What does the future of metals hold? This is a highly important question, and it is the main focus of this issue of Metals Magazine. It is also a central question that I, as the CEO of Primetals Technologies, do my best to answer every day. I rely on both my own judgement and the support and insight of our leadership team, company employees and other sources of information. Detailed planning is essential for short- and mid-term developments and also for the long-term outlook. Each of these time frames requires careful consideration of what lies ahead, and each demands an action plan that is backed by the necessary support and implementation procedures.
First of all, short- to mid-term prognoses are vital for defining annual and multi-year goals and strategies as well as to ensure coordinated efforts by our workforce to take advantage of market opportunities to identify and schedule promising metallurgical plant projects. Also, our various company locations throughout the world require central planning guidance in order to focus and channel their local engineering and service activities as part of the overall business strategy.
Secondly, long-term projections that extend over decades are necessary to steer our company into an uncharted future. Forecasts about developments and trends in the metals business are based to a large degree on the recognition of global driving forces and their potential impact on society and the industry. These forecasts also incorporate the feedback of our customers with their tremendous experience, which allows us to make an even better assessment of future developments.
“An open innovation culture within our company accelerates the introduction of new ideas into our portfolio of metallurgical solutions and services. This allows us not only to predict the future, but to create it.”
Since January 2015, I have had the privilege to serve as CEO of an international and multi-cultural company with an outstanding reputation for technological excellence. During this time, I have spoken with scores of customers throughout the world. I have carefully listened to their needs and concerns. The leadership team as well as the engineers and technicians of Primetals Technologies have also been continuously involved in intensive discussions with customers, suppliers and industry management – both from the metals sector and from other fields. The input from our global network of approximately 30 company locations, spread over several continents, is crucial for improving the accuracy of what we believe the future may bring. Each of these locations, with its own unique expertise and local knowledge, is situated in close proximity to metals producers and caters to their specific requirements. This feedback allows us to “walk in our customers’ shoes.” In this way, we can offer producers the right solutions to address the existing and ever-changing market requirements.
Primetals Technologies has brought together the best and the brightest in their respective fields who apply their intelligence and creative energy to continually improve equipment design, optimize production processes and introduce potentially disruptive technologies with far-reaching implications. Not only are internal sources accessed, but also in close cooperation with customers, business partners and research and development institutes, the creative potential of outside specialists is utilized to push the limits of technology. Furthermore, an open innovation culture within our company accelerates the introduction of new ideas into our portfolio of metallurgical solutions and services. This allows us not only to predict the future, but to create it.
The future is not something that just happens. Rather, it is something that we all contribute to. Let us therefore work together for a positive future – one that we can be proud of, and one that will have a lasting impact on society for the benefit of future generations.
CEO and Chairman of Primetals Technologies