August 27th, 2020
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There is a growing awareness of serious problems associated with the use of energy. These problems include local and global environmental degradation associated with energy use and depletion of resources. The awareness of the problems associated with energy use increased as a consequence of the two oil crises in the 70s which led to rising costs for energy.

 Today, it is environmental issues that are becoming increasingly important, and it is primarily concern for a higher concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the effect this has on climate that are highly prioritised. Analysing the potential for improving the specific energy use and environmental performance in a steel mill can be difficult due to the interactions between the many subsystems. Changes in one unit may lead to a chain of changes throughout the system and the overall effect may not necessarily be improved performance.

 This thesis addresses the issue of evaluating and analysing an industrial material and energy system with regard to energy use, and economic and environmental performance, through a systematic approach. The main emphasis is on the development of analysis methods and tools for an integrated steel mill. Several applied studies of the integrated steel mill of SSAB Tunnplåt AB have been carried out. The results show that large savings in energy, cost, and emissions to the environment can be achieved using the analysis methods developed.

From the analysis of energy use, a potential reduction of up to ~17% could be identified within the existing system, e.g. through more planning and control, less volatile matter in the coking coal mix, and by increasing the scrap rate in the BOF. From a cost perspective, the method showed that significant savings could be achieved through using a wide system boundary when performing the analysis. In the existing steel making system, the CO2 emission proved to be among the lowest compared to similar systems. Improvements could be taken even further using the optimizing methodology proposed.

 A method for analyzing the trade-offs between different objectives is also proposed. The process integration model is a good tool providing new insights into the material and energy system. It can serve as a benchmark for different steelmaking operations and constitute the basis for continued work on improving material and energy efficiency.

Implementing such a tool in the industry is a good complement to the existing analysis tools in order to assess the effect of energy saving measures and can be used together with an energy management system.

The 14th Blechexpo – International Trade Fair for Sheet Metal Working – was, as expected, an industry highlight together with the 7th Schweisstec – International Trade Fair for Joining Technology and successfully ended with 1,498 exhibitors from 36 countries. From November 5 to 7, 2019, 41,152 visitors from a total of 113 countries used the trade fair duo, which has grown to 108,000 m² of exhibition space, to keep up to date with all aspects of the processing of sheet metal, pipes and profiles, separation and joining technologies, forming technology and welding technology bring to.

Records in all areas – nine full halls – international like never before

The trade fair double Blechexpo / Schweisstec broke some records this year. 1,498 exhibitors (2017: 1,339 exhibitors) from 36 countries were present in Stuttgart. “A foreign share of 45 percent,” sums up project manager Georg Knauer with great satisfaction. “Blechexpo / Schweisstec was more international than ever this year.” Even larger than ever before: at 108,000 square meters, the stand area sold was around 15 percent larger than in 2017. For the first time, Blechexpo / Schweisstec occupied the new exhibition hall 10, which with its spacious, modern design enriches the Stuttgart State Fair.

“For us, this specialist event is a leading trade fair with very high importance,” said Wolfgang Wiedenmann, deputy sales manager at press manufacturer Andritz Kaiser. Even if the industry currently has to deal with a noticeable decrease in the volume of orders for various reasons, Blechexpo / Schweisstec was a welcome and important technology and knowledge platform: in terms of processing sheet metal, pipes and profiles, their thermal and mechanical processing and processing, processing machines , Systems for punching, bending, folding and forming up to the periphery with controls, software as well as solutions for handling and quality assurance, this trade fair is a unique marketplace for the current challenges and future topics of the industry. Accordingly, the topic of digitization and automation also dominated here. Attention is also increasingly being paid to modern separation technologies: 56 exhibitors alone presented the topic of laser cutting and another 25 companies presented technologies relating to high-pressure water jet cutting.

Highlight for the sheet metal working industry – process-oriented, practical, future-oriented

The trade fair duo Blechexpo / Schweisstec, which takes place every two years, was again able to convince this year with its strictly practice-oriented concept and cover all aspects that concern a more digitized and fully automated world of sheet metal and metal processing. The sheet metal forming industry association (IBU) had organized a joint stand and thus offered its members the opportunity to present themselves in a larger environment. 16 companies were there. This collaborative presence created awareness and an adequate platform for business-related networking.

“The economy is cooling down,” said Cornelius Eich, Managing Director of ZVEI (Central Association for the Electrical and Electronics Industry). “Trade wars don’t stop at our branch either.” Nevertheless – or precisely because of this – the liveliness of the technical discussions and the intensity of the interest were pronounced. Because issues dominating in many places such as digitization, sustainability and process efficiency are driving the development of the sheet metal working industries. So the trade fair themes were about trends, innovations and future-proof solutions in the course of a rapidly changing production world. For example, modern joining and joining technology is becoming increasingly important because many new materials and hybrid materials cannot be thermally joined or separated. B.

First-class supporting program aroused great interest

Once again, the exhibitor forum in Hall 9 met with great interest from trade visitors. The lecture program was full for more than three days, especially with topics related to digitalization. 

That’s what the Blechexpo expert meeting on the evening of the first day of the fair was about. Organizer Hans Diederichs welcomed around 50 people to the event under the motto “The steel industry in times of globalization and Industry 4.0”.

“This trade fair is just the right framework.” The lectures dealt, among other things, with research focuses on the forming of steel, new process approaches, eCommerce and internet platforms as an opportunity for the metal market, the learning steelworks and the “data harvest”.

On the afternoon of the second day of the fair, the “Award for Blechexpo” was presented for the fourth time – an award from the trade journal blechnet in cooperation with the fair organizer Schall. The innovation prize went to the most innovative exhibits in five categories: In the punching and forming technology category, Schuler was the winner with the MC 125 punching press. Kjellberg Finsterwalde won plasma and machines with the Q 3000 plasma cutting machine in the separation technology. Trumpf Laser- und Systemtechnik with the 3D laser welding machine TruLaser Station 7000 won in the connection technology category. The surface technology division decided Q-Fin Quality Finishing Machines with the deburring and Edge rounding machine Super Edge Rounder SER600 for itself.



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