AltX-listed steel merchant BSi Steel’s pro- cessing division, Shearcut, is now ISO 9001 accredited; an accreditation that Shearcut director and BSi COO Jerry Govender believes will eventually extend to other divisions in the company.
Professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers certified Shearcut’s quality management systems in mid-June.
Govender notes the accreditation is a first for BSi Steel, adding that it has created a positive culture among the operational teams of the company.
Shearcut’s route to attaining ISO 9001 accre- ditation began in 2011, with an initial gap analysis of the division’s quality standards. Once the outstanding requirements were recognised, the processing division and the company formalised a quality management system, streamlining processing procedures and training its staff to meet the technical requirements of ISO 9001.
“In a tough market environment, we are certainly using the opportunity to improve customer service,” says Govender. “All our projects are geared towards a more efficient business operation that targets improved customer service.”
Meanwhile, Shearcut’s new South Korea-manufactured Wonjin slitting line, a R15-million investment, has been commissioned. Commissioning started after the product had been delivered and installed in January. Three engineers, flown in from Korea for two weeks in June, monitored the final stages.
“The new slitting line gives us increased capabilities for slitting coil from 0.6 mm to 6 mm, with a maximum coil width of 1 600 mm,” says Govender.
He adds that the company’s existing slitting line was restricted in terms of the material thickness range it could slit, while the new Wonjin slitting line provides an overlap against the current capabilities, as well as the increased thickness options.
The machine is suitable for mild steel slitting, which includes all hot-rolled, coil-rolled and galvanised products, with the ability to handle incoming full coil masses of up to 26 t, says Govender.
Shearcut’s coil slitting capacity has increased from its previous capacity of 3 000 t/m to 7 000 t/m.
The company is targeting reduced lead times with the offer of a 24-hour premium slot, owing to the fact that two slitting lines are installed and running independently. Supply is, therefore, guaranteed and the risk of extended downtime is lower, says Govender.
The Wonjin precision slitting line includes the use of imported shimless tooling from machine knives manufacturer Böhler Miller for the slitter setups, which involves precision blades and spacers being fitted onto the slitter head, offering a high degree of accuracy on slit-width tolerance.
Shimless tooling reduces the setup time, as the tooling setup patterns are software-generated for the operator.
“With shimless tooling, which has a database of tooling on it, the most accurate spacers that need to be used are auto- matically selected for the operator,” he says.
The Wonjin slitting line also features a 10 m loop pit, which was installed adjacent to the former slitting line.
“During the slitting process, it is typical to note a length variation between slits, as a result of the incoming material as rolled profile,” says Govender. “The 10 m pit exceeds the machine builder’s minimum requirement of 6 m to accommodate any excessive rolling profile variation within the thickness range of the slitter, thereby offering full slit coil build-ups.”
Govender explains that the loop pit enables Shearcut to offer a customer a full-coil slit, which reduces handling in the subsequent processing for the end-user. “Customers won’t need to handle three of four small coils. If their process allows it, they can now load one single coil onto the machine.”
Based on the successful installation of the Wonjin slitting line, and considering the workmanship and quality build of the machine, Shearcut is keen to explore other solutions the South Korea-based manufacturer has to offer, he states.