The carbon footprint generated of raw material steel is 1.4 tons per produced ton of steel according to IEA, and 1.85 according to the World Steel Association. Waste generated within the reinforcement steel manufacturing processes is estimated to be between 2% – 8%. Tony Woods, CEO of Midland Steel, is on a mission to reduce this to zero.
Midland Steel, who manufacture Offsite Steel Reinforcing solutions for the construction sector in Ireland and the UK have just been awarded a EIT Manufacturing grant with its pan-European partners including KUKA, Bastal Steel, Nightingale HQ, OCSC and VTT who will support more sustainable production and bring innovative solutions to market. The project looks to reduce carbon emissions within fabrication by introducing a new concept of standardisation to the industry, thus facilitating scalable volumes which can be forecasted and produced offsite as standardised modular prefabricated sections reducing waste significantly.
They beat of stiff competition from manufacturers across Europe to win the grant with the announcement made at the Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) centre where EIT Manufacturing held the first Irish edition of their startup competition BoostUp in partnership with ATIM. Midland Steel will lead a consortium of industries partners from robotics, software, civil engineering design and research on this multiyear project to drive sustainability within the sector.
The project focuses on changing how buildings are designed and built, it will pioneer multi-purpose buildings which is currently happening in Norway and contributes to reduced waste. Architects, civil engineers and developers will collaborate even before the design intent stage so they can re-imagine how modular or off-site components can be delivered. If up 80% of any build can be standardised and built off-site it will revolutionise the construction industry delivering significant impact on the sector from a sustainability and health & safety perspective. Digitalisation partners will look to optimise the planning process and reduce the level of variability within the process throughout the value chain from the steel mill to the factory floor. It will also deliver a multipurpose building environment, with a better consumer experience.
Christian Bölling, Director EIT Manufacturing Central said “EIT Manufacturing aims to accelerate innovation and thus help meet Europe’s ambitious climate goals. Projects like this one that look to transform steel production and the construction industry are essential”.
Tony Woods, CEO of Midland Steel added “we want to close the gap between the real needs of steel manufacturing and the planning and design processes to deliver more sustainable, greener modular steel manufacturing. This is an opportunity to do something different and bring about real change. This project brings cutting-edge processes and technological solutions together to achieve this”.