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SMS-rotary-forging-800.jpg SMS group
The SMX radial forging design involves a rigid press frame with four hydraulic cylinders and corresponding tools arranged in an “X” shape.

Fire at Universal Stainless Rotary Forging Plant

Update: Radial forging operation repaired and returned to service following hydraulic fluid rupture

Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc. reported its radial forging machine at North Jackson, OH, has been repaired and returned to service According to the manufacturer, the fire on June 14 was caused by a ruptured hydraulic line that led hydraulic fluid contacting hot metal and igniting. There were no injuries reported from the fire.

“We are very pleased that this incident was resolved quickly, and we are able to continue our forge production efforts,” stated chairman, president, and CEO Dennis Oates. “Our employees stepped up and completed the repairs in the most efficient manner while others continued to focus on production. I want to thank all of the employees at the North Jackson facility for their efforts and I also want to thank the outside suppliers that helped us at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to assist us in getting back into operation.”

The fire was contained to the rotary forging machine, which has been in operation there since 2012.

Clean-up and repair activities commenced immediately after the fire was extinguished, according to the manufacturer. Electrical and hydraulic repairs are underway, it added.

Universal Stainless offered no estimate on the cost to repair the damage.

Universal Stainless said it does not expect any impact to product delivery schedules, and it anticipates that the forging machine will be operational in a matter of days.

It noted that it has the ability to shift hot work production to its Dunkirk, NY, plant.

Universal Stainless manufactures stainless steel, nickel alloys, tool steel, and other alloyed steels, which it supplies as semi-finished and finished products to aerospace and defense manufacturers.  Included among its products are forging billets. The North Jackson plant, near Youngstown, OH, was acquired in 2011 for a reported $104.5 million. 

The SMX radial forging machine is an SMS design involving a highly rigid press frame with four hydraulic cylinders and corresponding tools, arranged in an “X” shape.

"The long stroke characteristic of all hydraulic radial forging machines allows the charge material to be forged into finished products with a wide diameter variance," according SMS, "normally with three sets of tools.

"Tool changing is quick and easy thanks to the maintenance-friendly design. The enclosure of the workpiece together with the high stroke rate of the hydraulic cylinders ensures a high degree of deformation and freely adjustable rate of deformation that can be adapted to suit the material. The high degree of enclosure of the tools significantly enhances the forming capacity."

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