A new counterblow hammer started up at Ellwood Texas Forge Navasota near the end of 2010. It’s a Mueller- Weingarten DG 80 machine supplied by Schuler Inc., and it’s the core of a $60-million, 27,500-ft2 building that also houses two 50- ton overhead bridge cranes, a 5,500-ton pre-forming press, a 3,000-ton trim press, and two robotic manipulators for billets and forgings.
Ellwood Texas Forge Navasota inaugurated the complex April 28. The complex forms steel and nickel- or titanium alloy ingots into products up to 120 in. long, and weighing up to 8,500 lb. Products include wheels, crankshafts, and other critical, large-scale complex forgings for aerospace, construction, and oil-and-gas markets.
A counterblow hammer uses two forging rams of similar mass that move synchronously toward each other, reaching optimal speed at the point of impact with the workpiece. The opposing thrusts of the rams offset, and their impact is transferred to form the workpiece rather than to the hammer’s foundation. Ellwood Texas Navasota uses Deform process modeling to control the process and maintain flexibility, repeatability, and high product quality.
Ellwood Group Inc. purchased the Interstate Forge Southwest plant in 2008, and located a planned counterblow hammer project there, rather than at its Houston site, in 2009 because of its availability for large-scale expansion
“Placing the hammer complex in Navasota was a simple decision,” according to Ellwood Texas Forge president Mark Cianci. “The people here have outstanding technical knowledge and the place is filled with incredible and dedicated people, and it’s because of them that this project has started up on time and on budget. And it is because of our employees that I am so confident that we will be successful and provide our customers with what they deserve — excellent quality and delivery reliability at a competitive price.”