In Economic Turmoil, Environment Remains Key

Even during periods of economic turmoil, the environment remains a key issue for our world.

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By 2050, it is estimated that there will be two billion more people living in the world’s cities which, according to experts, will mean that world construction will grow by more than 70% and reach $15 trillion by 2025, outpacing global GDP. Part of the solution is to build with steel – 50% of steel is used in construction. With four people per house, this will mean providing 1,427 homes every hour, with most of them needed in Asia and Africa. How can such growth be made sustainable?

As most people are aware, steel is used in so many important applications, from bridges and other large constructions, trains and rail lines to industrial machinery, housing, offices, hospitals, cars, buses and bicycles, to name but a few examples. Steel delivers a number of unique environmental benefits, such as product longevity, recyclability, easy transportation and less raw material wastage. In addition, steel offers architectural and design flexibility due to its inherent strength, which allows large span distances and curves to be easily incorporated into designs.

Perhaps best of all, steel is 100% recyclable, without losing any of its properties or strength, and thus reducing the solid waste stream, which results in saved landfill space and the conservation of natural resources. Indeed, more steel is recycled each day than any other material. Even better, the steel industry as a whole has dramatically improved its energy efficiency over the past 30 years, cutting energy consumption by 50% per tonne of steel produced and substantially reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, also per tonne of steel.

The industry is always looking for ways to improve, and to that end a project is in place in the United States that explores the possibility of replacing carbon with hydrogen in blast furnaces. In addition, ULCOS, which stands for Ultra–Low Carbon Dioxide(CO2) Steelmaking, is a consortium of 48 European companies and organisations from 15 European countries that have launched a co-operative research and development initiative to enable drastic reduction in CO2 emissions from steel production. The consortium consists of all major EU steel companies, energy and engineering partners, research institutes and universities and is supported by the European Commission. The aim of the ULCOS programme is to reduce today’s CO2 emissions by at least 50%.

From a human health perspective, steel frames have proven ideal for the ‘healthy home’ concept. The incidence of asthma and sensitivity to chemicals is on the increase and steel frames have been used to achieve allergen-free and dust-free interiors. This requires techniques such as special sealing around windows, moisture barrier systems in the walls, extensive insulation, and whole house ventilation systems. Steel frames retain their original dimensions, which is a major factor in maintaining effective long-term sealing.

Steel is already being used to help manufacture lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles as well as renewable energy infrastructure including wind turbines, solar installations, smart electric grids and energy-efficient housing and commercial buildings. Its economic benefits include its quick construction off-site, which means less site disturbance and waste, more usable floor space, e.g. thinner floors allowing for more stories in a building, the flexibility to re-configure buildings and steel has a long life with low maintenance, plus energy efficiency for lower operating costs.

Sited: WorldSteel

Ashley G. // Editor SMC

SMC explains why Logistics is Fundamental to Supply Chain Success

Logistics

Logistics is an essential component of supply chain management. It involves the planning, carrying out and management of goods, services and information from the point of origin to the point of consumption. Logistics aligns the complex pattern of traffic and transportation, shipping and receiving, import and export operations, warehousing, inventory management, purchasing, production planning and customer service. Companies see logistics as a critical blueprint of the supply chain. It is used to manage, coordinate and monitor resources needed to move products in a smooth, timely, cost effective and reliable manner.

How Logistics Can Help Improve Efficiency and Reduce Costs

As the global economy moved into the 21st Century, logistics became a critical part of supply chain management and consumer demand. In less than two decades, logistics management has influenced product movement to meet or exceed consumer demand. Companies saw they could lower costs and increase productivity by managing logistics on a system theory and managing the company as a whole to boost performance.

In Logistics Operations the reality of customer needs dictate dynamic requirements, constantly varying from one another. In response to such a dynamic environment, Our specialized logistics solutions are tailored to meet the challenge of individual customer demands for each customer.

Shanghai Metal Corporation provides “All-The-Way” Logistic Service Solutions, to include:
•International Trade Agent Service;
•International Goods Forwarding;
•Professional Customs Brokerage;
•Door-To-Door Transportation;
•Supplier’s Stock Management.

Our Logistics Support Specialists assist customers integrate, coordinate and optimize efficiency throughout the whole business process from purchase and transport of raw material and parts, manufacturing, storage and delivery to the end customer.

Our Logistics Service Center has operates at superior capacity matched only by its level of professionalism and customer service. With a number of well-experienced and skilled experts and the insightful leadership of a synergistic management team, we enable the goods and services to circulate across borders and boundaries with maximum efficiency.

Laura C. // SMC Editor

SMC & Sustainability

For us, sustainable growth improves the quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come. It encompasses environmental, economic and social dimensions, as well as the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use.

Following the green economic theories implies a wide range of ideas all dealing with the interconnected relationship between people and the environment.

Without a doubt, Steel Products help to meet society’s needs and as producers of steel, it is our responsibility to meet the demand for steel in a sustainable way. With companies all across the world, we face a broad range of challenges and we are committed to taking action, individually and together as an industry, to address them.

That is the reason why we try to keep a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates the physical and earth sciences with the social sciences, ecology and economics.
Steel’s combination of properties such as availability, cost, durability, strength, and ductility (the ability to be stretched or shaped without breaking) is what makes it unique. Steel’s properties enable it to suit a variety of product applications for which there are no energy and cost-effective substitutes.

Increasingly, graduates in the minerals industry and related sectors will not only require a deep technical and scientific understanding of their fields (such as geology, mining, metallurgy), but will also need a knowledge of how their industry relates to and can contribute to the transition to sustainability.

Moreover, steel is 100% recyclable. It can be recycled infinitely, which helps to save energy and raw materials, reduce CO2 emissions and reduce the waste generated from raw materials extraction. Virtually, all the steel we use has the potential to be recycled. Improving the recycling rate of end-of-life steel products as well as product design for recycling can increase further steel scrap quality, and hence steel’s contribution to the environment.

AL Green

 

Laura C. // SMC Media Editor

The many advantages of shipping container housing and architecture

With the global environmental concern growing in popularity across the globe, more and more people are turning to shipping container structures for green alternatives. There are countless numbers of empty, unused shipping containers around the world, just sitting on shipping docks taking up space: once out of their use, it is too expensive to send them back. Thus it is definitely a great options to turn those ones into useful and solid living spaces, also due to the fact that they are made by ideal building materials (they are able to hold heavy loads, or to be stacked in high columns; designed to resist harsh environments -such as on ocean-going vessels- or sprayed with road salt while transported on roads). They can be consideredstrong, easy to use, and versatile–almost like stacking blocks, but definitely more eco-friendly.

Furthermore, it is worth to point out their advantage in expense:many used containers are available at an amount that is low compared to a finished structure built by other labor-intensive means such as bricks and mortar — which also require larger more expensive foundations. You definitely save a lot in financial terms.

Also, you can think big: the same reasoning can be applied either to one mere shipping container or to many of them thought as a unit; this meansrealizing  that connecting multiple shipping containers together is also unibody construction, whether multiple one-level, or multiple ten-level, you have created the ultimate unibody construction unit with far more strength than the already, super stronger container alone. If you think about the strength and durability of just one shipping container, imagine the incredible strength when 2, 4, 6, or 100 are connected top, bottom, and sides.  Even with fairly extreme modification and wall cut outs, the strength of such contructions  is far greater than any conventional home or building. About security, they are super-safe, vandal proof, fire proof, just to mention a few of their main features, they resistgrievous climatic conditions, and regular rough handling. Thus, their later use in construction ensures durable projects. Besides, remember that shipping boxes already comply with ISO standards.Some other advantages can be considered such as their fast construction, or their easy adaptation to be covered with traditional stucco, vinyl siding, woods, bricks.Thus they can turn to have a wide variety of functions, as houses, offices, storages, multi-car garages, and nonetheless be great in style, either in their inside or outside.Following here there are some beautiful exemplificative pictures:

container IIIcontainer Icontainer IV

The abundance and relative cheapness of these containers during the last decade gathered attention throughout the world and it is starting to become much more common to convert them into living spaces. Again worth to be stressed, instead of being shipped back empty, or being left sideways, new applications are sought for the used containers that have reached their destination.

 

Laura C

. SMC Blogger