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Slideshow: Finnish High-End Steel Maker Comes to US

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Lax
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Iron
Re: Rautarukki and Other Scandinavian Steel Makers
Lax   1/13/2014 8:09:29 AM
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Its a nice article but I think that I cannot agree to some of the infos stated.

Of course the processes and sustainable practices are very interesting but not unusual for Scandinavian steel producers. With having so many steel operations so far up in the North - in pure nature so to say - there are strict rules for steel making companies from the state anyhow.

Furthermore I doubt that the RAEX product group is so innovative and new for the North American steel market. If you only consider the Scandinavian competitors of Rukki there are already 2 companies producing an equal product and both can be bought as well in the U.S. as in Canada already for years.

In addition to this the dimensional range for the direct quenched products is as far as I know very restricted! If you take for example the thickness then they can only direct quench max. 8mm and at both ends of this dimensional range they need to reduce on the width! All thicker dimensions are produced in the conventional QUARTO method and do not use the direct quenching! Insofar I am very sorry but the text underneath pic 2/9 is just not the truth.

Please correct me if you know better.

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Rautarukki and Other Scandinavian Steel Makers
Ann R. Thryft   1/3/2014 1:09:10 PM
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Jim F, thanks for your comments as one who's familiar with this company. What impressed me was the total combination of specialized processes, highly targeted product lines, sustainable practices and cost effectiveness. Too bad they're not opening a plant here.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: HIGH-END STEEL MAKER
Ann R. Thryft   1/2/2014 1:19:32 PM
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Steels are highly specialized these days. The company sells different versions for building applications
http://www.ruukki.com/Products-and-solutions/Building-solutions
and for things like bridge structures
http://www.ruukki.com/Products-and-solutions/Infrastructure-solutions



Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: HIGH-END STEEL MAKER
Ann R. Thryft   1/2/2014 1:13:00 PM
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These NA offices are for are sales, marketing, technical customer service, technical support and managing the distribution network.  All manufacturing and R&D remains in Europe. If they were opening manufacturing plants here, that would be an entirely different story.



Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: HIGH-END STEEL MAKER
Ann R. Thryft   1/2/2014 1:11:52 PM
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bobjengr, both Rukki and a US steel industry source confirmed that their specialized, high-end products aren't being made here. Rukki has sold these to US companies before via an outside agent but, like many companies, are opening sales offices here to be closer to their customers.



Tool_maker
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Platinum
Re: HIGH-END STEEL MAKER
Tool_maker   1/2/2014 12:23:58 PM
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@nadine: The portion of the production that is actually a result of the workers hourly wage is many times so small as to be insignificant except to a beancounter with little or no knowledge of what is involved in the process. As a part of my job, I have to estimate the cost of producing sheetmetal parts in a stamping facility. When a punch press is running 2000 strokes/minute the cost of labor is far overshadowed by the cost of material, energy and shipping. The wage earner is an easy target, but is not always the problem.

  Also consider that once Obamacare is fully implemented, union membership may become a much more affordable alternative because the unions are exempted. I am just curious, what labor union commands $50/hr for factory work? Is that for everyone in the factory, or only a select few (ie leadman, foreman, etc.)? Perhaps that is the cost of labor plus benefits and any legacy costs that remain such as pensions and such? If that is the case, do you know what your cost per hour is?

  Many years ago I was very involved with labor agreements from both the union and management points of view. (Different companies, same union) At that time, 1979-1983, the cost of the fringe package for a union employee was around 36%. So a guy who made $10/hr cost the company $13.60 in direct cost. By the time we added in overhead such as heat/cool, lights, equipment, facility, maintenance, and so on, the cost per man-hour was much higher than just the labor portion. Also do not forget that the only one in a production facility who is earning anything for the company is the one who is actually doing the production labor. Everyone else is support and overhead.

  It is always easiest to blame the wage earner without weighing all of the other factors involved. Only after comparing all of the above is it possible to determine what the true cost is and we are seeing that unfold as more work is coming back to the USA. I see it on a weekly basis, but we have dug ourselves into such a hole it will take years to recover.

Jim F
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Iron
Rautarukki and Other Scandinavian Steel Makers
Jim F   1/1/2014 3:58:28 PM
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Have spent considerable time in Scandinavia with our refractories licensee developing new products and processes.  As shown in your excellent article on Rautarukki they are competative due to their focus on high end products.  They also use very efficient oprating practices.  As an example we develpoed a refractory lining installation process that allows forty tons of refractory to be placed in a ladle in twenty minutes.

NadineJ
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Platinum
Re: HIGH-END STEEL MAKER
NadineJ   1/1/2014 3:27:50 PM
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Will the workers be unionized at the U.S. plant?  Labour costs are decreasing in the U.S. because unions are on the decline.  Pennsylvania is a strong union state but it's tenuous.

Many manufacturers close plants with unionized workers making $50+/hr and re-open with non-union labour at less than half the cost and tax breaks from the state.  Made in U.S. has a very different meaning that it did in the past.

phantasyconcepts
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Silver
Re: HIGH-END STEEL MAKER
phantasyconcepts   1/1/2014 7:12:22 AM
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notarboca, they found out that America's United Steel Workers' Union has lower cost workers than the ones in Finland.  Of course, shipping costs for steel are extremely high.  I bought about $200 worth of steel and paid about $500 or so after shipping costs were added in.  Oddly if I had bought $500 in steel, they would have shipped it for free (nearly).  I just didn't need that much steel.  I just ordered a small amount as a trial order to see how it would arrive.  Anyhow, the shipping costs can be a little cost prohibitive.  I had my steel shipped from Illinois to Pennsylvania, but if I had ordered a sufficiently large amount of steel, I could have had it shipped from the mills in PA to me directly.  I would guess that this company's product could also be used as structural steel in construction projects.  For example, a steel plate to join or reinforce beams in a basement or attic of a house, or maybe a garage or deck that is lighter and just as strong as a denser piece of steel would be a lot easier to use to build a house or even to remodel one.  I think that the heavy equipment industry is only one use for this product line, and they should consider others.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: HIGH-END STEEL MAKER
notarboca   12/31/2013 7:33:20 PM
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Welcome to the USA.  I'm glad to see some steel manufacturing coming from abroad.  I'm curious to see how they adjust from the European way of doing business, as well as how they navigate the massive regulation.

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