The consolidations, take-overs and mergers that affected steel industries worldwide have had a ripple effect into Scotland. It began in Germany with the coming together of steel giants Thyssen, Krupp and Hoesch. The resulting main company, ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, is now one of the largest steel producers in the world, with 198,000 employees worldwide in more than 1000 companies. The business has continued to expand and gone ahead with commitments to build new steel production and processing plants in Brazil and Alabama.
The building products division, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG, manufactures a range of cladding products at the main European production facility in Kreuztal. Rockfibre and foam insulated panels are produced at a rate of 9000sq. metres a day and trapezoidal profiles including structural decking and structural liner trays are other major products within the range.
The changes in the UK that affected market recognition started when former sales partner, Plannja, withdrew from the UK some years ago with the result that the Hoesch brand became almost hidden. However, the business is now able to exploit the historical strength of the brand that is credited with producing the first foam composite panels in the 1960’s.
In 2007, ThyssenKrupp Building Systems Ltd was formed with an office in Glasgow to provide a full sales and support service. The UK market is the company’s prime focus and in a short time it has established links with contractors and designers and won a bigger share of the panel market. One example is the latest office block at Craighall Business Park north of Glasgow, built by Luddon Construction Ltd and clad by Weather Protection Services Ltd.
This project used the Hoesch Isowand Integral composite panels with different colour finishes, profiles and panel widths and the Hoesch Isowand Integral integrated window system. It is one of the five buildings on the development to feature the Hoesch range of products.
The product range includes rockfibre-cored insulated panels, Isowand PIR foam wall and roof panels for external and internal use, trapezoidal decking sheets, the Additive Floor profile, which is a patented permanent shutter design for use in multi-storey car parking, and the Hoesch Matrix modular flat panel system.
Meanwhile, the Reflections range of more than 100 colours has been developed and ThyssenKrupp Building Systems offers a consultancy service to explain how it can assist in the use of colours computer-enhanced images to view the development background and then suggest compatible and contrasting tones to enhance the effects of the sky and surrounding landscapes.