“Kiln tires are the large, seamless rings critical to quarry operations that manufacture cement, concrete and lime products,” says Wilfert. “Last year we made one of the largest seamless rolled rings in the world, a 21.5-foot diameter kiln tire for a European operation. We have just finished making a ring that is 19 feet in diameter for a quarry in the western United States. Our forged kiln tires can end up on the job just about anywhere in the world.”
Wilfert reports that forgers and casters worldwide are busy responding to strong global demand for a variety of products for aerospace, infrastructural construction and general industrial applications. “There is so much demand for large rings that every possible production route is being tapped to satisfy demand,” he says, adding that Ladish’s manufacturing time for a kiln tire is typically 12-18 weeks after receipt of raw material.
“Operators are choosing forged rings due to improved performance as well as shorter lead times that permit faster delivery,” claims Wilfert. “Forged rings are more durable than rings produced by other methods. When properly maintained, a forged ring can last for many decades.”
Wilfert says the market for kiln tires is robust because not only do many older kilns require replacement tires, but new kilns are being built also. “Demand for kiln tires grew significantly during 2007 and has continued strong during 2008,” he says. “For this reason, many metalworking manufacturers are experiencing heavy demand at a time when capacity at the raw material suppliers is filling up.”
Ladish Co., Inc. is a leading producer of highly engineered, technically advanced metal components for the jet engine, aerospace and general industrial markets. Ladish is headquartered in Cudahy, Wisconsin with operations in Wisconsin, Oregon, Connecticut and Poland. Ladish common stock trades on Nasdaq under the symbol LDSH.