The US structural metals manufacturing industry consists of about 13,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $75 billion. Major companies include units of integrated metal producers, such as Alcoa, Nucor, and US Steel, as well as large metal fabricators, such as NCI Building Systems, ClarkDietrich Building Systems, and Valmont Industries. The industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 25 percent of sales.
Demand depends primarily on the level of construction activity, particularly nonresidential. The profitability of individual companies depends on manufacturing efficiency and effective supply management. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing materials and equipment. Smaller producers compete by focusing on specialized product offerings and responsive customer service to local markets.
Structural metals compete with other building materials, primarily wood, for many uses in construction projects.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major product types are plate work and fabricated steel (joists and concrete reinforcing bars and prefabricated metal building components) and ornamental and architectural metal (metal windows and doors, sheet metal work, ornamental ). Plate work and fabricated steel and ornamental and architectural metal each account for about 50 percent of shipments. Basic raw materials are primarily steel (carbon, alloy, and stainless) or aluminum. Raw materials are bought in semi-finished form (slabs, billets, and blooms) or finished form (plates, coils, sheets, wire, bars, rails, and beams). Companies buy either directly from primary metal producers or from metals distributors, known as metals service...