Usiminas

Much more than steel, Usiminas offers solutions to the country’s greatest industrial challenges. In cars, in ships. In refrigerators, in stoves. In offshore platforms, in tractors.     In industrial machinery and much more. It is not by chance that it is Latin America’s biggest flat steel producer and market leader in Brazil.

Steel from Usiminas is present where Brazil progresses, where knowledge and innovation dictate the future. For this reason, it invests in the modernization of its plants and in products with differentiated technology content.

At the base of it all is a qualified team that joins experience with constant development.

Whoever seeks excellence knows that development can be shared. For this reason, Usiminas operates with sustainability and social responsibility. By means of the Fundação São Francisco Xavier, it invests in education and health. With the Usiminas Cultural Institute, it supports culture and sports. Furthermore, it promotes environmental initiatives, such as the Xerimbabo Project, with more than two million visitors over almost three decades.

With technology, knowledge and quality. This is the way Usiminas builds the future.

Doing it always better. 

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The strength of its team makes Usiminas knowhow a benchmark. It is not by chance that it is the steel company with the biggest number of patents in Latin America.

As a strategic differential, its modern, pioneering Usiminas Technology Center develops new steel grades and improves production process, which follows benchmarking parameters in search of greater operational efficiency and productivity.

For more than 40 years of research and promotion of steel development and processes, it has contributed to customer satisfaction and to the high technology level of the Brazilian industry.

Its 17 laboratories, located in the Ipatinga Plant, absorb, generate and disseminate scientific knowledge and technology aiming at:

  • Characterization and evaluation of raw materials, inputs, waste and diverse materials related to steel production processes;
  • Improvement and development of processes and products;
  • Cost rationalization;
  • Characterization and engineering of product application;
  • Environmental preservation;
  • Identification and evaluation of new technologies.

 

The plants are located in the city of Ipatinga, in the Vale do Aço (the Steel Valley) in Minas Gerais, and in the city of Cubatão, in the Santista flatlands (Baixada Santista), in São Paulo. However, Usiminas is present in seven Brazilian states, covering the entire steel production chain – from iron ore to large steel structures.

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Usiminas 1962 – 2013

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The 1960s

Usiminas starts up its operations in Ipatinga, MG, on October 26, 1962.

1962
The Intendente Câmara Plant is inaugurated on October 26, 1962 with lighting of Blast Furnace 1. The production started 24 hours later with the first pig iron run, and, thus, Usiminas’ first industrial production.



1964
The beginning of steel exports with the shipment on board the “San Miguel” from the Port of Vitória of the first shipment of heavy plates to Argentina.




1965
The Hot Strip Mill, the second Coke Oven Battery, the Hot Strip Finishing Line, the second Blast Furnace and the Cold Strip Mill are inaugurated. These inaugurations made possible the complementation of the cycle that makes the Intendente Câmara Plant an integrated steel plant.



1966
Beginning of steel fabrication for high pressure tubes of the API series, of high strength, good weldability steel in grades SAR 50 and 55. These are high performance steel suited for large diameter pipe and the petroleum industry. 
1969
Usiminas closes out the decade with a 50% market share of the national demand for heavy plates, mainly to the shipbuilding and railway segments.


The 1970s

This is the height of the so-called Economic Miracle. Usiminas invests to meet the strong expansion cycle of the Brazilian industry.

1970
Usiminas Mecânica is created to aggregate value to the capital goods and infrastructure industries. In the following year, the fabrication of metallic structures and bridges begins to promote the use of steel, and it inaugurates its welded profiles plants in Ipatinga.


1971
Usiminas inaugurates the Research Center of the company, the largest in the Latin American steel industry, consolidating its technological and quality differential.



1974
The inauguration of Blast Furnace 3 provided Usiminas with a 3.5 million ton production capacity. Together with the start up of Blast Furnace 3, works began in the Continuous Slab Reheating Furnace nr. 2, to duplicate the hot strip rolling capacity at the plant.



The 1980s

Brazil undergoes economic recession. The moment requires prudence, however, without losing opportunities to modernize and increase quality in the long term.

1980
Usiminas inaugurates its new Headquarters in Belo Horizonte.


1982
Usiminas develops and begins production of SAC grade steel (weldable, high strength, better corrosion resistant steel), targeting the civil construction and infrastructure segments.

1984
The first edition of the Xerimbabo Project is held. Focused on environmental education, the Project, whose indigenous name means “pet”, began its story, developing courses, seminars and exhibitions, with a view to integrate Man and Nature with the purpose of providing equilibrium to the Planet.



1989
Certification of engineers by the American Society of Quality is initiated. The qualification of so-called CQEs (Certified Quality Engineers) is a practice at Usiminas until today, constituting one of the Company’s differentials.

The 1990s

With the liberalization of the Brazilian economy, Usiminas was the first company to be privatized in the Country.

1991
The privatization auction of Usiminas marked the beginning of the National Privatization Program. The Company was chosen among several companies to open up the negotiation cycle for being attractive to the private sector.


1993
The Usiminas Cultural Institute was founded, the arm of the company responsible for the management of cultural sponsorship and spaces, in addition to the development of educational and qualification programs. Also, in this year Usiminas acquired controlling share of Companhia Siderúrgica Paulista (Cosipa), located in Cubatão, SP, expanding the capacity and the customer base of the group.




1996
Usiminas was the first steel company in Brazil and second in the world to achieve the ISSO 14001 certificate for environmental management, which endorsed the profound respect of the company for natural resources and its recognition that preservation and environmental protection should be fostered, respecting present and future generations.



1999
Usiminas inaugurated the most modern cold rolling line in the country – Cold Rolling Line 2, with capacity to produce a million tons of rolled product per year.




The 2000s

The Brazilian economy expands rapidly, and Usiminas is getting even closer to segments that require high added value.

2000
Unigal, a joint venture between Usiminas and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, was inaugurated in Ipatinga, MG. The partnership inaugurates the first hot-dip galvanizing line (HDG), a high added value product, in high demand by the automakers.



2005
Usiminas makes its debut on the Latibex, the Spanish stock market, where only Latin American shares are traded.


2007
Usiminas products receive certification by European norms ELV and RoHS, for ecologically correct production. With this the company expands the possibility of operating in European markets, which have strict rules of the use of chemical components.
2009
Soluções Usiminas is created, a subsidiary that reinforces the group’s action in services, transformation and distribution of steel. With capacity to process more than two million tons of steel per year, Soluções was born from the consolidation of Rio Negro, Dufer, Fasal and Zamprogna and from the Usial and Usicort industrial facilities into one company.



The 2010s

Usiminas reaches a new technological level, acts in an integrated manner and invests in the future.

2010
Mineração Usiminas is created in the city of Itatiaiuçu, MG, a joint venture between Usiminas and Sumitomo Corporation, with the objective of supplying part of the demand of the plants and also to sell in the domestic and export markets. In this year, the Sincorn heavy plate line was also started up, a product with superior performance, adequate to meet the demands of the pre-salt and shipbuilding industries. The production of this new family of steel was made possible by the installation of CLC technology (Continuous Online Control) at the Ipatinga plant, up until then an exclusive of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation.



2011
Unigal Usiminas inaugurates the company’s new Hot-Dip Galvanizing line with the purpose of serving the growing demand of the national automobile market.


2012
A new Hot Strip Mill at the Cubatão Plant was inaugurated, one of the most modern in operation in the world. It is capable of producing coils with dimensions unheard of in the country, which propitiates tubes fabrication 24” in diameter up to 20 mm in thickness. In this manner, it offers differentiated products in the market, able to serve high added valued markets, such as oil extraction, construction of gas pipelines, etc.


2013
As a result of a process of greater integration with its clients, Usiminas shows the best domestic sales level in the last five years: 5,4 million tons.


 

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