Feintool US in Cincinnati, Ohio Brings Heat Treating in House
Based in Switzerland, Feintool International has facilities around the world doing fineblanking, an example of this would be clutch plates in automotive applications. Over the years the company has outsourced their heat treating requirements to commercial heat treaters however this has been slowly changing in the past few years. In 2018 the company added gas and plasma nitriding capabilities to their forming plant in Ohrdruf, Germany-this photo shows part of the heat treating department.
Just last week the company announce that their facility in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA has now brought their heat treating requirements in house as you can see in the press release below. The company gives a number of reasons for this move including reduced costs, more control over quality and reduced lead times. Our experience at “The Monty” tells us the number one reason to bring heat treating in house is a reduced lead time, followed by complete control over the entire process with cost savings being dead last.
“Fineblanked automotive parts, such as clutch plates, are often subjected to tremendous wear and stress. You don’t have to look further than the iconic yellow school busses to see this in action. From the frigid cold temperatures in Fairbanks, Alaska to the scorching desert heat in Reno, Nevada, millions of children rely on the dependable and essential transportation of school busses to get them safely to and from school.
School bus powertrains, with the constant stop-and-go operation, must perform reliably in extreme conditions. Fineblanked components with the controlled surface, flatness, perpendicular cutting surfaces and a clean finish throughout the entire material thickness bring the precision and reliability to the hard-working transmissions.
The physical properties of fineblanked automotive parts must be optimized for their particular application. Heat treating, also called ‘heat flattening’ or ‘heat setting,’ plays a vital role in achieving the desired flatness and surface hardness of fineblanked components.
Now, Feintool U.S. has brought this specialized operation in-house and incorporated it into its vertically integrated manufacturing process. ‘At Feintool, we pride ourselves on having a cradle-to-grave approach,’ said Lars Reich, EVP, Sales & Marketing, Feintool U.S. ‘From design, to our fineblanking manufacturing process, and now our heat treating capabilities, controlling these operations ourselves ensures we deliver the highest quality parts at the best value.’
One way Feintool maintains its competitive edge is by continuously refining its manufacturing processes to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible. With a precise process such as heat treating, fine-tuning specific variables, such as time and temperature, can have a drastic impact on the final product. ‘The unique aspect about Feintool’s heat treating operation is that we can control every part of the process, including the temperature, ramp-up, soak time, cool-down, and the gas we use,’ said Dan Todaro, Director of Manufacturing for Feintool Cincinnati. ‘We can also use the most advanced technology and the latest techniques to create the best product possible and stay ahead of our competitors.’
‘By integrating the process, we can deliver the highest quality at the most competitive cost,’ added Reich. ‘And since we no longer have to send the parts to a third-party for heat treating, there is no risk of damaging components during shipping, ensuring we can meet our customers’ demanding production timelines.’ In addition to manufacturing a flatter, more durable, higher-quality product, owning the heat treating process also enables Feintool to control its inventory levels better, reduce lead times, and allows for the flexibility to react to customer order changes to support just-in-time delivery.”
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