Advanced press solidifies Alcoa’s Cleveland Works as a premier forging producer
CLEVELAND--Alcoa announced today the completion and restart of its redesigned 50,000-ton forging press at the company’s Cleveland Works. A $100 million dollar investment that Alcoa announced in 2009, the new press strengthens Alcoa’s position as the preeminent supplier of large aluminum, titanium, nickel and steel forgings to the aerospace, defense, energy and industrial markets.
“Combining our advanced alloy and manufacturing process technology with our state-of-the-art 50,000 ton press capabilities, we will be unmatched,” said Eric Roegner, president, Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions, at a special celebration shared with federal, state and local legislators, community and industrial leaders, and employees. “Our unique press offers the ability for Cleveland Works to double its capacity to serve our customers in the commercial and defense aerospace markets as well as industrial and energy markets.”
The multi-million dollar investment involved the complete redesign and modernization of the 50,000-ton press, a 92-foot structure – with five stories above and seven below the ground – that began production in 1955.
“As one of only five existing heavy closed die forging presses in the United States, this national historic engineering landmark is strategically important to our nation’s defense and Alcoa’s commercial competitiveness,” said Roegner. The press was originally installed as part of the Air Force Heavy Press program following World War II and has been used to build parts for nearly every military aircraft, helicopter, and tracked and combat vehicles from the 1950s through present day.
“Our iconic press played an integral role in Alcoa’s rich history and will be an equally key component to our company’s future growth and success,” Roegner said. “It is vital not only to our business, customers, and employees, but to the continued growth and stability of our manufacturing operations in the greater Cleveland community.”
Alcoa’s segmented die technology, advanced alloys, and proprietary signature stress relief™ technologies allow Alcoa to make parts that are larger, thicker and more complex than those that can be produced by competitors on similar-sized forging presses. Alcoa Cleveland Works manufactures the large aluminum structural die forgings for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. The forgings include bulk heads – the primary structural support for the wing and engine that can weigh from 1,800 to 6,000 pounds and range from 10 to 23 feet in length – and wing box parts which serve as an important component of the skeletal structure to the wing.
As part of the celebration, Lockheed Martin showcased its F-35 Lightning II mobile cockpit demonstrator to Alcoa’s guests.
Alcoa’s investment was supported by a package of economic development incentives from the state of Ohio, city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, village of Cuyahoga Heights and city of Independence.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 10 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.