Modular technologies—The time constraint
Keen competition in the world market for metal products, anti-dumping measures directed against Russia's largest companies, and the ongoing technological crisis may cause more than a loss of market share. These factors could undermine the very existence of the country's metallurgical industry. The entry of Russia into the World Trade Organization will undoubtedly help improve the prospects for Russian metallurgical products, but it will not guarantee that those products will be competitive.
The drastic (by 30–50%) reduction in production costs which is needed for the economic health of the sector can be achieved by using modular technologies—by combining processing operations in at least two successive conversions organized on the basis of a single production unit. The acute importance of this problem made it necessary for experts in thefield to convene last February at a conference devoted to the development and introduction of modular technologies for the mass production of goods having a new level of properties in the steelmaking-rolling conversion. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Russian Federation together with the Central Scientific Research Institute of Metallurgy (TsNIIchermet) and the All-Union Scientific Research, Planning, and Design Institute of Metallurgical Machinery (VNIImetmash).
Also in attendance were representatives of the Ministry of Economics of the Russian Federation, metallurgical and machine-building plants, foreign companes, scientific-research and academic institutes, planning organizations, and trade publications; five papers and seven reports were presented.
The conference examined the main designs of cazting-rolling modules for the steelmaking-rolling conversion, the feasibility of creating a medium-term program for their introduction in ferrous metallurgy and machine construction by the year 2005, and possible forms of government support and private investment.
KeywordsRolled Product Metallurgical Plant Ferrous Metallurgy Central Scientific Research Institute Machine Plant
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