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COPPERWELD MOVING AHEAD WITH UPGRADE OF SEAMLESS TUBING PRODUCTION FACILITIES

 COPPERWELD MOVING AHEAD WITH UPGRADE
 OF SEAMLESS TUBING PRODUCTION FACILITIES
 PITTSBURGH, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Copperweld Corporation announced today that it has approved the first phase of a $24 million project to upgrade its seamless tubing production facilities in Shelby, Ohio.
 Work on the projects is beginning this week. A preliminary step, the renovation of a rotary hearth furnace, was authorized last November and will be completed this summer.
 The seamless mill upgrade is a key component of Copperweld's Vision 100 manufacturing excellence program under which the Pittsburgh-based company is spending a total of $94 million to upgrade the mechanical tubing production capabilities of its Shelby Division.
 "This investment shows our confidence in the long-term future of the markets we serve, and our determination to maintain Copperweld's position as a world leader in the production of mechanical steel tubing," said John D. Turner, president and chief executive officer.
 Turner said that the project is designed so that the extensive improvements to Copperweld's seamless tubing mill will be accomplished with minimum impact on production. The first phase is expected to be completed by October 1993.
 That phase will include the rebuilding of the piercing mill and bar steadiers; rebuilding and relocation of the Assel mill; installation of new inlet and outlet tables for the Assel mill; and installation of an NEL (no-end-loss) unit engineered and built by Mannesmann-Demag Huttentechnik at the Assel mill.
 A second phase is designed to include a new quick-change sizing mill; the rebuilding and relocation of the rotary sizer; and the installation of new inlet and outlet tables serving the rotary sizer.
 The project will result in a significant increase in the mill's size capabilities. It will permit Copperweld to produce seamless tubing to a maximum of 40 feet in length and 8.000 inches in outside diameter.
 Quality improvements expected from the upgrade include greater concentricity, the ability to meet better-than-commercial OD and wall thickness tolerances, and improved surface finishes. The upgrade will increase the mill's maximum diameter/wall thickness ratio to 20:1 and its production capacity by approximately 30 percent.
 The initial investment under the Vision 100 program, a $50 million upgrade of the Shelby Division's facilities for production of DOM (drawn-over-mandrel) tubing, was completed in 1990. Another component, the installation of a quench and temper heat treating line, will be completed in May.
 Vision 100 also includes extensive enhancements to the plant's computer systems and an expanded training program to upgrade employee skills to fully utilize the advanced systems and equipment that are being installed.
 In addition to its production of mechanical tubing at Shelby, Copperweld also manufactures structural tubing at plants in Birmingham, Ala., and Chicago. Another Copperweld facility, in Fayetteville, Tenn., is the largest producer of bimetallic wire in the world.
 -0- 4/6/92
 /CONTACT: Robin King of Copperweld, 412-263-3610/ CO: Copperweld Corporation ST: Pennsylvania, Ohio IN: MNG SU:


CD-ML -- PG002 -- 5393 04/06/92 13:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 6, 1992
Words:487
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