Nitrex NXK-412 system for nitriding

nitrexALTEST Ltd, who got its start in PVC profiles in 1992 and expanded production in 2010 to include aluminum profiles, added a Nitrex compact nitriding system at its Bulgarian plant to nitride aluminum extrusion dies. The NXK-412 system has a capacity of 880 lbs (400 kg) and is supplied with Nitreg® technology, a neutralizer, and an ammonia purification system.
ALTEST opted for a nitriding system with a higher capacity than their current requirements to keep pace with the company’s expansion plans that will see its extrusion capacity double by next year.
The reasons Nitrex was chosen to implement this project are due to its unique know how and expertise in the field of nitriding extrusion dies, as well as its ability to provide the customer with a local presence in Eastern Europe guaranteeing on-time support.

CAL Controllers Boost Business for Aerospace Component Processor

The flexibility and profiling power of the CAL 9500P temperature controller has provided an exceptionally powerful solution for Active Magnetic Inspection Inc. (AMI), a US company that treats and inspects fasteners for the aerospace industry.

Process & Temperature Control Requirements

CAL 9500P Temperature Controller   AMI performs plating, stripping, stress relief and magnetic particle inspection processes for fastener manufacturers. In the aerospace industry, which is highly regulated due to the extreme need for safety, manufacturing precision is key and a business such as AMI depends on meeting quality control requirements. In order to achieve this, a precise level of process control and accurate record-keeping is required.
AMI had decided to raise the bar and establish a process system that would earn accreditation from Nadcap (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) and thus enable the company to strengthen its position in the aerospace fastener business. To meet this need, AMI’s systems were enhanced by temperature controllers from West Control Solutions.

The Design & Construction Process

AMI & Titan Industrial Heating with CAL ControllersAMI enlisted the services of R.J. “Skip’ Schaefer of Titan Industrial Heating Systems, an expert in the design and construction of temperature-controlled manufacturing processes. Skip’s task was challenging as many points of control were required. These included two stress relief ovens that each required monitoring of 60 product containers.
In order to achieve Nadcap accreditation it was also necessary to establish a thorough quality system, including well-documented process instructions and complete records for all production lots including time and temperature data, to meet the needs of the annual audit.
“The customer needed to provide 100% traceability on its output,” Skip explained. “I’ve been using CAL temperature controllers for around 25 years and I can count the number of failures on one hand so it had to be CAL. Aside from the reliability and durability of the CAL product, West Control Solutions are also very helpful with background information when I’m planning a system build.”
The CAL 9500P process controller was chosen as the front end for its flexibility and profiling power. In order to satisfy Nadcap process data requirements, all of the instruments are tied to a central PC that runs CALGrafix. The result is that every point is monitored and stored on a minute-by-minute basis.

The Results

AMI & Titan Industrial Heating with CAL Controllers  When the process system was inspected by Nadcap, the results were outstanding and AMI was issued with its certificate, enabling AMI to strengthen its position in the aerospace fastener business.

“There have been zero flaws in the system,” Skip said. “That’s with two ovens: one with 36 controls and one with 34, both working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A system such as this requires absolute reliability and CAL controllers have guaranteed that.”

CAL Temperature Controllers Enhance Quality of Medical Research

CAL temperature controllers from West Control Solutions are helping laboratory OEMs to provide the best possible conditions for research into the treatment of diseases such as cancer.

In particular, the CAL 3300 temperature controller is providing outstanding service in controlling the performance of an incubation chamber for laboratory equipment manufacturer, Solent Scientific.

37° Climate Chamber

Solent Scientific and the Application

The 37 Climate Chamber from Solent Scientific is an acrylic enclosure integrated with a powerful microscope, which is used to conduct prolonged studies of living cells, usually involving time lapse image capture. These enclosures can also exclude light when working with low level light microscopy. Warm, filtered air circulates within the enclosure from a heater unit and the precise temperature within the chamber is controlled by a CAL 3300 unit.
With temperature control a critical feature of the incubation chamber, Solent Scientific turned to West Control Solutions, which has established a strong reputation across industry for providing exceptionally reliable temperature controllers that perform over long periods within extremely tight tolerances.

Temperature Control Requirements

CAL 3300 Temperature Controller & 37° Climate ChamberOrry Dugdale, Director, Solent Scientific, explained further how the 37° Incubation Chambers work and why the CAL 3300 provided an ideal solution for temperature control.
“When we built the incubator, we were trying to create a cell culturing system that accurately replicates conditions within the human body, and that means maintaining a constant temperature. The temperature requirement for the chamber is 37° degrees, + 0.1°C. The temperature must be accurate and within that tight tolerance. The CAL 3300 is proven to be capable of delivering that, day after day, year after year.”

Selecting the Right Temperature Controller

The CAL 3300 is easy to operate, with a large 4-digit green LED display clearly showing the-current temperature, and a parameter security-locking feature that prevents the operator from inadvertently changing the settings.
The CAL 3300 brings ease-of-use to the customers of OEMs such as Solent Scientific by offering integrated auto-tune PID control (Proportional Integral Derivative). This means that users do not have to programme parameters manually, a task that requires a certain amount of technical knowledge, and reduces set up time to a few minutes.

Using PID Control

The PID facility is further enhanced by a unique dAC (Derivative Approach Control) function, which prevents control temperature overshoot during warm up. CAL has developed dAC functions outside of the proportional band during warm up by widening the proportional band. The temperature rise is slowed during this period and when the temperature falls within the original proportional band, the controller reverts back to normal operation. The result is a steady temperature rise with minimal overshoot, which can be critical when maximum temperatures must not be exceeded.
West Control Solutions has also provided Solent Scientific with a cost-efficient method of logging temperature over a period of time, a facility that was required in order to test the operation of each incubator. By using the communication software for real-time logging of CAL controllers, Solent Scientific could prove that the temperature within the incubator was kept to + or – 0.1°C over long periods of time, which is well within the tolerances required for the application. This solution avoided the considerable cost and development involved in employing SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) packages.
The 37° Incubation Chambers are making a major contribution to the life sciences, with sales to universities and research institutes across the globe. “Imperial College in London was our first customer in 1997,” Orry Dugdale explained. “When I visited London in 2012, the chamber was still working and I can think of no better recommendation for CAL controllers.”

Power Generation – Combustion Control

OxyFire Sensors: Typically used in a coal-fired power boiler, the high temperature, in-situ oxygen sensor is generally installed in the boiler water-wall, above the nose arch and above each of the burner banks. This configuration allows the boiler operators to center the fireball in the radiant zone and “balance” the boiler.

Typically installed above the slag line, the sensors give the boiler operators a unique perspective on the combustion process, eliminating the typical “air infiltration” that confuses “low temperature” sensors located in the back pass.

Benefits from using Marathon Monitors’ Combustion Optimization System to “trim” the draft are:

  • Balanced boiler – Centering the fireball
  • Minimizing NOx formation
  • Reduces over-all maintenance costs
Providing the operators with this type of information allows them to do their job more efficiently, eliminates CO (carbon monoxide) pockets, and helps in achieving “lowest cost” megawatts.

Oxygen Sensors
: Oxyfire High-Temperature Series

LOROX Low-Range Temperature Series
LOROX Sensors: Typically used in fossil fuel fired power boilers where the slag line is very high. These sensors are often installed in the back pass section where temperatures are too low for Oxyfire sensors to operate. Response time is still very fast and the LOROX is easily maintained without removal.

Instruments: VersaPro – Oxygen Setpoint Controller / Monitor

Application Bulletin                     Installation

Centralized Control & Monitoring eliminates operator rounds, improves furnace performance!

UPC group
Last month UPC put an end to clipboard rounds for a south central US energy equipment supplier. The company who depended on operators to check local furnace readings and record data manually opted instead for a major upgrade of its heat treating operations that included new multi-furnace controls and a more efficient data collection setup.
The furnace control systems equipped with Protherm 400 controllers manage twelve furnaces – continuously controlling, monitoring and archiving furnace and oil temperatures, carbon, as well as maintenance functions such as agitator and fan motor currents, and quench transfer time. To maximize data reliability and meet strict data retention requirements, data logging is performed both locally at the furnace control panel by the Protherm 400s and at a central location by the Protherm 9800, a production management software that gives users online access to real-time data from the furnace control systems. Users can also view and analyze historical data from each furnace, and monitor and address alarms.


About the upgrade: Furnace control systems incorporate UPC Protherm 400s, KD-7 paperless chart recorders, and RE-19 controllers.