for major OEMs, custom designs for specialty manufacturers,
or commodity-grade parts.
We asked readers to identify the metals forged at their operations, allowing multiple choices: 53.5% of respondents areforging alloy steel materials; and 49.3% process carbon steels.More than one-third, 33.8%, forge stainless steels; and 21.1%forge high-temperature alloy materials.
Nonferrous metals are well represented, too: 30.9% of re-
spondents work with aluminum alloys; 23.9% process brass
and copper alloys; and 23.9% work with titanium alloys.
The respondents are engaged in all the processes typi-
cally characterized as forging, including open-die forging
(54.41%); impression-die (closed-die) forging (48.53%); ring
rolling ( 16.58%); and impact extrusion ( 8.82%).
Other operations named by our respondents include pow-
der forging, hand forging, orbital forging, spin forging, flow
forming, and cold forging.
The survey respondents’ operations reflect various plantsizes at work in the industry: 30.4% are employed by forging operations with 250 or more workers; 17.4% are active atplants with 100-249 employees; 13.0% represent operationswith 50-99 employees; 14.5% work at businesses with 20-49employees; and 24.6% of respondents work for businesseswith 20 or fewer employees.
Last, the respondents represent businesses across a spectrum of financial impact: 16.7% of respondents are activein businesses with less than $1 million/year in shipments;13.6% are affiliated with businesses shipping $1 million-$5 million annually; 15.2% are with businesses shipping$5 million-$10 million annually; 10.6% are with businesses shipping $10 million-$20 million annually; 13.6% arewith businesses shipping $20 million-$50 million annually;10.13% are with businesses shipping $50 million-$100 million per year; and 9.1% are with business shipping more than$100 million of finished parts annually.
Look around, look ahead
The FORGING Business Outlook Survey tracks ship-
ments as a measure of business performance, and so we see
the first specific evidence of 2020’s effects: clearly more
than half of all respondents — 54.5% — confirm that their
business’s shipments will decrease in 2020 versus the 2019
result, and just 10.6% indicate their results to improve over
last year’s outcome. That leaves more than a third of FORG-
ING respondents ( 34.8%) reporting that their 2020 shipment
results will be “about the same” as the 2019 outcome — a bet-
ter outcome than might have been assumed from assumptions
about the broader economy during the past year.
Among those who expect 2020 shipments to rise, 5.9%foresee an increase of 90.0%, year-over-year; and 11.8% seean increase of 11.8%. A further 35.3% expect their shipmentsto increase 10-25% over 2019; and 47.1% expect the annualincrease to be 10% or less than the 2019 total.
On the other side, among those 54.5% who foresee a year-over-year decrease in shipments, 4.9% expect that decreaseto range from 76-90% of last year’s total; 26.8% peg the decrease at 26-50%; and 56.1% anticipate a year-over-year shipment decrease of 10-25%, while 12.2% see the drop comingin the range of 10% or less.
Applying the same technique, we asked readers to forecasttheir operations’ 2021 shipment prospect, andthese results scramble the respondents’ 2020response – optimistically, so: 54.5% expectshipments to rise in 2021, and 31.8% expectshipments to stay “about the same.” Only13.6% expect next year’s shipments to declineover the 2020 total.
Among those expecting increases, aboutone quarter ( 24.4%) expect the year-over-year rise to be in the range of 10% or less,but 51.2% foresee increases of 10-25% and14.6% expect shipment increases in the 26-50% range. Smaller numbers see even betterimprovement: 4.9% see shipment increasesof 51-75% year-over-year; 2.4% expect an increase in the 76-90% range, and another 2.4%see an increase of 90% or more in 2021.
The smaller, less optimistic cohort expectstheir shipments to drop in 2021: 41.7% see thecoming drop at 10% or less, year-over-year;and 25.0% see it in the range of 10-25%. Afurther 8.3% see the decline in range from76-90%, and 8.3% see a decrease of 90% ormore, 2021-over-2020.
The baseline for these expectations is respondents’ 2020 forging activity: 23.1% of allrespondents indicate that during the presentyear their plant operated at 50% or less thanits normal capacity; 30.8% report their plantsoperated at 51-65% of capacity; and 21.5%
Automated Forging Line Concepts I
OEM Parts Inventory
Hydraulic Die Forger Solid-Die Ball Forger
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How many employees work inyour forging operation?
Under 20 24.64%
100 - 249 17.39%
250 or more 30.43%
What type(s) of forging is/areperformed at your location?
(multiple choice; total exceeds 100%)
Impression die 48.53%
Open die 54.41%
Ring rolling 16.18%
Impact extrusion 8.82%
Powder forging 5.88%
What metals do you forge?
(multiple choice; total exceeds 100%)
Alloy Steel 53.52%
Brass & Copper Alloys 14.08%
Carbon Steel 49.30%
High Temperature Alloys 21.13%
Stainless Steel 33.80%
None/Industry Supplier 18.31%