Weber Metals, Inc. a division of Otto Fuchs KG of Germany, unveiled a new, $180-million, 60,000‑ton press—the world’s largest private investment in aerospace metal forging—at its new 2.5-acre facility southeast of Los Angeles. The state of California contributed $20 million in tax credits to the project.
This innovative technology will literally forge the future for parts made for aircraft and spacecraft. This, the world’s largest pull-down forging press; will shape some of the world’s largest monolithic parts from both aluminum and titanium. For Otto Fuchs, this is the third time we have developed the world’s largest forging press and the second time it has been on Weber’s property.—Dr. Hinrich Mählmann, Managing Partner of OTTO FUCHS KG
Doug McIntyre, Weber Metals President & CEO, said that the new press addresses the demands and expectations from the company’s customers for larger, more sophisticated monolithic titanium and aluminum parts that reduce both weight and complexity. This helps aircraft and aerospace companies improve their environmental efforts.
Environmental sustainability is a priority for both companies. Green product design reflects the efforts by both of our companies to help reduce carbon footprint for commercial aircraft. It also connects with another of our commitments: improving the mobility of people everywhere through better aircraft design.—Dr. Klaus Welschof, Head of the Otto Fuchs Aerospace Division
Groundbreaking for the new facility was April 2014 and construction started in January of 2017 when the first press piece arrived on site. The machine is nearly 10 stories tall and only one-third of it is visible—the other two-thirds are below ground level. Weber Metals’ first production part will be for Boeing’s main landing gear beam on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.