Which topics will dominate the leading trade fair "The Bright World of Metals" in 2023?
Two themes will clearly shape the leading trade fair this year: Decarbonization and digitalization. Decarbonization as the leading theme - digitalization as its enabler, i.e. as the technology that makes decarbonization possible.
The steel industry and metallurgical plant construction must implement the transformation to climate-neutral steel production in a brief time. How can this be achieved?
The technologies needed for this have been around for a long time. In addition, we are also seeing numerous investments in the first pilot projects and reconstruction of production lines. Such a transformation takes time and money. Both are available. That is why I am confident that even ambitious goals can be implemented. The steel industry and metallurgical machine and plant engineering have also revolutionized the industry in the past. What we urgently need is planning reliability so that the financial resources are actually available. This is where politics comes into play. Legislators must shape the framework conditions and protect the industry from imports from countries where sustainability and human rights play no role.
How can digitalization help to reduce carbon emissions?
Digitalization plays a particularly important role when it comes to decarbonization, but not only there. Digitalization is not an end in itself, but an important catalyst that makes decarbonization possible in the first place. Digitalization enables us to create and play out a multitude of scenarios in the shortest possible time, to exchange information globally in seconds, to free ourselves from time-consuming routine work, and to conserve, develop and pass on knowledge gained from experience. And these are just a few possible approaches. Digitalization also has the same important function in solving other major challenges.
What new applications do you see for induction technology in the steel industry?
In addition to melting down scrap and valuable alloys, a key area is reheating in the further processing of slabs and other preliminary products in the long range. At present, this is still mainly done with gas. If these processes were to be replaced by induction and resistance-heated processes, up to fifty percent of gas consumption in the steel industry could be saved.
How can innovations be promoted in mechanical and plant engineering - what distinguishes successful companies?
Innovations need the exchange and networking of different experts and areas of knowledge. Exchange and networking must be promoted and made possible. The city of Dortmund, for example, is currently working on a digital center. Here, we as a company are getting involved so that experts from the various specialist areas can exchange ideas on the topic of digitalization. The aim is to develop new ideas for the various areas of application. To achieve this goal, not only funding is crucial: companies must be supported and accompanied in the necessary cultural change. This ability to constantly change, to adapt to changing conditions and challenges, is what distinguishes successful companies.
What is your company's focus at the trade fair "The Bright World of Metals"?
We will show the potential of digitalization and decarbonization. It is important for us to visualize the necessary processes and measures and make them tangible. It will also be very important that a personal exchange will be possible again after the Corona restrictions. We already experienced this last year: intensive discussions are very important to deepen topics, to exchange opinions and to advance ideas. That's why we expect a great response from visitors. Our trade fair presence will focus on this - with plenty of space for exchanging ideas, creating knowledge and discussion.