Today, the currently operating U.S steel industry includes approximately 100 steel supply and steel production facilities, employing 140,000 people, directly or indirectly supporting the livelihood of almost 1 million Americans. AHSS (Advanced high-strength steel) is the only material that reduces greenhouse gas emissions in all phases of an automobile’s life: manufacturing, driving, and end-of-life. Being the most recycled material in the world, more than aluminum, copper, paper, glass, and plastic combined, over 60 million tons of steel are recycled or exported for recycling each year in North America alone.
The Rise of The American Steel Industry
Early colonists had 2 primary goals: shelter and food. They needed to build homes, plant crops, and hunt. In order to facilitate these tasks, iron tools were needed. Things like hammers, knives, saws, axes, nails, hoes, bullets, and horseshoes. Iron products were in demand, but it wasn’t until the 19th century, when technological advances drove down the cost and increased the quality of the product, that steel manufacturing became a dominant industry. “With the abundant iron ore deposits around Lake Superior, the rich coal veins of Pennsylvania, and the easy access to cheap water transportation routes on the Great Lakes, the Midwest became the center of American heavy industry,” business and financial historian John Steele Gordon writes in his Importance of Steel exposition. “In the years after the Civil War, the American steel industry grew with astonishing speed as the nation’s economy expanded to become the largest in the world. Between 1880 and the turn of the century, American steel production increased from 1.25 million tons to more than 10 million tons. By 1910, America was producing more than 24 million tons, by far the greatest of any country.”
Strong technological foundation was the primary driving force behind the tremendous growth in the steel industry. Steel supply was crucial for rapid expansion of cities and urban infrastructure. Railroads, bridges, factories, buildings, and eventually, in the 20th century, steel was used to make household appliances and automobiles. It was at this time that the US steel industry began using the open-hearth furnace, then, the basic oxygen steelmaking process.
Long after World War II, the American steel service industry continued to flourish and serve as the foundation of the national economy. In 1969, American steel production peaked when the country produced 141,262 ,000 tons. Since then, large steel mills have been replaced by smaller mini-mills and specialty mills, using iron and steel scrap as feedstock, rather than iron ore.
American Steel Service and Industry Today
Although we’ve entered the computer age, American steel remains a top competitor in the global marketplace. The United States is the world’s largest steel importer, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute, labor productivity has seen a five-fold increase since the early 1980s, going from an average of 10.1 man-hours per finished ton to an average of 1.9 man-hours per finished ton of steel in 2015. In addition, the North American steel industry is committed to the highest safety and health standards. Since 2005, U.S. steel producers have achieved a 70 percent reduction in both the total OSHA recordable injury and illness and lost workday case rates. Current U.S. steel production trends can be seen here: https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/steel-production
Advanced High-Strength Steel
The evolution of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) continues to grow in application, notably in the automotive industry. New advanced steel grades are the lightweight automotive material that best addresses society’s need for reduced greenhouse gas emissions, without compromising safety, performance, or affordability. These new steel types are already being used to improve the performance of vehicles on the road and emerging grades will be increasingly employed. Each year, new car models are introduced using lighter-weight, higher-strength steel components that provide a cost-effective answer to the demand for increased safety and fuel economy. Studies show that AHSS steel grades are growing faster in new automotive applications than aluminum and plastic—steel’s main competitors.
About National Material L.P. – With more than 3,000 employees from a multinational portfolio of companies, NMLP provides engineered metal products, which include aluminum extrusion and stainless steel rolled product companies, to automotive, aerospace, construction, defense, electrical, and industrial markets.
National Material of Mexico hosted a Hollywood-style open house event on November 28th, 2017 to show customers, suppliers, and government leaders the outcome of their latest project that is expected to create 50 jobs. According to Carl Grobien, Vice President and General Manager, “To meet the demands of customers requiring advanced high-strength steels, we needed to make this investment. We decided to increase slitting capacity and improve our process for unloading and handling shipments to become more efficient and responsive to our customers’ needs. To make room for the slitter, we moved our existing office space to a brand new modern office building. These are very exciting times for our company that will benefit our customers.”
Among the distinguished speakers at the event, we heard from:
Mr. Michael Tang, CEO of National Material LP
Ms. Carlota Vargas Garza, Federal Delegate of the Secretary of Commerce in the State of Nuevo Leon, representing Mr. Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal Secretary of Commerce Mexico
Mr. Samuel Peña Guzmán, Under-Secretary of Investment and Industrial Development of the Ministry of Economy and Labor, in representation of the Governor of the State of Nuevo Leon Mr. Jaime Rodriguez Calderon as well as in representation of Mr. Fernando Turner Davila, Secretary of Economy and Labor of the State of Nuevo Leon
Mr. Oscar Cantú Garcia, Municipal President of Apodaca
People also in Presidium but not giving speeches:
Mr. Jesus Gonzalez Cardenas, Secretary General of the Executive National Committee of the National Federation of Independent Union
Mr. Eric Olson, Commercial Consul of the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey
Mrs. Lupina De Ezkauriatza, Executive Director of American Chamber of Commerce Monterrey Chapter
The new Red Bud 72ʺ (1830mm) wide slitting line with in-line leveling has a thickness range of .012” – .250” is capable of slitting grades up to 250,000 psi (1725 MPa), and is mainly used in mass reduction engineering designs for parts used in cars and trucks. National Material of Mexico, with its network of seven plants (including joint ventures), has a combined slitting capacity of 1 million tons and a configured blanking capacity of 300,000 tons.
In the words of Carl Grobien, “Our expansion ceremony was the culmination of many months of hard work by the talented people of the NMLP and NMM teams, it couldn’t have gone better. Our facility in Monterrey is now world class and we couldn’t be any prouder. With the addition of AHSS to our product line in Mexico, we are now positioned into the future, today.”
Visit National Material: nationalmaterial.com or call (U.S.) 847-806-7200
National Material of Mexico, a subsidiary of National Material L.P., one of the largest automotive-focused flat rolled processors and distributors in Mexico, is expanding its Monterrey facility by 82,000 sq. ft. (7,700 sq. meters) to add capability for processing Advanced High Strength Steels, increase its railcar receiving capabilities, and to create a new headquarters office building.
The new Red Bud 72ʺ (1830mm) wide slitting line with in-line leveling has a thickness range of .012” – .250” is capable of slitting grades up to 250,000 psi (1725 MPa), mainly used in mass reduction engineering designs for parts used in cars and trucks. National Material of Mexico, with its network of seven plants (including joint ventures), has a combined slitting capacity of 1 million tons and a configured blanking capacity of 300,000 tons.
In 1964, Cyrus Tang started a steel service center in the Chicago-area for electrical grade steels. His initial success continued as he went on to build the company, and expanded into all types of flat rolled steel. Along the journey, National Material Company built many of the first processing facilities in America; including the very first independent push-pull pickle line and heavy-gauge galvanizing line. With half a century of steel experience, National Material is a leader in processing and supply-chain management for flat rolled steel.
National Material Company is now a part of National Material Limited Partnership which is a diverse operator of metal-related businesses and one of the largest independent operators of steel service centers in the United States. The NMLP group of companies operate 16 steel service centers and processing facilities in North America and ship over 2,000,000 tons of steel annually. Twelve of these steel processing facilities and service centers are located and operated in the U.S. and Mexico markets to meet the wide variety of needs of our customers.
NMC specializes in supplying, servicing and processing steel with unmatched efficiency and capacity while offering expertise in supply-chain management. As the leader in supply-chain management, just-in-time programs, and inventory control, NMC is the perfect choice for any customer in search of the best value and experience possible.
Our products, services and capabilities, include the following:
Hot Rolled and Cold Rolled Steel
Grain Oriented and Non-Oriented Electrical Steel
Galvanized, Aluminized and Other Coated Materials
Precision Blanking Processing
Complete Metallurgical Lab and Testing Facilities
With plants strategically located with freight in mind and an experienced team of individuals who truly understand the ins and outs of steel processing, National Material is able to deliver on-time quality services and products while helping to drive down cost for their customers. On a constant quest for the improvement that can only be achieved through comprehensive supply-chain management, National Material Company comes out on top. Proud to be minority-owned, ISO 9002 certified, and uncompromising in its safety standards for their family of employees, National Material Company has been setting standards in the steel service and processing industry for 50 years and will continue to lead the way.