Viking Analytics, a Swedish provider of advanced analytics solutions for predictive operations, and Bharat Forge Kilsta, a Sweden-based supplier of forged components, began collaborating in a data-driven production quality project. In the coming months, Viking Analytics will prepare an assessment of the data collected by sensors installed in the oven that heats steel rods used in the production of crankshafts and front axle beams for heavy-duty vehicles. In Bharat Forge Kilsta’s Karlskoga plant, the forged steel is first heated in an induction oven, whose temperature varies according to different steel grades and products. If a disruption occurs, the oven must be adjusted to keep the metal at a constant temperature. This process is currently performed manually, which sometimes causes human-related deviations in the proper temperature-level records.
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.
A fire set by an arsonist severely damaged the production halls at Mühlhoff Umformtechnik’s plant in Uedem, Germany, at the border with the Netherlands. Among the damaged components were four large presses. Six months after the fire, the company, which manufactures complex components for the automotive industry, is ready to restart some of its production with the help of Schuler Service. Schuler has already repaired two of the four damaged presses, and a new 2,000-ton press with ServoDirect technology from the TSD series is scheduled to go into operation in early 2021.
ArcelorMittal announced its intention to build an electric-arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking facility at AM/NS Calvert in Alabama. Once completed, the planned facility will be capable of producing 1.5 million tons of steel slabs annually for the hot-strip mill. It will also produce a broad spectrum of steel grades required for Calvert’s end-user markets. Construction is expected to take 24 months, and the new facility is anticipated to create 300 new jobs.
American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) has developed a new independent rear drive axle (IRDA) for GM’s full-size SUVs, including the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon Denali and Cadillac Escalade. AAM and GM worked together to replace the prior-generation axle with a newly designed three-mount independent rear drive axle module. The design features a lightweight aluminum carrier housing and a low-offset hypoid gear set to provide improved efficiency and better noise, vibration and harshness performance.
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.
Germany’s Kaiser Aluminium-Umformtechnik GmbH, a manufacturer of forged-aluminum components for small- and medium-sized products, successfully started up its first Schuler servo screw press. The system will be primarily used to produce complex chassis components for the automotive industry. The investment further expands Kaiser Aluminium-Umformtechnik’s market position as a competent partner for forged parts and components in the aluminum sector.
American Axle & Manufacturing’s (AAM) Electric Drive Technology will power Jaguar’s first pure-electric model, the I-PACE. AAM supplies both front and rear e-Drive units, which together deliver a total of 294 kW of AWD power and 700 Nm of torque. The system leverages AAM’s experience in the design, analysis and processing of geared mechanical systems to engineer compact, quiet and efficient drive units.
France’s Transvalor, a manufacturing process-modeling software developer, joined the University of Strathclyde’s (Scotland) Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) as a tier-one partner. The first partner to join the AFRC in support of its soon-to-be-opened FutureForge facility, Transvalor will provide process simulation expertise and deep insight into material behavior resulting from manufacturing processes. The FutureForge facility will help manufacturing companies of all sizes become more competitive by exploring less energy-intensive methods of forging. It will also use digital technologies to accelerate the development of forged products.