Solar Atmospheres is an industry leader—delivering unsurpassed quality and capacity for the vacuum heat treating and brazing of metal parts. Our extensive knowledge and expertise, gained from decades of experience, provides multiple industries with superior solutions to their metal processing challenges. We continually update our capabilities with state-of-the-art vacuum furnaces from the innovations spearheaded by our founder and Chief Executive Officer, William R. Jones—one of the pioneers of vacuum furnace technology. Along with the largest commercial vacuum furnaces in the world, we have the equipment to do small batch and R&D jobs. Solar maintains the highest standards of quality assurance, and your total satisfaction is our goal.
Solar operates four plant sites, three in the Souderton (Eastern PA) area and the 45,000 square foot facility in Hermitage (Western PA). Both locations offer large furnace capacity, Advanced ten bar quenching and service characterized by quality and responsiveness. Through our foundational strengths—processing skills, furnace engineering knowledge, metallurgical consultation, and commitment to service—Solar has gained a reputation for quality heat treating and responsive service. Our customers regularly express appreciation for Solar and its people going the “extra mile”. Taking on the challenge as a commitment to new types of work is evidenced by the R&D work done for universities and national laboratories. As a consequence of this service and expertise, Solar services many different markets that need the Metal Processing Advantage.
Solar Atmospheres was founded in 1983 by William R. Jones, our Chief Executive Officer. It was a natural outgrowth of his pioneering work as a developer and manufacturer of vacuum furnaces having started Vacuum Furnace Systems (1978) and Solar Manufacturing (2002), www.solarmfg.com. Consequently, Solar uses the latest technology in processing parts and is continually investing in new furnace engineering. In 2002 Solar purchased Magnetic Specialties, a manufacturer of custom power transformers, which includes the power saving FCS 2000 "Smart Power Supply" that is used on all Solar furnaces.
In 1992 Solar moved to a new 24,000 square foot building built specifically for vacuum heat treating. 2001 marked the start-up of Solar’s second facility in Hermitage (Western PA), featuring a 24-foot long furnace with a load capacity of 50,000 lbs.
The 2006 – 2008 period featured new processing and furnace placements and engineering accomplishments. Solar placed its second and third 24-foot furnaces in Hermitage. 2007 was also the start of vacuum carburizing services at the Souderton plant. To provide the service, a newly engineered insitu vacuum carburizing furnace was developed by Solar’s Technology Center in cooperation with Solar Manufacturing. To service a growing aerospace market, a 20,000 square foot plant addition was built to house a 36 foot long vacuum furnace with a 150,000 lb. capacity—the world’s largest commercial vacuum furnace— in Western PA.
The most significant recent advancement of Solar Atmospheres progress is the commitment to add a third plant site in California. This effort is well underway with an expectation to open the doors for business in 2009. The plant is expected to service the aerospace and oil industries with Solar’s large furnace capabilities.
Solar’s growth over the past 20 years under Corporate President Roger A. Jones far exceeds the heat treating industry growth trend. Sales have tripled in the past 10 years, while serving more than 18 industries.