Technology – Not IT!

Being the CTO of KHD, I receive mails from companies which supply services and products on artificial intelligence and digitization every day. Of course those suppliers browse the internet by the term “CTO” and think I am heavily involved in utilizing those technologies. Honestly: that is annoying me so much that I have recently added a subline in my LinkedIn profile “I am developing technology – not IT” – still that doesn’t reduce the amount of incoming mails much…

Yes: the cement industry has to decarbonize and it has to utilize digitalization as much as possible to contribute to decarbonization. And digitalization can make a considerable contribution to it, especially at logistic stages in the value chain. However, the main leavers for decarbonization of cement are to be found at other stages. With about 850 kg CO2 emitted per ton of clinker produced, decarbonization of cement needs other innovations much more like for instance different process concepts, different energy concepts and different cement types.

I definitely don’t want to talk down digitization, just the opposite: we need to apply as much as is reasonably possible, but this alone will not bring us to the finish line. For that we need to apply good old process knowledge, good old chemistry knowledge and good old mineralogy knowledge. Despite the fact, that the world seems to understand “tech” as meaning “data technology” – we will depend on technology in a wider understanding for our journey towards net zero!


Your full scale techy


Matthias Mersmann


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