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Global steel firm SSAB, a major supplier of steel to the automotive industry, and Kemppi, a digital welding technology specialist, have integrated their cloud-based SmartSteel and WeldEye systems for a streamlined tracking process to speed up welding. Following a successful pilot trial, SSAB clients already using the Kemppi WeldEye software can now get automatic material data from the SSAB SmartSteel cloud via the integrated API.

The WeldEye welding management software collects welding parameters from workstations and can adjust equipment according to digital welding procedure specifications (dWPS). SmartSteel, meanwhile, is described by SSAB as ‘the digital identity of steel’, storing all its data from manufacturing through delivery, processing, use or application to recycling in its material certificate. The steel sheet bundles and plates are marked at the mill and their data uploaded to the cloud; subsequent customers can then identify the steel products and their properties and add to the data at each link in the production chain, via the SmartSteel mobile app. Sheet bundles, coils and strips are marked with bar codes, and heavy plates have digital markings which can be scanned.

The SmartSteel API for WeldEye now allows base material information and material certificates to be sent automatically to the welding equipment, with the potential to reduce manual work, more quickly adjust the equipment, increase the welding arc ‘on-time’ and reduce the repair rate, as well as giving the automatic documentation of the process.

Juhana Enqvist, chief digital officer, Kemppi, said in a statement: “The results of the pilot are promising. The material certificates are now automatically sent to WeldEye. Being able to scan products with SmartSteel, get the certificates automatically, and document everything, gives the customer a complete view of the base materials in the welding process.”

Niko Korte, senior manager of digital business development, SSAB, added: “Building cloud-based platforms is a new way of doing business together. We are working our way towards the Internet of Materials. Every initiative like this takes us one step closer to creating a digital identity for steel and complete traceability.”