Tata Steel introduces new sizes on bar products to help North American customers
Listening to US customer feedback has led to Tata Steel’s European operations reconfiguring some of its assets in the South Yorkshire area of the UK so as to better serve the vital North American market.
Tata Steel’s Speciality Steel 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 market.
Richard Lowe, General Manager 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.”
Tata Steel has installed seven new rolls and new laser size gauges on each of the two finishing lines on the rolling mill at its Stocksbridge, UK facility.
The new rolls 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.
Tata Steel can roll round bar products in diameters from 7/8ths of an inch to 15 inches, but in equivalent metric sizes, at its two South Yorkshire plants before reducing them on a lathe to their required imperial sizes. This will be the first time the mill in Stocksbridge will have inch size capability.
The new £1.3 million development will enable Tata Steel to comply with the requirements of its North American customers by eliminating several processing steps, including the lathing. 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 Speciality Steels business has supplied high-integrity products 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.
These facilities serve the aerospace, energy, industrial bearing, bright conversion and forging segments in North America.
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.
About Tata Steel in Europe
The European operations of Tata Steel comprise Europe's second largest steel producer. With the main steelmaking operations in the UK and Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, lifting & excavating, energy & power, aerospace and other demanding markets worldwide. The combined Tata Steel is one of the world’s largest steel producers, with an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.