Finning shows its steel with collaborative partnership

FINNING UK & Ireland has revealed how it has forged a partnership with British Steel after helping the business replace its hot works Cat fleet through a combination of rebuilds, rentals and on-site support.

Over the past year, Finning has worked alongside the British Steel team at its Scunthorpe steelworks site after discussions began on how best to manage the machines that were coming to the end of their operational life.

Finning explained that the team needed to work within a tight timescale and budget to ensure operations weren’t impacted by machine downtime. The solution recommended by Finning included three rebuilt machines – a Cat 988K large wheel loader and two Cat 771D trucks. In addition, British Steel purchased four used Cat machines – one Cat 972 and two Cat 980M wheel loaders, plus a Cat 730 haul truck.

The combined support package also included the long-term rental of two Cat 745 ADTs and a Cat 352 and 336 excavator to help British Steel meet demand while its assets were being refurbished, while three Finning engineers had a permanent presence on site providing operational support throughout the rebuild process.

Ben Jarzyna, product support account manager at Finning, said the hostile environment these machines operate in moving molten slag also meant they had to be specially adapted.

“These are full machine rebuilds which are done to a Cat certified standard but converted to hot work with blast proof glass, fire retardant oil, fire sleeves and fire repression systems,” he explained. “As a 24-hour operation with such heavy use, not surprisingly British Steel also takes advantage of our warranty packages to maintain and service their machines so there’s minimal downtime.”

Finning said rebuilt machines offer reductions in carbon emissions and resource usage compared to the manufacture of new models. Customers also typically save around 55-60% on the cost compared with buying a new machine.

Ben added, “The tailor-made solution we have been able to find for British Steel fits their budget and has been really successful so far, as we’ve been able to give them machines and technology which are better suited to their needs and ones which they are familiar with operating.”

Mark Ding, workshop services, plant infrastructure and assets manager for British Steel, added, “The recommendation to consider rebuilds and rental machines not only met our commercial needs but has helped us improve our environmental performance. Our machines are subjected to extreme temperatures so suffer considerable wear and tear, but as a 24-hour operation minimising downtime of these assets is essential.

“A significant part of the success of this fleet management programme has been access to the expertise of the Finning service engineers, whose in-depth knowledge of these machines has proved invaluable in ensuring our fleet remains operational and productive.”