Tata Steel is to improve productivity and customer service at its Hartlepool site in the UK by investing £7 million in enhanced welding and material handling capability.
The investment will improve the welding capabilities of two of the company’s Hartlepool mills - the 42-inch submerged arc welding (SAW) mill and the 20-inch high frequency induction (HFI) mill - as well as improving both mills’ handling equipment.
Tata Steel’s 42-inch SAW mill has a world-leading reputation in the supply of thick wall, small diameter line pipes used primarily in challenging deepwater environments by the oil and gas industry. A new fifth welding line will increase the mill’s internal welding output by 25% and incorporates digital technology which will enhance accuracy and control of the welding process.
The 20-inch HFI mill, meanwhile, produces a range of tubular products for the structural, mechanical, process plant and energy markets. A new state-of-the-art 1.8 megawatt solid-state induction welder will be installed at the mill to enhance weld integrity and increase manufacturing output.
The £7m investment will also include new cranes, handling equipment and storage at both mills, which will improve the quality of the finished product as well as customer service.
Ramsay Ross, a director of Tata Steel’s tubes business, said: “This substantial investment reflects our continuous commitment to remaining competitive and capable of meeting our customers’ increasing demands. It will enable us to retain our market-leading position through providing our customers with the best quality product.
“This investment will help us to retain our position as a world-leading supplier of pipes and tubes. Investments of this kind help us to build a sustainable future in Hartlepool, which I know will be welcomed by our skilled workforce and the local community.”
The investment forms a critical component of the company’s five-year plan to increase the productivity and cost effectiveness of the Hartlepool plants. Preparatory work has already begun at the mills, and the installation and commissioning of the new plant and equipment is scheduled for the first six months of 2012.
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About Tata Steel in Europe
The European operations of Tata Steel (formerly known as Corus) comprise Europe's second largest steel producer. With main steelmaking operations in the UK and the Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, material handling and other demanding markets worldwide.
Tata Steel is one of the world’s top ten steel producers. The combined group has an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.