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Union Partners to Build Facility on Big River Steel Campus

2 min read

Union Partners of Oak Brook, Illinois, announced Thursday its plans to build a new steel processing facility on the Osceola campus of Big River Steel.

The company said the facility will be directly adjacent to Big River’s Flex Mill and include both slitting and multi-blanking lines in a new build-to-suit facility expandable to 258,000 SF. 

There will be an accelerated schedule for construction with a formal groundbreaking planned for the first quarter of 2018.

Union Partners said it will install the latest innovations in technology and processes to enable real-time collaboration between their new operations and Big River Steel. The mill-grade equipment was selected to service the needs of Big River and its customers, including the specific needs of the automotive industry, which both companies are targeting.

Union Partners founders Chris Hutter and Paul Douglass said in the release, “This collaboration will allow Union Partners to supply additional steel needs across the country, while maintaining our strong commitment to innovation. Our leading equipment and testing capabilities will only serve to further enhance the timely delivery of quality steel products into the marketplace.”

Big River CEO Dave Stickler said in the release, “Big River is excited to welcome Union Partners to Arkansas as we continue to attract a full roster of the industry’s best organizations to our campus. We’ve helped bring millions of dollars of investment to Arkansas and hundreds of jobs. And we’re not done yet.”

In addition to complementary equipment and technology, Union Partners and Big River said they share an entrepreneurial approach to the steel industry. Both organizations view investment and innovation as critical to the future of American-made steel, and have built their companies to embrace leading technologies such as artificial intelligence and Industry 4.0.

And customers are noticing, Mark Bula, chief commercial officer at Big River, said in the release.

“Our best conversations with customers are not about filling orders,” Bula said. “We talk about opportunities and solutions, and what they need from a steel producer to help get them there. We want to be talking with customers about the niche steels they don’t even know they need yet. And so does Union Partners.”

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