Tata Steel Innovation Centre


Tata Steel is world leader in sustainable steal. A high quality manufacturing company on the Dutch seacoast with a rich history and future of innovation. Celebrating the centennial anniversary, the steel giant from the harbor port of IJmuiden opened in 2018 the Tata Steel Innovation Centre. Sandenburg-DST developed the concept, content and design of the b2b experience and guided tour inside the factory. 

Tata steel

The choice to radically change the approach how to welcome business visitors, came forth from a strategic change of course in the organization. From a traditional push-strategy as producer towards a client centric and demand focused development and production. Tata Steel took a giant leap forward, especially the customer reception and market approach. The guided tours got more structure, paying more attention to the company. The safety was enlarged by unlocking sites which were previously off-site for visitors.

Tata steel

“With this modernisation we are even better equipped to engage our customers and other relations.

Hans van den Berg, CEO Tata Steel Netherlands

Tata steel

The team of Sandenburg-DST developed the reception area, measuring 600 square meters, spread out over the Dudok House and the Congress center. Our partner agency Bruns took care of the realization. The goal was to create the new Visitor Experience for the annually more than 10.000 business visitors. Both reception areas offered the visitor a warm welcome in the world of steel with a professional, open and modern appearance. In the reception area a host of Tata Steel can efficiently and profoundly zoom in on the problem of the prospective client. Enquiring where the needs and challenges really lie. From the perspective of the world as he experiences it, and the business drivers. There is also a walk of fame, where beautiful photography gives a good overview of all the innovations Tata Steel offers.

The interactivity ensures that the visitors can see and experience a lot of things. Commonly used conversation techniques like audiovisuals, projection mapping and a customer engagement tool (interactive object theatre) are used to sketch the context for clients. The information from the reception area is the starting point for conversations that are explored more thoroughly in the adjacent meeting room. In this space confidentiality and facilitation of conversations are key drivers. 

A visitor can get a guided tour or pay a working visit to one of hi-tech labs of Automotive and Packaging. Sandenburg-DST created signage and wayfinding to enhance the structure of the tour. Offering tour guides conversation starters that fit with the fields of interest of the visitors. Visitors are shown 360 degrees movies. The tour consists of eleven stops and at every stop the visitor has the feeling that he or she is actually standing in the steel factory. 

Sandenburg-DST also provided, as part of the new Visitor Experience, an updated script for tour guides on the grounds of Tata Steel in Ijmuiden, in which predominantly clients, students, suppliers and employees participate. The script is supported with 360 degrees VR films via a tablet. This helps guides to explain visitors what precisely takes place in the factory building, without having to leave the bus.

Tata steel

Project team

portret fot Marie-Thérèse Thielen

Marie-Thérèse Thielen

Senior Project Manager

Renze de Vries

Experience Strategist & Concept Developer

Carmen Gilhuis

Experience Designer

Take a look:

Tata steel