Foundry casts a record breaker

The record-breaking bar in production at the Spital Lane foundry.
The record-breaking bar in production at the Spital Lane foundry.

A Chesterfield foundry is celebrating after creating what it claims is the thickest bar of cast iron in the world.

United Cast Bar produced a bar 665mm in diameter - or 26 3/16 inches - after spending months developing equipment big enough to accommodate its huge size.

Staff at the foundry on Spital Lane worked for more than 24 hours to produce the 220 tonne bar which breaks their previously held record of 635mm, which it produced in February 2012.

Managing director James Brand said it had fulfilled a six-year dream - and proved manufacturing could be an exciting industry.

“I am very pleased and proud that we have achieved a bar of this size. The team in Chesterfield have worked very hard on this project and should be proud of this ground-breaking achievement.

“It has been a target for six years and it has taken time to develop the equipment to accommodate such a size of bar.

“It is more than just breaking a world record, it is about demonstrating that we have world class manufacturing facilities and people here in the UK, specifically Chesterfield.

“Manufacturing in the UK is not the dying industry many people have been led to believe.

“Our record-breaking achievement is testament to that. The manufacturing sector has a bright, positive future which young people need to be a part of.”

The bar will now be cut up and exported for use in producing large hydraulic cylinders, construction pile driving equipment and other general engineering uses, he added.

The foundry employs 108 people and produces 35,000 tonnes of cast iron annually of which about 90 per cent is exported.

The firm has been based in Chesterfield for 40 years and has been owned by United Cast Bar since 1998.

The company is a member of marketing campaign, Destination Chesterfield, and James Brand is a board member with responsibility for the manufacturing and engineering sector in Chesterfield.

United Cast Bar has sites in the UK and Spain and distributors in South Korea.