Iron & Steel > Globalized Operations
|Iron & Steel
|Global Strategy fot Automotive Wire Rod & Bar|
|In Asia, North America and Europe, Kobe Steel is growing its wire rod and bar business.|
Kobe Steel and Europe's Lucchini Group have begun technical exchanges on specialty steel wire rod and bar used in automotive applications. The exchanges in production technology range from steelmaking to product shipment. The exchanges are anticipated to lead to a technical alliance that would make available the same high quality products of the two companies worldwide.
Kobe Steel has a number of investments and technology agreements in other countries. In Thailand, Kobe CH Wire (Thailand) Co., Ltd. processes CHQ wire rod for automotive fasteners. In China, Nanjing Baori Wire Products Mfg. Co., Ltd. also processes wire rod used in making auto parts. Republic Technologies International LLC in the United States benefits from our participation and technology.
|R&D Agreement with U.S.Steel for Automotive Steel Sheet|
|Kobe Steel and U.S. Steel formed a cooperative agreement for research and development in automotive steel sheet technology. The alliance is expected to enhance the technical presence and capabilities of the two companies among automakers worldwide. It responds to the expanding demand for new and improved steel sheet products and technologies for innovative automotive applications.|
To date, Kobe Steel has transferred 60 kg class high strength steel technology to its joint venture PRO-TEC and U.S. Steel. As a result, PRO-TEC is the leading American producer of this variety of steel.
The new alliance with U.S. Steel goes beyond a single product. It enables the implementation of technological deve-lopments in quality-critical automotive applications on a broader and more cost-effective basis. New areas of joint R&D may include ultra high strength steel sheet, hydroforming, tailored blanks and sheet process simulations.
|PRO-TEC Achieves New Record|
|In March 1990, Kobe Steel and U.S. Steel formed an equal partnership joint venture called PRO-TEC Coating Company to supply hot dip galvanized steel sheet to the U.S. auto industry and Japanese auto transplants. Located in Leipsic, Ohio, the facility, with an annual capacity of 600,000 short tons, came on stream in Janary 1993. In 1997, PRO-TEC made a world record of over 670,000 short tons of prime-grade coated steel sheet. With demand continuing to grow, PRO-TEC added a second line, with an annual capacity of 400,000 short tons, which began operation in autumn 1998. With a combined capacity of 1 million short tons per year, PRO-TEC is among the top producers, in both quantity and quality, of coated steel sheet in the U.S. market. In 1999, PRO-TEC was in full production and in 2000 it produced over 1 million short tons. |
Producing 60 kg class high strength steel has enabled PRO-TEC to ship a growing amount to Japanese auto transplants. In 2000, about 16% of PRO-TEC's products went to the transplants. In 2001, that amount is expected to rise to 25%.
|Wirerope Company Formed in Kobe Steel Group|
|Kobe Steel, Tesac Corporation, Nissho Iwai Corporation and Shinko Wire Company, Ltd. formed a wirerope company called Tesac Wirerope Co., Ltd. in April 2001, from Tesac's rope and wire division. Tesac's high quality wirerope is used in elevators and ropeways. Tesac has commissioned the upstream production of the wirerope to Shinko Wire, a Kobe Steel affiliate. The joint venture contributes to the competitiveness of the Kobe Steel Group.|