Cairo – As part of its commitment to improving industrial energy efficiency in Egypt and achieving the SDGs ABB, the leading power and automation technology group; organized an online panel discussion (Webinar) in cooperation with Ezz Steel on Sunday, December 3rd, 2023, entitled "Steel Making: The Paradox of Reducing OPEX and Increasing Efficiency". The panel discussion brought together distinguished speakers mainly Engineer/Mohamed Ismail, Services Division Manager, Motion-Egypt, North & Central Africa, and Engineer/Ayman Abdullah, Will Rod Mill Maintenance Senior Manager EZDK.
The panel discussion provided a platform to address the challenges faced by industries in Egypt while exploring opportunities for sustainable development. It also addressed the increased cost incurred by companies due to the transition to more energy-efficient practices.
The panel discussion was inaugurated by Engineer Mohamed Ismail, who explained that ABB always plans to introduce more solutions and innovations in the field of electricity, whether within Egypt or Africa. This includes addressing challenges related to energy management, power outages, power quality, enhancing energy efficiency, and establishing smart cities capable of conserving energy consumption and supporting the targeted digital transformation to achieve sustainable development goals. He pointed out that since industrial electric motors are responsible for 45% of global electricity consumption, improving their efficiency could potentially reduce carbon emissions from energy consumption by up to 40%, especially as the number of motors is expected to double by 2040.
Engineer Ismail also revealed the most prominent energy-efficient digital solutions that "ABB" utilizes in its various projects, and noted that in 2016, ABB Global launched a smart sensor intelligent solution, which uses industrial Internet of Things technologies to constantly monitor low voltage electric motors via a smartphone or web app. He added that the Smart ABBAbilityTM Sensor, surpasses its rivalries with its ease of installation on almost any engine and its accuracy in data transfers Engine data such as; vibration, temperature, loads, and power consumption are monitored on a 24/7 basis and transferred to cloud servers, to be analyzed. This facilitates the operators' mission who can easily take quick preemptive actions once they receive any alerts of abnormal data deviation thus preventing any breakdowns in real-time.
He also emphasized that data collection and data analysis enabled by the industrial Internet of Things increase knowledge and allow predictions and offer ample opportunity for earlier detection, better diagnostics, reducing the risks of downtime and unexpected failures, lowering repair costs, improving performance, and boosting efficiency. Early indicators suggest that the smart sensor solution leads to a reduction in motor downtime by up to 70% and extends its lifespan by up to 30%. He confirmed that working on data to enhance motor performance reduces energy consumption by up to 10%, highlighting that ABB's electric motors comply with international standards and contribute to reducing energy usage and costs. In the industrial sector, energy-efficient electric motors provide consistent performance and require less maintenance for optimal operation.
On the other hand, Engineer Ayman Abdullah stated, "We at Ezz Steel are committed to supporting energy efficiency practices in our factories and addressing the global challenge of emissions reduction. Our commitment is manifested in our ongoing collaboration with ABB on several projects over the past years where they provided us with several of their state-of-the-art technological techniques coupled with the implementation of some of their energy efficiency practices. The results are outstanding! For instance, the use of ABB motion controllers has notably enhanced energy efficiency in our wire rod rolling mills 1 and 2, and the wire rod rolling mill in Ezz El-Dekheila which contributed to achieving a world-record efficiency rate of 98% in material utilization within the wire rod rolling mill factory while reducing downtime with over than 30%."
“We are strong believers that ABB is a global leader in energy efficiency state-of-the-art technologies. Hence, we utilize ABB control systems in three of our direct reduction plants while ensuring that all our speed drive systems are from ABB, especially in the rolling mills. In addition, Ezz Steel prioritizes employee training and technology initiatives in collaboration with global tech firms and educational institutions. These programs implement best practices to improve performance, enhance energy efficiency, and ensure quality improvement.” He added.
Finally, Eng. Abdullah discussed the recommendations of the COP 27 Climate Conference held in Sharm El Sheikh last year and stated: "From my perspective, the most significant achievement at COP 27 was the release of the first report by the high-level expert team responsible for the commitment to net-zero emissions for non-governmental entities and the creation of a fund to compensate for "loss and damage" incurred by developing countries due to climate change. As COP 28 is currently taking place in Dubai, I see an immense necessity to shift the focus from negotiations to practical implementation. This includes delivering funds for climate action, adopting renewable energy strategies, and enhancing energy efficiency.”