There are major changes ahead. Gränges Finspång is building a completely new rolling mill and loving one of the existing ones. Both rolling mills will have a new home in 10,000-square-meter premises, purchased from the company Aurubis.
“This historic investment would not have been possible without the purchase of Aurubis’ premises,” says Jansson, a familiar face at Gränges who – having previously served as a long-term employee – is now managing the project as a consultant. “Gränges hasn’t built a new rolling mill in Finspång since the 1960s.”
By streamlining and extending the facility at Finspång, the company is paving the way for a clear improvement in earnings throughout its European operations. Furthermore, the investment represents a significant step forward in terms of Gränges’ sustainability work, bringing major improvements to operational efficiency and logistics, as well as enabling a reduction in transport and therefore emissions.
At the moment, conveyor belts are moved between the rolling mills by diesel forklift trucks; at most, the material can be transported five kilometers between the halls. In future, all conveyor belt handling between machines and halls will be carried out using automated electric equipment.
When two of the rolling mills are located at the Aurubis premises, the distance to the third rolling mill will be just 100 meters. The buildings will be joined and equipped with an automatic conveyor storage area that will supply rolling mills and heat treatment furnaces with conveyors, which on completion will be transported through a tunnel to finishing.
“The improved logistics with automated conveyor belts essentially means that all diesel forklifts will disappear at the rolling mills,” says Jansson. “Those forklifts that are left will be electric.”
A project of this size requires its own dedicated organization. Around 20 people will be working on it, including some new recruits. Finspång will also benefit from the support of colleagues from Shanghai who are highly experienced in carrying out similar projects.
“We buy in Chinese equipment and complement it with Western technology. There are several advantages to doing it this way, including cost savings and the fact that our Chinese colleagues know the language and the suppliers.”
The positive effects of the investment in the form of cost savings and increased sales are expected to be felt from 2022.