Pioneering technologies to optimize the assets of steel producers
- Mr. Andreas FLICK
In 2015, Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery and Siemens VAI Metals Technologies established a new joint-venture company for the metals industry under the name Primetals Technologies. As one of its strategic core values, Primetals Technologies tackles the challenges faced by the metals industry that include raw-material price and quality volatility, excess steel capacity that has an impact on steel prices, tighter environmental legislation as well as an accelerated shift to high-value and high-margin steel products. In this scenario, Primetals Technologies is an innovation-oriented company with the clear goal to improve production processes and the assets of steel producers. Most steels are still manufactured on the basis of traditional process steps that comprise the reduction and smelting of ores, and the casting and rolling of solidified slabs, blooms and billets. However, new installations and plant modernizations will be characterized by resource efficiency with respect to raw materials, yield, energy, space requirements, materials, production wastes and water consumption. Examples of substantial benefits that can be gained by an adequate investment strategy for asset improvements will be presented in the iron- and steelmaking area as well as for casting and rolling processes. In addition to electrics and automation, metallurgical services also play a decisive role in value creation and asset optimization, especially with consideration to the driving forces of digitalization and Industry 4.0. Strong partnerships between producers and plant builders are a prerequisite to tackle the current challenges in the metals industry. The technologies developed by plant builders or in partnerships with producers lead to lower operating expenses (Opex), competitive prices (Capex) and substantial revenue gains through the sustainable production of value-added products.