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Streamlining heat treatment logistics

After consulting with SECO/WARWICK, a machine tool manufacturer elected to invest in two different, yet complementary, vacuum heat treatment furnaces on the value and benefits of creating their own ‘captive’ heat treatment department.


Proven technologies by a heat treatment leader

In 2012, the machine tool manufacturer started to think about how to gain better control of their production systems, and one of the obvious bottlenecks was their offsite heat treatment arrangement. There was never an issue with quality from their existing suppliers, who used SECO/WARWICK vacuum equipment for their work; however, it was clear that logistics could certainly be streamlined by eliminating the need to outsource parts to an external heat treater. Thus, SECO/WARWICK devoted significant time to advise and help them weigh the pros and cons of moving their heat treatment processes into the plant. Ultimately, a decision was made to set up their own department, invest in new vacuum heat treat equipment, and train their production technicians to perform this critical function of the plant.

SECO/WARWICK received an order for two of the company’s flagship products: a CaseMaster Evolutionâ multi-chamber vacuum furnace with oil quench, and a Vectorâ 15-bar high pressure gas quench vacuum furnace. Both technologies became heat treatment bestsellers of 2019.


Making the process better

Maciej Korecki, VP, business segment vacuum heat treatment furnaces at SECO/WARWICK explains: “We knew the customer was already getting excellent quality from their supplier, so the question was ‘How can we make the process better?’ Starting an in-house heat treat department requires some amount of risk tolerance by ownership, and they needed assurance that the return on production improvements would be worth the investment. SECO/WARWICK has the background to help make those determinations, and as a manufacturer of heat treat equipment, the company was able to offer real-world experience on performance that an independent consultant might not be able to provide.”

Based on the heat treatment leader’s recommendations, the partner will benefit from both pre-sale consultation and post-sale installation and training assistance.


Necessities on demand

The CaseMaster Evolution (CMe), is a multi-chamber carburising furnace with integral gas or oil quench. The Vector single chamber high-pressure gas quench vacuum furnace is capable of quench pressures up to 15-bar, and can perform a variety of heat treat processes, making it a flexible workhorse and optimising its value. All the necessary auxiliary equipment, such as chilling water storage and pumping, were included in the package. As part of the sale, SECO/WARWICK will create and deliver process recipes for the customer to make the transition to in-house heat treatment as painless and efficient as possible.