The company focuses on niche steel alloys that can withstand extreme pressure and heat or have a specific appearance or chemical properties. The company's customers, which include the aerospace, industrial, consumer, automotive, medical, and energy industries, use this steel to make products such as aircraft engine blades, hip implants, drill collars for oil exploration, and high-definition televisions. The specialized nature of its products allows Carpenter to charge higher prices.
Unlike most specialty steel makers, Carpenter manufactures but also distributes its products through its own worldwide network of service centers. These service centers allow Carpenter to build closer relationships with its customers, working with them to customize current products or develop new ones. Many of these customers are international, as about one-third of Carpenter's sales were come from foreign markets.
Carpenter Technology manufactures highly specialized products for niche markets. Many of these products are intended for use in high-stress and extreme-heat environments. The high specialization that characterizes Carpenter's product lines allows the company to demand premium prices for its products. Carpenter manufactures materials used in a wide range of projects, including industrial tools, jet engines, fuel injectors and medical implants. Over the past few years, a shift in corporate strategy, including production of higher value materials, cost-cutting and increased international sales, has led to financial success for Carpenter Technology.
Carpenter Technology divides its products into five major classifications: special metal alloys, stainless [screw tht company's special alloys and stainless steel segments have comprised the majority of Carpenter Technology's sales. A breakdown of sales by product class is below.
Carpenter Technology produces for a number of markets, with aerospace as the primary customer. However, the industrial and consumer markets also represents a significant portion of production. A breakdown of sales by end-use market by revenue generated and by percentage of total sales is below:
Carpenter Technology distinguishes itself from its competitors by focusing on highly-specialized products rather than traditional commodity-type products. Still, stainless steel, traditionally a commodity product, composes one-third of the company's revenues. However, Carpenter manufactures only long and bar stainless steel, whereas close competitors such as AK Steel Holding (AKS) focus on the manufacture of flat-rolled products because of the larger US market. Carpenter also competes in the international markets, with international sales comprising about one-third of net sales. The company's domestic competitors in the stainless steel market are: