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Continual supply

As well as holding a large stock of steel sections, Barrett Steel has continually invested in new production equipment

Barrett Steel has been affected, along with many other businesses across the UK by the pandemic lockdown, but it has remained operational throughout, focussing on supplying its customers.

Barrett Steel has, for generations, been openly proud of supplying the steel construction sector and despite the challenges we all currently face, has continued to invest in supporting the industry while securing jobs for many. Long-established, as a key partner to construction businesses across the UK, this 6th generation family business prides itself on being one of the most versatile suppliers since 1866.

In recent times, and in particular the last two years, the number of Barrett Steel depots across the UK has risen, with the acquisition of British Steel distribution centres being the standout investment for the group. James Barrett, Group Managing Director says: “This acquisition provides a great opportunity for the Group. We are excited to welcome the British Steel teams to our business and we are positive about the future of the steel industry.”

Acquisition of the British Steel Dartford site marked a very exciting time for the Barrett Steel Group. The new Barrett Steel Dartford site has provided the group with the perfect platform to service its ever-growing customer base in the south of England and London. The depot has sawing capacity on-site and benefits from its proximity to a dedicated stock and processing facility at Shoreham-By-Sea.

Investment has continued in recent times, including the restructuring of the Barrett Steel Tubes business in Dudley, turning it into a dedicated manufacturing hub and centre of excellence for structural hollow section processing. Other enhancements have included a new 10kW ByStar Fibre Laser for the Rotherham plate profiling centre.

Barrett Steel has added former British Steel sites to its portfolio of distribution centres

The company also has a skilled and efficient workforce

Barrett Steel can undertake variable weld preps to save welding and fitting time.

Commenting on the growth of the profiling centre, Tom Barrett, Group Commercial Director says: “We have recently seen extensive growth in our profiling team at Rotherham. The new ByStar Fibre machine extends our plate laser profiling capacity alongside our current gas, oxy and plasma cutting options. The investment in these machines, plus our in-house Tipo drill line means we are in a better position than ever to offer a complete package to our construction customers across the UK.

This investment in plate and tube processing within stockholding allows customers to focus on design, complex fabricating operations and the erection process itself. Tubular structural steelwork has often been seen as a specialist area, with some companies reluctant to see throughput reduced by the complexities of assembling structures such as circular tube trusses. For over 20 years at Barrett Steel we have consistently provided time saving, cost effective, quality solutions to the construction sector with laser cut structural hollows.

Demonstrating its versatility, the company says it RB1500 oxygas / plasma pipe profiling machine has enabled Barrett Steel to expand its laser offering to the construction sector’s largest and most challenging projects. With the ability to easily process tubes up to 1500mm diameter and 90mm thick. Recent orders have included profiled tubes to make feature Y sections and V columns, all the way through to saddle cuts for tube-to-tube connections, finished with assembly marking for ease of fabrication.

Barrett Steel’s experience and continuous investment in the latest software allows it to offer repeatability, to tight tolerances, often with complex variable weld preps and even offset slots for fin plates. This has not only reduced the time needed to prepare the components, but also allows structural engineers to reconsider and change weld requirements, offering project time and cost benefits.

“Not only do we hold over 20,000t of high yield hot and cold hollow sections, we also have the specialist equipment and experience to process these, ensuring our customers get the best service. We can produce the components for complex projects, while we can also advise at all stages of the design process on the capabilities of our machines. Recently a customer approached us to produce feature column Y sections with his design team who would have previously used templates. After consultations via Zoom, we were able to showcase our RB1500 which saved the project weeks of fabrication time compared to their traditional option. This time efficient approach has led to a substantial cash saving on the project which is particularly important during these challenging times.” says Sales Director, Tony Corrie.

Barrett Steel has a long history of processing parts for the construction sector and it is now utilising that experience to advise on larger, heavier and more intricate and demanding fabrication projects.

“Over 150 years working hand-in-hand with the construction industry has enabled us to be in tune with the challenges our customers are facing daily. At Barrett’s we work seamlessly with our customers to not only ensure stock availability at short notice but to ensure, where we can, that our investments in advanced processing can assist our customers to hit ever tightened and constrained schedules.” James Barrett concludes.

The experience, entwined in the Barrett Steel operation, means not only does the group have the scope to supply a wide variety of stock and processed products, but additionally long-established supply chain relationships pass on an enormous amount of benefits to the customer. Whether it’s sourcing different types of stock, such as non-standard specification for the nuclear construction sector, or by reducing costs for end-users thanks to single-source operation, their supply chain allows reduction in costs and transport requirements across the board.

What is for certain in these current times, is Barrett Steel’s team of experts boast significant levels of technical knowledge. This knowledge and understanding allows the team to create tailored solution-based offerings to assist customers with the ever-changing challenges they face. This is strengthened with investment in stock, transport and the processing capabilities required to effectively service the construction industry for many generations to come.

Barrett Steel are proud to support Steel for Life and continue their headline sponsorship. For more information about the group visit

Barrett Steel
is a Headline
sponsor of
Steel for Life

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