SECAT Newsletter

Volume 11, Issue 2

May 2023 – Summer Issue


Secat Receives NADCAP Certification

Secat announced in March that it has successfully achieved NADCAP certification. This prestigious certification further solidifies Secat’s position as a premier service provider of metallurgical testing & analysis to the metals industry. The achievement of NADCAP certification by Secat highlights the company’s dedication to ensuring the highest level of quality in its service offerings. The certification covers several test methods such as mechanical testing, hardness and chemistry testing. Additional tests will be added to the scope in 2023.

Click HERE or contact us for more details.

Person of Interest

Ram Ramanan, Senior Technical Consultant, PerenniAL

We talked with Ram Ramanan, Senior Technical Consultant at The PerenniAL Group, a leading company in the global aluminum industry, producing metal with a low carbon footprint.

Give us a quick overview of your job.

I work for PereniAL, a value added marketer of aluminum products such as billet, foundry, slab, wire rod and high purity. My main focus is to ensure PerenniAL has access to billet of world class quality. I achieve this by working closely with the billet suppliers, understanding their process and helping them reach operational excellence. The next focus is to provide technical assistance to our billet customers, helping them realize best productivity at the press and also expand their market share by helping them to supply extrusions of superior quality.

What are some things that happen for you in a typical day at work?

We are in the process of developing new reputable billet sources for our customers. It is important to explain to customers the full background of the billet he will be getting, the quality attributes and description of the billet casting facility. Secat is a big partner in this exercise as they examine the billet slice for us and provide excellent feedback on its quality.

How does your job impact the markets you serve?

The North American extrusions market is growing at an average of 3% per year. This means about 150 KMT of new billet supply every year! The volume of value added extrusions is increasing, be it automotive, EV batteries, architectural, transportation, etc. Each market has its own unique demands on extrusions performance. By addressing these needs proactively, our customers are able to grow their business in more value added segments and enjoy a steady business growth.

How do you interact with Secat, Inc. and how does the relationship benefit you?

Secat has become an important part of our value proposition to our customers. Customers send samples for metallurgical evaluation directly to Secat. Shridas at Secat is excellent in getting in touch with me, understanding the nature of the work required and deliver results in a prompt manner. He is not afraid to be challenged and is willing to learn new things with us. He makes all the difference in dealing with Secat.

Tell us something about yourself (outside of the industry) that people may not know.

My wife and I are involved in supporting the girl child in India, ensuring she gets a good education so their voices could be heard. We also provide the platform for the organic farmers and handloom weavers so their future generations can continue the tradition and heritage.

Check out more news on our website

Tech Talk

Kentucky Manufacturing Extension Partnership (KY MEP), part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership network, is a nationwide system that helps manufacturers enhance their competitiveness. As a trusted advisors to manufacturers, KY MEP offers a range of services such as process improvement, lean manufacturing, workforce development, and technology acceleration. Secat Inc.’s strategic partnership with KY MEP enables both organizations to deliver more integrated and tailored solutions, addressing the unique challenges faced by manufacturers in Kentucky.


North American Stainless (NAS), located in Ghent, KY, recently collaborated with the Kentucky Manufacturing Extension Partnership (KY MEP) to improve the management of non-value-add material movement, specifically focusing on Coil Material Movement. The KY MEP used the Value Stream Mapping (VSM) tool from the LEAN toolbox to gather data on forklift utilization and other flows to understand the big picture. They measured various factors such as C/T (Cycle Time), Feet Traveled, # of Movements, # of Touches, # of People, and DT (Waiting) through visual observation and video footage. The engagement included strategies such as group ownership, leadership theory, process discipline, mentoring, and time target-based execution. Non-conformers and naysayers were encouraged to be part of the engagement team. A Covenant Agreement was drafted and signed by all team members. The team collected and defended data, engaged in guided debates, and conducted a “smell test” exercise to create a Current State Map. An ideation process was then conducted to identify potential improvements for the Future State Map, utilizing countermeasure methodologies to ensure realistic outcomes.


Results from the project include:

  • $1M+/- Annual Savings
  • Eliminated/Decreased number of Staging Areas (WIP – one move vs. multiple)
  • Eliminate ‘Dead Heads’ (empty travel replaced with constant moving loops based on flow and CT)
  • Create Loops (milk-runs that eliminated siting and waiting)
  • Reduced # of forklifts utilized
  • Reduced # of TEMP drivers
  • Evaluated the option to lease a fleet of forklifts, replacing worn out (high R&M) units with size appropriate, based on ROI
  • Mapped out size specific (min/max) marketplace for efficient Coil Flow in preparation for Pull System


Congratulations to the team at KY MEP and to North American Stainless on the good work. For more information about KY MEP, please visit

Visit us at and check out all that we have to offer!

Featured Capabilities

Secat Modeling Services

Secat supports the aluminum industry through their advanced product and process modeling capabilities. By optimizing designs and enhancing operational efficiency, Secat helps customers improve their product quality and overall performance.

Product modeling enables businesses to optimize designs and improve product quality. By leveraging accurate simulations, organizations can make informed decisions on material selection, structural integrity, and performance enhancements. Similarly, Secat’s process modeling capabilities streamline operations, reducing waste and increasing productivity. Through customized solutions and a collaborative approach, Secat supports businesses in achieving their strategic goals.

Listed below are the modeling tools Secat has at its disposal…..


ABAQUS is a robust FEM simulation environment for modeling of static and dynamic thermo-mechanical processes. ABAQUS has been utilized in modeling of rolling, extrusion, impact forming, deep drawing, and many other areas. In addition, the design of ABAQUS allows for extension into other non-traditional areas of FEM such as crack modeling, coupling to microstructure models, and crystal plasticity finite element methods.

Below is an ingot rolling model using the ABAQUS software.


ProCAST is a FEM software tailored toward the field of casting and molten metal flow with specialized features for modeling of sand casting, die casting, centrifugal casting, investment casting, and ingot casting. The ProCAST software has been successfully utilized to study molten metal flow in multi-chambered furnace designs, understanding of circulating flows in round hearth furnaces with and without the use of external pumping action, and understanding the parameters affecting ingot cracking in DC casting. ProCAST can also be utilized in the area of microstructure and defect prediction. The CAFE extension in ProCAST is a cellular automation finite element (CAFE) procedure for the prediction of grain structure in ingot casting. ProCAST also has several utilities to predict areas of porosity and inclusion accumulation points within a casting to help with developing better gating and runner design.

Star CCM+

Star CCM+ is a CFD Multiphysics modeling package. The package is well suited towards modeling of furnaces, their burners, combustion, and gas flow. The Star CCM+ software has successfully been used at Secat to model several round top furnaces along with accurately modeling proposed upgrades to newer generation burners. Modeling of the burner configuration, the combustion efficiency, and the heat transfer in a loaded environment and flat bath situation has been instrumental in not only prediction but also understanding negative situations in hypothesis testing of current and proposed impingement angles and its effect on the melt.

Below are photos showing temperature control and velocity contour of a side well furnace.

Thermo-Calc and Dictra

Thermo-Calc is a thermodynamics software designed for use primarily in alloy development and in trouble shooting through alloying issues. It is an equilibrium software with an aluminum database covering the vast majority of stable and meta-stable phases. Non-equilibrium solidification can be accounted for through the use of the Scheil-Gulliver feature of the software. Combined with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Thermo-Calc can be used to design heat treatments to achieve desired phases and their amounts.


JMatPro is a powerful tool for understanding the physical properties of alloys. JMatPro can be used to predict mechanical properties, phase fractions, dendrite size with cooling curves along with many other physical properties for a given chemistry such as conductivity, density, specific heat, etc. JMatPro also has several modules for designing homogenization treatments and ageing treatments for aluminum alloys with an ability to predict non-stable phases.

Contact Secat to learn more about how CFD modeling can improve your business!

Aluminum Art

Dan Alley is an artist and teacher who has worked in many mediums from glass to metals to wood. To cast Delta, sculptor Dan Alley used the earth as a mold, pouring molten aluminum directly on the ground so that the metal conformed to the natural shape of the land beneath. Created at the site of a major levee breach during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927—the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States—the resultant sculpture takes the form of water spilling over the land.

Do you have a piece of Aluminum Art you’d like to share? Contact us at

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