Tag Archives: AP Westshore

Monster Parts(TM): a Concept Realized, a New Standard Established

Applied Process Inc. was incorporated in 1984 to build on its parent’s cornerstone; Austempering.  Atmosphere Furnace Company, now AFC Holcroft, founded in 1962, was one of the original companies of Atmosphere Group.  In the late 1970’s AFC embarked on a developmental project to improve the quench speed and efficiency of salt quenches.  Eventually  AFC’s Universal Batch Quench Austemper (UBQA) furnace was born.  UBQA technology integrated an atmosphere controlled furnace with a sealed salt quench.  The UBQA’s quench was revolutionary in the application of ambient pressure, water addition and quenchant flow rate to produce a quenching rate that rivaled that of fast oil systems.  This made the processing of larger forgings, weldments and castings a commercial reality.  The original UBQA furnace was a 36 in. x 48 in. x 30 in. (914mm x 1219mm x762mm) with a two ton gross load capability.  Applied Process Inc. was founded to exploit the capabilities of the UBQA furnace and to commercialize the Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) process.

UBQA technology advanced over the next 20 years.  36 in. x 72 in. x 36 in. (914mm x 1829mm x 914mm) UBQAs with 3 ton load capacity followed.  54 in. (1372mm) high units and units with a footprint of 72 in. x 72 in. (1829mm x1829mm) followed…..all with 3-ton load capacity.  Then, over a McDonald’s lunch about ten years ago, the concept of a double-wide, high-capacity UBQA line was conceived.  Finally, in 2012, the Monster Parts™ UBQA came to life.

Built at AFC-Holcroft in Wixom, Michigan, USA, the furnace made its journey to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA for installation in a new, purpose-built shop; the Monster Parts™ Division of AP Westshore.  The journey of the Monster™ from conception to delivery is captured in a video that can be accessed below:

Today the Monster Parts™ furnace is exceeding all expectations.  Its 84 in. x 96 in. (2134mm x 2438mm) footprint and 10-ton gross load capacity make it the largest integral quench batch furnace on the planet.  What makes it exceptional is its performance and capabilities.  Capable of carburizing or neutral hardening atmospheres and a high-speed quench with a mere 10ºF quench temperature rise when quenching a 10-ton load, the unit is unmatched in its attributes.

Carbo-Austempering™ of large steel gears, bearings or shafts, Austempering of large steel or ductile iron components for gearboxes, material handling, structural, pump and compressor components, processing of Carbidic ADI (CADI™) wear parts, and Austempered Gray Iron (AGI) components…..the Monster Parts™ line does it all.  It is, hands down, the most capable, precise, efficient, salt-quench furnace on the planet.  How can the Monster™ help you to reduce the cost and/or improve the performance of your large components?  Watch the video and then visit us at www.appliedprocess.com so we can collaborate on a Monster™ success story with you.

You can also visit our friends at Gear Technology and read more in their February newsletter:

http://www.geartechnology.com/newsletter/0213.htm

Applied Process- Austempering Innovation with a Customer Value Orientation

The Applied Process family of companies just concluded a record fiscal year.  It didn’t happen by accident.  It took the focus, energy and commitment of our employees and licensees worldwide.  Excuse me for waxing sentimental, but I’m certain that we’ve got the best team ON THE PLANET.

Now, if you think I’m just blowing smoke, consider this.  During a recent in-person customer survey the quality executive at a major international axle and suspension company stated “it is clear from the efforts that the folks at AP have made that they are focused on being a value-minded supplier”.  You couldn’t phrase it any better.  The customer has high praise for our AP Livonia team and makes no bones about sharing it.  That is not just a satisfied customer.  That is a loyal customer, and AP works 24-7 to continually earn that loyalty.

Recently, Henry Frear, one of our Sales Engineers, teamed up with one of AP’s foundry customers and engaged a prospective component supplier.  They defined a serious life problem with the incumbent consumables used in certain large recycling machines.  Henry saw the opportunity to help this customer solve this problem and he ran with it.  He consulted with the customer on the part design and the target material/process combinations.  Henry returned to his alma mater, University of Wisconsin- Platteville, and with the help of students Joe Gray and Philip Aliota, they modeled, machined and finished a multiple cavity pattern and produced 200lb chemically bonded sand molds.  With the assistance of the AP Tech R&D crew, the molds were poured in alloyed ductile iron at the Joyworks studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The parts were then cut off, cleaned and sent to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Faced with a testing deadline, the AP Westshore team got the numerous iterations of parts Austempered and shipped to the test site on the west coast

As I write this blog the parts are on test.  The customer explained to us that the regular life of those parts is 3 days.  The parts currently on test will soon enter their third week of testing.  The customer also indicated that the superiority of this new Austempered product could have them (happily) increasing their production plan by over 10 times……so much so that he questions if the casting supplier will be able to manage the volumes.  (That’s the kind of problem that particular foundry would LOVE to manage).  AP’s Technical Sales Group Leader, Vasko Popovski described this as “a total team effort”.

Each of these stories is unique, but together they form the character of Applied Process.  We are passionate people providing innovative Austempering solutions…….and, BOY, am I proud of our team.