What Does the BSSA Do?
The main activities of the BSSA are:
- Researching and disseminating information on stainless steel products, markets and applications;
- Through the Stainless Steel Technical Advisory Service providing technical advice on the full range of stainless steels, including material properties, fabrication methods and sources of supply;
- Developing the competence and efficiency of the stainless steel industry through education, the provision of technical assistance and the development of standards;
- Encouraging innovation in product design and the development of industry best practice in marketing, manufacturing and supply chain management;
- Promoting members’ products and services, nationally and internationally, through brochures, newsletters, press articles, press releases, seminars, conferences, exhibitions and the internet;
- Providing a medium for members to network and exchange views on matters affecting the industry;
- Representing the interests of the UK stainless steel industry, nationally and internationally with government and other associations.
Stainless Steel Advisory Service
Launched in 2000, the BSSA provides a free technical enquiry service to meet the need for a specialist source of information and advice on the use of stainless steel. Since 2000, the service has answered more than 23,000 enquiries about all aspects of stainless steel, the sourcing of products and providing access to the Association’s network of contacts. The SSAS is headed up by Alan Harrison, the principle Technical Advisor, who has more than 30 years experience in the steel industry and 18 years specifically on stainless steel.
The service operates Monday to Thursday, 9.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00;
Tel: 0114 267 1265
Fax: 0114 266 1252
The service also publishes the Guide to Stainless Steel Specifications which is an indispensable tool for anyone engaged in the specification or supply of stainless steel. Please contact the BSSA office for further information.
Training and Education
The BSSA is committed to education and training across the industry and organises seminars and workshops on a variety of topics including stainless steel itself, welding & fabrication, legislation affecting the industry and market and sector briefings. The Association also manages the Stainless Steel Specialist Course, a comprehensive programme of self-taught modules covering the metallurgy and applications of stainless steel.
Full details can be found under “Training”.
The primary objective of the BSSA is to encourage the use of stainless steel in UK manufacturing and construction. The Association has established a number of focused initiatives together with member companies and other industry partners to research and develop the market for specific products and applications. Examples include:
Continuing Professional Development for Architects
In conjunction with the Nickel institute, the BSSA has developed a seminar programme for architects which is part of the RIBA and Construction CPD networks. Since its introduction more than 250 seminars have been given to architectural practices throughout the UK.
Drinking Water Supply
The BSSA took a leading role in developing the Operating Guidance and a Code of Practice for stainless steel products in contact with drinking water as part of the approval process required by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.
Stainless Steel Reinforcement
The use of stainless steel reinforcement to extend the life of highway structures is of growing interest to owners and users alike. Sponsored by all the major European producers, the BSSA has published a major report on CD-Rom on the use of stainless steel reinforcement in bridges, accompanied by a cost tool based on models used in the report.
The BSSA publishes a bi-monthly Newsletter to keep members abreast of Association activities and to highlight opportunities which may benefit their businesses. The BSSA also supports Stainless Steel Industry magazine and works closely with the editor to plan features. A special discount on the subscription rate is available to member companies.
The Association provides regular press releases covering its activities and places articles in relevant trade publications helping to promote the use of stainless steel and highlighting new applications and developments.
Networking and Events
The BSSA provides opportunities throughout the year for member companies to network with each other and with the wider manufacturing and related industries.
In the spring, the BSSA Annual Lunch takes place alongside the Annual General Meeting. Usually held at the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield, the lunch provides an opportunity for members and their guests to listen to a high profile speaker from the stainless industry or from the wider business environment. Later in the year, the BSSA Annual Dinner provides a more informal opportunity to relax in the company of colleagues from the industry.
Forums are also held on a regular basis during the year where member companies with common interests can meet. Active group include distributors and independent surface finishers. Specific initiatives on behalf of the distributors have included establishing a credit network, provision of monthly stock statistics through an independent third party, whilst the surface finishers have sponsored the development of a CPD module and sample pack aimed at architects and designers.
Every couple of years, the BSSA Conference is held which provides an opportunity for the industry to hear about the latest market and product developments and discuss their implications. The last Conference was jointly organised with Stainless Steel Focus as the 4th international Stainless Steel Symposium in September 2011. It attracted an audience of 150 to hear a wide range of presentations covering a number of key market sectors. The next Conference is being planned for June 2013 and is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Stainless Steel by Sheffield metallurgist Harry Brearley.