LOS ANGELES Southwest Steel Coil Inc. is expanding its plant by more than 45 percent as it awaits its second major new piece of equipment this year.
The Santa Teresa, N.M., flat-rolled distributor and processor, which has pretty much reversed its business model since starting up in 2000, has ordered a Braner USA Inc. slitting line. The 60,000-pound, 72-inch by 0.25-inch/0.015-inch Loopco slitter is expected to arrive when the companys building expansion to 110,000 square feet from 75,000 square feet is completed in October. The cost of the investment wasnt disclosed.
Earlier this year, Southwest Steel Coilwhich already has a 60-inch Braner slitterinstalled a 60-inch Iowa Precision multiblanking line to accompany an existing 60-inch sheeting line.
Southwest Steel Coil president Ed Camden said the companys growth has come primarily from helping to create "a more local supply chain" by capturing business formerly provided to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) by brokers and service centers from outside its market.
The company, located close to El Paso, Texas, started out primarily as a toll processor but has turned this model around. Today, 90 percent of its business comes from reselling pre-processed, just-in-time stock, and just 10 percent from toll processing, Camden said.
The subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Calstrip Industries Inc. performs slitting, cutting to length and blanking of carbon and stainless steel, and aluminum from master coils of 40,000 to 45,000 pounds. Its customers include OEMs mainly in the border cities of Mexico, but also in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
Camden, who joined Southwest Steel Coil in 2011, is a 22-year steel industry veteran who previously served with the former Armco Steel Co., Edgcomb Metals Co. LLC and Lafayette Steel & Aluminum Co.