Kobe Steel, Ltd. reports a new 10,000-metric-ton, open die press has been installed at its Takasago Works in western Japan. Its primary function will be to produce large, high-precision steel forgings for shipbuilding components. The organization explained that press marks the completion of an estimated $250-million project to the Works’ Forging Section South Plant, a project that began in April 2008.
Although it’s known primarily as an integrated steelmaker, Kobe Steel has been producing steel castings and forgings for over 100 years. The new press is the Steel Casting and Forging Division’s largest capital investment since a 13,000-metric-ton press was installed in 1975.
Kobe Steel said the new press will allow it supply better quality steel forgings, and to respond better to future market demand.
The new press is designed to be one of the fastest and most precise of its kind in the world. It gives the plant three open-die presses (4,000 mt, 10,00 mt, and 13,000 mt), allowing Kobe Steel to optimize its production plans for forged products of various sizes. Forgings for shipbuilding will be manufactured mainly by the new press and the 4,000-metric-ton press; ultra-large products that require higher forging capacity will be made by the 13,000-metric-ton press.
In addition to the new press, the project included a manipulator, ingot heating furnace, heat treating furnace, crane, and other auxiliary equipment.