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Tata Steel opens new automotive finishing line

September 18, 2014

Tata Steel has opened a new finishing line at its IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands to strengthen the supply of high-value steels to the automotive sector and other markets.

Tata Steel invested 12 million euros in Finishing Line 32, which will process up to 400,000 tonnes of galvanised (corrosion resistant) steel coil a year.

Henrik Adam, Tata Steel’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This investment will enable us to improve the supply of high-quality steels to customers while also improving delivery times.

“The new finishing line enables us to meet the most stringent quality standards for advanced steels, some of which are used by automotive manufacturers for vehicle body panels and safety-critical components. These steels are often stronger and thinner, enabling our automotive customers to produce more fuel-efficient and lighter-weight vehicles.”

The finishing line’s location at the end of the company’s three hot-dip galvanising lines in IJmuiden will increase processing speed and delivery reliability for customers, while also reducing on-site steel movements. Finishing Line 32 enables inspection, cutting to width and length, laser welding, slitting, two sided oiling, marking, coiling and binding of galvanised steel. After the finishing, coils are wrapped and loaded onto trucks or trains for direct delivery to customers.

The new finishing line follows the opening in IJmuiden of the third hot-dip galvanising line in 2009.

Hans Fischer, Tata Steel’s Chief Technical Officer, said: “The combination of our automotive R&D centre and these new production facilities enables us to both develop and manufacture advanced steel products like MagiZinc(R) for car manufacturers and the construction industry.”

MagiZinc is an innovative zinc coating for steel products which incorporates aluminium and magnesium. It offers twice the protection against corrosion, which enables thinner coating layers. The coating is also harder, making it easier for car manufacturers to process steel products, leading to a reduction of rejections and manufacturing downtime.

The opening of Finishing Line 32 has also freed up Tata Steel’s Cold Rolling Plant in IJmuiden, which was responsible for finishing galvanised steel. This will enable the company to increase the supply of uncoated cold rolled steel to customers.