Capability boost for Sheffield Forgemasters

Posted on 9 Jun 2015 by Victoria Fitzgerald

Sheffield Forgemasters has increased its mechanical and metallurgical testing capabilities after passing a highly coveted Government-recognised accreditation.

The organisation’s RD26 Testing has attained the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) certification after a full audit, underlining the company’s commitment to delivering first class products and services.

The facility succeeded in gaining UKAS accreditation for Corrosion Testing (Ferric Chloride pitting corrosion resistance), Volume fraction/Ferrite count testing and Bend testing supplementing its previous accredited scope, which covers Tensile Testing, Charpy Impact Testing and Hardness Testing.

David Street, director nuclear systems development at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “RD Testing has integrated into the SFIL manufacturing process route and brought this essential activity within our control.

“The increased scope will enhance the service we are able to provide to internal customers to help expedite Forgemasters orders and provide new market opportunities.

“Externally, whilst modest in laboratory terms, we are winning an increasing market share through excellent facilities, the quality of customer service and quick turnaround and also by being able to provide a wider range of investigation and research and design services via Forgemasters’ subsidiary RD26.

“We are now in a position to offer the service, whilst capitalising on the RD26 research-backed technical support and directly related research facilities such as SEM, Failure Analysis, DSC and Heat Treatment Simulation. It is these research supported features that give RD Testing the potential edge and access to higher value markets.

“The increase to the UKAS scope will only add to its attractiveness to customers.”

RD26 Testing was established in 2008 to offer rapid turnaround, high integrity, independent mechanical and metallurgical testing for SFIL, as a group supporting asset to reduce its reliance on external testing resources.

Street added: “We soon stepped beyond our initial internal remit of internal support work to provide a testing service to local industry with a growing support capability for our external customers.”

One growth area is expected to be the testing of complex and high integrity aspects associated with Forgemasters’ and the UK plc’s work in the nuclear power generation industry. Forgemasters already holds nuclear accreditation for heavy manufacturing in the sector.

Sheffield Forgemasters International’s chief executive, Dr Graham Honeyman
Sheffield Forgemasters International’s chief executive, Dr Graham Honeyman

Graham Honeyman, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters, added: “To have successfully secured the UKAS accreditation and added more tests to our service offering is down to the hard work of the team.

“The endorsement comes from the sole national accreditation body recognised by Government to assess internationally agreed standards for organisations that provide certification, testing and inspection services. The criteria to pass is very strict.”

RD Testing forms part of Sheffield Forgemasters RD26 which leads world class research and development activities within the group. Projects conceptualised using advanced computer software for material and manufacturing are proven by prototyping, extensive destructive testing and metallurgical evaluation within the test house.

UKAS undertake annual audits at the site to ensure the company still meets the necessary standards.