Retech experiences a banner year in spite of pandemic

Retech is a global supplier of vacuum metallurgy solutions. (Courtesy: Seco/Warwick)

2020 was a strong year for Retech and the Seco/Warwick vacuum metallurgy segment.

Despite the ongoing global crisis, Retech, a leading supplier of vacuum induction melting (VIM), plasma (PAM), electron beam melting furnace (EB), and VAR furnaces, has completed orders for the largest companies in the aviation and energy industries.

2020 was a very challenging year, due to the many economic and social constraints, hence the implementation of the remote furnace factory acceptance testing (FAT) and a number of modifications to the team’s work organization. However, thanks to these changes, a strong commitment to work through the many challenges, and a dedication to meet or exceed our customer’s expectations, Retech will count this year a successful one.

Early last year, Retech began preparations to relocate the manufacturing and R&D furnaces from Ukiah, California, to Buffalo, New York. After many delays as a result of the pandemic, Retech is working on installing all of its equipment in Buffalo. The new location means more than 4,500 square meters of manufacturing space, creating the potential to add up to 80 new jobs, as well as opportunities for growth and innovation. This new space will provide a showplace for Retech’s operation in North America. Additionally, western New York is both home to, and close to, a number of strong engineering and technology schools, creating the opportunity to further strengthen the Retech team.

The change of location will allow Retech to continue developing and working on further innovative solutions, providing growth potential. The new location also reduces the distance between the American members of the Seco/Warwick Group. Locating all the companies in one general region guarantees better cooperation, and provides the opportunity to recognize the Group’s overall potential.

“This modern, new facility potentially provides the cornerstone in leading this effort,” said Earl Good, the executive director of Retech Systems.

During the course of 2020, Retech was able to successfully deliver and start-up a broad range of equipment including the following furnace types: VIM, VAR, consumable caster, and PAM. The two qualities that stand out the most with the team’s effort during the pandemic, are that Retech was able to deliver all of these furnaces on, or ahead of, schedule and was able to satisfy the customers’ expectations.

An additional noteworthy achievement from 2020 is that a Retech Consumable Caster (CC 1,000kg) furnace delivered to one of the world’s top research institutions in the UK successfully produced the world’s largest titanium casting, weighing 1,000 kilograms.

Another interesting project that began in 2020 is an 8.4 MWatt furnace with as many as five burners. It will be the crown jewel in the melting facility of one of the world’s biggest titanium producers.

Retech‘s team provided solutions to customers around the world in 2020. This included customers in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Last year, Seco/Warwick and Retech implemented a comprehensive remote factory acceptance test (FAT) program. The first fully remote tests were performed for customers in China, Mexico, and South Korea. They were carried out without the involvement of the customers’ engineers being on-site in Poland. The tests were successful, and the adopted procedures guarantee the reliability and completeness of data. Remote FAT tests (of which as many as nine were performed in 2020) have therefore become prevalent, and an acceptable standard for many of its customers.