Solar Atmospheres announced a planned expansion into the aerospace- and automotive-rich states of the southeast U.S. The company currently operates two vacuum heat-treating facilities in Pennsylvania and one in California. According to Corporate President Roger Jones, Solar Atmospheres plans to significantly invest in the southeast region within the next five years. He cited the presence of several prime aerospace and automotive suppliers as well as many Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers in the region as factors for the expansion.

Stephen Prout, who most recently was employed with Bodycote Thermal Processing in Alabama, was chosen to lead this effort because of his 17 years of experience in the commercial heat-treat industry. He has also worked for the American Brazing division of Paulo Products, a St. Louis-based contract heat-treat company, and Bluewater Thermal Solutions, a Greenville, S.C.-based commercial heat treater. Prout has held positions including production manager, plant manager, business development manager and general manager.