How to Make Steel with an Old(ie but Goodie) Blast Furnace

How to Make Steel with an Old(ie but Goodie) Blast Furnace

Blast furnaces play a central role in the steelmaking process. They date back to ancient times, to the beginnings of iron smelting. Today, blast furnaces turn out the molten iron used in steel production, and thus have helped industrialize the world and lay the foundations of global monumental infrastructures.   The Steelmaking Process So, what does a blast furnace do in the steelmaking process? There are 4 main parts to the process of making steel, and in each process, the accompanying production equipment is as vital as the materials that make steel. Each batch of steel starts off with iron, molten iron to be exact, and the blast furnace is what transforms raw materials into molten iron. Molten iron comes...

How Many Cobots Does it Take to Switch a Lightbulb

How Many Cobots Does it Take to Switch a Lightbulb?

Yes, robots are faster, more consistent and better performing than human workers, and are a possible threat to people’s job security. With the ongoing trend toward automation across industries, what’s to keep robots from flooding the job market in the near future? According to research by McKinsey, approximately 51 percent of all job-related activities in the U.S. can be replaced by robots. Another recent research conducted by PwC shows that 40 percent of jobs in the U.S., 31 percent in the UK, 35 percent in Germany and 21 percent of the jobs in Tokyo are vulnerable to replacement by robotics or other artificial intelligence (AI). The figures are daunting, but in practice, companies have yet to realize a fully-automated system...

Ask an Expert Applying AI to the Manufacturing Industry

Applying AI to the Manufacturing Industry

The value of artificial intelligence (AI) in the manufacturing market was USD 272.5 million in 2016. That number is projected to reach USD 4,882.9 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 52.42 percent from 2017 to 2023 according to Markets and Markets. It’s no surprise then, that companies are rushing to boost their competitiveness with AI. As a steelmaking company, POSCO has been working towards becoming a “Smart POSCO”, or incorporating the implementation of AI into their production practices. In 2016, POSCO established a Smart Solution Council to research AI, big data and IoT applications. To date, the company has achieved a cost reduction of USD 14 million with the new technology. Even as one of the first steel producers...

Ask an Expert The Master of Automation

POSCO Masters: Leading the Way Towards Automation

Kim Yong-Hoon always had a knack for making things with his hands. As a child, he whipped up the most popular toys such as cars, trains and slings by hand. That may be why Kim learned to be independent and self-sufficient early on. After graduating from middle school, he moved out to live on his own to attend high school in a different town. It was also his decision to apply to POSCO as soon as he graduated, and ever since he started at the hot rolling department at Gwangyang Steel Works, he has been using his talents to make things easier, safer and better for his fellow employees. His beginnings at Gwangyang Steel Works After entering the company, Kim...

Ask an Expert Building Bridges for Megacities - Part 2

Ask an Expert: Building Bridges for Megacities – Part 2

Last week in Building Bridges for Megacities Part 1, bridge expert Marco Rosignoli shared his insights on emerging megacities, their biggest challenges and what kinds of transportation infrastructure to expect in the coming years. In part 2 of his article, Rosignoli explores the challenges of bridge construction and the different types of construction processes and materials to expect in light of the increasing demand for bridges that emerging megacities will bring. Biggest Challenges in Bridge Construction The major challenges for building urban bridges are the availability of skilled labor, access to urban areas and environmental compatibility. Building bridges in megacities with the current scarcity of skilled labor will require a massive recourse to prefabrication. In a few circumstances, prefabricated bridge...

Ask an Expert Building Bridges for Megacities

Ask an Expert: Building Bridges for Megacities

A “megacity” is defined as a city with a population of more than 10 million people. According to the UN, megacities have more than doubled since 2015, and 80% of the world’s megacities are now in Asia, Latin America or Africa. According to a report published by Siemens, transportation is the top infrastructure concern for megacities as it directly influences the economic and environmental well-being of the megacities. Here is what bridge expert Marco Rosignoli had to say about emerging megacities, the greatest challenge of providing efficient transportation and what kind of bridges will need to be built to accommodate the changing urban environment.   The Cities of the Future Today, megacities are the gateways of globalization. They drive flows...

Ask an Expert The Makings of a POSCO Master of Korea

POSCO Masters: A Cold Rolling Expert

Suh Gwang-Il’s training at the beginning of his 35 years at POSCO was nothing short of tough. On April 1, 1983, he joined the Cold Rolling Strength Maintenance Department and Suh still remembers one of his first assignments. “Nowadays, all of the electrical instrumentation control facilities use a digital control system with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) or Distributed Control Systems (DCS). At that time, the Cold Rolling Maintenance manager gave me the task of drawing up each of the 25 A3 pages of the equipment control block diagram by memory, in a month. It seemed impossible, but I did it faster than anyone.” The training paid off. In his third year, he quickly detected a disconnection in the winding part...

Ask an Expert What Does it Take to Become a POSCO Master of Korea

POSCO Masters: 40 Years in the Making

Nam Tae-Gyu has been with POSCO for over 40 years as a systems and maintenance technician. Starting from an early age, Nam had a special knack for fixing broken machinery. One of his earliest memories of accomplishment is reviving his friend’s broken radio and proudly watching his mother sway to its music. That was just the beginning for Nam, and since joining POSCO’s Steel Maintenance Department on January 20, 1978, he has not only fixed essential equipment but also incorporated new technology to existing systems to improve the overall production process of steel. Nam’s Battle with the Sublance Five years into his first job ever, Nam hit his first hurdle. The sublance used for detecting temperature and carbon levels of...

Revving Up for Growth India’s Automotive Market is In Full Gear

Revving Up for Growth: India’s Automotive Market is In Full Gear

Global Outlook on the Automotive Industry The 2008 Financial Crisis was a blow to the global automotive industry and its suppliers. It took years to recover, but the economy did start showing signs of growth. McKinsey&Company’s 2013 report, The road to 2020 and beyond: What’s driving the global automotive industry, painted a positive picture of the global automotive market with profits projected to reach EUR 79 billion by 2020, up from EUR 54 billion in 2012, with China responsible for 60 percent of profits. Their 2016 report, Automotive revolution – perspective towards 2030, offered a similar outlook. Overall global car sales will continue to grow, but at about a 2 percent growth rate, down 1.6 percent from the last five...

The Changing Waves of the Shipping Industry

The Changing Waves of the Shipping Industry

Sea transport is relatively eco-friendly as it only accounts for 3 to 4 percent of total global gas emissions. However, most ships are fueled by low-grade bunker fuel, or heavy fuel oil (HFO), that contains 3,500 times more sulfur than diesel for cars, making the shipping industry the biggest emitter of sulfur dioxide (S02). At current emission levels, the shipping industry will account for 17 percent of total global emissions by 2050. Compared to more common methods of transportation, the shipbuilding industry still lags behind in technology for a sustainable future. Why is the Shipbuilding Industry Behind in Technology? The advent of container ships dates back to 1956. About a decade later in the 1970s, there was a boom in...

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