Rick Bennett, president of High Steel Service Center, stands next to its stretcher leveler line.
Rolled steel is rolled out to be flattened in the new machine.
Now, when service center president Richard Bennett
product is flat, he
And flat steel is big business.
"We'll be easily able to double our volume (because of the new equipment)," Bennett
declined to specify the 400 Steel Way service center's current volume.
anticipates reaching its annual capacity of approximately 150,000 tons by 2016, thanks in large part to the new investment.
But how many new hires, and where they will be added, depends on the rate and type of growth, Bennett
These include truck floors, tractor hoods and tractor doors, Bennett
"Whatever (customers) make out of the metal, ultimately it would be a flatter product," he
Processing steel with a stretcher leveler is standard in the Midwest and South.
But no other firm in the mid-Atlantic or Northeast regions is using it, Bennett
is the only one in the country to have its particular combination of technology, he
The company is even going so far as to brand the resulting product as HIGHSL (for stretcher-leveler) - an action that may be unique in the industry - and anticipates selling it to other steel service centers.
Flatter steel translates into quicker, higher-quality welding, bending and assembly of end products, according to High
HIGHSL is more expensive up front, but the extra cost is offset by the aforementioned savings in productivity and improved quality, Bennett
declined to specify the cost difference of HIGHSL, except to say it's nominal.
On the market for one month, HIGHSL has been getting a warm reception from customers, Bennett
"Customer feedback and response has been extremely positive," he