The Birth Of Solar Manufacturing

On October 2nd, 2002, a mere twenty years ago, William R. Jones re-entered the vacuum furnace manufacturing business with the birth of Solar Manufacturing, Inc. Solar Mfg joined the Solar Atmospheres Family of Companies! We started out at 164 Keystone Drive in Telford, PA with about 7,500 SF of shop space and just 7 full-time employees. Five of those 7 original employees are still employed with a Solar Company today: Faye Loughridge, Andy Minnig, Tom Smith, Bob Wagner, and me. Faye, Andy, and Bob continued with Magnetic Specialties, Inc. when it was formed as a separate entity under Mike Afflerbach’s leadership. Tom and I continued with Solar Mfg.

Today, under Trevor Jones’ leadership, Solar Mfg has grown to 50 employees producing about 15-20 furnaces annually in a beautiful, new $10 million, 57,500 SF plant in Sellersville, PA designed specifically to build vacuum furnaces. It is hard to believe that two decades have passed. Nearly 300 furnaces and numerous replacement hot zones have been successfully placed into operation in North America and around the world.

Our mission for the future is simple: continue to carry on the vision of WRJ by advancing vacuum furnace technology not just for Solar Atmospheres to assist with their growth and leadership in commercial heat treating, but also for the general heat processing industry as well.

Did you like this article? Click here to subscribe to The Monty.

View our recent magazines and podcasts by clicking the following link.