ATI Ladish started in 1905 when Herman Ladish bought a 1,500-lb. steam hammer; the company's been swinging ever since. ATI Ladish (formerly Ladish Co., Inc.) designs and manufactures high-strength forged and cast metal components for aerospace and industrial markets. Complex jet engine parts, missile components, landing gear, helicopter rotors, and other aerospace products generate about 85% of company sales; general industrial components account for the remainder. Rolls-Royce (26%), United Technologies (17%), and GE (13%) collectively account for more than half of its sales. In 2011 Allegheny Technologies (ATI) acquired and renamed Ladish, and joined its operations with ATI's High Performance Metals segment.
The deal, valued at approximately $778 million, enables the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of stainless and specialty steels and alloys to expand the scope of its product portfolio and customer base, particularly in the aerospace market. Ladish also benefits; its technology and manufacturing capacity complements ATI's footprint while preserving its own established business.
Although revenues from all three of its segments improved modestly in 2010 compared to the previous year, jet engine components, Ladish's largest, grew just 3%, hampered by delays in production of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380. The company's aerospace components' segment was up 25% due to an increase in the demand for airframe and helicopter parts. An uptick in sales to Caterpillar resulted in a 42% surge in sales from Ladish''s general industrial segment. Earnings grew more than 4-fold in 2010 over 2009's dismal low, albeit remained below the record posted in 2008.
The very nature of Ladish's industry is capital-intensive and raw material costs can vary greatly. Titanium, a staple component in aircraft and aerospace parts manufacturing, increased in cost by more than 70% between 2001 and 2010. Other key materials, such as aluminum and nickel-based superalloys, have seen similar price swings. To mitigate the high cost of raw materials, the company recycles by-products, such as machine turnings and test pieces.
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