A forged valve manufacturer is now operating the largest hydraulic press yet built by Schuler AG in its 175 history. The machine’s design details are impressive: with a press force of 140 meganewtons, weighing 4,00 metric tons and rising 22 meters above ground, Schuler oversaw the start-up late last year at Russia’s Sukhodol Press Forging LLC, a new plant near Aleksin, about 100 miles south of Moscow. One of its primary products, valve bodies, range up to 2.50 meters in diameter.
At a total weight of 4,500 metric tons, the press is the core element of the new plant’s production line.
Besides its size, Schuler noted the flexibility of the press is impressive: Its range of workpieces includes rings that are forged automatically in three stages, open die-forged parts, and forged pipe sections, bends and tees for large-dimension pipes.
The plant is designed to produce 40,000 metric tons/year of forged parts, weighing 600 to 20,000 kg and up to 3 meters long, high, and wide. Workpieces include round blanks and flat sheets. Sukhodol’s products are intended primarily for oil-and-gas and energy industry systems, though it also will serve machine building, shipbuilding, and defense industry customers.
The press is capable of closed-die forging, too.
With thicknesses of 10 to 150 mm and covering a variety of metals and alloys, the blanks used in the press are heated just once for the three-stage forming process. This reduces energy costs, increases production safety, and prolongs working life for the parts, according to Schuler.
Manipulating machinery was supplied by Dango & Dienenthal Maschinenbau GmbH.
The furnaces for the process line were supplied by Andritz Maerz, an affiliate of Schuler AG.
The entire process line was developed in less than 18 months, from order to delivery. After assembly at Schuler’s plant in Waghäusel, Germany, the press was dismantled into several parts weighing up to 275 mt for transport to Russia, where it was reassembled and engineered for production.