The process innovation we call Rapid Carburizing™ has its
beginning at a large manufacturer of automotive parts with a
challenging goal: to increase the through-put on its carburizing
lines by 20 percent.
There was incentive. If they
could increase the through-put of their two newer furnaces by 25
percent each, they would be able to shut down their oldest, least
stable and least energy efficient furnace.
Process time was
identified as the most tractable variable for improving the
productivity of the newer furnaces.
The existing process
times had been set to assure adequate treatment of the parts at the
typical gas atmosphere concentrations in the furnaces during a
conventional hardening process.
ARI’s furnace audit showed
that the gas concentrations could be optimized if a multi-gas
real-time process control were installed.
A Laser Gas Analyzer was installed to monitor
the process, and process control protocols using the new data
streams were developed and implemented. The desired process
reductions and 20 to 50 percent productivity gains were obtained,
depending on specified case depth.
Later implementations at
other locations and other companies achieved similar results.
The accurately controlled atmospheres achieved the desired
properties. The significant time reductions consistent over a number
of cases suggested the LGA-monitored processes had earned the right
to be distinguished from conventional processes, and the name Rapid
Carburization was born.
Contact ARI for help identifying the ARI gas
atmosphere control system that could achieve significant gains in
quality and efficiency through the use of Rapid Carburizing