Q&A with Anne Miner

July 20, 2017

Moving Forward as the Diablo Team
Diablo Furnaces


What are the origins of the Diablo team?

Most Diablo employees worked in some capacity at BeaverMatic Heat Treating in Rockford, Illinois, before it closed approximately two years ago. Their roles have expanded here, because we do multiple tasks or wear several hats. Rick Claeyssen was basically superintendent, and at Diablo, he also runs the shop, handles service, evaluates equipment, previews quotes, and oversees the technical aspects of jobs. Sue Harrod ran the office, as she was the owner’s assistant 20 years at BeaverMatic. Sue sold parts, arranged service, and handled accounting. Today, she has the same role. Burk Glogowski is the face of technical support and service, someone customers are very familiar with. Bill Boehm, master fabricator, is on staff as well. Basically, among them, they run Diablo.

I came from Ipsen International, and then when I left Ipsen, I worked with BeaverMatic as a contractor in marketing/sales, which is my capacity today. We all are utilizing our skillsets in a similar manner.

When did you actually begin business as Diablo?

We launched Diablo in February of this year.

Diablo was started by Machine Tool Builders (MTB). How did that come about?

Since I had worked with BeaverMatic, and now at  MTB, I spoke with Sue and stated we could utilize her talents and probably anyone else. Sue came to MTB  first and started learning the gear side. And as she learned the accounting and how we did things here, she moved up and took over all the accounting. Once BeaverMatic closed its doors, Sue brought over as many people as she could.

It’s tough to find a good pool of people. Since the ex-employees of BeaverMatic were multi-skilled and talented, they could easily work within the gear business, as its machines, service, and parts. The decision has been a very good one.

Does coming from a company that rebuilds machines give you a unique perspective when approaching furnace builds as well as rebuilds?

We build new furnaces, and we rebuild them. If you understand heat-treating equipment, the scope is pretty similar.  The gearing business is very different, because when we rebuild, we’re converting the machine from a mechanical to a CNC. So a conversion for a gear machine is 10 to 12 months, where a heat-treating furnace rebuild is 10 to 12 weeks.

What are some of the services you offer your customers?

We’re offering them parts, service, retrofits, re-controls, new machines such as IQF carbottoms, tempers, and washers. And we’ve already been very, very busy. Under the MTB name, we basically sold parts and service for about a year and a half. After hitting the two-year mark, we decided to separate the companies.  If we were going to build new equipment, then we needed to separate the names and business units,  making it easier for customers and prospects to find us.  Actually though, a customer came to us and said, “Hey, can you rebuild and build us some new equipment?” and that’s really the point we decided to create Diablo Furnaces.

Why don’t most manufacturers need a “luxury” furnace?

Cost seems to be the driving decision for any capital purchase, at least that’s what I’m finding. The bells and whistles of what they were willing to spend 10 or 12 years ago is not the case today. It’s pretty barebones, in my perspective, and it’s the same thing with the gear machines. It’s all driven by price. We are trying to give the customer everything he/she needs for a price that is pretty competitive.

We are not  building a Cadillac. Our equipment is reliable and it has all the safety features and basic functions at a very cost-effective price. We are giving commercial heat-treaters the opportunity to be competitive in the market, and captive houses ways to reduce cost of overall products.

Where do you see Diablo in the next 10 years?

We’re expanding. We’ve already quoted many unique furnaces that are probably larger than we thought we would tackle, but there’s a need obviously for IQFs, carbottoms, unique high tempers, and upgrades. I see us fitting a need that’s out there, and that’s for a cost-effective piece of equipment.

What’s unique about Diablo?

I do find that when I visit customers or prospects, they don’t realize that we are the ex-employees of BeaverMatic. Diablo has given these ex-employees an opportunity to utilize their skills and craftsmanship they learned and honed over 20 or 30 years. We have a plethora of talent and skill level that you just don’t find anywhere. These are the same people, same skills, all working together to create a different product line of furnaces. 

For more information: www.diablofurnaces.com