Steel is everywhere and can be recycled indefinitely. If it is high-strength steel, the sustainability level, prerogative nowadays become irremissible, grows even more. also this year ITS celebration, the Swedish Steel Prize, has been organized by SSAB, global steelworks with headquarters in nordic countries and in the united states, which with its customers contributes in creating a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world.
It does not matter where we go, it is essential that we go somewhere, without ever stopping. Only in this way, we can innovate ourselves, our company and the entire world. The Swedish Steel Prize, organized by SSAB, is the prestigious award for those who, with hard work and the right creativity, were able to use the high strength steel in innovative and smart manner. But not only. It is the prize, now at its seventeenth edition, with which the winners become the instrument able to inspire the development and the competitiveness of the other 600 guests, international representatives of 46 different nationalities in the global manufacturing and steel industry. Ponsse Scorpion, of Finnish nationality, is the winner of the 2015 edition. It is a state-of-the-art machine for the wood cutting and collection, able to meet the musts of lightness, safety and sustainability. In the opinion of sector experts, at present there is not such an innovative system, able to improve performances and comfort, especially concerning the operator’s ergonomics.
From steel to sheet metal – travelling in production plants
SSAB has opened the doors to the factories at Oxelösund and Borlänge. The first is a reference point for the manufacturing of sheet metals for trains, structured with an integrated production line that starts from raw materials up to attaining finished sheet metals. During the visit, it was possible to see the steel plant, the rolling mill, the hardening line and the area dedicated to the quality control. In the rolling mill, equipped with four rolling rolls and heart of the steelworks, we can admire the spectacular process that transforms the incandescent thick slabs into sheet metals of all sizes.
The visit to Borlänge factory has allowed seeing from close up the hot rolling, where thick slabs are transformed into coils of different thicknesses and widths, the cold rolling and the levelling, during which rolls are transformed into sheets. The visit ended with the thorough analysis of the offer of the various steels by SSAB (Toolox, Hardox, GreenCoat, Shape, Armox and the new Strenx) and of the various possible applications, in which specialists showed all their knowledge and experience in the sector.
This year’s novelty is Strenx. Strenx is designed for sectors in which the structural strength and the weight reduction are important competitive factors, especially in the field of lifting devices, handling and transport. Strenx is also suitable for the agricultural sector, for the frames of heavy vehicles, for the offshore and the construction sector. With this new high-strength steel signed by SSAB, customers will be able to design more competitive and sustainable products: cranes with bigger extension, trailers able to transport a heavier load, trucks that consume less fuel. Strenx offers the broadest range in the world of structural high-strength steels in terms of resistance and sizes. Yield goes from 600 Mpa to 1300 Mpa, property that makes it one of the most resistant steels at disposal on the market. It is available in sheet metals, coils and tubes with thicknesses that vary from 0.7 mm to 160 mm and it is supplied with constant granted properties.
Ponsse Scorpion: the winning example of the high-strength steel
Conventional forestry machines are generally provided with a double-frame structure, with an arm mounted in front of, or besides, the operator, who not always succeeds in attaining a complete vision. Ponsse Scorpion has revolutionized this concept with a triple-frame machine, a frame stabilization system and the arrangement of the cab levelling encoder.
INNOVATION: Ponsse Scorpion has a symmetric arm, so that the operator is in central position as to any motion. In this way, they grant a complete visibility and a comfortable and efficient work environment.
SUSTAINABILITY: the harvester is more ecologic thanks to its long maintenance intervals, the low-emission motor technology and
, thanks to its lightness, it reduces the risk of compacting the soil.
SAFETY/RESISTANCE: the high-strength steel Strenx 700 MC Plus is used in the exclusive double lifting arm, above the operator’s cab, with counterweights distributed in innovative manner. For the structure, they have chosen the Strenx 700 steel because it offers high resistance to loads, to stresses and to fatigue. The new steel signed by SSAB was used in the frame, too, to implement the exclusive design in 3 parts.
The picking head is made of no-wear Hardox 500 steel, which offers excellent resistance to abrasion. The powerful crane is easily controlled, the cab is silent and the work position is optimized for the best comfort. The bottom weight has allowed adding more bearings, attributing its exceptional stability to Ponsse Scorpion. The arm motions are faster. The low machine pressure on the ground is another advantage when you operate on soft terrains.
The social winner and the other finalists
Ponsse had to compete with other entrepreneurial realities before winning the seventeenth international prize of the high strength steel. The other three finalists are the following:
Facil System – Brazil: it has developed some blades for sugar cane shredders, spiral-bolted on axis supports, in this way it is possible to decrease production costs, to save energy and to extend the service life of blades. Hardox steel allows withstanding the sugar cane, which is very abrasive.
Milotek Pty Ltd – South Africa: It has presented a transport system suspended on rails for the sector of heavy transports. Aware of the environment protection, Futran System is an alternative to the traditional railway, to trucks, to conveyor belts and even, for instance, to underground handling systems for mines. The wagon is then high and autonomous, easily assembled and maintained.
Terex Cranes Germany, adaptable section for cranes (Boom Booster) – Germany: it is the social winner, awarded by direct customers that have put the highest number of “I like” on Facebook. The Boom Boster is an adaptable kit for cranes with highly innovative design, for which high-strength steel profiles have been used. It can be disassembled and it is easily transported, this allows also a reduction of CO2 for the transport. Boom Booster significantly improves the lifting performances of its crane CC 8800-1, it is connected with the lower part of the main crane arm and can extend the loading capacity of the latter.