Most steel plants are unique in that hardly ever are two or more operating areas and/or plants exactly alike. They have a lot of similarities and, at times, do actually have uniquely designed components that are interchangeable from one plant to another. That, at times, may lead to an agreement, between the two plants to share an expensive spare which seldom fails, but if required, comes with a very long delivery time.Thus, if that kind of an agreement exists, it is only for very unusual situations and components.
Most people know that tires are made by tire manufacturers. Thus, when buying a new vehicle, they certainly don’t expect the tires to be manufactured by the car company; the vehicle could be equipped with those of any one of the major tire manufacturers. They trust that the vehicle manufacturer made a proper selection and thus concentrate on viewing other aspects of the vehicle. Perhaps a change to that comes either from their “non standard” vehicle use (where, almost from the first day, they may need special use tires) or later, as tires are consumable, when it is time to replace the worn out tires (they may, at that time, use their own criteria for the replacements, not necessarily selecting the same as originally on the vehicle).
The Process of Making Seamless Tubes: an illustration of the factors to consider when selecting a reliable supplier
The process for making seamless tubes in a steel making facility, in one design, starts from heating a solid billet/round of predetermined diameter and length. It is then rolled through a “piercing mill” which basically consists of two rolls (one on top of the other) and a piercer bar (a round bar with a pointed tip in the front of it) on the outlet side of the mill. From the name, one may assume the starting holefor the tube is created by piercing/ forcing the billet/round onto the bar and thus creating a cavity, but, interestingly, that is not so.
If one was to comment as an historian, starting with blast furnaces (where ore is converted to a metal), one would conceivably have to choose some period, not just a few hundred years back, but perhaps two or more thousand years back to a period when cattle driven bellows provided the necessary “blast” for the furnace which, (as in some ways is now) produced iron. However, it did not then produce iron for the steel process, but only iron for the foundries.
Many industrial plants, such as steel making facilities, are designed to operate continuously on a 24/7 basis for many decades. This potentially introduces a problem where some components within the plant, not having been originally designed to last for decades, have since become obsolete in their design and are thus no longer available.