City expertise is cutting Tata’s furnace costs

Mark Ritson, managing director of Inspec Solutions, studies the new system the Sheffield company has installed at Tata's Scunthorpe steelworks
Mark Ritson, managing director of Inspec Solutions, studies the new system the Sheffield company has installed at Tata's Scunthorpe steelworks
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CONTROL systems developed by Sheffield-based Inspec Solutions are saving steel giant Tata more than £500,000 a year at its Scunthorpe plant.

Broomgrove Road-based Inspec was called in by Tata to upgrade control systems for three, 300 ton ladle electric arc furnaces, one of which was more than 30 years old.

“Made in Sheffield” member Inspec replaced proprietary control systems with a new system that has resulted in massive savings.

Even before energy savings are taken into account, Inspec’s system has resulted in savings of £167,000 a year for each furnace through reduced electrode wear.

The system has also simplified the installation, reduced the range of spares the works needs to stock and enabled Tata Steel’s engineers to service the control units in house.

Inspec specialises in control and information systems for industry and commerce and is currently expanding into the oil and gas market.

The company has worked for most steel manufacturers in the UK and a large number of steel formers, designing precision automation and control systems for iron and steel foundries that handle everything from the movement of the raw materials, through melting and refining to casting, product finishing, cooling and fume extraction.