Spend a minute with Tony Galli and two things jump out at you — his passion and experience when it comes to making seamless rolled rings.
Consider this; he regularly commutes from Cleveland to suburban Detroit to bring his expertise to Weldaloy Specialty Forgings to enhance their seamless rolled ring capabilities.
For Weldaloy, forging rolled rings under 50 inches in diameter is nothing new, as they’ve been doing that for years. However, as Weldaloy continues to grow its business in the competitive aerospace sector, which has a high demand for seamless rolled rings in various specialty materials, Weldaloy wanted someone with Tony’s vast experience to support that growth.
For a guy like Tony Galli, forging rolled rings is something that has become second nature to him.
Galli started out his forging career working for a local forging company in his hometown of Reno, Nevada. This company worked primarily with the aerospace sector, and this gave Galli his insight into the industry. Galli, an adventurer at heart, left his first job to work in Monterrey, Mexico to build a forging plant from scratch.
“I left a company in Reno after 15 years,” Galli says, “I had a good job there. I was in middle management—I had it made. I knew what I was doing. It was a comfortable life. Very comfortable.
“But then the opportunity in Mexico was too great for me to pass up. We were going to build a plant in a dirt field, from the ground up. That was my baby. I was going to build a plant and leave, but I liked it,” Galli said. So much so that he met his wife, a native of Mexico, there. He and Mirna Janet married in 2004.
“When I went to Mexico, I didn’t speak a word of Spanish. Unless you’re in a tourist town in Mexico, nobody speaks English. All of the guys in the shop spoke Spanish so, you know if I was going to be their boss, if I was training them, I had to learn Spanish quickly.”
His workforce was as green as the field that was cleared to build the plant.
“My ring operator had never rolled a ring before. My press operator had never operated a press before. My manipulator driver didn’t even drive a car. So we needed to do a lot of training. What I found was that sometimes it’s easier to train people who have no preconceived notions.”
Tony stayed in Mexico for nearly a decade working for the forging company he helped literally build from the ground up. However, an incredible opportunity came Galli’s way – one that was just too good to pass up.
Forgital, a forging company based in Vincenza, Italy, sought out Galli’s skill and knowledge for aerospace forgings. Forgital dates back to the 1800s, primarily hammered farming tools. Today, Forgital is now one of the largest forging companies in the world.
And who wouldn’t want to work in Italy?
“That was just for fun, really. Because, you know, we’ve been on vacation to Italy in Europe. I liked it over there. And I want to stay there for the rest of my life.”
However, Galli and his growing family didn’t stay in Italy for long. Galli’s wife Janet got pregnant and experienced complications in the pregnancy lead to the decision to move back to the US. Eventually, Janet gave birth to a healthy girl named Francesca, but the Gallis were set on settling down in the US.
After Italy, Tony and his family moved to Erie, Pennsylvania, Houston and Cleveland — all forging jobs. The first job was rolling steel rings in Erie, but Tony soon got bored and missed the challenge of working with superalloys. In Houston, he worked for a forging company, specializing in oil and gas. That company went bankrupt when a barrel of oil dropped to $60 a barrel and Tony landed a job in Cleveland at SMS Groups making, you guessed it, ring roller machines.
“I had it made at SMS too. I had an office, a title and nobody worked for me. I didn’t have any real responsibilities. I just kind of got to do what I wanted to do.
“When I was working for SMS, I was doing operator training to teach guys how to run these ring mills. And Weldaloy has a very small SMS machine right now. And they asked me to come up and do some training for a couple of weeks. And I did and we rolled more rings in two weeks on that machine than they ever had.”
After working at SMS, Galli worked Siempelkamp for about a year. While working at Siempelkamp, Galli was able to continue to travel all over the world to conduct operator training and technical visits to China and Russia. It was during this time that Tony met and began training some Weldaloy employees.
The stars aligned for Tony’s arrival to Weldaloy in November 2019. As it happened, Weldaloy purchased a 200-ton ring roller to help expand their rolled ring capabilities at the end of 2019. Given Galli’s experience and knowledge in rolled rings, Weldaloy knew that hiring Tony as their new Director of Forge Operations was a wise decision.
Now, Tony gets to launch another effort to win rocket business, rolled rings 50-inches in diameter or less. His goal is to eventually produce 50 pieces a day. Production will launch in June 2020 if Tony has any say.
What’s the appeal about working for Weldaloy and getting this effort off the ground?
“There are forging companies out there that are only meeting their customers’ deadlines 60 percent of the time,” Galli said. “I know we can beat that. We have seen cases where customers have been delayed weeks and months on many of their deliveries. We are excited to be able to provide another option for serving customers who have rings that our new roller can produce.”
From Reno, Mexico, Italy and partially everywhere in between, Tony Galli has certainly earned his unofficial title of the “Ring King.” Weldaloy Specialty Forgings is excited to have Galli on our team!