NITREG® TURNKEY GAS NITRIDING / NITROCARBURIZING INSTALLATIONS

Nitrex Metal offers customized, up-to-date turnkey industrial nitriding (and other heat treating) systems, with process control software, start-up, training and problem-solving assistance. Every component incorporates proven technology based on an extensive R&D effort and is backed with technical, technological and end-market support.

Direct involvement in metal surface treating through our affiliated network of service centers and close relationships with licensed users has afforded us wide-ranging hands-on expertise and a thorough understanding of our customers’’ needs.

Our commitment to sharing new developments in nitriding applications and equipment through the exchange of information and experience has benefited all technology users.

Gas Nitriding Furnaces

WHAT’S A NITREX TURNKEY SYSTEM?

More than just nitriding equipment

A Nitrex turnkey nitriding / nitrocarburizing system is much more than a standard furnace with controls. It’’s a comprehensive solution that starts with a client and application assessment, equipment proposal and design, manufacturing, process testing and recipe proofing, continuing to logistics, onsite installation, training and commissioning to plant integration, and after-sales value-added services.

This turnkey approach means an integrated nitriding / nitrocarburizing system that delivers superior quality and reliability year after year while optimizing the performance and cost efficiency of the application.

Furnace, Controls & Software

Based on a detailed analysis of the client’s requirements and project, our expert team tailors the optimal solution.

Technology & Process Design

Nitrex metallurgists develop a unique process based on the requirements of the application and then proof the recipe in our test laboratory.

Logistics & Project Management

Our knowledge of import and export procedures, and know-how in handling special cargo, enables us to ensure stress-free delivery of projects. Project managers coordinate and execute client projects right from the start through to final acceptance, communicating with the client on an on-going basis about the status and progression of their project.

Startup, Integration & Training

Nitrex pre-stages and tests the system in its own facility to shorten the installation time at the customer. During and after commissioning, training is included that covers operation, maintenance, and calibration procedures, as well as technology transfer.

After-Sales Services

Our portfolio of maintenance and support services includes on-site troubleshooting and new process development, as well as service contracts to ensure that equipment operates optimally while minimizing unnecessary downtime and costly repairs.

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Nitriding Turnkey System

TYPICAL TURNKEY NITREG® NITRIDING / NITROCARBURIZING INSTALLATIONS

Layout of a potential-controlled gas nitriding / nitrocarburizing system

Nitriding & Nitrocarburing Furnaces

Equipment offered as a turnkey installation with full customer support:

  • Nitriding / Nitrocarburizing Furnace

  • Furnace Process Control System

  • Process Gas Distribution Station

  • Ammonia Gas Dissociator

  • Exhaust Gas Neutralizer - Burner

  • Racking

  • Closed-Loop Water Cooling System

GAS NITRIDING / NITROCARBURIZING FURNACES

Gas Nitriding & Ferritic Nitrocarburizing Furnaces

Nitrex nitriding furnaces are designed to operate in a totally automatic fashion as part of a turnkey nitriding or nitrocarburizing (FNC) system. All phases of the process such as purging, heating, nitriding / nitrocarburizing, and cooling are accomplished in one uninterrupted cycle. The furnaces are equipped with multiple controlled heating zones.

All furnaces are equipped with a Nitrex control system, customized for each user. However if you already own a nitriding / nitrocarburizing furnace it may be retrofitted / upgraded with a Nitrex control system for better nitriding / nitrocarburizing process control and results.

AMS 2759 Compliance

*compliance optional

Non-Standard Special Sizes 

Please contact Nitrex for other standard and non-standard nitriding furnace sizes.

 

The following are some examples of custom-made non-standard systems

Nitrex Largest Rectangular Nitriding Furnace

A specially ordered large size gas nitriding / nitrocarburizing furnace was an economical and dependable choice for use in processing very large batches of small parts, or very large components such as gears, forming dies, or pieces of industrial machinery. This furnace is capable of running potential-controlled nitriding (Nitreg®), ferritic nitrocarburizing (Nitreg®-C), and in-process post-nitriding oxidation (ONC®). The furnace has a cuboid work zone measuring 16’5″’ x 8’2″’ x 6’5″ (5m x 2.5m x 2m)’ and can run loads weighing up to 50,000 lbs (22680 kg).

Nitrex Large Gear Nitriding Furnace

The turnkey nitriding system on the right was ordered to specifically nitride very large gears

Dimensions:   Ø 165″ x 150” H (4200mm” x 3800mm)

Load (max):    45,000 lbs. (20,500 kg)

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NITRIDING PROCESS CONTROL SYSTEMS

For Fully Automatic Operations

Nitrex process control systems are products of extensive research and development in process automation.

Our engineers can integrate control systems with any accessory or other system to make it a part of an intelligent management center, which oversees the operation of all production equipment in the shop, along with supporting infrastructure, e.g. closed loop cooling water system. The operation of any motor, pump, valve, recording device, or virtually any other piece of equipment may be overseen by the control system.

Nitrex’s engineers will be happy to work with any combination of equipment, accessories, installation features and requirements.

Gas Nitriding / Nitrocarburizing Process Control

The gas nitriding / nitrocarburizing process control systems are designed to provide a fully automatic operation. The entire nitriding /nitrocarburizing process is executed in an automatic, self-adjusting and operator independent manner.

Process Control Hardware

A typical system is configured in three distinct sections, which facilitate operation and maintenance of the system. They consist of:

  • An electronic process control panel with I/O boards, an industrial controller and a color monitor.
  • A gas control panel with: gas analyzing, flow and pressure measuring transducers, calibration and safety features.
  • An electric control panel with: one SCR controller for each heating zone, transformers, contactors, fuses, and switches.

This type of set-up provides a high degree of accuracy in process execution, contributing to consistency in nitriding / nitrocarburizing results.

System features

The Nitrex Process Control System monitors and controls automatically the following parameters and operating functions:

  • Furnace heating functions such as process temperature, and overheat control with automatic emergency procedures
  • Atmosphere composition and flow for a particular cycle
  • Nitriding atmosphere ratios
  • Nitriding Potential Kn (dissociation rate, for customer defined cycles)
  • Temperature for each process stage
  • Gas pressure inside the retort
  • Gas recirculation
  • Execution of the cooling stage and shutdown
  • Cooling water
  • Process safety features

Operation

The operator follows simple steps to execute a process. Once the parts are cleaned, the furnace is loaded and sealed.

The desired process is selected and started from the process control panel. Thereafter, all stages of the nitriding cycle (e.g., purge, heat, process control, and cool) are automatically carried out sequentially in one uninterrupted cycle, without further operator intervention.

Process Control

The nitriding process control is carried out in a closed loop circuit. This, coupled with advanced features, enables the process control system to automatically respond to the changes in nitriding conditions, which occur during the process.

To adjust the process parameters, the furnace atmosphere is continuously sampled and analyzed. Based on the data extracted, the process computer adjusts the incoming atmosphere, thus maintaining the preset value of the nitriding potential as accurately as possible.

System Software

Nitrex Gas nitriding /nitrocarburizing process control systems are supplied with several independent software packages. The software has been developed to adapt to the rigorous process control requirements for enhancing nitriding / nitrocarburizing. Troubleshooting, emergency and calibration software packages aid the operator in maintaining and operating the installation.

Visual Displays

Visual displays allow the operator to access information on the status of important control points, while the process is being executed.

The process control system monitors all essential process variables (e.g. temperatures, flows, power output, nitriding potential, pressure, elapsed time, etc.) and displays them continuously on the process screen, in a clear and precise manner.

Process Selection

A simple menu allows the operator to select the desired nitriding / nitrocarburizing procedure from a library of pre-established cycles. The library contains researched and tested recipes designed to produce a specific nitrided case on a chosen material.

Process Set-up

Each process is developed to meet specific nitriding / nitrocarburizing requirements defined by the customer. This complex procedure requires considerable expertise in the field of nitriding / nitrocarburizing. It involves taking the nitrided case requirements into consideration, and relating these to all other parameters which influence the end result.

Once established and stored in the integrated library, it can be used repeatedly to produce consistent results.

Traceability and Self Diagnosis

Each nitriding / nitrocarburizing cycle’s log file provides a timed account of the actual process execution, and contains all alarms, process interruptions or operator interventions which may have occurred.

The data contained in the log file can be presented in the form of diagrams, thus facilitating preparation of Statistical Process Control (SPC).

Nitriding Process Control Panel
Nitriding Screen

NITREX SOFTWARE PACKAGE

Controlling. Managing. Networking

Nitrex Software together with the Nitrex Control System offer a technologically advanced solution to automatic process control in nitriding known as the NITREG® Process or NITREG®-C in nitrocarburizing .  Initially designed to monitor, control and regulate all nitriding / nitrocarburizing process parameters in an automatic and continuous fashion, the software can be used with different heat treating equipment. The Nitrex Control System and Software allow several process stages to be carried out sequentially without requiring the operator’s intervention.

The operator interfaces with the Control System through a single control panel consisting of a monitor, and keyboard. The user friendly, menu driven Nitrex software assists the operator in executing the necessary commands with respect to the nitriding / nitrocarburizing process and other related functions.

Nitrex Advantage

  • Easily customized and configured to your equipment and plant
  • Provides fully automated operations
  • Advanced process control program with networking options
  • User friendly interface and menus
  • Reliable and proven customer support
  • Safety of equipment and loads insured by alarms and built-in emergency procedures
  • is based on Windows® operating system
  • is designed to accommodate any heat-treating equipment
  • allows for future additions of other types of furnaces and equipment

Upgrade Modules

  • Local Area Network Connection
  • Remote access through Internet
  • Phone alarm system
  • Database
  • Mathematical model / simulator
  • Third party software
  • Special Customer Requests




The Nitrex Software Package consists of two modules:

1) NPC Control Module
Control Program loaded on a Nitrex Controller

Nitrex Controller

  • Equipped with a card for communication with I/O’s
  • May be connected to a NPM computer

Main Features

  • Universal Process Control System for Heat Treating (Process selection)
  • Fuzzy logic control
  • Log In / Log Out (password protected)
  • Job scheduling
  • Alarm & emergency messages
  • LOG comments editor – Data Logging
  • Report / Graph Builder
  • Real Time Graphs
  • Process builder
  • Maintenance mode
  • Calibration mode
  • Maintenance recall
  • Backup / Restore
  • LOG file Report Builder and Graph Builder
  • User Manager / Permission Builder (Password administration)
  • Resource Manager  – User dependent language, screens, access levels
  • Maintenance Recall
  • Local Area Network


2) NPM Remote Access Module
Software loaded on an NPM computer ( this option requires NPC )

NPM Computer

  • The NPM computer is a desktop computer loaded with Windows® OS
  •  It may be wired to LAN

The NPM program allows remote user to:

  • View Nitrex Systems (or other) connected to the NPM computer
  • View and acknowledge alarms
  • Abort / Resume jobs
  • View and print LOG reports
  • View / Print Real Time Graphs
  • Modify Process Library
  • Modify parameters of currently running jobs
  • Create new users
  • Modify user access levels
  • Run process simulation
  • Query collected data

INTEGRATION, AUTOMATION AND OPTIMIZATION

With Minimal or No Operator Supervision

INTEGRATION OF HEAT TREATING EQUIPMENT 

Today a heat treating furnace can no longer be seen as a stand-alone piece of equipment. It is part of a whole system, interconnected and working in concert with other elements of a heat treating installation, and operated by a sophisticated computer control system requiring minimal or no operator supervision.

At Nitrex, our philosophy is to deliver automated turnkey installations incorporating advanced features that provide process stability and reliability, and which ensure functional integration with the manufacturing environment.

AUTOMATION AND INTEGRATION OF PRODUCTION CELLS

Automation solutions are increasingly used to enhance performance and productivity in order to offset these high costs. This approach can be achieved in one or two stages. The first involves integrating heat treating furnaces equipped with automated gas cabinets, fitted with atmosphere controls and a control computer system, into cells or into the production line. The second is to automate the heat treating operations, running equipment more or less continuously with little or no personnel. Both stages will effectively reduce the number of required employees, improve delivery, increase productivity and the overall efficiency of a plant by maximizing the equipment usage, thus reducing the cost per piece of the manufactured goods.

INTEGRATING NITRIDING / NITROCARBURIZING TURNKEY SYSTEMS INTO YOUR PRODUCTION LINE

To this day many manufacturers are still sending parts to commercial heat treaters to have them nitrided or nitrocarburized. Others, with in-house facilities, often have their heat treating equipment in remote locations of the plant. These practices slow down the production process and increase costs.

In many cases integrating the nitriding / nitrocarburizing (FNC process) stage into the production line brings significant benefits such as control over quality and faster deliveries.

We would gladly discuss your production needs and provide you with our expert advice. Please contact us for more information.

INTEGRATION OF HEAT TREATING OPERATIONS

For the highest level of operational control Nitrex proposes United Process Controls’ Protherm 9800. This software package delivers everything to optimize the performance and efficiency of a heat treatment plant operating with a wide a variety of furnaces as well as automatic handling machinery. By combining process control, equipment integration, and automation capabilities, the Protherm 9800 provides a comprehensive approach to plant wide supervisory control and management.

Scalable System

The Protherm 9800 system structure is based on three scalable tiers with add-on modules for specific requirements. The Protherm 9800 Chart Recorder basically offers batch based production logs, alarm and event logging. It can be upgraded to the full Protherm 9800 SCADA & Process Control System (PCS), which includes the chart recorder features plus recipe interface for various furnaces, internal programmer functions, the Process-Electronic Diffusion Simulation Model, lab reports, maintenance scheduler and more. The SCADA & PCS tier can be further upscaled to the Protherm Manufacturing Execution System (MES) with such modules as Equipment Usage Calculation, Outage Documentation, Consumption Evaluation, Part Serial Number Tracking, Load Planning & Tracking System, Lights-out Automation and Statistical Process Control.

For more information on the Protherm 9800 visit United Process Controls’ website by clicking here.

PT9800_SCADA3

EXAMPLE OF HEAT TREATING CELL

Customized configurations that meet your needs

NITRIDING / NITROCARBURIZING CELL WITH STAND-ALONE FURNACES 

One of many possible set-ups consists of a number of stand-alone furnaces, a washer, holding stations and a double-ended charge car. In a fully automated scenario the loads are brought to and taken from the loading/unloading station while the rest of the operations are fully controlled by a plant management software.

NXH9812

MULTI CHAMBER FLOW-THROUGH NITRIDING / NITROCARBURIZING CELL

Yet another type of cell incorporates a modular, multi chamber, flow-through furnace. The furnace’s modular design allows for customized multi-stage operations.

NXL_Furnace_Layout

MODULES AND CONFIGURATIONS

The NXL line type furnace consists of modules with different possible configurations: preheat/pre-oxidation, post-nitriding oxidation, purge/cooling and one or more nitriding/nitrocarburizing chambers. The line is designed for nitriding/nitrocarburizing processes at temperatures up to 1200°F (650°C). All units are connected to form a single furnace. A system of rollers provides precise transfer and positioning of the load inside each chamber. A laser positioning system controls the position of the load within chambers.

Nitriding_Furnace_Continuous4

TYPICAL CONFIGURATIONS

PN1-TC

includes the following chambers:

  • 1 Preheat/Pre-oxidation

  • 1 Nitriding/Nitrocarburizing

  • 1 Turbo Cooling/Purge

PN2-TC

includes the following chambers:

  • 1 Preheat/Pre-oxidation

  • 2 Nitriding/Nitrocarburizing

  • 1 Turbo Cooling/Purge

PN1-OXN-TC

includes the following chambers:

  • 1 Preheat/Pre-oxidation

  • 1 Nitriding/Nitrocarburizing

  • 1 Nitriding/Nitrocarburizing / Post-oxidation

  • 1 Turbo Cooling/Purge