Timken Installing First U.S. Forge-Rolling Line from Mitsubishi

June 10, 2011
$35-million project to shape billets prior to solidification, to improve internal structural quality and material yield

The Timken Co. chose Mitsubishi Nagasaki Machinery Mfg. Co. Ltd. to supply the automated, in-line forging press it plans to add at its Faircrest Steel Plant in Canton, OH. The estimated $35-million project is one element of a $50-million capital improvement program Timken announced in late 2010 for its three steelmaking operations in Canton.

In-line forging is an open-die process used to shape cast billets or ingots before they are fully solidified. The process is said to improve the internal structural quality of the product and enhance material yield. It also decreases the number of rolling passes needed to achieve the final dimensions in the finished products, according to Mitsubishi.

For Timken, the forging press (and the manipulators that will handle the billets) will be installed between the run-out section of a continuous caster and the entry to the rolling mill. It will impart up to 3,000-tons of force to the billets, which Timken explains will make its special bar quality (SBQ) steel products more consistent, and reconfirm its reputation for manufacturing “sound-center large bars of up to 16 inches in diameter.”

Timken sells forged steel bars to customers in the oil-and-gas, heavy machinery, wind energy, and power-generation markets.

"This open-die, in-line press will be the first step of the forge-rolled process for all Faircrest products," according to Timken v.p. - manufacturing Tom Moline. "Adding this step prior to rolling will provide better yield and production efficiencies to significantly improve our operations."

Timken indicated the Mitsubishi system will be the first of its type in the U.S., and Moline revealed that eventually all of Faircrest’s products would be forge-rolled. "The addition of this press will bring greater differentiation and ultimately expand our capacity to supply the highest-quality product to our customers."

Timken said the in-line forging press will increase its production capacity and lower production cost by increasing product yield, expanding its capabilities to meet ultrasonic specifications, and reducing cycle times for larger products.

Timken's Steel Group is an electric steel operation with a melting capacity of 1.5 million tons/year of alloy steel bars and billets, as well as alloy and carbon steel seamless tubes.

The new installation will be part of $50-million capital improvement program for Timken’s three operations in Canton that it announced late in 2010. The in-line forging press is due to start operation early in 2013.