As part of the Day of Innovations, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) awarded the 18th annual national awards for innovative companies and innovators in companies and other organisations at the beginning of the week. The national award for the best innovations presented by the GZS represents the highest award for innovative achievements by Slovenian companies and promotes innovativeness in the country. This year's event was entirely virtual.

SIJ Group is proud to have received three silver national medals for innovative breakthroughs made by three of its companies. Once again, SIJ Group proves itself as one of the most innovative corporations in Slovenia and a specialised producer of steel grades for niche markets always in search of new solutions, increased profitability, better competitiveness and ways to meet the demands of its clients, who constantly require better and more modern solutions.

It is the goal of SIJ Metal Ravne to become a strategic supplier to a major manufacturer of equipment for nuclear power plants, and thus an important producer of steel products for the industry. The awarded innovation of "Special stainless steel for the nuclear industry" will play an important role in reaching that goal. "Among the awarded steel grades are two completely new types of steelSINOXX E790 and SINOXX E880, which were developed for the production of new and the repair of old nuclear power plants, and which are set apart by superior corrosion resistance and outstanding mechanical properties. New technologies of electro-slag remelting, rolling, forging, and mechanical and heat treatment have been developed for both steel grades. The already established steel grades SINOXX 4541, SINOXX 4057, SINOXX 4313 and SINOXX 4401 have been developed to the point where they meet the strictest standards set by the nuclear industry for the use in Russian nuclear reactors," Dr. Blaž Šuler, the director of the steel programme and head of the innovations team at SIJ Metal Ravne said.  Developing the innovation meant that R&D engineers and specialists as well as sales representatives of SIJ Metal Ravne worked with the experts of the Institute of Metals and Technology and with SIJ Metal Ravne's client ŠKODA JS, which is known for high quality products used in nuclear reactors.

SIJ Ravne Systems, in cooperation with the R&D team of SIJ Metal Ravne and the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, developed a new steel grade called SIHARD S247 for cold rolling, which has better wear resistance and a simultaneous better resistance against incidents. The significance of the innovation "The development of a new generation of 3% Cr steel for cold rolling" was explained by Alen Šapek, the head of R&D at SIJ Ravne Systems "This is an innovation that is not important merely because it offers a solution for the most demanding rolling conditions, but it is also cost-effective and therefore fully aligns with our main goal – customer focus."

Part of executing SIJ Acroni's strategy for investing in products with a higher added value was also the investment in a new heat treatment line for quarto plates (HTL). The core of the innovation "The technological development of heat and surface treatment of duplex and super duplex proprietary stainless steel brands Sinoxx 4462 and Sinoxx 4410" developed by SIJ Acroni and the Jesenice R&D centre (RCJ) is based on establishing a new technological platform, as mag. Robert Robič, an R&D engineer for processing technology at RCJ and SIJ Acroni explains, "By developing a new and innovative technological platform, which includes altering the technology of treating quarto plates, we have set a foundation for stabilising the qualities of the presented Sinoxx 4462 and Sinoxx 4410 steel grades.


 More about the innovations and their importance for the further development of SIJ Group