Norfolk Iron & Metal Logo 2023

Norfolk Iron & Metal to Unify All Companies Under One Brand Name

NORFOLK, NE, AUGUST 2, 2023 —Norfolk Iron & Metal (NIM), one of the nation’s largest family-owned networks of steel service centers announced today that the company will be unifying all company brands. The company brands currently include Norfolk Iron & Metal, Metalwest, Cd’A Metals, and NIM Group, and serves more than 30 states across the country. Effective January 1, 2024, all facilities will be rebranded to Norfolk Iron & Metal. The rebrand is an effort to streamline NIM’s go-to-market strategy, enabling the company to reach more customers and provide greater service, as well as create greater brand recognition in the competitive marketplace.
Finish Processed Metal

5 Common Ways To Finish Processed Metal

At Metalwest, our goal is always to provide you with the processed metal you need for your products. Last month we talked about the many methods companies use to finish processed metal. This month we’re back to talk about more. Finish Processed Metal

Plasma Cutting

Plasma cutting is the process of using an electrically-conductive channel of plasma to cut through molten metal. The plasma is created by firing a highly-concentrated stream of gas through a nozzle with a plasma cutter. As the stream is directed at the metal, an electric arc is formed between it and an electrode within the machine. This arc ionizes the gas, forming superheated plasma. 

Plasma cutting, which we perform at our Cd’A Metals and Norfolk Iron & Metal facilities, is one of the most highly efficient ways to finish processed metal. Plasma cutting can cut through thick metal plate and becomes more cost-effective every year. It creates clean cuts and can also be used to erase evidence of metal-melting fusions.


Processed metal is not complete until it has been polished. Polishing sets any metal product’s appearance apart and improves its sanitation qualities. This is vital if your product is destined for the food processing or service industries. At Metalwest, we perform all of our polishing in-house and offer a wide range of finishes for our customers.

To finish processed metal by polishing involves buffing away irregularities on the metal’s surface. To do so, polishing lines use abrasives attached to a flexible backing to reach every surface of the metal product. The grit of these abrasives determines their role. 

Low-grit abrasives (those in the 60 or 80 ballpark) smooth out nicks or grooves in the surface, while high-grit abrasives (with values closer to 120 or 180) create a beautiful sheen. At Metalwest, we provide No. 3, No. 4, No. 4 Fine, No. 6, and No. 8 finishes in addition to other specialty finishes specific to your product.Finish Processed Metal

Press Brake

A press brake is a piece of machinery designed to bend sheet metal. It is usually long and narrow to accommodate large pieces of metal. The material is pressed between a punch and a die, and the applied pressure is used, sometimes percussively, to shape the metal into specified configurations. 

The specifics of press brake machinery vary depending on the application. Press brakes can be mechanical, electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic. They have varying speed settings. Press brakes are rated by their tonnage—the amount of force they can apply. It is common for tonnage to sit between 100 and 300 tons, though some press brakes go up to 3000 tons, measuring 50 feet long.

Hydraulic press brakes are known for providing the most power. However, electronic press brakes minimize operating costs and reduce the risk of leaks. They also take up less space while working more quickly and accurately. When you want to finish processed metal with a press brake, the settings matter, and our team at Norfolk Iron & Metal is very familiar with the force and power required.Finish Processed Metal


Sawing describes the use of a saw blade to cut larger pieces of metal into smaller and more manageable pieces. It is a common method used to finish processed metals such as stainless steel, brass, bronze, aluminum, titanium, nickel alloys, and copper, and it is employed across a wide range of industries. All of our facilities—Metalwest, Cd’A Metals, and Norfolk Iron & Metal—have sawing capabilities. 

There are two main kinds of sawing. Band saw cutting uses a long straight blade with metal teeth to saw back and forth through metal pieces. Because the teeth are slightly bent, the cut created by a band saw is slightly wider than the blade without risk of the blades getting pinched or stuck. Band saws make highly accurate and straight cuts.

Circular saws are the other common tool used in manufacturing settings. The process uses a circular saw blade which spins as it cuts. circular saws are rigid and highly stable, making them ideal for reducing vibration levels. This results in impressive precision and speed. 

Sawing is beneficial for high-volume applications. It cuts down on material waste because the tolerance cutting is impressively close. Without sacrificing cut quality, sawing has quick turnaround times and impressive finishes. Usually the need for further finishing is minimal.Finish Processed Metal


Shearing is a form of cutting metal that utilizes sharp cutting blades coming together. The metal does not need to be heated before it can be sheared. Working at room temperature to finish processed metal is common, but shearing can even be performed when the metal is cold. The process is a way to ensure that the metal is not burned or melted while cutting and that no chips are formed. 

Shearing is generally conducted in one of two ways. Bench shears are good for smaller applications. They are small and lightweight and can be mounted on a workbench, easy for one person to use. Using a power shear (or guillotine machine) is another option. These are powered by electricity or a hydraulics system and are generally more complicated to operate, but they are also usually faster and more effective in large-scale applications.

In both cases, the metal roll or sheet being cut is placed by a squaring arm, and a higher blade is brought down quickly to meet a lower blade. This results in clean, straight cuts with minimal waste. While shearing is often used to finish processed metals like bronze, brass, and aluminum, it doesn’t work as well for harder metals, and performing the process incorrectly can lead to damage and deformation of the metal. We have shearing functionality at our Metalwest and Norfolk Iron & Metal locations.

finish processing metal

The Basic Methods Used to Finish Processing Metal

When you need a metal product, there is a lot that goes into processing it. The exact method to finish processing metal we employ depends heavily on the intended product and what it is going to be used for. This month we take a look at five different ways to treat metal to create the shapes and designs you’re looking for. 


Beveling is the process of cutting a slope at an angle on the edge of a piece of metal. Beveling is completed before welding can begin in order to make joining easier. The result is a smoother seam. The cut is made at a diagonal to match the thickness of the piece of metal, therefore giving more surface area for the weld. Beveling also reduces the thickness of the butting endings of the two joining metal pieces. This helps improve weld fusion 

Overall, beveling is a powerful method to finish processing metal. It yields precision and a much stronger weld. Additionally, the risk of cracking in the centerline down the road is minimized. Creating a double bevel, which eliminates the risk of a gap between the pieces of metal at the apex of the joining, further strengthens the weld.

While beveling is one of the most efficient and quick ways to finish processed steel, it also creates emissions, so protective gear should be worn during the process. Our Cd’A Metals division of the Norfolk Iron & Metal Group can handle all your beveling needs. finish processing metal


Blanking is a precise and specific way to finish processing metal. Using a press and a die, blanking punches out metal pieces (blanks) from coils of sheet metal. The coil is fed continuously through the press, and the blanks that are stamped out are in turn used for the rest of the project. Blanks are almost always flat geometric shapes.

One of blanking’s best features is its ability to cut down on waste material. The process is conservative and highly customizable, accommodating customers’ designs and specifications in the size and shape of the blanks produced. Blanking allows for smaller tolerances and is versatile in the metals that can be shaped, including carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, iron, and aluminum. We manage all our blanking services at our Metalwest facilities. finish processing metal

Hole Punching

Hole punching is the cousin to blanking. This method to finish processing metal follows many of the same basic principles: sheet metal is compressed between a press and dies to produce a hole. In the case of punching, however, the piece that matters is not the blank but the rest of the sheet, the piece with a hole in it.

A hole punching press puts percussive pressure on a metal sheet until the plastic pressure is too great and the fibrous structure is perforated. The dies on the other side of the sheet ensure that the metal does not break during the process. The process produces the best results on material between 25 and 30mm thick. The metals used may vary, including materials like aluminum, brass, copper, iron, and stainless steel. When our customers require hole punching for their materials, the service is performed at one of our Cd’A Metals facilities.finish processing metal

Laser Cutting

Offered at our Norfolk Iron & Metal and Cd’A Metals sites, laser cutting is an automated process that creates quick and highly precise cuts in sheet or plate metal. Appropriate for carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and brass applications, the method to finish processing metal uses a highly-focused high-energy laser to make 2-dimensional cuts in the material.

Laser cutting works along an X-Y plane to cut metal to manufacturer specifications. These are programmed into the machine beforehand in what is known as a G-code. Then the laser beam burns or melts through the material, with the quality of the cut reflecting the thickness of the metal (the thinner the better). 

To remove molten excess material before it solidifies and compromises the cut, a laser cutter may employ a high-pressure stream of gas to blow the molten material out of the bottom of the cut. However, it may just vaporize the material as it passes through. This too depends on the material’s thickness. Laser cutters can process almost any material with the right amount of power. However, they are limited to how deeply they can cut, usually a max of 25mm.

Laser cutting has many advantages. Fabricators love it for its precision and efficiency—lasers can be focused to beams as tight as 0.1 mm in diameter. They also leave behind minimal post-processing work. The only exception is the occasional deburring if the material has slag attached to the cut edge.

Unfortunately, the method does have its drawbacks, including producing toxic fumes. Laser cutting is expensive to set up and to perform because it requires a lot of power. Still, for the work performed, it is a fantastically effective method to finish processing metal.finish processing metal


Sometimes metal is processed in coils, and the correct method to finish processing metal cannot be undertaken unless the metal is in sheets. That is where the leveling and cut-to-length processes come into play. They convert coil into sheet metal by unrolling the coil, leveling it, and cutting it into cross-sections. This must be accomplished with precision, adhering to very small tolerances for error. 

We offer both leveling and cut-to-length services at our Norfolk Iron & Metal and Metalwest locations across the United States. Keeping material waste minimal, we work with customer requirements from 28 gauge to 10 gauge carbon steel, providing next-day delivery for newly-cut sheet. We occasionally (and at select locations) work with non-ferrous material in custom cuts.

Metal Fabrication Process

A Glimpse Into the Metal Fabrication Process

Have you ever wondered just how raw metals are formed into the products you see on a daily basis? How does a sheet of metal become a highly-tuned medical instrument or the engine of a car? The metal fabrication process is as varied as the applications it serves, but understanding even the basics helps us appreciate rewards that much more. Metal Fabrication Process

What Is Metal Fabrication

To fabricate metal is to build finished products from raw metal materials. Metal fabricators work with things like plate metal, formed and expanded metal, castings, fittings, flat metal, sectional metal, and welding wire and employ processes like cutting, bending, welding, forming, machining, and assembling to create tools and equipment. Metal fabrication is used in every kind of production industry, commercial, industrial, and structural. 

What are the Main Steps for Metal Fabrication?

The metal fabrication process has countless applications, and the exact steps reflect them. However, there are some consistencies across the board. 


Unsurprisingly, the first step of the metal fabrication process is to design what you want to create. These drawings must reflect the manufacturer’s intended measurements and capabilities. Nowadays, it is most common to create such drawings with computer aided design (CAD) software. 

This kind of software allows engineers to finely plan each metric and angle, accounting for the necessary complexities of what the product must be able to do. The 3D models can actually be tested within the software, allowing changes to be made without wasting any metal. When the designs are complete, they often can feed directly into welding machines and other fabrication equipment. Metal Fabrication Process


Fabrication is the general term for the forming of raw metal. This usually refers to metal plate, two inches thick or more, and processes such as cutting, folding, assembling, and finishing.


Cutting reduces raw metal to the components ready to be shaped. There are many ways to cut metal, including mechanical shearing, water jet cutting, laser cutting, and plasma cutting. These range in levels of precision and utilize different tools, things like lathes, shears, mills, and nibblers. 

On the less precise end of the spectrum, mechanical shearing is great for cutting through very thick sheet metal and force is prioritized. On the other hand, laser and plasma cutting are highly attuned processes and make very precise cuts. If a project has an especially low tolerance for error, these cutting methods are likely the right fit. 

Other Reductive Methods

Cutting is not the only way to reduce metal to smaller pieces. The best method depends on what kind of result the fabricator is hoping to achieve:

  • Shearing—Metal shearing uses blades installed at various angles to produce diagonal cuts, especially in bronze, brass, aluminum, or stainless steel. The blades create straight cuts but can be used in succession to produce a variety of shapes. Shearing is most commonly used on flat sheet metal. 
  • Notching—Notching, also called nibbling, is similar to shearing though it allows for greater precision and detail, achieving angles that aren’t possible with standard shearing processes. The notching process usually requires multiple rounds to achieve the desired shape.
  • Punching—Punching is used to create holes in rolled or sheet metal. It uses a metal punch situated above the metal and a die placed underneath it, pressing through the metal to produce a metal slug.
  • Blanking—Blanking is similar to punching and used to create larger pieces of metal that are more likely to undergo more work. Blanking works best on sheet or strip metal.


Once metal has been cut, it is then formed into the desired shape. Forming may be the heart of the metal fabrication process. When working with metal that is roughly already in the right shape, forming may mean employing many different techniques, including stamping, bending, folding, punching holes, and machining. 

On the other hand, sometimes molten metal is poured into a mold and allowed to harden in the right shape. This process is referred to as casting. There are several different types of casting, including die casting which uses a die instead of a mold. Once the metal solidifies, it can be further shaped with drills, punches, or lathes. Metal Fabrication Process


The assembling component of the metal fabrication process requires all the necessary pieces to be brought together and joined into one final product. Each piece must be fitted together correctly, usually held in place with clamps, and then permanently joined using a method appropriate to the product (i.e. screwing, riveting, bonding, or welding). Each of these methods has further variations, and the blueprints will determine which is best.


Once the product is formed and joined into a complete unit, the finishing touches are applied. These depend heavily on how the product will be used and the conditions it will face out in the world. It is common for products to be rust-proofed, colored, or glazed, usually with paint or powder coating. Other finishing processes include heat treatments, deburring, plating, polishing, brushing, and shining.

Once fabricators and engineers determine that the finished product meets specifications exactly, other finishing touches like manufacturer-specific decals, logos, and serial numbers can be applied.


Installation of a finished product is sometimes included in the metal fabrication process. This allows the team responsible for fabrication to be on-the-spot to make adjustments and corrections as needed. It can be helpful to have the team familiar with the product (with the correct expertise and equipment) on-hand as installation occurs to avoid any snags in the process. 


While maintenance, including necessary repair and routine service, are commonly performed by site-specific technicians, some manufacturers may feel it necessary to offer such services as part of the metal fabrication process.Metal Fabrication Process

Looking to the Future of Metal Fabrication

Metal fabrication is an integral part of almost every industry on the planet. It produces the pieces for aircraft or ground vehicles, both commercial and military. It gives us equipment for agricultural work and construction applications. It shapes medical equipment and scientific instrumentation. It is responsible for equipment like fracking tanks and pumps in addition to the components of alternative energy structures. From home appliances to car seats, metal fabrication plays a part. 

As a career path, working in metal fabrication is a pretty safe bet. With nearly unlimited applications that show no sign of fizzling out, if you have any interest in shaping metal, you too can be a part of the metal fabrication process.

Plasma Steel Cutting

Shaping Heavy Steel Plate and Plasma Steel Cutting

When undertaking large-scale projects, it is common to need materials that are up to the task. Heavy steel plate can fit that bill. The thicker plate material is excellent for heavy-duty projects. The only potential drawback is that the very nature of heavy plate makes it difficult to cut. Plasma steel cutting is a viable solution to that problem. At Metalwest, our experienced team is ready to meet all of your heavy steel plate and plasma-cutting needs.Plasma Steel Cutting

What Is Heavy Steel Plate?

Heavy steel plate is steel plate thicker than three inches. In some sectors, such as mining, energy, and automotive, a thicker plate material is required so it can withstand forces beyond the typical pressure. To this end, heavy steel plate often contains alloys designed to augment steel’s natural strength and hardness. This allows it to be used most commonly in applications like infrastructure development and building construction equipment.

Heavy steel plate grades vary in their special properties. These are the grades we work with at Metalwest:

  • Hardox 450 and 500 wear plate—This heavy plate grade is abrasion-resistant. It is often the right choice when building pieces that would otherwise be heavily abused, such as gears, cutting edges, and sprockets, and larger constructions like excavator buckets, heavy duty containers, and dump trucks.
  • Strenx 100—This high strength grade is perfect for structural or heavy load-bearing applications.
  • Weathering A588—A588 is ideal for applications which should require minimal maintenance. It forms a stable protective layer of rust around it, so even ambient water proves less of a problem. This is evidenced by A588 being used to build the fence between the Spokane River and the Spokane Convention Center.

At Metalwest, we also keep aluminum plate up to 1″ thick, stainless plate up to 1/2″ thick, and steel and aluminum floor plate from 1/16″ up to 1/2″ thick in stock.Plasma Steel Cutting

Plasma Steel Cutting

Because heavy steel plate is designed to be tougher and unyielding, traditional methods for steel cutting are not always enough to effectively pierce the thicker material. Enter plasma steel cutting. This revolutionary process takes plasma welding to the next level and can readily sheer through heavy plate steel. 

Plasma cutting uses the heat that is generated from a superheated plasma electric arc to cut steel parts. With each year, the method becomes more cost-effective, making it perhaps the quickest and most economical means of cutting thicker steel plate. Because the method also uses plasma power to erase evidence of metal-melting fusions, the impressive results speak for themselves. Plasma Steel Cutting

How Does It Work?

Plasma steel cutting works under the principle of cutting via electrically conductive materials using an accelerated stream of hot plasma. Within the plasma cutter, a pressurized gas (usually oxygen, though other inert gasses can sometimes be used depending on the material being cut) is propelled through a nozzle in a high-velocity, highly concentrated stream. Within the gas, an electric arc is generated between the material being cut and an electrode within the nozzle. 

As this occurs, some of the gas is ionized, and an electrically-conductive channel of plasma is formed. The ionized and superheated plasma works with the pressurized gas to cut away the molten metal, and a clean cut is made. A grounding clamp built into the plasma cutting machine completes a full electric circuit.

Applications of Plasma Steel Cutting

It is safe to say that plasma cutting is an effective method for most heavy steel plate projects. It is most commonly used in manufacturing workshops, salvage and scrapping operations, auto repair and restoration, and industrial construction. The method can be used on a wide variety of metals, including stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, aluminum, brass, and copper. 

Because plasma steel cutting creates clean and meticulous cuts, it is already an appealing choice for all in the metalwork industry. The additional benefits of being relatively inexpensive and quickly efficient make it the most appealing choice for both massive industrial operations and more modest hobbyist shops.Plasma Steel Cutting

About Metalwest

Metalwest, now a part of the Norfolk Iron & Metal Group, has been a leader in processing and distributing non-ferrous and carbon flat-rolled metal products for decades. We serve a customer base that spans the entire United States, catering to large- and small-scale projects from our eight locations across the country. We have more than 650,000 square feet at our disposal to process and house metalwork. 

In addition to the plasma steel cutting we perform, we also have the equipment and expertise to precisely form plate thicker than two inches, including threading holes. Other in-house processing methods include shearing, leveling, blanking, slitting, and polishing. Customers have the option of painted, polished, and coated materials in addition to aluminum, stainless, hot and cold rolled, and galvanized materials in sheets and coils.

Maintenance Technician

Spotlighting Careers: Maintenance Technician

At Metalwest, we strive to provide our customers with the highest quality metal products and services. In order to do so, we must maintain a working environment that is safe, efficient, and enjoyable. Our maintenance technicians are responsible for much of this effect. If you have interest in working with your hands or tinkering with industrial equipment, this position may be right for you.Maintenance Technician

The Job: What Does a Maintenance Technician Do?

The maintenance technician is a critical part of any industrial team. Such technicians monitor the regular upkeep and repair of the equipment and machinery that is integral to the metalwork we do. This begins at installation and includes troubleshooting equipment issues throughout its lifetime, utilizing diagnostic testing equipment and experience to restore proper functionality with expediency. The work also includes installing new or required parts according to the specifications listed in the blueprints or manuals and even dismantling equipment and machines once their usefulness has been expended.

Thorough maintenance technicians have experience with everything from hydraulic systems to minor electrical work. They inspect, maintain, lubricate, repair, and operate every aspect of industry equipment. Small parts, including pulleys, gears, motors, shafts, and bearings fall within their notice, as do hand- and powered tools such as saws and chainsaws, torch tables, and welders. Larger machinery such as forklifts, cranes, and other gas and diesel equipment are also within a technician’s scope.

In addition to the equipment and machinery on the premises, technicians are also responsible for the building and grounds of the facility, monitoring them for safety, cleanliness, and order. They are part of the maintenance staff and behave accordingly, also using our maintenance management software system to assist with work order creation, parts look up, and preventative maintenance scheduling and execution.

In the management of both grounds and equipment, it is vital that technicians adhere to all protocols, manuals, blueprints, and schematic drawings. Doing so ensures adherence to quality guidelines as well as safety regulations. Every member of staff is responsible for both his or her safety as well as the safety of those around them. In addition to performing their jobs properly and safely, technicians should keep an eye out for unsafe working conditions and staff practices. These should be reported to the appropriate supervisor, and the technician should make onsite corrections as possible.Maintenance Technician

Technicians inspect equipment, buildings, and systems for any issues, scheduling and conducting necessary repairs for faulty equipment or damaged structures. This does much to maintain the safety of the working environment. Technicians should also protect themselves and set a good example by utilizing all correct protective equipment and by remaining alert and aware.

The currently available maintenance technician position is based out of Durant, Iowa. The schedule follows a 4-day, 10-hour pattern, comprising the third shift (8pm–6am) from Monday to Thursday each week. Some schedule flexibility in order to assist with projects may be required.


At Metalwest, we make sure our team members are well taken care of. We offer a complete new hire benefits package, including medical, life, vision, and dental insurance. We also pay 100% of our employees’ medical health care premium. Looking for a 401k with a company match? We’ve got you covered. We make paid time off available right away and recognize eight annual paid holidays. The hourly rate we offer ($22/hr) is competitive, and our employees have no shortage of opportunities for supplemental compensation:

  • Annual merit increases
  • Cross-training increases
  • Monthly production bonus
  • Perfect attendance incentives
  • Generous employee referral program

Joining Metalwest is a great place to start really forming a career. Our employees have many growth opportunities within the company, including the availability of a variety of locations across the country. The technician position specifically allows employees to stay active in an environment that is moderately-paced. We also value your safety, providing both prescription safety wear and an annual safety shoe allowance.Maintenance Technician

What We’re Looking For

At Metalwest, we are committed to creating a team environment that works hard to create high-quality results. Our top qualifications, therefore, have to do with the character of new hire candidates. We are looking for an individual who is motivated and friendly, ready to be a valuable member of our team. Ideally, this candidate works well as a member of a group while still being a self-starter, able to perform the work necessary without any external nudging.

We are looking for someone who is detail-oriented. The work of a maintenance technician is nuanced, and in order to identify minute issues and correct them, the technician must have an eye for detail. Devotion to a task and the dedication to see it through with integrity is a must. 

In addition to the aforementioned character traits, familiarity and experience with the kind of work required is key. A year or more of industrial maintenance experience is required, and related computer skills and experience as an industrial electrician or with industrial equipment are highly desirable. Additionally, we prefer that the candidate have an associate degree or better in relevant fields such as Mechanical or Electronics Technology.

It is important that our new hire be physically and cognitively capable of performing the work required. The job requires physical dexterity, particularly in the fingers and hands, and often requires standing for extended periods of time. Good problem-solving skills are an invaluable resource in a technician’s work, as is a working knowledge of tools, machinery, and equipment. A valid driver’s license is required, but a COVID-19 vaccination is not.

To apply for Metalwest’s maintenance technician position, visit the job posting. Maintenance Technician

About Metalwest

Metalwest is an industry standard in the realms of metal fabrication and processing. Having recently joined the Norfolk Iron & Metal conglomerate, Metalwest continues to evolve to better serve its national clientele. From our eight locations across the United States, we provide high-quality non-ferrous and carbon flat-rolled metal products. These include sheet and coil materials that are hot or cold rolled, galvanized, or stainless. 

We know that our customers’ metal needs are diverse and extensive, so we also provide painting, polishing, and coating material services in addition to treatments such as blanking, slitting, shearing, leveling, and polishing. The Metalwest vision continues to grow, innovating and evolving to meet growing metal processing demands. If you want to be a part of that vision, apply for our maintenance technician position today.

Eric Daniel, General Manager for Brighton

NIM Group announces new Metalwest GM in Colorado

Eric Daniel, General Manager for BrightonEric Daniel has been named General Manager of flat-rolled distributor Metalwest’s Colorado region with responsibility for facilities in Brighton, CO and Albuquerque, NM.
Daniel joined the Metalwest corporate purchasing team as Supply Chain Manager in 2015.  He was promoted to Director of Supply Chain in late 2018 and ultimately joined the NIM Group corporate purchasing team in 2020 in an expanded director’s role.
Metalwest is a NIM Group company which also includes Norfolk Iron & Metal and Cd’A Metals and has locations throughout the U.S.

A Brief Snapshot of Industrial Metal Supply Careers

A Brief Snapshot of Industrial Metal Supply Careers

Choosing a career can be a difficult process. The options can seem overwhelming as personal interest, job outlook, and viability must all be considered. Fortunately, industrial metal supply careers offer a little something for everyone. The work is interesting and offers variety, and the industry is on the rise. Whether you find metals interesting or love the idea of working in supply chain management, the field is ripe with opportunity.

A Brief Snapshot of Industrial Metal Supply Careers

Metal Careers

Metal is a critical component of most manufacturing. It is found in tools, molds, other equipment, and of course in products themselves. Copper, aluminum, nickel, zinc, iron, and (consequently) steel are merely a few of the base metals commonly used in manufacturing, both commercial and industrial. The process to take raw metals, craft them into a desirable product, and get that product to the public is long and involves many steps. On each of those steps is another industrial metal supply career.

Careers that involve working with industrial metals range from metal foundry jobs to metal sales careers. Metal casting foundry jobs include laborers, finishers, craftsmen, furnace operators, assemblers, and casting managers, and fabricators to name a few. These kinds of careers are good for those who like to work with their hands and even with heavy machinery. Metal sales careers encompass jobs in customer service and work as a sales representative. Such work is a better fit for those who enjoy working closely with people.

Industrial Metal Supply Chain Careers

Simply put, a supply chain is a network of people or businesses that work in succession to produce and deliver a product or service. The rapidly expanding supply chain job market can be found just about in every industry, providing many job opportunities.

A Brief Snapshot of Industrial Metal Supply CareersWhere Do Supply Chain Managers Work?

First of all, what is a supply chain manager? This critical piece of the puzzle coordinates organizes and manages any and all logistics involved in the production and distribution process of a company’s goods. They oversee the entire life cycle of a product or service, from start to finish. 

Because of the critical nature of their work, supply chain managers can be found in any major business operation. Large companies especially need people to fill such positions, which is evidenced by the fact that major corporations like Amazon, Apple, General Electric, Intel, Procter & Gamble, and the U.S. Air Force are among the leading employers of supply chain managers.

Some companies specialize in one or more aspects of a supply chain manager’s role and contract out their employees to perform the service. This means that if you enjoy a certain facet of the job description—purchasing, production, distribution, or logistics—more than others, you may be able to find a role that caters to that skill set. 

What Careers Are in Supply Chain Management?

Because the field is so broad, it can be difficult to confine available supply chain management jobs to a list. Of course, there will always be work for supply chain managers, but management positions that are more niche are also available. These include but are not limited to logistics, distribution, purchasing, project, and procurement managers.

For those more interested in the operations side of things, warehouses and other facilities need operations staff and a chain of command. To ensure optimal performance, procurement, business, and operations research analysts assess current procedures and find ways to improve efficiency. Consultants can also be hired in specific capacities for a similar purpose.

Norfolk Iron & Metal to Name New Parent Organization

NORFOLK, NE, June 2, 2021 — Norfolk Iron & Metal, Co. (“Norfolk Iron”), a full-line steel service center, has announced the creation of NIM Group, a new parent identity for each of its brands:  Norfolk Iron and Metal, Metalwest, and Cd’A Metals.

In December 2018, Norfolk Iron acquired Metalwest, a leading processor and distributor of carbon and non-ferrous flat-rolled metal products with eight locations across the U.S.

Norfolk Iron expanded again in December 2020, with the acquisition of Cd’A Metals, a full-line service center and supplier with three locations serving the inland Northwest.

The creation of the new parent identity provides a structure that will support continued growth of existing geographies as well as future acquisitions.

“We are excited to have an identity that encompasses our family of companies, current and future,” said Arnie Robinson, NIM Group president and COO. “With NIM Group providing many of the corporate functions for our operating brands, our commercial teams can focus on expanding our product and geographic reach in support of future growth.”

Norfolk Iron & Metal to Acquire Cd’A Metals

NORFOLK, NE and SPOKANE, WA, December 15, 2020 — Norfolk Iron & Metal, Co. (“NIM”), a full-line steel service center, and The Coeur d’Alenes Company (Cd’A Metals), a full-line metal service center in the Inland Northwest, jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement in which NIM will acquire Cd’A Metals. The transaction is expected to close on or before December 31, 2020.

The acquisition will complement NIM’s market coverage, adding three new locations in the Northwest, and further expand NIM’s product lines and processing capabilities. NIM first expanded its western geographic reach with its acquisition of Metalwest in 2018.

“We are pleased to welcome the Cd’A team members to the NIM family,” Richard Robinson, Chairman and CEO of NIM, said. “This investment represents a strategic opportunity to increase our capacity and geographic presence and is integral to our commitment to meet the growing needs of our customers. Cd’A Metals’ complementary capabilities combined with its long history of success positions us well to further develop our business in the northwestern markets.”

“It is a great opportunity for Cd’A Metals to join the NIM team,” said Lawrence Coulson, CEO of Cd’A Metals. “It was important that Cd’A Metals continue to be family-owned. Combining Cd’A Metals with NIM and Metalwest creates a family of companies that provides a broad geographic footprint, expanded processing capabilities and deep product offering ready to meet the growing demands of our customer base.”

Heritage Capital Group is serving as financial advisor, and Witherspoon Kelley is providing legal services, to Cd’A Metals. Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman LLP is acting as legal counsel to NIM.

About Cd’A Metals
Cd’A Metals is a full-line metal service center and supplier, headquartered in Spokane, Washington. With three locations across the Inland Northwest, the company provides bar and structural steel, plate and sheet products, as well as ornamental iron. Founded in 1884, Cd’A Metals has offered over a century of processing expertise to the metals industry and is a member of the Metal Service Center Institute (MSCI) and the North American Steel Alliance. For more information, visit

About Norfolk Iron & Metal
Norfolk Iron & Metal, Co. (NIM) is a full-line steel service center headquartered in Norfolk, Nebraska. It is one of the nation’s largest and most technologically advanced steel providers. In 2018, NIM acquired Metalwest, a leading processor and distributor of non-ferrous and carbon flat rolled metal products. With 13 locations across the U.S., NIM’s warehouses are stocked with more than 3,000 items including carbon steel beams, angles, channels, flat-roll sheet and coil, plate, and tubing. NIM has been a family-run business since 1908 and is a member of MSCI. For more information, visit