Forgemasters on a giant roll

Castings bound for Venzuela, moving out of Forgemasters on the heavy loader

Castings bound for Venzuela, moving out of Forgemasters on the heavy loader

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Two massive castings with a combined weight of almost 600 tonnes have left Sheffield, bound for Venezuela.

Two massive castings with a combined weight of almost 600 tonnes have left Sheffield, bound for Venezuela.

The castings, 13 metres long, 4.7 metres wide and 2 meters high, are two of the largest that Sheffield Forgemasters International has ever made at its Brightside Lane plant and are part of a multi-million pound contract for a plate rolling mill being built by German company SMS Siemag in the South American country.

Forgemasters chief executive, Dr Graham Honeyman, said the castings were among the largest the firm had ever produced.

“We are proud that we are the only European foundry able to cast products of this scale,” said Dr Honeyman.

“To cast components of this complexity takes an enormous amount of preparation and innovation.

“The sheer size alone highlights the excellent skills and vision of our engineers. This contract is a further extension of our ongoing relationship with the SMS group of companies which we have maintained for over 30 years.”

Roads had to be closed as police escorted the castings out of Sheffield on their way to Grimsby

The castings will form the outer frame of the rolling mill. Forgemasters is also making a number of the rolls which fit in the frame and will produce the plates.

The Sheffield firm has already made the first pair of rolls, which weigh 130 tonnes apiece, and will produce another pair of rolls next year.

The rolling mill housing is one of a number of contracts Forgemasters has undertaken for the SMS Group.

Others include the production of a 325 tonne casting for the foundation platen of the Kisco closed-die press in South Korea, which was valued at more than £1 million.

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