Thursday, June 20, 2013

News: Tata Steel secures £45m aerospace deal with Safran Group


Tata Steel's Speciality Steels business in South Yorkshire has received a boost with the announcement of a long-term export agreement to supply aerospace steels to Safran Group.

The five-year agreement gives Tata Steel responsibility for supplying all aspects of Safran's aircraft-quality steel requirements worldwide, including remelted steels, both direct to Safran Group companies and to its subcontractors. The initial value of the contract is in excess of £9m per year, with prospects for this to grow during the life of the agreement.

Indian-owned Tata Steel (formerly Corus) has been a leading manufacturer of aerospace steels for more than 60 years and supplies special steels to aerospace component manufacturers around the world from the company's South Yorkshire sites.

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. The steel ranges from high strength, high integrity structural steels to high temperature alloy and stainless steels. It used in aircraft engines and landing gear. Tata Steel also expanded its aerospace operations in the growing export market of China by opening its second aerospace service centre in the country.

Headquartered in Paris, Safran is a world-class manufacturer of aircraft, rocket engines, propulsion systems and aircraft equipment. Its history dates back to 1905 and it is the world's oldest aircraft engine manufacturer. The group was created following a merger between SNECMA and SAGEM in 2005 and it operates a number of subsidiaries including Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, who chose Rotherham made steel for the landing gear of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Mark Broxholme, managing director of Tata Steel's Speciality Steels business (pictured above, right), said: "We have a long and successful record of supplying aerospace quality steels into the Safran Group. This is a significant award for Tata Steel and continues our long-term commercial and technical relationship with an important customer in this demanding market sector."

Jean Claude Begue, lead buyer - Machining Bars at Safran, added: "It is fantastic news today to sign our long-term agreement with Tata Steel. Their brand in the aerospace sector is very well respected and up there with the best in the industry."

In the aerospace sector, Tata has systems and products approved by over 100 component and equipment manufacturers, primes and third party accreditations. Approvals come from the likes of Airbus, Boeing Commercial Airplane, GE Aviation, Lockheed, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney.

Andrew Parker, commercial director of Speciality Steels at Tata, added: "This agreement has been won after Safran benchmarked us against multiple global suppliers and allows us to formalise a longstanding and successful relationship.

"The agreement covers both mill direct businesses to Safran Group as well as supply into their subcontractor supply chains. Our aerospace service centres in Bolton, UK, and Suzhou and Xi'an in China are well positioned to service the needs of these networks and deliver additional value to the customer."

Tata Steel website
Safran Group website

Images: Tata Steel


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