PACIFIC KILN - 40 Years of Innovation

In 1977, Glenn Foster began developing the concept and plan to begin Pacific Kiln & Insulations Co.  As an accomplished ceramist and potter he had been instrumental in developing a new concept of pottery kilns using ceramic fiber insulation just introduced to him by Johns Manville Co. which had just been granted commercial license to market the material after success in the space shuttle program.

In February 1978, Pacific Kiln & Insulations Co. was born.  Based on the innovative technology of this new wonder insulation, Pacific Kiln soon became known as a leader in fuel efficient pottery kiln systems.  However, as their fiber insulation supplier looked for new markets for their product, Pacific Kiln was asked to help their customers with applying this efficient new product to their kiln and furnace requirements.  From metal melting, to forging, to heat treating, to burnout and preheat in the investment casting industry, everyone wanted to know how this new technology could make them more cost effective. 

It was in (1980), however, that Pacific Kiln and J.F. McCaughin Co. began a relationship that would shape Pacific Kiln for the future.  J.F. McCaughin Co. was a major supplier of materials and equipment to the investment casting industry in the western United States.  Soon, the first exclusively designed furnace for burnout and preheat was developed for the investment casting foundry.  Suddenly, a simple pottery kiln was armed with air operated doors, power flame safe burners, automatic temperature control and, above all, the first integrated afterburner.  So was born the “Standard” Burnout Furnace that we still produce today.

The afterburner made Pacific Kiln’s burnout furnace the first of its kind to eliminate the smoke and smell of the burnout process.  When Pacific Kiln guaranteed its customers that this system complied with the tough Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) it quickly became the standard in burnout furnaces in the Western investment casting industry.  Soon, with the promotion of J.F. McCaughin Co. behind it, and air quality a major issue in Southern California, as well as, the entire West, the Pacific Kiln “Standard” Burnout Furnace took off at a tremendous pace.

Starting in a modest industrial space in 1978, Pacific Kiln moved to larger quarters three times in the next (ten) years.  In the late 1980’s Pacific Kiln was asked for a higher temperature furnace for increasingly higher temperature specification brought on by the high alloy and finer sections of aerospace, as well as, the golf industry.  And so was born Pacific Kilns “New Generation” Burnout Furnace. This furnace system has developed into the basic specification for all of our high end burnout furnace applications.

Along the way, our customers began asking for other equipment for their foundry.  Soon we were making knockout machines, slurry mixers, rain sanders and fluidizing beds. This business continues to be a vital part of the Pacific Kiln product line and is supplied to investment casting foundries world wide.

In the late 1980’s another important Pacific Kiln product was developed.  Investment casting was always in search of a more evenly heated mold.  Even though Pacific Kiln guaranteed heat distribution within 25°F within the load area, the common practice of setting molds directly on the flat floor did not allow heat to evenly heat the mold from top to bottom. Pacific Kiln began testing ideas using a ribbed ceramic floor tile and finally settled on what is today the Thermo-Flo Floor Tile.  This tile would allow the hot combustion gasses to flow underneath the mold, not only heating it more evenly, but allowing the oxygenated gasses to reach the interior of the mold for faster, cleaner burnout.  Today, this same proprietary tile design has been developed into the Thermo-Flo Pusher Tile and has become a viable answer to the replacement of the costly high alloy metal grates used in the pusher burnout and preheat furnace.

As the 80’s came to a close so did the economy.  With the early nineties in the dumps, equipment sales to the investment casting industry could not have been worse.  Mr. Foster, however, was on the trail of something new.  After many trials and errors, the FlashFire Dewax System was born, culminated with a U.S. Patent for the design.

Excited about the prospects of fast, crack free dewax and burnout in a single cycle, customers had been waiting to see the first working prototype and in early 1994 the first demonstrations were performed with customer molds and orders began to come literally saving the life of Pacific Kiln.  PED Mfg. of Portland, OR was the first to order a FlashFire Dewax System, but close on their heals was Howmet, Wichita Falls, TX and then Sandia National Labs, with many, many more to follow.

The FlashFire Dewax System opened the doors to the biggest foundry families and Pacific Kiln enjoyed unprecedented growth through the rest of the nineties.  In 1995, Pacific Kiln moved to larger facilities and became known as the industry standard in furnaces for the investment casting industry worldwide.  The FlashFire Dewax System, in particular, can be found throughout the world, including England, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, as well as, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, & Taiwan.  This has also led to burnout/preheat systems in Russia, Poland, Israel, Vietnam and many more locations worldwide.

In 2006 Mr. Foster sold Pacific Kiln to Joel Fritz, an employee engineer for the company for some time. Joel is President and runs the company on a daily basis.

As we look to the future our main goal is to continue building the high quality equipment that you have come to rely on, while always researching and developing new technologies. Pacific Kiln is also committed to creating innovative solutions for our customer’s unique needs.

Pacific Kiln and Insulations Co., Inc. looks forward to forging new relationships and strengthening those that exist as we continue another 40 years serving the investment casting industry.

Pacific Kiln's New Generation Burnout and Preheat Furnaces
set new industry standards

Pacific Kiln's FlashFire Dewax Systems Revolutionize the Investment Casting Industry


Recent Installations

PCC Structurals, San Leandro, CA – “New Generation” Pusher Burnout Furnace (PBF-PSH-3636490-NG)

Miller Casting, Whittier, CA- “Standard Double Door Burnout Furnace” (2) (PBF-105S-DD)

Miller Casting, Whittier, CA- “ Low  Nox Afterburner”

Miller Casting, Whittier, CA – “Economy Slurry Mixer”(ESM- 3030)

Cabiran LTD, Cabri, Israel- “ New Generation” Wax Burnout Furnace (PBF-87NG)

Advanced AirFoil Components, Gibsonton, FL- “ New Generation” Car Bottom Wax Burnout Furnace


Aero Metals, INC.  LaPorte, IN – “ CAT II  Afterburner System” with complete Control Panel

Phoenix Coating Resources, Mulberry, FL- “Tear drop Slurry Mixer”with Stand  (80 Gallon)  

 Pacific Kiln Holiday Edition

With the holidays upon us and the New Year just around the corner, we reflect on and are truly grateful for the wonderful working relationships we have established with our customers.

We consider all of our customers as friends and part of the Pacific Kiln family. We take great pride in ensuring all of our customers are satisfied with the equipment we manufacture. We here at Pacific Kiln thank you for working with us this year. We hope you and your families have a rewarding year ahead filled with joy, health, prosperity and laughter.

Pacific Kiln will be closed December 21-26, 2017 and January 1st, 2018. We will resume regular business hours on January 2nd, 2018. Again, we want to thank each of our customers for another great year and look forward to many more years to come!

New Orders

WorkShop Art Fabrication, Kingston, NY- “ Standard Flashfire Dewax System”

Boise State University, Boise, ID-   “ Elevator Flashfire Dewax System”

American Casting Company, Hollister, CA- “Standard Flashfire Dewax System”

Howmet Research Corporation, Pittsburg, MI- “Barrel Rain Sander” (3) (BRS-48)

Lake Tahoe Community College, South Lake Tahoe, CA – “ Barrel Rain Sander”  (BRS-24)

Lake Tahoe Community College, South Lake Tahoe, CA- “ Economy Slurry Mixer” (ESM-3024)

Bollinger Atelia, Tempe, AZ- “ Fluidizing Bed” (2)  (FBS- 48)

ThermoFlo Pusher Tiles - New Orders

PCC Structurals, San Leandro - California

Hitchiner Manufacturing – New Hampshire

Biomet - New Jersey

Zimmer, Warsaw- Indiana

Aurora Casting - California

Employee Spotlight

Pacific Kiln has many dedicated employees in the 40 years we have been in business. We would like to acknowledge Alberto Perez as such an individual.

 Alberto began his employment with Pacific Kiln in April 2018. He brought with him a strong background and skills in welding.

Alberto has been married with his high school sweet heart and has two wonderful children. In his spare time Alberto likes to play Soccer with his son and Volleyball with his daughter.

PKI would like to thank Alberto for his hard work, drive and dedication to the company.