Ford Motor Co. is investing more than $1.45 billion in two southeast Michigan manufacturing facilities and adding 3,000 new jobs. The company will invest approximately $750 million and add 2,700 new direct jobs at its manufacturing facility in Wayne, Mich., during the next three years. Ford will install new equipment to support production of the all-new Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger and create a new modification center at the Wayne location. Ford will add 300 jobs and invest about $700 million at its Dearborn manufacturing site to support production of new electrified variants of its F-150 truck, producing both an F-150 hybrid and fully electric F-150. The company will also create a new operation in Dearborn where battery cells will be assembled into a battery pack for the F-150 hybrid and all-electric F-150.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (Groupe PSA) signed a binding Combination Agreement providing for a 50/50 merger of their businesses to create the fourth-largest global automotive OEM by volume and third largest by revenue. The combined company will have annual unit sales of 8.7 million vehicles.
QuesTek Innovations LLC and the German Aerospace Center, in a joint effort, will explore the full potential of QuesTek’s new printable aluminum (Al) alloy, which was developed for additive manufacturing (AM). The alloy is capable of high-strength performance at elevated temperatures (200-300°C/392-572°F) in the as-built condition. It is believed to be the first powdered AI material to meet those requirements without the need for subsequent heat treatment. The alloy will enable the printing of lighter-weight precision components not currently possible with traditional manufacturing methods, including heat exchangers or other components requiring internal cooling channels.
ArcelorMittal completed the acquisition of Essar Steel India Ltd. (ESIL) and simultaneously established a joint venture with Nippon Steel Corp. called ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Ltd. (AM/NS India), which will own and operate ESIL. ArcelorMittal holds 60% of AM/NS India with Nippon Steel holding the balance. AM/NS India is an integrated flat-steel producer, including steel plates and steel pipes, with a current level of crude steel production of 7.5 million metric tons per year. It also has iron-ore pellet facilities in eastern India, with current annual capacity of 14 million metric tons.
Otto Fuchs ordered a melting furnace and two tiltable holding and casting furnaces from Hertwich Engineering, a company of SMS group. The melting furnace, the fifth at Otto Fuchs’ facility in Meinerzhagen, Germany, will have a capacity of 7.7 tons per hour. The two casting furnaces are designed for a capacity of 20 tons. The melting furnace, the largest at Otto Fuchs, combines scrap preheating and submersion melting of cleaned scrap in one compact unit. The entire furnace process is fully automated by a measurement and control system.
Stack Metallurgical Group, after installing a hot isostatic press (HIP) earlier this year, is redoubling its commitment to the technology with the addition of a second HIP from Quintus Technologies. The unit has a work zone of 26 inches (660 mm) in diameter and 68.9 inches (1,750 mm) in height. It follows the installation in January of a high-capacity Mega-HIP, which has a work zone of 63 inches (1,600 mm) in diameter and 102 inches (2,591 mm) in height. The new press, which operates at a maximum temperature of 2552°F (1400°C) and a maximum pressure of 30,000 psi (2,070 bar), will be installed at Stack’s recently completed facility in Albany, Ore. Both systems are equipped with the Quintus proprietary uniform rapid cooling (URC) feature, which combines HIP and heat treatment in a single process.
SECO/WARWICK designed, manufactured and commissioned a 25-kg (55-pound) single-crystal furnace and a 50-kg (110-pound) vacuum melting and casting furnace for the production of high-quality, premium castings for a producer of aviation engines in China. The order includes a high-temperature vacuum gas-quench furnace that will be used for scale- and pollution-free thermal treatment of metals. SECO/WARWICK will also provide professional technical services to ensure smooth start-up and operation of the equipment.
Samuel Associated Tube Group, a division of Samuel, Son & Co. (USA) Inc., plans to invest approximately $29 million and create about 50 new jobs by building a manufacturing facility in Jefferson County, Ala. The company manufactures small-diameter, electric-resistance-welded and fabricated carbon-steel tubing. The 284,000-square-foot facility will be used for the production of new business and the consolidation of other existing facilities. It will also include capacity for future growth. The facility is expected to be fully operational before Dec. 31, 2020.
Carpenter Technology Corp. opened its 500,000-square-foot Emerging Technology Center (ETC) in Athens, Ala. It will provide the capability to atomize a range of specialty alloys into metal powder and manufacture the powder into finished parts using AM technology (3D metal printing). The ETC’s downstream equipment for taking the initially produced part to a final finished product includes a hot isostatic press (HIP) system and vacuum heat treating to optimize the material properties of high-value specialty alloy components. Carpenter Technology has invested approximately $40 million to date in the ETC and is expected to create about 60 jobs over the next five years.
Nitrex Metal entered into an exclusive agreement with Voestalpine AG to bring new innovations in stainless steel hardening technologies to the Czech Republic. As a result of the agreement, Voestalpine added a nitriding system configured to process workloads 31.5 inches in diameter x 78.75 inches high (800 mm x 2,000 mm) that weigh up to 3,850 pounds (1,750 kg). The system complements a previously installed Nitrex system that combined Nitreg-C gas nitrocarburizing technology with ONC post-oxidizing technology for processing firearms.
Check out the February 2020 issue of Industrial Heating, featuring an editorial on Nonferrous – Products and Their Processes, along with the Inspection and Maintenance Critical to Safe Fuel-Train Operation.