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ESAB has supplied 2.4 tonnes of OK 92.26 nickel-based welding electrodes at short notice to enable repairs to be performed on cement kiln tyres during a scheduled shutdown. The enquiry was received from Klicksi Co Ltd, based in the UK, which is primarily an importer and exporter of wood. One of the contracts held by Klicksi's associated company in Tanzania is for the supply of treated wood fibre to Tanga Cement for use as a fuel in its cement kiln in Tanzania; Klicksi also supplies equipment to Tanga Cement and other companies.
When Tanga Cement realised that it needed to repair cracks in the steel tyres on its cement kiln, multiple suppliers of welding electrodes were approached. However, ESAB was the only company able to deliver the required quantities so as to meet the tight deadline. When Klicksi enquired about OK 92.26 electrodes, ESAB already had volumes of these available to ship immediately, plus there was bar stock of the right grade held in Sweden from which sufficient electrodes could be manufactured to complete the order.
To meet the deadline in order that the tyres could be repaired during the scheduled shutdown was going to be tough, but ESAB met the requirements: the enquiry was received in late November 2010, the order was placed in the first week of December, the first shipment was made in the second week of December, and the balance was delivered to Tanzania before Christmas. This demanding schedule is all the more remarkable considering the heavy snows that fell across Europe at that time, causing disruption to road, rail and air transport.
Responding to the initial enquiry, ESAB's Technical Information Officer, Tony Johnson, assessed the application requirements and checked - and confirmed - the suitability of the OK 92.26 electrodes. These nickel-based electrodes are resistant to cold cracking (which makes preheating during welding less critical) and produce a relatively flexible weld that resists cracking in applications such as kiln tyres, where cyclical stresses have to be endured. For the Klicksi order, two sizes of electrodes were delivered, namely 3.25mm and 4mm diameter. Howard Fieldhouse, the ESAB UK Export Manager, comments: "Klicksi approached us and emphasised the need to move quickly. They communicated their requirements clearly and responded to our questions very promptly, which was a great help to us in preparing our quotation and delivering the electrodes at short notice." Salim Fazal, the Managing Director of Klicksi, states: "I have dealt with ESAB on many occasions before and have always been impressed by their responsiveness, helpfulness and technical expertise. For this contract the most important factor was delivery, and I had every confidence in them when they said they could produce the electrodes on time - which they did. Overall, they did a brilliant job and I look forward to working with ESAB again in the future."