NITREX, a leading manufacturer of turnkey heat treatment systems, has successfully installed a second set of nitriding/nitrocarburizing systems for a European hydraulics manufacturer. This strategic investment further strengthens the company’s in-house heat treatment capabilities and reaffirms its commitment to delivering quality components for hydraulic pumps and motors.
The customer has experienced prior success with UPC-Marathon (UPC), a Nitrex company, specializing in process control solutions. Leveraging UPC’s Protherm 9800 SCADA, the customer boasts a well-established track record of automating heat treatment operations with remarkable efficiency and success. With over 30 furnaces integrated into this platform, including those for nitriding and nitrocarburizing, the facility has continuously improved productivity over the years. Building upon this foundation of excellence, in 2022, the company integrated two Nitrex horizontal-type nitrocarburizing furnaces into their existing setup, paving the way for an additional two identical furnaces in 2023. These systems primarily serve to nitride/nitrocarburize components made from various steels and alloys, such as ductile iron, hardened steel, nitriding steel, and carburizing steel.
The four Nitrex systems are seamlessly integrated into the automated heat-treatment cell. Run by UPC’s Protherm 510 programmable controllers, they interface with the Protherm 9800 SCADA, enabling precise management of process recipes and workloads, and providing real-time visibility of ongoing processes. Additionally, the furnaces are equipped with an ammonia dissociator for low nitriding potential. This feature allows for precise control of the compound layer thickness for products with tighter tolerances, contributing to optimal product performance and efficiency.
The decision to invest in new heat treatment equipment was driven by the manufacturer’s vision to expand its manufacturing capacity and meet the growing demand for hydraulic components. The partnership with UPC, along with their first-rate on-site customer service and the company’s positive past experiences with UPC control solutions in other global plants, played a pivotal role in positioning Nitrex as the preferred supplier for these heat-treating furnaces.
The first set of systems was delivered in the last quarter of 2022, followed by the subsequent two furnaces in the second quarter of 2023, ensuring a seamless and efficient integration into their production processes. With the successful incorporation of the second set of turnkey Nitrex systems, the European manufacturer has built up its heat treatment capabilities to align with the growing demands of the hydraulics industry.
Mark Hemsath, Nitrex Vice President of Sales, Furnaces & Heat Treating Services, highlighted the success of the joint effort between Nitrex and UPC-Marathon, stating, ” This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to empowering customers in their pursuit of operational innovation and efficiency through our comprehensive, end-to-end solutions in heat treating. The nitriding/nitrocarburizing furnaces have demonstrated exceptional performance and reliability, integrating seamlessly into our customer’s operations. As a result, the customer’s heat treatment planning team highly commends Nitrex for future investments, including a new greenfield factory in the Americas.”