CHICAGO Ratner Steel
Supply Co. will likely start up its second service center by
the end of May, chief financial officer and general manager
Steve Gottlieb told AMM April 2.
The Portage, Ind., service
center, announced a little more than a year ago (
amm.com, March 7, 2012), features a
72-inch by ½-inch cut-to-length line made by Red Bud,
Ill.-based Red Bud Industries Inc. It is expected to handle
about 10,000 tons of light-gauge sheet per month.
Ratner shipped 200,000 tons of
flat-rolled steel last year, but that will rise to at least
300,000 tons with the new center and the capacity it frees up,
Gottlieb estimated. "We have customers lined up" to accept
product from the line, he said.
Ratner has "put every bell and
whistle on" the Red Bud stretcher-leveling cut-to-length line,
Gottlieb said. "It can cut edge. Thats a big deal. We
added an eDrive to guarantee flatness on light gauge. Then we
also created a looping pit in order to increase the speed of
Roseville, Minn.-based Ratner
has initial commitments from large original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs) in the agricultural and heavy equipment
sectors, including tank builders, and energy customers and
"We are allotting a significant
percentage (of line time) for toll work for service centers and
OEMs that do their own mill buys," Gottlieb said.
Ratner chose Portage for its
proximity to major sheet producers in northwest Indiana.
By moving raw material from
local mills to Portage, "freight will be inconsequential for
customers," he said. "We think we will fill up the line within
a year. We will also move 20 to 30 percent of our business from
Minnesota to Portage, but we will find new business to fill up
the lines here."
The Roseville service center
offers leveling, slitting, shearing and blanking services. It
also distributes hot-rolled sheet and plate, hot-rolled pickled
and oiled sheet and plate, and cold-rolled and coated sheet and
The new 102,000-square-foot
Portage plant has rail service and one truck that is now
picking up coils from mills and storing them in anticipation of
the lines start-up.
Ron Horton has been named
Portages plant manager and David Hunzelman sales manager,
with additional sales, office and warehouse employees also
hired, Gottlieb said.