Current and future aspects of the digital transformation in the European Steel Industry

The technological transformation in the European steel industry is driven by digitalization, which has the potential to strongly contribute to improving production efficiency and sustainability. The present paper describes part of the work developed in the early stage of the project entitled “Blueprint ‘New Skills Agenda Steel’: Industry-driven sustainable European Steel Skills Agenda and Strategy (ESSA)”, which is funded by the Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Union. The project aims at achieving an industry driven, sustainable and coordinated blueprint for addressing the economic, digital and technological developments, as well as increasing energy efficiency and environmental demands through continuously update of qualification, knowledge and skill profiles of the workforce. On the one hand, main aspects of the current state of the technological transformation in the steel sector are described through the analysis of the main recent innovation projects and developments. On the other hand, survey results from a dedicated questionnaire addressed to the European steel companies are analyzed, providing an overview on the (planned) technological transformation affecting the steel sector. The existing levels of plant automation and the possible adoption of the new paradigm of Industry 4.0 are discussed, by also considering the possible impact on the workforce. Main results are that the steel industry foresees an implementation of almost all Industry 4.0 technologies not only for competitive but also environmental improvement. Because this is foreseen in an incremental way upskilling of the existing workforce is a precondition, not only because of recruitment difficulties on the employment market but also because the existing qualification and experience of the workplace is necessary to unfold the full potential of digital and green transformation.

Bibliographische Angaben:
Branca, Teresa Annunziata; Fornai, Barbara; Colla, Valentina; Muri, Maria Maddalena; Streppa, Eliana; Schröder, Antonius Johannes:
Current and future aspects of the digital transformation in the European Steel Industry;
In: Matériaux & Techniques, Band: 108, Nr. 5-6, Article 508/2020