Firth Rixson to Add Isothermal Forging at Closed-Die Plant

Aug. 26, 2011
Expansion at new Georgia plant will increase its range of aerospace products

Firth Rixson Forgings LLC in Midway, GA, announced it will install isothermal forging capability to produce an additional range of aerospace forgings. The plant near Savannah started up late last year, producing closed-die forgings for rotating components of aircraft engines. Its customers are commercial aircraft OEMs producing the range from regional jets to wide body aircraft. It also supplies components to producers of land-based turbines.

Isothermal forging is a hot forging process, mainly for super alloys, in which materials and dies are heated to the same temperature, usually in a controlled atmosphere that prevents oxidation.

Firth Rixson Ltd., the parent company headquartered in Sheffield, England, produces closed-die forgings and seamless rolled rings at 12 plants in North America, Europe, and Asia, mainly for aerospace applications.

The cost of the new project and its timing were not released. Firth Rixson said the project would increase the new plant’s manufacturing space by about 20%, or to 240,000 ft2. The project may also lead to up to 100 new employees for the Georgia plant.

Along with the new, isothermal press and a fully automated production line, the project will integrate other dedicated process equipment. No design details were reported, but Firth Rixson said the press will produce a range of current and projected, high-temperature aero engine parts that meet isothermal component requirements.

"The next generation of aero engines will rely on greater numbers of isothermal forged components. Firth Rixson's addition of isothermal forging capability once again affirms our commitment to provide the aerospace industry with technological solutions to cost, capability, and capacity constraints," stated FRL CEO David Mortimer. "This expansion facilitates the development of unique technological partnerships, guaranteeing supply chain security for the aero industry customer base."