China National Heavy Duty Truck Jinan Power Co. (CNHTC) has placed orders with Germany’s SMS Meer for the supply of two closed-die forging lines. These facilities, from SMS Meer’s Eumuco Hasenclever Closed-Die Forging Division, are intended to be used for the forging of truck crankshafts, front axles and stub axles. The fully automated main presses in the forging lines are a 12,500-ton wedge press and an 8,000-ton eccentric press. The scheduled production rate is between 400,000 and 450,000 parts per year, depending on the line.

The wedge press has been designed for the forging of longitudinally oriented pieces such as crankshafts. It is suitable for the forming of these components, owing to its high transverse rigidity and resistance to tilting. Truck stub axles of weights up to 110 pounds (50 kg) will be forged on the eccentric press. The pressure-rod width and the ram width of the eccentric press are in a ratio of almost 1:1, providing a high working accuracy when forging in several forming stages.

SMS Meer is supplying the engineering for the complete closed-die forging lines, comprising the higher-level control system with all auxiliary units, the die holders and die design, the gripper technology for robot automation and the entire process know-how. The lines ordered by CNHTC will be erected in the new works in Jinan, which is currently being built and scheduled to start production in mid-2011. CNHTC is one of China’s largest manufacturers of utility vehicles, with more than 100,000 produced in 2007.