A recent groundbreaking ceremony in Kapfenberg, Austria, marked the inauguration of a new benchmark in plant design that will set international standards in digitization of production processes, including heat treatment, high-tech surface treatment, and additive manufacturing, for a global steelmaker.
The three-year construction phase for the new voestalpine special steel plant will, from 2021 onwards, will produce around 205,000 tons of special high-performance steels, especially for the international aviation and automotive industries as well as for the oil & gas sector.
The new high-tech special steel plant, once operative, is intended to replace the existing voestalpine Böhler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG plant in Kapfenberg and designed to produce premium quality pre-materials for aircraft components, tools for the automotive industry, equipment for oil & gas extraction, and for the 3D printing of highly complex metal parts.
As part of the digitalized production process, around 8,000 process data will be recorded in parallel and implemented or evaluated on an ongoing basis.
“The high degree of digitalization at the new special steel plant is the prerequisite for being able to supply our customers with even higher material qualities, and, in doing so, to further extend our global market leadership in tool and special steels,” said Franz Rotter, member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and head of the High Performance Metals Division. “The relevant development work and qualifying our employees in robotics, sensor technology, and data analysis takes place at our own digitalization competence center located directly on the site of the plant.”