Fascinating Heat Treats-Contour Hardening, Indianapolis, IN, USA

The Monty Heat Treat News” has always enjoyed heat treats out of the ordinary and one that fits the bill is Contour Hardening in Indianapolis, IN, USA which is very unique in their abilities. The company was founded back in 1986 by John Storm and Mike Chaplin, former engineers at Allison Gas Turbine. The two applied their knowledge of gears to devise a new system for hardening based upon Induction heating which meant that from 1990 to 2000 the company was turning out 10-12 systems per year, all dedicated to gear hardening for the auto industry. The next step for the firm was entering the small niche market of commercial induction heat treating and the year 2000 brought a new location (their current one) and the commercial heat treating.

2007 brought the facility in Silao, Mexico which now has 26 employees while Indy has almost 60. We speculated that Contour is the largest commercial induction heat treater in North America which is quite possible although they have to be very close in size to Zion Industries, another commercial heat treater. Currently the company’s mix is roughly 80% heat treating and 20% machine building. With 4 metallurgists on staff, multiple engineers and a dedication to customized solutions the company is planning on continuing with their stated objective of providing customized solutions designed around the part. Trivia time: the company heat treats roughly 21,000 parts per day and the average price of a system is from $300,000 to $3 million USD.

We last visited the company shortly before COVID and these photos date to that last visit. Contour has done well over the years and this year meant an improvement in sales, this is reflected in the fact that the company again made “The Monty Heat Treat News” list of the 50 largest commercial heat treaters in North America, a list which can be found at https://themonty.com/project/the-monty-heat-treat-news-50-largest-north-american-commercial-heat-treats-2022/

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