In December 2003, Danieli Breda was awarded the order for a multifunction forging/forming press for producing railway wheels by Australia’s Smorgon Steel. The press recently underwent pre-assembly and testing in Italy.
The new equipment is being installed at the Smorgon’s Laverton Steel Mill, in Laverton Noth, Victoria, operated by the Smorgon Steel Manufacturing division of Smorgon Steel. Smorgon’s new press will operate with a maximum forging force of 4,850 metric tons, and a maximum side cylinder force of 500 tons. It is designed to produce a wheel of up to a max diameter of 1100 mm every 60 sec.
The machine features top and bottom die slides with two die positions and a wheel-unloading station. Centering devices are made up of two lifting cylinders and two closing cylinders.
The fully automatic wheel forming cycle will operate as follows: A loading arm picks up the ingot for forming the wheel from the furnace, and places it on the main table of the press, on which the bottom "pre-form" die is located. The table is moved backwards, the die is placed at the center of the press and the first forming operation is carried out. The press returns to its upper position, a centering device lifts up the wheel and the finishing dies are simultaneously moved into forging position. The centering device lowers the wheel onto the bottom finishing die and the finishing forming operation is carried out.
Smorgon Steel has been an international supplier of railway wheels, tires, axles, and wheelsets for more than eighty years. It manufactures these products for all classes of rolling stock and produces to all recognized international standards.
The company also operates a steel mill at Waratah in New South Mills. In addition to steelmaking, that plant features open die forging, mainly of mill rolls and similar products.