Machines & tools for industrial forging
A forging machine is used to shape metal using compressive forces. In most cases, the blows required are delivered by a hammer or a die. Forging machines work in one of three ways: cold forging, warm forging and hot forging. The methods that require heat involve the metal workpiece being heated before pressure is applied to shape it. More force is required for cold forging, but this method is not suitable for certain types of metal.
The workpiece is placed between two moulds in the forging machine, and pressure is applied to change its shape. A range of shapes can be made relatively quickly with forging machinery. Due to the rigorous nature of the forging process, the resultant workpiece often leaves a forging machine much stronger than when it went in.
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In most production facilities, forging machinery is used for just one part of the manufacturing process. After forging, the workpiece moves along the production line to the next item of machinery. However, ornamental blacksmithing often relies solely on forging machines to create beautiful metal ornaments with steel tubes and rods.
A range of manufacturing process require forged products for the creation of component parts. Among the many products created by forging machines include connecting rods, shafts, camshafts and tools. These products are used extensively in the aeronautical, automotive and marine engineering industries. In recent years, the accuracy of the machine forging process has increased dramatically, allowing more intricate products such as gear teeth to be created. Depending on the exact nature of the production process, some companies will use presses instead of a forging machine, as they work in a very similar way.
There are two main types of forging machine available today: a hydraulic forging machine and a mechanical forging machine. Within those two main categories are upset forging machines, precision forging machines and drop forging machines. Irregularly shaped workpieces such as crankshafts and connecting rods are usually made with a drop forging machine. Metal bars and tubes are created using the upset forging method, which uses four separate tools for greater accuracy.
Small and medium-sized companies will often have to manually feed and load forging machines, whereas larger operations tend to rely on automated systems to keep the production line moving. The latest machines are fitted with a range of additional tools, including pneumatically operated hammers, eccentric presses and toggles. Capital expenditure can be minimised by purchasing used forging machinery with a proven track record of reliability and efficiency.
Forging machinery is very robust, and it is designed to process huge loads quickly and efficiently. These powerful machines work in a similar way to presses. The metal workpiece is held in place between two white-hot moulds before a hammer or die exerts an enormous amount of pressure through a series of hard “bangs.” The forging process is loud and potentially dangerous. As well as a range of moving parts, a forging machine may contain white-hot moulds and workpieces (unless the cold forging process is being used). It is therefore essential that only trained specialists with the necessary certification operate forging machines.
There are several highly respected manufacturers of forging machines, including FRECH, BÜHLER, KOMATSU and HASENCLEVER. We stock a wide range of metalworking and woodworking machinery, but if you can't find exactly what you're looking for today, keep checking Surplex.com for new arrivals. We are always sourcing used machines for sale, so things can change very quickly. Or to be among the first to learn about a forthcoming auction or machine sale, sign up to the Surplex newsletter.