Heat Treat Show Heats Up!

Believe it or not, it was warmer this morning in Detroit than back down in Raleigh! That makes sense, because the heat is on for the ASM International Heat Treat show. Yes, 195 exhibitors are gathered at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit for the heat treat expo. We’ve not only got great weather here but a great show reconnecting with existing customers and meeting new folks who are looking for hardening solutions for their steel and cast iron components. The show this year has attracted companies from all over the world, including China, India, and Germany.

One of the many perks of trade shows is talking to folks about how their business is going in the current economy. So far the consensus here is that the mining downturn, as a result of the downward pressures on oil prices, has impacted the heat treating market. However, that’s not all bad news. With a lower demand for hardened components going into heavy machinery, manufacturers and heat treaters alike have a chance to catch their breath and start implementing long-overdue upgrades and replacements. After all, the last seven years saw oil and gas companies pretty much spending whatever it took to frack, drill, and explore. That frenzy kept everyone’s production running over 100%, so now folks see an opportunity to do scheduled maintenance and implement more quality control procedures without sacrificing production deadlines.

For flame hardening, this might mean cleaning or replacing flame heads and torches, or even replacing whole machines that have finally reached end of life. Slower production demands also create an ideal time to re-evaluate your entire line, looking for potential cost savings and increased efficiencies. Some folks are looking to invest in larger machines that will do more work with fewer employees, saving them money when production returns to full capacity. Flame hardening solutions can help you return those kinds of cost savings, as well as savings in initial capital equipment costs and energy use.

Our booth this year features a new video display that runs a loop of various style videos, from 3-D modeling of entire systems, to a montage of different styles of flame hardening solutions. We like to show our visitors the wide breadth of applications that we can implement with our design solutions: from 6” pins to 6000 lb sprockets. We’re also highlighting the hardening services we can provide for those customers who want to test the concept on their parts before purchasing machines or initiating flame hardening contracts for us to run their parts.

If you’re in Cobo come to aisle 700 and see us at Booth 722. We’d love to talk with you about what’s happening with your company and your industry. If you’re not able to join us, email me at mark@flametreatingsystems.com. Next week we’ll get back to our discussion of specific flame hardening solutions, then move into design concepts that may help you get a better grasp of the inner workings of heat treating. That’s where the science of it meets the art of it!