Acquisition of a vacuum furnace represents a major capital equipment investment and one that creates a long-term relationship with your supplier partner. Thus the choice of what to buy and who to purchase it from requires careful planning and considerable up-front research. You need to know when and how to apply vacuum technology if it will be the most cost-effective solution for what you need to do, what questions to ask and what information to provide.
The process begins by understanding your specific needs and asking all the right questions. Is it more prudent to upgrade an older piece of equipment, purchase new or purchase used? Is it better to have one large furnace or two smaller ones? Is a batch solution best or is a continuous approach better?
Ask yourself what the equipment must do, what productivity must be achieved (now and in the future) and what type of specifications or compliance requirements (e.g. Nadcap, CQI-9) must be met. The type of material(s) being run, the skill of your workforce, the (internal and external) support available and the type of controls and/or quality records required are additional considerations. All of these will help define how much training and support will be needed from your supplier partner.