Functional Steel - The future of shelves.

The FunctionalSteel shelves are being developed in cooperation between Voestalpine and Variocube. The focus of the research is the development of a smart shelf that can determine whether and where an object is located by means of applied sensor technology that is only a few millimetres thick. This opens up new possibilities in many areas. Occupancy detection is then no longer based purely on check-in and check-out data, but through the use of the FunctionalSteel can accurately say whether there are actually items in a compartment.

Functional Steel Voestalpine structure

New options for lockers.

Occupancy detection

Thanks to the integrated sensor technology, the surface detects whether there is an object on it. This way, the occupancy is monitored even more closely.

Compartment monitoring

The sensors on the shelf can, for example, detect leaking liquids and immediately send warning messages.

Increased process reliability

Unintentional non-insertion of goods is reduced. The user can be reminded if he mistakenly closes the compartment without contents.

What is Functional Steel and what functions does it fulfil?

Functional Steel is a hot-dip galvanised, coated steel with a layer of conductive tracks embedded in the paint layer. In this way, conventional steel becomes a smart material. Additional functions that previously had to be operated with external sensors can now be integrated directly into the surface, opening up new application scenarios.

  • Heating up the surface.
  • Load detection.
  • Capacitive sensor as operating element.
  • Detection of damage on the surface.
  • Detection of leaking liquid.


Voestalpine x Variocube

Voestalpine – one step ahead

voestalpine is a leading global steel and technology group with combined materials and processing expertise. The globally active group of companies has around 500 Group companies and sites in more than 50 countries on all five continents.

Variocube Logo

Variocube – Smart Locker Systems

Variocube specialises in interdisciplinary SaaS solutions with a strong focus on modular and customisable locker systems. The development of our own software solutions, high-quality locker systems and cooperation with other manufacturers makes us an innovation leader.

Contact us now for more information about FunctionalSteel

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