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U.S. STEEL ANNOUNCES UPGRADE AT FAIRLESS WORKS

 U.S. STEEL ANNOUNCES UPGRADE AT FAIRLESS WORKS
 FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- A $7 million upgrade is


under way on the hot dip galvanizing line at U.S. Steel's Fairless Works to enhance the plant's ability to serve customers in the automotive and construction industries.
 A principal feature of the project involves an upgrade of the existing coating weight control system, scheduled for completion by year's end, which will include computerized air-knife equipment for more precise and uniform zinc coating. The modernization also includes addition of steering rolls for improved tracking of the steel strip through the line. A major portion of that phase already has been completed.
 The investment will enable Fairless to offer better galvanized coating thickness and consistent surface quality and corrosion resistance in a more cost-efficient manner, with improved performance and fewer delays.
 The air-knife system features automatic position controls and strip stabilization for more even hot-dip zinc application. Installation of steering rolls on each of the line's four entry and exit traveling looper cars will improve Fairless' ability to produce wide galvanized sheet -- up to 64 inches.
 By improving tracking, the steering rolls will help prevent damage or flaring to the edge of the strip, offering quality assurance to the customer and increased productivity to Fairless' operations.
 The galvanizing line upgrade is a key element among several 1992 moves to enhance Fairless' competitive position as an East Coast supplier of high-quality steel sheet and tin mill products, according to William J. Kelly, plant manager.
 An electrostatic oiler, relocated from the former tin mill division at U.S. Steel's Irvin Plant near Pittsburgh, was placed in service at the No. 1 recoil line in Fairless' tin mill division in March. The facility -- the only one of its kind in the United States -- applies water-soluble protective oil through a controlled spray process to light-gage cold rolled and tin mill sheets used by customers to manufacture various cans, drums, pails and other containers, and in office furniture and fixtures.
 The oiler, which replaced a former, less efficient direct oil application method at Fairless, assures customers of corrosion protection during shipping and processing of the coils.
 Installation and operation by Chicago Steel, Ltd. of a tension leveler in the Fairless Plant's former bar mill warehouse will provide Fairless with superior flatness on its galvanized and cold rolled sheet products for customer applications demanding critical surface flatness and uniformity. The installation, under a lease arrangement with Chicago Steel, is scheduled to come on stream by the end of this year.
 All of Fairless' customers and product lines will benefit further when U.S. Steel reaches 100-percent continuous casting capability by late summer with completion of a $250 million continuous slab caster at the Mon Valley Works near Pittsburgh. Since Fairless' obsolete hot end was closed last year, the plant's sheet and tin finishing facilities have been sourced with strip mill hot bands from other U.S. Steel plants, primarily Mon Valley and the Gary (Ind.) Works.
 When the Mon Valley caster comes on stream, all of Fairless' hot bands will be rolled from continuously cast slabs, which provide much higher quality in a more cost-effective manner than traditional ingot steel-making practices.
 The 1992 improvements at Fairless follow investments in the late 1980s to upgrade seven separate facilities in the plant's tin mill division, which have enhanced quality for container industry customers.
 "All of these investments represent an important commitment by U.S. Steel, both to Fairless' customers and to the 800 employees in our sheet and tin operations," said Kelly. "We compete in an extremely tough marketplace, and our success depends directly on our quality and cost-effectiveness.
 "Our people -- working together through our APEX quality program -- have made great strides in responding to those quality and cost challenges. These facility upgrades will be vital new tools in our ability to keep Fairless a supplier of choice in the marketplace," Kelly said.
 /delval/
 -0- 8/4/92
 /CONTACT: R.W. Glenn, 412-433-6792, or T.R. Ferrall, 412-433-6899, both of USX/
 (X) CO: U.S. Steel; Chicago Steel, Lt. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:


CD -- PG004 -- 6500 08/04/92 09:01 EDT
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Date:Aug 4, 1992
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