Kobe Steel invested about 22 billion yen to enlarge the Forging Section's South Plant to house an entire production line. In addition to the new press, a manipulator, heating furnace, heat treatment furnace, crane and other equipment were installed. Construction of the press, which strengthens the competitiveness of the company's Steel Casting and Forging Division, began in April 2008.
A completion ceremony was held this morning attended by approximately 120 people, including officials from the city of Takasago and Hyogo Prefecture, as well as those involved in the construction.
The new press is designed to produce large and long steel forgings at some of the world's highest speeds and with high precision. As one of the world's top-class forging presses, the new press has the capability to manufacture nearly all varieties of large forged products for ships. With the completion of the new press, Kobe Steel currently has a total of three free-forging presses. Forged products for ships will be manufactured mainly by the new press and the existing 4,000-metric-ton press. Ultra-large forgings that require higher forging capacity will be made by the 13,000-metric-ton press. The three presses enable Kobe Steel to achieve an optimum production system that can make forged products of numerous sizes.
Kobe Steel's steel casting and forging business has been a core business of the company for over 100 years. The new press is the biggest capital investment since the 13,000-metric-ton press was installed in 1975.
With the start-up of the new press, Kobe Steel will be able to supply higher quality steel cast and forged products. At the same time, the new press further strengthens the foundation of the steel casting and forging business and enables the Division to better respond to market demand in the future.