Monday Morning Briefing

Last week we had a news item about an explosion at commercial heat treater Advanced Heat Treating in St. Marys, PA-we now have this update; “Several explosions were reported at the Advanced Heat Treating Inc. facility in St. Marys, PA on Monday evening that left a worker with minor injuries, several local news organizations reported. Firefighters were dispatched to the Trout Run Road plant at about 11 p.m. and remained on scene until early Tuesday morning. “We found out they had a draw furnace that an individual was operating and for some reason the draw furnace exploded and it caused a secondary explosion,” Crystal Fire Department Chief Bill Kraus told CBS News affiliate WTAJ. The fire official said that the worker was hit by a door after the blast occurred, according to the television news station’s report.  After receiving burns to their face, the worker was transported to an area hospital for treatment.” 

Commercial heat treating giant Bodycote just released their 2018 Preliminary Results which can be found at  As usual they make for very interesting reading if you want to see all the trends in the worldwide heat treatment industry. We came across this summary about the results which is probably as good as any-obviously the financial markets seem to be impressed; “Industrial services firm Bodycote (BOY) surprised the market on Friday with a double-digit increase in 2018 pre-tax earnings, sparking a 10% rally in the shares to 852p. Investors are also being treated to a 20p special dividend, on top of a 9% hike in the full year ordinary dividend to 19p. While the core heat-treatment business, which makes up three quarters of revenues, grew by a fairly sedate 5%, the rest of the businesses generated a 12% increase in revenues with some individual units recording over 30% growth. Bodycote is the world’s leading provider of heat-processing services for metal and alloy components. Heat-treating makes parts more durable and extends their life, reducing costs for the end customer. Typical customers are car-makers and plane-makers that need specially-toughened or coated high-performance parts but Bodycote also supplies the energy industry, rail and marine markets and even food and beverage companies. Automotive industry sales were up 7% last year, which is pretty impressive given the weak performance of new car markets in Europe and the US. Sales to the aviation industry were up 8% with a major pick-up to 12% growth in the second half as supply-chain bottlenecks eased and US production of fuel-efficient LEAP engines ramped up, increasing the demand for parts. Energy sector sales were up 13% thanks to demand from the Permian basin in west Texas but there was also a pick-up in shipments for subsea contracts and this segment is continuing to grow. There was a strong contribution from emerging markets with revenues up 21% driven by Mexico and China and Bodycote is upping its investments in these markets to tap into future growth.”

European Heat Treatment Shows. This year we at “The Monty” will be attending three heat treat exhibitions in Europe; Thermprocess in Germany in June, the Moscow Heat Treat Exhibition in September and the HK 2019 event in Cologne, Germany in October. Out of the three our favorite is the HK show in October which we have attended virtually every year for the past 10. To learn more about it we would suggest you click on their banner ad on the right hand side of this page. By the way the deadline for the announcement of lectures is March 15 and oral presentations in English are welcome. The photo below was taken in 2015 and front and centre in this picture is Florian Elwart of Bodycote.

Where are they now-Greg McFee. Greg is a long time heat treater having worked at companies such as Lindberg and Bodycote and at one time running his own heat treat Thermal-Tech in Ohio, USA. Greg took a small detour into the titanium industry but he has returned to his roots and recently set up his own heat treat consulting firm by the name of Thermal Consultants in the Akron, Ohio, USA area. Advanced Heat Treat Corp., in Waterloo, Iowa is pretty proud of this award; “WATERLOO, IOWA – Individuals and businesses will be honored on March 26 at the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Annual Celebration for their ongoing commitment to making the Cedar Valley a better place to work, do business, and live. The winner of the “Business of the Year (full-time equivalent employees 51 or greater)” goes to yes Advanced Heat Treat Corp.” Stack Metallurgical Group, USA; Generally we don’t mention when a company in the industry has a new, redesigned website because well usually it makes for a pretty boring news item to be blunt. We will make an exception today though because Stack with their 4 plants in the US Northwest is far and away the largest heat treater in the region and because usually the firm is a little shy about publicity. Their new website however is very open and shares more information than has been available in the past For instance the privately held company talks about their 4 locations, including their newest one dedicated to Hipping and also brags about their SECO vacuum carburizing furnace which with working dimensions of 70” x 70” x 84” and a 10,000 pound capacity is the largest we have ever run across.

Acquisition Rumor. Now this is a rumor which keeps dragging on, let us refresh your memory; “February 27, 2019. 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.” The latest has the two sides still apart on the final pricing and this deal dragging on.

OSR Adding Heat Treat Jobs. This press release has to do with a fastener company in Columbus, Indiana, USA which is expanding and looking to hire more people for their heat treating department. The company currently has 5 mesh belt lines but if they are only investing $2 million in new equipment (as mentioned below) they certainly are not adding another new furnace line; “COLUMBUS – OSR Inc., a manufacturer of automotive fasteners, has announced plans to increase its manufacturing production in Columbus, breaking ground on a new $7 million expansion that will support its future growth in Indiana. The company, which is a joint venture between Nagoya, Japan-based Owari Precise Products Co. Ltd and Columbus-based Rightway Fasteners Inc. (RFI), will construct and equip a new 82,395-square-foot manufacturing facility near its current facility in Woodside Northwest Industrial Park. With construction set to begin immediately, OSR expects to move into the larger space by the end of 2020, increasing its Indiana footprint by more than 40,000 square feet. The new facility, which will require nearly $5 million in property improvement and $2 million in new manufacturing, quality and logistics equipment, will allow OSR to produce a broader range of metal fasteners. Construction of the new facility is to begin immediately and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.”