The European Union has put in place ambitious targets for CO2 reduction for European industry of between 80-95% to 2050. The EU has several commitments – the Paris Agreement being one – to reduce its CO2 emissions.
Steel, as a major component of European industry, has responded to the challenge and is working hard to develop the innovative solutions that will protect the environment whilst producing steels that contribute to CO2 mitigation.
European steelmakers have already reduced their CO2 footprint per tonne by 50% since 1970. At the same time, energy use has also been halved. Concurrently, the industry has continued to expand its range of advanced steels, and there are now thousands of grades of steel for all applications.
CO2 mitigation is of particular importance for the steel industry in the face of increasingly stringent climate protection policies. Europe is a world leader in climate policy and steel contributes by investing to reduce its emissions. However, it is important for stakeholders to grasp that innovation requires the necessary investment to deploy the breakthrough technologies that will be indispensable in reaching the EU’s ambitious targets.
This panel will discuss some of the key technologies being developed to further improve the steel, including new approaches to steelmaking, new solutions for managing CO2 such as Carbon Capture and Use (CCU) and on the use of steel in mitigating CO2 emissions from the use of products, such as motor vehicles and energy generation.
Industry 4.0 is the latest step in the forward march of technology. Beginning with the industrial revolution, the move in the 19th century towards mechanisation reshaped – indeed, created – modern industry. Whereas previously manufacturing was largely a manual affair, with the industrial revolution, truly mass production of goods on a large scale became possible for the first time. The steel industry was the first child of this first industrial revolution – and it made the modern world possible.
Today, European steel is one of the most advanced manufacturing industries in the world. The on average 170 million tonnes of steel produced in Europe every year are increasingly advanced and available in ever more grades for ever more cutting-edge applications. Digitisation and industry 4.0 are powering some of the innovative changes in the industry, but putting into the production process the power of networking, cooperation and systems integration.
The automation brought about by digitisation and industry 4.0 is being used, for instance, in the production process to facilitate the creation of new grades of steel. In application, it enables steelmakers to assess, develop and deploy more advanced manufacturing techniques to more reliably make the high quality steels increasingly demanded by our customers. In further uses, it can be used to automate the quality control process, such as with the Quality Tracking Project. Finally, it supports workers by giving them greater access to the information required to make these new and advanced steels.