Klöckner increases productivity by more than 10% in a value-adding services production plant
Case study: Klöckner

Klöckner & Co is heavily pushing digitizing all parts of their business. The company’s goal is the digitalization of their entire supply chain in steel and metals distribution. At first, the focus has been on optimizing the customer’s procurement processes. To be able to serve the customer better and faster, Klöckner & Co proceeded in driving the digitalization of the metal processing and intralogistics processes in their locations. Klöckner & Co started collaborating with Actyx to increase operational efficiency through data-driven transparency and decision making.

The challenge

In Klöckner & Co's locations, steel and metals are processed with expensive, high-quality machinery. Products are manufactured uniquely to customer needs driving product variety and overall manufacturing complexity. Access to real-time and historic machine data is crucial for precise cost calculation, as well as effective management of manufacturing processes and resource allocation. Machine data was previously not recorded, making it impossible to calculate the exact cost for each product. Data acquisition is made difficult due to a variety of different machines being used in the processes. Additionally, data needs to be accurately linked to production orders to provide meaningful insights and made easily accessible across production plants for data analysis purposes.

Digitizing machines and assisting workers

Actyx has implemented a solution on the Actyx platform that provides full transparency on machine performance and order progress. It consists of an app running on tablets that are installed at each workstation, a machine data collection app running on gateways that are connected to PLCs of the production machines, KPI dashboards on monitors installed at each workstation, a comprehensive reporting application accessible via desktop computers, and an interface to SAP running in the local data center. Workers are using the tablet app to start/stop orders at the workstation, log material quantities, report interruption reasons, and report orders as completed. In addition, workers can compare targets vs. actuals on the KPI dashboards at the machines providing them with clear goals and feedback. Work preparation and plant management can view the machine and operating data for each order in real time at any time, as well as compare and analyze it with historical data.

The numbers say it all

Sven Koepchen, CEO of Klöckner & Co Deutschland GmbH, says the project was a great success: “We started to work with Actyx about a year ago. The actual solution was implemented and installed in Q1 2020 within a few days in our Velten location. Using the Actyx platform, we benefit from an extremely agile process in specifying the solution and installing and testing it very fast in production. Thanks to the modular approach on the edge, we are now able to scale and roll out step by step to more workstations and to our other german locations.”

  • Application development completed within 8 weeks
  • solution installed within less than 2 weeks
  • 10% increase in productivity until today and expecting an additional rise in productivity of 20-30% over the next year.


  • Seamless integration in machines of different vendors and SAP ERP system
  • Easy to use application with good integration into operator workflow
  • Highly scalable and extensible system


  • Seamless integration in machines of different vendors and SAP ERP system
  • Easy to use application with good integration into operator workflow
  • Highly scalable and extensible system


Klöckner & Co is one of the largest producer-independent distributors of steel and metal products and one of the leading steel service companies worldwide. Based on its distribution and service network of around 160 locations in 13 countries, Klöckner & Co is listed and supplies more than 100,000 customers. The Group has around 8,200 employees. Klöckner & Co had sales of some €6.3 billion in fiscal 2019. As a pioneer of change in the steel industry, Klöckner & Co is in the process of digitalizing its entire supply and value chain. XOM Materials, an independent venture launched by the Klöckner & Co Group, is geared to develop into the leading industry platform for steel, metal and related products.

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