An extraordinary year for Saarstahl Neunkirchen

425th anniversary and completion of the modernization of rolling mill 32

14 September 2018

The year 2018 is a particular one for Saarstahl Neunkirchen: for one thing, the last construction phase of the EUR 30 million investment in rolling mill 32 has been successfully put into operation, and for another, the site is celebrating an incredible 425 years of existence.

On top of all that, the current order situation and capacity utilization are good. In other words: Saarstahl Neunkirchen is stronger as it heads into the future and will continue its story of success.

The two rolling mills 31 and 32 form the core of the 73-hectare site. Around 950,000 tons of rolled products are produced here every year. About 70 percent of the volume goes to the automotive sector, where it is used for transmission and engine parts, fasteners, suspension springs and rolling bearings. Other customer segments include machine manufacturing and the electronics industry. An award presented to the plant in 2016 for "excellent product quality and cooperation” by DENSO, Japan’s largest automotive supplier, demonstrated how much products form Neunkirchen are appreciated.

EUR 30 million investment

But you can’t be a premium manufacturer of wire rod in high demand worldwide if you don't invest continuously in your plants. This principle has always been taken to heart in Neunkirchen – even in economically difficult times. As a result, more than EUR 100 million has been invested in the plant over the past ten years. Modernization of rolling mill 32 is the single largest investment since 1991. This primarily involved redesigning the high-speed section, a project of high technical complexity that also had to be implemented without interrupting production.

Long company history

The origins of the Neunkirchen plant date back to 1593: the site was first mentioned 425 years ago in a document as “Neunkircher Schmelz” (“Neunkirchen smeltery”) and is thus one of the world’s oldest steel sites that is still active. Starting in 1806, the Stumm brothers and their descendants guided the fortunes of the plant for more than 100 years. In 1920 the company was renamed Neunkircher Eisenwerk AG. In the course of the worldwide steel crisis, the company merged with Röchling Burbach in in 1982 to form ARBED Saarstahl GmbH. The same year also saw the end of hot metal production in Neunkirchen – the blast furnace, coking plant and and steelworks all ceased production. Today, alongside Völklingen and Saarbrücken-Burbach, Neunkirchen is one of three production sites of Saarstahl AG, which was founded in 1989.

Anniversary with customer day, employee party and new chronicle

Such a concentration of success stories naturally needs to be duly celebrated. All customers have been invited on 27 September. Saarstahl expects around 200 company representatives from all over the world who want to get a look at the current state of the art. Two days later, on 29 September, the Executive Board and plant management will thank those who have contributed significantly to the company’s success with an employee party. From 9 a.m. until late in the evening, the roughly 1,000 employees and their families will have the opportunity to celebrate Neunkirchen and its future during a wide-ranging program with performances, children’s entertainment and, of course, plenty of food and beverages.

An impressive chronicle has also been compiled to mark the anniversary. It traces the development of the technical facilities and products over the centuries but also uses a wealth of photos and stories to provide a lively look at the people and their work environment in "Neinkerje uff da Hitt" (local dialect for “at the Neunkirchen mill”). The employees of Saarstahl Neunkirchen will receive this commemorative publication as a gift for the anniversary.

About the Saarstahl Group:

The Saarstahl name has long stood for high-quality, custom solutions made of steel. The Saarstahl Group, headquartered in Völklingen, Germany, specializes in the production of wire rod, bar steel, billets and forged products in premium qualities. With innovative products and intelligent technologies, Saarstahl is helping find answers to global challenges like mobility, energy efficiency and security. Saarstahl products are in demand by the automotive and construction industries, the power engineering industry, the aerospace industry, by general mechanical engineering and other steel processing industries, and they are used in applications that can be subjected to the most extreme conditions.