AboutUlbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc
What is today Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc., began in 1924 when Fred Ulbrich, Sr. started a scrap metal reselling business in Wallingford, Connecticut. Fred, Sr. soon began manufacturing cutlery, and during World War II was awarded a contract to supply stainless steel knives for the U.S. Army’s mess kits. This contract allowed the company to purchase its first rolling mill, which was instrumental in transforming Ulbrich from a utensils-based manufacturer to a custom stainless steel strip operation in the post-World War II era.
Soon after World War II, the growth of the aircraft industry created a demand for high-performance metals. After a significant investment in quality control systems and modern manufacturing equipment, Ulbrich went on to supply metal for such varied aerospace applications as the B-1 Bomber, jet fighters and the Space Shuttle. As its customers began expanding their horizons, Ulbrich added other specialty alloys such as nickel and nickel alloys, cobalt alloys, and titanium and titanium alloys.
As customers began to respond to Ulbrich’s quality and versatility in the 1960s, it was apparent that the “Biggest Little Mill in the Country” needed a national distribution network. Ulbrich of Illinois, located in Alsip, was Ulbrich’s first stainless steel strip service center. It was followed by Ulbrich of Georgia and Ulbrich of California and allowed Ulbrich to better service regional markets. During this time, Fred Sr.’s sons, Fred Ulbrich, Jr. and Richard Ulbrich, took control of the business.
As the service centers began to thrive, the original Wallingford plant, now renamed Ulbrich Specialty Strip Mill (USSM), added new rolling mills and annealing furnaces to keep pace with emerging technology and customer demands. As the need for exceedingly narrow widths in precision strip orders continued to grow, Ulbrich developed a new product line and the Ulbrich Shaped Wire Division (USW), located in North Haven, Connecticut, was born.
Today, Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc. is a fourth generation family owned and operated business with 11 locations in five countries. CEO Chris Ulbrich, son of the late Fred Ulbrich, Jr., now leads a global workforce of over 700 employees who still hold true the values in which the company was founded on in 1924: a never-ending commitment to quality, innovation and customer service.