To help address pressing customer issues, Harvey, Ill.-based Atkore International recently undertook several focused efforts geared to drive greater innovation into its steel product and supply-chain processes.
The goal of one such initiative: Help customers achieve structural improvements for certain tubing applications for side-by-side recreational vehicles. The approach: Work with steel suppliers to find material alternatives that not only provided greater strength and formability for thinner cross-sections but would do so at a lower cost. After much review, testing and prototyping the company found that bake-hardenable and TRIP (Transformation Induced Plasticity) steel grades met their customers' design requirements.
Plans call for the company to undertake other collaborative projects, including evaluating alternative coating technologies and automotive grades to drive cost out and value in. Atkore, which became a public company last June, operates 17 manufacturing locations in the United
States, including three dedicated pipe and tube operations.
Borusan Mannesmann Pipe
Only the strongest tube and pipe makers were able to survive the 12 months of 2016. A survivor, Houston-based Borusan Mannesmann Pipe lays claim to being the sole U.S. electric resistance welded (ERW) OCTG mill to manufacture and ship products without interruption through the duration of the market downturn.
To do that, Borusan Mannesmann looked inward and focused on finding ways to tweak production processes to become as efficient as possible. No matter how dire market conditions grew, Borusan Mannsmann continued to purchase hot-rolled coil, working with its vendors to structure contracts in a way that allowed both to continue to produce product. At the same time, the company capitalized on internal engineering resources and those at their vendors to improve operational efficiencies. Today,. Borusan Mannesmann remains focused on supporting the people who helped keep the company in business, even in a restricted capacity, while continuing to look to its operations team, customers and vendors daily to find even more ways to increase yields and uptime.