ADI Treatments Ltd is celebrating its 5th anniversary with a strong business outlook. The company, based in West Bromwich, UK, was launched in 1998 to provide specialised design and heat treatment services for producers and users of Austempered Ductile Iron castings. Housing the largest austempering furnaces of their kind in Europe, the factory and operations were customised at the outset. Originally the plant and process know-how were set up with the assistance of USA market leaders Applied Process Inc (Livonia, Michigan). A strong technical and marketing partnership remains. The UK and USA operations share a highly developed algorithm database, facilitating the selection of alloys and treatments for the application.
Market exploitation of ADI grew rapidly in the late 1990s, particularly in North America. To meet the demand Applied Process Inc expanded its Detroit operations and in recent years opened additional plant around the USA. Confidence in the material’s future was underscored at the 2003 AFS Casting Congress, where ADI featured prominently in the annual Castings Contest. Four of the top awards were given to ADI designs, including Best in Class for a tracking system Drive Wheel. Originally an 84-piece steel assembly the redesigned component is a one-piece casting at a 15% weight reduction, 55% lower in cost. Thirty minutes of assembly time have been eliminated while the parts exhibit superior wear, durability and appearance compared to the original.
The application of ADI materials has also gained pace in Europe as ADI Treatments Managing Director Simon Day explains, “For the first two years our efforts were directed at getting the technology known and proving our capacity. We have since seen a steady uptake of the facility as industry has taken advantage of both the cost savings and improved performance possible with ADI materials. Most of our trade is directly with the foundries: we austemper all cast grades, including the machineable alloys, and also carry out bright annealing treatments. Our relations with Applied Process have been excellent and have helped pave our entry to overseas markets. Austempering work now comes from mainland Europe as well as the UK; demand is growing at around 30% year on year so we anticipate setting up regional factories in the future”.
ADI Treatments will host an open day to show their progress and expansion.