August 2022 Volume 4

Official Publication of the Forging Industry Association

August 2022


ImprovingForging DieLifewith Simulation pg. 24

What You Need toKnow About ForgeShop


pg. 20


pg. 32

Is it Time toRethinkWhereWeWork? pg. 44

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International Forging Congress (IFC) 2022 Thanks to all who came out for the 23rd edition of the International Forging Congress. 230 delegates and 43 exhibitors participated. Covid managed to put a slight damper on this edition of IFC with fewer international attendees (50 came) and no plant tours as potential hosts grappled with Covid exposure and available labor to even conduct the tours. Delegates were treated to some outstanding presentations and a wonderful time at the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry and some fun dancing at the closing banquet. Next up? The 24th edition of IFC heads to Europe in 2025. FIA is supporting the 2nd edition of the EuroForge conFair this September 28-29 in Bilbao, Spain and we look forward to engaging with our many FIA European supplier members while there. Fall Meeting of Members Heads toWashington, D.C. With FIA’s new Government Affairs department in full swing, it made sense to the FIA Board to head to Washington, D.C. with a public-policy themed event this October 24th-26th. For fun – how about seeing the Capitol’s most iconic sights with an evening riverboat cruise dinner down the Potomac? As FIA strives to engage with our country’s military, we focused on securing high-level presentations from the DoD, including the Deputy Undersecretary; a key director from the Industrial Base Analysis & Sustainment (IBAS) program, and our final keynote from retired 4-Star Navy Admiral James Stavridis. Further to FIA’s engagement with our military, the Forging Defense Manufacturing Consortium (FDMC) hosted the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Program (JDMTP) at the end of July and reviewed five projects supported by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), of which FIA is one (Workforce Development Toolkit – Forging University). Finally, I wanted to share that FIA members have taken part in several listening sessions related to the Castings & Forgings supply chain to the military over the past year. Our industry was one of the five supply chains targeted by the Administration. You can read the DoD’s report on the Casting & Forging supply chain here. FIA’s Forging Automation 101 Workshop & Plant Tours Returns to Cleveland-Area Special thanks to Canton Drop Forge and MK Morse Company for hosting plant tours in support of FIA’s workshop coming this August 24-25 in the Canton-Akron area. Currently at 60 attendees, President's Note

we’ve assembled the leading thinkers and integrators when it comes to automation in the forging operation. FIA is committed to helping our members and industry chip away at our labor shortages in all ways possible…workforce development, our Forging Foundation, and leading the way on forging automation. You can see the full program agenda here, and if you want to see past FIA Magazine coverage on automation you can click here and see our two-issue coverage to date. FIA Forging Foundation – Thank You for Your Continued Support FIERF has had successful fundraisers at our Annual Meeting (21K) and soon at our upcoming FIERF Golf Outing at Firestone South golf course (43K and growing). Please read the FIERF section of this issue to learn about all that we are doing with your generous donations. Every penny given to FIERF goes to work for students, research and schools that support forging. FIA covers all the operating expenses of the foundation. To learn more about how you can get involved, please either email me or our FIERF Manager Amanda Dureiko ( ForjaMEX Conference – FIA’s First in Mexico This September 7th - 8th Our Mexico Conference Subcommittee has planned an excellent event for both executives and production staff in the growing area of Queretaro, Mexico. We invite US-based forging executives to attend as well to help evaluate if any investment in forging inMexico makes sense for your mix of businesses (executive track delivered in English). The conference covers a wide spectrum: Mexico economy, supply chain, reshoring, latest production technology for forging, lean manufacturing, and more. You can see the full agenda here or just visit the FIAwebsite. Sponsorships are available as well, inclusive of a tabletop exhibit space. Contact me or Megha Patel (megha@ for more information. Best regards, James R. Warren

President and CEO Forging Industry Association

PUBLISHER James R. Warren MANAGING EDITOR Angela Gibian Editorial Staff

Board of Directors

Antonio Alvarez Perry Bennett Peter Campbell

Mark Derry JimKravec Mike Morgus Scott Naar James Romeo

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Amanda Dureiko DESIGN Lorean Crowder


Mark Candy John Coward




p. 8

p. 58

p. 71

DEPARTMENTS 1 President's Note 4 Washington Update 8 Maintenance 24 Materials 36 Operations & Management 53 Industry News

PRESIDENT'S NOTE 1 President's Note WASHINGTON UPDATE 4 Biden’s Bind: Tariffs and Inflation 6 FIA Washington Update MAINTENANCE 8 Electronic Maintenance for Forging Presses and Upsetters 13 The (In)Efficient Plant 18 Designing and Building a Foundation for Processing Equipment 20 What You Need to Know About Forge Shop Foundations MATERIALS 24 Improving Forging Die Life With Simulation 30 Heat Treat Corner 32 Die Steel Welding 34 Innovative Tool Steels for Forging Dies OPERATIONS & MANAGEMENT 36 An Increasing Need for Good Managers in Today’s Labor Market 37 Leadership and Management FAQ 38 Bright Spots Amid Softening Demand 39 What’s in Your Crystal Ball? 40 The Importance of Supply Chain Management 42 The Hard Facts About Soft Skills 44 Is it Time to Rethink Where We Work?

46 Forging a Path Toward Growth 48 Women of Scot Forge: 52 Your Last Wake Up Call: FERC 2022 Summer Assessment INDUSTRY NEWS 53 TomMarry Named President – Charter Steel 53 Innovative Forging Solutions 55 FIA Member Spotlight: Bemers & Co. 56 Welcome New Members 57 FIA Marketing Conference 58 Women in Manufacturing: Now and the Near Future 61 Schuler's Erfurt Location Celebrates 125 th Birthday American Axle & Manufacturing 66 The Forging Foundation Awards 19 New Scholarships 68 FIA’s Technical Committee Approves 9 New Grants MEMBERS SPEAK 71 Hold China Accountable: 301 Tariffs and National Security AD INDEX 72 August Advertiser Index 62 FIA Upcoming Events FORGING RESEARCH 64 A War on Talent 65 FIERF Donor Spotlight:

64 Forging Research 71 Members Speak 72 Ad Index

Official Publication of the Forging Industry Association

August 2022


ImprovingForging DieLifewith Simulation pg. 24

What You Need toKnow About ForgeShop


pg. 20


pg. 32

Is it Time toRethinkWhereWeWork? pg. 44

For advertising contact Images courtesy of Forge Precision Co.

FIA Magazine (ISSN 2643-1254 (print) and ISSN 2643-1262 (online)) is published 4 times annually, May, August, November and February by the Forging Industry Association, 1111 Superior Ave., Suite 615, Cleveland, OH 44114. Telephone: (216) 781-6260, Fax: (216) 781-0102. Only (1) copy of the print version distributed at no charge only to members of the Forging Industry Association. Digital version distributed at no charge to qualified individuals. Subscription requests available at Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid in Cleveland, OH and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Forging Industry Association, 1111 Superior Ave., Suite 615, Cleveland, OH 44114. Copyright © 2022 by the Forging Industry Association in both printed and electronic formats. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or part without the consent of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for product claims and representations or for any statement made or opinion expressed herein. Data and information presented by the authors of specific articles are for informational purposes only and are not intended for use without independent, substantiating investigation on the part of potential users.



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Biden’s Bind: Tariffs and Inflation By Omar S. Nashashibi

The President is in a bind, again. No, not on the failure to get climate change legislation through Congress. Nor on the inability to raise taxes on the wealthy. Most of his voters wanted those and more but political reality and the calendar stopped much of Biden’s agenda. The President is stuck in a Chinese finger trap with manufacturers and unions on one side and importers and consumers on the other. For months the White House debated internally about whether to lift all tariffs on Chinese imports, maintain the status quo, or add more while removing a few consumer-oriented goods such as bicycles. Starting in July 2018, former President Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on over 7,000 Chinese goods and 7.5 percent on an additional 3,000 products. The Section 301 tariff currently applies to roughly two-thirds of all imports from China, which amounts to an estimated $336 billion of goods entering the U.S. in 2021. Dozens of American forgings are currently covered by the 25 percent rate, a start in helping level out the playing field. Despite a strong lobbying campaign by importers, President Biden did not make changes to the Section 301 China tariff structure prior to Independence Day as deliberations within the White House continued. Sources inWashington,D.C. indicate thatU.S.TradeRepresentative Ambassador Katherine Tai supports keeping the tariffs as leverage in talks with Beijing, while Secretaries of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, and of Treasury, Janet Yellen support lifting some of the tariffs in an effort to reduce inflation. This argument continues to pick up steam among advocates who want the Section 301 trade action lifted, and it is politically popular, as is anything, that politicians believe will alleviate inflationary pressure on consumers (read: before voters go to polls in November). Having been a registered manufacturing lobbyist in the nation’s capital for over twenty years, I can tell when politicians are nervous and Democrats in the White House and Congress see the writing on the wall. They likely will lose the U.S. House and possibly the Senate as well. This means they’re willing to pull out all the stops if they believe it will improve the economy and their chances in the coming election. However, those claiming that lifting tariffs on Chinese forgings will reduce inflation are parroting a false narrative. The Peterson Institute for International Economics found that lifting the tariffs on all 10,000-plus imports would reduce inflation in the short-term by 0.3 percent at a time when annual inflation sat at 9.1 percent in June 2022. The reduction this study found assumed that Biden lifts all tariffs, an option not under discussion. Removing tariffs on China is not the panacea being promised when it comes to reducing inflation. But again, this is Washington, D.C. where public policy built on bad ideas occurs more often than you should know.

Politically, the White House knows that voters in top Senate battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will see any lifting of tariffs on China as weak against Beijing. This will not help Democrats’ chances of keeping the upper chamber as manufacturers will take notice and unions will revolt. On the other hand, the President has limited options to lower short-term inflation, which leads some to argue for the removal of the tariffs. The Forging Industry Association (FIA) is fighting for the industry and lobbying the Biden administration to keep in place the tariffs on Chinese forgings. FIA mobilized the membership who submitted formal requests to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to keep the tariffs on forgings in place. USTR is considering whether to recommend lifting some or all of the Section 301 tariffs and FIA is strongly pushing back. In addition to generating member company support, FIA filed its own extensive comments with USTR demonstrating how the 25 percent tariffs on Chinese forgings continue to benefit the industry and the American economy. In a June 2022 survey FIA conducted of its members in preparation for the USTR filing, 57 percent of member companies reported that the 25 percent tariff has allowed them to take on business previously offshored to China. Some FIA member companies report that lifting the tariffs could lead to an immediate 15 percent downturn in business with others describing “dramatic losses in revenue.” FIA members report that USTR lifting the 25 percent tariff on imported Chinese forgings would directly lead to lost business. Several companies estimated a 10-15 percent downturn due to lifting the tariffs and the new price differential. Members report that within the past few years, their same quote for a similar product came in at 30-40 percent above their Chinese competitors, with the “China price” today being up to 50 percent cheaper with a company reporting a 70 percent price disadvantage. If you were to ask the typical forger, they would tell you that a 25 percent tariff is a starting point but not a solution. There are discussions ongoing over whether to start a new, separate Section 301 investigation, this one focused on addressing illegal Chinese government subsidies and the use of State-Owned Enterprises that compete with American manufacturers. A study earlier this year found that of the 100 largest listed Chinese companies, wholly or partially government state-owned businesses accounted for more than half of the market share. Were the USTR to initiate another trade case, this could lead to a new round of tariffs on Beijing. From a political posturing standpoint, this is the bind in which Biden finds himself – lift existing tariffs on some goods to appease one constituency and then impose new tariffs for the constituency he just upset. And all this is happening roughly ninety days out from an election.




USTR is keeping the tariffs in place while the Biden administration tries to walk their tightrope. A full review of whether to maintain current policy could begin later this year, but FIA is not taking any chances. We are not only lobbying the U.S. Trade Representative as they work on the tariff review but also testifying at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). Congress included language in a March 2022 spending law directing the ITC to investigate and present a report to lawmakers by March 2023 on the impact of the Section 301 tariffs on industry. The ITC recently selected Jim Warren, President & CEO of FIA, and association member Trenton Forging Company to testify at the three-day hearing in late July. Chinese steel forgings for machinery exceeded those of any other country in 2017, prior to the imposition of the 25 percent tariff rate. For the past three years, China also led all importers of forged gear blanks and ranks second only toMexico in the shipping of articles of forged iron and steel. The threat coming from Chinese forgings to American economic and national security is real. China increased its market share by 9 percent over the past five years and today, India, Turkey, and Brazil account for an additional 15 percent also leading to a broader concern over sourcing from allies if the U.S. forging base continues to erode.

With a clear seat at the table, FIA continues to lobby the Biden administration to support the U.S. forging industry and maintain the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports. Unfortunately, those promoting Chinese imports also have a seat at the table, which is why FIA is fighting for the industry at USTR, the ITC, on Capitol Hill, and within the White House. Biden’s bind is a making of his own and FIA has a straightforward solution – keep the tariffs on Chinese forgings in place.

Omar S. Nashashibi is a founding partner at The Franklin Partnership, LLC, a Washington-D.C. based lobbying firm representing the Forging Industry Association before the federal government. Phone: 202-715-1264 Email:





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As many of you know, the forging industry is at a crucial crossroads in the United States. With the White House’s next steps in flux regarding the Section 301 tariffs combined with a labor shortage, forging manufacturers are suffering across the nation. We have developed a two-step strategy to understand the challenges you all face daily combat them in Congress. First, it is of utmost importance to have additional members join the FIA Public Policy Committee in order to provide insight and knowledge on the issues of concern. Second, there is a crucial need to obtain contributions for the Forging Political Action Committee, as this is a key way to have our industry’s voice represented on Capitol Hill. All of this is only possible with your help! By joining the Public Policy Committee, you will be surrounded by the best and the brightest in the forging industry who aim to promote FIA’s advocacy objective. Members guide FIA and our Lobby Firm on areas of concern and identify crucial priorities. Additional voices will diversify and expand our grasp of policy challenges faced. Please consider coming aboard the committee and elevating forging industry awareness on Capitol Hill. FIA strives to help our members remain competitive through our advocacy efforts in Washington, which are dedicated to ensuring that policymakers understand forging and the issues plaguing our industry. That effort has been successful in the past, but it is limited to educating elected officials after they have been elected. The Forging Political Action Committee will help us build relationships and get candidates elected and/or keep lawmakers in office who resonate with the forging industry. Many ask how we gauge the success of the PAC. While there are no quantitative, tangible results, we do see more fruitful relationships withmembers of Congress. For example, better access to stakeholder meetings and industry consideration. The Forging PAC is the leading and proven way to promote our industry. FIAWashington Update By Megha Patel

You might be wondering how your contribution will be utilized. In order to ensure funds are being spent wisely, we plan to conduct candidate interviews to see if the individual supports the forging industry. This process begins by sending the candidate a questionnaire with preliminary questions to gauge awareness and support of forging manufacturers. If they indicate support or would like to be educated more to take a stance, we will invite them to the interview process. The PAC Steering Committee will determine if the candidate is worthy of receiving funds based on the candidate’s willingness to work with the FIA, building a relationship with us, giving us a seat at the table, and more. Rest assured the money will not be allocated without a thorough vetting process. FIA Fall Meeting of Members – Washington, D.C. Themed We are excited to announce the program for our annual Fall Meeting and first-ever PAC reception! This year the event will be hosted inWashington, D.C. and will be all things political. FIA has secured exceptional speakers, like Christopher Lowman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, Department of Defense and Admiral James Stavridis and Adele Ratcliff, Director, Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program. The ForgingPAC reception will allowmembers the opportunity to cruise the Potomac River and sightsee the monuments all while supporting the forging industry. This is an event you won’t want to miss and hope to see you all there! Click here to register. All things considered, please engage with our advocacy efforts and bring the forging industry to the forefront of policymakers. Every voice counts!

FIA Fall Meeting of Members October 24-26, 2022 Hyatt RegencyWashington on Capitol Hill Monday, October 24, 2022

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

FIA Board Breakfast (Board Members Only) FIA Board Meeting (Board Members Only) Joint Board Lunch (Board Members Only) FIERF Board Meeting (Board Members Only)


8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Grand Teton

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.





2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Next Gen Group Activity (Must be pre-registered) Fall Meeting of Members Welcome Reception

Brewery Tour

(Waiver Required)

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 p.m. 8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Registration Open Opening Breakfast

Capitol Foyer Capitol A/B Capitol A/B

Welcome &Announcements

FIA Chairman

8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Capitol A/B


Christopher Lowman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, Department of Defense

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Workforce Development Panel

Capitol A/B

Moderator: JimWarren Panelists:

Dave Schaub, Leigh Heavy Forge Vic Venettozzi, Consolidated Industries

10:45 a.m.


11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

DoDWorkforce Development Initiatives Capitol A/B Adele Ratcliff, Director-Industrial Base Analysis & Sustainment (IBAS), DoD

11:45 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

FIA& FIERF Update JimWarren, President & CEO, FIA

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


Capitol A/B

FIA Lobbyist Update Omar Nashashibi, The Franklin Partnership

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

National Association of Manufacturers Michael O’Brien, Vice President of Advocacy & Public Affairs, NAM

5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Buses arrive/pickup Reception &Dinner

Potomac River Dinner Cruise

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. 8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Registration Open

Capitol Foyer Capitol A/B Capitol A/B


Economic &Market Trends Update Dr. Chris Kuehl, FIA Economist, Armada Corporate Intelligence

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.


Capitol A/B

Keynote: Admiral James G. Stavridis

11:30 p.m.


Megha Patel Government Affairs &Operations Specialist Forging Industry Association Phone: 216-781-6260 Email:



Electronic Maintenance for Forging Presses and Upsetters By Jeff Fredline

Under current market conditions and looking forward, the manufacturing community must utilize every productive tool at its disposal to improve throughput and profitability. The methods of the past will not be profitable moving forward. The good news is that there are cost effective methods of monitoring your operations. • But what should we monitor? Some items lend themselves easily to electronic monitoring, others to mechanical monitoring. We will begin by first examining the items that require hands-on monitoring and then examine what is available to monitor the presses and their proper operation. There are three functions that each press machine must provide: Perfectly square die space -- This is provided by the machine structure; rigidity and squareness are critical. • Energy -- Energy to drive the forming/holding components of the machine. Mechanical machines generally use a flywheel to store the needed energy to cycle or stroke the machine. • Repeatable force on the workpiece -- Provided by the frame and the drivetrain of the specific machine. Take away any of these three functions and your process will not work. MonitorTheseMechanical Items to Insure theBestPerformance of your Machine Flywheel Function -- The flywheel is normally mounted on anti friction bearings on a shaft and is driven by a main motor. There should not be any end play between the flywheel and the shaft the wheel is mounted on. If there is end play movement while the wheel is idling, the bearing stack up is no longer correct and this condition needs to be corrected as soon as possible. If the flywheel moves end to end when the clutch is engaged the bearing stack up has also been affected and requires immediate attention. These problems can be monitored by the motor amp meter and will result in an increase in amperage draw. Clutch and Brake Function -- The functionality of the brake assembly is checkedby a brakemonitor that senses the brake stopping time function with each stroke of the press. There are issues such as travel and air leakage that are not measured electronically and need manual checks. The clutch air pressure can also be monitored. Clutch travel is also critical to the proper function of the unit. Wear should be monitored on both the clutch and brake linings. This will normally be a manual measurement that needs to be benchmarked. Hydraulic and Pneumatic Leaks -- Both hydraulic and pneumatic systems leak. Oil leaks cause housekeeping issues. Any time there

is a system hydraulic or pneumatic leak on the power side of the circuit there is a reduction in working force that is transferred, such as clutch torque. This can cause excessive slippage, heat generation and premature wear of friction surfaces. Die Space Parallelism -- All tooling is designed to be operated within a perfectly square environment. When you attempt to run tooling and parts in less than such, your manufacturing costs increase, the machinery wears and the parts run will be unable to hold manufacturing tolerances. The only effective method to monitor the die space is a four-channel tonnage monitor that shows the effective force on each of the ram’s four corners. This shows you what is happening with each stroke regarding force. Changes in force on a specific corner of the die space can show potential problems requiring further examination. Understanding Vertical Lift Clearances and their Effect on Throughput -- Vertical lift clearances have a direct effect on die space parallelism, especially if the wear is more to one side of the machine than the other. As you use your machine, it is normal for the working clearances to increase. Counterbalance cylinders are located on your machine to help minimize the effects of the excessive wear. We will further discuss their effectiveness, proper use and adjustment under Counterbalance Cylinders.

Bushing Clearance Points.




Tonnage Monitoring -- It is impossible to accurately maintain process control without knowing what forces are occurring during the manufacturing process. Understanding how much force or tonnage is being generated during each stroke of the machine is critical to maintaining the usable life of the machine and the tooling. The goal should be to use the least amount of force required to manufacture the product within allowable tolerances. Often, we simply “heat it and beat it” without concern for the press equipment, the only goal being to obtain acceptable parts. We must strive for process control and only use what is necessary for the production of the part, thus enhancing machine life. Temperature at Bushing and Way Surfaces Heat Sensors -- The enemy of all machinery is excessive heat. Simplified, the source of all heat is friction. The normal sources of heat concern within a forging or mechanical press are: • Main Bushings -- Support the crankshaft • Flywheel bearings • Intermediate or driveshaft bearings • Pitman Bushings; Crankshaft, wrist pin and pocket liners/ upsetter linkage • Way Surfaces; Tail and lower ram/heading and grip slides • Clutch and brake assemblies • Counterbalance bearing points, springs on upsetters • Upper and lower knockout assemblies Machine lubrication plays an important role in the bushing/ bearing surface temperatures on a press, forging, trim or stamping. Providing the correct lubricant in the correct amount and frequency each play a major role in the function of the lubrication system. The use of cycle switches on the lubrication distribution blocks is an accurate way to track the proper function of the system as well as temperature probes. Counterbalance System Pressure (Forging Presses and Trim Presses) -- The counterbalance system is critical to maximizing the life of your machine. The system is used for two major purposes. The first is to lift the weight of the crankshaft, bull gear, clutch and brake assemblies and the ram assembly. This gives the motor the chance to recover before the next stroke. The second is to hide the vertical lift clearances as the bearing clearance increases due to excessive wear. The air pressure can be monitored and controlled by using an automatic counterbalance system, such as a Ross system. You may also use a pressure switch to ensure that you have the full adjusted pressure during operation. 9.0 Lubrication andHydraulic SystemManagement: Obviously, the machine must be properly lubricated to achieve its maximum life cycle.The following areas should be monitored to ensure success: • Oil or fluid levels • Lubrication systemmonitoring using cycle switches • Periodic use of fluid testing to monitor contamination level • In hydraulic systems it is wise to use magnetic bars located in the reservoirs to collect metal particles

The first two items above can be monitored electronically. The final two should be included in a regular maintenance program. 10.0 Electrical system issues and maintenance -- When a machine has a control issue, little things like fault lights should be monitored and maintained so that you know right away when there is a problem. One electrical system component that is critical to monitor is the main motor amperage draw. By benchmarking your operational amperage draw you will know when you begin to see an increase. Normally an amperage increase is due to an increase in resistance to rotation in a journal surface within the machine. Any rotational component is subject to this condition. This is an early warning indicator, as you can often see the amperage change before other conditions such as lubrication issues appear.

Forging presses, metal stamping (trim presses) and upsetter equipment are expensive pieces and are critical to your operation. Electronics can and should be used to monitor everything that we have discussed. Due to the adverse conditions experienced during the forging process, care will be needed to protect sensors, probes, and cameras. Even given the difficulty involved in maintaining the electronic and mechanical sensors, the benefits outweigh the problems.



Using a computer-based database for benchmarking the data as described above will enhance the value of monitoring, increase throughput and reduce unscheduled maintenance.

Is Your Dilution Ratio within 2% Accurate?

Proper Dilution Ratios are Key to Performance and Sustainability – 2% Off on Dilution Ratio is Wasting Money Too Concentrated: Extra volume usage – higher lube and inbound freight costs. Too Diluted: Bad part formation and release from die, high waste haul costs. PRO-MIX ™ proportional mixing systems deliver a reliable blend of lubricant concentrate with water in ratios anywhere from 1:1 to 1:150 and consistently within 1% accuracy.

Special thanks to Peter Campbell of Campbell Inc. for the photos used in this article. Campbell Inc. specializes in the Repair, Rebuilding and Remanufacture of Forging Equipment. Jeff Fredline Sales Engineer MECO Email:

Connect with us to see how we can help. Just call (616) 249-1525

Learn more about improving your operation.


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• CO 2 neutral forging / energy efficiency • Forging 4.0 / robotics • Lightweight forging • E-mobility effects on forging • New materials in forging • Forging process re-engineering MAIN TOPICS


The subject of plant efficiency is an important one to consider, for in metal forming operations there is no greater ongoing cost than that of energy. Prior to the energy crisis of the 1970s, the energy consumed by a typical hot forging operation consisted of both electricity and a heating fuel, either gas or fuel oil. Following the oil embargo, many forging companies made the switch from gas- and oil-fired furnaces to electric radiant heated furnaces and newer solid-state induction heating furnaces. This switch enabled the forge to condense its energy bills into primarily electrical. Like the energy crisis of the 1970s, today's high energy prices are also the result of geopolitics. Today, forging producers are facing the conspicuous absence of new technologies offering high gains in efficiency, much as electric heating did in the 1970s. Additionally, the energy billing structure has become more complex, albeit creative, when it comes to ensuring that the utilities' costs of transportation (e.g. gas), generation and transmission are covered by the consumer. Thus, for the forging producer, the battle for profits and against inefficiencies is not to be won with the conventional weapons of capital expenditure, but the more subtle tools of strategy, innovation and most importantly, sheer determination. The Forge as An Energy Consumer: Typical Model The energy consumption of a typical forge can be broken down into three separate components. They consist of energy required for facility and lighting, material handling and manipulation, and to the heating of workpieces. Facility and Lighting -- To keep a commercial office suitably lit and warm in the northwest region of the United States requires on average of 0.28 electrical-watts per square-foot of space[1]. For a 20,000 square-foot office occupied 60 hours/week, approximately 17,470 kilowatt-hours (kWh) are consumed annually. Similarly, gas for heating approximates as an additional 30-50 percent relative to electrical consumption. Material Handling and Manipulation -- The energy required to saw, shear, upset, extrude, bend, or otherwise forge the workpiece is almost exclusively done with an electric motor providing the energy for the work. The motors and supporting electrical equipment to perform these operations range from less than 1 horsepower (hp) up to several hundred hp. The wattage of a 1 hp motor is 743 watts, a common 50 hp motor has a demand of 37.3 kW. Motor power consumption is directly correlated to press capacity, forging size, and forging rate. While the press is idle the motor may only demand 5 kW to maintain flywheel rotation. During a press stroke the motor could demand all 37 kW during the one-second press stroke plus an additional three seconds afterwards to regain press momentum. For a 37 kW (50 hp) motor driving a fly-wheel press The (In)Efficient Plant By Josh Carney

to produce 6 parts-per-minute, the energy consumption averages out to approximately 17.8 kWh. Based on the same 60-hour service week, the annual energy consumption of a single 50 hp forging press motor is approximately 55,500 kWh.

Figure 1. The kW demand of a press motor averages out over time. Energy Required for Material Heating -- Prior to hot forming/ forging operations, the temperature of the forging material must be increased to a suitable temperature for the operation. The target temperature depends on the forming process and the metallurgy of the forging material. The amount of energy it takes to bring the material to working temperature depends on many variables including target temperature, material dimensions, composition, forging rate, and thermal efficiency. For a modestly efficient induction setup the carbon steel billet heating rate is between 5.5 and 6.5 pounds of steel per kWh. As an example, to forge grade 1030 steel at a rate of 4,300 pounds per hour with an efficiency of approximately 5.5 pounds per kWh, requires approximately 782 kWh of electrical power[2]. Yearly consumption at this rate, based on the 60-hour week amounts to approximately 2,440,000 kWh annually. Where to Realize Cost Savings From these numbers, it is evident that the greatest volume of energy consumption, and hence most significant ongoing cost, goes into material heating prior to forging. If a company is to reduce its energy costs, it must either improve the efficiency of operations or reduce the energy cost. Production Efficiency -- In forging operations, it is possible to have two comparable forging plants operate at drastically different energy efficiencies and hence, cost of operations. Of the three components



comprising the model of the forges’ energy consumption, material heating efficiencies can vary by greater than 50 percent, pound for pound. Presently, the highest claimed efficiency of an induction heating installation is approximately 85 percent. This means that if 1000 kW are put in, 850 kW are retained in the material immediately before forging. The remainder is lost to component heating and the environment. Actual efficiency numbers depend on the practices of the company. Heating efficiencies are often much lower than 85 percent, and it is realistic to experience efficiencies of only 35-40 percent. These abysmal numbers are the outcome of: • Poor production planning (rejecting heated billets and not utilizing ‘holding’ features) • Improperly sized induction coil for material dimensions/ composition • Unsuitable induction frequency or load tuning To put this in perspective, at 40 percent efficiency, if an induction heater uses 2,400,000 kWh annually, the company is paying to send 1,440,000 kWh out the door in the form of heat loss. Improving Efficiency -- Given these examples of efficiency, it is also possible for a company to improve production losses just as much through examining its practices and applying efficiency improving operating procedures. Example of this are: • Ensure coils are properly sized formaterial heating. Oversized coils create unnecessary electrical component heating and waste energy. • Optimize preheat and utilize billet holding features if available. • Consult with the OEM on optimization of ‘Zone’ or ‘Stage’ heating if available. • Ensure frequency is appropriate and induction resonant tuning is optimized. Utility Billing Stemming Profit-Loss to the Utilities -- The ‘utility’ faces costs in gathering, storing, producing, and delivering energy to its customers. Powerplants do not build themselves, transmission lines do not erect themselves, and everything requires periodic maintenance or replacement. All this costs the utility money, and over the years they have become quite creative in exacting this money from their customers. The Forge is Not My Home -- In our residential electric bills we see multiple line items detailing what our costs are. These typically cover generation, transmission and cost recovery.The costs are either a product of electrical consumption (i.e. derived from how many kWhs were consumed in a month), or fixed ratio amounts related to some aspect of electrical delivery. Absent from most of our bills are how we used the electricity, when we used the electricity, and what appliance was powered by the electricity.

All technical differences aside (three-phase versus single-phase, for example), the electrical utility billing structure for a forge has several of the same line items billed to residential customers. It also has unique charges related to the how, when and what the electrical power was used for. Let us investigate this further. Characteristics of a forge as viewed by the electrical utility include: • Creation of high demand loads during press motor start-up • Press motors creation of poor power-factor conditions • Induction heaters creating large harmonic currents • Induction heaters having high overall demand Electrical transmission and distribution networks have a finite capacity and the forge pushes this capacity to the limit. Since the utility does not usually install new substations on the whim of its customers, the billing structure is designed to encourage its industrial customers to use power responsibly and prevent overburdening of the existing infrastructure. To look at how this is accomplished we will consider two significant utility bill line-items unique to industrial consumers, and several strategies to reduce them. Power-Factor and Peak Demand Billing: It’s Strategic but Not Magic --The first, power-factor (PF), is a property of electrical usage that the utility must account for, as it affects the size of the power distribution network (substations and power lines). The type and design of machinery in operation determines the PF. Power-factor is measured in kVAR’s (an acronym for kiloVolt-Ampere Reactive), which is a unit of demand. In billing terminology it is also referred to as lagging reactive demand. In utility billing, PF is measured and billed in the same way as kWdemand. The second, peak demand, is a method of recording the greatest amount of electrical power that a facility used during a specific time-period, then billing the customer at that rate for a longer, pre specified period. For example, if a machine demands 1000 kW for a single 15-minute period, then only 3 kW for the remainder of the month, the utility may have an agreement with the customer to bill the customer for the entire month at the 1000 kWh rate, even though the customer only used it at that rate for 15 minutes. Large motors, as the type used for press flywheels and large hydraulic pumps have starting demand on the orders of 10X to 20X larger than normal operating demands. Peak demand charges are also determined by the time of day and peak rates are often higher in the afternoons and lower at midnight[3]. The reason for this apparently unreasonable billing structure is to encourage responsible power usage and to avoid overloading the power distribution system.



Reducing or Avoiding kVAR and Peak Demand Charges -- We have discussed two of the more significant charges that are itemized on an industrial electrical utility bill. Now we will look at how to avoid them. • Power Factor Improvement -- Power-factor is a property of the machinery being powered, is unique to the customer, and is completely within control of the customer to affect it. A machine need-not have a poor PF, but many types of older machines were designed when PF billing did not exist. Improving PF can be a matter of improving machine design and/or installation of mitigation equipment. The first steps to improving PF are to determine if it is a significant charge on the utility bill, identify which machinery is the source of the poor PF and then calculate the return on investment for the equipment to correct the PF. There are many experienced consultants who can perform internal electrical power audits with the goal of identifying and improving poor PF conditions.

it is more economical to leave a motor running between production intervals); and identify equipment that can be improved through engineering to reduce the demand during starting and operation. (An example of this is to use a ‘Soft Start’ motor controller on a forging press motor to reduce the high initial demand during starting.)

Figure 3. Measured kW demand of a 750 kW induction heater

Competitive Energy Procurement Thanks to energy deregulation, electrical power (and gas) is bought and sold as a commodity. In several states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois, electrical power can be purchased competitively through auctions and contract negotiations. Several firms exist to partner with industrial customers to give the customer more competitive options on bulk energy purchases[4].The benefit of an energy purchasing partner extends into reducing peak demand charges. Many firms can forecast periods of high peak-demand rates and provide guidance to clients as to when the periods are expected to occur. This gives the utility customer the opportunity to temporarily curtail electrical usage until the period of high peak charges has passed, then resume normal production rates.

Figure 2. Measured lagging demand of a 750 kW induction heater • Peak Demand Avoidance -- Electrical demand billing is not only a result of machinery design, as with power-factor, but is also affected by production scheduling and utility billing structure[3]. Knowing the source of high demand is important, and engineering changes can be made to reduce the demand a machine puts on the utility. Some actions are to reviewmachine/production start-up procedures and identify times when multiple processes start simultaneously, leading to a high peak demand condition; reduce the unnecessary starting and stopping of large motor loads (sometimes



Efficiency is aWhole-Company Approach Plant efficiency has a direct effect on profitability. Direct and open communication between the departments in a company is crucial to improving efficiency and business competitiveness. Making correlations between energy costs (accounting), machine efficiency losses (maintenance), and customer quoting practices (sales) puts the company in a better position to offer more competitive pricing, or else reduce the costs of production which increases profit margins.

References [1.] M. Sheppy, L. Gentile-Polese and S. Gould, "Plug and Process Loads, Capacity, and Power Requirements Analysis," U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, 2017. [2.] Integral Power Technologies LLC, "Basics of Induction Heating (Presentation)," Integral Power Technologies LLC, Painesville, 2021. [3.] Dranetz Technologies, Inc., The Dranetz Field Handbook for Electrical Energy Management, Edison, New Jersey: Dranetz Technologies, Inc., 1992, 2013. [4.] "Transparent Energy," July 2022. [Online]. [Accessed 2022]. Josh Carney Technical Director Integral Power Technologies, LLC Phone: 440-701-6022 Email:

Figure 4. Departmental knowledge influences profitability.

Conclusion Efficiency is a hard-won goal. It requires open-mindedness, inter departmental communication, creativity, and knowledge. Studying work-flow and scrutinizing utility bills is a great start to improving profit margins.


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