China has built the world’s largest steel industry over the past 15 years, investing extensively and growing output year by year — with double-digit increases in some years. In 2012, China’s raw steel out rose just 3%, but with nearly 790 million tons produced its steel output was nearly 672 million tons more than the second-largest steelmaking nation, Japan. 

Not all that steel can be rolled: some of is destined for the various forging operations that China also has invested to install in recent years.  

One impressive “new” forging operation is a redesigned forging press at Taiyuan Heavy Machinery Group, a manufacturer of machinery for metal producing, mining, and hydropower plants. Its products include electrical shovels; gantry cranes; extrusion and hydraulic presses; tube mills; rolling mills; strip coating and finishing lines, and a variety of other products.

The redesigned machine is an 80-MN open-die press capable of forming hot ingots up to 4 meters thick. The press, including the manipulator that guides the ingot, required some impressive power control technology.