IBC’s Advanced Beryllium Alloy Furnace

The new, world-class Vacuum Induction Melting furnace at our Wilmington, Massachusetts beryllium-aluminum casting facility enables advanced automation, real-time process monitoring, and improved cycle time. This facility now has a fully integrated factory automation system controlling the furnace and cooling equipment. Our daily melt capacity has increased by 25%.

In addition to the VIM furnace, we have also installed state-of-the-art systems upgrades to further improve our capabilities and efficiency:

  • A new Digital Radiography Quality Control System has improved inspection times and reduced costs over the previously used film-based system.
  • A semi-automated Tumble Blast Finishing system has improved processing time and allows us to get to final product faster with less human interaction.
  • An upgraded Coordinate Measuring Machine helps us verify the final dimensions of products to assure that we are meeting customer specifications, particularly for customers in the aerospace industry.

Combined with additional shifts, reduced maintenance down-time, and expected yield improvements, these capital improvements have positioned our Engineered Materials division to significantly increase output to meet increased customer demand.

“This furnace is a world-class piece of equipment that will open up capacity and further refine our melting processes by providing a significant amount of time-correlated data for each mold we produce,” according to Chris Huskamp, President of IBC Advanced Alloys Engineered Materials division.

“I’m very pleased with the extraordinary effort by our team to replace our legacy furnace with this new, cutting-edge production equipment,” said Major General Duncan Heinz (USMC, ret.), President, CEO, and Director of IBC. “We elected to delay the installation of this unit in order to squeeze out additional product from our existing furnace so that we could meet rising customer demand for our Beralcast® material. The constraint for the Engineered Materials Division has been furnace throughput, not customer orders. Now, with this furnace up and running and certified, we can expand output, clear up our order backlog, and ramp up to meet growing market demand in our effort to reach our profitability goals.”