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Forging Now vs a Century Ago: What’s Changed Since Then

The forging industry has a rich history, one we are proud to be part of at CanForge.

As our world continues to advance with technology, the forging industry has adapted to become an integral part of our economy. According to the Government of Canada, the Forging and Stamping Industry contributed $96.7 million in net revenue to the Canadian economy in 2017. 

While forging has been around for more than 6,000 years, some of the biggest advancements have come in the last century. These milestones have forever changed forging and its possibilities.

One of the longstanding challenges in forging was maintaining a consistent heat source. Forging over wood and coal fires were labour intensive because they required constant attention to heat control. The fluctuations in temperature affected the quality of forgings, as consistency was difficult to maintain.

The introduction of electronically ignited oil burners changed the forging process for the better. Now, forging operators could control temperatures with a thermostat. Into World War II, induction heating proved especially useful as stronger forgings could be made. The process enabled forgers to harden surfaces for added durability, and was applied to forgings for munition and transport

Another significant advancement was the creation of forging presses. Prior to the twentieth century, forgings were produced on hammers. This work required exceptional skill to produce precise and uniform forgings. 

In 1930, the National Machinery Company of the USA released the first forging press, known as the Maxipress. Though many forgings continued to be made on hammers, the forging press transformed the industry. Forgers could now increase their production. The press required less skill compared to hammer forging and enabled the industry to expand. 

By the second World War, hammer presses were upgraded. Larger hammer presses were built to produce a greater scope of forgings for military applications. These presses also made it possible for forging operators to work with new alloys. Whereas the earlier presses were limited in how much force they could apply, the newer presses could manipulate the material much easier. 

Now in a world where computers and tech are synonymous with our everyday life, the forging industry uses hammers and presses controlled by computers. These advances continue to change what is possible for the next century. 

At CanForge, we are part of this history of change. Our company was established when three Welland-based companies merged in 1912. In these early days, CanForge produced forgings for the automobile industry, agricultural applications, and infrastructure including bridges and locomotives.

In World War II, CanForge was a provider of munitions for the Allied Forces and by the 1980s, the company became a forging supplier to the United States Army. 

Today, CanForge is a leading supplier for open die forging and closed die forging applications. We provide forgings for industries including transportation, power generation, mining and aerospace. 

Contact us to learn how CanForge can move your projects forward by using the latest forging technology.


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