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3 Ways to Help Every Associate Excel at Work

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Opportunity and Creativity Go Hand-in-Hand

As a company that’s entrepreneurial in its approach to business, Pacesetter knows that the right team makes all the difference in the success or failure of any venture.

This applies to our associates as well as business partners. Our company, for instance, relies on partners and associates to do the best work possible.

But, how  do you get the most out of a team? Set it up so that each individual associate can excel at their job. Here’s how we do it.

1. Hiring the right people

The process starts, of course, by hiring great people. When hiring, we look for a combination of skill and character — people that are smart, curious, hungry and honest. But, that’s not enough in and of itself to stimulate a business. If you box associates into one responsibility, they won’t show their potential — they will do what they are asked and not much more.

The right hires want to grow with the company, either by taking on new responsibilities in the role they start with or by  changing roles.

2. Giving associates opportunity for growth

At Pacesetter, we work to give every associate plenty of opportunity, and then see how far they can go. This does require they have the support they need and that the paths of communication are open- including open door policies at the senior management level. We encourage associates to brainstorm and, once they have a plan, make sure they have the practical things they need (correct training, new software, maybe, or even an airplane ticket) and know which of their team members  are going to back them up. Trust and teamwork  are  mandatory!

3. Involving and listening to every associate

If there’s a challenge, or opportunity, the company is facing, we actively solicit ideas from the whole team. We don’t want anyone to have a great solution and keep it to themselves just because “it’s not in my job description.” It is an expectation of each Pacesetter associate to share these solutions.

Fair warning, though: this out-of-the-box approach also means there will be stumbling blocks and even a few failures. It’s important to learn to tolerate mistakes and help find ways to overcome challenges and improve. As long, of course, as the mistakes aren’t constant and the company isn’t at risk!

By giving all of our associates creative responsibility and allowing them to prove themselves, each person enhances the whole company. When every team member has the freedom to explore new ideas and  recommend new proposals, it helps the business grow and flourish.

Have the Right People? Find the Right Benefits

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We always talk about making sure our customers are satisfied, but we don’t talk about associate satisfaction nearly enough. It’s not just a matter of rewarding them for their hard work, it’s a matter of being genuinely concerned for their well-being.

One of the ways employers can indicate this concern is by effectively meeting the needs of their associates through their company benefits. In today’s job market, benefits are held in higher regard than a pay raise. As younger generations begin to enter the job market, they want to know they’ll be taken care of in the future.

Ask the right questions

The most effective way to successfully match your benefits to the needs of your associates is by asking them directly: what benefits are most important to you? As long as you listen in the right way, your associates will feel validated, and at the same time you will be gaining valuable insights you can use when evaluating your current benefits.

Associates want to give the best to their employers, but in order to do that, they need freedom. According to the Harvard Business Review, the most desirable associate benefits, after comprehensive health insurance, are as follows:

  • More flexible hours
  • More vacation time
  • Work-from-home options
  • Student loan assistance

Associates want benefits that will allow them to work both flexibly and efficiently. For example, by having the option to work-from-home, associates often end up producing more efficient work because they don’t have to manage the time loss of a commute and generally report feeling less stressed.

While this particular example may not be an option for all associates (it’s impossible to drive a forklift remotely!) this valued benefit can be applied to many departments.

If you want to create a mentally healthy office, try and reduce or eliminate stress. One of the best ways to do that is with better benefits. Benefits allow associates to easily integrate their work and personal lives and maintain focus where it’s needed in the office.

Consider them all

Benefits are not a one-size-fits-all; not all associates will have the same needs. This is why there is such a wide range of benefits that any given company can and should offer to their associates.

  • Health insurance is ranked most important for associates when considering employment. Most insurers and health plans will require employers to contribute at least half of the premium cost for covered associates. Studies have shown that on average, there is a significant difference between employer contribution to single and family coverage. This ignores the needs of a large number of associates, those who are parents and have an obligation to the health of their spouses and children.
  • Paid Time Off is a close second. Work can be a stressful environment for any associate. Time off offers many benefits for the employer and the associate, which include an increase in productivity as well as morale. Every associate has a life outside of work that requires their attention. When associates feel they are able to give equal attention to all of their needs, both in and out of the workplace, they’ll feel more positive. This will certainly reflect in their work.
  • Bereavement leave is a maximum of three days taken by an associate on the death of an immediate family member. There is no real way to measure the sufficient amount of time needed to recover after the loss of a loved one. Pressuring an associate to return to work too soon after such a devastating event can have highly negative results, both to the individual and the company. 
  • Maternity leave has been a popular topic as of lately. Having to focus on the responsibilities of work as well the demand of a newborn baby can adversely affect the associate’s mental state both at work and at home. Both are high-stress environments for a mother and time away from work to focus on their maternal duties encourages a healthy state of mind.

Know your associates

As an employer, simply knowing your associates and their needs puts your business in good standing. Happy associates will work at their greatest potential compared to associates who feel overworked and overstressed. Every associate requires different needs and being able to identify and support each need to the best of the company’s ability helps reinforce a stronger core in your business. Satisfied associates make for a successful business.

The Steel vs Aluminum Rivalry

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In the metals industry today, a hot topic is that of steel vs aluminum. Both materials are readily available, both are recyclable, and both offer corrosion resistance. So what is driving the hype, and the competitive nature of this rivalry?

It first came to my personal attention around 2010 when I was at a traditional carbon steel coil processor, and I saw aluminum being processed for Camaro and Mustang hoods. This was a part of the drive towards lighter weight vehicles for improved fuel mileage under the mandate of the CAFE standards.  CAFE standards (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) in a nutshell, are minimum mile-per-gallon requirements set by vehicle class by the government. In the early 2000’s when it became apparent lighter weight materials would be more in demand, the steel industry got very serious about developing lighter gauge, but much higher strength steels. A few other industries followed automotive’s suit and looked at lighter gauge/higher strength steel.

From the November 2017 AIST article by Sam Kusic, “First came the surprise when Ford Motor Co. announced in 2012 that it would make an aluminum-bodied version of its F-150 pickup truck. And then came the panic when the forecasts began to emerge of a major shift in materials choice for North American pickup trucks. One, in fact, predicted that 75% of North American pickups would have an aluminum body by 2025. But a funny thing happened on the way to the automotive steel apocalypse — it never happened. And since the Ford announcement, no other automakers have announced an aluminum-intensive lightweighting strategy for their vehicles, according to Jody Hall, automotive vice president for the Steel Market Development Institute. “But you hear a lot about how automakers are utilizing the latest grades of high-strength steel and advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) to better design their vehicles and achieve the mass reduction they need at the performance they desire,” said Hall. “And we even have seen some companies going back from aluminum to steel,” she said. Jody goes on to say, “Steel remains an attractive material because the combination of its performance — its strength and durability — and cost-effectiveness in terms of mass reduction make it an optimal choice.”

So for Pacesetter and the manufacturers we supply, what factors should we consider?

Let’s quickly examine both materials.

Steel is made of alloys of iron and carbon. Aluminum’s base is bauxite, which is mined primarily in tropical areas. Bauxite is ground into a paste called alumina, which is then smelted with molten cryolite and induced with electrical shock. The ions separate, and the liquid cools and becomes aluminum.

Cost – Aluminum is much more expensive than carbon steel. Repairing aluminum is also more expensive than repairing steel.

Formability – Aluminum is very malleable and formable but so are steel grades designed for high elongation %, such as FS and DS, DDS and EDDS.

Corrosion Resistance – Aluminum is highly corrosion resistant. As-is, it does not require further treatment (i.e. chem-treats, paint, coatings, etc…). However, carbon steel even when galvanized, chem-treated, and painted is still cheaper than aluminum.

Weight – Aluminum is lighter than steel since it is less dense. However, that difference in density leads us to strength…

Strength – Carbon steel wins. Steel’s carbon content makes it harder, more dent resistant, and more durable when stressed. Steel is strong and less likely to warp, deform or bend under weight, force or heat. For appearance, steel is also less likely to scratch.

The bottom line: A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study with cost models demonstrates aluminum to be significantly more costly than steel – not just initially but overall. Study results show (A) production of aluminum is two to three times more expensive than steel, (B) manufacturing and assembly with aluminum is 20 % to 30 % more expensive than steel, and (C) the mass reduction with steel can be achieved at very low cost, while engineering studies show low-density materials like aluminum cost more in engineering per pound savings in weight.

Where aluminum really shines is in aerospace applications, where lightweight is absolutely essential to facilitate a plane or a rocket to get off the ground. For most manufacturing though, steel is still the go-to metal of choice.

Inspiring Gratitude in the Workplace

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As Thanksgiving approaches people seem to divide into two camps. Some try harder than usual to find reasons to be thankful while others seem to sink under holiday stress.

At Pacesetter we try to stick to the first camp, and help our associates do the same. Gratitude in the workplace, of course, isn’t just for the holiday season. With a little effort it can be year-round.

Here are a few ways to inspire gratitude in the workplace.

Say Thanks!

Just because doing the job is the job, (the activity that earns a paycheck) doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be thanked for their efforts. In fact, in today’s culture, when common courtesy seems to have flown out the window, it’s more important than ever to say, “thank-you.”

It means a lot to have colleagues and managers notice the work that’s done, so make sure associates (and managers) know their efforts are appreciated.

Meetings are a Chance to Pump Up Positivity

Meetings are inevitable and necessary, but they are also a great time to work on gratitude. Instead of opening with a monologue about the new software updates, or the need to hit end-of-year goals, try going around the table and asking each associate to share something happy, something they’re proud of or thankful for.

This allows people to focus on the good and the possible, rather than sit and be silently stressed about work challenges. Yes, there are always things to be concerned about but leading with positives sets a much better tone for the meeting.

Be Generous

There are two things that everyone, from the CEO to the newest hire, often needs more of: time and money. Top leadership and even mid-level managers can work on the making sure that the corporate culture supports things like flexible scheduling, bonuses and generous time-off policies.

Giving more of these two things, time and money will pay off ten times over when associates feel that they are the recipients of generosity. The more people receive, the more they can give back.

Actually Give Back, to the Wider Community

Multiple studies have shown the positive effects of giving. Giving back makes people feel good, can change their world view from glass-half-empty to glass-half-full, and when one person gives it often inspires gratitude and a desire to give in others.

At Pacesetter, we participate in multiple ways to give back throughout the year.  We give donations to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Susan G. Komen foundation, United Way and many others.  Pacesetter also encourages their associates to volunteer their time to give back to their own communities, including charity events, community involvement and philanthropic endeavors.  

Taking the time to create gratitude in the workplace is well worth the effort. Stronger teams, happier associates and a focus on common courtesy all make for a better workplace, for everyone.

How a Mature Industry Attracts Young Workers

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The historic images are iconic. Young, strong, men working at shipyards, in front of foundries spewing heat and flame, on top of steel beams while constructing the tallest buildings in the world.

Today, the face of the steel industry has changed. It’s no longer just a man’s profession, as Pacesetter’s CEO, Aviva Leebow Wolmer, proves, and the heavy lifting is often done, or at least assisted, by machines.

Still, steel needs the same thing all other industries want, the thing we used to have by the thousands: young workers.

Because young workers aren’t just the laborers of the past, they’re the leaders of tomorrow. They’re also the largest workforce in the country.

The Pew Research Center defines millennials as the 75.4 million people in the U.S. who were between the ages of 18 and 34 in 2015. That makes them the nation’s largest, living, generation.

How to attract the best of brightest of this group?

First believe in them. Millennials have gotten a bit of bad press, and some of it may be true. But they also choose careers based on their passions and beliefs.

The Atlantic reported, in 2015, that 57% of younger Americans said their number one career priority was “was doing something that they found enjoyable or making a difference in society.” So be passionate about their passion, and represent your company as being a great place to work– a place that you are passionate about.

Then, offer training. There’s clearly a huge, immediate, advantage to hiring people who have, as part of their culture, technological savvy and comfort with transition. But there’s also industry and office knowledge that they will need to succeed. While younger workers don’t have years of bad habits, they may also be stymied by existing systems. Actual skills training, as well as mentorship, will give the new workers a great chance at contributing to the company’s overall success.

Flexibility, both with generational differences and schedules, is also mandatory when trying to attract millennials. They have been raised that it’s possible to do just about anything, anytime and anywhere. So, why should 9-to-5 appeal to them? While it’s true that some work must be physically done on site, the ability to think creatively about shifts and schedules will go a long way towards attracting and retaining younger workers.

Nothing stays the same, not in the steel industry or in any industry. But with the help of this new generation, and great guidance, mentoring and outside-the-box thinking, the future will be as good, if not better, than history looks in those iconic photos.

Why Steel Remains Strong in a World of Composites

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According to Thoughtco.com, a “composite” is formed when two or more different materials are combined to create a “new” and unique material. This is an extremely broad definition that holds true for all composites. More recently the term “composite” frequently describes reinforced plastics, particularly Fiber Reinforced Plastics. To an extent, these materials are competing with steel today.

Common composites include: Fiberglass, Carbon Fiber, Aramid Fiber, Boron Fiber, Basalt Fiber, Natural Fibers (composites of Wood, Flax, Hemp, etc.). Within the fiberglass family there is Epoxy, Vinyl Ester, Polyester, Polyurethane, and Polypropylene.

These materials are so “modern” compared to steel. Doesn’t modern mean better?

As we have written previously, steel is the #1 most recycled material in the world – 100% recyclable – which, coupled with a low carbon footprint, makes for a truly sustainable material. Plastics and composites in most forms are simply NOT recyclable. So while lightweight and corrosion-resistant, the long-term look is much less attractive. Even short-term, composites are less attractive for cost. Typically per pound they are more expensive than even stainless steel. Some industry analysts say that composite’s true place in industry are as repair and patching materials, not as the foundation material. (Remember Bondo?)

But sustainability isn’t the only reason steel remains strong. Its backbone, a very high strength-to-weight ratio still makes it the material of choice for structural integrity; and not just the type of strength that’s allowed bridges to span rivers and buildings to stand for years, but strength enough to adapt to the times. The new, advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) are meeting needs in the automotive and aerospace industries and beyond. 

Last thoughts on plastics and composites with non-biodegradable materials:

  • The recent plastic garbage patch found in the Pacific is larger in square miles than the entire country of Mexico. And that’s just one of a few patches in the oceans.
  • According to National Geographic, over 8 million TONS of new plastic garbage is entering the environment every year, and the number grows by year.
  • Remember the steel recycling percentage? Close to 100%? With plastics a shocking 91% is NOT recycled.

 

Composites and plastics? I’ll stick with steel.

Becoming a Communication Master!

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To write that communication is key to any successful relationship, whether at work or in personal life, almost goes without saying.  Except, being a master of communication means never assuming that anything “goes without saying”!

At Pacesetter, we take communication so seriously that “Becoming a Communication Master” is part of our Pacesetter Way, a list of fundamental behaviors that guide our associates.  We believe that the best way to communicate effectively is to say (and write) what you mean, clearly, and to make sure that you are speaking for yourself, not others.

How?  Here are three tips that will help you avoid communication pitfalls.

Communicate clearly, using exact language about deadlines and expectations.

In the Pacesetter Way we describe this as, “Say what you mean by being clear with direct requests.”  Doing this is easy if you think like a newspaper reporter and cover the five Ws: who; what; why; when; where. So, instead of asking for a draft of the presentation “sometime soon,” ask for a solid draft that includes all ten discussed slides in Power Point, with suggested graphics, by noon on Thursday.  That way there is less chance for a miscommunication to happen.

If you need to communicate detailed requirements with a related timeline, everyone will appreciate that you reduced it to writing in a document they can refer back to later.  Even if you hold a meeting, a handout reduces the chance of the requirements being understood differently than intended.

Start conversations with the most important point.

 Lead with the main point of your communication.  Don’t make your audience search for the piece of information you considered the most important.

Also don’t detract from the main point by using terms or acronyms with which everyone may not be familiar.  Your audience will appreciate any acronyms being defined the first time they are used.

Choose your medium based on your audience’s preference, not yours. 

If the needed communication is “one-on-one,” remember that some people remember conversations better while others prefer something visual like an email.  If you meet someone for the first time, don’t hesitate to ask them their preferred mode of communication.  You may prefer email, but if you adapt to their preference of a phone call or a visit you will be perceived as a good communicator and position yourself for more successful exchanges.

So let’s summarize (also a good idea!).  Always be clear and direct, lead with your most important point, and, if you want to take your communication skills to the next level, adapt to your audience’s preferred style.  Take advantage of these three tips today and start mastering good communication!

 

 

 

pacesetter-rolled-steel-service-center

A Guide to Steel Processing

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At Pacesetter, we start with prime flat rolled steel (from domestic and offshore mills) to provide our customers with galvanized, cold rolled, galvanneal, aluminized, stainless, and bonderized steel products.

Pacesetter offers three traditional services which include, slitting, blanking / multi-blanking and cut-to-length. Other services that can be added while processing in our service centers are beading sheets and adding strippable. Some of Pacesetters outside processors can perform additional processes such as embossing, perforating and prepainting.

Basic Processing: Slitting, Blanking and Cut-to-Length

Slitting steel is, essentially, a cutting process. Large rolls or coils of steel are cut lengthwise to create strips of metal that are narrower than the original in width. This is an automated process where the master coil is run through a machine that has very sharp rotary blades, one upper and one lower, often called “knives.”

While the knives, clearly, are key to the process the un-coiler, knives and re-coiler must all be aligned and set correctly (knife clearance and uncoil/recoil tension levels are critical) in order to avoid problems. Dull knives along with a bad set-up can lead to burred edges, edge wave, camber, crossbow, knife marks, or slit widths that don’t meet specs.

Another basic processing application is blanking.  A blanking line will uncoil the material, level it, and cut it to a specified length and width.  As a result, a blank normally goes directly into the manufacturing process without being re-sheared. In order to achieve the desired tolerance, blanking lines utilize a close tolerance feed system, side trimmers and in-line slitters.

Cut-to-length lines are generally thought of as systems that produce sheets. Sheets are cut to a standard size and typically re-sheared at the end user. In order to achieve flatness tolerances, cut-to-length equipment needs to have precision corrective levelers. These levelers elongate the steel beyond its yield point (the amount of stress the steel can take at the onset of permanent deformation) in order to remove internal stresses and produce a flat sheet.

Common Finishing Options in Steel Processing

The most common method of perforating metal uses a rotary pinned perforation roller. This is a large cylinder with sharp, pointed needles on the outside to punch holes into the metal. As the sheet metal is run across the perforation roller, it rotates, continuously punching holes in the passing sheet. The needles on the roller, which can produce a wide variety of hole sizes, are sometimes heated to simultaneously melt the metal which forms a reinforced ring around the perforation.

Pre-painting steel is common customer need. Pre-painted steel is produced by a direct application of paint (after cleaning and priming) onto steel sheet in a coil-coating line. Coil-line painting can be used to apply a paint coating directly on the uncoated steel sheet or on metallic-coated steel sheet, including galvanized. Pre-painting increases the anti-corrosive properties of steel.

Embossing is a metal forming process for producing raised or sunken designs or relief in sheet material by means of matched male and female roller dies, theoretically with no change in metal thickness, or by passing sheet or a strip of metal between rolls of the desired pattern.

Finally, there is fabrication, where steel is actual made into a “part.” Usually the metal is bent, or formed, into specific shapes to be used in manufacturing. Fabricating can create a piece that’s as complicated as a car body, or as simple as a panel.

Steel is strong, durable and the ideal material for everything from HVAC ductwork to railway cars. It takes steel processing and finishing to turn a master coil into a finished part.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, Atlanta: In Our Fifth Year and Still Going Strong!

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Giving back to our community is as much a part of the culture at Pacesetter as being family focused and customer experience driven. We support our greater communities in many ways, one of which is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, Atlanta.

Since 2013 a group of Pacesetter associates have been getting together as a team to train, fundraise, and then walk 60 miles, all to give back, supporting the Susan G Komen 3-Day, Atlanta.

From late summer through November each year walks take place around the country. This year, in Atlanta, the walk began on October 13th. Day one starts with Opening Ceremonies at Stone Mountain Park, where all walkers begin the route. The weather that day was overcast, 82 degrees and so humid it felt about twice that temperature.

It was a new route on day one, and a tough one at that!

The Pacesetter team, the Big Ol’ Shantys, consisted of four walkers committed to the three day event. One walker committed to the one day route and two crew members joined the four  teammates, and hundreds of men and women gathered to walk 60 miles across Atlanta over the course of three days. The official fundraising goal for each individual was to raise a minimum of $2,300, but here at Pacesetter we blew that out of the water, collectively raising over $17,000.

Each night we hit the campground, and sheltered in our pink tent to get some food, and sleep, and restore ourselves to walk again tomorrow.

Yes, it’s hard to take time away from daily life to commit to this cause.  So, a huge shoutout to our associates who did it!

  • Team members: Corri Green, Jacob Matthews, Tait Feisler, Marcia Feisler and Jeff Derenski
  • Crew members: Michael Parker and Jeff Terrell

The training is hard and there are sore feet, but the bonding and the sharing and the energy make this event more than worthwhile. As, of course, does the cause: fighting breast cancer.

Since 2003, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day has had more than 500,000 people walk over 32 billion steps collectively– that’s 33 times the distance to the moon and back. Between training, days in the sun and nights in tents, the journey has changed countless lives. It’s also raised more than $800,000,000 for cutting-edge research and life-saving breast cancer treatment programs.

It makes us feel great that we’re part of this extraordinary effort. The really good news is that the incidence of breast cancer, in the U.S., has been decreasing since the year 2000. However, it’s estimated that, in 2017, more than 250,000 women and over 2,400 men will be diagnosed with the disease.

Clearly, there’s a long way to go before breast cancer is eradicated. At Pacesetter, we will continue to  help our friends, associates, and loved ones get there, one dollar and one step (or 32 billion!) at a time.

Steel’s Growing Role in Sustainable Design

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Sustainability is one of the foremost aspects of steel in relation to the environment, quality, and overall durability. As we have discussed in previous articles, steel is one of mankind’s oldest utilized tool and building materials. It is 100% recyclable and incredibly durable and energy efficient. As such, it has always had a role in sustainable design—and one that is only destined to grow along with demand for eco-friendly solutions. 

Were you aware that the world’s #1 most recycled material is steel? Many people think aluminum, but it is steel. According to IISI (International Iron & Steel Institute) the 20 billionth ton of steel was recycled in 2007. Ok you think, so it’s recycled, no big deal… In addition to the vast tonnages recycled, what is highly interesting is that steel is the only material that can be infinitely recycled and never lose its quality – it does not lose its properties.

 

Steel’s sustainability

Steel is at the forefront of advancements in sustainability. A design is truly sustainable when it meets the needs of the present, efficiently, without compromising the needs of future generations; and steel products that are structurally and operationally efficient fit the bill.

Steel is inherently sustainable. Besides its recyclability, steel has a high strength-to-weight ratio, coupled with a low carbon footprint, making for an overall reduction of embodied carbon. Steel structures are low-maintenance and designed for deconstruction, reducing waste and costs of upkeep.

Though steel has been around for so long, it is changing with the times. Of particular interest are the new advanced high strength steels – a key component to steel’s sustainability today. Government standards are continuously pushing the automotive, truck, and bus industries towards better and better fuel economy. Due to that, aluminum became a player in the automotive world due to its much lighter weight and corrosion resistance. The steel industry rose to the challenge. With advanced high strength steels, automotive steel is getting thinner and thinner, lighter in weight, all while improving strength and passenger safety. Aerospace steels are going the same route; Huge cargo ships, larger than ever, are also going thinner and lighter with the use of high strength steels. Lighter ships equal more voyages on less gallons of fuel – that is sustainability.

One item in the news recently…earthquakes. According to IISI, steel pipe has the best capacity of any other material to withstand the seismic action of earthquakes.

 

An eco-friendly future

Analysis of steel constructed buildings shows that water consumption, waste, and even fuel-consuming trips to and from building sites are ALL reduced when steel is the primary material. In energy consumption, steel keeps leading when construction is complete. Steel cladding protects a building from the elements, and again, the high strength steels have reduced the size of beams needed to achieve the same or greater strength than in the past. Smaller beams quickly add up to more useful square footage within a building.

Growing emphasis on solar power and water conservation are also promising for the steel industry. For instance, steel frames are often used for solar thermal panels. Thermal solar systems also produce hot water and are one of the most popular uses of solar energy. But, where would the water be stored if not in large, steel, tanks?

Steel machinery, implements, and related technology have enabled the world’s farms to feed our burgeoning population. Today in developed countries less than 3% of people farm. 100 years ago that number was close to 75%. Seed technology has improved and the steel-built machines, grain elevators, storage and transportation have kept up.

All things considered, it’s remarkable how many ways this ancient material feeds “new” sustainability trends—trends that, ultimately, will benefit the planet and its many inhabitants.