LOI Thermprocess has received a contract from Volvo Powertrain to supply a roller-hearth furnace for the gas carburizing of transmission parts to increase production capacity at its Köping, Sweden, plant. The gas furnace features zone separation designed for flexible programming. The heat-up, carburizing and diffusion stages of the process are therefore carried out in separate zones of the continuous furnace ring. The furnace is scheduled for start-up in June 2009.

The use of a controlled atmosphere enhances quality, reduces process times and cuts costs. Charge material (shafts and gears) is transferred through the furnace on trays, which are charged into the furnace and discharged by a manipulator. Vertically positioned low-NOx radiant tubes heat the furnace.