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Finkl Orders New Electric Melt Shop

April 4, 2008
SMS to build EAF, LMF for 2009 start

A. Finkl & Sons has ordered a new 70-ton capacity electric arc furnace for a new melt shop, to be built in Chicago. Finkl, which has operated in Chicago since 1879, recently applied to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for a construction permit for a site on the city’s Southeast site.

The 44-acre site formerly housed the Verson division of Allied Products Corp., a manufacturer of metal-forming presses that closed in 2001 after its parent company declared bankruptcy. Finkl bought the 44-acre property in June 2006 for $2.4 million.

Finkl said in 2006 that it had outgrown the current site, where it operates several forging presses. These presumably would be relocated to the new site. According to SMS Demag, which has been contracted to build the new melt shop, the start up is planned for 2009.

The contract for the new melt shop equipment includes an AC EAF and ladle furnace, as well as automation systems.

Early last year Finkl was taken over by German tool steelmaker Schmolz + Bickenbach AG, for an undisclosed price. At the time it was assumed that Finkl needed a new investment partner “to make the necessary investments in construction of a new plant.” Some reports at that time suggest Finkl would relocate its operation to a former Slater Steel site in Quebec, adjacent to the Sorel Forge operation Finkl bought in 2004.

In addition to the operations in Chicago and Quebec, Finkl has processing plants and sales offices in Mexico, Thailand, and the U.K. Its various products include custom forgings, cold work, hot formings, and pressure diecastings.