tk Materials develops customer service via enhanced digitalisation

thyssenkrupp Materials Services is continuing to develop digitalisation with the introduction of a flexible IT infrastructure named DESCA (Digital Extended Supply Chain Accelerator), Kallanish learns from the company.

The tool is paving the way for new supply chain services provided by tk Materials. Under its ‘Materials as a Service’ approach, with DESCA, the company gives its customers access to global supply markets combined with in-house process expertise in the form of tailored supply chain solutions, it says.

DESCA is based on the so-called Hana software from SAP. Unlike conventional enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems DESCA allows flexible integration of data from various internal and external sources in real time and via an app. According to tk Materials, this is a particularly attractive option for sectors that place high demands on a flexible supply chain such as the aerospace industry. DESCA was first put through its practical paces therefore at selected branches of thyssenkrupp Aerospace in North America.

Furthermore, the thyssenkrupp unit announces that it is expanding its portfolio in rare earths.

It has just signed an offtake agreement with Australian heavy rare earths producer Northern Minerals Limited. This gives the company exclusive marketing rights to heavy rare earth (RE) carbonate, including dysprosium. The agreement also includes cooperation on possible further beneficiation and separation of rare earths to produce rare earth oxides, and on the future expansion of the project.

RE additions, either as mischmetal or rare earth silicide, are used in many ladle treatment processes in modern ferrous metallurgy. In ironmaking they provide the basis for the control of graphite morphology in cast irons and in steelmaking additions are made to aluminium-killed steels for desulphurisation and the control of inclusion composition and morphology.