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Materials expertise live
at Fabtech 2016

Five new additional alloys have just been introduced to the Sandvik SanicroTM nickel-based welding wire and covered electrodes programme. This corrosion resistant news was just one of the things happening on the Sandvik stand at Fabtech 2016, November 16-18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Designed for use in the most demanding environments these newly introduced welding nickel alloys significantly increase and complete the advanced welding materials portfolio available from Sandvik.
Sandvik materials experts behind the growing LinkedIn group ‘Welding and Materials’ were available to discuss corrosion challenges and more. The group was started by Sandvik’s welding team in February 2016 and the number of members increases day by day.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2016

Nuclear power & Valve technology

The November issue carried two special features – Nuclear power and Valve technology – including a stainless steel ‘sarcophagus’ for Chernobyl nuclear power station; Creaform and Sonatest form a new global distribution partnership; Bowmill Engineering uses a PDJ Vibro vibratory trough for finishing aerospace components; and an interview with David Breil, product specialist at Witt-Gasetechnik, on the protection offered by safety relief valves.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2016


Service for customers – tailor-made
Marc Steffen takes the helm at Stappert Deutschland

Driving forward internationalisation, strengthening the financial base, and extending the service offering. Marc Steffen, as the new ceo at Stappert, has clearly defined goals. He sees Stappert, one of the leading stockists in Europe, as well equipped for the future and intends to ensure that Stappert remains profitable, in order to be prepared even for difficult times. He also wants to drive forward the internationalisation of the company. “The opportunities for growth in Germany are limited; but we can still see interesting potential in other European countries and overseas.” Customers are also becoming more international, and so Stappert has to be in a position to serve a client at several locations around the world.
To maintain the company’s profitability, the new top manager at Stappert intends firstly to extend the product range. New grades are to be included and Steffen also intends to extend the range of strip widths held in stock.
The services offered by the company are also to be extended. This includes pre-finishing, and the supply of tailor-made products. Modern sawing facilities have just started operation at Stappert in Bönen for this purpose.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2016


Stainless imports down, exports up
Chinese production up 7.8% compared to 2015

Chinese stainless steel production increased to over 13.5m tonnes during the first seven months of this year, whereas imports declined, and exports increased to over 2.1m tonnes. Chinese crude stainless steel production increased in July to 2.05m tonnes, around 2% higher than in the previous month. This brought cumulative production for the first seven months of the year to just under 13.56m tonnes, 7.8% up on the same period of last year.
Stainless steel imports dipped in July to 63,000 tonnes, with cumulative imports for the first seven months of the year just 387,000 tonnes, down by 9.5% compared to the January-July period of 2015. Exports, on the other hand, jumped to 353,000 tonnes in July, 10.7% up on the previous month. This brought cumulative exports for the first seven months to just over 2.1m tonnes, 15.8% higher than in the same period of 2015. Chinese apparent consumption during the first seven months of this year was around 9.8m tonnes, 5.4% up on the same period of last year.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2016


EuroBLECH

The October issue carried a special feature on EuroBLECH 2016, including: innovative solutions from Kohler; Germany’s largest arc welding technology manufacturer; Schuler to demonstrate networked systems; Hego: distributor and service centre; Forstner single and multiple decoiling lines; weld cleaning machines from Reuter; Mate Precision Tooling: one source fabricating solutions; Aicon optimised bending production; Trumpf intelligent scanner optics I-PFO; and Zeller+Gmelin new Multidraw series.
The October issue also carried smaller features on handling & logistics and nickel alloys.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2016


Transfer of operations to Krefeld
Outokumpu completes Benrath closure

Outokumpu has completed the Benrath closure and the transfer of the operations to its cold rolling mill in Krefeld. The Benrath closure follows the completion of NIFO (Nirosta ferritic optimisation) investment of Euro108m that started in 2014. The investment in the production of the ferritic steel grades in Krefeld included a new pickling and bright annealing line, a new batch annealing facility as well as upgrading of the cold rolling and skinpass mills. The production ramp-up in Krefeld has progressed according to schedule, and has now reached a stage where the production transfer from Benrath to Krefeld can be completed.
“The investment expanded and enhanced our capabilities in ferritic grades, closing the Benrath cold rolling mill. We continue to serve our Benrath customers from Krefeld with modernised tools, meeting their highest demands for top-quality stainless steel. Thanks to the professionalism of both our Benrath and Krefeld workforce we have accomplished both the investment and the transfer of production safely and in schedule”, said Oliver Picht, managing director of Outokumpu Nirosta GmbH.
The Benrath closure is a significant step in finalising the restructuring of Outokumpu’s European operations.


Very unfavourable market environment
Sales and EBITDA down at Tubacex

In a very unfavourable market environment, with falls in raw materials volumes and prices, as well as the unprecedented crisis in the oil and gas sector, Tubacex saw sales drop 13.5% in the first half of 2016 to Euro261.5m. Gross operating profit (Ebitda) was Euro19.9m, down 40.9%, and net profit Euro1.7m. In the second quarter of the year, the company said, results were in line with expectations, with Ebitda at Euro12.2m, 56.7% higher than in the first quarter, due to operational improvements implemented in the Group and the increase of the market share in high value-added products.
The company has been awarded the largest ever order for umbilical offshore tubes, a contract for Euro40m with delivery times between 2017 and 2019, which have a final destination in a gas field in the south of the Caspian Sea.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2016


Processing & finishing

The September issue carried a special feature on Processing & finishing in view of upcoming exhibitions, such as EuroBLECH, Fabtech and AMB. Articles include: Hypertherm to unveil latest innovations at EuroBLECH 2016; Siedentop: economic and ecological pickling of stainless steel; after Expanite surface hardening – unprecedented galling resistance of 316L; European Springs & Pressings posts impressive growth; Kasto to introduce universal bandsaw at AMB 2016; Jet Edge latest 5-axis waterjet cutting system at Fabtech; Bystronic open house success; Vibro finishing helps retain export business to China; Eckelmann trend-setting operating concepts; DMG Mori at AMB 2016; SLM Solutions again outgrows the market; and Lantek exceeds 18,000 customers around the world.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2016


Sandvik DC Venlo upgrades stock for reduced lead times

Sandvik’s Distribution Center Venlo (DC Venlo) in the Netherlands has undergone a major refurbishment and upgrade project while also introducing new product lines and initiatives to advance its service provision for customers. This includes reductions in international lead times by weeks.
The project has seen the moving of Kanthal® resistance, thermocouple and copper nickel products to DC Venlo thereby launching the additions of resistance wire and thermocouple materials to the facility’s service offering. This will result in increased service through shorter lead times for customers and the products will now be more readily and easily available to customers across Europe, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, China and India, to name but a few.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2016


Acerinox anticipates further improvement in results

The Böhler portfolio of corrosion resistant alloy (CRA) products in bar, billet, sheet, plate and forgings for the oil & gas, chemical processing (CPI) and energy industries was partnered with the seamless tube and pipe products in stainless, duplex, super duplex and exotic grades, previously branded Schoeller Acerinox reported a profit, after tax and minority interests, of Euro17m for the second quarter, an improvement of Euro25m over the previous quarter. Profit for the first half was Euro9m, 86% lower than for the same period of 2015. Consumption continues to grow in most markets, despite the myriad uncertainties.
The company believes that real demand for stainless steel in Europe, North America and Asia is growing due to the good performance of the consumer sectors, particularly automotive, construction and white goods (although there was a decrease in the latter in China).
Melting production, at 1,226,932 tonnes, increased by 1% compared to the first half of 2015. Production in the second quarter was 13% higher than in the first, and is at its highest level since the second quarter of 2007.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2016


USA

The August issue carried a special feature on the USA, including: FAA approval for Nasmyth TMF; Reliance Q2 sales, income up on Q1; the USA at Farnborough International Airshow; aerospace and defence markets drive ATI’s results; AK Steel - another quarter of significant improvement; Universal Q2 “a broad improvement” over Q1; Outokumpu record high deliveries, improving performance in Americas; Distinguished Service Award for Herbert Koch; and Carpenter Technology - a strong finish to a successful year.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2016

Fine Tubes granted F4N status
by Nuclear AMRC


Fine Tubes has successfully completed the Fit for Nuclear (F4N) programme run by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). F4N is a unique service designed to help UK manufacturing companies win contracts in the civil nuclear supply chain by measuring their operations against exacting industry standards. The programme involves an initial audit of a company’s capabilities and procedures undertaken by a Nuclear AMRC assessor, who also helps the company develop an action plan to make the changes required to close any gaps between its current performance and the nuclear industry’s expectations.
In a survey of participants, three quarters of companies that have completed the F4N programme said that they have experienced meaningful business benefits as a result, and 100% of them said they would recommend F4N to other manufacturers.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2016


New Bohler Uddeholm
Specialty Metals Division


The Böhler portfolio of corrosion resistant alloy (CRA) products in bar, billet, sheet, plate and forgings for the oil & gas, chemical processing (CPI) and energy industries was partnered with the seamless tube and pipe products in stainless, duplex, super duplex and exotic grades, previously branded Schoeller Bleckmann UK, on April 4, 2016.
The new Specialty Metals Division is headed up by Richard Kendall, who explained the rebranding strategy. “The rebrand of the Schoeller Bleckmann business will harness our group strength. Our reputation for quality is built on our technical capability and continued investment in new products and testing facilities, and this will further strengthen our strategy to offer the best products and the best service across each of our industry sectors.”

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2016


Aerospace

The July issue also carried a special feature on Aerospace, including: Farnborough International Airshow set for success; NCMT/Makino advances in machining airframe and engine parts; Turbex promotes cleaning and anodising equipment; Dynamatic-Oldland AerospaceTM buys Giga milling centre; seven German machine tool ranges from one supplier; Alloy Wire International set to fly high; Valbruna: strategic distribution network; Dawnlough’s entry into aerospace leads to dramatic growth; Kyocera SGS introduces ‘Tool4Life’ regrind service; Precision Products: more investment and reorganisation; and EBACE 2016 sees some significant aviation events.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2016


Tubacex slight increase in first quarter sales

Tubacex has announced first quarter 2016 sales of Euro121.4m, down 24% on the same period in 2015, within a context marked by investment cuts in the oil companies and the continued fall of raw material prices. It is successfully developing a cost savings programme to adjust the structure to the new market situation, and is also implementing other measures aimed at improving competitiveness; operational improvements at its production plants; diversification towards premium products, markets and sectors with growth potential; and the reduction of financial costs.   
The results reflect the Tubacex Group's forecasts, which predicted a complicated start to the year. However, the company has begun the year with a slight increase of 2% in its sales figure compared with the last quarter of 2015, a figure that would have reached 4% if the price of nickel had remained stable.   
Meanwhile, Tubacex has been awarded a contract for over Euro75m to supply OCTG tubes in the Middle East, which is the company's largest ever order for this type of product and production began in April at its Amurrio plant.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2016


Raccortubi Norsk inaugurates new warehouse in Aberdeen

Raccortubi Norsk, Raccortubi Group’s most recent acquisition, has moved into new premises on Blackburn Business Park in Aberdeen, Scotland. The stockholder and distributor of piping materials in stainless steel and special alloys now benefits from a warehouse consisting of a larger square footage to hold a stock of pipes, tubes, fittings and flanges.
Formerly known as Norsk Alloys (a renowned stockholder of piping components in special materials for offshore platforms), Raccortubi Norsk was acquired by Raccortubi group in 2015 to extend its distribution network to the United Kingdom.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2016


Deteriorating business conditions/nickel prices impact results
Haynes announces expansion plans

Haynes International, Inc has announced its decision to expand and streamline its distribution footprint by investing in new plant and equipment at its processing facility located in LaPorte, Indiana. In connection with the expansion, the company announced its plan to relocate its service centre operations in Lebanon, Indiana to LaPorte. The project is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of calendar 2016 and be completed by the end of calendar 2017.
“Combining these locations represents an important step in streamlining product flow, reducing transportation costs and improving production yields and profitability. We expect this action to lead to a more efficient operation and allow us to better service our customers”, said Mark Comerford, president and CEO. “We also recently made the decision to close our India branch office. The Lebanon relocation and India office closure are part of our ongoing evaluation designed to rationalise and drive greater efficiency in connection with management of our global footprint and value-add distribution strategy.”

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2016


Van Leeuwen maintains market position in 2015

Despite difficult market conditions, the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group maintained its global market position in 2015. Sales and gross margin on sales declined due to the overall decrease in prices. The tonnage sold, however, remained stable and the market share was increased. The company realised a Euro4m positive net result.
Van Leeuwen’s sales totalled Euro623m, a slight decrease compared to 2014. The operating result (Euro4.5m) and the net profit (Euro4.0m) decreased in comparison to 2014. Solvency further improved to 46.0%.
In 2015, Van Leeuwen supplied various large energy projects in Belgium, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and South America. Many of these projects were initiated in 2014 and involved investments in petrochemical plants. Van Leeuwen primarily focused on new projects in the downstream segment, in which relatively large investments are made. The decrease in demand at projects in the upstream segment in countries such as Canada and Brazil was significant.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2016


Schmolz + Bickenbach International New sales office in Tokyo expands worldwide network

The Schmolz + Bickenbach Group is expanding its global sales and services network. By establishing a sales office in Tokyo, the international steel group is strengthening its global presence and expanding customer service in Japan – one of the world’s most important special steel markets.
The new location for Schmolz + Bickenbach in Tokyo provides Japanese companies, as suppliers to the automotive and electronics industry, with comprehensive technical consulting and support and gives them full access to the entire range of products and services in the area of high-tech special steel from the Group’s own production facilities.
Schmolz + Bickenbach serves customers today through production and sales companies in over 30 countries worldwide, with a portfolio of materials that includes over 500 steel grades.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2016


Fine Tubes/Superior Tube expand team in India

UK-based Fine Tubes and US-based Superior Tube, leading manufacturers of precision tubing for critical applications across a range of global markets, have appointed Rahul Gujar to the role of national sales manager, India. Gujar is responsible for pursuing sales opportunities across all of Fine Tubes’ and Superior Tube’s markets along with developing new opportunities for the strip metal products manufactured by other business units within Ametek Specialty Metal Products, a division of Ametek, Inc. He is located at Ametek’s facility in Pune, south of Mumbai.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2016


Universal expects fuller market recovery in 2016

Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc reported that net sales for the fourth quarter of 2015 were $31.7m, compared with $53.0m in the fourth quarter of 2014. Sales of premium alloys totalled $3.9m, or 12.3% of net sales, in the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 9.6% from the fourth quarter of the previous year. For the full year 2015, net sales were $180.7m compared with $205.6m in 2014. Premium alloy sales for 2015 rose 27.4% to $17.6m, or 9.7% of sales, compared with $13.8m, or 6.7% of sales, for 2014. The company's net loss for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $3.4m. Excluding charges, the net loss was $1.9m in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to net income of $1.7m in the fourth quarter of 2014. For the full year 2015, the net loss was $20.7m, including all charges in the fourth quarter as well as after-tax charges in the third quarter totalling $15.5m. Excluding all charges in the third and fourth quarters of 2015, the net loss for 2015 was $3.7 million, compared with net income of $4.1m in 2014.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2016


Now offering a full size range of special shapes
Outokumpu and Böllinghaus enter sales and marketing partnership

Outokumpu Long Products has had a long-standing relationship with Böllinghaus Steel, a leading bar supplier focusing on special shapes, for some 20 years. At a briefing at the Böllinghaus Steel stand at wire 2016 held at the beginning of April in Düsseldorf, Böllinghaus Steel CEO Hartwig Härtel and Outokumpu Long Products President Kari Tuutti informed the press that the two companies had entered into a major new sales and marketing partnership with the appointment of Böllinghaus Steel as a distributor for Outokumpu’s cold drawn and hot rolled bars in hexagons, squares and flats.
Outokumpu’s 825mm size range of special shapes produced in Sheffield in the UK will be sold by Böllinghaus Steel to the market in addition to its existing product range. The partnership will initially cover Europe (excluding Germany and UK), as well as covering the APAC region and Latin America.
Speaking to the Editor at the press briefing, Härtel said how pleased he was with the new partnership agreement, and welcomed the additional opportunities it provided for Böllinghaus Steel. He also told us that Böllinghaus Steel has been continuing with its in-house expansion projects, with construction of a new building significantly extending its works area now completed, a new drawing line installed, and processes now fully automated.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2016


Rapid product diversification and integration of new companies
Tubacex sales drop of just 2.4%

Tubacex has reported a drop in sales of just 2.4% for the full year 2015, a difficult year marked by a progressive and sharp market slump. This result was achieved thanks to rapid product diversification as well as the integration of new companies. The fall in the price of raw materials and oil led to a collapse in demand from 30% to 50% in the sector. Despite this, Tubacex sales totalled Euro533.4m with a net profit of Euro8.4m in 2015. The gross operating profit (EBITDA) was Euro48.9m, with a sales margin of 9.2%, a 23.7% reduction in relation to the previous year. This figure is particularly remarkable considering the current situation of the power, iron and steel and raw materials sectors.  

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2016


Manufacturing plant and 2,300 jobs remain in Reading, PA
Carpenter Technology relocating headquarters to Philadelphia

Carpenter Technology Corp recently announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Philadelphia from Wyomissing, PA, a suburb of Reading, PA. The move supports Carpenter's strategic plan to leverage its core technical strength in engineered materials and process capabilities to solve customers' current and anticipated challenges, while solidifying its position as an industry leader by being the preferred solutions provider.
Carpenter is shifting its focus to apply product and process capabilities that drive total value in a more customer-centric and market-focused manner. This new headquarters location will allow the company to deepen its customer relationships and play a more integral role in the development of its customers' products.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2016


Tube & wire

The April issue carried a special feature on the Tube & wire trade fairs in Düsseldorf (see also Stainless Steel Focus, 03/2016), including: Unison – precision tube bending takes next step in evolution; Vacu-Lift handling solutions for pipes; new material grade from Sandvik; Ugitech – exceptional variety of improved machinability stainless; and new investments at Valbruna Slater Stainless in Fort Wayne, USA.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2016


Best yearly EBITDA for five years
Aperam operating income up in 2015

Aperam sales in the year ended December 31, 2015 decreased by 14% at US$4,716m compared to $5,482m in the year ended December 31, 2014, mainly due to low nickel price and forex translation effects. Shipments in 2015 increased by 4% at 1,886,000 tonnes compared to 1,813,000 tonnes in 2014.
EBITDA was $501m in the year ended December 31, 2015, including $3m positive result from the sale of electricity surplus, compared to $547m in the year ended December 31, 2014, including $57m positive result from the sale of electricity surplus. Despite headwinds coming from a challenging economic environment, the company improved its EBITDA (excluding the impact of the sale of electricity surplus) in the year primarily due to the continuous contribution of the Leadership Journey® and the Top Line strategy. Depreciation and amortization expense in 2015 was $174m.
Aperam had an operating income in 2015 of $327m compared to $296m in 2014 and recorded a net income of $172m, inclusive of an income tax expense of $55m, in 2015. Cash flow from operations in the year were positive at $392m, with a working capital increase of $3m. CAPEX were $132m.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2016


UK and US tubes for aerospace
Fine Tubes and Superior Tube awarded contracts by Airbus

UK-based Fine Tubes and US-based Superior Tube, leading manufacturers of precision tubes for critical applications, have both been awarded contracts by leading airframe manufacturer, Airbus, Toulouse, France.
For Fine Tubes, the award represents not just an extension of its long-standing relationship with Airbus, but also a greater share of the aircraft manufacturer’s total tubing requirements, particularly hydraulic tubing.
For Superior Tube, a long-term supplier to other major manufacturers in the aerospace industry, the contract is its first opportunity to supply Airbus with tubes manufactured at the company’s plant in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2016


United Kingdom and Tube & wire

The March issue carried a special feature on the United Kingdom including: a UK first for Trumpf and AK Stainless; Raccortubi Group receives Elite UK-Italy business award; DMG Mori brings its key machines to MACH 2016; Hurco to launch four 5-axis machining centres at MACH; Arc Energy Resources develops special techniques to extend the service life of globe valves; and the UK debut of entry-level metal additive manufacturing machine from EOS.
The March issue also featured a preview of Tube & wire 2016 in Düsseldorf including: Schmolz + Bickenbach shaping the future with steel innovations; SMS concepts for efficient tube, pipe and wire production; Paul Leibinger presents a world first in high-speed cable marking and coding; Butting pipes for the Johan Sverdrup oil field; Xiris to launch three new weld inspection systems at Tube; PURES-tubes new directions and expansion; Goudsmit demagnetization on site; and further increase in production at Steelcom Fittings.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2016


Around 6,700 jobs created in the region
Acerinox investment in Campo de Gibraltar

At a meeting held at the headquarters of Acerinox Europe, the chairman of the company, Rafael Miranda, and the ceo, Bernardo Velázquez, along with the works management, informed the president of the Government of Andalusia, Susana Díaz, of an investment in the plant for the acquisition of new equipment with the latest technology which will enable production to be optimised, product quality to be improved, costs to be minimised and environmental impact to be reduced.
The investment was approved by the board of directors on December 15 and includes the acquisition of an annealing and pickling (AP) line and a new cold rolling mill, as well as civil engineering works and auxiliary equipment required for the operation of these large facilities. The new equipment will come into operation by the end of 2017.
This new investment of Euro140m is in addition to the sum of over Euro300m the company has set aside for its Spanish plant in recent years to modernise equipment and keep this plant as one of the most competitive in Europe.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2016


Confident in the long-term strength of the energy market
Reliance completes acquisition of Tubular Steel Inc

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co has announced that, effective January 1, 2016, it acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Tubular Steel, Inc (TSI), a distributor and processor of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipe, tubing and bar products. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and founded in 1953, TSI stocks over 60,000 tons and ships over two million custom-cut lengths of pipe, tubing and bar products annually from its seven service centre locations across the United States.
TSI also has a fabrication business located in the St. Louis area that supports its diverse customer base. For the year ended December 31, 2014, the company's net sales were approximately $200m. TSI will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co and current management will remain in place. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2016


Architecture, Building & Construction

The February issue carried a special feature on Architecture, Building & Construction including Barbour ABI reports concerns for self-build property market remain; European Heathyards gains BS EN 1090 Part 2; Ancon to launch new products at Ecobuild 2016; Ecobuild 2016: at the centre of the building industry for over a decade; First Minister of Wales launches £19.5m project at TWI in Port Talbot; Stainless UK strengthens historic Leeds Viaduct; and prestigious contracts for Weldall Architectural Fabrications.

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Turnover down in quarter three 2015
Eramet dismisses rumours it is halting nickel production units

The Eramet group recently issued a firm denial of reports carried in various press articles that it was halting its nickel production in New Caledonia. It is currently considering a project which will be submitted to the staff representative bodies at the appropriate time. A changeover is contemplated from production of nickel matte in New Caledonia to production of additional ferronickel alloy. Nickel matte is a semi-finished product intended for processing at Sandouville on the French mainland, and is accounting for a very small share of Société Le Nickel (SLN)’s production.  
The project could involve sourcing the matte processed at the Sandouville plant, hitherto supplied by SLN, from another matte producer. The operation as a whole, if it is finally decided, could significantly bolster SLN’s financial equilibrium. Eramet nickel production in 2015 should reach a level close to past years.
Meanwhile, the Group reported that turnover in quarter three 2015 fell 6% year-on-year, pulled down by a drop in Eramet Nickel’s turnover, which was down 33% year-on-year in the third quarter 2015 and down 9% in the first nine months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2016

Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group
First to be certified for ISO 9001:2015

Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group is the first to be certified for the new ISO 9001:2015 standard by Lloyd’s Register (LRQA) in the Netherlands. Van Leeuwen is the first company in continental Europe to receive this certificate based on the LRQA audit in early October. It was officially awarded to the company on December 11.
Characteristic of the new standard are aspects such as context analysis, stakeholder management and a better risk approach. Paul Bokdam, sales director Central Europe of LRQA, said: “Van Leeuwen went to work with this new standard at a very early stage and shows with this certificate that new developments can be integrated quickly.”
The successor of the ISO 9001:2008 standard was recently issued. The amendments concern aspects such as stakeholder management, risk management, documentation and leadership. Processes in the organisation must be subject to continuous improvement and companies must more explicitly communicate with their stakeholders, including customers, partners and suppliers.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2016

Sales of $833m, down 19%
ATI Q3 hit by weaker demand in many end markets

Allegheny Technologies Inc reported third quarter 2015 sales of $833m and a net loss attributable to ATI of $145m. Excluding the non-cash charges for NRV inventory reserves and income tax valuation allowances, the net loss attributable to ATI was $31m. Sales declined 19% compared to the second quarter 2015, when ATI reported a net loss of $16m.
“This was a very challenging quarter due to difficult business conditions, especially in the Flat Rolled Products segment, further weakening in demand from the oil and gas markets, and continued weak demand for forged products from the construction and mining market”, said Rich Harshman, chairman, president and CEO. “Sales to the oil and gas market in the High Performance Materials and Components segment were down 34% compared to the second quarter 2015, and Flat Rolled Products segment sales to the oil and gas market were 60% lower as we completed shipments of a large oil and gas pipeline project early in the third quarter.
“In our Flat Rolled Products segment, repair of the Hot Rolling and Processing Facility’s rotary crop shear was successfully completed on schedule at the end of September 2015. Our flat rolled products facilities are mostly operating at pre-work stoppage levels and asset utilisation continues to improve. We have not restarted our Midland, PA commodity stainless melt shop due to weak demand and low prices for these products.”

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2016

Tubacex sales up
in first nine months of 2015

Tubacex is resisting the market situation with turnover of Euro414.5m in the first nine months of 2015. In spite of the 30% fall in demand, its sales figure has increased by 3.6% on the same period of 2014 thanks to the incorporation of new companies. The company suffered a fall in volume throughout 2015, particularly in the third quarter due to the constant fall in the price of raw materials, especially the low oil prices.  
Meanwhile, the Tubacex Group and the European Investment Bank, EIB, have signed a loan agreement for Euro65m to promote the company's R&D&I activities. It is the first loan received by Tubacex from the EIB and represents important support to the Group's commitment to the development of tubular solutions that provide an added value for customers. More specifically, this agreement will drive the company's innovation strategy from a triple perspective: new product research and development activities; development of its corporate R&D centre; and advanced manufacturing and new technologies.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2016


Universal premium alloy sales up 33.6% in first nine months

Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc has reported net sales for the third quarter of 2015 of $43.4m, compared with $53.6m in the third quarter of 2014, and $49.6m in the second quarter of 2015. Sales of premium alloys totalled $4.4m, or 10.2% of net sales, in the third quarter of 2015, an increase of 33.7% from the third quarter of 2014, and up 4.0% from the second quarter of 2015.
For the first nine months of 2015, net sales were $149.0m compared with $152.6m in the same period of 2014. Premium alloy sales in the first nine months of 2015 rose 33.6% to $13.7m, compared with the first nine months of 2014.
For the third quarter of 2015, the company recorded a net loss of $17.0m. Excluding all charges, which collectively totalled $15.5m, after tax, the loss for the third quarter of 2015 was $1.5m. In the third quarter of 2014, net income was $1.4m and the net loss in the second quarter of 2015 was $0.4m. For the first nine months of 2015, the net loss was $17.3m. Excluding all charges in the third quarter of 2015, the net loss for the first nine months of 2015 was $1.8m, compared with net income of $2.3m in the first nine months of 2014.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2016



Automotive, Railway & Transport

The January issue carries a special feature on the Automotive, Railway & Transport sectors, including: Prima Power Laserdyne develops new methods using CylPerfTM software; Schuler’s large-scale contract from China; increasing focus on aerospace prompts investment in automated finishing at Norman Precision; Nikon Metrology equipment supports analysis; stainless steel rebar for bridges; wire products for the “Micro-World” - considerable room for development in technology; and a new dimension to PCD tooling manufacture at Exactaform.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2016

Seasonality and declining nickel price affect Q3 result
Aperam anticipates improvement in stainless fundamentals

Presenting the company’s third quarter results, Aperam CEO, Timoteo Di Maulo, commented: “As expected, the third quarter was marked by seasonality and decline in nickel price. However, Aperam was able to offset most of these impacts thanks to the agility and the resilience of its business model. 
For the fourth quarter, we remain cautious given the current economic environment but we are confident we will continue to deliver on the Leadership Journey® and the Top Line strategy.
“Looking ahead, we see stainless steel fundamentals improving in our markets and we are confident in the ability of Aperam to generate sustainable cash returns. Therefore, we are happy to reinstate dividend.”
Sales in the third quarter of 2015 decreased by 12% at US$1,113m compared to $1,264m in the second quarter of 2015. Shipments in the third quarter decreased by 6% to 455,000 tonnes compared to 486,000 tonnes in the second quarter, mainly due to the seasonal effects in Europe.
EBITDA was $108m in the third quarter compared to EBITDA of $155m in the second quarter. Aperam had an operating income in the third quarter of $67m compared to an operating income of $109m in the previous quarter.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 12/2015


Study confirms continuing safety of using stainless in food preparation
Global production of moly up in Q2, usage down

Global production of molybdenum increased to 142.1m lbs in the second quarter of 2015, up 10% from 128.8m lbs in the previous quarter, but still 2% lower compared with the second quarter of 2014, recent figures released by the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) show. Global use of molybdenum fell slightly to 126.3m lbs, down 1% from 127.3m lbs in the previous quarter and 12% lower compared with the second quarter of 2014.
Meanwhile, the continuing safety of using stainless steel in food preparation has been confirmed in an independent study following the introduction of new test criteria in Europe, IMOA has reported. The Council of Europe (CoE) published a guideline regarding metals and alloys in food contact materials in 2013, defining specific release limits (SRLs) for a range of metals including iron, chromium, nickel, manganese and molybdenum and specifying a new, more aggressive test to simulate use in food preparation.
Team Stainless commissioned the internationally renowned KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden to independently test seven grades of stainless steel in accordance with the new protocol.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 12/2015

Energy

The December issue carried a special feature on the energy sector including: OPTION attracts new partner; Offshore Energy has a new home; Alloy Wire targets new nuclear opportunities; changes at the top for Arc Energy Resources; GW Martin to target aerospace and energy sectors; and Algernon Precision Engineering – tackling difficult materials.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 12/2015

Metalex opens new branch
in Birmingham

Leading steel and non-ferrous metals stockholder, Metalex, has opened its latest branch. Located on the Gravelly Industrial Park in Birmingham, the new centre became fully operational at the start of this year. Its purpose is to provide a more responsive service to customers from north Wales across the Midlands to East Anglia, as well as in the north of England. These areas are less accessible from the company's headquarters in Ferndown, Dorset and other branches in Horsham, West Sussex and Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
A Kasto automatic bandsaw designed for highly productive cutting of metals using a tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blade was selected. The Kastotec AC4 is one of two bandsaws currently installed at the Birmingham site. Its purchase was triggered by increasing work for a customer in the North that orders 150,000 high grade alloy steel parts per year. They are short, ranging from 7mm to 12mm in length, and are cut from 60mm to 110mm in diameter stock.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2015

Successful wire and Tube Southeast Asia 2015 in Bangkok

Following an eventful 3-day exhibition, the 11th International Wire and Cable Trade Fair for Southeast Asia and the 10th International Tube and Pipe Trade Fair for Southeast Asia came to a successful close on September 18. The co-staged synergistic exhibitions were presented by 411 internationally prominent companies from 33 countries, including seven national pavilions and country groups from Austria, China, Germany, Italy, Taiwan, the UK and the USA.
At closing, the fairs had welcomed 7,144 international trade visitors from 56 countries. Almost 33% of these visitors came from outside Thailand, from countries such as Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Myanmar and Pakistan as well as visiting delegations from China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, showing wire and Tube Southeast Asia 2015 to be the regional platform for the wire and tube industries. The trade fairs also received visits by 73 local factories. With the formation of the single-economy ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of the year headlining the region, coupled with the onset of Thailand’s infrastructure development plan – which will see the Kingdom undergo a massive transformation to its overall national infrastructure from 2015 to 2022, robust and borderless trade opportunities will be evident for the wire and tube industries in the coming years.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2015

Italy

The November issue carried a special feature on Italy, including Raccortubi Group - continued expansion of manufacturing activities and new branch office opened in the UK; Centro Inox - applications for stainless steel from the workplace to the kitchen; slitters from CAMU; SpecialSteelStock: quality, availability, and technical support; Italy - high per capita consumption and positive trend; and high quality press brakes and shears from Gasparini Industries Srl.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 11/2015

Combilift breaks ground on Euro40m manufacturing facility
Supplies new 12-tonne forklift to TM Steels

Combilift Ltd recently formally inaugurated the construction process of its new Euro40m, 46,000 sq metre manufacturing facility and global HQ in Monaghan, Ireland. The facility is larger than originally announced and the expansion will position Combilift to double its current Euro150m turnover by 2020. The initial phase to level the site is expected to last for 10 weeks and 200 personnel will be employed throughout the construction period of 18 months. A further 200 jobs are expected to be created in the next five years, mainly for skilled technicians and design engineers.
Meanwhile, steel stockholders to the gas, oil and engineering sectors, TM Steels, which was established in 1998, recently relocated to new premises in Chesterfield. The layout of the site and warehousing facilities was designed around the company’s new 12-tonne Combilift 4-way forklift, which plays a pivotal role in the safe handling and storage procedures of steel and stainless steel bars.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2015

Management changes at High Performance Materials & Components segment

Faced with a lack of progress in ongoing contract negotiations, Allegheny Technologies Inc issued a lockout notice involving more than 2,000 workers at various facilities, which took effect on August 15, 2015. The company continues to operate the affected facilities and continues serving customer needs with ATI salaried and non-union employees and temporary professional staffing until a new contract can be finalised with the USW. ATI began formal negotiations with the USW in May for contracts that expired June 30, 2015. No extensions are in place. The company presented its last, best and final offer to the USW on August 4 with a request that the union accept it by August 10. The USW negotiating committee has not accepted the company’s offer or allowed the ATI employees to vote on it. Progress has been made on some issues, but significant differences remain in critical areas.
Meanwhile, ATI has named John D. Sims as executive vice president, High Performance Materials and Components segment, effective immediately. Prior to this change, responsibility for the segment was divided between Sims, who was responsible for the Components Group businesses, and Hunter R. Dalton, who was responsible for the Specialty Materials Group businesses.
Dalton has been named executive vice president, Strategic Growth Initiatives. In this new role, he will be responsible for helping develop ATI’s additive manufacturing business strategy and other profitable growth focused strategies.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2015

Automotive, Railway & Transport and Nickel Alloys

The October issue carried a special feature on the automotive, railway & transport sectors, including The Premier Group: difficult to form components in challenging materials, using Prima Power laser technology; Bombardier contracts for TfL’s Lotrain project; Schuler supplies global automotive sector; and Farnborough 2016 on track for success with new commercial project manager.
And in the nickel alloys feature, Alloy Wire proves why ‘size matters’ at SPE Offshore Europe; and Haynes International Inc benefits from strong aerospace market.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 10/2015

Outokumpu appoints Roeland Baan
as president and ceo

The Outokumpu board of directors has appointed Roeland Baan as president and ceo of Outokumpu and the chairman of the Leadership Team as of January 1, 2016. Baan is currently the executive vice president and ceo of Aleris Europe and Asia. Aleris is a global leader in aluminium rolled products. Jorma Ollila, chairman of the Outokumpu board of directors stated: “Outokumpu has been going through a significant transformation in the past few years but still faces substantial challenges. The Outokumpu board of directors believes now is the right time to bring in new skills and strengths in order to raise the company’s operational competitiveness to a world-class level.” Mika Seitovirta will leave his position as president and ceo of Outokumpu on October 26, 2015 and his position on the Outokumpu Leadership Team on the same day. Reinhard Florey, chief financial officer and deputy to the ceo of Outokumpu, will be the interim ceo of Outokumpu until Roeland Baan starts on January 1, 2016.


£700,000 investment in bid to increase global customer base
Alloy Wire sets its sights on £10m sales

A UK manufacturer - 100% owned by its staff - has invested over £700,000 in a bid to increase its global customer base. Alloy Wire, which makes round, flat, shaped profile and electrical resistance wires in a range of exotic nickel alloys, has set its sights on reaching £10m of annual sales by 2016 after it boosted its capacity across two sites in the West Midlands and Yorkshire.
The company recently put the finishing touches on an investment drive that has seen it install three Zwick tensile and hardness testing machines, PMI material x-ray guns, fully automated multi-spindle spooling machine, a 5 metre strand annealing furnace and a bespoke wire finishing line.
This has given the firm the ability to double its capacity, improve accuracy and extend its capability to produce wire from 0.025mm to 21mm.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2015

Cutting & Welding/EMO

The September issue carried a special feature on cutting & welding in view of the forthcoming EMO exhibition in Milan, October 5-10. Articles included: “A part of me” – Schuler at EMO; latest sawing and storage technologies from Kasto at EMO; DMG Mori with seven world premieres at EMO; Ceratizit Group at EMO: brand architecture supports growth; MSS Nitrogen – nitrogen generation for fibre lasers; Anopol: Cougar stalks the UK and Ireland; Hypertherm expands robotic capabilities with Jabez Technologies; Jacquet Midwest and Jet Edge new video on waterjet cutting services;  renaissance for British toolmaking at Kannect Precision Services; and Bystronic open house stresses customer service.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 09/2015

Vetchberry Steels investment programme progressing well
TKM (UK) sets its sights on the automotive stainless tube market

As part of ThyssenKrupp AG, the Euro43 billion German industrials company, ThyssenKrupp Materials (UK) Ltd has announced a new addition to its growing reach in the UK market, with the expansion of its stainless steel tubular product range through major investment in a new range of stainless steel welded tube designed specifically for the automotive sector.
With stainless tube already part of its UK portfolio, and in line with ThyssenKrupp‘s global development plans for tubular products, Wayne Bagnall has joined ThyssenKrupp as UK business development manager for stainless tube. With many years of experience in the tubular and automotive sectors, he brings key product and market knowledge, adding strength to the already strong UK team. 
Meanwhile, a two year, £4.0m investment programme is progressing well at Vetchberry Steels, the coil processing division of ThyssenKrupp Materials (UK) Ltd. The ground work is now complete for a new 1,850mm wide coil slitting line, with the custom built components ready for installation.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2015

Lower demand in both segments
ATI sees decline in oil & gas and aerospace

Allegheny Technologies Inc reported second quarter 2015 sales of $1.02 billion and a net loss attributable to ATI of $16.4m. Results were adversely affected by lower demand in both the Flat Rolled Products and High Performance Materials & Components segments. Sales declined 9% compared to the first quarter 2015, when ATI reported net income of $10.0m. Results for the second quarter 2014 were sales of $1.12 billion and a net loss from continuing operations attributable to ATI of $3.8m.
ATI’s sales to key global markets represented 78% of ATI sales for the first half of 2015. Direct international sales were $895m and represented 42% of ATI’s first half 2015 sales, and sales of high-value products were 80%, representing the company’s highest percentage since it began its focus on more value-added products.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2015

Construction of new storage facilities completed
Norilsk registers three nickel brands on SHFE

Severonickel Combine H-1, Severonickel Combine H-1Y, and Norilsk Combine H-1, the most popular brands on the Chinese market, have been registered on the Shanghai Futures Exchange by MMC Norilsk Nickel. The listing gives way to a more balanced sales and marketing strategy on the Chinese market through sales of nickel brands to the SHFE in the case of favourable market conditions using a more transparent pricing model, e.g. in Chinese Yuan, with the added hedging opportunity for nickel shipments to small and mid-size customers in the PRC having limited access to the London Metal Exchange.
Meanwhile, in the Murmansk Transport Division (MTD) Norilsk has completed construction of a covered warehouse, where the company’s finished goods are to be stored before delivery to the end consumer. The total area of the storage premises is 5,000 sq metres, with a capacity of 8,000 tons. The cost of the project was RUB180m.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2015

Oil & Gas

The August issue carried a special feature on Oil & Gas, including: SpecialSteelStock: meeting increasing demand for special steels; Lloyd’s secures framework agreement for Johan Sverdrup project; Petrol Raccord extends quality homologations; DWS completes design and fabrication work on two major projects; innovative Ellis gets set to show the way at OE2015; Special Piping Materials appoints new general manager; and new superduplex from Ugitech meets Norsok standards.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2015

Pipe Center: new distribution centre
Kasto automated warehouse forms core

Pipe Center has opened a new distribution centre (DC) in Measham, Derbyshire, the newest and most technologically advanced distribution operation in the supply chain of parent company, Wolseley UK. The 142,000 sq ft facility, which went live in December 2014, has given Pipe Center the ability to provide next-day delivery across its entire network and has created over 50 new jobs. At its heart is a bespoke, 3,332-location KASTOunicompact 4.0 automated warehouse, built in Germany and supplied through Kasto Ltd, Milton Keynes, UK. The cassette-type tube storage system provides dynamic goods-to-man presentation for efficient picking, which reduces the amount of manual handling required.
The warehouse structure, which required the installation of 182 drive piles to provide deep foundations, has boosted storage capacity by 20% compared with the previous operation, which relied on storage of long stock using a mixture of cantilever racking and bulk stacking. There was also a separate section for small parts and an area for pallet storage.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2015

Ground-breaking ceremony for SIT
Schuler joint venture with Yadon sealed

Press manufacturer Schuler AG has acquired a majority shareholding in Chinese machine tool manufacturer Yangzhou Metal Forming Machine Tool Co, Ltd (Yadon) and thus strengthened its position in the world’s most important growth market for machine tools. This was announced by Schuler’s CEO Stefan Klebert in Göppingen, Germany on June 23, 2015.
Schuler has signed an agreement to purchase a majority stake of at least 51% in Yadon, with an option to increase this shareholding. Both sides have agreed not to disclose the purchase price, which Schuler will finance from its own funds. The current management team and some employees will continue to hold a stake in the joint venture. The cooperation is still subject to approval by the relevant anti-trust authorities.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 08/2015

New president and ceo appointed
Carpenter Technology winning more aerospace business

Carpenter Technology Corp recently announced that a leading European aerospace engine manufacturer has approved the manufacture of a nickel-based high-temperature alloy at its new manufacturing facility in Athens, Alabama. The Vendor Approved Process (VAP) was finalised on June 16. Carpenter began operations in Athens in January 2014 and is currently undergoing multiple qualification approvals, some of which take more than 24 months to complete. The recently approved nickel-based alloy is used in aerospace engine rings. The company has also announced that it is currently working with a major aerospace manufacturer to qualify a new corrosion-resistant, high-strength precipitation hardenable (PH) stainless steel for use in landing gear. Meanwhile, the company remains confident that operations will begin soon at its new superalloy powder facility in Alabama as part of a multi-level agreement with United Technologies Corporation's (UTC) Pratt & Whitney Division. The agreement with UTC was signed in October 2013, and includes Carpenter supplying Pratt & Whitney with superalloy powder for up to 20 years once qualifications are satisfied. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2015

Attains UKAS certification
Forgemasters' RD Testing capability expansion

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has increased its mechanical and metallurgical testing capabilities after passing a highly coveted Government-recognised accreditation. Sheffield Forgemasters RD26 Testing has attained the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) certification after a full audit, underlining the company's commitment to delivering first class products and services. The facility succeeded in gaining UKAS accreditation for corrosion testing (ferric chloride pitting corrosion resistance), volume fraction/ferrite count testing and bend testing supplementing its previous accredited scope which covers tensile testing, Charpy impact testing and hardness testing. One growth area is expected to be the testing of complex and high integrity aspects associated with Forgemasters' and the UK plc's work in the nuclear power generation industry. Forgemasters already holds nuclear accreditation for heavy manufacturing in the sector. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2015

Successful expansion with new locations in Asia
Oryx extends competitive position in 2014

Oryx Stainless, the third largest stainless steel scrap processing organisation worldwide, continued to grow stronger than the market in 2014 in spite of an environment that remains strained. Sales increased with considerably higher tonnages from Euro430m in 2013 to Euro590m in 2014.
The Dutch-German Group also benefited from further growth in the production of stainless steel. According to the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), worldwide stainless steel production and consumption grew by 8.3% in 2014 (7.2% in the previous year), which is slightly above the long-term average.
The new locations in the Asian growth region delivered particularly positive effects. During the second operational year, for instance, it was possible to double the tonnage for this region over that achieved in 2013. Asia (including China) now holds a market share in the production of stainless steel of just on 75%. China is experiencing growth rates of around 14% and continues to power the stainless steel economy. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 07/2015

ATI sees higher sales
to key end markets

Allegheny Technologies Inc reported first quarter 2015 sales of $1.13 billion and net income attributable to ATI of $10.0m. Results improved over the fourth quarter 2014, with higher sales to key end markets, and a 25% improvement in segment operating profit including lower hot rolling and processing facility (HRPF) start-up and Rowley titanium sponge facility premium quality (PQ) qualification costs. Fourth quarter 2014 net income attributable to ATI from continuing operations including a gain from postretirement benefit changes was $19.9m. For the first quarter 2014, the net loss from continuing operations attributable to ATI was $18.1m, on sales of $987.3m.
ATI first quarter sales improved over 7% compared to the fourth quarter 2014. High Performance Materials & Components segment sales increased over 8% to $543m, and Flat Rolled Products segment sales increased over 6% to $583m, which was accomplished despite lower raw material surcharges.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2015


Aperam: “best quarterly net result since the spin-off”

Timoteo Di Maulo, CEO of Aperam, commenting on the company’s first quarter results, said: “With the best quarterly net result since the spin-off, the first quarter reflects Aperam’s successful implementation of the Leadership Journey® and the Top Line strategy. Looking forward, despite uncertainties regarding the current economic environment and the nickel price, we are convinced that we will continue to deliver a solid set of performance.”
Sales in the first quarter of 2015 decreased by 3% to US$1,258m compared to $1,291m in the fourth quarter of 2014. Shipments in the first quarter were at 469,000 tonnes compared to 439,000 tonnes in the previous quarter.
EBITDA was $133m in the first quarter compared to EBITDA of $117m in the previous quarter. Despite increasing pressure on selling prices, EBITDA increased quarter-on-quarter as a result of better activity in Europe and the contribution of the Leadership Journey® and the Top Line strategy. Aperam had an operating income in the first quarter of 2015 of $86m compared to $53m in the previous quarter.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2015

Aerospace

The June issue carried a feature on the Aerospace sector including the 51st Paris Air Show; companies supplying high performance metals to the aerospace industry; Ugitech at the Paris Air Show - precision landing: efficient supply chain for special steel solutions; Titanium Europe 2015: focusing on aerospace and more; TWI and Rolls-Royce collaboration on new welding engineering diploma; Q8 Brunel awarded Snecma Safran aerospace approval; sustained growth for Aero Metals Alliance; and Reliance Precision opts for Hermle equipment to assist aerospace work.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 06/2015

Carpenter announces
restructuring plan

Carpenter Technology Corp has announced restructuring actions to reduce fixed overhead costs and position the company to drive long-term, profitable growth. The actions are precipitated by the company’s desire to improve operating cost performance and the current weakness in the oil and gas market, and they are part of an overall plan to deliver greater value to shareholders by strengthening the company's performance as a specialty alloys leader. The restructuring actions are expected to yield approximately $30m of annual fixed overhead cost savings and will be complemented by additional strategies to reduce costs.
The restructuring plan includes reducing the company’s salaried positions by approximately 200 or 10% of the total salaried workforce. In addition, it includes the elimination of approximately 60 outsourced positions as well as other non-labour related costs. The company expects to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $11m in the third quarter of fiscal year 2015 as a result of implementing this plan. 

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2015

Van Leeuwen:
solid performance in 2014

The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group achieved a solid performance under challenging market conditions. Sales grew slightly in 2014, in part due to acquisitions and projects. The global network was expanded, among others in Brazil. Van Leeuwen’s sales totalled Euro643m in 2014, a slight increase compared to 2013. The tonnage sold increased by 7% compared to 2013. The operating result and the net result totalled Euro11.9m and Euro7.7m, respectively. Solvency remained strong at 41.5%.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2015


Power generation

The May issue carried a special feature on power generation including: BG Engineering chooses Okuma turn-cutting supplied by UK agent NCMT; Rolls-Royce wins largest ever order from Emirates; and No wire, no power – a look ahead to wire 2016.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2015


Nickel production highest since 2008
Vale sees drop in revenues in 2014

In 2014, gross operating revenues at Vale SA totalled US$38.236 billion, a decrease of 19.5% compared with 2013. Base metals increased its share in gross revenues from 15.4% in 2013 to 20.1% in 2014, mainly due to the improvement in nickel sales volumes and prices.
Asia represented 51.2% of total gross revenues in 2014 and China alone represented 33.1%. The Americas share increased to 26.3%, due to higher sales volumes in Brazil, which represented 17.3% of sales. Europe’s share decreased slightly to 17.5%. Gross revenues from sales to the Middle East were 3.3% in 2014 and the rest of the world contributed with 1.6%.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2015


Anti-dumping duties on stainless imports is credit positive for the sector
Moody’s reports on EU Commission decision

Moody’s Investors Service has reported that on March 25, the European Commission announced that it had concluded its investigation on imports into the European Union of stainless steel cold rolled flat products from China and Taiwan and would implement provisional anti-dumping duties starting on March 26, 2015.
The decision is credit positive for Moody’s rated companies Aperam (Ba3) and ThyssenKrupp (Ba1 negative). Aperam will benefit the most from the decision as it protects its core European flat activity, while ThyssenKrupp will benefit from the Commission's decision for its stainless steel operations (part of its Materials Services business area).

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2015

Enterprise award in the International Trade category
Ancon honoured with a second Queen’s Award

Three years after receiving the prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation, Ancon’s outstanding business performance has been recognised again in 2015 with a second Queen’s Award, this time in the International Trade category.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are presented annually by HM The Queen for exceptional business achievements in International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. They recognise only the highest levels of excellence, with Ancon now honoured in two separate categories.
Following Ancon’s first Award in 2012 for the development and commercialisation of a unique lockable dowel, an innovative system that has revolutionised post-tensioned concrete construction, this second Award celebrates the company’s phenomenal success in growing sales across new and existing export markets. Ancon exports its wide range of high integrity steel fixings to the construction industry throughout Europe, Australasia and North America, and in selected territories of Asia and Africa. The company has almost doubled its annual export trade in the past three years, significantly increasing sales even in turbulent economies such as Greece and Russia.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 05/2015

Optimism for 2015 despite strong competition
Production, sales and profit up at Acerinox in 2014

EBITDA at Acerinox in 2014 was Euro454m, double that of 2013. The result before taxes, at Euro244m, was 7.3 times higher than that obtained in 2013. The result after taxes and minorities was Euro136m, 6.2 times higher than that of the previous year. Melting output was up 4.5%. In 2014, the Acerinox Group obtained its best results since 2007. Net sales for the consolidated group in 2014 totalled Euro4,380m, 10.4% up on the previous year, as a result of the 6% increase in tonnage sold and the higher average sales price over the year (due to the rise in nickel prices and therefore alloy surcharges).
Commenting on the outlook Acerinox said that despite strong competition, the economic situation and the company’s order book allows it to be optimistic regarding its performance in the first quarter of 2015, and that it remains confident that the improvement will be maintained throughout the year.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2015


New sales manager - Americas and new sales engineer in Plymouth
Fine Tubes and Superior Tube expand operations in the Far East

World-leading manufacturers and global suppliers of precision tubes for critical applications, UK-based Fine Tubes and US-based Superior Tube have signed a two year contract with Fusoh Aviation Co Ltd to act as their distribution partner in Japan for the aerospace and space sectors. Fine Tubes and Superior Tube see significant growth potential in the Japanese aerospace and space markets and, having worked successfully with Fusoh on an ad-hoc basis in recent years, were keen to establish a formal partnership. Fusoh Aviation’s client base features a number of global aerospace manufacturers, including IHI Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Fuji Heavy Industries and also the Japan MOD and Coast Guard. The two companies have also announced the appointment of Erik Latranyi as sales manager - Americas. Based at Superior Tube’s head office in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, he will focus on developing a stronger footprint in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America for both companies. Reporting to Brian Mercer, global sales and marketing director, Latranyi will also have responsibility across all major markets, including aerospace, oil and gas, nuclear, power generation and medical.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2015

Finishing & polishing

The April issue carried a special feature on finishing and polishing, including: Peter Davies of Professional Polishing Services celebrates 50 years in stainless steel; Addison Saws - celebrating 60 years at MACH 2016; Norman Precision opts for Turbex solution: Hermle heralds change in complex metal component production; why post-fabrication surface treatment of stainless steel is important; and Q8 Oils launches Q8 Brunel.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 04/2015


Tubacex acquires Prakash
seamless stainless tube business

Spain’s Tubacex, which specialises in the manufacture of stainless steel tubular solutions, has reached an agreement with India’s Prakash Steelage to acquire 68% of its seamless stainless steel tube division.
Prakash Steelage Ltd is one of the leading manufacturers of stainless steel tubes and pipes in India with an installed capacity of 20,500 tpy and with production facilities at Umbergaon, Gujarat and Silvassa, Dadra Nagar. The seamless stainless tube division employs 300 people and has a turnover of Euro25m (Rs1,750m).

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2015

Buhlmann group targets
North American business

The international Buhlmann group recently established the independent subsidiary Buhlmann North America LP in Houston, Texas, USA. As a result, this major trading house for steel tubes, fittings and accessories has now expanded its network to 27 locations in 19 countries around the globe.
This long-established family-owned company headquartered in Bremen, Germany, already has independently operating subsidiaries in large parts of Europe as well as in Asia. The aim behind the US expansion is to strengthen, the company says, its presence on the American market, and to optimise the already existing sales potential. Until now this market was covered from Germany.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2015

United Kingdom

The March issue carried a special feature on the United Kingdom, including: PurgExtraTM pipe weld purging system from HFT®; Semta plays leading role in aerospace skills partnership; PPS wins Business of the Year National Award; Pallet Trucks UK forecasts high demand; Duckworth & Kent buys DMG Mori machining centre; London construction outlook strong for 2015; Arc Energy Resources creates a ‘full-supply’ riser for Aquaterra Energy oil platform; Norman Hay plc creates new specialist Coatings Group; ML Fabcuts goes from strength to strength; and The Laser Cutting Company achieves certification for CE Marked materials.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 03/2015


ATI poised for “period of sustained profitable growth”

Allegheny Technologies Inc reported fourth quarter 2014 sales of $1.05 billion and income from continuing operations attributable to ATI of $19.9m. Net loss from continuing operations attributable to ATI for the fourth quarter 2013 was $83.8m, including restructuring charges and inventory valuation adjustments of $75.1m net of tax. For the full year 2014, ATI reported a loss from continuing operations attributable to ATI of $2.0m on $4.22 billion in sales. Full year 2014 results were impacted by $63.1m of HRPF start-up costs and costs related to the Rowley PQ qualification process. Full year 2013 results from continuing operations were a loss of $98.8m, including the $75.1m fourth quarter restructuring charges and inventory valuation adjustments. Meanwhile, the company has received an additional order for its nickel-based alloy plate to be used in a large oil and gas pipeline project. ATI previously announced that it had booked initial orders for this project. Shipments began in the fourth quarter 2014 and are expected to continue through the first half of 2015.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2015

New warehouse space at H T Brigham

Work has been completed on the development of new warehouse space at H T Brigham’s presswork facility in Coleshill, Birmingham. Due to continued growth and an expanding order book, the metal pressing manufacturer had outgrown its existing site and consequently took the decision to expand into an additional unit. This new unit has significantly increased the firm’s warehousing space, which has now more than doubled. The reorganised original stores area now incorporates material receipt, raw material storage and WIP, while the new unit contains specially designated areas for finished presswork product, packing and final despatch. Meanwhile, the company has secured a prototype order for the manufacture of a deep drawn metal component, the sourcing of which is being re-shored back to the UK. The order comes from a brand new customer for H T Brigham, a first tier automotive manufacturer, which operates on a global scale.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2015

ABC & Tubular products

The February issue carried a special feature on architecture, building & construction, including: shining horizons for Outokumpu’s stainless steel; Italian structural stainless steel tubes and floor heating; and Ancon launches ‘acoustic range’ at Ecobuild 2015. The special feature on tubular products included: Tubacex completes the acquisition of IBF and reports profit up 97% in the first nine months of 2014; and Butting signs framework agreement with Subsea 7.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 02/2015

Darmayan to retire
Aperam delivers solid results in Q3

Aperam reported sales in the third quarter of 2014 decreased by 6% at US$1,353m compared to $1,444m in the second quarter of 2014. Shipments in the third quarter decreased by 7% to 433,000 tonnes compared to 466,000 tonnes in the second quarter, mainly due to the seasonal effect in Europe. EBITDA was $137m in the third quarter compared to $164m in the second quarter. Aperam has more than doubled its profitability compared to the third quarter of 2013. On October 14, 2014, Philippe Darmayan, aged 62, who has been chief executive officer of Aperam since December 2011, indicated to the board of directors his intention to retire effective December 31, 2014. The board of directors has accepted his request and announced the appointment of Timoteo Di Maulo, currently a member of Aperam’s management committee, as chief executive officer from January 1, 2015.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2015

Nickel alloys & Duplex

The January 2015 issue carried special features on nickel alloys and duplex including: gas turbine engine components machined up to two thirds faster with a Blohm Jung 5-axis grinder at Siemens, Lincoln; ongoing success for the Vasa and Sandvik; and Raccortubi expands manufacturing range up to 56in, and completes the acquisition of Petrol Raccord.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2015


India “reeling” from import pressure
Production, sales up at Jindal Stainless

During the second quarter, ended September 30, 2014, Jindal Stainless achieved a stainless melting production level of 297,717 tonnes, 12% up on the same quarter of the previous year. Production of ferroalloys, in contrast, fell 9% to 37,351 tonnes. Stainless steel sales during the period were up 1% at 263,967 tonnes. Total income from operations for the second quarter grew by 9% to Rs33,040m. EBITDA for the second quarter was Rs2,140m, 12% down on the same period of the previous year. The net loss for the quarter was Rs2,550m, compared to a loss of Rs4,120m during the quarter ended September 30, 2013.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 01/2015

Outokumpu anticipates lacklustre
operating environment for Q4

For the first time since the merger with Inoxum, Outokumpu posted positive EBIT excluding non-recurring items of Euro3m. Continued cost savings and higher prices contributed positively, while at the same time performance was negatively impacted by lower deliveries in a seasonally slow market. The company estimates that the overall stainless steel operating environment will be lacklustre in the fourth quarter. This is driven by the recent decline in the nickel price, which is negatively impacting demand in the distributor sector, as well as the general economic slowdown especially in Europe and China.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 12/2014


ATI:
segment operating profit improves


Allegheny Technologies Inc reported third quarter 2014 sales of $1.07 billion and breakeven results from continuing operations attributable to ATI. Results improved over the second quarter 2014 net loss attributable to ATI of $3.8m on sales of $1.12 billion. Third quarter 2014 results include a total of $12.9m of pre-tax Hot Rolling and Processing Facility (HRPF) start-up costs and costs related to the Rowley titanium sponge facility Premium Quality (PQ) qualification process. Second quarter 2014 results included a total of $15.4m of such costs. For the third quarter 2013, the loss from continuing operations attributable to ATI was $28.4m on sales of $972m. “We continued to build the foundation for profitable growth in the third quarter 2014 and we are beginning to see the benefits of ATI’s transformation, capital investments, acquisitions, and technology innovations”, said Rich Harshman, chairman, president and ceo.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 12/2014

Cutting, welding, finishing and polishing

The December issue carried a special feature on cutting, welding, finishing and polishing including: the benefits of laser fusion for stainless structurals; Nadcap aerospace accreditation brings boost in business for Keighley Labs; MMP swapping from CO2 to fibre laser profiling; Hypertherm LEED Gold designation for Lebanon facility; EOS additive manufacturing system for producing metal components; Prima Power revolution in 3D laser automotive applications; Kastowin sales hit double figures in UK; and Victor portable cutting machine improves performance.

More in Stainless Steel Focus 12/2014


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


Two new appointments
Geo Kingsbury opens Midlands office

Specifically to develop sales in the UK and Ireland of large prismatic machining centres from Burkhardt + Weber, SHW and F Zimmermann, the sole agent for all three German manufacturers, Geo Kingsbury, has opened an office in Blythe Valley Business Park, Birmingham, close to the junction of the M40 and M42.
It will initially be staffed by two new appointees. Chris Hewitson joins the board as business development director and Steve Burrows fills another new role, that of senior applications engineer - large prismatic machines. Both have been active in the machine tool industry for all of their working lives.

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