Cutlers' Company Works Visit

Friday 24th May 2019

Guests joining the Cutlers' Company for their annual Feast are also invited to a works visit the following day. This year it was to Liberty Specialty Steel in Rotherham where we were given guided tours of two facilities; one that produces hot rolled steel bar and coils, another that produces high performance products for the aerospace and automotive industries. Clad in protective clothing, hard hats and ear defenders our party was dividing into a number of groups as staff took us through the respective production processes. The noise was deafening, the heat intense and the scale of both facilities was vast. We were amazed at how automated the manufacturing processes were and how few staff were required to keep the plant working.

Our main takeaway from the experience was that the future of the British steel industry rests on innovation and specialty products. It was pleasing to learn that significant production is demanded by customers around the world including USA, Germany and Turkey and that demand is on the increase. The uncertainties surrounding Brexit have put a pause on some business but the future looks bright for these parts of the industry. When the form of Brexit is settled, companies like Liberty will be looking to rapidly capitalise on their expertise.