Siemens VAI grows the Blast Furnace Business in Stockton on Tees

(PresseBox) (Stockton on Tees, UK, ) The growing worldwide demand for pig iron will accelerate the expansion of the blast furnace business in the coming years. Siemens VAI in Stockton on Tees, UK, the global competence center for development, engineering and commissioning of blast furnaces, expects to double its order intake within the next two years. "The partnership with Siemens supports Stockton by extension of its market position", Werner Auer, CFO of Siemens VAI, stated on Wednesday in Stockton on Tees. "To support growth we implemented an initiative in Stockton to extend the business portfolio with modernization, upgrades, special equipment and services". "The proven technology ad track record of the Stockton business in combination with the automation systems and global presence of Siemens has helped the blast furnace business double its order intake in the past few years", Geoff Wingrove said, who is responsible for the worldwide blast furnace business of Siemens VAI. "We have to expand our capacities in Stockton and develop above all young students and employees to secure and sustain our position in this market segment".

Siemens VAI employs 160 engineers and staff in Stockton, with staff in four offices in China, India, Brazil and the USA to support customers locally. Stockton is the worldwide competence centre for blast furnace technology, "from where we are managing our business within the Siemens network in over 100 countries", Wingrove stated. "We are utilizing the automation competence of Siemens, who are no.1 in the market which gives us a leading edge over our competitors".

We have the skills in our staff, process and project know-how, the experience of over 100 years in the blast furnace business, and now the opportunities of being part of Siemens network. This all together enables us to develop innovative solutions to drive the market for the benefit of our customers. A recent example is the Simetal Gimbal Top charging system, which has been developed in Stockton. This benchmark technology provides infinite charging pattern capability to give the operation total flexibility to meet the ever increasing demands for burden distribution. The unique conical chute gives even wear resulting in extended life. The rugged tilting mechanism is driven by two hydraulic cylinders giving more flexibility then any other existing technology.

Our customers expect our plants to provide the highest possible degree of flexibility and productivity while reducing energy and raw material consumption and pollutant emissions. We in Stockton must now develop the means to meet all these requirements simultaneously. You have to keep in mind that today plant investment decisions tend to depend less on initial construction costs and more and more on ongoing operations costs. This presents numerous business opportunities and our innovations provide the rights answers to global challenges such as climate change and resources consumption and environment protection.

Following a 33 percent rise in new orders to 3.5 billion Euro in the last fiscal year 2007 (September 30), Auer is expecting "considerable" further growth thanks to new projects and the expansion of the company's service solutions.

Further information about solutions for steel works, rolling mills and processing lines is available at http://www.siemens.com/metals

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Siemens AG Industry Sector / Industry Automation Division
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Simon Wieland
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