May/June 2018

We all have dreams and a lot of the time they’re pretty weird. I once dreamt that I was being pursued across summery fields by a bunch of disabled skinheads intent on doing me harm. Like everybody, I’ve woken up relieved that I hadn’t been in the office, pontificating about something, but dressed only in my underpants; and I remember waking up in a cold sweat having been attacked by a gang of angry squirrels. I once had a vivid dream about removing a six-inch nail embedded in my forearm and woke up rubbing my arm. Air travel features in my nocturnal adventures, there’s always some kind of lurking danger. I wake up, normally in the dead of night, when everybody else is asleep, asking myself one question: what was that all about? And then I try to remember what I’d been doing the day before to conjure up such strange dreams. Sometimes I have the answer, but mostly I’m left baffled. I’ve even dreamt of Donald Trump: he, for some reason, was painting an expensive green sofa of mine yellow, much to my dismay.

In fact, while you might think this leader is way off the mark in terms of sanity, it’s got a lot to do with our good friend, US President Donald Trump. On Sunday, I switched on my laptop and noted, to my surprise, that ‘the Donald’ had put a hold on trade tariffs for China. It was one of those double-take moment. Trump is holding back on tariffs after the US Treasury Department’s Steve Mnuchin engaged in two days of negotiations with his Chinese counterparts. The aim, of course, is to avoid a looming trade war. But something is bugging me: there’s no mention of Section 232 steel tariffs. I read a couple of mainstream media news reports and not a word about whether or not steel tariffs were included in Mnuchin’s deal with the Chinese.

All I can say is thank God for the AIST’s Ron Ashburn. He sent me an email as I was about to go to press with this leader article. I was going to say that the steel industry will be very angry with Mr Trump and how I wouldn’t fancy breaking the news to John Ferriola of Nucor Corporation. I had visions of Ferriola saying to Trump, “You won’t like me when I’m angry!” Fortunately, Ron sent me a link to a CNBC report in which Mnuchin says that tariffs on steel and aluminium will not be affected by his recent negotiations with the Chinese. This has to be great news. And talking of Ron Ashburn, see my review of the excellent AISTech 2018 convention on page 14.

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May/June 2018 highlights

2 Leader by Matthew Moggridge

4 News, facts, figures and diary dates

6 Innovations – the latest contracts

9 USA Update – 'Don't include us!' by Manik Mehta

12 Latin America Update – Chile's challenging marketplace by Germano Mendes da Paula

14 Conference report – AISTech 2018 by Matthew Moggridge

20 Structural steel market – 2018, a good year

27 Digitalisation – The new economics of steel


33 Increasing BF hot blast temperature

39 Modernising the cooling line


46 Jebens' strong focus on Europe


48 Pontcysyllet Aqueduct (a World Heritage site)