In this edition of our #DigitalDialogue interview series, we had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Jan-Christopher Schrag General Management Sulfur at CS Additive GmbH, Herten, Germany
MH: Tell us a bit about yourself – how did you end up in this industry?
JS: I have always had a deep interest in metals and technology, I studied metallurgy & material science at the RWTH Aachen University and became an engineer. For the last 15 years, I have worked in the plant engineering business, where I was responsible for sales across the iron, steel, non-ferrous metallurgy and power plant engineering industries. My work took me across the EU, APAC, Canada and Mexico, South America and South Africa. Right now, I am responsible for the Sulphur Business Unit, including raw material purchasing, production plant, sales, planning and budgeting, personnel responsibility as well as and quality and energy management.
MH: What is special about your company and what it offers to customers?
JS: CS Additive is specialised in carbon and sulfur products. Our premium quality, reliability, and service excellence made us one of the leading producers of carbon and sulphur products for steelworks, iron foundries as well as the chemical industry. Our product portfolio also comprises specially processed carbon, ideally suited for the manufacturing of brake liners, as well as the production of non-ferrous metals and various special applications (e.g. lubricants). At our carbon plant, high purity graphite fines are processed into graphite pellets almost free of sulphur and nitrogen. The carbon products are sold worldwide under the brand Carbolux®.
We also produce top-quality sulphur specialties from 99.9 % pure liquid sulphur defined by high purity, shape and consistency. This allows us to meet a wide variety of special customer requirements.
MH: What are the benefits of using elemental sulphur for a steel mill or foundry?
JS: The controlled and consistent purity of elemental sulphur allows optimisation and adjustment of special steel grades.
Some of the benefits are:
- Constant quality in terms of purity, humidity and dust reduction
- Less handling required
- No slag formation
- No drying process needed
- Less abrasion
- Very good solubility
- Sustainability (i.e. a reduction of carbon footprint)
MH: What fascinates you the most about your job?
JS: First of all, it´s working with an excellent team. Then there is the complexity and multifaceted nature of the job: purchasing (raw materials), production (various sulphur specialities) and sales of all different quality products to more than 10 different industries. I take great joy in the daily dialogue with employees, customers, and suppliers. Every day is a new challenge to be mastered.
MH: How is your company dealing with the current Covid-19 outbreak?
JS: Refineries have reduced their capacity by about 30-40%, so this could have an overall negative impact on our raw material supply chain. We are affected as our main customers are in the steel industry and many car manufacturing facilities have shut down their plants. I do expect a decrease in orders as a result of this in Q2. But we have strong market position through our technology and products, so we will get through this crisis.
MH: As a company that embraces technological development, how are you leveraging digital technologies – and with what impact?
JS: CS Additive started using Metalshub to amplify our sales efforts by using a global digital trading network for metals and ferroalloys. This allowed us to increase our work efficiency so we can serve more potential customers at the same time. We think the platform will help us to enlarge our international customer base. We are very excited to add this new digital sales channel to our sales repertoire.
See some of our customers who are successfully using Metalshub for their online procurement and sales of ferroalloys and metals.
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