At the combined American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) & Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) annual meeting, “Steel in Washington 2019,” held June 3-5 in Washington, DC, CIVS and SMSVC Director Chenn Zhou gave a 75-minute presentation on the importance of Industry 4.0 / technology advancements for the future of steel, as part of the Joint AISI & SMA Associate Members Program.
Attendants at the three-day event included member-company CEOs, members of Congress, industry and market-sector experts, and top Administration officials, such as the Honorable Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce; and the Honorable Andrew Wheeler, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—who gave a presentation on “Commitment to Modernizing and Improving Environmental Protections.”
“Steel manufacturers and suppliers were all there, looking to explore both technological and policy solutions, and probable future developments, to maintain strength in the North American steel industry,” Zhou said. “And of all the booths and displays and attendees present, Ty and I were the only ones to provide demonstrations in the lobby—and the only ones to show a virtual reality blast furnace.”
“The general mood of the conference attendees seemed upbeat,” CIVS Research Engineer Tyamo Okosun observed, “but there were also signs that some executives were actively working to keep their own companies agile, for future developments. There was a feeling of wanting to be prepared for ‘what’s next?’ And that’s a positive sign for an industry broadly undergoing technological re-tooling. It’s also a positive sign for Purdue Northwest and the SMSVC, since we’ve been establishing foundations for helping integrate these newer technologies and techniques.”