Robert Brooks

Forging Magazine

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.
Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

Ellwood Texas to Forge Titanium Parts for GE Aviation
Ellwood Texas Forge Houston, a closed-die forging operation, has drawn a new three-year contract that expands its supply of parts for GE Aviation’s production of the CFM International LEAP series jet engines. The LEAP commercial aircraft engines were developed by CFM (a joint venture of GE Aviation and Snecma, a Safran subsidiary) to power jets produced by Airbus, Boeing, and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. (Comac.)
Mahle Sells Con-Rod Forging Operations
The Mahle Group, a Tier One automotive parts manufacturer, has sold two con-rod forging operations in Germany to the Frauenthal Group. The value of the sale was not announced.
GKN Driveline Opens New Winter Proving Ground
GKN Driveline opened a new cold-weather proving grounds in Northern Michigan, at the Smithers Winter Test Center, giving the group as testing capabilities in Asia, Europe, and North America. The 10,000-sq.ft. test center will evaluate performance for all parts under harsh winter conditions.
S+B Forms JV to Process, Distribute Stainless Long Products in China
Schmolz + Bickenbach has formed a joint venture with Tsingshan Group to distribute specialty steel long products to manufacturers in China, especially those in the automotive and electronics industries, as well as those supply products to the industrial equipment or food-and-beverage processing sectors.
New Plant May Follow Stanley Black & Decker, Craftsman Deal
Stanley Black & Decker Inc. reportedly will build a new manufacturing plant in the U.S., a $35-million capital investment, though its location, schedule for development, and the products to be manufactured are unknown.
Böhler Edelstahl to Add High-Speed Forging Line
voestalpine AG instituted a €40-million (est. $42-million) project to install a new “high-tech, high-speed forging line” at its Böhler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG specialty steel operation in Kapfenberg, Austria.
Dana, Navistar Expand Supply for Driveline Parts
Dana Inc. and Navistar International reached a new, multi-year commercial sales agreement for driveline parts for trucks and buses, and vocational vehicles. The two manufacturers did not report the terms or value of the deal.
Precision Castparts Buys Aerospace 3DP Specialist
Precision Castparts purchased Atlantic Precision Inc., a specialty aerospace machining and additive manufacturing operation from a private-equity fund, Generation Growth Capital Fund II LP. API has multiple capabilities, centering its design and production on direct metal laser sintering (DMLS.)
GKN Driveline Starting Five-Year CapEx Program
GKN Driveline committed to a five-year, $179-million capital-investment program at five manufacturing operations in North Carolina, taking advantage of several state and local subsidies. The manufacturer indicated it would add 302 new positions to its current total of 2,700 workers in the state.
SMS Open-Die Press for Chinese Aerospace Supplier
Western Superconducting Technologies Co. Ltd., a titanium alloy and high-tech materials manufacturer in China’s Shaanxi Province, ordered a high-speed open-die forging press from SMS Group, to process titanium alloys and other materials to form superconducting magnets for aerospace applications.
Bharat Forge Expands in U.S. with Tennessee Acquisition
Directors of Bharat Forge Ltd. approved the Indian company’s acquisition of 100% of the shares of Walker Forge Tennessee LLC, in Surgoinsville, TN, making it a subsidiary of its Bharat Forge America. The cost of the purchase was not announced, but several reports listed it at $14 million.
Public-Private Partnerships Put Form to Big Ideas
Research is a demanding process for industrial organizations, more demanding because of the scarcity of capital, the pressure of competition, and the need to develop new products and manufacturing processes to match tightening regulatory standards with lightweight and environmentally compliant products.
Changing the Corporate Culture
If the federal government is a soul-less bureaucracy, we’ve now arrived at the moment when a corporate raider takes charge and applies a right-sizing strategy. The objective will be to make the economy more competitive against other, ruthless global economic powers. But is a new business model sufficient to satisfy those demanding no more “business as usual”?
Columbus McKinnon Makes Another EU Material Handling Purchase
Columbus McKinnon has an agreement to buy Stahl CraneSystems from Konecranes plc for a reported $240 million in cash, a move that expands its presence in Europe for supplying hoist and crane parts. Reportedly, the purchase will make Columbus McKinnon the world's second-largest manufacturer of hoists, and expands its own line of material handling products to include explosion-protected hoists, and parts used in mining, oil-and-gas exploration, and chemical processing.
Jorgensen Forge Acquired, “Even Better Positioned”
Jorgensen Forge, a Tukwila, WA, open-die forger, has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as one of three companies now owned by CE Star Holdings LLC, a company formed to buy the assets from Constellation Enterprises, which filed for creditor protection in May.