Understanding Ontario Steel Companies’ Supply Chain: The Steel Mill
If you ask someone about their occupation and they respond by telling you that they’re “in the steel business”, they aren’t telling you very much. In fact, it’s almost like asking someone’s address and getting the answer, “Ontario.” There are many different types of Ontario steel companies making and selling a wide variety of steel products and services, and all are part of a vast and complicated supply chain. To help you to understand how complex the steel industry is, let’s break down the most basic rung of the supply chain:
Ontario Steel Mills: The Start of the Supply Chain
All steel is produced in either a “Steel Mill” or a “Foundry”. A Steel Mill produces large billets or slabs of steel to be further produced into other products, while a Foundry pours liquid steel into a mold or casting to make a specific part.
Steel Mills are usually one of 2 types:
Integrated Mills are the most traditional and basic way to make steel. Iron ore is combined with coal or coke and other alloys or minerals and melted in a Blast Furnace. The molten steel is then poured into a large billet or slab and cooled for further processing. The process of creating steel in an Integrated Mill requires a great deal of expensive equipment including a very large Blast Furnace. They are also difficult to shut down and it takes many days to get the Blast Furnace back up to speed.
These mills do not create steel from the basic elements used in integrated steel mills. Instead, they melt scrap or recycled steel in an electric arc furnace and add different alloys to make different grades such as mild steel, structural steel or high alloy steel. Minimills are more popular than Integrated Mills because they are less expensive to build and can be stopped and started very easily depending upon market conditions.
The Product and Customers
Both Integrated Mills and Minimills produce molten steel that is made into a billet, slab, or bloom which are further processed into plates, bars, coils, rods, or pipes, by the either a secondary plate, bar, rod mill etc. or the steel mill itself.
Most steel mills have 3 general types of customers for their semi-finished products. The first and largest are Original Equipment Manufacturers (known as OEMs) such as ship yards, mines, automotive suppliers, tank manufactures, and large equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar.
The second customer for semi-finished steel are companies that can process or fabricate (cut, form, weld) the plates, coils, or bars into secondary products or parts.
The third outlet is distributors or middlemen who warehouse the plates, bars, rods, coils, etc. and sell to smaller fabricators and end users.
Where does Titus Steel Stand?
Titus Steel buys direct from the largest and most specialized steel mills all over world. We then fabricate unique wear parts for a variety of customers, including mines, OEMs, construction companies, recycling/crushing companies, and even companies that armor vehicles including live fire training systems.
To learn more about our Ontario steel company, what we do, and what we can do for you, please feel free to contact us directly. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.