Monday Morning Briefing

We told you that after a one week break that we would have a million heat treat stories to tell you, this is the first installment. We start off by adding a few more details about the truly upsetting story we had last week-that of the passing of Brad Luce of Modern Heat Treat in Dallas, Texas, USA at the very young age of 43. Brad was like many of us in the industry in that he became a heat treater because his father Jerry Luce was a heat treater. Jerry founded Metroplex Heat Treat in the DFW area of Texas which became one of the largest independants in Texas before being acquired by Bodycote a number of years ago. Brad followed in his father’s footsteps and founded Modern Heat Treat in Richland Hills, Texas back in 2009 along with partner Rudy Saucedo. The company has been a tremendous success and now has roughly 60 employees and over 40 pieces of equipment. While we didn’t know Brad as well as we would have liked we did have a great deal of respect for what he accomplished and the person he was and we along with all in the industry will miss him.

July 25, 2019 commercial heat treating giant Bodycote released their 2019 financial results for the first 6 month of this year. All the details can be found at and the highlights are below;


  • Civil aviation revenue growth of 21%5
  • Specialist Technologies’ revenue growth of 4%5
  • Emerging markets revenue growth of 3%5
  • Western Europe car & light trucks’ revenues decline 16%5
  • Resilient 18.3% return on sales performance· £38m invested to support growth of the business, including two acquisitions
  • Interim dividend of 6.0p, up 5.3%

Solar Manufacturing Press Release; “Solar Manufacturing recently shipped a horizontal front-loading vacuum furnace to Georgia Southern University (GSU) in Statesboro, GA.  The furnace – the Mentor® – combines versatility and compact design to efficiently process smaller load sizes and is ideal for laboratory use.  GSU will be using the furnace primarily for vacuum thermal processing research and development of various iron-based alloys, including additive manufactured parts.  The Mentor® includes a graphite shielded hot zone and heating elements, with a work zone size of 12″ (0.3m) wide X 12″ (0.3m) high X 18″ (0.46m) deep, and a weight capacity of 250 pounds (114 kg).  Fully compliant to aerospace specification AMS2750E, the Mentor® can process in an argon or nitrogen atmosphere or in high vacuum in the 10-6 Torr range with a 6” Varian diffusion pump.  The furnace incorporates the SolarVac® Essentials control system package with large graphic touchscreen overview.  Programming capabilities include gas quench rate control up to two bar pressure, and precise temperature uniformity up to 2400° F (1316° C). Dan Insogna, Solar Manufacturing’s  Southeast Sales Manager states, “We are pleased to provide a solution to GSU’s growing research and development efforts, and we know the Mentor® vacuum furnace will benefit the university with this research.”

Sean Driscol recently became COO of Thermal Vac Technologies out in Orange, California, USA, Thermal Vac is a commercial operation offering vacuum heat treating, brazing and a number of other process which was started by Sean’s father Steve Driscol. Recently we told you about Accurate Brazing in Greenville, SC, USA expanding but we didn’t put much emphasis on the fact that this included a HIP unit. This is worth repeating as this is the fourth commercial heat treater in North America who has added this high profit margin technology in the past year;  Accurate Brazing, a full-service provider of specialized heat treating solutions, will add hot isostatic pressing to its thermal processing capabilities with the installation of a Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) from Quintus Technologies. The press, model QIH 122 M URC®, is equipped with Quintus’ proprietary uniform rapid cooling (URC), a feature that improves material properties of parts designed for mission-critical applications, increasingly produced in the vibrant additive manufacturing environment. “We chose Quintus equipment because of the advanced technology and the versatility of the design,” comments Steven Francis, President, Accurate Brazing, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Aalberts N.V., a major player in the global heat and surface treatment business, with more than 150 locations in 50 countries. The new press will join the state-of-the-art equipment line-up already operating in Accurate Brazing’s newest facility, in Greenville S.C. The company’s AS9100 quality management system and Nadcap accreditation attest to its ability to meet the stringent needs of the aerospace and power generation industries.” Speaking of new equipment orders Can Eng Furnaces of Niagara Falls, Canada recently landed a nice order for a rotary furnace designed for processing aluminum parts. The order comes from an international supplier of auto components and will be installed at their facility in North Carolina, USA.

“Nakal”, Russia’s largest furnace manufacturer recently installed a nitriding and carburizing system at one of the largest producers of mining equipment, “Kopeysk Machine-building Plant” JSC in Kopeysk, Russia. The system includes a nitriding furnace with working dimensions of 1500 X 2000 mm, a carburizing and nitro carburizing furnace with working dimensions of 1800 X 2000 mm and a carburizing and nitro carburizing furnace with dimensions of 1400 X 1400 mm.

Advanced Heat Treat Corporation based in Iowa, USA and one of the largest commercials in North America has this to say about new hires; “Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT), a recognized leader in heat treat services and metallurgical solutions, announced today the addition of three new sales and metallurgy employees: Tim Zemaitis, Shane Seevell and Katie Herron. The new sales and metallurgy team members will serve the AHT locations in Michigan, Iowa and Alabama. Zemaitis, regional sales manager for AHT’s Michigan facility, joins the team with over 30 years of experience in heat treatment, metallurgy and engineering. Seevell, regional sales manager in the corporate office located in Iowa, brings over 15 years of sales experience plus past heat treat experience working at AHT; and Herron, materials engineer & quality specialist in Alabama, rounds out the growing AHT team. Herron is a recent materials engineering graduate from the University of Alabama – Birmingham.

AHT president Mikel Woods commented, “We are excited about the new team members we’ve brought onboard. They bring new diverse skillsets that blend great with our mission.” Zemaitis will focus on heat treat needs in the Great Lakes area. The Michigan AHT facility offers ion (plasma) and gas nitriding, ferritic nitrocarburizing, UltraOx®, stress relieve, s-phase nitriding and more. Seevell will cover sales in the Midwest. The Iowa AHT facilities also provide ion (plasma) and gas nitriding, ferritic nitrocarburizing and UltraOx®, in addition to induction hardening, carburizing and more.

Tim Zemaitis

Shane Seevell

Katie Herron