In Argentina, a group of university students may be the next generation of steelmakers. Our Acindar steelmaking business has nearly a dozen students from the Universidad Technological Nacional working as interns alongside our own R&D team. And ‘working’ is the right word: this isn’t a job-shadowing exercise. The students are assigned to a specific department and given real problems to solve because we believe that their fresh eyes and focus on innovation will help us advance.
In steel production, for example, students are working at our plant on a quality project looking at a completely new way to detect defects in steel billets and how these appear in our rolled products. They have been mentored by steel veteran Luis Dutari, who’s been at the steel plant for over 40 years. The students used digital technology and a specially-placed camera to photograph each billet as it rolls off the line, and measure its size and shape to ensure it is perfectly square. Any anomalies are automatically reported to the operator.
It’s a great use of new technology, and it’s improving quality across the whole range of products produced at the plant. It’s also saving money, because the students are able to spot substandard billets at the earliest possible stage.
After more than 40 years in this company, I feel that my mission is to transfer my knowledge and experience to younger professionals, who are eager to work in the steel industry.
Luis Dutari Acindar, Argentina