Innovation opens up new opportunities for us and promotes customer satisfaction
Q: There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about innovation, about how important it is not only for maintaining competitiveness, but also for satisfying our customers’ exacting demands.
In my section for Innovation and Strategy we have a system called “Application Engineering”, which helps us work closely together with our customers on their projects, as they often come up with requirements for new grades of steel or for new technological procedures. Projects in the automotive field are particularly interesting in terms of new technologies.
Q:What does this system for cooperation with our partners or customers involve?
In practice this cooperation involves workshops where we focus on current projects with regard to trends in usage of various types of steel. One workshop I can mention as an example took place about a year ago, when we were approached by a customer and we had the chance to discuss the project we were working on with them at the time. It involved using material which was not part of our standard portfolio back then.
Q: What sort of material was it?
The customer had a project which required hot-rolled, pickled and zinc-coated strip with a thickness of 2.5 mm. Making that sort of product means that we skip the cold-rolling process and we put hot-rolled strip into the galvanizing line right after it has been through the pickling process and then straightened, so we can give it a zinc coating directly. They use this kind of material for producing sections for automobile platforms.
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