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A day in the life…

04 Oct, 2022 | Return|

As a Technical Support Engineer at Norbar Torque Tools it’s my job to be the face of Norbar. This includes specifying the correct tool for a particular task, product demonstrations, looking at difficult applications and liaising with the special projects team to come up with a bespoke solution. As well as training on the correct usage of a tool, that could be anything from a torque wrench, powered torque multiplier to a torque wrench calibrator.

Of course, the thing I enjoy most about my role at Norbar is that no two days are ever the same.

Tata Port Talbot… A lot of new artworks since my last visit.        

IndiaandWales  JamsetjiTata

(Pic 1 - India and Wales Pic 2- Jamsetji Tata)

Visiting Tata Steel in Port Talbot is always an interesting day, the sheer scale and diversity of site is always impressive. 

Today I have a number of meetings in the ConCast (CONtinuous CASTing) section. In this section molten steel is continuously poured into the mould leading into the caster where it is simultaneously spray cooled and rolled into a solid slab, it then is cut into ingots of around 17 to 25 tonnes. 


I was called by the Production specialist to look at a couple of areas where they need to improve the fastener tightening processes. 

Firstly, we looked at the actual moulds themselves which are held down by 4 fasteners, we looked at the spec of them and then calculated maximum and acceptable torque values. We discussed tool options and agreed a course of action. We arranged a second visit where I will take some tools to demonstrate on the application.  


A second application in the casters will prove more of a challenge as we need to tighten bolts and lock nuts that jack and hold the caster segments in place. This is going to need a modified socket and possibly a special tool to achieve the required torque settings.

We are inside the spray chamber, not somewhere you can access most of the time. Whilst there are walkways this area is normally hot from the molten steel passing through the rollers and wet from the water being sprayed to cool the steel. Slow and steady is the order of the day it is also incredibly dirty, naturally.

Boltobstruction1  Boltobstruction2

Some of the bolts have an obstruction and aren’t as easy to access as this one.

Onto another area within ConCast to instruct workers on the correct and safe use of a recently purchased EvoTorque® Battery Tool (EBT). 

Here we are inside the caster on a segment change. The segments are held down by 4 large bolts that are torqued to 4,000 N·m.

Using the EvoTorque® Battery Tool means that they can be accurately torqued in a safe and controlled manner. The tool has removed a number of hazards including hand arm vibration, they have also improved safety by making the task easier and quicker. The operators loved the tool and quickly ensured that one was ordered.


The next area I visited was the Morfa Coke Ovens.

Steel needs to be produced using coke not coal, coke is a fuel with few impurities produced by heating coal in the absence of air. After heating the coke, it is quenched in preparation for transportation to the blast furnace.

The process of coking produces some unpleasant and highly toxic by-products such as: - coal tar, Ammonia, Hydrogen Sulphide, Pyridine, Hydrogen Cyanide and Benzene. These, naturally, can’t just be released in to the atmosphere and therefore have a capture and containment system. 

I met with the projects team and discussed a bespoke application for valve actuation, this will be a challenging application due to the environment, access issues, limited reaction points and obstructions. This will require some special adaptions to the standard EvoTorque® Battery Tool and a very special reaction arm. My next step is to meet with our special projects team to discuss the application.

Graham Hudson

Technical Support Engineer

Norbar Torque Tools Ltd