Global Fastener News

1986 FIN – Mud Slowing Construction of Nucor Fastener Plant in Indiana

September 01
00:00 2010

By Dick Callahan

January 15, 1986 FIN – Nucor Corp., Charlotte, North Carolina, despite some setbacks in its schedule due to bad weather, is proceeding with the construction of the approximately 300,000 sq. ft. fastener plant it’s putting up in St. Joe (near Fort Wayne), Indiana.

Nucor Corp. announced that it was entering the fastener field and would state immediate construction of a $25 million state-of-the-art plant at St. Joe, where it already has two plants (one for joists and another for roof deck fabrication).

At that time the company said it was looking at peak production of 40,000 tons of fastener a year with the product line consisting of standard hex head cap screws, hex bolts and socket head cap screws. In addition the company said the factory would be supplied with coiled rounds made at the Nucor mini-mill in Norfolk, Nebraska and later at its Darlington, South Carolina mill.

This announcement, to say the least, caused a lot of raised eyebrows since many trade observers were of the opinion that domestic fastener manufacturers could not compete successfully for the standard fastener markets against imports and would survive only by switching over to specials. If it were any other company than Nucor (which is one of the few profitable companies in the domestic steel industry) this new venture would have been given small odds for surviving, especially with companies like Armco and Bethlehem getting out of the business.


F. Kenneth Iverson, chairman and chief executive officer of Nucor Corp. said that the 150 workers would each be generating about $250,000 per year for the plant using high speed boltheaders supplied by National Machinery. He also said that the plant would be highly automated throughout.


FIN recently spoke with Keith Bosse, who’s a vice president of Nucor Corp. and general manager of the St. Joe facility, to be known as the Nucor Fastener Division, and he gave us some details about how the project is progressing.

As mentioned earlier, the weather has been somewhat of a problem. Bosse told us that during most of November the plant site was a sea of mud due to heavy rains and that it was necessary to being in a team of bulldozers to rescue some of the construction equipment. This set the schedule back about three weeks.


Most of the footers are not in and steel erection has started. Equipment deliveries are scheduled from May to September with debugging getting underway beginning in late summer.

National Machinery, Tiffin, Ohio, is supplying the high speed boltmakers. The 17 units are comprised of six different sizes with speeds up to 300 parts per minute with bolts under head measuring from 1-1/2 to 8-1/2 inches.

Heat treating equipment is being supplied by Standard Fuel Engineering, anneal equipment by Saunders Energy and plating equipment by Napco, Inc.

The plant will go on stream with about 75 to 80 people late in the fourth quarter of 1986 progressing later to a three shift 150 worker operation.

The building of the Nucor plant and the marketing of its products is something more.

The entry of Nucor into the fastener field represents something beyond just adding another manufacturer to the fold. We’re talking here about “smokestack” America i.e. the sort of enterprise that some industry “experts” say will have a diminishing role in the future as this country moves away from manufacturing and into service oriented industries.

If Nucor can make this project fly it will hopefully refute those naysayers who have given up on this country’s ability to compete with competitors overseas in certain product areas. FIN for one is rooting for them to make it.  ©1986/2010 Fastener Industry News

Related Links:

• Nucor Fastener

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