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3/12/2020 » 3/16/2020
IHEA 2020 Annual Meeting

Industry News

ATI, NLMK Expand Hot-Rolling Conversion AgreementOpen in a New Window

Allegheny Technologies Inc. signed another one-year agreement to extend and expand carbon-steel hot-rolling conversion services for NLMK USA at its Hot-Rolling and Processing Facility (HRPF) in Brackenridge, Pa. The agreement provides NLMK USA with continued access to the HRPF’s capabilities for conversion of their broad range of carbon-steel grades through December 2020. ATI’s HRPF enables production of materials that maintain high strengths at high temperatures. It allows control and tailoring of sheet and plate microstructures and other physical attributes to meet specific performance requirements at shorter cycle times in wider sizes with efficiency.


Steelmaker Acquires Producer of Specialty AlloysOpen in a New Window

Acerinox S.A., a stainless steel manufacturer based in Spain, acquired Germany’s VDM Metals Holding GmbH, a producer of specialty alloys, for approximately $585 million. The deal will allow Acerinox to diversify into growing markets such as aerospace, medical and oil and gas. VDM Metals develops and manufactures nickel, cobalt and zirconium alloys. The company also supplies sheets, strips, bars, rods, wires and welding fillers. Acerinox operates six manufacturing facilities on four continents and has an annual melting output of 3.5 million metric tons.


Lab Orders Vacuum Furnace for AM PartsOpen in a New Window

Solar Manufacturing shipped a vacuum furnace for processing additively manufactured parts to a large science and technology laboratory. The lab requires the furnace, which has a maximum temperature of 2400°F (1315°C), to further their research and development work. Built with Solar Manufacturing’s SolarVac Polaris control system and a graphite-insulated hot zone, the furnace is designed to accommodate loads up to 36 inches wide x 36 inches high x 48 inches deep with a maximum weight of 5,000 pounds.


European Aerospace Company Orders PressOpen in a New Window

Gardner Aerospace, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of aircraft parts and sub-assemblies, invested in a high-pressure fluid-cell press from Sweden’s Quintus Technologies. Gardner recently opened a 45,000-square-meter manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China, that will support China’s rapidly developing domestic market for aerospace parts. The 800-bar (11,600-psi) press has a forming area of 700 mm x 1,800 mm (27.6 x 73 inches). Gardner purchased a high-pressure fluid-cell press from Quintus in 2015. It has a central position at the company’s facility in southern France, where it has generated significant cost savings and eliminated several forming operations.


Spirit AeroSystems Acquires Bombardier AssetsOpen in a New Window

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire select assets of Bombardier aerostructures and aftermarket services businesses in Belfast, Northern Ireland (known as Short Brothers); Casablanca, Morocco; and Dallas, Texas. The acquired Bombardier operations employ more than 4,000 people at three sites comprising approximately 3.4 million square feet. The backlog of work includes long-term contracts on the Airbus A220 and A320neo, along with Bombardier business and regional jets.


Nucor Orders Large Caster for Kentucky Plate MillOpen in a New Window

Nucor Corp. selected SMS group for the supply of a single-strand continuous caster for ultra-wide and thick slabs. Designed for an annual capacity of 1.45 million tons, it will be a core element of the production chain of Nucor’s new plate mill in Brandenburg, Ky. The companies say the casting machine will be one of the largest of its kind worldwide. The caster will produce slabs 8-12 inches (200-305 mm) thick up to 124 inches (3,150 mm) wide. Slab lengths will vary from 104 to 600 inches (2,642 to 15,240 mm).


Steel Dynamics Orders Furnace for Mississippi PlantOpen in a New Window

Andritz received an order from Steel Dynamics Inc. for the supply of key process equipment for the existing continuous galvanizing line (CGL) at its Columbus, Miss., plant. The scope of supply includes engineering and delivery of a new direct-fired furnace, differential rapid jet cooling and after pot coolers. The project will be implemented during the fourth quarter of 2020. Andritz will also supply the model-predictive advanced furnace control for the complete furnace sections as well as the automation and electrical equipment.


U.S. Aerospace Manufacturer Orders Box FurnaceOpen in a New Window

L&L Special Furnace Co. Inc. shipped a floor-standing box furnace to a high-tech aerospace and associated components manufacturer located in the southeastern U.S. The furnace, which has a work zone measuring 120 inches wide x 48 inches high x 72 inches deep, will be used for processing aerospace parts and various thermal applications. It has a temperature gradient of ±20°F from 1100-2150°F using eight zones of temperature control with biasing to balance any differential in temperature gradients.


Co-op Agreement to Focus on EBM TechnologyOpen in a New Window

GE Additive entered into a five-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The agreement focuses on processes, materials and software to drive industrialization and encourage the broader adoption of additive-manufacturing (AM) technology. The agreement supersedes an existing CRADA in place since 2012 between ORNL and GE Additive Arcam EBM. ORNL purchased its first Arcam EBM system in 2009. Since that time, ORNL and the Arcam EBM teams have worked together to create opportunities for companies in multiple U.S. manufacturing sectors to adopt electron-beam melting (EBM) technology. 


Alfa Romeo Racing Adds HIPOpen in a New Window

Alfa Romeo Racing, operated by Sauber Motorsport AG, selected Quintus Technologies as its hot isostatic pressing (HIP) partner. The Formula One team invested in a press with proprietary URQ technology, which allows heat treatment and cooling to be combined in a single process, known as high-pressure heat treatment (HPHT). HPHT and HIP are used for the consolidation and densification of metal, producing a maximum theoretical density, ductility and fatigue resistance in high-performance materials. This makes it ideal for ultrahigh-performance automotive applications.


Danieli to Supply EAF Melt Shop for Nucor Plate MillOpen in a New Window

Danieli has been selected to supply equipment for Nucor’s new greenfield plate steel mill in Brandenburg, Ky. Danieli will supply an electric-arc furnace (EAF) melt shop and plate/steckel mill, as well as an electrical and automation package provided by Danieli Automation. The EAF will be equipped with all modern mechatronic devices to improve its performance and safety. Danieli will also supply secondary metallurgy equipment, including a twin-station LMF and a twin-station VTD equipped with mechanical pumps. Both units will include with the latest automation and process models to ensure precise chemistry and temperature control.


Collaboration to Focus on Tungsten 3D Metal PrintingOpen in a New Window

The ExOne Company and Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. (GTP) entered into a collaboration to advance tungsten-based metal 3D printing using binder jetting. Binder jetting is a 3D-printing process that uses a digital file to inkjet a bonding agent into a bed of powder particles, creating a solid part one layer at a time. The new ExOne-GTP collaboration focuses on the development of two metal matrix composites: cemented carbide (WC-Co), a material with very high hardness and toughness that is widely used for the production of cutting tools and wear-resistant parts; and copper-tungsten (CuW), which is used in applications where high heat resistance, high electrical and thermal conductivity, and low thermal expansion are needed.


Metal AM Manufacturing Facility Opens in MassachusettsOpen in a New Window

Markforged opened a 25,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Billerica, Mass, that will enable the company to more than double its production capacity, support increased demand for its metal and carbon-fiber 3D printers and create new jobs. The new facility will support the fabrication of all Markforged materials that are used by companies in the aerospace, automotive and manufacturing fields. It currently hosts 35 members of staff. Markforged expects to add another 25 hires in the coming years.


Mexican Steelmaker Starts Up Roller-Hearth FurnaceOpen in a New Window

Danieli Olivotto Ferrè started up a tube roller-hearth annealing furnace at Tenaris Tamsa in Veracruz, Mexico. The furnace is designed to treat steel tubes coming from cold or hot processing with a maximum throughput of 5 tons/hour. It is able to perform different heat-treatment cycles, including normalizing, annealing, tempering and stress relieving. The pipe to be treated has an OD range from 15-120 mm, thickness from 1.5-20 mm and length up to 16 meters (52.5 feet).


Sintavia Installs Heat-Treating SystemOpen in a New Window

Delta H supplied a dual-chamber aerospace heat-treating (DCAHT) system to Sintavia, a Hollywood, Fla-based provider of additive-manufacturing services. The furnace features dual chambers operable to 1200°F and 500°F with precision control and temperature uniformity and a roll-away stainless steel quench tank. The DCAHT system qualifies as Class 2 (+/-10°F) per AMS 2750E and includes all controls, data-acquisition technology and spare-parts package to be in full compliance with all aerospace pyrometry standards, including Nadcap.


Bodycote Opens Heat-Treat Facility in PragueOpen in a New Window

Bodycote recently held an official opening ceremony at its new heat-treatment facility in Prague, Czech Republic. The plant, now fully operational and supporting customer requirements, provides a range of heat-treatment services and will support the automotive and general industrial markets in the region.


Ohio Steelmaker Orders Tunnel, Shuttle FurnacesOpen in a New Window

Andritz received an order from North Star BlueScope Steel for supply of a tunnel furnace and two shuttle furnaces to convey the slabs from both casters to the two-stand roughing mill at its Delta, Ohio, plant. The shuttle furnaces will be installed during the fourth quarter of 2020, and the tunnel furnace is scheduled to start production by the end of 2021. This order is part of an expansion project by North Star BlueScope that will also add a third electric-arc furnace (EAF) and a second continuous caster. The expansion will increase the facility’s annual capacity by 800,000 to 900,000 metric tons.


Bharat Forge to Build Aluminum Forging Facility in North CarolinaOpen in a New Window

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that Bharat Forge America Inc. will build an aluminum forging plant to manufacture automobile components in Lee County, N.C. The $127.3 million investment will create 304 jobs. The new facility will be part of a larger manufacturing center that will create as many as 460 jobs. According to Bharat Forge, the investment will help it create a strong global manufacturing footprint as part of its aluminum strategy.


Messer to Build Plant in IndianaOpen in a New Window

Messer will invest $38 million to build a new air-separation plant in Indianapolis, Ind. The production facility for oxygen, nitrogen and argon is scheduled to go into operation in early 2021. It will produce industrial and medical-grade gases for various sectors of the local and regional economy, including the metal industry. The investment is expected to create 23 new permanent jobs by the end of 2021. In addition, Messer estimates that 60 to 80 temporary local jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project.


Kennametal Launches 3D-Printing Business UnitOpen in a New Window

Kennametal Inc. formed a 3D-printing materials and production business unit, Kennametal Additive Manufacturing, as part of its Infrastructure segment. Kennametal Additive Manufacturing combines the company’s expertise in materials science and wear-resistant solutions with additive-manufacturing capabilities to supply high-performance metal additive powders and fully finished 3D-printed parts for wear, erosion, corrosion and high-temperature applications. The new business unit is already shipping production parts to customers. These high-performance wear components include parts printed with powders specifically designed and optimized for 3D printing.


Pyrotek Builds Aluminum Manufacturing Plant in DubaiOpen in a New Window

Pyrotek Inc. is scheduled to complete construction of a new manufacturing facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in November to serve and supply the rapidly growing aluminum smelting operations of the region. The first phase of construction will provide 66,000 square feet of floor space, and there is enough land at the site to allow for an eventual doubling of the plant footprint. Spokane, Wash.-based Pyrotek is scheduled to occupy the facility in January 2020.


Solar Manufacturing Moves to New FacilityOpen in a New Window

Solar Manufacturing Inc. relocated Souderton, Pa., to Sellersville, Pa. Situated on a combined 8.5 acres just 3 miles from the previous location, the newly constructed $10 million building has 40,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 17,500 square feet of office space. Solar Manufacturing has the option of adding an extra 22,500 square feet to the manufacturing building in the future.


Heat Treat 2019 Kicks OffOpen in a New Window

Heat Treat 2019, the biennial show from the ASM Heat Treating Society, begins today in Detroit. The three-day event will feature an exciting mix of exhibits, technical programming and networking events geared toward the heat-treating industry. Visit Industrial Heating in booth 2026. Conference highlights include: face-to-face networking opportunities with approximately 200 exhibitors; the latest research and industry insights through more than 125 technical sessions, featuring special symposiums on induction heat treating; “This is Heat Treat” free college student program; and continued co-location with Motion + Power Technology Expo 2019 (formerly Gear Expo), providing attendees with access to an additional network of 4,000 attendees and 250 exhibiting companies.


Siemens, Material Solutions Open Metal AM CenterOpen in a New Window

Siemens and Materials Solutions opened a highly advanced metal AM innovation center in Orlando, Fla. The 17,000-square-foot facility offers a pairing of design with manufacturing, implementing robotics, rapid prototyping, scanning, digital tools and on-site metal AM. Materials Solutions – a Siemens Business – uses selective laser melting (SLM) technology for the manufacture of high-performance metal parts, with a focus on high-temperature superalloys. The Siemens innovation center will focus on rapid problem solving supporting the company’s energy businesses, while Materials Solutions will offer additive services to support the innovation center and external customers. 


European Extruder Orders Melting FurnaceOpen in a New Window

Hertwich Engineering received an order from Exlabesa, an independent extruder based in Europe, for a multi-chamber melting furnace that will increase the capacity of its casthouse in Padrón (Spain) to 60,000 tons per year. The furnace, which has a capacity of 130 tons per day, will be designed to process a relatively wide range of scrap. To remelt the loose and moderately contaminated scrap, an Ecomelt-PR furnace with preheat ramp, melting chamber and main chamber will be installed. Commissioning of the furnace is scheduled for mid-2020.


Oregon Products Orders Mesh-Belt Austemper SystemOpen in a New Window

Can-Eng Furnaces International Ltd. received an order from Oregon Products to design and commission a continuous mesh-belt austemper heat-treatment system. The high-capacity system integrates a computerized loading system, pre-wash system, atmosphere-controlled mesh-belt austenitizing furnace, molten salt quench conveyor system, post-quench residual salt removal and recycling system, mesh-belt parts drying oven and unloading system. It also includes Can-Eng’s PET system, which provides individual lot/product traceability, detailed process data collection for continuous process improvements and comprehensive Industry 4.0 equipment diagnostics capability. 


Chinese Steelmakers Order Reheating FurnacesOpen in a New Window

Fives received two contracts to design and supply reheating furnaces to Chinese steelmakers, both with strict requirements on energy consumption and NOx emissions. The first project covers an ultra-low-NOx furnace to reheat long products, such as stainless steel bars, coils or wires, for Yantai Walsin Stainless Steel. Fives will supply a walking-beam furnace with a capacity of 85 tons per hour. The second contract was signed with Shijiazhuang Iron & Steel Company within China’s HBIS Group for two reheating furnaces, each with a production capacity of 130 tons per hour.


Liberty Steel to Install EAF at South Carolina MillOpen in a New Window

Liberty Steel USA will invest up to $25 million in its liquid steel production facilities at Georgetown, S.C., to substantially boost output and secure the long-term future of the mill, which reopened just over a year ago. The company will install a modern electric-arc furnace (EAF) and extensively improve the infrastructure of the facility’s melt shop to increase wire-rod output to over 400,000 tons a year. Liberty Steel has already increased the versatility of its rolling mill at Georgetown in an effort to serve key markets for wire rod in the southeastern U.S.


Novelis Receives European Commission Approval for Aleris AcquisitionOpen in a New Window

Novelis Inc. announced that the European Commission has approved its proposed acquisition of Aleris Corp. The approval is conditioned upon the sale of Aleris' plant in Duffel, Belgium, which produces aluminum for the automotive and specialties markets. Novelis is working to market the plant to potential buyers. With this conditional approval in the European Union, as well as a clear path forward for approval in the U.S., the Atlanta-based company continues to work closely with the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) to receive its approval. According to Novelis, the transaction will strengthen its ability to compete against steel in the automotive market, meet growing customer demand for aluminum and achieve its recycling goals.


Today is Manufacturing Day!Open in a New Window

Launched annually on the first Friday in October, and with events continuing throughout the month, Manufacturing (MFG) Day helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders. MFG Day, which officially kicks off this year on October 4, is a time for manufacturers to open their doors and open minds, to connect the future workforce to potential employers and to change the narrative around manufacturing. Last year, 275,000 people participated in nearly 3,000 MFG Day events across North America. To show how much the event has grown over the years, there were only 834 events held in 2013.