aluminum imports stacked
International Trade
U.S. now monitors aluminum imports
The U.S. Department of Commerce has created the Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) system, which will enable the government to collect and publish data on aluminum imports. AIM is modeled on the government’s existing Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system.

“The new program will enable Commerce and the public to better detect potential transshipment and circumvention involving aluminum products—helping to ensure that domestic producers can compete on a level playing field,” commented Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

Under AIM, importers will be required to obtain a free, automatic import license before they import aluminum products. To obtain the import license, companies must report the volume, value, country of origin, country of most recent cast, and certain other information. The licensing requirement became effective on Jan. 25.

In addition, following a one-year grace period, Commerce will require importers to report the country where imported aluminum products were smelted. Commerce will offer an additional opportunity to comment on this and other aspects of the licensing requirements in the coming months.

Once license data is collected, Commerce will release the data on an aggregate basis through the public AIM monitor. The monitor will track aggregate trends in U.S. imports of certain aluminum products nearly in real time, providing an early indication of trends. The AIM monitor will also identify surges of specific aluminum products suggesting potential transshipment and circumvention relating to these products.

Commerce will hold a series of training webinars to educate the trading community about the new import licensing requirements. To access reference materials and to find and participate in webinars, visit

The AIM was long sought after by the Aluminum Association. “The program will help us to more quickly and fully understand trends in the aluminum market and, as appropriate, push back on countries that fail to follow the rules and laws that govern global trade,” President and CEO Tom Dobbins stated.

Steel Dynamics picks Sinton leader, iron buyer
Steel Dynamics Inc. made appointments for the company’s new Southwest-Sinton Flat Roll Steel Division, its Columbus Flat Roll Steel Division, and a new position for the company’s flat roll steel metallics strategy. Dennis Black will become general manager of the Southwest-Sinton Flat Roll Steel Division effective Feb. 1. Black will oversee the Texas mill, which is expected to begin operations mid-year 2021. Madhu Ranade, who has spent seven years as vice president and general manager of SDI’s Columbus Flat Roll Steel Division, will now oversee the procurement of iron and iron substitutes for all flat roll operations. Daniel Keown has succeeded Ranade as GM for the Columbus Flat Roll Steel Division, managing a 3.2-million-ton electric arc furnace steel mill and four coating lines. Since 2014, Keown led the Engineered Bar Products Division.
board of directors of TimkenSteel, Canton, Ohio
TimkenSteel chooses new leaders
The board of directors of TimkenSteel, Canton, Ohio, has made some executive leadership changes. Michael S. Williams (pictured) was named president and chief executive officer; Interim CEO Terry L. Dunlap will remain on the board and resume his role as independent director; Executive Vice President and General Counsel Frank A. DiPiero stepped down at end of 2020. He is succeeded by Kristine C. Syrvalin, who was promoted to that post.
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steel tunnels in U.S. Steel Corp. factory
U.S. Steel buys rest of Big River Steel
U.S. Steel Corp., Pittsburgh, will acquire the remaining stake in Big River Steel for about $774 million. The purchase is expected to close during the first quarter. Big River Steel operates a Flex Mill in northeast Arkansas, producing flat-rolled steel. U.S. Steel acquired a 49.9 percent stake in the company in October 2019 with an option to acquire the rest.
workers using new coating product
Capital Project
Dofasco invests in new coating capability
ArcelorMittal Dofasco will add another coating product on its No. 5 hot-dipped galvanizing line in Hamilton, Ontario. The coating is aluminum silicon (Alusi), which is used in producing ArcelorMittal’s patented Usibor press-hardenable steel for automotive structural and safety components. With this investment, Dofasco will become the only Canadian producer of Alusi-coated Usibor steels. The total project cost is Canadian $24 million. The first Alusi-coated Usibor coils should come on line during the second half of 2022. The No. 5 line will be able to coat up to 160,000 tons of steel per year.
Norfolk Iron & Metal product being moved with crane in factory
Norfolk Iron & Metal to acquire Cd’A Metals
Norfolk Iron & Metal Co., Norfolk, Nebraska, has purchased The Coeur d’Alenes Co., Spokane, Washington. The acquisition will complement Norfolk’s regional coverage, adding three new locations in the Northwest, and further expand its product lines and processing capabilities.
Desktop Metal grey round and hexagonal shaped products
Stock Trading
Desktop Metal goes public
Desktop Metal Inc., Burlington, Massachusetts, and Trine Acquisition Corp., have merged. The resulting company is named Desktop Metal Inc. and its common stock and warrants began trading Dec. 10 on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DM and DM.WT. As a result of this merger, Desktop Metal has received $580 million of gross proceeds from Trine’s trust account and concurrent equity private placements.
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a digitally published updated technical guide
STI updates technical guide
The Hollow Structural Sections Committee of the Steel Tube Institute has digitally published an updated technical guide, “Methods to Check Dimensional Tolerances on Hollow Structural Sections,” to help fabricators and service centers. Available on the STI website, the educational resource discusses in detail and illustrates the latest methods to correctly measure tolerances of hollow structural sections. The guide assists professionals in verifying compliance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications.
metal pipeline in desert
Intellectual Property
Partners want to make pipelines smarter
Tri-D Dynamics Inc., San Mateo, California, and Japan-based global steel distributor Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc. have agreed to develop smart pipelines that bring the benefits of digitally connected infrastructure to the energy industry. Under the agreement, Tri-D will provide design and advanced manufacturing IP to integrate sensors and electronic components into Marubeni-Itochu pipelines used in oil and gas production, in a market with over 14 million metric tons of demand in 2019. Embedded sensors and electronics will enable digital tracking of oil country tubular good over their life cycle—from fabrication at the mill to transportation, storage and incorporation into the well bore. The partnership will provide petroleum exploration and production customers with greater accuracy, reliability, transparency and efficiency for one of the most critical pieces of well infrastructure.
worker next to sheets of metal in Rio Tinto factory
Capital Project
Rio Tinto expands aluminum recycling capacity
Rio Tinto is investing $8.4 million to expand the recycling capacity of its aluminum operations in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, to offer North American rolled product customers a sustainable solution combining low-carbon and recycled aluminum. A remelt furnace will be installed at the Laterrière plant’s casting center to recycle aluminum cuttings from Rio Tinto’s operations and from the rolling mill’s manufacturing customers. The plant will then produce rolling ingots for the automotive and packaging industries. With an initial capacity of 22,000 metric tons of remelted aluminum per year, the new recycling system should start up at the end of 2021.
a new 100,000-square-foot Phoenix manufacturing facility
New Capacity
Profile Precision Extrusions grows with new facility
Profile Precision Extrusions has moved into a new 100,000-square-foot Phoenix manufacturing facility. The new building is more than twice the size of its former facility. The company intends to hire employees during 2021, as needed based on demand and further growth. PPE will also expand the types of aluminum extrusions and value-added services it offers.
Samuel Roll Form red and white construction helmets
New Capacity
Samuel Roll Form expands in Mississippi
Samuel Roll Form Group, a division of Samuel, Son & Co. Ltd., Oakville, Ontario, expanded its manufacturing facility in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. The company expects to hire a total of 30 highly skilled, full-time employees.
Wayne E. Takach headshot
American Specialty Metals adds to sales team
Wayne E. Takach has joined American Specialty Metals, Willoughby, Ohio, as an outside sales associate. Takach has worked as a manufacturers’ representative for more than 10 years and has decades of experience in the tool steel industry.
Eric Roetcisoender headshot
G&L Tube names president
Eric Roetcisoender has been named president of G&L Tube, Cookeville, Tennessee, a subsidiary of O’Neal Industries. Roetcisoender, a 20-plus year veteran in the welded tube industry, previously served in various roles with a producer of welded metal tubing, including as vice president of purchasing and general manager.
assets of Action Stainless & Alloys Inc. in Olympic Steel Inc. factory
Olympic Steel acquires stainless distributor
Olympic Steel Inc., Cleveland, has acquired the assets of Action Stainless & Alloys Inc., Carrollton, Texas. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Action Stainless & Alloys, with six U.S. locations, is a distributor of stainless steel and aluminum plate, sheet, angles, rounds, flat bar, tubing and pipe and offers plasma, laser and waterjet cutting, and CNC machining. In 2019, the company reported sales exceeding $40 million. The business will be incorporated into Olympic Steel’s specialty metals business segment.
a children’s book by Combilift
Reaching Out
Combilift releases children’s book
Combilift published a children’s book, “The Forklift Trucks and their Secret Superpowers.” Author Emer Conlon says he approached Combilift proposing a book that would provide a “unique way to communicate with existing and potential customers, as well as being involved in the education of the next generation.” The idea was to write a story that transforms Combilift machines “into characters that children will love.” The book highlights overcoming difficulties, the importance of friendship and that bullying is unacceptable. All proceeds from book sales will go to Make a Wish Foundation.
Aluminum rolling mill taps Nucor Buildings for expansion
Nucor Buildings Group has recognized JW Aluminum as a preferred partner. Nucor’s Preferred Partner Program offers a rebate on all qualified shipments from Nucor Buildings Group. The expanded JW Aluminum’s Goose Island, South Carolina, complex included construction of a 220,000-square-foot building. In conjunction with both Nucor Buildings Group and contractor Trident Construction, JW Aluminum used 1.247 tons of Nucor steel in this new facility.
Reaching Out
Indigenous group signs pact with iron miner
The Innu communities of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and Matimekush-Lac John today signed a Reconciliation and Collaboration Agreement with the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC). The agreement will facilitate increased participation by the Innu communities in IOC’s activities, delivering financial benefits and socio-economic initiatives across employment, training and business opportunities. IOC will work to increase the number of Innu people employed at its operations and to implement measures to help develop the capacity and competitiveness of Innu businesses. The company will also collaborate with the Innu communities on environmental monitoring and protection as well as on preserving and promoting their customs and cultural practices.
Cincinnati Inc. president and chief executive officer
Equipment maker gains new CEO
Cincinnati Inc., Harrison, Ohio, appointed Timothy L. Warning as president and chief executive officer. He was also elected to the board of directors. Warning spent most of his career growing businesses for Occidental Chemical Corp. and various Dover Corp. companies.
black microphone podcast icon
AEC introduces new podcast
The Aluminum Extruders Council, Wauconda, Illinois, is introducing a new communication tool aimed at members and customers of aluminum extrusions with The Shapemakers podcast series. The purpose of the series is to inform and educate AEC members, extrusion customers and the academic community about important and timely issues relating to the aluminum extrusion industry. It gives AEC a convenient tool to reach people through audio recordings focused on specific topics. AEC plans to broadcast interviews with council members and leaders, as well as those from the manufacturing industry, academia and elsewhere. The goal is to inform listeners about the latest developments that will impact businesses. To listen to The Shapemakers podcast by the Aluminum Extruders Council, subscribe and follow on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and other platforms.
Bull Moose Tube Co. factory in Chesterfield, Missouri
Capital Project
Tube producer upgrades mill equipment
Bull Moose Tube Co., Chesterfield, Missouri, completed capital investment projects at its two largest tubular facilities in Elkhart, Indiana, and Trenton, Georgia. The multimillion-dollar investments in high-performance equipment is expected to optimize operational capabilities. The projects involved upgrades to the drive and automation control system, installation of a new induction unit, upgrades to the sizing section of the mill with advanced quality assurance capabilities, and upgraded cutoff quality and length accuracy. The upgrades will enhance product quality, increase production efficiency and reliability, and make operations more flexible.
Vendor Agreement
ABB to supply casting solution
ABB, manufacturer of robotics, power, heavy electrical and automation equipment, sold a flow control mold electromagnetic stirring and braking solution for one of the world’s widest thick slab continuous casters at Nucor Corp.’s steel plate mill in Brandenburg, Kentucky. With capacity for slabs of up to 12 inches thick by 124 inches wide, the caster is the widest ever to be equipped with flow control mold. The casting house will be operational by 2022.
Olympic picks Iowa GM
Olympic Steel Inc. hired Jeffrey A. Carson as general manager for the Bettendorf, Iowa, service center. Carson will supervise temper mill processing, fabrication and metal distribution.
New Capacity
Toll processor starts up Cut-To-Length line
Butech Bliss, Salem, Ohio, designed, manufactured and installed a stretch leveling cut-to-length line at Feralloy’s Ghent, Kentucky, plant. Feralloy started up the line, located in a new 90,000-square- foot facility, during the fourth quarter. Based in Chicago, Feralloy operates a network of 10 flat-rolled steel processing centers throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Processed materials include hot-rolled, pickled, cold-rolled and coated steel sheet products.
Tex-Isle Inc. factory in Houston
New Capacity
Tex-Isle to install ERW pipe mill
Tex-Isle Inc., Houston, plans to open a steel tubular mill in Robstown, Texas, during the third quarter of 2021. The mill is designed to produce steel tubes with outer diameters ranging from 2.375 inches to 8.625 inches. Overall, the facility will have the ability to produce 350,000 tons of tubing per year, of which 250,000 tons is slated for API standard applications with the remaining 100,000 tons reserved for structural products.
Nucor chooses new leaders
The board of directors of Nucor Corp., Charlotte, North Carolina, elected David A. Sumoski as chief operating officer, promoted MaryEmily Slate to a newly created position of executive vice president of commercial. The board promoted K. Rex Query to executive vice president of sheet and tubular products; Douglas J. Jellison to executive vice president responsible for The David J. Joseph Co. and Logistics; and Gregory J. Murphy to a newly created position of executive vice president of business services and as general counsel.
Distributor names vice presidents
Murphy and Nolan Inc., Syracuse, New York, appointed Erica M. Reeners as vice president of procurement and administration. Reeners joined the company 20 years ago in the credit department and has since held multiple positions within sales and administration, most recently as director of purchasing and administration. Thomas P. Ross was named vice president of sales and marketing. Ross joined the company over 15 years ago as an intern, then moved on to inside sales, account management and, most recently, as director of sales operations.