Today’s report is filed by Chunhua Tian and Anindya Das. Chunhua comes from China and is studying at MPIE Stuttgart, Germany. Anindya comes from India and he is studying at the Indian Institute of Kharagpur.
On 1st September, after roughly one hour drive, we arrived at our destination, Outokumpu, which, in the first place, was solely a set of blankly combined letters in our mind. However, after the consecutive detailed instructions of our guide Gunnel and Anders, we were strongly impressed, not only by its long history of stainless steel making, the outstanding products quality, but also by its highly-qualified strict control on the exhaust gases. For the first time we saw giant copper coins which were used centuries before. Moreover, it was amazing to see the development of Sweden and especially the Dalarna region is based on the growth of the surrounding industries and Outokompu plays an important role in it.
At the reception of Outokumpu
In Outokumpu, we have witnessed, for the first time the operation of a giant electrode arc furnace. The loud noise, heavy smoke due to arc melting was scary but everytging was managed by the operators perfectly and efficiently. It was so amazing to experience such a big evolution, just like what the guide said, the emitted gas is even cleaner than the air outside. Outokumpu operates quite automatically, ranging from the initial remelting of recycled scraps in the arc furnace, the lowering of carbon content in the converter to the continuous casting and hot rolling process, which both improves the production efficiency and provides a much safer and human-friendly working environment. In short, it recycles, extracts and sells that indeed are making contributions, both economically and environmentally, to Sweden.
Before leaving Outokumpu and after having an awesome lunch
After a real journey into the steel making industries, we have visited Avesta Art, Verket that combines innovatively the out-of-run steel making giants like blast furnaces with the soul-soothing masterpiece of arts. The former in the very past time, brought us an impression of people’s impoverishment and loneliness, as well as hardships of life at a time lack of digitalization and automation. The latter, on the contrary to that black-white cold world, through their shining colors, expressed us a sense of happiness and reflected vividly the eagerness of steel workers to such a kind of life that they did not confront themselves with extremely high temperature around a furnace for filling up, over ten hours a day, and even, “they” included little boys around ten years old, with bare feet. Avesta Art not only informed us of steels production hundreds of years back, but also more importantly, reminded us of cherishing our present highly automated life and the significance of valuing science and technology.
The iron museum, Verket
Mynt Museum (The Coin Museum)
The third site of today was MYNT MUSEUM, which tells about the coin development history in Sweden in the past one thousand years. It was so interesting to know that every king required their own portrait graved on either side of current coins, and one copper coin could weigh up to 2 kg with a value of 4 DALER. It must be a tough thing and amusing to us who are living in the 21st century, that one carried such a heavy piece of metal to exchange some living necessities back at 16th century. Indeed, they had smaller coins as well, of silver and gold. However, they did not belong to those ordinary people. Probably, it was also the real inconvenience that promoted the earliest emergence of the bank concept right in Sweden.
The manner in which the history of the coins have been arranged in the museum is appreciable. The display of these rare and exotic collection and listening to the history behind them made us know about Sweden and Dalarna in more detail.
At coin museum
Overall, we spent a refreshing day knowing about Avesta in particular. No doubt the region has a rich culture and history which involves both industrialization and art. By preserving both of these historical forms it has become possible to attract people of all sorts. It was also amazing to see the emotions attached with the citizens of Sweden and particularly of Avesta to their rich historical background of the city. May this emotion deepens and the city prospers more and more.