voestalpine https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/ corporate blog der voestalpine Tue, 23 Oct 2018 06:32:24 +0000 es-ES hourly 1 Five key features of the fifth Formula E season https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/formula-e/five-key-features-of-the-fifth-formula-e-season/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/formula-e/five-key-features-of-the-fifth-formula-e-season/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 06:29:01 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/?p=87872 Formula E is booming—during the first electric series test day in Valencia it was already clear that a new age was dawning in the championship: a completely new generation of cars, new and prominent drivers, numerous features, and the starting signal for the voestalpine European Races.
Here are the features which will make the upcoming ABB FIA Formula E Championship even more exciting.


Motorsport journalist Gerald Enzinger reports from Valencia

1. The new race cars

It was reunion time in Donington, England, with the race cars from the first four seasons slowly returning to the Formula E headquarters. In contrast to almost all other race series, only the leased, uniform chassis remain the property of the event organizer, and these are no longer in use as the two with which the drivers compete. Now, after 45 races, these cars are being retired, to be immediately replaced by a new generation of race cars—the Generation 2.

These new cars not only transport their drivers at breathtaking speeds of 0 km/h to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, they also take the series to a whole new level. As the batteries are now capable of storing sufficient power to perform for more than 45 minutes, vehicle changes are no longer required. The vehicles changes necessary in Formula E had disturbed many motorsport purists, and were also a safety risk as well as causing occasional problems buckling up in the second car.

Formel E Testtage

Alexander Sims (BMW): test record time on the first day. His Gen2-car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds

2. The new drivers

In the last hours before the tests started the final changes were being made to the list of 22 participating drivers. Pascal Wehrlein, who almost joined Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes Formula One team in 2017, and Stoffel Vandoorne come to Formula E as two, still young, top talents. But it’s curious that the Belgian (most recently part of the McLaren Formula One team together with Fernando Alonso) drives for HWA, while ex-HWA DTM Champion Pascal Wehrlein joins Mahindra Racing; the German wants to restart his career, outside the Mercedes group. In turn, Gary Paffett, who became DTM Champion just 42 hours before the start of testing, moves over to Formula E together with HWA. And with Felipe Massa (Venturi), a former Formula One runner-up world champion joins the series.

Formel E Piloten

The new stars. Stoffel Vandoorne, Robin Frijns (has Formular E experience), Felipe Massa and Pascal Wehrlein are racing in the Formula E season 2018/19

3. The new teams

Gary Parrett

Gary Paffett (HWA): 42 hours after his DTM-title he is back in the Formular E

Formula E is in vogue, especially amongst the premium German manufacturers. That’s why BMW follows team champion Audi by officially entering its own works team. The two Bavarian marques also compete against one another in the DTM, which BMW’s head of motorsport, Jens Marquardt, believes is the perfect series combination. Consequently, the calendars for the two series have now been coordinated. From Season 6 onwards, however, the two Bavarians will face competition from Swabia: Le Mans record winner Porsche joins the electric series, followed by HWA as the official Mercedes operations team. Teams from all four “major” German luxury marques in a single series—that’s something never seen before!


Formel E Testdays

Lucas di Grassi (Audi) – The former champion in his second generation race car

And the actions of Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff made clear just how seriously these companies are taking the series: on Monday—his wedding anniversary—he and his wife flew to Valencia on their way to the Formula One Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, to motivate the HWA team before the start of their new mission: “It’s important to make our presence felt, and to let the employees feel how important Formula E is to us.”
They are joined by another works team: Nissan steps in on behalf of the group’s sister company Renault, but continues to be run by the DAMS team which has already led Sebastien Buemi to the title.

4. The first female team boss

Apropos Toto Wolff: his wife Susie will now be his professional opponent. At the end of last season she became the boss of the Venturi team. “Now I know why she always listened so carefully while I was talking on the phone,” says a grinning Toto Wolff. She’s also the faster of the two behind the wheel, as the last woman to have taken part in official Formula One training as a driver. Of dual Austrian and Scottish heritage, there is no doubt that she’s got what it takes to be a good team boss, but you’ll never see her behind the wheel: she has always said that now she’s a mum, to one-year old son Jack, she won’t race again. She’s found great drivers for her team: Felipe Massa is joined by Edo Mortara, one of the best DTM drivers in recent years.

5. The new race format—and starting signal for the voestalpine European Races


voestalpine is the new partner of the European races

Last year in Zurich was the first time a race was run in Switzerland. It was the first circuit race held in the country since 1955. Now the E-Prix is moving to the capital, Bern, and the race will enjoy a special status: just like the other races held in Europe—in Rome, Paris, Berlin, and Monaco—Bern is one of the„voestalpine European Races“ – Rather like the Grand Slam of Formula E, these races are run in fantastic settings in some of Europe’s most beautiful cities. For the first time in the history of the series, there is also the chance to win the title of European Champion of fully-electric motorsport.

And there are new features for the races themselves: each race is now run over 45 minutes plus one lap. The extra point for the fastest lap has gone, replaced by an extra championship bonus for the driver with the most battery power left after the race.
Plus the drivers can use a special “attack mode”. By driving through a specially marked activation zone, they can tank extra power and boost their performance from 200 kW to 225 kW over a short period. How frequently and how long they can do this varies from racetrack to racetrack. And of course there’s still the well-established fanboost, offering fans the chance to give a driver an extra power boost.
Although neither energy nor ideas seem to be lacking from the makers of this series.



https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/formula-e/five-key-features-of-the-fifth-formula-e-season/feed/ 0
“Check the energy prices? Certainly!” https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/career/check-the-energy-prices-certainly/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/career/check-the-energy-prices-certainly/#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 07:23:51 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/?p=87693 Hannes Pesendorfer is a price expert. At work at voestalpine Rohstoffbeschaffungs GmbH in Linz, he tracks the constant ups and downs in energy prices on behalf of voestalpine.


Actually Hannes Pesendorfer isn’t really a trader. A graduate of electrical engineering and process automation, he has always been drawn to technology.

Engineer in purchasing

“That’s why after studying at the Graz University of Technology I went to VAI, today’s Primetals,” says Pesendorfer, describing the start of his career. “My move to key account sales at Energie AG then gave me a foretaste of what I’m currently doing.” The keen engineer, as demonstrated by the model helicopters he builds in his free time, came to voestalpine 15 years ago. Here, together with colleagues at the power plant, he was part of a technical development of a special kind: shifting voestalpine from the strongly regulated into the liberalized energy market.

"Liberalization of the electricity market in 1999 truly brought more excitement into the business."
Hannes Pesendorfer

Today he is responsible for energy purchases (electricity and natural gas) at voestalpine Rohstoffbeschaffungs GmbH. His team considers the power situation at the production facilities and organizes the energy flow between the markets and voestalpine accordingly. He also coordinates internal energy flows within the Group’s clusters and networks.


Buyers for technology

The energy procurement team grew from one to currently four employees as a result of increasing attention being paid to energy within the Group. They all work closely with colleagues at the power plants and participants in the energy pools. The trade in electricity and natural gas is an exciting, time-consuming business, and one which Pesendorfer is delighted to be part of: “Energy procurement is constantly changing, always offering something new.”

"Regulations, laws, and not least our negotiating partners, permanently face us with new challenges. That's an aspect of my career which I value highly."
Hannes Pesendorfer

Pesendorfer also checks energy providers in his spare time, always on the lookout for the best deal.



https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/career/check-the-energy-prices-certainly/feed/ 0
Hydrogen-energy source for the future? https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/innovation-en/hydrogen-energy-source-for-the-future/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/innovation-en/hydrogen-energy-source-for-the-future/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 08:22:02 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/?p=87595 Hydrogen is a gas with a long history in the steel industry, as a component of coking gas, for example. Now research is being undertaken into its potential as a reducing agent in steel production, and as an energy source for the future.


Hydrogen (H2) is a colorless and odorless, very light and non-toxic gas, and the most abundant chemical element in the universe. On earth it only appears in molecular form, in water and in all organic compounds. Hydrogen has a high chemical affinity to oxygen–higher than to iron. Consequently, hydrogen could be used as a reducing agent in place of carbon, one of the topics being examined in the H2FUTURE and SuSteel (Sustainable Steel) projects. voestalpine and other European steel manufacturers are already actively considering ways of using hydrogen in steel production.

Many and varied uses

Each year around 750 billion m³ (70 million tons) of hydrogen is produced. It is used as a raw or basic material in various industries (fertilizer, chemicals and food industry, refineries, semiconductor development), as an energy source and storage medium, and as a fuel for aerospace and automotive fuel cells. Hydrogen’s first industrial application was as a lifting gas in balloons and airships. However, as H2-air mixtures are highly flammable, this led to repeated accidents: the Hindenburg catastrophe in the 1930s remains firmly anchored in the public consciousness. But due to its lower energy density, hydrogen is in fact significantly less critical than natural gas.

Energy source of the future

An increasing number of scientists are working intensively with hydrogen, seeing in this element an energy source for the future, one which can make the world less dependent on fossil fuels. Hydrogen really could be used to store electricity generated from volatile renewables, releasing it again as required. Today, however, up to 96% of hydrogen is produced by breaking down natural gas using the so-called reforming process. This is a very CO2-intensive process. 4% is created as a result of the chloralkali process which generates large quantities of lye. New and sustainable hydrogen electrolysis processes, such as the proton exchange membrane technology which allows hydrogen to be produced in an almost climate-neutral manner, are turning hydrogen into the hope for the future. The H2FUTURE project is now examining whether this technology can also be used on an industrial scale.


https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/innovation-en/hydrogen-energy-source-for-the-future/feed/ 0
Ecology and economics go hand-in-hand https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/career/ecology-and-economics-go-hand-in-hand/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/career/ecology-and-economics-go-hand-in-hand/#respond Fri, 12 Oct 2018 09:18:49 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/?p=87511 Thanks in part to the contribution made by David Binder, voestalpine has become one of the most environmentally-friendly technology and capital goods groups. The qualified chemical laboratory technician has been head of the emissions measuring group in the testing and analysis unit (TSP) in Linz since 2018.


“When I was young I wanted to be a wildlife conservationist in Africa”, admits David Binder. But luckily for the climate, and for voestalpine, he followed a different path. It happened like this: David Binder came to the notice of the TSP team during his internship, while a pupil of a technical high school specializing in chemical engineering. Which makes this step all the more logical. “Back then, measuring emissions and immissions didn’t enjoy the priority within the Group that it does today. However, that all changed with my entry into the company when we started to establish a separate department.”

Proud of accurate measurement results

Today the testing and analysis department is an accredited testing laboratory and an inspection center for air pollution controls, as well as a link between the company and the authorities. Together with his 5-person team, at prescribed intervals David Binder controls around 280 emitting sources within the Group, including workplace measurements, at the voestalpine sites in Traisen, Donawitz, and Linz. All relevant air pollutants are measured, including everything from dust and particulate matter, exhaust gases, metals and heavy metals, to halogens and dioxins. As is so often the case, this again demonstrates that ecology and economics can go hand-in-hand.

"At the beginning, the plant managers were always a little skeptical when we turned up, until it turned out that our measurement results could be used to optimize resource use, and so reduce costs."
David Binder

David Binder is as proud of his contribution to changing such attitudes as he is of the accuracy of his measurement results.

Measurement processes becoming ever more precise

What particularly fascinates this father of two and an enthusiastic climber about his task is the rapid speed of development. This takes the form of the constantly increasing demands made of the measurement methods. “They’re becoming increasingly precise, while at the same time the threshold limits are falling. This is a major challenge for new and pilot facilities in particular.” The trend is towards continuous measurements using equipment which supplies information on a permanent basis. Consequently, these days David Binder and his team are required to conduct many comparative measurements. These serve to verify whether the measurement devices are supplying proper data and evaluating them correctly.

Customers demand emissions measurements

For David Binder this rapid development is an indicator of the future of operational environmental protection. “Today already customers are asking us for emissions measurements and data when they order a product from us. That means that the topic of emissions and emissions measurements is not only acknowledged as integral to operational responsibility, but is also included in a company’s catalogue of quality criteria.”


https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/career/ecology-and-economics-go-hand-in-hand/feed/ 0
voestalpine Digitalization Awards honors best of 120 submitted projects https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/innovation-en/voestalpine-digitalization-awards-honors-best-of-120-submitted-projects/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/innovation-en/voestalpine-digitalization-awards-honors-best-of-120-submitted-projects/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 10:00:52 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/?p=87393 Around 160 digitalization experts working in a variety of specialisms met in Linz on October 3 for the second corporate Digitalization Day. The program included talks, workshops, and the awards ceremony for the first ever voestalpine Digitalization Awards.


Digitalization Award 2018The Group is intensively occupied with digitalization. That became clear to everyone who took part in the second voestalpine Digitalization Day on October 3. Digitalization experts from more than 40 different Group companies had come to Linz to discuss a range of different topics and specific projects.

8 workshops

In contrast to the first Digitalization Day a year ago, this year’s program featured fewer talks from external experts. Instead participants were offered a choice of eight one-hour workshops on subjects including sensor technologies, data analytics, digital products, and smart logistics.
The introductory talk was given by Prof. Horst Bischof of the Graz University of Technology who talked about the disruptions and changes resulting from digitalization.

10 live pitches

This year heralded the first ever Digitalization Awards following a competition run over the summer months. More than 120 projects had been submitted in the three categories

  • Value Chain & Processes,
  • Products & Services,
  • and Culture & Organization,

to win an internal Group award. After preselection, representatives from the best three projects in each category were invited to present their projects to the jury in the form of a short 5-minute presentation. The winners were those who impressed the jury most during their live pitches, and received their awards during the evening event held at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz.

4 winners

The Value Chain & Processes category was won by a purchasing team project which applied artificial intelligence methods to correctly assign orders to the correct goods categories. voestalpine Nortrak was the winner in the Products & Services category with its newly introduced webshop for turnouts, while the Culture & Organization award went to voestalpine Metsec for the organizational development required after successfully introducing building information modelling, or BIM. There was also a special award which went to the team at the Digital Competence Center in Kapfenberg.

Digital dynamism

“It’s incredible how much is now going on within the voestalpine Group in terms of digitalization,” says Head of Research, Franz Androsch, summing up. “That was clear both from the discussions held during our workshops, and the number of projects submitted for the awards.” Androsch heads the voestalpine digitalization coordination team which drives the corporate digitalization strategy and is responsible for selecting the topics for the Digitalization Day.



https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/innovation-en/voestalpine-digitalization-awards-honors-best-of-120-submitted-projects/feed/ 0
Thousands of contracts for our energy https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/energy/thousands-of-contracts-for-our-energy/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/energy/thousands-of-contracts-for-our-energy/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 12:41:00 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/general-en/thousands-of-contracts-for-our-energy/ The quantity of electricity voestalpine purchases for its Austrian sites every year would be sufficient to power 340,000 households. The purchasing team are known for their market understanding and speed.


voestalpine Energieein- und zukauf

Power Plant in Linz

The voestalpine site in Linz covers more than 80% of its electricity requirements by generating its own power. Even so, every year additional power has to be externally sourced, in quantities sufficient to cover the needs of 125,000 Austrian households.

Unusual electricity purchasing

At voestalpine the practice of purchasing electricity is naturally different from that in private households. “We purchase in 15-minute cycles,” explains Hannes Pesendorfer, Head of Energy Purchasing at voestalpine Rohstoffbeschaffungs GmbH. “The prices change every quarter of an hour, fluctuating by up to €150 per megawatt hour.” For that reason there is close cooperation with the Group’s own power plants in determining current consumption levels.

"We react sensitively both to changes in our own energy situation and developments in the energy spot markets. Each year in Linz around 18,000 contracts are made with energy providers and consumers in order to optimize purchasing, and include everything from long-term purchase agreements through to short-term intraday trades."
Hannes Pesendorfer

Quick and courageous action can bring huge advantages, for example, when so-called “negative prices” are paid for electricity.

Free electricity?


A colorful landscape of prices for the electricity buyers at voestalpine Rohstoffbeschaffungs GmbH: every day the electricity prices change every 15 minutes in the spot market.

When the voestalpine energy buyers purchase electricity it can sometimes cost nothing. Indeed, when megawatt hours are sold, they even get paid. What initially sounds contradictory soon becomes clear after looking at the relationships between power networks spanning national borders. These networks are fed by conventional power plants, but also with electricity generated from so-called renewable sources (wind power and photovoltaics). When the weather is right, supply can suddenly exceed demand and the grid risks becoming unstable. Rather than powering down time and cost-intensive generation capacities during such situations, it is cheaper for network operators to pay for large quantities of power to be drawn from the grid over the short term. Energy-intensive companies such as voestalpine can benefit from these developments if the purchasing professionals keep a close eye on the market and act quickly.

"You have to react incredibly quickly in the power market."
Wolfgang Sparlinek, energy buyer at voestalpine Rohstoffbeschaffungs GmbH

Joint presence in the market

An energy buyer’s workspace is similar to that of a stock trader, the monitors filled with current price, supply and consumption information. The employees not only consider the situation at the site in Linz. Wherever possible, voestalpine draws on its market experience as a bulk purchaser, utilizing opportunities to exploit optimum purchasing prices, and to provide important information to the Group companies. This cooperation benefits everyone. There is a special structure in Austria, with voestalpine creating its own natural gas balancing group. This negates the need for intermediaries, and provides all sites with flexible and market-focused access to the electricity markets.

Cooperation across national borders

voestalpine generally tries to establish electricity and natural gas pools across divisional borders in each country in which it operates. Where this has already been achieved, for example, in Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands, it has been shown that procuring larger quantities brings significant advantages. 
In the USA, too, efforts are made to unify sites within a joint pool. Natural gas and electricity purchases for the direct reduction plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, are also managed by the buyers in Linz.

"We organize energy procurement for Texas from our base in Linz. Natural gas from the USA, currently at a third of the standard price paid here."
Hannes Pesendorfer

More on environment at voestalpine: www.voestalpine.com/environment


https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/energy/thousands-of-contracts-for-our-energy/feed/ 0
China as a growth market: 5 years of network #china https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/career/china-as-a-growth-market-5-years-of-network-china/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/career/china-as-a-growth-market-5-years-of-network-china/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 08:04:02 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/general-en/china-as-a-growth-market-5-years-of-network-china/ Since 2013 both market-related and internal synergies for the growing Chinese market have been structured and bundled across division and company borders as part of the so-called “network #China”. The third network #China management conference in Suzhou provided the ideal framework for presenting the current status of the projects, as well as to look towards the future.


Visits to voestalpine Profilform (China) Co., Ltd. and voestalpine Böhler Welding (China) Co., Ltd. marked the start of the conference in which around 70 CEOs from China and Europe, divisional board members, and the Group’s Management Board took part.

The opening speech given by Wolfgang Eder, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG, focused on the topics of corporate strategy, digitalization, and the significance of China for the Group as a whole. Marshall Chen of Fiducia Consulting and Charlie Zhang (Vice President Industrial Development) of NIO were guests at the event. The former offered insights into “Made in China 2025”, and highlighted the automotive and mechanical engineering segments. Mr Zhang offered a glimpse into the future of e-mobility and its associated lifestyles. This was followed by internal examples and views of digitalization within the voestalpine Group, before the Management Board members responsible for sales outlined their expectations for the Chinese market and the local companies.

Update from the region

As well as this key information from the divisions and the Group, a natural focus was also the local contributions from the project teams from within the network organization. Following a brief introduction of the new structure by network coordinator René Killinger, the project coaches Kevin Hu for Market/Marketing/Branding, Neil Smith for Production/Quality, David Xu for Environment/Health/Safety, as well as Qiping Zhao for Sourcing/Procurement each presented the individual projects, together with a project leader, the successes achieved so far, the current status, and future activities.


Part of the voestalpine family

In a highly emotional presentation, Sara Li from voestalpine Automotive Components Shenyang Co., Ltd., and Myu Miao from ASSAB Tooling (Dong Guan) Co., Ltd., both of whom are participants on the group’s internal training program for Young Professionals, introduced themselves, and clearly demonstrating their pride in being voestalpine employees. Both answered questions about the training program itself, and offered their personal assessment on economic development in China.

In the Management Board panel which followed, China’s great importance as a strategic region for the Group was highlighted.


https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/career/china-as-a-growth-market-5-years-of-network-china/feed/ 0
Energy supply at voestalpine https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/energy/energy-supply-at-voestalpine/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/energy/energy-supply-at-voestalpine/#respond Fri, 28 Sep 2018 07:31:40 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/?p=86795 Coal, gas, and electricity—voestalpine strategically plans its energy requirements.


Just like ores, coal, and additives, energy is a basic raw material which the voestalpine Group sources for hundreds of sites worldwide. They include the four major consumers in Linz, Donawitz, Kapfenberg, and Corpus Christi, as well as many other production locations. Total energy consumption across the voestalpine Group amounted to over 37 TWh in 2016.

Strategically planning energy

It should be simple to calculate the quantities needed: demand minus in-house production (e.g., electricity generated from process gases in the blast and LD furnaces) = quantity to purchase.
However, the requirements vary constantly, as do the market conditions for purchasing.“For that reason, it is particularly important that we ensure our energy supplies on a very long-term basis,” explains René Matscheko, coordinator of the Energy Committee and CEO of the voestalpine Rohstoffbeschaffungs GmbH. “At a strategic level, scenarios are regularly modeled which offer us a highly flexible solution at all times when it comes to energy purchases, irrespective of our foreseeable level of demand and the specific external conditions.”

Energieversorgung der voestalpine

Group-wide energy procurement

The energy flows extend far beyond the borders of the voestalpine divisions. Every effort is made to use energy as efficiently as possible. This involves not only forward planning but also close collaboration between consumers and the employees responsible for energy purchasing.

  • For example, the in-house gas balancing group forms a flexible supply network of consumers within the Group so that gas can be supplied without the involvement of intermediaries.
  • A shared energy pool, including electricity consumers at the German voestalpine sites, amongst others, negotiates better energy prices and allows fluctuations in demand to be rapidly balanced.
"We generate more than 80% of the power we need from our process gases. The highest levels of efficiency, supply reliability, and dynamic participation in the energy markets are factors in our success."
Ralf Martinelli, Head of Technical Service and Energy, voestalpine Stahl GmbH

Employees with energy

Just as in daily operations, the voestalpine employees involved in strategic planning understand the market conditions in detail, and know how to turn them to the company’s advantage.

"Today, as in the future, it is our employee know-how which guarantees highly efficient energy use"
René Matscheko

More on environment at voestalpine: www.voestalpine.com/environment


https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/energy/energy-supply-at-voestalpine/feed/ 0
InnoTrans 2018—voestalpine at the leading international trade fair for transport technology https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/general-en/innotrans-2018-voestalpine-at-the-leading-international-trade-fair-for-transport-technology/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/general-en/innotrans-2018-voestalpine-at-the-leading-international-trade-fair-for-transport-technology/#respond Thu, 27 Sep 2018 07:57:08 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/?p=86532 InnoTrans 2018 impressively demonstrated its status as the world’s most important trade fair for transport technology. Nowhere else is it possible to acquire such a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the industry. It was again a success for voestalpine: for the first time the railway infrastructure competencies were bundled together under the joint Railway Systems brand. A great start to the new era as a global full-service provider!


A record number of exhibitors and trade visitors, more business deals, and over 400 innovations presented, 155 of which were world firsts. All in all, 160,000 visitors from more than 110 countries streamed through the exhibition grounds in Berlin between September 18 and 21, to view the products and services offered by over 3,000 companies and organizations from 61 countries.

This year, too, the biennial trade fair was a fixed date in the Metal Engineering Division’s schedule, as it is every year in which it is held. 2018 was probably one of the more significant InnoTrans appearances as it marked the official launch of the new voestalpine Railway Systems brand to the world public. For the first time voestalpine presented itself as the leading system provider for railway infrastructure, as the only global producer offering everything from rails to turnouts, through to signaling technology, all from a single source.

"Our ‘Performance on Track’ slogan, together with our logo, express our determination to optimize the performance of our customers’ rail infrastructure and to offer them the lowest possible life-cycle costs."
Franz Kainersdorfer, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and Head of the Metal Engineering Division

Huge response and a new stand concept

InnoTrans 2018

Customer feedback about the complete system branding was extremely positive, and the quality of talks with customers was particularly good.

In the truest sense of the word, voestalpine built on the new corporate stand, with 1000 m² spread over two levels, explains Thomas Stocker, CEO of voestalpine Weichensysteme GmbH: “For our set-up at this year’s InnoTrans we used the largest possible version of the Group’s modular exhibition stand.” And that was a good idea, because the level of visitor interest was huge: “We’ve never had such a strong Tuesday and Wednesday before. We were literally overrun.”

It also helped that for the first time the so-called ‘village concept’ for the new exhibition stand included a first floor, where meeting rooms and communication areas provided a relaxed atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of activity on the ground floor of the hall. “And the employees are still reporting many, very good, and above all in-depth discussions with customers, frequently technical in nature, and not just with passing visitors. The feedback about the complete system branding was exceptionally positive.”

"What makes InnoTrans special is the high quality of the visitors, including specialists, managing directors, and decision-makers, and that together we can advise these people from early to late in terms of complete system solutions."
Dieter Fritz, CEO of voestalpine VAE GmbH

Digitalization in focus

The trade fair really was bursting at the seams. For more than 200 companies, being on the waiting list for stand space had to suffice, explains Stocker: “The railway industry clearly continues to boom. Much is happening, and a lot of very new companies are pushing into the digital systems and measurement technologies sector in particular.” In addition to innovative turnout drives, the major topic of this year’s InnoTrans was very clearly digitalization. Here voestalpine came to the fore thanks to its portfolio of intelligent diagnostic and monitoring systems being part of its focus on digitalization, both in addition to and under the umbrella of the bundled competencies of voestalpine Railway Systems.

"“We are also presenting our interactive LCC tool here. A world debut which we use as a decision-making aid for our customers when deciding on the rail grades that they can or should select in order to minimize their life-cycle costs, for stretches of track, railway lines, and complete networks.”"
Frederick Kübler, CEO, voestalpine Schienen GmbH

A third focus was certainly the presentation of the comprehensive portfolio of services which complement the innovative products. And last but not least, the stand offered visitors the chance to discover new products such as an acoustic monitoring system for axle bearings and the new point frogs from voestalpine BWG GmbH. The Steel Division also used InnoTrans as a stage for the world premiere of the pioneering lightweight freight wagon TransANT.

All in all, the voestalpine companies can look back on a very successful InnoTrans, and are positive that voestalpine will be able to further expand its position as the global leader in railway infrastructure systems under the new Railway Systems brand.


https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/general-en/innotrans-2018-voestalpine-at-the-leading-international-trade-fair-for-transport-technology/feed/ 0
“Presidency of the Council”: EU meets voestalpine https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/innovation-en/presidency-of-the-council-eu-meets-voestalpine/ https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/innovation-en/presidency-of-the-council-eu-meets-voestalpine/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2018 08:23:03 +0000 https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/?p=86352 On July 1, 2018, Austria took over the presidency of the European Council for six months; this is the third time after 1998 and 2006. The office entails a number of political activities such as meetings at the ministerial level and related events. Hence voestalpine is not just a host in this respect, but is also intensely active in substantive terms with respect to environmental and energy policies.


voestalpine hosted the Energy Ministers

The informal meeting of EU energy ministers was held on September 18 at the Design Center in Linz, Austria. A day earlier, voestalpine will host a conference for high-ranking officials entitled “Charge for Change: Innovative Technologies for Energy-Intensive Industries.” Representatives of the EU Commission, the EU Parliament, and renowned European companies are expected to attend alongside the ministers and undersecretaries. The conference, which is being organized by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, took place in voestalpine’s Stahlwelt. During both days, the focus was on “hydrogen,” and the H2FUTURE joint venture were both presented and inspected on site.

Among others, the Council of Energy Ministers is being prepared by the Permanent Representatives of the EU member states—i.e. ambassadors accredited in Brussels, Belgium—who are tasked with setting and coordinating the agenda for Council meetings. About 90 of these “Committees of Permanent Representatives” (COREPERs), their representatives as well as high-ranking staff of the EU Commission and the General Secretariat of the EU Council visited voestalpine in July. The diplomats traveled on to Vienna after attending a presentation by our CEO, Wolfgang Eder, and a subsequent discussion especially on issues related to energy and climate policies as well as trade policies vis-à-vis the United States.

But: What does the presidency of the EU Council actually entail?

Every six months, another EU member state takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Austria took over the Council Presidency on July 1, 2018, from Bulgaria. As a result, Austria presides over the different Councils of Ministers such as those related to the environment, energy, agriculture, or economics and finance. The most important agendas of the EU are generally coordinated by the General Affairs Council, which comprises the EU ministers. This is why the respective minister of the current presiding country is frequently referred to as the “Council President.” (In Austria’s case, this is Gernot Blümel, the Minister of the Chancellery responsible for matters related to the EU.) Romania will take over the council presidency from Austria on January 1, 2019.

However, the Council President should not be confused with the “actual” President of the European Council (which comprises the heads of state and government), who is elected by this body; the Polish politician, Donald Tusk, has held this office since 2014. This permanent position was created in 2009 pursuant to the Treaty of Lisbon, with the effect of substantially diluting the actual power of the rotating six-month EU presidency. Until then, the presiding country also chaired the meetings of the heads of state and government.

What are the actual responsibilities of the Council President?

Nonetheless, the Council Presidency entails more than merely symbolic functions. The president participates in setting the agenda for and preparing Council meetings; chairs the council meetings of specific ministers; and, last but not least, leads the negotiations in the so-called trilogues with both the European Parliament and the European Commission that serve to enact planned legislation. As far as voestalpine is concerned, most recently such trilogues on energy and climate policies in particular (e.g. emissions trading reforms or the “winter package” regarding the energy union) as well as on trade policies were important in view of bringing about compromises between the different negotiating parties.


https://www.voestalpine.com/blog/es/innovation-en/presidency-of-the-council-eu-meets-voestalpine/feed/ 0