Sona BLW Precision Forge in Selma, NC, recently invested in a new batch quenching furnace and support equipment for its heat-treating operation. The operation, a former Thyssen Krupp Precision Forging Group holding, has cold and warm forging capabilities, as well as CNC machining and heat treating, mainly producing bevel gears and monoblock gears for different automotive suppliers.

Sona BLW designs and manufactures transmission and axle components for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, but it has plans to produce other products, too, including molds and tooling for diecasting, forming, forging, and injection molding.

AFC-Holcroft, one of the world’s largest heat-treating furnace builders, was contracted to customize its universal batch quench (UBQ) furnace design and support equipment for the heat-treating expansion at Sona.

As detailed by the supplier, Sona set out to find equipment that matched its goals of flexible operation and high-quality production, as well as some other process requirements. AFC-Holcroft engineers worked with Sona to define the needs, and customized a standard UBQ furnace (typically rated for 3,500 lb. loads) to process loads up to 4,000 lbs.

The new equipment consists of a UBQ integral quench batch furnace with an effective work zone of 36x48x36 inches (WxLxH) and all standard features; two universal batch nitrogen temper (UBTN) furnaces; a universal batch spray-dunk washer (UBW); and a two-module array of “E-Z Series” endothermic gas generators that supply up to 9,000 cu.ft/hr of endothermic gas.

“This equipment showcases AFC-Holcroft’s ability to take a proven, standardized product and customize it to meet the individual needs of the customer while providing the fast delivery time possible,” according to Mike Neumann of AFC-Holcroft.