The months ahead will see a series of new forging concepts arrive at the commissioning stage, guided by advanced standards for process efficiency and product quality — as well as by forging buyers’ demands for precision components in more advanced materials.

Weber Metals in Paramount, CA, near Los Angeles is preparing to install the “the largest aerospace forging press in the Western Hemisphere, and the largest in the world installed with private investment.” The project long in development and described as a $170-million investment makes an impressive headline for a wave of projects signifying new forging operations and technologies.

The closed-die forging machine will be built by SMS Group under contract to Otto Fuchs KG, the German parent company to Weber Metals. The new machine will forge extra-large nickel- and titanium-based alloy parts for commercial aerospace contracts, including Airbus and Boeing projects.

According to SMS, its GUF4-type hydraulic press will be a "pit mounted" design capable of achieving forces of 540 MN (60,000 tons/in.2), with a 6,000X3,000-mm (236X118 in.) die clamping area and a stroke of 2,000 mm (79 in.)

SMS noted that steel castings produced for the four-column press will weigh up to 350 mt (386 tons.) The new machine will be structurally reinforced with four, forged tie rods, an integrated load-balancing feature that will allow the operators to forge parts to extremely tight tolerances.