10 Largest North American Heat Treat Furnace Builders

The Monty Heat Treat News” is proud to present our list of the 11 largest North American furnace builders as ranked by 2023 sales. Before we get to our list we would like to make some points about how we arrived at these rankings;

  • It is important to note that this list only includes furnace suppliers who manufacturer in North America. This is an important distinction in that some well known brands in North America will not be included as they manufacture the majority of their products outside of North America. Examples include such well known brands as SECO/WARWICK, ECM, ALD, Nitrex and TAV.
  • North America of course includes the USA, Mexico and Canada, both Canada and Mexico have one company each on this list.
  • Our list included suppliers of both atmosphere and vacuum furnaces. Apples to oranges comparison? Perhaps because the atmosphere market is substantially larger than the vacuum market but having said that the largest builder by far is almost exclusively vacuum.
  • Another distinction we should point out is that this list only includes firms who focus on the heat treat industry. Our list does not include suppliers who concentrate on other industries such as the steel industry or foundries.
  • Sales for each of these companies includes new furnaces, spare parts, rebuilds and ancillary equipment.
  • Sales figures came from a number of different sources. In the case of Ipsen it is a publicly traded firm so sales figures are relatively easy to come by. Solar Manufacturing is always very forthcoming with their sales figures, we thank Mr. Bill Jones, CEO for his openness. In most other cases we were given sales figures on the basis that they were not shared. Gasbarre, and McLaughlin two companies on our list have provided a rough idea of their sales in recent articles/Interviews.
  • Each of these companies has sales of $20 million or over. Other companies which we considered and which would be on a list of the 20 largest include Vac Aero, Williams, CEC, Lindberg, Abbott, GM Enterprises (which is under the Nitrex banner) and Centorr Industries.
  • All figures in USD
  • We thank everybody who helped us on this project.

#1 Ipsen USA, Rockford, Illinois. With 2023 sales of over $110 million USD vacuum furnace builder Ipsen USA had sales almost double that of the second largest furnace builder. Of this total 50% is new equipment and 50% aftermarket (parts, service, hot zones). Ipsen is based in Kleve, Germany which produces Ipsen’s line of atmosphere furnaces while Ipsen USA builds vacuum furnaces for the global market.

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#2 AFC-Holcroft, Wixom, Michigan. We would suggest with little hesitation that AFC-Holcroft of Wixom, Michigan is the largest manufacturer of atmosphere heat treating furnaces in North America. Over the years the company has built just about every configuration of atmosphere furnace there is although they are best known for batch IQ furnaces and pushers.

AFC-Holcroft, L.L.C. is a leading manufacturer of industrial furnace systems used in the heat treatment of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Building on the traditions of Holcroft & Company dating back to 1916, AFC-Holcroft services clients across the globe. AFC-Holcroft was created as an L.L.C. in 2000, then purchased by the AICHELIN Group in 2016. AFC-Holcroft produces high quality thermal processing equipment used in the production of metal components, and provides related aftermarket service. Customers include both captive and commercial heat treaters who supply components to various industries such as automotive, heavy truck, industrial bearings and gears, railroad, fasteners, mining, aluminum heat treatment, and others.

#3 Surface Combustion, Maumee, Ohio. Surface Combustion in Ohio is probably the oldest company on our list with a history which stretches back over 100 years. Privately owned they have built just about every style of furnace out there but they are best known for their line of “Allcase” batch IQ furnaces of which the company has built literally 1,000’s making it the most common furnace in North America;

For over 100 years, Surface Combustion has been the leader in industrial heat treatment solutions. From our signature Allcase® Batch Integral Quench Furnace to tried and proven vacuum furnace options and customized engineered products, we are your source for all heat treat and thermal processing needs. We work with all industries including agricultural, automotive, biomass, oil & gas, and powder metals and so many more. We are also an excellent resource for rebuild and retrofit services as well as maintenance and operation.

#4 Can Eng, Niagara, Falls, Ontario, Canada. Can Eng International in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada is our only Canadian furnace builder on this list. The company is best known for their mesh belt furnace lines and aluminum capabilities;

CAN-ENG Furnaces International Ltd. was established in 1964 and has grown to become a leading global designer and manufacturer of thermal processing equipment for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. We focus on the development of high volume batch and continuous industrial furnace systems for challenging applications. Our rugged furnace designs have served commercial and captive heat treaters, stamping and fastener companies, automotive component producers, the iron and steel industries, aluminum foundries, agricultural, construction and appliance manufacturers for over 60 years and we have an international reputation for design innovation, quality workmanship and a dedication to service.

#5 AVS Inc., Ayer, MA. AVS is a privately held company owned by Jake Krashan.

AVS is a manufacturer of custom, high-temperature vacuum and pressure furnace equipment for customers worldwide. AVS is a vertically integrated manufacturing facility, with full capabilities including design and engineering, ASME code-certified welding, mechanical assembly, electrical design and assembly, controls programming, and complete functional testing. AVS has a main manufacturing facility in Massachusetts and a supplemental facility in New Hampshire with over 40,000 square feet of manufacturing space for systems up to 26 feet in height. Two 10-ton and two 20-ton overhead cranes, cooling water system, and 3000 amps on site allow AVS to completely build and full-temperature test every furnace before it leaves the facility.

#6 Solar Manufacturing, Souderton, PA. We would consider Solar Manufacturing to be the second largest vacuum furnace builder on our list because of their laser focus on vacuum heat treating only. The firm is always very open on their sales figures and we quote; Solar Manufacturing Inc. sales for 2023 to the North America market were $24.5 million for 24 furnaces and major hot zone rebuilds.  Sales were to the Aerospace, Medical, Commercial HT, and General Manufacturing, non automotive. All applications were vacuum heat treating furnaces, non atmospheric or flammable atmospheres like hydrogen, natural gas, and the like. Solar Mfg. is in a 40;000 square foot plant dedicated to our vacuum furnace mfg. business and has 56 full time employees. This means our sales per employee is $437,500. USD.

Solar Manufacturing is a privately held, U.S.-based company providing technologically advanced vacuum heat treating furnaces designed and built to be the most energy efficient, cost effective, and highest performance furnaces on the market. With decades of experience as its foundation, our team offers unmatched expertise in solving our customers’ most difficult heat treating problems. Together with our affiliate Solar Atmospheres, we continually develop new solutions to vacuum processing applications and improve the science of vacuum furnace technology.

#7 Gasbarre, St. Marys, PA.

Founded in 1973, Gasbarre Thermal Processing Systems is located in St. Marys, PA and has grown to have approximately 80 employees dedicated to serving the thermal processing industries worldwide.  Gasbarre designs, manufactures, and services a full line of thermal processing equipment for virtually any process.  Gasbarre’s offering includes continuous and batch atmosphere equipment, and continuous and batch vacuum furnace lines that serve a wide range of thermal processing applications and can be adapted to nearly any production process. In 2023, Gasbarre moved into a state-of-the-art facility with 150,000 sqft of manufacturing space to support their continued growth.  Gasbarre is dedicated to serving its customers by providing products and services that combine value and design flexibility through knowledge and understanding of their customer’s processes.

#8 McLaughlin Furnace Group, Avilla, IN. Quite possibly the fastest growing company on our list is McLaughlin Furnace Group and this is how they describe themselves;

McLaughlin Furnace Group is much more than the maintenance and repair shop it began as in 2007. In the beginning, McLaughlin Services only offered complete furnace rebuilds, including structural fabrication, refractory, piping, rigging, mechanical assembly, electrical, and controls. But it didn’t take long for the Avilla, Ind., company to branch out. Shortly after opening its doors, McLaughlin Services started fabrication of car-bottom, temper and atmosphere furnaces, and support equipment. Since then, this MTI Diamond Member has started supplying custom flow panels and piping as well as custom, easily expandable endothermic generators.

#9 Mattsa Furnace Company, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Founded more than 25 years ago by Mr. Carlos Torres Mattsa in the only Mexico based furnace builder on our list. The company offers a very wide variety of heat treat furnaces which includes batch IQ furnaces, rotary hearths, mesh belts and roller hearths. Mattsa is the AFC-Holcroft licensee in Mexico and the relationship has been a long and prosperous one. Associated with Mattsa is commercial heat treater CRIO also located in Mexico.

#10 Rogers Engineering, Cambridge City, IN. Rounding out our list of the 10 Largest is privately owned Rogers Engineering in Cambridge City, Indiana While not as well known as many on the list their products will chiefly be found in captive heat treat operations;

ROGERS ENGINEERING is a world-wide leader in furnaces and other heat treatment related products and services. We supply equipment in the United States and 14 countries throughout the world, with a customer list consisting of the top companies in the world. Also offering, a full range of heat processing equipment ranging from batch through continuous and supporting atmosphere producing equipment. Rogers’s equipment is noted for its robust design, ease of maintenance, and low operating cost.