ArcelorMittal Dofasco unveils new ultra-low carbon steel technology
World’s largest steelmaker unveils innovative production process to meet future demands of automotive industry
Hamilton, 09 August 2010: ArcelorMittal has unveiled a unique new ultra-low carbon production technology at its Dofasco plant in Hamilton, Canada, which will give the world’s largest steelmaker greater capability to produce more advanced grades of automotive steel – enabling closer tolerances, lowering weight and improving functional performance of finished car parts.
This new production technology, which has been recognised for its low capital expenditure at the same time as being highly innovative, has also been pivotal in helping ArcelorMittal better understand how it can drive efficiencies across the business through application of low-carbon steelmaking technology.
In 2009, ArcelorMittal invested US$235 million in research and development across the sectors including the automotive industry. This new ultra-low carbon steel production process, developed by ArcelorMittal Dofasco, is just the latest example of how the company’s commitment to research is delivering in terms of innovation for car manufacturers.
The research team at Dofasco delivered the findings of their low carbon steel project to an audience of ArcelorMittal employees and key stakeholders during ArcelorMittal Group’s annual Global Leadership Convention in Chicago, USA. The convention, attended by over 400 company executives, saw the Dofasco team receive the Leadership and Innovation Award as part of the Group’s Performance Excellence Awards – one of six performance-based accolades awarded by the ArcelorMittal Group for business excellence amongst its employees.
ArcelorMittal Dofasco was one of 28 submissions for the award and surpassed three other finalists from Global R&D, Global R&D Distribution Solutions and ArcelorMittal Bremen. The Canadian plant was recognized for its notably low capital expenditure at the same time as being highly innovative.
“In order to ensure ArcelorMittal’s ongoing status as a world-leading company, it is essential that we continue to share best practice across the network and champion innovation throughout our global operations,” commented Lakshmi N Mittal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ArcelorMittal. “The Performance Excellence Awards are a vital tool in achieving this aim, ensuring recognition for the many exciting projects going on around the business. I was personally delighted to see the sheer variety of entries submitted for the PEAs this year and would like to take this opportunity to personally congratulate not just the winning teams, but all those initiatives that were nominated during the 2009 financial year,” he added.
"This award recognises the importance of driving continuous improvement through the effort of our people - empowering teams and challenging their hearts and minds," said Sean Donnelly, Vice President, Technology and Continuous Improvement at ArcelorMittal Dofasco.
The Performance Excellence Awards were established in 2007 as a means of recognising and promoting excellence and innovation within the ArcelorMittal Group. Additional categories include: Health and Safety, Operational Excellence, Customer Satisfaction, Margin Generation and Corporate Responsibility.
Notes to editors
Ultra Low Carbon steel at ArcelorMittal Dofasco is made via the Vacuum Degas tank process without the ability to sample steel chemistry during processing. Because of this constraint, the deep vacuum degassing time was fixed historically at 13 minutes to cover variation in the process. As carbon specifications tightened and productivity demands increased, changes to the processing method were required. A unique solution was developed between steelmaking technology and research that involves real time slag chemistry measurement together with laser based tank off-gas chemistry. These two new technologies combined with newly developed control strategies have improved carbon capability by up to 20% and reduced average decarburization time by 23%.