NEW YORK Tata Steel Ltd.s European operations have
taken a measured response to U.S. customer feedback and
invested $2.6 million to equip the companys Stocksbridge,
U.K., rolling mill to produce inch-sized round bar tailored
specifically for the North American market.
The specialty steel business of London-based Tata Steel Europe
Ltd. has long produced high-quality, metric-sized steel
products for the global market.
Seven new rolls and laser size gauges installed on each of the
two finishing lines serving the Stocksbridge mill will allow
Tata to roll inch-sized bar for the first time in the range of
3 to 10 inches in diameter, with the possibility of extending
to 12 inches in diameter. Previously the mill was only able to
roll metric sizes.
Our long standing North American customers wanted us to
be more competitive throughout the cycle and easier to deal
with, Richard Lowe, general manager, Specialty Steels
Americas, said in a statement. This development achieves
those objectives and demonstrates we are a listening
Tata Steel can roll round bar products in diameters from
⅞ to 15 inches at its two South Yorkshire plants but only
in equivalent metric sizes. The bars are then reduced or shaved
on a lathe to their required imperial sizes.
Lowe credits the investment at Stocksbridge with enabling Tata
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 , he said.
The new rolls, which have been undergoing testing and
validation at Stocksbridge through the first half of 2013, are
slated for commissioning the fourth quarter of this year.
The European operations of India-based Tata Steel count major
steelmaking facilities in the U.K. and the Netherlands and rank
as Europes second largest steel producer. Tatas
Specialty Steel business has supplied carbon, alloy and
stainless steels to the U.S. market since 1958.