When John J. Vanas founded Euclid Heat Treating Co. in 1946, the company had a few salt pots and open-fired furnaces. Over six decades later, the Cleveland-based company has grown to become a highly diversified provider of commercial heat-treating services to northeastern Ohio and the Midwest.
Euclid got its start serving the needs of the local tool and die market, but the post-war manufacturing boom in the U.S. brought with it increased demand for heat treating. In the mid-1950s, Euclid added endothermic atmosphere furnaces, nitriding capability and press quenching equipment. The 1960s brought further expansion of process capabilities with the addition of two deep pit furnaces, two large carburizing furnaces and a rotary retort furnace. In 1963, the company opened an induction operation.
Growth continued from 1970 through the ‘90s with investments in the more fundamental machinery of commercial heat treating. Equipment additions in vacuum, batch atmosphere, nitriding, induction, and rotary retort processing were all completed along with the requisite building expansions to house them. Much of this expansion was in response to growth in the automotive and manufacturing industries. Throughout the 1990s Euclid also invested heavily in its induction gear scanning capabilities to serve the heavy equipment/excavation industry.
The past two decades have seen dramatic changes in the American manufacturing landscape, from the decline of the tool & die industry to the influx of foreign automotive manufacturing plants. Much of the stability that Euclid has achieved is the result of continual reinvestment in not only equipment but personnel. With 60 full-time employees, education and empowerment is a critical asset, and Euclid provides access to a wide variety of training opportunities. As a longtime MTI member, Euclid is an avid supporter and user of the online training resources the association provides.
Diversity is a defining characteristic of Euclid, and the company maintains one of the broadest ranges of services in the state of Ohio. The company offers standard batch atmosphere operations for neutral hardening, carburizing, carbonitriding and ferritic nitrocarburizing with either fast or slow oil quenches. There is a pit carburizer with an open, slow oil quench for parts up to 76 inches long. Vacuum processing is available in three (soon to be four) furnaces with quenching capability of either 2-bar nitrogen, up to 10-bar nitrogen or oil immersion. Nitriding is available in two pit-type furnaces with capacities up to 3,500 pounds and 60 inches in length. The Induction Division has its own dedicated building with more than 14,000 square feet of floor space, and it houses 15 generators with capacities from 40-300 kW and frequencies ranging from 3-450 KHz. These generators can be coupled to any number of modular work stations and coil configurations to allow tremendous versatility in heat-treat pattern and depth.
Euclid’s Continuous Processing Division features two AGF rotary retort furnaces with either water or oil quenches. Long a staple of captive heat treating in the bearing industry, rotary retort furnaces provide exceptional case uniformity, even heat distribution and superior quenching performance for a variety of parts. The rotary furnace has declined in popularity, especially in the commercial heat-treat market, but Euclid utilizes the unit’s advantages to run work for a number of local stamping and fastener manufacturers.
Despite recent economic uncertainty in America and the rest of the world, Euclid Heat Treating continues to keep a wide variety of irons in the proverbial fire. The company is proceeding with the installation of a prototype intensive quenching furnace, and they have recently taken delivery of a second oil-quenching vacuum furnace (with installation expected to be complete by early 2014). In addition, Euclid is currently pursuing AS 9100 certification to augment its ISO/TS 16949 accreditation. This will soon be followed by Nadcap accreditation in a number of carefully selected process areas.
To read more about Euclid’s quality-control department and its intensive quenching capability, visit www.industrial heating.com/euclid.
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One of the most recent additions to Euclid’s process diversity is the installation of state-of-the-art intensive quenching capability. Euclid is one of only two licensed providers of this intensified/interrupted quenching technology in the country. In 2001, the company installed a specially designed AFC-Holcroft batch IQ furnace with a 36-inch x 38-inch x84-inch load dimension and a 5,000-pound capacity for the purposes of performing the newly introduced water quenching process, which provides advantages over conventional oil quenching such as a more refined grain structure, superior compressive stresses, greater surface hardness and greater effective case depths for a given cycle time. These results are achievable in lower grades of alloy to an extent that they can rival that of conventionally quenched, higher-alloy materials. This means that manufacturers can gain a major advantage from using this process because it enables them to produce a superior part using existing material or a comparable part using less expensive material. Because the process uses a water quench, it is more environmentally considerate as well. Euclid further expanded this capability with the installation of a high-intensity, pressurized quench workstation that uses an induction generator as a heating source. The project was partially funded by a grant from the U.S. military to develop a longer-lasting, lighter-weight barrel for the Squad Automatic Weapon (or S.A.W. as it is known).
With so much diversity, it is necessary to provide an equivalent level of quality assurance. As such, Euclid has invested accordingly in its quality-control department. In addition to the standard battery of testing capabilities, Euclid has employed eddy-current testing for the last seven years … with tremendous success. Eddy-current testing allows for nondestructive structural evaluation of 100% of customer product. It is capable of differentiating parts based on criteria such as material type, hardness, case depth, pattern consistency, structural imperfections, dimensional differences and more. Because this process is nondestructive and is a relatively clean process as compared to magnetic particle or dye penetrant, it is gaining popularity amongst companies with ever-increasing product consistency demands.
Euclid has made several enhancements to its quality-control capabilities in the last three years. The first was a complete renovation of the metallurgical lab. This included a transition to a new, larger facility along with the installation of new equipment – most notably a Newage MT-90 automated hardness tester. The lab was also fitted with hardness testers, mounting presses and sample polishing machines.
The most recent equipment addition is a portable X-ray fluorescence analyzer. The Niton Xl3T is a hand-held nondestructive analyzer that can positively identify over 600 different alloys in a matter of seconds. This device is particularly useful when a customer part doesn’t achieve the expected result following heat treatment, and it is necessary to determine whether the material has been incorrectly identified. Once the material is properly identified, the customer can be notified and work can begin on either a remedial process or on replacement parts.
Euclid also assists customers by providing on-site material identification services. Customers have requested this service to help them identify finished parts made from two different materials that appeared identical. The nominal cost of the service represented only a fraction of what the error would have cost if the parts were not properly differentiated.