Top 5 Articles of 2020

If you’re at all like me, you wonder which articles get the most attention on our website. Every year we publish around 45 feature articles, and at the end of the year we gather statistics to see which ones get the most page views. So, without further ado, here are the five most-viewed articles on based on page views. This ranking applies only to articles published in 2020…. Read More

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ATP & CEL Partnership Press Release

ATP is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited company specializing in on-site calibration of temperature processing instrumentation, calibration of vacuum measuring systems, system accuracy testing and temperature uniformity surveys of thermal processing equipment. ATP specializes in pyrometry, heat treating and materials testing training, procedure preparation, Nadcap accreditation consulting for heat treating, non-destructive testing (NDT), welding, brazing and materials…. Read more

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COVID-19 Status Update


July 29, 2020

TO: Cleveland Electric Labs Customers
RE: CEL’s COVID-19 Status Update

Dear Valued Customer,

Cleveland Electric Labs (“CEL”) is celebrating our 100-year anniversary in 2020, and it certainly looks much different than we anticipated back in January! Now in our 4th generation of leadership, CEL has worked diligently to build a stable business based on product quality and the relationships we’ve built with our customers and suppliers. It is times like these that we are truly grateful to have cultivated lasting connections (and in many cases friendships). Our team would like to thank you for your continued business over past 100 years and especially the past few months.

Here at CEL, we’ve taken this opportunity to double down on our continuous improvement plans to reduce lead times, refine the quality and reliability of our products, cross-train our employees, and aid in your teams cost reduction targets. Our employees are strong, agile, and committed to assuring we are your stable business partner for years to come.

Regarding operations during the ongoing COVID pandemic, Cleveland Electric Labs (“CEL”) continues to operate as a critical and essential business. As the State of Ohio and Arizona continue to update/modify COVID guidance, CEL is assuring we are staying ahead of the curve through our cleaning processes, distancing, and employee health monitoring. We’ve provided our employees very flexible options to assure their safety while being able to support your needs. Our executive and crisis management teams are revisiting our response to the initial wave and assuring we are prepared should we see a sharp spike of cases in the months to come.

Thank you for your continued trust in CEL as your Sensor and Instrumentation partner. Again, we wish you and your families the very best.

Sincerest Regards,

Alan Seymour

Alan Seymour
Cleveland Electric Laboratories, Inc.

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Industrial Heating Magazine: How Long Should My Thermocouple Last?

William Nash and Eric Yeager – Cleveland Electric Labs; Twinsburg, Ohio

As a designer and manufacturer of thermocouples, the most commonly asked question we receive is: How long should my thermocouple last? 

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is quite complex and is dependent on a host of variables, not all of which may be obvious. At the root of the complexity are often unseen or unanticipated factors that may have a major effect on the sensor’s usable lifespan. Essentially, every application has its own intricacies, and their impact on operational and environmental factors are not always considered or understood to specify a proper thermocouple design. To underscore the impact of often unseen or unknown factors, the following are a few application scenarios of which we have collaborated with our customers.

Application Example 1

Our first example is from an emergency call we received from a large company with multiple locations. They were suddenly seeing massive product deviations from their box-anneal operation. Their downstream product users were reporting their materials to be overheating by more than 100°F. The financial loss was substantial and growing by the day.

Responding immediately, we spent two days inspecting rows of furnaces, sensors and operational details. One of the questions asked of different operators was: “How often do you change out your Inconel protection tubes?” The operators’ repeated response was: “Our preventive-maintenance schedule calls for change-out once every 12 months.”

The tubes appeared to be in good condition, but upon closer examination they exhibited signs of unusual age. One of the metal protection tubes was removed from service and was cut off about 3 inches from the hot end. Looking into the cut piece, the tube appeared as a clogged artery lined with plaque. There was a very thick lining of inky-black carbon. This indicated that the tube had not been replaced in several years.

Upon reviewing the maintenance logs, it was discovered that there was a lapse in tube replacement going back over three years. In effect, new thermocouples were installed into contaminated tubes, causing the degradation of the sensors and generating greater than a 100°F shift in accuracy. In this scenario, thermocouple life, which should have been close to one year, was shortened to within a week.

Another example of unseen forces impacting the accuracy and life of a thermocouple occurred in a large steel operation. Out of the blue (or so it seemed), our customer was experiencing rapid failures of their high-value, Type-R platinum thermocouples. The situation was promptly investigated, and it was found that the internal conductor wires were melting near the junction. This is an unmistakable sign of silica contamination causing eutectic formation, which allows platinum to melt at very low temperatures (Fig. 1).


Silica contamination and grain boundary slippage
Fig. 1. Silica contamination and grain boundary slippage


Upon inspection, we found zero evidence of silica (SiO2 ) in the furnaces, and our customer believed they had made “no changes” in their operation in over a decade. Through a collaborative, open dialogue, we identified they were in fact now treating a product containing silica. As it turned out, the steel composition had seen a major change, which included a significant silicon content. Based on that revelation, a thermocouple was designed that was better suited to resist the infiltration of the silica, thereby protecting and extending the life of the assembly.. View More

Click Here: To view the Industrial Heating Magazine

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To our clients and vendors, it is with an abundance of caution that we will be taking some temporary measures to limit our person-to-person contact within our facility. Cleveland Electric Labs is committed to supplying critical products that support daily operations of its customers.  To that end, we are closely monitoring the effects of COVID-19 on our business as well as the worldwide marketplace.

Effective immediately, CEL is taking the following steps for the health of our employees, customers, and vendors:

  • No customer or vendor meetings will take place in our offices.
  • Only business critical services will be allowed to enter our building.  Additional screening maybe required prior to doing so.
  • Drop-off locations for all non-product related shipments are to take place at our front office vestibule.
  • CEL is prohibiting employee travel between our two locations.
  • Our employees, of course, can be reached via email and office phone as usual.


We appreciate your understanding as we make these unprecedented, but necessary changes.

Wishing you our best,

CEL Leadership Team


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