Kennametal Factory Damaged in Arkansas Tornado

The company hopes to restore production quickly and minimize shipment delays.

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Andy Szal/Industrial Distribution

Early Sunday morning, a deadly tornado tore across Arkansas. Rogers, a city in the northwestern part of the state, was one of the hardest-hit towns. Some residents described the town as "unrecognizable."

Tooling and industrial material manufacturer Kennametal has a production facility in Rogers that sustained damage in the tornado. On Tuesday, the company said that when the tornado came through town around 1:30 a.m., the facility was luckily shut down for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and no employees were on site.

The company is currently assessing the extent of the damage. The Pittsburgh-based company also made a contribution to the local American Red Cross to support immediate community needs.

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    Kennametal's plant in Rogers is part of the company's infrastructure segment and manufactures engineered carbide wear components primarily used in the energy, general engineering and earthworks (earthmoving equipment) end markets.

    The facility also makes rods used to produce round tools for Kennametal's metal cutting segment. The company hopes to restore production quickly and minimize shipment delays.

    Sanjay Chowbey, incoming president and CEO, said, "Our thoughts are with our employees and everyone in the community affected by this storm ... We are working closely with our local team to assess the damage and provide all necessary support and resources to restore operations as quickly as possible."

    In March, Chowbey, Kennametal's current vice president and head of the company's metal cutting segment, was named the successor for current president and CEO Christopher Rossi. Chowbey is scheduled to take over the role effective June 1.

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