In 1808, Francesc Lacambra Pont started a small foundry in the La Barceloneta port district of Barcelona, Spain. The foundry—the genesis of The La Farga Group—produced nails, pots, bells, and other products from copper and bronze for the Catalan naval fleet. By the 1840s, the business was one of the main suppliers of copper to the Barcelona Royal Mint, enabling Lacambra Pont to invest in the growth and diversification of his business. In 1853, the company began making copper sheeting that was used to line the hulls of wooden ships bound for the United States.
Lacambra Pont died in 1870, but the company continued under the leadership of his sons. In 1888, La Farga was a prize winner at the Barcelona Universal Exhibition, demonstrating the importance of the company during that era.
In 1913, the company began producing wire rods for electrical cables. The electrical and railway industries were important markets in the following decades. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), the company was nationalized and production was requisitioned for military ends. After the war, the company was returned to the Lacambra family.
In 1981, a poor position in the market and financial difficulties led to a severe crisis. The Lacambra family lost control, and La Farga Lacambra S.A. was created. In 1986, the same year Spain entered the European Union, La Farga became the leading recycled-copper continuous-casting company in the world.
Over the last quarter-century, the company has continued to grow and diversity its offerings. The La Farga Group, a holding company, was created in 2003 and identified under the trademark of La Farga Group (LFG) in 2006.
In 1993, steel-industry veterans Keith Busse, Mark Millett, and Dick Teets founded Steel Dynamics. The goal was to take a proven technology—thin-slab casting—refine that technology through innovation, and became the most efficient, cost-effective producer of flat-rolled steel in the country.
In 1996, production began at the company’s greenfield mill near the small town of Butler in northeast Indiana. In 1999, SDI initiated Iron Dynamics, a producer of iron units, on the Butler mill campus.
In 2000, SDI started production at another greenfield facility near Butler, New Millennium Building Systems, which now makes joists, girders, and decking for nonresidential construction projects at several locations in the United States and Mexico.
In 2002, SDI began production at its second greenfield steel mill, the structural and rail mill near Columbia City, Indiana. Also in 2002, SDI acquired a steel mill at Pittsboro, Indiana, and in 2004, began making engineered bar products there.
SDI acquired two more steel mills in 2006: Roanoke Electric Steel Corporation, which included Steel of West Virginia. The two mills make merchant bar and specialty steel shapes, respectively.
In 2007, SDI acquired OmniSource Corporation, one of the country’s largest ferrous scrap processors and the largest nonferrous metals processor, and The Techs, three galvanizing plants in Pittsburgh.
In 2014, SDI increased its capacity to make steel by 40 percent with the purchase of a steel mill in Columbus, Mississippi. The company also operates two state-of-the-art paint lines and a rail-welding facility.
SDI is now the nation’s fifth-largest producer of carbon steel products and a Fortune 500 company. SDI employs more than 7,700 people.