NEW YORK Gerdau
Special Steel North America is nearing completion of a
15,000-ton-per-year treatment line at its Huntington, Ind.,
facility to serve an emerging electric power steering
The new line will
source hot-rolled special bar quality (SBQ) steel produced in
Monroe, Mich., and provide heat-treatment capabilities, in
addition to polishing and stressing, straightening and cutting.
The expansion includes a fifth line for the quench and temper
process, a new crane and a new building for the extra
Gerdau said the expansion, which will be finished in August,
would reduce lead times and save customers the cost of shipping
the steel to a third facility.
The expansion will
position Gerdau to take advantage of the automotive
industrys switch to electric power steering (EPS) from
hydraulic power steering.
"The majority of new
vehicles being produced in North America are utilizing electric
power steering," Chris Easter, regional manager of technical
services for Gerdaus North American special steel
division, said in a statement. "Consumers want vehicles that
are more energy- and fuel-efficient, and EPS systems achieve
this. ... It allows us to be a one-stop shop for our
"The growth of
steering rack manufacturers in North America will be
significant over the next few years and Gerdau is supporting
this growth with the value-added processing required to meet
the demanding specifications and expectations for this
automotive application," Dick Grimes, technical services and
product development manager for Gerdaus North American
special steel division, said in the statement.
The cost of the
expansion at Huntington since 2011 has totaled $27 million, a
company spokeswoman told AMM.