Surface Technology ‘cures’ customer’s large component needs

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Lipp Systems: bioenergy plant design

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Surface Technology ‘cures’ customer’s
large component needs

Equipped specifically to process ever larger components in the oil and gas industry, the UK’s largest curing oven of its kind has been unveiled at the opening of Surface Technology’s new site in Renfrew, Scotland.
The prestigious launch took place at the leading specialist supplier of high performance surface treatment’s newly acquired premises on Westway Park, Scotland’s largest fully enclosed industrial distribution and office park.
Surface Technology, part of Norman Hay plc, invested in the new site to meet increasing customer demand following significant contract wins.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2014


Automotive, Railway & Transport

The November issue carried a special feature on Automotive, Railway & Transport including: Mathison Engineering opts for PDJ Vibro equipment; Columbia Precision thin-wall aero engine rings; new Makino versatile machining centre from NCMT; Nikon Metrology new CT system at BorgWarner Poland; Expliseat wins ITA 2014 titanium application development award; Swedish innovativeness behind a new concept for product development; Meta Vision Systems new robot welding sensor; Prima Power - the supplier of choice at PAB; Schuler wins huge order from China; and Outokumpu/SSY - first ever boat built entirely of stainless.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2014

Handling & Logistics

The November issue carried a special feature on Handling & Logistics including: Kasto introduces new robotic handling system; Fine Tubes partners with City College Plymouth; and Mitsubishi/Storatec bring a new system on the market.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2014

Material decisions for tanks
Lipp Systems: bioenergy plant design

As energy prices continue to rise, the number of bioenergy plants across the world is increasing rapidly. However, design engineers are faced with a number of basic choices when it comes to starting a new project. One of the major decisions is the construction material to be used in the tank design of the digester, gas storage and feedstock storage. Essentially, three materials dominate the market, concrete, carbon steel and stainless steel, with the steel variants having a variety of coatings and construction techniques to choose from as well. The final decision for any project should be made from an informed standpoint to ensure that the most appropriate design is employed in order to deliver a reliable and durable solution. Anaerobic digestion plants can be designed to operate in a number of ways, depending on the scale of the plant, the feedstock to be used and the aims of the project itself in terms of energy output.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2014


Henry Boot Developments to design and build hq
Gould Alloys secures site for new plant at Markham Vale

Gould Alloys has agreed terms for Henry Boot Developments Ltd to design and build a 50,000 sq ft headquarters at the significant Markham Vale development site in Derbyshire. Gould Alloys is a worldwide stockholder and distributor of metals to a number of industries including defence, medical and scientific, exploration and production, motor sport and power generation. It is a key supplier to the aerospace industry where it delivers ‘first stage’ machining and is a founding member of the Aero Metals Alliance (AMA).
Markham Vale is a 200 acre business/industrial park located at Junction 29A of the M1 in Chesterfield. The regionally significant site is a joint venture between Henry Boot Developments and Derbyshire County Council and is one of the UK’s biggest Enterprise Zone developments.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2014

From automotive to aerospace
Electrostal: for high alloy steels and alloys

Metallurgical plant “Electrostal” JSC is a leading Russian company in the area of high alloy steels and alloys used widely in the automotive, power engineering, aviation and aerospace industries. According to Electrostal head of marketing Sergey Egorov, with whom Stainless Steel Focus held discussions at the Farnborough International Airshow, there is not one Russian aircraft that flies without material supplied by Electrostal. The company has traditionally also, however, been a significant player on the export market, with around 20% of its products exported.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2014


New draw mill processes
Superior Tube to achieve record lead times

Superior Tube Company, a global leader in the manufacture of small diameter precision tubing for safety critical applications, has significantly reduced its lead times – from 30 weeks to just 6 weeks in some cases – by implementing a ‘pull system’ as part of a reconfiguration of its draw mill processes. 
Focused primarily on two specific nickel-chromium alloys, 718 and 625, the improved production flow is setting new industry standards, enabling Superior Tube not only to achieve record lead times but also to offer correspondingly competitive prices.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2014


Positive development also for superalloys
ELG: sharp rise in output tonnage, revenue and operating profit

ELG, a division of the Haniel group, considerably increased not only its output tonnage, but also its revenue and operating profit in the first half of 2014. The company benefited primarily from increasing demand for scrap in the stainless steel market segment and higher prices for nickel. Having been strengthened by acquisitions during the previous year, the development of its business in the superalloys market segment was also positive.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2014


Aperam returns
to operating profit in first half

Aperam’s sales in the second quarter of 2014 increased by 4% at US$1,444m compared to $1,394m in the first quarter of 2014. Shipments in the second quarter decreased by 2% at 466,000 tonnes compared to 475,000 tonnes in the first quarter.
EBITDA was $164m in the second quarter compared to $129m in the first quarter, and increased as a result of continued improved market conditions in Europe, the Leadership Journey® contribution, the Top Line strategy and the seasonal recovery in South America. The company had an operating income in the second quarter of $107m compared to $54m in the previous quarter. The company recorded a net income of $36m, inclusive of an income tax expense of $13m, in the second quarter of 2014. In the six months ended June 30, 2014, as compared to the six months ended June 30, 2013, Aperam’s sales increased by 7.7% to $2,838m from $2,635m. The increase in sales was due to higher shipments, which increased by 10.6% to approximately 941,000 tons from 851,000 tons, partly offset by lower average steel selling price, which decreased by 3.9% to $2,846/ton from $2,963/ton.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2014

ThyssenKrupp
discusses industrial plan for AST

Board members of ThyssenKrupp’s Business Area Materials Services and Acciai Speciali Terni management met Italian authorities and trade unions recently in order to present and discuss the industrial plan developed to re-establish AST as a sustainable player in the stainless steel industry.
Over the past years, AST has incurred significant losses mainly due to adverse trading conditions, structural inefficiencies including product mix and marketing restrictions.
AST, transferred to ThyssenKrupp at the end of February 2014, was integrated into the business area Materials Services in order to best benefit from its presence in the international markets.
Within the last months, Materials Services together with the local management have undertaken a detailed analysis to identify optimal strategic options for AST. It was decided to implement a comprehensive strategic action plan to re-establish sustainable profitability at AST, in spite of the challenging market situation and especially the existing overcapacities.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2014

USA

The September issue carried a special feature on the USA, including: Carpenter Technology sees a bright future; ITA 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award; Superior Tube invests in new ECM equipment; ATI sales up 13% in second quarter; Reliance reports record sales in Q2 and strength in most major commodity types, notably stainless; AK Steel’s net sales up in Q2; and Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Q2 operating income more than doubles.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2014

Japanese stainless steel order income up 5.4%

Japanese order income for stainless steel flat products totalled 523,000 tonnes during the first four months of this year, an increase of 5.4% compared to the same period of last year. Demand for austenitic grades was up 4.5% (259,100 tonnes), with demand for ferritic grades up 6.4% at 263,800 tonnes.
Meanwhile, total imports (all products) were up 10.6% in the January to May period of 2014 compared to the same period of last year at 114,400 tonnes. Total Japanese exports were up 6.2%, with hot rolled flat exports up 3.6%, cold rolled flat up 7.7%, and exports of long products up 8.4%.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2014

Adaero automates production of prismatic parts

A new, 5-axis machining cell has dramatically increased the efficiency and flexibility with which prismatic components are manufactured around the clock at the Crediton works of subcontractor, Adaero Precision Components. The turnkey cell, costing one-third less than similar equipment shortlisted, was supplied by Whitehouse Machine Tools, sole UK agent for the Japanese machining centre manufacturer, Brother. The installation is fundamentally different from Adaero's larger capacity, 40-taper, 4-axis machining cell installed in 2009, in which each of 15 pallets has fixturing dedicated to the production of a specific part. In contrast, the Brother 32BN-FT 30-taper, 5-axis machining centre is equipped with a System 3R WorkPartner 1+ automated, multi-level storage and retrieval system for 84 pallets, each of which carries a vice for securing any component.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2014

H T Brigham gears up to meet new orders

Metal stamping manufacturer, H T Brigham’s, Chin Fong straight side double crank power press, with 400 ton capacity, was manufactured in Taiwan to the metal stamping manufacturer’s bespoke requirements. The power press was commissioned as a result of new orders won and an ongoing investment programme at the stamping company. The machine, which has a bed area of 2.5 metres x 1 metre, can produce metal stampings from material measuring up to 400mm wide and 3.5mm thick. It has a variable speed of between 30-50 strokes per minute and a maximum shut height of 450mm. Meanwhile, the company has launched a brand new YouTube channel to act as a resource for anyone interested in the metal pressing manufacturing process.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2014

Global molybdenum production
and use at new high

Global production of molybdenum in 2013 reached a new high of 539.2m lbs, up from the previous year’s record of 535.2m lbs. Full year figures from the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) also show global molybdenum use at 537.7m lbs, breaking the previous year’s record high of 522.5m lbs. The greatest usage of molybdenum in 2013 was in China, where it increased from 188.4m lbs in 2012 to 196.2m lbs in 2013. Europe recorded the second biggest share with 140.4m lbs, up from 135.9m lbs in 2012. Japan and USA were the third and fourth largest users by region, recording 57.4m and 56.1m lbs, respectively. Usage in the CIS was 23m lbs, with other countries together totalling 64.6m lbs.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2014

Energy, oil & gas, environment

The August issue carried a special feature on energy, oil & gas, environment, including: new equipment for tube manufacturing: boom in the USA; new biogas plant for Sinclair Agricultural & Recycling Services; intelligence agencies target information highways; Superior Tube appoints new HR director; Shaw Metal Solutions grows by 30% through manufacturing investment; Sandvik and Tenaris sign new five-year agreement; Arc Energy Resources director wins IoD South West regional award; BP joins TWI in engineering education centre; advanced clamping cuts manufacturing cost; major investment programme at Turbine Efficiency; and Centravis: good prospects for further growth.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2014

Reliance sales up 26.1%
over year ago quarter

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co has reported that in the first quarter ended March 31, 2014 sales were $2.55 billion, up 26.1% from $2.03 billion in the first quarter of 2013 and up 10.7% from $2.31 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. Tons sold were up 38.6% from the first quarter of 2013 and up 8.9% from the fourth quarter of 2013, with the average selling price per ton sold down 8.7% from the first quarter of 2013 and up 1.7% from the fourth quarter of 2013. Net income attributable to Reliance was $87.2m, up 4.2% from $83.7m in the first quarter of 2013 and up 41.1% from $61.8m in the fourth quarter of 2013.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2014


Stainless production reaches
38.1m tonnes in 2013

The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released preliminary figures for 2013 showing that stainless steel melt shop production increased by 7.8% to 38.1m tonnes. With the exception of Western Europe and Africa, all regions achieved positive growth. Asia, excluding China, recorded production of 8.8m tonnes during 2013, a year-on-year increase of 0.8%. But growth throughout the region ranged from +5.4% (India) to -3.7% (Taiwan, China). Production levels in Japan and South Korea remained unchanged. China continues to expand its production share which is now approaching 50%. Stainless steel production in China increased by +18% to 19m tonnes in comparison to 2012. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2014


Germany

The July issue carried a special feature on Germany, including: further expansion at Böllinghaus; Schwarze-Robitec at EuroBLECH 2014; SMS group: customers remain reluctant to place orders; Schmolz + Bickenbach returns to profitability in Q1; Kemper Storatec starts production at new hq; Schuler celebrates 175th anniversary; Fortaco opens German sales office; sheet metal working industry keeps focus on international business; mobile check of important elements; strong growth for Breuckmann GmbH; high quality stainless quick-release connector; and from the Buhlmann Group - comprehensive stock information via mobile app.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2014

Duplex

The July issue also carried a special feature on duplex, including: Bewo expands collaboration with JHP in the UK; Steelinox BV – profile; national technical approval for Outokumpu’s lean duplexes; and 2014 World Cup Final stadium build uses Sandvik duplex.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2014

Custom 630 joins Project 70+® PDB® stainless family
Carpenter makes significant progress in third quarter

Carpenter Technology Corp reported net income of $30.6m for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, compared to $32.9m in the same quarter last year. Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal year 2014 were $566.3m, and net sales excluding surcharge were $467.2m, a decrease of $4.0m (or 1%) from the same quarter last year, on 8% higher shipments. Operating income was $49.5m, a decrease of $3.5m from the third quarter of the prior year. Operating income - excluding pension earnings, interest and deferrals (EID) - was $55.5m, a decrease of $5.5m (or 9%) from the third quarter of the prior year. Excluding the $8.0m of weather-related impacts, and adding back the $2.9m of special items in the third quarter of the prior year, operating income excluding pension EID was relatively unchanged year-over-year. Meanwhile, Carpenter has expanded the Project 70®+ PDB® stainless portfolio of precision machining bar designed for CNC Swiss-style screw machines by adding Project 70+ PDB Custom 630 (17Cr-4Ni) stainless.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2014

United Kingdom

The June issue carried a special feature on the United Kingdom including: relocation, and further expansion, for Stainless Band; stainless bar and wire from Kiveton Park Steel; Fine Tubes to supply precision tubing for Solar Orbiter; H T Brigham seeks to narrow the skills gap; helping British Airways maintain latest-generation aircraft; BCI precision stainless pipework for wastewater treatment scheme; Anopol: when it comes to electropolishing, the more complex the better; new software launched at Bystronic open house; Keighley Labs new heat treatment facility; Ormiston supplies wire for new film; Kasto goes from strength to strength; and HFT: largest inflatable pipe welding purge system ever.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2014

$25m investment in downstream facilities
Aperam: improved performance in first quarter

Aperam sales in the first quarter of 2014 increased by 9% to US$1,394m compared to $1,281m in the fourth quarter of 2013. Shipments in the first quarter increased by 8% to 475,000 tonnes compared to 441,000 tonnes in the previous quarter. EBITDA was $129m in the first quarter compared to $84m in the fourth quarter. It increased quarter-on-quarter as a result of higher activity including customers’ restocking effect; a slight improvement in prices; and the contribution of the Leadership Journey® and the Top Line strategy. The Leadership Journey® continued to progress over the quarter and has contributed a total amount of $385m to EBITDA since the beginning of 2011. Aperam had an operating income in the first quarter of $54m compared to $3m in the previous quarter.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2014

Wolseley UK buys
two Fusion Group businesses

Wolseley UK has bought Fusion Provida and Utility Power Systems (UPS), two trading businesses of Fusion Group Ltd, it was announced on April 1, 2014. Fusion Provida and UPS are suppliers of utility infrastructure products and pipe jointing equipment hire that distribute a range of products and equipment to utility contractors. With almost 200 employees, the businesses operate from 11 depots around the UK, including a national distribution centre and national sales office in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Meanwhile, Wolseley UK has reported revenue (for ongoing businesses) of £6,412m for the half year to January 31, 2014, 5.2% up on the comparable period of the previous year. Trading profit (for ongoing businesses) was £360m, 8.8% up on the previous year. The company reported a profit before tax of £316m.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2014

Fuxin Special Steel Ecoplants system successfully put into operation

Fuxin Special Steel Co Ltd, Taiwan, has successfully commissioned a steelworks supplied by SMS Siemag for manufacturing stainless steel slabs at the Zhangzhou location in the Chinese Fujian province. It is the first stainless steel plant in the world to utilise the waste heat from the AOD converter and the electric arc furnace. Fuxin Special Steel benefits from reducing emissions by 60,000 tpy of CO2. The new construction project comprises a special steel plant, a continuous slab caster and environmental facilities for gas cleaning and energy recovery. The works is designed for a production of 720,000 tpy of steel. The range of grades produced by the steelworks comprises ferritic, austenitic and martensitic stainless steels, which are processed on the X-Cast® continuous caster to provide slabs in thicknesses of 200 or 220mm. During casting, the width can be set steplessly from 800 to 1,600mm. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2014

Tube & wire

The May issue carried a special feature on tube & wire including: wire 2014 and Tube 2014 in Düsseldorf: upward trend continues; TubeInspect P - the new generation in 3D tube and wire measurement from Aicon; new research centre for Sandvik in China; and a talk with Antonio Marcegaglia: Marcegaglia believes in Terni.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2014

Broder celebrates first Alloy T41 to South Africa

International metals stockist Broder Metals Group is celebrating its first ever despatch of Alloy T41 to South Africa after it was loaded aboard a ship bound for Johannesburg. Alloy T41 is extensively used for bolting, fasteners and support rods in turbine, boiler and power plant applications, particularly coal fired power stations, throughout the world. Although Broder Metals Group exports to 40 different countries on six continents, and has shipped into South Africa on many occasions, it has never secured an order from South Africa for Alloy T41 before. South Africa is proving to be a growing market, thanks in the main to an established fastener manufacturing industry.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2014

Sandvik investment offers local focus for oil and gas sector

Sandvik’s new Oil & Gas office in Aberdeen is part of the company’s increasing investment to enhance still further customer focus and service levels, locally.
As the requirement for corrosion resistant alloys increases with oil and gas companies exploring deeper, and in more demanding environments, the Sandvik range of duplex and high strength austenitic alloys is perfectly placed to meet the industry’s demands. Meanwhile, Norsok approved duplex and super duplex stainless steel pipe is now available ex-stock from Sandvik’s UK warehouse. Exhibiting excellent resistance to stress corrosion cracking (SCC) as well as general corrosion, pitting and crevice corrosion, the material grades also offer high mechanical strength, design advantages and good weldability.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2014

MACH 2014

The May issue carried a special feature on the MACH 2014 exhibition held at the NEC, Birmingham from April 7-11. Articles included: two new ranges of European machining centres from Asquith Butler; Kasto celebrates 170th anniversary in 2014; NCMT debuts several machines in 50th anniversary year; UK Business Secretary encourages investment in UK manufacturing; one dedicated software solution from Lantek; debut of automated ultrasonic cleaning line by Turbex; DMG Mori delivers machine tools for champions; and the launch of PDJ Vibro economy range of vibratory finishing machines. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2014

Quarter four result confirms the change in trend
Acerinox production at highest level since 2007

In 2013 Acerinox obtained a result of Euro22m after taxes and minorities, after adjusting inventories to their net realizable value by an amount of Euro11m. The fourth quarter, the company said, confirms that the trend is changing with a result of Euro15m after taxes and minorities. EBITDA in 2013 at Euro228m was 15% higher than in the previous year despite the fact that invoicing, at Euro3,966m, was down 13%.
The Group’s crude steel production in 2013 was 2,225,018 tonnes, slightly higher than that of 2012, and the highest since 2007. Compared to the previous year, melting production increased by 1.6%, hot rolled output by 1.4% and cold rolled output by 5.7%. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2014

Systems installed around the world
Jet Edge celebrates 30 years in waterjet industry

Jet Edge, Inc, a leading manufacturer of ultra-high pressure waterjet technology, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014. Founded in 1984, Jet Edge entered the waterjet industry during the industry’s infancy and has grown to become one of the largest and most respected manufacturers of ultra-high pressure waterjet technology in the world.
The company’s waterjets are used in a wide range of industries around the world, including automotive, aerospace, defence, industrial manufacturing, food production, and machine and job shops. Its extensive product line includes precision waterjet cutting systems, waterjet pumps, and mobile waterjet cutting and surface preparation systems. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2014

Tube & wire

The April issue carried a special feature on Tube 2014 and wire 2014 held in Düsseldorf from April 7-11. Articles included Sandvik new PressurfectTM tubing for GDI to the global automotive industry; Tubacex Group: excellence and growth in a high added value market; process reliability in tube marking with REA Jet; Eure Inox further increases raw material stock; Meta Vision Systems celebrates 30th anniversary at Tube; SMS Meer launches Perfect Arc®and PSM®; Nordic Flanges – one sales organisation with centralised warehousing and logistics; Raccortubi to introduce new subsidiaries; Bewo Cutting Systems strengthens presence on UK market; new Ugima® stainless steel solutions from Ugitech; and Dneprospetsstal - from the Dnepr to Scandinavia. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2014

Investment in Imphy wire rod mill
Aperam improves profitability

Aperam’s sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 increased by 6% to US$1,281m compared to $1,204m in the third quarter. Shipments in the fourth quarter increased by 1% to 441,000 tonnes compared to 436,000 tonnes in the third quarter. EBITDA was $84m in the fourth quarter compared to $62m in the third quarter. The Leadership Journey® continued to progress over the quarter and has contributed a total amount of $369m to EBITDA since the beginning of 2011.
Aperam had an operating income in the fourth quarter of $3m compared to an operating loss of $8m in the previous quarter. The company recorded a net loss of $42m, inclusive of an income tax expense of $9m, in the fourth quarter. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2014

Gradual aerospace and energy demand recovery
Carpenter’s Athens facility gains AS9100 certification

William A. Wulfsohn, president and CEO, said: “Carpenter's second quarter earnings were consistent with our expectations. Share gains were realised in transportation and industrial and consumer, which helped offset continued soft demand in our aerospace business. Thus, while volume was up versus the prior year, our mix was weaker. Looking forward, we are seeing positive signs of growth, as well as a gradual aerospace and energy demand recovery.”
The company recently held the official ribbon cutting ceremony at its Athens facility. The project is ahead of schedule and on budget. After completing an audit, the Performance Review Institute (PRI) has recommended that the Athens facility receive AS9100 certification. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2014

New senior vp, chief commercial and marketing officer
ATI sees long-term growth opportunities

Allegheny Technologies has appointed Kevin B. Kramer as senior vice president, chief commercial and marketing officer, effective February 3, 2014. In this new position, Kramer will lead the alignment and coordination of ATI’s global commercial and marketing strategies across all business units, and will be directly responsible for ATI’s market sector teams, international sales and marketing shared services organisation, and brand management and marketing communications.
Meanwhile, ATI reported fourth quarter 2013 sales of $915.3m and a loss from continuing operations attributable to ATI of $83.8m, including $75.1m net of tax, of charges for restructuring actions and inventory valuation adjustments. Net income attributable to ATI for the fourth quarter 2013 was $173.4m. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2014

Outokumpu completes divestment of Terni and VDM

Outokumpu has completed the divestment of the Terni remedy assets, certain service centres and the VDM business to ThyssenKrupp. In the transaction, the stainless steel mill in Terni, Italy, all related legal entities (Acciai Speciali Terni, Terninox, Aspasiel, Tubificio di Terni and Società delle Fucine), the service centres in Germany (Willich), Spain (Barcelona), Turkey (Gebze) and France (Tours) and the entire VDM business are divested to ThyssenKrupp in exchange for Outokumpu’s approximately Euro1.3 billion loan note to ThyssenKrupp. The transaction also includes customary working capital and net debt adjustments.
Mika Seitovirta, CEO of Outokumpu, commented: “This is a major step forward for Outokumpu. This transaction not only addresses the remedy requirements of the European Commission but also significantly strengthens our balance sheet. We are pleased with the valuation for the divested units, and move now forward with absolute focus on the ongoing measures to return Outokumpu back to profitability.”
In conjunction with the completion of the transaction, Outokumpu has settled the outstanding amount of Euro160m under the credit facility granted by ThyssenKrupp. Furthermore, as ThyssenKrupp has committed to sell all of its Outokumpu shares, representing a 29.9% stake in Outokumpu, in conjunction with the transaction, the two companies have cut their financial and ownership ties, thereby fulfilling the requirements set by the European Commission.
Following this transaction, Solidium is the largest shareholder of Outokumpu with a 29.9% stake. The second largest shareholder is Ahlström Capital with a 5.0% stake in Outokumpu. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2014

Acquisition of Tubexpress
Van Leeuwen enters Brazilian market

The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group has acquired Tubexpress, a Brazilian distribution company supplying pipes and tubes to the (petro)chemical and oil and gas industry. The acquisition was effective from January 1, 2014.
Van Leeuwen’s strategy is aimed at expanding and strengthening its market positions in several countries and industrial segments through acquisitions and autonomous growth. Acquisitions are aimed at expanding specialisms, and enlarging the company’s geographical footprint. The acquisition in Brazil is in line with this growth strategy.
Tubexpress, founded in 1990, is a stock holding distributor offering high quality products according to ISO 9000 standards, and has extensive product knowledge and expertise in the oil and gas market. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2014

ISSF reports differences in regional development
Global stainless production: highest Q3 of all time

Preliminary figures released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) show that global stainless crude steel production increased by +5.5% for the first nine months of 2013 year–on–year. Production for the first nine months of 2013 totalled 28m tonnes, up 1.4m tonnes compared to the same period of 2012. Production for the third quarter 2013 was at 9.3m tonnes, a new all–time third quarter high. However significant differences in regional development prevail.
Quarter three of 2013 was stronger than quarter two thus not following the usual seasonal pattern. In the face of regional economic developments which in general show a strong quarter two and weaker quarter three this is most likely a singular quarter-on-quarter compensational effect. Western Europe/Africa and Central and Eastern Europe are the exceptions displaying the usual seasonal downturn. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2014

wire and Tube 2014

The March issue carried a preview of the forthcoming wire and Tube 2014 exhibitions to be held in Düsseldorf from April 7-11. Articles included: technology double-pack makes Düsseldorf global meeting point; Dietronic lubrication systems; Steeltec presents the new HSX® Z10 special steel; Dreistern multifunctional roll forming; Steelinox supplies stainless steel products worldwide; Macro: supplying stainless steel wires since 1978; easy handling in the pipeline with Combilift; Pipe Alliance to supply large pipe lines; Jailaxmi: a supplier of alloy, stainless and carbon steel long products; 3R workshop processes for stainless pipe prefabrication; Schwarze-Robitec time-optimised and precise control for CNC pipe bending machines; and Asel: specialising in spring production machinery. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2014

Outokumpu concludes strategic review
of thin strip operations in Sweden and Germany

In June 2013, Outokumpu announced a strategic review of its thin and precision strip operations in Kloster and Nyby, Sweden and in Dahlerbrück, Germany with the aim of reducing capacities and achieving cost savings through increased efficiencies. As a result of the review, the company plans to discontinue its operations in Kloster, Sweden. Outokumpu will continue the operations in Nyby and in Dahlerbrück as before. 
The Kloster unit has been implementing a restructuring programme since June 2011 to turn the unit back to profitability. Despite increased efficiencies the unit continues to be loss making and therefore Outokumpu plans to close it down by the end of 2014. Outokumpu will honour its commitments to Kloster customers during the transition period whilst planning to move Kloster production to its other sites in Europe.
With close to 2,000 employees, Sweden continues to be one of the key countries for Outokumpu. The units in Avesta, Nyby and Degerfors form the core of Outokumpu’s specialty stainless steel business. In 2013, Outokumpu finalised a Euro100m investment programme in Degerfors to further enhance the competitiveness of the quarto plate business.
This announcement is not directly related to the broader industrial restructuring plan that Outokumpu announced on October 1, 2013 to improve its financial performance in Europe. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2014

Order income down slightly
Significant drop in German shipments and production

German stainless steel order income in December was 83,500 tonnes, according to preliminary figures, 10.9% down on the previous month. Nevertheless, this brought final quarter incoming orders to 270,900 tonnes, 9.7% up on the previous quarter and 12.4% up on the second quarter of last year.
As a result, order income for the full year 2013 totalled 1,061,900 tonnes, just 2.7% lower than recorded in 2012.
German shipments were reported at 78,600 tonnes in November last year, 8% down on the previous month, and shipments for the first 11 months of the year were 11% lower than in the same period of 2012. German stainless production in October was reported at 94,700 tonnes, bringing production for the first ten months of last year to just 966,000 tonnes, 14.2% down on the same period of 2012. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2014

Supplying to manufacturers in over 40 countries
Broder Metals Group adds Mexico to its growing list

International metals stockist Broder Metals Group has now added Mexico to the growing list of countries to which it exports. The South Yorkshire based company which specialises in supplying to manufacturers in the fastener and fixing sector industry has now exported its alloys, steel and flanges to 40 different countries across the globe.
Broder Metals Group supplies alloys, stainless steel, duplex, super duplex, flanges and fittings to fastener manufacturers supplying the marine, power generation, oil, gas and automotive industries. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2014

Titanium

The February issue carries a special feature on titanium including: help with titanium welding from Huntingdon Fusion Techniques; UK university research institute installs machining centre; Fine Tubes supplies seamless titanium tubing to Airbus and Liebherr; EADS: additive manufacturing can reduce aircraft costs; QuesTek to work with Northwestern-led consortium; and MetSuisse: supplying the medical and watch industries. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2014

Cutting & welding

The January issue carries a special feature on cutting and welding, including: new Laserdyne 430 BeamDirector®; YMT Technologies to sell DMG/Mori machine tools; Bystronic explains the pros and cons of fibre versus CO2 laser cutting; AS 9100 Rev C accreditation for Precision Products (Brighton); Hypertherm HyPerformance plasma HPRXD; Chukar Waterjet launches new website; Victor TechnologiesTM acquires Gas-Arc Group; Okuma turn-mill centre for large workpieces; EBP opts for Turbex cleaning system; RathGibson high purity technical seminar; Arc Energy Resources appoints welding engineer; Waterjet Profilers offers a “centre of excellence”; Lantek solutions maximising efficiency; HFT tube and pipe welding, and purging; 3M takes the weight off welders; and new model heavy-duty bandsaw from Kasto. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2014

New finishing line for Sandvik

The culmination of a two-year investment programme at Sandvik Materials Technology sees the opening of a new, state-of-the-art finishing line in Sandviken, Sweden, significantly increasing the plant’s capacity for high-alloyed tubes and bar. The investment includes the addition of six new machines within the peeling and finishing area. Meanwhile, the company has announced a new pricing structure for its extensive range of hydraulic and instrumentation tubing, effective December 2, 2013, throughout the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) area. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2014

SMS Meer supplies new plant
Dongbei commissions open-die forging press

Dongbei Special Steel has successfully commissioned an  80-/100-MN open-die forging press supplied by SMS Meer, Germany, at its works in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China. Tool steel, stainless steel and alloyed structural steel can be formed into semi-finished products and sections on the press, thus improving the company’s product quality and productivity. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2014

Oil & Gas

The December issue carried a special feature on the oil & gas sector, including: Butting pipes for Canadian oil platform; new director for Arc Energy Resources; new UK appointments at Sandvik; Aveva expands its sales presence in Africa; Outokumpu’s EDX 2304® receives Norsok approval; NOV and SIFCO ASC complete unscheduled repair; Hurco centres produce accurate deep sea components; SMS Elotherm quench & temper line for Benteler; Offshore Energy 2013; and PressureFab acquires RT Metal Services.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 12/2013

Eramet group turnover down 5% in Q3

Eramet group turnover was down 6% for the first nine months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, mainly as a result of lower nickel prices. In the third quarter of 2013, group turnover totalled Euro754m, a 5% decrease compared with the third quarter of 2012, mainly due to lower nickel prices, which were partly offset by positive trends in the manganese market and manganese ore production. At Euro518m, Eramet Nickel turnover decreased 21% over the first nine months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, down 23% in the third quarter 2013 compared to the third quarter 2012. At Euro677m, Eramet Alloys turnover decreased 9% over the first nine months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, down 7% in the third quarter 2013 compared to the third quarter 2012. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 12/2013


SMS Mevac supplies VIM X-eed furnace for tertiary metallurgy
Tata Steel builds ultra-modern furnace

Tata Steel has announced that it will build, together with SMS Mevac GmbH, a vacuum induction melting (VIM) furnace at its Stocksbridge site in South Yorkshire, UK, to enable Tata Steel to tap into new market opportunities and develop innovative new products for the aerospace and oil and gas industries. The cutting-edge VIM X-eed furnace will allow Tata Steel’s Speciality Steels business, which already supplies steel to aircraft engine and airframe makers, to further develop relationships with its customers and expand its product portfolio. For Tata Steel it is an important step towards consolidating its position as a leading supplier of high-purity steels to the global aerospace market. Commissioning is scheduled for early 2015. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 12/2013


Outokumpu divests Terni and VDM to ThyssenKrupp
Krefeld melt shop ramp-down completed

Outokumpu announced on December 6 that the Krefeld melt shop in Germany has been ramped-down according to the previously announced plan. The last day of operations was December 6, 2013. The closure of the Krefeld melt shop was communicated in January 2012 in connection with the announcement regarding the merger of Outokumpu and Inoxum, and has in 2013 been completed according to the agreed timeline.
Outokumpu continues to have a strong presence in Krefeld with a world class cold rolling centre that employs over 1,500 people and produces premium tailored materials for the most demanding end-customer segments.
Meanwhile, the company announced plans on November 30 to deleverage and strengthen its balance sheet, stabilise its shareholder structure and divest Terni and VDM. Outokumpu has signed a binding agreement with ThyssenKrupp whereby Outokumpu will sell the Terni remedy assets and the VDM business to ThyssenKrupp. Outokumpu’s loan note to ThyssenKrupp will be cancelled in full amount at closing as consideration for the transaction (loan note was Euro1.269m at the end of September 2013).
The divestment of Terni aims to address the remedy requirements of the European Commission. The transaction includes the stainless steel mill in Terni, Italy and all related legal entities (Acciai Speciali Terni, Terninox, Aspasiel, Tubificio di Terni and Societa delle Fucine) as well as Outokumpu service centres in Germany (Willich), Spain (Barcelona), Turkey (Gebze) and France (Tours). The transaction is subject to approval by the European Commission with whom the parties have started the necessary discussions. This transaction would also constitute final settlement of all remedy related obligations between Outokumpu and ThyssenKrupp. 
The sale of VDM to ThyssenKrupp is the result of the thorough strategic review of VDM announced in May 2013. As part of the transaction, Outokumpu will divest the VDM business to ThyssenKrupp, and all VDM operations with approximately 2,000 employees will be transferred to ThyssenKrupp. In 2012, VDM had sales of Euro1.3 billion.

First half 2013
stainless steel production

Preliminary figures released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) show that stainless steel crude steel production has continued to grow in the first half of 2013 with an increase of 4.6% compared to the same period of 2012. Total production for the first six months of 2013 was 18.6m tonnes - 0.8m tonnes more than in the same period of last year and another all-time high. However, the analysis by region and even more by individual countries shows very mixed results ranging from -15% to +15%.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2013


Norsok qualification
for Sandvik 254 SMO tubing

Adding to its extensive capability in supplying material to the oil and gas industry worldwide, Sandvik has successfully been qualified according to Norsok M650 edition 4 for the MDS R18 and MDS R11 standard for its seamless austenitic stainless steel hydraulic and instrumentation tube and pipe products in grade Sandvik 254 SMO (UNS S31254) for use in oil and gas applications. Sandvik’s new tube mill in Sweden for hydraulic and instrumentation tubing has achieved the qualification for type Sandvik 254 SMO for its full range production programme. Sandvik can supply a range of hydraulic and instrumentation tubing in dimensions between 6 and 25mm outside diameter in Sandvik 254 SMO with wall thicknesses between 0.89mm and 2.11mm, and is constantly working on qualifications in order to be able to supply complete packages.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2013


Nuclear power

The November issue carried a special feature on nuclear power including TWI cutting-edge technology for nuclear decommissioning; Valinox Nucléaire commissions new tube plant; and nuclear material supply from TW Metals NMS.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2013

An historic occasion
Management buyout at Anopol

Anopol Ltd, with premises in Birmingham and Bordon, Hampshire, has new owners as a result of a successful in-house management buyout. The new owners are David Cass, managing director; Adrian Dallaway, financial controller; and Philip Spears, engineering manager. The brothers John and Brian Swain, who founded the company 44 years ago, will be retained as directors on a consultancy basis over the next five years. John remains the Group’s chairman and Brian keeps his title as technical director. Anopol is the largest group in the UK specialising in chemical and electrochemical surface treatments, mainly for stainless steels.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2013

ZEW study on raw material trade barriers
Export restrictions for Europe are not an alternative

One of the main conclusions of a recent study undertaken by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), on behalf of Oryx Stainless, is that Europe must rely on the development of international trade agreements for the security of raw materials. China, the study says, has the most extensive trade restrictions worldwide. The study examined the reasons, effects and scope of trade restrictions for the main components of stainless steel from the economic point of view and, furthermore, the ZEW experts derived policy recommendations for the EU.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2013

Raccortubi Group establishes
subsidiary in United Arab Emirates

As part of its expansion strategy, Italy’s Raccortubi Group has launched Raccortubi Middle East FZE, its new subsidiary located in Jebel Ali, Dubai. Raccortubi Group has been providing the major stockists in the Middle East with its products for many years. Now, however, it will have its own local stock of piping components in stainless steel, duplex and superduplex, superaustenitics and nickel alloys. Raccortubi Middle East FZE will be making its first outing on the exhibition stage at ADIPEC 2013, November 10-13.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2013

Voest, Böhler, Avesta: innovative, integrated, and timeless
Böhler Welding Group becomes voestalpine Böhler welding

As of September 2013, the Böhler Welding Group, the leading manufacturer of welding consumables, has become a fully integrated part of the voestalpine Group. At the Schweissen und Schneiden trade show in Essen, Germany, on 1,200 sq metres of exhibition space, it made its debut in its new design. Its affiliation with the voestalpine Group, a steel-based technology and capital goods group with about 500 group companies and locations in more than 50 countries and on all five continents, is also reflected by its name change. voestalpine Böhler Welding bundles its competence into three strong brands: Böhler Welding (joint welding), UTP Maintenance (repair and maintenance welding), and Fontargen Brazing (brazing).

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2013

China & the Far East

The October issue carried a special feature on China & the Far East, including: Japanese orders down in second quarter; first half Chinese output exceeds 9m tonnes; Vapormatt to open new office in Thailand; production up slightly at Korea’s Posco; a short review of the 14th Guangzhou stainless exhibition; titanium, tungsten and moly products from Xi’an; and Dongbei commissions third continuous bloom caster.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2013

SMS INNSE/SMS Mevac order from Slovenia

Metal Ravne, Ravne na Koroskem, part of the Slovenian Steel Group (SIJ), has placed an order with SMS INNSE SpA, Italy, and SMS Mevac GmbH, Germany, for the planning, delivery and erection of a secondary metallurgical centre, which will be integrated into the existing Metal Ravne plant at Ravne na Koroskem. The new facilities will comprise a ladle furnace and a 45-ton/60-ton tank degassing unit (VOD/VD). With this new metallurgical centre, Metal Ravne will increase its steel production and achieve additional production capacity in secondary metallurgy. The steel producer is investing in this installation to extend its product range to include stainless steel. This will open new markets for a variety of additional steel grades and increase the company’s market share of remelted steel significantly.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2013


RathGibson earns ASME certification

RathGibson, leading manufacturer of welded, welded and drawn, and seamless stainless steel, nickel, and specialty alloy tubing, now manufactures C276 seamless tubing through its Greenville Tube facility. This recent addition to RathGibson's extensive manufacturing portfolio is in response to the company's dedication to meeting its customers' tubing needs. Greenville Tube's C276 seamless tubing is used in applications that require excellent resistance to corrosion, pitting, and stress corrosion cracking (SCC), particularly in chemically-reducing environments. It is most often used in the chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper, power generation, and pollution control industries. Also, RathGibson has earned the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) BioProcessing Equipment (BPE) certification, which was awarded in recognition of the company's commitment to excellence in the manufacture of high and ultra high purity tubing.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2013


“Horses for courses”
Electrochemical weld cleaning machines to supersede pickling pastes

The marketplace is now awash with apparatus for cleaning stainless steel welds. In addition to conventional grinders, electrochemical weld cleaning machines are available in abundance. It appears that every month a new machine is launched, inevitably highlighting the point that “dangerous, poisonous, acid-based chemicals” are no longer needed. “Say goodbye to pickling pastes for ever…” The death knell for pickling pastes is nigh! But, of course, it isn’t, writes John Swain of the UK’s Anopol Ltd.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2013

Titanium

The September issue carried a special feature on titanium, including: Anotronic automates new machining centre with Lang technology; ITA announces call for papers for Titanium Europe 2014; Allegheny Technologies suffers from “lacklustre global demand”; HWN Group: partner for titanium and other refractory metals; and Independent Forgings and Alloys raising the bar for titanium aerospace forgings.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2013

Imports and exports down
US stainless demand up 7% in first half

Apparent consumption of stainless steel in the USA increased to 682,600 tonnes in the second quarter of this year, 7.4% up on the previous quarter, bringing first half consumption to 1,318,100 tonnes, 7% higher than in the first half of last year.
US mill stainless shipments also jumped sharply in the second quarter to 590,200 tonnes, 14.9% up on the previous quarter. This brought total first half shipments to 1.1m tonnes, 12.5% higher than in the first half of last year.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2013

Visit by president of Basque Government
Tubacex 1st half net profit up 74.7%

Tubacex achieved consolidated net profit of Euro10.69m between January and June 2013, an increase of 74.7% compared to the same period in 2012. Gross operating profit (EBITDA) for the first half rose to Euro31.26m, up 19.9% on the first six months of 2012. Profitability levels have also increased, with a six-month EBITDA on sales of 10.5%, compared with 9.2% for the same period of 2012 and 8.6% for the whole of 2012. EBITDA on sales for the second quarter rose to 11.1%. The group's consolidated sales stood at Euro297.90m between January and June, an increase of 5.2% compared to Euro283.13m for the first half of 2012, with a significant increase in the sale of high value-added products, especially for oil and gas exploration and extraction.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2013

CR imports 156,000 tonnes so far this year
New Turkish mill to reduce CR import requirement

As reported briefly in the previous issue of Stainless Steel Focus, Posco Assan TST, established by South Korea’s Posco, Turkey’s Kibar Holding, and Daewoo International, recently brought on stream its new 200,000 tpy cold rolling facilities at Asim Kibar, in Kocaeli, Turkey. Representing a total investment of US$350m, the new facility comprises two Sendzimir mills, annealing and pickling line, bright annealing line, skin pass mill, coil grinding and polishing line, and trimming and slitting line. Products will include cold rolled sheet and coil up to 1,600mm wide, in the thickness range 0.40 to 5mm. It is understood that additional investment is planned to increase capacity to 400,000 tpy in a second stage.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2013

Flat products

The September issue carried a special feature on flat products including Bystronic fibre laser cuts new materials; Mate introduces new Premia™ sharpening system; Blechexpo and Schweisstec present process sequence competence; and innovations in grinding of hot rolled stainless steel plates from Imeas.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2013

Klöckner & Co commissions new facility in Brazil

Kloeckner Metals Brasil SA, a subsidiary of global steel and metal distributor Klöckner & Co, has taken a modern cut-to-length line and downstream prefabrication capacity into operation at its service centre in Piracicaba in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Brazil. The production line, with a total length of some 65 metres, has an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes. The investment supplements Klöckner & Co SE’s product portfolio in Brazil with custom prefabricated high-quality steel sheet and plate in widths of up to 2,100mm.The sheet products are mainly bought by customers from the electrical and household appliance industry, with the thicker plate going to applications such as crane and commercial vehicle construction.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2013

Cutting and welding

The August issue carried a special feature on cutting and welding, including extensive global cutting and welding innovations on show at Schweissen & Schneiden; Schuler presents new blanking line; MSS Lasers doubles size of headquarters; new Sanweld AXT welding wire; Nevatia Steel: with triple accreditation; solutions in heat resisting steel from Stainless UK; and new tube and pipe weld purge systems from Huntingdon Fusion Techniques.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2013

New mill stand and roller-type quench from SMS Siemag
Successful modernisation of the Acroni heavy plate mill

Slovenian steelmaker Acroni has commissioned a new 2.6 metre X-Roll® heavy plate mill stand from SMS Innse, Italy, and a new roller-type quench supplied by Drever International, Belgium, two subsidiaries of SMS Siemag, Germany. Acroni, a company of the Slovenian Steel Group (SIJ), is a highly specialised niche supplier with a focus on plate and strip in stainless steel grades, tool steels, abrasion-resistant steels and HSLA grades.
To extend the product range, especially in the field of thin and wide plates, and to improve plate quality, Acroni has made the investment for its Jesenice, Slovenia, works.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2013

Oil and gas

The August issue also carried a special feature on oil and gas, including Fine Tubes receives best-in-class supplier approval; Arc Energy Resources supports oil and gas projects; TRaC Global: 1-to-1 advice on ATEX and IECEx compliance; Parker Hannifin: novel fluid connection and control components; SPE Offshore Europe looking forward to a sustainable future for oil and gas; Tubotech 2013: advanced products, single sourcing and application advice from Sandvik; and Surface Technology showcasing a full range of capabilities at Offshore Europe.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2013

Outokumpu inaugurates
new ferrochrome works in Tornio

Outokumpu celebrated the inauguration of the new ferrochrome works in Tornio, Finland on June 5. Inauguration marks the start of the ramp-up phase of the Euro410m investment project ahead of schedule. With the ramp-up of the world’s biggest ferrochrome furnace Outokumpu plans to double its ferrochrome production to 530,000 tonnes by 2015. Outokumpu’s mill in Tornio is the most integrated stainless steel mill in the world. It includes ferrochrome works, melt shop, hot rolling mill and cold rolling mill on the same site as well as the chrome mine in the neighbouring city of Kemi which boasts the largest known chromite reserves in Europe. An integrated process from the mine to the stainless steel mills allows Outokumpu to improve the energy efficiency of the mill, use molten ferrochrome and utilise carbon monoxide in the production. Outokumpu completed the Euro410m investment ahead of schedule and below budget by the end of 2012. As the ramp-up is ongoing, the expected ferrochrome production for this year will be approximately 400,000 tonnes.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2013

Sandvik new pricing structure
for piping system products

Sandvik Materials Technology is to introduce a structural price change for its piping system products effective June 5, 2013 throughout its European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) area. The change is valid for the company’s complete range of stocked piping system products, including seamless and welded tube and pipe, fittings and flanges, for deliveries within EMEA. Sandvik is the only manufacturer of seamless pipe in Europe that offers a comprehensive stock programme of piping system products available through its strategically located distribution centres. “These allow the company to reach any customer with stock product deliveries quickly and efficiently throughout the region”, explains Beat Wuersch, global sales manager within Product Area Tube. “Implementation of this new pricing structure will enable us to provide consistency for our customers across the region and focus on the whole package of piping system products”, adds Wuersch.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2013

Germany

The July issue carried a special feature on Germany including Walzwerke Einsal GmbH - taking position; aseptic pilot line at the GEA TDS Ahaus facilities; new manual plasma cutting inverter from Kjellberg Finsterwalde; Orbitalum - innovation with integrated value and quality; new Schuler line increases productivity at Miele; SMS Siemag order from China; Kasto’s open house attracts international audience; Gerd Eisenblätter groundbreaking for ultra-modern new building; Böllhoff’s new Blaue Seiten (Blue Pages); and a new generation of saw blades from Wespa.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2013

Successful progress of Leadership Journey®
Aperam sees improvement in quarter one

Aperam’s sales in the first quarter of 2013 decreased by 2% to US$1,269m compared to $1,294m in the fourth quarter of 2012. Shipments decreased by 1% at 401,000 tonnes compared to 407,000 tonnes. EBITDA was $65m in the first quarter compared to $43m in the previous quarter. Aperam had an operating loss in the first quarter of $11m compared to an operating loss of $45m in the previous quarter. The Stainless & Electrical Steel segment had sales of $1,007m in the first quarter of 2013, a decrease of 1% compared to sales of $1,020m in the fourth quarter of 2012. Shipments during the first quarter were 388,000 tonnes, including 250,000 tonnes in Europe and 138,000 tonnes in South America. This is a decrease of 3% compared to shipments of 400,000 tonnes in the previous quarter (249,000 tonnes in Europe and 151,000 tonnes in South America).

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2013

2012 – another record year for stainless production
Global production in Q1 2013 higher than last year

Based on preliminary data, global stainless crude steel production in the first quarter of 2013 was almost 9.4m tonnes according to the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF). Compared to the first quarter of 2012, this is an increase of 6.0%. However, all areas except China showed decreased production volumes in the year-on-year comparison. The current perception is that markets will return to real-demand levels with some re-stocking in the second half of 2013. For the full year the ISSF expects a slight increase in global stainless steel production. Meanwhile, preliminary figures for 2012 show that stainless steel production grew by 5.2% to reach a record high of 35.4m tonnes. China accounted for the increase in production, with other regions of the world showing negative growth, mainly due to de-stocking.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2013

China, Outokumpu and nickel

The rapid growth of Chinese stainless steel production is, of course, always a major topic. It has just been reported that melting production in the first quarter exceeded 4.7m tonnes, 6.6% higher than the record level achieved in the previous quarter, and 22% up on the first quarter of last year. Nickel, of course, has always been the bugbear of the stainless steel industry. It has often been said that it is not so much nickel itself that is the problem, or even the price of nickel, but rather the often extreme price volatility of nickel. And why are prices so volatile? One could argue about the role of the LME, the role of speculators, the benefits of fixed price contracts etc. But there can be little doubt that the alloy surcharge system has for many years been a significant contributory factor to volatility in that it tends to reflect, and then exacerbate, nickel price volatility through inducing and exacerbating stocking/destocking cycles. Outokumpu is undertaking a pilot project for a new surcharge system - the daily alloy surcharge – with distributor and tubular customers during the summer. It believes that “a daily alloy surcharge would decrease volatility and speculation and thus provide better delivery reliability for customers”. Outokumpu customers would potentially also have the flexibility to decide whether to fix the alloy surcharge on the day of the order or only closer to the delivery time. How exactly this will work remains to be seen. But it is certainly worth a try, and if it does prove to contribute to a more stable market, it should benefit all players - raw material producers, stainless steel producers, distributors, and fabricators and users of stainless steel.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2013

Aerospace/Paris Air Show

The June issue carried a special feature on Aerospace including advances in machining of engine parts and structurals; Universal Stainless five-year contract with Rolls-Royce; Allegheny demand from aerospace new builds improves; Carpenter finalises supply agreement with Rolls-Royce; and Aero Metals Alliance (AMA) to be launched at Paris Air Show.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2013

Nickel Institute appoints Nigel Ward
New director for promotion and market development

The Nickel Institute has appointed Nigel Ward as director for promotion and market development. In this role, Ward is responsible for raising awareness of nickel and its benefits in applications like stainless steel as well as promoting the use of nickel in appropriate applications across multiple industrial, construction and product sectors globally. Ward joins the Nickel Institute from the British Stainless Steel Association where he was managing director from 2004. He will be based in the Nickel Institute’s Brussels office.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2013

Xstrata: record nickel production in 2012
Koniambo Nickel produces first nickel metal

Xstrata Nickel’s Koniambo Nickel project has gone into production with first metal tapped in mid-April. Production marks a key milestone for this complex $5 billion greenfield project in New Caledonia, which has been under construction for the past six years and has been a flagship component of Xstrata’s organic growth programme. At peak production the mine will further cement New Caledonia’s position as one of the most important nickel producers in the world. Meanwhile, Xstrata ceo, Mick Davis, commenting on the company’s preliminary results for 2012 said: “2012 was a transformational year for Xstrata across a number of fronts. The development of our project pipeline reached its zenith in 2012 with ten major projects entering commissioning. “In November, our shareholders approved our merger with Glencore International plc, heralding the next significant development in Xstrata’s history and the creation of a unique natural resource company with an improved ability to capture returns along the value chain and redefine the competitive landscape.”

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2013

Welded tubes

The May issue carried a special feature on welded tubes including Meta Vision Systems turns laser tracking inside out; RathGibson to educate channel partners and end users on authentic electropolished tubing; and Purg Eye® 300 Nano MKII - weld purge monitor improved by Huntingdon Fusion Techniques.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2013

Offshore, energy & environment

The May issue carried a special feature on offshore, energy & environment including Raccortubi and Tecninox celebrate 25 years together; Suraj Ltd: a producer of stainless seamless and welded pipes and tubes; AMPO Poyam valves in world leading projects; Kline report gives a promising forecast for the US re-refining industry; Outokumpu wins contract for a pioneering solar plant project in Nevada; and NSSC®2120 duplex chosen for shipbuilding for the first time in Japan.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2013

Eramet's results impacted by
challenging economic environment

The Eramet Group's results were impacted by a very tough economic environment in 2012. Countries in the developed world faced the simultaneous challenges of rising debt levels, exacerbated by the slowdown in emerging countries, and in China in particular. The negative impact of this general weak environment was evident in the main steel consuming sectors, especially, and to varying degrees by country, the automotive and construction sectors. Group turnover in 2012 was down 4% to Euro3,447m. Current operating income for the full year was Euro144m. Net income, Group share stood at Euro8m after payment of taxes totalling Euro28m.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2013

Significant sales increases in new regions
15 years of lifting innovation

Combilift Ltd, the Irish specialist manufacturer of the Combilift 4-way forklift range as well as other innovative products, is celebrating 15 years in business in 2013. Established in 1998 by Martin McVicar and Robert Moffett, the company has achieved unparalleled growth and success on a global scale in the materials handling sector and is now acknowledged as the world leader in the market for long load handling solutions.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2013

Ground breaking ceremony in Zhenjiang
Sandvik to open new research & development centre

Sandvik is to invest in a new high-tech Research & Development Center adjacent to its manufacturing facilities in Zhenjiang, an important milestone in the company’s continuing development in China. At a symbolic ‘ground breaking’ ceremony to mark commencement of the development on March 6, Sandvik Materials Technology’s management team and Zhenjiang local government officials turned the first soil on the site watched by SMT China employees.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2013

Sandvik premium tubes
for the Asian market

Sandvik’s tube mill in Zhenjiang, China, provides the rapidly growing Asian market with premium quality tubes, manufactured in full accordance with Sandvik’s advanced production technology and unique manufacturing expertise. The mill in Zhenjiang produces seamless cold finished stainless steel tubes for heat exchangers and hydraulic and instrumentation systems. Existing testing capacity was insufficient to accommodate the increased volume of tube being produced, so the company decided to invest in a new Zwick high-temperature testing system.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2013

Strong presence at Industry Lyon
Hypertherm opens new advanced facility in New Hampshire

Hypertherm recently held the official grand opening of its new 160,000 sq ft, nearly 50,000 sq metre, manufacturing facility in Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA. The additional manufacturing space is expected to facilitate the creation of up to 500 new jobs for New Hampshire, including advanced machinist and engineering positions.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2013

Scrap turnover better than the market
Oryx strengthens market position in 2012

Oryx Stainless, the world's third largest stainless steel scrap trading company, based in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, and Dordrecht, the Netherlands, strengthened its market position in the 2012 financial year in a still tense market environment. In contrast to the general sector development in the core market of Europe, Oryx Stainless’ stainless steel scrap turnover of 450,000 tonnes showed only a marginal decline in comparison with the previous year (2011: 470,000 tonnes). The operational base established in South East Asia in February 2012, which covers the Asia/Pacific region, had positive results.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2013

New joint venture for Terni?
EU stainless output down 1.5% in 2012

There have been some further developments regarding the restructuring of the European stainless steel industry. Following the completion of the Inoxum transaction by Outokumpu and ThyssenKrupp at the end of last year, Aperam SA, Ilta Inox SpA (Arvedi) and Marcegaglia SpA have announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create an Italian joint venture aimed at participating in the sale process of the stainless steel producer Acciai Speciali Terni SpA, currently being divested by Outokumpu Oyj. Under the terms of the MoU, Aperam would be the majority shareholder and operator of the joint venture while Arvedi and Marcegaglia would each have equal minority shareholdings. Outokumpu commented that it welcomed the interest in Terni (AST). However, it added that there are several interested parties and buyer candidates, and therefore no decisions have been made yet.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2013

New agreement with US Steel
CarTech reports net income of $33.0m for Q2

Carpenter Technology Corp is currently expecting a full year operating income improvement of 20 to 30% versus its last fiscal year, with strong second half revenue and earnings. “We continue to believe that our sustained investment in aerospace and energy markets will continue to drive profitable growth over the next several years”, CarTech president and ceo William A. Wulfsohn, said. The recent announcement with United States Steel to develop additional high volume transportation applications from Carpenter’s proprietary high-strength, low-weight alloy, Temper ToughTM, further demonstrates Carpenter’s strong growth opportunities within this end-market.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2013

Record cash flow for Sandvik
Significant improvement at Sandvik Materials Technology

Commenting on the company’s latest interim report and full year 2012, Sandvik president and ceo Olof Faxander said: “The fourth quarter was characterised by a level of business activity that was on par with the third quarter. Order intake thus declined somewhat to Skr21.1 billion, while invoiced sales amounted to Skr24.3 billion. This marked the second consecutive quarter with a negative book-to-bill ratio. Although the lower production levels negatively impacted fourth quarter earnings, the significant reduction in inventory contributed to record operating cash flow of Skr4.5 billion. The year 2012 was eventful for Sandvik. We celebrated our 150th anniversary, our new strategy was implemented and market conditions went from strong to more challenging. I am very pleased with the significant improvements achieved during the year in our two turnaround cases: Sandvik Materials Technology and Sandvik Construction.” Meanwhile, Sandvik Materials Technology’s distribution centre in the UK has achieved a top safety award.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2013

Changes at
Stainless Steel Focus

In the event that you have not yet received information regarding the new contact details for Stainless Steel Focus, these are outlined below for your convenience. Kindly amend your records. Please ensure that with immediate effect you use our new official PO Box address for all correspondence:
Stainless Steel Focus Ltd, PO Box 238, BOSTON, PE21 1EP, England

The contact number for editorial is
+44 (0) 1205 352273
Email: r.clark(at)stainless-steel-focus.com

The contact number for advertisement sales is:
Mike Mikunda: +44 (0) 208 394 1793
Ralf Abromeit: +49 (0) 2801 982614
Stefan Tappert-Michels: +49 (0) 2064 4430846

The contact number for administration is:
+49 (0) 2801 98260

New managing director for BSSA

Paul Barker has been appointed as managing director of the BSSA. He takes over from Nigel Ward who is leaving the association to take up a post with the Nickel Institute. Barker joins the BSSA on Monday, March 18, and is scheduled to take over as managing director with effect from Monday, April 1.
He has previously worked in the stainless steel sector, both with British Steel Stainless and Thyssen Garfield Ltd, before roles with Main Tape and, more recently, as managing director of CPD Distribution and SIG plc (International).
Barker joins, the BSSA said, at a particularly busy time as the industry celebrates the centenary of stainless steel and the association prepares for the Stainless Steel Centenary Conference & Exhibition on June 11-13 in Sheffield.

Gueugnon A&P line to restart before second half
Aperam reports 2012 sales at US$5,261m

Commenting on the company’s results for the three month and twelve month periods ending December 31, 2012, Aperam ceo Philippe Darmayan said that “In a difficult environment Aperam has been able in 2012 to successfully progress with its Leadership Journey® and reduce its net debt. Looking ahead, we continue to remain cautious considering the current general environment and industry volatility despite some positive signs of market improvement. We have decided to expand our Leadership Journey® and accelerate our net debt reduction to be in a good position to capture industry opportunities.”

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2013

Sharp drop in hot rolled flat exports
Chinese stainless imports, exports down in 2012

Chinese imports of stainless steel fell 12.6% in the final quarter of last year compared to the previous quarter. Imports of hot rolled flat were down 26.5%, cold rolled flat down 8.1%, and long products down 9.5%. Full year 2012 imports were also significantly lower than in the previous year, down 14.3%. Chinese stainless steel exports in the final quarter of last year increased by 17.1% compared to the previous quarter. Exports of hot rolled were up 37.7%, cold rolled up 5.3%, and long products up 1.9%. Exports for the full year 2012, on the other hand, were down 7.3% compared to the previous year, due primarily to a sharp decline in hot rolled flat which fell 15%.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2013

New bridge for Hong Kong and Macao
Acerinox to supply stainless steel rebar

Spain’s Acerinox has received an order worth some US$15m to supply stainless steel reinforcing bar and other products for the construction of the new bridge between Hong Kong and Macao. The operation is part of the Asian strategy of the Group, whose flagship in the area is the Bahru Stainless works in Malaysia.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2013

Stainless production increases slightly
Posco reports 2012 operating profit of Won 3,653 billion

At its CEO Forum held on January 29 in Yeouido, Seoul, Posco announced 2012 consolidated sales of Won 63,604 billion and operating profit of Won 3,653 billion, down 7.7% and 33.2%, respectively. Last year, Posco said, due to strengthened marketing activities, developing technology and new demand, Posco achieved its highest volume of steel production and sales at 37.99m tonnes and 35.05m tonnes, respectively. The company also presented its views on the stainless steel, nickel and chrome markets.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2013

Chemical, petrochemical

The March issue carried a special feature on chemical/petrochemical including: SMST-Tubes and Raccortubi – forging ahead in new urea collaboration; SPE Offshore Europe 2013 – the next 50 years; RathGibson will “take it to the limit”; ATI 2003® lean duplex alloy selected for North Sea project; PIRA Energy Group releases annual Guidebook; Bürkert UK officially opens new UK headquarters; additional subsea pipeline in Gulf of Mexico; fittings and flanges from Schwer Fittings; and Norsok approval for Erne Fittings.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2013

Japanese stainless production
down 4.8%

Japanese stainless steel production in November declined by 10.7% compared to the previous month to just 237,900 tonnes. This brought cumulative production for the first 11 months of the year to 2,893,100 tonnes (ingot equivalent basis), 4.8% lower than recorded in the same period of the previous year. Japanese stainless steel order income was down 3.9% in the first 10 months of last year, compared to the same period of the previous year at 1,215,800 tonnes. Direct mill exports were down very sharply, by 12.1% at 315,400 tonnes. Total domestic demand was almost at the same level as the previous year at 900,400 tonnes (-0.6%).

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2013

Supplying direct to the UK and Ireland
Stainless Wire Supplies to market Eure Inox bar and wire

Stainless Wire Supplies Ltd, based in Ludlow, Shropshire, UK is now marketing and supplying the range of stainless steel bar and wire produced by Italy’s Eure Inox Srl. The UK company has been working with Eure Inox since September 2012 as its agent for the UK and Ireland.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2013

Major new investments at Midtherm Laser
Laser cutting company expects record year

2013 is set to be an exciting year for Dudley based laser cutting subcontractor, Midtherm Laser Ltd. The firm, which invested over £2m in 2012 in a state-of-the-art, energy efficient, 8,000 sq ft extension to house two brand new industry leading laser machines and a second press-brake, has already seen an increase in the number of new customers opening credit accounts since November 2012.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2013

More space for ThyssenKrupp
with Combilift

ThyssenKrupp Energostal SA is one of Poland’s largest trading companies, and since 2001 it has belonged to Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Materials International GmbH. Due to a rapidly expanding sales network the company has embarked on a programme to extend its warehousing facilities, and materials handling at its site in Błonie near Warsaw has undergone a transformation due to the acquisition of a fleet of seven Combilift 4-way forklifts.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2013

SMS Meer equipment for Chinese companies
New stainless rolling mill for FuJian WuHang

FuJian WuHang Stainless Steel based in ChangLe City, FuJian Province, China, has placed an order with SMS Meer, Germany, for the supply of the core technologies for construction of a new stainless steel rolling mill, which will produce wire rod and bar in coils. The core facilities include a modern 3-roll PSM® (Precision Sizing Mill) with hydraulic roll adjustment performed under load which finish-rolls all final sizes from 13 to 38mm diameter from a single-pass family. The PSM® also produces all the necessary initial cross-sections for the wire rod block. The mill has an annual production capacity of more than 300,000 tonnes and rolls high quality special steels. Commissioning is scheduled for the second quarter of 2013.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2013

Titanium

The February issue carried a special feature on titanium including: Titanium Europe 2013 to be held in March in Hamburg; Uniti Titanium - a world leader; optimising resource use with modern recycling techniques; S + D Spezialstahl titanium grade temperature resistant up to 700oC; innovative process for medical implant manufacture; A&M EDM celebrates 10th birthday; and FGP Precision Engineering expands.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2013

Outokumpu tubular joint venture
Tubinoxia becomes majority shareholder in OSTP

Outokumpu’s partner in the OSTP tubular joint venture, Tubinoxia Srl, has exercised its call option and acquired an additional 15% of the joint venture’s shares from Outokumpu. The OSTP joint venture was formed in July 2011, when Outokumpu decided to exit from the tubular business as part of its restructuring programme. At the time, OSTP, a producer of welded stainless steel process pipes and tubes, as well as threaded and butt weld fittings, had a total production capacity of about 100,000 tonnes with 11 production sites in Sweden, Finland, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Estonia, and Canada, employing some 970 people. In its latest interim report, Outokumpu said that restructuring actions at OSTP continued in the third quarter (of 2012) and that cost savings would have a gradual impact throughout 2012 with full effect expected from the beginning of 2013. As a result of seasonally lower volumes, OSTP reported an operating loss of Euro2m in the third quarter, compared to a breakeven position in the previous quarter. As a result of this latest move, Tubinoxia, an Italian company controlled by Andrea Gatti, has increased its ownership in OSTP from 36% to 51%. Outokumpu remains as a minority shareholder with a 49% stake in the joint venture. The consideration and cash flow impact of the transaction are marginal, Outokumpu said.

New international brochure
Precision Waterjet Concepts third Jet Edge system

Precision Waterjet Concepts Inc has installed a third Jet Edge waterjet cutting system at its full-service 5-axis and 3-axis waterjet cutting facility in Northern Minnesota. The thriving water jet cutting service now features three 3-axis waterjet systems and three 5-axis waterjet systems. An ISO9001:2008-certified company, Precision Waterjet Concepts serves a wide variety of customers nationwide and cuts virtually any material, specialising in AR Plating and titanium. The company has grown an average of 20-30% each year since opening in 2002 and has had to relocate three times to accommodate its growth.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2013

Exporting to Germany
Combilift award for exporting expertise

Specialist materials handling manufacturer Combilift has been named the Best Overall Exporter to Germany in the Irish Exporter to Germany Awards, organised by Enterprise Ireland and the German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Combilift managing director Martin McVicar accepted the trophy from Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn TD in a ceremony held recently in Dublin. The awards marked 50 years of Irish export success to Germany and the 50th anniversary of the opening of Ireland’s first trade office in Frankfurt in 1962. The one-off award presented to Combilift is the company’s third major accolade this year following the company’s success at the FLTA awards in February for its RT and CB forklift models.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2013

Output down slightly year-on-year
EU stainless production recovers in October

EU crude stainless steel production recovered to 619,200 tonnes in October, 2.5% up on the previous month, and well up on the reported (seasonally) low July and August figures. Despite this improvement, production for the first ten months of 2012, at just under 6.36m tonnes, remained 0.5% down on the same period of 2011.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2013

Sharp increase in production
German orders up 8.2% in November

German stainless steel order income in November, according to provisional figures, totalled 105,300 tonnes, 8.2% up on the previous month, and 51.3% up on the very low September order income level. Despite this improvement over the past few months, cumulative order income for the first 11 months of the year at 1,010,300 tonnes remained 8.5% down on the same period of 2011. Stainless steel shipments, meanwhile, slipped in October by 3.7% to 95,800 tonnes, exclusively due to a decline in shipments of austenitic grades, while shipments of ferritic grades increased. German production increased sharply in October, by 45% to 116,900 tonnes. Production over the 10 month period remained, however, 11.1% down on the same period of 2011.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2013

Acquires Canada’s Sturdell Industries Inc
voestalpine strengthens market position in North America

The voestalpine Group continues to further expand its market position in North America by undertaking an acquisition in its special steel segment. Böhler-Uddeholm Canada Ltd, a company of voestalpine’s Special Steel Division, has acquired the Canadian company Sturdell Industries Inc, which is headquartered in Rexdale (Toronto) and has another site in Rochester, NY, in the USA. The company, which specialises in the machining of mold steel, offers a wide range of services, provides distribution in close proximity to its customers, and has a staff of around 80 employees. Most recently, it posted a positive operating result and annual revenues of over Euro19m.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2013

Finishing & polishing

The January issue carried a special feature on finishing and polishing including: a successful start for new company KEB Kärtner Edelstahlbeizerei Ges. m.b.H; Inox-Color GmbH reducing costs, improving quality; C. & E. Fein GmbH preparing stainless easily and economically for finishing; and “Blue Line” environmentally-friendly stainless steel surface treatment.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2013

Outokumpu completes Inoxum transaction

Outokumpu and ThyssenKrupp AG have completed the Inoxum transaction, with the new Outokumpu starting operations on December 29, 2012 with a new structure and leadership. The combination is structured to create significant annual cost synergies of Euro200m on an annual basis, of which Euro50m are expected already in 2013, and cumulatively up to Euro150m in 2014. Outokumpu announced at the very end of last year, that it had completed the Inoxum transaction. With close to 40% market share in Europe and 12% globally, the broadest portfolio in the industry and unparalleled technical expertise and customer knowledge, Outokumpu starts as a clear global leader in stainless steel and high performance alloys, the company said. As of December 29, 2012 Outokumpu has four business areas - Stainless Coil EMEA, Stainless Coil Americas, Stainless APAC and High Performance Stainless & Alloys - that provide the full range of stainless steel as well as high performance alloys. New Outokumpu will also benefit from its own chrome mine and the related ferrochrome production, which bring the company a significant cost advantage over other stainless producers. The combined entity has approximately 16,900 employees, combined revenues of Euro9.6 billion (2011 pro forma) and annual cold rolling capacity of approximately 2.8m tonnes.