//What is Industry 4.0? Visit Future Steel Forum…
Russian steelmaker NLMK - like many steelmakers these days - is taking the subject of 'smart factories' very seriously and claims that while the topic is currently 'more of a talk than a walk' the company is well-positioned for new trends and has listed 'digital technologies in operations' as a key focus in its Strategy 2022. Having recently attended an NLMK media briefing in London where I broached the subject of Industry 4.0, I was slightly baffled when one of my fellow journalists asked, "What is Industry 4.0?"
Having worked on the developments of Future Steel Forum's conference programme for many months, I was surprised that the question was asked, until I realised that, for anybody outside of the bubble, it probably was a mystery. NLMK answered that it was 'all about how to utitlise data to your advantage' prompting the subject of labour relations to raise its head. "Labour relations is less of a concern," NLMK replied, adding that "it is our job to retrain people and develop new skills."
And let's not forget that NLMK has signed a memorandum of understanding with SAP with a view to creating a Co-innovation Lab - the first of its kind in the Russian steel sector, claims the company. SAP is one of many distinguished companies presenting papers at Future Steel Forum in the summer. Delegates can also look forward to papers from Voestalpine, ArcelorMittal and Tata Steel as well as Primetals, SMS group and Danieli Automation, plus many others.
There are two discussion panels on new business models and general perspectives on digitalisation, not forgetting sesions on business organisation, IT Infrastructure and plant safety and cyber security.
For details of the full programme, please visit www.futuresteelforum.com
Matthew Moggridge, Editor, Steel Times International