NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- American Metal Market presented a total of 15 Steel Excellence Awards to 13 companies and one individual at a dinner held Tuesday, June 17 in New York celebrating best-in-class initiatives that introduced real and quantifiable change to the steel industry.
The fifth edition of the Annual awards program celebrated the efforts of individuals and companies whose ingenuity, dedication and difference-making savvy distinguished 2014's honorees from their peers over the past year.
Since the debut of the Steel Excellence Awards program in 2010 AMM has faced the same set of questions leading up to the Awards dinner: What constitutes high achievement in the steel industry? What distinguishes a steel organization or executive excellent? What does it take to be the best-in-class along the steel supply chain? The AMM Awards for Steel Excellence program addresses those questions on an annual basis and, in the process, has steadily grown to the point that the Award is now a high-profile, much-sought-after honor within the industry.
This year as every year, a panel of distinguished judges called on a wide-ranging level of expertise to evaluate a record number of nominations using a point-based qualitative approach to identify demonstrated excellence among nominees drawn from mills, distributors and other service providers with operations in North America. The judges' assignment: identify and evaluate advancements that have delivered real change to the steel industry..
AMM congratulates the winners, listed below, and salutes their best-in-class initiatives.
Best Innovation: Product - New Star Metals Material Sciences Corp.
New Star Metals Material Sciences Corp. (MSC) developed Lightweight Steel Laminate, a lightweight metal composite that is both highly formable and weldable and can offer substantial mass savings versus monolithic steel. The MSC Lightweight Laminate solution addresses many of the concerns of making sweeping changes to vehicle design over a short period, reduces risk and minimizes compromising performance.
Best Innovation: Process - ArcelorMittal
Steelmaker ArcelorMittal is transforming automaking through such advances as the door ring outfitting Honda Motor Co.'s 2014 Acura MDX. The vehicle's hot-stamped, laser-welded door ring, a three-year innovation achieved using ArcelorMittal's Usibor 1500 -- a patented aluminum-silicon-coated steel product with a high ultimate tensile strength -- and ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks' innovative laser-welded blank technology, achieved an optimal balance in weight reduction, safety, performance and cost.
Best Mergers & Acquisitions - Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. made its largest acquisition to date last year when it acquired Metals USA Holdings Corp., a move that company officials said was designed to reinforce Reliance's leadership position in the metals service center industry. The acquisition, valued at about $1.24 billion, added 48 service centers across the United States to Reliance's stable of operations.
Best Operational Improvements - Severstal North America: Columbus
After recently making assessments of several processes at its Columbus, Miss., plant, Severstal North America Inc. implemented a number of improvements to address supply chain, chemistry, safety and environmental issues. For scrap purchase and use optimization, the company began using a value-in-use model analysis to smooth out highs and lows of purchasing scrap and to ensure more consistency in its buying practices.
Technology Provider of the Year - Borusan Mannesmann Pipe USA, Inc.
Turkish steel pipe manufacturer Borusan Mannesmann -- with U.S. headquarters in Houston -- built a $150-million electric-resistance welded pipe mill and accompanying heat treatment plant in Baytown, Texas, the first Turkish-owned plant in the United States. The company began building the new state-of-the-art ERW rolling mill last year. Construction of the greenfield mill was completed in record time, with the "ergonomically sensitive" project beginning in April 2013 and the first product rolling off the production line in March 2014.
Financial Services Provider of the Year - Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a long history of providing asset based and cash flow financing for middle market to large corporate companies in the steel industry, both domestically and globally, along with other bank products and services such as treasury solutions, foreign exchange, etc. Its capital markets and investment banking capabilities provide its clients access to the private placement, institutional term loan, high yield and convertible debt markets along with M&A advisory services. Its commodities risk management offerings include hot-rolled coil, iron ore, natural gas, power, diesel and base metals such as nickel. And, on the equity capital markets side, Bank of America Merrill Lynch was a bookrunner on the initial public offering of TMS International Corp., the follow-on offerings for U.S. Steel Corp. and Steel Dynamics Inc. and the convertible offerings for Steel Dynamics and AK Steel Corp. and it provides equity research coverage for many companies in the industry.
Information Technology Provider of the Year - Schneider Electric
As an expert in mining, minerals and metals, Schneider Electric Industries SAS provides solutions to maximize production, increase overall efficiency and optimize asset utilization. Schneider Electric's Energy Management Information System (EMIS) for the iron and steel industry helps steelmakers accomplish this through an integrated energy/production system that delivers monitoring, data analytics and decision-making. It can help reduce energy-specific consumption through integration of power, control and energy efficiency
Environmental Responsibility/Stewardship - AEP River Operations LLC
AEP River Operations LLC executives said the company's environmental objectives can be summed up in two words: zero harm. The company has made a commitment to protect and enhance the quality of the environment as it conducts its business. AEP River Operations complies with all applicable environmental laws, regulations and requirements, and audits its performance regularly to verify compliance
Logistics/Transportation Provider of the Year - AEP River Operations LLC
As a highly coordinated team of shore-side and vessel teammates, AEP River Operations LLC offers pace-setting service in barge transportation of dry bulk commodities and project cargo throughout the inland waterways. Historically, AEP River Operations has transported about 70 million tons of dry bulk cargoes annually. As a leader in the river transportation industry, its fleet of nearly 3,000 hopper barges ranks as one of the newest and most dependable in the industry.
Scrap Company of the Year: Small/Midsize Company - Columbus Scrap Material Co.
Columbus Scrap Material Inc. is a fast-growing provider of ferrous and nonferrous metal recycling services with five facilities in Mississippi and Tennessee. Its customers are primarily industrial manufacturers ranging in size from Fortune 500 accounts to regional and local businesses, as well as daily peddler customers, while its consumers include multibillion-dollar foundries and steel processing facilities.
Scrap Company of the year: Large Company - Scrap Metal Services LLC
Scrap Metal Services LLC is a supplier of ferrous and nonferrous scrap commodities to both domestic and international consumers. SMS has seen revenue growth of more than 270 percent over the past five years. The growth in number of employees and other measures also has been significant, and company forecasts for the next five years are bullish.
Service Center: Small/Midsize Company - Berlin Metals LLC
Berlin Metals LLC uses an annual, formal customer satisfaction survey as its basis for setting improvement objectives. The 2013 survey showed that 98 percent of respondents would strongly recommend the company, with 95 percent saying the company had earned their support. Berlin Metals requires front-end involvement of mill sources for each specification and application to provide the foundation for advanced product quality planning to ensure that initial orders with new accounts perform as required.
Service Center: Large Company - Steel Warehouse Co.
Steel Warehouse Co., established in 1947, is a family owned service center specializing in high-strength heavy-gauge, pickling and cut-to-length temper passed hot-rolled steel sheet and heavy-gauge hot-rolled steel slit coil. It handles precision slitting and blanking for cold-rolled and coated steel, and operates a narrow strip cold mill that produces cold strip product. The company, a producer of U.S. Army-approved SWC Shield armor, operates several plants in Cleveland; Houston; Calvert, Ala.; Portage and South Bend, Ind.; the Quad Cities; Chattanooga and Memphis, Tenn.; and Monterrey, Mexico.
Steel Producer of the Year - Nucor Corporation
During the past year, Nucor Corp. made considerable progress on its strategy to enhance the company's competitive position in a changing global steel industry and to expand its penetration of the automotive, energy, transportation, agricultural and industrial equipment markets. To maintain its competitive advantage, Nucor embarked on projects designed to give it greater control over its raw material costs and allow it to produce a larger variety of higher-margin products. Since the last cyclical peak in 2008, Nucor has invested $8 billion in projects that are part of this strategy. The company achieved a major milestone in the execution of its strategy with the start-up of its $750-million direct-reduced iron (DRI) plant in Louisiana. The facility, the largest DRI plant in the world and the first operating in the United States since 2009, is yielding more tons per hour than any DRI plant in the world.
Industry Advocate - Michelle Galanter Applebaum
Michelle Applebaum founded and served as Managing Partner of Steel Market Intelligence Inc., a five-member research and consulting company in Chicago after serving the industry over a distinguished career as a steel analyst. Michelle held positions as a Mining Analyst of Citigroup CIB and as Research Analyst of Citigroup Inc, Research Division. Prior to this, she spent over 20 years at Salomon Brothers Inc., Research Division. During her years on Wall Street, she was the top-rated Steel Industry Analyst according to the Institutional Investor All-Star poll for a dozen years. She is regularly quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and has made frequent appearances on business programs on CNN and CNBC. She holds an M.B.A. in Accounting and Finance from the Kellogg School of Business and a B.S. in Economics from Northwestern University.