CHICAGO Republic Steels deliveries remain behind schedule despite the producer restarting its Canton, Ohio, melt shop about a month ago after replacing a transformer that failed Aug. 2, some customers said.
"Its basically that Republics shipments have not improved. ... They are between one and two months late. Its hand to mouth. They arent shipping to orders anymore but to worst-case scenario, so customers dont have to shut down production. Its not ideal," one forging customer said.
"They have done a good job of communicating (to customers) about it," he said. "It seems like from a sales standpoint theyre good, but production is just not executing."
A Great Lakes bar processor and distributor also said he sees "delays of steel coming out of Republic. We are quoting new business and being told February deliveries. We actually need the material in December."
He agreed that Canton-based Republic Steel is up front about its difficulties. "They are ahead on the communication side, but certain alloys they make that are very application specific (are quoted with) six-month lead times."
It takes too long to qualify another source for such applications, so customers just have to be patient, he said.
Apart from the transformer replacement, "there are issues at Canton that we are trying to get balanced and up to speed," a spokesman for Republic Steel told AMM. "We certainly want to use as much of our existing and soon-to-be started capacity as we can. Its part of our plan and our expectation."
The company has begun cold commissioning of its electric-arc furnace and other steel refining and casting operations at its Lorain, Ohio, steelmaking complex (amm.com, Sept. 19), and expects to begin ramping up production in less than 75 days.
"Our new capacity should be on-stream by the first of the year after trials and qualifications, so we are looking at filling that up," the Republic Steel spokesman said. The company will sell the additional tonnage to tube manufacturers, automakers and their suppliers, "but also other end markets: heavy truck, distribution, construction equipment."