Online exclusive: Metso Outotec on sustainability, innovations and new tech
By Andy Brown20 April 2022
In the most recent issue of International Construction magazine (view it online here) a feature was run on quarrying and mining. Get more information about this sector with an online exclusive interview with industry expert Ilpo Nieminen, Director, R&D and Innovations, Metso Outotec.
International Construction: What are the biggest trends in your sector? Is sustainability at the heart of what OEMs and customers want?
Ilpo Nieminen: Megatrends like urbanisation, growth of the middle class, scarcity of natural resources, circular economy and climate change all affect aggregates industry. Our customers are looking for solutions and technologies to get business advantage, more performance, and cost reductions, and the licence to operate, too. Safety is top priority and sustainability is becoming more and more important for our customers: electricity usage and use of energy are very much on their agenda. Automation and digitalisation are still hot topics, and the availability of skilled workforce is an important aspect when developing products and services for our customers.
Is this the case all around the world, or are sustainability-related issues a bigger priority in some markets, such as Europe?
Of course, there is differences between the market areas. Europe is leading the approach in sustainability, but, for example, electricity is an important topic not only in Europe, but, for example, in China, too. Reduction of CO2, solutions for energy efficiency and technologies for dust and noise reduction are becoming more and more important in many market areas.
Can you tell us about some of the newest innovations from Metso Outotec?
We have launched new crushers and mobile crushing and screening products to offer more performance, as well as safe & easy-to-own solutions for our customers. Safety is always a top priority, and we are launching new sustainable innovations, too. These include, for example, the new Lokotrack e-Power range providing electrified solutions, new features in crusher control and automation that offer energy savings, performance and reliability, and the new Lokotrack UrbanTM products’ technologies and solutions that reduce noise and dust emissions.
How is Metso Outotec using digitisation and automation with its products?
We see digitalisation and automation as an integrated part of our core offering and solutions. Our crusher and process control features are there to help our customers to achieve the best performance, the highest uptime and minimised CO2 and energy consumption. Remote operating solutions and connectivity features to reporting systems like Metso Outotec Metrics are there for all our products. Data is used to develop our service business and our products, too.
Is Artificial Intelligence something that the industry is using more and more?
Artificial intelligence is in use already and there are possibilities to use it more. Even though solutions to use artificial intelligence to monitor product size distribution and sensor data for crusher control exist already, there are still some technology challenges to be solved before the use of artificial intelligence becomes more common. When the technologies related to robust sensors develop, more data can be used for aftermarket needs and crusher and process control. This provides opportunities for crushing and screening process optimisation.
Can you give us any indications about some new innovations and technologies Metso Outotec is working on now for the future?
We are putting efforts to provide our customers easy crushing and screening by safe and easy-to-own solutions to achieve the best performance and the highest uptime in the future, too. Our heart is in compressive crushing, and it is still in our focus. At the same time, we are investing to provide a sustainable dual-power mobile crushing and screening offering to the market. Technologies related digitalisation and automation are in our focus as an integrated part of our products and services.