Global site

Digital transformation in the steel industry | metals industry

Share this page


Envision, create and manage your digitalization initiatives, capture real value from IoT applications - guided by a digital transformation partner with deep knowledge of the steel industry, copper, aluminium, other metals and metallurgy.

Removing ambiguity. Eliminating guess work. Every single aspect, every minute detail of plants operations in your control. At your fingertips.

How can our digital technologies create added value for your business?

Connect with our metals experts to learn more

Think big: imagine a metals plant where

Every component is intelligent 

Asset tracking ensures effective planning and precision

Every single piece of data across the value chain is visualized and visible

AI & analytics driven system self-diagnoses to inform you of its optimization needs

There was a time when Intelligent Plants were the future. Through digitalization, the future is happening now with a complete paradigm shift and new ways of working. We call this approach ABB Ability™.

Get practical: ABB Ability™ solution highlights and implementation examples in metals

Our vision of the intelligent metals plant where ABB Ability™ enables end-to-end visibility and optimization


Plan production better with complete system integration for insights and accurate forecasting to enable optimized scheduling & closed loop execution


Track quality and optimize storage time through real-time tracking of quality and tonnage in storage and stockpiles to reduce overloading, lost stockpiles

Primary metals

Improve pellet quality, save energy through model predictive control; and through melt shop ladle tracking and accurate superheat prediction

Hot rolling

Minimize downtimes and production loss through fault prediction using cobble analysis with digital twins / assistants and vision technology for tracking

Cold rolling, processing

Improve quality through prediction of strip quality using machine learning models for processing parameters in mill, annealing and pickling


Enable just-in-time delivery through integration with shipping and outbound logistics such as trains, port stockyards and other transport means

Consolidating data in a unified digital ecosystem to create impact on every aspect of operations

Digital infrastructure
Integrated communication solution for steel plants using WLAN, LTE, 5G – modules for positioning, data acquisition, IT integration, on premise or in cloud

Enterprise information
Integrated activity solution for steel plants as ERP for assets, orders, enterprise level production planning, logistics, workforce management

Mobile workforce
Problem reporting and spot resolution with real-time visibility all enabled through information, support on mobile devices, increasing efficiency and safety

Health & safety
Crisis management capability with proven support ability in case of crisis situations / exceptions, enhanced by real-time tracking of personnel and vehicle locations

Smart asset management
Smart plants that reflect best practice and processes to manage assets in short-term and across lifecycle – leading to maximized availability and investment returns

Utilities optimization
Utilities and byproduct gases trend analysis and benchmarking for optimization of distribution, forecasting and supply-demand balancing

Making the transformation to intelligent plants a reality

We have now entered the century defined by Industry 4.0, which is progressively evolving to meet the needs of rapid and productive operations.

The first step to creating this transformative regime is making data across the plant available in real-time, analyzed and presented on a highly intuitive dashboard. This simplification & ease is the first step towards Intelligent Plant operations.

We monitor diverse parameters – including and especially temperatures – and further help control these to minimize occurrence of unwanted activities - protecting human life and infrastructure assets and therefore safeguarding your brand reputation and financial security.

Performance enhancement is the primary focus of an ABB Ability™ solution. We create the inherent ability to track all key machine parameters for metals operations directly resulting in a reliability-centered maintenance approach.

A uniform digital ecosystem ensures that every single component is talking to a central point from which data consolidation and cross-departmental coordination are enabled. Smart algorithms, deep analytics layers designed based on ABB's domain knowledge of the metals industry and artificial intelligence are used to translate this information into insights and actions.

Metals companies can't rely on aging systems to support the business activities of the future. To remain competitive, they need to transform, creating new operating and business models and fostering a digital culture.

We see a plethora of technology to assist steelmakers in their roles such as fully and semi-autonomous robots, drones, increased use of artificial intelligence, virtual, augmented and mixed reality, digital twins, 3-D and 4-D printing and ever more innovative ways to transform. Experimenting, piloting, learning and adapting will help prioritize the technologies with the biggest impact for each specific situation, paving the way to intelligent plants.

Here's how ABB can support you throughout the digital transformation journey

Digital maturity assessment

Digitalization scope, solution, roadmap

Proof of concept & pilot program


Industrial digital transformation playbook

(no registration required)

Download the playbook

Frequently Asked Questions

How does ABB ensure uninterrupted access to data?

The ABB AbilityTM platform is an always-connected ecosystem  which employs a hybrid connectivity model using on-premise and in-cloud resources to ensure that the platform is always available, providing real-time insights for better decision making leading to higher asset and process reliability.

What is ABB approach to data security and intellectual property?

I already have a data platform - why do I need ABB Ability?

Loading documents