Sandvik opens dedicated tube plant
Sandvik has officially opened the world’s largest, dedicated mill for the advanced manufacture of stainless steel and high nickel alloy tubes for use in nuclear power plant steam generators at its facility in Sandviken, Sweden.
The new mill utilises the latest state-of-the-art technology, including innovative advances in equipment design from tube manufacture, annealing, final finishing, inspection and despatch. All contained within one dedicated production facility.
Officially inaugurating the new mill, Jonas Gustavsson, President of Sandvik Materials Technology, said, “The energy sector is a key segment for Sandvik and we see a lot of interesting opportunities for nuclear and steam generator tubing.”
The investment not only strengthens Sandvik’s position as leading global supplier of seamless nuclear steam generator tubing, it also provides the company with the flexibility and manufacturing capability to satisfy the requirements of the rapidly growing nuclear power industry.
Work on the site commenced in 2010 and has involved over 150 people and 330 specialist suppliers up to its completion.
At over 340 meters long and covering an area of approximately 12,000 square meters, the new mill is the equivalent size of two soccer pitches. It incorporates a fully automated flowline, in which the layout facilitates greater flexibility with short set-up and lead times.
A fully integrated computer control system ensures optimum utilization of the automated production process from start to finish.
“Sandvik has for many years been a world-leading manufacturer of steam generator tubes for the nuclear industry,” explained Jonas Gustavsson.
“Today, approximately 2½ years after the investment decision we now have a new, world class mill. Through this investment we are significantly increasing the capacity and thereby further strengthening our position in this market.”
Prior to its opening Sandvik has invested in excess of 120,000 hours of dedicated operator training to ensure that the advanced manufacturing is handled precisely and the plant is operated at optimum efficiency.
As you would expect with the installation of leading edge technology, design of the mill incorporates the latest in energy efficiency programs and recycling capabilities. This includes the capture and recycling of heat from the manufacturing processes to provide energy for heating the mill and energy efficient lighting throughout.
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