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.
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.
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.
At the FIERF 32nd Technical Conference held last September in Long Beach, Calif., Weber Metals’ Justin Owen made a presentation about the process by which OTTO FUCHS (OF)/Weber Metals made the decision to invest $180 million in what they say is North America’s largest forging press. This became the largest single investment decision in company history.
Arconic introduced an advanced titanium alloy called ARCONIC-THOR that is designed for higher-temperature applications in next-generation aero engines and adjacent structures. The new patented alloy is nearly 50% lighter than incumbent nickel-based superalloys, driving cost savings and fuel efficiency for customers and helping Arconic capture growing demand for advanced aero engine and airframe materials. ARCONIC-THOR can be produced as sheet, plate, foil, billet, rolled rings, forgings and extrusions. It is formable (cold, hot, superplastic), heat treatable, forgeable and weldable.
HBD Industries of Dublin, Ohio, parent company of California Drop Forge and Precision Metal Products, announced the expansion of its Precision Components Group through the acquisition of True Position Technologies LLC of Valencia, Calif. True Position provides complex machined components for flight control applications and specializes in the manufacture of high-specification components that require multiple machining, testing and finishing processes within extremely tight tolerances.
Arconic announced a multi-year cooperative research agreement with Airbus to advance metal 3D printing for aircraft manufacturing. The companies will develop customized processes and parameters to produce and qualify large, structural 3D-printed components, such as pylon spars and rib structures, up to approximately 3 feet in length. The deal combines Arconic’s expertise in metal additive manufacturing and metallurgy with Airbus’ design and qualification capabilities.
Norsk Titanium held a dedication ceremony at its Plattsburgh Development and Qualification Center (PDQC) in Plattsburgh, N.Y. The facility, which currently houses nine of Norsk’s proprietary rapid plasma deposition (RPD) titanium printing machines, will produce aerospace components for Boeing and other aerospace companies. The RPD process uses titanium wire with plasma torches to print titanium structural components on an industrial scale.