Currently, the electric vehicle manufacturer sends their prototype gears out to local commercial heat treatment shops, and there are often scheduling delays. By adding in-house heat treatment capability, the customer is expecting to remove the barriers to accelerating new product development, independent of outside influences.
Seco/Vacuum, a division of Seco/Warwick Group will deliver the CaseMaster Evolution (CMe) model in the family, with a working hot zone of 16”x16”x24” (400x400x600mm) and a load capacity of 440 lb / 200 kg. The CMe-D model has a separate heating chamber, where the product is heated and carburized, and a quenching chamber, where the load is immersed in an oil bath for rapid quenching. Both chambers are isolated with a vacuum door.
The CMe-D 2-chamber vacuum furnace has been proven to be the LPC vacuum carburizing furnace of choice for heat-treating automotive components. It maintains a high volume throughput of bright, high-quality parts in an economical package. Testing processes with the laboratory configuration allows the customer to move from pilot to large-scale production with predictable performance.
A pattern of success
The R&D vacuum furnace order is just the latest in a broad range of technologies ordered by this EV manufacturer. Globally, Seco/Warwick Group has cooperated on several other projects, including multiple CAB (controlled atmosphere brazing) equipment for its factory in China for cooling EV batteries, as well as heat treatment and nitriding equipment for tool & die molds in the southwest US, used to make automotive chassis.
Peter Zawistowski, Seco/Vacuum Managing Director, said, “We have a strong partnership together, having commissioned a number of highly successful heat treat furnaces that provide a wide variety of processes in their plants across the world. Together with our global parent, Seco/Warwick, we not only provide them with a level of unmatched service, we have an international footprint to support our partner wherever they operate.”
Advanced yet flexible technology
Seco/Vacuum is providing a turnkey solution. The scope includes the CMe-D furnace, furnace loader, alloyed fixturing, closed-loop cooling water system and installation. The oil chamber is equipped with an oil agitation system which provides uniform flow rates throughout the load to reduce distortion. FineCarb®, Seco/Warwick’s low-pressure carburizing process, uses acetylene to carburize parts, providing the highest repeatability and uniformity.
The furnace is also equipped with convection heating as well as a gas cooling option, which makes this furnace very flexible, enabling the customer to conduct a wide range of heat-treating procedures to dial in their processes.
Electric vehicle manufacturers have in Seco/Warwick a supplier with expansive innovations, superior technical competence, and the global reach and commissioning skills to navigate the complexities of a worldwide manufacturing logistics network seamlessly and efficiently and get the job done.