Monthly Archives: April 2013

How flat is that? Achieving coil shape correction and quantifying its flatness. Today’s sophisticated fabricated metal parts require ever more stringent flatness tolerances. Laser cutting, high-speed blanking and progressive stamping require camber-free, flat product as its feedstock. These highly automated fabrication techniques can get bogged down by a factor that seems elementary: poor feedstock shape. However, achieving good feedstock flatness is easier said than done. Check out the PDF: the-fabricator


rubylaserThe first laser was created in California by Theodore H. Maiman and his team in May, 1960. The “Ruby Laser” consisted of a synthetic ruby crystal rod that was placed inside a helical flash lamp.  As the flash lamp energized the rod, the chromium atoms of the ruby would begin to glow, or floresce, a deep red.  The first emitted photons stimulated the emission of further photons.  In a cascade effect, the laser beam was formed – a light ray that was brighter than the sun at its surface!

Very exciting news to share this month – Leveltek has been nominated as a finalist in the Platts Global Metals Awards, which reconigzes exemplary industry leadership. We’ll be headed to London in May to attend the Platts black tie event. Below is our release with the details.


Nannette Staropoli

  Leveltek selected as 2013 Platts Global Metals Awards finalist

Winners to be recognized at May 23 black tie event in London

Apr. 10, 2013, Benwood, W.Va. — Leveltek has been named a finalist in the Platts Global Metals Awards, an inaugural program recognizing exemplary industry leadership. The 2013 finalists were announced last week by program host Platts, the leading global energy, petrochemical and metal information provider.

“We congratulate each of the finalists for truly standing apart from an impressive list of nominees, and we look forward to announcing the winners of the first-ever Platts Global Metals Awards at a special dinner gala in May,” said Larry Neal, president of Platts.

Leveltek was nominated in the “Innovative Technology of the Year” category, which recognizes exemplary performance in laser-quality metals processing machinery and technology.

The Platts Global Metals Awards highlight corporate and individual innovation, leadership and superior performance in categories spanning the entire steel, metal and mining complex. The new awards program is modeled after the highly successful Platts Global Energy Awards, established in 1999 and often described as “the Oscars of the energy industry.”

Bob Sipp, Director of Sales and Marketing at Leveltek, is pleased to be considered for the award. “We are the only process machinery company in the finals for the 2013 Platts Global Metals Awards, and we’re very honored to be included” he said.

Some 200 industry executives are expected to attend the May 23 black-tie dinner in London, where Platts will present its 2013 Global Metals Awards.  This year’s awards dinner will be held in conjunction with the Platts European Steel Summit, May 22-24.

Leveltek International designs, manufactures and installs stretch leveling systems for retrofit and new light-to-heavy gauge cut-to-length and coil-to-coil lines.

Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals and metals information, and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets.  Platts’ news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions, and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency.  Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts’ coverage of the carbon emissionscoalelectricityoil, natural gasmetalsnuclear powerpetrochemical, and shipping markets.  A division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), Platts is headquartered in New York with approximately 900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide.

Although automakers are experimenting with lighter frame materials to improve gas mileage and performance, U.S. Steel CEO John P. Surma recently reminded press that steel is still an incredibly important and multipurpose material. The following article is from Detroit Free Press. Check out their website here.

What do you think of Surma’s statement — is steel going to remain a heavy player in the auto industry going forward, or are its best days now in the past?

Steel will remain dominant in auto: U.S. Steel CEO

6:37 PM, April 11, 2013   |
John P. Surma

John P. Surma, Chairman and CEO of US Steel, visits the post that trades his company’s stock after ringing the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, Nov. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) / Richard Drew/Associated Press

Nathan Bomey

Detroit Free Press Business Writer

Reports of steel’s demise as a dominant automotive material are greatly exaggerated, the head of U.S. Steel said Thursday.

“Steel is an incredibly green material. Steel can be recycled continuously without affecting its key performance attributes,” said CEO John Surma, speaking to the Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit.

Automakers are using lighter-weight materials such as aluminum and magnesium to improve gas mileage and meet the U.S. government’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) goal of 54.5 m.p.g. by 2025. The general rule of thumb is that fuel economy rises by at least 3% to 4% when the vehicle’s mass is reduced by 10%.

That presents a threat to steel, which still represents about 60% of an average vehicle’s weight, according to the Steel Market Development Institute.

Steel is less expensive than aluminum and other alteratives, and the industry has developed a lighter-weight, high-strength steel that can help automakers boost fuel economy and reduce mass.

The competition between steel and aluminum has been intense for decades. Surma pointed to a magazine article five decades ago that claimed that steel would eventually make up a smaller portion of a vehicle’s mass because lighter materials will replace it.

“I didn’t happen then. It will not happen now,” Surma said.

But for certain high-end and performance cars, the cost of aluminum is not prohibitive. General Motors built the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray’s frame with aluminum, making the sports car 99 pounds lighter and 57% stiffer than its previous model. The automaker also recently revealed a new technology designed to improve the aluminum welding process, which has historically been harder to do on the factory floor.

Industry observers have speculated that Ford is trying to convert the F-150 series pickup truck into an aluminum body, although the Atlas concept pickup Ford unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January had no more aluminum than the current F-150.

A Ducker Worldwide study funded by the European Aluminium Association projected that U.S. automakers would incorporate 375 additional pounds of aluminum into the average vehicle by 2016. It also found that aluminum would represent 16% of a vehicle’s weight by 2025, about double today’s level.

But Surma pointed out that several new vehicles, including the Cadillac ATS and Ford Fusion, use high-strength steel.

“Now as an industry we are continuing our research on the third generation of high-strength steels,” he said, adding that steel has the advantage of being reused easily.

Contact: Nathan Bomey at tel:313-223-4743 Follow him on Twitter @NathanBomey.

A small preview of the larger presentation to come – a few facts on steel from a recent presentation given by Bob Sipp:

Global Coiled Metals:

95% Carbon Steel

-Mild Carbon; A36; Grade 50; Grade 80; HSLA; Special Alloys

5% ‘Everything Else’

-Aluminum; Aluminum Alloys; Stainless Steel; Titanium; Brass/Bronze/Copper; Nickel Alloys

Properties of coiled metals:

Primary focus on yield strength, tensile strength, and several other smaller factors.

Metal Cutting Technologies:

-Punching; Drilling; Tapping; Stamping; Burning; Water-Jet; Plasma; Lasers

Did You Know?

The first laser-cutting machine for sheet metal was built in 1979 by Strippit Corp. in Akron, NY

That same year, the first laser was added to a punch machine.

From 1979-1984, 40 more units of ‘laser resonator’ punch machines were also built.

Lasers are the superior choice for your metal needs!

Learn more about industrial lasers, the history of stand-alone lasers, major global laser builders,and more, coming up in our next installation.