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Solar Manufacturing Mentor® Vacuum Furnace Chambers
Metal Fabrication & Installation Contractor 717-207-8985

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Solar Manufacturing Mentor® Vacuum Furnace Chambers
Solar Manufacturing Mentor® Vacuum Furnace Chambers

PROJECT: Solar Manufacturing Mentor Chambers
PROJECT TYPE: Fabrication – Stainless Steel, ASME Vessel
CLIENT: Solar Manufacturing

Solar Manufacturing provides technologically advanced vacuum heat treating furnaces across North America, and they strive to continually develop new solutions to vacuum furnace technology. Their brand is well known and recognized: they create wide-ranging vacuum furnace models, and they needed a manufacturing partner to help them fulfill an overflow of orders for their compact model, the Mentor® Vacuum Furnace.

Solar Manufacturing needed to partner with a fabrication and manufacturing facility that could fabricate their unique vacuum furnace chambers to the quality companies have come to associate with their brand. GSM Industrial had proven success on similar projects, delivering on similar requirements on time and to strict tolerances. GSM Industrial understood the client’s needs and where they could add value throughout the process.  They had the experienced and certified team to get the job done.

CHALLENGES

The Mentor® Vacuum Furnace may be smaller than other Solar Manufacturing products, but it still required strict tolerances, specific machining requirements, and vacuum integrity, with no room for inconsistencies or ugly welds. Mentor vacuum chambers are stainless steel, double wall, horizontal front-loading chambers. They have hinged and bolted front doors and oversized water inlets and outlets for water flow.

While GSM Industrial has successfully completed other stainless steel ASME pressure vessel projects, we did not rest on our laurels. Team members needed to be fully trained and qualified to meet the client’s quality standards and project requirements. This project also needed subcontractors to complete parts of the project, requiring additional scheduling and quality assurance.

PROCESS

GSM Industrial’s skilled fabricators, strict quality control measures, and project management processes kept this complicated ASME project on track from start to finish. It was a team effort: GSM Industrial’s shop had two (2) stations working simultaneously to complete the four (4) chambers on time. Project Management communication kept internal teams, subcontractors, and the client on the same page as tasks moved forward. Fully certified welders performed critical welds, ensuring each fitting was in alignment to maintain vacuum application and integrity. We also preserved the overall aesthetics of the finished weldments to ensure the vacuum chamber would have a high-quality finished look.

CERTIFICATIONS

The stainless steel ASME chambers were to be a critical part of a furnace designed to reach up to 2800°F. Fabricating the chambers to exact standards is not only critical, but it could also save lives. This is why we ensured only the proper personnel worked on this project with stringent weld and testing requirements. GSM Industrial is an ASME-certified fabrication shop. Our in-house certified inspectors completed the necessary tests to prove vacuum integrity. (See our ASME and AWS Certifications.)

RESULTS

GSM Industrial fabricated four stainless steel ASME pressure vessels for Solar Manufacturing’s Mentor® Vacuum Furnace, enabling the client to continue selling more furnaces. The team at Solar was pleased with our overall quality of work and the value the GSM team brought to this project and has continued to trust us with subsequent orders for more chambers.

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