Ordering Custom Forgings: Process of Buying
Close cooperation between buyers and producers of forgings has always been a vital part of achieving the best possible cost. With recent major advances in forging methods and materials improvements, this collaboration is more critical than ever before. By keeping abreast of these advances, and working closely with the forger, the engineer or buyer can ensure delivery of high-quality products with important cost savings.
Despite it’s long history and the many technological developments that have taken place in recent years, forging still involves a good deal of artistry. Even as product designers and industrial buyers learn more about shaping of metals, there is still much to be gained from bringing the forger into the design and specification phases of product development.
Of course, such basic questions as whether a given part can or should be forged must be addressed at an early stage. There are many instances when any of several processes can be used to produce the component in question.
Once it has been determined that a product or component requires the strength, toughness, dimensional accuracy and overall integrity of forging, there is still the question of which forging process – open die, impression die – ring rolling, etc. – is most appropriate. Usually, this decision is straightforward, based on part size, configuration and quantity required. However, to help in those situations when the choice is not so clear cut, the forging buyer should have at least a general knowledge of methods and equipment used in the industry.
Besides a general knowledge of forging, the buyer should also have a clear idea of what he or she specifically requires and how readily his or her needs can be met by individual forgers. Capabilities can vary dramatically from one company to another. For instance:
- -Does the forger have experience in applications similar to the one being considered?
- -Is design assistance offered?
- -Does the forger have the equipment required to produce the part?
- -Is the forger able to provide related services like heat treating, machining, testing, and so on?
- -Is the forger accustomed to producing the volume required?
- -Does the company specialize in long runs, short runs or quick delivery?
The answer to these and other questions will help narrow the field to a few qualified forgers. Then, the buyer can begin to take advantage of the valuable technical and design assistance available from these forging experts.