Precise quality from Scana Steel
Scana Steel Björneborg AB manufactures first-class tailor-made steel for customers with special requirements in terms of grades, quality, volume and applications. Located south of Kristinehamn, Sweden, the company specialises in five business areas – steel, marine, offshore, energy and machine.
September 2007 was a record month for Scana Steel Björneborg, with order intakes larger than ever before. For Scana, this was great confirmation that the company is meeting its clients’ requirements by providing them with high quality steel products.
Ingvar Winbo, managing director for Scana Steel Björneborg comments: “Over the past few years we could have sold more than double our production – we are experiencing a significant boom in our business. In addition, we have sold our entire production for 2008 already. At the moment, we are not looking for any new customers; in fact we are now serving only 60 customers, compared with over 100 before. Consequently, we have plans to increase the volumes we provide to our existing clients.”
He continues: “In order to achieve increased volumes for our clients, we have recently ordered a new manipulator for the forging process, which will be installed in 2009. In the future, we are also looking to extend our steel works and increase production.”
Ingvar adds: “We have also developed a preferred customer concept, which looks to build strong relationships with a select number of clients. We understand that the boom in the business may come to an end, so we want to remain the preferred supplier to our main customers. It would be extremely easy to take on new orders and contracts but we want to grow the company in a controlled way to ensure we don’t lose touch with our existing customers.
“One of the main challenges we are facing as a result of this preferred customer concept is delivery times. This is an issue, which is affecting the whole industry – customers want us to deliver more products but within a shorter time scale. In order to overcome this problem, we are focusing on reducing lead-times over the next few years. In 2008, we plan to reduce these by 25 per cent, which we think is an achievable target,” Ingvar adds.
As one of Europe’s leading producers of heavy open die forgings, Scana Steel Björneborg currently has its own steel plant, a modern forge with a 4500 tonne press, a heat-treatment facility, and a wellequipped machine shop. In addition, the business is certified to ISO 9001. As a member of the Scana group, Scana Steel has access to the resources and expertise of its sister companies, which specialise in high and low alloy steels, forging and casting technology, and material testing.
Furthermore, the company continually strives to improve quality control in every aspect of its operations, from quotation through to delivery. The needs and wishes of the business’ clients are central to Scana Steel’s business. Having followed this strategy since day one, the company has achieved some very important contracts over the years.
More recently, Shell awarded Scana Steel a contract to provide forged and machined specialty joints for the Perdido Regional Host Project located in the Gulf of Mexico. This project requires cutting-edge technology, as it is the deepest spar production facility in the world, moored in about 8000 feet of water with a rugged seafloor terrain. Shell chose Scana for the contract because of the company’s ability to offer world-class quality steel.
Scana Steel also provides equipment to ABB – one of the world’s leading engineering companies. Talking about the products supplied to ABB, Ingvar comments: “Typically open die forgings are forged round shaped, but not all products are produced in this manner. One example is shafts for four-pole electrical motors and generators – these are the products we supply ABB. The major part of these shafts has a cross-section formed as a cross.
Scana has developed a forging technique, shaping the shaft as a cross in the forging process. This boasts major advantages including improved material yield and a more effective machining process. This unique and cost saving process is in a more favourable shape for quenching, giving better mechanical properties.”
Scana Steel Björneborg develops products together with its customers, as Ingvar explains: “We have a small engineering department here, which gives advice to our customers and informs them how they can improve their products and solutions. We have developed close relationships with our clients and they visit our manufacturing facilities on a regular basis. Working this closely with our customers enables us to develop products, which meet their exact requirements.”
He concludes: “We provide extremely high quality products to our customers – this is one of the main reasons why they return to Scana. If we developed poor quality steel then our clients would leave and use a competitor.”
Scana Steel Björneborg
Products: Heavy open die forgings