Equipment Spotlight: Red Bud 5/8 Stretcher Leveler
Here at Kloeckner Metals we are always trying to stand out from the rest. To accommodate our customers needs we have recently added the Red Bud 5/8 stretcher leveler. The Red Bud 5/8 is capable of cutting up to 100,000 yield. It can also cut hot roll, pickled, oiled, A36 grade, 50 grade, 65 grade, and 80 grade. It can cut plus or minus a sixteenth on length and up to 480″ long.
Kloeckner Metals is one of the largest metal distributors in the world. We’re very large in the United States. We have locations to service everything from long products, flat roll products, aluminum, and stainless.
When you look at areas of growth available to us at Kloeckner, we’re in a lot of products. We’re in a lot of different industries, but one thing we absolutely knew we had to do was we had to get into the stretch level business.
Our customers were demanding it. The Red Bud 5/8 stretcher leveler. On December 1st, the machine went into full production and we produced our first load of quarter 48, 120, on December 1st, 2017 and away we went from there.
This was really a unique project from our standpoint because we were taking equipment from a couple different lines and combining them with a stretcher leveler machine to create this new capability.
It’s 5/8 thick, 84″ mill edge. Depending on thickness and width, the machine is capable of cutting up to 100,000 yield. It can cut hot roll, pickled, and oiled. 836 grade 50, grade 65, grade 80, 100,000 yield. Basically, any piece of hot-roll steel we want to run in the machine, it’s capable of cutting. The capability of the machine, it can cut plus or minus a sixteenth on length and it can hold square material. It can cut up to 480″ long, which is basically the stretcher level which is a 40 foot stretcher. The efficiency of the new Red Bud stretcher is obviously it provides panel-flat material. With that, we can provide material to any customer in any industry out there now. The Matthews stencil system pulls all the information from Steel Two, which is our computer system, transfers it to the coil line, which then tells it what to stencil onto the steel. All human error is taken out of it.
Few companies, I think, would try to undertake what we did. We have a unique skillset here at Kloeckner Metals within our operating team. Both the maintenance staff in Chicago, the operations support we get in Chicago, as well as our very skilled team here. There’s some sort of secrets to the process that we’ve learned that perhaps others haven’t.
One-stop shopping is a key for a lot of our customers and now with the enhanced sheet product through the stretch level, we’re able to offer that to our customer base now. As we looked into the potential suppliers of this piece of equipment, Red Bud stood above the rest. With their Suregrip system, we were very impressed with the ability to produce that memory-free sheet consistently from piece to piece, coil to coil, heat to heat. That was a lot of the selection process, and they came in, and they worked with us since day one. They’ve been an excellent partner in pulling this all together.
What it’s enabled us to do is having this hub here in Chicago where we’re capable of also producing heavy, extremely wide product. We can process 1/2″, 100 wide coils on one line and a complementary five eighths, 84 wide stretch line next to it. We can feed our sister branches all throughout the Midwest so that wherever our customer’s located, they’re within a next-day delivery of a stretch level product from Kloeckner Metals.
One of the most recent stretch levelers added to the industry, and one of certainly the biggest and the best. The customer feedback has been incredible. We’ve been able to grow this branch of this business, this region, extensively since we’ve commissioned that line in December of 2017. The entire Kloeckner brand is so much more enhanced by having this piece of equipment. We feel that growth is unlimited going forward and we’re very excited about it.
Steven Nghe is currently the Head of Marketing & Communications at Kloeckner Metals. Nghe is a marketing professional with more than 14 years of experience in various environments and industries. His goal is to tell you about the sexy side of steel. Nghe holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University. Prior to Kloeckner, Nghe worked for Delta Dental, Wells Real Estate Funds, Georgia Institute of Technology and Doosan.