Sandvik's wire production back on-line after fire
Just three weeks after a major fire destroyed equipment and damaged parts of Sandvik's wire production facility in Sandviken, Sweden, the plant has commenced its first production runs.
The fire, late on April 14 and into the early hours of April 15, completely destroyed the pickling plant within the wire production facility, damaging some of the wire drawing machines and the building. Fortunately, no one was injured at the site.
Once a full assessment of the extent of the damage was complete, work began immediately on decontaminating, cleaning, repairing and, where necessary, replacing the plant. There was significant fire damage to the building and all of the main services, resulting in extensive repairs being carried out including large sections of the roof having to be replaced.
Other major internal work involved the replacement of all the main services such as high voltage electricity, compressed air, cooling water and protective gases for the furnaces.
Sandvik's major incident programme saw the combined resources of the company mobilised to ensure the plant was back into production in the shortest time possible. A significant part of the plan was to secure supply of product to customers at the earliest opportunity and within two weeks product was being despatched from stock to satisfy a number of existing customer orders.
At the same time it was possible to transfer production of some wire products to Sandvik's eight wire production units worldwide, which also include pickling baths.
After such an incident and despite all these measures there has, inevitably, been disruption of supply affecting the company's ability to maintain its production schedule. In order to minimise the affect to customers the plant is now producing on a 5-shift system to reduce the delayed workload. Following the plant re-commissioning and start-up phase operational speeds are lower as it takes some time to return the entire production to normal speed after such a significant incident.
Throughout the process Sandvik has kept its customers informed, writing to them within days of the incident, and continues to do so on a regular basis, as part of its operational transparency.
"We can assure all our customers that we are working continuously to restore all our wire production capacity and supply orders just as quickly as possible," said Jonas Gustavsson, President of Sandvik Materials Technology.
"With a large part of the wire production unit at Sandviken now already up and running we are doing our utmost to ensure the remainder will be back in production shortly.
"Sandvik's ongoing commitment to the wire market is as strong as ever, but it has to be realised that our first priority is and has to be focused on the safety and security of our employees. We would also thank customers for all their cooperation and understanding."
There are, however, a few products that have yet to go back into production, due to the complexity of their production route. The company is doing everything it can to resolve this as quickly as possible.
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