Omer Haimbaugh started Induction Heat Treating Corp. (IHT) in 1946 in Chicago with an induction heater he used to braze bread pans. Today, over 70 years later, the company has more than 20 induction heaters and 60 employees. Perhaps more importantly, IHT has a new addition to celebrate.
Haimbaugh purchased his first building in 1950 and expanded IHT’s capabilities and customer base. The company gained momentum during the Korean War, when it used two 15-kW high-frequency induction heaters to induction harden fuse bodies for air-to-air missiles.
In 1963, IHT moved to Norwood Park section of Chicago and continued to grow. Then, in 1990, IHT moved one last time to Crystal Lake, Ill., where it built a modern 35,000-square-foot facility that it still calls home. Very recently, Design Right Induction has been welcomed into the fold.
Design Right Induction Inc. of Chesterfield, Mich., had been supplying IHT with CNC-machined coils for over 20 years. When owner Dave Ambrozy retired, an agreement was reached that saw Design Right Induction move to IHT’s facility. By the first week of August, the company was making new coils under the banner of Design Right Induction LLC. The integration of Design Right into IHT significantly strengthens the company’s internal tooling capabilities. IHT also has the ability to validate new coil designs in-house before shipment.
IHT provides a range of induction services, including induction hardening, induction case hardening, induction annealing, induction brazing, induction tempering and shrink fitting. The company performs these services for the automotive, military, agriculture and medical industries.
In addition, this MTI member offers magnetic particle inspection, glass bead blasting and in-house tooling development. Magnetic particle inspection is used to detect cracks, seams and other defects in parts. Glass bead blasting is used for removal of oxidation, scale and rust. IHT’s in-house tooling department is able to rapidly develop coils and adapters and can repair or replace existing tooling immediately, preventing costly machine downtime.
IHT operates more than 20 induction heaters that run the entire spectrum of frequencies (1-450 kHz). This gives the company the technology to produce consistent and extremely accurate heat treating – holding tight tolerances with case depths as thin as .015 to 0.75 inch.
This commercial heat treater’s most important asset isn’t a piece of equipment, however. IHT’s employees are continuously training to improve their skills and expertise and are empowered to make a difference. The company’s metallurgist, Richard E. Haimbaugh, literally wrote the book Practical Induction Heat Treating, which was published by ASM International.
IHT is both ISO 9001-certified and CQI-9 compliant and is an approved supplier to Caterpillar, Chrysler, John Deere and more. IHT is also the only two-time winner of the Commercial Heat Treater of the Year award (1995 and 2010), which is sponsored by Industrial Heating. The award is given to one MTI member company that demonstrates they are “making a positive impact on their community and their industry.”
The company is committed to making improvements every year. In the past year, IHT installed its first fully automated induction unit. As for the future, the company plans on evolving through the integration of automation into more of its processes. IHT does not take now for granted but is not satisfied with where it’s at. If the company continues to approach the way it does business with that mindset over the next 10 years, the sky is the limit.