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Solar Atmospheres Inc.
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Solar Atmospheres Adds New Climate Controlled Room
In today's modern production environment, requirements seldom stay the same. A prime example in the medical industry is a new third-party accreditation program, MedAccred, which is going to be the equivalent of the Nadcap program in the aerospace arena. In addition to MedAccred, medical prime contractors are demanding that environmental conditions are controlled, processes validated, and the risk of exposure to foreign object debris (FOD) reduced. In an effort to meet these upcoming requirements, Solar Atmospheres has taken pre-emptive action to develop and build a new area within its facility.
In mid-2014, Solar Atmospheres installed a new area within the existing shop at its 1983 Clearview Road address in Souderton, Pennsylvania. The area is approximately 1500 square feet and incorporates temperature and humidity controls, as well as a slight positive pressure environment. These features will minimize water vapor and dust/debris in the heat treating area.
One unique feature of the space is the addition of a new, state-of-the-art, all-metal hot-zone vacuum furnace with an oversized pumping system, ability to isolate the quench system during the heat cycle, and all-stainless steel chamber. The furnace is capable of maintaining a vacuum level of 5x10-6 torr or lower, and has successfully processed the most sensitive materials unshielded without any surface contamination. The furnace is positioned outside of the room, and only the door protrudes through the wall into the climate controlled room. According to the company, this is a very unusual arrangement in the commercial heat treating industry.
According to Solar Atmospheres, the new climate controlled room will add significant value to its customers' operations, a core component of Solar's mission statement, by lowering the risk of discoloration and FOD, and by the time-saving elimination of the need to shield parts during heat treating.
Early in 2015, an existing furnace will be modified and updated with state-of-the-art controls and added to this new area as well. Currently, two laboratory furnaces also reside within the room, bringing the total number of furnaces in the area to four.
In a press release, Solar Atmospheres (www.solaratm.com) stated that the new climate controlled room will add significant value to its customers' operations, a core component of Solar's mission statement, by lowering the risk of discoloration and FOD, and by the time-saving elimination of the need to shield parts during heat treating.
In a separate announcement in December, Solar Atmospheres of Western Pennsylvania (SAWPA) reported that it has attained approved supplier status for Bell Helicopter Textron. SAWPA has received approval for the heat treatment of steel and titanium alloy components used in the production of Bell Helicopters.
"Solar Atmospheres of Western Pennsylvania is extremely honored to provide precise, thermally vacuum processed parts for the world's premier provider of vertical lift aircraft–Bell Helicopter," said Bob Hill, president of Solar Atmospheres of Western Pennsylvania, in a statement. "This rotary-wing approval complements the multiple fixed-wing approvals that currently exist."
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