German Steel wins the World Cup

To be honest, I was more pleased about Argentina losing than Germany winning. The first world cup I remember, back in 1986, saw Diego Maradonna knock England out of the world cup by pushing the ball into the goal with his hand.

On the other hand I did get engaged in the sub-arctic Patagonian tundra so I’m not entirely against Argentina.

German Mechanical Play

Many of the reports I’ve read about the World Cup are negative about the German team because “they played mechanically” or it was “robotic”

As an engineer I see the process in the way they play – how do you deliver a playing process that can systematically and reliably take a ball from initial posession to goal mouth/

And that is what all of us do, whether we are designing a jack up rig, managing the procurement for a process module or bidding to deliver a new crane on an FPSO. We know where we want to be and we try and find the best way through all the difficulties that are sent our way.

Fortunately we don’t normally have people deliberately trying to disrupt things like they do in football.

Always Improving

So we make our steel in just the same way. Instead of asking our players to shave another 1/10 of a second of the time they have the ball before passing we look at how we can consistently perform a little bit better. How can the steel be more reliable? How can we reduce the sulphur a fraction more? How can we squeeze a little more hardness out with a little less alloy (or vice a versa depending on the plates you need)

German steel delivers reliably. As it happens the last live football game I watched was Boca Junior playing at home in Buenos Aires. Dazzling, wonderful, enjoyable football.

They lost though – because the beautiful game didn’t deliver the needed goals. And as engineers we should design or build like that. The focus always needs to be on reliability and efficiency.

Delivering Consistently

Yes, other steels are cheaper. Yes, other steels are as good for some applications. German steel though has performed at the top level for decades (325+ years in the case of Dillinger) and whilst that may be boring or “robotic” what matters is that the job gets done.

And personally, I think that if there was a steel world cup – Germany would have been in all the finals!

German steel plates - world cup winners

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