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What Is Precision Forging?

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  • Written By: Kenneth W. Michael Wills
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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In the process of forging metal, there are a variety of techniques utilized, depending on the needs for the product designed and the stage of product manufacturing. Often, forging is meant to shape the metal; however, some techniques go beyond shaping. Precision forging is more of a refinement process than a shaping process. When a product is near completion, precision forging is done using existing forging technology to refine the product to the point that little or no further machining is needed before using the product for its intended purpose. Usually, after the precision process, final touches are done to the metal before either shipping or using the product in another part of the manufacturing process.

There are various techniques used in precision forging to obtain the final specifications required for the product. Such techniques often revolve around close tolerance-forging with the objective of eliminating waste commonly contributed by the post-forging process. Results from the precision process usually form the metal to tolerances that exceed industry standards, subsequently eliminating the need to use additional machinery processes that creates wastage. Reducing such wastage helps to achieve an overall savings for the manufacturer, though not a savings on the particular product using precision forging. Other savings include creating less scrap for disposal through using less materials and using less energy resources to complete the process.

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Cost, however, is a major factor in precision forging, consisting of both time factors and consumption of human capital to complete the process. Performing precision forging often takes a lot of time and expertise attending to detail of the product, which can significantly increase the cost of the manufacturing process. Additional tooling techniques are used, thereby typing up machinery for longer periods that cannot be used elsewhere in the manufacturing process. Therefore, precision techniques are typically reserved for products with specifications of very high quality to account for the additional manufacturing costs. Cases where a significant savings in wastage can be achieved are another consideration taken into account when deciding on the usage of precision forging.

In addition to the actual precision forging techniques and methods utilized, the process also accounts for additional improvements applied to the product. Those improvements may include controlling the temperature of the metal or pre-heating it. Additionally, the process may involve the application of lubricants or descaling to finish the precision process. Once the final touches are added, the product is ready for use or for shipping.

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