40th Anniversary

Abbott Furnace Company – A walk through the decades.

2022 marked 40 years in business for Abbott Furnace and as we reflect on the last 40 years in business serving all of our customers, there are several take aways that come to the forefront. A lot can happen in 40 years, four whole decades … of pop culture, technology, industry trends and company growth.

Looking back at our start in 1982, Abbott Furnace was only a service provider and control panel builder. The company was founded by Tom Schloder then known as “Abbott Control Systems” and back then there was:

No Internet, No Facebook, No Google, No smart phones and No electric cars.

Times have certainly changed. Here’s a look at the past four decades – many of which have made a lasting impression. I bet you’ll find that many of them have made a lasting impression on you, too.

Abbott Furnace Company

1980’S

The very beginning of this decade marks the year Abbott Furnace was born (and so was big hair, neon colors and leotards with tights and leg warmers and some other things we’d like to forget).

In the early 80s Abbott built control panels and then in 1986 manufactured our first sintering furnace for a booming powdered metallurgy (PM) industry here in Elk County. As the 1980’s came to a close, Abbott moved to a new building that it still calls home here on Trout Run Rd. In 1989 we introduced ceramic muffles to our customers; this technology is still used today to offer our customers the lowest cost of ownership in the industry.

Abbott Furnace Company
Abbott Furnace Company

1990’S 

In this decade came new owners of the business and several additions to the building to facilitate the growth that was happening to Abbott as we grew into new markets outside of PM like brazing and heat treating. There was a partnership with a company in Brazil to manufacture and service our equipment in South America. Abbott also partnered with a European heat treat furnace company to build their equipment here in the USA. We continued to add new tools and skills to support our growth.

Abbott Furnace Company
Abbott Furnace Company

Technology that we know today was beginning to enter everyday life, the fax machine was slowing down and emails were starting to be commonplace. We were also giving up our drafting tables for CAD stations. Google was invented in 1998 and “Spam” wasn’t just canned meat anymore. Several of our current employees started in this decade as well, now celebrating 30+ years of service. 

The evolving PM market in the 90’s brought innovation like our ceramic belt and Varicool convective cooling systems for sinter-hardening materials that were eliminating the need for some secondary heat-treating steps in PM.

2000’s

The year 2000 was the last year of the 20th century and marked the 1st year of the 2000s decade. Everyone was scared about Y2K which proved to be a flop. What wasn’t a flop was how new products and customers helped us grow. In 2001 we received our ISO-17025 laboratory accreditation for temperature calibrations. Our building has been though a few more expansions and we’ve seen several new and exciting projects come and go over this period. The first that comes to mind are Bio-Mass furnaces to burn wood chips to heat hot water at a local sawmill for their drying kilns and another to heat a school in Kentucky. In this decade we also shipped a pair of furnaces to Colorado that were used to treat and destroy stockpiles of cold war munitions. We also celebrated our 25th Anniversary in this decade and celebrated with private labeled Straub Beer (another hometown tradition).

Abbott Furnace Company
Abbott Furnace Company

2010’s

As this decade begins, we are still facing the ongoing financial crisis and recession that began the year prior, but things are improving and looking up. As we move though this decade toward more prosperous times, we added Abbott Furnace Mexico to the company. We started this adventure with bringing two young energetic electro-mechanical engineers to the thriving metropolis of St. Marys to learn all about furnaces. These guys spent just over a year training at Abbott and working alongside our technicians with the goal of providing local sales and technical service to our growing customer base in Mexico. We taught them lots of things in their time here, the most memorable thing was how to drive in the snow and what a winter jacket was.

Abbott Furnace Company
Abbott Furnace Company

2020’s

While we are only a portion of the way into this decade, it started with a bang. Who could have ever thought a global pandemic would shut the world down. This was a massive challenge for every person and every business across the globe. We not only had the safety of our team to contend with but had furnaces ready to ship to the UK with no means to travel there to install. With the stars aligning and some small miracles happening along the way we pulled off the installation. This added one more country to the 14 we had already completed installations in over our history. Just last year we traveled almost 200,000 miles to service and support our customers. We are looking forward to see where the rest of the decade takes us and hoping you’re along for the journey with us.

Abbott Furnace Company
Abbott Furnace Company