SECO/WARWICK, the first choice among manufacturers of metal heat treatment and vacuum metallurgy furnaces, wrapped up 2023 celebrating a dynamic increase in vacuum segment sales, doubling global production capacity, and intensifying operational activities in Asia.
Today, the SECO/WARWICK Group includes companies located on three continents in five countries. The Group has delivered over 4,000 solutions implemented in five product technologies. The company employs over 850 employees, owns two R&D centers (in Poland and the United States), and serves customers from over 70 countries around the world. For SECO/WARWICK, a global leader in heat treatment and metallurgy technologies, 2023 was a time of large investments, which will translate into increasing profits and profitability in the coming years.
“We have reviewed the first three quarters of 2023, and noted high customer activity in the titanium metallurgy, tool, automotive and aviation industries. We are favored by the good situation in the USA — the positive impact of economic recovery, reshoring, and the ‘made in the USA’ trend. In India, we have prepared to develop our assembly capabilities, and the Chinese company has expanded its offer with new product lines. Importantly, we have implemented a new strategy for the Group, which will allow us to achieve by 2026 a sales growth rate twice as high as in the ‘organic’ scenario. Thanks to strategic initiatives, it will be possible to achieve an increase in revenues by approximately $90.5 million compared to 2022, including approximately $ 45 million in additional revenues compared to the development scenario ‘business as it is,’” — CAGR 2022-2026 revenues in the strategic scenario +12.1%. These are optimistic, but at the same time very realistic assumptions,” summed up Sławomir Woźniak, CEO of the SECO/WARWICK Group.
SECO/WARWICK is a leader in vacuum technologies
SECO/WARWICK sold many vacuum solutions in 2023. Vector furnaces have been the SECO/WARWICK portfolio pillar for years. It is a proven, innovative, and reliable product. Vectors operate in 70 countries in all the key industries.
“This is our flagship product. In line with the Group’s 2022-2026 strategy, we anticipate at least a double-digit increase in revenues in each segment. A product gaining importance is the VAB solution, i.e., furnaces for vacuum aluminum brazing. This technology is attractive due to its environmental friendliness and process cleanliness, as well as the reliability and repeatability of the brazed joints results in a wide range of furnaces tailored to customer expectations and requirements,” commented Maciej Korecki, Vice-President of the SECO/WARWICK Group’s Vacuum Segment.
Production development – SECO/WARWICK investments
The SECO/WARWICK Group maintains its position as one of the leaders in the metal heat treatment equipment industry. Its solutions were selected in 2023 by outstanding companies like Siemens, Marle, Skana, Assan Alüminyum and PWR Australia to name a few. These are not all of the Group’s customers in 2023, many orders were from returning customers — customers representing global brands who, due to competition or industry sensitivity, must remain anonymous to the market. What is important is that SECO/WARWICK has delivered furnaces to five continents, often carrying out complex deliveries, sometimes manufactured in two or three of the Group’s production locations and delivered to different locations for the same customer. This is a logistic and organizational challenge, demonstrating the global Group’s strength.
In the strategic plan for 2023-2026, the SECO/WARWICK Group assumes investments of over $27.5 million, more than half of which will be allocated to strategic investments related to technology development and retrofitting production and assembly capacity.
SECO/WARWICK development in Asia
Last year was also important from the SECO/WARWICK Group Asian companies’ point of view. The Chinese branch opened another production hall in the Xiqing Economic Development Area (XEDA) in Tianjin. The company specializes in the production of CAB lines, vacuum furnaces, and vacuum metallurgy solutions.
“Currently, we can produce 20 CAB lines, 5 vacuum furnaces, and 2-3 vacuum metallurgy furnaces per year. Both of our production plants are 10,000 m2, so we have doubled our production area. We are also systematically increasing employment to meet production challenges,” said Yedong Liu, Managing Director of SECO/WARWICK China.
The Indian company also recorded dynamic development. Later this year, they will start producing continuous aluminum brazing lines. Ultimately, SECO/WARWICK in India will also produce vacuum solutions, meeting the demand for these furnaces in this part of the world.
“This year was a breakthrough for us when it comes to the Indian market because we are starting production in India. Already this year, the first CAB lines will roll off the Indian assembly line to reach new customers, and the world will soon learn about new, strategic contracts,” says Binoy Koshy, Managing Director of SECO/WARWICK India.
Around the world, the demand for battery coolers is increasing due to the increasing production of electric vehicles. SECO/WARWICK is a leader in the production of CAB lines. It cooperates perfectly with the automotive industry by providing solutions that help to develop electric vehicle production technology. Thanks to this, the company indirectly fits into the trend and obligation to reduce exhaust emissions and care for the natural environment.
„We are one of the leading manufacturers of lines intended for brazing heat exchangers. It is thanks to our furnaces that radiators for passenger cars, delivery vans, agricultural machines and power generators used by leading automotive companies are created. The unflagging popularity of the technology is also reflected in the fact that the product for this segment has its own brand – EV/CAB, under which we designate solutions dedicated to electric vehicles,” explains Piotr Skarbiński, Vice-President of the Aluminum and CAB Product Segments in the SECO/WARWICK Group.
Big brands among SECO/WARWICK customers
In 2023, SECO/WARWICK worked for global brands and recognized manufacturers.
In Europe, SECO/WARWICK supplied the knife manufacturer — Yalman Knives – with a Vector® vacuum furnace. In turn, SECO/WARWICK USA signed a contract in 2023 for the delivery of an Exogas™ exothermic atmosphere generator to Skana Aluminium Company in Wisconsin. For the PWR Advanced Cooling Technology concern, the Group will deliver two Universal Batch CAB furnaces and a continuous CAB line. The solutions will be intended for brazing aluminum heat exchangers. The three furnaces on order will be delivered to two continents — Australia and the PWR branch in North America – three furnaces, one customer.
ASSAN ALÜMINYUM, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aluminum products executed by continuous casting, ordered 4 more furnaces for annealing aluminum coil sheets in 2023, which are equipped with the even more efficient Vortex® 2.0 system.
These are just some of last year’s projects. In 2023, companies belonging to the SECO/WARWICK Group produced 15 percent more solutions than in the previous year. This is the result of investment in production. So far, the Group started with 21 thousand m2 in production halls, and thanks to investments in China, India and the United States, this number increased to over 39 thousand m2.
Ecology under the SECO banner
In 2023, SECO/WARWICK signed a final agreement with GreenIron H2 AB for the delivery of a series of furnaces for processing metals from post-production waste without the use of fossil fuels. The most unique project in the field of green technologies related to metal recycling is entering a decisive phase. SECO/WARWICK furnaces may change the face of the metal processing industry in the future.
SECO/WARWICK supports ecological solutions which make heavy industry environmentally friendly. The solutions which will be developed in cooperation with GreenIron have not been available on the market previously and may potentially constitute a new line of furnaces. Their great value is the fact that they contribute to carbon dioxide reduction, as well as a significant reduction in the cost of recycling residues and post-production waste.
“We focus on the green color, on smart, ecological innovations which not only protect the planet, but also allow us to achieve better efficiency. Cooperation with GreenIron is a natural way for us to develop this idea. We hope that the new furnace lines will become a new, independent segment in the future. The potential of using these solutions is huge — reduction furnaces will be available to industries using iron and other metals in production processes,” adds S. Woźniak.
Without a doubt, 2023 was a fruitful year for the entire SECO/WARWICK Group. Investments in increasing production capacity, innovative ecological projects and a new business strategy were the three major events of last year. The SECO/WARWICK Group is optimistic about the future and is ready for the challenges of the coming year.