CHICAGO Ratner Steel Supply Co.s newest processing center in Portage, Ind., began shipments to customers June 10 after starting up its new Red Bud heavy-gauge flat-rolled leveler-stretcher line.
"We ran a full coil and it was perfect," vice president and general manager Steven Gottlieb told AMM.
The company built a 102,000-square-foot warehouse at the Port of Indiana to service customers locally that previously were being serviced out of Roseville, Minn. (amm.com, April 2). Ratner had orders in hand for the new line, a Red Bud that processes material up to 0.5 inch thick by 72 inches wide.
"We have been shipping out of Minnesota but the freight was a killer," Gottlieb said. "Some of our customers said they wanted shipments only from Indiana after visiting the facility." The Portage facility is Ratners third unit "and the most advanced stretcher leveler in the country. We added e-drives into the line, which guarantee more flatness. This is the Rolls Royce of machines."
Ratner, which spent $6 million to build the plant and about $10 million on equipment, has two inside and two outside sales people and is running the line on two shifts. "Our goal is to ramp up to three shifts," Gottlieb said. "Our business strategy is a mix of direct sales and toll processing. A lot of service centers have contacted us about tolling, and many mills and other service centers are asking us to provide direct sales (of leveled material)."
The line will be able to handle 125,000 tons per year on three shifts, Ratner said.