Howmet Aerospace (formerly Arconic) recently shed 131 of the 600 workers at its manufacturing facility in Niles, Ohio. The workforce reductions – through direct layoffs, attrition and voluntary retirements – are the result of a weakened economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Howmet Aerospace produces engineered products and forgings such as engine components, fastening systems and forged wheels.
HRE Wheels and GE Additive unveiled the first titanium wheel created using electron-beam melting (EBM) technology, a type of 3D printing. With a traditional aluminum Monoblok wheel, 80% of material is removed from a 100-pound forged block of aluminum to create the final product. With additive manufacturing, only 5% of the material is removed and recycled, making the process far more efficient. Titanium also has a much higher specific strength than aluminum and is corrosion resistant, allowing it to be extremely lightweight. Known as HRE3D+, this new prototype wheel shows how advanced materials like titanium can be harnessed to create complex designs. The wheel was produced on two Arcam EBM machines in five separate sections then combined using a custom center section and titanium fasteners.
Otto Fuchs Surface Technology will build a new surface and logistics center near its headquarters in Meinerzhagen, Germany. The 23,000-square-meter facility will house the company's logistics division and apply new paint and surface technologies on its line of forged wheels. These tasks had previously been carried out at up to three different sites. When the center is complete, up to 1.3 million forged wheels annually will receive their surface finish on state-of-the-art painting and polishing machines, will be stored in a new high-bay warehouse and will ship from this single site.