Steel Products

Steel 101: How It's Made, How It's Used, and Everything In Between

Written by Becca Moczygemba

“Training is everything: Invest in your employees.” – Chris Shipp, vice president of sales for Reibus

Over 50 individuals got an up close and personal look at steelmaking at Steel Market Update’s final Steel 101 Workshop of 2022 on Oct. 19–20 in Corpus Christi, Texas. A mill tour was hosted by Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) Southwest Sinton Division.

The thoughtfully curated group of instructors included Mario Briccetti from Briccetti & Associates; Chuck McDaniels of Mica Metal Solutions LLC; Roger Walburn, general manager of sales and metallurgical services for Blair Strip Steel; Chris Shipp, vice president of sales for Reibus; and SMU’s senior editor Michael Cowden.

1019 Steel101 Chuck

Bringing education and experience to the steel industry, Steel 101 is a comprehensive class that is perfect for everyone from the steel newbie to the seasoned veteran. Over the course of two days, participants learned about the steelmaking process, the structure and operations of the steel industry, and had an opportunity to network with people from around the world. Over 20 companies were represented by a diverse group of industry members with backgrounds in sales, IT, purchasing, metallurgy, and production, to name a few.

In preparation for the SDI mill tour, day one kicked off with an overview of what steel is and how it’s made. “Steel underpins the whole of our civilization. It might be under your feet or above your head or even in your body. Few people notice it, understand its versatility, or know how its produced, but it’s important to our civilization,” stated Walburn.

1019 Steel101 Roger

A pre-lunch bus departure transported everyone to SDI’s newest sheet mill in Sinton, Texas, where they were hosted by SDI sales manager Trevor Ryals.

Day two brought a more in-depth breakdown of steel properties and grades, followed by a description of long products, painted material, supply chain, and an interactive lesson.

1019 Steel101 Mario

Students received instruction on indexing, an essential tool for those purchasing and selling steel. “Many users of steel want and need a stable base of supply. This need drives buyers to look for long-term contracts for their steel needs rather than make spot purchases from a variety of suppliers,” noted SMU’s presentation. Volatility is something both buyers and suppliers of steel must keep in mind, but working with trustworthy business partners can provide a sense of stability. “The more you understand your customer and what they do, the better you can help them,” expressed Shipp. “Service and quality are just as important as price.”

1019 Steel101 Chris

Registration is open for the next Steel 101 workshop to be held virtually on Jan. 17–18, 2023. Click here to sign up.

By Becca Moczygemba,

Becca Moczygemba

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