Giant casting revamped to celebrate Sheffield Forgemasters' takeover

A famous Forgemasters’ landmark has had a lick of paint to celebrate its takeover by the Government.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 8:45 am

A 35ft, 20-tonne casting on Brightside Lane roundabout, near the firm’s main site entrance, proudly bears its new livery, including grey and orange company colours and font.

Last month, the 215-year-old-firm was acquired for £2.6m by the Ministry of Defence promising to invest £400m over the next 10 years. Up to 50 per cent of Sheffield Forgemasters’ revenue is from defence manufacturing, including supplying parts for Royal Navy ships and submarines.

The ‘node’ was a world first prototype of what became a key piece in the structure of North Sea oil rigs. It was manufactured at River Don Castings, now part of Sheffield Forgemasters, in 1978.

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The 35ft casting proudly displays the firm's new colours.

A spokesman said it ‘transformed the assembly and structural integrity’ of offshore platforms.

He added: “The fact that many of these platforms remain structurally intact well beyond their expiry date, is testament to the years of development that Sheffield Forgemasters undertook to manufacture these nodes.

“We have since gone on to manufacture the largest cast steel nodes in the world and are unmatched global leaders in this technology.”

The node is part cast - where molten metal is poured into moulds - and part welded and carries the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Engineering Heritage Hallmark. Today, Forgemasters’ nodes are fully cast for high-strength and integrity.

Meanwhile, as part of the MoD takeover, the company is now simply called Sheffield Forgemasters. Previous names including Vulcan SFM, Sheffield Forgemasters Steel, Sheffield Forgemasters Engineering and Steel Propeller have been retired, the spokesman said.

The component has probably been seen by millions of motorists over the years.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.