Feb 27, 2021

Breakthrough; Lowering emissions in steel manufacturing

Sustainability
emissions
research
Innovation
Laura V. Garcia
2 min
Steel manufacturing
Engineers at the University of Sheffield have developed a new way to manufacture steel that could help to lower CO₂ emissions from the car industry...

Just as Bill Gates warns us that climate goals may hit a roadblock when it comes to manufacturing, most especially when it comes to steel and cement, and calls for research and innovation, the University of Sheffield reports on a breakthrough study.

Published by the journal Nature, in the study, Professor Mark Rainforth and Dr Junheng Gao from the University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering led a team who developed a new way of making lightweight, high strength steel that may be adapted for mass manufacturing.

The new technique developed can produce steel with a strength of nearly 2GPa (a 1cm diameter wire would be capable of holding a weight of 15 tonnes) and an elongation of 45 per cent (meaning it is able of being formed into complex shapes), showing how ultra-fine grained streel can deliver superior mechanical properties.

“The secret behind this success is the inclusion of copper - an element which is traditionally avoided in steel production because of the detrimental effects it can have on the properties of particular types of steel.

“Copper is increasingly being found in recycled steels because much of it is made using recycled cars and other engineered items that contain electrical wiring. With steelmakers looking to use more recycled materials in their production process to become more sustainable, copper is now being seen as unavoidable by the industry,” says the University of Sheffield.

This new process for manufacturing lightweight, high performing steel could help auto manufacturers looking to manufacture lighter, more sustainable vehicles.

“Copper is typically seen as an element to avoid by steelmakers as it can have a negative impact on certain types of steel. However, what we’ve managed to do here at Sheffield is develop a completely new technique that is able to harness copper in a positive way in order to produce a truly world-leading quality of steel. This steel is high strength and incredibly lightweight, meaning it can be used to manufacture vehicles that are better for the environment,” said Professor Mark Rainforth, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield.

For more on the Sheffield team’s new development, see Breakthrough in steel manufacturing could lower carbon emissions from the car industry. 

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May 11, 2021

Four Factory of the Future Market Trends to Keep an Eye on

AI
Automation
DigitalFactory
SmartManufacturing
Georgia Wilson
2 min
Factory of the Future | Smart Manufacturing | Technology | Digital Factory | Digital Transformation | Innovation
Manufacturing Global looks takes a look at the latest market trends in smart manufacturing, industrial automation, smart factory and AI...

Global Smart Manufacturing Market

Attributed to the rapid growth in the adoption of automated systems in industrial processes, the global smart manufacturing market is predicted to grow from US$$175bn (2020) to US$303bn by 2026 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% between 2019 and 2026.

While COVID-19 has somewhat slowed down the market’s growth, it is expected that by the second to third quarter of 2023 there will be a ‘considerable’ rise in growth for the market. 

Key players in the industry: Schneider Electric, General Electric, Siemens, Honeywell International Inc., Rockwell Automation Inc., FANUC Corporation, and Emerson Electric Co. 

Industrial Automation Market

Making people’s lives easier, and their work more accurate and effective, the global demand for automated technologies such as robotics - especially in science and technology - is driving its increase in global market value.

By 2027, the global industrial automation market is expected to reach US$326.14bn by 2027, with a CAGR of 8.9% between 2020 and 2027.

Key players in the industry: ABB, Siemens, General Electric, Schneider, Endress+Hauser, Yokogawa, Honeywell, WIKA, Azbil, Fuji Electric, 3D Systems, and HP.

Smart Factory Market

Expected to grow from US$80.1bn (2021) to US$134.9bn by 2026, the smart factory market - with a CAGR of 11% between 2021 and 2026 - is experiencing growth driven by fiscal policies adopted to keep manufacturing facilities afloat during COVID-19. 

Other driving factors include resource optimisation, cost reduction in production operations, increased demand for industrial robotics, rising demand for technologies, and the growing significance of energy efficiency. 

Key players in the industry: Emerson Electric Co., General Electric, Rockwell Automation, Inc., Schneider Electric SE, ABB Ltd., Siemens AG, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Honeywell International Inc., Endress+Hauser AG, and Yokogawa Electric Corp.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Manufacturing Market

“It is undeniable that the manufacturing industry is at the forefront of artificial intelligence implementation,” says Analytics Insights. “Manufacturers are using AI-powered analytics to increase performance, product quality, and employee protection, from substantial reductions in unplanned downtime to better crafted goods.”

As manufacturers look to realise the potential benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) in their processes, it is predicted that the AI in manufacturing market will grow to US$11bn by 2025 with a CAGR of 54.6%.

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