In the 40 years that Direct From Midrex has been published, the company name has changed a number of times, Midrex ownership has passed from Willy Korf to Kobe Steel, Ltd., Midrex has had five presidents, and DFM has had six editors and has undergone several facelifts. Each editor brought his or her creativity and vision to DFM. As a result, the covers were modernized to keep pace with the times, but the content remained true to its purpose – to be the journal of the direct reduction industry.
Frank Griscom, DFM’s first editor, recalls when he joined Midrex in spring 1981, “Direct reduction was an emerging industry back then. Direct reduced iron (DRI) was regarded as a niche product. We wanted to develop a broader appreciation for the value of DRI as a way to drive demand for more direct reduction plants and to position the MIDREX® Process as the leading direct reduction technology.”
What prompted the idea of DFM?
“Prior to 1981, DFM had been a sporadically published, external newsletter. So, we made the decision to transform it into a controlled circulation, quarterly industry journal as a means to pursue both of our marketing goals: to develop the market for Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) and to establish Midrex as the foremost direct reduction technology supplier.”
What was the biggest change to DFM over the years?
“DFM was originally printed and distributed from Midrex headquarters at the end of each quarter to a mailing list we managed. Starting with the 3Q2020 issue, we transitioned it to a digital format. Now you can read DFM on whatever electronic device you have, from wherever you are, whenever you want.”
What was the most exciting article you have read or worked on in DFM?
“Beginning with an article in 3Q1984, I was involved in getting the first MIDREX HBI Plant established in the merchant metallics market. I was fortunate enough to spend time at the plant on Labuan Island, Malaysia, with a camera crew shooting a video to promote the plant and its product. Later, I worked with the plant’s marketing staff in Kuala Lumpur to produce a series of brochures about the various uses of HBI. Over the years while I was editor of DFM, we published articles documenting the success of using the plant’s HBI that I like to think have contributed to the reputation HBI enjoys today.”
Lauren Lorraine, editor of DFM since 2018, wants to build on the quarterly’s legacy and reach those who are hearing about direct reduction for the first time due to its vital role in decarbonizing iron and steelmaking, as well as new teammates joining Midrex.
“Last year DFM adopted a digital format to make it easy and convenient to view the journal on mobile devices and to increase the searchability of articles. By leveraging readership surveys and other analytics, we will use a data-driven approach to provide relevant and valuable content to our audience. We have been pleased with the response and feedback thus far and intend to continually improve the functionality of DFM.
We want to thank the readers of Direct From Midrex. We appreciate your loyalty throughout the last 40 years. And thank you to all of our authors, former editors, and graphics designers without whom we would not have been able to sustain a technical journal that is both relevant and informative to our audience.”