May 2024 Volume 6


FORGING AUTOMATION Look How Far We Have Come +

Robotic 3D Scanning in the Forging Industry: Benefits of Intelligent Manufacturing and Challenges to Implementation Page 48

Cobots Are a Force-Multiplying Lever for the Manufacturing World Page 40

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President's Note

The team is fresh off the Annual Meeting in beautiful Colorado Springs, and if you weren’t there you missed a dandy event! Despite a little cold and snow, members enjoyed a phenomenal resort experience and fun activities at the Broad moor – a resort FIA hasn’t visited in over three

We now have all these worthy individuals recognized and promi nently featured in our common area of our FIA offices in Indepen dence, OH. Makes me smile when I walk by! Congratulations to Rick Creed and John Walters. Both gentlemen made great speeches in what was a wonderful evening and celebration.

decades. My friend Joe Cipriani of Keystone Forging had it right: “Jim – you and the members won’t be disappointed going to the Broadmoor.” Thank you for the advice, Joe – our team and members loved the experience. Content was awesome – company even better! We had great attendance, with nearly 100 executives and 50 spouses/ guests joining us for the event. Thanks to all who came. The FIERF silent auction again was an outstanding success, raising nearly 30K and the ForgingPAC Raffle raised nearly 10K. Thank you to all who supported! In February, the FIA and FIERF boards adopted our third stra tegic plan update in the last six years. With great support from both boards, staff has motored through our previous strategic goals. During board meetings three times a year we review the plan's KPIs. One goal has a nice tie-in with one of my now favorite aspects of the Annual Meeting – the recognition of our Lifetime Achievement Winners. Recognizing and honoring those who have given so much to the industry, and now making sure we do not only honor them but capture their knowledge and pass it on, so our industry continues to thrive. Using our Forging University learning management system (LMS) tools, the boards have challenged us to document the knowledge of all the great men and women who have served in the industry. Please take this as a call to action: send us your thoughts on your own experts who can give back their knowledge and talents to future forgers. Forging University is now the largest repository of forging focused online learning courses in the world . With our Lifetime Achievement Awards program, we have now recognized nine worthy individuals since the program began in 2021: 2021: Willard Walker, Sr., Walker Forge and Al Underys, Finkl Steel 2022: Pete Georgeson, Scot Forge; Robert Barensfeld, Ellwood Group; David Moxlow, Trenton Forging 2023: Sharon Haverstock, Scot Forge and Don Jones, Forge Resources Group 2024: Rick Creed, Weber Metals and John Walters, Scientific Forming Technologies

FIA Momentum Toward Unfair Trade Case Picking Up Steam During my update to the membership at the Annual Meeting, I shared that progress is moving along for an action that would address dumped forgings into North America from various countries in Asia and Europe. We are nowhere near done with the work, and do require more financial survey participation from members, especially those making closed-die forgings for the heavy truck, agriculture/ mining and automotive markets. All members are welcome to join the next Public Policy Committee Meeting on May 16th, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. (Eastern) to hear a detailed report from our trade attorney firm Cassidy Levy Kent. Please contact me directly if you would like to join this Public Policy Committee Meeting, or if you would like to request a separate meeting with the FIA trade attorneys. As always it is an honor to lead the FIA Team and thank you all for the kind comments on what a great staff we have. James R. Warren

President and CEO Forging Industry Association

PUBLISHER James R. Warren MANAGING EDITOR Angela Gibian Editorial Staff

Board of Directors

Antonio Alvarez Robert Brodhead Mark Derry Robert Dimitrieff

Chelsea Lantto Ernie Lauber Jose Lozano Mike Morgus Matt Natale

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Amanda Dureiko DESIGN Lorean Crowder


Bret Halley Jeff Krueger



MAY 2024 | VOLUME 6

INDUSTRY NEWS 64 Demand for High Performance Forgings Soars 65 Estwing Manufacturing: Eyes on the Next 100 Years 69 Congratulations to the 2024 FIA Lifetime Achievement Award Winners 70 Member Spotlight: Rose Metal Industries 74 Forging Industry Association Announces 2023 Safety Award Winners 75 Economic Updates & The Labor Market 78 FIA’s Mexico Advisory Committee – Three Years In 79 Remembering Jerry Bressanelli Former President, Canton Drop Forge 81 Welcome New Members 84 FIA Upcoming Events FOUNDATION NEWS 86 FIERF's Fourth Annual Silent Auction Success 86 Forge the Future Summer Camps are Back! 87 FIA's Dureiko to be Honored as Emerging Professional 88 FIA Supports the 2024 National Robotics Challenge FORGING RESEARCH 90 How Robotic Exoskeletons Can Be Used in the Forging Industry MEMBERS SPEAK 92 Members Speak: Benefits of Being an FIA Member AD INDEX 93 May Advertiser Index

18 Technological Developments Supporting the Forging Industry 20 Hard To Handle? Not With the Right Equipment for Handling Heavy Forgings 23 LIFT and Accelerating Technology for Industry MAINTENANCE 26 Solving the Greatest On-Going Problem: Forge Shop Maintenance 28 Eight Keys to Successful Hydraulic Press Maintenance AUTOMATION 31 Revolutionizing Forging Manufacturing: The Role of Induction Heating in Automation 34 ‛ Not Your Typical Made-In-The USA Job Shop’ Reshores With Automation 36 Forging Automation: Look How Far We Have Come 40 Cobots Are a Force-Multiplying Lever for the Manufacturing World 43 Precision at the Press: The Role of Automation and Intelligence in Modern Manufacturing 48 Robotic 3D Scanning in the Forging Industry MATERIALS 50 Investments in Automation and AI OPERATIONS & MANAGEMENT 54 What is Going on With Remote Work? 56 Insights into Property & Casualty Insurance Trends: Navigating the Landscape in the Forging Industry 58 ChatGPT: A User’s Guide 62 The Importance of a Cyber Incident Response Plan

p. 36

PRESIDENT'S NOTE 1 President's Note WASHINGTON UPDATE 4 Transshipment: The New Tariff Evasion Strategy 6 FIA Government Affairs Update ENERGY 7 The Path to Decarbonization: Electric and Hydrogen Powered Furnaces Play Their Part 10 Commercial Forged Products Turns to Transparent Energy, Online Auctions for Energy Price Relief EQUIPMENT & TECHNOLOGY 12 Key Areas That Affect Electrical Efficiency in Induction Billet Heating Systems 16 How is Laser-Wire Metal DED Best Applied in a Forging Operation?


FORGING AUTOMATION Look How Far We Have Come +

Robotic 3D Scanning in the Forging Industry: Benefits of Intelligent Manufacturing and Challenges to Implementation Page 48

Cobots Are a Force-Multiplying Lever for the Manufacturing World Page 40

For advertising contact

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, 6363 Oak Tree Blvd., Independence, Ohio 44131. Telephone: (216) 781-6260. 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 www. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid in Independence, OH and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Forging Industry Association, 6363 Oak Tree Blvd., Independence, Ohio 44131. Copyright © 2024 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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Transshipment: The New Tariff-Evasion Strategy By Omar S. Nashashibi

In 2023, and thus far through 2024, imports from Mexico into the U.S. exceeded those from China. From 2017 through 2023, the number of twenty-foot containers shipped from China into Mexico nearly doubled. According to a February 21, 2024, article in the Financial Times, Mexico imported more than $9 billion in vehicle parts from China in 2023 while thirty-three Chinese-owned compa nies based in Mexico shipped $1.1 billion worth of auto parts into the U.S. Even the most casual of observers can connect the dots – the Chinese government is either transshipping goods through third party countries and/or subsidizing companies in those nations through economic transnationalism. Whether companies are physically located in China, or operating in third countries, the long reach of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to injure the U.S. and other North American manufacturers. And goods are not only entering the U.S. through Mexico, exports from Vietnam and other South and Southeast Asian nations continue to surge. The subsidization by the Chinese Government of manufacturers competing with members of the FIA is well known and documented. Subsidies can come in various forms, from cheaper or free energy, to forgiven loans, and non-enforcement of environmental, human rights, and other regulations. The New York Times wrote on April 19, 2024, that the annual net increase in loans to industry in China jumped from $84 billion in 2019 to $670 billion last year – that is not total lending, but the rate of annual increase in lending. These low-, or often no-interest, loans subsidize Chinese industrial produc tion at the expense of American manufacturers. The FIA and its members began raising awareness over transship ment and transnational subsidies with U.S. government officials years ago, and they are now standing up for the industry like never before. The U.S. Department of Commerce on March 25, 2024, released a final rule that took effect on April 24th changing its policy to allow the application of countervailing duties to address transnational subsidies, which it defines as “subsidies provided by a government or public entity in one country that benefit producers or exporters in another country.” This definition would certainly apply to China, including its Belt and Road Initiative. The action by the Biden administration provides an important tool to help American industry defend itself by meeting the rapidly changing demographics of government-subsidized entities that regularly seek to evade U.S. tariffs and duties on their imports. This will provide U.S. manufacturing companies an avenue to combat Chinese government cross-border subsidies that allow businesses

to evade tariffs and import into the U.S. with the CCP’s support. The U.S. government needs effective and flexible trade laws that can adapt to the change in supply chains as competitors engage in tariff and duty evasion by rapidly switching production to another country. This important action by the Commerce Department will help companies defend against countries who rapidly change strate gies and supply chains to evade duties and tariffs through transship ment and transnational subsidies. Also, with an eye towards China, the Biden administration is engaging the Mexican government to start addressing the surge in imported steel and other goods entering the U.S., largely tariff-free. The Office of USTR is meeting with their counterparts to possibly establish a steel, and likely an aluminum, import surge monitoring and enforcement mechanism. Talks could lead to a watch list to track specific types of imports entering the U.S. through Mexico thought to originate in China. The efforts to address transshipment are not a short-term exercise. In 2026, either a President Biden or Trump Administration will engage in negotiations with Canada and Mexico as part of a six-year review of the new NAFTA. The Biden White House has already telegraphed many of the changes it will seek with both parties, with transship ment of goods from China to receive duty-free treatment being the top priority. Former President Trump on the campaign trail has also alluded to trade action targeting imports from Mexico, pledging to impose 100 percent tariffs on Chinese cars manufactured in Mexico. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are taking notice as well. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means in April advanced several bills to address shipments of goods into the U.S. from China below cost. Bipartisan legislation is pending that would provide the Commerce Department, and American manufacturers, with additional tools to combat transnational shipments from China and others. The FIA is lobbying in support of these bills to update an antiquated system of trade laws to adapt to today’s global strategy of tariff and duty evasion. As domestic consumption and growth in China slows, the CCP is increasingly looking abroad to help keep its economy afloat. Chinese exports are now valued at roughly $3.5 trillion, up from $2.5 tril lion in 2020. In this election year, the Biden White House sees the threat to American manufacturing, especially those industries concentrated in 2024 battleground states. In April 2024, President Biden called for a tripling of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from China. Ambassador Katherine Tai, the U.S. Trade Representative, the next day indicated that her office would conclude the four year review




of the Section 301 tariffs soon, likely leading to increased tariffs on Chinese imports. The issues of transshipment and transnational subsidization are the next front in the battle over trade and tariffs. U.S. adversaries and economic competitors are taking steps to strategically evade the tariffs and duties imposed to protect FIA members and U.S. industry. The FIA is calling on its members to help the associations provide our allies in the U.S. government with real time informa tion about evidence of transshipment and tariff-avoidance schemes. If your company has identified incidents of competitors shipping into the U.S. either through a third country or with the subsidized support from a third country, we ask you contact the FIA. The new frontier of transshipment is the recycling of old tariff evasion strategies. However, we are now seeing countries such as China not only embed transshipment as part of their industrial strategy, but also using proxies overseas as fronts for the Chinese government to compete against U.S. manufacturers. This is why the FIA is standing up for industry and succeeding in forcing our American policy makers to act.

FIA Orders & Shipments Survey

FIA’s Orders & Shipments Survey program was re launched in 2019 as a web-based high-end survey product. The survey’s scope is confidentially tracking FIA member North American shipments and bookings for forged products inclusive of the Impression Die, Open Die and Rolled Ring processes. About the FIA O&S Survey: • FIA partnered with MTInsight, the statistical tracking division of The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), to build a custom analytics program to serve the forging industry. • Categories tracked include OPEN-DIE, CLOSED DIE and ROLLED RING forging as well as markets served, and material used. • Survey takes 30-minutes or less to complete each month • Included reports: • Monthly Index Overview • FIA members enter their monthly orders & shipments data into AMT's custom-built, confidential software system. • As first step members complete their full 2021 sales (in Excel), then gain access to the program for monthly data loading • This is a members-only benefit. Questions? If you would like more information or a Zoom demonstration to walk through the process of working with the software and loading monthly numbers, please contact Jim Warren at • Market Share Report (Dollars) • Product Report (Index Values) • Profile Report

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:



FIA Government Affairs Update FIA Staff Report

2024 has been flying by! FIA has had a very busy, yet exciting few months. From securing congressional funding to directing our atten tion towards next year's objectives, there hasn't been a dull moment here. These efforts are the culmination of years of dedication from our members and staff, and we're thrilled to see our initiatives ensuring a strong and competitive domestic forging industry. We are excited to announce that FIA has been appropriated five million dollars from Congress for fiscal year 2024! Our original funding request was included in the Senate spending bill back in July of 2023. However, it took a few continuing resolutions before the full final spending package was passed by both chambers and signed by President Biden on March 23, 2024. These funds have been allocated to FIA to enhance and innovate the domestic forging industry through various R&D projects. In collaboration with the Army Research Lab (ARL), FIA has identified three critical areas for project funding: robotics and automation solutions, simulation tools for materials characterization, and diversification of material sources. These efforts will support the warfighter through the part nership between the Army Research Lab (ARL) and FIA. “FIA is very excited to promote the domestic forging industry and expand our support of the Department of Defense. This historic investment will help accelerate the rate our industry can provide forg ings for critical applications to ensure defense readiness and national security,” stated FIA President & CEO, James R. Warren. The 2022 Executive Order on Securing Defense-Critical Supply Chains highlighted forgings as one of the four focus areas due to its significant importance to national security. The report stated, “Many of these parts are high importance/low-volume and minimal demand items that support critical go-to-war weapon systems and platforms that affect military readiness.” The appropriated funds will enable FIA to address and fulfill the objectives outlined in the report. In light of this appropriation, FIA announced a formal request for white papers in collaboration with the ARL. The ARL will consider member and non-member white paper submissions for funding. The primary aim of this initiative is to maximize the likelihood of project results transitioning to implementation within the industry. ARL prefers projects led by forging industry companies, specifically producers or suppliers. While other organizations may support the project, ARL emphasizes the importance of the forging industry leading the projects. White paper selection is subject to the submis sions received and the criteria outlined on FIA’s website at www. The association, in partnership with the ARL, has assembled two committees, the Defense Executive Committee (DEC) and the Defense Technical Committee (DTC), to help with the selection process. The DTC, which consists of a diverse group of member companies and ARL representatives, will grade and recommend submissions for approval. After the DTC

completes its portion, the DEC, made up of ARL officials, FIA Chairperson and FIERF Chairperson, will review all submissions and select projects for funding. The ARL will have final approval of the projects selected to ensure fairness and competency based on the Department of Defense’s needs. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Dekland Barnum, FIA Senior Technical Manager, at dekland@ with any questions related to this white paper submis sion process and collaboration with ARL. FIA, with the support of the SMI government relations firm, is actively pursuing $10 million in congressional funding through the Metal Forging Innovation Initiative for fiscal year 2025. This initia tive aims to further our efforts in innovation and modernization through R&D projects focusing on digital manufacturing and die manufacture/repair prototyping. Over the last couple of months, members and FIA staff engaged with just under 20 congressional offices to convey the significance of these R&D projects and the significant impact they will have on the domestic industry. FIA will find out sometime this summer whether our request was incorpo rated into the Senate, House or both bills. There are already talks of the spending package being delayed again this year so it is too early to predict when the final bill will clear Congress and go to the Presi dent’s desk. FIA will keep members updated as information becomes available throughout the year. As we continue through 2024, FIA remains committed to building upon the momentum generated by this historic congressional invest ment and continuing to work on fiscal year 2025 funding. Thank you to all our members whose support has been instrumental in these efforts. None of this would be possible without your dedica tion and collaboration!




The Path to Decarbonization: Electric and Hydrogen Powered Furnaces Play Their Part By Alberto Cantú

Carbon Management Hierarchy


Most Favoured Option

Avoid carbon intensive activities


Increase energy efficiency, reuse and reduction of material use


Replace high carbon sources or activities with low carbon solutions including materials and products


Least Favoured Option

Sequester or offset unavoidable emossions that cannot be eliminated by the adove

Figure 1: Carbon Management Hierarchy

Electric Firing There may be an assumption that electric firing is restricted to lower capacity furnaces, lab units, high-tech products, sintering etc. This is not strictly speaking true, and we can point to the capability of producing ovens and furnaces with operating temperatures ranging from 210°F (100°C) right up to 3,270°F (1,800°C). Another assump tion is that electric heating is a technology that is only suitable for intermittent (batch) firing. This is not the case either, and we have already successfully designed and manufactured electric fired contin uous firing lines. Some features of electric furnaces are beginning to become increas ingly appreciated. For example, temperature uniformity can be improved. Electrical heating systems do not require additional air/O₂ to function, as do gas combustion systems. Therefore, it is easier to limit air infiltration, which is sometimes responsible for temperature variation within the process chamber. They are also controllable from 0 to 100%, making it easy to achieve the minimum thermal capacity necessary to maintain the set temperature. For higher temperature equipment, the location of the heating elements in relation to the load arrangement is generally easier. This leads to more uniform radiation and more flexible zone control.

We are all aware of the greenhouse effect, and the need to contribute toward the reduction of CO2 emissions wherever possible. With this in mind, it is incumbent on responsible manufacturers to look at, and act on, sensible and achievable measures in this regard. Far more often than ever before, customers have been approaching us to ask about the feasibility of alternative heating systems, espe cially with widespread efforts to work towards carbon neutrality. Leading manufacturers have long recognized Nutec Bickley’s creden tials when it comes, firstly, to being ahead of the curve and, secondly, possessing the expertise and willingness to design, plan and execute as is necessary. If we look at the simple ‘Path to Decarbonization’ diagram (see Figure 2) it would be fair to say that convection ovens are the easiest to design as electrically heated units, followed by small radiation furnaces. The trickier propositions are represented in blue on this diagram, and include those traditionally fired by natural gas. What we can say is that we are not dealing here with just brand-new units – retrofitting too, in particular with electrical heating, is not just possible but is something that customers have already asked us to carry out, and we have done so successfully.



The Path to Decarbonization

Hydrogen Combustion Furnaces






Electric Radiation Furnaces


1750°F R A



Electric Convection Ovens






Figure 2: The Path to Decarbonization

With industry and government targets having been set all around the world – including the 2050 net zero commitment – then appropriate use of resources and high levels of energy efficiency become para mount, and electric heating can make a major contribution. Energy efficiency can exceed 95 percent, compared to 60 to 80 percent with gas-fired furnaces. Additionally, there is no need for expensive venti lation systems and gas recuperators. Typically, electric furnaces are also quieter, safer and free of pollution (such as NOx). Electric Elements There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to electric heating, whether for a new furnace or a retrofit, and all aspects are considered on their merits. So, for instance, Nutec Bickley considers various types of elements, according to application: • Ambient temperature at 1,100°F (600°C): Tubular type elec trical elements. • Ambient at 2,280°F (1,250°C): Electrical resistor elements made of metallic material (FeCrAl: wire, rod, strip) of various shapes (retention system of insulation, vacuum-formed ceramic modules, bayonet, etc.). • From 1,100°F (600°C) to 2,730°F (1,500°C): Silicon carbide (SiC) electrical elements (note: there is a lower limit for the operating temperature, but the load of the surface of the element must be set to achieve an element temperature of least 1,650°F (900°C). • High temperature – 2,190°F (1,200°C) to 3,090°F (1,700°C): molybdenum disilicide (MoSi2).

For all types of electrical resistance design, the surface charge (W/ cm²) is essential for superior performance and a longer useful life. For power control, again we select the most appropriate solution, depending on the unit, the product, and the element type. Gener ally, based on SCR (silicon-controlled rectifier thyristor) technolo gies, we would look to specify either SCR-zero cross or SCR-phase angle for our equipment lines. Hydrogen Firing The past few years have seen an increasing concentration on the potential of hydrogen as a combustion fuel, with various pilot plants around the world, and a number of technological approaches. Sources of hydrogen also vary (see Figure 3), and a summary of the main types is: • Green Hydrogen: Produced by electrolysis of water using renewable energy. • Blue Hydrogen: From natural gas with carbon capture and storage. • Grey Hydrogen: Sourced from coal and natural gas. Gener ates CO2 emissions. Considering its use for combustion processes, hydrogen (H2) reac tion delivers less energy per standard cubic feet (scf), which leads to a higher volume needed to deliver the same amount of energy. Typically, natural gas would deliver 1,000 Btu/scf, while H2 would achieve more like 325 Btu/scf. Energy density by mass is higher, so H2 is pressurized to transport it more efficiently. An obvious upside is that hydrogen combustion




H classification according to their production method 2





How green is my H ?


Green Hydrogen

Produced by electrolysis of water using renewable energy





Grey Hydrogen

Sourced from coal and natural gas. Generate CO emissions



H 2 Hydrogen


H 2 Hydrogen

H Hydrogen

Blue Hydrogen

From natural gas with carbon capture and storage





Figure 3: H2 Classification according to their production method

generates only water as a by-product. A downside is that H2 supply requires a higher flowrate than natural gas, so requires larger pipes/ higher pressures. There are a number of other factors at play as well: • Flammability. H2 flame is less visible than natural gas flame and can’t be confirmed via visual check. This means that device testing is needed in all cases. You can’t reliably employ flame rods for this, as there are no ions produced in the H2 burning process. This means that you need to use UV. • H2 burns very easily – at presence of between 4% and 75%. This has both good and bad aspects to it. For burners, for instance, there is no particular problem presented – H2 burns easily. Purging would need to take place, as with any other combus tion procedure. • Energy required for ignition. H2 ignites more easily, but from a safety point of view, this is something that needs taking into account. There are a number of design approaches that would need to be adopted to ensure the optimum safety levels. • Increased pressure in H2 piping may lead to more leakages. • There may be higher NOx emissions due to higher flame temperatures. • Smaller molecule means leakage potential in current valves. What We’re Doing at Nutec Bickley We have already undertaken work to evaluate both valves and burners suitable for H2 combustion. We have also been working closely with leading international suppliers to validate H2-ready equipment.

Recognizing its importance, we have also been assessing the impact of using existing pipework, particularly bearing in mind the possibility of mechanical damage to the metal caused by hydrogen penetration, leading to loss in ductility and tensile strength (H2 embrittlement). Nutec Bickley has also been evaluating strategies for retrofitting (change in burner internals, valves, possible natural gas/H2 mixtures etc.). Whatever the correct option may be for any given customer, in terms of decarbonization, we aim to demonstrate our usual flexibility in order to open up new technological avenues in any way that is appro priate, affordable, and productive. For instance, aside from purely the heating angle, we strive to come up with cleaner and more efficient process equipment designs, such as electromechanical car pusher units, rather than hydraulic versions. Conclusion There is undoubtedly an important role to be played by novel electric and hydrogen heating technologies when it comes to meeting the challenges of decarbonization in the forging industry. Significant progress has already been made, and we recognize that building on this work – and refining the associated concepts and systems – will be an essential element in our contribution to customer success in the coming years.

Alberto Cantú PhD Vice President – Sales Nutec Bickley Email:



Commercial Forged Products Turns to Transparent Energy, Online Auctions for Energy Price Relief By Patrick MacCutcheon

As a major manufacturer of technically advanced forgings, Chicago-area-based Commercial Forged Products (CFP), a divi sion of Wozniak Industries, is familiar with energy being a major operational expense. But when the company’s General Manager Mark Derry noticed an unexpected spike in his energy costs, he consulted a trusted ally – Jim Warren, President & CEO of the Forging Industry Association (FIA). Jim had seen issues like this before and connected Mark with Transparent Energy, an FIA partner that has successfully helped other FIA members navigate energy-market complexities and secure energy contracts that reduced risk and supported their bottom lines. While Mark suspected that CFP’s electricity contract had expired, causing his company to be returned to a more expensive “utility rate,” further digging by Transparent Energy found that CFP was in fact still with its orig inal energy supplier. The contract had in fact run out, but the jump in cost had occurred because CFP had been switched automati cally onto the supplier’s more expensive “hold over rate.” Working quickly, Transparent Energy worked with CFP to develop and market an RFP for a new electricity contract that would get the forger out of this expensive energy purgatory. The two also used the occasion to get proac tive with CFP’s natural gas contracts, issuing an RFP for them as well.

Supplier A

Supplier H

Supplier H

Supplier H

Supplier H

Supplier H

Supplier B

Supplier C

Supplier D

Supplier E

Supplier F

Supplier G

Supplier H

Online Auctions Drive Down Energy Prices Over the course of the electricity and natural gas auctions, 15 suppliers placed a total of 190 bids across five different term lengths – 12-month, 24-month, 36-month, 48-months, and 60-months. CFP selected the winning bids for fixed-price, 48-month electricity and natural gas contracts, netting a total savings of more than $650,000 over the four-year terms.

Combined, the RFPs attracted 15 suppliers in all – eight for CFP’s electricity contract, seven for natural gas. With a full competitive field ready to bid to win CFP’s energy business, Transparent Energy ran a set of auctions that put CFP back in control of its energy costs and resulted in six-figure savings .



“I love Transparent Energy’s auction process: it is a great way to buy energy,” said Mark Derry, General Manager at Commercial Forged Products, a division of Wozniak Industries. “The auctions empower the buyer, transforming what is typically an opaque pricing process into one that is entirely visible to the buyer. With Transparent Energy, we got to see every bid by every supplier in real time as they aggressively countered each other, lowering their prices bid by bid to win our business. I can’t recommend buying energy this way highly enough, and appreciate Transparent Energy for their efforts on our behalf and Jim Warren and the FIA for recommending them and connecting us.” Added Jim Warren, President & CEO, Forging Industry Association, “At FIA we are focused on delivering value to our forging association members, partnering with experts in other fields as we can to maxi mize member benefit. Transparent Energy is our partner in energy procurement for a reason: they are extremely knowledgeable about energy markets and highly skilled in extracting the best prices from

them”. Their success with Commercial Forged Products is the latest in a series of beneficial engagements on behalf of FIA members. These successes not only help the bottom line of forging members and reduce energy budget risk, they also provide a major contribution to FIERF (Forging Foundation) scholarship funds, with Transparent Energy donating 15% of its fees. Patrick MacCutcheon Business Development Manager Transparent Energy Phone: 862-210-8770 Email:



Transparent Energy’s Online Reverse Auction helps members

*FIA members receive an additional discount on services. **The Transparent Energy process is RISK-FREE. If you are not satisfied with the pricing at the end of an auction, there is no obligation to commit. Staying ahead of market trends so you can procure your next energy contract when the time is right. Providing access to our large, pre-vetted supplier pool. Hosting a live auction event that ensures a hyper-competitive environment in which suppliers bid for your business.

An actual auction showing price compression

CONTACT: Nancy Gardner | PHONE: 732-288-5126 | |



Key Areas That Affect Electrical Efficiency in Induction Billet Heating Systems By Brian Lockitski

Operating electrical efficiency of an Induction billet heating system is a major discussion point when reviewing applications with all forging companies. This article will present the key areas that affect the elec trical efficiency of an induction billet heater and discuss methods for improving its efficiency. Being price competitive in the forging market encompasses many different factors, such as employee wages, material costs, plant expenses and operating costs. One large expense for all forging companies with induction heating systems is the electrical cost of running these energy intensive systems. For forging companies, maximizing the efficiency of these units can lead to large cost savings, but it starts by understanding the key areas that affect operating efficiency. Material Before the design of any induction billet heater begins, an estimated equipment efficiency can be determined by acknowledging the type of material to be heated. Figure 1 provides an estimated efficiency for heating different material types with a wide range of material properties. Since most induction billet heaters are designed to heat carbon steel material, this article will focus primarily on the effi ciency measures of this material.

Estimated Efficiency


Final Temp.


80-90% 65-70% 60-65% 40-50% 30-40%

Carbon Steel

1250 ˚C 1250 ˚C 550 ˚C 900 ˚C

Stainless Steel

Aluminum (pure)

Copper (pure)

The two critical properties of materials that affect induction heating efficiency are electrical resistivity and relative magnetic permeability. Materials with higher electrical resistivity tend to heat more effi ciently than those with lower electrical resistivity. This is why carbon steel will heat more efficiently than aluminum or copper. As for relative magnetic permeability, an induction billet heater will be more efficient when heating a magnetic material than a non magnetic material. For carbon steel, the material will transition from magnetic to non-magnetic when the material is heated above the Curie temperature point. This can be seen in Figure 1 when carbon steel is heated to a warm forming temperature below the material Curie temperature (750˚C) instead of a hot forming temperature (1250˚C) above the Curie temperature. Figure 1: Approximate maximum efficiencies for various materials (from ambient temperature)



Operating Frequency Induction heating differs from other types of heating processes as it generates heat below the surface of the part. The depth at which the heat is generated is known as the depth of current penetration and is calculated using the equation below:

The depth in which the current penetrates the material is directly related to the material being heated and inversely proportional to the operating frequency. As carbon steel is heated above the Curie temperature, the electrical resistivity of the material increases, resulting in a deeper depth of current penetration at different frequencies as shown in Figure 2. Frequency (Hz) Depth (mm) Depth (in) 500 25.1 0.988 1000 17.7 0.697 3000 10.4 0.410 To achieve the best electrical efficiency for the heating process, the diameter of the billet should be 3 to 4 times the thickness of the depth of current penetration. Figure 3 shows an example of the electrical efficiency for heating different diameter billets at 1kHz & 3kHz. As the diameter of the billets decreases at lower frequencies, the efficiency starts to drop off as the ratio of diameter to depth of current penetration decreases. Figure 2: Depth of Current Penetration for Carbon Steel Billets heated above Curie Temperature

Figure 4: Coil Electrical vs Thermal Efficiency Unfortunately, since induction heating systems are designed to heat a range of billet diameters, choosing the best frequency is a compro mise. However, the smallest diameter billet will dictate the operating frequency so that this billet is effectively heated at the best possible efficiency. Coil Design The design of the induction heating coil is complex and has the largest effect on operating efficiency. One of the most important design factors affecting efficiency is the coupling gaps between the billet and the coil winding. The coupling gap design is a balance between the coil copper diameter and the thickness of the refrac tory that requires a balance between electrical and thermal efficiency. Figure 4 is a simple graph that shows if the refractory thickness is too thick, the electrical efficiency is sacrificed and vice versa. For most forging companies, the induction heating system runs a range of billet diameters. Therefore, the coil design must be capable of properly heating different billet sizes while maximizing efficiency. Unfortunately, as stated earlier, coupling between the billet and coil winding greatly affects efficiency. As the billet diameter decreased, the coupling gap increased resulting in lower efficiency, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 3: Efficiency vs. Diameter

Figure 5: Coil Layout



Individual Coil Control Ultimately, to maximize the efficiency of an induction billet heater, controlling the power distribution across the induction heating coil during heating will help prevent energy from being wasted during the heating process. Figure 6 shows an Inductoforge® Billet Heating System offered by Inductoheat and other companies in the Induc totherm Group The InductoForge® Billet Heater is a modular power supply approach with an induction heating coil mounted directly on top of each power supply. The coil’s close proximity to the power supply output connection reduces the connection distance between the output heat station and coil, thus reducing electrical losses. In addition, the Inductoforge® Billet Heating System's modular power supply configuration allows for controlling the power to each individual coil to optimize the heating process. This advanced control enables forging shops to configure the system for a wide range of production requirements, optimizing electrical usage and maintaining proper heating uniformity. In summary, electrical efficiency can be affected in several different areas. Understanding these areas can help maximize the output of your induction billet heater and reduce operating costs. Consulting with your induction heating supplier to determine the best equip ment design and setup will help you get the most out of your equip ment. References: 1. Collin A. Russell, Reducing Operational Costs and Energy Demand in Induction Heating, Madison Heights, MI. 2. Valery Rudnev, Ray Cook, Don Loveless and Micah Black, Hand book of Induction Heating, New York, 2003 Brian Lockitski Project Engineer – Forging Inductoheat Inc.

Ultimately, coil efficiency would require every billet diameter to have a special coil design to minimize the coupling gap. Unfortunately, this is not an economical solution; therefore, a balance between billet diameter range and downtime for changeover is a result. As a rule of thumb, billet range in a single coil design of the smallest billet is 70% of the largest billet diameter. It should be noted that other coil design factors such as configura tion of copper tubing used (square or round tubing), copper tubing size (width or diameter), copper wall thickness, number of copper turns and spacing of copper turns all influence coil efficiency. Each of these factors affect the distribution of current in the coil and thus the magnetic field that induces current in the workpiece. Consideration of each and every one of these factors when designing the induc tion heat coil could affect the overall efficiency by as much as 10%.

Power Supply Today’s solid state power supplies come in several different designs. The devices utilized in the power supplies vary from supplier to supplier and operating frequency. Devices such as silicone-controlled rectifiers (SCR) have been reliable for over 50 years in billet heating applications. Other devices such as insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) offer an alternative for applications in heat treating. Regard less of which device is utilized for the solid-state power supply, the efficiency ratings are 93-95% efficient with constant power factors of 0.95.

An Inductotherm Group Company Email: Phone: 248-585-9393 ext. 5006

Figure 6: InductoForge Billet Heater


The Original Modular Billet Heater

Setting the Industry Standard Once Again ... The Inductoforge® Modular Billet Heating System disrupted the induction forging industry nearly 20 years ago, as the first to offer independently controlled power modules and use them to precisely control billet temperatures. Today, the Inductoforge continues to redefine the forging industry by offering the latest advancements such as, true “stopped line” stand-by function, automated billet push-out systems, and next-generation forging coil design. The Inductoforge gives our customers exactly what they want.... An eco-friendly platform, unmatched reliability, increased efficiency, and more control over their production.

To learn more about the Inductoforge ® , please visit our website at

Inductoheat, Inc. • 32251 North Avis Dr. Madison Heights, MI 48071 • (800) 624-6297 •


How is Laser-Wire Metal DED Best Applied in a Forging Operation? By Rick Neff and John Petti

Laser-wire metal additive manufacturing

While additive manufacturing (also commonly known as 3D printing) is growing, many in the forging industry would have no use for a desktop printer that makes plastic parts. Well, what about a metal printer? DED, or Directed Energy Deposition, is a flexible form of additive manufacturing. It can be used to make parts, or it can be used to clad or weld. It is a laser welding operation inside a machine tool. The laser community has been using cladding and welding for many years. The earliest systems used metal powder as feedstock. Metal powder is expensive and can be dangerous to handle. Systems that use wire as a feedstock are becoming more popular for a couple of key reasons: wire is much less expensive than powder and does not pose powder’s inhalation or explosion hazard. Mitsubishi Electric, known globally for its laser cutting and elec trical discharge machining (EDM) systems, developed the AZ600 laser-wire metal additive system that has multiple applications in a forging house:

Forging dies: Often, the forging process is an iterative process where the die is designed, built, and tested on real metal blanks. After checking the resulting parts, the tool may need to be modified. It is not too difficult to remove some metal via machining or EDM. The issue is when material has to be added to the die. Laser-wire DED can, through a welding process, deposit new material right where needed. DED can deposit almost any weldable metal, including hard metals like Stellite or tool steel. There is no need to make a whole new die and the first die can be modified to optimize the process. Using this method, dies can be built from softer, less expensive steel and clad with a wear-resistant metal. DED can reduce the expense of the material needed to build a die. Another issue faced is worn dies. The cladding capability of the AZ600 can be used to add hardened material to a worn part of a die so it can continue to make good forgings. The unique welding head and a 5-axis motion system can repair even deep, narrow sections of a forging die.


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