For most of its history, heat treating has been controlled manually. Operators would observe readings from gauges connected to sensors and, if changes to the atmosphere were needed, manually adjust heat, carbon or other outputs.
Over the last 30 years, technology has allowed heat treaters to automate those processes by using relay controls and intelligent pro-cess loop controllers that constantly monitor atmospheres and adjust outputs as needed. This kind of automation results in repeatability, traceability and higher quality at lower costs. In this paper, I will discuss different technologies used in the past and the application of new technologies used today, particularly in nitriding and ferritic nitrocarburizing.