One of two mill rolls, weighing ore than 100 tons total, prepared for shipment to Alro, SA, a Romanian aluminum producer.

Sheffield Forgemasters is Rolling Forward

Oct. 8, 2012
New orders bring attention to Sheffield's design, production expertise

Sheffield Forgemasters Intl. Ltd. is burnishing its position among the world's largest suppliers of mill rolls, including a recent, multi-million dollar order for five back-up rolls to be installed on a new plate mill operated by the Gerdau Group in Brazil. SFIL also reported it has completed its first ever order from Romania — for a back-up roll and two work rolls supplied to the primary aluminum producer Alro SA, in Slatina, Romania.

A second contract from Slatina has been placed now, for delivery in February 2013, and indicated two more contracts, with new and existing customers in Argentina.

Forgemasters is a steel forging and casting operation in Sheffield, England, and also operates a manufacturing design and engineering group. It supplied five rolls for Gerdau's new plate mill finishing stand, each measuring 2 m in diameter and weighing nearly 170 tons. That order was placed by the U.K.'s Siemens Metal Technologies, which designed and built the plate mill. 

Sheffield Forgemasters' workers show off one of five back-up rolls, forged, finished and ready for shipment to Brazil for a new plate mill built for Gerdau by Siemens Metal Technologies.

"The Gerdau contract is an exciting development in the continuation of our relationship with Siemens," according to Martin Wilks, senior sales manager. "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."

The mill rolls are produced from steel ingots that are forged and heat-treated at carefully controlled temperatures to create highly specific hardness properties.  Then, the rolls are finished to within 0.05 mm using CNC machines.

Two more contracts still in progress are from Aluar and Metallurgica Oliva, the latter a new customer. In all, nine smaller work and back up rolls will be shipped to the two Argentine manufacturers. "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," Martin added.

In regard to the initial order from Romania (for an aluminum hot-strip and plate mill), SFIL senior sales manager Ken Brooks, stated: "We strive to gain a foothold in new geographical markets across the globe and securing contracts like this is key to demonstrating our ability to satisfy a growing number of markets.

"We have been making in-roads into Romania alongside other former Eastern bloc countries for some time, and this work is complemented by our existing status as the largest supplier of steel rolls into Russia.

"Alro is transforming from being primarily a commodity supplier to a value-added manufacturer with an eye to developing new products, so it is key for us to remain in their sights for additional production components."