Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant Co. recently put what it alleges to be the world's biggest free-forging hydraulic press into operation. The 16,500-ton press, jointly designed by Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant and the China National Heavy Machinery Research Institute, is designed to produce the sizable forgings required in some key manufacturing facilities.

As early as 2004, Chinese electric power equipment giant Shanghai Electric Power Group required its subsidiary, Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant, to quicken its steps toward technical reform and production-capacity expansion with a view to independently developing world-class forging equipment as soon as possible. The company spent 18 months on the production of this 16,500-ton free-forging hydraulic press and then completed a five-month trial operation.