News Releases


Hitachi America, Ltd. Announces Successful Operation of New Steckel Mill for North American Stainless



Dec 14, 1998 00:00 AM

Hitachi America, Ltd., Power and Industrial Division announced the successful operating performance of a new $263 million hot strip and plate rolling mill for North American Stainless in Ghent, Kentucky.

Hitachi America's Power and Industrial Division was awarded the hot-strip rolling mill expansion project in April 1996. The mill is now one of the world's largest Steckel reversing hot strip and plate rolling mills with a production capacity of one million metric tons a year of high quality stainless steel products. The startup of the entire facility and its associated equipment, which began in April 1998, have demonstrated one of the industry's fastest production ramp ups.

In making the announcement, Yoshihiko Iida, project director of the Power & Industrial Division of Hitachi America, Ltd., said, "Hitachi is pleased to have had the opportunity of handling this important expansion. The startup of the new mill will be considered one of the fastest of its kind, considering the size and scope of the project. The mill has reached very light gauge of 2 mm (0.0787 inch) stainless strip production within 3 months from the first coil rolling, and has already proven the capability of rolling possibly the world lightest gauge of less than 2 mm thin stainless strip.

"We are pleased by the success of the expansion and are grateful to Hitachi project team that have worked diligently on the project to assure a quick and successful start up. Hitachi's Steckel mill commissioning team has remained at the job site, supporting NAS's operation very closely. Hitachi is very confident that this project has advanced Steckel rolling technology for the next century and that it will help NAS to be truly one of the leading Stainless steel producers in the world," concluded Mr. Iida.

The mill is designed to incorporate work-roll single crossing and in-line roll grinding technologies. It also features state-of-the-art computer technologies including electronics-instrumentation-control integration and an automated system that generates various operation programs. The mill was initially designed to produce coils in 60-inch widths with a thickness of 0.06 inch and a maximum weight of 38.8 tons. The coils will be used for all types of stainless steel products.

North American Stainless, Ghent, Kentucky was founded in 1990 as a joint venture between ARMCO Inc. and Acerinox, S.A., Madrid, Spain. In 1994, Acerinox became the majority shareholder in NAS. NAS produces a variety of cold rolled stainless steel products.

Hitachi America, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Japan, markets and manufactures a broad range of electronic, computer systems and products, and semiconductors, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America. For more information, please visit

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE:HIT), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's leading electronics companies, with fiscal 1997 (ended March 31. 1998) consolidated sales of 8,417 billion yen, US. $63.8 billion (Note a). The company markets and manufactures a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment. For more information please visit

Note a: At an exchange rate of 132 yen to the dollar.