Tata Steel adds 100th new product to its portfolio
Tata Steel has reached a significant milestone in the transformation of its European steel portfolio with the launch of the 100th new product in its revitalised new product development programme.
Tata Steel revised its new product development activities in 2011 as part of its market differentiation strategy, which delivers innovative products and services to customers who are increasingly demanding advanced, high-tech steels.
The company's engineers work closely with customers in a range of industries to help them overcome their challenges by developing new products and services.
Yesterday Tata Steel launched an innovative, stronger structural steel product, Celsius® 420, which can reduce the construction time of new buildings.
Henrik Adam, Tata Steel's Chief Commercial Officer in Europe, said: "This vital programme has enabled us to expand our products and services, enhancing existing ones and bringing entirely new ones to market.
"Many of these new products and services are the direct result of our collaboration with customers. Our advanced steel products give customers a competitive edge and help them succeed in their markets."
In the past four years the proportion of differentiated products in Tata Steel's portfolio - products that give customers enhanced capabilities for specific applications and that few steel producers make - has risen significantly. More than a third of the company's overall sales are now advanced steels.
Tata Steel has responded to growing market needs and customer ambitions, such as the requirement for improved performance, reduced manufacturing costs and light weighting.
The company's European production and delivery activities are - uniquely in the steel industry - organised according to the requirements of the market sectors the company serves. This enables Tata Steel to develop new products and services that meet customer needs in automotive, construction, aerospace, packaging, energy & power, lifting & excavating and rail sectors, among others.
More than 30 products were launched in 2014. The automotive sector has been a particular area of focus. Last year Tata Steel launched 11 products for the automotive market, including Serica™, a premium surface finish on hot-dip galvanised steels for exposed car body panels that offers a superior paint appearance. Tata Steel's innovative MagiZinc Auto zinc-magnesium coating technology, with its excellent corrosion resistance and ease of processing, also came into production last year on the company's extra-wide galvanising line at IJmuiden in the Netherlands.
Another recently launched steel product has made it easier for manufacturers of wheel rims for tractors and other large off-road vehicles to form, flash weld and cold roll the steel used in their products. The new product was developed by Tata Steel researchers using know-how gained from solving welding problems in other industries.
In the rail sector Tata Steel has launched new market-leading products in recent years which reduce rail life cycle costs. The high performance grooved rail product ML330, which is particularly suitable for the tight corners associated with tramways, has a high wear resistance and can be more easily weld-repaired using Tata Steel's patented weld process.
Tata Steel's new product development programme identifies new product ideas, tests their viability and, if successful, brings them to market. This process better enables Tata Steel's sales and development teams to collaborate and launch new products effectively and with pace.
Several other Tata group companies have studied the way Tata Steel is managing its new product development system, with Tata Global Beverages deciding to adopt elements of it for its own consumer products development.
About Tata Steel's European operations
Tata Steel is Europe's second largest steel producer, with steelmaking in the UK and Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe. The company supplies products and services to the most demanding markets, including construction, automotive, packaging, rail, lifting & excavating, energy & power and aerospace. The combined Tata Steel group is one of the world's largest steel producers, with a steel capacity of 29 million tonnes and 80,000 employees across four continents.