Canton Drop Forge
The company was founded in 1903 and became a pioneer producer of forgings for the early automotive and aircraft industries. Aircraft containing CDF forgings flew in both world wars and in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the Golden Gate Bridge, the German Zeppelins of the pre-World War II period and a wide variety of early industrial and electric generating equipment incorporated CDF forgings, as did America's first aircraft jet engines.
The current plant was built by the government for WWII to make cylinder retainers for piston-engine aircraft and propeller hubs. The founding family managed this plant and then purchased it from the government after the war.
The original plant was located near downtown Canton. That plant made smaller parts in higher volume. It was closed in 1984 when it could no longer compete with foreign forgers.
In 1981, Jim O'Sullivan and four other investors purchased CDF from the founding family. Over the years, Mr. O'Sullivan purchased shares of the other stockholders and became the primary owner of CDF in 1997.
Forgings are used for critical industrial and aerospace applications that require materials with high strength and good toughness and durability. Forgings have much more reliable strength-to-weight ratios than castings and are much tougher and resistant to impact types of failure. The largest market for forgings made in North America is automotive, with roughly 60% of the total market followed by aerospace with about 25%. CDF has no involvement in the automotive market where forgings are small, and made in high volume on automated production cells.
Customers select CDF because we produce competitively priced, high-quality, large forgings in small lots with on-time deliveries.
CDF participates in seven major markets:
Airfoils – turbines/generators
Rotating parts –turbine and compressor wheels for gas turbines, which are used primarily for natural gas pipeline transportation.
Aerospace Structural - Within the aircraft structural market, there are five segments in which CDF participates.
Aircraft Wheel & Brake Airframe Components
Landing Gear Missiles
Aircraft Engine - The engine used on the C-130 cargo plane has forged parts from CDF. There are over 15,000 such engines in operation throughout the world.
Mechanical Power Transmission - The major products in this segment are large gear blanks used for industrial applications, wind power and traction motor gears for locomotives.
Off Highway Equipment – Bulldozers, scrapers and other similar equipment.
Railroad Equipment - This segment includes locomotive and equalizer beams.
Locomotive – Components for their fabricated crankcases for locomotives, as well as connecting rods.
Equalizer Beams – This product is for passenger rail and transit cars and is forged with a unique process making CDF the sole supplier of these parts domestically.
Oilfield Equipment – Valve bodies and other similar parts.