Tata Steel invests 500,000 pounds in UK's Dudley plant

The new leveller will come on stream in January 2012, the company said in a statement.

"The product processed by the new leveller will be used to supply premium products to Tata Steel's lifting and excavating clients, meeting the increasingly exacting quality requirements in the manufacture of forklift truck frames, wheels, agricultural equipment, trailers and excavators," the statement added.

The new leveller – a bespoke design by industrial equipment manufacturer Heinrich Georg in conjunction with Tata Steel's research and development team – will decoil, cut-to-length and fully flatten hot rolled steel coil in thicknesses of 3-5 mm and in widths up to 2 metres, the company said.

It said the investment complements the existing heavy leveller that was commissioned in 2009, and completes a production line capable of cutting material up to 12.5 mm thick, with the possibility to extend this to 15 mm in grades of up to 550 tensile strength.

"The completed line, along with associated warehousing improvements, will bring to 2 million pounds the investment Tata Steel has made in the Dudley site in recent years," the statement said.

Tata Steel's Lifting and Excavating sector is the division of the company dedicated to supplying material for construction and earth moving equipment (CEME), mining, cranes and fork lift trucks.

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