The use of pancaking presses is widely taken advantage of in Europe but we feel is underutilized in the USA. It is a very simple concept. An inexpensive hydraulic or mechanical press is placed near the primary forge press. When the billet exits the furnace it is placed on end on a flat die in the pancaking press. The billet is then pressed, reducing the height and increasing the diameter. This preform is then placed in the primary forge press.
This process has several advantages:
- The inventory of bar stock can be reduced to just a few diameters since smaller diameters can be bumped up to the diameter required for the forging.
- Die life is increased for several reasons. The pancaking operation knocks the scale off of the billet and thus reduces friction and wear in the forge die. Also since the preform is much closer to the required forging shape, the material flow in the forge die is reduced which increases die life.
- The number of blows required in the forge press is reduced.
- The size of the tool in the forge press is reduced since typically one or two impressions can be eliminated by the use of pancaking.
- The tolerance requirements of the pancaking press are low. Any old press can be used for this procedure. It saves wear and tear on the forging press that needs much higher quality tolerances.
We can supply full or partial automation of a pancaking press that delivers the billet to the pancaking press and/or the preformed pancake to the forge press.