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SDI’s Butler halts spot orders for cold-rolled

Sep 13, 2013 | 06:26 PM |

Tags  SDI, Butler, Richard Teets, The Techs, cold-rolled, cold-rolled galvanize, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — An ongoing production issue at Steel Dynamics Inc.’s Butler, Ind., facility has forced the company to temporarily halt spot order sales of cold-rolled coil and cold-rolled substrate products, a company executive has confirmed.

Earlier this summer, the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based company initiated a capital project at its Butler facility keyed to increase the productivity of the plant’s two-stand cold mill, Richard Teets, SDI’s president and chief operating officer for steel, told AMM. Due to a technological setback, however, instead of increasing efficiency the planned three-day shutdown put a crimp in cold-rolled production at the plant.

"It’s new technology and no one else in the world is using it. We were trying to make it a single-pass mill," Teets said. "But the bugs weren’t and still aren’t worked out of it. Our equipment supplier has brought in more engineers to continue working on it."

Buyers had told AMM that SDI had ceased to offer spot orders for its cold-rolled material in recent weeks, and instead was re-directing orders to The Techs, SDI’s steel coating subsidiary, in Pittsburgh. While Butler is not a large player in the cold-rolled sector, Teets said, the outage that was stretched to four days has caused continued production issues on the cold side. He added the facility was late on hard galvanized shipments.

"We haven’t gotten back to the tons per day before the shut down and it continues to plague us. We’re still trying to work it out," Teets said, adding that the plant’s hot side has not been affected.

The facility has continued to honor all contract business. In addition, sales and marketing staff at the mill have been asked to sell coated material for both the Butler and Pittsburgh facility.

"At this moment, when we take an order, we see which line is the best. If it can be produced at both Butler and Pittsburgh, we’re shifting it to Pittsburgh so it’ll allow us to focus on orders that we don’t produce there (Pittsburgh) like galvanneal. We reserve the right to shift orders to one of the Pittsburgh lines. That’s why we combined sales team to maximize efficiency." (, Apr. 25).

Teets added that the company has worked "very seriously" with every customer and hasn’t turned away one contract customer.

SDI’s Butler hot strip mill is capable of producing 3 million tons of steel annually and is equipped with a cold reduction mill with a capacity rating of 1 million tons annually, according to the 2012 Association for Iron & Steel Technology directory.

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