Darren Wilson presenting at technical seminar

On Thursday 15th September 2016, LKAB Minerals UK operation held their first Refractory themed Technical Seminar at Forest Pines Hotel, North Lincolnshire.

The event, which was invitation only, was well attended by customers and partners of LKAB Minerals. The day consisted of a morning of presentations followed by afternoon tours of LKAB Minerals Flixborough processing sites. The objective of the day was to strengthen the position of LKAB Minerals as service provider to the refractory industry. Meanwhile we wanted to showcase the technical expertise available to their customers.

Refractory Technical Seminar Program

The seminar began with an introduction to the company by Darren Wilson. He is Chief Operating Officer and LKAB Minerals Group & Managing Director for UK & Ireland. We followed his presentation by an overview of LKAB Minerals Sustainable Procurement department. This showed the strategy & policies and the evaluation, risk assessment and improvements ongoing with suppliers.

Melvyn Bradley, Technical Director for UK & Ireland then commenced the technical presentations. He gave an overview of the refractory materials available from LKAB Minerals. In addition talking about the methods & processes involved in developing their range of recycled materials.

A presentation by Tony Hutton (Technical Services Manager) followed, introducing LKAB Minerals testing services; a range of testing services available through the UK’s various laboratories including chemical, physical and particle analysis testing.  

Operations Director, Paul Boustead followed with an introduction to Operational Excellence, Safety First, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), 5S and Focussed Improvement (FI) and the work ongoing at their UK sites.

Customer collaboration refractory products

We concluded the mornings proceedings with an introduction to the technical work LKAB Minerals offer in the development of new refractory products, particularly using recycled materials. Melvyn Bradley commented

‘With the background Carl Kaighin (Technical Sales Manager) and myself have in refractories, we can work in collaboration with our customers to develop new products. These products can be tested in our own laboratories, processed at our Toll Manufacturing works and supplied ready for installation. This can be advantageous to smaller refractory producers and customers wanting to develop refractory products using recycled materials.’

Following the final presentation, we provided the delegates a site induction ahead of the recycled and toll processing site tours. As part of the afternoons tours, LKAB Minerals gave delegates also a technical demonstration in their Flixborough laboratory using recycled materials.

‘We are keen to emphasise our positioning as a service provider to the refractory industry’ says Darren Wilson.  ‘Trust and integrity are a key part of our service offering. Especially when we work with our customers to develop new products. The seminar has assisted in ensuring our position in the market is clear to our customers. It also enabled us to showcase our technical and processing capability.’

We got positive feedback from our customers. Therefore LKAB Minerals plan to develop their technical events further, with additional seminars planned in other business sectors. To learn more about this or future events or to discuss their service offering available to the refractory industry, email minerals.uk@lkab.com or visit the contact page.