Finishing parts and materials using heat processing is often an essential step in ensuring those parts will perform as they should in the field. But that process has the potential to put a dent in a company’s bottom line if the equipment doesn’t perform quality products efficiently and economically.
Horizon Performance Technologies LLC takes the position that the equipment used to perform that task should be able to finish much-needed parts and materials without adversely affecting a company’s budget.
To that end, Horizon builds energy-efficient washers and ovens for a wide range of industries, including automotive, aluminum, glass, energy, aerospace, military, and more.
“Horizon equipment, with its patented technology applied and compared to conventional technology, will save the customer between 60 to 70 percent on electrical energy while achieving the same amount of production,” said Jeff Mitchell, Horizon’s president. “On washers, as an example, the horsepower requirements per pump is 5 or 7.5 HP compared to 20 or 25 HP or larger. A washer can require anywhere from three to seven pump motors, so the savings over the lifetime of the equipment are significant. On a washer, this also translates into savings of chemicals and BTUs as the Horizon tanks are significantly smaller when compared to conventional tank sizes. On drying/curing ovens, the patent similarly saves electrical energy while delivering substantially more recirculation air. More air will drive more heat into the product. This enables the customer a better product temperature profile, more uniformity, and, ultimately, a better-quality product.”
Horizon recently acquired Perceptive Industries, who had been supplying industrial ovens to the metal fastener and coatings industry and the thermal-processing industry throughout the U.S., as well as delivering equipment globally to international based metal coaters. Perceptive’s product line is a good fit for Horizon’s already existing industrial oven and washer product lines, according to Mitchell.
“Perceptive Industries equipment will benefit from these designs and will allow Perceptive’s customers to equally benefit from these technologies,” he said. “Perceptive Industries’ current equipment users will benefit from the services and spare parts offered through Horizon’s platform. They will be able to access their spare parts through the web portal specifically intended for these services.”
By continually building on its portfolio, Horizon has positioned itself to provide the best the industry has to offer, according to Mitchell.
“Our mission is to provide our clients with superior customer service through innovation and efficiency,” he said. “To execute this mission, we plan to continually evolve, allowing us to exceed the expectations of our clients, employees, and suppliers. We feel that for us to be successful, we need to treat each stakeholder in an ethical manner that builds a trusted win-win relationship. Our most valued assets are our clients, employees, and suppliers.”
That evolution also involves constantly improving with innovation and ingenuity, according to Mitchell.
“Horizon has developed cutting-edge technologies to help the customer reduce their carbon footprint,” he said. “By reducing the energy consumption of the washer and oven products, the customer is able to lower their operating costs. Not only do we address the energy consumption but also the actual water needs (washers), the tanks sizes, the chemical requirements, and the exhaust needs.”
And, Mitchell added, no customer’s needs are exactly the same.
“All of our equipment is custom designed,” he said. “We start with the customer’s ‘challenge’ — their production needs and their specific plant constraints — and then we apply our technology to solve their production problems while, at the same time, make them aware of how our patented technology will also save them operating costs. In today’s high-energy cost environment, this can be critical to their profitability. Depending on the size of the equipment or project, we can save the customer hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating costs annually.” (Note: The costs for electricity and natural gas rarely go down year after year.)
Critical patents achieved
Constantly striving for that goal of excellence for its customers has brought on many achievements, including being awarded two design patents that lower the energy consumption of washers and ovens, according to Mitchell.
“As an organization, we worked very hard to receive those two patents on our design,” he said. “When we were finally rewarded with the patent grants, we certainly achieved a major milestone in our company history.”
Quite the accomplishments for a company that has only been working with industries for 15 years, but that short history is packed with a lot of work, according to Mitchell.
The company was started in 2007 by Jeff Mitchell; Jeff’s father, John Mitchell, who has since passed away, was a co-founder of Wisconsin Oven and Industrial Heat Enterprises International (IHEI). Jeff Mitchell has been in the oven- and washer-equipment business for the last 40 years. He started the company by initially offering spare parts and has built up a spare-parts website with more than 10,000 parts. Any oven and washer equipment end user can find parts there. He then began work on several patents with the intention to improve on existing thermal-process technologies. He is the patent holder of those two critical design patents.
Those essential patents for lowering energy consumption will be just a few of the tools in Horizon’s toolbox as it tackles a future beset with rising energy expenses, according to Mitchell.
“Energy costs, amongst other resources, will continue to increase,” he said. “We feel that our contribution to the equipment design and offering lower energy consumption on the oven side and washers will allow our customers to significantly improve their quality and thus increase their profitability.”
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