Voestalpine has budgeted some €196 million ($193m) for research and development (R&D) in the current business year (April 2022-March 2023).
Research priorities include digitalising the production processes, developing innovative products, and converting to climate-neutral steel production, Kallanish hears from the Austrian company.
It says it is heavily researching digital simulation methods and processes that will prepare and support the transformation of steel production. For example, one project is assessing the potential for recycling by-products into the production process and developing technologies for a circular economy to ensure climate-neutral steel production in the future.
On the product side, the group is developing new digital and smart technologies such as “intelligent” cold-rolled steel strip. For tailormade functional steel, conductor tracks for the required sensors are integrated into a special high-quality coating layer. Intelligent sensors also ensure continuous monitoring in smart turnout systems. The development focus is to make sure the system detects and reports impending failures early on.
“The use of artificial intelligence is constantly opening up new technological opportunities for both production and products,” says R&D head Franz Androsch.
Worldwide, voestalpine has over 740 employees working in R&D in more than 80 companies. It cooperates with around 100 scientific partners, and also cultivates strong development partnerships with key customers.
Christian Koehl Germany