Innovation and technological development are essential to the steel industry, as they allow the creation of products and materials of higher quality and added value, increasing productivity, profitability, and business growth while also having a significant impact on people's life quality.
Some examples of innovation and development are the new casting, rolling, and control techniques, which have helped improve steel production methods to create designs that are more resistant to corrosion, pressure, and extreme temperatures. While recycling processes have become more efficient, resource and energy consumption have also been reduced for a more sustainable operation.
In a complex global context, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development highlights the link between the innovation efforts, their results, and the impact on the growth of the steel industry for the following reasons:
- Steel companies face an increasingly competitive global market where a differentiated and technically more advanced product can reach higher value segments.
- Global environmental challenges are advancing rapidly including, for example, climate change. To face these challenges, operating models are required that allow more efficient use of resources, in addition to reducing the emission of pollutants.
The steel industry has made remarkable efforts and is constantly investing in innovation, development, and training programs together with government organisms, educational institutions, and communities for more sustainable steel.
New technologies and efficient processes are the basis for an increasingly sustainable steel.
Areas for Education
The Roberto Rocca Technical School (ETRR, for its acronym in Spanish), located in Pesqueria, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, is an example of this innovation as it is an academic excellence project of the Ternium Foundation for Education, which offers young people in the area a solid technical training to find opportunities, grow as professionals, and obtain an income that grants them a better life quality.
The ETRR has 12 classrooms with a wireless network, a library with a physical and digital collection, a multipurpose gym, a dining room with catering service, an auditorium, and a parking lot, capable of accommodating 384 students of the mechatronics and electromechanics high school programs.
This sustainable project has received the environmental certification Gold LEED due to its design and construction, and because it is environmentally friendly regarding energetic issues and the use of resources.
With a 30-million dollar initial investment, the Roberto Rocca Technical School started classes in August 2016. Four years later, the school celebrated the graduation of its second graduating class (2017-2020) in a virtual ceremony in which Máximo Vedoya, the CEO of Ternium, and César Jiménez, Executive President of the company in Mexico, attended.
The number of graduates is much higher than the national average. 97% of the people enrolled have completed their studies. This is largely due to the support that the school gives to students through scholarships, some of which cover up to 96% of their studies. It is expected that 48% of these students will continue with their university studies while the rest will start a new job.
With a 30-million dollar initial investment, the Roberto Rocca Technical School started classes in August 2016.
In 2019, the quality of the Roberto Rocca Technical School was acknowledged with the Steelies award, granted by the World Steel Association, in the category of Excellence in Education and Training.
Since March and in compliance with the National Healthy Distance Campaign, the campus has initiated a program of online classes to continue education without risking the health of students, teachers, and their families. To this end, teachers were trained and 311 laptops were donated to students, as well as free psychological care and food supplies for vulnerable families.