Monday Morning Briefing

​While we haven’t heard much about new vacuum carburizing orders or installations recently we ran across two this past week. In a posting about ECM last week we mentioned how we understood they had recently received an order for a very large installation. About the same time we ran across a North American manufacturer who had just placed a reasonably nice order with ALD. Course along the same lines we also heard about a large auto parts supplier who had been planning on ordering a VC system, however at a meeting just 2 weeks ago they postponed any decision on it for at least a year. In Canada captive heat treater Slacan in Brantford, Ontario is busy expanding their heat treating department and is getting pretty close to starting up some more equipment. Slacan is Canada’s largest designer and manufacturer of Poleline hardware and are pretty much unbeatable at what they do. Last week we had the chance to see the relatively new Bodycote (commercial heat treating) facility in Romulus, Michigan and we can tell you exactly nothing about it. It has been in operation a little over a year and all we can tell you is that it is a beauty and no expense was spared on the facility. Hopefully one of these days we will be able to persuade the “powers to be” to allow us a couple of pictures. February of this year the CEO of Ipsen in Kleve, Germany, Mr. Marc Angenendt parted ways with the company at which point we lost touch with him. Our understanding is that he is in the process of starting up a company in Germany to service the heat treating industry. We will be in Germany next week and will try and find out all the details. As the General Motors Strike drags on it is certainly having a dappening effect on the heat treating industry. Obviously all of the GM in house heat treating is shut down but in addition we are seeing a lot of furnaces shut down at commercial heat treats and Tier One suppliers all over the US and Canada.

BMI is one of the largest vacuum furnace builders in France and seems to provide a tremendous number of furnace to the Asian market. This is a not uncommon press release from the company; “On September 11th 2019, BMI hosted in its premises the visit of a Chinese delegation made of several members from the China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC). This visit was part of the Group’s Euro tour where they visit their qualified suppliers on a regular basis.The delegation included members of the purchasing entity CATIC but also top managers from three of the biggest subsidiaries of the Group: Cheng Du Aircraft, Shen Yang Aircraft and Xi An Aircraft. All three entities are already key customers of BMI.”

In the UK Commercial heat treater and testing lab “Keighley Laboratories” is updating their testing equipment and furnace controls according to this press release; “With the UK Aerospace Market continuously seeking to explore new technologies and pushing existing boundaries, competition to provide the highest quality services in aerospace is fiercer than it has ever been.The latest addition of a Leco ONH836 Gas Analyser to Keighley Labs Chemical Laboratory allows for the robust analysis of materials using Inert Gas Fusion, enabling Oxygen, Nitrogen and Hydrogen analysis. In addition Debbie Mellor, Manager Director had this to say; “We’ve also completed the investment programme of updating our furnace controls, allowing optimum process visibility and control of atmosphere.  This ensures Aerospace equivalent standards are applied to our commercial production, which in turn ensures high quality of product.  Along with further investments, we have also sought to increase our approval base, with recent Magellan Aerospace and Collins Aerospace approvals.”

This week will see the Heat Treat 2019 show in Detroit, Michigan, far and away the largest heat treat show in North America this year. “The Monty” is already in Detroit and we plan on providing live coverage of the event. It would appear that the last time this event was held was in 2015 and we have these photos to prove it. See you this week.