As one of the Midwest’s premier commercial heat-treating facilities, the bar is set high for Cincinnati Steel Treating. Thanks to the wide array of services it provides and an impressive collection of equipment, this MTI member has no problem reaching that bar on a continual basis. 

    Cincinnati Steel Treating (CST) was established in 1941 by Cincinnati Gear Company. At the time, it provided services only to its parent company. Things changed in 1950, however, when CST diversified and moved into its own facility. Although it started with just a few pieces of equipment (a couple of integral-quench furnaces, a car-bottom furnace and some induction equipment), the business has expanded to where it is today: a 45,000-square-foot facility with 38 full-time employees.

    CST’s customers come from a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, mining, tool and die, forging and powder metal. The company also does work for general machine shops, steel fabricators and foundries.

    The services CST provides are almost too numerous to list. They include: atmosphere carburizing, induction hardening, carbonitriding, press quenching, neutral hardening, annealing, normalizing, stress relieving, and mechanical and thermal straightening. Nitriding and ferritic nitrocarburizing, however, are quickly becoming CST’s specialties. Both processes offer solutions to parts that see significant wear but are prone to distortions with other types of heat treatment.

    CST can also vertically process long parts thanks to two pit furnaces – one with an 18-inch-diameter x 122-inch capacity and one with a 24-inch-diameter x 50-inch capacity. The furnaces’ maximum operating temperature is 1950°F, and precision straightening is available to complement both. 

    This ISO/TS 16949:2009-registered and CQI-9-compliant business can do more than heat treat. CST boasts a modern, fully equipped metallurgical lab that offers abrasive sectioning, sample preparation, macro- and microhardness testing, carbon determination, microstructural analysis and failure analysis. The company also offers blast cleaning along with a rather large cryogenic-treatment cabinet. 

    As with any successful business, credit must be given to the people involved. CST’s management team brings nearly 200 years of combined industry experience to the table. If that isn’t enough to impress, more than 75% of Cincinnati Steel Treating’s employees have been with the company for five years or more, and half of those have more than 15 years under their belts.

    In an effort to stay on top, CST has made several improvements over the past two years.  The company upgraded control systems on some of its batch atmosphere carburizing furnaces and also installed a new nitride/FNC furnace complete with a state-of-the-art automated control system.  The controls for many of its tempering furnaces have also been updated, adding the abilities to control the start and stop times remotely as well as monitor actual part temperature without the need for a separate recording instrument.

    There’s no secret to CST’s success. The company is going strong after almost 75 years of business.

    “We do not shy away from challenges; we thrive on them,” said General Manager Mike Reichling. “Where there are problems, there are solutions right around the corner.”

    Reichling has a vision of the future and what it will take to stay on top.

    “Those in our industry who choose to evolve with manufacturing will continue to flourish.  I believe that keeping abreast of these changes will allow us to grow,” Reichling said.  “Continued upgrading of equipment and control systems to stay on top of technology is one of the keys to maintaining an advantage in our industry.”

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