The Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) at Scotland’s University of Strathclyde is trying to transform the global forging supply chain. AFRC’s FutureForge program, scheduled to launch later this year, will offer a virtual forging experience coupled with a versatile forge shop to develop production processes and solve industry challenges.
For millennia, a sword was a warrior’s weapon of choice. Forged by a blacksmith heating metal or a combination of metals and working it into shape, the best swords for winning battles were not the sharpest or the longest, they were the strongest, most hard-wearing ones.
Italy’s Danieli Group (Danieli Breda) recently commissioned a new integrated forging complex at the Zlatoust Metallurgical Plant (ZMZ) in Chelyabinsk region, Russia. The plant consists of a 25-MN open-die forging press and two integrated manipulators operating in conjunction with Danieli’s proprietary DanForge automation system. The open-die press has 80-spm frequency, a daylight span of nearly 11.5 feet, automatic top-die clamping and an automatic tool-changing device. The manipulators can lift ingots weighing 20 tons with a load moment of 60 t/m.
Forging equipment is built to last for decades, and much of it does. When the time comes to consider investing in upgrading and updating old equipment, however, there are choices to make concerning who should do the rebuild. Selecting an OEM for a repair or rebuild gives an operator the confidence that the work will be based on the specifications unique to the machine backed by the people that originally built it.
April 7, 2020
In an era where equipment is routinely rendered obsolete at an ever-increasing pace, forging equipment stands alone as machines built to work on a daily basis for decades – if not the better part of a century.
Independent Forgings and Alloys Ltd. (IFA) acquired Doncasters Precision Forge from the Doncasters Group and rebranded it as IFA Precision Forge. IFA manufactures high-integrity, open-die forged components for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers within the aerospace, nuclear, power-generation and marine industries. The deal increased IFA’s site size threefold to 680,000 square feet and expanded its capabilities.
Radial forging is a process in which high forces are transferred via surface contact to change the diameter of a workpiece by deformation. In radial forging machines, the workpiece rotation is accomplished in an optimized, direct-controlled manner by an oscillating rotating drive of the manipulator. The process is gaining popularity with the advent of electric vehicles.
Arlington Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based private-equity firm, acquired Firth Rixson Forgings Ltd. from Arconic. Going forward, the business will operate as part of Forged Solutions Group, which was formed in November 2019 by Arlington Capital as its aerospace forging platform. Located in Sheffield, United Kingdom, Firth Rixson provides complex closed-die forgings and forged discs and proprietary forward-and-backward extrusion-produced shafts and cylinders primarily for OEM and Tier 1 aerospace and defense engine customers.
China’s AVIC Shaanxi Hongyuan Aviation Forging Co. Ltd. put what it says is the world's largest clutch-operated screw press into operation at its site in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. The SPKA-type clutch-operated screw press, which was supplied by SMS group, has a screw diameter of 1,330 millimeters (52 inches), a blow force of 365 MN, a gross power of 27,000 kJ and a weight of 2,900 tons. It offers flexibility when it comes to optimizing the forging process and requires far less stroke to achieve the preset ram speed than a conventional slipping-wheel screw press. This type of press is particularly suited for high-energy forging typically used for turbine blades or structural aircraft components.
American Axle & Manufacturing, a leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of automotive driveline systems and components, opened a new 15,600-square-meter manufacturing facility in the industrial area of Viladecans, Spain, just outside Barcelona. The facility will support demand and growth from new and current European customers, including Renault, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, Audi and Ford. AAM Barcelona produces a complete range of vibration control and damper products, including PV-bonded dampers, press-in compression dampers, isolation pulleys, in-mold bonded dampers and damped gears. It consolidates two smaller facilities in nearby Gavà and will employ nearly 300 associates at full capacity.
Siemens and Materials Solutions opened a highly advanced metal AM innovation center in Orlando, Fla. The 17,000-square-foot facility offers a pairing of design with manufacturing, implementing robotics, rapid prototyping, scanning, digital tools and on-site metal AM. Materials Solutions – a Siemens Business – uses selective laser melting (SLM) technology for the manufacture of high-performance metal parts, with a focus on high-temperature superalloys. The Siemens innovation center will focus on rapid problem solving supporting the company’s energy businesses, while Materials Solutions will offer additive services to support the innovation center and external customers.
Check out the October 2020 issue of FORGE, featuring our cover story on "Fever Screening and Forging Quality". Other features include "Forging with Hybrid Steel", "FutureForge in Scotland: The Goldilocks Effect", and much more.