ST. LOUIS—Beckwood Press Co., a manufacturer of hydraulic and servo-electric presses, and Kansas Oklahoma Machine Tools (KOMT), a machinery distributor throughout the Midwest, recently delivered the first ever press with automated die change to Spirit AeroSystems for use in the aerospace supplier’s Joule Form manufacturing process.

The Joule Form process is a proprietary method developed by Spirit for shaping metal parts at elevated temperatures. Using the automated press system from Beckwood, Spirit will be able to efficiently form lightweight titanium parts by directing energy only where it is needed, ultimately decreasing machined-part costs.

“This is an emerging manufacturing improvement for shaping metallic plate products that can replace more expensive techniques, such as die forgings and extrusions,” says Kevin Matthies, Spirit’s senior vice president of global fabrication. “Implementing this new technology will allow advanced production for parts such as those for propulsion systems. No one else in the industry has a comparable high-tech and cost-saving solution for this application.”

“Beckwood is continually on the forefront of new manufacturing technologies because R&D is at the heart of every press we build,” says Beckwood president Jeffrey Debus. “This exclusive system will revolutionize Spirit’s titanium forming operations around the globe.”