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July 2016

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Hot Forming Technology to Form Titanium Structures for Aircraft

Beckwood Press Company, a manufacturer of custom hydraulic presses and automation systems and the Triform line of sheet hydroforming equipment, has partnered with aerospace leader Ducommun Incorporated to design and manufacture two new hot forming presses for Ducommun's Parsons, KS, facility.

"Since 2006, Ducommun has relied on Beckwood to provide innovative forming solutions for its toughest manufacturing challenges. Upon completion of these presses, Ducommun will have six Beckwood machines," said a company spokesperson.

The fifth Ducommun press will be instrumental in hot forming titanium parts for a variety of aerospace platforms, including the new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Highlights of this 200-ton custom press include a pneumatic dwell system which allows the primary electric motor and pump to be "turned off" during the extended dwell cycle for improved energy efficiency, dual linear and pressure transducers in the main ram cylinders for optimal reliability and redundancy, and precision speed control to regulate ram speeds as low as 1/8 IPM (inches per minute).

The sixth machine, a 570-ton hot forming / super plastic forming press, will be used to form titanium structures for the Airbus A320 aircraft. Special features of this press include an automatic insulated door system for loading and unloading without adversely affecting the press' operating temperature, a bed shuttle system for loading and unloading parts and tooling, and Beckwood's proprietary Active Level Control System (ALC) which uses closed-loop monitoring and control to maintain bed-to-ram parallelism and reduce the effects of off-center loading.

In addition to hot forming, this press will also have capabilities for Superplastic Forming (SPF). SPF, a valuable tool for the fabrication of complex parts in the aerospace and automotive industries, uses high-temperature argon gas pressure to form high-strength materials into net shapes in a single operation.

For more information contact:

Beckwood Press Company

889 Horan Drive

St. Louis, MO 63026

800-737-0111 / 636-343-4100

Ducommun Incorporated

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