RSS modifies beam for steel manufacturer

17 January 2019

Rope and Sling Specialists (RSS) has returned a 100t beam to Tata Steel UK’s plant at Port Talbot, Wales, following modification and testing.

The continuous casting plant at Port Talbot is part of the Tata Steel Strip Products UK business, which produces hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and metallic-coated strip steels. Along with the company’s Llanwern site, the plants produce up to 3.5m tonnes of steel coils a year.

The company contracted RSS to add four new lifting points—two on either side—and to proof load test the 100t capacity of the 8,260mm-long beam.

The beam, which was to be used in an upcoming shutdown project, was originally 250t capacity and had a tare weight of 9t. It was returned to Tata with four 35t-capacity wire rope slings and four 35t-capacity shackles for the top, and a pair of 60t grommets for the bottom.

After the beam had been modified, a 450t mobile crane and ancillary equipment were used at rental company Cramscene’s facility in Leeds to test the beam to 113.6t—the safe working load multiplied by 1.04 with an addition of 9.6t, to comply with relevant standardisation. This was followed by finite element analysis and magnetic particle inspection.

Steve Hutin, managing director at RSS, said: “This project reiterates the importance of using specialists for any matter involved with lifting and rigging gear. The level of engineering and subsequent testing required even for a relatively straightforward modification could only have been delivered by engineers who deal with below-the-hook and other lifting equipment first and foremost, not as an additional service on the periphery of a broader operation.

“Overhead lifting and rigging equipment, such as lifting beams, is key to productivity in any steel sector environment, where critical lifts are commonplace. Broader industry should look to the best practices of pioneers in the market, like Tata Steel, and replicate safety procedures, protocols, and supply chain strategy, at the core of which is a commitment to working with specialists in each field of expertise that relates to their work.”