Solar Atmospheres opened its fourth plant site, the second within a year. The Keystone plant, opened in March 2002, is located within three miles of corporate headquarters in Souderton, Pa., and has been established to focus on R&D efforts. A 2-bar, VFS HL 50 furnace performs vacuum brazing of large furnace loads, thermal processing of powder metals and provides overflow capacity for Souderton. A lab furnace is in place with another new laboratory furnace to be installed in early summer. Also being installed is a bell design vacuum furnace. Activity at the plant involves development efforts with Materials Resources International (MRi). In association with Solar, MRi will develop new surfacing and joining applications, including powder metals, light metals and ceramics.