EPS Opens Doors of Opportunity

EPS beats acid pickling economics with lower variable operating costs that you can put hard numbers to.  What’s more difficult to quantify, but just as important, are the new economic opportunities that EPS processing creates.

These opportunities, listed on the right, are especially compelling for service centers already processing flat rolled. Using EPS technology to bring pickling ‘in-house’ can expand both the service center’s offerings and customer base, plus establish a formidable competitive advantage. It also allows the service center to consolidate inventories of HRPO, pickled dry, and hot rolled black because EPS is a suitable substitute for all of them.

How Does EPS Processing Create Opportunities ?

New Value-Added Service
Most service centers order pickled coils from the mill or outsource pickling, so they fail to capture that portion of the steel supply chain. By starting an EPS pickling operation, they can offer a new value-added service.
Supplying A Superior Product
If you supply an acid pickled product, you supply the same product as your competitor. By supplying EPS, you supply an oil-free, uniform product with fabrication and paint advantages acid pickled cannot match.

Processing AHSS Grades
Demand for Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) is growing, but pickling these grades with acid is very difficult and expensive. EPS pickles them efficiently to put you in a much stronger competitive position.
Grow Other Processing Services
Bringing pickling ‘in-house’ with EPS offers the opportunity to provide more downstream processes, like slitting and cut-to-length, to new EPS customers. EPS can be a catalyst for growth in traditional processing.

Tighten The Supply Chain
Bringing pickling ‘in-house’ with EPS eliminates a handoff in the steel supply chain: no more freight, handling and time devoted to outside pickling. Plus, it lets you consolidate inventory because EPS dry can replace hot roll black with a clean alternative and replace HRPO.

EPS Pickling For Acid Picklers

Many acid picklers now send  their high carbon, high alloy and AHSS grades to EPS processors for pickling. The acid picklers tell us that either the speed to pickle these grades with acid is too slow OR that they can’t pickle some of these grades with acid at all.

Another type of business we receive from acid picklers is material destined for manufacturers and fabricators who need a dry pickled product but find acid pickled dry unsatisfactory. These users demand dry EPS and their pickling supplier often sends coils a long way to have us EPS proccess them. Similarly, we sometimes receive coils for EPS processing from steel mills with acid pickling lines who find that the acid highlights certain mill defects, whereas EPS mitigates them.

Yes, getting EPS business from acid picklers is kind of a strange arrangement, but in the end everyone wins – the EPS processor, the acid pickler and the customer.

How Adding EPS Grew Our Traditional Processing

TMW had been offering flat rolled processing – slitting, leveling and cut-to-length – for 25 years when we started up our new EPS Coil Line. We compete hard for every toll processing contract, whether against other toll processors or a service center’s  internal processing, but that EPS Coil Line gave us a distinct advantage in securing new slitting and cut-to-length business.

As a result, within 6 months we found we needed to upgrade our Stretcher Leveling cut-to-length lines to increase both throughput and gauge capacity.  Three months later, we announced an investment in a new slitting line. In both cases, EPS Coil Line business ‘pulled through’ enough traditional processing business to justify these investments.

TMW’s new high performance slitter, with EPS Coil Line (green) in the background

Making EPS Economics Work For You

Because the EPS Cell is a modular, stand-alone strip pickling system, it can be flexibly deployed as your demand grows or needs change. For example, you can begin producing EPS with minimal capital outlay by acquiring a one-cell EPS Coil Line. As demand grows, a second or even third EPS Cell can be added to increase output.

Contact the team at TMW to discuss the potential for integrating EPS pickling into your operations. We’ll be happy to provide cost estimates, processing capacity figures, and installation and service requirements.


The first Generation 4 EPS Coil Line at TMW