Q&A with John Ludeman

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Advanced Heat Treat Corp recently renewed its Nadcap accreditation in heat treating. Why was this important?

It is important to Advanced Heat Treat to have that Nadcap accreditation. It enhances our ability to serve our customers. It keeps open a customer base that has to have Nadcap as an accreditation to do their work. It’s also an indicator to all our customers that quality is a big part of the Advanced Heat Treat daily heartbeat. We value Nadcap. It’s not easy to obtain and achieve, and we strive to meet the standard every day. Really, we just love to do it. It’s a great way to meet our customer expectations and requirements.

What was involved in renewing the accreditation?

We work to the highest stringent Nadcap requirements every day, which makes that an easier way to prepare for that audit. Nadcap isn’t really something you turn off and on. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s in our everyday standard operating procedures to get to that point. Whether it’s every year, every 18 months, or every two years, depending on your Nadcap merit status, you have to have an auditor come in from the Nadcap program and do that evaluation. We’ve actually had Nadcap accreditation since 2013, and we do have merit status, but prior to that assessment you have to submit a list of documents that they give you, which includes self-assessments, internal customer job audits, internal shop procedures, just to name a few. Those internal audits or assessments are a great way to make sure you’re meeting customer requirements and making improvements.

What does the accreditation allow Advanced Heat Treat to do for heat treating?

I think it allows Advanced Heat Treat to show they’re a leader in the heat-treat industry. It gives our customers confidence in where they’re sending their work and a peace of mind that we’re a leader in the business.

AHT employees in front of a Nadcap nitriding vessel display AHT’s core values. (Courtesy: Advanced Heat Treat Corp.)

In addition to this Nadcap accreditation, Advanced Heat Treat complies with many customer specifications. What are some of those specifications?

We do comply with all the AMS specifications for nitride, which are 2759/6, AMS 2759/8, AMS 2759/10, and AMS 2759/12. We also meet customer specifications for nitride for General Electric, Saffron, Woodward, Cessna, Collins Aerospace, and General Atomics, just to name a few.

Advanced Heat Treat added more nitriding units. How does this addition increase your Nadcap capacity?

Just this week, we’re actually installing another nitride unit, which will increase the capacity of our Nadcap nitriding vessel roster across the company. The reason we want to do this is, one, to increase our flexibility to meet or exceed customer expectations for turnaround time, and two, it gives us more ability to be reactive to when customer product comes in.

Advanced Heat Treat also passed an Aerospace Quality System audit. What will this mean to your customers in the aerospace industry?

Quality is a must for all of our customers, but for our aerospace customers, they have the highest standards for quality in the business. I think having passed this shows Advanced Heat Treat’s commitment to quality, attention to detail, and meeting customer requirements. With that quality aerospace system accreditation that we got through Nadcap, it reinforces that is what we strive to do and live to do each day.

Is there anything else that we didn’t talk about that you’d like to mention?

I just think from a leadership standpoint at Advanced Heat Treat Corp., I’m just proud of all the people that go into making our Nadcap accreditation a success. That’s across the board: from the quality team, the continuous improvement team, the operations team, and the leadership team. If everybody wasn’t invested like they are, it would be difficult to achieve merit status and to continue to be successful. I’m very proud of the whole company, in general, to meet those expectations and do it in a very deliberate way.

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