It's spring, and new SCS production capacity is in bloom. 2007 will see six new SCS production centers come on line (see the SCS Producer Locations page for details), so not only will we profile the new producers, we've also decided to devote an occasional column to items of interest from the currently operating production centers.

This inaugural guest column is from Rich Merlo of JDM Steel Service of Chicago. The JDM Steel SCS Coil Line just entered operation in January and is now in full production. What follows is Merlo's account of how the SCS Coil Line's shape correction capability is solving problems.

"We have a real 'work horse' cut-to-
length line with roller leveling that produces beautiful sheets. Most of the time. On occasion, we get a coil with a wave that just can't be knocked down completely. In that case thecustomer often has us send the material out for temper passing, then bring it back and sheet it.  Well, one of the reasons we wanted the SCS Coil Line was it's ability to correct shape problems through a combination of roller and tension leveling. We recently got the chance to find out just what it can do.

A service center customer that we toll process for sent in some 12 gauge x 72" hot rolled CQ band that we were to level and sheet. The customer knew
    Sheets cut from coil with bad edge wave: Rejected sheets (between red
    arrows) were conventional roller-leveled only. Sheets between the yellow
    arrows were cut from a coil after shape-correction on the SCS Coil Line.
      they had a shape problem, so they
      came in to see if we would be able to
      get it straightened out. Turns out it
      had about a 5 to 6" wave on both .
      sides. We were able to knock that
down to about 2", but we didn't even have to shear it to know it was not going to get to their flatness tolerance. We did shear a few sheets -- they are sitting on the top of the stack in the photo above, between the red arrows.

Well, the customer was going to send out all the coils for tempering and leveling, but Gene Puk (VP Operations for JDM) suggested that the SCS Coil Line might fix the problem. The customer gave us the OK to SCS one of the problem coils as a trial and a couple hours later we had it on the SCS line and ready to go. The customer's division manager drove over to watch.

This coil was just as nasty as the first one we had tried to run on our cut-to-length line, but between the leveler and the tension, it was knocked down nearly dead flat. The division manager was amazed and couldn't wait to get back and tell his people what the SCS line can do. The next day he came back to watch us run the coil on the cut-to-length line and the sheets came out great – well within spec. Those sheets are the full bundles shown in the photo –  the nice, flat bundles between the yellow arrows.

The customer is delighted and is sending us three more coils for SCS processing that he was otherwise going to send out for temper pass and leveling. That confirms one of the big reasons we got into the SCS business – recovering coils with rust or shape problems can be an important value-added service for our customers."