The Forging Industry Association reported the final, revised results for its annual survey of North American custom forging operations’ new orders and shipments.  Across the three major classes of forged products — impression-die forgings, open-die forgings, and rolled rings — the 2011 results showed general improvement over 2010.

“Custom forgings” are products made for commercial distribution by non-captive forging operations. The survey is conducted annually by FIA among organizations that account for an estimated 92% of all custom forging sales in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. FIA noted that the report is statistically treated to represent 100% of industry shipments, and does not include forgings produced for “captive” manufacturing operations (i.e., OEMs) or standard catalog products. Also, cold-forging products are not included.

Custom Impression-Die Forging — Impression-die forging is the largest segment of custom forging sales. Total 2011 shipments for the sector amounted to $6,371,887,000, a rise of 21% over the 2011 total ($5,287,811,000.)

New orders for impression-die forging orders increased to $7,082,721,000 during 2011, up 22% from $5,805,934,000 in 2010. The greatest demand for impression-die forgings during 2011 came from aerospace manufacturers: producers of engines, aircraft parts, auxiliary equipment, and guided missiles and space vehicles represented 29.9% of the sales for those products, a decline from 31.5% for that sector during 2010.

Orders from the automotive sector (passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, and automotive parts) represented the second-largest component of demand 27.3%, down from the revised 31.0% in 2010 but up from 21.0% reported in 2009.

Custom Open-Die Forging — Total 2011 shipments for custom open-die forgers rose 30% to $2,191,594,000, from $1,685,606,000 for 2010. New orders for open-die forgings also increased, up 40% to $2,483,343,000 from the 2010 total of $1,777,831,000 in 2010.

The greatest demand for open-die forgings came from manufacturers of heavy equipment (construction, mining, material handling) and the oil/gas market, which accounted for 30.3% of sales for the open-die sector, up from 22% in 2010. Aircraft and aircraft parts manufacturing, and metal forgings and stamping held the second-largest share of the open-die market, with an 8.1% market share. Demand from the aircraft manufacturers was equal to the 2010 share, but metal forgings and stampings improved from a 5.9% market share in 2010.

Custom Seamless Rolled-Ring Forging — North American shipments of custom seamless rolled rings increased 18% in 2011, to $1,489,973,000 from $1,258,416,000 in 2010. New orders for seamless rolled ring increased 23% to $1,643,317,000 in 2011, from $1,331,309,000 in 2010.
Aerospace engines and engine parts once again represented the largest market for custom seamless rolled rings in 2011, with a 46.3% share, though it declined from 50.1% of the market in 2010. Oilfield machinery and equipment was the second largest product category for seamless rings, with 7.9% of the total, up from 6.5% of the market in 2010.