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IHEA Fall Combustion and Safety Seminars Go VirtualOpen in a New Window

The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) brings industrial process-heating professionals together to provide combustion and safety education for the industry each and every fall. This year will look different, but IHEA will still deliver essential content through a virtual platform. The IHEA Virtual Fall Seminars will be held over two consecutive weeks in November from Wednesday to Friday each week. Each day will consist of three presentations from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EST). The agendas for the virtual seminars contain vital topics that have been adapted to online versions so attendees can still get the information they need whether they are working from home or in the office. 


AISI Releases 2019 Statistical ReportOpen in a New Window

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) released its 2019 Annual Statistical Report, which provides comprehensive data on the U.S. steel industry and select data on the North American steel industry as a whole. The report highlights that shipments from domestic steel mills measured 96.1 million net tons in 2019, up 0.9% from the previous year. U.S. raw steel production was 96.7 million net tons in 2019, a 1.3% increase from 2018.


Aluminum Association Statement on Tariff Removal on Canadian P1020Open in a New Window

Aluminum Association President and CEO Tom Dobbins issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) removing recently reimplemented tariffs on imports of unwrought, or P1020, aluminum from Canada into the United States. The decision was made after “the United States … determined that trade in non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum is likely to normalize in the last four months of 2020, with imports declining sharply from the surges experienced earlier in the year,” consistent with industry expectations.


Manufacturer Opens Plant, Creates Jobs in AlabamaOpen in a New Window

Denmark’s Mountain Top Industries, which manufacturers aluminum roll covers for pickup trucks, plans to invest $13.3 million to open a 73,000-square-foot facility in Montgomery, Ala. The plant will create 90 full-time jobs. In addition to Denmark, the company also has design and production facilities in Australia and Thailand.


Outokumpu Orders Atomization Plant for AM PowdersOpen in a New Window

SMS group received an order from Outokumpu for the supply of an atomization plant for the production of high-quality stainless steel powder used in additive manufacturing. The plant, which is scheduled to become operational in early 2022, will be designed for an annual production of up to 330 tons of stainless steel powder. It will include an induction melter, atomizer, two cyclones and filter elements. The powder atomization plant will be designed for the complete process to take place in an inert atmosphere.


Siemens, Sintavia Collaborate on AM Software SolutionOpen in a New Window

Sintavia, LLC, a metal additive manufacturer, entered into an agreement to collaborate with Siemens Digital Industries Software on the development of an end-to-end additive-manufacturing (AM) software solution as a part of Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio. Sintavia will provide testing and technical feedback on pre-released software that will be part of future AM solutions. In exchange, Sintavia becomes a preferred AM partner of Siemens and gains access to the software in advance of the market, along with technical support for its implementation.


Podcast: One-on-One with Marc Glasser of Rolled AlloysOpen in a New Window

Editor Reed Miller has a one-on-one chat with Marc Glasser, Rolled Alloys’ director of metallurgical services. They talk about furnace alloys and what might be cheap compared to what is the best value for your furnace operations.


Italian 3D-Printing Company Orders HIPOpen in a New Window

Quintus Technologies delivered what it says is the world’s fastest fan-driven hot isostatic press (HIP) to Italy’s PRES-X, a start-up established to meet the post-production needs of 3D-printed metal components. The HIP’s high-pressure heat-treatment (HPHT) capability makes it possible to eliminate several operations in the AM production line. With Quintus’s proprietary uniform rapid cooling (URC) technology, a cooling rate of 1500K/minute can be achieved while minimizing thermal distortion and non-uniform grain growth, producing finished 3D-printed parts with optimal material properties.


Defense Organization Orders Box FurnaceOpen in a New Window

L&L Special Furnace Co. Inc. shipped a high-temperature box furnace to a government defense organization located in the southeastern United States. The medium-sized furnace will be used for military ceramic-composite development along with research and development for other components. The furnace, which has a work zone of 24 inches wide x 18 inches high x 36 inches deep, is rated for continuous operating temperatures up to 2500°F (1371°C). It comes equipped with silicon-carbide heating elements for high-temperature operation.


Furnace Maker Adds Process Controls into Heat-Treatment SolutionsOpen in a New Window

Global Control Pte Ltd., a heating-system original equipment manufacturer (OEM), is incorporating Honeywell technologies, including the ControlEdge HC900 controller, into its heat-treatment solutions. The company expects the controls to help its customers improve their asset performance, reduce their inventory and lifecycle costs, and save energy. When integrated into Global Control’s furnaces and ovens, ControlEdge HC900 provides new end-user capabilities such as simplified process ID (PID) execution. It also eliminates the requirement for an external controller, reducing overall maintenance requirements, and provides end users with the flexibility to run temperature profiles directly from the human-machine interface instead of downloading the program in the controller every time they use it.


Air Liquide to Build ASU in TexasOpen in a New Window

Air Liquide announced a long-term supply agreement with Eastman Chemical Company to provide additional gaseous oxygen, nitrogen and syngas supporting the company’s production in Longview, Texas. Air Liquide will invest more than $160 million to build a new air-separation unit (ASU) and partial oxidation unit (POX) and modernize existing assets. With this agreement and additional production capacity of the ASU and POX, Air Liquide will supply Eastman gaseous oxygen and nitrogen, as well as syngas. The new ASU and POX will begin production in late 2021 and will be integrated into the existing facilities.


Powder-Metal Component Manufacturer Installs Endothermic Gas GeneratorOpen in a New Window

Abbott Furnace Company designed, manufactured and installed a 6,000-SCFH endothermic gas generator at Sintergy Inc. in Reynoldsville, Pa. The generator has an innovative retort design that allows a single retort to produce endo gas at this rate without sacrificing gas quality and maintaining a 6:1 turndown ratio. According to Sintergy, a manufacturer of powder-metal components, it is only seeing ±1°F in dew-point variation from setpoint. Abbott included state-of-the-art controls with an Allen-Bradley PLC, data logging, dew-point and methane sensors, and an updated gas safety system.


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

Solar Atmospheres recently installed its sixth all-metal hot-zone vacuum furnace at its facility in Souderton, Pa. This is also Solar’s fourth furnace for its climate-controlled room. The Mentor model, which was built by sister company Solar Manufacturing, has a work zone measuring 12 inches x 12 inches x 18 inches and is the first of its kind. It increases Solar’s capacity for processing sensitive materials – such as PH stainless, nickel-based superalloys, titanium and ferritic/austenitic stainless steels – yet focuses on smaller lots and one-off items.


Tenova, Microsoft Partner to Aid Metals IndustryOpen in a New Window

Microsoft and Tenova, a Techint Group company, renewed their collaboration with the aim of guiding companies in the metals industry on their digital transformation journeys. Leveraging on the Microsoft Azure platform and Tenova’s solutions for the steel industry, the two companies intend to lead the digital transformation of the sector. The goal of this renewed partnership is to provide Italian companies in the metals industry with industrial solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) in order to give value to the large amount of data coming from industrial plants.


Air Force Orders Metal AM System for RepairsOpen in a New Window

The U.S. Air Force awarded Albuquerque, N.M.-based Optomec a $1 million contract to deliver a high-volume production metal additive-manufacturing (AM) system for refurbishing turbine engine components, including titanium parts. The equipment will have a range of capabilities, including an automation system for batch processing, an oxygen-free controlled atmosphere and an adaptive vision system. The automated metal AM system will be capable of processing tens of thousands of repairs per year, with an initial focus on tip refurbishment for turbine blades. It will be installed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.


Danieli to Supply EAF to Russian SteelmakerOpen in a New Window

Danieli received an order from Russian steelmaker OMK for a direct reduction plant that will include an electric-arc furnace (EAF) and direct reduced iron (DRI) technology. Part of a new melt shop at the Vyksa Steel Works, it will produce 2.5 million tons per year of slabs, seamless pipe and rail wheels. According to Danieli, it will be the largest single-module direct reduction plant in Russia. The facility will utilize Danieli’s Energiron DRI technology, which allows the processing of a wide range of iron-oxide pellet qualities and includes ultra-low-NOx burners.


Challenge Seeks to Advance Laser-Based Powder-Bed AMOpen in a New Window

The Open Source-Additive Scanning Implementation Strategy (OASIS) Challenge – launched by America Makes with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and GE Research – seeks the submission of open-source computer codes and algorithms to help advance laser-based powder-bed additive manufacturing (AM). The goal of this challenge is to find real solutions to an important issue facing the AM community. Results of the sample evaluation will be integrated into the America Makes National AM Roadmap and the America Makes Digital Storefront.


Tenaris to Invest in Pennsylvania Melt ShopOpen in a New Window

Tenaris will invest $11 million at its melt shop in Koppel, Pa., to expand the plant’s size range capabilities. The facility’s caster line will undergo upgrades to increase its steel bar size capabilities and improve safety, IT and automation systems at the mill. The expansion will allow the melt shop to produce bars in a wider range of sizes while securing a reliable source of billets for Tenaris’ seamless mills in Bay City, Texas; Ambridge, Pa.; and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. The project is expected to last 14 months, and it is scheduled for completion by the end of the second quarter of 2021.


Vacuum Pumps Critical to Space MissionOpen in a New Window

Busch Vacuum Solutions collaborated with the European Space Agency, Fluid Gravity Engineering Ltd. and the University of Glasgow to prepare a space mission for the Mars rover Perseverance. The craft started its mission to Mars weeks ago and will hopefully bring back rock samples for future research. Vacuum pumps from Busch are part of a system that studies the behavior of a rocket when it lands on the surface of Mars or the Moon. With the help of the vacuum pumps, the landing of a rocket is simulated, and the surface of Mars and the Moon is imitated on the basis of different pressure levels.


Rex Heat Treat Installs Hybrid FurnaceOpen in a New Window

Rex Heat Treat, a commercial heat treater specializing in the aerospace market, became the first company to install and commission SECO/WARWICK’s new Super IQ gas carburizing furnace. The hybrid system combines a conventional furnace and a vacuum furnace in one unit. Rex Heat Treat has commissioned several vacuum furnaces over the past several years at its Lansdale, Pa., location as part of a plant modernization initiative. The new furnace will allow the heat treater to upgrade its through-hardening and carburizing capabilities alongside its legacy harden and temper furnaces while using the existing loader, baskets and washing system.


Gallos Metal Solutions Orders Mesh-Belt Furnace LineOpen in a New Window

Can-Eng Furnaces International Ltd. designed, built and delivered a mesh-belt heat-treatment furnace line to Gallos Metal Solutions of Milwaukee, Wis. The continuous atmosphere system will be used primarily for demanding processing, including carbonitriding and carburizing, while allowing for neutral heat treatment with a production capacity up to 4,000 pounds/hour. This high-capacity furnace line is part of Gallos’ expansion and modernization project, which has more than doubled the existing plant square footage, increased capacity and added automation.


Metal AM Provider AcquiredOpen in a New Window

CORE Industrial Partners, a Chicago-based private-equity firm, acquired GPI Prototype & Manufacturing Services LLC, a metal additive-manufacturing (AM) services provider, by CORE portfolio company Fathom. Founded in 2007 as one of the first metal AM services providers in the country, Lake Bluff, Ill.-based GPI uses direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) to print parts with complex geometries for on-demand manufacturing applications. The company utilizes a variety of metal powders – including aluminum, stainless steel, tool steel, titanium and cobalt chrome – and holds ISO 9001, ISO 13485 and AS9100D certifications.


Ipsen Receives 5 Orders, Ships 9 FurnacesOpen in a New Window

Despite uncertain market conditions presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Ipsen has been awarded five orders for vacuum furnaces between four customers, each with unique process requirements in the aerospace, defense and commercial heat-treating industries. The furnaces ordered include MetalMaster, TurboTreater and Ipsen’s signature vacuum aluminum brazing furnace. In addition to the five new orders, Ipsen shipped nine furnaces in July to companies across six states in America as well as Canada and the United Kingdom.


Aerospace Manufacturer Orders Vacuum FurnaceOpen in a New Window

Gasbarre Thermal Processing Systems shipped a continuous vacuum furnace with 10-bar pressure-quench capabilities to a North American aerospace manufacturer. The four-position, four-zone furnace is rated to 2400°F. The independent load and quench modules allow the heat module to hold temperature and vacuum, creating an extremely pure environment. Extended heating-element coverage allows for excellent temperature uniformity. Only the workload is cooled in the isolated cooling chamber to increase efficiency. Quick transference from the heat module to the cool module and fast quench capabilities make the furnace suited to process medium- to high-volume parts.


Bearing Cage Manufacturer Orders FNC FurnaceOpen in a New Window

SECO/WARWICK received an order for a ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC) furnace with ZeroFlow technology from Harsha Engineers Ltd., a bearing cage manufacturer based in India. The furnace is equipped with a vacuum system, gas control system, turbo cooling, atmosphere cooling system, and post-oxidation system to get material a very uniform gray color and achieve other tribological properties to meet the specifications of bearing manufacturers. The nitrogen-potential control allows measurement and regulation of nitrogen atmosphere potential by measuring the hydrogen content in the furnace atmosphere. All the process parameters – like ammonia flow, carbon dioxide flow, ratio of carbon dioxide to ammonia and furnace pressure – are automatically regulated. The furnace control system employs a cascade-based temperature control system to regulate the furnace temperature very closely to meet customer requirements.


F&B Manufacturing Installs Hydroform PressesOpen in a New Window

F&B Manufacturing installed two hydroform deep-draw presses from Quintus Technologies to elevate both the capacity and capabilities at its Phoenix, Ariz., facility. The presses’ flexible forming technology allows F&B engineers to offer more options to serve customer production streams while also addressing new applications and markets. Both presses feature a modular dual-tray shuttle system that allows F&B to draw up to 10 inches (254 mm) deep and accept blank sizes up to 43.1 inches (1,095 mm) in diameter, a 25% increase over previous capacity. Using high isostatic pressure up to 11,600 psi, parts can be formed in a variety of tough materials and thicknesses to tight tolerances with minimal thinning.


Liberty Steel Acquires French Steel CompaniesOpen in a New Window

Liberty Steel Group (LSG), part of GFG Alliance, acquired the strategic French steel assets of France Rail Industry business (Hayange) and the Ascoval steelworks. Hayange, located in Moselle, manufactures a range of steel rails for nationally significant infrastructure clients, including France’s national rail operator and the operator of Paris’ metro system. The site, which employs around 430 people, produces over 300,000 metric tons of rail per year. Ascoval, based in Saint-Saulve in northern France, has approximately 270 employees. The plant uses electric-arc furnace (EAF) technology and has the capability to produce 600,000 metric tons of steel blooms, billets and other forged products annually from recycled scrap metal. Ascoval will use recycled steel to supply Hayange, creating an integrated French GREENSTEEL rail business.


IHEA Offers Hands-on Training in AlabamaOpen in a New Window

The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA), the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI), Products Finishing magazine and Southern Company have teamed up to provide a comprehensive training course. The Powder Coating and Curing Processes Seminar is scheduled for October 20-21 at the Alabama Power Technology Application Center (TAC) in Calera, Ala.


Metal 3D Printing Supports Air ForceOpen in a New Window

Open Additive LLC of Beavercreek, Ohio, has been awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase II development effort to support the Air Force’s Landing Gear Test Facility (LGTF) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In the Phase I effort, Open Additive’s team demonstrated the ability of its laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) systems to accurately reproduce durable runway surface features. 


CMC to Build Micro-Mill in ArizonaOpen in a New Window

Commercial Metals Company (CMC) announced plans to build a $300 million micro-mill in Mesa, Ariz. According to CMC, the facility will be the first in the world to produce merchant-bar-quality (MBQ) products through a continuous-continuous production process. It will allow CMC to more efficiently meet West Coast demand for rebar and MBQ products. The micro-mill, CMC’s third such facility, is expected to start up in early 2023 and employ approximately 185 people. It will achieve an estimated nominal annual capacity of 500,000 tons, including 150,000 tons of merchant product.


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