Tag Archives: industrial

When in Cherepovets – visit Severstal Steel Plant.

My business schedule for this fall looks like it’ll be a full one, as usual. So it’s time to warm up before the long slog so as to ease into it gently and in high spirits… First up – a spot of the industrial

I’ve shown you pics of the iron-and-steel industry before here – from the Novolipetsk Steel Plant. But today you’re getting photos from another of KL’s respected customers…

Severstal! You no doubt will not have visited the city of Cherepovets :) or the Severstal steel mill here… but that’s just fine: I’ll be showing you around the latter in this here post – from where they turn ore (actually – agglomerate) into crude iron…

Read on: Converter, smelter, slabs, rolls!…

Hotel with a downside and 3D printing Singapore-style.

Once, many years ago (10 to be precise) I visited Pattaya, the resort city in Thailand. I was staying in a large hotel whose name I forget. The room was quite ordinary, but it had a magic number:


No word of a lie. When I asked for Wi-Fi on the beach, I had to give my name and my room number. It was funny saying “one-one-one-one-one” :) // Even back then, in ancient times, they already offered a Wi-Fi service on the beach. Even then. On the beach.

It’s a real shame that I lost the photos from that conference (they included some from partner parties). Nor do I have any pictures or recollections of happened there later. In fact, no one actually knows what happened there.

So, the hotel room number was 11111.

That’s great, but it was ages ago.

There are witnesses, but no evidence remains.

Nowadays, you get room numbers that look even more magical.

Believe it or not, but this was my room number in Singapore.

Read on: Hotel with a downside…

Flickr photostream

Instagram photostream

In Azerbaijan, Yes You Can (Find the First Ever Oil Well and Oil Rig).

A bit like how English and Russian sources give differing data on carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, so too do English and Russian sources regarding who first thought of boring into the ground to extract oil. For example, the Russian Wikipedia page for ‘oil well’ states that the first oil well ever was drilled in the Russian Empire – in Bibiheibet, in what is now Azerbaijan, in 1846. Whereas sources in English on the net state it was Drake Well in Pennsylvania that was first – in 1859. But if you dig deeper, it turns out oil was drilled in the USA a little earlier – in 1857; and three years before that – in Poland. While in ancient China (several centuries BC) they used bamboo to extract oil. However, concerning the modern industrial method of oil extraction, it was in fact Russian engineers here in Bibiheibet who were ahead of the others.

And here’s that very oil well:

I don’t think every wooden or metal part that makes up the whole of the installation today is an original from back in the day – not all would have been preserved so well, surely – but apparently some of them are the original items. Others clearly were replaced several decades after the well was first commissioned in 1846, like this piece:

~’Mechanical Factory … Baku, year 1900′

Read on: ‘First ever’ standings when it comes to oil extraction…->

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An Elevator in the Internet vs. the Internet in an Elevator.

I have a very high opinion of Schindler, the world’s leading manufacturer of elevators and escalators. (Next time you use these modes of transport, take note of the manufacturer’s logo.) In my view, this company deserves lots of respect and its business practices are worthy of study and emulation. However, when I see the company’s booth at an exhibition, replete with slogans like this, it sends a shiver down my spine, I start feeling uncomfortable about the world around me, and my left eye starts to twitch. Why?

There were three slogans that I had a particular problem with:

– How can I turn my elevator into a digital native?
– What is your elevator doing while you sleep?
– Can you meet your elevator online?

If you take a closer look, you can see them in this photo:

It may not bother everyone, but it makes me a little apprehensive. Of course, you understand… An elevator in the Internet is not as dangerous as the Internet in an elevator! OK, that’s tonight’s nightmares taken care of. No, I’m not trying to scare you. And I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to dream about the elevator from this cartoon!

The venue is Hannover Messe, the yearly mega-exhibition of industrial solutions. It’s all about automation, manufacturing, the energy industry, all sorts of robots, the rarest spare parts and other types of modern industrial magic.

Read on: Pretty interesting!…

Rock Steel ‘n’ Roll.

Ok, you’ve seen how the steel gets transformed from red hot slabs into pastry-thin sheets at the Novolipetsk Steel Plant already. Next up: the cold-rolling and polymer coatings workshop…

Rolls from the hot workshop are brought here and unwound onto conveyor belts and then shuffled about here and there and subjected to various technological processes to increase the steel’s quality, among other things.

Read on: Steel is everywhere…

Swan Lake.

Despite the wholly non-sterile conditions inside the Novolipetsk Steel Plant, on the outside you’d never know there was a mammoth industrial complex nearby. For the management take the ecology of the surrounding environment veeerrryyy seriously.

The above slide says: ‘More than $1.1 billion invested in ecology in 15 years. Lipetsk – the cleanest metal-producing city in the Russian Federation’. And you can probably guess what those figures in the clouds mean: the level of air pollution, with Lipetsk having the lowest level/number – 3.4.

Indeed, several years ago they decided to take air pollution really seriously here and cut it drastically – and it looks like they’ve done a good job of it. For dotted all around (inside) the complex healthy-looking trees grow. So healthy-looking that one visiting foreign delegation asked of the cedar trees ‘how often do you replace them?!’ Turns out they were never planted and all grew themselves of their own accord.

Read on: Swan lake…

Slabs Like It Hot.

Hi folks!

I told you the Novolipetsk Steel Plant is gargantuan, right? So it makes sense my report and pics from a visit thereto wouldn’t fit into just one post. Therefore – you guessed it – herewith, part two!…

All righty. 15 million tons of steel – that’s how much exactly? I mean, so ordinary Homo Sapiens can get their heads round it? Ok – here’s my attempt at quantification for the masses…

Now, you see the bright orange block in the following pic? It calls itself – would you believe it – a slab, and it weighs between 25 and 35 tons. Thus, 15 million tons of steel would be…


…~500,000 such slabs. Half a million. Still can’t picture that? I’ll try something else:

A cube of iron weighs 7.87 tons (steel weighs 7.85; that is, about the same. For present purposes the difference is insignificant). So, 15 million tons will be around 1.9 million cubic meters. And that will be a huge chunk of steel 100 meters across, 100 meters deep, and 200 meters high. And that would be like a 50-story skyscraper made out of solid steel. Or a square cube 125x125x125 meters. You getting a handle on the size now?

Read on: Slabs Like it hot…

How Much Steel?

So, boys and girls – how many of you have been to a steelmaking plant? A show of hands please…

Well, I’d not been to one either, but dreamed of doing so for a very long time. I wanted to have a look at the whole process, even if from a distance. To see how they load ore and coke into the blast furnace, hear it sizzle and fuse, and see the liquid metal getting poured to form red slabs of metal at thousand-degree temperatures to be rolled on the mill. I knew some of the theory and terminology, but had never seen the magic happen first-hand.

As if you couldn’t guess… finally – it came about! Our respected corporate customer Novolipetsk Steel invited us to Lipetsk for a look around!

Read on: our ride…

Industrial, Optical, Theoretical, Expositional.

This is a pair of very good binoculars for everyday usage. You never know when you might need to get a closer look of a mysterious object on the horizon, or check out what’s going on down by the entrance to your high-rise apartment block, or suddenly find yourself in a theater…

I’m no binoculars expert. But I don’t have to be to like using a pair. But that pair has to be a good pair. Can’t be having a pair that are tricky to adjust, that give an unclear image, and that don’t fit the eye sockets well. But with this pair was none of that. Clear, large images when looked through – you think you can touch the scene with your hand! When something 10 meters away is viewed, it feels like it’s right in front of you. A colossally class piece of kit:


// I wonder where you can buy a pair and how much they cost?

I still don’t know the answers to those two questions, since I was given a pair as a gift in the town of Lytkarino in the Moscow region – namely at the town’s optical glass plant, where they make the lenses for such binoculars. Here:

Yes, that's Lenin :)Yes, that’s Lenin :)

Read on: Three warnings…