SSAB has recently finalised an R&D project exploring the concept of SSAB SmartSteel, a digital platform enabling steel to be ‘loaded with knowledge’.

According to SSAB, a unique identity code in the steel plate connecting the plate and information provides customers and their machinery with appropriate data and instructions to help them select and use SSAB steels, regardless of their application. The idea is to share expert knowledge in steel.

“Our vision is a platform built on cloud-based data that contains instructions for different stakeholders in the value chain on how to use our steel,” explains Eva Petursson, head of R&D at SSAB. “By accessing and adding data on the platform, our customers would be able to make optimal use of the steel and avoid costly and time-consuming failures and misuse,” commented Ms Petursson.”

In the pilot R&D project, SSAB, under project leader Seija Junno, worked together with partners including Meyer Turku, Cajo Technologies, Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, DIMECC (Digital, Internet, Materials & Engineering Co-Creation) and Academy of Finland’s Strategic Research Council. The first results have been very positive in the area of identifying the plates and finding the corresponding data automatically.

“We are looking for ways to create sustainability‐based added value for our customers, for example, by telling them the carbon footprint or energy consumption during the whole lifecycle of the ship. If steel could provide all the data accumulated during the manufacturing and transportation chain, it would help us significantly and would be the first step towards transparent value chains in our field,” says Jaana Hänninen, environmental manager at the Meyer Turku shipyard.

SSAB is ready to explore further the possibilities of its SmartSteel platform and openly invites all interested customers, process equipment manufacturers and other actors to join the development work. Rapid trials will enable the idea to take shape and grow clearer.

“We recognise that the only way to fully develop this idea is to co-create with other companies. We think working together is smart – everyone involved wins. We are only just beginning to understand how this can affect everyone in the value chain and ultimately the society we live in,” says Eva Petursson.