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CASE STORY: High-Volume Cost Competitive Forgings

Large Railcar manufacturer realizes the value of sourcing their Center Plates locally.

Case Study: High-Volume cost competitive forgings needed to meet high volume annual needs.

Customer: The largest Rail Car truck assembly supplier in North America.

Industry: Rail

Application: 70,000+ Low Profile Center Plates needed annually to meet all North America’s Railcar manufacturing needs.


The customer required high volumes of forged center plates—these parts are extremely difficult to obtain from a North American supplier, who can offer a globally competitive price. The typical overseas lead time ranges from a minimum of 20 weeks. In addition to the extended overseas lead time the political climate internationally puts overseas supply chains at high risk.

The long lead times and the supply chain uncertainty from their current supplier proposed the issues of material shortage which impacted their manufacturing capabilities.


Southwest Steel Processing (SSP) is fully automated and can forge up to 1,500 center plates per day on its 7,000-ton press forging line. This allows SSP to provide the quantities needed to support the entire rail industry at a globally competitive price, with shorter lead times for the domestic customers.

SSP Advantage:

SSP’s steel supplier is integrated with the manufacturing process, therefore the lead times for steel is short, and their capacity for manufacturing is shortened with available raw materials. This enables SSP to compete with global competitive pricing – as they maintain the lowest cost industry steel pricing with no transportation costs.


Forging Advantages

Railroad, mining, industrial machinery, and gear customers choose forgings over castings in critical application areas because they know quality can’t be compromised. Critical applications demand forging because it delivers:


Stronger end products due to a tighter grain structure


Products that are true to form with little porosity or cavities


Fewer weak points because forging reduces the need to fabricate multiple components

Quality Assurance

Our quality management systems meet international standards, which means we consistently provide products and services that fulfill customer and regulatory requirements.

ISO 9001: 2015 Certified

ISO 9001:2015 Certified

American Association Railroads certified

AAR M-1003 Certified
American Association Railroads

ISO 14000 Compliant

ISO 14000

Mitutoyo FHM4CMM


Magnetic Particle testing certified

Magnetic Particle
testing certified

Level three PPAP capable

Level three
PPAP capable