Between May and December 2023, Nutec Bickley will manufacture and install five completely new furnaces for a U.S. manufacturer of high-quality alloy-steel and carbon-steel closed-die forgings. On-site work will be completed by Nutec Bickley one furnace at a time so that no more than one furnace will be out of operation in any given month to help the forging company keep its production schedules on track. The contract involves five lift-up furnaces: two for tempering and three for austenitizing. Each furnace will be fitted with a comprehensively modernized combustion system, control systems, complete fiber flues, and an exhaust and pressure control system. Operational temperature ranges will be 900-1950°F (480-1065°C) for the austenitizing furnaces and 840-1600°F (450-1065°C) for the tempering furnaces.

Each of the combustion packages will be fully compliant with NFPA 86 standards, and the installations will comprise the complete supply of materials and instrumentation required to operate the furnace combustion systems with new sets of air and gas piping.

Operation will be based on a fuel-only control system (fixed-air modulating gas) to allow maximum temperature uniformity potential for all cycles. The retrofitted furnaces will benefit from the incorporation of high-velocity nozzle mixing burners fitted with high-temperature burner blocks. These burners fire with a constant air volume, while the control system regulates the gas input by modulating an impulse-bleed valve. Meanwhile, the combustion systems will be equipped with an automatic air control valve on the main air manifold that will provide the means to adjust the maximum air volume the system can use and to lower the air supply to the burners to ensure proper burner ignition conditions.

In order to achieve a completely coordinated command structure, a master PLC will be supplied to integrate the five furnaces and communication with two existing quench tanks, manipulator/charging machine, two panel views, SCADA system, two recording units and the central hydraulic system.