VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut (BFI) is a leading European provider of application-focused R&D in the field of steelmaking technology. It provides the steel industry with top-level research and development meeting the most exacting international standards. BFI`s field of activities covers the entire steelmaking process chain, from charge materials to the final product. Our core competences lie in the field of measuring technology, process engineering and process automation. BFI cooperates very closely with similar institutes all over Europe.

Company details

Sohnstrasse 65 , Düsseldorf , 40237 Germany

Locations Served

Business Type:
Industry Type:
Manufacturing, Other
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)
Year Founded:

BFI is permanently headquartered at, and integrated into, the Düsseldorf-based Stahl-Zentrum under whose roof the Steel Institute VDEh, the German Steel Federation and other institutes co-operate closely. Through its technical work adressing all aspects of steelmaking and steel as a material, BFI is closely involved in VDEh's activities.

A total of 13 specialized departments, structured into three divisions (Energy and Resource Technology, Process Technology, Measuring Techniques and Automation), handle the Institute's work via a competence-based approach. Delivering plant-wide optimization in terms of quality, resource and energy efficiency as well as operational cost-effectiveness is our first and foremost objective.


VDEh Institut für angewandte Forschung (VDEh Institute of Applied Research) was established in 1968 by merging two divisions, 'Energy and Business Administration' (the Düsseldorf-based thermal engineering unit) and 'Mechanical Engineering', of the German Iron and Steel Institute (VDEh). Karl-Heinz Mommertz was appointed its first director. However, the foundation of BFI as we know it today was not completed until 1971 when the institute was converted into a non-profit limited liability company. It was this change in legal form that finally enabled BFI to launch itself successfully in the private enterprise sector. The foundation was thus laid for a flexible organization characterized by its ability to process basic R&D findings into viable industrial solutions, thereby holding its own in the marketplace.

In 2008, VDEh Institut für angewandte Forschung Gmbh was renamed VDEh-Betriebsforschugsinstitut GmbH under its then General Manager, Dr. Carl-Dieter Wuppermann.

Three basic divisions (Iron and Steelmaking, Hot and Cold Rolling, and Steel Finishing & Application) and three interdisciplinary divisions (Process and Environmental Engineering, Energy and Heat Engineering, and Measuring Techniques and Quality Assurance) were set up in 2006, superseding the previous organisation of five main departments comprising up to 21 specialized sub-departments. Since 2009, Dr. Ralph Sievering has been serving as the institute's general manager.

Mission Statement

To improve equipment, processes and workflows in steelmaking, we offer expertise in the areas of simulation, instrumentation and automation technology, process management and development. With our practice-centred approach, we collaborate with our customers in a trustful, result-focused partnership to achieve their goals. Our 100 scientists supported by technicians are dedicated to upholding our more than 40-year tradition of efficiently transforming innovations into industrial practice.