AK Steel has called back 525 hourly workers at its Ashland Works as the company prepares to restart the blast furnace there. AK Steel announced plans to restart the plant's blast furnace in February and take down the blast furnace at Middletown Works for 45 days of heavy maintenance starting in early March. AK Steel will replace the hearth in that furnace. The Ashland blast furnace was put on hot idle status in November due to decreasing orders, leaving only the Middletown furnace running.