Since its inception by Bob Harrison and Ted Scott in 1971, Hasco Thermic has established a global reputation of bringing the very latest and best innovations to market.
The Oldbury-based company was the first to introduce a pulse-fired, high velocity system for furnaces and thanks to a sustained focus on pursuing advancements in energy efficiency, it continues to make strides to reduce the galvanizing industry’s impact on the environment.
Managing director Angela Curtis, who joined the company 24 years ago, said: “This milestone is a fantastic achievement for the company. Not only does it signal how far we’ve come as an organisation, and our proud past, but also gives us the opportunity to look to the future.”
In 1983 Hasco Thermic joined B E Wedge Holdings, the parent company of Wedge Group Galvanizing, the largest galvanizing organisation in the UK, with 14 plants located across the country, which continues to benefit from the innovations made available through Hasco Thermic.
Today more than 70 per cent of its business is export and it has customers in 34 different countries, including B E Wedge Holdings plants in Germany, Netherlands and the USA. Developing markets, such as India, are also providing important new export opportunities and the company has recently delivered state-of-the-art equipment to Canada.
Never standing still, the organisation is increasingly called upon to act as the main contractor on projects, and continually seeks out the best opportunities to monitor the performance of its equipment to find ways to improve efficiency.
“The furnace is the biggest energy consumer in a galvanizing plant,” added Angela, “and represents costs of thousands of pounds each year, so making it as efficient as possible is critical.
“The utilisation of heat is key. You are looking for the heat you put in to be used in the most efficient way possible and to make use of the waste heat elsewhere in the plant. That’s why research and development is such an important part of what we do.”
This commitment was underlined in 2003 when Hasco Thermic turned to supercomputers at Sheffield University to produce the first Computational Fluid Dynamics model. This gave the company the opportunity to rapidly model efficiency measures before adopting them in the real world, to ensure only optimal processes were put into practice.
In 2012, the company introduced Hasco Intelligent Management Systems for accelerated production, achieving record dip rates.
Just four years later, it launched the first digitally-enabled plant, incorporating the company’s Industrial Internet of Things solutions, offering greater process connectivity, reduced maintenance, increased energy efficiency and improved quality.
As the company moves into its sixth decade, Angela said Hasco Thermic would continue to evolve and to embrace what has been termed the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, centred on greater data capture and modern manufacturing methods.
She added: “Galvanizing is a very old process employing traditional methods that date back 150 years. We’re now learning lessons from the aerospace and vehicle manufacturing industries, which have shown it’s possible to apply digital monitoring to better control and optimise what is a fairly consistent and manual process.
“This can only have positive benefits on the outputs, energy usage and ultimately the environment. It’s this ethos that continues to drive our company forward.”