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JM Steel Expands in TexasOpen in a New Window

JM Steel announced that it will be part of Steel Dynamics’ new flat-roll steel mill in Sinton, Texas – a move that will substantially expand JM Steel’s footprint over the next two years. The facility, scheduled to be operational in June 2021, will have an estimated annual capacity of 3.0 million tons and include next-generation electric-arc furnace (EAF) technology. JM Steel's facility has plans to include three slitting lines capable of producing 30,000 tons of steel per month. It will also include two roll-forming lines and a stamping press capable of producing 260,000 bolts per month to serve mining markets in Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Chile and Peru.


Metex Heat Treating Orders Mesh-Belt FurnaceOpen in a New Window

Can-Eng Furnaces International Ltd. has been contracted to design and commission a 6,600-pound/hour continuous mesh-belt atmosphere furnace system for Metex Heat Treating Ltd. of Brampton, Ontario. It will be commissioned for the hardening and tempering of high-volume automotive fasteners, stampings and assembly components. The system includes a computerized loading system, mesh-belt-controlled atmosphere hardening furnace, oil-quench system, mesh-belt tempering furnace, pre- and post-wash systems and Can-Eng’s PET System. It is scheduled to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020.


Powder-Metal Company Orders Steam-Treat FurnaceOpen in a New Window

Abbott Furnace Company received an order from a company in the powder-metal industry for a steam-treat furnace. The continuous mesh-belt furnace, which will be installed in Mexico, provides a viable alternative to batch process methods. The steam-treat furnace was selected because of its process flexibility, ease of installation and the local regional support provided by the Abbott Mexico sales and service team.


Auto-Parts Manufacturer Orders Three-Chamber Vacuum FurnaceOpen in a New Window

SECO/WARWICK received an order for a three-chamber vacuum furnace from a global manufacturer of automotive components. It will be the first furnace utilizing low-pressure carburizing (LPC) technology for the Indian company. It was chosen to solve a problem with intergranular oxidation present in the company’s traditional atmosphere heat-treat furnaces. The LPC furnace will be dedicated to small and large gear, pinion and other types of automotive gears.


Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Relocating in North CarolinaOpen in a New Window

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company has been awarded a Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund (JMAC) grant to support the relocation of its foundry operation from Mecklenburg County to Stanly County. In modernizing its production of cast-iron soil pipe, fittings and castings, the company will retain at least 1,050 jobs in North Carolina as it invests $325 million in Stanly County. At least 400 of these jobs will be based at the state-of-the-art facility in Oakboro, which is expected to commence commercial operations in early 2024.


Indian Steelmaker Orders Quench-and-Temper SystemOpen in a New Window

Can-Eng Furnaces International Ltd. received the final acceptance certificate from Indian steelmaker SAIL for a roller-hearth plate quench-and-temper system. It is designed to heat treat a wide range of plates from 0.25-4.0 inches (6-100 mm) thick x 118 inches (3,000 mm) wide up to 42.5 feet (13 meters) long in a variety of grades for commercial and non-commercial applications. With an overall line length of 400 feet (122 meters) and a restrained roller spray quench at the heart of the system, the heat-treatment process results in true flat plates with metallurgical properties that exceed contractual requirements. The auto-recuperative radiant-tube-fired atmosphere roller-hearth hardening furnace and direct-fired temper furnace run off coke-oven gas (COG), a byproduct of the steelmaking process. 


Italian Steel Company Picks Indiana for North American HeadquartersOpen in a New Window

INOX Market Service, a global stainless steel processing company based in Italy, announced plans to establish its North American headquarters in Delaware County, Ind., creating up to 101 new jobs by the end of 2024. The company, which has operations in Europe, Mexico and India, will launch INOX Market North America (IMNA) and invest more than $15 million to construct and equip a 139,800-square-foot facility in Muncie. The new plant will allow INOX to expand its stainless steel forming and slitting operations while growing customer demand in the home appliance and industrial sectors. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and the company expects to start production in spring 2021. 


Aerospace Manufacturer Orders Atmosphere Tempering FurnaceOpen in a New Window

Gasbarre Thermal Processing Systems shipped a custom-built atmosphere tempering furnace to a manufacturer in the aerospace market with captive heat-treating capabilities. With a work-load size of 84 inches wide x 42 inches deep x and 60 inches tall, coupled with a maximum load weight of 6,000 pounds, the furnace is specifically designed for the company’s manufactured components. The electrically heated furnace has an operating temperature range of 350-1600°F and passes uniformity at +/-10°F per AMS 2750E. The system is equipped with Eurotherm temperature-controlling instrumentation and an Allen-Bradley PLC and HMI. 


Fastener Manufacturer Orders Annealing FurnaceOpen in a New Window

L&L Special Furnace Co. Inc. manufactured and supplied a high-uniformity, pit-style furnace used for annealing to a manufacturer of aerospace fasteners. The annealing process occurs when the parts are evenly heated to 1400°F (760°C) and held for a predetermined amount of time. Temperature uniformity is critical to this process, and both ambient and load temperature must maintain ±10°F throughout the cycle. The fastener parts are placed in baskets and loaded by an overhead crane into the furnace. There are guide bars to ensure that the load is centered and cannot damage the furnace liner. The program or recipe is entered into the program control, and the cycle is started. At the completion of the cycle, the parts are removed and are ready for inspection and shipment.


Oil-and-Gas Company Acquires Steel Products ManufacturerOpen in a New Window

JD Fields & Company Inc. acquired Alameda Pipe & Steel Company, a steel products manufacturer based in Gardena, Calif. The purchase of the newly branded Alameda Pipe and Fab enables Houston, Texas-based JD Fields & Company, which has operated as a company of two business units focusing on steel pipe for the oil-and-gas sector and steel foundation products for civil infrastructure, to continue its evolution into a one-stop, vertically integrated supplier and manufacturer of its own steel products.


Nitrex Unveils New Brand IdentityOpen in a New Window

Nitrex, a Novacap portfolio company and a global provider of fully integrated heat-treating solutions and technologies, unveiled a new corporate brand identity. A new logo will be adopted by all the Nitrex business units. For now, the names of the legal entities will not change so customers, suppliers and stakeholders can continue to use the existing names and addresses in all official communication. The new wordmark for United Process Controls leverages its well-known trade name, the UPC initials, in combination with the company’s best-known brand asset, Marathon Monitors, to form UPC-Marathon. G-M Enterprises, the newest addition to the Nitrex Turnkey Systems portfolio, traded its metallic graphic for a single-color wordmark using the same typeface as the other logos with the addition of the tagline, “A Nitrex Company.”


Solar Atmospheres Adds Vacuum Gas-Nitriding FurnaceOpen in a New Window

To support an increasing demand for high-value gas nitriding, Solar Atmospheres in Souderton Pa., installed a vacuum gas-nitriding furnace. Built by sister company Solar Manufacturing, the front-loading furnace incorporates the latest nitriding and recipe system from the furnace manufacturer. The automated controls meet AMS 2759/10, Automated Gaseous Nitriding Controlled by Nitrogen Potential, in addition to the standard AMS 2759/6, Gaseous Nitriding of Low-Alloy Steel Parts. The automated control system is useful for single-stage and two-stage (Floe) processing. All hot-zone components are made completely of graphitic materials inert to the anhydrous ammonia used during the nitriding process.


Dump-Truck Manufacturer Orders Electric Roller FurnaceOpen in a New Window

OAO Belaz, a Belarusian dump-truck manufacturer ordered an electric roller furnace for the heat treatment of large bearing rings. The furnace is designed to heat treat bearing rings with a diameter of 980-1,180 mm. These rings are used in the production of dump trucks used in the mining industry. The entire line, which will be supplied by SECO/WARWICK, includes: a transport system with a set of manipulators, an electric roller furnace, a hardening press with matrix instrumentation and a control system with data visualization and archiving.


Alro Steel Opens Wisconsin FacilityOpen in a New Window

Alro Steel opened a 194,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oshkosh, Wis., on March 16, 2020. It replaces the previous 66,000-square-foot facility. In addition to expanded product offerings, the Oshkosh location added new processing capabilities and equipment, including shearing, large-capacity saw cutting, shot blasting for material up to 60 inches wide, and automated equipment to clean and prepare flame- and plasma-cut parts for shipment. The expanded inventory and processing services allow the Oshkosh facility to focus on cut-to-size metals and next-day delivery to Wisconsin customers.


Thermcraft President Passes AwayOpen in a New Window

Thomas Morris Crafton, president and CEO of Thermcraft Inc., passed away April 28 at the age of 67. Thermcraft was founded in 1971 by Tom’s father and mother, Morris L. Crafton and Clara Martin Crafton. Tom and his wife, Nancy, moved to Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1978, where he joined his parents at Thermcraft. He was a successful businessman and was greatly admired by his colleagues. Tom has given presentations about small businesses in Washington, D.C. and has relationships with companies throughout the world.


Bodycote to Open New Illinois Heat-Treat FacilityOpen in a New Window

Bodycote will open a new heat-treatment facility in Elgin, Ill. The purpose-built facility, which is scheduled to be operational in June 2020, has been designed as a replacement for Bodycote’s aging plant in Melrose Park, Ill. It will support manufacturing supply chains in the Midwest region. The Melrose Park facility will be closed once the transfer of customers’ work has been completed. According to Bodycote, the investment allows it to expand capacity and improve its ability to deliver high-quality heat-treatment capabilities.


3D-Printing Technology Uses LED Instead of Laser or Electron BeamOpen in a New Window

A technology developed at Graz University of Technology in Austria uses LED instead of laser sources for the additive manufacturing of metal parts. Researchers say it optimizes 3D metal printing in terms of construction time, metal-powder consumption, equipment costs and post-processing effort. Selective LED-based melting (SLEDM) is the targeted melting of metal powder using high-power LED light sources.


IFC 2020 Cancelled Due to COVID-19 ConcernsOpen in a New Window

The Executive Committee of the Forging Industry Association’s (FIA) Board of Directors has decided to cancel the International Forging Congress (IFC) 2020 scheduled for September 19-21 at the Marriott Magnificent Mile Downtown in Chicago, Ill. This step has been taken because of the safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. FIA could not be assured that the configurations in the venues where IFC 2020 activities were scheduled to be held could be arranged in a manner to provide sufficient protection for delegates and exhibitors against the transmission of COVID-19. Delegates who have registered and paid to attend IFC 2020 will be reimbursed 100% of their registration fees. Those companies that have reserved and paid for a booth or tabletop at IFC 2020 will be reimbursed 100% of their registration fees. Emails will be sent to both groups explaining the reimbursement process.


Automotive Supplier Orders Refurb of Normalizing FurnaceOpen in a New Window

Can-Eng Furnaces International Ltd. has been awarded a contract by a major U.S. automotive parts supplier for the complete overhaul and refurbishment of a cast link-belt normalizing furnace. Designed and manufactured by Can-Eng in 1996, the equipment was originally rated at 27,000 pounds/hour of hot-charged, closed-die forgings. It was known to be one of the largest cast link-belt furnaces in the world at the time of its manufacture. The refurbishment project will take place in Can-Eng’s Niagara Falls shops and will consist of a complete refractory reline, new combustion system, new control panel and a Level II automation system.


Historic Ironworks Creates New Products for Consumer SafetyOpen in a New Window

Fortin Ironworks, a third-generation, family-owned and operated ornamental iron and metal-fabrication company, is creating new products driven by a surge in consumer safety. These American-made products are destined to be an integral part of the “new normal.” The Columbus, Ohio-based company has been manufacturing products designed to keep people safe, such as fencing and gates, for nearly 75 years. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, however, Fortin Ironworks is getting requests for new ways of doing things.


Auto Component Manufacturer Orders Vacuum FurnacesOpen in a New Window

Ipsen received an order for two 2-bar vacuum furnaces from a rapidly emerging global automotive component manufacturer with locations in Asia and the U.S. The company awarded Ipsen this order as part of a series of eight furnaces over the last two years. The TITAN H6 was selected because of its inherent process flexibility and ease of installation, as well as the local regional support provided by Ipsen’s sales and service teams in both Asia and the U.S.


Registration Open for IHEA Online CourseOpen in a New Window

Registration for IHEA’s Fundamentals of Industrial Process Heating online learning course is now open for fall 2020. Scheduled to begin October 5, the six-week class will run through November 15. The flexible online format and interactive forums with other students, along with scheduled office hours with the instructor, are just a few of the benefits of this program.


Sintavia Achieves Nadcap Approval for Heat TreatmentOpen in a New Window

Sintavia LLC, a provider of metal additive-manufacturing services for the aerospace and defense industries, achieved Nadcap (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) approval for heat treatment at both its Hollywood, Fla., and Davie, Fla., locations. According to Sintavia, it is the only company in the world with Nadcap approvals for laser additive manufacturing, electron-beam additive manufacturing and in-house heat treatment.


Swedish Company First to Heat Steel with HydrogenOpen in a New Window

Ovako, together with Linde Gas AB, conducted a full-scale trial using hydrogen to heat steel before rolling. The trial was performed with good results in one of the company’s pit furnaces at the Hofors rolling mill in Sweden. This historic development for the steel industry proves that carbon dioxide emissions from rolling can be eliminated provided the right financial support and infrastructure are in place. 


ExOne, University Collaborate to 3D-Print Metal FiltersOpen in a New Window

The ExOne Company, a provider of industrial 3D printers using binder-jetting technology, and the University of Pittsburgh partnered to develop reusable metal filters that fit into a specially designed respirator cartridge for sustainable, long-term protection against contaminants, such as COVID-19. ExOne’s binder-jetting technology is a high-speed form of 3D printing that can produce metal parts with specific porosity levels that can effectively filter out contaminants while allowing airflow.


Sheffield Forgemasters 3D-Prints Visor Components for Health WorkersOpen in a New Window

Sheffield Forgemasters is devoting its 3D-printing facility to help protect vulnerable, frontline national health service (NHS) workers and assist in the U.K.'s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s Research, Design and Technology (RD&T) department has started to produce 3D-printed components for protective visors used by NHS staff. The initiative coincides with the request of the mayor of the Sheffield City Region for South Yorkshire businesses to join the national effort and help make life-saving medical equipment during the pandemic. RD&T uses its 3D-printing output to produce models and prototypes for ultra-large, complex steel components, but – with the ability to 3D-print the visor components – the business is more than happy to play its part in assisting the fight against the pandemic.


Research: Manufacturing Business Continues to DeclineOpen in a New Window

According to research conducted by Clear Seas Research (a BNP Media Company) April 16-20, 56% of active business and 50% of planned business throughout the manufacturing industry is still on schedule during the coronavirus pandemic. These numbers show a decline from the last survey April 2-6, which showed 63% of active business and 57% of planned business was on schedule. Along those lines, 11% of active business has been cancelled, which is an increase from the 9% reported in the last survey.


IHEA Announces 2020-21 Executive Officers, Board of DirectorsOpen in a New Window

The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) recently announced its 2020-2021 Board of Directors and Executive Officers. The new executive officers are Scott Bishop of Alabama Power Company as president, Jeff Valuck of Surface Combustion as vice president and Brian Kelly of Honeywell Thermal Solutions as treasurer. Bishop has served as IRED chairman, presented at numerous workshops and seminars, and provided key support in the recent revision of the Infrared Process Heating Handbook for Industrial Applications. Michael Stowe of Advanced Energy assumes the role of past president.


DOE Program to Develop Ultrahigh-Temperature Materials for Gas TurbinesOpen in a New Window

The U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $28 million in funding for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, ULtrahigh Temperature Impervious Materials Advancing Turbine Efficiency (ULTIMATE). The ULTIMATE program will develop and demonstrate ultrahigh-temperature materials that can operate in high-temperature and high-stress environments of a gas-turbine blade. Projects will specifically target gas-turbine applications in the power-generation and aviation industries.


Tool Manufacturer Orders Vacuum FurnaceOpen in a New Window

SECO/WARWICK received an order from an international tool manufacturer, with branches in 40 countries, for a vacuum furnace that will be used for tempering. The horizontal, front-loading furnace is purpose-built to accommodate the company’s needs with an all-metal hot zone for clean vacuum processing, a convection fan and a pressurized gas quench for quick cooling. This was the third furnace order from the tool manufacturer.


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