Monday Morning Briefing

We are going to start off the week with this press release from Ipsen; Cherry Valley, ILLINOIS (March 1, 2019)Ipsen USA is pleased to announce the promotion of Matt Clinite from Midwest Regional Sales Owner to Ipsen Customer Service Sales Manager, effective immediately. The position is new to Ipsen, and in it, Clinite will be responsible for building the Ipsen Customer Service sales team to provide the best in the industry aftermarket support for parts, engineered solutions and service. Clinite joined the company in June 2014 as a Sales Engineer and for the past four years has served as the Regional Sales Owner for the Midwest Region. Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Illinois State University in 2011. “Since day one, Matt has influenced Ipsen in a positive direction,” said Pete Kerbel, Vice President of Sales, Ipsen USA. “Matt has excelled because of his work ethic and determination to solve problems for customers.” Ipsen’s customer service team is responsible for providing customers with comprehensive aftermarket support and services. Clinite’s experience and proven approach to customer service, combined with his technical ability, makes him the ideal fit for this role.”

Remember this news item from last week? Are the Chinese Taking Over? Now here is a very interesting rumor, one which we take seriously enough to mention today. Rumor has it that a Chinese company involved in the auto industry will be announcing possibly as soon as today that they have acquired a large Western based furnace manufacturer. If this is true it would mark the first time that a Western based furnace company has been acquired by an Asian company.” Well we still expect that it will turn out to be true, however these acquisitions can grind on at an amazingly slow rate. As soon as we know something, you will know something.

Paul Zettler/AlphaTek. Down in Texas Paul Zettler had a growing business by the name of AlphaTek which did service, repairs and installs of vacuum furnaces (Paul worked for Mercer Technologies another company in the industry for a number of years). We’re not entirely sure what happened but it sounds like Paul has left the heat treating industry for something entirely different. This photo shows Paul (second from the right) and his team 5 years ago). For some reason there seems to be a high casualty rate amongst vacuum service companies in Texas. Another one which prospered for a while before going down in flames was Texas Vacuum Solutions which was founded by Matt Burnett. Matt and his company completely disappeared a few years ago with no forwarding address leaving only one vacuum furnace rebuilder based in Texas, Industrial Furnace Specialties founded by Randy Rowland which is absolutely top notch.

Furnace Manufacturer Rohde in Germany sent us this press release about a recent order for a pit furnace. “This photo was taken during the successful final acceptance test at the Rohde plant in Hanau. This pit furnace with cooling station was designed and built for S.C.A.I. Adaptors D.O.O. in Bosnia and Herzegowina. In this photo we have from the left; Andreas Wiesemann (technical director of Rohde), Paolo Fossati (Metalconsulting Italy), Raphael Raatz (deputy technical director of Rohde), Natasha Rohde, Roberto Bagnasco (CEO of S.C.A.I. Adaptors D.O.O.), Giuseppe Milano (quality manager S.C.A.I), Norbert Plass (director electrical department at Rohde).”

According to this press release a German company by the name of SCHWING Technologies want to bring Fluidized Bed Furnace technology to North America. Our first thought is that we hope the salespeople are working on salary and not commission. At the end of the day there is nothing wrong with the technology and probably some advantages however the bottom line is not 1 heat treater out of 100 in North America would even consider this technology. The photo below shows a typical system.  “Thermal cleaning solutions and fluid bed process technology firm SCHWING Technologies is opening a new sales office in the U.S., the company announced this week.  The newly founded SCHWING Technologies North America Inc. is based in Princeton, NJ. The North American office is headed by chemical engineer Michael J. Robinson, a proven expert in fluidized bed process technology and previous manager of the Fluidized Bed Process Technique Department at SCHWING Technologies GmbH in Germany.  Andrew S. Dickinson, who has extensive knowledge of thermal processing, will serve as Sales Manager for North America. The two specialists will advise and support customers in the USA and Canada on all issues relating to fluidized bed process technology, heat treatment, and thermal cleaning.”

Where are they now-Aaron Flesher. A metallurgist by background Aaron’s work experience looks like a “whose who” of some of the largest captive heat treaters in North America; Honda, Presrite and Oerlikon are all included. It would appear that Aaron is now a heat treat engineer at one of the largest captive heat treaters in North America, Caterpillar in West Lafayette, Indiana. Morris Crafton/Thermcraft; “On Valentine’s Day, Thermcraft lost its founder, Mr. Morris L. Crafton, at 93. Nearly 50 years ago in January of 1971, Mr. Crafton and his wife Clara, founded Thermcraft on the principal of providing the best customer service available in the thermal processing industry.” Roger Jones, Solar Atmospheres/ASM Cleveland Chapter, March 26;Join us in welcoming Mr. Roger Jones, FASM, who is CEO Emeritus of Solar Atmospheres and a Trusteee of ASM International.  As part of our technical program, he will give a talk on “Vacuum Heat Treating of Additive Manufactured Components”. March 26 will also be Awards Night for the Chapter. Abstract: Additive Manufacturing is rapidly becoming today’s buzz word. AM is rapidly replacing various manufacturing processes as its being accepted in various machining markets. The vacuum furnace plays a vital role in the proper heat treatment of AM parts. This presentation will review basic AM procedures, and the role that vacuum heat treating is utilized as a support function of the final product.”

And to round things out we have this announcement from Abbott Furnace about their upcoming Continuous Brazing Symposium in Mexico; “Abbott Furnace Company is pleased to announce it will be hosting its Fifth Annual Continuous Brazing Symposium in Mexico this spring in Puebla, Mexico from May 21 – 23, 2019. This training event is a unique gathering opportunity for manufacturers and suppliers to the brazing and powder metal sintering industries.  It is an excellent opportunity for those new to the industry as well as seasoned professionals interested in honing their knowledge of brazing.  For two and a half days attendees will hear from experts in the areas of continuous furnaces, filler metals, belts, CQI-9, furnace atmosphere generation, and atmosphere flow control, troubleshooting, maintenance and optimization,  Lecturers are Penn State University Adjunct Professor, Dr. Steve Feldbauer, who serves as Abbott Furnace Company’s Director oF Research and Development, Miguel Martel, Mechatronics Engineer at Abbott Furnace Company, Mexico, Victor Zacarias, Managing Director, Global Thermal Solutions, Mexico, Creed Darling, Director, Technical Sales, Bellman-Melcor LLC, Cory Bloodsworth, Director, New Business Development, Cambridge Engineered Solutions, Antonio Mendoza, Supplier Technical Assistance at Ford Motor Company, Mexico, Joel Gutierrez, Account Manager of Kymera International, and Eric Jossart, Director of Sales, Heat Treat at United Process Controls. For more information about Abbott’s Fifth Annual Continuous Brazing Symposium in Mexico or future symposiums in the US, please contact Julianne Inzana at or call 814-781-6355.