SteelTrace is a digital platform that enables transparency, traceability and provides efficiency to the supply chain of steel for the chemical and petrochemical industry. SteelTrace leverages new technologies, blockchain and cloud computing to seamlessly integrate quality management along the supply chain with a digital-first approach.
The first wave of digitisation made some processes more efficient but also reduced traceability and safety in some ways. While paper certificates are harder to manipulate, a PDF is easy to falsify or modify. By applying digital technologies like distributed ledgers and cryptography Steeltrace is able to provide security that goes beyond physical security.
As the world is moving to working more digitally and the digital transformation is an important policy for every company right now, quality management has remained fairly analogue. One important reason is that even if internal company processes have been digitised, they become analogous as soon as they leave the as, for the most part, companies are independent data silos. SteelTrace believes the future is digital platforms.
Platforms allow companies to collaborate in a standardised way. Any company connected to a platform can start exchanging data with all other companies connected to the platform as soon as they connect to it. They no longer need to make independent connections with each supplier and customer on the platform.
SteelTrace is a platform where all parties in the supply chain of steel for the chemical and petrochemical industry can collaborate and exchange quality related data securely. Everything related to material tests, production standards and customer specifications are exchanged on the platform.
Our vision is an integrated supply chain where quality is assured by design instead of by control. Each company in the supply chain does what they do best and contribute to the whole by letting go of the silo approach but embrace a transparent and efficient exchange of information.
SteelTrace was founded in July 2017 by Tom Meulendijks in Maastricht. The location is no coincidence. Maastricht is about a 15 minutes drive from the Chemelot chemical site.
After experiencing the problems with the supply chain of steel first hand when he was building a solution for managing materials at MCL Apparatenbouw he got the idea for SteelTrace to solve these problems.
“I was building a tool for managing material test certificates and the engineers kept telling me how they didn’t trust the certificates. I also saw all the manual labour involved in checking the data. I took a closer look at the certificates and realized that if we digitized this the right way, this could be way more secure and the checking could be automated.”, Tom Meulendijks
After his realization, he called other companies in the same business and whenever he mentioned MTC’s they immediately invited him over. It became clear that this was an industry-wide problem that needed to be solved. Tom decided this was an opportunity he was willing to pursue. He founded SteelTrace on July 27th 2017.
Limburg and the petrochemical industry
It is no coincidence that SteelTrace was founded in the Limburg region. Limburg has one of the Netherlands largest chemical sites, Chemelot. The region is full of expertise in chemical and material science. There are many companies in the area that are in need of better traceability solutions.
5 ways to find out if an MTC is fake
We all find it annoying, but we know they exist: fakers in the steel industry. Counterfeiters of certificates not only undermine confidence in the steel supply chain, they sometimes even contribute to failures and errors within a project.
Connecting the entire supply chain with one specifications checker
Imagine a supply chain in which all parties involved are able to save time and costs without being in each other's way. Through blockchain technology and the innovative use of an online platform it is now possible to connect suppliers, labs, notified bodies, inspection agencies, manufacturers, stockists and end customers in just one system.