Process-Electronic was selected to modernize the controls of a nitriding furnace housed in Wellman Products Group’s Tulsa, Okla., facility. Wellman Products is a manufacturer of friction materials, stampings and powder-metal parts. The hardware/software retrofit package includes a Process-Electronic Protherm 400 controller, an ammonia analyzer and preprogrammed nitriding processes as well as non-typical recipes for a combination of nitriding and sintering processes. Installation and startup were completed in the first quarter of 2007.
As part of the upgrade, the new controls will enhance the reliability and repeatability of the nitriding process, enabling less skilled operator involvement than previously possible. The new controls will also improve the company’s benchmark for product first-pass yield (the percentage of treated plates than successfully complete the nitriding process with no rework).