Local steel major stretches steel, capacity and competitiveness with second stretcher leveller.
Allied Steelrode made history in 2015 with the purchase and commissioning of South Africa’s very first dedicated stretcher leveller. With a length of 120m, the stretcher leveller is capable of processing material up to 12mm thick, 2m wide and up to 15m in length, fed from coils weighing up to 33 tons.
With this innovative machine in place at their stretcher leveller facility in Midvaal, Allied Steelrode was able to far more effectively produce stretched and flattened steel. “The effectiveness of our stretcher leveller process has been evidenced by the ever-increasing demand for our trademarked brand, Allied Steelrode Stretcher Material (ASSM), which, since 2015, has been growing rapidly,” highlights Allied Steelrode executive director Warne Rippon.
“As the demand for our ASSM grew exponentially, we soon saw the need for a second, even more powerful stretcher leveller. This became fully operational in July 2018,” explains Rippon’s partner in Allied Steelrode, CEO Arun Chadha.
Chadha continues, “This second stretcher leveller – together with the first one – is a boon to the downstream steel sector as, in these constrained economic times, companies are managing their inventory on a much stricter ‘just-in-time’ basis with little or no stockholding. The installation of the second stretcher leveller will allow for greater operational efficiencies, resulting in shorter lead times to delivery.”
The two stretcher levellers boast varying capabilities – the first stretcher leveller is able to process steel gauges from 1.2mm to 12mm, while the second processes gauges from 3mm to 12mm. “What this means for us is that we have been able to drastically reduce the time lost in setting up when changing from one type of material to another,” explains Rippon.
“To physically stretch steel requires immense forces to be applied, which in turn requires a machine of some considerable scale,” comments Chadha. The new stretcher leveller weighs in at some 250 tons, and to accommodate this machine, the Midvaal facility needed to be expanded to a total of 15 000m².
The provision of professionally stretcher-levelled ASSM steel provides a substantial benefit to South Africa’s manufacturing and fabrication sector, notes Rippon. “It will furthermore contribute to the upturn in the demand for steel, which we expect will come once the larger infrastructure projects get underway as a result of government’s recently announced economic stimulus package.
“This will also provide a springboard to improving the quality of our locally produced steel and steel products which will ultimately allow the country to be more competitive in the global manufacturing arena,” concludes Rippon.