Avion Europe a Growing Force in the German Heat Treat Market

A recent visit by “The Monty Heat Treat News” to AVION Europa GmbH & Co., based in Hagen, Germany revealed to us a firm which is thriving as a provider of heat treating sales and services to the German heat treatment industry-both captive and commercial. Our hosts, co owners Mr. Roland Caminades and Mr. Sebastian Köchling were courteous, helpful and very informative and provided us with the details for this article. https://avion-europe.de/en/

1994 saw the founding of AVION Europa GmbH & Co. KG in Sprockhövel, Westphalia which at founding was primarily a reseller firm supplying the heat treatment industry.

In 2000 one of the current owners Roland Caminades acquired the company and relocated it to its present location in Hagen, Westphalia. At that point in time Avion focused on spare parts especially for Ipsen furnaces while at the same time acting as independent reseller company for a number of well known suppliers to the heat treatment industry. Roland’s background in the metals surface treatment industry proved to be invaluable to the firm’s growth.

Since those relatively humble beginnings Avion has become the largest full service heat treatment firm in Europe offering spare parts, complete systems and installs. Currently it has 3 locations in Europe; Swiebodzin, Poland, Hagen, Germany and Kleve, Germany (interestingly enough Avion is the second largest furnace builder in Poland-a little known fact).

In 2024 the company has 20 full time employees and a further 80 individuals who are involved on a regular basis. The year is proving to be a good one for the company with sales estimated to be close to 6 million euros. Besides Roland the management team includes Sebastian Köchling co-owner of the company and Mr. Damian Szarapanowski as Technical Director. Damian studied partially in Germany and worked a couple of years for former Furnace Manufacturer ELTERMA (later Seco/Warwick) before joining AVION.

In the last two years Mr. George Cluse, Sales Manager New Equipment and Ralf Winkels, Sales manager Spare Parts joined the company and lifted AVION Europa to a new level in Sales. Both Managers bring 28 years of experience in the heat treatment industry in Europe including many years at two of the largest furnace builders on the continent.

While Avion is able to offer many services to the heat treat industry a large portion of the firm’s overall business is acting as independent sales company for some of the best known suppliers to the industry. These include controls company SSi Europe of Birmingham, England, SBS Corp., of Sarasota, Florida, USA a provider of systems and solutions for fluids, Vacuum furnace builder Adencon Industrial Furnaces, furnace builder Sistem Makina of Turkey, burner company Noxmat of Germany and ITC Coatings from the USA. All this is coordinated in the background by the HEAT ALLIANCE GmbH, who is the liability company of AVION Europa.

2023 marked a turning point for the company when they entered into a co operation agreement with Turkish furnace builder Sistem Makina in an agreement where Avion functions as a sales company for Sistem Makina in Germany while also being able to install their furnaces. One of the first fruits of this agreement “The Monty” witnessed recently at fastener manufacturer Nedschroef in Altena, Germany. Avion was responsible for selling the 1.200 Kg/hour mesh belt furnace line and also responsible for installing it, a project which has been on time and on budget. “The key for selling furnaces is, that our customer have only one contact for sales, layout, production , installation and after sales service as well as integration with existing SCADA and production management systems and software in Germany and that is AVION Europa” Roland Caminades explains.

A very interesting part of Avion’s consulting and sales, business includes their work with Texas, USA based ITC Coatings who offer a product called “Ceracoat”, a ceramic reflective coating product which amongst its many advantages can reduce furnace cycle time by 25% due to reduced heat loss and faster heat up time. Roland was positively eloquent when speaking about the advantages of this product.

Did you like this article? Click here to subscribe to The Monty.

View our recent magazines and podcasts by clicking the following link. https://themonty.com/magazine/

Carlos Tröder, Roland Caminades (managing Director), Ralf Winkels (Sales Manager Spare Parts), Sebastina Köchling (managing Director), Georg Cluse (Sales manager New Equipment), Vanessa Höfer (Order Processing)

2024 has also proven to be very eventful for the company, February 8th, Avion entered into an agreement with Italian furnace builder Cieffe in what is widely anticipated to be a win/win/win situation for both companies and, most important- for the customers -this is the official press release;

“Italian Furnace equipment manufacturer Cieffe Thermal Systems S.r.l. and Germany based AVION Europe GmbH & Co. KG just announced a formal strategic cooperation for services, spare parts as well as new equipment sale for the German heat treatment market. “Starting from March 1st, 2024, AVION Europe will be engaged with our German customers, suppling original Cieffe spare parts and all services around our furnace lines. This includes brick work, maintenance and revamping or upgrading productive assets to industry 4.0/5.0 of almost 600 furnaces in the German market” explains Peter Schweighofer, CEO of Cieffe International based in Zug, Switzerland.

As part of our growth strategy, we are happy to announce this single most important expansion into the German market, by engaging with one of the most experienced, and locally rooted German service companies as a partner. Addressing our customer’s needs while equally expanding our franchise for international customer groups alike, is a value chain addition on both sides of the equation”, Schweighofer concluded. “For AVION Europe this cooperation is a milestone in its company history, and we are happy to support one of the major players in the European furnace market” Roland Caminades, Managing Director of AVION Europe comments the development.”

There is little that Avion is not able to offer to the heat treat market and this includes products for salt quenching applications. It is interesting that salt quenching in Europe has seen the same changes in attitudes as have been seen in North America; from a widely accepted form of quenching, to a reluctance to use it because of environmental concerns all the way back to being considered a safe, effective form of quenching some benefits over oil and polymer quenching. George Cluse has these comments;

We are currently experiencing a renaissance in the field of salt bath curing. While this technology has been dismantled in many places over the past 30 years, the specialists who have held on to it have now often occupied a very interesting niche that offers many advantages, and not just in terms of technology. Avion has also established itself as a reliable partner in the market in this area with various innovative solutions. Avion is known as a competent partner in the heat treatment industry for complex issues such as monitoring moisture, continuous scale removal, overall filtration, optimum temperature control/uniformity and cooling capacity, etc.

Our salt bath technology can therefore be found in chamber furnaces, classic shaft furnace applications and fully automatic baths, which are subject to the highest demands and must achieve high-quality results in continuous 24/7 operation in many sectors of industry. Avion sees itself as a provider of complete solutions for the customer that meet the requirement of “all components from a single source”. In the end, the customer should not be bothered with interface problems, but has a competent partner in Avion, who combines the individual requirements with precisely tailored & reliable solutions. Our experienced team is what sets us apart. 

Further more in the last twelve years AVION was one of the first companies in Europe that sold control systems for Endogas Generators. The control system stopped the inefficient and expensive burn-off procedure, which was not seen as a problem back then. Today almost all Generator suppliers offer their own modernized control system for new generators. “Since there are more used generators than new ones, AVION Europa concentrates on retrofitting old generators and supplies an add-on kit, so that older systems do not need to burn-off excess Endogas. Our AVIOGen System enables all Generator operators to do their share in CO² reduction, independent from the original Generator manufacturer” explains Damian Szarapanowski, Technical Director and responsible for this technology at AVION Europa. We should add that we not only retrofit generators but also brand new systems. And there is more to come. “The Monty” will follow the development of AVION Europa and will update you from time to time.