If a product is not made of steel, chances are that it was produced by machinery or tools made with steel components.
In the construction industry, for example, steel provides equipment such as cranes, drills, bulldozers and scaffolding. From basic hoes, shovels and forks, to modern ploughs, irrigation systems and grain storage silos, steel also makes agriculture easier and more efficient. Likewise, almost every form of human communication uses steel in some way. Newspapers and books wouldn’t exist without steel presses, while computers and pens contain the metal and are produced with steel equipment.
As such, it’s no surprise that tools and machinery make up a big portion of all steel products. In fact, in 2014 alone, tools and machinery represented approximately 14 percent of global steel use.
This month, The Steel Wire will explore today’s most innovative tools and machinery made from steel. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store for April’s content.
In Brazil, sugar cane straw is commonly utilized as a renewable energy source, and is widely used to produce fuel for cars. Brazilian company Fácil System recently developed wear-resistant steel knives for its raw material shredding mill, making the sugar cane shredding process more efficient. The innovative use of wear-resistant steel extends the service life of the knives, thus lowering maintenance costs and delivering energy savings.
Dutch startup MX3D began construction last year on the world’s first 3D-printed metal bridge—a technique that could soon become standard on future construction sites. The steel bridge, which is being constructed using two modified, multi-axis robotic arms, is on track to be completed by 2017 and will be placed on a canal in Amsterdam.
The Boom Booster is a highly innovative design unlike any other boom system on the market and was developed by Terex Cranes Germany to dramatically increase the performance of its existing cranes. It utilizes a variety of high-strength steel for components like the trusses, tube members and bolted joints.