Vallourec seeks startups to solve mining challenges

15/09/2020 - Innovation

Interested parties can register during the whole month of September through the website

The fourth edition of Vallourec Open Brasil, a program that selects startups to develop projects jointly with Vallourec companies in Brazil, is open for registration starting this Tuesday, September 1st. The search is for entrepreneurs who can resolve issues related to increasing operational efficiency at the Company's Mineração unit.
Technology-based startups in Brazil can participate in the Vallourec Open Brasil 2020 and interested parties should fill out the form available on the website: until September 30th. In the first phase, those whose performance and business model are in line with at least one of the proposed challenges will be selected. The result will be announced on October 9.
To participate in the second phase of the selection, startups must send a pitch video up to five minutes in MP4 format with a presentation about the startup and a project proposal focused on one of the challenges. The videos must be sent between the 11th and the 24th of October. The selection's results will be released on October 30th.
From November 23 to 27, the startups selected in the second phase will have five days to work side by side with Vallourec, having access to more information related to the challenges and better understanding the Company's business. On the 27th, presentations of the work proposal prepared during the immersion take place for a panel of judges composed of Vallourec representatives, on the so-called Pitch Day.
From January 11 to June 31, 2021, is the period of development, a stage where the startups selected on Pitch Day will be hired. It is time to start the proof of concept of the solution proposed by the participants with the support of professionals appointed by Vallourec. In July, the closing workshop takes place, with the final presentation of the project developed for Vallourec managers.


Startups can submit their projects to three different challenges. The first is the evaluation of the iron and/or silica content of a pulp sample of iron ore concentrate in the fine fraction (pellet feed). “Currently the quality response time of the pellet feed product is 8h (chemical analysis), which makes it difficult to make a quick decision when there is an iron/silica content outside the desired specification”, explains Gabriel Cordeiro, Vallourec's Research & Development and Innovation engineer.
The second challenge is the previous analysis of the granulometric distribution of a given ore portion. Gabriel Cordeiro informs that this identification may be possible by crossing typological characteristics with the color and texture of the material. This pre-identification can speed up the mapping for the preparation of the geological model and the planning of geology samples in the short term.
The third and final challenge, on the other hand, is to develop software to integrate geotechnical structures data and diagnostics from Pau Branco Mine in real-time. The difficulty lies in concentrating the entire existing database on a single and easily accessible platform, providing agility, assertive assessments, and efficient responses to problems presented daily.

About Vallourec

Vallourec is a world leader in premium tubular solutions, supplying mainly to the energy markets (oil & gas, power generation). Its experience also extends to the industrial sector (including mechanics, automotive, and construction). With approximately 19,500 employees, integrated plants in more than 20 countries, and an advanced research and development sector, Vallourec works side by side with its customers to offer more than just pipes: we offer innovative, safe, competitive, and intelligent solutions to make all projects possible.
Vallourec has six units in Brazil. In Minas Gerais, the Barreiro and Jeceaba units are focused on the production of seamless steel pipes; the Florestal unit is responsible for producing charcoal that supplies the blast furnace of pipe producing units; the Mineração unit meets the internal iron ore supply needs. In Rio de Janeiro, Vallourec Transportes e Serviços (VTS) provides specialized services for the oil and gas sector. In Espírito Santo, the Tubos Soldados Atlântico (TSA) unit provides anti-corrosion coating services.