A. Benevenuta & C. S.p.a. ordered a 2,500-ton mechanical forging press from Farina, a Schuler affiliate. The company produces hot-forged steel components for the automotive industry near Turin, Italy. The parts are used in suspension systems, transmissions, engines and brakes in passenger cars, tractors, trucks and earth-moving machinery. The press force of the Benevenuta production lines ranges from 1,200 to 2,500 metric tons.
SECO/WARWICK will deliver two vacuum furnaces to Flansch-Tech, a specialist in aluminum and steel forging, in Budapest. According to SECO/WARWICK, one of the vacuum furnaces will be the largest in Hungary. The Vector with horizontal charge loading is equipped with a 15-bar nitrogen cooling gas-pressure system and a production work area of 900 mm wide x 900 mm high x 1,200 mm long). It will be used for the heat treatment of tool steels – mostly dedicated to hardening and tempering – and will allow Flansch-Tech to process larger parts.
American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. (AAM) and REE Automotive will jointly develop a new electric propulsion system for e-Mobility. The companies intend to leverage AAM’s system integration capabilities and focus on NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) reduction to incorporate AAM’s electric drive units, which feature fully integrated high-speed motors and inverter technology, into REE’s modular and disruptive REEcorner technology. The technology integrates critical vehicle components (steering, braking, suspension, powertrain and control) into the area between the chassis and the wheel to deliver significant functional and economic advantages. The electric drive units will be developed at AAM’s Advanced Technology and Development Center in Detroit with delivery of prototypes planned by the end of 2021.
Commercial Metals Company (CMC) announced that the Maricopa County Air Quality Department granted it an operating air permit, enabling the company to begin construction of its third technologically advanced micro-mill and the second at its Mesa, Ariz., site. According to CMC, the facility will be the first micro-mill in the world to produce merchant bar and rebar, and it will employ the latest in environmentally friendly steelmaking technology. The plant’s capability to directly connect to an on-site renewable-energy source, which CMC says is a first in North America, will further enhance the low emissions and efficient energy consumption of the micro-mill process.
American Axle & Manufacturing has been named sole supplier of front and rear pickup axles for production at GM’s Oshawa, Canada, facility. Oshawa will restart production of the pickup trucks later this year. AAM’s manufacturing facilities will provide both front and rear axles for use at Oshawa. This new business is in addition to AAM’s current supply of front and rear axles to GM’s full-size pickup assembly facilities in Indiana, Michigan and Mexico.
Schuler and its affiliate Farina demonstrated what the companies say is the world’s largest mechanical forging line to an international group of 60 forging experts. A live video stream transmitted from the production site in Suello, Italy, highlighted the features of the 16,000-ton press, which has a stroke of 600 mm, in action. The press will be delivered to Germany’s thyssenkrupp Gerlach. Due to its Scotch Yoke design, the press has a total height of 14 meters – making it much smaller than conventional presses. This enables high off-center loads and a high number of strokes. From the outside, the GLF-type machine looks like a conventional press, including the flywheel, clutch and crown gear. However, the Scotch Yoke directly works in the slide, which is the reason for the compact design.
Tenaris plans to restart activity at its two plants in Pennsylvania: the Koppel melt shop and Ambridge seamless pipe mill. The plant in Koppel – the company’s first domestic steel shop – is finalizing an investment announced in 2020 to upgrade its steel bar size capabilities while also incorporating additional improvements in safety and automation. Tenaris has since increased its investment to include the revamping of existing cranes used to feed the furnace with scrap metal and a new production management system to improve process control at the steel shop. The more than $15 million investment is projected to be completed in May with production to start up in June.
Volvo Group and SSAB signed a collaboration agreement on research, development, serial production and commercialization of the world's first vehicles to be made of fossil-free steel. Volvo will start manufacturing the first concept vehicles and machines with steel from SSAB using hydrogen in 2021. Plans call for smaller-scale serial production to start during 2022 and for a gradual escalation toward mass production to follow. Volvo and SSAB will also work together in research and development to optimize the use of steel in Volvo’s products with regard to weight and quality. The two companies plan to develop a number of products of fossil-free steel with the goal of reaching serial production within a few years.
Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution, will invest more than $2.3 billion to build its second battery-cell manufacturing plant in the United States. The approximately 2.8 million-square-foot facility will be located in Spring Hill, Tenn. It is expected to create 1,300 new jobs. Construction will begin immediately, and the plant is scheduled to open in late 2023. Once operational, the facility will supply battery cells to GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant.
Automotive supplier Ningbo Xusheng Auto Technology Co. Ltd. of China issued the Final Acceptance Certificate to SMS group for a fully automatic closed-die forging line. Installed at the company’s Ningbo location in the province of Zhejiang, the forging line consists of an eccentric forging press and, as a pre-forming unit, an automatic forging roll. The press operates with a maximum press force of 25 MN. Ningbo Xusheng is using the line to produce aluminum chassis components, especially for electric vehicles. With support of specific simulation software, SMS group cooperated with Ningbo Xusheng to jointly develop the technology and the dies for the aluminum forging process.