The World Refractories Association (WRA) has met for its general assembly and conference on innovation in Beijing. Top class experts joined representatives of the association’s member companies, to discuss the future of the refractories industry.
Organised by the Association of China Refractories Industry (ACRI), the second day was dedicated to the Innovation Conference, named ‘future trends in refractories.’ High-level industry speakers were invited to discuss approaches to innovation. These figures included the following: Luis Rodolfo Mariani Bittencourt (RHI Magnesita), Zhou Ningsheng (Henan University of Science and Technology), R Joe Yi (Vesuvius Marketing and Technology, China and North Asia), Liu Baikuan (Puyang Refractories Group Co. Ltd), Zhao Jizeng (Beijing LIRR High-Temperature Materials Co. Ltd), and Huang Ao (Wuhan University of Science and Technology).
“China is the largest producer and consumer of refractory in the world,” said Yue Quanhua, a representative of the Chinese government. “After nearly seven decades of development, especially the promotion of reform, China’s refractory industry has given full play to its unique advantages in resources and costs. Technique, technology, and equipment levels have been continuously improved, the varieties have continuously been optimised, and the product has been improved.”
“To promote the sustained and healthy development of the global refractory industry, we are willing to strengthen in-depth cooperation and work together with international counterparts and investors, partners, and upstream and downstream customers in various regions of the world under the new situation and at the new historical starting point,” said Liu Wei, Vice President of ACRI.
“It is our task to push the WRA forward,” said Stefan Borgas, President of the WRA and CEO of RHI Magnesita. “The WRA plays a fundamental role in promoting the refractories industry beyond the perceptional threshold, to make our industry visible to the external world. Refractories are truly fundamental for modern societies. I want to improve the understanding of our industry as an industry with purpose. We are an indispensable requirement for most important industrial sectors and we need to align forces with other relevant players to tackle the challenges our societies face, being part of the solution and contributing to sustainable wealth globally. That’s why it takes innovation. And innovation takes courage and vision.
“Now, at a time when free trade is under pressure from several sides, we must be aware that free trade is essential for us and we discussed ways to improve it. Digitisation is such a strong stream, which brings and forces innovation in all areas of our societies – also in areas beyond 1200°. It offers potential along the whole value chain, starting with more efficient mining, to better production quality in our kilns and new recycling opportunities. However, digitisation is certainly not a no-brainer.”
The WRA constitutes a forum to debate regulatory issues affecting global trade, circulate aggregated industry statistics, promote the interests of the worldwide refractory industry, and act as a counterpart to other world industry organisations.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/asia-pacific-rim/20112018/the-world-refractories-association-meets-for-conference-on-innovation/