Heavy industry plays its own significant climate change role. The media often highlights for example air travel and the meat industry as mainly responsible for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. But, as a matter of fact, heavy industry is a bigger source of CO2 emissions than air travel and all other transport modes combined.
Luxmet is on an important mission in cutting down CO2 emissions. Its ArcSpec solution is being applied in heavy industry, more specifically in steel production. Steel is now and will continue in the future to be an important part of sustainable development. Without steel, a low-carbon future is not possible: wind power and other renewable energy forms demand steel.
Steel is produced in two alternative ways: the traditional model is to mine ore and refine it into steel in a blast furnace. Another more environmentally friendly method, is to utilize recycled steel: used metal is melted with electricity in a so-called electric arc furnace. This electric arc method generates merely a third of the CO2 emissions compared with blast furnace technology.
Luxmet’s ArcSpec technology makes electric arc furnaces even more environmentally friendly. According to Luxmet’s CEO Mikko Jokinen:
“Our solution analyzes all essential activities happening inside the furnace and therefore enables the optimization of the whole production process. Temperature’s inside the furnace can reach even 2000 degrees Celsius, so we attach our light-measuring sensors on top of the furnace’s roof. From there the observations are transferred to a nearby computer where the data is analyzed in real time.”
Founded in 2014, Luxmet’s technology is based on research from Oulu University. Jokinen joined the team when the research results were strong enough to start a company. Since then the company has expanded its operations: paying customers can at the moment be found in Finland, Norway, Spain, and Italy.
At the moment internationalization is at the core of Luxmet’s agenda. To enable it, Innovestor recently lead and organized Luxmet’s funding round. The target was to raise 0,8 million euros and the round was actually oversubscribed.
“We were supposed to have it open for a month but we reached the target in just two weeks”, Jokinen explained, clearly satisfied and excited about the co-operation with Innovestor.
The European Union requires significant CO2 emission reductions for heavy industry in the upcoming decades. This calls for innovations like ArcSpec.
At the moment Luxmet has a clear competitive advantage compared to other players in the domain. Their competitors either cannot deliver real time analyses or they concentrate on just one sub-process. ArcSpec is patented extensively which further strengthens Luxmet’s head start.
“ArcSpec is a result of many trials and errors. We realized early on that an innovation like this cannot be developed in the researcher’s lab. Instead, you need to try things out in actual factories. That is the only way to gather valuable real-life experience. Now our product is ripe and we are ready to go full steam global”, Jokinen sums up.
Luxmet has developed a unique solution for real-time measurement of steel production processes. The patented technology developed by the company is completely unique and enables for the first time reliable, real-time monitoring of the steel manufacturing process. The technology has been shown to improve processes by up to 8%. For steel producers, this means not only millions of euros in annual savings, but also more ecological production.
Innovestor is an early-stage venture capital investor, who actively offers direct co-investment syndication opportunities and builds growth programs. We manage the largest private venture backed portfolio in the Nordics and have to date invested around 140M€ together with our +500 co-investors. Around +1500 growth companies apply to our programs per year to whom we organize and facilitate +200 events with the support of +200 partners.
Text by Santtu Toivonen