Risks of Offshore Outsourcing for Forging Projects

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Risks of Offshore Outsourcing for Forging Projects

Forging, the process of shaping cold, warm, or hot metal by striking it with a hammer or die, is a highly skilled manufacturing operation. If your company lacks in-house forging skills or experience for a product, you might be considering offshore outsourcing to meet your needs.

While it can be cost-effective and efficient, several pitfalls can make offshore forging a less-than-ideal solution. Here, we’ll look at some of the economic risks and business challenges that may arise when outsourcing production to a third-party manufacturer overseas.

Economic Risks of Offshore Forging

It is no small task to operate a forge and manage a team of skilled metalsmiths in-house if it is not your company’s specialty. For that reason, forgings are often obtained by partnering with a contract manufacturer.

When manufacturers elect to work with a company outside the US for forgings, their focus is usually on saving manufacturing costs in an effort to boost profits. Commonly cited benefits include access to inexpensive labor and better raw material prices due to geographical proximity. These make offshore outsourcing seem like a great plan; however, more often the economic and business risks outweigh any cost savings (and frequently those savings are negligible anyway).

Economic risks to consider include:

  • Requirements to commit to large amounts of inventory
  • Longer lead-times
  • Potential for a change in forges during the project without prior notice, and resulting product inconsistency
  • Effects of possible political instability or conflict in the providing country
  • Vulnerability of your proprietary designs and information to theft
  • Tariffs
  • Fluctuation in shipping costs and reliability
  • Little control over production timelines and the associated risk of stockouts
  • Difficult vetting process with regard to skill, experience, or quality control
  • Potential costs of scrap and rework of defective or incorrect forgings

Remember to look at the big picture – the total delivered cost for offshore outsourced forgings is almost always 20 to 30% higher than domestic forgings.

Communication and Language Barriers in Offshore Forging

Another risk involved with offshore forging is communication. Despite best efforts, language barriers can and do make it more challenging to negotiate contracts and pricing. It can also be more challenging to discuss design details, production requirements, quality expectations, and timelines effectively. Miscommunication in these areas can result in delays, product errors, or wasted material.

To facilitate effective communication, it may be necessary to work with a translator, which adds to your costs. Translation services will likely be required for documentation and contracts in addition to conversations and meetings.

Time Zone and Cultural Challenges in Offshore Forging

Working across multiple time zones complicates efficient communication if there are last-minute adjustments to production or quality control issues. Cultural differences may also present challenges. This can include differences in communication styles as well as how questions are posed and responded to. The ways in which work schedules and holidays align (or don’t) may create gaps in communication or production as well.

To ensure effective collaboration, you may need to invest time and money in new digital communication tools or be willing to schedule meetings and take calls at different times of the day.

Advantages of Partnering With Cornell Forge

Any of the pitfalls above can result in overspending, poor quality forgings or defective finished products, delays in time to market, or even damage to your company’s reputation. These are probably not risks your company is willing to take.

In contrast, the experts at Cornell Forge offer accessible and dependable forging solutions to meet all your needs.

Some of the benefits of working with us include:

  • Decades of Experience: We have over 90 years of experience. We produce complex and challenging parts, provide design support, and focus on continuous improvement.
  • Strategic Location and Presence: Our Chicago facility is ideally located for fast access to raw materials and additional manufacturing services, like machining and heat treating, as needed.
  • Commitment to Quality and Efficiency: We are dedicated to quality and process optimization, which means you get consistently well-made products, reliable on-time delivery, shorter lead times, and responsive customer service.
  • Innovative and Cost-Effective Solutions: In many cases, our net and near-net forging capabilities mean additional machining or manufacturing processes are not necessary. Our pricing is internationally competitive without compromising on product or service quality.
  • Customized and Traceable Products: All of our tooling is custom-built in-house to meet your project’s requirements. Materials and parts are carefully tracked to ensure excellent traceability.

Connect With Cornell Forge for Superior Forging Solutions

Cornell Forge provides expert stainless steel, alloy, and microalloy forgings for customers in many industries. We are family-owned and operated and ISO 9001:2015 certified.

If you’re ready to get started on your next forging project, please request a quote today.

Key Considerations in Closed Die Forging

Closed die forging is a forming process that uses specialized tools called dies to shape metal into the desired form. This technique has many advantages over other metal forming methods, including increased strength and precision of the finished product. Thus, it is widely utilized in the automotive, aerospace, and energy industries.

Depending on the component’s complexity, the forging process may involve multiple phases. The metal is subjected to high pressure at each stage to form a particular shape while repeatedly altering the grain flow and microstructure.  As a result, the final product has enhanced mechanical properties and increased strength compared to the original material.

Closed die forging is highly specialized, requiring a deep understanding of the material and the ability to control multiple variables to achieve the desired results. Here are four of the most important factors you need to consider:


The metal used for forging must have the right strength, toughness, and ductility to withstand the high compressive forces of the process. Some examples of metal for closed die forging are as follows:

  • Aluminum: This is a versatile material well-suited for closed die forging, providing a balance of strength, weight, and durability. However, it has a low yield strength, so the forging process must be carefully controlled to ensure it is not overstressed.
  • Carbon Steel: While more prone to corrosion and may be brittle at low temperatures, carbon steel has good forgeability. It is also relatively cheap and can be heat-treated to enhance its strength and hardness.
  • Alloy Steel: This is often forged to produce components for high-stress applications like gears, crankshafts, and axles. It also offers high strength and improved resistance to wear and corrosion.
  • Copper Alloy: Its high conductivity makes it ideal for forging electrical components, such as connectors and terminals. It also has exceptional strength and durability for high-stress applications.
  • Titanium: Due to its low melting point, titanium is suitable for producing complex, highly precise shapes. However, it is significantly more expensive than other metals.

Die Shape

In closed die forging, the die’s shape determines the product’s final look. Therefore, it must closely match the desired configuration of the workpiece to ensure that it is properly formed. It must also be designed to accommodate the specific material properties of the metal being used, such as its strength and ductility.

The material will be overstressed if the dies are too small or do not provide sufficient clearance for the material to flow. This will lead to cracking, warping, or other defects. Meanwhile, if the dies do not match the desired shape, the product will have inconsistent dimensions or be out of tolerance.

Forging Load

The forging load determines the amount of pressure applied to the metal during the process. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the correct pressure level is used to produce a strong, durable component.

If the forging load is too low, the metal will not be ductile enough to take the shape of the dies. This results in a weak and low-quality product. Conversely, the metal will be overstressed if it is too high, leading to cracks, deformations, or other flaws.

Heating and Cooling Cycle

The heating and cooling cycle refers to warming the metal to a high enough temperature to make it malleable or plastic. Then, it will be cooled to solidify it in its new shape. The metal will crack if it is rapidly cooled and become too porous if it is cooled too slowly.

High-Quality Closed Die Forging With Cornell Forge

At Cornell Forge, we utilize a diverse range of forging methods to manufacture high-performing steel components that can handle even the toughest industrial conditions! Our expertise lies in manufacturing custom-made steel parts using premium quality stainless steel and steel alloys. Moreover, we offer value-added services like assembly and heat treatment to guarantee that each product is perfectly suited for its application.

Contact us to learn more about our services!

What Is Forging and How Can It Improve Your Product?

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Forging has been used for centuries to produce tools, weapons, and other objects of utility or decoration. Although forging has been used since ancient times, its advantages over modern production methods can make it a great choice for your product.

This blog will discuss what forging is, how it works, and how it can benefit your product. We’ll also look at examples of popular products that use the forging process and how they can be leveraged in manufacturing metal products.

What Is Forging?

Forging is a metalworking process that involves heating metal and hammering or forming it into the desired shape. The temperature of the metal must be above its recrystallization point, which is different for each type of metal. For example, steel can be forged at temperatures between 1,550 °F and 2,250 °F. Moreover, some metals and design requirements can use either the hot or cold forging process.

Forging can be done by hand or machine, such as press forges or drop hammers. Depending on what type of object you are creating, either method may be used

How Does Forging Benefit Your Product?

Manufacturers can use forging to create various objects with different requirements and applications. Additionally, forging can also benefit products in the following ways:

Manufacturing Flexibility

With forging, you can create parts that have different shapes and sizes. This process is especially useful when creating complex shapes or irregular details, as it allows the component to be manufactured according to its exact specifications.

Structural and Impact Strength

Forged products are often more durable than items created through other manufacturing methods. Metal grain size is reduced during the forging process, and its atoms align along the direction of forming. This increases the product’s structural integrity so it can better withstand shocks and stress over time.

Better Quality

Forging can produce higher-quality components due to improved material properties. These include grain orientation, uniformity, fewer flaws, less porosity, and a better surface finish.

Lower Cost

Since forged products are of better quality, manufacturers effectively reduce the cost of repair or replacement due to defects or failure. Also with modern forging methods, including automation, forging provides a low cost manufacturing process that is cost competitive and oftentimes reduces overall machining time.

Different Types of Forging

There are several types of forging used to create metal products. Depending on the size and shape of the product you want to make, one type may be more suitable than another. Here is an overview of the most common forging methods:

Impression Die Forging

This process — also referred to as close die forging — requires two dies that match each other perfectly to shape a heated piece of metal into the desired shape. The dies are closed together with great force, causing the metal to take on the shape between them. Impression die forging is typically used for more complex shapes..

Open Die Forging

Open die forging does not use dies as closed die forging does. Instead, a single hammer is used to shape hot metal between two flat dies. This method is typically used for larger objects, such as ingots, shafts, and bars.

Upset Forging

Upset forging involves heating a piece of metal on one end of the bar and forging it on that end with a die or anvil to increase its length without changing its diameter. This type of forging is often used to create cylindrical parts with threads or other features along the length.

Seamless Rolled Ring Forging

Rolled ring forging involves passing the heated metal through two rollers to change its shape gradually. This method is often used to create long rods or tubes with intricate shapes that would be difficult to achieve with other methods.

Cold Forging

Extrusion, cold drawing, cold heading, coining, and bending are some techniques used in cold forging. This type can be more cost-effective since it does not require heat treatment and produces components with high-quality surface finishes and tight tolerance dimensions.

High-Quality Forging Services With Cornell Forge

Cornell Forge is an ISO 900:2015 certified company with expertise in forging metal products! Our highly experienced and expert workforce is more than capable of handling a wide array of products and complex parts. We also offer globally competitive pricing, consistent quality standards, and reliable delivery and turnaround times!

With 90 years of excellence to offer, you can rely on us for all your forging needs! Contact us to discuss your requirements today.



Typical Metals Used For Forging

Simple and complex metal parts are found in various industries around the globe. From complex aerospace assemblies to simple garden tools used to beautify our lawns, numerous metal products are created using a metal forging process that makes the materials strong and durable enough for the task at hand.

Typical metals used in the forging process include carbon, alloy steels, stainless steel and copper alloys. Selecting the appropriate metal ensures that the forged product will meet design specifications and be crafted to the necessary quality. In addition, you want to select a metal that will work for the specific application without experiencing any negative effects such as corrosion, extreme wear and tear, or mechanical failure.

How the Metal Forging Process Works

Manufacturers forge metal by using heat combined with compression methods, such as rolling, hammering, and pressing, until the metal takes the desired shape. There are different methods for forging metal, with each providing different advantages to the production line. Common methods may include:

  • Drop forging. Drop forging involves using a hammer and a die to mold the metal into the desired shape. Drop forging may use either open or closed dies, depending on the project details.
  • Press forging. Press forging uses multiple dies instead of one die as is used with a hammer. Continuous, slow pressure is applied using hydraulic or mechanical means until the metal takes the desired shape.
  • Roll forging. Also known as roll forming, roll forging involves the use of cylindrical or semi-cylindrical rolls with shaped grooves that compress a metal bar into the required shape.

The above methods are often combined with heat to make the metal more ductile. Hot forging allows the manufacturer to change the mechanical and structural properties of the metal to provide certain qualities, such as tensile strength or ductility. This method can also help to further remove impurities in the metal that could cause voids or cracks.

What Metals Can Be Forged?

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Typical Metals Used for Forging

Determining what metals can be forged will depend largely on the provider that you hire and their production capabilities, though technically, all metals can be forged. Each metal has different properties and reactions when heated or forged using certain methods. Due to these differences, some manufacturers will specialize their processes to work with specific metals, such as steel or titanium.

Here are some common metals used in metal forging.

  • Alloy steel. Alloy steel is a broad term referring to a variety of steels that have had their properties altered or enhanced by alloying the steel with additional metals, such as silicon, manganese, or nickel. These added metals may provide specific characteristics such as corrosion resistance, malleability, or thermal/electrical conductivity. Alloy steel offers exceptional wear
    resistance and strength for forging metal parts.
  • Carbon steel. Carbon steel contains higher levels of carbon to offer more increased strength than regular steel. The metal also performs well in high-temperature and high-pressure applications.
  • Microalloy steel. Microalloy typically contains additives of vanadium, titanium, or niobium. Microalloy steel develops excellent toughness as it cools, and typically does not require post heat treat to achieve increased mechanical properties.
  • Stainless Steel. Stainless steel has exceptional corrosion resistance, heat resistance, strength, and durability. All of these properties get further enhanced when the metal undergoes a forging process.
  • Titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal with exceptional strength. The metal offers superior resistances to corrosion and high temperatures.

Metal Forging from Cornell Forge

Deciding on the right metal to use will depend on your part and how it will function in its intended application. If you need help selecting the right metal for your product, the team at Cornell Forge can help. Our metallurgist and technicians are knowledgeable regarding available forging techniques and how each method will interact with specific metal materials. Please contact us with any questions or request a quote today.

Differences Between Hot and Cold Forging Processes

Forging changes a metal workpiece through compression at either cold, warm, or hot temperatures. Cold forging improves the strength of the metal by hardening it at room temperature. Hot forging results in optimal yield strength, low hardness, and high ductility by hardening the metal at extremely high temperatures. Whether to use hot or cold forging depends on the finished component’s function, industry, and production volume.

Hot Vs Cold Forging

While cold forging compresses metal at room temperature, hot forging requires high heat. A primary differentiator of cold and hot forging is that the high heat of hot forging allows the metal to take on more elaborate and complex forms than cold forging.

Hot Forging

The hot forging temperature varies depending on the type of metal. Hot forging starts with heating the dies to prevent any loss of temperature during the process and ensure crystallization doesn’t occur until forming is complete. Heating causes the metal to become more ductile. When the pressure of the dies squeezes the hot metal, the structure transforms into a more refined grain that results in increased yield strength and ductility.

Factors to consider when hot forging include:

  • Cooling. If the metal cools to a temperature lower than the minimum threshold, it completes the forging. The metal must be reheated if this occurs before achieving the final shape.
  • Tolerances. Dimensional tolerances with hot forging are less precise than cold forging.
  • Dies. Hot forging dies are custom-made to the customer’s part specifications.

Cold Forging

Cold forging uses a displacement process to shape the material into the desired shape. Compressive force squeezes the metal between a punch and die at room temperature until the material conforms to the die’s contours. Cold forging techniques include rolling, pressing, drawing, spinning, heading, and extruding.

Factors to consider when cold forging include:

  • Material volume. Careful control over the material volume prevents stress and damage, particularly in closed forging, as the excess has nowhere to escape.
  • Bonderizing. This coating process improves material flow during the process to reduce force, stress, and friction while improving surface quality.
  • Annealing. Annealing softens the metal, improving the material flow. It can be applied as an intermediate process when work hardening occurs before the forging process is completed.
  • Lubrication. Lubrication is critical during cold forging. High-viscosity oil protects against metal-on-metal friction and applying thin oil dissipates heat.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Hot And Cold Forging

Advantages of hot and cold forging include:

  • Hot forging. Increased ductility for more complex parts and allows for more options for customization
  • Cold forging. Creates no waste, requires little to no finishing work, maintains dimensional accuracy, and results in high surface quality.

Disadvantages of hot and cold forging include:

  • Hot forging. Additional cost for heat treatment, less precise dimensional tolerance, risk of warping
  • Cold forging. Few options for customization, risk of residual stress, may require heat treatment

High Quality Forging From Cornell Forge

Cornell Forge Company is an ISO 9001:2015 certified facility that has been providing forged steel and alloy products for over 90 years. Our family-owned business has earned a reputation as a leader in the forging industry, producing the highest quality hot forged products. With a talented, experienced staff and a commitment to rigorous quality standards, we can help you reduce machining times, waste, and costly production steps. For more information, contact us today, or request a quote to get started.


Understanding the Different Forging Processes

Forging is a manufacturing process that uses compressive forces to form metal into the desired shapes and sizes. Industry professionals employ a variety of different forging techniques—depending on the material and the product being forged—each of which carries its own advantages and best uses.

The following blog provides an overview of the different types of forging methods available, outlining what they entail, their key advantages, and their typical applications.
Types of forging processes
Forging operations can be classified into four main types:

Open Die Forging

Open die forging employs the use of two flat or simply shaped dies to apply pressure to the base material from both sides. The application of repeated high-level compression or hammering to the die forms the material into the desired shape. As the dies used do not completely enclose the base material (hence the open die designation) and allow for lateral movement, the process can accommodate the creation of larger and heavier components.

Compared to other forging processes, open die forging produces very little material waste and final products with more consistent grain structures and higher fatigue resistances. The aircraft and railway industries often make use of the process to manufacture large and heavy components, such as cylinders, rollers, and shafts.

Impression Die Forging

Similar to the open die forging method, impression die forging—also known as closed die forging—uses dies to shape material into the desired parts and products. However, unlike open die forging, the dies employed completely enclose the base material. Additionally, in comparison, the process requires much greater compressive forces to ensure the die cavities are fully filled and form the complete part.

Impression die forged parts are typically smaller than open die forged parts. However, they exhibit tighter tolerances (including for near-net shapes) and higher quality surface finishes, both of which contribute to lower production costs for larger production runs due to the reduced need for secondary machining operations. The automotive, mining, and oil and gas industries often rely on the process to produce precision parts such as fittings, flanges, and engine components.

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Cold Forging

While some forging methods require the application of heat to the base metal, there are also a variety of cold forging processes available. Some examples of cold forging methods include bending, cold heading, cold drawing, coining, and extrusion. These processes are used to create a wide range of parts and products in varying designs.

Compared to hot forging techniques, cold forging produces pieces with tight tolerance dimensions and good surface finish quality without the need for heat treatment or more costly materials. The automotive industry commonly uses cold forging to manufacture components with unusual or complex geometries, such as steering and suspension components, braking components, axles, clutches, gears, and pinions.

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Seamless Rolled Ring Forging

forge equipment Similar to other die forging methods, rolled ring forging compresses dies to shape material. However, rather than using flat dies, the process utilizes curved dies—typically two opposing rollers—to form ring-shaped components.

The rolled ring forging process allows for continuous production, which allows for higher productivity and lower production costs. Additionally, rolled ring forged components exhibit greater lifespans and superior surface finishes than other forged parts. Due to their high durability, they are often used in heavy mining equipment, aerospace engines, wind power generators, and railway equipment.

Get the Expert Help You Need From the Team at Cornell Forge

At Cornell Forge Company, we are pleased to provide some of the highest quality forged components in the industry. With over nine decades of experience, we are well versed in every aspect of metal forging, including closed die forging. For more information on the types of forging available or assistance on an upcoming forge fabrication project, contact us or request a quote today.

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