SMS Mevac GmbH will build a vacuum induction melting (VIM) furnace for Tata Steel’s Stocksbridge site in South Yorkshire, UK.

The new furnace will be commissioned in early 2015.

The new furnace will allow Tata to tap into new market opportunities and develop innovative new products for the aerospace and oil and gas industries, according to SMS.

While Tata Steel’s Speciality Steels business already supplies steel to aircraft engine and airframe makers, the new furnace will enable the company to further develop relationships with its customers and expand its product portfolio.

Tata Steel believes the new furnace is an important step towards consolidating the company’s position as a leading supplier of high-purity steels to the global aerospace market.

Tata’s Speciality Steels business will work closely with German metallurgical technology company SMS Mevac, a major supplier of vacuum steelmaking equipment, to build the Stocksbridge VIM.

Henrik Adam, Tata’s chief commercial officer, described the new addition of a VIM furnace to its asset base for aerospace steel production as ‘an exciting prospect,’ claiming that it enhances the company’s role as a partner for key customers requiring highly specialized products. “Our ability to support them is an important aspect of our role in the aerospace steels supply chain,” he said.

Mark Broxholme, Tata’s managing director of Speciality Steels, added: “While the business currently supplies small quantities of VIM-derived steel using ingots sourced from third parties, having our own manufac¬turing capability will greatly increase our scope for VIM sales.”

“This is a clear signal to our customers that we are fully committed to the aerospace market for the long term.”