10th September 2012
Following a spring and summer of intensive work, as well as a few anxious moments, Top Tubes’ new slitting line is now complete and in operation.
As part of a £0.6m investment programme, a completely new slitting bay, containing the new slitting line, has been created at our Smith Road, Wednesbury site, replacing the slitting facility previously located at a separate site.
In the early stages of the installation the construction of the looping pit caused a few problems due to the local water table being only 2.3 metres below ground. This caused flooding of the pit which was remedied by the sinking of a steel lined tank into the pit.
During the Easter weekend a massive new 25 tonne capacity overhead crane was hoisted into place to accommodate the transfer of heavier coils onto the line. The gantry system and foundations were also greatly strengthened for this purpose.
The major elements of the new line having been put in place, work then began on training and familiarisation. A major item of equipment such as this has its own individual characteristics and getting to know and exploit those characteristics is vital in ensuring that it is working to its full potential. The introduction onto the line of a computerised ‘Strip Manager’ job-processing system linked in to a similar system on the tube mills maximises that potential.
The new slitting line’s capability of processing over 1000 tons per week will enable Top Tubes to both build up strip stock for tube making and to offer a faster turnaround time, from order to delivery, on the supply of slit coils to outside customers.
Later in the year we aim to exploit the slitting line’s capabilities still further by creating an expanded customer base in a number of different industry sectors.