The largest producer of heat-treating systems in the world, Ipsen International draws upon its company’s extensive technological expertise to continually advance the industry and offer manufacturers myriad solutions. Lorie Greenspan reports.
Headquartered in Rockford, Ill., with plants in Germany, China and India. Ipsen International is part of the Ipsen Group, and the largest manufacturer of heat-treating equipment in the world. Its product line includes atmosphere and vacuum industrial furnaces, surface treatment, vacuum de-oiling and aqueous parts, cleaning systems, aftermarket engineering service, turnkey furnace installations, furnace components and engineered ceramic components. Global product development with sister company, Ipsen International Kleve, Germany, allows the company to provide the latest technologies from production to leading-edge thermal processing applications. The result is a greater variety of products with more features and better value, introduced at a faster pace.
Ipsen International is dedicated to its customers and their needs. An ISO 9001-certified company, quality is of the highest priority for providing heat-treating solutions. Ipsen makes quality a way of life and its mission is to be the first in market, technology and customer satisfaction.
Involved in creating a heat-treating machine that fulfills all current and future environmental requirements, Ipsen continually pushes for innovative design that provides a flexible, high quality, energy efficient furnace, using state-of-the-art technology at an affordable price. These continued efforts help Ipsen and its customers remain one step ahead of environmental, economic and process related concerns.
Product development at Ipsen International occurs through Centers of Excellence ensuring seamless integration of engineering designs and definition of customer requirements. As the largest manufacturer of heat treating equipment in the world, Ipsen is committed to the revolutionary thinking that creates the total solutions modern heat treaters require.
Advanced Furnace Technology
While the TurboTreater® and Metal- Master™ high-pressure, gas-quench vacuum furnaces have led industry performance standards, Ipsen continues to outperform its own and competitors’ cooling and heating curves with the addition of new features that recently have allowed furnaces to surpass General Motors Specifications and NADCA requirements. Ipsen continues to enhance these recognized products for better energy efficiencies, higher production output, increased reliability and maintainability, and the addition of directional
Launched in 2000, AvaC® technology (acetylene vacuum carburizing) using acetylene to carburize under low-pressure conditions eliminates sooting while achieving a high carbon transfer rate, optimum case uniformity, and excellent penetration in blind or through-holes, even to a L:D ratio of 30:1. AvaC brings the precision control and high carburizing power that many applications require.
In 2001 the company launched the Global VR, a new vertical vacuum furnace that incorporates advanced features developed specifically in response to heat treaters’ evolving needs. To uniformly treat large parts while decreasing cycle times, Ipsen’s international design team has created a standardized, global engineering solution that decreases both cooling time, through a compact, water-cooled gas recirculation motor, and heat-up time, using convection-assisted heating. The Global VR also addresses users’ demands for structural economy, controls functionality, and floor-space conservation.
Benefits of convection heating
Convection heating has been demonstrated to dramatically reduce cycle time, especially for large, dense loads. These superior technologies shorten cycle time and reduce energy consumption, saving both time and money in addition to reducing maintenance worries and expenses.
It is common for convection furnace designs to include numerous actuated components. Actuated bung and gas nozzle flap systems essentially seal the hot zone during the convection heating cycle sequences. While effective, these systems require mechanical linkages and actuators along with the associated maintenance and care all mechanisms require. For the past 17 years, the Abar-Ipsen® VTTCK and Ipsen VUTK® furnaces have been designed with actuated components. Operating at high temperatures shortens the life span of moving components, resulting in a higher tendency to fail and create maintenance problems.
Striving for continuous product improvement, Ipsen has devoted two years to extensive research of new designs that have achieved excellent temperature uniformity at all temperature ranges while increasing energy efficiency and simplified design, having removed all actuated nozzle flap and bung systems.
The introduction of the 2001 convection design coupled with the new flapper nozzle design is a major breakthrough in convection heating technology. The flapper nozzle system, a convection turbo-gas outlet port, is simple and reliable. It requires no complex linkage or actuation mechanism. It remains in a closed position unless when cooling, thus reducing heat loss from the hot zone while improving temperature uniformity during heating.
When adding convection heating to the industry’s fastest quenching vacuum furnace, performance of the Abar-Ipsen® TurboTreater results in a 33 percent savings in time. A 6-bar performs faster than competitions’ 10-bar furnaces and achieves more than 100° F/minute on the surface of large dies. Convection heating retrofits are available for most TurboTreaters and MetalMaster vacuum furnaces already in production.
Advanced Ipsen convection designs improve heating and cooling performance for cycle times that are up to 33 percent faster. The use of reliable technologies like the new Flapper Nozzle design also allows Ipsen convection systems to function without complex linkages or actuation system that have been a common cause of maintenance problems in the past.
Atmosphere, Vacuum furnaces
By leveraging the combined strengths of four worldwide manufacturing facilities, as well as research and development facilities on two continents, Ipsen International offers innovative solutions for both atmosphere batch and continuous pusher applications. When coupled with options such as its advanced process control and automation software, Ipsen atmosphere furnaces become an efficient, integrated part of the manufacturing line.
Well recognized in atmosphere technology worldwide, Ipsen is making inroads into the North American market with the delivery of pusher and batch installations to automotive facilities. These products have achieved reputations for high throughput due to the long-life, low-emission recuperative burner, coupled with automation management and carbon potential control packages that link furnaces and provide positive process control.
More than 50 years of thermal processing experience has helped to make Ipsen the market leader in vacuum heat treating equipment. The company’s MetalMaster is the most widely used, multi-purpose vacuum furnace in the industry. Offered in a wide range of sizes, the furnace comes with Abar Ipsen’s exclusive CompuWatch control system, an easy-to-use, operator-oriented, microprocessor-based system available in three levels of sophistication.
Whether a process can benefit from better heating and cooling control, precision case depth uniformity, or flexible quenching options, there is an Ibar-Ipsen® furnace that will add value to heat-treating work. Standard and custom furnaces are available for a wide range of batch and semi-continuous vacuum applications.
In addition, Ipsen offers the following engineered components capabilities:
• Furnace rebuilds – all brands
• Replacement hot zones – rebuilds & kits offered
• Complete control systems
• Instrumentation retrofits
• Cooling system retrofits
• Heat exchanger upgrades
• Pumping system retrofits
• Engineering design review utilizing OEM parts
Stepping confidently toward what lies ahead, Ipsen is answering manufacturing’s demands for totally flexible heat treating equipment by incorporating multiple technologies with expert control systems that use system simulation analysis to ensure process accuracy.