Evolution and Innovations in Thermal Processing
As Ipsen approached their milestone 50th anniversary, they continued to be at the forefront of thermal processing technology, delivering cutting-edge solutions to meet customer needs.
Many new products were unveiled in the 1990s, including the VUTK 524 TurboHardener in 1996, the MultiMaster semicontinuous vacuum furnace in 1997, and a redesigned Endothermic Gas Generator in 1998. That year, Ipsen also attained ISO 9001 certification after meeting stringent quality control standards.
By the late 1990s Ipsen’s customers included Boeing, Caterpillar, and DaimlerChrysler. Ipsen’s Cherry Valley plant employed 275 people, including about 50 engineers. The company also began a progressive training program for its union workers, paying a very competitive wage.
Into the New Millennium
Early in the 2000s, Ipsen launched several products, including the Global VR, and a TurboTreater unit with convection. In 2002, the company met ISO 9001: 2000 standards.
In 2003, the Iowa-based John Deere Waterloo Works chose Ipsen to supply a line of atmosphere furnaces that it would use to heat treat drivetrain shafts and gears for its agricultural equipment. According to the November-December 2003 issue of Furnaces International, “The key reasons Ipsen was selected were value, technical innovations, ability to make quality parts, equipment reliability and aftermarket support.”
In 2004, Ipsen performed software and hardware upgrades at its Cherry Valley plant. The new software consolidated controls for its heat-treating machines to one user interface, allowed operators to see displays in foreign languages, and enabled Ipsen to connect with its customers via Ethernet.
In 2007, Ipsen Merged with VFS (Vacuum Furnace Systems) Corporation in Souderton, Pennsylvania. Quadriga Capital acquired all shares of Ipsen Group the same year. In 2008, Ipsen doubled its hot zone manufacturing capability by expanding the Souderton facility. The same year, a project to design and construct a new stockroom and inventory management system was completed.
In 2009, Ipsen launched the TITAN, a compact, global platform vacuum furnace. The company also completed its first Ipsen U class, a technical training program in heat-treating furnace technology.
In 2014, the PdMetrics software platform launched, which integrated with the IoT and provided predictive maintenance capabilities. During this decade, Ipsen was also awarded its 10,000th new furnace contract.
In 2020, Ipsen established two global Excellence Centers, a decision driven by demand for expanded technical services, accelerating development of new materials and consolidation of process expertise. Today, the Atmosphere Technology Excellence Center (Germany) and Vacuum Technology Excellence Center (USA) enable faster-paced innovation and a laser-focus on performance and quality.
As they continue into their 75th year of operation, Ipsen is firmly committed to embracing digital transformation and sustainability, ensuring that their legacy of success and innovation will endure for years to come.
Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.72. St. James Press, 2005.