Samsung began producing washing machines and refrigerators in Europe during 2010 when they opened a production facility near Poznań (Poland). Today the plant produces over three-million units annually, and one in two are made with steel from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. In 2015 ArcelorMittal received Samsung’s Best Partner award, and cooperation between the two companies has intensified ever since.
Before a steel can be used by Samsung, it must go through an extensive testing programme which involves both the local plant and head office in Korea. That begins with a sample of the steel being sent to Korea where it is checked to ensure it matches Samsung’s colour palette.
“Only the design team in Korea can do this,” explains Tomasz Świderski, a development purchasing specialist in the raw materials group at Samsung Electronics Poland Manufacturing. “Once the design team approves the colour, we can do a trial run of the steel. That’s checked by the mechanical team in Korea who confirm the steel has the right mechanical properties such as bendability and hardness. After they approve, we do a live production test locally in Poland. If that goes well, we can begin mass production.”
In the eight years since the Poland facility opened, Samsung and ArcelorMittal have undertaken more than 100 such steel approvals. Today Samsung uses a wide range of ArcelorMittal grades including hot dip galvanised, hot and cold rolled, and organic coated steels. A trial of Jetskin®, a homogenous metallic coating which offers excellent corrosion protection – particularly for indoor applications, also started at the end of 2017.
Organic coated products account for about 70 percent of the steel ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products supplies to Samsung in Poland. Chief amongst these is Estetic® Casa, a range of pre-painted steels developed by ArcelorMittal specifically for domestic appliances. “We utilise Estetic® Casa Classic, Protect, and Visual for the exposed parts of refrigerators and washing machines where visual quality needs to be high,” notes Piotr Szwugier, deputy manager of the procurement group at Samsung Electronics Poland Manufacturing. “Our most popular colour is urban silver which gives the look of stainless steel. After that come white, black, and vanilla-beige.”
Samsung Poland is trialling Magnelis®, an exceptional metallic coated steel from ArcelorMittal which includes zinc, aluminium, and magnesium. The coating is useful for parts which are exposed to moisture as Tomasz Świderski explains: “Magnelis® could be a good solution for applications such as refrigerator hinges. ArcelorMittal has already supplied us with Magnelis® and we are currently going through our Samsung approval process.”
One of the key advantages of working with ArcelorMittal is the steelmaker’s proximity to Samsung Poland. “If we have a problem with the steel, a technical expert from ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt (Germany) can be at the plant within a few hours,” says Tomasz Świderski. “And we have close links with the other ArcelorMittal mills in Belgium, Italy, and Poland which supply us with material. We’re also working with technical experts at ArcelorMittal to develop new production solutions.”
Cooperation between the two companies has intensified since ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products received Samsung’s Best Partner award in 2015. That saw ArcelorMittal admitted to Samsung’s ‘Members Club’. “The award was down to the hard work of the entire ArcelorMittal client team,” notes Arkadius Luczak, segment manager – appliances for ArcelorMittal. “From the mills to the commercial and technical teams – everyone is part of the success.”
“This is a very significant recognition from Samsung,” explains Piotr Szwugier. “It means Samsung trusts this company and wants to develop further with them. For Samsung – ArcelorMittal is a quality label. We’re working together and growing together as a result. Samsung needs ArcelorMittal and ArcelorMittal needs Samsung.”
Samsung is one of the world’s leading suppliers of electronics and home appliances. The company operates production facilities around the globe.
Samsung Electronics Poland Manufacturing started producing refrigerators and washing machines in 2010. In its first year, the plant made almost half-a-million products. Production has increased each year to reach 3.2 million units in 2017. Key markets include Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Africa.
For more information, visit https://www.samsung.com/pl/
ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products received Samsung’s Best Partner award in 2015
ArcelorMittal's Estetic® Casa range includes four grades which offer appliance makers different levels of visual finish, mechanical properties, and corrosion protection.
Copyright images: Samsung; Fotovika, KKulikov / Shutterstock.com