SECO/VACUUM, a SECO/WARWICK Group company, received an order for a high-volume nitrocarburizing furnace serving a major automaker via a tier-one supplier. The horizontal retort furnace is designed for precision nitriding capability and productivity. It will allow the company to produce, in North America, a significant number of parts used by automotive suppliers and will be integral to a larger investment in the firm’s component manufacturing operations. In addition to ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC), the furnace can also provide clean stress-relief processing.
SECO/WARWICK Group’s subsidiary based in Meadville, Pa., has been awarded a major contract to build and commission a specialized aluminum solution heat-treating furnace for a U.S. manufacturer. The furnace, which is AMS 2750-compliant and Nadcap-capable, will be engineered to load, heat treat, quench and discharge with minimal operator assistance. It will be used to heat treat products for automotive, aerospace and medical applications.
Can-Eng Furnaces International Ltd. has been chosen to design and commission a high-capacity heat-treatment system for a Tier 1 global automotive manufacturer. The system provides T-6 and T-7 processing capabilities for lightweight aluminum high-pressure die-casting (HPDC) automotive components. It includes Can-Eng’s robotically integrated part-handling system; individual part-processing features that deliver predictable metallurgical and part dimensional properties; precision air-quenching technology; Level 2 automation for the managing of individual component parameter traceability; system diagnostics; and CQI-9 reporting.
Gestamp, which designs, develops and manufactures highly engineered metal components for the automotive industry, opened a new plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The $86 million facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art machinery for hot stamping and hydroforming for the manufacture of chassis parts. Hot-stamping technology is focused on producing parts that are both lighter and safer, therefore improving energy consumption. Hydroforming technology allows the forming of complex shaped steel using the force of water so they can be integrated into the vehicle’s structural components.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) plans to invest $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants and build a new assembly plant in Detroit. The proposed projects would create nearly 6,500 new jobs. The investment will increase capacity to meet growing demand for the company’s Jeep and Ram brands, including production of two new Jeep-branded white-space products as well as electrified models.
Ford Motor Company is investing $1 billion in its Chicago Assembly and Stamping Plants and adding 500 new jobs as it prepares to launch three new SUVs that go on sale later this year. The project, which will begin in March, will expand capacity for the production of the all-new Ford Explorer (including the Explorer ST and Explorer Hybrid), the all-new Police Interceptor Utility and the all-new Lincoln Aviator.
General Motors suspended operations at 13 manufacturing facilities after a request by Consumers Energy in Michigan to allow the utility to manage supply issues brought on by the extreme temperatures and equipment issues. GM operations are suspended at the following Michigan manufacturing locations: Bay City Powertrain, Orion Assembly, Pontiac Stamping, Flint Assembly, Flint Stamping, Flint Engine, Flint Tool & Die, Lansing Delta Township Assembly, Lansing Grand River Assembly, Lansing Regional Stamping, Lansing Grand River Stamping, Saginaw Metal Casting Operations and Warren Transmission.
Wisconsin Oven Corp. shipped a natural-gas-fired, dual-chamber furnace to the automotive industry. The furnace, which will be used for preheating dies, has a maximum operating temperature of 1250°F and work-chamber dimensions of 6 feet wide x 4 feet long x 6 feet high. It has sufficient capability to heat 4,000 pounds of steel from 70-1100°F within four hours when loaded into a preheated furnace.