Barrett Steel has increased capacity and reduced lead times at the company's C Roberts facility in Rotherham by investing in a £500k upgrade to cutting operations with the installation of a Ficep Tipo A31 automatic CNC drilling and thermal cutting line for steel plate.

The new plasma drill processor is designed for wide plates up to 200mm thick, making it suitable for the manufacture of bridges and viaducts, agricultural and earth moving machinery, mining equipment and other heavy structural steel operations.

It enables the main operations required in the steel construction industry such as drilling, milling, pointing, tapping, marking, scribing and plasma/oxy cutting to be carried out in one step.

Benefits include: greater precision; increased productivity; reduced overall dimensions; reduced material handling with the opportunity to unload finished parts while the machine is still processing; high processing speed; and nesting optimisation.

Installation of the new machine is also anticipated to offer further job opportunities at the Rotherham plant.