AIMING HIGH An areal view of the manufacturing plant of Columbus Stainless, a facility owned by Spain-based steel giant Acerinox
Spain-based global stainless-steel producer Acerinox says its global footprint has transformed it into one of the most competitive producers of stainless steels and nickel alloys.
The company boasts significant production capabilities with three fully integrated flat product manufacturing facilities, the most recently acquired being Columbus Stainless in Middleburg, South Africa.
Its other two flat product manufacturing facilities include its Arcerinox plant in Campo de Gibraltar, Spain as well as North American Stainless, situated in Kentucky, US.
Additionally, the company made targeted investments in manufacturing complex, Bahru Stainless in Johor, Malaysia in 2008.
2022 has been an outstanding year for Acerinox – record sales, a prized strategic acquisition and a bolstering of production have all figured in the company yearbook.
The company has also been selectively pursuing strategic investments such as the purchase of German steel specialist VDM metals, allowing it to bolster its position in special nickel alloys and high-performance steels.
With this acquisition, Acerinox has managed to add an additional four manufacturing sites, including two in the US, which rounds off its well-developed commercial, marketing and distribution network with offices in 31 countries, 18 services centres and 25 warehouses globally.
In summary, the company manufactures high volume low margin steel products dedicated to downstream industrial customers. Accordingly, the firm’s success provides a plausible barometer for the health of global industry.
The company says production has been on the up, with the melting shop making a meaningful increase in output from 2.23-million tonnes in 2019 financial year to 2.61-million tonnes over the past three years.
Consequently, sales and profits have increased accordingly.
Stainless steel products, generally chromium-containing alloys, play a critical role in the manufacturing of components for automotive, consumer durables, construction, aerospace, electronics, medical, defence, and the oil and gas industries.
That breadth of diversified customer base does provide some de-risking during an industry-specific downturn.
The chrome oxide layer on the metal provides the products resistance to corrosion.
Process transformation follows a range of product-dependent steps including melting, remelting, forging, rolling, peeling, grinding, turning, and drawing to produce stainless steel coils with varying technical characteristics.
Acerinox says it is focusing strategically on building additional capacity into its North American operations, which will be centred on higher value-added flat products such as bright annealing, thin gauges, and steels with special compositions.