Now we’re back, this time to talk to Rodney Rice, their Business Development Director, and colleagues, about how they are reacting to changes in the marketplace and the exciting new projects they are working on.
New Houston facility
At the time that this article was finalised, Langley Alloys was in the process of fitting out its brand-new facility in Houston. Rodney Rice, the company’s Business Development Manager, takes up the story: “The new unit we have taken is >30,000 sq. ft., which is effectively double the size of our original facility there. It is on a par with our United Kingdom site. The building is large enough to manoeuvre cranes inside, and it’s fitted with high-density stocking that replicates the UK configuration. It may seem a bold move to commit to building a facility twice the size of the previous one, but we are confident that it will be a great springboard to grow our presence and sales in the US market.”
David Jenkins, General Manager of the Houston site continues: “Our site in Houston used to stock a wide range of grades, but it didn’t have the critical mass of stock. However, we realised that as a stockholder, you are either ‘all-in’ or ‘all-out’; without the full variety of stock and the full range of sizes, it’s inevitable that you won’t always have what your customers need. Therefore, three years ago, we focused our US business purely on duplex and super duplex. Today our Houston site only stocks bars in four grades: Ferralium 255, S32750/ SAF 2507, S32760, and the regular 2205 duplex. And it stocks them very well in every size.”
“Now that we’ve moved into new, much larger facilities in Houston we will look to stock a wider product range there, including XM19 and nickel alloys such as grades 625, 825, 925 and 718. In this way, we will replicate our UK offering.”
Further investment in nickel-based alloys, and beyond
“Our United Kingdom site stocks practically all grades of duplex, super duplex and nickel alloy bars,” explains Rodney. “We significantly increased our focus on nickel-based alloys in recent years, to broaden our relevance to customers. Our focus has traditionally been on the development and distribution of super duplex stainless steels. As these are used in the most demanding applications, it seems logical that our customers will require complementary alloys. While we have stocked nickel alloys for some time, our levels of investment in this stock has increased significantly in recent years."
Since 2017 we’ve substantially increased our stockholding of nickel alloys. Grades such as Alloy 718 and K-500 had been in our portfolio for many years, and initially we extended that to include Alloys 625, 725 and 825. Alloy 925 came a year later, in sizes specific to customers who are using this grade as a cost-effective alternative to Alloy 718. We have just invested heavily in Alloy 625, making us a more-rounded supplier than ever before.