«1925 1928 1931 »

Technical assistance from America

With the overseas market for black and galvanised sheets continuing to fall, Summers engage steel sheet production experts from the American Rolling Mills Company (ARMCO) to assist in the installation and operation of new finishing equipment at Shotton. Improvements in all stages of manufacture, notably the chemical make-up and steel making process and in rolling and finishing, lead to improvements to the deep drawing properties of steel sheets, sufficient at the time to meet manufacturers’ increased demands for higher grade sheets for fabrication. However, hot rolling processes have limitations and Summers’ directors realise that to produce sheets sufficiently thin, flat throughout their surface, and with maximum manipulative qualities, a cold rolling process is needed.

Throughout the late 1920s and early 1930s technical managers and directors from Shotton cross the Atlantic to study developments in hot and cold rolling processes. The association with ARMCO continues until 1935 by which time it is accepted that there is no satisfactory half-way method between the traditional hand rolling technique and the modern continuous strip mill.

Because of the recession, steel rolling ends at Stalybridge but the manufacture of clog irons, nails, tacks, washers and material for nail making continues. Many workers become unemployed having turned down the opportunity to move to Shotton.