May 16, 2020

Tata Steel announces carbon reduction project

carbon reduction
Lucy Dixon
2 min
Tata Steel announces carbon reduction project
Tata Steel has announced a new carbon-cutting project called HIsarna, which could cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent.

In conjunction with Rio Tinto and ot...

Tata Steel has announced a new carbon-cutting project called HIsarna, which could cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent.

In conjunction with Rio Tinto and other European steelmakers, the project is being piloted at IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands. Research suggests it could reduce today’s steel industry CO2 emissions and energy use, as well as lower the emissions of fine particle dust and dioxins, and nitrogen and sulphur oxides.

Early this year, Tata Steel announced that the European Union agreed to contribute 7.4 million Euros towards testing this groundbreaking new liquid iron production process, which would eliminate the need for pre-processing iron ore and coking coal. The next stage of the project, which takes place next year, is a six-month test campaign of the HIsarna pilot plant to establish whether the new technology can produce molten iron in a stable way over a sustained period of time. 

If the technology is viable and can be scaled up successfully, steel companies would be able to dispense with pre-processing of raw materials, and choose from a wider range of raw materials, including recycled materials, delivering greater environmental and economic sustainability 10 to 15 years from now. 

Karl Köhler, CEO of Tata Steel Europe, said: “HIsarna could play a future role in the creation of a more sustainable low-carbon European economy. If next year’s tests are successful, the following stage would be developing, constructing and testing an industrial-scale plant at a cost of 300 million euros.” 

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May 12, 2021

Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers

2 min
57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support smart manufacturing digitalisation

With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.

While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.

“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”

Change Management

Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.

“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.

Technology and People

While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.

“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.

Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.

Discover Gartner's Five Best Practices for Post COVID-19 Innovation' in manufacturing.

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