Can-Eng Furnaces International Limited is designing a rotary hearth furnace to heat titanium and alloy billets that it will install for Weber Metals Inc., Paramount, CA. The furnace installation is part of the $170-million capital investment centering on a new closed-die press that will forge extra-large nickel- and titanium-based alloy parts for commercial aerospace contracts, including Airbus and Boeing projects.

Niagara Falls, Ont.-based Can-Eng Furnaces did not detail the capacity or other design features of the furnace.

Rotary hearth furnaces are continuous operations in which charge material is conveyed directly over the furnace hearth on a turntable inside the heating chamber, powered by an external drive. They are considered to be a very reliable and sturdy way to heat multiple billet and/or bloom sizes. They are often designed as the central element of a continuous heating process, with programmable heating and automated billet handling

Weber Metals is a subsidiary of Germany’s Otto Fuchs KG, producing open-die and closed-die forgings in aluminum and titanium alloys, mainly for aerospace manufacturing, like aircraft fuselage and wing structures, as well as landing gears. Presently, the plant operates four open-die presses (rated at 1,200 to 5,000 tons) and five closed-die machines (rated at 1,500 to 33,000 tons.)

The 60,000-ton press is an SMS design described as “the largest aerospace forging press in the Western Hemisphere, and the largest in the world installed with private investment.” Start-up is planned for late 2017.