Abbott Furnace Company received an order from a global automotive supplier for a continuous-belt, stainless steel brazing furnace. It is scheduled to be installed in Mexico in the second quarter of 2020. Abbott Furnace will design, manufacture and install the five-zone, electrically heated furnace, which is rated for 2150°F (1175°C) and includes a 30-inch-wide belt and silicon-carbide muffle.
Global automotive parts manufacturer NTN will invest approximately $58 million to expand its facility in Anderson, Ind. The expansion will create 140 new jobs and allow for heat treatment in the plant.
As a result of its unique properties, aluminum has been of key importance in many of the developments of the past century. Let’s look at that history and some great nonferrous products/applications along with their thermal treatments.
Why is aluminum’s story only about a century old? Because although aluminum is the most abundant metallic element in the earth’s crust (8%), metallic aluminum was produced for the first time just 200 years ago.
First variations of hot runner systems started appearing in manufacturing in the mid-20th century but did not become standard in the industry until the 1980s, driven by the need for consistent quality and productivity improvements.
American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (AAM) entered into a definitive agreement to sell its U.S. iron casting operations (Grede) to funds managed by Gamut Capital Management for $245 million. Across 10 manufacturing facilities, Grede develops, manufactures, assembles and supplies ductile, gray and specialty iron castings and machined components for the automotive, commercial vehicle and industrial markets. AAM will retain its El Carmen, Mexico, iron casting operations.
Toyota is investing $391 million at its San Antonio truck assembly plant in an effort to better serve customers. The announcement comes as part of a broader commitment from Toyota to invest $13 billion in its U.S. operations over five years through 2021. The investment will make the plant more competitive in the long-term and more efficient while remaining flexible with multi-vehicle production capabilities by introducing various advanced manufacturing technologies. Separately, Aisin AW, a supplier to Toyota Texas and other automakers, will invest $400 million and bring 900 new jobs to a future facility in nearby Cibolo, Texas.
Allison Transmission Holdings Inc., a global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions, acquired the assets and certain liabilities of Walker Die Casting and C&R Tool and Engineering for approximately $103 million. Lewisburg, Tenn.-based Walker produces aluminum castings and supplies essential components for Allison’s core on-highway transmission products. Muscle Shoals, Ala.-based C&R Tool and Engineering supplies metalworking tools for use at Walker and other companies.
Lindberg/MPH shipped a four-chamber hot-stamping furnace to the Gestamp Research and Development facility in Auburn Hills, Mich. Gestamp is an international corporation that designs, develops and manufactures metal automotive components. The electrically heated furnace has one stack of three high-heat chambers and one low-heat chamber. The maximum temperature rating of the high-heat chambers is 1922°F (1050°C), and the low heat chamber has a maximum temperature rating of 1004°F (540°C). Each furnace chamber has load space dimensions of 36 inches wide x 30 inches deep x 8 inches high.
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.
Check out the April 2020 issue of Industrial Heating, which features our cover story on "CF Lining Attachment Advances", "Heat-Treatment Influence on Recast-Layer Thickness from Nonconventional Machining", "Hot Isostatic Pressing with Integrated Heat Treatment", and much more.