Italian steel processing machinery company FIMI has installed an £11 million heavy-gauge decoiler at a state-of-the-art steel plant in South Wales owned by Tata Steel.

The new equipment enables the plant in Llanwern is claimed to be the most powerful of its kind in Europe and can process 270kt of hot-rolled coil per year, claims Tata Steel.

Antonio Scuderi, FIMI’s commissioning & service manager, said that the equipment was the first installed in the UK that can deal with thicknesses of up to 25mm. “It is the biggest and most powerful line we have ever installed,” he said.

From Tata Steel’s point of view, the new decoiler unwinds, flattens and cuts steel to size and enables the company to produce ultra-flat sheets capable of meeting the current and future requirements of customers in the construction and earth-moving (CEME) and materials handling sectors.

“The new decoiler can process steel up to 1,600 newtons per square mm in strength,” said Tata Steel, and this means that crane manufacturers will be able to design new, stronger components at a lower cost because of the quality, strength and thickness of the steel the decoiler can process.

Typical steels that can be processed by the new decoiler in Llanwern are Ympress and DD13WR. The former is a low-alloy steel that Tata claims delivers weight savings and increased component strength. The latter is a wheel rim product claimed to offer improved manufacturability.

Henrik Adam, Tata Steel’s chief commercial officer in Europe, said the new product will help the company meet customer demand in sectors like lifting and excavating. “We want to support them in their future development plans,” he said, adding that the new piece of equipment is capable of delivering ‘not only the products our customers want today, but what they will need in the future.’