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Ludlum targets 60-inch stainless market

Keywords: Tags  ATI Allegheny Ludlum, Terry Dunlap, stainless steel, stainless facility, 60-inch-wide stainless, 400-series stainless, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — ATI Allegheny Ludlum Corp. is looking to expand its presence in the 60-inch-wide and 400-series stainless steel markets when the company commissions its new hot-rolling and processing facility in 2014.

The Brackenridge, Pa., facility, which is expected to be completed by year-end, with commissioning in 2014, will help address gaps in the company’s product offering, ATI executive vice president of flat-rolled products Terry Dunlap said this week at AMM’s 27th annual Stainless and its Alloys Conference in Chicago.

"We are really the last people standing in the stainless business that don’t make 60-wide (product), and it’s certainly a gap in our product offering, so we’ll have that," he said. "We’ll have 60-wide (material) and a better mix of 400-series products, which are two big growth products in North America over the last decade, and we haven’t been able to serve them as well as we’d like. But we’ll be able to do that starting in 2014."

Dunlap rejected suggestions that the company was also making a return to the high-volume, commodity-grade stainless business with the new plant.

"We never really left the commodity (stainless) game, but we will be bigger in it," he said.

A reduction in lead times to as low as 14 days is also a possibility when the plant is operational, Dunlap said.

"We consider ourselves to be extremely flexible and we have fairly short lead times already, but that (14 days) is not a pipe dream. That’s for stainless, though; you’re not going to be able to get a Type 625 nickel alloy in 14 days," he said.

While Dunlap wouldn’t comment on ATI’s merger and acquisition plans, he acknowledged that the company was likely to be in a "digestion" mode.

"Clearly when you spend $3.9 billion in less than a decade, you’re clearly in a mode of digesting and integrating all of those investments with the rest of your company," he said. "As we come to the end of this big investment curve, it’ll be about leveraging everything that we put in place and getting a return on those investments."

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