Indian giant Tata Steel opened the UK's largest cutting centre for steel plates at its West Midlands base today.
The steel giant's new 3.1-million pound Profiling Centre at Steelpark in Wednesfield will increase its plate processing capacity in the region by up to 50 per cent.
The facility offers steel plates cut and finished to exact size, shape and quality specifications, providing a range of benefits to customers in the lifting, excavating and construction sectors.
The new centre has the capability to transform steel plate into a multitude of shaped and machined components, from high-volume production runs for off-road vehicle wheels and booms for earth-moving equipment, to large one-off components for construction projects and specialist engineering applications.
"We are transforming the UK's largest steel service centre into an operation that is entirely focused on meeting customer requirements and supporting their success," said Paul Steele, managing director at Tata Steel Distribution UK and Ireland.
"We have a unique ability to support our customers because of our Tata Steel ownership, which makes us the only steel distribution group to have both its mill and processing operations in the UK and Ireland."
Steel said this meant that Tata Steel not only knows "our products and services inside out, but we can offer customers consistent quality and repeatability".
The new centre amalgamates Tata Steel's plate cutting and machining capability into a single facility able to offer a comprehensive suite of tailored processing services to meet specific customer requirements and increases Steelpark's profiling capacity to 47,000 tonnes per annum.
Besides bringing together existing technology from other Tata Steel sites at one location in Steelpark, Europe's second-largest steel producer has invested in two new high-definition plasma profiling machines, which it claims will reduce lead times and increase responsiveness.
The new facility will house five hi-definition plasma profiling machines, two laser profiling machines, two gas profiling machines, five machining centres and three flattening presses.