Machining from a near net shaped forging and machining from solid are two different manufacturing processes that are used to shape and form metal parts.
Forging is a metalworking process that has been used for thousands of years to shape metal into complex forms. Today, it remains an essential manufacturing process in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, and defence. One of the main benefits of machining your desired part from a forging is it’s cost-effectiveness compared to machining from solid. In this blog, we’ll discuss the potential savings of using a forging compared to machining from solid steel bar.
Machining from solid is a process that involves cutting and removing material from a block of metal to create a final part. This results in significant material waste, which adds to the cost of the finished product. Forging uses a pre-formed billet of metal which is heated and shaped under high pressure to form a near net shape close to your desired part. This process requires only the necessary amount of material, resulting in minimal waste and cost savings. The reduced material usage of forging is especially beneficial when working with expensive metals such as titanium, where cost savings can be significant.
Reduced Machining Time
Forging produces parts that are closer to their final dimensions, requiring less machining and finishing. This, in turn, reduces the amount of time and resources needed for machining, resulting in reduced costs. Additionally, the reduction in machining time results in faster production times, allowing manufacturers to produce parts more quickly and efficiently.
Improved Mechanical Properties
Forging produces parts with a refined microstructure, resulting in better mechanical properties such as higher strength, toughness, and fatigue resistance. This is because the forging process involves compressing and shaping the metal, resulting in a more uniform grain structure that enhances the strength of the material. This can reduce the need for additional processing or surface treatments, again resulting in reduced costs.
Tooling Cost Savings
Machining from solid requires the use of expensive cutting tools that can wear out quickly, requiring the frequent replacement of parts. Forging requires less tooling, resulting in reduced tooling costs. Additionally, forging dies can be used to produce multiple parts, resulting in even more cost savings.
Increased Production Efficiency
Forging is a faster and more efficient process compared to machining from solid. This is because forging can produce parts with more precise dimensions, better surface finish, and higher strength than machining from solid. This results in increased production efficiency and reduced lead time.
The potential savings of using a near net shaped forging compared to machining from solid are significant and can result in reduced expenditure in many areas. However, it’s important to note that forging may not always be the most appropriate choice for every manufacturing application. The suitability of forging depends on factors such as the geometry of the part, the material used, and the required tolerances. Manufacturers should consider these factors when choosing between forging and machining from solid.
In conclusion, forging can be a more cost-effective manufacturing process that can result in significant savings compared to machining from solid. These savings include reduced material costs, less machining time, improved mechanical properties, lower tooling costs, and increased production efficiency. Forging is an essential process in various industries, and its benefits make it a preferred method for producing high-quality, precision parts.
Do you want to discuss your requirements and explore the potential cost savings when machining from near net forgings? For more information or speak to our engineering team, please contact our team today.