In June of 2009 I accepted a position to be the Project Engineer responsible for the
manifolds used to control an 800 MN (89,900 Ton) closed die forging press being built
in China; 42,000 hp, 68 pumps, 30 intensifiers, 9,300 psi.
From 6/2009 to 12/2010 I was the project engineer for the manifolds, about 64 of
them the largest block weighs 40,000 lbs. All the manifolds had to be complete in 18
months. It was my task to get them assembled and tested. I generated the BOM’s,
ordered parts, dealt with manufacturing issues, vendor issues, machining issues,
testing issues, etc. I learned to use Solidworks to design miscellaneous parts and
assemblies as required.
The system uses intensifiers [12,500 lbs. ea.] to reach 9,300 psi. I developed a
qualification test for them and designed the required manifolds; one intensifier was run
in the lab to confirm seal durability and overall integrity.
In January of 2011 I became project manager.
In April of 2011 installation was to start but, the customer was behind schedule. Real
installation started June of 2011. In September I realized I would have to go to site as
the time delay from problem identified to solution was causing massive delays and
causing the Site Manager/Installation Engineer great distress.
I made the first trip in September 2011 and made the decision to stay on site. My title
was now “Project Manager/Site Engineer”.
Early March the mechanical assembly and piping was coming to a close and the
electrical installation began. After the wiring was complete the next step was the I/O
checks and initial motor starting. In mid-March we began pressure testing the pipe.
The pipes leading to the rams in the press are 273 mm x 70 mm. The piping was
pressurized to 20% over working pressure for the qualification test.
We were all a little stressed and focused on the job at hand. Nobody thought about
anything else except the 11,200 psi inside those massive pipes. When I got back to
the hotel I figured out we had generated a force of 98, 970 tons, a world record I
believe. You cannot have an uneven number for a record, so the next day we
generated 100,000 tons.
I told the customer they hit a world record force. There was much rejoicing.
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While the mechanical work decreased the software become the massive task we all
knew it would be.
The press can only absorb tension loading. When it moves and develops tonnage the
platen must remain parallel to the die table, the press must not tilt. There are (4)
massive double acting hydraulic cylinders at each corner of the press which generate a
torque to keep the press standing straight up. The leveling system consumes 5,000 hp,
(8) pumps, (4) manifolds, (48) 50 liter accumulators and software. Just a couple of
notes here; the press is over 120’ tall, weighs 25,000 tons, stretches over an inch
under load. There are 5 rams in the press. The moving part of each ram is a 90 ton
rod. To get the press to generate force, the oil has to be compressed, the pipes
expanded and the press stretched. To generate 800 MN of force over 500 additional
gallons of oil has to be added to the system. This calculation does not include all the
oil in the pipes leading from the pumps to the press. The press started closed, it is still
closed, but 500 extra gallons of oil had to be stuffed into the hydraulic system to raise
the required tonnage.
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