Sheffield Forgemasters International Limited (SFIL) has dramatically increased the size of its pouring ladles in a project investment of more than $700,000 to boost output at the Brightside Lane base. The company commissioned the production of four 105-tonne pouring ladles last year and the order has just been completed.

The company specializes in producing large steel forgings and steel castings, as well as steel ingot and bar.

The new ladles are a significant upgrade on the company's current fleet of 90-tonne ladles and will afford the steel division a 17 per cent increase in steel output. The giant fabricated steel ladles measure up at 4.5 metres in height, 3.3 metres in diameter and each weigh just over 55 tonnes without any steel.

Since the first ladle entered the production in December 2008, they have been used for processing more than 55 heats of steel, totalling approximately 5,500 tonnes of liquid steel.

The steel from the new ladle fleet has been used to manufacture forgings for the nuclear industry, as will as cast high integrity components and materials for power generation applications, wind energy components, offshore steels and forgings for the nuclear industry.

Dr Stephen Price, managing director of SFIL's steel division, said: "The addition of the new ladles to our steel production line is a landmark development for SFIL and will make a significant change to our current steel output.

"We are continually trying to raise the bar for steel industry standards and having this pouring capacity will mean we can continue to meet industry demands for bigger and more complex products. "The sheer size of the ladles, their handling and the logistical considerations to integrate them within existing facilities have required a team effort right across the company."

The designer for the project was Bennett Associates and Hadee Engineering Co. Ltd was the engineering fabricator.

For more details on the compnay, got to www.sheffieldforgemasters.com.