Rex Heat Treat first American company to install Super IQ® system

Seco/Warwick’s Super IQ furnace is primarily designed for carburizing processes at elevated temperatures and hardening. (Courtesy: Seco/Warwick)

The Super IQ® hybrid system, a conventional and vacuum furnace in one by Seco/Warwick, premiered in October at ASM2019 and now it operates for the first American customer.

Rex Heat Treat, a commercial heat-treater specializing in the aerospace market, has become the first company to install and commission the new Super IQ® gas carburizing furnace. Over the past several years, Rex has commissioned several new Seco/Warwick Group vacuum furnaces at its Lansdale, Pennsylvania, location as part of a plant modernization initiative. So, when Super IQ was introduced in 2019, it represented another opportunity to upgrade their through-hardening and carburizing capabilities alongside their legacy harden and temper furnaces, while using their existing loader, baskets, and washing system.

Super IQ was designed specifically to eliminate the need for endogas and its inherent flames and carbon monoxide dangers. Instead, Super IQ allows clean processing and can even achieve higher temperature carburizing to speed cycles and improve yields in certain steels in a clean and cool manner. Parts also come out much cleaner and brighter.

“The Super IQ is a well-thought-out replacement to the traditional-gas-fired IQ furnaces. The technological advances allow us to run at higher temperatures, vacuum carburize, and clean harden with no decarburizing effects. The fact that our existing systems fit perfectly with this new addition helps to minimize the overall investment and accelerate successful integration. We expect the Super IQ to reduce operating costs, improve safety, and enable more environmentally friendly processing,” said Johnathan Rex, general manager at Rex Heat Treat.

Seco/Warwick engineers envisioned Super IQ to change the market, because it is an affordable successor technology in batch harden and quench markets. The furnace takes decades of proven technologies and integrates them into a single system for easy implementation with standard quench oils.

“Our alternative to the integrated hardening furnace – i.e. the Super IQ – was created in response to the needs of heat-treatment companies. The industry required a safer, cleaner, faster, and more effective carburizing method. Compared to traditional methods, Super IQ® provides many benefits, but especially productivity improvements. It works in higher temperature ranges, which translates into shorter cycles with no reduction in furnace life. As a result, it delivers more efficient production for less. This is a game changer the world over,” said Piotr Zawistowski, managing director of Seco/Vacuum, Seco/Warwick’s subsidiary.

Rex Heat Treat, with facilities in Lansdale and Bedford, Pennsylvania, and Anniston, Alabama, has been operating continuously since 1938. Over three generations, it has developed a progress model based on the use of innovation to meet customers’ current and future needs. Because of this development strategy, Rex can effectively serve clients in demanding industries such as aerospace or space industry.