CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

Swiss Steel partnership with scrap dealers a global example of green steel production

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Scrap is the primary raw material for Swiss Steel Group. Producing steel from pre-sorted scrap requires less energy and generates less CO2 than producing steel from iron ore and alloy metals. PHOTO courtesy Swiss Steel Group.

Steel is one of the most frequently recycled materials in the world and scrap should no longer be considered waste but rather a valuable and costly raw material.

Transporting scrap long distances, however, is both environmentally damaging and inefficient. Steelworks with a strong local presence should play a crucial role in establishing regional circular economies by minimizing transportation distances.  Swiss Steel Group, one of the largest steel recycling companies in Europe, provides a good example of how this can be accomplished.

Swiss Steel Group processes more than 2.2 million tons of scrap metal in its plants. Additionally, it is the largest steel company in Europe that exclusively uses the electric arc furnace route for production.

To produce high-quality steel, it is necessary to use new scrap material from metal processing with precisely known alloying additions. This enables precise control of the composition of the new steel, resulting in the production of high-grade steel for new quality products.

In Germany, France, and Switzerland, the Swiss Steel Group’s steelworks source most of their scrap from within a 90 to 100-kilometer radius.

“Cooperation with scrap dealers is crucial. Previously, they only negotiated the price per ton, but now scrap dealers are system service providers who are compensated for quality and punctuality. A five-stage process maturity model has been implemented to improve scrap quality,” the company says.

It adds that scrap dealers have become more than just middlemen; they are now important, fully integrated system partners in the steel industry. For instance, the Swiss Steel Group plant in Switzerland is collaborating with scrap suppliers and multiple universities on a project to create a digital twin of incoming scrap. This project is highly rated in terms of its significance and is being funded by the Swiss government. The project utilizes big data to enable steelworks to predict the type of scrap that will be delivered, resulting in more efficient and effective delivery, production, and steel quality.

“The digital twin of Swiss Steel Group’s scrap is groundbreaking and has potential applications beyond the steel industry. The system can also be used for other materials,” the company says.

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