In 1961, something special happened in the 16,000-square-foot former home of Chevrolet Toledo (Ohio) Transmission. That’s when Phil Flynn, chief metallurgist of Buick Motor, and Bill Durako, tool steel metallurgist of Crucible Steel, founded Erie Steel Heat Treating.

The duo knew that heat treating was an engineering discipline, not a black art, and they knew they could do it better than most. Today, 55 years later in a modern 70,000-square-foot facility in Toledo, Erie Steel Ltd. continues that tradition.

The thought that heat treating could be done better has been transformed and enhanced over the years to what is now a quest for excellence. A quest involves inquiry, examination and pursuit, and it has no endpoint. For Erie Steel, however, it involves the following attributes.

  • People: As Erie Steel’s preeminent resource, its associates draw upon all other resources, fusing them together to produce tangible results for customers. Only people have the ability to compensate for shortcomings in other resources –
  •  making them truly unique. Erie Steel employs nearly 60 employees from the local community.
  • Process: This includes Erie Steel’s current niche of precision atmosphere carburizing, high-pressure-quench vacuum hardening, atmosphere neutral hardening, carbonitriding, normalizing and annealing, non-atmosphere annealing and stress relieving.
  • Equipment: This includes two vacuum hardening units, a mesh belt, a four-unit 36-inch x 72-inch batch line with companion temper and wash capability, two 36-inch square single-row pusher units, and belt and tumble blast cleaning with post-blast RP units.
  • Integrated business system: Information is the lifeblood of any organization. Erie Steel’s business system houses all customer, process, quality and equipment information. It is web-based, available to all associates via mobile devices and interactive, and it provides real-time process documentation (including video and photo).
  • Leadership: The purpose of leadership is to maximize the efforts of the organization. At Erie Steel, it not only involves strategic, but tactical, direction based on knowledge of the economy, business conditions, customer needs, governmental regulations and technological improvements. It also possesses a component of internal evaluation and provides the organization with an objective assessment of its condition.

Exemplary of Erie Steel’s quest is new business involving the carburizing of heavy-truck steering components. The company engineered, constructed and installed a single-row pusher and fixturing specifically for the application. Utilizing its expertise, Erie Steel was able to successfully demonstrate the capability of the process.

The future for Erie Steel is bright. The company was recently awarded the 2016 Commercial Heat Treater of the Year award; its experienced management team is focused and stable; and the workforce is knowledgeable and improving thanks to a corporate training resource. Erie Steel is prepared to take on many new challenges.

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