Ceramic Industry

SPECIAL SECTION/FIRING & DRYING: CM Furnaces Celebrates 65 Years

June 1, 2011
CM Furnaces has produced over 4500 furnaces during its 65 years in operation.

Founded in 1946 by Seth Combs and James Murphy, CM Furnaces primary provides high-temperature electric furnaces in atmospheres of air, hydrogen, and inert gases. In addition to ceramics, the company's furnaces can be used for powder metallurgy, metal injection molding, refractory metals, lighting, nuclear fuel, wire, fiber optics, universities, and research and development. To date, the company has produced over 4500 furnaces.

I recently spoke with CM Furnaces Vice President Jim Neill, who discussed the company's past and his vision for the future.

Jim Neill.

How will the 65th be celebrated?

CM is celebrating its 65th year with a stronger business climate and a healthy backlog. After coming out of the recession, the current business climate is a welcomed change. CM has operated in a dozen industries over the years. Most of these industries have now returned to health.

We are not doing anything special for our 65th year. Our main focus is on our current business and incoming orders.

How has the business changed over time?

Over the past years, there has been a shift in customer expectations and data. The current furnaces have far greater data acquisition capabilities with more sophisticated control schemes. Production furnaces are now equipped with advanced automation for higher throughput and reliability. We continue to be involved in most of the same industries as when the company started. The applications and uses within those industries continue to expand.

In addition, the customer base is shifting. As more manufacturing is being developed outside of the U.S., our export sales and service has increased to meet this demand. There are still significant opportunities here, but the international component is growing.

Can you share a secret to success?

Our success is due to a very strong technical background and work ethic. CM is known for both standard and custom applications.

What's the company's business philosophy?

The furnace mix constantly flows between standard and custom furnaces, as well as laboratory and production units. We embrace all of them equally, which has been a huge benefit to CM.

Going forward, we will continue this philosophy, work hard on the new applications that our customer base challenges us with and continue to expand our technology.

After 65 years, we are still very much looking forward to the future.

For additional information, call (973) 338-6500 or (888) 338-7622, or visit www.cmfurnaces.com.