12 04, 2019

NMC Steel Supply Chain Expertise At a Glance

2019-04-12T02:14:54+00:00 April 12th, 2019|News Blog|

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

National Material’s steel and metal supply chain management services are designed to meet the needs of each and every customer, tailored to meet today’s requirements and tomorrow’s growth goals. Our specialized team of steel and metal experts are strategic partners positioned to work with customers directly. We offer solutions serving many industries including automotive, agriculture, heavy truck/equipment, electrical/industrial enclosures, HVAC, appliance, construction, general stampers, and roll formers.

Founded in 1964, National Material Company offers 50+ years of leadership in supplying, processing, and servicing the metal manufacturing needs of diverse industries. With processing facilities and service centers in the U.S. and Mexico, NMC is strategically located to deliver its substantial capabilities.

How NMC delivers value at every step in the supply chain:

Processing

No matter how big the task, NMC can handle it

  • Slitting
  • Pickling
  • Blanking
  • Stamping
  • Galvanizing

Logistics optimization

Materials from A to B at lowest possible cost

  • Cost-efficiently linking 14 plants, steel mills, and a certified processor network
  • Total freight cost in 1 invoice: mill to processor to OEM
  • Custom designed for all NMC programs

Diversity programs

NMC is the largest certified MBE Metal Supplier in the U.S.

  • Supports your diversity spend goals

Pricing programs

NMC provides numerous pricing options:

  • CRU-indexed contracts allow prices to change
  • Directed buy pricing – OEM negotiates price with mill, NMC buys metal at “directed” price
  • Firm price for a short period (up to a quarter)
  • Resale option – OEM negotiates price with mill, processor “resales” back to OEM at a price that includes value-add services
  • Spot pricing – one-time purchase with quick turnaround
  • Hedging/futures eliminates price volatility

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

Value added/value engineering

Providing value over & above the price of the steel

  • Part appraisals
  • Mass reduction—light weighting
  • Product & process training
  • And more…

Electronic data interchange (EDI)

Increases accuracy and efficiency of transactions

  • Automated transaction processing
  • Eliminates keystroke errors
  • Reduce administrative costs

China supply chain management

NMC has extensive operations in China

  • Expertise in sourcing metals and parts within China
  • Import parts from China to North America
  • Automotive tool & die manufacturer within China
  • Tool and die engineering services

Outsourced parts

Using a network of partners, NMC can provide

  • Stamping
  • Laser
  • Roll form
  • Press break
  • Welding
  • And more…

14 steel service centers across North America

Our 14 plants have a processing capability of over 2,000,000 tons per year, and a total of 3.2 million square feet under roof.

Our plants are strategically located to save our customers on freight and shipping costs, which often ends up being a significant chunk of an OEM’s orders to a manufacturer.

  • 13 plants with processing capability of over 2,000,000 tons/year
  • 2 million square feet under roof
  • Plants strategically located to save you freight costs (truck, rail, barge, etc.)
  • Access to expanded capabilities through our parent company, National Material Limited Partnership, as well as multiple joint ventures partnerships

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.

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?

2019-04-12T02:02:34+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.