Atmosphere Q&A: A Firsthand Look at Ipsen's ATLAS
With Rene Alquicer, Manager - Atmosphere Products
Q: Ipsen's newest atmosphere furnace is the ATLAS single-chain model. What type of atmosphere furnace is the ATLAS, and what does that mean for users?
A: Ipsen's single-chain ATLAS is a batch-type, integral-quench furnace. This single-chain, in-out-style furnace has a load size of 36" x 48" x 38" (W x L x H) and features all of the ATLAS's latest technological advantages. The single-chain model is configured for maximum compatibility and utilizes the same push-pull chain loader as the industry standard, allowing it to integrate into existing lines for any brand of atmosphere furnace with ease.*
When it comes to the atmosphere furnace market, Ipsen has always been a strong leader with one of the largest atmosphere furnace installation bases in the U.S. - several thousand since we were founded in 1948. In fact, our founder, Harold Ipsen, was a pioneer in the development of integral-quench, batch-atmosphere furnace technology.
Although we have an established atmosphere base, Ipsen believes that innovation drives excellence. For Ipsen, a key part of innovating is listening to the specific needs and challenges of our customers and then providing ideal solutions that meet those needs. As we focus on the continuous improvement of our atmosphere products, we have dedicated significant resources toward gathering input from our customers and heavily researching industry needs.
This focus and research - as well as our experienced team of engineers working on research and development - allow us to tailor our products and services so we can provide our customers with optimum equipment they can trust and rely on for full-scale solutions.
Q: Where is the ATLAS single-chain model manufactured for the North American market?
A: The ATLAS single-chain model is manufactured in the United States at our facility in Cherry Valley, Illinois. Our extensive U.S. Field Service network provides support for atmosphere heat-treating furnaces, including parts, service, retrofits, training and more.
Q: What are some of the advantages of manufacturing the ATLAS single-chain model in the United States?
A: One of the main advantages is providing our customers with prompt, timely service and support. When customers are deciding on what equipment to invest in, we've found one of the factors they consider is the location of the manufacturing and service network facilities.
With locations across the United Sates, we're able to deliver spare parts, perform maintenance and more, all while minimizing companies' downtime. In addition, our comprehensive on-hand stock inventories comprise more than 2,000 items, ensuring our customers quickly receive the required parts and components needed to maintain their heat-treating equipment.
Q: Does Ipsen offer entire atmosphere systems?
A: Yes, Ipsen's batch furnace systems are comprised of several components - sealed-quench furnaces, temper furnaces, washers and loaders. These complete atmosphere systems provide users with a high level of flexibility as they can execute different thermal processes in each sealed-quench furnace, as well as expand the system for larger production needs and future increases in demand.
Q: What are a few of the ATLAS's unique features?
A: If I had to sum it up, I would say the ATLAS's most unique core features include:
- The ability to integrate into existing atmosphere furnace lines
- Intelligent controls with predictive process capabilities - Carb-o-Prof®
- A compact footprint
- Ease of maintenance, thanks to a plug-type heat fan assembly, shelf-mounted quench oil heaters and oil circulation pump, safety catwalks and more
- An efficient combustion system, which provides energy and cost savings
- Variable speed quench agitation, allowing users to achieve and maintain better quenching control
- Uniform quenching, resulting in minimized distortion and high part quality
Q: How do you consistently get good results out of your equipment?
A: Well, first it's important to understand there are several factors that contribute to high-quality parts - the biggest is temperature uniformity. This is why we engineered the ATLAS to efficiently maintain ...
- Temperature uniformity
- Atmosphere uniformity
- Uniform quenching
- Precise and consistent control of the carbon potential
Q: You mention that the ATLAS provides uniform quenching. Can you expand on this?
A: Achieving uniform quenching can only be accomplished with a sufficient and uniform flow of oil around the part. To accomplish this, you need an efficient quench system design.
As such, the ATLAS features TurboQuenchTM, a modern oil-quenching system with an agitation system that produces a uniform and adjustable flow of oil throughout the load. By using high oil flow velocity, users can achieve a uniform cooling rate on the part's entire surface area, resulting in uniform surface and core hardness with low distortion.
Q: In summary, when working with batch atmosphere furnaces - such as Ipsen's ATLAS - what are some of the most essential things to consider?
A: When working with batch atmosphere furnaces - especially when you are carburizing - it's essential that the furnace is capable of:
- Achieving tight temperature uniformity
- Maintaining consistent carbon potential
- Quenching uniformly
- Controlling the quench rate
Why is this important? Because having these capabilities allows you to be more competitive by consistently and economically producing high-quality parts with reduced distortion.
Q: What can people do if they want to learn more about or receive a quote for the ATLAS single-chain model?
*Compatible with most single-chain, in-out-style atmosphere furnace lines