A huge forging press was the star attraction at a recent open house staged by Commerical Forged Products, Bedford Park, IL. Government officials, customer representatives, and other guests attending the event were able to see it in action. The press is believed to be the largest upsetter in North America. With a rated capacity of 3,800 tons, the press is designed to produce axle forgings weighing as much as 500 lb.
An automated forging cell has been organized around the press. One robot lubricates the dies while another handles work pieces. The cell is served by a conveyorized induction heating system that heats work pieces to 2,300 degrees. The cell requires 1,300 kilowatts of electrical power, a large enough requirement that the local utility built a separate substation to provide power for it.
The press was originally built in the 1980s by Erie Press Systems, and stored for many years in an abandoned metalworking plant in Tennessee. CFP had the press completely overhauled and upgraded, including an increase in capacity.
In addition to Erie Press Systems, Erie, PA, other major suppliers involved in the project were The Oilgear Co., Milwaukee, for the hydraulics system, Rimrock Corp., Columbus, OH, for the robots, and Interpower Corp., Oskaloosa, IA , for the induction bar heating system.