Large forge

Dale K. Berkley, owner and chairman of New Castle Industrial Railroad, stands beside his latest delivery — one of five parts that comprise one of the world’s largest forging presses. North American Forgemasters is installing the new open-die machine.

New Castle is now home to what builders describe as “the largest forging press in North America.”

The equipment was delivered yesterday with the final leg of its journey covered by the New Castle Industrial Railroad.

North American Forgemasters is beginning to put the pieces in place of a new open-die machine that will more than double the size of current production and allow the company to add to its workforce.

The new, 10,000-metric ton press was designed and is being installed by Danieli Breda of Italy. The project is expected to be finished in late summer. Published reports estimate the project at more than $80 million.

Detailing the four-column operation, Danieli Breda said its RNST (Rapid New Standard) design achieves process efficiency for a wide product mix by combining high force with high deformation speeds.

Along with the associated heating and manipulation systems, the new press will allow North American Forgemasters to process ingots weighing up to 100 metric tons, and eventually up to 150 metric tons. The consumers for finished forgings will be manufacturers supplying the subsea oil-and-gas and power-generation markets, including the smaller nuclear reactors.

 An addition in the back of the facility at 710 Moravia St. is being constructed to house the new press.

The old equipment — a custom-built 4,500 ton hydraulic forging press with an automated 10-station die change magazine and 8 main hydraulic pumps — will remain in operation.

North American Forgemasters is a joint venture of Ellwood City Forge and Scot Forge, started in 1997.

Dale Berkley, owner and chairman of New Castle Industrial Railroad, said the press was delivered here from the East Coast via the CSX Railroad. New Castle Industrial Railroad is a Common Carrier (short line) that provides rail service, connecting shippers to the Norfolk Southern, CSX, and Buffalo railroads.

The press was delivered in five multi-ton pieces on five rail cars. The train will now transport the separate section to the building, where a crane will set them in place.

(Email: d_burcham@ncnewsonline.com)

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