FRISA Improves Its Heat-Treating Operations

Aug. 26, 2006
This Mexican forging operation has evolved over 35 years into a respected producer of forged rings for a variety industries. Recently, it upgraded its heat-treating operation.

Thirty-five years ago, a small forging operation was established near Monterrey, Mexico, to supply rings and blanks to local machine shops. Following years of investment, the company known as Frisa Forjados S.A. de C.V. is a leading North American forging operation.

Its modern plant in Santa Catarina, a suburb of Monterrey, features state-of-the-art forging equipment, including five radial-axial rolling mills and four hydraulic presses.

Frisa produces seamless rolled rings, contoured rolled rings, and open-die forgings of carbon, stainless, and alloy steel. These rings are used in various industrial applications, including oil drilling, mining, cement production, power generation, and transportation, among others.

The company offers a range rolled-ring shapes, such as rectangular cross section, washer-type, sleeves, thin-wall, and heavy-wall.

These shapes range up to 240 in. in outside diameter, 36 in. in face height, and 30 in. in wall thickness, and weigh up to 30,000 lb in carbon/alloy steels, or 7,000 lb in stainless steels.

Frisa also produces contoured rings with near-net shapes and the resultant lower overall weight. This results in a material savings and reduces the required machining time. These shapes range up to 160 in. in outside diameter, by 30 in. long, with a 24-in. wall thickness, and may weigh up to 11,000 lb in carbon and alloy steels or 7,000 lb in stainless steels.

While its specialty is rolled rings, Frisa also offers a variety of open-die forgings, including rings , discs , shafts , bonnets, and blocks. These can measure up to 60 in. in outside dimension by up to 100 in. long.

Frisa also serves its customers through two joint-venture companies, Frisa Wyman Gordon and Ringmasters.

Frisa Wyman Gordon is a joint-venture ring-rolling facility specializing in aerospace industry components. Located in Monterrey adjacent to Frisa Forjados, it produces forgings in a wide variety of nickel, titanium, and other high-temperature alloys, using equipment specifically developed for near-net-shape contour ring rolling.

Another joint venture, Ringmasters, in Wayne, MI, produces seamless rolled rings up to 125 in. outside diameter, 24 in. maximum height, and up to 7,000 lb in carbon, alloy, and stainless. It also offers in-house processing services that include saw cutting, heat treating, rough machining, parting and splitting, and shot blasting.

Machining and Quality
Frisa produces machined forgings for those customers who desire them, using state-of-the-art equipment. Numerous conventional and CNC lathes and machining centers are capable of rough or finish machining parts up to 220 in. in outside diameter.

Frisa has developed and implemented several tools to certify the quality of its products. It offers mechanical and non-destructive testing.

Frisa’s performs mechanical testing, including, tensile, charpy, impact hardness, metallographic analysis, and spectrometry. Its non-destructive testing capabilities include ultrasonic, magnetic particle, and liquid penetrant.

According to the company website: “Our strong commitment to quality and service has led us to many achievements, including ISO 9002 certification by ABS Quality since 1993 (updated to ISO 9001:2000 in 2002), and Lloyd’s Register manufacturing approval since 2001. Frisa also has received recognition by winning the National Export Award and the National Quality Award, among other accomplishments.”

Heat treating
On its website, the company touts its heat-treating facilities this way: “Our computer-controlled heat treating furnaces and quenching tanks enable us to maintain uniform temperatures and cycles. The result is a more reliable product, increasing the consistency in the mechanical properties.”

Frisa offers the following types of heat treatment: normalizing, quenching, tempering, annealing, solution annealing, stress relieving, and spheroidizing.

About two years ago, Frisa selected Houghton International ( and its Quenchcare program to 1) optimize its existing heat-treatment line, and 2) design, procure, and install a new, state-of-the-art heattreatment line that provides optimum product quality and production efficiency. The objectives: increase overall efficiency and profitability of the heat-treating operation.

Houghton helped Frisa optimize the existing heat treatment operations by modifying the company’s quench tanks, implementing process improvements, and introducing new racking designs.

The new heat-treatment line was designed, engineered, and installed by the Quenchcare team — a collaboration of heat-treating experts from Houghton and its technology partners, Technoalloy and HiTech Engineering.

Using this new and revamped equipment, Frisa’s products are quenched in a polymer quenchant that minimizes distortion. The new line includes the following turnkey equipment: a HiTech Engineering maintenance-free furnace with material handling capabilities; Tecnoalloy heat-resistant metal alloy loading fixtures; and a custom-designed quench tank.

Headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, Houghton maintains manufacturing and research facilities throughout the world. Its Fluidcare chemical-management program supplies customers with ways to save on overall processing and disposal costs, and increase processing performance.

Quenchcare is Houghton’s heat-treating support program designed to ensure a safe plant, improve efficiency, eliminate unnecessary manufacturing steps, reduce part deformities, and cut costs. Under this program, Houghton typically reviews a heat treater’s specific application, recommends the most cost-effective heat-treating system, provides technical services, process research, and consultation, and supplies fluids and auxiliary equipment including furnace and handling equipment. Houghton manufactures its own line of quench tanks and performs 3D modeling of tanks, finite-element modeling of stresses within quench tanks, tank modifications, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to fully understand the customer’s process.

HiTech Engineering of Torino, Italy, is a manufacturer of advanced, customized industrial furnaces for heat treating ferrous and nonferrous metal. HiTech develops continuous hardening and tempering lines, exclusive drop-bottom furnaces, continuous cycle and batch production lines, and automated load manipulation systems.

Tecnoalloy s.r.l., Fornovo, Italy, is a manufacturer of premium heat-resistant metal alloy racks, loading fixtures, furnace components, and other heat-treating equipment. Tecnoalloy collaborated with Houghton to manufacture and install these high-temperature alloy components.