Could you tell us a little about the company’s history and background?
National Bronze & Metals, Inc. (NBM), was established in Houston in 1983, and our sister company–Non-Ferrous Metal Works, Pty, Ltd. (NFM)–was founded by my grandfather in 1947 in Durban, South Africa, where it’s still based. NBM represents NFM throughout the North, Central, and South American markets. NFM is the largest brass and bronze foundry and extrusion works in Africa, and they are still 100 percent family operated. Bernhard Lazarus is the chairman of the board and Michael Greathead is the president of National Bronze & Metals for both the Texas and Ohio locations.
NBM has its headquarters in Houston, and we have our own continuous cast foundry, which is incorporated in Lorain, Ohio. We operate state of the art warehouses in both locations, which allow for prompt deliveries throughout the North American marketplace. NBM also entertains inquires and orders from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East–all six continents, in fact.
Tell us about the materials you produce, and what makes them beneficial to gear manufacturers.
We manufacture and distribute brass, bronze, and copper alloy bar–both wrought and cast–which can be cut to length or supplied in near-net shapes. NBM is ISO 9001:2000 certified and specializes only in brass, bronze, and copper alloys. We hold inventories in excess of 12 million pounds, which we have ready for prompt, next-day shipments. Bronze is the material we supply to the gear industry most often, and I think the attributes they find attractive include its wear, lubricity, and non-galling properties–which means better interaction with steel gears–as well as the fact that it’s non-sparking, which can be useful in certain gear applications.
In what other industries are copper alloy materials used?
Just about every industry you can imagine, from aerospace to oil-field applications, automotive, marine, military, agricultural, plumbing, and in the welding industry, just to name a few. We hold more than 100 different copper alloys in stock, which are made to strict specifications for the various applications of the numerous industries that we service.
How is your U.S. distribution network set up?
At this point in time we act as a manufacturer and master distributor. We primarily sell our materials to metal distributors, or service centers, on a nationwide basis. Due to the fact that we are so focused on the copper alloys, we have now become nationally and internationally recognized for our knowledge and understanding of these types of materials, and more so for our extremely well-organized inventories.