Back Maximizing Uptime for Vacuum Pumps

Maximizing Your Up-time with Vacuum Pumps in Heat Treating

Heat treaters keep their clients happy by meeting delivery goals and deadlines. Often, unplanned breakdowns are a danger to this relationship, and we all work hard to avoid them. However, mechanical vacuum pumps, blowers and diffusion pumps are often the critical pieces to this continuing fight to “Keep ‘em Running”. That’s when you need to rely on a supplier that can not only rebuild your pumps, but provide the back up when you need it.ISO9001cert

Metallurgical High Vacuum has been a vital partner in the heat treating industry for over for over 33 years, and just recently was awarded ISO 9001-2008 certification for its quality system, attesting to its excellence in meeting rigid quality requirements. This provides our clients with the confidence that our vacuum pump rebuilding services are at the highest level of quality.

Experienced Partner for Vacuum Heat Treaters
When Geoff Humberstone started MHV over 33 years ago, he began offering his expertise to the high vacuum industry. In 1985 he added in-depth service, design, and engineering on a wide range of high-vacuum equipment, including rebuilding of many types of pumps regardless of original manufacturer.

 Pump Sentinel
 Rebuilt 412 with Pump Sentinel

What keeps Metallurgical High Vacuum’s business growing is a reputation for high quality work, creative engineering, and a “can-do” attitude of customer service. MHV has tackled hundreds of challenging special designs over the years. Most recently we have developed and installed several on-board vacuum pump sensor packages called Pump Sentinel for remote monitoring of vacuum pumps to simplify the maintenance and reduce down time. Active pump monitoring can help to rein in costs by avoiding breakdowns and unplanned maintenance.

This system allows a user to check pumps during a walk-by to remotely monitor critical pump operating parameters. Malfunctions can be easily identified and appropriate action taken.

The Pump Sentinel can also feed a computer that monitors system operation. Pump Sentinel tracks: pump rotation, oil level-OK or low, high oil temperature, low oil pressure (applicable models) and 24V level. An Allen Bradley Micrologix 1100 PLC handles set points and communication via Ethernet Industrial protocol in the customer’s plant.

Old 412 2015 10 21
 412 pump returned to MHV for rebuilding, after 23 years
Old 412 tag 2015 10 21

Knowledgeable Consultant
Whether you are planning a new furnace installation or refurbishing an older plant, MHV can bring in the right team with the expertise to answer the requirement. Heat treating facilities are long term investments, and should be looked at in a way that reduces long-term costs. It’s important to go beyond initial rebuild costs and factor in the overall costs of a pump breakdown including labor to remove and re-install, overtime and lost production. Poor equipment reliability leads to lost production, rejected parts, missed shipments, unhappy customers, all of which add up far exceeding the pump overhaul or repair costs. MHV has had pump rebuilds last over 20 years.

Refurb 412 2015 10 21

Above: Pumps rebuilt by MHV and ready to give more years of service

Right: MHV-manufactured main block

MHV block 2015 10 21

MHV has rebuilt piston pumps, vane pumps, blowers and diffusion pumps with the unique skills and facilities that are unmatched. We manufacture and maintain a large set of spare parts, even including main pump blocks. MHV makes replacement main blocks for Stokes 412H11 pumps. In corrosive processes, the main block eventually is so corroded that it needs replacement. Also, after many rebuilds, hinge bar bores may be so large that volumetric efficiency suffers. Brass core hole plugs are used, not steel, for better corrosion resistance. The water passages are tested hydrostatically, at 50 psi.

Our capability for CNC manufacturing of shafts, main castings, and MHV-designed parts continues to grow. We not only employ precision CNC machining, vacuum-tight welding, and fabrication with leak checking—but offer the complete package including CAD design. Our newest machine is a Mazak Quick Turn 350-II with a hydraulic steady rest that enables us to turn out shafts and other parts accurately. We can't always wait for an OEM to deliver parts for ongoing projects and pump repairs. Sometimes the OEM does not even still make the part. That's why MHV has CAD/CAM capabilities to extensively engineer and manufacture parts such as shafts, pistons, eccentrics etc.

We work with our customers to do whatever it takes to resolve a problem and get them back in business. We provide design-build for pumps no longer being manufactured or parts not available. We design and fabricate chambers with special ports, doors, and fixturing. We’ve rebuilt 36 inch 3-stage vapor booster pumps that others just won’t look at. This included an upgrade to O-ring SAE ports and Parker face seal silver soldered tube fittings.  We go onsite when it’s needed with staff which are highly skilled to understand a customer’s situation. Here’s a project that we recently completed, ready to go.

Chamber truck



Metallurgical High Vacuum Corp.   6708 124th Avenue, Fennville, MI 49408 
Tel: 269-543-4291     E-mail:

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