W.H. Tildesley Ltd, established in 1874, is one of the oldest drop forging companies remaining in the United Kingdom.
A recent £1.4 Million refurbishment means that they now have the most modern drop forging facility in the UK. Their extensive in-house capabilities enable them to offer an efficient service by reducing the use of sub-contractors, improving quality and lead times.
Need for innovation
W.H. Tildesley Ltd has moved to extend its metallurgical expertise by entering into a 2.5-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Warwick, (WMG) Warwick Manufacturing Group.
W.H. Tildesly want to move themselves into the technological stamping and forging market so that they are doing smaller numbers of more high-tech product. They are looking into the technicalities and metallurgies behind the forging process so they can optimise the finished product shape with reduced machining allowances, improved mechanical properties and forge parts from more difficult materials so expanding the range of alloys designers can use to make products from.
Phil Hobley of W.H. Tildesley said: “We are constantly looking for ways to add value to our offer to customers. Within the forging world, we see metallurgical expertise and experience as a key factor. The ability to anticipate and solve problems in a variety of metallurgies efficiently gives us a distinct advantage over our competitors.”
Working with WMG, W.H. Tildesley are working on a concept that will allow the forging of alloys almost at the point at which they melt. The new process will allow them to change the shape of metals that are much more difficult to deform, and reduce the number of blows required to produce the finished shape.
They are working on transferring the academic high-tech process into an industrial process that can be used on the shop floor in routine production runs, expanding the range of materials they work with and reducing the overall wear and tear on equipment and tooling.
Paul Lansdell from WMG Warwick said: “It is a pleasure working with a company where everyone is so enthusiastic about the development work being undertaken, it is plain to see the whole work force is behind the desire to improve what they do and expand the areas they can work in.”
Plans for the future
Once they have proven the process is viable, Tildesley will create the opportunity to deform the alloys into the more complex product or introduce alloys that currently can’t be forged.