Swiss heat treater grows with Seco/Warwick

Big advantages of Seco/Warwick furnaces ordered by Swiss commercial heat treater François Studer SA include low heat losses and good temperature uniformity in the heating chamber, which is resistant to fast wear. (Courtesy: Seco/Warwick)

Swiss heat treater François Studer SA has chosen two Seco/Warwick furnaces, including a vacuum furnace with 15 bar abs high-pressure gas hardening, and a furnace for tempering with vacuum purging.

François Studer SA is a Swiss commercial heat treater with 45 years of experience on the market. Swiss companies are famous for precision. The François Studer SA hardening plant is an example of Swiss quality and high efficiency (on average, they process two truckloads of charges every day). Two new solutions will help increase processing capacity while maintaining the processed element’s high precision and quality.

“The Vector furnace will streamline and increase the hardening process capacity and improve process efficiency,” said Maciej Korecki, vice-president of the Seco/Warwick Group’s vacuum furnaces team. “The advantage of this product is a large working space which can be adjusted to an oversized load, using the round heating chamber’s advantages. This is the so-called golden mean for many commercial heat treaters, also because it can be equipped with numerous additional options. With limited production areas, multifunctional, failure-free furnaces are worth their weight in gold for commercial heat treatment.”

The vacuum furnace on order by the hardening plant enables efficient processes to be carried out at a very good vacuum level, in both medium and high ranges. The round heating chamber allows the placement of oversized loads. Combined with dedicated LPC, HPGQ technology, and a high vacuum system, the furnace will fully meet the customer’s requirements for hardening and carburizing a wide range of various parts. The solution has a large number of options — it is equipped with FineCarb® vacuum carburizing, pre-nitriding for PreNitLPC® carburizing technology, and LPCN low-pressure carbonitriding.

The partial pressure system used helps to prevent evaporation and sublimation of alloying elements from the load surface during the vacuum heat treatment or vacuum brazing process. Partial pressure control is important when processing many materials to prevent the heating chamber evaporation and contamination. Isothermal quenching provides better control of the cooling process by automatically managing the load temperature and the gas blower motor control using a frequency converter. The carburizing and low-pressure carbonitriding LPCN options, which the furnace for François Studer SA is equipped with, enables precision processing to increase the steel surface hardness during the entire thermal process.

The second furnace on order is a horizontal retort furnace for gas nitriding using ZeroFlow technology and for high tempering with vacuum purging.

“This partner is an important commercial heat treater in the region, with a wide range of services and extensive knowledge,” said Grzegorz Głuchowski, sales manager, Seco/Warwick. “This is another player on the Swiss hardening market, who has trusted Seco/Warwick. Everyone familiar with the subject knows that every day commercial heat treaters deal with many types of materials, a wide range of processes and technologies. It can be said that this is one of the most experienced groups when it comes to vacuum heat treatment.”

The big advantage of both furnaces includes low heat losses and good temperature uniformity in the heating chamber, which is resistant to fast wear. Commercial heat treaters are specialists in metal heat treatment and a very demanding group of recipients. Seco/Warwick furnaces operate in leading European and American hardening plants.

“We are constantly developing,” said François Studer, CEO of François Studer S.A. “We needed to add the capacity to utilize vacuum carburizing, pre-nitriding for carburizing technology and low-pressure carbonitriding, and the new Vector fits these needs perfectly. The retort furnace, on the other hand, significantly increases the hardening plant’s processing capacity in terms of time-consuming tempering and nitriding processes using ZeroFlow technology.”