SECO/WARWICK received an order for furnace upgrades from the Philadelphia Mint, the nation’s first mint. SECO/WARWICK Group’s American subsidiary in Meadville, Pa., recently began the current round of upgrades – a comprehensive refurbishment of all five of the mint’s heat-treating furnaces, one furnace per year. SECO/WARWICK installed the heat-treating furnaces from 1994 through 2000. Their function in the minting process is to anneal, clean and dry the coin blanks to soften the metal prior to striking into coins, extending the service life of the striking dies. All five furnaces are 4,000-pound/hour rotary-retort furnaces outfitted with SECO/WARWICK’s patented Whirl-A-Way Quench system, as well as a hopper feeder, a batch burnish barrel and a batch/continuous drum drier.

To reduce energy consumption, SECO/WARWICK is replacing insulation, roof panels and radiant tubes. New, more energy-efficient burners are being installed, along with recuperators to preheat the combustion air, to improve energy efficiency and use less natural gas. Mechanical improvements include replacing drive motors and two-speed gear boxes. The retort can overheat and warp if the rotary retort unexpectedly stops before the cool-down cycle. As a fail-safe, SECO/WARWICK added a pneumatic backup motor that can run the gear box off the mint’s compressed-air reservoir during a power outage.