When was Therm-Tech founded, and by whom?
Charles Wiberg founded the company in 1982, and although he’s now retired he still sits on the board and plays an active role in our current activities and plans for the future. His son, Steven, is a metallurgist and now our president, and his daughter, Mary Springer, is executive vice president and general manager. So this is a company in which family plays a very strong role, and we like to think that all of our employees—and especially our customers—feel that they are part of that family as well.
Do you have any memory of that?
It’s interesting, I was studying engineering in college and needed to find a summer job in order to make some money, but mostly to gain experience in industry. I found out about a state-funded program that would cover half my wages at any company that would hire me on sort of an internship basis, and when I brought this proposal to Therm-Tech they agreed to take me on. So I worked with the company during the summers of 1992 and 1993, and then they offered me a job, which I accepted in 1994. I’ve been with the company ever since. I worked on the floor with the furnaces for the first year or so, and when I found out there was an opening in sales I asked for the position and they granted my request. Since that time I’ve been working to make sure our sales department is very proactive, in terms of responding to requests for quotations quickly, and also to help branch into the markets where we feel we can make a positive contribution, which definitely includes the gear manufacturing industry. And we’ve made significant capital investments in recent years to make sure we’ve got the equipment we need on hand to meet the needs of gear manufacturers and OEMs.
Can you give our readers some sense of the services you provide?
Therm-Tech is a unique heat-treating company due to the variety of processes we run and size capabilities we offer. A typical busy month will see us process in excess of four-million pounds of aluminum, ductile and gray iron, and alloy and tool steels. Some of the processes we are providing for the gear industry are austempering and marquenching, endothermic atmosphere hardening and liquid quenching of large gears—including a furnace measuring up to 55” W x 90” L x 42” H—gas nitriding parts up to 75” long, and a variety of flame-hardening options. We have also recently added two new carburizing furnaces since the fall of 2006. The first is a surface combustion Allcase furnace that measures 36” W x 72” L x 42” H for general gas carburizing needs. The second is a Seco/Warwick vacuum carburizing furnace, 36” W x 32” H x 72” L, that is one of the larger furnaces available for commercial work in the country. Therm-Tech is constantly looking to broaden the scope of services we provide, and we make a point of listening to our customers so that we can factor their needs into our growth strategy.
In addition to these capabilities, what do you consider to be the company’s strengths?
I would have to say that the excellent relationship we enjoy with our customers is proof that we’re making good on our commitment to provide the best service, at a reasonable price, and with the quickest delivery possible. We still work with our very first client, in fact, and we recently sent out a survey to our customers asking them to comment on the job we’re doing for them. It was very gratifying to have one refer to us as a “key supplier” and another as “our partner,” because that really gets back to the fact that we consider our customers to be important members of the Therm-Tech family, and that they feel the same way.