Steel News

ATI Plans Stop to Standard Stainless Sheet Production

12/3/2020 - Stainless steel and specialty alloys producer Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) is exiting the standard stainless sheet business and will redeploy capital to focus on high-value products primarily for the aerospace and defense sectors. 

“We are taking decisive action to become a more profitable company by further sharpening our focus on the highest-value opportunities for our business,” said Robert S. Wetherbee, ATI president and chief executive officer.

“By shedding a low-margin product line and optimizing our footprint, we are redeploying resources to an aerospace and defense-centered portfolio, expanding margins and driving returns to generate significant value for our shareholders.”

As part of the reorganization, the company will close five finishing facilities in Ohio, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Of those, two already have closed; the remaining three will be shut down by the end of 2021. 

Additionally, the company said it will invest between US$65 million and US$85 million in its Vandergrift, Pa., facility as it is reconfigured to meet new needs. Investments include a bright annealing line to be installed by early 2023. 

At the end, Wetherbee said the company will have two dedicated flow paths, one for plate and one for specialty sheet. 

“This gives us the opportunity to optimize and improve our flow times in a highly efficient footprint, which we expect to give tremendous advantage as the market recovers and we’re able to respond to our customers in a very fast way.”

Also as part of the reorganization, the company said Kim Fields, executive vice president of the advanced alloys and solutions unit, will additionally take on responsibility for the high-performance materials and components unit. She’ll take over for John Sims, who is retiring next year. 

As part of the transition, Sims will continue as senior adviser to the CEO until his retirement. 

“Across his 25 years of service, John has been instrumental to ATI’s growth in aerospace and defense,” said Wetherbee. “His vision and dedication to relentless execution have helped position ATI as a leader in supplying next-generation jet engines, setting us on a course for success for decades to come,” Wetherbee said.