SECO/WARWICK’s 3 US companies optimistic about the future of heat treating and metallurgy.
The three US divisions of SECO/WARWICK Group — SECO/VACUUM, SECO/WARWICK USA and Retech – each representing distinct business units in separate locations, contributed a 35% share of the Group’s sales in 2022, and continue growing stronger in every segment. Each business unit achieved significant advances in performance over 2022, and while each manufactures unique innovations for its markets, they all share one set of family values. The roots of this family tree came from the US, after all, so it’s only fitting that its new branches share this legacy.
SECO/VACUUM – the youngest SECO/WARWICK’S kid
SECO/VACUUM the youngest American SECO/WARWICK’s subsidiary moves this year into larger facilities in Meadville PA.
Coming off its 5th anniversary with a strong 2021 and anticipating consistent future growth, the SECO/VACUUM team, led by Managing Director Peter Zawistowski, moved into a new industrial complex in Meadville in April 2022. The new space features expanded offices along with a significant additional floor space for manufacturing and aftermarket services. Having added 60 vacuum heat treatment systems to its installed base since it began operations in 2017, the move was intended to position the company to deliver better and faster support for its growing customer portfolio.
Going forward, the new space will also feature an R&D test lab where customer parts can be tested for process recipes on the company’s furnaces. Demonstrating innovative technologies in real-world applications is a key competitive advantage for the company.
In 2022, SECO/VACUUM received multiple vacuum furnace orders focusing on the automotive, tool and die and nuclear applications. Additionally, eight new furnaces were installed and commissioned at locations throughout the country, including these notable projects:
- A vacuum tempering furnace for a Pennsylvania manufacturer of electronic components
- A vacuum aluminum brazing furnace for an aircraft components manufacturer
- An annealing furnace for an instrumentation sensor manufacturer
- At tempering furnace for an aircraft controls manufacturer, the latest of five SVT furnaces for this customer
- A vacuum nitriding furnace for a manufacturer of specialized pipe, valves and fittings with unique controls HMI
SECO/WARWICK energized by new leadership
Another SECO/WARWICK American daughter, established in 1984 – SECO/WARWICK USA – has a new Managing Director. Marcus Lord took the helm in June 2022 and has made an immediate and positive impact on the company’s performance and future prospects. With several multimillion-dollar projects booked, both for new furnace equipment as well as aftermarket upgrades to existing furnace systems, everyone on the team in Meadville is energized to meet the new challenges and opportunities.
Marcus Lord initiated new industrial partnerships for fabrication, allowing better control of costs and improving the company’s competitiveness in the marketplace. Some highlights from 2022 include:
- Executing the first of several projects with the US Mint to upgrade existing tempering furnaces supplied by SECO/WARWICK in the 1990s to improve their energy efficiency and reduce emissions
- Expansion of local manufacturing capabilities and alliances to pivot faster and more efficiently to the needs of the North American market
- New employee engagement and recognition incentives for the Meadville operations team
- Acquisition of a major Tilt Melting furnace for a primary aluminum manufacturer, to be built and installed in Pennsylvania
Marcus Lord’s prior experience in metallurgical plant project management and related metalworking manufacturing environments has also proven valuable for the other US business units where knowledge sharing is producing competitive dividends.
RETECH advances its manufacturing footprint in Buffalo
Under the leadership of Managing Director Earl Good, Retech emerged from the pandemic, gaining confidence and commitments from a growing number of metallurgical customers for increased manufacturing capacity. An industry leader in custom melting and casting furnaces, Retech boasts an order book that is better than ever coming out of 2022.
As the company anticipates celebrating its 60th anniversary in June 2023, the Retech Team can be proud of these recent achievements:
- The first delivery of equipment from the Buffalo manufacturing facility
- The start-up of a 3-gun drip melt furnace
- Over $75 MM US of new capital equipment and aftermarket orders
- A promising proposal pipeline for 2023 and beyond
- Repeat orders from 2 large titanium customers
- A large backlog of R&D trial / toll melts
A Unified American Voice
SECO/WARWICK Group CEO Slawomir Wozniak, along with Katarzyna Sawka, Vice President of Group Marketing, held meetings in December 2022 with the managing directors of the three Americas companies to develop a consistent SECO/WARWICK Group American voice and market strategy. Discussions included opportunities for increased cooperation among the business units for raw material purchasing, sales collaboration, and marketing integration.
“The North American market is extremely important to the Group’s health and well-being. This market has grown from 29% of the Group’s total sales from the beginning of 2022 to 35% at the end of the third quarter, and the trend is expected to continue. Creating a unified brand message for all three US divisions will help us communicate our value proposition clearly and allow us to collaborate more effectively on engineering, raw material sourcing, and manufacturing as well as aftermarket support” said Sławomir Woźniak, CEO SECO/WARWICK Group.
“One of our short-term goals is to start producing vacuum furnaces in the US. We sell a large number of Vector® furnaces to customers in the North and South American markets, hence we are taking steps towards more local production. This will give us a logistical advantage and help improve our competitiveness in the region. Our other two US divisions, SECO/WARWICK US in Meadville PA and Retech in Buffalo NY, already manufacture most major equipment locally. To accomplish this, we have made moves to accommodate additional manufacturing space, and we will recruit the best talent for our growing R&D teams and production technicians.”- said S. Woźniak.