Britain’s Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd. recently poured a massive steel casting for a new forging press, to be built by Ajax-Ceco for Southwest Steel Processing. According to local reports, the order is worth more than $1.4 million to Sheffield Forgemasters. SFIL is an engineering group with specialized capabilities for pouring large-scale castings and ingots, forging, and finish machining. Its products find application as nuclear reactor components, oil-drilling rig structures, machine and press housings, and mill rolls.
Ajax-Ceco, of Cleveland, is a business unit of Park-Ohio, an industrial holding company. Southwest Steel Processing, Newport, AR, is a joint venture of Park Ohio and Arkansas Steel Associates LLC. Last summer, Southwest Steel Processing announced a two-year, $18-million expansion at its plant in Newport, aiming install a new forging line. It currently operates a 6,000-ton mechanical press and finishing machining shop, and produces closed-die forgings for railcar manufacturing and oil-and-gas drilling parts. The expansion would result in up to 100 new employees, raising employment to 220.
Design details of the new press have not been released.
According to Sheffield Forgemasters, casting the frame for the new press required 550 metric tons of steel, to form a structure measuring 13 m in length, 3.5 m in width, and 3.2 m in depth. SFIL also will perform finish machining.
“Winning the Ajax casting contract against strong overseas competition and harsh market conditions is purely down to our quality and technical manufacturing skills,” according to Michael Holloway, senior sales manager at SFIL. “We put a considerable body of work into modeling the casting ahead of a visit from the customer, and this threw up some design modifications which were beneficial”
Holloway noted the casting would require several weeks of cooling time after pouring, before it can be lifted from the pit mold in which it is formed to proceed with heat-treatment and fine-tolerance finishing.