In the wake of Boston Metal, the metallurgy aims to go green

Decarbonization is a strategic theme for the mining and metallurgy sector. This alone accounts for 24% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the industrial sector.

The companies concerned have undertaken, within the framework of the National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC), to improve their carbon footprint. It is therefore not surprising that a global giant like ArcelorMittal closely follows technological advances in this sector.

Make production less polluting

The metallurgist, alongside Microsoft, has just participated in Boston Metal’s $120 million Series C fundraising. The start-up specializes in the decarbonization of steel manufacturing.

“Steel is one of the most important materials for our society, with almost two billion tonnes produced each year, but the industry relies on a carbon-intensive manufacturing process that contributes almost 10% global carbon emissions,” recalls the company.

To reduce their CO2 emissions, but also to improve their CSR results, companies in the sector are developing technological innovation. The use of artificial intelligence is part of this roadmap.

In 2022, the CNAM thus devoted a study to the advantages offered by AI in metallurgy. “AI is an opportunity to save the industry, or even relocate it,” note the authors of the study in particular.

AI to improve industrial processes

The uses of AI in the sector are multiple and relate, for example, to production assistance on ovens or the optimization of the supply chain. Another application is predictive maintenance.

The French group Eramet, whose Data & IA department is attached to operations, thus focuses its use cases of artificial intelligence on the optimization of its operational activities. For the industrialist, it is particularly a question of optimizing its metallurgical processes.

However, and increasingly, the company is using AI to serve its CSR objectives and reduce the impact of its activities. In Senegal, images captured by drones are analyzed to plan operations. The exploitation of this unstructured data also makes it possible to revegetate the sites.

How machine learning also helps CSR

Computer vision is thus increasingly used at Eramet, in particular for automatic detection of trees and vegetation around mines. AI is also used to better assess underground resources and reduce energy consumption.

With AI, ArcelorMittal is inspired by ants in order to “radically” improve production scheduling. In addition to internal developments, there is also buy, as with Energiency, to save energy in the processing of steel coils.

These projects are essential for the industry to meet its environmental commitments. The French National Low-Carbon Strategy sets a target for the sector to reduce GHG emissions by 35% by 2030.

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