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28 04, 2019

What is Precision Slitting?

2019-05-29T23:23:00+00:00 April 28th, 2019|News Blog|

A detailed shot of a steel slitting machine in one of National Material’s steel processing facilities.

In the metal processing world, every new contract comes as a new and customized challenge. Increased demand for steel coils with finer width and length parameters have ushered in an era of more robust precision slitting – with technological advancements in slitting equipment, software, and tooling practices fueling the wave.

Slitting is a metal manufacturing process wherein a coil of material, such as aluminum or steel, is slit into the lengths and widths specified by the end application. As the material runs through the machine, the steel rolls are moved through extremely sharp circular blades, making the cuts. In order to make the slice, substantial compressive forces must be applied – and when the forces exceed the tensile strength of the material, it slices. The end product is long strips of material cut to the buyer’s specifications.

A steel slitting machine is comprised of three major parts – the uncoiler, the slitter, and the recoiler. In order to ensure that the quality of the process is optimized, each element must be precisely aligned during setup.

National Material’s breadth of slitting capabilities is of tremendous value to our customers, who know that we have the right equipment to  process their orders on time and to the right specifications. Our customers appreciate the high level of precision and quality we offer in our slitting process, as it eliminates the excess material waste that can be produced by their own manufacturing processes creating real value.

Finished slit steel coils that have been rewound and are preparing for shipment

National Material processes hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanized steel for a wide variety of gauges and lengths.

Our slitting lines offer the following benefits:

  • Reduced time-to-delivery
  • Reduced scrap
  • Reduced costs
  • Streamlined material flow

About National Material L.P. – With more than 3,000 employees from a multinational portfolio of companies, NMLP provides engineered metal products, including aluminum extrusion and stainless steel rolled products, to automotive, aerospace, construction, defense, electrical, and industrial markets.

Visit National Material: http://www.nationalmaterial.com or call (U.S.) 847-806-7200, Diana Pulido.

21 03, 2019

History of Galvanized Steel in the Automotive Industry

2019-04-12T01:54:39+00:00 March 21st, 2019|News Blog, NMC Media|

Galvanized steel is among the most popular and useful steels due to its durability, cost effectiveness and, most importantly, its rust-resistant qualities. But galvanized steel wasn’t always in high demand.

In the early 1990’s, steel was consistently the go-to material in automobile manufacturing, but public demand for corrosion-resistant steels in the North American market hadn’t become wide enough for manufacturers to begin implementing it.

In fact, it wasn’t until the late 1980’s, when the Japanese began importing automobiles with anti-corrosion features, that Western markets would discover the advantage of the material. Galvanized steel was indispensable in Japan, a country with a coastal environment that created heavier levels of oxidation and rust.

A close up of a headlight on a rusty car.

At the time, North American made vehicles were experiencing severe durability issues due to rust – a serious issue that (quite literally) couldn’t be solved by just throwing on another coat of paint.

Western automakers had developed specific standards for their warranties which further exacerbated the problem of switching to galvanized steels, as its implementation into processing lines would take serious time and money. However, forced to compete, they began to make the transition.

This important switch led to the use of electrogalvanizing lines.

Electrogalvanizing is a process in which a layer of zinc is bonded to steel in order to protect against corrosion. The process involves electroplating, running a current of electricity through a saline/zinc solution with a zinc anode and steel conductor. The plating of zinc was developed at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, the electrolyte was cyanide based. A significant innovation occurred in the 1960s, with the introduction of the first acid chloride based electrolyte…The 1980s saw a return to alkaline electrolytes, only this time, without the use of cyanide.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Going into the mid 90’s, electrogalvanizing was the only process that was approved for automotive quality; but automakers had set their sights on another way to galvanize steel – hot dip galvanization. This technique was being used in other markets, but hadn’t yet reached the level of quality necessary for automobiles. That is, until the 1990’s.

Nowadays, the use of zinc-coated bodies for automobiles is standard procedure in auto manufacturing. The ‘body-in-white’ of a car makes up about 80% of the body, all using galvanized steel. The rust resistance of galvanized steel is also a good marketing tool for the automotive industry because they can provide anti-rust warranties to customers.

What are the Benefits of Galvanized Steel?

There’s a reason so many different industries utilize galvanized steel. It has a wide array of benefits for industries to take advantage of, including:

  • Low initial cost compared to most treated steels.
  • Lower maintenance costs than most coated steels (saves time on repairs and replacements).
  • Increases durability of the steel’s finished product which also increases the product’s reliability.
  • Galvanized steel is very protective, including sharp corners and recesses that couldn’t be protected with other coatings, making it resistant to damage.
  • Self-healing, meaning the galvanized coating includes an automatic protection for damaged areas. The coating will corrode preferentially to the steel, creating a sacrificial protection to the areas that are damaged.
  • Galvanized steel is immediately ready to use when delivered. It does not require additional preparation of the surface, inspections, painting/coatings, etc.

NMC is proud to offer the highest quality galvanized steel coated with zinc to create a long-lasting corrosion and rust-resistant alloy. For more information, visit our ‘Galvanized Steel’ page or our National Galvanizing website. National Material Company continues to further increase our leadership position in the domestic and international steel industry by providing the highest quality products you need to ensure the success of your next project.

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.

Visit National Material: http://www.nationalmaterial.com or call (U.S.) 847-806-7200, Diana Pulido.

4 03, 2019

What is a Toll Processing Company?

2019-05-29T23:06:19+00:00 March 4th, 2019|News Blog|

A close shot of a collection of steel coils in one of National Material’s steel processing facilities.

The convenience of outsourcing manufacturing work for products and services is becoming more and more popular. This method of contracting with a material processing service center is known as toll processing. (Also known as tolling, contract processing, toll manufacturing, or toll conversion.)

Businesses turn to toll processing because of the expertise and cost savings that the processing center provides. A growing business might lack the facilities, manpower, and time required to process the materials required for their products, leading to shortfalls in efficiency and delivery. Usually, processing centers have decades of experience in a number of different industries,  They have also made significant investments in equipment that can help take a project from concept to completion. Toll processors can offer the contracting company with important information, including difficulties or circumstances that might be encountered when processing specific types of material.

Benefits of toll processing

  • Significantly reduced capital investment
  • No additional permits required
  • No need for additional storage space
  • No need to hire additional employees
  • Can adjust production levels on-the-fly depending on demand
  • Faster time to completion
  • Opportunity to expand your network by working with experienced professionals
  • Avoid extended lead times
  • Affordable costs

Types of toll processing services

Toll processing companies, such as National Material Processing, can cover a wide range of services for their clients. This includes services such as slitting, configured blanking & stamping, cut-to-length processing, pickle & oil, galvanizing / galvannealing, product storage, shipping, , quality analysis, and more.

How to find the right toll processing company for you

When looking for a company to contract with, you should consider a few key factors. First, you should try to select a company that is reasonably located nearby in order to create supply chain savings. The quality of the team of professionals you’re going to work with, as they are going to become an extension of your business once you enter into a contract with them.

Your chosen toll processor will become the link between you, your customers, and your product, and this choice should not be taken lightly. You should choose a company that will not only make your manufacturing processes easier, but also a company that can reduce risk, add to your bottom line, and put you ahead of the competition. Review their quality assurance and control procedures, their supply chain management experience, and their track record.

If you believe your company can benefit from our toll processing services, please visit us at nationalmaterial.com or call (U.S.) 847-806-7200 to discuss how we can be of service.

About National Material L.P. – Since its founding in 1964, National Material Limited Partnership has grown to over 30 business units and is now one of the largest suppliers of steel in America. The National Material group of industrial businesses consists of the Steel Group, Stainless and Alloys Group, Raw Material Trading Group, Aluminum Group, and Related Operations.

5 02, 2019

Advanced High-Strength Steel Rules the Road in 2019

2019-02-05T17:59:41+00:00 February 5th, 2019|News Blog, NMC Media|

Advanced High-Strength Steel is a new generation of steel revolutionizing the automotive industry. The widespread use of advanced high-strength steel doesn’t seem to be slowing down as we move into 2019. This high-performance material offers high-strength and low weight, all while maintaining formability that is crucial to the automotive manufacturing process.

Strong and dependable, steel continues to be the frontrunner when it comes to car manufacturing. A recent survey showed that steel is the preferred material in automobiles, with 90% of consumers saying they believe steel is stronger than other materials used by automakers. 75% said that a car’s crash safety, and other safety features, were the most important factors when buying or leasing a vehicle.

Various automotive manufacturers have announced intentions to increase their use of AHSS in automobiles, and several 2019 and 2020 models made with higher proportions of the advanced high-strength steel have already been unveiled.

Close-up of a sliver luxury car, illuminated in a dark garage. The steel curves of the car catch the soft, warm light.

SUV’s

Source: Repairer Drive News

Last month, a large automotive manufacturer “…revealed its brand-new “flagship” three-row SUV, describing a steel body with a 13.7 percent higher average tensile strength than its next-generation 2019 coupe.”

The article continues to highlight the SUV’s new build, saying it has “…a very rigid structure, with strategic use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) in key suspension and crash areas to provide increased tensile-strength. Use of Advanced High Strength Steel has several benefits: lighter overall vehicle weight and greater vehicle strength and rigidity without the excessive costs of more exotic lightweight materials.”

The SUV “…is expected to achieve TSP+ from the IIHS and a 5-star NHTSA rating. Robust underbody and side structures are designed to increase energy absorption and cabin intrusion in a severe collision, especially in the small overlap test. Further, its underbody uses multiple load paths to better disperse potential crash energy in the event of a collision.’”

Sedan

Source: Repairer Drive News

Another automotive manufacturer announced that “The 2019 sedan model ‘strengthens its bones’ for its third generation, describing a body made up of 54 percent advanced high-strength steel.”

The vehicle also added “hot-stamped components”, a reference likely to indicate ultra-high-strength steels.

This new configuration is likely to restrict what auto body shops can do to the popular sedan. Higher-strength steels tend to carry heat, sectioning and repair restrictions because of their metallurgy or role in crash protection.

“Because body stiffness plays a major role in NVH performance, engineers worked to increase rigidity for a quieter cabin and better handling tuned to match the car’s sporty and dynamic exterior appearance, resulting in a 16 percent stiffer body in white,” the automotive manufacturer wrote in a news release Wednesday.

“New subframe designs help to improve lateral responsiveness, while steering feel is upgraded compared to its predecessor’s thanks to enhancements within the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system that reduce artificial steering feel and friction.”

Throughout the last year, we shared information on the various types of AHSS products, including DP Steel, TRIP, Complex Phase, and more.  The widespread use of advanced high-strength steel doesn’t seem to be slowing down as we move into 2019.

Are you excited as we are to see how AHSS develops? Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date with news about National Material and the steel industry at large!

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.

Visit National Material: http://www.nationalmaterial.com or call (U.S.) 847-806-7200, Diana Pulido.

15 01, 2019

America’s Premier Forum on Minority Supplier Development: NMSDC Conference 2018

2019-01-15T18:27:52+00:00 January 15th, 2019|News Blog, NMC Media|

2018 NMSDC Conference program cover art of swooping pastel paint brush strokes“The very identity of the American people – culturally and ethnically – is evolving quickly. That points to a transformative future, especially for minority-owned businesses in national and global supply chains. NMSDC has the tools, the connections and the vision to help you find your place in that future.” Says Adrienne Trimble, President & CEO, National Minority Supplier Development Council. “We are supported by 1,595 corporate members, serving them and 12,000 certified minority businesses. The total economic impact of NMSDC’s MBEs exceeds $400 billion dollars, tied to the creation of 2.3 million jobs.”

Chartered in 1972 to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes, The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)  is the global leader in advancing business opportunities for its certified Asian, Black, Latin, and Native American business enterprises and connecting them to member corporations.

The NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange is the nation’s premier forum on minority supplier development. For four days, more than 6,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives and supplier diversity professionals from the top multinational companies, as well as leading Asian, Black, Latin, and Native American business owners and international organizations convened in Austin, Texas to re-energize their collective efforts to certify, develop, connect, and advocate for solid minority firms in the global corporate supply chain.

This “MBE event of the year” featured more than 20 targeted sessions and workshop, a one-day Business Opportunity Exchange with more than 700 exhibit booths, a black-tie awards banquet and, of course, endless opportunities to network.

2018 conference highlights included:

  • MetLife-supported Emerging Young Entrepreneurs program’s intensive workshop
  • U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, kicking off its annual National Minority Enterprise Development Week
  • NFL star and real estate entrepreneur Emmitt Smith speaking at the conference’s opening breakfast
  • Wells Fargo’s announcement of its sponsorship of NMSDC’s CEO Academy program
  • The Business Opportunity Exchange, a unique, national trade fair with more than 700 booths showcasing corporations and minority business enterprises looking to connect and extend their business dealings with one another
  • NMSDC’s Corporate Plus® program featuring some of its most successful corporate members, including Fortune 500 MasTec and the nation’s largest producer of natural gas, EQT

To meet the growing need for supplier diversity, NMSDC matches its more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses to our network of more than 1,750 corporate members who wish to purchase their products, services and solutions. NMSDC, a unique and specialized player in the field of minority business enterprise, is proud of its unwavering commitment to advance Asian, Black, Latin, and Native American suppliers in a globalized corporate supply chain. For more information, visit www.NMSDC.org.

National Material Company is proudly certified as an MBE supplier of steel manufacturing

National Material Company has been attending the annual NMSDC Conference for decades, and was awarded the prestigious Supplier Partner Award for 2015 by the company Meritor, who presented to partners who “achieved excellence in quality, delivery, cost savings, and innovation in fiscal year 2015.” This award marks the continued growth of National Material’s role as a major supplier within the automotive industry, a trend which continues through 2018 and beyond. With headquarters in Troy, Michigan, Meritor specializes in supplying high quality automotive products and is a globally leading supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking, and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets.

Members of the NMC team standing in front of their booth at the 2018 NMSDC conference

NMC team members in Austin, Texas attending the 2018 NMSDC Conference

Why partner with a certified MBE?

  • Better quality products, services, and solutions as a result of a diverse supply base
  • Showcases the company’s support of the economic growth of all communities
  • Demonstrates a commitment to new thinking and ideas
  • Certification ensures minority eligibility is established through screenings, interviews, and site visits

Visit the National Material Company website for more information on MBE or

contact Wendell Davis, NMC’s Manager of Minority Business Development:

Phone: (847) 806-4742 | Email: mailto:wdavis@nmlp.com