At the end of a year in which the British economy has finally shown signs of recovery, Steadmans has been taking stock of a busy 2014.

PricewaterhouseCoopers says the UK engineering and construction industry has faced more challenges in the post-recession period than any other. However, as highlighted by the Confederation of British Industry, the UK’s construction sector is a key enabler of growth right across the economy.

 Steadmans has been at the forefront of manufacturing essential building materials for the construction industry in order to enable this sector to grow. Innovation is key to this process, which is why the company invested £500,000 in a state-of-the-art slitting line at its Carlisle headquarters in March, 2014.

The new line cuts narrow coils from main coils and is the only one of its kind in the UK. The machine has a wider range of capabilities than Steadmans’ previous equipment, including the ability to split pre-painted coil both width and length wise, as well as re-coil sheets. It can also make flat sheets and split and rewind heavier metals, such as zinc.          Nigel Forsyth, manufacturing director, Steadmans, said: “The slitting line has already made a big impact on our productivity. As the machine is computer controlled, it delivers a lot more accuracy and, as well as other benefits, it gives us the flexibility to run different types of material.

“Our continuous investment in machinery helps to ensure that we run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. It also means our customers can rest assured that we manufacture the highest quality products, on equipment which is unsurpassed in the industry.”

CE marking

The construction industry entered a new era in July 2014, when it became mandatory for much fabricated structural steelwork supplied in European Union member states to carry a CE mark.

This related to all “series” manufactured structural metal components or kits made or imported into the EU, to which harmonised European standard BS EN 1090-1 applies. One-off commissions are exempt.

This new requirement represented a huge industry development which demands careful attention because it is now a criminal offence to supply relevant steelwork that does not carry a CE mark. It affects a wide range of organisations, such as structural steelwork or component importers, stockholders and metal processors, who modify stock, and makers of metal components or kits used structurally in civil engineering. Steadmans worked hard to ensure all of its relevant output, including purlins and rails, complied with the new rules well ahead of the deadline.

The new requirement follows changes introduced in July 2013, prior to those this year, which made CE marking compulsory for construction products and AS35 insulated panels covered by a harmonised technical specification. They apply to Steadmans’ range of single skin cladding profiles and the company has ensured it was ahead of the game in meeting the CE marking requirements for these products too.

David Henderson, marketing manager, Steadmans, said: “Following an encouraging 2014 we are looking forward to 2015 being another busy year. With the European Commission predicting that the UK economy will grow by 2.4 per cent in 2015, we’re hoping to see a further increase in demand for our high quality steel building products.”

For more information call Steadmans on 01697 478 277 or email [email protected]