Machine-builder SMS Meer placed a significant contract with Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd. concerning 11 oversized steel castings to be supplied over two years. The project is reported to be worth $19 million, according to SFIL.  The British engineering group operates one of the largest foundry operations in Europe, a manufacturing complex that includes electric arc furnace melting and casting for ingots, foundry and forging operations, as well as large-dimension machining capabilities.

The purpose and destination for the finished castings was not revealed.

Production of the castings will begin early next year, and will involve up to 6,000 metric tons of steel – with each of the castings expected to weigh more than 320 metric tons, and requiring multiple ladles to be poured continuously.

“Sheffield Forgemasters is extremely proud to be the chosen partner of SMS Meer for this project and signing the contract is the culmination of a lot of input and hard work by our UK and German sales teams,” confirmed Dr. Steve Price, managing director of sales.

SMS Meer designs and builds rolling mills, forging machinery, and similar engineered systems. SFIL has worked with the Düsseldorf-based group in the past, including the world’s largest single casting, a 325-metric ton component produced in 2010 for a closed-die forging press.

SFIL frequently produces castings of such scale, including the largest cast nodes ever produced for offshore use, produced in 2013 for the Aasta Hansteen Spar platform.

“This contract is important for Forgemasters and for the volume of work it brings to the city,” Price continued. “It is also important for the U.K., as one of the few countries in the world and the only country in Europe, with the skills and capacity to produce these ultra-large castings.”

He noted the project will provide a significant body of work for the Sheffield Works, which employs a reported 800 in that city, in particular for the melting, pouring, and large-dimension machining operations.