Machine Tool Builders, which services and refurbishes machines for the gear industry, launched a spinoff company to build a new line of heat-treating furnaces for those same customers. Diablo Furnaces of Machesney Park, Ill., started in February with five employees and is looking to add more workers. The company builds internal-quench, temper/draw, box and car-bottom furnaces. They are custom-built for each customer based on material, temperature range, volume and available floor space.

MTB was founded in 1995 and began servicing and refurbishing heat-treating furnaces. Many of those furnaces were built by a company based in Illinois. When that business closed and its assets sold to a Michigan-based company, MTB added key personnel from that firm and began using that institutional knowledge to design and build new furnaces as Diablo Furnaces. When a gear is finished it has to be heated in a furnace to make it harder. Without the heat treatment, the soft metal would wear down in a day.