A Materials Engineer’s Dream: Access to all the Equipment at a Custom Alloys Company

Any materials engineer knows that evaluating materials that meet specialized performance specifications can be a very time consuming process. Ever wish you could compress a week’s worth of work into a single day? With access to five different vacuum melting furnaces– ranging from a small vacuum arc melter to a 500 lb. vacuum induction melter – plus an entire staff dedicated to your project, you can.

Usually when a customer calls us, we ask detailed questions, then we go to work ourselves to devise a plan to provide a solution to a problem. One time, however, we agreed to allow a customer to take the reins of our facility to conduct their product testing. This was a ceramics company that did a lot of high-end government work for the nuclear industry. They were nearing the end of their development process, but before they could move into production they first needed to test five different product formulations.

As an engineer myself, I quickly understood the logic behind this request. And as a business owner, I realized accommodating this customer’s needs would strengthen our relationship.

Three engineers showed up in the morning with the goal of using all of our furnaces to test their various formulations. Talk about a lesson in efficiency. Since they were physically here, decisions could be made on the fly. And, by videotaping the work they did during their visit, they went home with valuable documentation they can refer to later. By the end of the day, because the work had proceeded so smoothly, we had completed all of the melting that was originally planned to take place over the course of a week.

It’s easy for me to say that we make our customers a priority. I think it’s even better to give examples and share stories like this that illustrate how our melting facilities can help our customers to get their products to market more quickly.

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