A joint partnership was formed by U. S. Steel and Kobe Steel to provide advanced high-strength steel helping the world’s automakers build cars that are both lighter and stronger, providing drivers with better fuel economy and improved safety. The two companies invested more than $400 million to build a Continuous Annealing Line (CAL) at the PRO-TEC manufacturing facility in Leipsic, Ohio.

PRO-TEC engaged Rudolph Libbe Group as the design/build contractor for its Continuous Annealing Line (CAL) facility located in Leipsic, Ohio.

Launched in 2013, this project features:

  • A state-of-the-art annealing furnace
  • Water quench technology for precision cooling, temper rolling, and tension leveling
  • An on-site wastewater treatment plant


The Rudolph Libbe Group-led design/build project included self-performed electrical, boilers, mechanical systems, FlexSet building automation system, concretesite work and steel erection work.

The building is just over a quarter-mile long at 1,329 feet and varies in height from 54 to 133 feet. The building shell consists of 6,000 tons of conventional steel and 1,000 tons of Varco-Pruden pre-engineered steel. Project scope also included installation of 13 overhead cranes and more than two miles of crane rail.

On the initial commissioning day, and for the first time in U.S. Steel’s processing history, a perfect coil was run on the first pass which reoccurred seven out of seven times that day.

There’s the chemistry of making the steel, and then there’s the magic of the control of the temperature - heating, cooling, and heating back up. That’s giving us really high strength and the good formability. These parts will be lighter, and they will also be higher strength to protect passengers for safety purposes.

Bryan Vaughn, President
PRO-TEC Coating Co.

Photo Gallery

BIM Model

In the News