With the right steel the only limit is your imagination
Julia Hermansson has been a controller at Ovako Hällefors since 2017. Her role as a controller includes preparing and following up business plans, budgets and financial statements to analyze and evaluate operational performance. When the opportunity arose for a job that turned out to be a good fit with where she was in her life and education, she jumped at the chance to apply - a decision she has never regretted!
Sebastian Smed started his personal journey at Ovako as a summer temp in 2010 - but Sebastian is actually the fourth generation in an unbroken line of the Smed family to work at Ovako in Hällefors. Ever since that summer, he has continued progressing within the company and in addition to his role as a process operator at the rolling mill, Sebastian is also a safety and union representative for IF Metall
Exhibitions and digital events
When is the best time for a coffee?
A series of trade shows for the engineering contracting industry has prompted us at Ovako to reflect on the value of meeting face to face. We joined the Alihankinta Subcontractor, Tampere in September, MSV International Engineering Fair in Brno in October and Wire in Dusseldorf in June and are currently planning for the Elmia Subcontractor fair in Sweden on 15 – 17 November.
Keeping customers on course with new sales unit for Nordics and Baltics
We have merged our sales units covering Scandinavia, Finland and the Baltics to create a new unit serving customers in our home market of the Nordic and Baltic countries. The new team includes around 15 people in direct sales, as well as a further 40 at Ovako Metals in Tampere, Finland, which provides stock services for our own steel products, as well as stainless steel, copper and brass.
Specialist steel supplier cutting costs with SP-Bar
French industrial manufacturer BSA Groupe has boosted its efficiency by switching to Ovako’s SP-Bar as a raw material for peeled bar. BSA processes steel products and other alloys for manufacturers in the automotive, pharmaceutical, construction, aerospace, nuclear and defense industries.
How the M-Steel process enhances machinability
Machinability of steel can have a big impact on the bottom line. By optimizing machine operations, a manufacturer can extend tool life, increase output and minimize waste.
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
Grinding away the mythology of recycled steel
Thomas Björk, PhD, Group Technical Specialist, Ovako Sweden AB, outlines a recent research program that shows both recycled steel and ore-based steel are equally good as raw materials for automotive crankshafts.
Hybrid Steel benefits at a glance
In the high-stress and elevated temperature applications found in mechanical power transmission systems and engines, the choice of material for critical components makes a huge difference to performance, reliability and lifetime.
Hultafors produces superior wrecking bars with Ovako boron steel
Wrecking bars are invaluable tools for prying apart objects and pulling out nails. Yet, despite its sturdy appearance, a poor-quality bar made from inferior material can snap unexpectedly under pressure, putting workers at risk. That’s why Hultafors, the Swedish hand tool maker, uses high-strength Ovako boron steel for its best quality wrecking bars. The benefit is not only in increased safety, it also enables Hultafors to produce wrecking bars with claws that are thin for great access but still really strong.
RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS
Vacuum Tank Degassing facility drives new opportunities
Aristotle said, “nature abhors a vacuum”. But our customers are loving the impact of vacuum treatment on the high-quality steel produced by our Smedjebacken mill in Sweden. This follows a €11 million investment in a Vacuum Tank Degassing (VTD) facility that started operation in the summer of 2020. It is the final piece of the jigsaw that enables Ovako to supply customers who need high-performance, reliable and cost-effective steel for demanding applications, especially in the automotive industry.
Digital audit process helping to keep steel production on track
We have overcome travel restrictions during the pandemic by working digitally to achieve the annual quality management certifications for our mills. Maintaining certifications is essential for us to continue supplying our customers. Therefore, we have turned to web conferencing and video calls in place of the usual in-person approach.
RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS
How to specify the right type of wear resistant steel
In the tough environments of the mining, construction and agricultural industries, wear is a fact of life. However, with clever design and specification of wear resistant WR-Steel, engineers can design machines to withstand challenging conditions for longer. As a result, operators will get more life from their machines, reduce repair and maintenance spend, and avoid downtime.
A quick guide to mechanical wear and tear
Abrasive wear shortens the life of equipment in agriculture, construction, mining and other industries. When a machine experiences excessive wear, it has to come out of service and go for repair or be replaced completely.
Material Data Sheets – find the best steel grade for your application online
Our Material Data Sheets (MDS) module is an important extension to Ovako’s digital Steel Navigator. With just a few clicks of a mouse it enables you to search a database of hundreds of steel grades to compare options and select the best steel for your specific application.
Ovako’s Piston Rod Predictor can ensure your design never buckles under pressure
We have developed a unique online tool, called the Piston Rod Predictor, to compare the resistance of different steel grades to buckling in piston rod applications. The emphasis is on buckling because it is the key design consideration for hydraulic cylinders, especially in single-action, push-only applications.
RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS
First in the world to heat steel using hydrogen
Together with Linde Gas AB, Ovako have completed the world’s first successful full-scale trial in a production environment of using hydrogen to heat steel before rolling. The use of hydrogen in combustion would have a great positive effect on the environment since the only emission generated is water vapor.
When the going gets hot – Hybrid Steel® gets going
Ovako has developed Hybrid Steel to merge the unique properties of tool steel, maraging steel and stainless steel into one high-performance steel grade that also offers the production economy of conventional engineering steels.
R&D is the strength behind Hybrid Steel® – meet Steve Ooi, a key member of Ovako’s research team
Steve Ooi is an Ovako Group R&D technical specialist based in England, at the University of Cambridge’s prestigious Maxwell Centre. We asked him to tell us about his background and to answer some questions about the particular benefits of Hybrid Steel.
Hybrid Steel® – a step-change in steel metallurgy
Jan-Erik Andersson, Senior Group Technical Specialist, Ovako R&D answers our questions about the new Hybrid Steel family.
Products that prove their environmental credentials
Sustainably-sourced steel can help OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) deliver climate-smart products and reduce their overall carbon footprint – and in turn attract environmentally conscious customers and respond to tightening legislation.
RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS
Making steel strong – the inside story
To make our steel strong, Ovako takes precise control of three key factors: 1. How the steel is cooled from its molten state 2. Its microstructure – the very small scale structure seen under a microscope 3. Its chemical composition – both the carbon content and other alloying elements