The Top European Stainless & Special Steel Event in 2018
organized in association with Metal Bulletin Events
Date: September 18-20, 2018
The Digital Journey of the Special Steel Industry
The stainless and special steel industry had a good start into 2018 and all economic indicators are still pointing upwards. Optimism is driving the markets, volumes are increasing and the profitability throughout the supply chain is improving. Whilst all of this is good news for the industry, we should not get too enthusiastic and overlook potential clouds on the horizon.
Asian steel producers are still increasing their presence in the global market. New producers are emerging in Indonesia based on so called ‘4-in-1’ production systems which revolutionized the traditional way of stainless steel production and set new cost benchmarks for commodity stainless steel products. Countries around the world are reacting to this development by imposing import restrictions, led by the US imposing 25 % tariff on steel products (section 232). Europe followed suit by announcing the start of safeguard investigations. While these measures will probably result in short-term profits for steel producers and their shareholders, they cannot ensure the long-term survival of local industries.
At this time it is more important than ever to re-think long established business practices and to implement new creative solutions, across the entire supply chain, if we want to distinguish ourselves from newly emerging suppliers. Future business strategies need to circle around the following buzzwords: Creativity, Innovation & Digitalization
Today’s world has already become digital but the steel industry is still lagging behind. We can sit back and wait until global companies like Amazon are taking over control of the steel distribution business, or we strongly emphasise on developing our own tools and systems to reach today’s digital customers.
The global stainless and special steel industry is gathering in Helsinki, Finland, for 3 days to discuss these topics and all relevant issues that will shape the business in 2019 and beyond.
The following topics will be discussed in detail:
- Is a digital integration of the supply chain from the mill to the end user a powerful tool to protect the European industry from growing pressure from Asian mills?
- Is digitalization and industry 4.0 a chance to bring back manufacturing into Europe?
- How can we prevent that companies like Amazon or Google are taking over control of steel distribution?
- How can digitalization help to enhance productivity in STS production?
- How can we manage and benefit from ‘big data’ and how can we ensure data protection?
- What are the obstacles for quick implementation of digital solutions?
- Impact of digitalization on workforce – from steel workers to IT specialist?
- Recovery of oil & gas – do we see a renaissance of offshore drilling?
- Electricity as ‘new oil’ – when will we see long neglected investments in the power generation sector in Europe?
- New mobility concepts, implications for special steel products
- Electric & hybrid cars and their impact on stainless and engineering (SBQ) steel demand
- Autonomous driving and impact on semiconductor industry
- Trends in premium steel segments? Powder production on the rise?
- Is 3D printing a risk for forged products and castings?
- 4-in-1 production systems – impact for European mills?
- Can environmental regulation stop the success of 4-in-1 production systems?
- Ni deficit or surplus in 2018 and 2019 (supply/demand)?
- Will NPI completely replace Class I Ni?
- Scenarios for Ni in Batteries - which will be the winning technology?
- Is the LME / SHFE becoming obsolete? New pricing models for Ni
- The Ni and STS ramp-up in Indonesia
- Cr price pressure from new developments in South Africa?
- Electrode shortage - here to stay?
- Section 232 in USA - Impact on global trade flows
- What other trade cases can be expected in STS?
- Is protectionism a good tool to protect the local industry or counterproductive?
- Outlook for Chinese Exports
- The impact of protectionism on offshoring of STS products (fittings, appliances etc.)
- Where do we stand in the business cycle?
- Which industries or regions are booming? Where are the hotspots?
- How is the European industry developing compared to the USA, Asia and emerging countries?
- Will interest rates rise and what will be the impact to our industry?
Optional Field Trip: Outokumpu Tornio Plant
Outokumpu' s site in Tornio is the most integrated stainless steel mill in the world: the same production site includes melt shop, hot rolling mill, cold rolling mill and even ferrochrome smelter as the source of one of the essential raw materials, chromium. The most significant raw materials is recycled steel, and the recycled content in the ready-made products is in average more than 80%. The production site has its own harbor from which products are delivered to the markets and raw materials delivered to the site.
Tornio site covers more than 600 hectares and employs some 1500 stainless steel professionals. In addition, some 300 people employed by subcontractors and business partners work daily in the production site.