Now That’s Just “Great Timing”

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Click to see the VIDEO HERE.  Challenge: Try getting through this with a straight face. Even if you do make it without laughing out loud, you’ll be crying after Vicki Lawrence finally speaks.


Not often compared, but believe it or not, dynamic thermal processing and comedy share something very special – and that’s great timing. At KHT, whether its our first class turn around time, engineered time in our processing divisions, making sure we’re following the proper cooling schedule, or getting you your parts “JIT” – great treated parts, like comedy, requires great timing.

Tim Conway, a Cleveland born original (like KHT) and a Bowling Green State grad has an amazing knack for great timing. Throughout his career he crushed audiences with his wit, dry humor and impeccable timing in so many TV series and movies – some of our favorites include McHale’s Navy, The Steve Allen Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Dorf, the Apple Dumpling Gang and on his own television series The Tim Conway Show.

For fun, we thought we’d dig into the archives and share with you a classic sketch from the Carol Burnett Show titled “The Elephant Story”. The scene takes place during afternoon dress rehearsal – and, well – just watch it through, as I’m sure it will help you wrap up your week with a belly laugh and a smile. Tim shares the stage with Carol Burnett, Vicky Lawrence and one of the very best, Dick Van Dyke.

Like a great comedy troupe, at Kowalski Heat Treating, we go to great lengths to make sure our timing on your PIA (Pain In The @%$) Jobs! is on target, helping you save time and money by revitalizing underperforming materials, reducing waste and scrap and providing you confidence you’re working with a reliable, dedicated (and fun) partner. Enjoy!!

Watch “The Elephant Story” below, or click to view on YouTube


Understanding El Niño

With all the talk this weekend of big snowstorms in the East, the mercury dropping and our love of everything thermal, I thought it would be fun to share the history and science behind an El Nino. Bundle up!


Simple, clear explanation:

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Click to see VIDEO HERE 


Geeky, nerdy, complex explanation:

El Niño – is so termed because it generally reaches full strength toward the end of the year, and early Christian inhabitants of western equatorial South America equated the warm water current and the resulting impacts with their holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus (known as El Niño in Spanish).

El Niño and the Humboldt Current – in normal, non-El Niño conditions, trade winds blow in a westerly direction along the equator, piling up warm surface water in the western Pacific, causing the sea surface to be as much as 18 inches higher than the east. These trade winds are one of the main sources of fuel for the Humboldt Current – a cold ocean current that flows north along the coasts of Chile and Peru, then turns west and warms as it moves out into the Central Pacific. So, the normal situation is warmer water in the western Pacific, cooler in the eastern.

In an El Niño, the equatorial westerly winds diminish, and as a result, the Humboldt Current weakens. This allows the waters along the coast of Chile and Peru to warm and creates warmer than usual conditions along the coast of South America. As far as we know, other forces, such as volcanic eruptions and sunspots, do not cause El Niños.

ENSO – El Niño and this Southern Oscillation (known as ENSO) is a periodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature (El Niño) and the air pressure of the overlying atmosphere (Southern Oscillation). This bimodal variation in sea level barometric pressure is measured between observation stations at Darwin, Australia and Tahiti and quantified in the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), a standardized difference between the two barometric pressures.  Normally, lower pressure over Darwin and higher pressure over Tahiti encourages a circulation of air from east to west, drawing warm surface water westward and bringing precipitation to Australia and the western Pacific.  When the pressure difference weakens, which is strongly coincidental with El Niño conditions, parts of the western Pacific, such as Australia experience severe drought, while across the ocean, heavy precipitation can bring flooding to the west coast of equatorial South America and changes to the north American continent.

Causes – The exact initiating causes of an ENSO warm or cool event are not fully understood. The strengthening and weakening of the trade winds is a function of changes in the pressure gradient of the atmosphere over the tropical Pacific.  Ironically, the warming of the sea surface works to decrease the atmospheric pressure above it by transferring more heat to the atmosphere and making it more buoyant.

Infrared Radiation Effect – The connection between the Southern Oscillation and precipitation is also manifest in the quantity of long–wave (e.g., infrared) radiation leaving the atmosphere.  Under clear skies, a great deal of the long–wave radiation released into the atmosphere from the surface can escape into space.  Under cloudy skies, some of this radiation is prevented from escaping.  Satellites are able to measure the amount of long–wave radiation reaching space, and from these observations, the relative amount of convection in different parts of the basin can be estimated.

For more detailed and more technical explanations, visit our article source at NOAA National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration –




Understanding the Benefits of Austempering

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“Austempering is essentially an arrested quench process designed to produce a bainitic microstructure having properties that combine high hardness with toughness, resulting in a resistance to brittle fatigue.” –Daniel Herring, Industrial Heating Magazine.  (Photo of Austempered ASI 1055)

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For over forty years we here at Kowalski Heat Treating have been recommending austempering as the perfect solution to many of our customer’s PIA (pain in the @#$) jobs. More often than not, it’s the ideal distortion management solution for specialty jobs such as shafts, pins, saw blades, pistons, flat plates, brake discs, clutch parts, large stampings and other sensitive work requiring high hardness, longer-lasting toughness and increased strength.

Our K-Salt Division, the largest rack salt-to-salt facility in the Midwest, enables us to better control the cooling rate of crack sensitive steels and other alloys. Some of the benefits to our customers include:

• Our custom design fixturing team can quickly and efficiently implement new fixtures to maintain your tight tolerances while achieving the optimum heat treating cycle possible.

• Whether custom specialty distortion-free austempering treatments or higher volume marquenching batch work, our system engineers can help reduce tool-up times and fixture down times, giving you an edge in reducing costs and shortening your production run times.

• We can process up to 50,000 pounds per day, including “PIA” rack jobs or parts up to 36” in diameter and/or 40″ long.

• Austempering is ideal for Automotive, Power Transmission, Construction Equipment, Heavy Industry, Truck & Bus, Distortion Sensitive Forgings, ADI Processing, Government & DOD, FCC Licensed Guns/Firearms, Mining & Off Road Parts, Mower Blades, Outdoor Power Equipment, Stampings and Tool & Die jobs.

To better understand the benefits of Austempering, I went back to one of my favorite articles on the subject (originally published in 2005) and contacted “The Heat Treat Doctor” Daniel Herring, from Industrial Heating magazine. We got his “ok” along with the publishers of Industrial Heating magazine to repost part of his article. Read the full article HERE.

Enjoy – (and call me about your pesky PIA Jobs – we’re ready to help!!)





“Don’t Break The Chain”

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If you’re like most people, you’ve probably set out your personal and business goals for 2016. I have and am already feeling the pinch to stay on course… and it’s only been two weeks into the New Year!

What works best for me is making short lists I can keep handy. I, of course, have my personal goals – eat better, keep running regularly, be nicer to folks, go to church regularly, be sure to spend time with the girls – and all so far are going fine.

But the one that “gets” me, especially here at the office is – procrastination. Yep and as you’d imagine, I keep putting it off. So what I’ve decided to do this year is “just procrastinate less”. I’ve come to the realization that I can’t completely eliminate my issue, so I figure I’ll just chip away at it and see if, in time, I can beat it.

And, so far so good. I have my “to do” lists organized into buckets – sorted by Easy to the BHAGS (big harry ____ goals), my “project piles” and my “take home/bring back stuff” (you know, the stuff you put in your briefcase, carry home with great intentions to work on, take it out and spread it on the homework office desk – get busy with life at home – then the next day, pick it back up untouched, and bring it back to the office to only be recycled again.

One idea I’m going to try I heard from a friend. It’s called “don’t break the chain”. It actually comes from some online folklore credited to the famous comedian Jerry Seinfeld (he laughs that he is credited with inventing it) and goes something like this.

Hang a big wall calendar right where you can see it every day that shows all twelve months of the year. Then begin that goal or project you have – (for Jerry, it was to write multiple new jokes every day). Each day, as you work on the project/goal, put a big X on that day of the week when you have put time and thought into it and made progress – keep at it and “don’t break the chain”. Be honest with yourself, and see how long you can go, hopefully until the project/goal is completed. The habit and chain link will help you. And if you start another project, just use a different color X. I’m gonna give it a try right after my pal drops off the wall calendar and markers – (he knows me too well and figures I’ll “put off” getting the supplies).

Good Luck and know if you are wavering, or get stuck, feel free to give me a call. I’ll do my best to help you move through the muck and keep going. Together we can get through things and make for a better 2016. I will keep you posted throughout the year!

Also, we’d love to hear your resolutions and tips to stay the course – we’ll collect the best and share them down the road. Please send them along while we keep diligently plugging away at your PIA (Pain In The @#$) Jobs!





KHT Tips for Staying Warm

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Beauty and the Beast. Winter snows can certainly be beautiful but getting to work can occasionally be brutal. Case in point: Cleveland Plain Dealer front page from Friday, January 27, 1978. B-r-r-r-r-r-r.


As you know, heat management is something we take very serious here at KHT. And with the weather starting to shift, and the cold northern air and snow moving in, we thought it would be good to share some cold weather tips – and it all starts with paying attention to the science of, you guessed it, heat transfer.

Experts say the secret to staying warm requires the basic understanding of two key principles: conduction and convection. Conduction is the transfer of heat between two solid surfaces that are in direct contact with one another. If you’ve ever stood on a cold surface, such as icy pavement or a frozen pond, you’ve experienced conduction. Convection is the transfer of heat between a mass, such as your body against a moving fluid or gas, such as an icy winter wind that whips around you when outside. Understanding these two temperature impacting mechanisms and the workings of your body’s built in thermoregulatory system will help keep you warm and safe when the next polar vortex comes roaring into town.

Layer Up – You’ve probably heard this tip for years, but often don’t do it right. Sitting on a chilly bench or walking outdoors in the wind steals your body heat. A good base layer (think long underwear and thick, wool socks) keeps you from losing heat through conduction. Wearing an external, wind- and water-proof but breathable layer will protect you from heat loss though convection. And keep dry, as any moisture that can penetrate your feet or body parts will impact heat loss.

Stop the Shivering – Think of shivering as a warning sign that you need to get yourself someplace warmer, fast. When your skin temperature drops, shivering kicks in to keep your core temperature from falling, too. The spasmodic contracting and relaxing of your muscles consumes calories, and generates heat to replace the heat your body is losing. Once you start shivering your brain is telling your body it’s time to get to a warmer place.

Stoke the Furnace – Furnace management is a big part of what we do here. And as most of you know, the gang at KHT loves to eat. Being well fed and consuming more calories than you’re burning will actually help your body handle the cold better. Keeping your blood sugar up and staying hydrated may be just enough to provide the energy you need to keep warm.

Be Prepared – Heed weather warnings, and fill your car with water bottles, calorie-dense foods, warm blankets, extra gloves and an extra set of dry clothes…just in case. Make up a bag and store it in the back seat or trunk. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 25 percent of winter-related fatalities occur when people are caught unprepared out in a storm.

Skip the Booze – Enjoy Hot Chocolate – Sure, a brandy-laced “hot toddy” or a shot of schnapps sounds like just the thing to keep you warm on a bitter day. While a warm beverage will indeed raise your core temperature and help you withstand a chill, don’t spike it. Alcohol is absolutely the worst thing that somebody could consume if they are already cold.

Be Smart – Probably goes without saying, but when the thermometer really drops just stay inside. Make a fire, and spend quality time with the kids and loved ones. Like all storms, they pass, and when the temp settles back to normal, and the wind subsides, take a nice walk and enjoy the beauty of winter.

Thanks to Anne Herding at for health tips. See her full article HERE.





May the New Year Bring You Good Fortune, Good Health and Happiness

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There will be fireworks ushering in the New Year all around the globe. Click HERE for a taste.  It’s a drone flying through exploding fireworks with a DJI Phantom 2 and filming it with a GoPro Hero 3 silver. Pretty sweet!


At the Kowalski house, we celebrate New Year’s Eve with family and friends, with hugs and kisses at midnight. On New Year’s Day, we take down the Christmas tree, put away all the decorations (usually while still in our PJ’s), watch the parades and some football and then can’t wait for dinner – a family feast of pork roast, sauerkraut and dumplings.


Happy New Year Wish

My Happy New Year wish for you
Is for your best year yet,
A year where life is peaceful,
And what you want, you get.

A year in which you cherish
The past year’s memories,
And live your life each new day,
Full of bright expectancies.

I wish for you a holiday
With happiness galore;
And when it’s done, I wish you
Happy New Year, and many more.

By Joanna Fuchs