Foreword 4.indd - Tata Steel

Foreword 4.indd - Tata Steel

The magazine of Corus Strip Products UK


Corus changes the way it

manages its products

Zodiac gets hotter and faster

and adds dual-phase steels

Blagden Packaging makes it

better for the environment

How Caradon Plumbing and

Corus are creating a warm


Achieving success

As you will see in the interview with one of our new

product managers, Andrew Milner, the business

is focused on achieving success. This edition of

Foreword is very much about success—defining it,

working towards it and achieving it, not only for our

business, but crucially also for our customers and

others involved in manufacturing industry.

In the opening article on page 4,

Foreword interviews Andrew Milner,

one of three new product managers.

Responding to some tough questions,

Andrew talks about the new focus on

product management.

On page 6 there’s an article about the

planned Financial Shared Services centre

at Port Talbot in South Wales and how

that will affect customers.

Understanding our products and how to

use them is vital to achieving success in

new product design and manufacture.

The new literature shown on page 7

includes both basic and advanced data

on some of our high-strength steels.

The screen sales module on e-SURE

—a relatively new venture—has been a

great success. The main on-line order

management system that supports it has

operated for over fifteen years. Foreword

looks at the benefits of the latest version

of this system on page 8. The e-SURE

system was a regional finalist in the

Best Use of Technology category of

the National Business Awards last year,

which is an indication of how far the

system has come in that time.

Things are hotting up at the Zodiac

galvanising line, where a £4.4M

investment described on page 9 will

increase output and add new steels

to the range. This is part of a £212M

round of investments that aims to help

the business compete successfully and

deliver the products and services that

will help our customers to do that too.

As sponsor of Coventry University’s MA

Automotive Design show, Corus is proud

to celebrate the creative achievements of

what are likely to be some of the world’s

most talented automotive designers in

the future. Designs from the show are on

page 10. Some of the topics discussed

during the Automotive Industry Forum

hosted by Corus at the Design show

are included with this article, as well

as the result of the Best Production

Exterior category at the Interior Motives

Design Awards 2004—another Corus


Success in manufacturing is rather

more complex than it used to be.

Environmental awareness has dramatically

changed the way manufacturers satisfy

the needs of their markets. On page 14,

Foreword looks at Blagden Packaging

to see the influence of environmental

considerations upon their finished

products and how our steel helps.

As an upstream manufacturer, we

understand that our success depends

upon that of our customers. On page 16,

Foreword speaks to Trevor Harvey, CEO

of Caradon Plumbing, about how Corus

and his company have worked together

to help create success.

The News in brief section on page 18

talks about the annual visit to Corus

of senior automotive industry figures

and tier-one suppliers and the Business

Commitment to the Environment and

Steel Business Briefing awards.

I would also like to mention the

appointment of a new Managing Director,

Phil Dryden, since we last published

Foreword. Nick Busby also joins us

as Commercial Manager, Transport,

which includes the yellow goods and

automotive sectors.

Success is something that has to be

re-defined often. As goals are achieved,

the bar is raised—or the market simply

raises it for us. We believe that we have

come a long way, but are working hard

all the time to improve our products

and services. The recent favourable

financial results of Corus and our positive

contribution towards them are further

signs of success.

If you have any suggestions about the

magazine, please let us know. I wish you

every success in the coming year.

Joe Vazquez

Commercial Director

Corus Strip Products UK

4 9 10 14 16


The magazine of Corus Strip Products UK

Commercial director’s brief

2 Achieving success


Corus changes the way it

manages its products

Zodiac gets hotter and faster

and adds dual-phase steels

Blagden Packaging makes it

better for the environment

How Caradon Plumbing and

Corus are creating a warm


Business update

4 Managing product success

6 All together now…


7 Material information

8 A SURE thing

On the cover

Steel drums can be reconditioned, re-used

and recycled.


9 Hotter and faster at Zodiac


10 Moving designs

14 Making it better

16 A warm feeling

News in brief

18 It’s good to talk

19 Award for ‘New Llanwern’

19 Commitment to the environment

Contact the Editor, Tim Rutter, at:

The Editor, Foreword Magazine

Corus Strip Products UK, PO Box 10

Newport, South Wales NP19 4XN

T: +44 (0)1633 755136


Foreword 3

usiness update


product success

With the appointment on 1 September last year of a product manager for each of the three main

product groups, Corus Strip Products UK introduced the concept of ‘product management’

to Corus. In an interview with Andrew Milner, the new product manager for coated products,

Foreword magazine finds out about this new management focus.

Bob: What exactly is product


Andrew: Product management is

bringing together the sales, logistics,

manufacture, and development of our

products to achieve the greatest

possible success.

How will you be measuring success?

Principally, it’s financial value. Of course

we can only achieve that through

succeeding with our customers, so it

is as much about their success as it is

about ours.

Wasn’t the business always trying to

maximise value?

Certainly, but within discrete product

areas, no one has been looking at

gaining the greatest possible value

from the product.

How is that going to be done in

practical terms?

The approach is to run each product area

as a virtual business. Each product line

team has a member from manufacturing,

logistics, commercial and finance. That

amounts to a small management team

for each product. These teams will look

after all aspects of the ‘life cycle’ of

their products.

In the short time that we’ve been in place,

we’re beginning to see things that hadn’t

been seen before. And I’m sure that

product management will develop over

time. In a couple of years, it will no doubt

look different from how it does now.

How much emphasis is going to be put

on maximising value from products?

It’s in our interest and our customers’

interest that we be profitable, so the

profitability of products will be a primary

focus for us. It is only by being profitable

that we can invest in new technology and

new products.

We’ll also concentrate on maximising

value through the supply chain, looking

for things we can do throughout the

process to help our customers save

time and money and compete more


So you’ll be looking closely at the

products the business makes?

We aim to produce 4.7 million tonnes of

slab a year and the choice of what end

products we make with that will play a

big part in how profitable we can be.

We’ll be looking after the ‘here and now’

to make a better return on the products

that we have and we’ll be looking after

the future through product development.

What about products that are not

particularly profitable?

We have to look closely at why that

is the case. Is it because we’re not

manufacturing them cost effectively or

that the market price isn’t reflecting their

value mix?

Some products are difficult to make and

therefore cost us more, but they perform

at a very high level and contribute a lot

to the performance of the customer’s

finished product. Those products, too,

need to be profitable for us.

Will product development still be


Of course it will. Some of our products

are in their infancy and others are quite

mature. New products that anticipate the

needs of our customers are vital. I’d like

to think that product development would,

if anything, be enhanced. It will certainly

be more focused.

I understand the concern that some

customers might have about the focus on

products. However, one thing is certain,

which is that no matter how attractive

products may look to us, they must be

attractive to the customer also. Product

management doesn’t undermine the fact

that we still have to sell our products

to our customers. The new focus will

complement what we already do.

Most of our customers are operating in

particular markets that have their own

needs. Is the business abandoning the

market sector approach?

No, we’re not. Our sales team is still

organised by market sector. The close

links we have with our customers will

remain. Our business development

managers play a part in the product

line teams, which are part of product


Will you and the other two managers

be seeing customers?

We wouldn’t be doing our job if we

4 Foreword


didn’t. We need to know where their

business is going if we’re to make the

right product choices. We won’t be

replacing our commercial colleagues, but

we’ll be in there with them from time to

time, talking to customers. For example,

where do our customers want to see a

competitive product in five years’ time?

We need to know that.

Part of our role is to look at where

we can cut product costs to remain

competitive. This includes taking costs

out of the supply chain too.

Is there, through product management,

an opportunity to secure more


Yes, because part of our job is asset

development, making the best possible

use of our assets. That’s about existing

assets, both the liquid steel we make

and the plant to process it, and about

investing in new assets. It’s about what

we should make now and in the future.

What effect will the product managers

have on service?

Service is one of the three keys in the

Chief Executive’s [Philippe Varin’s] plan

for restoring success to Corus and it is a

priority for everyone in the company.

The Service Delivery programme aims to

establish reliable delivery and shortened

lead times. The e-SURE system lets

customers track their orders, access

documents and view their accounts. It’s

all about service. Our customers have

individual account managers and access

to our Customer Technical Services

for help and advice. The emphasis

on products should strengthen these


What do you think you personally bring

to this job?

I have a strong financial background,

which should help me understand how

to maximise value from my product

group. Having said that, I am by nature

a customer-orientated individual and

I think my experience in managing

manufacturing and distribution

businesses will help me understand the

customer’s viewpoint.

I should say something about my two

colleagues. Phil Clements, who’s the

hot-rolled product manager, has a very

strong technical background. Ashley

Wilkinson, the cold-rolled product

manager, has significant experience in

other businesses and recently in market


How far do you think the three of you

will work as a team?

We’ll certainly share our expertise and

insights, but it is fundamental to our

success that we work together since,

for example, the substrate that is being

coated in my product group will have

been hot-rolled and cold-rolled in their

product groups. I think that is bound to

improve what the customer gets because

our success is mutually dependent.

How long before customers see the

effect of product management?

Total product success involves many

deliverables, both internally and

externally. Reducing complaints and

increasing delivery in full and on time are

two of the more important ones. I think

it will be progressive. The bottom line

is, if we improve the aspects that we’re

looking at, then the customer will see

things improve. We have targets and we

aim to hit them.

Foreword 5

usiness update

All together


Corus began centralising its financial services in April this year in a move that will see a

single Financial Shared Services centre in Port Talbot, South Wales, for all UK businesses

by March 2006.

Corus Strip Products UK is one of

several businesses that will conduct a

range of financial services from the new

location, including accounts receivable,

travel and expenses and payroll.

“Customers of Corus will benefit from

the move”, said Commercial Accounting

Controller, Danny Jones. “The new

centre will adopt industry best practice

and will use modern processes to

provide customers with access to

consistent and reliable information.

Everyone here is committed to giving

our customers a responsive, highquality


One of the key benefits will be the

creation of a single point of contact

for financial queries. Jones continued:

“Combining services in this way will

enable us to serve our customers more

effectively, routing their calls more

precisely and fielding enquiries about

invoices, payments and related matters

in a much more efficient way.” Financial

services have previously been held in

a large number of locations around

the UK.

The move is seen as part of Corus’

Restoring Success initiative, which has

played such an important part in the

recent recovery of Corus to profitability.

Jones concluded: “The move to Financial

Shared Services opens up a new era,

both for Corus and its customers and for

some of its other accounting contacts.

Accounts receivable is the area that

is most visible to our customers, but

efficiency for us in other financial

services, both internally and externally

is vital to our overall competitiveness.

This move represents just one more area

in which Corus is striving to become a

service leader.”

Enquiries and correspondence should

now be routed through the new centre,

which operates between 0800 and 1800

hours and whose location and contact

details are shown below.

Customers need to be aware of these

new contact details, although there

will be no changes to any of the bank

accounts currently in operation for any

of the business units in this first move.

They are:

• Corus Strip Products UK

• Corus Colors

• Corus Narrow Strip

• Corus Packaging Plus UK

• Corus Construction and

Engineering Products

• Cogent Power Limited

The new centre is at:

Corus Financial Shared Services

Commercial Accounting Department

PO Box 106

Port Talbot Works

Port Talbot

West Glamorgan

SA13 2NG

T: +44 (0)1639 605300

F: +44 (0)1639 605301

E: fss.commercial.accounting@

6 Foreword




Corus Strip Products UK has published three more data sheets about high-strength steels,

containing basic and advanced properties for these technically enhanced products. The

business has also published a revised price list effective from 3 April 2005.

Corus Strip Products UK

Corus Strip Products UK

Corus Strip Products UK

Corus Strip Products UK

Galvatite hot-dip galvanised steel

Tenform XF350

Tenform hot-rolled high-strength

formable steels

Price list for strip products

Tenform H220BD high-strength bake hardening steel substrate

Hot-rolled high-strength low-alloy steel

Tenform XF, XK and CMN

Effective 3 April 2005

High-strength, bake

hardening Galvatite

Galvatite hot-dip galvanised

steel on a Tenform H220BD

high-strength bake hardening

steel substrate is suitable

for automotive closures and

body-in-white structural

components. The steel starts

with good ductility, which

allows it to be pressed

into complex shapes, and

increases in strength after

being heated in the paint

stoving process. Body panels

made from Tenform H220BD

therefore have improved

dent resistance.

Tenform XF350

Tenform XF350 is hot-rolled

high-strength low-alloy steel.

Its applications include

automotive chassis and

underbody components,

warehouse shelving, and

building and construction

components. It shares the

benefits of other high-strength

steels in adding strength or

reducing steel thickness, or

both, and thereby creating

opportunities to increase

output per tonne, reduce

weight and increase safety

under load.

Tenform hot-rolled highstrength


Tenform hot-rolled highstrength

formable strip steels

are available in a range of

strengths, forming capabilities

and steel characteristics.

The XF range has excellent

formability. Tenform XK

steels combine high-strength

and good formability for

cold-formed applications

that have less demanding

forming requirements.

The CMN range is carbon

manganese steel with a twophase

microstructure for the

most difficult cold-formed


Corus Strip Products UK

price list

The new Corus Strip Products

UK price list shows the

updated basis prices for the

main products, plus some

minor changes to other


Where to get them

These publications are available from the Corus web site

either as downloadable PDFs or as hard copies that will be

sent by post on request. To access these publications and

others, visit the publications page of:

In the UK, publications are also available by calling

0800 0563365.

Foreword 7


A SURE thing

When Corus first implemented its Supplier Responsiveness (SURE) technology over fifteen years

ago, it was a breakthrough that gave customers online access to information about the progress

of their orders in the steel manufacturing process. The latest generation of the system, e-SURE,

gives customers access to a wider range of information through simple Internet technology.

The popularity of ‘screen sales’—which

allows customers to purchase despatchready

coil and sheet from a screen

sales module of the e-SURE system—

continues apace. Here we look at the

other benefits that the system provides

for customers.

Mike Mitchell, Senior Business Analyst,

outlines the current state of play:

“All customers of Corus Strip Products

UK and Corus Colors have access to

e-SURE, with over 1000 individual

identities already assigned. The take-up

has been fantastic, especially end-users

in the drum, radiator and tube sectors.

However, I’m sure that most customers

could benefit more than they do already

from the current system.”

“The great thing about e-SURE is

that different users can access the

same information by using a variety

of references such as customer order

number, contract number and part

number. We see e-SURE as a valueadded

service that differentiates us

from our competitors. That’s why we’ll

continue to concentrate on developing

the accuracy, speed of response and

ease-of-use of the system to benefit

our customers.”

Information 24/7

The key to the success of the orderprogress

system is 24-hour access to

the latest information 7 days a week.

Users can view their orders by product,

tonnes, order number, part number or

specification. The progress of orders in

the manufacturing route is updated every

night. The status of material in despatch

is updated every 10 minutes.

One long-standing customer that has

seen tremendous benefit from e-SURE is

Tyco Tubes, whose Commercial Manager,

Andrew Manlove, said, “When checking

the progress of material, we rely on

e-SURE more than our own system! It

gives us all the information we need from

the point of order right up to despatch

and we can access information on all

shifts, which in turn helps us plan our

own manufacturing.”

Present and past

Customers have a ‘real-time’ view of

the Corus despatch bay. A click of a

mouse shows not only which material

is pre-consigned, which is loaded

and which has been despatched, but

also the haulier and the lorry. Corus

plans to develop the system to include

an estimated time of arrival at the

customer’s site.

At the press of a button, customers may

also view details (such as chemistry) of

material despatched up to 12 months



Those customers that have specific

‘Just-In-Time’ arrangements or those

with transit stock are able to access and

schedule their deliveries on a daily basis.

Concession answering

If a customer order is produced slightly

outside specification but within the

possible limits of usability, a prompt

appears on the ‘Welcome’ screen asking

whether the material is acceptable. As

a reminder to the customer, prompts

continue to appear until a decision

is made. The material can then be

either despatched or scheduled for remake.

Corus is looking to introduce a

regular prompt across different screens

to increase the visibility of these


Test results

When coils reach the despatch area, a

chemical analysis of the material and

a set of test results become available

online. If the order is not due for further

processing (such as slitting) before

8 Foreword


delivery to the customer, a formal test

certificate is also made available online.

This gives customers extra time to

optimise their own processing facilities.

Better all the time

Mitchell is positive about the adaptability

of e-SURE. He says, “The features and

navigation in the system are flexible. In

fact, we’ve conducted some informal

research to find out which screens

people find most useful, so that we can

improve access to that information.

We’re also looking at ways to improve

the speed and structure of the system

based on actual usage and users’

navigation paths. We’ve had very

positive feedback from customers who

are reaping increasing benefits from this

interactive technology”.

Getting connected

If you don’t use e-SURE but think it

could benefit your company, contact your

account manager for more information.

One of the best

The e-SURE system was a regional

finalist in the Best Use of Technology

category of the National Business


Sponsored by Orange, the

competition is designed to promote

and showcase excellence throughout

the British business community.

As a finalist, Corus presented the

merits of the e-SURE system to a

panel of independent judges.

Joe Vazquez, Commercial Director for

Corus Strip Products UK, said, “We

aim to provide first-rate customer

service and e-SURE is an outstanding

example of how technology can be

used effectively to support this aim.”

Hotter and

faster at


The Zodiac hot-dip galvanising line at Llanwern will produce

20% more galvanised steel and add dual-phase steels to

its capability after the recent completion of a £4.4 million

investment to increase its thermal capacity.

First commissioned in 1990, Corus’

Zodiac line produces galvanised strip

steel for the automotive and construction

industries. Over the years, those

industries have demanded increasing

amounts of hot-dip galvanised steel and

that looks set to continue.

Commenting on how the investment

will help increase output while

maintaining excellent quality, Stephen

George (right), works manager at

Corus Strip Products UK, said: “The

major enhancements have focused on

increasing the thermal capacity of the

line in order to heat the strip to required

temperatures at an increased line

speed, therefore allowing us to process

more material. Specific work has

included extending the pre-heat section

of the existing furnace, replacing

burners and upgrading the cooling

section of the line to ensure consistent

cooling rates. These enhancements will

significantly increase the strip speed

through the annealing furnaces allowing

us to enhance output by around 20 per

cent to help meet forecast increases in

demand from our customers.”

The investment also provides Corus

with the capability to produce a range

of dual-phase steels, increasingly

demanded by vehicle manufacturers

because of their crash performance

and weight benefits.

The major advantage of dual-phase

steels is that they offer vehicle

manufacturers a good balance between

strength and formability. Importantly,

dual-phase steels also demonstrate

a positive response to strain rates,

critical to the crash performance of the

material in a vehicle during impact. By

offering better crash performance for

less steel, dual-phase products can

also enable designers and engineers to

take weight out of a vehicle and thereby

help improve fuel economy and vehicle


The increase in the thermal capacity of

the Zodiac line is not just about speed.

The annealing process (heating, holding

and cooling of the strip) on any line

Foreword 9



plays a critical role in determining the

mechanical and metallurgical properties

of the finished material.

Mr. George continued: “Importantly,

increasing the thermal capacity of the

line will result in fewer changes to the

furnace temperature and environment,

and will mean that more strip can go

through in a similar profile, helping to

ensure a consistent product with more

uniform metallurgical properties.”

Investments like Zodiac demonstrate

Corus’ commitment to the changing

needs of its customers.



Coventry University’s end-of-year MA Automotive Design show

challenges the automotive industry to put excitement back into

vehicle design. Corus, showing its long-term commitment to

design in the automotive sector, sponsored the show once

again this year.

Investing for the future

The current round of investments

in Corus Strip Products UK will

increase production this year by 25%,

strengthen the raw materials position

and help make the business more

cost-effective. These investments

provide a solid foundation for

delivering high-quality, competitive

strip steels to Corus’ customers.

Investments £M

Heavy end 79

• Caster

• Turbo blower

• Secondary steelmaking

Coke ovens 50

Sinter plant 18

Coal injection 19

Basic oxygen steelmaking 7

Slab yard and re-heat furnaces 19

Pickle lines 8

Zodiac 4

Power plant 8

Total 212

Design plays a vital role in society,

combining form with function to

express who we are. It often has to

please us in practical terms and excite

us emotionally at the same time. How

well it achieves this determines the

commercial success of many if not all

products today.

Designers are designing for

performance, appearance, safety,

ergonomics and the environment—and

for excitement too. All of these areas

require knowledge of how materials will

perform in use. This is where Corus’

strength lies. The company supports

activities across a variety of market

sectors to bridge the gap between

advanced metal engineering and

leading edge product design.

Coventry University’s MA in Automotive

Design is one of the most respected

courses across Europe. Students from

the Design School continue to win

awards across the world. This year’s

show—themed Move—demonstrated

the imaginative force of the twenty-one

international students on the course.

Charles Drury’s God is in the details,

but nobody saw Him coming concept

won Best Vehicle Design, awarded

by a distinguished judging panel that

included Kevin Rice, project manager,

BMW 1 series design.

Furnace burner checks being undertaken.

Matthew Spindler’s display

10 Foreword


Rohit Kulkarni’s display

Charles’ concept looked at modern

disenchantment with the car and asked

the important question: “Has the industry

lost its magic and, if so, how can it get

it back?”

Jon King, director of Corus Automotive

and chair of the judging panel, said:

“The judges were very impressed with

the overall high standard of concepts on

display this year, making the decision to

select our three prize winners very difficult.

However, Charles’ complete portfolio of

excellence demonstrated a deep level

of thinking, which was technically well

researched and executed.”

Kevin Rice added: “The pressure to

design reliable, competitive products

that meet the ever increasing demands

of legislation has led to a similarity of

design in many new vehicle models. It

was great to see an idea that challenges

the industry to put excitement back into

automotive design and Charles’ concept

is a valuable reminder to us all not to

forget that emotion plays an important

role in the minds of consumers.”

The multi-cultural backgrounds of the

young designers strongly influenced

many of their design choices, including

a vehicle inspired by the art of Oriental


Chris Johnson of Coventry University

commented: “The projects do not focus

on any one vision for the future of

automotive design, but on a collection

of possibilities. Some may come to

pass within the next five years, while

others may take longer to be realised.

The students’ inspiration has been ‘take

nothing for granted, just let ideas and

concepts flow’”.

Johnson continued, “The MA Design

Show is a great way to end what has

been a very successful year for Coventry,

which saw our students first and second

overall grand prize winners at the World

Automotive Design Competition, with the

university itself awarded the prestigious

title, Best Design School.”

Jon King concluded: “By partnering an

institute at the forefront of innovation in

European automotive design, Corus can

create a platform to better understand

the needs and wants of young designers,

which can impact the future material

solutions being developed within the


Adrian Seller’s display

Foreword 11


Automotive Industry Forum

For the fourth consecutive year, Corus hosted an international industry forum to coincide with the

MA Automotive Design show. An expert panel represented a cross-section of the industry.

Foreword can give only a very selective

taste of what was discussed at the

Forum. Here are just some of the issues.

The panel and the audience discussed

the vital part that styling plays in selling

a car.

BMW’s move from traditional styling to

the more dynamic styling of some recent

models signals a controversial decision

by the company to give some cars their

own styling direction and define the

family more loosely.

The BMW Mini was cited as a good

example of a car whose development

and marketing was fashion-led, despite

other virtues such as its excellent

handling, for example.

But of course styling does not have

a free hand. The Forum recognised

that one of the greatest challenges

to engineers and designers is to

embrace the foundations being set by

environmental and safety legislation.

Customers, though, continue to demand

more extras and frequent model

changes. Studies show that the most

successful carmakers are those with

young model ranges, typically about

three years on the market.

The Forum observed that cars were

generally getting bigger and that

there was no legislation bearing upon

carmakers to do that—quite the reverse,

in view of the increasing attention upon

CO 2 emissions.

One solution to reducing emissions is to

use a fuel that does not produce them.

‘Enter’ hydrogen fuel cells. Dr. Paul

Nieuwenhuis thought that on present

knowledge, the basic calculations

suggest that it would be 2050-2060

before the majority of cars could be

hydrogen fuel cell powered. The forum

acknowledged that the most likely result

would probably be a combination of

technologies working together, both

Panellist Steve Cropley, Editor in Chief, Autocar


simple and complex, short and longterm,

to tackle emissions.

With all this pressure on them, carmakers

are putting an increasing amount of

the responsibility for differentiation on

suppliers. Early collaboration between

suppliers and carmakers is becoming

common, with collaboration moving right

back to the concept stage.

Near the end of the Forum, the panel

asked design students whether or not,

in view of all the forces operating to

restrict designers, there was any freedom

left to design something different. The

answer was an overwhelming ‘yes’,

based principally on the belief that the

greater the challenge, the greater the

force for creativity.

Balaji Rengarajan’s display

Panellist Dr. Paul Nieuwenhuis, Deputy Director,

Centre for Automotive Industry Research

However, the customer, as usual, will

always have the last word, a position

articulated best by Steve Cropley earlier

in the Forum:

“You can have a great car from an

attribute stand point… but if it doesn’t

excite people, it won’t sell”.

Other Forum panel members:

Kevin Rice, Project Manager BMW 1

Series; Steve Ross, Director, Product

Development Landrover, and Corus’

Director of Automotive Engineering,

Richard Jones.

If you would be interested in attending

the 2005 Forum, which is likely to be in

December, please contact:

12 Foreword


First impressions of the

Design Show

“My first experience of the Design

Show was illuminating. It generated

a night full of energetic discussion

about design creativity versus material

performance. The show highlighted

the gap between what designers can

imagine and what material suppliers

can produce for mass production

vehicles. Clearly the challenge for the

material suppliers is to catch up with

the imagination of designers, whilst

for designers the challenge is to work

within a practical budget to make

a vehicle.

Exterior Motives

Corus sponsored the Best Production Exterior category at the

Interior Motives Design Awards 2004, which were held during

the Paris Motor Show.

Over 500 leading figures from the

automotive design community attended

the event at the Le Cab nightclub.

Fengyou Gong’s winning entry is shown

below. More information is available at:

Congratulations to Corus and the

students for providing such a mentally

stimulating spectacle.”

Phil Tonks, Raw Material Manager,

Honda Trading Europe.

“I thought the show was excellent and

very informative. It is encouraging to

know that the world’s best automotive

ideas are coming from the UK.”

Gareth Jones, Divisional Director,

Sebden Steel Service

Centres Limited.

Fengyou Gong, Pforzheim University of Applied Scineces, Pforzheim, Germany

Byung Kang Cho’s display

Foreword 13


Making it better

Environmental awareness has dramatically changed the way manufacturers satisfy the needs of

their markets. Foreword looks at this change and at one manufacturer, Blagden Packaging, to

see the influence of environmental considerations upon the finished product—in this case, the

steel drum.

The wants of society have for a long

time been bumping up against the wellbeing

of the planet, with society’s wants

generally winning out—until relatively

recently. The evidence that society is

using the world’s resources unskilfully is

all around us. And yet those resources

are the very basis of the economic and

social development that civilisation has

pursued since its inception. It is clear

that the world’s capacity to support such

development is limited.

Recognising this, people and

governments are acting to change the

way we use the world’s resources. That

change is described as ‘sustainable

development’, a principle put on the

international agenda in Our Common

Future (The Bruntland Report), which

arose from the 1987 World Commission

on Environment and Development. In

that report, sustainable development

is defined as “development which

meets the needs of the present without

compromising the ability of future

generations to meet their own needs”.

This principle has since been

incorporated in legislation and in

the policies of many companies and

is changing the way manufacturers

operate. Blagden Packaging includes

in its mission statement the aim to be

“an environmental good citizen”. The

company offers products and services

that satisfy the needs of its customers as

well as environmental legislation.

Performance first

Apart from environmental considerations,

steel drums have to meet demanding

performance requirements.

The steel drum is a mature product

that has stood the test of time. Being

made of steel, it is functionally and

environmentally very successful. It is the

preferred package for many products and

industries across the world. Its shape

makes it easy to handle and it performs

to the very highest standards, for which

it is rigorously tested to criteria set by

the United Nations. These tests demand

that drums are leak proof, easy to stack,

vacuum and internal pressure-tight, and

resistant to rupture when dropped, as in

a fall from a lorry. Steel drums need to

offer varied levels of strength, depending

upon the specific gravity of the intended

contents and the journey. For example,

drums made from thicker steels are

better able to withstand long journeys

that may involve multiple handling or

unstable transport, or both.

Because drums may contain many

possible substances, they must be

available with removable lids for packing

powders, greases, pastes, paints and

14 Foreword


resins, or with tight heads for packing

liquids. Both the inside and outside

surfaces of drums contribute to their

performance. Purpose-designed lacquers

give the insides of drums chemical

resistance. Integral polyethylene liners

are available for hazardous products.

And of course, the drum needs to be an

economic container.

The design and manufacture of the steel

drum together with the material from

which it is made give it its virtues.

Making it better

With forty years of experience,

Blagden Packaging is designing and

manufacturing steel drums to the highest

technical and quality standards. Steel is

an ideal material for drums. Its inherent

strength, weldability, formability and

dimensional stability are the perfect

combination for both its manufacture and

its use. The variety of steel thicknesses

available offers a choice of strength and

rigidity according to the use of the drum

and its typical journey.

Because steel can be coated, users can

obtain drums with interior coatings, if

necessary, and drums painted in their

own livery. High-quality steel from Corus

combines with Blagden Packaging’s

manufacturing and service excellence to

produce not only a functionally superior

product, but also one that can meet

the requirements of legislation aimed

at sustainable development.

For the environment

Environmentally, drums are subject to

the European Directive on Packaging

and Packaging Waste, which the UK

government transposed into UK law as

the Producer Responsibility Obligations

(Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997. The

regulations apply to any UK business

that manufactures, fills or sells packaging

or packaging materials in excess of 50

tonnes per year and that has an annual

turnover in excess of £2 million.

The regulations also require each

company to have a specific, quantified

recovery target, which depends on the

weight of material handled, expressed

as a percentage of turnover, and the

company’s ‘activity’. For example,

Corus as a maker of raw materials for

packaging must recover 6% of the

weight of material handled, whereas

Blagden Packaging must recover 9% of

the weight of the material it handles.

Companies subject to the regulations

must register with a compliance scheme

or with government agencies to provide

data on the total tonnages of packaging

handled for UK consumption. Packaging

chain companies are obliged to hold

Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) as

evidence that their legal responsibility to

recover and recycle has been fulfilled.

Companies like Corus, which can

recycle, and other re-processors, sell

PRNs either to an obligated company

or to a Compliance Scheme Activity on

behalf of that company.

The part steel plays

Steel, which is one of the world’s most

recyclable and recycled materials, has

excellent environmental credentials.

Approximately 40% of the world’s

production of ‘new’ steel is made from

recycled steel. Recycling steel scrap is

fundamental to basic oxygen and electric

arc steel making processes, the latter

process using 100% scrap. Steel used for

drums will typically contain 18-25% scrap

steel. In 2004, Corus in the UK purchased

1.4 million tonnes of steel scrap externally

from scrap merchants. When Corus’ own

internal scrap and that prompted from

customers are added to what it buys, the

company recycles more steel by weight

than anyone else in the UK.

The ability of the steel drum to be

reconditioned and re-used before it is

recycled sets it apart from its plastic

alternative. It also benefits from an

effective, well-established reconditioning

and recycling infrastructure.

Closing the loop

Blagden Packaging meets its

environmental obligations through addedvalue

services that recover, recondition

and provide for the recycling of steel

drums. The company collects used

drums and supplies reconditioned ones,

making repeated use simple and costeffective.

This Closed Loop® system

allows Blagden Packaging’s customers

to fulfil their environmental duty of care

by ensuring that all packaging that is

released into the environment is filled,

delivered, emptied, collected and

recycled within a single integrated and

accountable network. In addition, the

internal and external coatings applied

to drums comply with environmental

legislation governing the use of heavy

metal pigments and volatile organic

compounds. Blagden Packaging’s

expertise in the environmental area

means that it can also offer consultancy

services to drum users.

The right choices

Society’s recognition of its effect on

the world in which it lives and, more

significantly, its response, have been

slow—over thirty years since the UN

Conference on the Human Environment

and seventeen years since the concept

of sustainable development was brought

to international attention.

However, the influence of sustainable

development upon all aspects of human

life—particularly on the resources and

methods that we use to develop our lives

and our society—will unquestionably

accelerate. There are some hard

choices ahead.

Drums are a well-established part

of industry and commerce. Their

manufacture from steel and their

progress through reconditioning, reuse,

recovery and ultimately recycling

to become new products is a cycle that

supports sustainable development.

Every time a tonne of steel drums is

eventually recycled, it saves*:

1.5 tonnes of iron ore

70% of energy

0.5 tonnes of coal

40% of water required in production

Steel drums make it better.

* Association of Drum Manufacturers,

now under the wider representation of

the Industrial Packaging Association

(IPA), which includes all aspects of

industrial packaging.

Foreword 15


A warm feeling

The potential rewards of companies working together on product and application development

and on environmental and legislative issues have never been greater. Through just this sort of

supply-chain activity, Corus is striving to become a service leader to customers across a range

of sectors in the UK. Corus’ work with Caradon Plumbing is a good example.

Foreword speaks to Trevor Harvey,

CEO of Caradon Plumbing, about how

Corus’ technical support and account

management, as well as initiatives

such as e-SURE, have improved the

relationship and hence the rewards for

the two companies.

How would you describe your

relationship with Corus?

We have an excellent relationship with

Corus that has been built up over

many years and continues to thrive,

even in today’s challenging market

conditions. Strong business relationships

are based on people. We’ve always

found the people at Corus to be highly

knowledgeable, easy to deal with, and

willing to share their knowledge and

expertise. They take the trouble to help

us with our products, our manufacturing

and our development.

What is it that Corus offers that you

find most valuable?

We buy continuously-annealed coldrolled

strip from Corus, which we use in

single, double and finned radiators. The

metallurgical and mechanical properties

of that product give us a very reliable

seam weld, which helps to reduce leaks.

Consistency is also key to our process.

Corus is able to produce material

consistently at the lower end of our

thickness tolerances together with coil

weights close to our optimum weight.

This means we can minimise coil changes

on our welding line and maximise the

efficiency of our slitting process.

We also take advantage of the Corus online

order-progress facility, e-SURE (see

page 8), which helps us plan our own


16 Foreword


Is Corus involved in product and

application development for you?

Corus gives us a lot of support,

especially in our welding operations

and development. Their engineers are

a regular feature of our workplace,

conducting welding surveys and helping

us optimise our settings to achieve

the highest possible product quality.

Our Benelux operations have started

using Corus’ new Ymagine direct-sheet

product from IJmuiden as an alternative

to cold-rolled steel

As with every other manufacturer,

efficient use of materials is a high priority

for Caradon. We continually aim to make

better, stronger, more reliable products

with the most efficient use of materials.

Corus has put in a huge amount of effort

and expertise over the years to help us

achieve this and they continue to do so.

What about environmental support?

Aside from the ongoing work to reduce

the amount of materials and energy

used in the manufacture of radiators,

we have an arrangement with Corus

to remove all plastic packaging before

coils are delivered to our UK sites. This

removes our own liability for recovery

and recycling under the Packaging

Waste Directive, while allowing Corus to

dispose of the material responsibly and

efficiently. Corus also understands the

environmental importance of the surface

cleanliness of the steel they supply.

A large part of our operations involve

welding, with the potential of producing

pollutants. Welding smoke has been

substantially reduced as a result of the

work between us.

How may a supplier such as Corus

help you grow and prosper?

We believe there are still opportunities to

reduce costs through the supply chain in

many areas, including materials, and we

continue to seek support from Corus in

achieving this. Advances in materials and

manufacturing technology should help

to improve our efficiency and improve

the performance of our products in use.

Corus has gained a lot of expertise from

working in other market sectors. We

think we can benefit from Corus applying

the latest tools, technologies and supplychain

management to our products

and markets.

We see ourselves as European leaders

in steel panel radiators. To maintain that

position, we depend on suppliers that

have a similar business perspective. We

need not only consistent, high-quality

products and services from them, but

also cost efficiencies and added value to

help us compete even more effectively.

A strategic account

Adrian Clarke, account manager at Corus

Strip Products UK, understands the

long-term importance of Caradon as a

strategic account in the radiator sector.

“Caradon is our longest held account

in this sector and continues to be one

of the leading players in the European

market. We work with their European

operations in Nuth in the Netherlands,

Herentals in Belgium and Mexborough

in the UK. We’ve worked closely with

Caradon on a host of value-add activities

that have strengthened both of us.”

“As well as ongoing technological

co-operation, we’ve yielded benefits

from initiatives such as the use of

wider coils for 3-width slitting, and

stock management for better delivery


Clarke concludes, “We believe that

Caradon is an excellent long-term partner

with a sustainable business. Although

there is considerable competition from

decorative radiators and alternatives

such as under-floor heating, we believe

the market for panel radiators is still

strong. In the UK especially, there is a

massive programme of re-investment in

health and education that involves the

replacement of wet heating systems. The

market for LST (low surface temperature)

heating is also growing for schools and

old people’s homes. These activities

should provide extended market

opportunities for future growth”.

Foreword 17

news in brief

It’s good to talk

In what has become an annual event, senior automotive industry figures and tier 1 suppliers

to the automotive industry visited Corus Strip Products UK in September and exchanged

views on a variety of issues.

Tony Jones, Corus’ Director of Product

and Market Development, started the

day by presenting the improvements in

business performance and the benefits

that will come from investments in

steel making and casting. Jones also

outlined product, service and technology

initiatives. The visitors were able to see

for themselves the work ongoing in steel,

slab and hot rolling areas.

Later, key customers and senior industry

figures debated the latest automotive

and manufacturing issues with Corus.

Representatives from the Department of

Trade and Industry, Welsh Automotive

Forum and LMC Automotive Services

provided their views on issues in the UK

automotive sector.

At a dinner In the evening, there was

another chance to talk, followed by a

speech from Duncan Pell, Corus’ Director

Commercial Coordination, who reiterated

the effects that rising raw materials,

energy and transport costs were having

on global steel availability, demand and

prices. Pell said, “In real terms, the cost

of steel is 30% less than it was 30 years

ago. Historically, tier 1 suppliers have

benefited more than OEMs, and that

price imbalance is now starting to be


Key automotive customers weren’t happy

about continued steel price rises, but

understood the reasons behind them.

They valued the opportunity to find out

first hand what Corus is doing to reduce

its cost base. Continuing to talk regularly

with suppliers like Corus and to maintain

strong supply-chain links was important

to them.

Visitors were able to see the work ongoing in steel, slab and hot-rolling areas.

Key customers and senior industry figures enjoyed the opportunity to talk over their key issues.

Guest speaker Arthus Maher, Head put a price on this sort of event. It is

of European Forecasting at LMC

immensely valuable to get away from the

Automotive Services, followed Pell office and talk about the critical issues

with an insight into some of the future for our customers and the industry in

potential changes within the European the UK and abroad.” He continued, “We

car industry. His thoughts created

place huge importance on the automotive

huge interest and started debates that supply chain. Unless a business

continued long into the small hours of understands that chain completely, it

the morning.

cannot hope to add value effectively. I

think we are all looking forward to next

Joe Vazquez, Commercial Director for

year’s event!”

Corus Strip Products UK said, “You can’t

18 Foreword

news in brief

Award for ‘New Llanwern’

Jon Ferriman, Works Manager, Hot Rolled Products, at Corus’ Llanwern works was awarded

the UK Steel/Steel Business Briefing Award for Achievement in the Steel Industry at the UK

Steel Annual Forum and Lunch in London at the end of last year.

In presenting the award, Patrick Flockart

of Steel Business Briefing said: “Since

Llanwern Works stopped making liquid

steel in June 2001, it re-invented itself

as ‘New Llanwern’. Jon and his team

have been instrumental in the success of

‘New Llanwern’ and the financial benefits

they are producing for Corus have been

made possible by the close co-operation

between management and unions.”

Speaking about the award, Jon Ferriman

said: “I was delighted to receive this

award on behalf of all Corus employees

at Llanwern. It is much deserved

recognition of our recent achievements

in making ‘New Llanwern’ a more

competitive and flexible operation and

it is the result of excellent co-operation

between management, unions and staff.”

Since liquid iron and steel making ended

at Llanwern in June 2001, the plant has

focused on manufacturing hot-rolled,

cold-rolled and hot-dip galvanised

steel coils using steel slab feedstock

produced at the Corus works in Teesside,

Cleveland. From mid-2005 onwards, steel

slab for the Llanwern operation will be

provided by its sister plant in Port Talbot

once the £79 million investment in a third

continuous caster is completed.

The Chief Executive of Corus, Philippe

Varin, congratulated Jon on the award,

commenting: “The award was welldeserved.

The turnaround in Llanwern is

a credit to you and your team.”

Jon Ferriman (left) receiving the UK Steel/Steel Business Briefing Award for Achievement in the Steel

Industry from Pat Flockhart.

Commitment to the environment

Corus has gained a Premier Award in the Business Commitment to the Environment scheme.

Corus’ commitment to sustainability and

environmental best practice has been

recognised by one of Europe’s longest

established environmental award schemes,

Business Commitment to the Environment.

Corus received the award for Neotec, its

tin-zinc alloy coated steel for vehicle fuel

tanks. Traditionally such tanks have been

made from either lead-alloy coated steel

or plastic. Steel’s 100% recyclability and

emission-free performance make it the

environmental product of choice. Car

manufacturers including Lotus, Ford and

Aston Martin have been quick to realise

Neotec’s environmental and business

benefits and have started to use it in the

manufacture of fuel tanks.

Andrew Milner, product manager for

coated products, comments: “Neotec

represents several years of intensive

research and development work by

Corus and has been designed specifically

to help vehicle manufacturers develop

emission-free fuel tanks that meet not

only future environmental legislation

but also tough new European recycling

targets. We are delighted therefore to

receive the Business Commitment to the

Environment award, which recognises

the huge potential of Neotec to help the

global automotive industry address some

of the key issues it faces today.”

The achievement of Corus reflects the

hallmark of the BCE Awards—recognition

of companies that demonstrate

environmental best practice as part of

their business processes. The awards

have become established as one of

the most prestigious and credible

environmental business awards in the UK.

For more information about material

solutions for the automotive industry,


Foreword 19

Galvatite, e-SURE, Neotec and Tenform are

trademarks of Corus UK Limited and Ymagine

is a trademark of Corus Staal BV.

Care has been taken to ensure that this

information is accurate, but Corus Group

plc, including its subsidiaries, does not

accept responsibility or liability for errors or

information which is found to be misleading.

Copyright 2005 Corus UK Limited


Foreword Magazine

Corus Strip Products UK

PO Box 10


South Wales

NP19 4XN

T: +44 (0)1633 755136



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