Automation within forges and heat-treating facilities often consists of individually controlled processes for individual pieces of equipment, such as furnace heating or press operation cycles. Individual processes can be controlled at a Level I protocol. Full cell automation consolidates these automated steps and implements a central Level II control system, which is designed using a combination of Windows services and model-view-controller (MVC) architecture.
Ovako Steel’s 2018 investment in a vacuum tank degassing (VTD) facility is a critical development for the Smedjebacken mill. Removal of hydrogen by a state-of-the-art vacuum process now enables Ovako to address the needs of forgers that require high-performance, reliable and cost-effective steel for demanding applications such as those in the automotive industry.
Additive manufacturing (AM) has rapidly evolved since its inception, and investment in AM technology has flourished in both the public and private sectors. This article, the second and final in this series, illustrates some appropriate applications that have already affected or could affect forging processes and markets.
In Part 1 of this article, I drew on the notion of time travel from the 1985 movie Back to the Future to explore the accuracy of predictions made in my article from the August 2012 issue of FORGE. Without the fictional flux capacitor, which enabled time travel in the DeLorean time machine used in the movie, we will continue this analysis of the predictions regarding AM prototyping and forging and AM short-run production and forging.
Additive manufacturing (AM) has rapidly evolved since its inception, and investment in AM technology has flourished in both the public and private sectors. This article, the first of two parts, evaluates predictions made in FORGE in 2012 and illustrates some appropriate applications that could affect (or already have affected) forging processes and markets.
This final installment of three parts reviews FutureForge at Scotland’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) at the University of Strathclyde. Not too big and not too small, FutureForge is just the right size to not only stimulate radical developments in the art and science of forging, but it will also nurture new thinking on the scale, and therefore investment requirements, for tomorrow’s experimental infrastructure.
When it comes to forging research, it turns out that size really does matter. The bigger the press, the lower the chance of using it for experimentation and the higher the costs associated with the research.
France’s Condat SA reached a closing date to acquire Italy’s Kemno. Headquartered near Lyon, Condat formulates and produces a range of lubricants for applications such as heat treatment, forging, wire drawing, tunnel boring, machining and industrial maintenance. The company develops lubricants with a reduced environmental impact without compromising their performance or the safety of users. Kemno produces soluble coolants, metal-working fluids, maintenance oils and quenching oils. These lubricants have the ability to increase tools life and decrease oil consumption. The acquisition allows Condat to strengthen its position in the fastener and machining industries.
Can-Eng Furnaces International Ltd. received a contract from a Tier 1 manufacturer of forged suspension components for a system that will produce lightweight forged-aluminum parts for passenger vehicles. The system includes a pre-forging rotary-hearth aluminum heating furnace, water quench and continuous aging furnace. The equipment will be integrated into an automated forging cell that includes specialized material-handling components and advanced controls.
The FutureForge program and model at the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) encompasses collaboration across academia, research and technology institutes and industrial organization. This second of three articles discusses the future of forging as a part of the cyclical economy in which, ideally, nothing goes to waste.
In the manufacturing world, many people use technology readiness as a means of describing the journey within the valley of death, the gap between proof of concept and first use in the operational environment.