Prestigious award from British Steel

12.10.2018

Prestigious award from British Steel

Chris Morris, Key Account Manager Steel, and his team were delighted to receive two important awards in May 2018. At the first Supplier Recognition Awards ceremony, FUCHS made it onto the winner's rostrum twice for its commitment in cooperation with British Steel. The British FUCHS subsidiary was crowned "Supplier of the year" and also took home an award in the "Collaboration" category along with another company.

"In FUCHS, we have found a partner that not only advises us with regard to the products, but also provides us with technical support and training sessions for sustainable improvements."

Grahame Wallace, Chief Engineer at British Steel

It all started with the relaunch of British Steel in June 2016. The Indian Tata Steel Group sold its Long Products Europe (LPE) steel producer business to the investor Greybull Capital – who then relaunched British Steel, a name steeped in tradition. "Although we had already supplied lubricants to Tata and Corus – the predecessor of Tata Steel Europe – in previous years, we were not even allowed to submit a bid during the last LPE tender process in 2016," remembers Morris. "I obviously started asking questions as to why and was invited to give a presentation, where our arguments impressed those in attendance."

Following a visit to the HQ of FUCHS LUBRICANTS (UK) in Stoke-on-Trent, a longstanding contract was then signed in February 2017. FUCHS became the supplier for all FUCHS lubricants. "We are very proud and are delighted that British Steel chose us as its partner in the field of lubricants. FUCHS invests constantly in high-grade production and continuous development. We are committed to the British market and ideally positioned to support British Steel on its successful path," commented Richard Halhead, CEO at FUCHS LUBRICANTS (UK).

FUCHS accepts awards from British Steel. L-R: Chris Morris FUCHS Key Account Manager - Steel, Paul Martin British Steel Deputy CEO, Richard Halhead FUCHS LUBRICANTS (UK) Managing Director

The partnership got off to a flying start. A performance improvement plan was quickly established, delivering savings of more than a million pounds per year for British Steel. "The objective of our partnership was to guarantee reliability and protection of our processes. FUCHS scores with the right lubricants and optimization in terms of both service and maintenance. The procedures at our factories have seen significant improvement, while manufacturing costs have fallen," reports Sara Fletcher, Senior Purchaser at British Steel. As a result of reduced complexity, the total number of different lubricants and greases has been reduced and awareness of their use increased.

Training programs are also held, during which FUCHS specialists train young engineers and interns. The aim here is to convey the knowledge and techniques required when handling lubricants – an important building block for extending the useful life of the machine pool. This is an approach that Chief Engineer Grahame Wallace really appreciates: "We require lubricants for all of our machines to guarantee the requisite process functionality. In FUCHS, we have found a partner that not only advises us with regard to the products, but also provides us with technical support and training sessions for sustainable improvements." 

A team from FUCHS is permanently on site at British Steel's central location, the steel plant in Scunthorpe, working in collaboration with the engineers on optimizing the applications and minimizing waste. FUCHS also motivated the company to employ new solutions for storage of the lubricants – a plus for the environment.

Jon Ford, Steel Production Engineer and Chair of the Lubricant Strategy Team, already has plans for the future. "The progress we are currently making is encouraging and indispensable for our success. We now need to identify further projects. In FUCHS, we have the ideal partner at our side, and this strong cooperation has convinced us that lubrication will be the foundation of our engineering strategy."

Key Account Manager Chris Morris is delighted to hear such positive feedback: "The work we have done so far has really been appreciated by British Steel, including our approach to get things moving forward quickly with a performance improvement program. Thanks to our FUCHS team, we are doing a great job and there are still numerous opportunities and ideas that we can discover and drive forward together with British Steel.“

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