Outokumpu is redefining the steel industry by positioning data and AI at the core of their global operations. It’s not just about improving efficiency—it’s about changing the entire business concept and the culture to create a more sustainable future.Explore Outokumpu’s story
Overcoming cultural barriers in an established industry
Outokumpu is a leader in the steel industry as the world’s only vertically integrated mining and metals processing organization. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that Outokumpu is a leader on AI, too. However, as Outokumpu learned, success with AI isn’t just about changing technology; it’s about changing how people think.
Steel is an established industry where traditional approaches can make it difficult to innovate. “It was slowing us down in the beginning because it’s not easy to overcome these barriers,” says Stefan Erdmann, Chief Technology Officer at Outokumpu. “What keeps us from being effective?” Moving forward, Outokumpu wanted to ensure that everybody—from operators to managers—was basing their strategic and day-to-day decisions on data.
AI in action
Rolling out AI across Outokumpu is helping better connect process steps in steel production. In doing so, AI is allowing downstream operators to make decisions based on organization-wide data, improving processes such as:
Knowing where materials have been before processing provides insight into their carbon footprint and possible defects.
AI can identify temperature variations of just 50 to 100 degrees Celsius, data that helps drive efficiency and lower electricity costs.
Recommendations to operators
AI provides repeatable, measurable data to support better decision making at the plant and enterprise level.
Turning to AI for a more sustainable future
Designed to stand the test of time, stainless steel is a material that ultimately supports a more sustainable world. But to meet their short- and long-term sustainability goals, Outokumpu is optimizing their processes to produce that steel by using AI—discovering opportunities to operate more efficiently and with less waste.
Stefan Erdmann, Chief Technology Officer at Outokumpu, talks about the opportunity and personal legacy of achieving Outokumpu’s sustainability goals.
Outokumpu’s goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050. By 2023, they expect to meet their short-term target of reducing emissions by 20 percent.
Learning from Outokumpu
Outokumpu is successfully implementing AI because they realized that employees embracing technology is more essential to transformation than the technology itself. They followed a careful strategy to secure buy-in from management to the shop floor.
How can you cultivate a new organizational mindset about your AI solution?Discover more about Outokumpu