January/February

This year more than any other, global steelmakers have made it clear that they are willing to speak at the steel industry’s premier Industry 4.0 conference, the one and only Future Steel Forum; and it can only be good news for the delegates.

For me, as the person responsible for the development of this incredible event, the willingness of senior level steel executives to take part is pure vindication for the idea of running a steel conference that is focused solely on digital manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

I am pleased to say that this year, 2020, the Future Steel Forum is attracting many more steelmakers than past events and I can only attribute that to the conference gaining the acceptance of the industry and, therefore, becoming a must-attend event on the annual conference circuit, joining, perhaps, other established industry get-togethers that we all know and love.

This year’s programme is looking very promising. In fact, I am delighted that Dave Stickler, CEO of Big River Steel, Osceola, Arkansas, USA, has agreed to speak. For many people in the steel industry, Dave is the poster boy for hi-tech steelmaking. He has been profiled twice in Steel Times International, the last time being our July/August 2019 edition, and is the man behind the world’s first ‘learning mill’, which was developed in conjunction with SMS Digital and the artificial intelligence specialist, noodle.ai of San Francisco, both of whom will be fielding top flight speakers in Prague (Grandior Hotel, 2-3 June).

The Future Steel Forum 2020 is shaping up to be a memorable event with confirmed presentations from South Korean steel giant POSCO; Metinvest Digital and Severstal from Russia; ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker; Tata Steel India; Japanese steel manufacturer, Kobe Steel; and Buderus Steel and Badische Stahlwerk from Germany.
There is still time for other steelmakers to confirm their presence in Prague. A handful of big players are currently mulling it over, and I’m hoping they will bite the bullet and get involved; but rest assured I will keep readers informed of developments as and when they happen.

To attend the Future Steel Forum as a delegate is simple: visit https://www.futuresteelforum.com and register online.

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January/February highlights

Leader

2 Big name speakers in Prague for Future Steel Forum 2020 by Matthew Moggridge

News round-up 

4 The latest news and diary dates

Innovations

12 The latest contracts and new products

USA Update

14 Steel jobs at stake despite tariffs

Conference Report

16 Alacero – Living with small growth rates

Testing & Analysis

22 Improving Sinter Feed Analysis

24 Improving Slag Detection

Artificial Intelligence

29 The Alpha Dog in the Human-AI Team

Direct Reduced Iron

35 Trends in Hydrogen Steelmaking

40 The Basics of DRI Plant Safety

Perspectives: Brokk AB

46 Joakim Furtenback, sales director

History

48 Fluxes in early blast furnaces