Strategic success for Sheffield Forgemasters

Crucial deal: Mill housing castings, made by Sheffield Forgemasters, at DavyMarkham's Prince of Wales Road facility
Crucial deal: Mill housing castings, made by Sheffield Forgemasters, at DavyMarkham's Prince of Wales Road facility
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Sheffield Forgemasters has completed a crucial multimillion pound order for US steel giant Allegheny Technologies.

Forgemasters beat off Asian competition to win the order to make castings weighing up to 300 tonnes for a rolling mill housing, destined for a steel plant in Pennsylvania, operated by Allegheny Technologies’ subsidiary ATI Allegheny Ludlum.

The deal re-establishes Forgemasters’ place in the American rolling mills market and represents another success for Sheffield’s ‘Golden Triangle’ of mill designers and manufacturers - Siemens VAI Metals Technologies, Forgemasters and DavyMarkham.

Mill designer Siemens VAI awarded Forgemasters the contract to make and machine the castings, which are up to 13.5 metres tall and 5.2m wide.

DavyMarkham finished the machining, fitted additional components and assembled and painted the housings before dispatching them.

Forgemasters senior sales manager Michael Holloway said: “Securing a foothold in the market for rolling mills within the United States is a key strategic lead for us.

“This is an existing market, which the company has supplied in previous years.

“However, changes in technology and Forgemasters’ development of castings and ultra-large castings, through a dedicated research and development programme, enabled us to produce components which far exceed the quality offered by competitors.

“The contract was secured on the back of a previous contract, to supply smaller, 67 tonne rolling mill castings to Siemens VAI, for the AHMSA steel mill in Mexico and the quality and level of finish for those castings set a new standard which impressed the client.”

The Allegheny Ludlum mill stand is one of the largest of its kind using mono-block mill housings.

It required finish machining to extremely high tolerances at Forgemasters £12 million North Machine Shop and Davy Markham.

“The facility to cast such large components and then to undertake the machine finishing of them in this way exists in very few engineering facilities globally and it is a key selling point for Forgemasters as it dramatically reduces the need to outsource the work, thereby providing an economic advantage,” added Michael Holloway.

The new USA mill is part of an advanced hot-rolling and processing facility, capable of rolling a wide range of stainless steels and specialty alloys to widths that range up to more than two metres.