History: 21st century
Atchison's management failed to develop the business and in 2003 their whole enterprise went into liquidation.
A major turnaround at River Don enabled local management led by Graham Honeyman to ring fence the business from administration.
After two years of negotiation to overcome major hurdles including a difficult market and pension problems, the management was able to complete a Management Buy Out in 2005.
Building on the strength of renewed client faith in the company and a steady order book, the management team has continued to steer SFIL on a dynamic course.
The company, which is in its third century and is probably the oldest steel business in the world, is now positioned at the forefront of technology for castings and forgings for heavy engineering across the world.
In March 2010 SFIL secured a £80m loan from the British Labour Government to install a 15,000 tonne press to allow it to break a global manufacturing monopoly on ultra large civil nuclear forgings. However the loan was overturned by the incoming coalition Government in June 2010.
The creation of subsidiary companies Vulcan SFM, Steel Propeller and Sheffield Forgemasters RD26 Ltd has offered diversification for Forgemasters providing specialist services ranging from design consultancy to engineering production solutions, contract management, outsourcing and acquisition and research and design.
Investment has been key for the company – the addition of a 4,000 tonne press and the development of a North Machine Shop, primarily to finish ultra large castings, have strengthened SFIL’s ability to service key markets.
The company continues to supply an increasing global demand for high quality engineered products to key industries such as defence, civil nuclear, oil and gas exploration, power generation, marine and construction.
In early 2014 it opened a subsidiary in Singapore - Sheffield Forgemasters Singapore Pte Ltd - to service Asia and Australasia with a particular focus on forgings and castings for the offshore oil and gas industry.
SFIL operates an award-winning apprentice trained workforce putting valuable specialist knowledge back into the British steel industry and lifelong training programmes for its employees.