Global Fastener News

1981 FIN – ISCOTT and Southwire to Produce Wire Rod

January 24
00:00 2013

FASTENER HISTORY

March 23, 1981 FIN – Manufacturers of fasteners can look forward to having two new sources of cold heading quality wire rod–one in the near future and the other sometime in the next couple years.
We’re referring to wire rod which the Iron & Steel Company of Trinidad & Tobago (ISCOTT), which will be producing using conventional technology. Southwire Co., Carrollton, Ga. will turn out via techniques that are new to the wire rod industry.
ISCOTT is a government owned enterprise whose operations are located in the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, south of Trinidad’s capital city of Port of Spain. The enterprise was originally structured as a joint venture between he government of Trinidad and Tobago, Estel of Europe and Kawasaki of Japan, but along the way those plans were dropped.
ISCOTT is a fully integrated steel mill, complete with its own lime plant, direct reduction unit (used to upgrade iron ore) electric furnaces.
The products from ISCOTT will include high, medium and low carbon rod suitable for industrial wire, welding wire and cold heading, among other things. To convert the billets from the 700,000-tons/year caster to wire rod, ISCOTT will employ equipment supplied by Schloemann-Siemag AG of West Germany and Morgan Construction Co. of the U.S.
The rods produced by the mill range from 5.5 mm up to 16mm diameter and in coil weights of 750 kg, 1000 kg, 1500 kg, and 2000 kg. These coils will be tied in secure packages by 4 loops of wire automatically tied with in-line knots.
The finishing mill at ISCOTT consists of two Morgan No-Twist blocks of the high speed, high reduction type. In sequence with the finishing mill there are two retarded Stelmore cooling lines arranged with controlled rod cooling via a water cooling section, loop layer and insulated loop conveyor equipped with high velocity fans.
Marketing the rods for ISCOTT in this country is being handled by Socomet, Inc., which is part of Philip Brothers Division of Engelhard Minerals & Chemicls Corp. Socomet headquarters are at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. Tel: (212) 764-3700.
ISCOTT is having a plant dedication on April 4 in Trinidad and FIN will be on hand for the ceremonies. We’ll bring you up to date after we’ve seen the operations first hand, both in this newsletter and in more depth in our sister publication, Rod, Wire & Fastener.

The other company that may be in your future as a supplier of rod, or at least the machinery to produce it, is the Southwire Co.
The company was started just 30 years ago by Roy Richards, its current president and chief executive officer who was born in Hullett, Ga., which is close to Carrollton in northwest Georgia. He borrowed $656 and started Richards Construction Company shortly after graduating from Georgia tech. This company among other things got into the business of stringing wire over poles for the REA.
After serving in WWII, Richards returned to Georgia and set up a 12,000 sq ft wire mill in Carrollton.
His first employee was Roger Schoerner, now a senior vice president of the company.
The company drew its first wire on March 23, 1950 and it grew steadily until today it is a worldwide enterprise employing 6,000 people with sales of over $600 million, In the U.S. it’s the largest independent producer of wire and cable.
Most relative to this narrative is Southwire’s development of equipment to make continuous cast rod. Early in its history the company decided that continuous cast copper rod was the way to go, making the rod by casting it on a wheel somewhat resembling an oversized bicycle wheel. An Italian named Properzi had developed such a technique for continuously cast aluminum rod and Southwire thought it was possible to use the same idea for copper. Properzi didn’t agree but was talked into making such a machine for Southwire without any guarantees that it would work. It did and that type of equipment, now called the SCR system is now responsible for about 40 percent of the copper rod made worldwide (and about one fourth of Southwire’s yearly revenues).
Having conquered continuous casting of copper rod (and aluminum rod as well), Southwire is now looking to do the same in steel. And that’s where Roger Schoerner comes back into the story. He’s been the driving force behind this development.
Schoerner and a number of other Southwire executives along with some other investors have established the John A. Roebling Steel Corp. (JARSCO) in Roebling, N.J. and it’s there that the new Southwire continuous cast systems for steel will get its first commercial try out. Prior to this, the unit was tried at Atlantic Steel Company in Georgia.
At JARSCO a full size unit able to produce up to 150,000 tons of cold heading and forging quality bar will be put into operation and later more rolling equipment will be added to convert the bar to rod. The facility will cast molten steel into 7.5 sq inch billets, which is then rolled in 1/2 through 1-1/4″ round bars packaged as 1,000 pound coils. The 12-foot diameter casting machine will be coupled with 11 rolling stands and later four more rolling stands and a full size cooling bed will be added. In tests at Atlantic Steel, casting speeds of 35 to 40 ft per minute were achieved on 4.8 inch sections while speeds of 35 to 40 feet per minute were achieved on 4.8 inch sections while speeds of 25 to 30 feet were reached in 8-inch sections.
The smaller size of the Southwire wire rod unit as compared with conventional rod mills would seem to suggest that larger size fastener manufacturers or perhaps a joint venture of a number of rod users might be a target market for the unit. But that might never happen. When the continuous casting unit for copper rod was first developed it was thought that the same situation might obtain relative to companies in the wire and cable field. However, with only a few exceptions, most of the units in this country are owned and operated by the major copper producers like Kennecott, Magma, and Inspiration Consolidated Copper. Western Electric has a unit at Chicago but its output is strictly for its own consumption. Westinghouse also has a SCR at Abingdon, Virginia; and Capital Wire & Cable has a unit at Plano, Texas. Southwire has its own SCR at Carrollton, which will be enlarged in the future.
If you want more details about what Southwire is doing we suggest you contact Roger Schoerner at Southwire Company, Box 1000, Fertilla St., Carrollton, Ga. 30117 Tel: (404) 832-4242. ©1981/2013 Fastener Industry News
For information on permission to reuse or reprint this article please e-mail: FIN@GlobalFastenerNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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