The completion of a new UK stainless steel processing centre took a further step closer to fruition this week as the final stages of the installation of a new fully automated decoiling and coil process line were completed at Lockley stainless at their new purpose-built facilities in Wolverhampton, UK.
It is believed that this represents the first such investment in a new processing facility by an independent UK company for at least a decade and is among very few in the UK which is not aligned to, or owned by a single mill.
The fully automated PLC controlled line is the latest of its type in the UK. It will receive coils up to 25 tonnes and up to 1500mm wide. Operating at up to 60 meters per minute, it will produce cut-to-specification sheets in a wide range of size combinations from 500mm to 6000mm between 0.4mm and 3mm thickness.
An automated coating process can add an optional polythene coating to the sheets to meet specific customer requirements. The automated, air assisted palletising stage packs the sheets ready for stock or to be delivered direct to customers.
The completion and commissioning of the line is expected to be completed by late summer and will be a central part of the processing centre alongside new polishing and finishing equipment.
Lockley Stainless says that the processing centre is unique. Managing Director Barrie Newitt explained that as an independent it would shortly be processing coils from several mill sources and could offer a much more flexible service than is generally available. “We are not dictated by the demands of a parent company or single mill producer, we have a large stock capacity and strong supply channels with leading global stainless mills, which provides stability and flexibility in material supply, so we don’t get caught by mill shortages that can often cause disruption. We also offer a very rapid and infinitely flexible service of cut to length material from coil which is competitive and reliable”, he said.