Young professional’s career story
Product design engineer
February 27, 2019
Energy. It is all around us but still in short supply. Whatever we do, it is required. If not by our own sweat then by the machines we use like cars and home electronics. Unless you go to the gym, it's always a good thing to reduce the amount of energy you consume. Using energy as efficiently as possible will be better in terms of time, cost and environment.
I work every day to help improve our customers' products and the way they use steel. By using the right steel for the right application, we can do more with less. Utilizing the full potential of special steel will make new solutions possible.
The process of producing steel is very energy-intensive and will continue to be so even if improvements are possible and underway. The best way to reduce our environmental footprint in the meantime is to ensure that what we produce is used to its full potential. This is exactly what SSAB has done and continues to do every single day. I will give an example.
In several industries, crushers are used to fragment different materials to smaller and more manageable sizes. These machines contain many tonnes of steel and doing what these machines do causes a lot of wear. This sometimes means replacing parts as often as you refuel your car. So we decided to see what we can improve.
The first step was to upgrade all wear parts in standard steel to parts made from wear-resistant steel. This will give each part a longer service life, thus reducing the need to replace the part so often. But the big improvement was done on the hammer itself. There, a solid block of steel is attached to the rotor. This block uses high force to crush anything that enters the machine. There is severe wear and the parts need to be replaced constantly. The problem was that only the hammer edge was worn out. Even though less than 10% of the part was worn away, the whole part still needed to be changed.
We came up with a solution where the hammer was fitted with insert liners in the wear zone.
Not only was the insert made of our hardest material, giving it a longer service life, it also meant that 40% of the part could be worn away before it needed changing. This has been a great improvement and the use of less steel saves both energy and costs, a win-win situation.
Projects like this are, in my opinion, an excellent way to do more with less. This is truly what we at SSAB believe in and will continue to work towards every day, and the demand for smart solutions is constantly growing.
If you find these types of challenges interesting and feel that you can help make a difference, you should apply to us. SSAB is a company with 5,000 people in Sweden and more than 15,000 worldwide, and there is a great need for new people within a wide range of professions.