May/June STI 2014
This month the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST) held its annual AISTech convention and exposition in Indianapolis, USA and, as you might expect, Steel Times International was there. In this issue we are fortunate to have an exclusive interview with Ron Ashburn, executive director of the AIST. Ron discusses the issues affecting the global and the American steel industry and updates us on the latest activities of the Institute.
In fact, talking of issues affecting the American steel industry, Manik Mehta, in his USA Update discusses how the US administration has come out in support of the domestic steel industry in an international trade dispute with Mexico and Turkey over anti-dumping. Moving south, Germano Mendes de Paula explains how Ternium Mexico is now well-positioned to serve the country's burgeoning automotive market.
In India, says Steel Times International's India correspondent, weak demand from consumer industries, coupled with cuts in infrastructure spending, continue to hamper growth.
As with all issues of Steel Times International, technical features take centre stage and this month we have Process Control in our sights with an article from Siemens Metals Technologies writing about robotics and continuous casting and the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) explaining compact side gap position control for a hot strip mill. There is also an article from Alfonso Martinez of UKCG Technical Services on Data Acquisition and the Electric Arc Furnace.
Structural Steel in the USA, says our correspondent Myra Pinkham, is still experiencing difficulties and that only modest improvements can be expected in terms of demand. We also hear from Mark Wilkinson of BM TRADA on how all steel frame structures and structural components placed on the market within the European Union as of 1 July 2014 will be required to carry a CE mark. Mark outlines what it all means for steel frame manufacturers and component fabricators.
Our consultant editor Dr. Tim Smith profiles Brazil's international success story – Gerdau – and the subject of this month's Perspectives Q&A is Michael Schratz, VP of marketing for Dialight, who argues that lighting upgrades are often 'the low hanging fruit' for steelmakers when it comes to hitting sustainability targets.
Last but not least, Dr. Tim Smith looks at preserved Bessemer converters in our regular History page.
The European steel industry takes centre stage in this edition of Steel Times International, courtesy of an exclusive interview with Gordon Moffat, director-general of EUROFER, a Brussels-based lobbying group at the heart of Europe representing the interests of European steelmakers.
According to Moffat, the European approach to climate policy is not necessarily the right one and a more pragmatic approach is needed. He argues that products produced by European steelmakers save six times as much C02 as they produce and that, for this reason, the approach taken should not be punitive, but rather more inclusive and more collaborative.
Moffat also took centre stage at a recent CRU World Steel conference in Prague at which he hammered home his message to delegates. Moffat wants a climate policy in Europe that is cost-free for the most efficient producers and one that provides an incentive for less efficient steelmakers to improve their performance in terms of carbon reduction. Readers will find coverage of the CRU conference in the April issue.
In fact, the environment is a major theme of this issue, which also carries articles from the American Iron & Steel Institute and from Russula on the subjects of steel utility poles versus wood and a water treatment system for a Severstal mini mill.
There is also an interesting article from Siemens VAI on electric steelmaking in which Markus Dorndorf and Daniel Tieseler discuss holistic process control for electric arc furnaces.
Readers will also find the third and final part of Steel Times' exclusive interview with Dr. Edwin Basson, director-general of worldsteel, and two interesting technical articles from Steel Authority of India (SAIL) on sintering and continuous casting.
This month's Perspectives Q&A is from Michael J Klauck, president of the Canadian company Can-Eng. The company is focused on long products and is seeing strong demand from the open and closed die forging industry for reheating furnaces for ingots, blooms and billets.
We have Update articles on the USA, Latin America, China, Japan and India and a very interesting History page from Harry Hodson on the role of iron and steel in the manufacture of weapons.
Welcome to the March 2014 edition of Steel Times International. This month we report from Istanbul where Metal Bulletin held its excellent Steel Success Strategies conference. The event covered all bases in terms of the global steel industry and fielded some top notch speakers, including World Steel Dynamics' managing partner, Peter Marcus, who pointed out many things, including his belief that the Chinese economy will crash into the Great Wall before too long. The event discussed emerging economies, stagnating steel demand, the overcapacity issue and positive vibes coming out of the GCC countries.
Readers will also be interested in part two of Steel Times International's exclusive interview with World Steel's director-general, Dr. Edwin Basson. In this issue he discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Watch out for the third and final part of the interview in our forthcoming April edition, which will be out soon.
Last November's Stahl 2013 in Dusseldorf was a great success and in this issue we publish an article by Bernard O'Connor of European lawyers NCTM O'Connor on unfair trade practices. According to O'Connor, while the European Union has promoted the idea that there should be global competition to ensure fairness in the global marketplace, its trading partners have not agreed to launch negotiations on the creation of an international competition watchdog – or the fair standards to be applied by that watchdog.
As always, there are a host of technical articles, focusing this month on furnaces and continuous casting. We have three Update articles from the USA, Latin America and China and our Perspectives Q&A is from the Swiss company MTAG Technology AG's proprietor, Adrian Bodea.
This month's History page on Tyrolian cultural heritage is written by Fathi Habashi of Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.
I hope you enjoy the issue.