China’s Wuxi Paike New Materials Technology Co. placed an order with SMS group for what will allegedly be the world's largest ring-rolling machine for manufacturing aircraft engine components. According to SMS group, it is the first ring-rolling machine in the world capable of rolling jet engine rings with a maximum height of up to 1,500 mm (59 inches). This dimensional capacity will enable Wuxi Paike to efficiently manufacture the rings required for the next generations of jet engines. Commissioning of the new mill is expected in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. recently announced a $9.8 billion write-down for its Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC) unit. PCC’s aircraft components business has been ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the company to reduce its workforce by 10,000 this year. PCC reported a $78 million pre-tax loss in the second quarter of this year, compared with earnings of $481 million in 2019. Berkshire Hathaway bought PCC in 2016.
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.
In March 2019, aluminum forger Anchor Harvey set an ambitious goal to be AS9100 certified by that year’s end. Having achieved their certification – plus the investments made in technology, equipment, systems and, above all, its team – they are in a position to continue operating safely and effectively at full capacity.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever live with your eyes turned skyward. This line, often attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, is a sentiment that has been embodied by Anchor Harvey (AH) for decades.
Traditional ways of work simply aren't sustainable and effective because the still-ongoing technological revolution is reshaping all products and services that have been made before, creating new products/services, concepts and work titles.
Airbus, as part of its plan to produce 63 A320 family aircraft per month in 2021, will expand its industrial footprint in the U.S. by increasing the production rate of A320 family aircraft at its Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Ala., to seven per month by the beginning of next year. This increase will result in 275 jobs added at the facility over the next year. The company will also invest another $40 million through construction of an additional support hangar on the site, bringing its total investment to more than $1 billion in the Gulf Coast city.
Blue Point Capital Partners acquired Mattco Forge Inc., a manufacturer of forged-metal products primarily for the aerospace and defense sectors. Paramount, Calif.-based Mattco offers a wide range of products and customized product configurations in various metal alloys that are critical to high-performance parts. According to Blue Point, Mattco has strategically positioned itself as a key supplier of forged-metal products in the aerospace and defense industries. Blue Point hopes to expand the company's production capabilities, improve its supply-chain management and enhance its business infrastructure.
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.
Schuler received an order for a 30,000-ton closed-die forging press from Otto Fuchs, a manufacturer of high-quality forged pieces, extruded products and rolled rings for the aerospace, automotive and construction industries. The press will be used to manufacture aircraft landing gear, engine discs and structural parts made of aluminum, magnesium, titanium and nickel alloys. It will be supplied with press mechanics, adaptation of water hydraulics, transport, full assembly and CE certification. Start-up is scheduled for January 2021.
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.