Case Study: Heavy Equipment Machinery Relocation - Tata Steel

Industrial Engineering

Tata Steel is a global steel producer, with steelmaking in the UK and Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe.

Key facts:

  • Removal of ~100 large / delicate steel-testing machines
  • Decommission, recommission, testing
  • £350,000 project value
  • 30+ truckloads, use of cranes and forklifts
  • Crews of six people working in shifts


  • Multinational steelmakers Tata Steel required a company to undertake a removal project from the Swinden Technology Centre in Rotherham to Swansea University.
  • The relocation involved approximately 100 machines and other equipment designed to test steel and steel products, totalling a £5m+ insurance value.
  • Items included universal testing machines, microscopes, rolling mills, descaling machines and industrial ovens.
  • Some equipment weighed up to 5 tonnes, while others were especially delicate or of unusual shape.
  • The nature of the equipment and setup at Swansea meant that the machinery had to be delivered in a specific order.


  • Pickfords Business Solutions worked closely with Tata Steel and Swansea University to produce a comprehensive move plan, including thorough risk assessments and method statements, to deliver the smoothest, most efficient service possible.#
  • Pickfords worked with a team of five specialist companies to disconnect, test and reconnect the most high specification equipment.
  • Pickfords commissioned over 30 truckloads to transport the machinery, using cranes and forklifts for the largest items.
  • Pickfords arranged for a crew of six to work on site at any one time, consisting of truck and crane drivers and porters.
  • The equipment was delivered to the still-in-construction Singleton Campus outside of exam time, meaning that disruption to students and faculty was kept to a minimum. Pickfords worked closely with construction services provider Kier to ensure both parties coordinated during delivery.
  • Unexpected complications arose at Swansea, meaning the University was unable to receive some of the machinery at the agreed time. Liaising with Tata Steel and the University, Pickfords’ project manager revised the move schedule to ensure all equipment was still delivered within the agreed timeframe.

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