HarbisonWalker International Reaffirms its Commitment to North American Steelmakers at AISTech 2022
With AL1 plant investment and continuous refractories innovation, HarbisonWalker International (HWI) reaffirms its commitment to North American steelmakers at AISTech 2022
PITTSBURGH, PA – May 16, 2022 – At Booth 1141 at AISTech 2022, HarbisonWalker International (HWI), North America’s largest supplier of refractory products and services, announced that its new Alabama One (AL1) manufacturing facility for steel customers in the southern United States is on track to open before the end of 2022. The company also provided updates on its latest products and innovations to further support steelmakers’ refractory needs.
“As a proud U.S.-based supplier to the steel industry, we are ramping up capacity dramatically so that all our customers’ operations – particularly those increasing capacity in the southern U.S. – will have efficient access to high-quality and high-value refractory products and services,” said Michael Werner, Senior Vice President, Commercial, HarbisonWalker International. “We’re also pleased to welcome Michael Carter, a veteran manufacturing leader, as our new AL1 plant manager. In addition, our successful employment efforts are helping us build a capable and enthusiastic team that’s eager to deliver for customers,” added Werner.
AL1 New Facility Adds Capacity
HWI is investing approximately $25 million to convert its closed property in Fairfield, Alabama, into AL1, a manufacturing, service, and distribution hub for steel customers in the southern United States. Initially, production will add approximately 15,000 metric tons annually and ultimately up to 30,000 metric tons as additional equipment is added by 2023.
The 200,000 sq.ft. facility will produce proven, world-class refractories expressly designed for use in low-emission electric arc furnaces (EAFs). It will produce magnesia-carbon brick for servicing steel ladles, using core raw materials that can be sized accordingly for a full range of steelmaking refractory needs. HWI is the leading producer in the U.S. of refractory bricks for steel ladles. HWI notes that it has also successfully secured the raw materials inventory necessary for production.
The AL1 facility reflects HWI’s continued commitment to supporting its steel customers’ investments by boosting production capabilities, enhancing product quality and innovations, and upgrading facilities. The company has invested in upgrades to its other steelmaking products facilities in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Georgia, and Ontario during the past several years. Investments include expansions, modernization, and equipment enhancements, including new production presses.
AL1 will become one of HWI’s most technologically advanced and modernized facilities and contribute to HWI’s environmental and sustainability goals through energy-efficient operations. It will feature a high degree of robotics automation and technology and utilize lean techniques throughout its processes. HWI is committed to environmental sustainability and working toward carbon-neutral operations.
HWI Refractory Products and Innovations
Visitors to the HWI booth at AIST 2022 are also learning about HWI’s latest product updates and innovations to help steelmakers maximize refractory efficiency and performance.
• Introducing JAWS Tundish Impact Pad
As tundish technology has evolved, HWI continues to provide industry-proven and respected products and innovative solutions through automated delivery systems and custom-designed products and shapes. HWI recently received a provisional patent on its JAWS technology, which delivers the next generation of tundish impact pads. The JAWS design provides reduced turbulence, enhanced flow release, and reduced scale eddy formation for improved tundish flow distribution.
• BARRICADE Product Line Growth
The Barricade line of products, dual-carbon system mag-carbon ladle barrel bricks for applications with severe vertical cracking, has become one of the fastest-growing product lines in HWI’s history. The Barricade line continues to expand to provide solutions for steel ladle lining configurations that best fit customers’ needs and budgets.
Additional HWI News at AIST 2022:
A new book, Women in Steel, Women of Steel: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, authored by Karin J. Lund, will debut with AIST at AISTech 2022. The book focuses on the challenges, insights, strengths, character, vision, and fresh perspective that women involved in the steel industry and related manufacturing bring to the table every day. Chapter four features Carol Jackson, Chairman and CEO, HarbisonWalker International.
About HarbisonWalker International
With more than 150 years of industry leadership and global recognition, HarbisonWalker International is the largest supplier of refractory products and services in the United States. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company’s international network spans North America, Europe, and Asia, with 18 manufacturing plants, 20 global sourcing centers, and the largest refractory industry research facility in North America. Serving virtually every major industry that requires refractory solutions to enhance production and protect assets, HWI is consistently recognized for its talented experts, industry firsts, and intensely driven excellence.