South Africa steel merchant and steel processor Allied Steelrode is investing substantially in advanced steel processing technology.

Allied Steelrode’s heavy-duty SACMA slitter is the first of its kind to be installed in Africa. “With technically advanced equipment such as this, it is our aim to promote the quality of our customers’ products and enhance their productivity to ensure that they are able to survive the hard times – and to take full advantage of the economic upturn when it comes,” says deputy CEO, Justin Cloete.

To realise this goal, the company took the progressive step of investing in the technologically advanced capital equipment – the SACMA heavy-duty slitter.

In the past decade Allied Steelrode also invested in two stretcher levellers, which produce the hugely popular Allied Steelrode Stretcher Material (ASSM) as well as a remarkably versatile LT 20 tube laser, which opens up new possibilities in terms of the cutting and application of steel tube.

However, when steel is delivered from the primary steel mill, it is in the form of 32t coils which are 1 950mm wide. To suit Allied Steelrode’s customer requirements – and their manufacturing processes – the raw steel needs to be slit along its length into various widths. Naturally, to supply customers’ requirements promptly, this slitting process has to be carried out as quickly as possible without compromising product quality or delivery deadlines in any way.

“In mid-2010, to meet these parameters, the company invested in a heavy-duty SACMA slitter – the first of its kind in Africa, which we installed at our premises in Alrode,” explains deputy CEO, Justin Cloete. This slitter can process a thickness range of 1.60mm to 13mm with a slit width range from 48mm to 1 850mm and a line working speed of 150m/min. It has uncoiler and recoiler capacity of                     32 000kg, which allows for the processing of a raw steel coil in one continuous run.

The heavy-duty slitter gives a high production capacity, together with a wide range of size and thicknesses. This afforded the company the ability to service the requirements of a number of different manufacturing sectors namely, tubing, cold form section, construction, mining, automotive and agriculture.

Upon its installation, the slitter was immediately popular with customers. “The heavy duty slitter gives customers a competitive edge, allowing them to improve upon the products they, in turn, were able to manufacture and sell to their customers,” says Cloete, adding that, because of its accuracy, the heavy-duty slitter also reduces customers’ scrap rates.