A U.S.-based international manufacturer of diversified mill products for a range of industries ordered a vertical vacuum furnace from SECO/VACUUM to increase its production capacity and upgrade its productivity. The new furnace will allow the company to heat treat larger parts, at higher quantities per cycle, than its existing furnace – all with improved quality control and reliability. The bottom-loading vacuum furnace with 6-bar nitrogen gas quench is 60 inches in diameter and 72 inches tall with a 3-ton-capacity work zone. This provides enough room to treat three of the company’s largest dies at once compared to only two per cycle with the old furnace.
The former Ipsen Ceramics’ facility in Pecatonica, Ill., is being repurposed for vacuum furnace hot-zone assembly. The plant is currently undergoing major refurbishments, including new lighting, HVAC, roofing, and other interior and exterior upgrades. The factory is less than 30 miles from Ipsen’s Vacuum Technology Excellence Center in Cherry Valley and will initially employ up to eight material assemblers. Incorporating the Pecatonica location into Ipsen’s vacuum furnace production and aftermarket process will provide added benefits to customers. In the future, Ipsen is considering other manufacturing activities in Pecatonica to supplement the needs of the Vacuum Technology Excellence Center.
SECO/WARWICK received an order from a China-based manufacturer of circuit breakers for three vacuum furnaces to be used metal heat treatment. The furnaces ensure a very high vacuum level and temperature uniformity within the entire load. The vacuum level in the furnace is maintained by vacuum pumps. Depending on the application, a single pump or a combination of mechanical, diffusion and/or turbomolecular pumps are used. The turbomolecular pump used in this application features high degassing velocity in the particle flow area and a high compression ratio. It also uses less energy than diffusion pumps.
The Korea Institute of Materials Science (KIMS), a government-funded research institute under the Ministry of Science and ICT, purchased a Nitrex vacuum furnace to bolster its vacuum heat-treating capabilities. KIMS conducts a range of technological research-and-development activities to advance Korea’s scientific and industrial research. The horizontal-type, external-quench vacuum furnace is equipped with a curved molybdenum wide-band heating element arranged in a circular configuration around the main hot zone. This free-floating design ensures optimum temperature uniformity throughout the chamber. Since the heating elements are in free movement during thermal expansion, there are fewer instances of breakage, twisting or premature failures. According to Nitrex, the furnace can heat treat parts at temperatures up to 2500°F (1371°C).
SECO/WARWICK received an order from an international organization in the field of industrial automation for a heat-treatment system. The company aims to establish a captive hardening plant within its machine park. The comprehensive technological line for hardening applications will consist of two vacuum furnaces, one atmosphere furnace and a washer. The furnaces will be used for hardening and vacuum carburizing the elements used in motor reducer production. These parts are used in the production process for automation applications in industries such as automotive, aviation and printing. The vacuum furnaces on order have compact dimensions that meet the customer’s requirements for hardening and carburizing parts, specifically gears, pinions and shafts.
Solar Manufacturing built, shipped and installed a vacuum furnace for a commercial heat-treating and brazing facility in eastern Pennsylvania. The Mentor has stainless steel chamber, a work zone measuring 12 inches x 12 inches x 18 inches and a maximum operating temperature of 2400°F (1315°C) with a workload capacity of 250 pounds. The furnace includes a VHS 6-inch diffusion pump for vacuum performance in the 10-6 torr range, a high-performance 7.5-HP fan motor for internal gas quenching up to 2 bar and the SolarVac fully automated and programmable controls package with a Eurotherm digital recorder.
Solar Atmospheres of Western PA successfully vacuum heat treated two massive H13 extrusion dies at its facility in Hermitage, Pa. A new 10-bar, 600-HP high-pressure gas-quench vacuum furnace from Solar Manufacturing was able to fully harden the two H13 extrusion dies in successive cycles. The dies, received from two different customers located in Ohio, resulted in an as-quenched hardness of HRC 50-52 using nitrogen as the quench gas. The hollow die was 30 inches OD x 15 inches ID x 103 inches long and weighed 16,000 pounds. The solid die, belonging to a different customer, was 34 inches OD x 64 inches long and weighed 14,000 pounds. Post-quench each component was triple air tempered, resulting in a final hardness of HRC 46-48.
Solar Atmospheres of Michigan, formerly Vac-Met, recently purchased 18,000 square feet of plant space on over 4 acres in Chesterfield, Mich. The new building is 20 miles northeast of the two existing Vac-Met facilities in Warren and Fraser. The over $5 million investment gives Solar Atmospheres of Michigan the space to locate its employees and equipment under one roof while continuing to grow. In addition, two new vacuum furnaces were purchases from Solar Manufacturing for the move.
SECO/VACUUM received an order from an electric-vehicle (EV) manufacturer for a two-chamber vacuum furnace that will be used in the company’s R&D lab to low-pressure carburize (LPC) and oil quench prototype gears. The CaseMaster Evolution (CMe) has a working hot zone of 16 x 16 x 24 inches (400 x 400 x 600 mm) and a load capacity of 440 pounds (200 kg). It has a separate heating chamber, where product is heated and carburized, and a quenching chamber, where the load is immersed in an oil bath for rapid quenching. Both chambers are isolated with a vacuum door.