NUCOR Earns Unique Certification for Steel Company

Congressman Mike Pence and Indiana Labor Commissioner Lori Torres will be in Crawfordsville today to celebrate NUCOR Crawfordsville earning an OSHA-sponsored STAR classification. It’s the highest safety rating a company can achieve, and NUCOR would be the only steel company in Indiana to earn the designation.

NUCOR Crawfordsville, one of the largest employers in west central Indiana, has added one more “first” to its ever-growing list of accomplishments and  has  scheduled a celebration to acknowledge the 710 teammates who worked together  to reach  this milestone…

“Working safely  is Priority One at all NUCOR locations and achieving the highest rating for the VPP program is something that we all worked to accomplish and will continue,” said John J. Purdy, Safety/Medical Director for the Crawfordsville operation.  He added that Nucor Steel Indiana is also dual registered in two other Safety Management Systems, ANSI Z10 and OHSAS 18001.

“It was a rigorous process that took three years to complete and involved a comprehensive wall-to-wall inspection with a dozen OSHA Safety and Health experts who spent two weeks observing and evaluating our procedures and talking with teammates,” said Ron Dickerson, Vice President and General Manager. “With the addition of VPP Star to the two other designations, we take great pride in being the only steel mill in Indiana and the Midwest to reach this level of Excellence in Occupational Safety and Health,” he said and added that the Crawfordsville Division joins eight other NUCOR steelmaking operations across the country which have achieved VPP’s STAR designation.

This latest accomplishment adds to the list of “firsts” attributed to the Crawfordsville plant.  When it opened in 1989, it ushered in a new era of steelmaking as the first Mini-Mill in the world to make quality flat-rolled steel using the revolutionary technology of “thin” slab casting.

In 2002, the plant also introduced the world’s first Castrip® Micro Mill which produces Ultra-Thin Cast Steel. The process instantly transforms molten steel directly into steel sheets in just one remarkable step. Compared to a traditional steelmaking facility, the Castrip process consumes about 95 percent less energy and emits less than one-tenth the greenhouse gases.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our teammates who have embraced the Safety First culture and entrepreneurial environment at NUCOR and work with us to keep the Crawfordsville operation a safe, top-performing facility,” Dickerson added.

Fort Wayne’s Steel Dynamics Builds Strong Foundation in Pittsboro

Here’s an encouraging piece from the Indianapolis Star about how Steel Dynamics is turning a near-bankrupt steel mill in Hendricks County into a thriving source of production and jobs. Through heavy investment, the company ultimately hopes to enhance its production by over 50% and produce nearly one million tons of steel annually at the plant.

Designed and built in the late 1990s by Qualitech Steel Corp., the mill barely had come online, melting test batches of high-quality bar steel intended for automotive and appliance manufacturing, when the world steel market was flooded by cheap Chinese exports and the price of steel fell through the floor. Nearly a dozen "mini-mills" like Pittsboro’s were left in bankruptcy court.

Indiana’s investment of $40 million in incentives and Hendricks County’s $20 million bond issue were at risk if the mill didn’t reopen.

After a legally disputed auction, the Steel Dynamics offer of $45 million won the court-run bidding against North Carolina’s Nucor in 2002.

Steel Dynamics also invested nearly $100 million to redesign, remodel and reequip the plant to reopen in 2004. The trends have been up ever since.

Employment at the mill has increased steadily over the years from 400 to 500 workers. Steel Dynamics has not announced whether new jobs will be created in the next two years.

It will expand the facilities and add a second line for rolling out long bars of high-quality steel, the type suitable for machining into parts of cars, engines and other manufacturing. Companies such as Caterpillar are among the steelmaker’s bigger customers.

The mill occasionally has turned out other types and qualities of steel, including rebar used as concrete reinforcement in the $1 billion terminal building and other improvements opened in 2008 at Indianapolis International Airport.

Steel Dynamics said that with the latest addition, its engineered bar products division will be among the largest making specialty-bar-quality steel in North America.

It also will expand the mill’s bar-finishing capability, potentially doubling the amount of finished products that can be inspected.

The current production line rolls out long steel bars in diameters from 1 inch to 9 inches. The new line will focus on 1- to 3-inch-diameter bars favored for use in transportation, energy and automotive applications.

South Bend the Site for Climate Change Forum

Congress returns to work on September 8. On that same day, Hoosiers can learn more about climate change and energy legislation being debated in Washington — and how it might impact Hoosier businesses.

The Northwest Indiana Forum and Nucor are sponsoring the Climate Change Forum at the South Bend Marriott. The 90-minute event (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a complimentary lunch included) will tackle, in the organizers’ words: "the global scope of the climate change issue, the impact of greenhouse gases on our local communities, clean energy technology and recycling initiatives."

The goal: a focus on policies that create a sustainable balance between protecting our environment and developing our state’s business sector.

An RSVP is required. Call (866) 731-1929.