In the global energy and heavy industries business segment, the combination of rapid technological development and tight market pressures leaves no room for missteps.
The most highly attended session at the recent Outokumpu Experience, the energy topic dominated discussions at the two-day event. Producers need increasingly sophisticated technology. Undersea drilling, for instance, is plunging to new depths, creating ever-higher pressures. Market forces demand competitiveness. And life-cycle costs must be considered as part of the big picture.
Leading with innovation
Outokumpu continues to lead the way in oil and natural gas with development of an alternative to seamless tubes. In his presentation,
Francois Weisang-Hoinard described a North Sea development project with customer Vallorec Umbilicals. Welded tubes, which, he says, are unquestionably the premium solution.
Innovation is no less critical in the chemical and heavy industry class. Formable duplex grade, Forta FDX offers increased formability combined with high strength. Other groundbreaking solutions include Supra 316plus, a new, improved austenitic that promises better material performance at an attractive price.
To deliver efficiency and improved processes, today’s chemical industry also relies heavily on advanced materials. Outokumpu’s development of lean duplex is an important example of this, says
Jürgen Korkhaus, head of BASF Germany’s materials engineering group, now retired.
Designing with confidence
In design engineering, awareness of advanced grades is crucial. Outokumpu’s material selection tools help engineers design with confidence and may provide the most cost-effective solutions for a specific application or environment. Many Outokumpu products meet the requirements of industry standards like the NORSOK.
Life-cycle costs must also be considered. Outokumpu customers appreciate how stainless steel contributes to sustainable solutions, but it is equally important to consider longevity. Investment costs don’t tell the whole story, says market analyst
Markus Moll. The founder and Managing Director of Steel & Metals Market Research (SMR) expects the worldwide stainless production to swell by 4.4 percent this year.