SECO/VACUUM, a SECO/WARWICK Group company, received an order from Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co., which will celebrate its centennial in 2022, for a high-vacuum furnace and auxiliaries for its plant in Mexico. The furnace, which has a work zone measuring 40 x 40 x 48 inches (1,000 x 1,000 x 1,200 mm) and a 1.5-ton load capacity, will be used for annealing thermocouple wires between every drawing stage. The furnace package includes a 20,000 l/s diffusion pump for high-vacuum operation as well as a closed-loop water system, loading cart and nitrogen reservoir. It will be capable of high-pressure gas quenching with nitrogen up to 6 bar. 

The furnace was customized with an oversized work zone since the standard 36- x 36- x 48-inch zone size was too small for Watlow’s needs. The manufacturer of industrial heaters and temperature sensors also needed a furnace that would ensure perfect surface quality of the thermocouple wire. Watlow commissioned a Vector vacuum furnace at its Richmond, Ill., plant in 1999. The company wanted a furnace that aligned with the capabilities and operation at Richmond to ensure uniform product quality.