By Andrea Willige
Ask most people what 'industrial' means to them, and it's likely to be the image of giant ladles pouring hot molten metal into a giant oven. Nothing embodies large scale manufacturing more poignantly than steelmaking in a blast furnace.
Our notion of steel mills may not have changed much, but the steel industry itself has had to adapt to many changes over recent decades. Depleting natural resources, increased competition, and declining prices have forced the world’s steelmakers to lower costs, raise productivity, and make their operations more sustainable. The sector is also responding to increased concerns about its environmental impact.
To meet this tall order, modern steel plants are getting a helping hand from the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the guise of advances in digital technology.