Meadville Forging Orders 4,000-Ton Press

Automotive demand prompts expansion Improvements to clutch-and-hub design

Meadville Forging Company, in Meadville, PA, has contracted Erie Press Systems to design and supply a new mechanical forging press to produce gear blanks, bearing races, wheel hubs, and other automotive components, in response to increasing demand from that market segment. The value of the new investment was not announced.

“Our forging business has continued to experience strong growth, particularly in the automotive market,” according to Gasper Buffa, president of the MFC Group. “To support the growth, we determined we needed more capacity and deeper back-up capability in our mid-range-tonnage, vertical forging operations.”

The MFC Group includes Meadville Forging, Virginia Forge, and Carolina Forge, and supplies wheel hubs and transmission gears to automotive customers, as well as forgings for trucks, trailers, and rail and mining equipment. Other MFC products include commercial bearing components and specialty forgings.

Meadville Forging now operates 13 forging presses in sizes from 1,000- to 4,000-tons. The plant is able to offer CAD for dies and forgings, automated diemaking, pulse-plasma ion-nitriding of dies, and in-house heat treating (with oil-quench capability) of semi-finished products.

As detailed by Erie Press Systems, the new closed-die press will be designed with its patented Scotch Yoke ram, which results in “less stretch” and improves off-center load capability during the forming process. The press builder noted that the ability to produce quality forgings and the requirement for reliability were critical elements in Meadville’s selection of the Erie mechanical forging press.

Erie Press Systems custom designs and manufactures hydraulic and mechanical presses, and integrated systems for open- and closed-die forging, with capacities from 500 to 15,000 tons (5 to 147 MN).

"We evaluated a number of forging press designs from different manufacturers before deciding on Erie,” Buffa stated. “We have a number of Erie Presses in our vertical forge shop, understand them well, and they’ve been very reliable.”

The executive explained that the MFC Group and Erie Press engineers reviewed improvements to the clutch-and-hub design that will be incorporated to the new 4,000-ton press, and expressed confidence that the updates would result in greater press reliability and improved productivity.

Meadville Forging’s new press is scheduled to go into service in 2014.

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