parts can be treated with extremely short lead times—a few days—which is previously unseen within surface hardening of stainless steel. At its core, Expanite offers 3 different processes, each of which can be optimized according to customers’ requirements in terms of abrasion, galling, corrosion and scratch resistance. This means that Expanite can develop and customize solutions for a wide variety of companies and industries. For further information, please contact Thomas Abel Sandholdt, CEO at Expanite, +45 2040 7207, or check our website: www.expanite.com.

Nitrex Press Release. "Chicago completed phase one of a 12,000 square foot (1115 m2) expansion of its facility in Aurora, Illinois, a town on the outskirts of Chicago. The plant now includes three supersized gas nitriding systems from Nitrex Metal Inc. The expansion has increased the plant’s nitriding capacities to accommodate parts up to 177” (4.5 meters) long and loads of up to 25,000 pounds (11,300 kg). All furnaces are capable of running the Nitreg® family of processes and can meet industry specifications for nitriding to AMS 2759/10 and ferritic nitrocarburizing to AMS 2759/12. plus ONC® (in-process oxidation process). Tom Cooper, General Manager of Nitrex - Chicago said that the primary motivation for the capital upgrades at his plant was that "Nitriding large diameter parts and gears has been limited to furnaces in captive heat treat shops. The same is true for long parts, tubes or shafts. Our new Nitrex nitriders provide a solution to this underserved market segment". Along with the furnaces, phase one of the expansion involved the addition of a new two-story office building and an upgraded metallurgical laboratory.

In the second phase of expansion, the Illinois facility will add another large nitrider from Nitrex Metal Inc., with a working envelope of 137” diameter by 98” height (3.5 m Ø x 2.5 m H), and a load capacity of 55,000 pounds (25,000 kg). This furnace will offer the same Nitreg® process capabilities and will be equipped to meet aerospace standards. The furnace is expected to commence production by January 2017. ABOUT NITREX INC; Nitrex Inc. (Illinois corporation) belongs to a network of heat treating centers, whose affiliates operate five facilities in the United States and additional centers in Canada, China, Mexico, Poland and Italy. Our technologies and capabilities range from individual components of an almost microscopic size to 55,000-pound loads, from cryogenic treatment to high temperature vacuum, from simple annealing to plasma and Nitreg® potential-controlled nitriding, from forging blanks to complex aircraft components, from heat treating to manufacturing operations and engineering services." August 12, 2016.

Where Are They Now? Ben Crawford. Ben is a fellow we have worked with from time to time over the years and over that time we have come to have a very high opinion of him both because of his knowledge and his ever present optimism. Over the course of his career he has worked with companies such as Bodycote, Bluewater Thermal and Gasbarre Furnaces. Recently Ben made a change and is now with a company in the Indianapolis, Indiana area by the name of Saran Industries where he is Vice President. Saran provides industrial finishing, machining and heat treating of raw materials including castings and forgings. We wish Ben the best of luck and have no doubt but that he will bring his usual energy and enthusiasm  to this new position. August 11, 2016.

IHEA. "Improving Process Heating System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, 3rd Edition is now available for download.  This Sourcebook is part of an initiative under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) which began more than ten years ago when the first Sourcebook was published. The ITP and IHEA undertook this project as part of a series of Sourcebook publications on industrial utility systems. Other topics in this series include compressed air systems, pumping systems, fan systems, steam systems, and motors and drives. This sourcebook describes basic process heating applications and equipment, and outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements. It also discusses the merits of using a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. It is not intended to be a comprehensive technical text on improving process heating systems, but serves to raise awareness of potential performance improvement opportunities, provides practical guidelines, and offers suggestions on where to find additional help.

The mission of IHEA is to provide services that will enhance member company capabilities to serve end users in the industrial heat processing industry and improve the business performance of member companies. Consistent with that mission, IHEA supports energy efficiency improvement efforts that provide cost savings, performance benefits, and other competitive advantages that enable success in the global marketplace. Improving Process Heating Performance Sourcebook is available for download at no charge on the IHEA website, www.ihea.org Click the Publications tab and scroll down to Books."  August 11, 2016.

John Hubbard Interview. We are honored to have today an interview with Mr. John Hubbard one of the best known individuals in the global heat treating industry. August 10, 2016.

1. John you have the dubious distinction of being the only individual we have ever interviewed twice for “The Monty”, the first being 10 years ago when you were CEO of Bodycote. Seeing as that was quite some time ago could you give us some brief background about your heat treating career?

"Gord, it is an honor to be interviewed by "The Monty".  You have developed into a very effective and probing enquirer. Briefly I worked my way through University as a night shift heat treater in Cleveland.  Upon graduation I became a Metallurgical Engineer (qualified as PE) working days while earning an MBA at night.  After completing my MBA I had an opportunity to start a new company designing and building custom furnaces for the forging industry.  Over the next few years my partner and I added two more companies.  Interestingly all three companies are still in operation but remain "micro-companies".  I was not married and working all the time, Cleveland was "burning and rioting" and I wanted to be in the Southwest.  I sold my interests to partners and joined Hinderltier Industries in Tulsa becoming the GM of their heat treating department (captive / commercial).  Over the next years I sprayed out the department into an independent business and bought into ownership of that division.  When the oil field business was in one of it's regular crashes I got the opportunity to buy the division.  I awarded key managers shares in my company, we grew and prospered then Bodycote, plc approached us to sell.  After evaluating the opportunity with my independent board of directors and completing successful due diligence of Bodycote's original culture (investing in operations they acquired, promoting from the floor up) we sold (cash and tax-free stock swap).  Over the next 5 years I ran the North American heat treating operations growing it dramatically (from 7 plants to 56 plants).  The board of directors selected me to become CEO to follow the very successful retiring John Chesworth.  Over my years as CEO of the group we grew dramatically becoming the largest thermal processing company in the world and one of the largest testing companies in the world.  The year before I retired we did a strategic review of our business and decided to divest of our testing division as the synergy which initially attracted us to testing had become less than 5% of testing sales.  Luck (preparation meeting opportunity) was on our side as we sold the testing divisions in the fall of 2008 as worldwide markets were crashing.  This strategic achievement allowed me to retire with peace of mind leaving Bodycote, plc essentially debt free." Click To Continue Reading

Where Are They Now? Cor Brugman. Cor was hired by Bodycote back in 2011 as Vice President of Bodycote for the A & GI (automotive and general industry) division of Bodycote for the Northern Germany and Netherlands area. Basically he was taking over the responsibilities of long time Bodycote employee Jan Elwart who was retiring. After five years with the company Cor has made a big change and as of just a few weeks ago is now the owner of Nemotherm Heat Treatment in the Nivelles area of Belgium. We wish him the best of luck. August 9, 2016.

Monday Morning Briefing. Recently we announced how auto Parts supplier and captive heat treater SONA in Selma, NC very unexpectedly said they will be closing their facility in NC effective September 18th of this year. The company has a reasonably large captive heat treating department including some heat treating equipment which was installed new back in 2013 after the company suffered a very serious fire. Questions have been circulating about what will happen to the equipment. We have been told that unless something changes it will all be going to auction later on this year. Another captive heat treater at the end of the road is Rexnord Corp., Link Belt Division in Clinton, TN which is the final stages of being closed. It was announced some time ago that this location would close and at this point almost all of the equipment has been removed with final shutdown by August 22. The production and heat treating has been transferred to Monterrey, Mexico.

Staying with captive heat treating we had a press release this past Friday from Ipsen about bearing company SKF in St. Louis, MO. Basically the press release announced a very nice atmosphere and vacuum installion  provided by Ipsen. It caught our attention because in some areas SKF does heat treating in house, in other areas such as Gothenburg, Sweden all the heat treating is outsourced. In the case of Gothenburg the work goes to a local Bodycote facility which we visited a couple of months ago. As you can see Bodycote provided a very impressive, state of the art installation to process their parts. We have to say that no commercial heat treater in the world has more experience in taking over the heat treating needs of captives than Bodycote.

In California a small commercial heat treater by the name of California Surface Hardening will be closing their doors as we can see in this e-mail. “After 46 years in the flame hardening business it is time to close the chapter. Effective August 19,2016 I will be closing my operation permanently.  I would like to thank all those people and businesses who have supported me over the years. I will still be available on a consulting basis to advise on various applications, material selection and installation of flame hardening systems at your business. I can be reached at 310-927-0868. Peter Noonan, California Surface Hardening Co. Inc". While we are talking about California we might as well say that vacuum furnace builder GM Enterprises of California has just landed an order for a brand new vacuum furnace from a heat treater in New York state.

Why don’t we go with one more news item from California? Commercial heat treater Accurate Steel Treating in Southgate, CA is one of the larger commercials on the US west coast is making some really nice investments. Recently the company ordered two gas fired gas tempers from McLaughlin Services of Avilla, Indiana which will be delivered shortly and a brand new gas nitrider which utilizes SSI controls and technology.

In other new orders Can Eng recieved an order for a rotary hearth furnace. “CAN-ENG Furnaces International Limited has been contracted to design, manufacture and commission a Rotary Furnace System for the heating and hot working of titanium and alloy billets and preformed shapes for Weber Metals Inc. of Paramount, California - Long Beach Facility. This large diameter Rotary Furnace is a part of Weber Metals’ 60,000 ton Press Expansion Project. The 60,000-ton press will allow Weber Metals to manufacture larger and lighter forgings utilizing more advanced materials and will incorporate the latest in green technology to reduce waste, energy consumption and increase efficiency. The new facility will house the largest aerospace forging press in the Americas making some of the world’s largest monolithic forging components”. From Germany we received this press release which is interesting but doesn’t give us many details about what the company is actually installing-we will have to make some inquiries. "Germany’s StrikoWestofen Group, a manufacturer of industrial furnaces, opened a new business unit dedicated to heat treating. The move was made possible by the May 2016 takeover of the employees of BPR-Engineering from Rheda-Wiedenbrück, which immediately made the heat treatment of cast aluminum parts one of StrikoWestofen’s core competencies. The new employees cover a wide range of responsibilities, from the development of hardware and software to the commissioning and approval of systems. According to StrikoWestofen, it was a logical step to expand its portfolio by adding a heat-treatment business unit.

In the world of commercial heat treating we see that Paulo Products the second or third largest commercial heat treater in the US has another approval. "Paulo's Kansas City Division is proud to announce it has earned approval from Northrop Grumman for Heat Treatment of various carbon, low alloy, and stainless steels. Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.Specifically, approval was granted for GSS5100, GSS5102, and GSS5103.

And we will round out this Monday Morning Briefing with this press release from AICHELIN of Austria. "AICHELIN, one of the world leaders for industrial heat treatment, has appointed Shengyong Du as the new Managing Director for the Chinese market. The trained industrial engineer will direct company business from Beijing, being responsible for two production sites, five after-sales centers, and two distribution sites. "We are delighted that Du Shengyong will further strengthen our operations in China in his new role as CEO, and solidify Aichelin's position in the Far East market with his many years of experience", says Dr. Peter Schobesberger, Managing Director of the AICHELIN Group.In January 2015, Mr. Du joined AICHELIN China as COO and was responsible for the gradual optimization of all processes and procedures. As CEO, he will replace Sun Yefan, who founded AICHELIN China 30 years ago and will remain with the company in an advisory capacity. In addition, Mr. Du is a member of the Chinese Society for Metals and Secretary General of the RWTH Aachen Alumni Club in China. August 8, 2016.

SKF, St. Louis Missouri/Ipsen. This is rather an interesting news item telling us how bearing company SKF in St. Louis, Missouri has made a major investment in a brand new heat treating department. August 5, 2016.

"Ipsen recently installed both atmosphere and vacuum heat-treating systems at SKF’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in St. Louis, Missouri. With the relocation of their existing facility to a new location, SKF continues to focus on enhancing the quality, efficiency and overall effectiveness of their heat-treating equipment. Among this new Ipsen equipment was a complete ATLAS atmosphere heat-treating system, including two ATLAS integral quench batch furnaces and ancillary equipment – washer, temper, endo generator, loader/unloader and a feed-in/feed-out station. SKF also purchased a TITAN® vacuum heat-treating system to round out their production capabilities. Heat-treating is considered a core competency at SKF, and this new equipment will allow them to bring the majority of heat treatment in-house and efficiently handle the increase they’ve seen in production demands and volume of parts. Reflecting on the equipment purchased and what appealed to SKF, Bryan Stanford said, “Initially, I would say it was the general purposefulness of these Ipsen products that appealed to us. We run a very large variety of parts and batch quantities here. A custom solution designed to run tens of thousands of the same parts was not going to work for us. We wanted a low-cost, off-the-shelf-type solution that would allow us the flexibility we required – which is what the ATLAS and TITAN delivered. Now after having performed some pre-training, I would say what stands out the most is the ease of use and control of the equipment.”

The ATLAS batch furnaces feature a 24” W x 36” D x 40” H (610 mm x 910 mm x 760 mm) load size with an 1,100-pound (500 kg) load capacity. They also operate at temperatures of 1,400 °F to 1,800 °F (750 °C to 980 °C) and have a quench oil capacity of 1,030 gallons (3,900 L). The TITAN vacuum furnace features an 18” W x 24” D x 18” H (455 mm x 610 mm x 455 mm) load size with a 1,000-pound (454 kg) load capacity. It operates at temperatures of 1,000 °F to 2,400 °F (538 °C to 1,316 °C). Overall, this Ipsen equipment will be used for carburizing, carbonitriding, brazing and annealing and will process a wide variety of parts that support SKF’s Lubrication Business Unit. To learn more about Ipsen’s integrated solutions and atmosphere and vacuum heat-treating equipment, visit www.IpsenUSA.com/Products.

About SKF. SKF has been a leading global technology provider since 1907. Their fundamental strength is the ability to continuously develop new technologies – then use them to create products that offer competitive advantages to customers. They achieve this by combining hands-on experience in over 40 industries with their knowledge across the SKF technology platforms: bearings and units, seals, mechatronics, services and lubrication systems. Their success is based on this knowledge, their people and their commitment to SKF Care principles. Visit www.SKF.com to learn more. About Ipsen. Ipsen designs and manufactures industrial vacuum and atmosphere heat-treating systems, supervisory controls systems and predictive maintenance software platforms for a 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. Visit www.IpsenUSA.com to learn more."

Lindberg/MPH. "Lindberg/MPH announced the shipment of a lead melting and holding furnace to a supplier of the automotive industry. The gas fired immersion tube furnace is used in the manufacture of lead plates for automotive batteries. The immersion heat allows for efficient and economical melting and holding of the lead while providing the precise temperature control required for the customer’s casting process. The furnace utilizes nine immersion tubes, each with its own burner, boasting over 28,000 square inches of heat transfer area for efficient heating of the metal without super heating which can result in metal losses. The capacity of the lead melting and holding furnace is 121,000 lbs. The unit is CE certified for use on 380/3/50 current for the end user in China. The industrial furnace is completely assembled and shipped as one unit. “By utilizing immersion heating the customer was able to achieve consistent and precise temperature control for their melting and holding process. The efficiency of the immersion heat also provided an economical solution for their production needs.” –Andrew Paul, Sales Engineer

About Lindberg/MPH. Lindberg/MPH is owned by Thermal Product Solutions (“TPS”), a leading American manufacturer of custom industrial ovens used for heat treating, finishing, drying, curing, manufacturing automation and process control. TPS is a global leader in thermal processing products and test solutions with brands including Blue M, Gruenberg, Tenney, Lindberg, MPH, Wisconsin Oven, and Baker Furnace. For more information on equipment solutions from TPS visit the website at www.thermalproductsolutions.com." August 5, 2016.

Calvert Street Capital Partners/Don Longenette. "Calvert Street Capital Partners (“Calvert Street”) today announced that industry expert Don Longenette has joined John Hubbard and Mike Sobieski to help support the creation of a leading thermal processing company focused on value-added services. Central to this strategy is identifying and bringing together leading businesses that share a focus on world-class safety, quality, service, and advanced technology. Don Longenette has spent over 30 years in the thermal processing industry, including the past 12 years at Bodycote where he served as the Engineering Manager for North America and Asia. In this capacity, Don oversaw its global maintenance programs and led efforts to recruit and train operators on new equipment to improve safety, quality, and productivity. He was also responsible for the opening of numerous greenfield operations. Before Bodycote, Don served in several different roles at Timken. Mike Sobieski stated, “Don is considered the expert in all things regarding thermal processing equipment. Over his career, he has worked internationally and served as a leader for many years in a wide range of capacities, ranging from starting up new operations to directing maintenance practices for numerous facilities. Don is the best person I know to oversee our equipment and maintenance, which will play critical roles in helping us deliver superior technical capabilities.”

John Hubbard remarked, “I am excited that Don is joining our team. Quality and safety are major priorities, and Don’s experience will help us achieve these important objectives. I know firsthand the knowledge, leadership, and professionalism Don brings. The addition of him to our team is a major next step in our efforts to build a world-class organization.” As announced last month, Calvert Street has partnered with Mike Sobieski and John Hubbard to build a best-in-class thermal processing company that offers a range of advanced technologies. The team believes there is a tremendous opportunity to offer specialized services to address the evolving technological challenges in the marketplace. With over 20 years of experience, Calvert Street has developed a dedicated focus on investing in privately held industrial services businesses. This partnership builds upon Calvert Street’s experience in other high-value 2 add sectors, including testing and inspection (Premium Inspection & Testing and IOS) and precision machining (Abrasive Form).

ABOUT CALVERT STREET CAPITAL PARTNERS. Calvert Street Capital Partners is a Baltimore, Maryland-based private equity firm focused on the acquisition of industrial and tech-enabled service businesses in the lower middle-market. Since its inception in 1995, Calvert Street has focused on partnering with skilled management teams of privately held businesses to drive profitable growth and organizational transformation. Calvert Street has invested over $500 million across more than 60 acquisitions through six committed funds. For more information, please go to www.cscp.com." August 4, 2016.

Carlos Torres Wedding. These few photos mark the conclusion of our coverage of the wedding of Carlos Torres of furnace builder and commercial heat treater MATTSA/CRIO in Mexico. It was a very memorable affair, incredibly well organized and a joy to all who attended including ourselves at "The Monty". August 4, 2016.

Gina and Bill Keough, AFC-Holcroft, Dale Montgomery

 Anna and Jorge Gonzales, MATTSA, Lori Disler, AFC-Holcroft

Aaron Ackerman, Wirco, Carlos Torres, MATTSA Crio

Bill and Lori Disler, AFC-Holcroft

Carlos Torres/MATTSA, CRIO. Over the past couple of days we have had pictures and comments about the marriage of Carlos Torres of MATTSA/CRIO the furnace building/commercial heat treating organization which is the largest in Mexico. These photos show what a joyous event it was and how small the worldwide heat treat industry is in that it attracted individuals involved in the industry from over a half dozen countries around the world including the UK and Canada. August 3, 2016.

Bernardet and Carlos Torres

Carlos Torres and his sisters

Gord and Dale Montgomery

The man of the hour, Carlos Torres with Bill Disler (AFC Holcroft) and James Cross (SSI UK) in the background

Steve Thompson, SSI, Bill Thompson in the background

Amanda and Damian Bratcher, SSI

James Cross, SSI UK and friends

Jay Hendershot/Mid South Metallurgical. Commercial heat treater Mid South Metallurgical in Murfreesboro, Tennessee has just hired Mr. Jay Hendershot as Quality Systems Manger. Jay has spent this entire working life in the heat treating industry originally with Carolina Commercial (which was founded by the Hendershot family) and subsequently with Bodycote after they acquired the company. Mid South is a growing commercial operation which was acquired by Mr. Clif Coleman a number of years back. The company offers a number of processes including carburizing and vacuum heat treating to name a couple. Within the next few weeks we will have some further announcements about how Mid South is growing. August 3, 2016.

Solar Manufacturing. "Graphite Machining, Inc. (GMI) of Topton, PA and Solar Manufacturing of Souderton, PA have been cooperating for the past year on the development and testing of a new graphite board material and its application for vacuum furnace hot zones. This new graphite board material has undergone extensive thermal and vacuum testing to prove its improved thermal efficiency and excellent vacuum performance compared to prior or present graphite board designs. GMI intends to market this new graphite board under the name of HEATGUARD insulation while Solar Manufacturing will incorporate this new material into its vacuum furnace hot zones under the trade name of HEFVAC™ (High Efficiency Vacuum). 

Incorporating this new HEFVAC™ board insulation, Solar Manufacturing has now developed a proven more thermally efficient vacuum furnace hot zone design that is capable of achieving faster and better vacuum levels because of the HEFVAC™ sealed and low moisture absorption structure. William R. Jones, CEO of the Solar Atmospheres family of companies notes, “I will be giving a presentation at the 2016 FNA (Furnaces North America) show in Nashville, TN to highlight the testing and comparisons of prior designs to this new board material and to illustrate not only the more thermally efficient aspect of the new material but also the ease and advantage of its use." August 3, 2016.

Carlos Torres/MATTSA, CRIO. It was with great pleasure that we attended the wedding of Carlos Torres in San Luis Potosi, Mexico this past weekend. Carlos is Operations Manager at furnace builder MATTSA and commercial heat treater CRIO and son of the founder Carlos Torres Senior. By Mexican standards it was an average sized wedding with over 600 guests including a large contingent of captive and commercial heat treaters and industry suppliers from as far away as the UK. To the photos below we will be adding a few more over the next few days. August 2, 2016.

Bill Disler CEO AFC-Holcroft and Carlos Torres Senior of MATTSA

Steve Thompson and Jim Oakes of SSI, Jorge Gonzales of MATTSA

Isabel Torres, Lori Thompson and Dale Montgomery

Bernie Parry, Gord Montgomery

Bill Keough, former owner of AFC-Holcroft, Gord Montgomery

Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry. "Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry would like to announce that the company has successfully completed the additional scope accreditation to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005, “General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories” for the new laboratory located in Bedford, OH. The additional scope of accreditation includes DC current, RTD, DC volts and thermocouples type K, J, T, R, S, B, N, E and C for measure and source. The laboratory will be able to calibrate secondary standards and field test instruments to meet the requirements of AMS2750E and other stringent prime pyrometry specifications. Andrew Bassett, President of Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry, Inc., states, “We want to offer more services to our clients by providing laboratory grade calibration thereby broadening the current scope of work for pyrometry requirements. Our clients can be assured the level of calibration from our laboratory will match the level of service that we provide in the field.” Laboratory Accreditation Bureau, a division of A-S-B, conducted a one-day site addition audit on July 12th, 2016 with no non-conformances. Dale Praznik, has joined Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry, Inc. as our Quality Manager & Laboratory Manager. Dale brings over 35 years’ experience and expertise related to in-house calibration of secondary standard and field test instruments to our new Pyrometric Metrology Calibration Laboratory located in Bedford, Ohio.

About Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry: Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry, Inc. specializes in on-site calibration of temperature processing instrumentation, calibration of vacuum measuring systems, temperature uniformity surveys and system accuracy testing of thermal processing equipment. Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry also specializes in consulting and training to the requirements of pyrometry specifications, heat treat consulting and construction of procedures. Consulting services include Nadcap accreditation for heat-treating, non-destructive testing, welding, brazing and materials test laboratories. With offices located in Bangor, PA, Hartford, CT, Cleveland, OH, Tulsa, OK, Los Angeles, CA, Bedford, OH and Muskegon, MI, Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry services are provided throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe. For more information, please visit www.atp-cal.com or call Andrew Bassett at 844-828-7225." August 2, 2016.

MATTSA Furnace Company/Mexico. Located in San Luis Potosi, Mexico MATTSA is the largest furnace builder in Mexico and is one of a select few partners of USA based AFC-Holcroft. The company was formed over 25 years ago by Mr. Carlos Torres who still owns and runs the company although his son Carlos is taking over more and more of the day to day responsibilities. With over 170 employees the company can build most styles of furnace although we know them best for batch IQ furnaces, tempers and pushers. Attending the wedding of Carlos Torres Junior we took the opportunity to visit the plant which we have not seen for a couple of years and this is what we saw in the photos below. August 1, 2016.

Gord Montgomery, Aaron Ackerman and Chris Dankert of Wirco, Carlos Torres Junior and Senior of MATTSA.

A partially completed temper for an automotive customer in Mexico

Carlos Torres Senior and Junior in front of an AFC-Holcroft UBQ furnace.

Part of the MATTSA Team

Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry. "Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry would like to announce the opening of our newest regional office in Los Angeles, California. The new office will be headed by our West Coast Division Manager Richard Rasmussen. Andrew Bassett, President of Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry states, “With the growing demand for our services from the west coast for ATP’s Pyrometry Services, we decided to open a permanent office in the Los Angeles area to better provide our services. We have been supporting our current clients from the east coast, but now with an office in the LA area, we will be able to grow and expand those services. The Los Angeles area provides an excellent opportunity for growth with numerous Nadcap Heat Treat accredited facilities in the area, as well as captive & commercial heat treaters looking for professional and affordable onsite Pyrometry services.” Richard Rasmussen comes to ATP with over 10 years of experience in the heat treating field. He experiences includes Pyrometry technician, furnace operator and a qualified FAA hardness inspector. Richard was previously employed at a Nadcap accredited heat treat facility that was able to achieve merit status during his tenure. He was responsible for all Pyrometry testing and compliance for entire thermal processing equipment. One of his best attributes is his ability to troubleshoot and resolve issues with heat treating furnaces. He has a full understanding of AMS-2750E as well as prime aerospace Pyrometry specifications and has heat treat audit experience.

About ATP: Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry, Inc. is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited company specializing in the onsite calibration of temperature processing instrumentation, calibration of vacuum measuring systems and temperature uniformity surveys for thermal processing equipment. We also specialize in consulting and training in Pyrometry Specifications, Heat Treat Consulting & Procedure Writing and Consulting for Nadcap Accreditations in Heat Treating, Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Welding, Brazing & Materials Test Laboratories. With offices located in Bangor, PA, Hartford, CT, Cleveland, OH, Tulsa, OK, Los Angeles, CA, Bedford, OH (Lab) and Muskegon, MI, our services have reached through-out the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe. For more information, please visit www.atp-cal.com or call Andrew Bassett at 844-828-7225." August 1, 2016.

Bodycote Interim Financial Results. International heat treater Bodycote has just released their interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2016. Below we have the highlights which can be found in their entirety at http://www.bodycote.com/.

-Group revenue down 2.9%.  
-Headline operating margin reduced to 16.9%, impacted by oil & gas. Excluding this effect, margin maintained.
-Specialist Technologies now over 40% of Group operating profit.
-Continued high rate of capital investment at 1.2 times depreciation.
-Net debt of £5.5m · Interim dividend of 5.0p, up 4.2%.

Commenting, Stephen Harris, Group Chief Executive said:  “The Group has again demonstrated its ability to deal with challenging market conditions, including delivery of a continued improvement in the AGI margin. This has been achieved against a background of subdued demand for industrial machinery and a further substantial decline in oil & gas revenues.  Looking ahead, and noting the Group’s lack of visibility, we expect growth in our aerospace and automotive markets to continue and the sequential decline in oil & gas activity to have largely abated. Recent demand in general industrial markets has been softer than expected and improvements are not anticipated in the second half. However, if current exchange rates prevail, we expect weakness in overall trading, for the year as a whole, to be offset by the benefit of currency translation.  The Group continues to benefit from the flexibility afforded by the strength of its balance sheet, with minimal leverage and continuing strong cash generation. We will continue to follow our strategy of investing in areas of robust profit opportunity, notably in Specialist Technologies, and in further enriching the mix towards higher added value services in Classical Heat Treatment.” July 29, 2016.

CIEFFE/Italy. There have been a lot of rumors floating around recently about CIEFFE Furnaces of Italy and their parent company Accu Holding AG (Accu) of Switzerland. While we can't put to rest all the rumors (although we are expecting a press release in the near future summarizing the situation) we can certainly say that the former CEO of Accu, Mr. Marco Marchetti stepped down from the position April of this year. "Emmenbrücke, April 15th 2016. Accu Holding AG (Accu) has been informed today that the Chairman of the Board of Accu steps down with immediate effect from his function as Chairman due to the ongoing proceedings against him. He remains ordinary member of the Board. Andreas Kratzer has been appointed Chairman ad interim until the next ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders". CIEFFE Furnaces is one of the largest Italian furnace builders and had sales of roughly 40 million Euro in 2015 while their parent company Accu had turnover in 2015 of 156 million Swiss Francs which is almost exactly the same in USD. CIEFFE is a well respected furnace builder who offers most Thermal Treatment technologies. The photo below shows Mr. Marco Marchetti and Gord Montgomery at the CEIFFE facility earlier this year. July 28, 2016.

Leo Martinez/SEI Heat Treat. Heat treater SEI down in Houston, Texas fairly recently hired a new Operations Manager by the name of Leo Martinez. Leo knows his stuff having worked with companies such as Bodycote, Lone Star Heat Treat and ST Aerospace over the years. SEI is a privately held company which offers processes such as carburizing, gas nitriding, normalizing and annealing. We visited the company a couple of years back and this rather poor photo gives you an idea about the company. July 28, 2016.

GE Oil & Gas (Lufkin Industries). Our top news item yesterday had to do with the changes at one of the larger captive heat treaters in Texas, GE Oil & Gas (formerly Lufkin Industries) in Lufkin Texas. Part of our story mentioned that at least some of the equipment would be auctioned off and we now have further details. The auction will be held August 11/2016 and will include a large inventory of items including as far as we can tell all of the heat treating equipment. This consists of a number of reasonably new Beavermatic Batch furnaces with capacities of up to 15,000 pounds which is a pretty darn big furnace. Based upon the age we would expect it all to sell at auction but because of the size and the modest market for used furnaces these days they will probably see modest interest at best. . July 27, 2016.

Bodycote. "Bodycote, the world’s largest thermal processing services provider, today announced that its Chard facility has become the first subcontract heat treatment plant in the UK to enter the SC21 Supply Chain programme at Silver Award level. SC21 is an improvement programme, with strict criteria, designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the aerospace and defence industry by raising the performance of its supply chains, and has three award levels: bronze, silver and gold. To achieve any level a company must have achieved minimum scoring criteria for business and manufacturing excellence models; must have a robust continuous sustainable improvement plan and must have achieved minimum standards in delivery and quality performance for all of their key customers for a rolling 12 month period. To be awarded Silver, companies must have achieved between 95-99% on delivery, between 99.5-99.9% on quality, and demonstrate excellence in a sustainable improvement programme and associated framework. In the photo below we see from the left; Neil Barnett, Aerospace Director of ADS presented the SC21 Silver Award to Bodycote Chard representatives Jeannette Ward, Acting Works Manager, and John Morris, Works Manager, at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow.

About SC21. Supply Chains for the 21st Century (SC21) is an improvement programme designed to increase the performance of suppliers and ultimately their supply chains within the UK aerospace, security, space and defence industries. The programme is a collaborative effort with ADS leading the programme at a national level, working with signatory companies, primes, regional trade associations (RTAs), strategic partners and accredited training providers.
July 27, 2016.


GE Oil & Gas/Lufkin, Texas. We have yet another example of the carnage facing the heat treating industry in Texas. It was recently announced that the GE Oil & Gas facility in Lufkin, Texas will be closing. Originally known as Lufkin Industries until they were bought by GE the company makes gearing largely for the oil & gas industries. When we visited the plant a few years back we saw a good sized in house heat treating department mainly consisting of Beavermatic batch IQ furnaces. We have been told that all of the equipment will be going to auction but we cannot confirm that. July 26, 2016.

"GE External Affairs Leader Lindsey Benton said the restructuring plans that were announced on Tuesday will likely  result in the reduction of more than 300 jobs in Angelina County. Gear production will also be on the move."We intend to keep a focus on service excellence here in Lufkin and the production of new gear boxes will transition to existing facilities in Europe," Benton said in an emailOn Wednesday it was learned that GE Oil & Gas plans to put its Buck Creek facility on the market after the company cleans up the facility, according to a City of Lufkin official. “We constantly review our operations in order to remain competitive and continue to meet the needs of our customers,” the statement said. “It’s becoming clear that this will be a 'lower for longer' environment. As a result, we are announcing our intent to consolidate our manufacturing operations in Cullman, AL and across Lufkin, TX and have begun holding discussions with stakeholders and employees. We anticipate this restructuring will result in workforce reductions.”

Wall Colmonoy. "Preserving the tradition originated by the late Robert Peaslee, a brazing pioneer who invented the first nickel-based brazing filler metal, Wall Colmonoy offers a fall session of Modern Furnace Brazing School on November 8-10, 2016 at Aerobraze Engineered Technologies’ Brazing Engineering Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Engineers, technicians, quality managers, production managers, and others will participate in “hands-on” practical applications while learning about brazing technology from the industry’s leading brazing engineers. For over 60 years, Wall Colmonoy engineers have been gaining practical experience on actual problems in brazing plants around the world.

Unlike other classroom-only seminars, Brazing School attendees will tour the facility and see the actual brazing application on the shop floor. They will also have the opportunity to apply different forms of filler metal to supplied samples, have them vacuum brazed and discuss the outcomes. Wall Colmonoy’s Leading Brazing Engineers have the technical know-how and practical experience to guide attendees through the brazing process from beginning to end production. For seminar details and registration information, contact Jim Nicoll, Marketing Associate, at E. brazingschool@wallcolmonoy.com, T. 248.585.6400, ext. 233 or visit www.wallcolmonoy.com/brazing-school/" July 26, 2016.

Bodycote. "Bodycote, the world’s largest thermal processing services provider, is pleased to announce that this year’s winner of the HTS/Bodycote ‘Best Paper in Heat Treating’ Award, has been awarded to Xiaoqing Cai, a PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, for her paper entitled “Microstructure Development in AISI 4140 Steels During Tempering”. This award, established in 1997 by the ASM Heat Treating Society, recognises a paper that represents advancement in heat treating technology, or promotes heat treating in some substantial way or represents a clear advancement in managing the business of heat treating. The award is sponsored by Bodycote and the winner receives a recognition plaque and a check for $2,500. Xiaoqing’s paper addressed an important issue for heat treaters: can equivalent properties and performance be achieved with both induction and furnace tempering? The judges considered that Xiaoqing clearly demonstrated that equivalent hardness and tensile properties can be achieved by both methods with different temperature, time heat treatments, and that she fully characterized the microstructures that develop during tempering. July 26, 2016.

Xiaoqing Cai (centre) receives her award from Dean Hoffmann, Bodycote and Professor Rick Sisson, WPI Center for Heat Treating Excellence.

Solar Atmospheres California. "Solar Atmospheres of California announces that it has been awarded Nadcap 24 month Merit status for Heat Treating.  We are extremely pleased PRI has recognized our corporate commitment to quality. Achieving 24 month merit has been a goal set by Solar’s employees since opening its doors in 2011. The adherence to strict specification requirements, flawless process execution, and a daily commitment to quality processing is evident among all employees of Solar Atmospheres of California. Solar Atmospheres of California has held Nadcap accreditation since 2011.

 “Achieving Nadcap accreditation is not easy; it is one of the ways in which the aerospace industry identifies those who excel at manufacturing quality product through superior special processes. Companies such as Solar Atmospheres of California go above and beyond achieving Nadcap accreditation to obtain Merit status and they should be justifiably proud of it,” said Joe Pinto, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Performance Review Institute. “Benefitting from a less frequent audit schedule reduces audit costs and associated pressures and demonstrates the trust that the aerospace industry has in Solar Atmospheres of California based on their past performance in Nadcap audits. PRI is proud to support continual improvement in the aerospace industry by helping companies such as Solar Atmospheres of California be successful and we look forward to continuing to assist the industry moving forward.” For more information about Solar Atmospheres of California, visit us at www.solaratm.com, or contact Mike Drakeley at (866) 559-5994 ext. 1303, or miked@solaratm-ca.com. July 26, 2016.

Monday Morning Briefing. Auto Parts supplier and captive heat treater SONA in Selma, NC very unexpectedly announced they will be closing their facility in NC effective September 18th. The company has over 200 employees and is a supplier to companies such as General Motors. This plant was in the news back in 2013 when the heat treating area suffered a devastating fire which destroyed most of the department. We will provide updates as we learn them. Commercial heat treater Thermal Technologies in Chatsworth, California is pretty busy these days. They have completed the closure of their Sun Valley location and all of the equipment has been upgraded for their plant in Chatsworth will increased capacity on the way. The photo below shows one of the upgraded furnaces.

Recently we gave you an update to some changes at bearing manufacturer and captive heat treater SKF. At the time we told you how SKF had purchased Kaydon Bearing and Seal in Baltimore, MD but that this location was to close with all operations moving to the Hanover, PA plant which has a very impressive heat treating department. The Hanover plant and the heat treating equipment will remain but over the course of the next two years the bearing manufacturing will be transferred to an SKF plant in Gaineville, Georgia and a location in Sweden both of which do heat treating in house. Vacuum furnace builder BMI in France send us this photo of a visit they recently received from a delegation of China Heat Treatment Association members. It was composed of some major heat treater companies from various regions of China mainland. Thanks to our extensive experience of the local Chinese market, especially in aeronautics, we have introduced the delegation to our range of vacuum furnaces, specifically suited to the Chinese needs and technical requirements.

In people news we see that the new Heat Treatment Australia facility in the LA area of California now has a General Manager by the name of Mitch Fahrney. Proving yet again that nobody ever leaves the heat treating industry Mitch was formerly involved with captive heat treater Seacast in Washington state. Now to contradict this we should say that Larry Midla who has spent his entire life in the industry including several years owning his own commercial heat treat Low County Heat Treat in the Carolinas has left the industry to teach public school math in SC which is quite a change of direction.

Chris Robinson who was involved in the in the house heat treating department of American Roller Bearings in NC unfortunately was part of a mass layoff at the plant and is now with a company by the name of Special Fab & Machine again in NC. "Robert J. Schurko, president and CEO of furnace builder Tenova Core since April 2010, retired on July 1, 2016. Thomas V. Bovalina, current chief operating officer, will assume the position of president and CEO. Bovalina has 37 years of steel industry and industrial equipment engineering experience. He has held various positions at the company, starting in 1988 as a process engineer at LOI Industrial Furnaces Inc., which was acquired by Tenova in 2006. Bovalina has been responsible for managing several functions, including corporate operations, project management and sales". 

To round things out we have these two press releases; "Nitrex unveils its fully automated copper plating line in its new facility in North Las Vegas, NV.  The copper plating line expands Nitrex’s capabilities to provide in house copper plate masking or stop-off to complement its heat treating business. This means a quicker turnaround time and simpler logistics to Nitrex customers. The Nitrex Copper Plating Line features automated controls of tank characteristics and chemistry, and a scheduling software powering a robotic hoist for station-to-station parts transfer. This means that plated products are consistent in quality, plating thickness is uniform  and results are repeatable. “I have seen how our customers struggle with copper plating and heat treat quality issues as these are separate processes performed by different suppliers. Typically, the customer ends up holding the ball alone.  I am now excited to show off this capability as this will make Nitrex a one-stop shop for heat treating with copper plating stop-off” says George Deering, Nitrex Sales Engineer – Western Region"

"CeraMaterials, a supplier of graphite and ceramic products is pleased to announce their new subsidiary – GraphiMaterials – focused on graphite insulation, materials and composites.  GraphiMaterials.com went live on July 5, 2016.  This new graphite material specific site features an expanded product line, prominently displayed and improved pricing on standard stock items, enhanced product information, informative videos, and a clean easy-to-read format. Mobile users will also appreciate the site’s friendly design since nearly 20% of CeraMaterials’ customers use mobile devices to access their current web site.  President, Jerry Weinstein, commented, “It has been my dream for a number of years to truly give our graphite materials the space they deserve.  With the launch of GraphiMaterials.com, this dream is now reality.  I encourage our customers to continue to visit as even more unique graphite related products are added in the next few months.”   Initial customer response to the site is strong with the average viewer spending over 4 minutes taking in all the new content and over 25% of viewers exploring more than 20 pages on their first visit.  The new site can be accessed by browsing www.graphimaterials.com". July 25, 2016.

Janusz Kowalewski/Ipsen. "Ipsen is pleased to announce that Janusz Kowalewski joined the Ipsen Team as Director of Business Development for ARGOS. He is a well-recognized expert in the thermal processing industry who, over the past 25 years, has worked in the United States, China, Europe and India. In addition, Kowalewski was selected as a member of the Heat Treatment Forum Hall of Excellence (2015), as well as selected as one of the 25 Most Influential People in Heat Treatment in North America (2009) by The Monty publication. At Ipsen, Kowalewski’s responsibilities include guiding all global activities for the ARGOS product line, Ipsen’s continuous vacuum process solution for low-pressure carburizing (LPC). To learn more about the ARGOS product line, visit www.Ipsen.de/en/ARGOS.

About Ipsen. Ipsen designs and manufactures industrial vacuum and atmosphere heat-treating systems, supervisory controls systems and predictive maintenance software platforms 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. July 22, 2016.

PhoenixTM News Release. "A new video explaining how the temperature profile of a steel slab or billet is monitored through the reheat furnace, prior to the hot mill, has been produced by PhoenixTM. Reheat furnaces consume vast amounts of energy, so the efficiency of the operation depends on accurate temperature control generally using a mathematical model. These models use complex calculations to predict the temperature of the slab at any point within the reheat furnace, ensuring the correct drop out temperature at the exit. However the mathematical model is essentially theoretical and requires verification on a regular basis. This is achieved by the input of actual temperature data from a test slab or billet which has thermocouples set at critical positions and depths. The output from these thermocouples is fed back to a ‘Hot Box’ system positioned on the slab itself. Within this system a thermally protected data logger both stores and transmits (in real time) the temperature profile of these probed positions. The resulting data, normally in the form of a .csv file, is then compared to the predictions of the mathematical model, where adjustments can be made if required.

As the PhoenixTM ‘Hot Box’ system is positioned on the test slab or billet within the reheat furnace, where temperatures may exceed 1300°C / 2372°F, the engineering of all components is critical to accurate data acquisition. ‘Hot Box’ systems can be designed to overcome the height and width limitations of most walking beam and pusher furnaces, and the system supply includes design of the interface between the system and test product which can be critical. The video can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/NaTYI7YF904. Website: www.phoenixtm.com July 22, 2016.

“PhoenixTM ‘Hot Box’ system on a billet, data logger removed from system, and exiting furnace on steel slab.

IHEA/News Item. "IHEA now offers a one-day registration for the International ThermProcess Summit Americas (ITPS Americas) scheduled for August 10 – 12, 2016, at the Loews Chicago Hotel in downtown Chicago, IL.  This is the perfect solution for those who aren’t able to attend the full two-and-a-half-day program at ITPS Americas due to schedule conflicts or time out of the office.
 
The one-day registration option includes all of the conference sessions, lunch and tabletop exhibits on either Thursday, August 11 or Friday, August 12. 
Sponsored by the Industrial Heating Equipment Association & Industrial Heating magazine, this event focuses on critical information designed to help thermal process executives improve manufacturing operations related to thermprocess technologies.   A complete schedule of events, hotel information and registration is available at www.itps-americas.com" July 22, 2016.

One-Day Registration coupon

Vacuum Furnace Auction. Auction company Hilco whose ad can be found at the top  of this page has available for sale a PV-T Inc, Model VBR-91Hx28Wx193D-9Z vacuum Furnace. This is a rather specialized unit but it is relatively new (2002), has a capacity of 3,000 pounds and has a 3 stage pumping system capable of 5 X 10.5 Torr as well as 2 35” Varian diffusions pumps-all in all a very nice looking furnace. If this is of interest feel free to check out the Hilco link above. July 21, 2016.

Oil & Gas Industries. A reader jogged our memory that we promised a few more details about our July 1 news item entitled "Oil & Gas Industries". A used equipment dealer in the UK approached us about this equipment which they claim is located in a captive heat treat in Singapore which makes products for the oil and gas industries. It caught our attention because of the number of furnaces (7 in total), the size (36 X 72 X 36 which are big IQ furnaces), the age (ten years old) and the fact that they are in Singapore. The manufacturer Surface Combustion is one of the best known furnace builders in North America however the company has never spent as much time marketing outside of North America as some of their competitors so we were rather surprised to see these in Singapore-we would have to assume that they were bought by a US company who wanted to duplicate what they had in the US. So they are on the market and we would guess they will probably end up somewhere in Asia but darn if they were in North America they would be snatched up in a second if the price was right. July 21, 2016.

"July 1/2016 POST. 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, gas fired 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) will become available in the very near future. In good times these would sell same day, these days if the price is right they will sell next day. More details to come".

Remix/NOXMAT Partnership. According to this press release German burner company NOXMAT is entering into a partnership with our friends at Remix in Poland a substantial furnace builder. July 21, 2016.

"The German specialist for industrial burners NOXMAT entering into a ground-breaking sales- and service collaboration with Polish furnace manufacturer REMIX. This will enable NOXMAT to provide customers in Poland, Ukraine and Belarus with premium industrial burners combined with extensive services. www.remixsa.pl.

REMIX is headquartered in Świebodzin, which is halfway between Frankfurt/Oder and Posen and about three hours away from the NOXMAT headquarters in Oederan. To NOXMAT, the collaboration with the Polish specialists for furnace equipment is another accomplishment in their mission to expand their business on a worldwide level. The company focuses on advanced collaborations with strategic partners and carries on expanding their global service and sales network consistently. About NOXMAT. NOXMAT manufactures recuperation burners, high-speed burners, control devices for combustion equipment and nozzle pipes. About REMIX. REMIX ranks among the top players in the manufacturing industry for industrial burners and after-sales service providers in Eastern Europe. Currently, the Polish company is primarily focusing on the manufacturing of systems for the engineering industry, the automotive sector, and foundries. REMIX has 140 employees with a shop floor of more than 10,000 m2." 

Calvert Street Capital Partners (“Calvert Street”). This very interesting press release is provoking a lot of attention. Further details about this partnership and our thoughts will be forthcoming. July 20, 2016.

"Calvert Street Capital Partners (“Calvert Street”). "Calvert Street Capital Partners today announced its partnership with John Hubbard and Mike Sobieski to help support the creation of a leading thermal processing company focused on value-added services. Central to this strategy is identifying and bringing together leading businesses that share a focus on world-class safety, quality, service, and advanced technology. John Hubbard, P.E. has devoted his entire career to the thermal processing industry and is a recognized expert in the field. In 1996, John sold his company to Bodycote, plc (LSE: BOY), now the world’s leading provider of thermal processing services. He led Bodycote's expansion in the Americas until 2001 when he was selected to serve as Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, Bodycote expanded rapidly from a UK-focused heat treater to the preeminent global thermal processing company. He made over 200 acquisitions before retiring to return to the United States in 2009. John Hubbard remarked, “I am excited to apply my industry knowledge to this venture and play a meaningful role in building a best-in-class company that offers a range of advanced technologies. I believe that there is a tremendous opportunity to offer specialized services to address the evolving technological challenges in the marketplace.”

Mike Sobieski has served in various executive leadership roles, gaining broad global experience in manufacturing and quality operations. He has an impressive track record of driving transformative growth and operational improvement. Currently serving as Chief Executive Officer of Abrasive Form, a Calvert Street portfolio company, Mike developed expertise in the thermal processing sector while spending four years as an executive at Bodycote. Andy John, Partner at Calvert Street, added, “The expertise and experience John and Mike bring is invaluable to creating a thermal processing company that delivers the highest standards of safety, quality, service and technology. They are terrific leaders that each bring unique skills and experiences to our efforts. We are excited to partner with them.” With over 20 years of experience, Calvert Street has developed a dedicated focus on investing in privately held industrial services businesses. This partnership builds upon Calvert Street’s experience in other high-value add sectors, including testing and inspection (Premium Inspection & Testing and IOS) and precision machining (Abrasive Form).

ABOUT CALVERT STREET CAPITAL PARTNERS. Calvert Street Capital Partners is a Baltimore, Maryland-based private equity firm focused on the acquisition of industrial and tech-enabled service businesses in the lower middle-market. Since its inception in 1995, the Calvert Street has focused on partnering with skilled management teams of privately held businesses to drive profitable growth and organizational transformation. Calvert Street has invested over $500 million across more than 60 acquisitions through six committed funds. For more information, please go to www.cscp.com." July 20, 2016.

J.L. Becker Company. "J.L. Becker Company recently restructured its sales force to better accommodate the needs of its growing customer base with the addition of Sales Managers on both national and regional levels. Patrick Weymer will now assume responsibility for the position of National Sales Manager where he will support J.L. Becker’s sales efforts with his broad range of professional and practical experience. Patrick has over 20 years of sales experience, which includes applications engineering and product management with excellent heat processing equipment design and process knowledge. Patrick joined J.L. Becker in 2015 as Sales & Applications Engineer. Going forward, he will manage sales efforts with J.L. Becker’s extensive network of sale representatives located throughout the continental United States.

Additionally, Eric Buchanan will now assume responsibility as Regional Sales Manager where he will lead J.L. Becker’s sales efforts in the Great Lakes region, including Ontario, Canada. Eric joined J.L. Becker in March 2015 as Sales Engineer. Prior to joining the team, Eric gained industry experience working with OEM automotive companies and its suppliers, in both account and quality management roles. His experience with a variety of heat treating processes and applications, coupled with quality and account management knowledge, has brought a unique insight in providing commercial-based heat treat solutions to J.L. Becker’s customer base. Located in Plymouth, MI, J. L. Becker, a Gasbarre Furnace Group company, has manufactured a full line of industrial heat treating equipment for over 40 years, providing excellence in design, construction and service. The equipment includes both batch and continuous systems and specializes in Integral Quench (IQ), Tip Up, Box and Car Bottom Furnaces, as well as a full line of replacement parts and auxiliary equipment, including atmosphere generators, quench tanks and charge cars. July 20, 2016.

Wellman Furnaces, Inc. "(Shelbyville, IN, USA) successfully commissioned two custom-built electrically-heated radiant coil furnaces for Changshu 3F Zhonghao New Chemical Materials in Changshu City, China (near Shanghai.) The two large furnaces, with a maximum temperature of about 1700°F utilizing 380 VAC 3 phase power, are used in Zhonghao’s chemical manufacturing processes at this site. Wellman was chosen to supply these furnaces because of their technical expertise and the very high reliability and productivity of similar furnaces that GE/Wellman built and commissioned at DuPont’s Washington Works Plant in 1954. Wellman sent two technical staff to support the commissioning; the plant manager was very pleased at how quickly the start-up went, which allowed them to start producing product after only a week. Wellman has been a worldwide industry leader in the engineering and building of radiant coil furnaces for special chemical processes and is pleased to now have these new radiant coil furnaces working for this new customer in China". July 20, 2016.

SOLO Swiss. "SOLO Swiss SA was pleased to welcome 11 delegates of the China Heat Treatment Association(CHTA). CHTA president, M. Professor Xiao Hui Tong, and his colleagues had the opportunity to visit SOLO Swiss plant and to learn more about SOLO Swiss industrial heat treatment furnaces.  CHTA is a top social organization approved by the state, founded in 1991, who organizes national activities in heat treatment industry through China. Their role is to be a bridge between government and companies. The CHTA helps companies and plants in the heat treatment industry to extend their markets and to improve the technology and management.  The CHTA has more than 1000 members currently. These members come from local associations, companies, institutes and universities. www.solo.swiss" July 20, 2016.

Coleman Heat Treating Inc./Jacksonville, Arkansas. Heat treater Coleman Heat Treating down in Arkansas is pretty pleased about this new addition to their heat treating capacity. What you see is a furnace the company just commissioned which is a Post Weld Heat Treat/Stress Release unit with working dimensions of 10' wide X 10' high X 20' long. July 19, 2016.

VAC AERO/Poland. Yesterday we mentioned how commercial heat treater VAC AERO had sold their two locations in Poland to a company by the name of MB Aerospace. Today we present the press release from MB which gives their perspective on this acquisition. As mentioned Poland is one of the fastest growing areas in the world when it comes to aerospace heat treating which is why we are seeing the growth of captive and commercial heat treaters such as Hauck Heat Treatment and Bodycote both of whom are investing heavily in the country. July 19, 2016.

"MB Aerospace has successfully completed the acquisition of Vac Aero (Poland) from its Canadian parent company Vac Aero International.  The business, which employs over 100 employees at two sites in Kalisz (central Poland) and Rzeszow (south-east Poland), specializes in providing protective and performance enhancing coatings for aero-engine and industrial gas turbine components.  These OEM licensed and proprietary coatings provide wear, corrosion and heat resistance properties across performance critical compressor, combustor and turbine components. Since the company was founded in 2003, it has developed an extensive range of special process capabilities including heat treatment and vacuum brazing, vacuum carburizing, air plasma spray (APS) and high-velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) protective coatings, as well as corrosion and oxidation resistant paint coatings.  The former Vac Aero subsidiary has a range of customer approvals and will continue to serve key customers in Europe including UTC, Pratt & Whitney and Siemens.

The business will remain at its two current sites and will be immediately rebranded as MB Aerospace Technologies (Poland). In order to support the existing customer base and growing aerospace market in Eastern Europe, MB Aerospace is planning to invest across the business with particular focus on its surface coating services, including thermal and plasma coatings and a range of paint capabilities, as well as heat treatment and brazing processes. Craig Gallagher, MB Aerospace chief executive officer, said: "We are delighted to acquire the Polish operations of Vac-Aero - now trading as MB Aerospace Technologies (Poland) - as its extensive range of capabilities and skilled employees will help us broaden our offering to existing customers and the expanding aerospace market in Poland and the surrounding industrial areas of Western and Eastern Europe. "With thermal and plasma coating capabilities now available to us in the region, we can provide customers with fast, responsive lead times for aero-engine and industrial gas turbine component treatments, whilst mitigating the logistics, and cost, of shipping products long distances to have such critical work done."

Dave Farmery, managing director of MB Aerospace Poland, added: "We have inherited a well-established and respected business in Poland with highly skilled employees and a wide range of customer approvals. Working closely with the existing team, we will invest heavily to provide the local market with the capabilities and capacity required to ensure customers continue to receive a world-class service." Tomasz Krążyński, General Manager, of MB Aerospace Technologies (Poland) said: "After more than a decade of growth and success under Vac-Aero we look forward to starting a new chapter within the MB Aerospace family of companies. The acquisition offers a fantastic opportunity for the business and the planned investment will help us establish ourselves as one of the premier providers of thermal processes and surface coating services in Europe."

Hauck Heat Treatment. Want another news item about heat treating in Poland? Well we have this one concerning top management at Hauck Heat Treatment, one of the largest commercial heat treaters in Europe. July 19, 2016.

"We are glad that Mr. James Dieg recently joined the Management Team of the Hauck Heat Treatment Group. He will take over the function of Managing Director and Director of Operations of Hauck Heat Treatment Germany and sit in Board of Directors of Hauck Heat Treatment. After studying industrial engineering James started his business career in the steel industry. As a Production and Plant Manager he gained intense experience in the operational business. Optimising production processes with a focus on quality and cost was always core. In the last 15 years, James managed two companies in Europe, which develop and produce rollers and isolators for the printing and automotive market. As Managing Director, he and his teams realised remarkable success. James is 52 years old, married and has three daughters. He likes sport activities as running and indoor cycling. We welcome James in our organization, wish him all the best in his new role."

VAC AERO International. Canadian based VAC AERO is known around the world as a manufacturer of new vacuum furnaces and as a very large commercial heat treater dedicated almost exclusively to the aerospace industry. The company has locations in Canada and Poland which is where this story comes in. The company has just sold their two locations in Poland to a company by the name of MB Aerospace. VAC AERO entered the Polish aerospace market back in 2003 when one of their largest customers, Pratt & Whitney Canada set up shop in the country. Since that time Poland has seen an enormous growth in their aerospace sector as we at "The Monty" saw during a tour of both captive and commercial heat treat plants a year ago. The photos below show the two VAC AERO locations as we saw them last year. July 18, 2016.

"VAC AERO International Inc. announces the sale of its Polish subsidiary VAC AERO Kalisz to MB Aerospace. Founded in 2003, VAC AERO Kalisz has become a leading special processes supplier in the region, providing specialized heat treating and coating services primarily to the aerospace and land-based gas turbine engine markets. Moving ahead, VAC AERO International Inc. remains committed to supporting their extensive customer base and looks forward to focusing their efforts and resources on the local Canadian market. Scott Rush, CEO of VAC AERO International Inc. said: “We are extremely pleased to have worked with a buyer that is well respected and established in the market to ensure the long term growth and stability of the business for the benefit of both our employees and customers.” About VAC AERO International Inc. - VAC AERO International Inc. is a privately owned Canadian company suppling heat treating and coating services and industrial furnace equipment to the aerospace and high-tech industrial sectors with facilities located in Ontario and Quebec, Canada".

Ipsen New Furnace Order. According to this press release Ipsen has shipped a very impressive bottom load vacuum furnace to a commercial heat treater in the US Northwest. July 18, 2016.

"CHERRY VALLEY, IL – Companies continue to rely on Ipsen for high-performance heat treatment equipment that is capable of meeting their exact needs and specifications. Recently, Ipsen shipped a Global Vertical (GV) vacuum furnace with 6-bargas quenching to a commercial heat treater on the West Coast. The GV heat-treating system is from Ipsen’s TurboTreater® line, which allows customers to order vacuum furnaces specific to their unique needs.

This custom-built furnace features a 60” D x 60” H (1,524 mm x 1,524 mm) graphite work zone, and an 8,000-pound (3,629 kg) load capacity. It operates at temperatures of 1,000 °F to 2,200 °F (538 °C to 1,204 °C) with ± 15 °F (± 8 °C) temperature uniformity. The furnace is also equipped with a 35-inch diffusion pump and Ipsen’s CompuVac® controls system. In addition, this GV furnace is equipped with an argon and nitrogen gas cooling system with gas injection nozzles located 360° around the perimeter of the hot zone, as well as a variable frequency drive on the gas cooling motor for controlled cooling. A spare parts starter kit was also included in this shipment to help users prevent unplanned downtime by supplying them with essential parts and consumables.

Overall, Ipsen’s GV heat-treating system provides users with the best of both worlds: improved uniformity of large production parts during heat-up and cool-down segments and the space-saving benefits of a vertical configuration. This shipment represents Ipsen’s ability to provide sophisticated and intuitive heat-treating solutions that support various applications and processes. To learn more about the unique features of the GV furnace and TurboTreater line, visit www.IpsenUSA.com/Vacuum".

Joe Hawkins/Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic. Our friends at Induction company Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic (whose banner ad can be found on this page have this to tell us today. July 18, 2016.

"Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic welcomes Joe Hawkins as General Manager of Aftermarket Sales. Hawkins brings over 20 years of induction melting and heating expertise to the company. His entire career evolved within the metals industry, beginning with Lectrotherm, Inc. in 1991. Hawkins most recently served as Director of Sales for ReMelt Scientific. A graduate of Kent State University, Hawkins later earned his MBA from Malone University. Joe and his wife Lore reside in North Canton, Ohio with their three children.

Ajax TOCCO proudly maintains a team of highly skilled technicians strategically located throughout the world to repair and maintain Ajax TOCCO equipment as well as competitors’ equipment. In addition, the Company houses a large inventory of parts for all of their equipment including older units and some competitor equipment. A convenient, 24-hour service hotline is provided to answer urgent requests and for emergency assistance: 800-547-1527 Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic®, a subsidiary of Park-Ohio Holdings Corporation®, designs and manufactures worldclass induction heating and melting equipment for various industries and applications throughout the world. In addition, we provide a range of services including laboratory process development, preventive maintenance, equipment repair and parts, coil repair facilities and installation services. Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic Corporation E-mail: sales@ajaxtocco.com Website: www.ajaxtocco.com"

Bodycote/Greenville, South Carolina. "MACCLESFIELD (U.K.) — Bodycote, the world’s largest thermal processing services provider, is pleased to announce that its new plant in Greenville, South Carolina is open for business. The facility is now ready to process metal and alloy parts that require brazing or vacuum heat treating services. The new Greenville facility primarily serves the Southeast region’s manufacturers and their supply chains in the aerospace, defence, energy and medical industries. The plant is expected to receive Nadcap accreditation by the end of 2016, offering quality assurance based on stringent auditing standards for the aerospace and defence industries. Bodycote intends to offer additional services from the facility in the future in response to customer demand. This investment is part of Bodycote’s further expansion in the Southeast USA. Bodycote is committed to offering world-class heat treating and specialist technology 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. July 18, 2016.

In the first photo below we see; Ron Adams (centre), Sales Director, Aerospace, Defence & Energy (HT) – East Region, meets with the South Carolina Department of Commerce delegation including Deputy Secretary of Commerce Jennifer Noel, and Andre’ LeBlanc, Director of the South Carolina Europe Office, at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow.

In the second picture we see; Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Jennifer Noel, from the South Carolina Department of Commerce presents Ron Adams, Sales Director, Aerospace, Defence & Energy (HT) – East Region, with a thank you plaque at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow".

Austrian AICHELIN Group acquires AFC-Holcroft.  On July 12, 2016, the Austrian AICHELIN Group acquired US-based Atmosphere Group, holding company of AFC-Holcroft. The two groups are a perfect fit: Both are leading market players with a long-standing history and state-of-the-art technologies and services in the industrial area of heat treatment solutions. AICHELIN Group - with its manufacturing companies AICHELIN, EMA Indutec, SAFED, BOSIO and Noxmat - is a leading provider of high-quality plants and systems. AFC-Holcroft is the US market leader in the production of industrial furnace equipment for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Other main companies of Atmosphere Group are Atmosphere Heat Treating and Austemper Inc. Until now, Atmosphere Group was privately held. The parties agreed not to disclose details and the price of the transaction.  

The acquisition complements the geographic presence of AICHELIN Group and strengthens the Group’s overall market position as one of the leading global heat treatment groups. The AICHELIN Group is now the largest provider of Atmosphere furnaces world-wide. With a strong presence in Europe, North America and Asia, the joint annual turnover generated by 1,100 employees amounts to over EUR 195 million (2015). The group operates a network in 32 countries. 

“This is a major step in AICHELIN Group’s strategy of building a global, dynamic group of companies specializing in heat treatment solutions”, says AICHELIN Group’s CEO Peter Schobesberger. “With AFCHolcroft as a member of our Group, we further evolve into a truly global company with strong local roots in the most important markets. We have an excellent, complementary geographical footprint and will further strengthen our leading positions.”  Bill Disler, CEO of AFC-Holcroft, adds: “AFC-Holcroft celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. With AICHELIN Group as our new owner, we are sure to combine our longstanding traditions with an innovative future. AFC-Holcroft will benefit from being embedded into a family of strong global companies and brands.” Extended product portfolio and services for customers AICHELIN Group’s business model covers all stages of the lifecycle: From design, engineering, manufacturing and installation at customer sites to comprehensive maintenance and spare part services.  By combining the networks of AICHELIN Group and AFC-Holcroft, customers will get the best of two worlds: An enlarged, high quality product portfolio as well as a process innovative, world-wide service network. “Together, we have an ideal position to service our customers in the best possible way. They can benefit from our extended project capabilities and the most reliable technology of three continents. Additionally, we will continue to focus on innovation and exploit all our joint possibilities”, says Schobesberger.  As the next step, a process will start to integrate AFC-Holcroft and its sister companies into AICHELIN Group’s network in the coming months. AFC-Holcroft’s headquarters will remain in Wixom, Michigan. The current top management stays in place and most customers will keep their key account managers.   “We want to play an active role in the consolidation of the heat treatment market. We aim at joint growth and a sustainable profitability, for the benefit of our customers, stakeholders and employees”, closes CEO Schobesberger.    
   
About AICHELIN Group; AICHELIN Group - with its manufacturing companies AICHELIN, EMA Indutec, SAFED, BOSIO and  Noxmat- is a leading provider of high-quality plants and systems for heat treatment solutions as industrial furnaces, induction hardening plants and industrial gas burner systems. The company’s roots go back to 1868. Today, with a turnover of EUR 170 mn and 1,100 employees world-wide, it is among the top 3 heat treatment companies world-wide.   AICHELIN Group is owned by Berndorf AG. Headquartered in Mödling, nearby Austria’s capital Vienna, AICHELIN Group has a strong presence in Europe. Its subsidiaries operate in France, Germany, Slovenia and Switzerland. The worldwide presence includes subsidiaries and offices in China, India, Russia and the US as well as a sales network in 22 countries.  

About Berndorf; AG AICHELIN Group is owned since 1997 by Berndorf AG, the holding company of a group of globally active small and medium-sized industrial enterprises serving niche markets. The Group’s core competences are in toolmaking, automotive, heat treatment, belts and belt systems, press plates, pool construction, process engineering, mechatronics and joint venture projects.  Berndorf stands for a solid orientation and long-term, stable investments. Know-how, experience, expertise and international networks make the companies in the Berndorf Group global market leaders in key industrial sectors. Berndorf Group subsidiaries and associates currently employ about 2,700 people in over 20 countries around the world.   

About Atmosphere Group; Atmosphere Group is the holding company of AFC-Holcroft, the US market leader in the production of industrial furnace equipment for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Founded in 1916, the company celebrates its 100thanniversary in 2016.  Other group companies specialize in continuous austempering and offer commercial heat treating services. 140 employees generate a turnover of USD 40 mn.   Atmosphere Group oversees companies AFC-Holcroft, Atmosphere Heat Treating and Austemper Inc. With its headquarters based in Wixom, Michigan, AFC-Holcroft operates its own subsidiaries in China and Switzerland and has a global presence through a partner network in Australia, Brasil, China, India, Mexico, Poland and Spain. July 13, 2016.

Gone Fishing. The offices of WG Montgomery Ltd. ("The Monty") will be closed for summer holidays from Saturday July 9th until Sunday July 17th. Regular news items will resume Monday July 18th. July 11, 2016.

Jim McNeal. "Jim McNeal, the Managing Recruiter of International Search Partners in La Mesa, California, the only full-service national Search Firm that specializes in the Thermal Processing industry, is proud to announce that Josh Hale has been promoted to President of the Firm. “Josh is an exceptional recruiter and I am pleased and excited to have him run our Company. I have no doubt that our many customers will continue to receive exceptional service as Josh leads our Team going forward”, McNeal said. “I have done this a long time, over 22 years, and it is time now for me to step aside and groom my successor”. McNeal will remain a Corporate Officer and will spend the next year formally turning over all of the day-to-day responsibilities to Hale. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be named the President of ISP”, Hale said. “ISP’s reputation in the Thermal Processing industry is second to none and I look forward to building on what Jim has built since 1994”. Josh can be reached at (619) 828-1040 or at joshh@ispards.com." July 11, 2016.

Magna International. We seldom veer off of our very narrow focus of captive and commercial heat treating but this is a slight tangent. Canadian auto parts maker Magna ranks as the third largest company in the world for auto parts production. Depending upon the product and region quite often the company heat treats in house which is where this story comes in. We can’t vouch for the plants in Austria but the Mexican location of Magna does do all of their heat treating in house in a number of large AFC-Holcroft pushers which makes for a very impressive heat treatment department. July 8, 2016.

“Magna International has now supplied five million Actimax transfer cases to BMW Group. The automotive supplier has been providing BMW with drive systems since 2003, including the Actimax transfer case, which powers the all-wheel-drive in nearly all BMW xDrive models. The transfer case is manufactured in Ilz and Lannach, Austria, as well as in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. "We are proud of the entire team's commitment as well as the trust that BMW Group has placed in us and our innovative powertrain solutions," stated Jake Hirsch, President of Magna Powertrain. "Milestones such as this demonstrate Magna's global leadership position in developing and producing all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive systems.” Through its powertrain operating unit, Magna is the largest independent 4WD/AWD supplier globally with 29% of an $8.2-billion consolidated market. All-wheel drive (AWD) technology, which was once limited to off-road vehicles, is now being used in almost all vehicle segments, including compact cars".

Dennis Wammes. Dennis Wammes who was General Manager for Hanomag Heat Treatment in Hanover, Germany has made a large change by moving to commercial heat treater SHU in Ulm, Germany. SHU we have mentioned several times over the years as the largest single location commercial heat treat operation in the world. In the first photo below we see Dennis Wammes and Gord Montgomery, in the second photo we see a small portion of the SHU facilities to give you an idea about the size and number of furnaces. July 8, 2016.

Bartlomiej Olejnik/Hauck Heat Treatment. Hauck is the heat treating arm of Aalberts Industries of the Netherlands and as such is one of the larger heat treaters in Europe. Bart, who is the subject of this press release is a fellow who we have a high opinion of so we are pleased he is being recognized for his abilities. July 8, 2016.

"We are very proud to announce that Bartlomiej Olejnik – who was until recently the Plant Manager of Hauck Heat Treatment Dzierżoniów – is now part of Hauck’s Executive Circle as he was appointed Managing Director for Poland. During the last almost two years, Bart Olejnik not only had a significant part in building up the plant and designing the initial processes but was also responsible for continuous improvement. Since the beginning, he was never satisfied with the status-quo but always looking for a better way. Six-Sigma and Lean-Management are only two basic principles which Bart Olejnik uses to run the business. Leadership is also an elemental part of his management philosophy. He was able to not only recruit employees that are highly capable of working in a heat treatment shop but also to build a real team of highly motivated individuals which are all together willing to offer best-in-class heat treatment. For all of that we want say thank you. We are very grateful that Bart Olejnik is now part of the Executive Circle and we are looking forward to his future work".

Furnace Engineering/Nottinghill, Australia. Last year we at “The Monty” had the opportunity to visit many of the largest players in the Australian heat treating market. We met some great people, saw some nice installations and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves however at the end of the day the heat treating market in Australia is a small one and with the downturn in the mining sector it’s not getting any larger. One of the companies we visited was furnace/oven builder Furnace Engineering who are actually the Ipsen reps in the country. We saw a vibrant prosperous company but one which is concentrating on furnaces and ovens for a wide variety of industries many far removed from traditional heat treating. The press release below gives you an idea and we also have a photo of the Managing Director, Mr. Richard Simpson. July 8, 2016.

“Furnace Engineering has been awarded a contract to design, supply and install a continuous enamelling furnace. The furnace is 20 meters long, 5 meters wide and operates according to the principle of heat interchange between the outgoing hot and the incoming cold product to improve energy efficiency. Our team is now at the final stage of site installation, almost ready for commissioning."

Robert Harris. It is with regret that we mention the passing of Robert Lance Harris, CEO of furnace building company Abbott Furnace Company of St. Marys PA. “Robert Lance Harris, the chief executive officer of Abbott Furnace Company, died at the Hospice of the Comforter in Altamonte Springs, FL on Saturday, July 2nd, 2016. Lance is survived by his wife, Tracey and their son, Logan. All of us here at Abbott Furnace are deeply saddened by the news of Lance’s passing. Lance was known for his leadership, passion and vision in the industry in which he loved. Over the course of his career he has made an impact in the local communities, companies and the global associates that he worked along side.  We here at Abbott are tremendously proud to have worked beside him and been a part of his legacy and will continue working hard to uphold the missions and values that he helped set forth within Abbott, to create an organization that carries excellence, integrity and unmatched industry standards. In lieu of flowers, the Harris Family is asking that you make a donation to Hospice of the Comforter. Please list in the comment section, In Memory of Robert Lance Harris: Donations by Mail: 480 W Central Parkway, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714. Online Donations: https://donation.floridahospital.com/makeagift/ctl/donate/mid/22874/id/144 July 7, 2016.

Helium Shortages. In a number of vacuum furnace quenching applications helium is either desirable or essential depending upon the process. The catch to it is that there is a finite supply of helium which has lead to shortages and consequently higher prices (which is why whenever it is used a helium recycling system is used to at least cut down losses). We’ve heard differing stories about shortages with some users saying they have had no issues and others saying they are actively looking at alternatives because of shortages. According to this abbreviated article below helium might not be as finite as originally thought. July 7, 2016.

“A new approach to gas exploration has discovered a huge helium gas field, which could address the increasingly critical shortage of this vital yet rare element. Helium doesn't just make your voice squeaky - it is critical to many things we take for granted, including MRI scanners in medicine, welding, industrial leak detection and nuclear energy. However, known reserves are quickly running out. Until now helium has never been found intentionally - being accidentally discovered in small quantities during oil and gas drilling. Now, a research group from Oxford and Durham universities, working with Helium One, a helium exploration company headquartered in Norway, has developed a brand new exploration approach. The first use of this method has resulted in the discovery of a world-class helium gas field in Tanzania. Their research shows that volcanic activity provides the intense heat necessary to release the gas from ancient, helium-bearing rocks. Within the Tanzanian East African Rift Valley, volcanoes have released helium from ancient deep rocks and have trapped this helium in shallower gas fields. The research is being presented by Durham University PhD student Diveena Danabalan at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Yokohama, Japan”.

ALD Vacuum Systems. Now this is an interesting rumor. Rumor has it that ALD Vacuum Systems Inc., (formerly ALD-Holcroft) within the last week landed an order for two ModulTherm systems from a US manufacturer of automotive transmission components. The Modultherm systems are designed for vacuum carburizing and there are many of these systems currently in use in transmission component plants around the world. If this rumor is true and we believe it is this is a very impressive order and will give the company a stellar year as we have heard of a number of orders ALD has received in 2016 in North America. July 6, 2016.

Solar Atmospheres. Roger Jones, corporate president of Solar Atmospheres, was nominated as a trustee on the ASM International Board of Trustees effective October 2016. The board of ASM, The Materials Information Society, is comprised of four officers and nine trustees. Three new trustees are elected by the membership every year, and each serves a three-year term. For additional information about Solar Atmospheres, visit www.solaratm.com July 6, 2016.

People “Stuff”. A couple of interesting fellows in the heat treating industry have recently made changes. First up is Mr. Steve Vogt who has an amazing resume. Steve (who is a Metallurgist by background) has worked with such diverse companies as Lufkin Industries in Texas (a gearbox manufacturer and large captive heat treater), Cloyes Gear in Arkansas (another large captive heat treater) and  Metal Improvement Company (now part of Bodycote). He has just started at captive heat treater Sona BLW Precision Forge in Selma, NC a good sized captive heat treater where he is Chief Metallurgist if we understand correctly. In other people news we see that, Lou Vasilevski who was Managing Director of fastener producer and captive heat treater Dokka Fasteners (which recently closed) has moved on to Michigan Nut Products. Dokka is a Norwegian company who set up shop in Michigan to produce fasteners for the wind turbine industry. Quite obviously this venture did not work out and the continuous and batch heat treating equipment was sold, and everybody moved on. Michigan Nut Products, (MNP) with several locations around Michigan manufacturers fastener products and has one of the larger continuous heat treating departments in North America. July 5, 2016.

UPC. "The inauguration of the newest UNITED PROCESS CONTROLS (UPC) facility took place last April in Shanghai, China, and was officiated by Vice President, Mr. Paul Oleszkiewicz and Managing Director UPC China Operations, Mr. You Zhuo. Employees, their families, customers, and the company’s Asian manufacturer representatives were in attendance to tour the new premises, which include Sales and Customer Support, Engineering, Projects Management, Production, and a ISO/IEC 17025:2005 certified Calibration Laboratory. The laboratory provides calibration and support of the Waukee flow meters as well as the Process-Electronic and Marathon Monitor brands of sensors and analyzers. While UPC has been present in China since 2005 through its affiliate member Marathon Monitors & Control Systems Corp., the new office was opened as part of the company’s development strategy to increase its manufacturing capacity and to further expand its presence in Asia. The new facility will regroup the company’s fabrication lines under one roof, which will enable UPC to strengthen its relationship with clients and partners.  “Shanghai is the most developed and international city in China. With our new location in close proximity to customers, UPC Shanghai will become the hub of activity for our Asian operations.'' said You Zhuo

ABOUT UPC. United Process Controls is a world leader in industrial process control and automation in the heat treatment and combustion markets. UPC was formed in 2012 as a result of the merger of Furnace Controls Corp. (USA), Marathon Monitors Inc. (USA), and Waukee Engineering Company Inc. (USA). UPC and its worldwide affiliates – Process-Electronic SRL France, Process-Electronic GmbH Germany, Process-Electronic Sp z o.o. Poland, and Marathon Monitors and Control Systems Corporation (Beijing), Limited China – operate nine sales and manufacturing facilities in seven countries with approximately 120 employees. UPC’s and its affiliates’ commitment is to service the thermal processing industry, helping both furnace OEMs and equipment end users make their business more profitable. Our brands include Furnace Control Corp., Marathon Monitors, Waukee Engineering and Process-Electronic, and cover an extensive product range of probes, analyzers, process controllers, flow controllers, gas compressors, gas mixers/gas blending systems, flow control systems, as well as production software. In addition to offering a complete selection of process control hardware and software, we are also specialists in engineering complete control solutions for a variety of processes (carburizing, nitriding, nitrocarburizing, and vacuum) from a single furnace installation to large-scale production." July 5, 2016.

July 4 Celebration. Due to the US July 4th celebration the offices of WG Montgomery Ltd. (“The Monty”) will be closed Monday July 4th with regular news updates resuming Tuesday, July 5th. We wish all of our US friends and customers a wonderful holiday! July 4, 2016.

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.

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, gas fired 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) will become available in the very near future. In good times these would sell same day, these days if the price is right they will sell next day. More details to come. July 1, 2016.

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.

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.



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