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Böhler Uddeholm:  a benchmark of the new steel industry

January 27, 2010

Foreground: Trade Commissioner Franz Roessler, Vice President Tom Bell and Consul General Thomas Schnoell (left to right), Background: BU´s robotic automated storage and retrieval system.

Whereas enough has been written about the economic downturn of the past two years, it is refreshing to find a company such as Böhler Uddeholm (BU) which is emerging not only stronger, but as a role model for the new manufacturing economy.

The company, with roots going back over 300 years and now a subsidiary of the Austrian voestalpine conglomerate, specializes in “tool steel” used for the tooling and molds to manufacture metal and plastic parts and components. Unlike commodity steel sold by the ton, BU´s products are sold by the pound for their high quality and performance requirements to all types of manufacturing industries, from automotive to alternative energy. BU customers typically utilize a wide array of value-added services, so the material can be ordered precut, ground, drilled and machined to save time and money. Not only does BU´s quality exceed industry standards, but its US service center also employs a staff of metallurgists to advise customers about their critical tooling quality parameters.

On January 21, Chicago´s new Consul General Thomas Schnoell and Trade Commissioner Franz Roessler were warmly received by Mr. Tom Bell, Vice President, at Böhler Uddeholm´s World Class Service Center in Elgin, Illinois. Explaining how the company relies on cutting edge technology and fully integrated production in order to offer customers around the world quick access to highly specialized tool steel, Mr. Bell explained, “We are true steel people, and our investments show it.”