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Moving home.

Corus Northern Engineering Services (CNES) was forged from the engineering capability and capacity that has developed over the last two centuries to support the steel-making plant here on Teesside as well as at sister plants at Rotherham and Scunthorpe.

The skills and expertise that have been used to achieve higher output and greater efficiencies in steel production are equally applicable to all industries and organisations that outsource their asset maintenance.

The project management, engineering and workshop facilities extend from electronic, electrical and process control computing to machining, fitting and fabrication.

Increasingly, CNES are being asked to provide these services at the customer's site, especially on machinery removals and plant condition monitoring.

In a little over four years since its formation, CNES has taken some huge strides to make itself known among external companies. This has resulted in it being awarded numerous contracts.

On this page, we take a look at a part of the spectrum of services that CNES can deliver to a wide range of organisations.


Moving home is probably one of the biggest challenges that most of us face in a lifetime, especially if you have lived there for 30 or 40 years.

Imagine for a moment moving contents that are about 5,000 times bigger and moving them 5,000 times further.

Corus Northern Engineering Services are currently undertaking two such projects.

During 2003 two former Corus mills were bought by Sigma, an American Chinese holding company who, in turn, have sold them to Chinese steel producer Liu Zhou for installation in China.

The mills concerned were Lackenby Coil Plate Mill and Shotton Cold Mill and Pickle Lines.

Following negotiations, the contract for the dismantling of the mills was awarded to the CNES commercial team, led by business manager Chris Young and proposals manager Dave Gallagher.

Once the contracts had been exchanged, the CNES project management team set about the task of removing 18,000 tonnes of machinery from Lackenby and 6,500 tonnes of equipment from Shotton, near Chester.

A number of Chinese engineers and representatives are currently on site at both locations, including some from the construction company which will install the mill in China.

Work started at Lackenby in December and at Shotton last month. Both projects will take six months to complete.

Corus Shipping is handling the logistics and the first ship, MV Hamburg, left Teesport with 3,000 tonnes of equipment aboard in early February, reaching Fangcheng this month.

The plan is to export most of the equipment from both sites through Teesport, though very large components from Shotton will be sent from Liverpool.

At the other end of the spectrum, CNES have just started work to remove a dry grinding machine and dust collection equipment, weighing about 20 tonnes, from a large roll-making foundry in Crewe to a new home in Sweden.

Interest rises in the Terrier

Cnes is in discussion with leading defence contractor BAE Systems about the development of its new armoured engineering vehicle, the TERRIER.

Following detailed vendor assessment by both BAE Systems and the MoD, CNES has secured an order that involves fabricating and machining a number of hulls from armour plate.

TERRIER will perform a variety of roles for the armed forces, from trench-digging and earth-moving to mine clearance.

It uses a variety of specialist ancilliary equipment, which includes front-loader shovels and excavator arms.

The CNES development work will take place this year and next with the anticipated production work in 2007 and 2008.

CNES' other flagship project this year involves working with leading manufacturer Schindlers Lifts on +Heathrow Terminal 5.

The contract involves the detail design, fabrication, inspection and installations for the company, which is one of a number of Tier 1 contractors for the British Airports' Authority.

As well as the full production run of 37 lifts, 407 modules and 13 machine/pulley rooms, part of the work has involved CNES building a training tower in its workshops with two lifts in a modular framework.

This will be used for training its teams of personnel involved in installation and fitting-out.

It is anticipated that the lifts will start to be installed later this year at the rate of one a week and is due for completion in April 2006.

Turning up the school heat

Condition-based monitoring is often referred to as plant condition monitoring in manufacturing industry, but the range of disciplines involved is equally applicable to maintaining and monitoring the condition of assets outside of the industrial environment.

CNES recently received a request to investigate heating problems in a brand-new school building.

Using the very latest thermal imaging cameras, CNES completed a first stage survey of all the external walls and loft insulation, which quickly revealed that the building contractor had omitted the top part of the cavity wall insulation.

Once the lack of insulation had been established, the next stage of the survey focussed on the heating pipes and special ceiling-mounted panel radiators.

Again, the thermal imaging cameras revealed obstructions to flow, which were quickly apparent in the radiators.

The same technology can also detect hot spots in electrical distribution panels which are potential fire hazards and are critical in schools, office blocks, hospitals and care homes.

The thermal imaging surveys are complemented by other techniques from the CNES diagnostic toolbox, for example Remote Visual Inspection using an endoscope to look inside boilers, pipes and cavities.

The endoscope is the same as those used in the medical profession and can save precious resources that would otherwise be taken up in the unnecessary dismantling of machinery, pumps and gearboxes. There are many examples where dismantling equipment for routine inspection has resulted in the generation of new faults on, or within a short time of, start-up.

Vibration analysis is very effective for monitoring the condition of machinery. Where low speeds or high levels of background vibration are encountered, CNES can use specialist acoustic emission monitoring techniques.

To learn more about the range of diagnostic techniques in the Corus toolbox, contact business development engineer Ian Taylor on 01642 405425.

Tailored path to success

When CNES was formed nearly four years ago, a major part of its business plan was to attract work from external customers in other industries.

Initially, the work centred on its core strengths of repairing and re-engineering existing machinery, sub-contract machining and project management.

Extensive market audits revealed that there is a need for bespoke machinery and handling systems to solve a range of industrial production issues in surprisingly diverse applications.

As CNES developed, key engineers with significant achievements in this discipline were attracted to the company and this dynamic new division has crystallised around this nucleus.

Modern industry constantly seeks to drive down production cycle times and find novel solutions to maximising up-time.

The use of Corus' bespoke solutions means that their customers gain a differential advantage over their competitors.

There are times when it is more cost-effective to use off-the-shelf production machinery. However, CNES can still design systems to enhance these units, resulting in further efficiency gains.

Examples include wheel and suspension presses for the railway industry, machines for manufacturing radiators and road wheel rims for the automotive industry, baling systems for recycling scrap foil from metal processing, and moulding machines for making concrete products. The full list is extensive.

Besides designing, building, installing and commissioning these systems, CNES provides full spares and after-sales service for its own machines and those from other manufacturers.

This latter service gives comfort to companies who operate machines from manufacturers who are no longer in business.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2004
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