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TECHNOLOGY IS THE KEY

The core technology for the new Sawtry plant has been supplied by leading international galvanizing plant systems and equipment specialists Hasco-Thermic Ltd.

This comprises the furnace and enclosure for the new, larger 8m x 1.4m x 3.3m galvanizing bath or 'kettle', as well as the pre-heater, gas-to-water heat exchange system and other ancillary equipment.

All the Hasco systems at Sawtry are integrated and linked by a Profibus data network, operated through an advanced Siemens S7 touch-screen control unit. The combined Hasco-Thermic equipment installed represents a total investment by the Wedge Group of approximately half a million pounds.

"The new plant at Sawtry has been an excellent opportunity for Hasco to incorporate all of its latest technology into one installation. It showcases all our equipment in one place," said Managing Director Angela Curtis.

Angela explained that the installation features important innovations including the first-ever 'side-out' design, which gives the option to remove the kettle from the side for maintenance or replacement with maximum speed and efficiency. There is also a new safer enclosure side door raising and lowering mechanism.

'Green' technology built into the plant includes inverters on all fans to optimize their performance whilst reducing considerably power consumption. Heat recovered from the furnace flue is used to heat water for the galvanizing process by means of a heat exchange system.

Hasco-Thermic Ltd, based at Oldbury, West Midlands, has been supplying advanced galvanizing equipment to plants around the world for nearly 40 years and pioneered the pulse-fired high velocity system for furnaces, which provides higher fuel efficiency and low, even kettle wear.

Today more than 70% of its business is export and it has customers in 32 different countries, including Wedge Group galvanizing plants in Germany, Italy and the USA.Developing markets, such as India, are also providing important new export opportunities and the company has recently secured an order for a project in Russia.