Enhancing project design and minimising the number of components used in a fabricated part plays a key role in reducing material costs. Using the steel forging process, the same part can be produced from varying sizes of starting billets or ingots. This flexibility means that forged parts can be manufactured from virtually any grade of steel both faster and more economically.
Steel forgings can be nearly any shape. This reduces the need for joining, fastening or welding multiple pieces together and not only saves on materials and labour costs but also adds to the overall strength of the part produced.
Easier to process and less expensive materials like micro-alloyed steel deliver cost savings in some forged components such as engine parts. Eliminating heat treatment and switching from quenched and tempered alloy steels to air-cooled micro-alloyed grades not only conserves energy but can save up to 15% on connecting rods, crankshaft, steering arms, gears and wheel hubs.
The less machining needed to finish a part has the added benefit of shorter lead times and reduced wear and tear on equipment. These advantages come from forging parts to a closer-to-finish or near-net size than what is achievable by using alternative metal sources such as a torch cutting plate or boring bar.
Consider this example of how steel forging reduces materials cost, when torch cutting a ring plate, all corner stock and the full centre slug end up as scrap, whereas with forging, the part can be shaped to a near-net size with minimal waste which means the starting stock is optimised.
Oftentimes, discovering a defect in a cast part happens only after a part has already been on a machine for several hours. When this happens to multiple parts, it can turn into a nightmare that results in material wastage, escalates costs in having to replace parts, put hours on the machine, increases labour costs and eats up valuable time. With forging, the chances of part rejection and wasteful material costs can be dramatically reduced.
Steelmor is the leading supplier and manufacturer of stainless steel in South Africa. Give us a call today on 011 747 5700 for steel forging services and more insights on how steel forging reduces materials cost.