Sunday, October 20, 2013
MagnaTech is now well into attempting to qualify for a Phase III SBIR contract. Phase III means that the technology that has been developed is ready to transfer from the research stage and the pilot stage into production. MagnaTech has entered into a program with Dawnbreaker to obtain this status. In the process of satisfying the Phase I and the Phase II requirements of the SBIR contract, MagnaTech has been awarded two patents and has several more pending. For a Phase III contract, MagnaTech has several options. One is to buy a furnace and enter into production. MagnaTech is exploring this possibility. In addition, MagnaTech has the option of licensing the technology that has been developed. MagnaTech has started to price furnaces that will satisfy customers' carburizing and nitriding requirements. MagnaTech believes that four serious furnace producers specialize in construction of partial pressure furnaces capable of satisfying these requirements. MagnaTech is in the early stages of obtaining quotations from all four producers, and has maintained conversations with all during the early decision process. MagnaTech has done most of the experimental development using two furnaces located at one facility. More recently MagnaTech visited a competing furnace manufacturer to simulate a production run of 160 parts, and also to determine whether the quench rate could be improved using a 20 bar quench. Experimental work is in progress to determine whether there is an advantage to using the higher quench process. MagnaTech also recently visited another furnace producer to determine their capability. Within the next month MagnaTech anticipates doing test trials in each of the two additional furnace manufacturers' facilities to determine which furnace will best satisfy MagnaTech's exacting requirements.