By saving time, effort and money, remote diagnostics had already begun to transform industry long before COVID-19. Social distancing and restrictions on travel have simply reinforced their importance and value. This article looks at what this means for the die-casting industry in particular and shares a vision of a digital future.
Nitrex, a global provider of fully integrated heat-treatment solutions, announced that G-M Enterprises will make its official market debut under the Nitrex banner as of January 2022. The companies have worked closely together and benefitted from sharing their expertise since Nitrex acquired G-M Enterprises in January 2020. G-M Enterprises has supplied vacuum furnaces to customers in the aerospace, power generation, energy and commercial heat-treating industries for over 30 years.
In 2021, Solar Atmospheres of Western PA reported it was retrofitting a vacuum furnace for use in a new metal injection molding (MIM) and additive manufacturing (AM) binder-removal technology application. The goal was to build a vacuum sintering furnace with a hot zone and pumping technology that would minimize and target the deposit of detrimental binders evaporating out of MIM and AM parts. The furnace has been in production for over a month and produced multiple high-temperature sintering cycles with positive results.
SECO/VACUUM, a SECO/WARWICK Group company, sold 11 vacuum furnaces to an extrusion die maker with operations in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The order consisted of four single-chamber gas-quench vacuum furnaces, six tempering furnaces and one pit-type gas nitriding furnace. The facility in Mexico will benefit from brand-new heat-treating capacity, while the U.S. and Canada plants will be upgraded with new vacuum heat-treating technology – in one case replacing legacy fluidized-bed operations. Each site will also receive upgrades to its water-cooling and gas-distribution systems with a full turnkey system installation.
SECO/VACUUM, a SECO/WARWICK Group company, received an order for a vacuum tempering/gas nitriding furnace with a load capacity of 13,200 pounds from a Toronto-based manufacturer of flight-critical helicopter masts, turbine shafts and engine thrust links. The furnace, which can process loads up to 63 inches in diameter x 175 inches deep, will be used for nitriding and nitrocarburizing. The Canadian company is adding new heat-treatment capabilities to handle larger loads and configurations and to increase production capacity.
Solar Atmospheres of California (SCA) added a small vacuum furnace to support its research-and-development and additive-manufacturing projects. Procured from Solar Manufacturing, SCA’s furnace manufacturing sister facility in Sellersville, Pa., the furnace was specifically designed to process a variety of materials between 600-2400°F (+/-10°F) in both vacuum and/or partial-pressure environments. Precise cooling capability up to 2-Bar in argon, nitrogen or helium is available with a maximum operating temperature of 2650°F (1455°C). The furnace is also equipped with the SolarVac Polaris control system for optimum performance and precise cycle control.
SECO/WARWICK received an order for a vacuum furnace with vertical insertion of loads from a manufacturer of feed machinery and contractor for agricultural engineering projects in India. The furnace will be used in the production of ring dies and rollers for palletizing equipment. These parts are used in many common large-dimension agricultural machines. The vacuum unit, which has a gross load weight 5,510 pounds (2,500 kg) of and workspace dimensions of 59-98 inches (1,500 x 2,500 mm), will also be used for commercial heat treatment of tools steels – mainly carburizing, hardening and tempering.
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.
Industrial Heating is hosting three free webinars over the next three weeks, including two in the next couple of days. “Users of Industrial Hydrogen Look Beyond Delivered for Security of Supply” will be held tomorrow, November 30, at 11:00 a.m. (EST). “How to Help Your Customers Decide to Reshore” will be held Thursday, December 2, at 2:00 p.m. (EST), and “Grinding and Polishing of Sample Materials for Microstructural Analysis and Hardness Testing” will be held Tuesday, December 14, at 2:00 p.m. (EST). Registration for these webinars is free.
SECO/VACUUM received an order for two vacuum tempering furnaces from an international cutting-tool manufacturer. The furnaces will augment the company’s capacity, which currently includes four vacuum tempering furnaces of the same configuration at its North Carolina manufacturing facility. The two horizontal, front-loading Vector furnaces are designed with an all-metal hot zone for clean vacuum processing. As with the earlier furnaces, the new furnaces include convection fans and a pressurized gas quench for rapid cooling.