Skyscrapers being constructed
Silver linings found in steel demand forecast
The World Steel Association has forecast that steel demand will grow by 5.8 percent in 2021 to reach 1.874 billion metric tons, after falling 0.2 percent last year. It predicts a further growth in demand of 2.7 percent during 2022.

The forecast assumes steady progress on COVID-19 vaccinations will occur, allowing a gradual return to normality in major steel-consuming economies.

“Despite the disastrous impact of the pandemic on lives and livelihoods, the global steel industry was fortunate enough to end 2020 with only a minor contraction in steel demand,” comments Al Remeithi, chairman of the association’s Economics Committee. He attributed that “a surprisingly robust (9.1 percent) recovery in China while demand across the rest of the world contracted by 10 percent.

“In the coming years, steel demand will recover firmly, both in the developed and developing economies, supported by pent-up demand and governments’ recovery programs. However,” Remeithi adds, “a return to the pre-pandemic levels of steel demand for most developed economies will take a few years.”

The association studied the end markets most dependent on steel. Global construction output fell 3.9 percent last year as pandemic shutdowns interrupted construction projects and upended capital plans in numerous regions. “Fiscal resources were drawn away from infrastructure investment for the pandemic support programs,” the agency says.

demand will recover, supported by pent-up demand and government programs.
al remeithi, worldsteel
In some countries, the resumption of construction projects is still constrained by COVID restrictions, worker shortages, and weak private investment. But still other nations’ governments are prepared to prioritize infrastructure investment as a recovery tool.

Global construction is expected to reach the 2019 level again in 2022.

The automotive sector nosedived during the second quarter of 2020. Plants were rebooted to produce personal protection equipment and respirators. The decline in automotive production activity in 2020 was of a double-digit scale in most countries.

The sector is expected to recover strongly in 2021, particularly in the United States, where 2021 output will exceed that of 2019.

The global machinery sector was hit by shrinking investments and supply chain disruptions last year. The industry has started reviewing its supply chains for flexibility and reliability. An accelerating trend toward digitization and automation will drive industries to invest in machinery over the next two years, the World Steel Association predicts.

Cat Walk
Steel Dynamics plans additional coating capacity
On the heels of building a new sheet mill in Sinton, Texas, Steel Dynamics Inc. has announced even more capacity growth.

“We plan to add two additional value-added flat roll coating lines more quickly than originally expected,” President and CEO Mark D. Millett said April 15. “The site has yet to be determined but it will be located in the South, to provide Sinton with similar diversification and higher-margin product capabilities as our Butler and Columbus Flat Roll Steel divisions.”

The Fort Wayne, Indiana-based steelmaker will also build two more coil coating lines in the Midwest to support growing demand for coated sheet.

The company plans to invest $225 million in two new Southern coating lines. The lines will consist of a 300,000-tons-per-year galvanizing line with Galvalume coating capability and a 240,000-ton paint line.

Roughly $175 million to $200 million will be invested in the Midwest coating lines, providing SDI’s existing sheet mill customers with more value-added product diversification. Here, too, the plan is for 300,000 tons of galvanized and 240,000 tons of painted products. SDI expects to launch production on its Midwest coating lines during the second half of 2022.

Geoff Laughlin headshot
Bystronic hires regional manager
Bystronic Inc., Hoffman Estates, Illinois, hired Geoff Laughlin as regional sales manager for the Midwest. He has over 25 years of experience in manufacturing, engineering, automation and sales management.
Car Assembly Line
Chemcoaters passes BIW testing
Technology developed by Chemcoaters, Gary, Indiana, has passed body-in-white testing, allowing customers to use its products in the automotive supply chain. This marks the first time Chemcoaters’ rust prevention products have been approved for use in BIW automotive applications. Chemcoaters products include the InterCoat ChemGuard line, corrosion inhibiting coatings that extend zinc life and protect galvanized and Galvannealed steels. Chemcoaters will continue to pursue specialty applications in automotive and commercial transportation.
Red Fastener
Atlas Tube acquires fastener company
Atlas Tube, Chicago, a division of Zekelman Industries, has acquired the Shuriken Structural Nut Keeper. Shuriken’s product line allows for field-bolted HSS column splices and connections with faster erection and lower costs than other connection types. Atlas Tube will offer Shuriken technology alongside its own products to simplify column splices and other one-sided connections.
company formations
Business applications by industry
Based on applications filed for IRS employer identification numbers during March 2021, The U.S. Census Bureau projects that business formations increased 3.4 percent compared with February. The highest gains for new business applications occurred in the South and Midwest (up 4.1 percent in both regions), but there were increases in the Northeast (0.7 percent) and Midwest (3 percent) as well.
Circle Graph
Blue coiled sheet metal
Service center buys coated coil distributor
Mill Steel Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, has purchased the commercial assets of Prassas Metal Products, a Los Angeles-based steel trading and stocking distributor of prepainted and coated coil products. Terms of the business transaction were not disclosed. Mill Steel has assumed steel processing and supply for PMP’s construction industry customers in the Southeast, Mid-South and Western states. Mill Steel will uphold existing contracts held by Prassas.
Dr. Emily J. Haas headshot
SME recognizes author
Dr. Emily J. Haas was bestowed with the Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Englewood, Colorado, in March. The award recognizes the best paper by a young (under 35) author. Haas’s paper was on worker health measures and outcomes. Rossiter W. Raymond was a consulting mining engineer, lawyer, sailor, soldier, writer, orator, editor, theologian, teacher, novelist and chess player.
Dr. Emily J. Haas
Machine sales firm adds territory manager
Joy Abbitt has joined distributor BluTec Machinery, Hickory, North Carolina, as a Florida territory manager. BluTec Machinery is a distributor for MC Machinery, Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Abbit’s territory includes Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, eastern Tennessee, and part of West Virginia. A Navy veteran, Abbitt has worked in advanced machinery sales and service for the seven years.
Extruder buys cylinder assets
Metal Impact East LLC, an extruder based in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, has purchased the Luxfer Holdings PLC aluminum gas cylinders division. Metal Impact now owns the Graham, North Carolina, manufacturing operations and catalog of products and services. The acquisition will more than double Metal Impact’s cylinder capacity and manufacturing footprint, supporting a more expansive line of cylinders for markets including industrial, food and beverage, fire suppression, performance racing, SCUBA and life support.
Gas Tanks
Global Shop Solutions Headquarters
Software provider is 45
Global Shop Solutions, The Woodlands, Texas, developer of enterprise resource planning software, is celebrating its 45th anniversary. Founded in 1976 by Dick Alexander, the family-owned business has grown from a small software developer to an enterprise serving manufacturers in 25 countries through five divisions in the U.S., Mexico, U.K, Southeast Asia and New Zealand.
 award program
Reshoring competition launched
Companies that have successfully reshored products, parts or tooling made primarily by metalforming, fabricating, casting or machining, including additive manufacturing, are invited to apply to a contest. Sponsors are the Reshoring Initiative, Precision Metalforming Association, National Tooling and Machining Association and the Association for Manufacturing Technology. To be eligible for the award, companies will have reshored operations between 2013 and 2021, from outside North America to North America. Applications are due June 30, 2021. Visit for information.
National Metalworking Reshoring Award
Powder Technology for 3D Printing
Powder technology developed for 3D printing
Desktop Metal Inc., Burlington, Massachusetts, and Uniformity Labs, Fremont, California, have created a breakthrough powder that enables aluminum sintering for binder jetting AM technology. This new powder is the result of a multiyear collaboration between the companies to develop a low-cost, raw material yielding fully dense, sinterable Grade 6061 aluminum with greater than 10 percent elongation and improved yield strength and ultimate tensile strength versus wrought Grade 6061 aluminum with comparable heat treatment.
Iron ore producer, workers reach tentative agreement
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., Cleveland, has signed a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers union for a new 53-month labor contract covering about 300 USW-represented workers.
Workers fabricating sheet metal
SAF celebrates 75 years
SAF, Atlanta, a global metals distributor, fabricator and finisher, is celebrating its 75th year in business. Since 1946, SAF has grown from pioneer in anodizing to a full-service aluminum finisher, extrusion and sheet distributor. It also fabricates architectural panels, column covers and exterior building systems. To commemorate the milestone, SAF made a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Banner Metals Group building
Ohio stamper reaches milestone
Banner Metals Group, Columbus, Ohio, is celebrating 100 consecutive years in metal stamping and metal products. The Banner Die, Tool and Stamping Co. began providing full-service metal stampings in the heart of Ohio in 1921 and now services the aerospace, automotive, commercial truck and off-highway, and lawn and garden industries.
Eric Stuart headshot
Central Tube chooses CFO
Central Tube and Bar, Conway, Arkansas, hired Eric Stuart as chief financial officer and vice president sales and marketing. Stuart has 20 years of corporate experience, having worked for Acxiom, KPMG and Neustar.
Jim Keaty headshot
Promotion at steel plate distributor
Leeco Steel promoted Jim Keaty to sales manager, Midwest region. Keaty started his career at Leeco as a sales representative for the Midwest region in 2013. He was promoted to account manager in December 2019 and later to senior account manager.
Find out more:
Coil processor adds slitting line
Andes Coil Processors LLC, Dallas, installed a 72-inch-wide slitting line in Dallas. The facility also has a 60-inch-wide slitting line. The new line will process materials between 0.015 inch through 0.25 inch gauge and master coils measuring up to 78 inches with a 30-ton maximum coil weight.
Raymond S. Napolitan Jr.
Nucor executive VP to retire
Raymond S. Napolitan Jr., executive vice president of engineered bar products and digital, for Nucor Corp., Charlotte, North Carolina, will retire June 5 after 25 years with the company. Napolitan joined Nucor Building Systems-Indiana in 1996 as engineering manager. He took on several advancing positions with the building products group, and became an executive vice president in 2013.
Steel being carried on hook
NASA adds new member
Pacemaker Steel & Piping Co. has joined the North American Steel Alliance, a purchasing cooperative. Pacemaker, based in Utica, New York, was founded in 1956 and holds general line inventory.
Aluminum Storage
AEC elects officers
Officers were elected to new terms on the Executive Committee of the Aluminum Extruders Council. Brook Massey, president of MI Metals Inc., was re-elected to a one-year term as chairman. Brook Hamilton, president of Bonnell Aluminum, was re-elected vice chairman. Newly elected board members include Christian Feisel of Kaiser Aluminum as extruder director; Paul Robbins of Castool Tooling Systems as at-large director; and Stephen Guerrette of Alcoa Primary Metals as producer director.
Yasuhiro Kojina headshot
OTC Daihen appoints leader
OTC Daihen Inc., a provider of welding and robotics products, promoted Yasuhiro Kojina as president and CEO. Kojina replaces Shinsuke “Luke” Kadota, who returned to Japan to become the deputy general manager of sales and marketing for the planning and administration department, FA robot division, Daihen Corp.
30 years for National Tube
National Tube Supply, University Park, Illinois, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020. Formed in 1990, the company now has additional locations in Moreno Valley, California, Baytown, Texas, and Mississauga, Ontario. The company offers precision cutting services for random lengths and cut-to-length tubing.
National Tube Supply
Alloys distributor marks half century
American Alloy Steel, Houston, established in 1971, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The company has grown and added locations over the years. Its plate, heavy pipe and bar products go into shipbuilding, offshore construction, petrochemical, power generation, military, mining and pressure vessel applications.
promotions made at SDI
Steel Dynamics Inc., Fort Wayne, Indiana, promoted Jordan Breiner to vice president; he runs the Butler Flat Roll Steel Division. It also promoted William T. Scruggs to vice president; he oversees commercial operations of the entire Flat Roll Steel Group. Jeff Hansen, vice president of human resources and health and safety, has been given additional responsibilities for SDI’s approach and strategy concerning environmental sustainability, including climate-related matters. Richard Poinsatte, vice president and treasurer, was given additional oversight for strategic business development and government relations.