New testing center in Linz: voestalpine global showcase project commences operation

The voestalpine Steel Division produces high and ultra-high-strength steels at its site in Linz that are used, for instance, in the premium automotive segment where they are required to meet stringent quality standards. Since February, the comprehensive testing and approvals process for cold strip products has been taking place in a newly constructed, state-of-the-art testing center which establishes voestalpine as a global steel industry pioneer when it comes to digitalization, automation, and cutting-edge workflows. This has required an investment of EUR 23 million.


The new testing center for controlling the quality of cold-rolled, hot-dip galvanized, electrogalvanized, and coated steel strip, and electrical steel, is setting totally new standards in quality testing. At the center 95 percent of all samples—an international record—are fully automatically measured, processed, and presorted for the subsequent process steps.

Digitalization in all areas of the business is a cornerstone of our corporate strategy. Automating and digitalizing testing is another important step in expanding our global technology and innovation leadership. We are setting new standards in this field.

Herbert Eibensteiner, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG

Depending upon the product, anything from 50 to 2,000 chemical, mechanical, technological, or magnetic tests are performed for every 1,000 tons of steel strip. The laboratory performs around 50,000 tests a month on average, and this figure is growing.

The entire process of manufacturing, testing, and analyzing samples has been standardized and completely restructured.

This has allowed us to significantly reduce testing times. Furthermore, we can report back to the research teams faster, in turn speeding up the process of development.

Hubert Zajicek, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and Head of the Steel Division

The logistics are also being fully digitalized, and in future driverless transport systems will bring the samples to the individual testing and analysis stations in an efficient sequence. “Our aim is to know where the sample is and how it is being processed at all times. In addition, we always have access to digital information about the production and testing machines, so we can react immediately when needed,” says Zajicek.

Previously, cold strip testing was decentralized, and spread across the entire Linz site. Construction of the 4,000 m2 building started in February 2019, with provisional testing beginning in fall 2021. The center will officially commence operation in February 2022 and be increasingly automated and digitalized through to winter 2023. In future, the preparation, sorting, and transport of the samples, as well as series testing, will be automatic, allowing employees to concentrate on more demanding tasks.