Tuesday, February 21, 2012

News: Tata Steel expands its narrow strip offering

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Following extensive trials at its narrow strip mill in Rotherham, Tata Steel has expanded its hot rolled gauge capability.

The increase in thickness to 13.5mm will allow customers to source thicker material than before which offers the potential to increase their product portfolio and source all of their requirements from one place.

The move is part of a new strategy that focuses on exceptional high-value products and sectors that is benefiting the Speciality Steels business in South Yorkshire.

Cahel Ferguson, commercial manager for narrow strip at Tata Steel, said: "This development keeps us at the forefront of hot rolled narrow strip developments and will appeal to our existing customer base as well as allowing us to increase our footprint globally.

"The work builds on our policy of working with key customers to develop strategic capability which complements our commitment to give customers a class-leading combination of short lead times and delivery on time."

The steel for the narrow strip is manufactured at Tata Steel's plants in South Yorkshire, before being rolled to its final size at the company's mill in Brinsworth, Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

In 2007 the Narrow Strip plant at Brinsworth celebrated it's golden anniversary. The basic layout of the mill changed very little in those 50 years but developments in all areas make Brinsworth a remarkably different business.

This includes the development of High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steels called Hypress in the 1960s and developments to meet the precise needs of customers including new grades such as boron, carbon manganese and chrome molybdenum.

The mill is still one of the leading hot rolled narrow strip producers in the world and offers steel grades, from low carbon and free cutting steels to high carbon, alloy and stainless steels, offer varying strength, formability, durability and hardness properties.

The narrow strip is manufactured to the exacting specifications demanded by highly specialised, quality-critical sectors across the world such as cold rollers, keys, agricultural, automotive and aviation.

In the three months to December 31, the Indian-owned steel-maker posted a net loss of $114m as a result of higher prices for raw materials and the economic uncertainty in Europe. This compares to a net profit of $189m in the same period last year.

Dr Karl-Ulrich Köhler, MD & CEO of Tata Steel Europe, said: "The December quarter marked the height of the cyclical cost-price squeeze. Tata Steel was one of the first steel companies in Europe last year to start adjusting its output and configuration to the slowdown in the recovery."

He added that Tata Steel Europe was expecting a "muted but stable demand in our core markets in 2012."

Tata Steel website

Images: tatasteeleurope.com

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