Gerdau's Process Control Ensures Consistent Quality

Gerdau's Process Control Ensures Consistent Quality

There’s an interesting story behind Gerdau’s grinding media products. It’s connected to the company’s 120-year legacy of making sustainable products.

Gerdau’s humble beginning came in 1901 as a nail factory in a small town in southeast Brazil. While the company has evolved over the years, we have preserved our commitment to providing quality products and services and to making positive contributions to the communities where we work and live. Today, the company is a leading global steel producer with operations across North and South America.

For over forty years, Gerdau’s grinding ball production facility in Duluth, Minnesota, has manufactured forged steel grinding media to serve our mineral processing and mining industry customers in the Americas.

To some, grinding balls are simply tools used to extract mining ores and minerals. But there’s so much more behind Gerdau's product.

There’s a united team that is proud to work safely to provide customers with the quality products and services they deserve. There’s a dedication to making a positive environmental impact. And there’s an economy that we bolster by providing rewarding careers with good-paying manufacturing jobs and outstanding benefits.

The grinding balls we forge in Duluth are made from steel that was melted and poured in Gerdau’s North American mills, a region with the world’s greenest steel-making environmentalfootprint. From our raw materials through our finished product, the entire manufacturing process occurs in North America. This limits emissions associated with global supply chains and ensures that the greatest economic impact is realized in our local economy.

Steel industry jobs also have a substantial economic multiplier effect. So, in addition to the careers that Gerdau provides directly, each position at Gerdau supports seven other jobs.

By partnering with Gerdau, the mining industry doesn’t just buy high-quality steel products. They purchase products that protect and support our environment, our economy, and hardworking steelworkers and their families.

And how do we make such consistent, high-quality products?

Each Gerdau rolling mill is equipped with precision rolling stands to produce tight size tolerances, uniform weight, and a concentric round surface. Our goal is to release products that meet our customers’ requirements. That’s why we manually check and use automated sensors throughout the production process. After passing a final quality assurance inspection at our mill, the hot-rolled bars are bundled and shipped to Duluth for forging.

“Each Gerdau rolling mill is equipped with precision rolling stands to produce tight size tolerances, uniform weight, and a concentric round surface.”

Once at Duluth, the bundles are inspected to ensure that size and material grade are correct. To ensure that the optimal forging temperature is maintained, the bar temperature leaving the induction units is continuously monitored. After forging and heat treatment, the balls are transferred to a bin where they go through yet another series of final quality verifications before being released for shipment. Our quality checks mean that our customers can be confident that the products they receive are uniform and consistent.

As the only grinding media manufacturer that controls the entire process of the products we make, from recycled scrap selection to final forging, our grinding media products are second to none.

Our 120-year history has taught us that quality matters—from start to finish. This is just one of the lessons that make up the chapters of our story and the commitment we offer our business partners.

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Gerdau's Process Control Ensures Consistent Quality

Gerdau's Process Control Ensures Consistent Quality

By John Heerema, Product Line Manager, SBQ Mario Pecchia, Regional Sales Representative, Gerdau Long Steel North America