Dr. Asier Vicente

Head of primary process
(EAF & Scrap) department

At

ArcelorMittal Basque Country
Research Centre

Biography:

Dr. Asier Vicente – Responsible for primary process (EAF and scrap) department of the ArcelorMittal Basque Country Research Centre and Co-ordinator of ArcelorMittal Global R&D’s EAF programme.

Dr. Asier Vicente received a BEng degree on civil engineering (2002) and in 2007 he received his MEng degree on Material engineering with Honours from the School of Engineering of Bilbao and a MSc degree on industrial technologies by UNED (2016) and PhD (2020). In 2002 he started at ArcelorMittal Sestao as steel mill shift manager and in 2010 moved to ArcelorMittal Basque Country Research Centre. He currently works as a principal investigator in the Electric Arc Furnace and Raw Materials Area leading numerous projects. Currently, Asier is co-ordinating worldwide the EAF R&D programme, as well as the ferrous scrap and raw materials and molten phases alongside specialists within ArcelorMittal Global R&D.

Abstract:

Scrap yards management. How digitalisation can help the new steelmaking transformation challenges by Dr. Asier Vicente, head of primary process (EAF and Scrap) department, ArcelorMittal Basque Country Research Centre, co-ordinator of ArcelorMittal Global R&D EAF programme.

Analyzing steelmaking trends of recent years, and taking into account the sustainability and environmental aspects, as well as the new challenges imposed by the aggressive global economic situation, which has developed since 2008, the steel industry has been pushed towards continuous development of new grades of steel with higher technical performance and a lower environmental footprint.

The use of ferrous scrap (considered in the past as waste) has been consolidated as one of the main raw materials for producing steel, imposing additional pressures on the steelmaking sector for two main reasons:

  • In the medium-long term, increased steel scrap consumption can be expected, thus conserving raw materials and energy and reducing CO2 emissions.
  • The available ferrous material is becoming more complex (combination of steel with plastics and fibres, more complex joints, technical coatings). This new paradigm will drastically modify the characteristics of the obsolete scrap available in the near future, worsening the quality of the material that is expected to be available in the future.

Considering that around 85% of the total costs incurred by EAF plants are associated with steelshop activities, and that ferrous scrap can represent up to 60% of total production costs, to work on deploying new solutions for better understanding scrap materials for optimizing operational decisions – from purchasing to consumption – offers a large number of opportunities for steelmaking plants.

Additionally, the multiplication of complex artificial intelligence algorithms in the last decade, coupled with the drastic increase in computational capabilities, and the development of vision-based analytical sensors, open up new opportunities in this field.

This presentation will present the strategy followed by one ArcelorMittal EAF plant for transforming the scrap yard into a smart facility, showing several cases of success.