Brazilian success for Forgemasters

Success: Martin Wilks, left, and technical manager Neil Hardy with visitors from Brazilian steel group Gerdau.
Success: Martin Wilks, left, and technical manager Neil Hardy with visitors from Brazilian steel group Gerdau.
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Sheffield Forgemasters is on a roll in South America.

The Brightside Lane company recently completed an order to supply five back-up rolls for a plate mill in Brazil and has won two more contracts – with customers in Argentina.

Forgemasters has supplied five back-up rolls to a new plant in Brazil run by Gerdau, as part of a contract for Sheffield-based Siemens Metals Technologies.

The rolls weigh 153 tonnes apiece, are two metres in diameter, had to be machined to an accuracy of 0.05mm and play an essential part in maintaining pressure on work rolls in direct contact with the steel that is being turned into plate to make ships, bridges, and pipes carrying gas and water.

Martin Wilks, senior sales manager at Forgemasters, said: “The Gerdau contract is an exciting development in the continuation of our relationship with Siemens.

“The rolls are also the first that have been dispatched to Brazil by Sheffield Forgemasters International for around nine years and will help to build our profile in South America.

“Forgemasters is one of very few companies in the world with the capability to supply steel rolls of this size, which puts us in a very strong, competitive position internationally.”

Prior to dispatching the rolls on their six-week journey to Brazil, Forgemasters hosted a visit by a party from Gerdau, attending a training course run by Siemens Metals Technologies.

Forgemasters’ two other new contracts in South America come from existing customer Aluar and new customer Metallurgica Oliva and involve making nine small work and back-up rolls.

The contracts help Forgemasters to further capitalise on the success of its offshore division, Vulcan, which broke into the lucrative Brazilian market after taking part in a UK Trade & Investment business mission to South America last year.

Martin Wilks said: “These contracts also show our commitment to extending our reach into the BRIC countries, which are emerging markets and important for British businesses to expand into.”

The company is currently producing large back-up rolls for mills in China, India and Venezuela and recently secured its first contracts for rolls from Romania.