Food for Thought!

With thanksgiving two days away, turkey is on our mind. While the most common trend around Applied Process is oven roasted turkey, some prefer to deep fry or even cook theirs on the grill, which got us thinking.  What goes into the process of oven roasted or deep frying turkey? Is it the taste or convenience factor?   Naturally with AP being in the heat treat industry we decided to dig deeper into the details of cooking a turkey.

When oven roasting a turkey the bird must be completely thawed, this can take up to four days in the refrigerator, and the bird cooks for 20 minutes per pound at 350°F if it was frozen and 10-15 minutes per pound if the bird was fresh. The outside of an oven roasted turkey is usually coated in vegetable or olive oil or butter and herb mixtures to brown the skin.

Deep fried turkeys are quicker to cook at 3 minutes per pound in oil at 350°F. It is very important that a turkey to be deep fried is completely thawed and doesn’t contain excess water in any cavities of the bird. If you’ve ever seen how water reacts when in contact with hot oil you’ll understand why. If you haven’t seen this reaction you really don’t want to experience for the first time when making the main part of Thanksgiving dinner. Not to mention the burns a person might sustain from such an accident.

Both birds are cooked at the same temperature, so why does the deep fryer cook faster? Physics. Heat transfer to be exact. In both cases a convecting fluid transfers heat to the food (did you know that a gas is, by definition, a fluid?). In this case oil is more efficient at heat transfer because it is much denser than air.

Heat treating uses a similar rule of thumb as the formula for roasting or frying a turkey. For the turkeys you have to make sure the meat gets to the temperature of 165°F, which is when it is safe to eat. For heat treaters we have to make sure that the core of the part reaches the target temperature and has time to transform. A very general rule of thumb for steel, for example, is one hour per inch plus an hour.

So stay safe and enjoy your turkeys, no matter how they’re cooked.  Happy Thanksgiving from Applied Process, Inc.!




2015 FEF College Industry Conference

FEF is the Foundry Educational Foundation. Their mission statement is as follows: The Foundry Educational Foundation strengthens the metal casting industry by supporting unique partnerships among students, educators and industry, helping today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders.

One of the ways that FEF accomplishes its mission is to annually hold the College Industry Conference in Chicago, IL. The CIC is an opportunity for student delegates, key professors, industry executives, and university administrators to interact and facilitate the sharing of job opportunities and to connect students to potential employers in the industry. Speakers share their experiences in the metal casting industry and student delegates get a chance to interact and ask questions. Scholarships are also presented during Friday’s luncheon. FEF scholarships are offered currently at 19 colleges and universities in North America.

Many leading foundry people and university professors are former FEF scholarship recipients. For this reason Applied Process is a proud corporate contributor to FEF. Several of our employees were FEF students and we are proud to give back and continue to recruit from this event. It is also an opportunity for AP to stay in contact with the Key Professors for future senior design projects and research opportunities.

Yesterday was the last day of the 2015 CIC. Congratulations to the scholarship recipients! And to all the student delegates: we can’t wait to see you in the industry soon!

How it's Made... And what it's made with

I love the TV show "How it's Made".  The 4th episode of Season 18 featured horseshoes (for horses, not for tossing).  This is,  of course, a forging process, but that's OK. 

The horseshoes are quench and tempered... which is also OK.  I mean, my grandfather did this sort of thing every day. I have nothing against a water quench and temper when it's appropriate. 

But the best part was when they used an austempered tool, as shown in the photo. Even forgers who practice quenching and tempering know to reach for an austempered tool.

Did you know?

Thanksgiving is nearly a week away and we are getting anxious at the thought of warm turkey cooking in the oven, family gathering from near and far and football on the television in the background.  For many, you probably have your own traditions with family and friends that you have established over the years.  We thought we would take a look back into history and see where some of these Thanksgiving traditions came from. Here are the Top 10 facts we thought you would enjoy for this Thanksgiving Season!

1.  Congress designated Thanksgiving as an official holiday in 1941

2.  Nearly 90 percent of Americans eat turkey every Thanksgiving

3.  America’s favorite Thanksgiving pie is pumpkin

4.  79% of Americans use canned pumpkin in their pumpkin pie

5.  Pumpkins, and other squash variants, are considered fruits because they develop from flowers and contain seeds

6.  The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade used live animals from the Central Park Zoo.

7.  Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song.

8.  The Detroit lions and the Dallas Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving

9.  Thanksgiving leftovers inspired the first-ever TV dinner.

10. Minnesota produces the most turkeys in the US

Deer Season

It’s that time of year again! The weather is chilly, most of the leaves are off the trees, Halloween décor has been taken down, and the Blaze Orange and camouflage is out. Various beer companies have already put out the camo and orange cans to tease us with what we know is right around the corner…Opening Day!

Deer seasons do stretch through the majority of fall. Bow season, muzzle loader season, and youth season are several examples – but the Christmas of all hunting is opening day of gun season. Cousins from the city come out to farms to set up camp with their rural brethren and wild stories are told around camp fires or propane heaters of escapades from years past. Hunting gear ranges from the high-end merchandise from Cabela’s or Bass Pros to multiple layers of long underwear under coveralls borrowed from your dad. It’s not the gear that makes the experience fun, it’s the camaraderie shared by the general interest in guns and the outdoors. Whether you’re there for the sport of getting the record breaking buck, or to stock meat for the winter, it is an experience like no other. A cult following. A rural religion.

What does deer season have to do with Applied Process? Well, AP austempers steel. Austempered steel offers superior toughness at high hardnesses over conventionally quenched and tempered steel. There is minimal distortion, no cracking during quenching, and resistance to hydrogen embrittlement. Guns are precision instruments and many components are dimension critical. During WWII weapons manufacturers noticed that austempered parts grew less than their quenched and tempered counterparts, had less dimensional variability, and were tougher. Since then almost all gun manufacturers routinely austemper parts such as receivers, chambers, and barrels.

Are there any Ted Nugent fans out there? His Whackmaster arrow heads are austempered steel, too.

Enjoy a safe and successful Deer Season! Good Luck!

Your castings represent more than just your company

Let's say a consumer buys something like a cup of coffee or a pickup truck. Now let's say that it was a lousy cup of coffee or maybe the truck was a lemon.

Under these conditions, the vendor might lose the customer.  That customer will buy someone else's coffee or truck.  That's the price of bad quality in a consumer economy. 

That said, chances are the customer will not quit coffee for tea altogether. They will recognize that the vendor made something substandard, but the idea of coffee as a morning beverage is not destroyed. Likewise they will not start hauling lumber on a bicycle. 

This is because the consumer knows what coffee is.  They know what a pickup truck is supposed to be. Their faith in the general concept is not shaken, just their faith in that particular vendor. 

Which brings us to the world of metal castings. I was at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh this past Saturday to watch the Pitt -  Notre Dame game.  There exists a pavilion outside the stadium where the marching bands perform prior to kick off (and both bands were just super).  It is a set of large steps or stairs that act as seating for the gathered fans. The architect built in some cast aluminum blocks to prevent skateboarders from using the stairs (there is a Rancid song in here somewhere... poor misunderstood skateboarders).  The original parts were aluminum castings.  They were really over ground. Why even have a pattern or a drawing when you are going to grind the heck out of it anyway?  What a waste. These parts make castings in general look bad (photo). 

Evidently as they wore out they got replaced with extrusions (photo). Ouch.  Now I have no way of knowing whether the poor appearance of the original parts played a role.  But I do know that the pie for castings has been shrunk. And the mish-mash of overground castings and extrusions looks awful. 

So please... Foundries and buyers should discuss grinding in advance of issuing a PO. And they should discuss handling of replacement parts in advance as well. That way everyone wins and the structure looks beautiful for years to come. 

I don't know what to say to the skateboarders. 

Hayrides & Hitches

As the end of fall draws near we must not forget about our favorite fall memories.  For some of us here at Applied Process, fall is our favorite time of year.  This includes picking out the perfect pumpkin, visiting cider mills, getting lost in corn mazes, running through haunted houses, cheering at football games, and enjoying a pumpkin spice latte from one of our favorite coffee shops. 

The air is cool and the leaves are turning colors.  It is the perfect time to enjoy every minute outside before the cold weather strikes Michigan, yet again.  One of the traditions near and dear to our heart is hayrides with family and friends through the many cornfields and cider mills that cover some of Michigan’s scenic landscape.  One thing you probably haven’t stopped to think about is the tow hitch that is used to pull that tractor full of playful children and eager bodies.

Applied Process is a leader in austempering technology and a typical application of austempered ductile iron (ADI) is receiver hitches.  ADI provides a high strength-to-weight material that makes it a successful material across many industries, including agriculture.  In this case it makes a seasonal tradition safe and possible. 

Bonfire Night

Remember Remember the Fifth of November…

Does that phrase mean anything to you? It may bring up a line from the movie V for Vendetta. You may actually know that it’s related to Guy Fawkes – but do you know who Guy Fawkes was and why Great Britain celebrates Bonfire Night?

Bonfire Night is a celebration to mark the failed Gunpowder Plot in London. The Gunpowder Plot was a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I on November 5, 1605. Catholics had been persecuted under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I and when her successor, King James I, turned out to be no more tolerant of Catholics thirteen conspirators began planning violent action, including explosives expert Guy Fawkes.

During the night of November 4 and the early morning of November 5 Guy Fawkes was caught under the House of Lords with 36 barrels of gunpowder. That night bonfires were lit in celebration that the monarch was safe and a tradition began. Later fireworks were added to the celebration and burning effigies became popular. Usually the effigies are ‘Guys’ for Guy Fawkes, but today the quirky tradition continues and modern effigies include politicians.

Here at Applied Process bonfires and fireworks are a favorite way to celebrate. So remember remember the fifth of November! And light a bonfire and some fireworks if your city ordinance allows it. Or watch V for Vendetta from the comforts of your couch where it’s warm and dry.

Wounded Warrior Project- Bocce Ball Tournament

Applied Process has had a hand in many events and fundraisers through the years.  One thing that has remained the same is our love and involvement in giving back to others in the community.  AP has done just that in their most recent opportunity to participate in the Wounded Warrior Project- Bocce Ball Tournament in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization that collects donations and provides relief and support to wounded soldiers and veterans.  By doing so, they have continued to raise funds, awareness and support to so many that have risked their lives and for those who are fighting for our freedom every day.  Some of our Applied Process family participated alongside others to raise awareness for this wonderful organization at this tournament as shown in the video.  AP also gave a donation that will help contribute to the important work that the Wounded Warrior Project provides for men and women.  

With the helpful support of sponsors, participants and volunteers this was another great day of giving back to those who could really use our help. For more information check out the where you can learn more about donating and participating in an event near you!