Ruukki Launches U.S. Operations
A wholly owned subsidiary of Rautaruukki Oyj (Finland), Ruukki previously worked through an independent agency.
Ruukki recently opened an office in Wexford, Pa., with Kevin Kale as the head of U.S. sales and marketing efforts. The focus of Ruukki’s North American operations will be on extra- and ultra-high-strength steels, as well as abrasion-resistant steels. Ruukki’s abrasion-resistant steels serve customers in the mining and material handing industries, particularly where sliding abrasion will cause wear to equipment. To counteract the abrasion, the steels range from 300 to 500 Brinell hardness and are marketed under the brand name Raex®. According to Kale, “Ruukki also produces extra/ultra-high-strength steels under the brand name of Optim® with yield strengths up to 160 ksi. These steels offer not only reduced weight, but also increased strength and a strong competitive advantage to our customers. Because of our steels, a dump truck can haul more, and a crane or aerial lift can extend further and lift more.”
“Several things set us apart,” Kale commented further. “Since 2002, Ruukki has developed direct quenching technology to enable efficient, high-quality production of high-strength and wear-resistant steel grades. Because of the tight tolerances, flat surfaces and very high strength of our strip products, our customers can reduce the weight of their products by 20–60%.”
Key U.S. customers of Ruukki include Time Manufacturing, which manufactures both Versalift and Condor aerial lifts, and Link-Belt, a well-known crane manufacturer. Both customers rely on Ruukki’s ultra-high-strength steels.
Time Manufacturing purchases steels from 10-gauge to 4-inch plate, most of that steel being high-strength steel from Ruukki. Time generally purchases cut HSS sheets from Ruukki and brings them into its fully integrated facilities near Waco, Texas, for both laser cutting and welding.
“We use this steel for our booms,” said Gary Bernd, material manager at Time Manufacturing. “When you’re in the lift business, lifting people up off the ground, you want the highest strength with the least weight. Time has been working with Ruukki for two years now, and I never had a compliant from the guys on the floor. We consistently get very flat, clean, quality steel from Ruukki that doesn’t bow on our laser cutting tables.”
Ruukki provides customers with energy-efficient steel solutions for better living, working and moving. The company has approximately 9,000 employees and an extensive distribution and dealer network across some 30 countries, including the Nordic countries, Russia and elsewhere in Europe and the emerging markets, such as India, China and South America.