Innovations from the SIJ Group compete for the title of the best innovation in Slovenia

Ljubljana, Monday, 12. June 2017 – The SIJ Group received four awards at the tenders organised by the regional branches of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS) in Carinthia and Upper Carniola – SIJ Acroni received a gold award, while SIJ Metal Ravne received a gold, silver, and bronze. The innovations that received gold awards will go on to compete at the national level.

At the award ceremonies organised in the beginning of June by the GZS regional branches in Upper Carniola and Carinthia respectively, the SIJ Group proved that its innovations are at a superior level and represent the foundation for development, thereby ensuring the further growth and competitiveness of the SIJ Group.

The gold award went to the SIJ Acroni innovation “Fly with SINOXX 4542 steel – developing the process route of participation hardening steel of the proprietary SINOXX 4542 brand”.
“With this award-winning innovation, SIJ Acroni has set the foundations for incorporating a new group of stainless steels in the production programme at our company. Along with austenite, ferrite, and martensite stainless steels, we will now be able to produce participation hardening stainless steels intended for use in the technologically most demanding environments,” Dr Boštjan Bradaškja, the leader of the award-winning research team at the Development Center Jesenice (RCJ) said. He also sees the award as a far-reaching confirmation of the research course followed by SIJ Acroni, where the researchers work closely with top management. The Managing Director of SIJ Acroni, Slavko Kanalec, is also very proud of the results achieved by the research team. Based on the numerous awards for innovations produced at SIJ Acroni in recent years, he emphasises, “It is obvious that progress is in our genes, which is reflected especially clearly in our constant efforts to optimise production processes and implementation of new products, which open up new markets to us.”

A total of three awards – gold, silver, and bronze – were received by SIJ Metal Ravne for their outstanding innovations, which Borut Urnaut, the Executive Director of Research and Quality at SIJ Metal Ravne, commented by saying, “We at SIJ Metal Ravne have an exceptional development team and our priority goal is develop as many new products that we can sell on the market as possible.”
The bronze award was received by SIJ Metal Ravne for their innovation “Reconstructing the Doors on a UHP (Ultra High Power) Furnace”, which improves on the original supplier’s solution. Silver was awarded to the innovation “High-strength, Deformation-hardened Special Steels”, for improving the properties of steels. And the highest, the gold award, was received by the innovation “A New Generation of Steels for Work in High Temperatures”. Andrej Vrečič, head of the award-winning innovation team, emphasised that SIJ Metal Ravne managed to deliver a product that represents a new direction in development. “The new steel, which we have named SITHERM S360 R is a tool steel. Even in extreme temperatures, it manages to retain its functional properties better than similar steels, a feat enabled by its high purity, fine micro structure, homogeneity, and its loosening ability.”
“Each year, the dynamics of research and development at SIJ Metal Ravne increase, and we develop over 100 new products and around 10 new steels annually”, Andrej Gradišnik, the Managing Director of SIJ Metal Ravne commented, adding, “By combining the composition of steel and technology we are able to perpetually improve the characteristics of our products. Doing this, we remain flexible and responsive, since that is the only way of keeping up with the demands of our clients and staying ahead of our competition.”

The innovations that received gold awards will go on to compete at the national level.


The SIJ Group is the largest vertically integrated Slovenian metallurgist group, and its products rank among the top market positions in the European and world niche steel markets. The Group has two main areas of business – the core business of metallurgy along with food (the Perutnina Ptuj Group) – with almost 50 affiliated companies in Europe, the USA and Asia and some 7200 employees.
In 2016 the SIJ Group generated EUR 842.7 million in revenues, an EBITDA of EUR 127.1 million and a net profit of EUR 51.3 million.

Additional information:
SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group
Anja Potočnik, Corporate Communication
Telephone: +386 1 242 98 18
Mobile: +386 51 693 184