02 May 2019
When Tata Steel in Port Talbot needed to instigate a main drive motor upgrade in a tight four-day window, it turned to Quartzelec, a leading independent engineering service provider and a globally recognised expert in rotating electrical machines, with which it has had a long and trusted relationship, to deliver the project on time and on budget.
This upgrade, which subsequently won an official commendation from TATA Steel, was to remove and replace an F6 main drive / field frame motor. The project including the re-core and rewound armature installation, all located in the hot mill motor room, was designed to essentially increase power by 20%. An extremely ambitious and time critical project it was originally planned as a 9-shift schedule (or 4.5 days as the shortest possible delivery time) to be instigated in mid-December 2018, however Tata latterly requested the work be completed in less than eight shifts; It then fell to Quartzelec to make it happen.
“We pulled out all the stops on this one which called upon Quartzelec engineers from across the UK coming together with the on-site staff in order to deliver the upgrade on time,” stated Simon O’Leary, Key Account Manager at Quartzelec who headed up the project. “We actually completed all work within seven shifts, a fantastic achievement, allowing Tata time to complete commissioning of the machine ahead of schedule.”
The components weighing in at a hefty 70-tonnes, required adjustment and dowelling, following initial installation, with each adjustment being both complex and time consuming. Although Quartzelec has delivered similar installations at the site previously, this was the first time a new field frame had been installed in the Hot Mill for over 30 years and required teams of engineers working around the clock throughout the project.
“We knew that Quartzelec had all the necessary technical capability to complete this full work scope; and when we upped the ante in terms of delivery timescales, they were more than equal to the task,” explained Kevin Chappell, Tata Steel’s Engineering Manager at the Port Talbot facilities in South Wales. “Their immense product knowledge and access to historic data, along with their ‘can-do’ attitude and meticulous pre‑planning were all vital elements for the successful delivery of this project. We also knew that if we had run into any problems we had the best team available and on-site with additional support on-hand and able to address and solve almost any electrical problem as they have previously and successfully done for us on a number of occasions but in this instance, everything went faultlessly! This attention to detail also made them ideal candidates and worthy recipients to receive a commendation for all the careful, detailed and safe work delivered.”
Over recent years Quartzelec has worked closely with the in-house Tata team to provide ongoing maintenance for critical systems at the Tata Steel facilities plus has delivered several vital upgrades to improve efficiency, safety and output capacity at the Port Talbot site. In addition, having all the necessary heavy lifting equipment readily available on-site along with easy access to an array of key ancillary materials together significantly assisted with the logistics for this project.
Kevin Chappell concluded: “Being able to call upon the knowledge and experience the Quartzelec team has continues to prove invaluable in helping us maintain our performance and production and our commendation is justly deserved.”