SMS group received an order from China’s Jiangsu Pacific Precision Forging Company for a fully automatic closed-die forging press. The 31.5 MN eccentric press will enable Pacific Precision to forge aluminum chassis components on a larger scale. SMS group will deliver the press and the tools, which are specially designed for aluminum forging. Pacific Precision Forging, a worldwide supplier of precision gears and gear shafts, has been mainly focusing on steel forging. This investment in aluminum forging provides Pacific Precision with access to the automotive market segment for more lightweight designs. Commissioning of the press is scheduled for the second quarter of 2024.
Forged Solutions Group Inc. (FSG), a provider of complex, precision forged rings and closed-die products to aerospace and defense customers, acquired Steel Industries Inc. Headquartered in Redford, Mich., Steel Industries is a vertically integrated manufacturer of open-die forgings and seamless rolled rings for the aerospace, defense, space and industrial markets. Since 1913, Steel Industries has forged components for the most demanding end-use applications. Steel Industries offers forging, heat-treating, machining and finishing services.
Gerdau Special Steel North America announced an additional $40.4 million capital investment at its Monroe, Mich., special bar quality (SBQ) mill. This final phase of the project will include upgrades to the rolling mill, including a new bundler table, bundler area and the installation of a third saw. Including these rolling-mill upgrades, Gerdau has invested nearly $400 million over the past decade to transform the Monroe mill into a world-class SBQ production facility. This phased investment plan has involved several projects, including installation of a new continuous caster; a new twin-tank vacuum degasser; a new walking-beam reheat furnace; a new electric-arc furnace (EAF) transformer; EAF control and mechanical upgrades; and a new twin-ladle furnace and material-handling system.
Perryman Company, a titanium producer based in Houston, Pa., placed an order with SMS group for the supply of two forging machines. The order includes a 40/45 MN high-speed open-die forging press in the pull-down design and an SMX 500/15 MN hydraulic radial forging machine with two forging manipulators. Perryman also ordered a production control system for the entire forging line. The open-die forging press will be used to forge cast titanium billets to the required size so that, in the next step, they can be finish-forged in the radial forging machine to produce bars (round, square or flat) up to a maximum length of 550 inches (14,000 mm).
General Motors Co. (GM) will invest $760 million at its Toledo, Ohio, propulsion manufacturing operations to prepare the facility for production of drive units that will be used in future Ultium-based battery electric trucks, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Sierra EV and GMC Hummer EVs. Toledo Propulsion Systems will be GM’s first U.S. powertrain or propulsion-related manufacturing facility transformed for EV-related production. Once the plant is converted, it will produce GM’s family of EV drive units, which convert electric power from the battery pack to mechanical motion at the wheels. GM’s EV drive units will cover front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive propulsion combinations.
Nucor Corp. will invest $200 million over a five-year period in mill modernization projects at its Nucor Steel Berkeley division located in Huger, S.C. A portion of the capital investment will include the construction of a new air-separation unit (ASU) for the purpose of supplying industrial gases for the mill’s steelmaking operations. When complete, the ASU will be operated by UIG LLC, a Nucor wholly owned subsidiary that specializes in industrial gas supply. This project will allow Nucor, through UIG, to produce and supply all the gases needed for the steel mill from the new Nucor-owned facility. Nucor Steel Berkeley is currently supplied with industrial gases under a long-term supply agreement.
Rio Tinto is investing $29 million to build a new aluminum recycling facility at its Arvida Plant in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, to expand its offering of low-carbon aluminum solutions for customers in the automotive, packaging and construction markets. According to Rio Tinto, the facility will make the company the first primary aluminum producer in North America to incorporate recycled post-consumer aluminum into aluminum alloys. The recycling center is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2024 and will have an initial capacity of 30,000 tons per year. A remelting furnace equipped with regenerative burners and an automated scrap loading system will be installed in an existing building at the Arvida Plant.
Honda Motor Co. and LG Energy Solution announced an agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) to produce lithium-ion batteries in the United States to power Honda and Acura EV models for the North American market. The companies will invest a total of $4.4 billion in the plant, which aims to have an annual production capacity of approximately 40 GWh. The pouch-type batteries produced at the JV plant will be supplied exclusively to Honda facilities in North America. While the location for the facility is yet to be finalized, the companies plan to begin construction in early 2023 in order to enable the start of mass production of lithium-ion battery cells by the end of 2025.
Toyota announced an additional investment of $2.5 billion in its newest North American facility, Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC). This investment adds capacity to support battery electric vehicle (BEV) battery production and adds 350 jobs, bringing total employment to approximately 2,100. Scheduled to begin production in 2025, the facility will produce batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and BEVs.
France’s Obut has been producing steel balls weighing around 700 grams each for popular sport Pétanque since 1955. In an effort to improve production of boule balls at its headquarters in Saint-Bonnet-Le-Château, the company ordered a 1,300-ton forging press from Farina. The forging press replaces two lines with a press force of 600 and 800 tons respectively, which are becoming obsolete. The future line, which also includes a transfer and a furnace, will form a half shell every 2 seconds. The starting material for the boule balls, which have a diameter of just over 2.75 inches (7 cm), are steel rods cut into sections that a press first forms into discs and then into half shells. These are then welded together, machined and polished to a mirror finish.