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Forgemasters on roll with South America

01 October 2012

Sheffield Forgemasters International (SFIL) has retained its position as one of the world’s largest suppliers of steel back up rolls after completing work on a multi-million pound deal for South America.

The engineering giant has supplied five back up rolls to a new plant in Brazil, on behalf of Siemens Metals Technologies which is operated by one of the world’s largest special steels manufacturers, Gerdau.

The Sheffield firm has also gained two more South American contracts, with new and existing customers in Argentina.

Forgemasters supplied five large rolls for Gerdau’s new plate mill finishing stand, which weighed 153 tonnes each and two metres in diameter, as part of a contract for Sheffield-based Siemens Metals Technologies.

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 SFIL for around nine years and will help to build our profile in South America.”

Finished components will be used to roll steel plate for ships, bridges, and pipes carrying gas and water. The order for the huge back-up rolls confirms the company’s important standing in the global market place as leading UK exporters.

Specialist techniques were used to produce the rolls, including forging large steel ingots and heat treatment – a process that exposes the rolls to closely controlled temperatures to create highly specific hardness properties. 

The rolls were then machine finished to within 0.05mm using computer controlled machine tools.

Gerdau is a leading producer of long products in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special steel in the world with industrial operations in 14 countries. It meets the needs of the civil construction, industrial, and agribusiness sectors. It is also a global leader in supplying special flat products for the automotive industry.

In Brazil Gerdau steel is part of the construction and modernisation of eight soccer stadiums for the World Cup 2014 and major infrastructure projects for the country such as railways, wind power plants, ports, and roads.

The rolls will now take six weeks to reach their Brazilian destination.

The two new contracts in South America come from Argentinean-based existing customer Aluar and new customer Metallurgica Oliva for nine small work and back up rolls.

The work will help to further capitalise on the company’s offshore division, Vulcan, breaking into the lucrative Brazilian market following the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) business mission to South America last year.

Martin added: “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.

“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 also currently producing large back-up rolls for mills in China, India, Venezuela and has recently secured its first contracts for rolls into Romania.