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Corus' new distribution centre at Scunthorpe significantly enhances product quality in just six months

Corus Automotive : 20 April, 2006  (New Product)
Reduces damage delivery by 85%
Distribution centre will help meet continued growth to emerging markets in China and eastern Europe
Increased delivery quality helps reduce manufacturing downtime for customers
Corus customers have reported a massive 85 per cent reduction in instances of materials being damaged in transit. The improvement in delivery standards comes just six months after the opening of Corus' world-class distribution centre for storing, handling and despatching its damage-critical grades of wire rod destined for automotive manufacturers around the world.

Importantly, the improvements to stock delivery will allow Corus to meet the continued high demand for quality wire rod material for the growing emerging markets in Eastern Europe and China. In China alone, consumption of steel tyre cord has increased by 30 per cent a year since 2001 and in 2006 the market is expected to continue growing. Corus also anticipates growth in demand from component manufacturers in Eastern Europe.

Wire rod despatched from the new facility is being used to manufacture an incredible range of automotive components from tyre reinforcement cord, valve springs, piston rods, headrest supports and air bag wire to car keys, seatbelt wires and windscreen wiper components. The high strength steels used in these automotive applications are more susceptible to surface damage.

These steel grades must be free of surface damage because they have to withstand rigorous manufacturing processes that transform wire rod into finished components. However, unlike Western Europe, the logistic routes in many of the emerging markets pose significantly more challenges. Crucially, delivery of damaged material can result in production downtime when the cord is replaced having a knock on effect on tight manufacturing schedules.

Commenting on the importance of receiving wire rod in mill condition, Eric Bruneel, technical manager wire rod supply, Bekaert said: 'Quality of steel supply is essential in order to produce the high-performance products demanded from our customers today. Even the slightest scratch on the surface of a wire rod can alter its microstructure causing the rod to break during the wire drawing process.'

Mr Bruneel continues: 'Despite some challenging supply routes, Corus' new distribution centre has helped to significantly decrease the incidents of delivery damaged wire rod coils to our facilities. We congratulate Corus on its investment in the new warehouse and this will certainly improve the performance of their products.'

The new warehousing system at Corus is a key part of the company's 14m investment in its wire rod business based in Scunthorpe, UK.

Commenting on how the distribution centre is helping Corus meet the increasingly high expectations of its automotive customers, Peter Hogg, Director, Wire Rod Business said: 'Because we have been able to virtually eliminate damage incidents attributable to warehouse, storage and distribution, we are now able to look at other areas of the material supply chain, including our mill processes, to see where other improvements can be made.'
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