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Industry 4.0 solution in practice at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe

Reference ThyssenKrupp Bosch Software Innovations

Production process automation


Steel is by some way the most important industrial production material. ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG is one of the leading providers of quality flat steel worldwide. Numbering some 27,000 committed employees and boasting highly efficient production facilities, the company provides smart steel products to drive the innovation of tomorrow. Steel guarantees living standards in highly developed industrialized nations and is the bedrock of dynamic growth in developing countries.



ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe found itself in the position of needing to replace, step by step, the models it had programmed itself to manage the production of various grades of steel with a solution equipped to face the demands of the future. The solution had to be easy to integrate and designed to be rolled out step by step.

ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe uses its automation systems to manage the whole production process at its company steel plants. This is done using clever algorithms that map the functional relationships across all stages of the steel production process. However, there are still a host of other changeable factors that influence the quality of the product obtained, and these also need to be factored in in the form of rules or formulae. What ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe was looking for was a suitable piece of software to fulfill this rule-based management function.

In the end the company opted for Bosch Software Innovations’ Visual Rules – Business Rules Management (BRM) system. And with great success, as users can now work with a future-ready software system. In its modeling of the rules governing the formula for the steel, the software demonstrates agility and transparency – two things that are critical to the company’s success.




Modeling the rules using Visual Rules will provide ThyssenKrupp with an agile solution for the production of various grades of steel. Implementation is underway for all of the rule- and formula-based knowledge that will serve to manage processes and aid decision making in the production process. Thanks to the transparency and easy modification of the rules models, any future changes to production requirements (production method, special treatments, special conditions to be respected, etc.) will be easily accommodated and the path to a steel product tailored to customers’ altered needs greatly expedited. In the case of a new steel formula for a new product within an existing product family, the production specifications will be generated automatically – guaranteeing a high level of consistency in the production techniques employed.



Consistent modeling increases the transparency of formula rules and agility in implementing changes to production specifications:

  • Rules models are and will remain easy to modify.
  • Graphic modeling keeps even complex production specifications comprehensible to industry specialists.
  • Subject-specific experts (e.g. metallurgists) can be involved in the application of rules.

On completion, each project has access to consistent and up-to-date documentation relating to the rules and data models

Visual Rules helps improve quality through scenario-based testing and a wide-ranging pool of test scenarios:

  • Scenario-based testing: four times the savings
  • Graphic modeling and logical encapsulation of rules: three times the savings
  • Documentation of formulae: available for the first time