Service Centers

Ratner Runs First Coil on New Arkansas CTL Line

Written by Tim Triplett

Ratner Steel ran the first coil on its new stretch leveler cut-to-length line in Osceola, Ark., on Monday, reported Ratner President and CFO Steve Gottlieb. The company hopes to replicate the success it has seen at its other service centers in Minnesota and Indiana.

The line was installed by Red Bud Industries in a 150,000-square-foot building the company bought last year. It is capable of leveling and cutting material from 48 up to 74 inches wide, from 16-gauge up to 5/8th-inch thick. The line has a capacity of about 20,000 tons a month. The company hopes to process 100,000 tons in the line’s first year of operation. The facility will stock coils from commercial quality through grade 55 in both hot rolled and pickled and oiled.

The Osceola machine is Ratner’s fourth CTL line, so the company has considerable expertise, Gottlieb said. The company operates other service centers in Roseville, Minn., and Portage, Ind.

The new service center is a short distance from both Big River Steel and Nucor, “but we are not beholden to any one mill,” said Gottlieb. With access to the port of Osceola, Ratner will be able to barge material up and down the Mississippi River. The location offers significant benefits in terms of logistics. In fact, the company plans to shift some business from the Portage location to save on freight costs, Gottlieb said.

As a company overall, Ratner is on track to process more than 400,000 tons in 2018, up 10 percent from last year. “By the end of 2019, we hope to be at a run rate of 500,000 tons,” he said.

He is confident the company’s formula for success will translate well to the South. “We felt there was a need for another service center in the area, and that we could add something to the market with our stretch leveler.”

Ratner salespeople have been taking orders for the new line for the past couple months and demand is good from the start. “But people are only buying what they need right now because they still believe prices are going down,” Gottlieb noted. “We believe we are very close to a bottom.”

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