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Air Liquide to Deliver Hydrogen for Lower-Carbon Steel ProductionOpen in a New Window

Air Liquide and thyssenkrupp will partner for a project to develop lower-carbon steel production. For the first time, hydrogen will be injected to partially replace pulverized coal at a large scale in the blast furnace during steel production. Air Liquide will ensure a stable supply of hydrogen from its 200-km network in the Rhine-Ruhr area. This will be implemented at one of the blast furnaces in thyssenkrupp ́s integrated steel mills in Duisburg, Germany. Thyssenkrupp aims at reducing CO2 emissions in the production process by up to 20%.


Tenova Sells HTC GroupOpen in a New Window

Tenova, a company of the Techint Group, concluded the selling process of the HTC Group, which includes IVA Schmetz (Germany), Mahler (Germany), Fours Industriels B.M.I. (France) and IVA Schmetz Industrial Furnaces (China). All four companies specialize in advanced technologies for heat-treatment processes for components. The purchasers are Qizhi GmbH and Shanghai Qizhi Information Technologies Co. Ltd., both members of Ningbo Qijing Holding Co. Ltd.


Automotive Supplier Orders Nitrocarburizing FurnaceOpen in a New Window

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 Under New LeadershipOpen in a New Window

The supervisory board at SECO/WARWICK Group unanimously decided to name Sławomir Woźniak president of the management board. The new president has been appointed for the same period as the joint term of the new management board, which spans the next three full financial years.


Primetals Technologies, MHI to Acquire ABP Induction SystemsOpen in a New Window

Primetals Technologies and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will acquire ABP Induction Systems (ABP), a global manufacturer and servicer of induction furnaces and heating systems. ABP provides state-of-the-art equipment for ferrous and nonferrous metal casting, forging and steelmaking. Its main products are induction melting, holding and pouring furnaces as well as induction heaters. MHI and Primetals Technologies will jointly take ABP’s shares, and future business activities will be conducted in close cooperation with and under the leadership of Primetals Technologies.


Students Tour Solar AtmospheresOpen in a New Window

Solar Atmospheres hosted 28 high-school students enrolled in the Summer Engineering Institute (SEI) at Lehigh University on July 11. The group also included a few members of Lehigh University undergraduate students and staff. The SEI program is a two-week residential program, running two sessions back to back. Students are nominated by faculty of local high schools, and the program specifically targets under-represented groups including girls, first-generation students and students who might otherwise have limited opportunities to study in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


Sintavia Acquires NDT Services CompanyOpen in a New Window

Sintavia LLC, an independent metal additive manufacturer, acquired QC Laboratories Inc. (QC Labs), a nondestructive testing (NDT) services company based in Hollywood, Fla. The acquisition enhances Sintavia’s NDT capabilities for commercial aerospace applications, particularly with respect to surface-finish conformance testing. QC Labs specializes in radiographic (X-ray and gamma), fluorescent-penetrant, ultrasonic, magnetic-particle and eddy-current inspections. The company holds approvals for these processes from Honeywell Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Cessna, Eaton, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Rolls-Royce.


Sandvik Acquires Stake in Metal AM Service ProviderOpen in a New Window

Sandvik acquired a 30% stake in privately owned Beam IT, a provider of metal additive-manufacturing (AM) services and advanced end-use components. Italy’s Beam IT supplies metal AM end components to demanding industries, including automotive, energy and aerospace, and holds several relevant quality certifications to serve these industries. The company has more than 20 powder-bed-fusion printers installed.


Commercial Heat Treater Orders Quench TankOpen in a New Window

Baker Furnace, a division of Thermal Product Solutions, installed a quench tank for a commercial heat treater as part of its aftermarket services. The company had two quench tanks (one hot water and one cold water) and three drop-bottom furnaces and needed a third quench tank to optimize quench loads per day. The quench tank has three impellers capable of 27,000 GM on a 15,000-gallon tank. This style of agitation allows for thick, large castings to dissipate heat faster.


Podcasts – IH Monthly RxOpen in a New Window

Listen to Industrial Heating Editor Reed Miller and Dan Herring, The Heat Treat Doctor, discuss issues of technical interest on this monthly podcast.


Thyssenkrupp to Build Advanced Forging LineOpen in a New Window

Thyssenkrupp will build an advanced forging line at its Homburg site in Germany’s Saarland region. The company will invest approximately $90 million in a new 12,000-square-meter facility to produce forged front axles for trucks. The centerpiece of the highly automated and digitized forging line will be a 16,000-ton forging press measuring 32.8 feet (10 meters) high and weighing 1,700 tons. According to thyssenkrupp, the press will produce 360,000 forged components per year and will not be restricted to one product. In addition to front axle systems, the line will be able to produce crankshafts and other forged parts as required.


Canadian Aluminum Producer Receives Funding, Maintains JobsOpen in a New Window

Aluminerie Alouette, a Quebec-based aluminum producer, received a $15 million investment by the Government of Canada for development projects at its aluminum smelter. The investment will help Alouette, which has an annual production capacity of 600,000 metric tons of primary aluminum, maintain at least 830 jobs and modernize its facilities. Upgrades will include a pot change-out program, converting anode baking furnaces to natural gas, use of automated production vehicles and integration of Industry 4.0 concepts.


Liberty Steel Completes Acquisition of ArcelorMittal AssetsOpen in a New Window

Liberty Steel, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, completed the acquisition of seven major steelworks and five service centers across seven European countries from ArcelorMittal. The seven sites employ over 14,000 people and include the major integrated steelworks at Ostrava in the Czech Republic and Galati in Romania as well as rolling mills at Skopje (North Macedonia), Piombino (Italy), Dudelange (Luxembourg) and two plants near Liege in Belgium. The service centers are based in France and Italy.


Lockheed Martin to Invest, Create Jobs in ArkansasOpen in a New Window

Lockheed Martin will invest $142 million in its Camden facility in Arkansas. The investment, which will add 326 new jobs by 2024, supports new construction and improves on existing facilities for products, new machinery and equipment. According to Lockheed Martin, the Camden facility is a highly efficient center of excellence that contributes components and performs final assembly for products that are important to the defense of the U.S. and a growing number of allied nations.


Höganäs Expansion to Create Jobs in PennsylvaniaOpen in a New Window

To support the global demand for its high-alloy products, Sweden’s Höganäs will expand its Johnstown, Pa., facility in North America. The project, which is expected to create 25 jobs, will add new production capabilities to support additive manufacturing and other technologies. The company will construct a 24,000-square-foot building and purchase new machinery.


Alcoa to Restart Quebec SmelterOpen in a New Window

Alcoa Corp. announced that the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. (ABI) smelter plans to restart curtailed smelting capacity after members of the United Steelworkers union in Quebec approved a six-year labor agreement. The smelter, which is owned by Alcoa (74.95%) and Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. (25.05%), has total capacity of 413,000 metric tons per year. The restart will begin on July 26 and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2020.


Aluminum Wheel Manufacturer Expanding, Adding Jobs in KentuckyOpen in a New Window

Central Motor Wheel of America Inc. (CMWA) will invest nearly $112 million to expand its aluminum wheel manufacturing facility in Paris, Ky. The project will create 145 full-time jobs and increase the company’s production by 50%. CMWA plans to expand onto an additional 40 acres and add 270,000 square feet onto its existing 330,000-square-foot plant. The 145 new jobs will include production, maintenance and engineering. Work on the expansion will this summer, and company executives expect production to begin in July 2021.


Bright World of Metals Increases International FlairOpen in a New Window

The recent staging of the Bright World of Metals, which consists of GIFA, METEC, Thermprocess and Newcast, confirmed its position at the world’s most important international platform for the metallurgy and casting sectors. Numerous investments, spontaneous business deals and lively discussions characterized the dynamic atmosphere in the 12 halls of the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Solar Atmospheres Installs All-Metal Hot-Zone Vacuum FurnaceOpen in a New Window

Solar Atmospheres recently installed an all-metal hot-zone vacuum furnace at its facility in Souderton, Pa. This is the heat treater’s third all-metal hot-zone furnace installation for its climate-controlled room. The new furnace increases Solar’s capacity for processing sensitive materials such as PH stainless, nickel-chrome-based superalloys, titanium and ferritic and austenitic stainless steels. 


U.S. Steel Orders Thermal-Processing Line for Plant in SlovakiaOpen in a New Window

Tenova LOI Thermprocess received an order from U.S. Steel Kosice, a Slovakian steel producer and fully integrated metallurgical plant, for an annealing and coating line (ACL) for dynamo steel strips. Tenova will supply the complete ACL, including a heat-treatment furnace, drying oven and the associated electrical, instrumentation and control technology. The plant will use the ACL to produce non-grain-oriented electrical steel. The contract scope includes engineering, turnkey delivery of all equipment and supervision of the assembly and commissioning.


Saarstahl Invests in Heat-Treat ExpansionOpen in a New Window

Saarstahl is investing approximately $19 million to expand heat-treatment capacity at Saar-Blankstahl, its subsidiary in Homburg, Germany. The investment includes a roller-hearth furnace for heat treatment; construction of a 4,300-square-meter hall with cranes; and a straightening machine with a corresponding packaging unit. The new heat-treatment plant is scheduled to begin operation in fall 2020.


Nitrogen Generator Manufacturer ExpandingOpen in a New Window

South-Tek Systems, a manufacturer of nitrogen generators for heat-treating applications, plans to expand in Wilmington, N.C. The company expects to move to a higher-capacity manufacturing facility in September 2019. The custom-designed 66,000-square-foot plant is only a few miles from South-Tek’s current home, which is close to full capacity.


Jennings Appointed President, CEO of TPSOpen in a New Window

Thermal Product Solutions LLC (TPS), a global manufacturer of thermal-processing equipment, appointed Greg Jennings to the position of president and CEO. Jennings has experience in both Fortune 500 and private companies. He has held the position of chief financial officer (CFO) at TPS since 2013. During his time as CFO, he was instrumental during the acquisition of Wisconsin Oven and Baker Furnace. Prior to TPS, Jennings held a number of domestic and international positions within SPX Corp.


AHT Expands in Iowa, MichiganOpen in a New Window

Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT) announced building expansions at its Monroe, Mich., and Waterloo, Iowa, locations. The extra space will enable AHT to add more equipment and services. The Michigan site is expanding its pit, which will allow for two additional nitriding units. AHT Burton, referred to by the street name because there are two locations in Waterloo, is adding additional square footage onto its building. The expansion will allow for additional equipment and services to be added. The expansions are expected to be complete by mid-summer.


Ipsen Expands Sales Engineering StaffOpen in a New Window

Ipsen USA recently embarked on an initiative to double its number of regional sales engineers (RSEs). The company’s RSEs engage customers with the objective of improving furnace performance and increasing service life. Recent hires include Midwest RSE Joyce Paliganoff, Southeast RSE Patrick Heiser and West/Northwest RSE Larry Gomez.


GE Aviation Invests in EBM TechnologyOpen in a New Window

GE Additive announced that GE Aviation made a significant investment in its electron-beam-melting (EBM) technology with the purchase of an additional 27 systems. Avio Aero, a GE Aviation company, currently operates a fleet of 35 Arcam machines at its recently expanded site in Cameri, Italy. The additional EBM systems will be installed at GE Aviation and Avio Aero facilities in the U.S. and Europe. They will be used primarily for the production of titanium aluminide (TiAl) blades on the low-pressure turbine for the GE9X engine.


Automotive Aluminum Producer Orders Annealing LinesOpen in a New Window

Andritz received an order from China’s Qinghai Zhuofeng New Material Co. Ltd. to supply two continuous annealing and processing lines, each with an annual capacity of 110,000 tons. Start-up is scheduled for the second quarter of 2021 (line 1) and the second quarter of 2022 (line 2). The lines will produce high-quality, flat aluminum product for the automotive industry. Andritz’s scope of supply also includes automation technology and commissioning.


Partnership Uses AI to Advance Learning Mill for Big River SteelOpen in a New Window and SMS group announced a partnership to further optimize the world’s first learning steel mill for Arkansas-based Big River Steel. The joint solution was created by implementing’s learning algorithms into SMS group’s X-Pact MES 4.0. was able to leverage the existing integration of SMS group’s X-Pact MES 4.0 in the steel mill‘s IT environment and in their SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. The new end solutions digitize applications throughout every stage of the steelmaking process, from the liquid phase all the way to strip finishing.


Mercury Marine Invests $9 Million in Die-Casting FacilityOpen in a New Window

Mercury Marine opened the 23,500-square-foot expansion to its die-casting facility in Fond du Lac, Wis. The $9 million investment provides space for capacity increases, allowing the company to make complex blocks, driveshafts and gear cases for Mercury outboards. The addition will be filled with large-tonnage die-casting equipment, including a 4,500-ton machine, that will drive higher quality and better throughput to keep up with increased engine demand.


Fire at Universal Stainless Facility in OhioOpen in a New Window

Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc. reported that they experienced a fire at its North Jackson, Ohio, facility Friday, June 14. The fire was contained to a hydraulic radial forging machine. There were no injuries associated with the fire, and all other production units continue to operate. Clean-up and repair activities commenced immediately after the fire was extinguished.


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