FIA Reschedules Forge Fair to October 2021

The Forging Industry Association (FIA) announced that Forge Fair 2021, North America’s largest forging industry trade show, will be rescheduled to October 26-28, 2021. It was originally scheduled for May 18-20, 2021. The general logistics, schedule and location of Forge Fair 2021 will remain the same. The three-day trade show will take place at the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center is the host hotel and will provide discounted room rates to Forge Fair attendees.

“It has become clear that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of our Forge Fair exhibitor’s customers and prospective customers would not have permission to travel and attend trade shows through spring and into early summer,” said Mike Gill, chairman of the FIA. “We owe it to our exhibitors and membership to put on the best Forge Fair we can, so today FIA’s board made the decision to move Forge Fair to October 26-28, 2021 – still at the TCF Center in Detroit. I want to sincerely thank the TCF Center leadership, Marriott Hotel leadership and our exhibitor services provider Fern for their flexibility in moving our show to the fall.”

“With strong progress regarding vaccine deployment for COVID-19 prevention coming in December and Q1 2021, we want to ride that momentum and put on the best Forge Fair the industry has seen this fall,” said Jim Warren, FIA’s president and CEO. “By moving the show from May to October, we are ensuring our exhibitors and attendees the best opportunity for success – both on the show floor and all the other activities we plan around the show – including our free conference sessions for all attendees, our keynote presentations and evening activities supported by our exhibitors. We all want to get back to normal, and we really feel this move to the fall is a step in the right direction.”

Forging Line Includes Closed-Die Press, Induction Heating System

Anhui Anhuang Machinery Co. Ltd. placed an order with SMS group for a fully automatic closed-die forging line for pistons. The 2,500-ton line consists of a fully automatic closed-die forging press and an induction heating system from SMS Elotherm for heating the forging blanks. Anhui Anhuang will be one of the first automotive suppliers in China that is capable of manufacturing pistons for cars and trucks in a fully automated process. Commissioning is scheduled for the second quarter of 2022.

The induction heating system has a capacity of 800 kW, which enables the forging blanks to be heated to a temperature of 1220°C. With a throughput of around 2 tons per hour and a cycle time of 2.2 seconds, the modular heating system works in perfect harmony with the SMS forging line. The material feed system and the fully automatic discharge unit are an integral part of the plant concept and enable forging right up to the last part under production conditions within the specified cycle. The 25-MN closed-die forging press is equipped with an automatic walking beam, a die-spraying unit and a die holder with quick-change system. Important features include the electro-hydraulic clutch-brake system and the programmable single ejectors for each forging operation.

The cost efficiency of the whole process is significantly improved as the forging line is fully automated. Car pistons can be forged in a cycle time of less than 4 seconds. The flashless precision forging process also saves material and energy costs during production. Only the exact amount of material required to forge a piston without cutting scrap is heated and used, and other machining steps can be reduced thanks to the high dimensional accuracy of the forged parts. An integrated process control system permanently monitors the entire line and is able to evaluate the production data saved if necessary.

SMS product photo

AAM, Inovance Automotive Form Technology Agreement for Electric Drive Systems

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (AAM), a global automotive supplier of driveline and metal-forming technologies, and Suzhou Inovance Automotive Ltd. (Inovance Automotive), a provider of automotive power electronics and powertrain systems in China, formed a technology development agreement that will accelerate the development and delivery of scalable, next-generation 3-in-1 electric drive systems, which integrate an inverter, electric motor and gearbox. The collaboration will seek to enhance the power density, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of electric drive technology offered in the global market.

Motor vehicle, Hood

“The global electric drive market continues to expand as increasingly stringent emissions regulations require innovative propulsion system solutions,” said David C. Dauch, AAM chairman and CEO. “Our cooperation with Inovance Automotive will add an exciting new offering to AAM’s fast-growing portfolio of scalable 3-in-1 electric drive systems and accelerate our ability to bring new cost-competitive technologies to market."

AAM and Inovance are launching 3-in-1 electric drive units supporting four customer programs from AAM’s Changshu Manufacturing Complex beginning with the first 135-kW model for a Chinese OEM in the first quarter of 2021. The partnership between AAM and Inovance Automotive will strengthen both companies’ positions as leading providers of electric-propulsion technology in China and global automotive markets.

Cleveland-Cliffs Completes Acquisition of ArcelorMittal USA

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. successfully completed the acquisition of substantially all of the operations of ArcelorMittal USA LLC and its subsidiaries, forming the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America. In connection with the acquisition of ArcelorMittal USA, which includes the interests of ArcelorMittal USA of 60% in I/N Tek L.P. and 50% in I/N Kote L.P., Cleveland-Cliffs also acquired Nippon Steel’s remaining interests of 50% in I/N Kote and 40% in I/N Tek for a total consideration of approximately $183 million. With this additional transaction, Cleveland-Cliffs becomes the sole owner of 100% of I/N Tek and I/N Kote.

Lourenco Goncalves, Cleveland-Cliffs chairman, president and CEO, said, “The acquisition by Cleveland-Cliffs of ArcelorMittal USA, boosted by our buyout of Nippon Steel from the I/N Tek and I/N Kote joint ventures, opens a new chapter in the history of the steel business in the United States. The assets we have acquired will be combined with our existing footprint, including AK Steel, Precision Partners, AK Tube, several mining and pelletizing facilities, our Research & Development Center, and the most modern Direct Reduction plant in the world, which we have just started to operate in Toledo, Ohio. We are also excited with the addition of the re-rolling plant co-owned by ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel in Alabama as a very important long-term client of Cleveland-Cliffs for automotive grade slabs.”

U.S. Steel to Acquire Remaining Equity of Big River Steel

United States Steel Corp. exercised its call option to acquire the remaining equity of Big River Steel for approximately $774 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Big River Steel operates a LEED-certified Flex Mill in northeast Arkansas. The company’s advanced manufacturing technology and skilled operators combined with U.S. Steel’s product development capabilities and intellectual property have allowed Big River Steel to produce 11 advanced U.S. Steel grades.

U.S. Steel acquired a 49.9% ownership interest in Big River Steel on Oct. 31, 2019. Big River Steel offers high-quality products and services to customers in the automotive, energy, construction and agricultural industries. The company’s Phase II-A expansion doubled the mill’s hot-rolled steel production capacity to 3.3 million tons annually, establishing it as one of the largest EAF-oriented flat-rolled mills in North America.

“With Big River Steel, we can offer customers the high-performance, innovative steel products they expect from U. S. Steel’s scientists and application engineers made through a state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable and efficient mini-mill process,” said David B. Burritt, president and CEO of U.S. Steel.

Meritor to Close Three U.S. Plants

Meritor Inc. (Troy, Mich.), a global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets, disclosed a restructuring plan that includes closing three of its U.S. manufacturing plants. The facilities to be closed are located in Chicago, Ill.; Livermore, Calif.; and Livonia, Mich. The news came in the company’s Q4 business filing, which also revealed the closing of its European administration office in Zurich. The actions are expected to generate $10 million in annual savings.

GM Opens Facility Dedicated to 3D Printing

General Motors announced the opening of its 15,000-square-foot Additive Industrialization Center (AIC), a facility exclusively dedicated to productionizing 3D-printing technology in the automotive industry. The AIC is the capstone of GM’s increased investment in 3D printing over the last several years. The facility in Warren, Mich., includes 24 3D printers that create polymer and metal solutions. GM’s additive design and manufacturing team leverages a number of processes at the AIC, including selective laser sintering, selective laser melting, multi-jet fusion and fused deposition modeling.

GM 3D Printing

The AIC is intended to validate additive technologies and applications, with frequent pivots to evolving additive machinery and equipment. GM Ventures and GM R&D are collaborative partners with the AIC, which allows GM to make its 3D-printing capability more sophisticated and responsive across its global manufacturing facilities.

Timken to Invest $75 Million in Wind, Solar Energy

The Timken Company announced more than $75 million in capital investments through early 2022 to increase the company's renewable-energy capabilities across its global footprint. The company has developed an extensive network of engineering and innovation centers and manufacturing facilities located throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Timken will use the $75 million investment to: expand its LEED-certified manufacturing facility in Xiangtan, China, where it makes engineered bearings for wind turbines; continue to scale-up its production capacity at sites in Wuxi, China, and Ploiesti, Romania, where Timken manufactures engineered bearings for wind turbines; and consolidate multiple sites into a new, larger campus in Jiangyin, China, to increase production capacity and improve productivity for precision drives used in the solar energy market.

All of these investments will include advanced automation and manufacturing technologies. Timken's wind energy product portfolio includes engineered bearings, lubrication systems and couplings. Timken develops and manufactures precision motion control products that provide solar-tracking system positioning for both photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) applications.


The International Journal of Forging Business & Technology