The Grey Chronicles


1995-1999 NSC Production Rate

NSC Production Rate is dependent on the rated capacities of various facilities. All facilities were upgraded during the two phases of NSC’s Five-Year Expansion Programs (refer to Table 4 above).

NSC’s Production Rate was conventionally computed as the ratio of processed tonnage over the net operating hours. Effective or Net Operating Hours is equivalent to the Gross Calendar hours less ancillary and non-ancillary delays. Figure 30 shows the computation of Net Operating Hours (NSC, 1998m).

NSC, 1998m)

Figure 30: NSC Plant Availability and Utilization Computation (Source: NSC, 1998m)

Ancillary delays, charged as non-operating hours, included no operations or scheduled mill stoppage, maintenance downturn or servicing, annual maintenance shutdown. The Nerve Center and Production Planning issued weekly plans for mill production, including days of no scheduled operation, based on market projections. Maintenance downturns and servicing, scheduled by Maintenance Planning department, allotted certain days for each respective line on a revolving schedule with designated frequency. Annual Maintenance Shutdown was usually scheduled after a certain production volume was reached for critical production lines or when the recurrence of delays cannot be ignored that correction could only be done if the respective production line was totally brought offline. During these annual shutdowns, Design-out Maintenance activities were usually included, carried out by a Central Repair Group and almost all the major equipment and respective components were sent to various Mechanical and Electrical Shops for rehabilitation to their respective maximum, if not original, capabilities. For each respective line, Operational Ancillary Delays were also designated which included back-up roll change, change/inversion of knives, preheating or certain activities that were essential for mill setup.

Non-Ancillary Delays were categorized into Operational, Electrical, Mechanical or Miscellaneous delays. Operational delays consisted of meal break, equipment or line inspection, dry run, processing difficulty (welding delays, process testing, quality inspection, strip break and rethreading) to name a few. Electrical Maintenance delays included failure of electrical equipment and controls, and troubleshooting, repair or replacement of defective electrical and process control systems. Mechanical Maintenance delays included breakdown of mechanical equipment, and troubleshooting, repair or replacement of malfunctioning mechanical, including pneumatic and hydraulic, systems. Miscellaneous delays consisted of all others that cannot be classified under the first three aforementioned delays, e.g., power failure or fluctuation charged to Electrical Power Distribution, no available steam or compressed air charged to Central Utilities, unscheduled roll changes charged to Roll Shop, or out-of-order OHTC charged to Crane Repair Group.

Shift delays were encoded to the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). These were then monitored, collated, and analyzed by the Cold Strip Mill’s Maintenance Information Systems of the Maintenance Planning department, as to their effect on productivity, mill availability and utilization.


Figure 31: Pickling Lines’ Production Rate MT/EOH (1995-1999) (Data: NSC)

Although it was reactivated in January 1995, unfortunately, Pickling Line No. 1 was intermittently operated beginning October 1996 because of recurring delays caused by deteriorated pickling tanks and fume exhaust system coupled with a problematic tension leveler, and ultimately stopped production exactly the following year.

The Cold Strip Mill of NSC was comprised of 14 mills and process lines (see Appendix C). From 1995, it was the accustomed practice that respective production rates were computed each mill and on per line basis. Among the operations staff, there was the traditional perception of impossibility in determining the Cold Strip Mill’s production rate as a single entity—as opposed to Hot Strip Mill’s continuous configuration. Thus, the Effective Operating Hours of Pickling Line No. 2 formed the basis of this study; see Figure 31, as the input mill for all HRCs coming from Hot Strip Mill No. 2. PKL2’s production rate as basis, moreover, gives an approximate manner of relating this factor to CRC production. Data shows that monthly NSC production is moderately correlated to monthly Production Rate.

One manager suggested that instead of production rate, the mill utilization would be a more relevant quantity to correlate with NSC production. Figure 32 shows that NSC’s mill utilization, again based on the input mill—Pickling Line No. 2—fluctuated between 45% and 80%. During the Asian Financial Crises, NSC utilization hovered at 65% until NSC closed in 1999. Data, moreover, shows that NSC production is moderately correlated to NSC mill utilization, almost similar to NSC production rate discussed above.


Figure 32: NSC Production vs Mill Utilization, 1995-1999 (Data: NSC)

Lamberte, et. al. (1999) examined the impacts of the Asian Financial Crises 1997-98 on 541 Philippines manufacturing firms and found a clear indication that their capacity utilization rates started to decline even before the onset of the crisis in July 1997. Capacity utilization continued to drop possibly caused by both cyclical and structural factors—as the crisis stretched to 1998 then Lamberte recommended drastic monetary and fiscal policies to kindle aggregate demand in 1999.


National Steel Corporation (1998m). ISO9002:1994 Maintenance Planning ISO Manual. Iligan City: Applied Maintenance Planning, Cold Strip Mill, NSC, 01 December 1998. back to text

Lamberte, Mario B., et. al. (1999), “Impacts of the Southeast Asian Financial Crisis on the Philippine Manufacturing Sector.” Discussion Paper No. 99-09 (Revised), Manila: Philippine Institute for Development Studies, 11 May 1999. pp. 1-55. back to text



  1. Just wanted to drop you a line to say, I enjoy reading your site. I thought about starting a blog myself but don’t have the time.
    Oh well maybe one day…. :)

    Comment by Donnieboy — 2009.October.12 @ 15:45 | Reply

  2. I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case, great info…I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work! :)

    Comment by PatShelby — 2009.October.7 @ 18:32 | Reply

  3. I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work

    Comment by Bill Bartmann — 2009.September.2 @ 05:06 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: