Turbochargers are crucial components of machines we see every day, such as buses, UPS trucks and tractor trailers. However, creating these critical, high-temperature applications isn't easy.
Transforming raw material into a durable turbocharger requires a meticulous and multi-step forging process.
At QC Forge, this process is really more of a science. Everything is controlled, down to the time it takes to cool the component off. Every step has a purpose, in order to produce a quality turbocharger that meets the customer’s needs.
How exactly does the turbocharger forging process work? Watch now to learn.
We can't just in one step put it into that shape. We actually have to do a multiple-step forging operation.
It's for the intake side of a turbo charger. For UPS trucks, buses, over the road tractor trailer stuff, it's critical, high temp applications that they need.
When the material comes in, we're identifying it so that it gets put on the floor. If we've got three different jobs out there, they can't mix and match heats, because heat is critical to our application. Once we get the raw material in and we take it from the shiny surface that it has from the mill and we put it into what we call blast and we use alumina oxide blast material media, too, we want to matte the finish of the material.
And you ask why do we matte finish it? And that's really, if you think about this furnace, it's like a french fry oven or a microwave, where if it's shiny, it's just like the sun. It's going to reflect off the material, so you're going to have to turn your furnaces up to crank up the heat.
The person that's operating the heat, his job is to not only load the furnace, his job is also to take heat checks on set periods, which is every two hours. We check the heat coming out with a thermal couple to make sure that the the furnace on the temperature and the input coming out is what we are looking for. So then he's taken no checks, he's putting it into the computer, which is an SPC. So we're monitoring the temperature of the billets coming out, we’re monitoring the die closure of the part, and we're monitoring the match of the tooling.
Once the guy takes it off the oven and forges it, we're trying to extrude energy into the part that gives it the requirements that the customer is demanding. So there's a certain way we have to do that where we're trying to drive dead metal out of the part, the surface of the material. And then once he forges it, he's putting it on a force air cool conveyor system. So we don't want it sitting there and just cooling off however fast it wants to. We want to rapidly cool it.
Once it comes off, they put it into the next container, which takes it to the next part of the operation. The one thing I will put here is what we try to do also is we cross-train all operators, so everybody on our floor can blast, they can forge, they can heat, and they can trim, every one of them.
Once they forge it, put it on conveyor, comes off conveyor, gets put in a container, then it's transferred to the next operation, which is a trim and stamp operation. What we do here is each basket of parts that we trim, they're allotted numbers in that container, and we're putting in special heat code on that container for traceability for the customer and for us.
But what we want to do is get it to the hardest it can get so we can do testing and it can go right into production.