Category Archives: Heat Treat Furnace

Two of The Biggest Heat Treating Events of 2016

The top metal manufacturing event, Advanced Manufacturing Expo & Conference, and the most important aerospace and defense event, AeroDef 2016 are here! 2016’s Biggest Heat Treating Conferences will be held in Southern California. These events are the mecca of new products and technology for the heat treating and metal working industry.

This year’s Advanced Manufacturing Expo & Conference led by the brightest minds in their fields, will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. The expo will showcase an impressive tradeshow floor and specialized conference program covering numerous topics affecting the metal industries that are connected with advanced design and manufacturing. This conference will also host the most comprehensive educational program of the year for the heat treating and metal manufacturers.  The Advanced Manufacturing Expo & Conference is an essential hub for new technological innovations in the heat treating and metal manufacturing.

The 3 day expo include more than 2,000 vendors displaying their most cutting-edge developments for medical technologies, electronics, plastics, automation technologies, manufacturing, packaging and product design.

Open discussions will also be held to discuss industry trends and challenges. Educational classes on medical technology including nanotechnology will be available. Some of this year’s themes will include product design and market access.

Learn more about this annual event by clicking this link .

The 2016 AeroDef Conference will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. This conference is the most important heat treating technical conference and exposition of the year for defense and aerospace industries. Keynote speakers will include leaders from the pinnacle of the defense and aerospace world including Scott P. Willoughby of Northrup Grumman, Daniel G. Korte of LMI Aerospace, & Bryan G. Dods of GE Power & Water. The conference will highlight the industry’s newest and most advanced technologies.

This year’s new convention design and discussion sessions were created to allow heat treating professionals to experience first-hand the showcase concepts on the exposition floor.

For more information click their link .

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Buyer’s Tips for Purchasing a Car Bottom Furnace

Before you begin shopping around for a Car Bottom Furnace there are a few requirements that you will need to figure out before you start the process.  Here are some tips to that will help determine the type of Car Bottom Furnace that will suit your needs best.

What is the typical Temperature Uniformity needed in my Car Bottom Furnace?  These Furnaces typically operate at about plus or – 25 deg. F uniformity depending on the maximum temperature.  A Car Bottom Furnace can also achieve tighter uniformity (+ or – 10 degrees F), but the engineering must be precise. Typical temperatures are around 1350 deg. F range at + or – 25 deg. F.

 Does my Process Require Pressure Controlled Flue Dampers?  There are benefits to including a pressure transducers and a control motor/linkage in a Car Bottom Furnace. These benefits include greater control over the flue which gives the user excellent temperature uniformity.

 Will my Car be sealed on the side and back walls when inside the Furnace?  Every Car Bottom Furnace should utilize some style of “bumper” system that will thoroughly seal the car inside the unit.  The drive mechanism for the car is shielded by the Refractory surfaces and is located beneath the car.

 Do I need an Accreditation approved Control Panel?  The a well known independent, globally accredited Safety Company. U.L. requires a high safety and quality standards for all products. Good manufacturers use components accredited by the U.L.  These parts will have a U.L. Classified Sticker on the unit.

 Will the Combustion System be rated to Factory Mutual, IRI and NFPA 86 standards?  Car Bottom Furnace units should come equipped with several safety mechanisms including surplus Gas Safety shut off valves, High/Low Gas Pressure Switches, Isolation gas cocks, flame supervision with Ultra Violet (U.V.) and Scanners Air Proving switches.  A Car Bottom Furnace Burner should not ignite until a purge air cycle has been concluded at start up. Burners can light on low fire and vary safely to high fire via linkage and drive component.

 Will I need Installation/Start up assistance for My New Car Bottom Furnace?   It is always a good idea to be trained from the manufacturer on your specific unit as well as on trouble shooting tactics whether you have an onsite engineer or not. The manufacturer should also provide you with drawing of your unit as well as an operating manual.  

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Forming Oven 101

One of the most widely used thermal processes in manufacturing is called Forming. Forming processes are used in nearly every aspect of industrial manufacturing due to its versatility and ability to adapt to every application. Components created in a Forming Oven are used to make everything from Mac truck panels, bicycle helmets and spaceships.

Forming is the process where metal or plastic is stretched, drawn or bent in order to create a desired shape while maintaining the material’s tensile strength and ductility. The prerequisite to forming is that the materials have an ultra fine grain size. Processing materials while in a super heated state called Thermoforming. The desired application and material determine the type of process and temperature performed in the forming oven.  Forming techniques include stretching a material over a mold, vacuuming the material into a concave or blowing air into material to produce a hollowed out center.

One of the major advantages to processing in a forming oven is that you can form large and complex pieces in a single operation. These finished pieces have a fine surface and are created with excellent precision. A forming oven also allows the manufacturer to create very large works which eliminates the need for assemblies and additional pieces. This simplicity means that the finished pieces are lighter, which is particularly important to the aerospace industry. The main disadvantage is the slow forming rate of thick gauge materials, which can equate to a lower volume production for certain products.  Thin gauge materials, on the other hand, can be produced and finished very quickly.

Because a forming oven can be configured to process glass, metal or plastic, these units have become an essential part of manufacturing within the automotive, aerospace and medical equipment industries. Forming ovens are also very popular because their processes incur lower tooling costs than other metal manufacturing methods.

In the last decade forming oven processing, specifically thermoforming processing, has been greatly improved with the advancement of microprocessors and computer controls, which have increased process control and repeatability. Electric servo motors are also now being used in more sophisticated units for actuation of the machine platens, which gives operators more precise control over closing and opening speeds as well as tooling timing.

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Railway Concepts Inspiring the Car Bottom Furnace Industry

The biggest news to affect the Car Bottom Furnace Industry is the surge in high speed train proposals across the globe. The two largest proposals have been created by the Chinese who are looking to open world economy and open international relations by connecting the world via train.

In the last 15 years, China has begun an astonishing rail construction spree, laying tens of thousands of miles of tracks and launching high-speed railway lines. China has recently signaled its intent to build a “New Silk Road” heavy-duty freight network through Central Asia to Europe via rail rather than the old caravans that once bridged West and East.

All of this news has been very exciting for the car bottom furnace industry. There is still no word on when industrial furnace companies will get to bid for the car bottom furnace production jobs.

One of the biggest railway ventures in the concept phase is the China-American railway. A project of this size would require numerous car bottom furnaces working around the clock to produce railway and tunnel pieces.

China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America via a railway route through Russia, running under the Bering Strait. The 8,000 mile route would need two undersea tunnels connecting Russia and Alaska.

Much like the Channel Tunnel, this new plan to link the East and West has been in concept for a hundred years. Both Russia and China have had great interest in a land route to the U.S. for at least the last 100 years. The proposed Chinese railway plan provides the solution for both countries.

Engineer Wang Meng-shu has laid out a plan for an exact route from northeast China through the Bering Strait. . While this is plan is breathtakingly ambitious, China claims to have the technology. The 8,000 mile route would reduce the need to fly, although at 350kph (220mph) it would still take two days.

China has a number of ambitious train projects in the pipeline. Each of these projects translate into great growth and would fuel new innovations for the car bottom furnace, such as portability and automated systems.

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NASA’s Composite Manufacturing Robot to Build World’s Biggest Rocket Parts

NASA has one of the most advanced composite manufacturing robots ever created in America. The robot will be used to build the biggest, lightweight composite parts ever made for space vehicles.

This latest addition to the Marshall Space Flight Center’s Composites Technology Center in Alabama will low-cost and high-speed composite manufacturing for large composite rocket. The structures this robot will be building will determine whether these special space vehicles are fit and safe for carrying humans on exploration missions to Mars and other places.

The robot’s key purpose is to build the lightest rocket possible. A lighter rocket carries more crew, science instruments, food, equipment and habitats. Lightweight composites have the potential to increase the amount of payload that can be carried by a rocket and lower the total production cost. NASA is conducting composite manufacturing technology tests to determine whether composites can be used to make units for the Space Launch System and other exploration spacecrafts and habitats.

The robot will build structures larger than 26 feet in diameter, some of the largest composite structures ever constructed for space vehicles. NASA’s robot is making huge industrial advances in composite manufacturing for space exploration and increasing affordability of space vehicles.

To make large composite structures, the robot travels along a 40-foot long track, and a head at the end of its 21-foot robot arm articulates in multiple directions. The head can hold up to 16 spools of carbon fibers that look like pieces of tape and are as thin as human hairs. The robot is able to place the fibers onto a tooling surface in precise patterns to form different large structures of varying shapes and sizes. The robot head can be changed for different projects, which makes the system flexible and usable for various types of composite manufacturing.

The first project that the robot will tackle is making large composite structures for a Technology Demonstration Mission by Marshall for the Space Technology Mission Directorate. For the project, engineers will design, build, test and address flight certification of large composite structures similar to those that might be upgraded for an evolved Space Launch System.

NASA is also a partner with the National/Interagency Advanced Manufacturing Initiative and will share its data with American companies to open up the marketplace for increased use of composite manufacturing in every industry.


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The AISI Annual Report Shows Growth in the Heat Treat Furnace Industry

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) recently released their 2014 Annual Statistical Report (ASR). The report discusses good news and continued growth in the iron and steel industries as well as the heat treat furnace industry.

The American Iron and Steel Institute report details how the industry has seen an increase in U.S. steel production, shipments and imports in 2013. That steady growth has also continued into 2014. These increases in production and imports have also led to increased sales of heat treat furnace units as many manufacturing companies continue to bring processing back in house. Increases in Chinese wages as well as fuel charges have steadily brought more industrial manufacturing and metal working jobs back to the U.S.

The industrial furnace industry has enjoyed continued growth in the sales of heat treat furnace units with both total and finished steel imports quantities levels reaching to near record levels. These imports amass to a record 28% share of apparent steel supply.

Report details also show a steady industry growth over the last few years that is showing no signs of slowing. U.S. steel shipments were counted at 98 million net tons which is a 3% increase from the previous year and a 6% increase from the most recent five-year average solidifying the market growth. This industry growth has helped to fuel the growing number of U.S. manufactures who require a heat treat furnace for production. U. S. raw steel production was 97 million net tons in 2014, a 1% increase over 2013.

In other manufacturing news, President Obama recently signed two significant trade initiatives: Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act which includes renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and trade remedy improvements. The steel and heat treat furnace industries have applauded the action, particularly enactment of the trade remedy measures for which the industry strongly advocated.

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To learn more about how a heat treat furnace can help your business or to get a quote on a heat treat furnace, contact us by clicking here or contacting our offices at 714-223-7262.

Top 5 Uses for a Car Bottom Furnace

A Car Bottom Furnace is one of the most versatile of all the industrial furnaces and is one of the most widely used unit types. Our customers use these furnaces for a variety of processes in their facilities including heat treating applications such as post welding, stress relieving and annealing.

Sales for Car Bottom Furnace models are on the rise as many of our customers are bringing their heat treating in-house. We decided to pole our customers’ applications as well as the most common industries to determine uses for our exceptional Car Bottom Furnaces.

Here are the Top 5 Uses for an Industrial Car Furnace:

  1. The number one most frequent application is heat-treating large or heavy welded fabrications like gear blanks, which are generally used in automotive and machine tool parts. Other popular heat-treating uses include industrial steel and aluminum mill applications like wire annealing, foil annealing and pre-rolling processes like pre-heating and reheating.
  2. The second most common use is homogenizing applications like aluminum logs, billets or plates.
  3. Forging processes come in 3rd for making parts used in manufacturing automotive, aerospace, oil drilling equipment and other capital equipment.
  4. Casting is the 4th most frequent use, most commonly using large steel and aluminum castings both expendable and non-expendable for manufacturing parts.
  5. Lastly is powder metallurgy which is particularly important for its unique ability to alter materials that are impossible to create by normal melting processes.

Car Bottom Furnace applications that did not make the top 5 list but deserve honorable mention include transformer drying and workpiece austempering. Transformer drying in a car bottom furnace can be done for both low frequency heating (vacuum drying) and vapour phase drying. These processes are important for the proper maintenance of any transformer. Workpiece austempering is a hardening process in which rapid quenching is performed during steel manufacturing in order to increase strength and ductility.

For more information about how a Car Bottom Furnace can be used to improve your manufacturing business or to request pricing on one of our customer furnaces contact our offices at, email or call 714-223-7262.


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Industrial Furnace Industry Statistics

The growing Industrial Furnace Industry is big business both in manufacturing and in international trade. The newly released 2014 industry report listed $3 billion USD in total revenue. The gross profit total was reported at 26.21% with an import value of $.7 billion USD from 60 different countries.

The industrial furnace industry also exported an estimated $.9 billion USD worth of products and other merchandise to 149 countries last year.

Overall, if you add in the 2014 annual import value and subtract the export value, the industrial furnace industry commands a total domestic demand and value of $2.8 billion USD.
These findings come from a recent report on the Industrial Furnace Industry conducted by Research and Markets Ltd. Below is their report summary which includes a link to the full report if you are interested.

“Industrial Furnace Report Summary:

This 167-page report contains unparalleled industry market research in breadth and depth, providing a comprehensive view of the industry within the context of the overall international manufacturing economy. The report’s supply and demand data covers U.S. shipments and international trade while also considering the industry’s capacity utilization. The industry level income statements, balance sheets, and capital expenditure analysis in this report contain all the necessary data for financial benchmarking. In the cost analysis section you will find 35 upstream industries are analyzed to offer insight into the supply chain cost structure. For the channel and pricing structure an additional 5 downstream industries are analyzed. The competitive landscape section reports on the number of firms and their industry revenue share, market concentration, and a list of major players. Related trade associations, industry standards, and additional trade publications are also listed in the report.
Companies listed in this report include

– Axcelis Technologies, Inc.
– BTU International, Inc.
– Chromalox, Inc.
– Graham Corporation
– Instron Corporation
– Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.
– Met-Pro Corporation
– Research, Inc.
– Watlow Electric Manufacturing Company”

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3 Industrial Furnace Manufacturing Trends that are Shaping the Market

The manufacturing world is changing. The entire chain-supply of manufacturers, resellers, and customers is shifting into a new dynamic to accommodate international competition. Staying ahead of the industrial furnace manufacturing evolution is vital to thriving and surpassing customer needs in this new industry atmosphere.

Let’s look at some Industrial Furnace Manufacturing trends

  1. The SMAC Stack (social, mobile, analytics, cloud).
  • SMAC is the new driving force that is revitalizing the industrial furnace manufacturing industry. The SMAC Stack is becoming an essential technological tool for manufactures and represents the biggest opportunity for increasing customer engagement. The need to innovate is forcing industry change within a historically conservative “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” industry, and SMAC is helping early adopters in the manufacturing market increase efficiencies and change. According to an IDC white paper, “The Future of Manufacturing, the popularity of social media continues to force industrial furnace manufacturers to become more customer-centric. The conventional business-to-business model has died and the new manufacturing industry has a customer who is highly informed and expects a highly connected and responsive manufacturer. The industrial furnace manufacturing industry will need to be meeting and surpassing all of these customer’s needs in order to stay at the top of the game. Social media has also become a manufacturer’s most impactful tool for branding.
  1. Automation and the Internet of Things to Do (IoT)
  • A renewed interest in information and engineering education is creating a labor force that can manage highly technical systems and greater automation. More time is then available for research and development as well are career development. IoT creates opportunities for increased efficiency and savings on labor and service costs.
  1. Next-Shoring, bringing outsourcing back home
  • With increases in tech savvy workers, rising wages in Asia, increased shipping costs, and the demand to speed up production times has caused employers to have every department in house. This is leading to faster order processing times, faster order shipments, and lower costs in the warehouse and at the docks.


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9 Essential Features of Your Curing Oven

A Composite curing oven can be used for a number of processes including composite curing, powder coating, drying, and more.

When purchasing a curing oven, there are a lot of options to consider. This blog highlights the top Curing Oven features requested by our customers.

Composite Curing Features & Options

  1. Vacuum pump and accumulator tank: This allows the curing oven to be self contained and minimize your costs since you won’t have to provide a separate vacuum supply.
  2. Static ports: Allows for the routing of test wires and probes to other equipment.
  3. Gas fired, indirect, or electric: When purchasing an oven it’s important to consider which power supply options that are available at the location as well as which option is better for the process you are looking to perform in your unit.
  4. Thermocouple Jack strips: These strips allow for users to obtain the most accurate temperature reading possible whether your oven is 2 feet long or 40 feet long.
  5. Digital Control Software: Digital temperature control settings maintain temperature accuracy during curing processes as well as enabling repeatability, recipe management, ease of use, ease of training, and validation.
  6. Data acquisition system (Paperless Chart Recorder with Flash Memory or Ethernet Cable Connection): Your curing oven can come equipped with recording systems that provide permanent records of your processing temperatures.
  7. Motorized damper “Cooling Fans” for systematic temperature cool down rates: These fans are the ideal solution for accurate and controlled cooling, airflow regulation, and exhaust tracking control for any curing process.
  8. On-Site Installation and Start Up: This is an integral feature. One of the most common and unnecessary expenses extend from incorrect self-installation. Consider having the manufacturer set up, start up, and train you to use the unit.
  9. Nema 4, 3 Phase Control Panel with disconnect: This weather proof control panel provides efficient and accurate power to your unit with minimal energy loss while reducing power costs.
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