Virtual intelligence for new forging frontiers The world has come a long way since the metal smiths of yesteryear forged different parts for industry and manufacturing. Virtual forging and online networks have taken the forging industry into even newer frontiers. Digital Economy © Thinkstock Industrial manufacturing relies heavily on metal forging and forming processes that have progressed significantly in recent decades. Ongoing research and development (R&D) in materials science, engineering and lately numerical simulation have contributed to better production techniques and parts. However, much of these advances have emerged in a scattered pattern in different industries and parts of the world, with no single source of information that could help related sectors innovate and progress. With this in mind, the EU-funded project 'Virtual intelligent forging - CA' (VIF CA) aimed to accumulate the knowledge under one umbrella to overcome important industrial challenges in manufacturing and industry. The project aimed to establish a forging knowledge community through high-tech training and education in order to upgrade industrial practices by exploiting virtual production, supply chains and life-cycle management. This would help focus on industrial needs, establish benchmarks for virtual simulations, create an e-forging environment, amass material-related data and create an online database. The initiative supported development of a framework for virtual integration of process simulations, creating a roadmap for e-learning in the sector, organising workshops and promoting mobility of researchers or students. Through its efforts in this direction, VIF CA formulated a list of industrial and societal needs with respect to metal forming, setting the stage for new research goals and projects. It initiated projects for an e-learning platform, e-database and e-book on forging to advance the industry, establishing in parallel cold and hot forming benchmarks for materials testing and process simulations. These actions, combined with seminars, workshops and exchange programmes have led to a structure for virtual supply chains and validated test cases, among other major accomplishments in a re-emerging sector.