Forge

After a year-long modernization program, Warren Steel Holdings L.L.C. is open for business. The new company took over the idled site of Copperweld Steel near Warren, OH, and its leaders report a fully functional, high-quality melt shop and casting operation is producing carbon and alloy steel round bars.

“Warren Steel is in operation seven days a week, with melt and casting production currently running four to five heats per night, three nights per week,” the company stated. “At full production, we are capable of producing 105 tons of molten metal every 55 minutes, with estimated annual capacity of around 800,000 tons or approximately 1.6 million pounds of cast product.

“Our current size capabilities are for steel cast rounds in the range of 8.25 to 12.5 in. in diameter, with plans to expand these capabilities dependent on the needs of the market.”

The 400-acre plant site actually straddles the boundary of Warren and Champion Townships. The Warren site was developed by Copperweld Steel over many decades. Copperweld Steel was reconstituted as CSC Ltd. in 1997, but it declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed in 2001, idling more than 1,300 workers.

Before it closed, CSC invested $100 million in melt shop improvements, including a 110-ton electric arc furnace and continuous caster. Earlier, it operated several small EAFs, a ladle furnace, and two degassers, a rounds caster, a blooming mill, and several bar and rod mills. It also operated several annealing furnaces and finishing lines.

Much of the equipment was disassembled and sold worldwide, but the melt shop, including the caster, was maintained intact. Significant investments were needed to get the EAF and never-used caster into operating shape, following the 2001 shutdown.

The refurbishment was extensive, involving not only work on the equipment, but replacement of much of the wiring inside the plant because, according to local reporting, it had been removed by thieves seeking the copper for its trade value.

Reportedly, Warren Steel will operate with 110 employees, including 15 salaried staff and 95 hourly workers.

Warren Steel announced that “the company is now certified to ISO 9001/2000 quality standards. The company and its people are fully committed to the production and delivery of quality carbon and alloy, continuously cast products to customers within the United States and abroad. Our production and quality systems are setup with a dedication to continuous improvement and the delivery of products made right, on time, every time. This certification, received in October 2007, is a first milestone on our path of ever improving quality excellence.”