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Nº 3 October 2006

AlfreDo garcía / President

We are pioneers in innovative projects

Innovation as a differentiating factor It is not the first time that we have referred to innovation and its close relationship with the client’s problems in these pages, especially with regard to improving their processes. Orientation towards and from the client, together with specialisation in certain equipment and processes, define the path of our technological progress. In understanding innovation this way, it does not involve improving designs or adding state-of-the-art elements, more precisely it involves adapting our machines and equipment to the client’s and the market’s needs. Thus the involvement in and the closeness to the specific production problems is an overriding factor. Historically, we have placed the emphasis on the hardiness and durability of our machines. Over time we have also added efficiency criteria in overall terms, which have conferred us a certain advantage within the market. We are therefore presently at the cutting edge of technology in abrasive cutting processes, straightening and polishing, grinding and other processes related to long products. Some examples are

outlined in the inside pages of this newsletter. It is important to highlight that our attitude towards improvement not only produces better machines and equipment, but it also leads to a new business culture and imbues a dynamic innovation attitude to our business, affecting all our internal processes. Overall,

it makes us an innovative company. In any event, the close relationship with the client and the market is the determining factor and thus this newsletter that you have in your hands is intended to be an instrument for bringing us closer and an invitation to join forces in the line of innovation.

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Pol. Leguizamón, C/Zuberoa - nº9 l 48450 Etxebarri (Bizkaia) Spain Tel.: 0034 94 449 21 50 l Fax: 0034 94 440 76 71 www.covascas.com l E-mail: covascas@covascas.com


Vascas technology Rolling of weldless tubes: racks for stretching benches The

procedure

using

push

benches for hot rolling tubes is called “Ehrhardt�, after its inventor. Tubes of between 50 and 170 mm can be manufactured using this system, with wall thicknesses of approximately between 3 and 18 mm. The tubes can be up to 18 meters in length. Billets (square, octagonal or round) are used as the base material, which are heated to shaping temperature. The process is preceded by punching the slab using a flaring tool to set the inside diameter of the tube. S u b s e q u e n t l y,

the

outside

diameter of the tube is set by passing the tube, with the flaring

This rack is a key part in this

tool inside it, through the different

process. In order to guarantee its

rolling stands, in accordance with

durability for a period of no less than

the following process:

four years, it must be manufactured

Firstly, in a stretching rolling mill

following very special processes,

of crossed cylinders, the stretching

which are not within the reach of

process is simultaneously carried

any company. Given the operating

out (1.8 times the length of the metal bar and the reduction in the

conditions of this rack (we should Juan FĂŠlix Ercilla.

Production Manager

thickness of the wall). Next, the hollow metal bar is stretched on the bench, being

can be up to 6 meters per second),

The rack

lengthened by 10 to 15 times, until the finished tube is obtained. By means of ever smaller sections in

any premature wear of the rack or the breakage of a tooth or similar, can cause serious problems during

is a key

the groves in the rollers, the related

rolling, which cannot be corrected by means of welding processes. C.

reduction is obtained on each pass. During this process 6 or 7 boxes act

not forget that the stretching speed

M.

Va s c a s

specialises

in manufacturing this type of

part in

equipment and has renowned

simultaneously, and the transmission

prestige among the clients to which

of the force to the bar of the flaring

it supplies these racks, thanks to

tool is conferred by a large rack.

this process

good performance and quality.


Vascas news Reengineering of a machine for straightening tubes The scope of the project has included the improvement of its mechanical performance features and the inclusion of automated positioning devices in accordance with the different types of material to be processed.

Pioneer project for a mobile abrasion cutting machine to handle heavy production runs Vascas assigned itself the project of making a mobile abrasive cutoff machine, which together with Vascas’s existing cutoff machine, will allow for handling the heavy increase in the rolling capacity of a well-known stainless steel manufacturer. The project consists of being able to make two simultaneous cuts at the end of the cooling bed.

Vascas has delivered a tube grinding machine Vascas has delivered a grinding-polishing machine for special tubes, and we are thus continuing to opt for abrasion machines as an ongoing field for development and innovation.


Vascas in brief Several steel industry news clips:

Mittal and Arcelor Mittal and Arcelor have merged, creating a steel industry giant. The president of the new Arcelor-Mittal Company, Lakshmi Mittal, rated the decision as being “the most significant agreement ever in the steel industry” and encouraged other companies to “boost their own consolidation plans”. After this agreement the future of the Canadian company Dofasco is yet to be determined, as there are still differences of opinion among its present shareholders.

From the 12th to the 16th of June 2007, the 7th edition of the International Trade Fair for Steel Technology (METEC) will be held in Düsseldorf with the InSteelCon Congress and EMC 2007.

Steel production in China The growth in steel production in China is still strong. Simultaneously, Chinese steel consumption has slowed, leading to certain fears in the international markets of a heavy increase in its exports (these increased by some 48% during the first half of the year). It is expected that there will be increasing pressure to strengthen customs barriers in other regions. Meanwhile, their steel prices have continued to drop. Experts attribute this price decrease to the control measures taken by the Chinese authorities to rein in their present overproduction of steel.

An initial agreement between Sidenor and Cie Automotive for the acquisition of the Basque steel company GSB, which is a manufacturer of specialty steels.

O U R

because our

FA C I L I T I E S

I N

E T X E B ARRI

promise is to offer a quality service

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