Research and development are important areas at Ovako. Development takes place in close cooperation between Ovako’s research department and key customers. The results have a clear impact on improved competitiveness.
Ovako’s IQ-Steel is an example of the outcome of one such collaboration. IQ-Steel is a unique steel used in applications that contribute to reduced environmental impact and lower CO2 emissions, which has received particular attention. In January 2012, Patrik Ölund, Ovako’s head of research and development was awarded the prestigious Kami Prize for his contribution to the development of this steel.
"Ovako constantly strives to meet requirements and wishes when it comes to the properties of their steel, product performance, service and/or technical support", says Patrik Ölund.
What does Ovako do to meet these requirements?
"The development of SP-Bar, M-Steel™ and IQ-Steel® are some examples of significant development work for our customers. This type of product development is continuous. In 2012, for example, variants of IQ-Steel have been customised to meet new specific customer needs."
How important is it to work together with the customer in product development?
"Close collaboration with key customers on product development nd innovation is critical to our competitiveness. Conducting this type of project together with our customers is very important because it allows us to identify future market needs and use this to develop products to match."
How does Ovako work with the environment and environmental technology in materials development?
"Environmental issues and energy conservation are very important, and will remain important. This is why we place an emphasis on the development of steel that contributes to lower use of resources. Through better control of our own processes, we can reduce the consumption of both energy and raw materials. Efforts to develop stronger and cleaner materials result in less energy-demanding products, which ultimately has a positive environmental effect."
How does Ovako work with innovation?
"Ovako is the perfect company for exploiting new ideas. It is large enough to have the resources to investigate and exploit ideas. At the same time we all know each other, which means that ideas do not fall between two stools, or get stuck in bureaucratic processes. Centrally we work with three research and development networks, where ideas are selected and translated into projects. All information is shared between the networks to effectively disseminate ideas across all units within Ovako."