Technology company Heraeus is expanding its expertise in artificial intelligence and AI-based process optimization by acquiring a stake in the Berlin-based start-up Smart Steel Technologies, making it the largest shareholder.
Jan Rinnert, CEO of Heraeus Holding and chairman of the management board, says: “Artificial intelligence and optimization of production processes are becoming increasingly important in the steel industry, too.
“AI solutions increase efficiency, sustainability and quality standards along the entire process chain. With Smart Steel Technologies, we have a competent partner at our side, with whose software we will further improve production processes in steel mills.”
Falk-Florian Henrich, founder and CEO of Smart Steel Technologies, says: “Heraeus Electro-Nite is a very strong partner for SST. We are looking forward to the joint cooperation and valuable synergies, as well as innovations for the steel industry that will be enabled by the partnership.”
Nils Seele, partner at LEA Partners, which is involved in SST, says: “We are very pleased that someone like Heraeus with such strong technology expertise in the industry is coming on board and that together with the SST team we will expand the leading market position for AI in the steel sector.”
The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
Smart Steel Technologies supplies AI-based software packages to the steel industry. Across all production steps, these calculate specifications in real-time to optimize energy use and quality. Examples include even more precise composition of steel chemistry and optimal process control in steel mills, in the continuous casting process and in rolling mills.
Steel producers can thus operate their plants even more efficiently, safely and in a more environmentally friendly way. Smart Steel Technologies’ customers include groups such as ArcelorMittal and Vallourec.
One of the most complex challenges in steel production is the synchronized production planning of an entire chain of aggregates and production lines.
Here, too, Smart Steel Technologies offers solutions that use artificial intelligence and mathematical modeling to calculate optimized production schedules. For this, the Berlin-based company relies on an interdisciplinary team of AI and steel experts, software engineers, mathematicians and physicists.
The use of AI has brought enormous progress in many industries in recent years. The topics of energy saving and efficiency have also come into focus in the steel industry.
AI solutions offer several advantages for the steel industry, such as increased output and product quality as well as lower production costs and CO2 emissions.