Two sintering furnaces, delivered to Arno Friedrichs Hartmetall GmbH & Co. KG in Mainleus, near Kulmbach, by ALD Vacuum Technologies AG, Hanau, have successfully started operation in the production of hard metals. The vacuum dewaxing and sintering furnace, type VKUgr 50/50/170, is designed for a maximum gross charge weight of 1800 kg; a second unit is a vacuum dewaxing and overpressure sintering furnace, type VKPgr 50/50/170, 60 bar for a similar charge weight. Both furnaces comprise a dewaxing system and a suitable rapid cooling system.