Committed teamwork delivers vital equipment for Tata Steel's Shotton Works

Team members of the project

27 / 10 / 2016

A crucial new piece of equipment is up and running at Shotton following the successful completion of a £2.16m investment programme.


The new chemcoater at No 6 galvanising line was delivered safely, on time and on budget thanks to a big team effort.


The massive chemcoater structure – standing 16 metres high – was finished and cold – commissioned during the Christmas break. To avoid significant time-out on the line, the entire chemcoater section was constructed over the existing line.


“On 6 January the strip was diverted through the new section and the line restarted without issue”, said Richard carter, Senior Engineer – Capital Planning and Strategic Development. “The first coated trials were carried out shortly afterwards and proved very successful”.


Investment in the new chemcoater was approved at the end of 2014 following legislation that meant Colors had to eliminate chrome from its products. The existing line had outdated and limited capability to run new generation of chrome-free passivation.


Richard, who led the project, said:


“The concept from the initial design phase was always focused on delivering a solution that was low-risk to the line capacity and allowed the existing equipment to remain in operation.


“Key to the design was extensive use of 3-D modelling both in-house and by the main contractor, KCS Herr Voss UK. This ensured that, right from the start of the process, the integration of the new equipment with the existing could be as smooth and frisk-free as possible.”


Housed within a new steel structure, the chemcoater main equipment includes a 20-tonne gas-fired oven, a vertical roller coater and control system. On-site work to construct the new chemcoater section began early last spring. After an initial one-week shutdown, only some of the scheduled ‘pause weekends’ were utilised – with the majority of the work taking place whilst the line was operational.


A key project objective was further improvement in coater safety. Richard said: “A tremendous amount of effort was put in operationally, by the project team and by KCS Herr Voss UK, to take the design of guarding and interlocks on the coater to the next level.”


Richard said everyone involved with the project should be “very proud” of their achievement. He said: “This was a challenging project that has demonstrated the passion and commitment of everyone on the project team. The assistance and cooperation of everyone within Manufacturing has been excellent throughout.


“If Shotton is to continue to receive investment then we must demonstrate that those investments are delivered safely, on time and on budget. In this case, delivering all three objectives is something that everyone who supported the project should be very proud of.”  

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