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Continuous Vacuum Furnace for High-Volume, Inline Heat Treatment | UniCase Master®

The UniCase Master® eliminates conventional case hardening methods for high volume manufacturing of carburized gears with a single-piece, inline heat treating workflow and high precision case hardening.

The UniCase Master® or UCM is a revolutionary, vacuum heat treatment system that provides continuous single-piece workflow for case hardening of gears and rings by low-pressure carburizing and high-pressure gas quenching. Contrary to the traditional, batch mode of heat treatment, every single part is going through the system the same way, position, timing and undergoes the same process parameters (in terms of temperature, atmosphere, cooling), which produces consistently high-quality results and ideal repeatability for entire part series.

The UCM system is dedicated for modern, high volume manufacturing of mechanical transmission components for continuous, automated, single–piece flow, in-line production that can be operated with no human intervention. With a part exiting the system at a rate as short as 30 seconds each, customers can experience throughput as high as 1 million parts per year. This process is ideal for the automotive, transmission and bearing industry and related industries. The concept is very flexible in production range and technology. It can be resized depending on part shape and size and is not limited to case hardening only. It can be adapted for thru hardening, brazing, annealing and other heat treatment processes for series, inline production.

Benefits

  • Single-piece flow
    • 10 times improved precision and repeatability of results
    • 100% traceability, individual part monitoring and reporting
    • 100% single part in-line testing after case hardening
  • 4D Quenching®
    • 2-4 times less distortion size
    • 2-4 times less distortion variation
    • 2-4 times less hard machining operation
    • Elimination of some hard machining operations
  • Lean manufacturing / High throughput / Low cost
    • 100 % integration into continuous production lines
    • Zero cost of material handling logistics
    • Zero cost of heat treatment fixtures
  • Low Pressure Carburizing / High Pressure Gas Quench
    • Elimination of IGO
    • Elimination of fire and explosion hazards
    • Clean & environmentally friendly production

High Production Efficiency

  • Lean manufacturing compatible
  • Throughput up to 1 million gears per year: 30 sec/part

Outstanding Quality

  • Ideal repeatability of case hardening results for every single piece
  • Minimal distortion from individual quench with 4D Quenching®
  • Single Piece Monitoring and Reporting in Entire Process

Other Benefits and Savings

  • Minimizes final machining costs
  • Eliminates batch material handling logistics
  • Eliminates fixturing costs, reducing energy consumption
  • Eliminates oils, chemicals, and washer systems
  • Eliminates fire and explosion hazards
  • Flexible production, on demand start-up and shutdown
  • Fully automated, continuous operation
  • Clean, environmentally friendly technology

Finished part unloading UniCase Master® furnace


The UniCase Master® is available in both standard and custom configurations designed to integrate into the manufacturing cells it services.

UniCase Master® (UCM) standard configuration

Interior View

Product Matrix

Style1 (UCM) 3

Diameter x Height – inches (mm)
Workload Size2 up to 8 x 2 (200 x 50)
Maximum Gross Load – lbs. (kg) 200 (90)

Notes:
1 See product brochure for complete details.
2. Custom sizes, special features and system configurations available

UCM System Features

  • Designated for automotive, transmission and bearing industry
  • Case hardening by low-pressure carburizing and high-pressure gas quenching
  • 4D quench: Parts are individually quenched, one by one, in a specially designed high-pressure, gas-quenching chamber which provides efficiency and perfect uniformity of cooling. It’s a powerful tool for precision control of the quenching process which results in significantly minimized hardening distortion and consistent, repeatable results.
  • The UniCase Master doesn’t use heat treatment fixtures for handling parts, for example trays, baskets, grids, etc. Parts go through the system individually.
  • Can be used in-line with other production, footprint only 5 m2 (16.5 ft2)
  • Optional tempering unit available

Specifications

General:  
Working zone (<D x H) 200 x 50 mm / 8" x 2"
Footprint 5 M x 5 M (16.5 ft x 16.5 ft)
Max load weight 4 kg/10.7 lbs
Number of positions 15 for gear dia. 200 mm/8"
(per process chamber) 30 for gear dia. 100 mm/4"
Tact time 30 sec.

Heating:  
Operating temperature 1150°C/2102°F
Temperature uniformity ±1°C / 2°F
Heating power 114kW
Heating zones 9

Quenching:  
4D Quenching® pressure 10 bar abs

Vacuum:  
Operational vacuum 10-10-2 mbar
Leakage 10-3 mbar x l/s
Mechanical pump 2x200 m3/h/118 cfm
Root pump 2x1000 m3/h/600 cfm

Utility:  
Electrical power 150 kW
Cooling water 20m3/h, 7 cfm, 2 bar
Acetylene 30 l/min /4gpm
Nitrogen 30 l/min /8 gpm
Footprint 5x5 M/ 16.5x16.5 ft.
High 3M/ 10 ft.

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