Monday Morning Briefing
For today August 18, 2019 we are going to start out with an updated news item from Germany. Bach in March of this year we mentioned that Jens Baumann & Edgar Falkowski in Germany had parted ways with controls company UPC (the UPC ad can be found on the right side of this page). As it turns out the two started their own controls company Millivolt GmbH also in Germany. Jens and Edgar are friendly, knowledgeable fellows and we wish them the best of luck however we question whether there is a need for another controls company in an already crowded market. “March 2019; One of the world’s largest and best known suppliers of controls for the heat treat industry, United Process Controls has seen a couple of personnel changes in Europe; “United Process Controls GmbH and Messrs Edgar Falkowski (previously Director Engineering) and Jens Baumann (previously Director Sales) parted company on 25 February 2019. As current contact person in place of Mr. Falkowski in the Engineering Division please contact our Ms. Soldani, phone +49 7161 94888-38, e-mail; Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org. Our existing team will continue to work with you in a professional and uninterrupted manner; the replacement of both positions is already in progress.” In May of this year we had a news item from Sweden-specifically it was about a company by the name of Epiroc making a very large investment in a brand new, state of the art captive heat treat department. We can now share a bit more information with you; there will be two completely different technologies at this location when the expansion is finished. The first is a brand new Vacuum Carburizing Line from a European supplier, the second is an ADI (Austemper Ductile Iron) furnace from a North American supplier. “May 2019;Epiroc has held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new heat treatment plant for rock drills at one of its global manufacturing hubs in Örebro, Sweden. With heat treatment an essential part of rock drill manufacturing, the top-modern plant – to be built through an expansion of the current workshop building – will further boost rock drill quality and performance, according to Epiroc. It will also lower customers’ total cost of ownership and enable higher production volumes, the company added. Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure, said: “The investment is a key step toward ensuring that this first-class manufacturing site remains as productive and competitive as possible for the long term.” Production at the 1,400 m² heat treatment plant will be able to run 24 hours a day thanks to automation. It is expected to be up and running by late-2020. Energy efficiency is a key focus for the design of the plant, with, for example, residual heat recycled internally to heat buildings.”
In the US we see that things are “hoping” with companies making substantial investments in more equipment-needless to say we only care about the heat treat investments. For instance commercial heat treater American Heat Treating up in Connecticut is making a very large investment in more equipment, give us a few weeks and we can give you all the details. Several heat treat news sources mentioned how a company by the name of Mueller is planning on building a new foundry in Illinois; “Mueller Water Products Inc. plans to build a new, state-of-the-art foundry in Decatur, Ill. The facility will be one of the largest finished-goods brass foundries in the world. It will increase Mueller’s production capacity to meet current and future demands. Construction of the foundry, which is expected to employ up to 250, will begin in fall 2019. According to Mueller, the Decatur foundry is part of a multi-year project that will provide operational efficiencies that will directly benefit its customers, employees and the local community.” What the other news sources did not say (because they weren’t aware of it) was that the company has recently been making some investments in heat treating equipment for their other plants. For instance their location in Michigan recently bought a large box furnace. Commercial heat treater Thermal Metal Treating in Aberdeen, North Carolina is another company investing in more equipment, specifically a continuous heat treat line. We visited the plant earlier this year and we have to say they are some of the nicest people we have met.
Recently we updated our list of the Largest Commercial Heat Treaters in North America, however every time we update the list we get more suggestions about other companies that should possibly make the list. Two which were suggested to us this past week and that are definite possibilities are the Stackgroup of companies in the US Northwest and Continental Heat Treating in California. In the case of Stack Metallurgical based in Portland, Oregon we would agree that yes they are one of the largest in North America with 3 locations and a fourth dedicated to “HIPPING” being built. Continental, owned by Mr. Jim Stull is a company which we don’t know a great deal about except we believe they have a total of 3 locations around the LA area. Aalberts (the second largest commercial heat treater in Europe) recently made the news because of their acquisition of salt specalist Applied Process in the US, an acquisition which pushed them onto our list of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America. If you want to know more about the company they recently announced their financial results which can be found at https://aalberts.com/. We will warn you though that because heat treating is only a portion of what the company does it might be tricky to track down how their individual heat treats are doing. We are pleased to introduce our most recent advertiser, “Nakal” the largest furnace builder in Russia, a company which we plan on visiting in a few weeks when we attend the upcoming heat treat exhibition in Moscow. Their ad can be found on the right hand side of this page.
We haven’t had much news from India recently so here are a couple of small items. Shubhan Singh was recently promoted to Engineer-Heat Treatment & Metallurgy at Hi-Tech Gears Ltd. Hi-Tech Gears with headquarters in Guragon, India is a supplier of transmission components and a very large captive heat treater with a mixture of sealed quench, fluidized bed, induction and continuous furnaces. Far and away the largest commercial heat treater and furnace manufacturer in India are our good friends at Dowa Hightemp. The company has multiple commercial heat treats around the country and seems to keep adding more locations. On the furnace manufacturing side of things the company recently announced that in the past couple of years they have provided 3 pusher type CGC furnace lines with press quenching and robotics included to a Swedish-Italian facility in India. And that concludes our Monday Morning Briefing.