Specialty steelmaking and engineering group voestalpine AG has instituted a €40-million (est. $42-million) project to install a new high-speed forging line at its Böhler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG operation in Kapfenberg, Austria. The 4,400-metric tons line will be capable of delivering up to 120 strokes per minute, or 2 strokes per second.
The forged products will be preforms for high load-bearing aircraft components, or as workpieces for products used in oil-and-gas exploration, processing, and handling.
No details of the equipment contractor were provided, but the project is scheduled for completion and start-up in 2018.
“The new high-tech forging line will not only play a key role in increasing volumes in the aerospace business segment, but it will also set new standards in product quality, process automation, and digitalization,” stated Franz Rotter, a voestalpine AG director and head of the Special Steel Division
The Austrian group emphasized its new capital program is intended to “to literally give additional thrust” to its aerospace materials and products portfolio.
Böhler Edelstahl produces over 200 grades of high-speed specialty and tool steels, as well as open-die forgings (drop forging, high-speed forging, and semi-hot forging) and closed-die progressive (Hatebur process) forgings, in particular of aerospace customers. Among the examples of finished applications for its products Böhler Edelstahl lists structural parts, engine components and mounts, landing gear parts, and door segments used in the aircraft programs by manufacturers that include Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, and Embraer.
“The aerospace industry is one of the key drivers of our international growth strategy in the future market of mobility. All of the most important aircraft manufacturers already rely on technologies and products from voestalpine. By intensifying our innovation and investment activities we aim to further expand our position as a leading provider also in this sophisticated customer segment,” stated Wolfgang Eder, chairman of voestalpine AG