What is Abbott Furnace's mission?
Our mission is to be the market leader in the design, production, and service of continuous process industrial furnaces. And we do that by focusing our resources on the development of new technology to meet our customers' specifications.
Can you touch on how Abbott Furnace began?
We began in 1982 as Abbott Controls and Fabricating. And primarily what they did back then was build control panels and did calibrations and service work for other furnace manufacturers. Our owner at that time realized that there wasn't much being done in furnace development and improvements, so in 1986, we manufactured our first furnace. As of today, we have over 800 furnaces installed and working in the field. We were and still are privately owned and operated. In 2014, ownership changed from Tom Jesberger and Jeff Marzella to our current owner, Ed Gaffney.
The next big thing that happened to us was that in 2016 we bought the intellectual property of Drever Furnace Company, and we have fully integrated that into Abbott now, so we can offer all of their products as well as our own products. And then, earlier this year, we started Abbott De Mexico, which is our Mexican division. Our goal is not to manufacture there, but it's strictly to provide service and technical sales support in the Mexican market.
What products and services does Abbott Furnace offer?
As far as services go, we provide atmosphere and furnace troubleshooting field service work and calibrations. We're also set up to provide off-site training on our equipment for thermal processes that may be required. We can help people understand everything they need to do as far as what's going on in a furnace, whether it's a powdered metal sintering operation, we're very familiar with all the processes. So we can help educate customers on that.
As far as equipment goes, primarily we produce continuous process furnaces. We produce sintering furnaces for the powdered metal world, brazing furnaces for all types of brazing applications from aluminum to copper to carbon steel right up to stainless steel. We also build pusher furnaces that go up to 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit. With the addition of Drever product lines, we also have roller hearth furnaces, strip annealing furnaces, and applications like that. We do heat-treat furnaces. We also do lab furnaces. We're able to manufacture atmosphere generators. And we do some specialized equipment like batch, box, and car-bottom furnaces that are a little bit outside the normal market. Normally, they have some special requirement, but we do build those as well. And we do a lot of ancillary equipment, just about any kind of custom fab you may need, anything furnace related, parts accumulators, parts washers, things like that.
What are some of Abbott Furnace's proudest achievements?
We designed and produced two munitions neutralization ovens for a Department of Defense contractor. That was a complete design certification install. It was quite a big task. We also are ISO 17025 accredited as a calibration lab. And we've had that certification now for 15-plus years.
One of the other things we're pretty proud of is we've designed and developed several furnaces to manufacture solid-oxide fuel cells. We're a market leader in the powdered metals industry, and we're a leader in the stainless steel brazing technology as well on continuous furnaces. We have a very robust cost-effective product for that market.
We did acquire Drever Furnace Company intellectual property, and we have fully integrated that into the Abbott product line.
What sets Abbott Furnace apart when it comes to what you can offer a customer?
We believe we offer world-class engineering. Our products are superior, very robust. We have excellent service after the sale, and we design our furnaces to help our customers achieve the lowest cost of ownership possible.
How is Abbott Furnace preparing for the future of furnace manufacturing during the next 10 years?
We try to recruit, train, and develop new engineers and technicians with the latest technology. We focus on continuous improvement of our people, our processes, and our products to meet the ever-changing thermal processing market.
We also try to integrate the best technology into our equipment to make it energy efficient and to reduce atmospheric costs. And we're constantly striving to stay current on all the latest technologies to allow us to adapt to our products. And by technologies, I mean what's going on in the world, what markets are changing, and what our customers are doing to try and advance. So we have to try and stay up to date on everything they're doing as well and all the fields that we play in.