Among all the metalworking processes, forging has a unique value. It acts as a key link, connecting critical manufacturing segments, with metal suppliers on one hand and end user industries on the other. The forging industry plays a significant role in the industrial economy, national security and society, at large.
Present day forging companies
The forging industry has decreased in size over the past few years. The main factors include technological transformations, economic and environmental factors and intense global competition.
Clearly, a forging company which has survived such downsizing has emerged to be stronger and better equipped to handle the challenges of manufacturing today especially with so many factors and pressures making survival a constant challenge. The challenges being threat from competitor’s manufacturing processes, global competition, changing markets and escalating consumer demands.
Advantages the Forging Offers
Forging offers some obvious benefits, some of which cannot be duplicated by any other metalworking process. The advantages that forging, as a process offers, include:
- They can be manufactured using readily available bar stock
- Majority of alloys and metals can be forged
- There is little restriction on the part size that can be achieved using forgings
- Forged products exhibit high tolerance properties
- Forging Products are completely recyclable
- The process imparts reliability and high strength to the produced components
- Forged parts have low life cycle costs as compared those produced using other metalworking processes.
Industries serviced by the Forging Industry
The forging industry acts as a key link between metal suppliers and its end users. Some of the industries serviced by the forging industry include:
- Ordnance and marine,
- General industrial equipment,
- Railroad and off-highway equipment,
- Hardware and hand tools,
- Petrochemical applications such as valves and fittings,
- Agricultural equipment and machinery,
- Trucks and automotives.
Looking ahead, the awareness of technical and business challenges will shape the forging industry’s future. The major forces that will help shape the future of the chemical industry include:
- Rising globalization of markets,
- Demand for improved capital productivity and better Return on Investment (ROI)
- The expectation of consumers for better quality at lesser prices
- Evolving skill requirements of employees
By 2020, it’s expected that forging will be the most preferred and cost-effective process of manufacturing metal components that are superior in performance, integrity and quality. However, the industry needs to fortify itself on critical areas like human resources, markets, education, competition, co-operative effort, energy and technology.
What are your takes on the future of the forging industry? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below; we’d love to hear from you as well.