Last October, Weber Metals of Paramount, Calif., broke ground on an expansion to support its growing titanium business. The project encompasses the addition of 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space, the installation of a new Wepuko-Pahnke 3,300-ton fast-acting open-die hydraulic press supported by two Glama manipulators, six high-temperature furnaces and additional support equipment. In all, the expansion will provide a 33% increase in open-die capacity and enable increased utilization, thus increasing available capacity on its die-forging presses. The new facility is expected to become operational in November 2009.
With the addition of this dedicated titanium open-die processing facility, Weber will have the in-house capability of converting titanium ingot into forging billet and reducing the lead time for raw material by two to 20 weeks, depending on market conditions. The company reports that its titanium business has increased tenfold since 2003.