18 Dec 2017

Full steam ahead for the new descaler

The £1.9m investment in our Skinningrove mill will deliver market-leading surface quality through a unique patent-pending solution.

The new descaling system, which is now fully operational following its successful installation during the summer shutdown, will considerably enhance our existing mill process, using high-pressure water technology to break scale from the bars discharged from the 2 re-heat furnaces.

Phil Bentley, Project Manager, said: “The equipment has been designed and supplied by Italian specialists INOXIHP, who created a bespoke new system to allow us to meet the needs of our customers.

"We're really proud of this ground-breaking technology which is why we've filed for a patent on some elements of the process.

“We’re confident that the new system will fully remove all scale, over the full range of our products.”

The 20-strong project team was bolstered by an additional 20 contractors in the final stages of the installation, which involved removing the old equipment and installing the new guidance and descaling stations during the 2 weeks the plant was off for maintenance in August.
Cameras have been installed after the descaling stations that capture every bar’s surface image, which is then used by software developed in-house to measure the percentage of scale removal.

Phil added: “All the images are saved and tagged to every order, meaning every single bar is traceable with regards to checking the scale removal. It’s a huge step forward in our offering to our customers and hopefully gives them the reassurance that we’re striving to be market leaders in terms of surface quality.

“The new descaling stations are located in small and compact spaces, which proved challenging in both the design and execution of the project.

“The team did a fantastic job with the installation and commissioning. It was the good planning and attention to detail that helped us achieve what we did and it’s a credit to everyone involved. We had a lot to do in a short period of time and they achieved this with no injuries.”

The new descalers together with a scale assessment camera and aesthetic index system represent a totally unique process on which the patent is now pending.

Customers are now being invited to come and see the new equipment in operation and we’ve already had some encouraging feedback.

Engineering, Development & Product Quality Manager David Hogg said: “The project has been a complex task but the benefits to our customers will be worthwhile when they receive products with market-leading surface quality.”