Tuesday, July 30, 2013

News: Tata's speciality steel to be inch perfect for the US market

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Tata Speciality Steel has reconfigured some of its South Yorkshire rolling mills to meet the exacting needs of its American customers.

The business has been producing high-quality metric sized products for the global market for many years. Now the company has brought in imperial sizing specifically for the North American export market.

Richard Lowe, general manager for Speciality Steels Americas, said: "This development is a direct response to feedback from our long standing North American customers. They wanted us to be more competitive throughout the cycle and easier to deal with. This development achieves those objectives and demonstrates we are a listening company."

Investment in 2005 saw the Rotherham site at Aldwarke become the focus for steel making, casting and rolling of specialist steels. The steel is manufactured at the Rotherham site before undergoing further refining at the Stocksbridge plant or the Thrybergh Bar Mill to improve the quality.

In 2012, a £6.5m investment in aerospace steel production, including two new Vacuum Arc Remelting (VAR) furnaces at Stocksbridge, boosted output of these steels by 30% and safeguarded the South Yorkshire jobs.

High-integrity products have been supplied into the US market since 1958, including carbon, alloy and stainless steels that are single, double and triple melted using the Electric Arc Furnace, Vacuum Induction Melting, Electro Slag Reduction and Vacuum Arc Remelting production routes.

Tata has installed seven new rolls and new laser size gauges on each of the two finishing lines on the rolling mill at its Stocksbridge facility. They will enable the mill to hot roll inch sized round bar for the first time in the range of 3-10 inch diameter, with the possibility of extending to 12 inch diameter. Previously the mill had only been able to roll metric sizes.

The new £1.3m development will enable Tata Steel to comply with the requirements of its North American customers by eliminating several processing steps, including reducing bars by lathe. Customers can also expect shorter lead times and more precise delivery schedules.

Richard Lowe added: "The quality steels we produce are in demand around the world. Tata Steel understands that helping customers in our chosen markets to grow can only ever be mutually beneficial."

The new rolls have been going through the trial and validation process throughout the first half of 2013 and are expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of this year.

Tata Steel website

Images: Tata Steel

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