Branch Spotlight: Chicago, IL (University Park)
After nineteen years operating out of a 100-year-old building on the south side of Chicago, Kloeckner Metals Chicago, IL branchhas expanded and moved into a brand new 106,000 square foot facility in University Park, Illinois.
“We are very excited by the opportunity that this significant investment in our new University Park, IL location provides,” says Russ Delaney, Kloeckner Flat Rolled Group President.
The move positions Kloeckner to serve the largest metals market in North America with highly-customized supply chain solutions. Kloecker Metal’s value-added products include carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Kloeckner has also implemented a major digitalization of the supply chain strategy, which includes the use of state of the art equipment, processing capabilities, extensive technical support resources, and the broadest and deepest product range available.
“This move is the first phase in a planned strategy to differentiate ourselves from our competition, take advantage of a strong steel, aluminum, and stainless steel market, and bring more value-added services to our existing and potential customers,” further explains Tony Munno, Flat Rolled Group General Manager. “We have moved past being perceived as just a flat-rolled steel distributor and service center. This multi-million-dollar investment is not just brick and mortar.”
The new facility also adds new processing equipment and rebuilds and remanufactures existing ones to add the latest in controls and software. This ensures that close tolerance, cut-to-length work is maintained. Additional crane capacity permits the facility to handle mill coils up to 60,000 lbs. The new plant is located next to a railroad siding, which allows the material to be received right off the rail cars from big steel mills.
“Over 90% of our business in the Central Region here in the Chicago area is basically contract work,” adds Vince Colorito, Kloeckner Metals Flat Rolled Group, vice president of sales for the Central Region. “Yes, we continue to service our agricultural, construction, mining, railway and automotive markets, but we are also targeting a wide array of non-ferrous metal products like aluminum and stainless steel that are used heavily in the architectural, food equipment and appliance industries.”
For that reason, the facility has added capabilities for pre-paint and other coatings. Kloeckner Metals signed exclusive agreements to provide PVD (physical vapor deposition) coated stainless steel. This adds tremendous flexibility and creative options to the building, equipment, and component design teams of Kloeckner customers.
“We are focusing on taking advantage of the current trends towards the use of light gauge pre-painted materials and we have directed some of the new investment in capital equipment at University Park towards those targets,” Colorito says.
“As the metals market continues to change and shift, we must have the foresight and flexibility to be a valued supplier that can not only have the systems in place to operate in the world of supply chain management but also have the manufacturing capacity and capability to meet the necessary capacity requirements,” Munno concludes. “Our new facility, with the capability to be doubled in size, will be the solution to many a customer’s needs, well into the future.”