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Smart tech takes on the liquid-steel manufacturing challenge

Steel giants Dofasco and Algoma eye links with universities to test potential for automated processes, product development.

Published by: Jennifer Lewington, Special to the Globe and Mail

Steel-making is a science but still relies on experienced human operators at key stages of production.

But what if “smart” technology replaced manual tasks with digital sensors that consistently update information and reveal insights impossible to detect with the trained eye – or brain?

Answering the “what if” question is a top priority for Canadian steel giant ArcelorMittal Dofasco as it strives to compete globally. To speed the hunt for answers – when Canadian steel already is under siege from U.S. tariffs in a burgeoning global trade war – the Hamilton-based manufacturer hopes to join forces with innovative startups, university researchers and even a competitor, Essar Steel Algoma Inc., to promote a new generation of manufacturing.

Read more to learn more about manufacturing industries using technology to create "smart factories" fit for long-term global competitiveness.