PH Heat Treatment, a pioneer in the field of heat treatment in South African industry, celebrated its 50th year of operation in November.

Having began with a 600m2 site in Cleveland, Johannesburg, PH Heat Treatment today operates from a 3,500m2 site in Activia Park, Germiston - with a comprehensive array of state-of the-art equipment and a customer base of 1,200 South African companies.

The company became one of the first to introduce Afrox’s Endomix™ nitrogen/methanol-based carburising process to the local market, an industrial gas supply relationship with Afrox which has now spanned 27 years.

Cecil Zlotnick, a university degree-honoured metallurgical engineer and 90% owner, is still at the company helm, having purchased PH Heat Treatment in 1981.

It was under Zlotnick’s stewardship that the company introduced the Afrox technology and looking back, he explains, “I took over PH Heat Treatment, in partnership with accountant Philip Becker, with a view to taking it from an antiquated operation to a full-spectrum hi-tech company, offering a suite of heat treatment solutions.”

As a speciality, niche market leader, PH Heat Treatment has gone from strength to strength, focusing on and becoming the leader in the field of controlled furnace atmosphere heat treatment. Today the company’s facilities include six Ipsen and four Efco and Birlec sealed quench furnaces, using Afrox’s Endomix™ system among its extensive range of capital equipment.

Other capital equipment includes shaker hearth furnaces, tempering furnaces, facilities for sub-zero treatment, glass and shot blasting and a pit Nitreg® nitriding plant.

A recently commissioned, fully automated metallographic on-site Struers laboratory ensures quality control and allows for micro-structural evaluation, micro-hardness testing, and quenching oil rate testing.

Reflecting on the company’s strong foundations and successful relationship with the now Linde Group’s Afrox, Zlotnick said, “Looking back from this milestone vantage point, I’d say that our company has based its successful growth on a sound foundation of long term relationships - our 27 year relationship with our industrial gas supplier, Afrox, technical relationships with our technology partners and equipment suppliers and, of course, longstanding trust relationships with our customer base.”

“Our company’s core strength lies in the depth and range of our experience in heat treatment and associated furnace atmosphere control using industrial gases. We are also proud to have a team of qualified and experienced management and staff, who are committed to providing excellent quality and service to our customers.”