Landmark Open-Die Press is Fulfilling Great Expectations

Dec. 20, 2017
North American Forgemasters’ 90-MN machine described as “largest and most modern” of its kind

It has been two years since the start-up of North American Forgemasters’ 90-MN / 10,120-ton open-die press, one of the most anticipated forging projects in the U.S. since it was announced in 2014, and now one of the largest and fastest operations of its type in the U.S. market. 

At the time of the announcement, the press was reported to be an $80-million capital investment. NAF has described the entire development as a $95-million complex. 

North American Forgemasters, New Castle, PA, is a joint venture of Ellwood City Forge and Scot Forge, started in 1997. It is the only fully integrated manufacturer of open-die forgings in the Western Hemisphere — steelmaking through finish machining — producing billet stock, solid and hollow preforms, and custom forged shapes up to 270,000 lbs. These products are supplied to manufacturing and engineering groups serving power generation, oil-and-gas, nuclear, maritime, and tool-and-die industries.

The 90-MN (10,120-ton) press was ordered from Danieli Breda, which describes it as the “largest and most modern machine of its kind in North America.” Besides the four-column, push-down, hydraulic-driven press, Glama Maschinenbau GmbH supplied two manipulators. Zenar Corp. supplied the overhead crane (originally rated at 190 short tons), with Drafto Corp. provided its Rotaweigh block for the crane, which makes it possible to rotate the oversized workpieces.

Construction of the complex began in June 2014 with the demolition of the two existing bays to make room for the larger, 90-MN press bay. The project continued over the following 18 months, with the first forged part produced in December 2015.

Today, the 90-MN open-die forging press anchors North American Forgemasters’ operations, and is “the fastest acting and most reliable in the U.S.,” according to Danieli Breda. Thanks to a customized design, the press is able to process ingots weighing up to a 150 mt, with a 3.1-m stroke, 6.0 m of daylight, and a clearance of 5.0 m between columns.

Equipped with 15 pumps, the hydraulic circuit provides up to 374 bar of oil pressure during the cogging phase, and 475 bar during upsetting.

Since commissioning, the forging press has successfully produced large forged parts for power generation, oil and gas, nuclear, maritime, and tool-and-die steel industries.

NAF also has available the 4,500-ton press originally installed in 1997 at the time of the joint-venture’s launching, and remodeled in 2013; a 5,500-ton press added in 2007, and a 5,000-ton press in 2008. 

But, according to its designer and builder, the NAF 90-MN / 10,120-ton open-die press is “a landmark in the American forging market.”

Editor’s Note: This report is a revised and corrected version of a report presented in the November/December 2017 issue of FORGING magazine.


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