In The Press

2015-ford-f-150-photo-564664-s-986x603-626x382It seems we have discussed the use of steel in automobiles in a number of blogs over the last several months. First steel is going to be replaced by aluminum, then an article retracts that idea saying steel is around to stay. I suppose it will always depend on the vehicle but Ford recently announced the final steel-bodied F-150 rolled off the line at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant last month. 

According to, Ford’s Kansas City facility will continue to manufacture steel-bodied F-150s until the end of the year, the line in Dearborn is being dismantled to make room for the new tooling and equipment required to produce aluminum-bodied trucks for the 2015 model year.


The Dearborn plant will be closed until mid-September, putting about 3,000 workers on temporary layoff. Employees will be called back in tiers, with two crews returning on September 21 and a third on October 20. Starting initially with preproduction models, the plant is scheduled to return to full speed before January.

According to experts, the company’s decision to switch its venerated pickup truck to aluminum is not without risk. Ford sold 63,240 F-150s in the U.S. in July, the last full month of production before the $359-million switchover began. In order to keep the cash flowing, Ford needs to expedite the switch but without sacrificing quality.

Read the full article here


Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 12.14.21 PMLeveltek President Mike Kelly and his wife Carla just returned from Australia where they attended the grand opening for the new $8 million BlueScope processing line. The Kelly’s were among the 120 guests which included customers, distributors, contraction companies and executives from Bradbury. The line was officially opened (ahead of schedule!) by Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery and BlueScope executives. Mike are Carla were able to tour the new line. “Everything looked fantastic and ran perfectly. All of the feedback was extremely positive. It has been a great project, a great team effort and one that Leveltek is proud to be a part of,” says Mike Kelly. 
A new $8 million hot rolled coil processing facility opened at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks on Monday.

The new processing line uses state-of-the-art stretch-levelling technology to make coil plate and has been strategically installed next to the hot strip mill.

Construction finished ahead of schedule, which meant Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery was able to open it a month early. Cr Bradbery spoke about the importance of adding value to the region’s economy.

He said BlueScope’s willingness to continue its long relationship with Wollongong was testimony to its ongoing confidence in the region.

BlueScope sales, marketing, innovation and trading general manager Jason Ellis said it was a great day for the steelworks and an investment in the future. The company was able to deliver a higher-quality product, he said.

“It is also important for our industry in general because this is a reinvestment back in steel. It doesn’t happen very often. It really is a significant milestone for all of us, not just BlueScope. This material and this product will help deliver better value for our customers and their customers,” he said.

BlueScope manufacturing general manager John Nowlan said the new processing line would employ about 10 people in two shifts.

“It is adding value to the coil that we make,” he said. BlueScope’s new coil plate product will be available in the market as TRU-SPEC™ Coil Plate steel. It is designed to bend, cut, press and form predictably to ensure quality products can be produced efficiently and easily.

BlueScope product and brand manager Gregory Moffitt said customers were definitely in mind in the latest investment.

The flatness and consistency of the coil plate steel was particularly suited to the industry’s growing preference towards laser cutting, which required products to stay flat during cutting, he said.

“Stretch levelling technology produces a ‘memory-free’ product, which means TRU-SPEC™ Coil Plate steel is less likely to flex up and jam or damage the laser cutter.”

Full production is expected to begin on September 1.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.43.21 AMAt Leveltek International, we love to keep an eye on BIG projects going on around the country and the world. There are thousands of major construction projects underway as we speak. Some are bigger than others, but when it comes down to the amount of steel manufactured to complete these projects, its truly incredible.

This week, the last steel beam was put in place on the $800 million dollar VA Medical Center Facility in Aurora, Colorado. This massive replacement project, also known as “Project Eagle”, is a joint venture between Kiewit Building Group and Turner Construction.

All in all, since 2011, this total project has used 8,700 tons of steel, which is approximately equal to 2,175 elephants.

The 2+ million square foot facility will house a 30-bed community living center, a 30-bed spinal cord injury/disease center, a 182-bed tertiary, ambulatory care facility, a research building, a central utility plant and parking structures.

The project completion date, originally set for 2015 has been pushed to early 2016.


It was a rough winter. There is no doubt about it and now leaders in the steel industry are pointing to that blistery white stuff for the slow start to the year. The good news is, flowers are blooming and exports are booming.. well, in comparison to February 2014. At Leveltek, we are excited to see a five-month high after numbers came back showing a great March.

Steel experts are also pointing to a recovery in deliveries in Canada and Mexico. According to the Daily American Metal Market (AMM), exports of all products to Canada rose 17.2 percent from the prior month, while products to Mexico gained 13.6 percent.

Richard Chriss, executive director of the American Institute for International Steel said in a statement: “The strong recovery in steel exports to Canada and Mexico in March bodes well for the next several months, as it indicates that the slow start to the year had much to do with snow-related logistical problems. In addition, a strong showing in major developing countries could indicate that U.S. steel is becoming more of a factor outside North America. This trend could accelerate if the situation in Ukraine leads to tighter sanctions on Russia,”

According to data from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Enforcement and Compliance division mill product exports rose 15 percent from February but were 5.5 percent below March 2013.

In fact, the monthly gain was largely due to increases in exports for hot-rolled sheet (up 49.5 percent), coiled plate (up 25.4 percent) and hot-dipped galvanized sheet and strip (up 24.6 percent).


Our own Bob Sipp recently got published in Modern Metals Magazine with an article he wrote with Kelly Konrad all about achieving flatness in metals called “Achieving True Flatness”!  We wanted to invite everyone to take a look at the full article over on the Modern Metals website.  The full article can be found RIGHT HERE.




Above: The Benwood Wide Line located at the Benwood, W.Va., facility processes all coiled metals, without marking, to the highest global standard for laser-quality sheets up to 1⁄2 inch x 96 inches at any length, as well as coil-to-coil. Metals can include bright-annealed stainless and painted/embossed or P&O carbon steel. Even they will have no marks from Leveltek’s gripper technology

Defects in materials are rarely acceptable, and for some industries, they’re simply not an option


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.