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Tech center supports energy-saving device for heat-treating plants

Madison, Wis. - The Center for Technology Transfer has committed $350,000 in funding to Erie, Pa.-based Spinworks LLC, a company that has developed a series of technologies that will enable Wisconsin thermal metal processing companies to reduce usage of natural gas in their furnaces.

The funds will support a sales representative focusing on Wisconsin, and will help Spinworks expand its business and product offerings, the center reported in a news release.

While the Spinworks' Spyrocor inserts have been sold to more than 25 companies in other locations, no sales efforts were made in Wisconsin until Center for Technology Transfer staff began working with the company late last year. Its first Wisconsin transaction involved a June installation at Treat All Metals, Inc. in Milwaukee.

Spinworks estimates there are 90 heat-treating businesses in Wisconsin, many of which have multiple locations. The Center for Technology Transfer estimates that the use of Spyrocors at only 20 Wisconsin location could save up to 1.8 million therms of natural gas per year, worth in excess of $1.3 million in annual savings at current prices.

Spyrocor is a ceramic (silicon-carbide) insert for gas-fired, radiant tube heaters that are typically used in metal heat-treating furnaces. According to the company, the twisted design of the product produces non-turbulent, high convection flow resulting in the highest possible rate of uniform heat transfer. It says Spyrocor can reduce heat loss and the energy demands of the process by 15 to 20 percent.
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The Focus on Energy Industrial Program will work to make Wisconsin companies aware of the technology and will help monitor and quantify natural gas savings.

The Center for Technology Transfer is a non-profit organization that commercializes new technologies and works to improve the competitiveness of Wisconsin's key industry clusters.

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