Ruukki expands into North American market

Ruukki has expanded into the North American marketplace by opening a U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh, and a Canadian headquarters in Toronto.

Finnish steel company, Ruukki, has launched in the North American market by opening a U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh, and a new Canadian headquarters in Toronto.

Ruukki, one of the world’s leading special steel manufacturers, will bring its energy-efficient steel products to North American manufacturers involved in transportation, heavy lifting, mining and other demanding industrial applications.

The $3.8 billion (€2.8 billion) company brings to the North American market more than a half century of steel manufacturing experience. Ruukki’s metals expertise lies in specialized steels developed with direct quenching technology that provides excellent mechanical properties such as superior surface hardness, core hardness and uniform toughness. Using high-strength and wear-resistant special steels, customers are able to design energy-efficient products with lighter structures, longer service life and higher payloads. 

Ruukki is an award-winning steel maker globally recognized for its energy efficient products and operations. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an integral part of its business, focusing primarily on sustainability, competence and safety. The company has received many industry honors and ranks among the best in the world in iron making energy efficiency. Ruukki uses the minimum amount possible of carbon raw materials with its current technology. The company does its best to reduce the environmental loading of each steel product at each stage from production to recycling, while also ensuring a sustainable supply chain.

Ruukki’s focus on sustainability and steel innovation yields significant business benefits for its customers in the areas of quality and energy efficiency, according to Gary Bernd, Materials Manager at Waco, TX-based Time Manufacturing Company, which manufactures aerial lifts and bucket trucks for many American utility fleets.

“Of my three specialized steel providers, Ruukki is the only one that delivers a consistently high-quality product that is always flat, clean, rust-free and defect-free. I’ve never had a problem,” he says. “The company’s strong steel has enabled us to offer our customers lighter weight, more energy-efficient lifts, which saves them money on transportation and maintenance costs.” 

Specialized Steels

Ruukki will offer its two most popular steel products in North America: high-strength Optim and wear-resistant Raex steels. Optim steel helps manufacturers reduce energy costs of equipment, vehicles and other industrial products while gaining extra high-strength performance. Optim is ideal for frame structures in commercial vehicles, mobile machines, equipment booms and other heavy lifting equipment. 

The company’s other product line available in North America – Raex – is a wear-resistant steel with a hardness and impact toughness best suited for bucket trucks and containers, mining equipment, platform structures, feeders and other high-wear applications. With plate thicknesses ranging from 2 up to 80 mm, Raex wear plates can extend the lifespan of machinery, decrease wear in structural components and save costs. 

North American operations

While Ruukki has sold steel products in the U.S. through an agent, this announcement marks the company’s aggressive, full-bore expansion into the North American market. The company will drive sales, marketing, technical customer service, technical support and its distribution network through its Pittsburgh and Toronto offices. Manufacturing and R&D will remain at its state-of-the-art steel works in Finland.

U.S. operations will center in Pittsburgh, the heartland of America’s once-booming steel industry. It will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary under the name Ruukki USA Inc., and will be headed by Kevin Kale, who has more than 17 years of steel industry experience.

The company’s Canadian subsidiary, based in Toronto, is Ruukki Canada Inc. It will be directed by new country manager, Peter Tuomi, who has an extensive background in mining, materials handling equipment and steel processing.

The entire North American operation will be managed by Josu Piña, Vice President, Special Steel Sales at Ruukki Metals in the Americas. 

Ruukki needs to be close to customers to deliver the high level of service and help them find the best steel solutions for their applications,” says Thomas Hörnfeldt, Senior Vice President, Special Steels & International Sales at Ruukki Metals. “North American customers can now benefit from high-strength Optim and wear-resistant Raex steel to improve the lifetime, load-bearing capacity and energy efficiency of their products. We are committed to building a strong position for Ruukki in North America and look forward to servicing customers who need the highly differentiated and proven steel we are known for.”