Plant designer and equipment builder SMS Meer reported it has developed the first hydraulic horizontal forging machine for preforming parts. The SMI 430 / 8 MN machine is intended to be used in combination with downstream closed-die steps that will continue the hot forming process to an intermediate or final state.
In general terms, horizontal forging involves a die form that is split into two parts and arranged upright, so that heated bars of steel or aluminum can pass between them in a continuous or semi-continuous forming process.
SMS Meer is a business unit of the SMS Group, and has heavy machinery and technical capabilities for a wide range of metallurgical industry processes, including: integrated steelmaking for flat and long products, tube and pipe plants, nonferrous metal plants, heat-treating plants and technology, and forging.
The builder said its new horizontal forging design is a version of its own SMX radial forging machines – one of which was installed last year for Universal Stainless in North Jackson, OH.
“With its special design, a defined mass distribution in the forgings, processed subsequently in closed-die forging machines, is generated with the aid of forming tools,” the company explained.
A particular design feature of the new SMI 430 horizontal forging machine is an integrated die-shifting device. As explained by SMS, it means that a second die form can be used quickly within a single forging process. For operators, this means less set-up time and higher throughput rates.
An unnamed Japanese buyer ordered the first machine of this new design. In that installation, the plant is equipped with two forging manipulators and an additional manipulator for fully automatic loading and unloading.
SMS Meer added that its new machine would help to reduce set-up times and increase productivity for forgers.