L&L Special Furnace Co. shipped a dual-chamber heat-treating and tempering furnace to a global manufacturer of shopping carts and display cases located in the southeastern United States. The equipment will play a role in keeping key production equipment online along with thermal processing of various projects. The top chamber, which is rated to 2350°F (1288°C), is used for heat treating various steels and other nonferrous materials. The bottom chamber, which is rated to 1250°F (677°C), includes a recirculation fan and baffle for tempering, stress relieving or preheating. The effective work zone of the top chamber is 10 inches high x 11 inches wide x 22 inches deep, and the work zone of the bottom chamber is 10 inches high x 10 inches wide x 20 inches deep.
The Government of Canada invested over $9 million in aerospace manufacturer Cyclone Manufacturing Inc. This investment, through the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative, will help Mississauga-based Cyclone expand all four of its facilities in Ontario in order to become more productive and competitive. The expansions will include a heat-treatment oven at its Milton facility and a temperature-controlled production area at one of its three Mississauga facilities. These improvements will allow Cyclone to become more productive and competitive while allowing the company to add more environmentally friendly technologies. This project will support 110 jobs in the region and enhance Cyclone’s ability to create new and larger parts.
We typically start the New Year off by focusing on new technologies throughout the thermal-processing industry in our January issue. With that in mind, let’s begin 2023 by looking at some interesting technological developments that have come across my inbox in the past nine months.
Hirschvogel Group, a manufacturer of steel and aluminum components, commissioned a new heat-treatment plant with electric heating at its main plant in Denklingen, Germany. This fully automatic chamber furnace line is key to Hirschvogel’s decarbonization strategy because the heating is CO2-neutral. Designed and supplied by Aichelin, the double continuous chamber furnace line ensures high output with maximum flexibility. It includes pre- and post-cleaning systems, a preheating furnace, two high-temperature furnaces, two tempering furnaces and two endothermic gas generators.
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.
Following an extensive, nearly yearlong full facility remodel, industrial furnace manufacturer AFC-Holcroft held a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at its world headquarters in Wixom, Mich. A dedicated testing and development area specific for process control equipment was created, allowing a virtual environment where furnace process-control functions can be developed, simulated and tested prior to being deployed in the field. A main focus of the renovation, however, was to make the building more environmentally friendly, specifically with regard to heating and cooling. The walls of the entire production area were replaced with insulated wall panels, and numerous windows were added to provide more natural light. The roof system was renewed and insulated, and the overhead warehouse doors were modernized to contribute to the new high-efficiency ventilation/heating systems. These measures improve energy efficiency by around 35%.
Solar Atmospheres of California announced it is Honeywell-approved to heat treat austenitic steels, martensitic steels, PH steels, tool steels, nickel alloys, cobalt alloys, titanium alloys and magnetic alloys. The complete list of over 160 specifications covered in this approval can be found on the Honeywell APSL.
A commercial heat treater based in Mexico purchased a vacuum furnace – the company’s third – from SECO/WARWICK Group. The medium-sized furnace will improve and increase the processing capacity of the company’s hardening processes. Thanks to an energy-saving graphite chamber and above-average cleanliness of operation, the hardening plant will gain new production opportunities. A round heating chamber will enable the efficient heat treatment of large, oversized elements. The characteristic feature of the furnace on order is isothermal hardening, which enables the system to operate with tighter process control. The furnace is equipped with a dew-point sensor that monitors the content of harmful water vapor in the neutral gas and protects the load surface against undesirable oxidation.
Wisconsin Oven Corp. shipped a continuous conveyor furnace to a firearms manufacturer. The oven will be used for heat treating aluminum parts prior to quenching. The furnace has a maximum temperature rating of 1110°F (600°C) and interior chamber dimensions of 4 feet, 2 inches wide x 30 feet long x 1 foot high. It includes 8-inch-thick plate construction and two zones of control. The parts are manually loaded onto the flat wire belt conveyor and transported through both zones of the oven. The recirculation system utilizes two 56,000-CFM blowers for a total of 112,000 CFM. The part heat-up and soak times were verified with temperature uniformity survey to guarantee the parts were within +/-10°F for 15 minutes.