IT and artificial intelligence will help to make a breakthrough in traditional industries

IT and artificial intelligence (AI) will make the Ukrainian steel industry more environmentally friendly. This opinion was expressed by Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest Group, at the B7 Italy 2024 conference, the company said in a statement.

According to him, industrial managers are usually interested in results rather than technology. However, he gave several examples of how digital technologies help manage business, even during the war.

«In 2021, Azovstal outperformed its competitors in terms of process efficiency thanks to AI and analytics. Using augmented reality, our specialists could perform maintenance twice as fast as most competitors in neighboring countries. The implemented “space” computer vision system set new standards for the quality of our products. Finally, the internal data management and communications system allowed us to run the company smoothly in the midst of the fiercest war in Europe since World War II,» said Ryzhenkov.

He reminded that the issue of the Green Deal is currently on almost every political table in Europe, the United States, China, and the world at large. Metallurgy is at the top of the agenda of this course as the main driver of the process. At the same time, however, the industry is very traditional, with technologies developed long ago, and it is impossible to make a major breakthrough now.

«We can only gradually improve the system. And when it comes to gradual improvements, this is where digitalization and artificial intelligence come in. This is what can make the industry not only greener, but also more efficient and competitive. That’s why many heavy industry leaders are now talking not just about a green transition, but about green and digital transitions for our industries,» noted the CEO of Metinvest.

Yuriy Ryzhenkov believes that the transition to the Green Deal will not be easy due to the lack of IT specialists to work on the transformation. According to him, 5-7 years ago, the group was looking for metallurgical engineers who could be trained in information technology. Now the situation has changed, and IT specialists are being trained to teach metallurgy, who will be the main ones in the company’s green and digital transition.

Еhe first meeting of B7 Italy 2024 was organized by Confindustria, an association of Italian companies. The event, which aims to facilitate dialogue between businesses and governments of the G7 countries, took place in Verona on March 13. The conference was attended by more than 250 guests, including CEOs and business leaders from G7 countries and international companies, as well as Adolfo Urso, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Made in Italy.

Yuriy Ryzhenkov told PwC in an interview that Metinvest’s strategy for a green transition remains unchanged despite the war. At the same time, Ukraine is currently seeking to accelerate its path to EU membership, so it has to make the transformation faster than expected.