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Primetals Technologies and ABF to collaborate on automation solutions for inventory management

  • Newly formed partnership aims to design automated solutions for inventory management
  • Jointly developed solutions will lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions
  • Efficient automation systems for plant logistics results in reduced processing times and carbon footprint

In June 2023, Primetals Technologies and digitalization experts Automation Builds Future, ABF, signed a partnership agreement focused on inventory management solutions for the metals industry at the METEC trade fair in Düsseldorf.

The aim of the partnership is a joint development and marketing of intelligent solutions for the automation of storing semi-finished and finished products. ABF has more than 30 years of experience in the development of automation solutions for storage logistics, such as tracking, identifying, and locating items. Primetals Technologies brings to the collaboration decades of experience in the automation and digitalization of metallurgical processes. The first joint projects are already in preparation.

Automation solutions for plant logistics

There is great demand for new inventory management solutions in the steel industry: “We see huge potential for improving the quality, productivity, and flexibility of production by optimizing and automating the intralogistics of semi-finished and finished products in a steel plant,“ says ABF’s managing director Gustav Buchberger.

There are several benefits to be had for steel producers who deliver slabs or coils on time and in the correct condition, such as the desired temperature. Any unnecessary transporting of products is avoided, processing times are reduced, and, in addition, the energy required for reheating semi-finished products is lowered, which reduces the plant’s CO2 footprint. Furthermore, a higher degree of automation for plant logistics improves safety for personnel and the reduced need of transporting materials lowers the risk of damaging the products, while process reliability is increased.

A key success factor

A complete harmonization of the plant’s automation solutions is crucial for automated logistics solutions. ”In a steel plant, a good inventory management strategy lays a solid foundation for the execution of subsequent processes. The production planning system specifies which products should be manufactured. The required metallurgical properties are stored in knowledge databases, which are part of the process control software. Therefore, all these systems must be fully networked, i.e. connected to one another" says Kurt Herzog, Head of Industry 4.0 at Primetals Technologies.

Two partners – one team

Primetals Technologies has a long history in automation, digitalization, and optimization of steel plants. ABF has many years of experience in designing automated solutions for plant logistics. Both companies have set themselves the goal of developing a comprehensive solution for inventory management that customers can obtain from a single source. The partners will handle projects as one team.


Primetals Technologies, Limited, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is a pioneer and world leader in the fields of engineering, plant building, and the provision of lifecycle services for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product, and services portfolio that includes integrated electrics and automation, digitalization, and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain—from the raw materials to the finished product—and includes the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a Group Company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, with around 7,000 employees worldwide. To learn more about Primetals Technologies, visit the company website

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