SSAB Continues to Add High Strength Steel Capabilities at North American Operations
With the construction of the new quench line in Mobile, completed in 2012, SSAB has significantly increased its capacity for producing quenched steel in the Americas from 100,000 to 300,000 tons. With the additional capability to now produce the same high quality, high strength steels in the U.S., as have been produced in Sweden, SSAB continues to reinforce its position as the world leader in advanced high strength steels.
The new quench line has proven to be a good investment both for the customer as well as SSAB and the company continues to expand its product portfolio in the Hardox® and Weldox® branded product lines by adding various thicknesses and grades.
“SSAB invested in the Mobile facility to strengthen our supply chain and to be more responsive to the growing market that we serve. We are now able to provide our high strength steels “locally” thereby shortening order lead time for our customers as well as reducing shipping distances and improving deliveries overall,” said Jeff Moskaluk, vice president and chief commercial officer for SSAB. “Many of our customers in the Americas want to purchase the best products available and we are able to supply those to them with our Hardox and Weldox products. The marketplace has responded very positively to this investment, and is very pleased to have SSAB Hardox® and Weldox® products produced here in the U.S.”
Adding the quench line in Mobile is just one of several initiatives SSAB has implemented recently to enhance service to its customers. Another is the realignment and expansion of the sales force in North America. “We not only increased our sales force but also aligned our applications engineering group with sales to improve our ability to work more closely with our customers in the application and design work involving Hardox® and Weldox® as the most effective solution for our customers,” said Moskaluk.
Customers also have the support of SSAB’s extensive network and logistics team, with mills and downstream facilities throughout the Americas. “We want to be able to provide product to customers wherever they need it,” said Moskaluk.
This extends to SSAB’s research capabilities as well with the company’s state-of-the-art research facility in the U.S. built in 2010. The highly trained R&D staff performs chemical analyses, mechanical property testing, macrostructure assessment, microstructure characterization—among other testing—and has significant expertise with thermal cutting and welding. “With the facility here in the Americas, we’re able to provide rapid turnaround on many issues or applications customers may need with regard to steel products,” said Rick Bodnar, director of research and development for SSAB.
The company continues to grow the business focused on Wear Services with the goal of providing increased productivity, service life and production uptime improvements for customers working in environments where wear issues and operating challenges play a central role. With SSAB’s expertise in this area and the unrivaled reliability of the Hardox brand, the company is looking to grow this solution based area of the business. “Our goal is to establish a position as a full range provider of wear services to the aftermarket and end-user community,” said Per Johansson, vice president, wear and value added services.
“Our ultimate focus is on satisfying the customer and exceeding their expectations in every way,” said Moskaluk. “These strategic initiatives have all been designed with that in mind.”
SSAB is a global leader in value added, high strength steel. SSAB offers products developed in close cooperation with its customers to create a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world. SSAB has employees in over 45 countries and operates production facilities in Sweden and the U.S.