Erie Press Starts 1250 Ton Rigidforge Open Die Forging Press at Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Equipped with the latest technology in hydraulic controls, quick die change system, and rotary top anvil for improved productivity and better quality forgings.

RigidForge open-die forging

Erie , PA – ERIE Press Systems announces the startup of its 1250 ton RigidForge Open Die Forging press at Norfolk Naval Ship Yard, Norfolk, VA. The 1250 ton press is the first new forge press since 1918, which will Services the entire facility.

Douglas Irwin, Industrial Engineer announced “during a quiet morning at 10:30 am in our Forging Shop, the Navy's newest forging press goes operational, and forges the first production work piece.” The first work-piece was 1 of 30 propulsion shaft coupling bolts for the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72). Irwin continued, “This capital-equipment process improvement has both maintained a national capability and provides the forging operation a more safe process, along with modern machine controls that will reduce process cycle time and will improve repeatability in product manufacturing.”

Dale McCartney, ERIE’s Forging Sales Director, stated that “interest in this product design remains high as well as in our stalk, housing, or rod guided press designs.” The press is equipped with the latest control technology incorporating an ALLEN-BRADLEY SLC programmable controller and a linear transducer feedback based Position Control System, the most efficient electronic position control system available to the forging industry. ERIE’s integrated PLC and proprietary software controls pressing speed, return speed, planishing strokes per minute, and other production parameters. Color operator interface screens provide detailed operating information including critical auxiliary equipment. Standard display screens include start-up assistance, multi-pass set-ups, and part parameter storage information - up to 200 parts. Storage includes PLC I/O status, diagnostics and maintenance. Accessories supplied with the press include: rotating upper forging head, two position die slide, multi-station die train with upper and lower clamping quick die changeover system.

Irwin said, "We chose ERIE's RigidForge design because it is a heavy duty, one piece, fabricated, four-column frame designed for open die forging.” Reinforcing plates along with locked corner members and various forged components used throughout the structure add strength and integrity to the frame. Its slide with an integral forged steel cylinder and extra long guide length is capable of withstanding greater off-center (eccentric) loads than conventional press designs.

The slide has 16-point adjustable guides on the frame to improve close tolerance forging while reducing wear and maintenance. The gibs with a replaceable bronze liner mating to a replaceable hardened steel wear plate are arranged to check and adjust running clearance without removing wipers.

Standard RigidForge presses are available from 1000 to 5000 ton capacities. Stalk guided presses are available from 3000 to 5000 ton capacities. Custom presses and integrated systems are designed to specification.

ERIE Press Systems ( is a leading manufacturer of custom hydraulic and mechanical presses and machinery for a broad range of metal and non metal forming applications including open and closed die forging, sheet and extrusion stretch forming, carbon extrusion and compacting, super plastic forming, cold extrusion, powder metal compacting, composite molding, and other custom applications. Presses typically range from 500 to 15,000 tons (4.8 to 146.8 MN) and are designed for integration into a complete process solution to meet the unique needs of each customer’s forming process requirements. Erie offers operator and maintenance training programs, field installation and Services, as well as press repair, re-manufacturing, and replacement structures.

For further information, contact Dale McCartney, Sales Director at 800-222-3608, ext. 715. More details are available at our website

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