The Monty’s Largest North American Commercial Heat Treats 2020

Since 1999 “The Monty” has been publishing annually a list of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America based upon annual sales, our 2019 list can be found This year readers will see we became a bit more ambitious and expanded the list to the 30 largest. Before we get into the list it is disclaimer time;

    • Rankings are based upon sales for 2019.
      • The vast bulk of companies on this list are privately held which means exact sales figures can be difficult to find. So while we are quite proud of our efforts and consider this list to be the most accurate available anywhere we do not for a second claim that it is 100% correct.
        • Over the years some readers have pointed out that our rankings are not always in line with MTI figures (Metal Treating Institute is the largest organization of commercial heat treaters in North America and they rank their members in each geographic region). We would concur with this for two reasons. The first is that not all commercial heat treaters belong to MTI which “skews” the numbers. For instance some of the largest commercial heat treater on the continent do not belong, this includes Bodycote, Woodworth and Advanced Heat Treat Corp. Second MTI tracks members in a particular region. For instance Specialty Steel Treating does not rank as the largest in Michigan which is where they are headquartered but when you factor in their facility in CT (a different region for MTI) the overall picture changes.
          • We are always asked where the information for our rankings comes from, a very fair question. The largest on our list, Bodycote is a publicly traded company and sales figure are freely available. Solar Atmospheres, #6 on our list is very open and said that we could post their sales figures, Heat Treating Services in Michigan also gave us permission to post a ball park figure for them. Most of the companies on this list did share sales figures with us on the basis that they not be printed, a very reasonable request. Further verification came from knowing the number of locations, the physical size of each, number of employees and the processes each offers.
            • We appreciate the help and guidance everybody provided us with.
              • All figures quoted are in US Funds.

              #1 Bodycote 

              Bodycote is the world’s leading provider of thermal processing services offering heat treatment, hot isostatic pressing, surface technologies, brazing, and specialist processes with unmatched capacity. Operating an international network of facilities and serving a wide range of industries including aerospace, defense, automotive, power generation, oil and gas, construction, machine building, medical, and transportation. Bodycote’s thermal processing services improve material properties such as strength, durability, and corrosion resistance, enabling manufacturers’ components to work more efficiently with significantly extended operational lifetimes.

              Bodycote is a vital link in the manufacturing supply chain, its facilities can process a wide range of component sizes to exacting standards with reliable and repeatable results. With over 185 facilities globally, Bodycote’s extensive list of accreditations across the network demonstrates the consistent high-quality services provided to its clients.

              (Editors note; Estimated North American sales in 2019 were approximately $300 million USD).


              #2 Paulo 

              Founded in 1943, Paulo is the largest privately held provider of thermal processing and metal finishing solutions in North America. Headquartered in St. Louis, Paulo operates six divisions servicing the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Southeast regions of the United States and northern Mexico. Paulo has been family owned and operated since the beginning, now the fourth generation carry on the business Ben and Pauline Rassieur started 77 years ago.

              The processes we offer include a wide range with some specialization based on the local markets while retaining redundancy for contingency planning. We provide the traditional heat treat processes via batch IQ’s, vacuums, and continuous belts.  In addition to those core services we provide nitriding, HIP, brazing,  zinc plating, and black oxide at select locations.


              #3 Woodworth Heat Treating

              The third largest North American commercial heat treater on our list is a company which operates 4 facility in two countries and specializes in large volume automotive work.

              “Woodworth Inc. provides a wide range of heat treatment services through our four facilities. We are currently located in Pontiac, Homer, and Flint, Michigan, as well as Puebla, Mexico. The company operates 40 large furnaces in North America. Woodworth Inc. has installed capacity to run 16 million + rotors per year. (2.2 million Lbs / Day).”


              #4 Bluewater Thermal Solutions

              Bluewater Thermal Solutions operates 12 different heat treatment and brazing facilities in the United States and Canada and this makes us one of the largest heat treating and brazing companies in North America. Each location has different capabilities and equipment that allows them to offer specialized different types of processing required by their local markets. Bluewater provides thermal processing and metal joining to over 2,000 customers.

              In addition to specialty heat treatments and brazing, most of Bluewater’s locations offer traditional heat treatments such as annealing, hardening, carburizing, carbonitriding, vacuum heat treatments, nitriding, nitrocarburizing, normalizing, solution treat and age hardening, stress relieve, and many more.


              #5 Premier Thermal Solutions

              Premier Thermal is a commercial metal processing company based in Lansing, MI.  With ten plants and 260 employees located throughout the Midwest, Premier Thermal has been delivering high quality products and services to its customers throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico since 1978.  Premier Thermal has the technical expertise and equipment necessary to heat treat both ferrous and non-ferrous metals with diverse processing capabilities including ferritic nitrocarburizing, isothermal annealing, spheroidize annealing, solution annealing (water, air and glycol quench), aging, normalizing, neutral hardening (oil and polymer quench), zinc phosphate and lube coating, blast cleaning, grinding and polishing.  Premier Thermal also offers a ferritic nitrocarburized bar product; NitroSteel® bar is an environmentally friendly alternative to chrome plated bar providing superior corrosion resistance, improved wear resistance, better lubrication retention and no surface pitting or flaking.


              #6 Solar Atmospheres

              Solar Atmospheres Heat Treating Operations. The Solar Nation heat treating plants includes Souderton PA, Hermitage PA, Fontana CA, and Greenville SC, and have in total 357,000 square feet of plant space, 56 operating vacuum furnaces and 22 air operating temper furnaces.  This does not include production plant freezers, metallurgical laboratory instrumentation, including a new electron-scanning microscope, and metallurgical laboratory testing equipment. Many of the production vacuum furnaces are the largest capacity, certainly in the commercial heat treating industry. In addition, we have four new large vacuum furnaces on order for our plants, and a completely new vacuum oil quench furnace just out of engineering. 2019 sales and other operational data for all plants: Sales $61.5 million, 220 employees, dollars per employee $280,000.


              #7 Aalberts Industries

              Aalberts N.V. is a public company with its global HQ in the Netherlands.  For years, Aalberts’ has maintained a significant position in the heat treat industry in Europe with its Hauck heat treatment division.  Aalberts has continued that success here with its group of US heat treaters:  Accurate Brazing, Applied Process and Ionic Technologies.  The US group consists of eight physical locations and offers a wide range of heat treating technologies with the most recent addition of HIPing in its Accurate Brazing facility in Greenville, SC.




              #8 Braddock Metallurgical

              Braddock Metallurgical. Family owned Braddock Metallurgical was founded in 1953 by William Braddock. The company has eight production facilities mainly in the US Southeast, however the company also has a location in NJ and Puerto Rico. Braddock is a full service heat treater in that they offer virtually every process available. We are quite confident saying that they are the third largest family owned commercial heat treater in North America.


              #9 Specialty Steel Treating, Michigan, CT

              Specialty Steel Treating, founded 1956, has been performing precision heat treating for more than 60 years. Since our inception, SST has always put quality and customer service at the forefront of our business philosophy. SST services numerous industries, ranging from but not limited to: Aerospace (military, commercial aircraft, space shuttle), Automotive & Truck, Industrial Bearing, Heavy Equipment and Tool & die. Specialty has facilities in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Fraser, Michigan and East Granby, Connecticut.


              #10 Nitrex

              Nitrex is a world leader in heat treating solutions with a unique integrated products portfolio composed of three divisions: Nitrex Turnkey Systems, United Process Controls and Heat Treating Services. Its Heat Treating Services division is an international full-service commercial heattreatment solutions provider. With over 35 years in heattreating, 9 locations in the U.S., China, Canada, Mexico and Europe, over 4000 unique processes, 18,000 lab test results and a team of skilled metallurgists, engineers and heat treaters, Nitrex is a solutions provider capable of going beyond traditional heattreating services.

              Serving North American customers from its locations in Chicago-IL, Franklin-IN, Mason-MI, Las Vegas-NV, Montreal-Canada, and Queretaro-Mexico, Nitrex has established long term relationships with an array of OEMs, Tier 1s and end-users. While world-renowned for its nitriding expertise, Nitrex also provides a full suite of state-of-the-art vacuum, atmosphere, and LPC solutions to its many customers and will continue to expand its global footprint through 2020 and 2021.


              #11 Advanced Heat Treat Corp

              Established in 1981, Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT) is a recognized global leader in providing heat treat services and metallurgical solutions. Between its locations in Alabama, Iowa and Michigan, AHT offers over 20 surface treatments such as UltraGlow® Ion & Gas Nitriding, UltraOx®, Nitrocarburizing, Induction Hardening, Carburizing, Quench & Temper and more.

              AHT had record-breaking sales last year. Approaching its 40th year, the company credits its success to its loyal employees (42% have been at AHT for over 10 years) and a focus on “exceeding customers’ expectations.” Over recent years, AHT has been recognized for numerous industry and employer awards including, but not limited to: Business of the Year, Employer of Choice, Top 25 Most Influential People in North American Heat Treat and more.


              #12 Heat Treating Services Corporation of America (HTS)

              Based in Pontiac, Michigan HTS is a privately owned commercial heat treater founded in 1978. The company has 4 plants in Michigan and serves the ferrous metal industries with thermal process and clean capabilities, which exceed sixty-four (64) million pounds per month. The company had sales of over $30 million USD in 2019.


              #13 Thermal Process Holdings

              THERMAL PROCESS HOLDINGS is a dynamic growth company providing critical Metallurgical services to virtually every industrial sector. Our strategy is to provide industry leading thermal services throughout North America from our expanding network of facilities. Our highly experienced leadership team assures your product is processed to your specification, on time and on budget. THERMAL PROCESS HOLDINGS, your trusted thermal service provider.


              #14 ALD Thermal Treatment

              ALD Heat Treat Services is considered to be one of the premier heat treat organizations in the world specializing in distortion control through its specialization in Low Pressure Carburizing (LPC) and High Pressure Gas Quenching (HPGQ). ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH., operates two facilities in North America; each ideally located in the manufacturing heartland of the United States and Mexico. ALD Thermal Treatment, Inc., located in Port Huron, MI, opened in 2006 and the sister plant in Ramos Arizpe, Coah. (Mexico), launched in 2008, have both earned the prestigious General Motors Supplier Quality Excellence Award for six consecutive years. ALD is proud to note that they are the only outside heat treat facilities in the GM supply base who can claim this honor. ALD also operates another state of the art facility in Saxony, Germany and are on track for a fourth facility in Suzhou China in early 2021.

              We are the solution for superior quality vacuum heat treating services, with a strong international presence and worldwide operation which includes furnace sales and furnace equipment servicing offered by our world-renowned ALD affiliates. Our Quality System, automation controls, Research & Development Team, in-house Laboratory, and other internal processes are robust and second to none. We are IATF 16949, AS9100, and ISO 9001 Certified, and we are also ISO 27001 and ISO 14001 compliant. We are currently seeking NADCAP certification and look forward to servicing the Aerospace Community with the highest degree of quality and precision available in the market today. Our processes minimize the distortion of precision manufactured components, such as the gears and thin walled parts found in major automotive (trucks and off-road vehicles), energy and aerospace applications. Often, our customers can reduce or totally eliminate post heat treat processing resulting in total part cost optimization.      


              #15 Rex Heat Treat

              Rex Heat Treat is a family owned-and-operated business that began the year of 1938 in Pennsylvania. In its beginning, Rex Heat Treat supported the United States military efforts during World War II. Since then, Rex has also managed heat treating plants in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Through a combined 190,000 square feet, between the Alabama and Pennsylvania facilities, Rex Heat Treat is able to effectively serve industries, such as Mining and Drilling, Energy, Aerospace and Defense, and Transportation. With the installation of the world’s largest Vertical Vacuum Oil Quenching Furnace, Rex Heat Treat is primed for continued growth.


              #16 FPM Heat Treating

              For over 40+ years FPM Heat Treating has been providing unsurpassed service and quality heat treating to the nation’s manufacturing community. We have assembled a leading team of heat treating practitioners and metallurgists who understand how to control the many process variables to satisfy and meet the challenging OEM and Military/Aerospace specifications. Some of our capabilities include Batch and Continuous processing of Through Hardening, Carburizing, Carbonitriding, FNC, Nitriding, Salt Bath and our Vacuum processing of Age Hardening, Annealing, Bright Hardening, and our patented Nitrotec Process.

              We are ISO 9001-2015 Certified at all locations and maintain Nadcap accreditation in our Elk Grove facility. Along with our Nadcap approval we have many accreditations and approvals such as CQI-9 certified, Sikorsky, Pratt & Whitney, GE Aviation, and Honeywell just to name a few. We proudly are heavily involved in the Metal Treating Institute and local Mid-West trade associations


              #17 ThermTech Inc.

              ThermTech in Waukesha, Wisconsin is a privately held commercial heat-treating company that offers a wide range of services to a diverse and discerning set of customers. It was founded in 1982 by Charles Wiberg and remains a family owned business. We are proud to offer exceptional, value-added services to manufacturers in the Forging, Foundry, Heavy Equipment, Machining, Oil & Gas and Tool & Die markets. ThermTech is currently ISO 9001:2000 certified.


              #18 Industrial Steel Treating, Jackson, Michigan

              Industrial Steel Treating Company (IST) began operations in Jackson, Michigan in 1943, initially servicing the growing tool and die industry in mid-Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Today, IST is one of the largest and most modern production heat treatment companies in North America. Two separate, across-the-street facilities house production, prototype sample and warehouse-inventory management capabilities within 350,000 SF.  Ten truck bays are within a short distance from I-94 and US 127, 24 hour receiving and shipping ensure fast order processing. IST obtained QS-9000 registration in 1996 and today is ISO 9001:2015 registered. We service metal parts manufacturers with clean heat treat processing. Quick and reliable, our goal is to satisfy your requirements; we will not let you down!


              #19 Stack Metallurgical

              Stack Metallurgical Group consists of four sites strategically located throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Stack specializes in advanced heat treating, aluminum anodizing and painting, and hot isostatic press (HIP) services.

              With a rich history dating back to 1946, Stack has become a trusted partner to demanding clients in industries such as aerospace, power generation, precision cutlery, oil and gas, and general industrial.  Stack has been privately held by the Ederer family since 1974.  Over the last 46 years, the business has grown and expanded into new markets.  The most recent expansion, Stack HIP, was launched earlier this year in Albany, Oregon.


              #20 ETSA, Mexico

              ETSA Group, Mexico; Founded in 1979, Especialidades Termicas, S.A (ETSA Group) is one of the two largest commercial heat treaters in Mexico with 350 employees spread over 6 locations,  Guadalajara, Celaya, Aguascalientes, San Juan del Rio and Mexico City. In actual number of furnaces the company has 6 vacuum furnaces, 4 nitrocarburizing units, 20 batch IQ’s, 3 mesh belt lines, 2 large pit carburizers, 4 bell type for annealing and 1 austemper line. ETSA is a family owned business and the current CEO is Mr. Mario Fabian Mendez son of the founder of the company. The company also has an entire division dedicated to rebuilding and installing furnaces.


              #21 Hansen Balk, Grand Rapids, Michigan

              Since 1955, Hansen/Balk in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA has built a reputation as a state-of-the-art provider of steel heat-treating services. Our 85,000-square-foot facility features a full cohort of best-in-class batch vacuum and batch atmosphere furnaces, capable of processing orders of all sizes. We offer a variety of services, but are best known for the breadth and depth of our vacuum heat-treating capabilities-including high-pressure quenching up to 15 Bar-as well as unique services such as cryogenic treating, flame hardening and induction heat-treating services. We adhere to the most technologically advanced heat-treating methods with modern equipment to ensure your parts meet the required specifications-from hardness tolerance to surface finishes. We also bring customers a deep well of metallurgical knowledge, formed over six decades of work on millions of parts.


              #22 East Carolina Metal Treating Inc.

              East Carolina Metal Treating was founded in 1976 by Charles Ramm with just a salt pot.  When Charles retired in 1998, he passed down his legacy to his son, Jamie Ramm.  Through a commitment to continual improvement and reinvestment, ECMT has garnered a reputation for providing high quality service with great turnaround and the best customer service.  ECMT has a state of the art metallurgical lab and maintains Nadcap, ISO 9001, AS9100, and Appendix B certifications.  Servicing the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions the company has grown into a 45,000 square foot facility located just outside downtown Raleigh, and ECMT’s second location, Virginia Metal Treating, is currently constructing a 20,000 square foot facility in Lynchburg, VA.  ECMT offers a full range of heat treating services including Vacuum, Batch IQ, Nitriding/FNC, Induction, Cryogenics, as well as Black Oxide and partners with the best equipment manufacturers to provide repeatable quality results for our diversified customer base.  ECMT is proud to focus on treating customers, employees, and all other stakeholders with dignity and respect.


              #23 Specialty Heat Treating, Houston

              Specialty Heat Treat, Inc. is a family owned business and was founded in 1993 by Tom Moore in Houston, TX. SHT operates a 100,000 square foot facility on 9 acres and has grown to 42 furnaces up to 25’ in length. Customers include small machine shops, steel warehouses, OEM’s, and forgers almost exclusively servicing the oil and gas markets. Since 1994, furnaces have been in operation 24/7 with the exception of a few hurricanes.


              #24 Parker Trutec

              Parker Trutec is a North American subsidiary of Nihon Parkerizing, a world leader in metal improvement technology. The Parker Trutec Group operates 6 facilities in the United States and Mexico which specialize in metal treatments and products that improve the resistance to wear, corrosion and fatigue of metal components. The company offers heat treating processes such as Gas Carburizing, Carbonitriding, Salt Batch Nitriding and Neutral hardening at two of it’s locations, Springfield, Ohio and Guanajuato, Mexico (note all processes are available at both locations). The Ohio location alone has over 20 furnaces.


              #25 Flame Metals

              Flame Metals was founded in 1985 and operates a 100,000 square foot facility 7 days a week in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. With eleven integral quench furnaces (9000 lb max capacity) and two pit furnaces (25,000 lb capacity), the company is best known for its ability to process large critical components. Additional capabilities include continuous processing, vacuum, salt bath nitriding, neutral salt, induction, aluminum and car bottom.


              #26 Contour Hardening

              Contour Hardening. Contour was established in 1986 with the goal of providing a cost-effective solution to difficult heat treatment applications. Contour is located in Indianapolis, Indiana with a second location in Sialo, Mexico. While primarily known for their Induction hardening expertise Contour also offers gas nitriding and Nitrocarburizing.


              #27 Texas Heat Treating

              Texas Heat Treating offers a wide range of heat treatments, testing and support services, operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week. CEO C.H. “Buddy” Crossley started Texas Heat Treating in 1977 as a small company in a 6,000 square foot shop. Today, the company has expanded to two large facilities, the first in Round Rock, Texas, and the newest plant in Fort Worth, Texas. We serve customers in the southwestern region of the United States and Mexico. With over 40 years of experience, we’re committed to professionalism, quality and on-time deliveries. We continually invest in modern equipment to ensure we can provide our customers with the highest-quality service. For more information about Texas Heat Treating, visit our website. 


              #28 Metex Heat Treating, Mississauga, Canada

              Metex Heat Treating Ltd. In 1983, Metex Heat Treating Ltd. was founded by Mr. Surjit Bawa to serve the heat treating needs of the manufacturing industry in the Greater Toronto, Canada Area. Since that time Metex has grown into the largest commercial heat treater in Canada and the company services customers as far as Montreal, Cleveland and Michigan. We specialize in Continuous and Batch Neutral Hardening, Carburizing, and Carbonitriding. We also have 10 state of the art induction hardening systems.


              #29 Vac Aero, Canada

              VAC AERO International provides heat treating and brazing of advanced materials for the aerospace and other high technology industries.  Specializing in vacuum processing, VAC AERO holds numerous heat treating and quality system approvals from prime manufacturers, with AS9100 and NADCAP accredited plants strategically located within the Toronto to Montreal aerospace manufacturing corridor of Canada.  The Oakville, Ontario operation is one of North America’s largest subcontract heat treaters of aircraft landing gear components while the St Laurent, Quebec operation is focused primarily on gas turbine engine and airframe components.


              #30 Thermal Vac

              Founded in 1985 by Steve Driscol and based in Orange, CA, Thermal-Vac Technology is southern California’s premier brazing, heat-treating, and finishing facility offering first-class services to a wide customer base, including some of the most demanding in the industry. For over three decades we have been sought out by customers who require the most innovative solutions for challenging project needs, effectively helping to secure a position as a leader in the industry. With an original facility of 5,500 square feet and 11 active customers, Thermal-Vas transformed into a multiple location company with over 60,000 square feet of campus footprint. We have 80 team members, with 50 in production. Thermal-Vac is a family-owned business with second generation family leaders heading the business since 2012. Our team is comprised of many family-oriented relationships with over 25% of our employees being related to each other in some way.