A Custom Forging Process Can Save Time and Money

There is no such thing as a simple forging when customers are counting on you to keep their operations running on schedule. Even a minor gear defect can result in machining wear and tear, downtime, and broken promises to your customers.

Full-service forgers like Presrite can design and engineer near-net gears and other forging solutions to address specific component issues that drive up machining costs. Here is a sampling of custom forging techniques that can reduce per-part production expenses and increase part performance and durability. Each of these processes should begin in collaboration with the customer to provide the best outcome of part performance and machinability at the lowest possible cost.

Forging Simulation and Testing

Looking for a way to reduce the time it takes to run a gear through your machining process? Need a part that is guaranteed to clean up with less material? The right testing and 3D/CAD modeling simulations can deliver more value per part, as well as reduce overall production costs.

These techniques include:

  • Charpy impact testing to assess pressure and fatigue limitations.
  • Finite element analysis using 3D simulation software to make geometry adjustments to save material.
  • Elongation testing to determine how long it takes the metal to break.
  • Blocker design simulation of the forging process to spot metal defects and improve tooling precision.
  • Feasibility simulations to test repeated part performance, such as a chain link for a crawler track pad.

Casting-to-Forging Conversion

Truck axle gears, heavy equipment crawler pads, construction ripper arms... Casted components like these may seem cheaper than forgings up front, but they lack the long-term durability required for equipment performance. What’s more, the casting process lends itself to flaws, such as shrinkage within the cavities that reduce the value per part and may cause non-conformances and ultimately scrap.

Castings eventually fail during equipment performance, due to a lack of tensile strength and other poor metallurgical properties. Full-service forgers like Presrite can take casting designs and convert them into more durable custom forgings, such as flanges for drive axles.

Each Presrite casting to forging conversion delivers:

  • Increased tensile and yield strength critical for components such as axle side gears, spiders, and differential case parts.
  • The best mechanical strength-to-weight ratio for machining and performance durability in heavy equipment use.
  • Possible material and labor savings, such as those brought about by converting casted two-piece valves into one stronger, forged valve piece.
  • Less porosity that will allow for a better grade of finished product.

Innovative Forging Engineering

Ripper arms and other construction equipment often require multiple forgings that have to be welded together to create a final assembly. This entails additional tube steel and labor, which can be costly. In addition, welded components create weak points in the design and are more prone to breakage during heavy excavation.

Full-service forgers like Presrite can often combine multiple forgings into a single assembly, eliminating the need for time-consuming and expensive welding. A forged single assembly requires less time and labor for design and production, freeing skilled labor to focus on more value-adding manufacturing tasks. Furthermore, a single forged part is significantly more durable for heavy equipment performance.

Forging Quality Assurance

From the original steel billet to the finished part, a precisely controlled forging process is essential to ensuring quality assurance (QA). This process includes extensive engineer-to-engineer collaboration with the customer, as well an ISO-certified QA team to oversee each step of the forging process to ensure every gear and forged component is as precise as the one before it.

It takes multiple dedicated teams to ensure production quality. Just a few examples include:

  • The Forge Press Crew, who monitor:

    • Furnace and billet temperature to maintain part thickness.
    • Forging line equipment for proper and efficient operation.
    • Tool wear for adjustment or replacement.
  • Forge Hot Inspectors, who check parts in process to verify key features are running in print and closely monitor the parts for forging defects.

  • Forge Supervisors, who control the forge process, authorize die changes, approve production run setups, and ensure forge lines have no quality issues.

  • Mechanical Engineers, who assure parts run to design intent during the initial part tryout and the PPAP.

  • Final Inspectors and QA Engineers, who oversee quality and manage CMM Layouts and the PPAP/ISIR.

  • The Quality Manager, who coordinates with the forge shop for overall process improvements, including auditing all operations to ISO quality standards.

Most importantly, the QA/engineering teams should work together as a cohesive unit to ensure repeatable part precision for improved machining performance and reduced overall production costs.

At Presrite, our engineering and QA teams are staffed by ISO-certified professionals, many of whom have over 25 years’ experience in forging machining solutions. Plus, our state-of-the-art Technical Center gives us the ability to design forgings for your unique industry specifications and provide in-house die making capabilities to get your product to market faster and more efficiently.

Contact us today, to learn how our forging engineers can work with you to save you time and money. Or read our white paper to learn how our turnkey forging solutions can reduce your machining time and costs.