Omaha Steel began in 1906, in Omaha, Nebraska, as Omaha Steel Works. Founded by John W. Towle and Fred K. Smith, it began operations at 46th and Farnam Streets. Omaha Steel Works opened as a steel fabricator producing parts for urban infrastructure and bridges, plus parts for truck bodies and trailers.
Beginning in the early 1920s, Omaha Steel Works started pouring proprietary castings. In 1922, the Nebraska state government awarded the company the steel contract for construction of the State Capitol building in Lincoln, Nebraska. Growth continued into the 1930s, and the company began serving the railroad industry by producing steel castings for steam locomotives and other parts. In the 1940s, Omaha Steel began its relationship with Caterpillar Tractor Co., which is still an active customer. During World War II, Omaha Steel served proudly on the home front, producing artillery shells and landing craft tanks (LCTs) from 1941 to 1945.
The 1960s saw a significant change to Omaha Steel Works, as the company formed four subsidiaries between 1960 and 1964. These included a real estate holding company (Diamond Properties), a trencher manufacturer (Brown Manufacturing Corp.), a trencher sales operation (Brown Products Corp.), and a structural steel fabrication company (Great Plains Steel Corporation). In 1965, Omaha Steel Works formally changed its name to Omsteel Industries.
The 1970s and 1980s saw additional changes. In 1974, the name was changed again to its current one, Omaha Steel Castings Company. As technology evolved, Omaha Steel utilized these advancements over the next decade, diversifying within the castings industry. In 1980, the Specialty Castings Division was created to offer a wider array of alloys and casting processes to take advantage of these changes. Omaha Steel began casting much smaller parts and started job shop sourcing.
Omaha Steel began focusing solely on steel castings for a wide range of markets, including heavy construction equipment and high-pressure, precise measuring valves. A decision to relocate our manufacturing facility enabled the streamlining of processes and furthered our quest for developing a reliable source of high-quality, on-time shipments for our customers.
For decades, there had been few large-scale investments into United States foundries. Our management realized taking advantage of the significant advancements in equipment and processes would create value for our customers.
In 2011, we identified a new location for Omaha Steel in Wahoo, Nebraska, 30 miles west of Omaha. The move allowed the retention of our tenured associates while tapping into new areas of employment growth. The new location enables Omaha Steel to benefit from the strong Nebraska work ethic and creates opportunities for residents in or near Wahoo. Construction of the new 145,000-square-foot facility began in 2012 and was completed in July 2014. Omaha Steel has evolved into one of the most advanced no-bake sand foundries in the continental United States.
Shortly before the official grand opening of the new facility, Allan Lozier purchased the company. Allan researched the industry extensively and believed there was a significant opportunity with Omaha Steel. Allan’s vision was that Omaha Steel could become a premier domestic foundry with state-of-the-art equipment, operating principles, and management aligned with providing the highest-quality castings and on-time delivery. With those now in place, Omaha Steel set its sights on serving multiple industries that require highly engineered steel castings and on-time delivery every time.
Omaha Steel has been driving Allan’s vision forward through its mission of designing and producing innovative casting solutions for industries that demand optimal performance and reliability. Omaha Steel strives to exceed customer expectations with every interaction. Only Omaha Steel provides the Ascend E² Solution Initiative, which ensures the highest quality product, expertise, and service for customers.
Our business has continued to expand and diversify in a challenging market environment where many competitors have struggled to stay afloat. Long-term investment strategies have allowed Omaha Steel to capitalize on large-scale projects and assemble a multi-specialty team of engineers with extensive experience and expertise. We now employ some of the brightest foundry professionals in the industry.
In 2021, Owen Holdings purchased Omaha Steel Castings (OSC), making it the newest of six divisions. This acquisition brought the company back to its roots in steel castings while providing Owen Holdings an outlet for recycling its scrap steel and expanding the value-added services it can offer customers. Omaha Steel benefits from having a parent company capable of delivering a full range of steel materials and services to the industrial, commercial, nuclear, energy, and bridge sectors.
As a key division of Owen Holdings, our talent, state-of-the-art equipment, and unique proprietary approach position Omaha Steel as the New American Foundry, providing advanced engineering expertise to companies requiring the highest quality, reliability, and Tier One efficiency.
Seeing in person how we implement our processes, and how they contribute to quality castings, can go a long way towards making the right decision. Schedule a tour with Omaha Steel, and we’ll give you an in-depth look at our commitment to quality.