Industry Europe – Issue 21.5

Page 1

VOLUME 21/5 – 2011 • €6

The world of European manufacturing





No thanks The Germans don’t want nuclear power and the French fear shale gas. But both will be the energy choices of the future.


very cloud, they say, has a silver lining. If the partial meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March was a nightmare for Japan, it was a godsend for anti-nuclear environmentalists worldwide. Only two months later they have succeeded in forcing the German government to backtrack on its plans to extend the operating lives of the country’s nuclear power plants to 2036, Instead all 17 of Germany’s nuclear plants, which currently generate 25 per cent of its electricity, are to be closed by 2022. Now, you would not think that many Germans would lie awake at nights worrying about the possibility of 14m waves flooding over their coastline – all 2389 km of it. Especially since most of the country’s nuclear plants are in the south. And you would think that most people would have noticed that, while the Fukushima crisis was certainly alarming and plainly the Japanese had underestimated the risks to the plant of a massive tsunami, no-one was actually killed. Whereas at least 20,000 people were swept away by the tsunami itself, an entirely natural event, a mighty convulsion of the very earth that Green sentimentalists everywhere are so eager to befriend. The amicable intentions, it seems, are not mutual. Of course, Chancellor Merkel is no sentimentalist. Her U-turn was prompted entirely by the electoral successes of Germany’s rabidly anti-nuclear Greens and the need to either outflank them or, perhaps, join with them after the 2013 election. Nonetheless, the decision is a regrettable surrender to irrationality. It’s not just that the cost of electricity will be pushed even higher when prices are already set to soar thanks to the renewable energy surcharge to subsidise all those wind farms – of which there will now be many more. It’s also that a major part of the lost energy from nuclear will have to be replaced by new coal power stations; the government

indicates that around 10 GW of new thermal power generating capacity now needs to be built by 2020, in addition to the 13 GW currently under construction. Not so very green, then. And, of course, the rest of the shortfall will be met by imports of gas from Russia and electricity from France and the Czech Republic, which will be generated by, yes, nuclear plants. So not so much ‘Atomkraft? Nein Danke’ as ‘Not in my back yard’.

Le leader

So it’s lucky for the Germans that the French continue to display their traditional contempt for irrationality as well as their even more traditional pride in their national superiority. ‘No one has the right to play on medieval fears to call into question the choices that have ensured the strength and the independence of our country in the field of energy production,’ declared President Sarkozy. He insisted that France – and the French – had full confidence in the safety and the competitiveness of its nuclear plants (all 58 of them producing 80 per cent of the country’s electricity and with more to come) and would continue with a massive programme of investment in both nuclear energy and renewables –‘deux piliers dans lesquels nous devons être leader’. And this is not just a matter of national pride. Industry minister Eric Besson pointed out that thanks to the nuclear choice France now enjoyed electricity prices 40 per cent cheaper than the average in other European countries; German households paid twice as much for their power. Unfortunately the spirit of rationality seems to have deserted even the French when it came to digging holes in the fields of France to get at shale gas. The government had handed out permits to energy companies to begin exploration earlier this year without, as usual, bothering to tell too many

people. When the news broke, the Greens and the Socialists whipped up popular hysteria over the disastrous consequences of shale gas extraction for the environment, citizens, as usual, took to the streets and the government caved in and hurried to ban extraction through fracking (hydraulic fracturing of the rock in which the gas is trapped). Danielle Mitterand, the widow of the former Socialist President, spoke for all the world’s tree-huggers: ‘We have to eradicate the use of shale gas; we must leave the earth alone.’ It is, luckily, a bit late for that. The French may want to turn their backs on the energy resource of the future – it probably didn’t help when Prime Minister Francois Fillon accidently referred to ‘gaz de shit’ instead of ‘gaz de schiste’ in the National Assembly – but shale gas already supplies almost 25 per cent of the gas needs of the USA. One field alone, the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, is estimated to contain recoverable gas sufficient to meet total US consumption for 25 years, at a value of some $2 trillion. What’s more, similar shales are known to exist on all continents and exploration is under way in Poland, Morocco, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and China. As for the dangers to the environment, there seems to be little chance of groundwater contamination by the fracking fluid (94.62% water, 5,24% sand) since the fracking takes place thousands of feet below the deepest aquifers. And after about a month of drilling the only blot on the landscape that remains is a small piece of plumbing about the size of a garden shed. An almost limitless source of clean, cheap fossil fuel for the whole world that requires no subsidy and makes forests of wind turbines unnecessary– no wonder the n Greens hate it. Industry Europe 3

Editor Peter Mercer

Production Manager Kamila Kajtoch

Assistant Editor Victoria Hattersley

Administration Anna Chamberlain Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey

Profile Writers Abigail Saltmarsh Felicity Landon Piotr Sadowski Emma-Jane Batey Barbara Rossi Philip Yorke Joseph Altham

Art Administration Tania Balderson Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs Sector Managers Matthew Howe Eniko Kovacs Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo Jesse Roberts Anna Dudek Helen Mills Mac McCarthy Anthony McClintock Ben Snowing Kevin Gambrill Stephen Moore Richard Thomas Lisa Ackroyd John Cliff Eva Kelnerova

Art Director Gareth Harrey Art Editor Rob Czerwinski Designers Leon Esterhuizen Paul Abbott Claire Bidle Web Development Neil Robertson IT Support Jack Everson

CONTENTS Comment 1 4 5

Opinion No thanks Bill Jamieson Crisis point James Srodes America isn’t working

Rail Industry 6

Back on track

9 12

Rail industry returns to growth Rail news The latest from the industry Fast track to the future TGV speeds on

News 14 16 18 19 20

Winning Business New orders and contracts Linking up Combining strengths Moving on Relocations and expansions Industry people Appointments Technology spotlight Advances in technology

Reports 21 22

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin

Automation & Tooling Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: Fax: Email: Web:

+44 (0)1603 414444 +44 (0)1603 406543

© Industry Europe 2011 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. POSITIVE PUBLICATIONS

A Square Root Company

24 29 34 37

A cutting-edge global company Fidia SpA Seizing opportunities ALTA Uniting for the future Yaskawa Europe Rotary tables for the world FIBRO

Automotive 40

Driving business forward

Lear Corporation

Chemicals 45 48

Strong on the inside Schekolin AG Re-defining lubricant technology

Axel Christiernsson


Flexible technology Teknikum Group Ltd

Construction 58

Advancing into new markets

Bitron HVAC Systems

64 US Industry Today, Industry Europe’s sister publication, is published in the United States of America. For further information or to subscribe contact: Sue Poeton, 100 Morris Avenue, Suite 202, Springfield, NJ 07081. Tel: +1 973 218-0310 Fax: +1 973 218-0311. Email: Web site:

4 Industry Europe

70 75

Delivering excellence in all types of construction projects UNIBEP Taking energy-efficient windows to a new level Inwido Vertical diversity Kleeman Hellas

VOL 21/5

Above: Lear Corporation p40

Consumer 61 80 86

‘Built-in’ success Fagor Innovative solutions for garden maintenance GGP Building on great brands Scandinavian Tobacco Group

Electrical 90 94

Above: Schekolin p45 Below: Fagor p61

Licence to drill Bien Air Dental LED technology in a new light Trilux


98 Matching supply to demand Rompetrol 101 Excellence in energy Fouré Lagadec 104 True energy efficiency Cryo AB

Heavy vehicles

108 Fast and flexible Maaseudun Kone 114 When the going gets tough... Sisu Auto 117 Lifting service values TVH

Above: Fidia SpA p24 Below: GGP p80


122 Offshore experts STX OSV 126 Charting new horizons Great Eastern Shipping

Metalworking 131 136 144 150

Masters of ‘cutting-edge’ technology ESAB Investing in a cleaner future KCM 2000 The heart of the home Jøtul Advancing surface technology Hermes Schleifmittel

Above: TVH p117 Below: Desso p164


155 Exploiting new resources Talvivaara Mining 160 Making the most of magnetite LKAB


164 Taking the floor Desso 169 Focused innovations FiberVisions

Also in this issue... 174 178 182 186 190 194 199

Above: Bien Air Dental p90 Below: Reden p178

Broader appeal Dansk Kabel TV Virtual testing partners Reden Healthy progress Texor AB Engineering expertise TBP Group Pumping it up SKS-Germany Meeting the challenges of tomorrow EVVA Fine beers from Finland Olvi Oyji Industry Europe 5



Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Crisis point A manufacturing miracle – but how long can it last?


or 30 years the prescription for European economic success has been an exportled manufacturing revival. But now that one has started to unfold, it only seems to have added to the greater problem of European financial stability: growing divergence between the northern European states and the others, pressure for higher interest rates and a deepening realisation that inequalities across the single currency zone are rising, not declining as European leaders had hoped. A manufacturing recovery hand in hand with a debt and deficit crisis as great as Europe has experienced since the 1930s: the growth figures for manufacturing coming out of Germany and France – and the UK, too, for most of the past year – has surprised everyone. It has been helped in large part by continuing strong economic growth in developing country markets – Latin America and Asia-Pacific in particular. It has been supported (in Britain) by currency devaluation making exports more competitively priced, and (in Germany) by hard-fought labour market reforms reaching back over a decade. But it is testimony, too, to the resilience and determination of thousands of private companies to respond and adapt to an economic world still traumatised by the financial crisis of 2007–08 and subsequent recession. As economic history has repeatedly shown us, it is precisely in periods of maximum adversity that companies can surprise even themselves, driven by the compulsion of survival to become more adaptive and innovative. Government finances may be in disarray and an escape route out of debt default impossible to find but companies in sectors ranging from electronics to car assembly, process engineering to infrastructure have found ways to improve productivity and achieve efficiency gains to win more business. Manufacturing companies have achieved innovative solutions against seemingly colossal odds – little short of a miracle given 6 Industry Europe

this context. The business environment in Europe has threatened a truly existential storm: growing strains on the single currency, fears of higher taxation and rising resistance across many part of Europe to any further austerity measures with unemployment already so high. Indeed, such is the rising tide of street protest across several countries we may now have reached the limit of the public’s austerity tolerance. Little wonder in these circumstances and with the European Central Bank embarking on a series of interest rate rises, that Euro area manufacturing orders declined 1.8 per cent in March – the first decline since last September, and that growth momentum is slackening after the growth spurt recorded at the start of the year. The consensus view is that this is a slackening of the recovery pace rather than anything more serious. But it would be brave to predict that business confidence, so vital to continuing innovation and expansion, will not be affected by the eurozone’s deepening sovereign debt crisis.

Banks at risk

Some have argued that the stricken economies of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland should simply bite the bullet and announce a sovereign debt re-structuring under which debt holders have to accept a write-down in the value of their investments – after all, Argentina underwent this and survived. But that is to turn a blind eye to the dire repercussions this could potentially have on international banks, many of which are still in a fragile state after the 2007–08 crisis. International bank loans – mostly from European banks – to European governments total almost US$12 trillion. The claims of foreign banks on Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Greece, which would be at risk in event of debt re-structuring, stand at US$2.4 trillion. Put bluntly, Europe’s credit bubble may be

even bigger than America’s mortgage bubble. Hence the recent warning from an ECB executive director that debt default could unleash a crisis in Europe greater than that unleashed by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. A clear symptom of the depth of this crisis is the open split between the stance of the ECB (resolutely opposed to debt ‘re-profiling’) and political leaders in the eurozone. Far from the institutions of Europe speaking with one voice, there is a cacophony of opinions and positions as a profound moment of decision approaches. Either the eurozone moves towards a future as a full fiscal transfer union (Germany and the more prosperous states agreeing to subsidise Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Greece) or the euro area splits into two zones: a strong northern area with Germany at its centre, and countries in the southern periphery still sharing a single currency, but one de-coupled from the D-Mark and able to devalue and to set interest rates at a level more appropriate to their domestic conditions. A transfer union would be deeply unpopular with northern country members and may be politically unacceptable, while a euro split would be a humiliating defeat for those who have championed economic and fiscal integration for more than 30 years in the belief that greater economic stability, investment and growth would result. With such a deeply unpalatable stand-off, this leaves the third way: continuing eurozone dissemblage, muddle and fudge – amid growing intrusion into the affairs of debtladen members (forcing Greek asset sales and a supervisory regime for the quick enactment of these sales being just one example). So far, the manufacturing recovery has been the one positive storyline in Europe over the past year. But to expect it to continue as this crisis deepens would be a brave bet indeed. n



Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street

America isn’t working The economic crisis in the United States apparently has become a threat to national security.


ast month President Barack Obama ordered the Director of National Intelligence to prepare a study of the security implications of waning manufacturing activity in America. The study is to be what is known as a National Intelligence Estimate, a top-level analysis that calls on all of Washington’s government intelligence services and experts to contribute to a final product that is for the exclusive use of the President and just a handful of top Cabinet officers. Several factors are at work behind this remarkable decision to elevate what at one level might appear to be an ordinary economic policy matter to a major security issue. The most obvious concern is that the statistical recovery of key economic indicators in the period between the end of 2010 and the first quarter this year suddenly softened unexpectedly and then in the first month of the second quarter it softened even further. The one thing Mr Obama does not want is a return to economic recession now that his campaign for re-election in 2012 is officially underway. There have been several jolts to that recovery which at its peak was less than half what was needed to return America to fullemployment prosperity. In April orders for durable goods, from refrigerators to motor cars to jet airplanes, contracted by 3.6 per cent to an anaemic $189.89 billion. This was followed by two gloomy economic forecasts

that roiled Wall Street’s nascent stock price boomlet, both by the respected analysts at the Goldman Sachs investment bank. In one, the Goldman economists cut its dollar exchange rate forecast to project more weakness to come for the US dollar. It had forecast a dollar rate for the euro at $1.40 for the three summer months; that was changed to $1.45 with the dollar sliding further to $1.50 over the next six months and to $1.55 a year from now. The bank’s analysis was especially gloomy. “With unemployment still high, fiscal consolidation looming and continued weakness in the real estate sector, the growth outlook remains less compelling in the US than in many other regions or countries,” Goldman said. In tandem with that bearish assessment, Goldman also boosted its price forecast for world oil markets to alarming levels. Its estimate for Brent crude had been for the price to rise to $105 per barrel by year end and to $120 through 2012. Now Goldman sees Brent selling for $130 a year from now and to $140 through the rest of 2012.

Not made in the USA

The White House was also clearly jolted by the news (although it has been no secret) that the American motor car makers have become increasingly dependent on foreign suppliers of key parts for their

‘made in the USA’ products. The Japanese earthquake sent Detroit’s car makers scrambling for alternative sources of many parts which are no longer domestically available. But American manufacturers are not just feeling the tremors of natural disasters. China has become a major threat to the US manufacturing sector as can be seen in the trade data for 2010. Last year China shipped $365 billion in goods into the United States but bought a scant $92 billion in return. Since joining the World Trade Organisation in 2001 China has taken commanding shares of markets inside the US in pharmaceuticals, chemicals, paper, glass, and steel. In that latter product line, it is worth remembering that in the year before China was admitted to the WTO both nations produced about 100 million tons of steel. Today China produces 880 million tons versus 81 million tons from American mills, and some key products made from the metal are unavailable to local users unless they are imported from China. Nor are the American manufacturers of factory goods the only ones in a slump. There is now a full year of unsold new houses in the homebuilders’ inventory. Yet in at least 14 major US metropolitan areas home prices have fallen to 2003 levels and prices are likely to drop even further. This in turn puts new and unwanted pressure on US banks which have been delaying

foreclosures on an additional overhang of houses where the mortgages exceed the current value of the property. No surprise then that into the second quarter of this year purchases of new homes slumped to the lowest level in ten months. About 5.6 million houses in the US either are in foreclosure or their owners are more than a month late in making any payments at all. While the official measure of joblessness as a result of this dismal performance has remained around the 9 per cent mark, the real story is truly ominous. What has the national security analysts most worried is that fully one-fifth of American men between the ages of 25 and 54 – the prime working period in a man’s life – are jobless and have been so for more than a year. Overall there are fully 13.7 million people out of work and while there is a net gain in new jobs recently it is not nearly enough to keep pace with the expanding population of younger workers – especially those of minority backgrounds – who are starting out to look for work. Aside from the $115 billion a year cost to the government of aid to the jobless, which swells the already debt-heavy government deficit, the threat is clear enough. It is unlikely that Mr Obama will enjoy reading the National Intelligence Estimate he has just commissioned. But it will be required reading nonetheless. n Industry Europe 7

Left: China’s CRH3 Above: Bombardier produces its Traxx locomotive in a number of diesel and electric variations. DB has just ordered up to 200 of a multi-engined diesel design Right: Siemens has received the biggest order in its corporate history for ICx long-distance trains for DB in Germany.

BACK ON TRACK A return to growth is signalled in Europe’s railway equipment market. James Abbott reports.


he barometer is set fair for Europe’s railways. The economic fundamentals favour the mode: soaring petrol prices are tempting more people to travel by train, while the return to economic health of the core eurozone countries in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has pushed up freight traffic. Passenger demand forecasting measures used by the UK rail industry indicate that a 5 per cent rise in petrol prices can lead to around a 1 per cent rise in journeys on the rail network. So the rising cost of fuel has been a contributory factor in a 4.8 per cent increase in passenger numbers on British railways in the first three months of 2011: 316 million journeys were made in the first quarter of 2011, compared to 301 million over the same period last year. Growth over the entire financial year 2010–11 was 6.6 per cent in Britain’s passenger rail market. It is little wonder, then, that the British government is promoting the construction of a new high-speed line from London to the north of England: the existing transport corridors are simply becoming full up. The protracted planning processes in the UK mean it will be some years before construction can start, but the plan is to reach Birmingham by 2026 and Manchester and Leeds by 2033. Meanwhile, in Europe’s manufacturing heartland, exports are booming as the euro has gained a competitive edge after 8 Industry Europe

being dragged down by the problems in the peripheral countries. As a result, rail freight carryings in Germany are up 21 per cent in the past year, clawing back the tumble they took following the financial crisis. Looking to the long term trend, DB Netz, the infrastructure division of the German state railway, expects tonne-km to grow by as much as 65 per cent between 2004 and 2025, with passenger-km rising by more than 25 per cent. (A tonne km is one tonne moving one kilometre, a passenger km is one passenger moving one km.) A sharp rise in intermodal and international freight traffic has prompted DB Netz to bring forward planning for a new eastern corridor line running from Hamburg and Bremen to south Germany via Uelzen, Stendhal, Magdeburg, Reichenbach, Hof and Regensburg. The Ministry of Transport is supporting the eastern corridor with a view to DB Netz completing the project by 2019. The German passenger market, too, is growing strongly, prompting the largest order in Siemens’ corporate history in May 2011: the manufacturer will build up to 300 new ICx long-distance trains for DB, with the first trains due to be delivered in 2016.

World demand rising

These examples of expansion in Europe reflect a pattern that is being repeated globally. Increasing urbanisation favours the rail

mode and demand for railway equipment is rising around the world. That is good news for Europe, as the continent is a global leader in railway equipment manufacture. The headquarters of the railway divisions of the two biggest companies in the railway equipment supply industry in the world, Bombardier and Alstom, are located in Berlin and Paris respectively. A recent study by German consultancy SCI Verkehr estimated that the global railway equipment market is worth €131 billion, 53 per cent of which is from after sales. The company’s Maria Leenen and Andreas Wolf project that sales will grow by 22 per cent over the next five years, to hit €160 billion by 2015. One key factor identified by the consultants is the increasing importance of Asia – and more specifically, China – in global equipment demand. “The Chinese railway technology manufacturers are increasing their turnover and market share at a breathtaking speed, and more recently outside their domestic market. We predict a clear shift in the overall market balance in favour of Asian players in the next five years,” say the consultants. China has become the biggest investor in railways in the world, overtaking the USA, where investment in new locomotives and freight wagons dropped off in the wake of the financial crisis. So rapid has been the increase in output in the Chinese railway

equipment sector that the two largest Chinese manufacturers, CSR and CNR, have overtaken the third of Europe’s ‘Big Three’, Siemens, in terms of the number of railway vehicles they produce. Their output is overwhelmingly for the Chinese domestic market at present, but industry observers expect the export sector to become increasingly important for them. The western manufacturers have some share in the buoyant domestic Chinese market, as the big European and Japanese manufacturers have joint ventures in China. The same is true for the western European companies in Russia, the third biggest market in the world after China and the US. Strong commodity prices have sparked investment in the long-haul freight railways that traverse the vast Russian land mass, and the newly-resurgent country has made some trophy investments in the passenger sector as well. The key Moscow–St Petersburg corridor now boasts ‘Sapsan’ (‘Falcon’) high-speed trains from Siemens; these utilise the latest west European technology. These booming markets provide confidence for the manufacturers when peripheral countries, such as Greece and Romania, are withdrawing services from large swathes of their rail networks in a bid to contain their budget deficits. Ireland, which was bullish on railway investment in the ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom years, has put the

brakes on expansion: there are still projects in the pipeline, especially urban transit in Dublin, but timescales have lengthened. These countries are all small beer in terms of the global railway equipment market. The same cannot be said of Spain, the eighth largest investor in railways in the world (larger than Britain and Italy), which has built a high-speed network of a size to rival that in France and also invested in its urban rail networks. If budgetary problems here result in a slowdown in spending, order books of the big suppliers would be adversely affected.

Strong order books

As it is, the rosy outlook in many of the developing markets has boosted the order books after a trough in the wake of the financial crisis. The backlog at the world’s biggest manufacturer, Bombardier, stood at a record US$33·5 billion at the end of January 2011, compared to US$27·1 billion the year before. The Transportation business “delivered a strong performance,” said Bombardier Inc. president & CEO Pierre Beaudoin when presenting the company’s results in May. Margins increased from 6.2 per cent to 6.6 per cent – a creditable result in a notoriously low-margin sector. Mr Beaudoin said the target is an 8 per cent margin by 2013. It was similar story at the number two manufacturer, Alstom, where the margin

in the May annual report was 7 per cent. Here too, orders were up on the previous year. Alstom chairman & CEO Patrick Kron reported that much of the growth came from emerging markets, with for example large orders for locomotives from Russia and Kazakhstan, and high-speed trains ordered by Morocco. Developing markets account for 60 per cent of Alstom’s booked orders and Mr Kron said demand is expected to continue to grow in these areas, opening ‘a new business phase’ for the group. Orders from developed economies have not been so prevalent and Alstom Transport has announced workforce reductions in Italy, Germany and Spain – while protecting its core factories in France.

DB on the march

As for the operating side of the European railway industry, the story remains one of the dominance of the big state railway companies, with DB of Germany in particular enlarging its zone of influence by acquisition. In the second half of the 20th century, the convention was that the Germans, with their extensive industrial base, were number one in freight, while the French dominated the passenger sector with their high-speed trains. But of late DB has sought to expand in all areas. Thus not only has the freight arm of the German state railway dominated in the UK, Industry Europe 9

the Netherlands and Denmark as well as Germany, it has also acquired one of the biggest regional passenger train operators with its purchase of Arriva in the UK. Arriva was interesting as it was the one group fostered by the 1990s privatisations in Britain that took expansion in continental Europe seriously, running local transport concessions in Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and elsewhere. When it took over Arriva last year, DB was forced by the competition authorities to divest itself of Arriva’s German operations. These have been purchased by a consortium featuring another state railway: FS of Italy.

Italian resistance

Meanwhile, in Italy itself, the state railway has been fighting tooth and nail to keep competitors off its turf. Last year, a consortium of ÖBB of Austria, DB of Germany and Italian regional operator Le Nord introduced a Munich to Venice service, replacing a service in which the Italian state operator

Sapsan passing Malino station, Zelenograd, Moscow

10 Industry Europe

had previously cooperated, but from which it had decided to withdraw. In December 2010, the Italian rail regulator URSF said intermediate stops in Italy were not permitted on this international service, as they might take traffic from the state railway’s services. This made it likely that the international service would have to be withdrawn, as it would be unsustainable without traffic from the Tyrol. A legal challenge from the Germans and Austrians led to the stops being retained, at least for the present, but it was clear where the regulator’s sympathies lay. Further battles are likely in future, as some heavy competition on Italian domestic routes is expected later this year when new operator NTV, owned by a consortium of Italian private investors and the French state railway SNCF, starts running services on Italy’s high-speed lines. NTV is a serious player, having ordered 25 of Alstom’s latest generation of high-speed train, the AGV, for its Italian services. In the spring, NTV com-

plained that the Italian state rail infrastructure owner, RFI, was obstructing its efforts to obtain track access – this is unlikely to be the last such grumble. Similar stories can be heard from elsewhere on the continent, as state-owned incumbents seek to exclude newcomers from their territories and frustrate the European Commission’s stated aim of introducing more competition to the rail market. The French, for example, have sought to obstruct DB’s plans for instituting direct trains from London to Frankfurt through the Channel Tunnel by arguing that the Siemensbuilt trains DB is proposing to use do not meet the Channel Tunnel’s safety rules. They seem to be losing the battle on that one, not least because the main cross-Channel operator Eurostar, in which SNCF has a majority stake, is proposing to use the same Siemens trains itself. All being well, London–Frankfurt direct services will start in 2013. And what of the UK domestic market, the home of the most radical attempt to introduce competition with the break-up and privatisation of British Rail in the 1990s? The irony here is that, having banished their own state railway, the British now play hosts to everyone else’s: the continental state railways are some of the most important players in the British franchised railway. While DB failed to make the shortlist for a new franchise on Britain’s busiest route, the West Coast main line, to be let next year, the Dutch and French state railways did. What George Stephenson would make of it, let alone Adam Smith, is anyone’s guess. n The author is Editor of Modern Railways magazine and Technical Editor of European Railway Review



New developments in the Rail industry

Rexroth’s fan drives Alstom’s Citadis tramway begins commercial service in Algiers 8 May 2011, Algeria’s transport minister deliver more power OnAmar Tou, and the president of the Algiers


he comprehensive range of hydrostatic fan drive systems from Rexroth offers a costeffective and energy-efficient solution for cooling engines and exhaust systems in rail vehicles. By continuously adjusting cooling effort to match changing requirements, the new systems greatly reduce energy use compared with traditional solutions, and they also occupy up to 20 per cent less space in the engine compartment. Rexroth hydrostatic fan drive cooling systems provide designers with a convenient and dependable way of optimising engine and combustion temperatures, which is an essential pre-requisite for satisfying today’s increasingly stringent emission requirements. Visit:

Metro Authority (EMA), Aomar Hadbi, ushered in the start of commercial tramway service in Algiers, the first Algerian city to possess a modern tram network. Alstom’s Citadis tramway runs on the line’s initial segment, which Mediterrail delivered to the EMA in December 2010. This stretch of the line is 7.2km in length and with the completion of two additional sections currently under construction the line will extend 23 kilometres and includes 38 stations along with eight transfer hubs. Alstom, the project leader for the Mediterrail consortium, is providing a comprehensive service that includes a portion of the civil engineering, all the infrastructure (platform,

rails, electrification, signalling, ticketing), the workshop-depot at Bordj El Kiffan and the central command post. Alstom is also supplying the fleet of 41 Citadis trainsets, already delivered in full. In addition, Alstom will be responsible for maintaining the tramway system equipment and the Citadis tramsets for 10 years. Visit:

Depot integration puts Arriva’s LNWR on track for future growth


eading UK train maintenance specialist LNWR is on track to grow its business after expanding operations to include four new depots. Four Axiom Rail depots have transferred from DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd to Arriva’s LNWR rail maintenance operations. The transfer of the passenger train servicing and rolling stock maintenance depots at Bristol, Eastleigh, Cambridge and Tyne Yard (Gateshead) to the Crewe-based business gives it a combined turnover of £30 million with a 210 strong workforce. Bob Holland, managing director of Arriva’s UK Trains division, said: “Developing our LNWR maintenance business is essential if we want to progress and continue to compete with some of the largest international maintenance companies for major contracts.” Visit:

French Pavilion on track for Railtex 2011


he French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE in London will unveil the French Pavilion at the Railtex trade show, which will be held in London from 14 to 16 June 2011. Companies on the French Pavilion include BORFLEX, a specialist in the design, prototyping and manufacturing of rubber parts;

DEVISMES, which specialises in both fine sheet-metal work and the manufacturing and supply of locking systems; GETRASUR, an equipment manufacturer that supplies multicomponents and equipment for the treatment of surfaces by impact; ICCO, which produces and supplies pultruded parts, including standard and unusual profiles made of glass and polyester; MIRE, a topography company

that specialises in design and measurement as well as the development of software solutions applied to the railway industry; SOURIAU, which designs, manufactures and markets high-performance interconnect solutions for the rail industry and industrialequipment markets; and VISSAL, a leading manufacturer of rail fastening systems. Visit:

Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Rail industry

Vossloh wins another megacontract


Network Rail publishes analysis of passenger congestion stations


he UK’s Network Rail has published an analysis of passenger congestion at stations along with a range of measures that could relieve it as part of its network route utilisation strategy (stations). Stations such as King’s Cross, Birmingham New Street and Reading are already undergoing major redevelopments to cope with projected passenger numbers, so the analysis identifies stations not covered by committed enhancement schemes that would benefit from further investigation into congestion reduction measures. Paul Plummer, Network Rail’s director of planning and development, said: “If not tackled effectively, passenger congestion at stations could reduce the popularity of rail travel. Working with a range of partners across the rail industry we have identified a number of stations that would benefit from further investigation into congestion reduction measures.” Visit:

ossloh Electrical Systems has gained the contract to supply new TW 3000 urban light rail vehicles to the Hannover local transport company, Üstra Hannoversche Verkehrsbetriebe AG. This means that order intake by the Transportation division (locomotives and local transport vehicles) has in the first quarter of 2011 surged to a total of around €300 million, equivalent to the bulk of all of fiscal 2010 (€358 million). “This new big order is another proof for the upswing in locomotive and local transport vehicle market. Thanks to our modern and energy-saving products we are excellently positioned and successful in this segment. With the orders booked in Q1/2011, the upswing in our locomotive and local transport vehicle business is picking up further momentum,” says Vossloh AG CEO Werner Andree. In bidding for this major order from Hannover, Vossloh together with consortium partner Alstom Transport Germany prevailed against Europeanwide competition thanks to a modern vehicle proposal comprising new six-axle LRVs outstanding for their passenger comfort and energy savings. Visit:

Green light for the world’s most modern train


eutsche Bahn AG and Siemens AG have officially signed the multi-billion euro contract for construction of up to 300 new long-distance ICx trainsets. DB will immediately order 130 trainsets from the framework order agreement valid until 2030. An order of an additional 90 trainsets is planned. The potential order volume for the 220 trainsets totals some €6 billion.

DSB wins new train contract in Sweden


Sweden has won the tender for regional train services Upptåget in the Uppsala area just north of Stockholm. The decision comes just two months before DSB will start operation for Västtrafik in Gothenburg and Krösatåg in the

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The ICx trainset will form the backbone of DB’s long-distance transportation system in the future. The technical basis for the ICx is an innovative platform concept. The ICx provides a high level of flexibility for assembling up to 24 different train configurations. This is made possible by ‘power cars’, train cars equipped with all the components that drive units have. Visit: Jönköping area, which DSB won in August and December last year. “Sweden is already our second home market and with the takeover of the Upptåget operation, DSB will now be expanding its position in Sweden. In future, DSB will operate Tåg i Väst at Gothenburg, the Swedish part of the Oresund services,

Werner Andree

Roslagsbanen in Stockholm, Krösatåg at Jönköping and Upptåget north of Stockholm,” said DSB’s CEO Søren Eriksen. With this victory DSB’s total track network in Sweden exceeds 25000km, which is approximately 800km more than the total Danish network. Visit:



o meet the growing demand for small waterproof connectors for on-board railway equipment, SOURIAU has developed a special connector: the SMS IP. Designed to meet railway standards, the SMS IP combines compactness and safety: IP 67 sealing, operating voltage up to 500 V and compliance with the most demanding fire and smoke standards. SMS IP is intended for on-board applications such as lighting, door controls, detectors, air conditioning programmes, the SMS cabs etc. The SMS IP can be used in trains running in severe climatic conditions, since it has been tested under temperatures ranging from -50˚C to +100˚C. It can withstand shock and vibration in accordance with the EN 61-373 class 2 standard. Visit:

Bombardier partners Siemens in Deutsche Bahn Project ICx


ombardier Transportation has signed a framework agreement with Siemens AG to become a partner to develop and supply important components of up to 300 ICx high speed trains for Deutsche Bahn (DB AG). The first call-off for 130 trains is worth an estimated €1.3 billion ($1.8 billion US) to Bombardier. DB AG is planning to place an additional call-off with Siemens for a further 90 trains. Bombardier will supply Siemens with, among other components, all the body shells as well as trailer bogies of the new ICx fleet. The steel body shells are being developed in the Bombardier factory in Hennigsdorf and are being manufactured in Görlitz. Hennigsdorf is responsible for the final assembly of all ICx end coaches. Visit:

RAILENIUM consortium wins bid for French State investment


he RAILENIUM project, the name given to the European Institute for Technological Research in Rail Infrastructure (based near Valenciennes, in northern France), is set to become a world leader for excellence and innovation in railways and has been

SBB Cargo International begins operations


he new company established by SBB Cargo and Hupac has commenced operations. SBB Cargo International, the specialist in intermodal transport and block trains on the European north-south corridor, has been running since the beginning of the year. European intermodal operator Hupac’s 25 per cent stake in the new company has been legally finalised. The aim is to jointly establish and develop a lean, neutral traction company that is close to its market. SBB Cargo International has its own production companies in Germany and Italy.

The new company’s primary customers are intermodal operators. Its offering is geared to large customers who rely on lean and efficient rail haulage that offers Swiss precision on both intermodal and conventional block train services. Apart from operators, these include railfreight and other railway companies and companies with sufficient volume to fill entire trains, such as steel producers. SBB Cargo International also runs international RAlpin piggyback trains. Visit:

DB Schenker Logistics opens new office in Kaluga


Schenker, the Russian country organisation of DB Schenker Logistics, has recently launched a new business unit in Kaluga. Kaluga is a fast growing economic region, especially with regard to the automotive sector. The new branch will provide clients with the full range of the company’s services, such as international and domestic land transport including rail forwarding, air and ocean freight, contract logistics and supply chain management, customs clearance, and special projects such as global projects, oversized and heavy-lift cargo etc. DB Schenker Rail Automotive is responsible for the implementation of the logistics concept to supply the Volkswagen/Skoda plant in Kaluga. Visit:

selected by the French government as an “investment programme for the future”. Eurotunnel, one of the founding members of the consortium, is delighted that railway infrastructure will be the recipient of major investment for research and innovation. Over the past 17 years, Eurotunnel has shown that a successful infrastructure is

the basis of service quality. RAILENIUM will conduct research into issues relating to safety and railway infrastructure maintenance, the standardisation of equipment, rail life and investment costs, all areas in which Eurotunnel has an established reputation. Visit:

Industry Europe 13

FAST TRACK TO THE FUTURE The TGV is almost middle aged. The very first TGV high-speed rail service was officially launched 30 years ago on 21 September 1981 between Paris and Lyons. Robert Williams reports on the growth of Europe’s high-speed rail network .


he first generation TGVs ran at a maximum speed of 260 km/h, eventually raised to 300 km/h, which is now the benchmark running speed for all TGV-type trains on new lines in France and on the European high-speed rail network The TGV is probably the best known high-speed railway in Europe, but it was actually Italy that built Europe’s first highspeed line in 1977 between Florence and Rome. The 1974 petrol crisis forced many European countries to consider investing in modes of transport which did not guzzle fossil fuels. But it was France that took up the challenge most enthusiastically. The TGV network now snakes across the country in every direction from the capital. There are connections to Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and – through the Channel Tunnel – the UK. In Europe today, only Spain has more high-speed track – almost 2000km – than France. Its first AVE route was Madrid to Seville, opened in 1992. Since 2008 the 621km route from Madrid to Barcelona has cut journey times from more than six hours to just two and a half hours. The midway point on the route,

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Zaragoza, has become a key meeting point for business people from Spain’s two most important cities. The line is being extended into France to join the European network. The original high-speed lines in France, Germany and Italy were seen largely as a means of overcoming bottlenecks on the national networks. These bottlenecks limited capacity, caused conflicts between types of traffic and reduced reliability. Higher speeds were in many respects an accidental, but very positive, by-product of improved reliability. Most of these transport infrastructures have been developed under national policy premises. In order to establish a single, multimodal network that integrates land, sea and air transport networks throughout the Union, the European policymakers decided to establish the trans-European transport network, allowing goods and people to circulate quickly and easily between member states and assuring international connections.

European interoperability

The European Union has made the extension of the continent’s high-speed rail network a priority as part of its Trans-European Networks-Transport programme, know as TEN-T. It aims to make Europe’s high-speed rail networks interoperable, whether they are newly built lines or upgrades of older infrastructure. The total length of the TEN-T high-speed network will be 30,000km, of which 20,000km is expected to be in operation by 2020. The first official recognition of a European HSR network was in the 1990s, when the European Commission designated a high speed rail network as part of the Trans

European Network – Transport (TEN-T). The TEN-T network HSR corridors were based on the national networks but extended lines throughout Europe. The majority of funding for TEN-T projects (approximately 90 per cent) is provided by national and local governments. This international HSR network is gradually taking shape. Major building blocks of the network, including the PBKAL (ParisBrussels-Köln-Amsterdam-London) network, and France’s TGV Est have recently been completed. Additional elements including the Lyon-Turin tunnel linking Italy and the Perpignan-Barcelona line linking Spain to the network are under construction. If the European Commission gets its way, Europe’s high-speed railway network will treble in length over the next 20 years. By 2050, the network will be complete. There will be a true single market for passengers, who will make most middle-distance journeys by rail Spain plans to lay 10,000km of new track by 2020 so that 90 per cent of Spaniards have a high-speed rail station within 50km of their home. Sweden is building a line between Stockholm and Gothenburg. In fact, of the 30 projects prioritised under TEN-T, 14 relate to high-speed rail. Supported projects include the new LyonTrieste- Divaca/Koper–Ljubljana–Budapest– Ukrainian border railway axis. In March 2011 the Commission published a roadmap for transport policy which called for a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from the sector by 2050 – a target which cannot be achieved without persuading people to travel by train rather than by car or plane.

Zaragoza station, Spain

Andreas Hambrecht, head of international business, Deutsche Bahn, said: “Germany has benefited enormously from improved connectivity and regional economic growth, which high-speed rail brings. Germany’s high-speed rail network is a vital piece of our economic infrastructure, connecting a number of city regions with each other and promoting low-emission travel across the country and Europe. After almost 20 years of operations the high-speed trains ‘ICE’ of Deutsche Bahn account for around two-thirds of all long-distance rail transport services in Germany.” With such high growth in traffic between member states, the cost of completing and modernising a well-performing transEuropean network is substantial. The cost of EU infrastructure development to match the demand for transport has been estimated at over €1.5 trillion between 2010 and 2030. The number of passengers on German, Belgian, Spanish, French, Italian and British lines increased from 15.3 billion passengerkilometres in 1990 to 92.33 billion in 2008. High-speed rail makes up 40 per cent of medium distance journeys. For journeys of less than four hours the train is very competitive. With the high-speed Madrid-Barcelona train taking just two hours and 40 minutes, the air market share went down from 80 per cent to 40 per cent almost overnight.

lines in the 1960s. By 2014 China is likely to have a high-speed rail network of nearly 19,000km. For some time now China has been developing high-speed rail infrastructure both within its own country and in other parts of the world too. Ambitious plans to link Europe with Beijing cannot be dismissed as pie in the sky. But at least European countries understand that rapid, electric, inter-city rail systems will be essential to developing competitive 21st century economies as oil supplies dwindle, highways and airports face increasing congestion, and pressure to reduce carbon emissions rises. For those still not convinced that highspeed rail is the solution, an American energy writer laments the fact that China

and Europe will, “in a decade or two have significantly reduced dependence on imported oil, created tens of millions of new jobs, and saved their countries trillions of dollars by vastly improving the productivity of their economies thanks to a low-carbon transportation sector that moves people and goods at speeds that could one day hit 300 miles per hour, or more.” For over 100 years the romance of train travel has inspired countless films, books and diaries, from the luxurious Orient Express which ran from Paris to Istanbul and the old steam trains in India, to the Deerstalker Express to the Scottish Highlands. Now it looks like high-speed long-haul rail promises to open up new adventures – at a 21st century pace. n

Ahead in the East

Yet Europe still trails behind Japan and China. The rate of growth in China is astonishing. In 2008 it had just 649km of track, now it has 8400km – four times more than Japan, which built the first high-speed Industry Europe 15


New contracts and orders in industry

Allseas and Synergy team up to handle major factory relocation


he relocation of an entire paper processing plant from the UK to Bangladesh gave heavy lift specialist Allseas Global Logistics the opportunity to demonstrate its experience and expertise in handling this type of complex project. Allseas was contracted by Synergy Cargo Services Europe Pty Ltd to move the Bridgewater factory to Chittagong, where it will be reassembled and refurbished for operation by MAF Paper Mills. The relocation required the shipment of pieces up to 5.8 metres wide; the consignment included a series of massive tanks and drums as well as 132 high-cube containers, 40 x 40-foot flatracks and several open-top 20-foot containers. The operation was particularly remarkable for the sheer size of the pieces loaded on to the flatracks. A road journey of any distance was not an option for the largest pieces, so these were shipped out of Ellesmere Port (near to the factory location) by feeder to Antwerp, for loading on the SCI Chennai. The project, managed by Synergy managing director Sanjoy Das, Synergy director Amit Ahuja, and Allseas Global Logistics Commercial Manager Mark Binge, began in November 2010 and is now nearing completion. Visit:

UTair and ATR sign contract for 20 ATR 72-500s


he Russian carrier UTair and regional turboprop manufacturer ATR have announced the signature of a contract for the purchase of 20 ATR 72-500s. The announcement of the deal, valued at US$426 million, took place in Kiev. With the entry into service of these new aircraft, UTair will respond to the increasing market demand for regional connectivity in Russia and also in Ukraine. The airline will add seat capacity on existing routes and will develop new routes in both countries. UTair operates a fleet of 17 ATRs: 12 ATR 42-300s and 3 ATR 72-200s in Russia, plus 2 ATR 42-300s operated by its subsidiary UTair Ukraine. With the delivery of the new 20 ATR 72-500s, UTair will become the largest operator of ATR aircraft in Europe, with 37 ATRs. Commenting on the contract, Andrey Martirosov, UTair CEO, declares: “We are pleased to modernise and almost double our ATR fleet with the acquisition of these new ATR 72-500s.The ATR aircraft have proven themselves as the right tool for regional connections in the Russian Federation and Ukraine. These aircraft have notably proven their ability to operate reliably and profitably not only in the European environment but in the harsh Siberian conditions.” Visit:

Balfour Beatty wins £200 million in local authority contracts


Fortum and Skellefteå Kraft to purchase 60 wind turbines from Nordex


ortum and the Swedish Skellefteå Kraft will purchase 60 wind turbines from Nordex for the Blaiken onshore wind farm under construction in Northern Sweden. Fortum’s share of the turbines to be ordered is 12.

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alfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has recently been awarded two support services contracts, totalling around £200 million. These contracts add significant volume to the Support Services order book and are notable in highlighting the changes in local authority requirements, with a marked shift towards larger, multi-activity contracts and bundling together of contracts from more than one local authority.

Kevin Craven, CEO of Balfour Beatty Support Services, commented: “We are developing our business to serve the Local Authority market more effectively. Balfour Beatty is well-placed in respect of the changing nature of local authority contracts which favour companies that can offer a broad range of capabilities, thereby providing savings as well as improved services for local government.” Visit:

Blaiken Vind AB, a joint venture of Fortum and Skellefteå Kraft, will have a maximum of 100 wind turbines on its wind farm and a total capacity of 250 megawatts. The 2.5-megawatt wind turbines to be purchased from Nordex will cover a total of 150 megawatts of the wind farm’s planned capacity. The turbines for Blaiken are designed to

operate in particularly cold conditions. They are equipped with a new kind of warming system that prevents ice from forming on the rotor blades and thus ensures the wind farm’s production also during the winter season. Nordex will start to deliver the wind turbines in 2012. Visit:

WINNINGBUSINESS npower wins one of the UK’s largest industrial energy supply contracts


ata Steel, one of the world’s largest steel producers, has signed one of the UK’s biggest ever industrial energy supply contract with npower, which will see the company provide energy to 22 Tata Steel plants across the UK. The contract equates to a supply of approximately 5 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy, enough to power 1,260,000 homes. Volker Beckers, CEO of RWE npower, said: “Tata Steel is Europe’s second largest steel producer with most of its operations based in the UK, so it is a major coup for npower to be the energy partner of a company at the heart of UK industry.” Dr Karl-Ulrich Köhler, managing director and CEO of Tata Steel Europe, said: “We need an energy supplier committed to managing our requirements in terms of continuity of supply, delivered costs and service, and we have been impressed by the way npower has demonstrated enthusiasm and capability to meet those requirements.” Visit:

Wärtsilä wins total solution order for new LNG powered vessel from Norway W

ärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions provider, has been contracted by Kleven Maritime of Norway to design a new LNG powered Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) of the Norwegian operator Rem Offshore. The scope of the order also includes the propulsion machinery, automation and other equipment for the same vessel. Rem Offshore’s new LNG powered PSV, the first such vessel for its fleet, will be a Wärtsilä Ship Design VS499 LNG PSV, a state-of-the-art vessel based originally on the successful VS489 LNG PSV design. The ship features outstanding energy efficiency, a unique hull form, fuel flexibility, and exceptional performance in areas such as fuel economy and cargo capacity. Wärtsilä’s scope of supply for the new PSV also includes the dual-fuel main engines and generating sets, the electrical power and propulsion

systems, integrated automation, and the power management system. The selection of Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel (DF) technology, which enables the use of clean gas as the main fuel, is in line with Rem Offshore’s ambition to grow its fleet in environmentally sustainable PSVs. The DF engines can also operate on marine diesel oil if required. Visit:

Atkins wins major bridge assignment in Denmark A

tkins has been appointed to provide the preliminary studies and design work for several new and existing bridge structures, as part of a widening programme on the Køge Bay motorway in Denmark. The work to expand the motorway from six to eight lanes will require the construction of seven new bridges, extension of nine existing bridges and re-insulation of three bridges. The 8km-long section of motorway will remain operational whilst the work is taking place, with traffic running parallel to the extended lanes. Atkins will work closely with the Danish Road Directorate and other consultants

Aker Solutions awarded major subsea contract extensions


ker Solutions has received notification that Statoil has exercised options for the engineering, procurement and construction of three subsea work-over systems for use on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Aker Solutions estimates the contract value

of these three extensions to be a total of approximately NOK 1.25 billion. In February, Statoil awarded Aker Solutions a contract for one workover system to be used on the Vigdis North East development on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. It is options from this contract which have been exercised.

working on the extension to ensure that disruption to traffic is kept to a minimum. “With 100,000 vehicles using the motorway every day this will require expert project management to ensure the work proceeds as smoothly and as safely as possible so that motorists are not unduly inconvenienced,” says Atkins’ marketing director Martin Svenning Nielsen. The first phase of the project will see the construction of a new bridge across Karlstrup Marsh, located next to the existing motorway. The bridge will be founded on piles due to the soft subsoil and to protect the natural environment of the area. Visit: Workover equipment is used on every subsea well, for installing equipment and preparing the well for production. During field life, workover equipment is used during the maintenance of subsea wells to improve oil recovery. Visit:

Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

Sustainable chemistry leader DRT acquires shares in Crown Chemicals,


BASF to acquire ultrafiltration specialist inge watertechnologies AG


has signed an agreement with the investor group of Germany-based inge watertechnologies AG to acquire the company and its ultrafiltration membrane business. inge watertechnologies AG is a global leading provider of ultrafiltration technology, a membrane process used in the treatment of drinking water, process water, wastewater and sea water. It is headquartered in the town of Greifenberg near Munich in Germany and employs about 85 staff. With a global reach, the company’s range of products include highly-efficient ultrafiltration modules and cost-effective rack designs which are the core components of water treatment plants. “This transaction is an important step in strengthening BASF’s technology and innovation driven business and is in line with our focus on addressing major global challenges. The deal will further improve BASF’s position in the water treatment industry, which is an attractive and fast-growing market and helps to improve quality of life everywhere,” said Dr John Feldmann, member of the board of executive directors of BASF and responsible for the Performance Products segment. Visit:

DSM to acquire Vitatene S.A.U.


oyal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, has signed an agreement with P&R Group (Italy) to acquire Vitatene S.A.U., based in León (Spain), a producer of natural carotenoids. The acquisition of Vitatene allows DSM to strengthen the natural carotenoids offerings of its nutrition business as consumer demand for natural products continues to grow.

Solvay and Rhodia to create a major player in chemicals


olvay and Rhodia have signed a framework agreement according to which Solvay will launch a friendly cash offer for 100 per cent of the share capital of Rhodia. The creation of a new group will accelerate the shared ambition to create a large

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global leader in the development of rosin and turpentine extracted from pine resin, DRT has announced the purchase of shares in Crown Chemicals, a company based in India, specialised in the manufacture of synthetic piperonal. This investment reaffirms DRT’s position as a major global player in the development of responsible chemistry. Natural piperonal is obtained from Sassafras oil which is extracted from the roots of the Sassafras tree, a species of deciduous trees in the family ‘Lauraceae’. The massive commercial felling of Sassafras forests, and the absence of any significant replanting programs have forced authorities to protect the species, which is now in danger of extinction. Currently a high proportion of the Sassafras oil available in the world market is being sourced illegally from countries like Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. It is estimated that around 5 million trees are cut down each year to meet the worldwide demand for piperonal. Soon this resource will be completely wiped out. These alarming figures drove Crown Chemicals to focus its efforts on developing a synthetic route to manufacture piperonal. Visit:

Founded in 2004, Vitatene is a leader in the production and sale of a range of high-value natural carotenoid products derived from fermentation of the fungus ‘Blakeslea trispora’. The products are sold under the brand names Betanat and Lyconat. The products are an addition to DSM’s current portfolio of highly functional carotenoids, ranging from beta-carotene to lutein and zeaxanthin. Visit: global chemical company committed to sustainable development. The new group’s strategy is based on the following strengths: 90 per cent of its combined sales of €12 billion are realised in businesses where it is already among the top three worldwide. Solvay is a leader in high performance specialty

polymers, in soda ash and hydrogen peroxide, while Rhodia holds leadership positions in speciality materials (silica, rare earths), products for consumer markets (surfactants, natural polymers, acetate tow) and engineering plastics based on polyamide 6.6. Visit:


Daimler and Bosch to establish joint venture for electric motors


aimler AG and Robert Bosch GmbH plan to expand their long-standing partnership and cooperate in the development and production of electric motors for all-electric vehicles in Europe. The companies have signed a letter of intent and begun negotiations to establish a 50:50 joint venture, which is likely to be concluded in the first half of 2011. In pooling their competencies, the two companies aim to accelerate development advances in electric machines as well as to benefit from synergies. According to their letter of intent, joint production should start in 2012. It is envisioned that the electric motors developed will be used in Mercedes-Benz and smart electric vehicles from 2012. Subsequent sales to other automakers are to be handled by Bosch. The joint activities are planned to be located in the greater Stuttgart area and in Hildesheim, northern Germany. Visit:

ASSA ABLOY acquires FlexiForce ASSA

ABLOY has acquired FlexiForce, a world leader in components for industrial sectional doors and residential garage doors. FlexiForce specialises in the manufacturing and distribution of components for overhead doors with a strong position in R&D, distribution and a solid customer base. “I am very happy to welcome FlexiForce to our group. This is another important step in our strategy of growing our position within

entrance automation,” says Johan Molin, president and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. “This is an exciting and growing customer category where we see opportunities to develop even closer relationships with our customers. FlexiForce also adds a very well-reputed and competent management team and a dedicated workforce, whom we welcome to our group,” says Juan Vargues, executive vice-president of ASSA ABLOY and head of the Entrance Systems division. Visit:

Titan Europe buys out its JV partner in Turkey

JANTSA-Jant Sanayı ve Tıcaret A.S. The cash consideration paid for the shareholding is €8.5 million. Titan Jantsa, established as a joint venture in 2005, serves the Turkish market and western European OEM customers principally for agricultural wheels up to 38-inch diameter. The Titan Jantsa


he Board of Titan Europe is pleased to announce that Titan Europe’s whollyowned subsidiary, Titan Italia SpA, has acquired the remaining 50 per cent interest in its joint venture business, Titan Jantsa Jant Sanayi Ticaret ve Sanayi A. from

operation currently manufactures 150,000 wheels per year and produces for CNH, Same, Landini and CLAAS in Europe and Turk Tractor in Turkey. For the year ended 31 December 2010, Titan Jantsa recorded profit before tax of €1.0 million on turnover of €10.2 million. Visit:

Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

Netherlocks opens new regional office in Germany D utch interlocking and valve safety system provider Netherlocks has expanded with the founding of a new subsidiary: Netherlocks Safety Systems GmbH, based in Stockstadt, Germany. The company is a world leading provider of industrial and valve safety interlocking systems, servicing many industries including petrochemical, oil and gas, and many other processing operations. Stephen Sadowski, who will be heading up the new enterprise, said: “This is an exciting opportunity, and it’s great to be bringing Netherlocks’ proven technology and expertise to an even broader market.” In addition to the Netherlands and Germany, the company also has offices in the USA, China and the Middle East. Visit:

Torraspapel announces major investments at its Zaragoza Mill


orraspapel, part of the Lecta Group, has announced the activation of an ambitious investment program at its MontaÒana (Zaragoza, Spain) paper plant. The €23.3 million investment allocated to 13 projects will allow for emissions reductions, enhanced emissions quality and odour elimination, in addition to enabling the plant to continue operating at current employment levels. The plan was launched at the end of March with contracts being awarded for the supply, assembly and start-up of two electrofilters in the mill’s recovery boilers. This first phase entails an investment of €7.5 million and will reduce emissions levels of solid particles into the atmosphere by 40 per cent as compared to current levels. The two electrofilters will be started up in May 2012. Torraspapel has seven mills in Spain, each of which specializes in specific product lines, thereby ensuring enhanced product knowledge, superior product quality, and a high degree of competitiveness. Visit:

EuroChem to build wastewater treatment facility in Kotelnikovo


uroChem has announced that its EuroChem-Volgakaliy subsidiary will build a wastewater treatment facility at the site of its future potash mining

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VERLINDE announces new expansion into Pakistan


ERLINDE FRANCE has announced further developments in its expansion strategy as the company extends its global territorial reach and its lifting equipment services into the untapped potential of Pakistan. Business development manager for Verlinde, Simon Rothechild, said: “Expanding the VERLINDE brand presence into Pakistan at this time is a significant move and comes at an exciting time for the development of our global business. Our team in Pakistan is

already in place and now means the whole Pakistan territory has been opened up to Verlinde. The Pakistan team will now focus on promoting Verlinde and showcasing the wide range of services we can offer this expanding marketplace.” Exciting new contracts in Pakistan for VERLINDE will be announced soon. Based in Lahore, the team in Pakistan is headed up by Verlinde’s Country Representative Shahid Akram. Visit:

EDF confirms its investment in Dunkirk methane terminal project


has confirmed its investment in the Dunkirk methane terminal project, at the Le Clipon site in Loon-Plage. The announcement follows the decision by the Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque to approve the project in May 2010. The Dunkirk methane terminal, expected to come into service by the end of 2015, will have an annual regasification capacity of 13 billion m3 of gas (Gm3) boosting France’s capacity to import natural gas by 20 per cent. The new terminal will give EDF a balanced and diverse portfolio of sources for the supply of natural gas. Visit:

and processing facility. At a cost of 100 million roubles, the first phase of the project involves the installation of a storage pond and a pumping station. Only contractors capable of implementing the AGARÆ Process (Attached Growth

Airlift Reactor), an innovative biological treatment process yet to be used in Russia, were selected. The equipment is specifically tailored to be used during the plant’s construction and subsequent ramp-up to full operational capacity, as

output can be increased by a further 1000 cubic metres per day. Representing investments of half a million euros, the lifespan of the equipment is deemed unlimited when properly serviced. Visit:


INDUSTRYPEOPLE Key strategic appointment at SIAC Wind Energy


ast-growing wind turbine specialist SIAC Wind Energy has made a key strategic appointment as it seeks to further develop its customer portfolio, with Patrick Dormon becoming the company’s managing director. Patrick has more than two decades of strategic business development experience and will play a key role in developing the company’s customer base in its key target markets which include agriculture, education, retail, industry, local authorities and telecommunications.

Volvo Car Corporation appoints acting head of Marketing, Sales & Customer Service


oug Speck will take on the role as acting Senior vice-president for Marketing, Sales & Customer Service at Volvo Car Corporation. He succeeds Gerry Keaney who has decided to leave Volvo Car Corporation after more than 20 years. Doug Speck presently holds the position as president of Volvo Cars of North America. He has 30 years of experience from the automotive business, with key positions within Ford Motor Company, Jaguar and Premier Automotive Group. “Doug Speck will play a very important role for Volvo Car Corporation¥s ability to achieve its ambitious growth plan and for the redefining of the Volvo brand”, says Stefan Jacoby, president & CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

New MD and CEO of the Treofan Group


he advisory board of BOPP manufacturer Treofan has appointed Giovanni Canetta as new managing director and CEO of the Treofan Group. Giovanni Canetta has been closely working with former MD Carlo Ranucci in the past two years as representative of Management & Capitali SpA, one of Treofan’s major shareholders.

“We thank Carlo for the excellent work performed during the past years,” said Stefan Pfander, chairman of the advisory board. “I see a great future for the company and am convinced that the management team will continue to translate Treofan’s superior technology into longterm success in the marketplace.”

Rhodia appoints vice-president, Research & Development


hodia has announced the appointment of Louis Neltner as vicepresident, Research & Development. He will be a member of the group’s management committee. Alumnus of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Louis Neltner, 39 years old, holds a PhD in Physics and is an engineer from France’s Corps des Mines. He started his career in the public sector in 1999, at the French Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ART), then moved to the general Inspectorate of Finance. Manager at McKinsey since 2004, he directed complex strategy-related projects and transformation programs for large companies in industry and high-tech sectors.

Ekaterina Nikitina appointed director of Human Resources at UC RUSAL


RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminium producer, has announced the appointment of Ekaterina Nikitina as director of Human Resources. Ekaterina Nikitina has solid experience in HR management. Since 2009, she has headed the HR department at Basic Element, Russia’s leading diversified investment company One of the most important tasks for RUSAL as an employer is to attract and retain highly qualified personnel, as well as to create conditions for their continuous development. The company is introducing a comprehensive employee motivation system on which it expects to spend US$600 million over the next three years. Industry Europe 21



Advances in technology across industry

Flagship programme for graphene


Energy harvesting for automotive applications E

nergy harvesters do not necessarily make sense in all potential applications but they are well fitted to niche markets where battery replacement is not an option. Continuous operation of sensors or operation in inaccessible environments makes it cost intensive or even impossible to replace drained batteries. IMEC is developing micro-machined energy harvesters in combination with an energy storage component. Their autonomy will allow such wireless sensors to operate for an almost indefinite time without worries of battery charging or connection to a power grid. A micro-sized piezoelectric transducer has so far shown the best result at IMEC. It consists

of a cantilever with one or several piezoelectric layers sandwiched between metallic electrodes forming a capacitor. At the tip of the cantilever, a seismic mass captures the vibrations of the machine to which the harvester is attached. The resulting harvester delivers energy that has constantly been improving in the past few years of development. At the current level of output power, IMEC’s harvesters are already powerful enough and are harvesting energy in meaningful frequencies in order to drive simple wireless sensors that intermittently transfer sensor readings to a master, which is the case in tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) being developed at IMEC. Visit:

Norwegian technology saving soldiers’ lives

coordination action on graphene will be funded by the European Commission to develop plans for a 10-year, €1 billion FET flagship. Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, may be the most amazing and versatile substance available to mankind. Stronger than diamond, yet lightweight and flexible, graphene enables electrons to flow much faster than silicon. It is also a transparent conductor, combining electrical and optical functionalities in an exceptional way. Graphene can trigger a smart and sustainable carbon revolution, with profound impact in information and communication technology (ICT) and everyday life. Its unique properties will spawn innovation on an unprecedented scale and scope for high-speed, transparent and flexible consumer electronics; novel information processing devices; biosensors; supercapacitors as alternatives to batteries; mechanical components; lightweight composites for cars and planes. The groundbreaking experiments on graphene in 2004 by European scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. Their work has sparked a scientific explosion. Huge amounts of human resources and capital are being invested into graphene research and applications in the US, Japan, Korea, Singapore and elsewhere. The first products are expected to enter the market by 2014, according to estimates by Samsung. The research effort of individual European research groups pioneered graphene science and technology, but a coordinated European level approach is needed to secure a major role for EU in this ongoing technological revolution. Visit:


hat at first glance looks like a road grader is actually a sophisticated piece of equipment that is saving the lives of US soldiers in Afghanistan by detecting roadside bombs and land mines. When Egil Eide, CEO of 3d-Radar, and associate professor II at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), wrote his PhD dissertation at NTNU on the radar a decade ago, there was almost immediate international interest in the technology, he says. In addition to detecting land mines, the radar can also be used for archaeological excavations, road work or to find pipelines. The company was first spun off from NTNU in 2001, and the marketplace for the technology is rapidly expanding. Visit: 22 Industry Europe

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on the government’s continuing efforts to control the Internet.


rench president Nicolas Sarkozy has angered Internet industry giants with demands for tighter government regulation of the ‘virtual world’. In remarks that met with an intensely hostile reaction from the billionaire bosses of Google and Facebook, Mr Sarkozy said lack of Internet regulation risked ‘plunging the world into anarchy’. The president aired his controversial views to the world’s multimedia executives meeting in Paris ahead of the G8 summit in late May. He told the audience: “Now that the Internet is an integral part of most people’s lives, it would be contradictory to exclude governments from this huge forum. “Nobody could nor should forget that these governments are the only legitimate representatives of the will of the people in our democracies. “To forget this is to take the risk of democratic chaos and hence anarchy.” But Google executive Eric Schmidt said after Mr Sarkozy’s speech: “No one will win if some stupid rule stunts the growth of the web.” Mr Sarkozy then caused more friction when he suggested Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook social networking site helped fuel the wave of revolutions across the Arab world. But Mr Zuckerberg responded to the French media later: “It’s not a Facebook thing, it’s an Internet thing. I think Facebook was neither necessary nor sufficient for any of those things to happen. If it weren’t Facebook, it would be something else.” Mr Sarkozy’s proposals came after he angered Internet users last year with the creation of a new ‘web police’ with the power to prosecute people found to be illegally downloading films and music. Web users who ignore three warnings to stop illegal downloads can now be taken to court for theft of copyrighted material, where they can be fined or have their Inter-

net connection to be cut off. Opponents branded the law ‘unfair, unworkable and out-of-date’. Also in Paris, French industry minister Eric Besson has said he hopes to raise at least €2.5 billion from the country’s auction of fourth-generation mobile phone frequencies. Mr Besson said in a speech during a visit to an Alcatel-Lucent phone research lab near the French capital: “The strategic asset that these frequencies represent won’t be sold on the cheap.” Mobile phone operators are desperate to obtain a share of the so-called 4G mobile broadband spectrum to cope with the rapid surge of data traffic on the web. The 4G frequencies will allow operators to upgrade

“Now that the internet is an integral part of most people’s lives, it would be contradictory to exclude governments from this huge forum.” their networks so that consumers can surf the Internet and download videos onto their mobile phones at much higher speeds, an increasingly important selling point for telecoms operators. Once the tender offer is officially launched in June, operators will have until September to file their bids and the government has set limits on how much ‘spectrum’ one operator can bid for. Mr Besson has said any one operator won’t be able to bid for more than half of the total amount of frequencies available in order that the auction can attract bids from a wide range of French telecoms companies. He said in his speech: “Conditions for allocation have never been as favourable to competition.”

Results of the 2.6Mhz spectrum auction will be announced in October while the results of the 800Mhz auction will be revealed at the start of 2012, Mr Besson added.

Leaving out the Ritz

Across France, major players in the hotel industry said they had been left with ‘a bitter taste’ after the new ‘Palace’ hotel rating was introduced in May – one step higher than a five-star rating – and awarded to just eight hotels around the country. The Palace label monitored by the French culture ministry is said to denote ‘the pinnacle of excellence’. But the absence of the Paris Ritz and George V has already undermined the new rating system, critics say. In Paris, the Bristol, Meurice, Plaza Athenee and Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome were chosen, along with the Airelles and Cheval Blanc at Courchevel, the Hotel du Palais in Biarritz and the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. However the head of the Dorchester group, owners of the Meurice and Plaza Athenee said: “The fact that the Ritz and the George V are not on the list removes all credibility from this award.” The Ritz has made no comment but the director general of the George V told Le Figaro newspaper: “We don’t understand. We have had no explanation. Our reputation is solid. For years we have been regularly classed as the best hotel in the world. We spend €6 million a year maintaining our ‘palace’.” The president of the jury that produced the list, Dominique Fernandez, said: “All our decisions were taken by a majority of our ten members. “We visited 11 hotels. The Negresco in Nice doesn’t have a spa, so it could not be a candidate. The three hotels left out, the Ritz, George V and Lana at Courchevel, did n not completely meet our criteria.” Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on anxieties about a new wave of immigration.


ike roughly 26 million other hard-working Germans, young Stephan Walter is watching Germany’s eastern border with some trepidation. An electrician aged 23, who worked for the past four-and-a-half years for ten euros an hour, he feels he has done more than his bit for the cause of European integration. Some five per cent of his income has gone on a special ‘solidarity tax’ to fund reunification with Germany’s economically backward East. And for the next four years, another chunk will help bankroll his government’s generous €89 billion bail-out of Greece, its spendthrift partner on the southern side of the eurozone. He, like many other Germans, is bracing himself for another, altogether more serious drain on his earning power – not, this time, from economically backward ‘Osties’ or feckless Greeks, but from industrious, hardworking Poles. Under European Union rules that came into force on 1 May, Germany opened its doors fully to jobseekers from Poland and other eastern European nations for the first time, paving the way for a flood of cut-price carpenters, plumbers and other budget labour of the kind that swept Britain in 2004. However, with German trade unions predicting that up to a million Poles may arrive in the first year alone, few feel like welcoming the new arrivals from the other side of the River Oder. “Free movement of labour is all very well,” said Stephan, who lives in Bielefeld in North Rhine-Westphalia. “But there is nothing in this great EU to stop us all being shafted from a tidal wave of under-cutters. We are stoking the fires of social unrest if we just allow anyone in who is able to work. “I have just gone back to school to get more qualifications but I will be returning to work after my studies. I know all about Poles willing to do what I did for three and 24 Industry Europe

four euros an hour and it won’t be any different when there are thousands more from countries like Poland.” The pending influx is the result of working rights extended to citizens from the eastern European states that joined the EU in 2004, including also the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Baltic nations. While Britain, which was short of labour at the time, allowed such workers in straight away, Germany, along with France and Italy, negotiated individual moratoria, citing concerns about unemployment. Now Germany’s moratorium is finally set to expire – just as the global recession and last summer’s eurozone crash mean severe cuts in health, social service and welfare budgets.

Enough jobs – officially

There is a public swing against immigration in general, and a growing sense that a people which has long supported the EU project no longer gets a fair deal. As in Britain, the ‘Polnische Klempner’ or Polish plumber is held up as an example of the low-wage bogeymen that Germans now fear coming to steal work from them. Industrious, helpful and willing to turn out at the kind of unsocial hours many Germans are reluctant to, they are also cheap – ready to accept hourly payment of three, four and five euros instead of the 10, 20 and 30 euros that qualified tradesmen earn. “It is human nature to hunt bargains – I would be the same,” conceded Stephan. “But I think this moratorium should have been in place for another five years, at least until Germany gets back on its feet. Officially, there are more than enough jobs to go around. A relative bounce-back in the economy has pushed unemployment down, and already there are labour shortages within Germany’s ageing population that the Poles aim to plug.

Kamil Rakoczy, an advisor on migration for Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, said there were vacancies for 36,000 engineers and 20,000 IT specialists, as well as jobs in construction, nursing and elderly care. Although the Polish economy is growing fast itself, its thriving metropolitan areas lack the capacity to absorb more people, and German wages are still higher than those at home. “Germany survived the crisis, and the demand for labour is there,” said Professor Krystyna Iglicka, a migration expert from Warsaw’s Centre for International Relations. “The Germans are ageing and they need fresh blood and young, dynamic people.” Annelie Buntenbach, a board member from the Confederation of German Trade Unions, recently warned that net migration to Germany from Poland and other new EU states could hit five million once all restrictions were completely lifted in coming years. Such concerns come at a sensitive moment for Mrs Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union coalition, which is already fraying at the edges over anxieties about immigration and the integration of Muslims into society. Stuck between hosting existing immigrants whom they feel do not work enough, and new ones whom they fear may work too hard altogether, many Germans believe the comfortable years of the post-war era are over. “What will be the case next year, when 10,000 Polish women turn up with their mops and their buckets and offer to undercut me?” asked Rita Seewall, 50, a Berlin cleaning lady. “I do not expect loyalty from the people who pay me. They will say: “These are the new terms Rita, take them or leave them.” Why does Germany always seem to look after n others instead of taking care of its own?

24 Industry Europe

A CUTTING-EDGE GLOBAL COMPANY Fidia SpA is one of the few high-speed machine manufacturers to also supply the market with proprietary numerical controls and drives at a global level. Since its foundation in Turin 35 years ago, the company has become a leader in its field. Eugenia Fiusco reports.


ince 1974, Fidia has brought a fresh and innovative approach to the production and development of sophisticated numerical controls. In the late 1970s, it digitalised the existing system and was thus responsible for a significant improvement in quality. It has never ceased to work on innovative projects, and in the late 1980s a new series of numerical controls, based on real-time microprocessors, and a Windowscompliant platform was launched. In the 1990s, Fidia introduced a five-axis high-speed milling system intended to guarantee a high level of precision and an outstanding quality of end product by removing the hand finishing process in mould and die making. This new challenge has been

extremely successful and the Fidia HighSpeed Machine Division now exports to 40 countries worldwide. Even though Fidia is not a multinational, its presence and reputation in the global market is unquestionable. Apart from the three production units in Italy, the company has subsidiaries in Europe, the USA and Brazil and a joint venture in China, together with a series of service centres in South Africa, Australia, India and South East Asia. As a matter of fact, despite its Italian origins only 10 per cent of the company’s turnover is derived from the Italian market. Company representative Mr Piliego states that Europe (Germany in particular) did account for a significant amount of turnover in the first years of its activity as a machine

manufacturer. Nowadays China plays an important role, with around 70 per cent of Fidia’s turnover coming from the export of milling machines. “They see us as one of the most competent and complete providers of this technology. In some cases we are seen as being even more competent than the Japanese competitors.”

Technology and innovation

The company’s annual turnover reached €45 million in 2007, and since the end of 2000 it has been quoted on the stock exchange. “Fidia has rightly earned its position as a global leader in the vertical production of integrated systems,” says Mr Piliego.

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Its most profitable product is its five-axis high-speed milling machine, from which 65 per cent of its turnover is derived. It has a wide range of applications, for example in the aviation and automotive industry, with functions such as design and prototyping. The company’s clients include some of the biggest players in the automotive and aerospace industry worldwide. “Our five-axis milling machines are specifically designed for both large plastic injection moulds and aeronautical components,” explains Mr Piliego. “Fidia’s end users produce structural components as well as component parts for jet motors to be used in the aviation industry: different Fidia machine models and sizes, same efficiency.”

Turn-key solutions for exclusive clients The company’s use of sophisticated technology allows it to offer turnkey solutions. As for prototyping, it rubs shoulders with the most famous design centres. It has the ability to turn the ideas and projects of these exclusive companies into reality. It has developed a new line of milling machines, the Double Traverse GTF Gantry, specifically for this purpose. Meeting customers’ needs is more than just a concept for Fidia. It is a business philosophy that is translated into its working practice on a day-to-day basis. Being able to provide an end product and turnkey solutions allows the company to take up new challenges and work closely with its clients to develop new products which are

28 Industry Europe

specifically tailored to their needs. It offers new solutions supported by its exclusive and efficient technology. “We target potential innovations in high added-value products (i.e. jet engine components, aircraft critical parts such as landing gears, high precision steel moulds for plastic injection and so on), by analysing our own the state-of-theart processes involved. Subsequently, we select all those companies that can benefit from our innovations and offer them ways to implement their production. In this way Fidia stays ahead of the competition and remains an effective partner to the most demanding customers,” says Mr Piliego.

Research and development

On 10 – 12 March 2011 a lively Open House event took place in a recently acquired production unit in Forlì, Italy where Fidia’s clientele around the world were invited to attend the presentation of its latest technology. “Our R&D department worked hard and has succeeded in developing cutting-edge solutions for the industrial production of complex shapes,” says Mr Piliego.

These cutting-edge solutions include a virtual look-ahead system to be installed on-board vessels as a numerical control to foresee, in real time, any bumps and collisions; and a new line of high-speed gantry machines, the GTF line, which is characterised by a modular design and technological approach intended to ensure maximum volumetric accuracy R&D has always been one of the company’s strengths. Moreover, Fidia, is currently participating in several projects funded by the European Commission, the Italian Ministry for Economic Development and the Regione Piemonte. To learn more about what Fidia can do for n you, please visit:

SEIZING OPPORTUNITIES ALTA a.s., based in the Czech Republic, is a leading supplier of complex capital projects such as a truck manufacturing plant in Belarus or a train refurbishing plant in Uralvagonzavod. Irena Alderson reports about the new solutions from ALTA this year.

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he Czech joint-stock company ALTA, a.s. is one of the most prominent trading and engineering companies operating in central and eastern Europe, particularly in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The company is renowned for its dynamic growth, prosperity and stability on the market. Since 1991, ALTA has specialised in mechanical engineering, metallurgy, mining and the energy sector. Thanks to the acquisition of the TOS Kurim Group (2005), the SE-MI Technology company (2008),CKD BLANSKO - OS (2010) and SKODA MACHINE TOOL (2011), ALTA has its own significant production and design base in the machine tool segment and in equipment for underground and surface mining. ALTA’s dynamic growth is further confirmed by its repeated ranking among the 100 most significant Czech companies, a chart put together every year by the CZECH TOP 100 Association. Since 2000, ALTA has constantly been among the front-runners and in 2008 the company came second in “The most successful company” category for South Moravia. 30 Industry Europe

“ALTA has come a long way – starting with the supply of motors and turbo-blowers for the Russian market in 1991, the import of iron ore raw materials and fuel elements for Czech nuclear power plants, the export of machinery for railways, and later, major investment activities in mining and engineering,” says Lubomir Fabik, the general manager and a member of the board of ALTA, a.s. “During this time, ALTA evolved into a group of companies with six manufacturing subsidiaries based in the Czech Republic - SKODA MACHINE TOOL, a.s., TOS KURIM – OS, a. s., CKD BLANSKO – OS, a. s., KULICKOVE SROUBY KURIM, a. s., SLEVARNA KURIM, a. s., a SE-MItechnology, a. s, which provide products for the core activities of ALTA. However, there are many more suppliers. This is the process of development from a purely trading company into today’s group of trading, manufacturing and engineering companies. This is linked to a network of trade representations and daughter companies in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. In the last few years in ALTA has also represented in Vietnam.

A crisis creates new possibilities

“The economic downturn has recently acted as a motor for change. It poses new opportunities, which do not appear in a time of stability. In our experience, the most dynamic growth for ALTA has come after the downturn or as a result of economic slowdown. During times of prosperity companies can function independently, however in times of difficulty ALTA can act as a strong partner providing complete supplies, new innovative technological solutions as well as financing. It is easier to push for a change in times of economic uncertainty as well. So far ALTA has managed to take advantage of crises, be it in 1991 when the markets were fragmented or in 1998, when we undertook a project for the complex refurbishment of a manufacturing plant in Belarus.” ALTA has succeeded in utilising the current situation on the market yet again. In 2010 it has bees signed a EPC contract with the Uralmetanolgroup for the construction of a brand new plant for methanol production in Nizhny Tagil in the Ural region. This follows a long tradition of the petro-

FANS a.s. FANS a.s., a producer and supplier of cooling towers, worked together with ALTA, a.s. in 2009 to built a CTF 100/II cooling tower in Magnitogorsk, Russia. For more information please visit:

chemical industry in Czech Republic and in particular in Brno, where used to be one of the centres of engineering and production in the field. This constitutes a big opportunity for many suppliers from the Czech Republic to continue in this market. “ALTA will take advantage of its vast commercial know-how in the supply of complex investment units. I am confidentit is a sector with a very good long term outlook and it might bring increased investment of a similar type in the future,” explains Mr Fabik. ALTA will

cooperate with Czech company PSG, which specialises in the petrochemical industry. Next year, ALTA is going to deliver a complex capital project – the above mentioned methanol manufacturing plant in Ural with a capacity 600 thousand tons (the applications of ethanol are synthetic rubber, plastic or fuel additives). The turnkey contract for construction, technology and financing of this project for nearly six billion CZK was signed in July 2010 and expected to finish in 2014, says Milos Krutak, the commercial director.

“Uralmetanolgroup is backed by the Russian gas company Itera and an Austrian holding, UPC Chemicals, which owns the Uralchimplast Nizhny Tagil. We are conducting an audit for potential Czech suppliers, since half of the suppliers are guaranteed to be from the Czech Republic. This is a new opportunity for us to work with suppliers of technologies for the chemical industry and only the first phase of a long cooperation,” concludes n Mr Krutak.

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UNITING FOR THE FUTURE Yaskawa Europe GmbH offers its customers integrated solutions in robotics and drives and motion. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at the company as it plans for an exciting future.


askawa Europe GmbH aims to be a one-stop supplier of electric drives and industrial robots. In June 2010, Yaskawa Electric Europe GmbH and Motoman Robotec GmbH announced their merger under the name of Yaskawa Europe GmbH. The merger of the two YASKAWA subsidiaries, specialists in the production of inverter drives and robots respectively, was in line with the company’s new marketing strategy for the world of automation. The step allowed a more integrated customer service, generating further synergies and uniting the offering under one single brand name. The idea was that the new business units Robotics and Drives and Motion would operate under the roof of Yaskawa Europe, offering customers of both segments integrated solutions. Only very few competitors in the global market would be able to match the scope of Yaskawa’s one-stop product portfolio of electric drives and industrial robots.

Working together

Following the merger, Yaskawa Europe now employs a staff of 900 in Europe, offering a very broad portfolio and comprehensive local services via subsidiaries in 14 countries. As a Japanese engineering company,

it realised early on the importance of being close to the customer in Europe. To streamline transport logistics, it set up European production sites for servos, inverters and system solutions with industrial robots. Local development departments and the European Technical Centre (EUTC) supported the effort by offering a strong global network to customise solutions for the needs of the European market. In Japan, the drive and motion technology and Motoman robots have always operated under the joint company name of Yaskawa. After the merger of the business units in Europe – and simultaneously in the USA – the whole organisation was operating along similar lines.

A global leader

Founded in 1915, the parent company Yaskawa Electric Corporation presently employs a global staff of 8,000 employees and generates annual sales of more than €2.5 billion. Every year, Yaskawa manufactures 1.6 million inverters, 800,000 servos and 22,000 industrial robots. This makes the company the global number one supplier of inverters, servos and industrial robots, offering a broad

range of know-how. Yaskawa servo drives are used in Motoman robots, while the in-house robots enhance the performance of Yaskawa inverters, which are renowned worldwide for their reliability. Yaskawa has been known for decades as an originator of visionary ideas that were to become state-of-the-art technology in later years. The word ‘mechatronics,’ for example, was first used by Yaskawa to describe the core technology of its product development. Today it is the standard approach to all modern automation. The list of innovations from the company also includes the three-level inverter, the matrix converter, the dual-arm robot, and the seven-axis robot. A recent addition to the list is the service robot SmartPal, which was presented at Automatica 2010. This mature robot generation offers solutions for the future challenges of an ageing population.

Advanced technology

Special types of robots and the newly developed high-performance DX100 controller ensure high productivity. The company provides the widest range of robots, including application dedicated robots for welding, picking, packing, palletising, handling, painting and clean-room applications. This technological leadership achieves the highest possible effectiveness and profitability.

All Yaskawa manipulators use advanced technology. Robot models specially designed for specific areas of application and that provide maximum productivity to the user include the HP-/MH-series (general purpose and handling), the SDA-/SIA-series (flexibility), the ES-/MS-/VS-series (spot welding), the VA-/MA-series (shielded arc welding), the MPK-series (picking and packing) and the MPL-series (palletising). The Motoman name has been known for its ability to provide know-how and a product spectrum of unequalled possibilities – especially in areas such as green automation, vision technology, and seven to 15-axis and dual-arm robots. It also has a name in the new technologies of six-axis robots, with payloads ranging from 3kg to 800 kg, four-

axis palletising robots, new five-axis highspeed picking robots, shelf-type robots, painting robots, specially dedicated arc welding and spot welding robots and Scara robots. Motoman is also renowned for its next-generation DX100 controller using patented multiple robot control technology to easily handle multiple tasks including the control of up to eight robots (72 axes). The future is exciting for Yaskawa Europe GmbH. It is looking ahead with optimism. Today, the two business units in Europe generate an annual sales volume of €250 million. By 2012, Yaskawa Europe GmbH’s business plans envisage a sales volume of €400 million and a staff of 1,000 employees. It also expects to see a market share of 10 per cent n in inverters and 15 per cent in robots.

ROTARY TABLES FOR THE WORLD FIBRO is a worldwide leading German manufacturer of rotary tables. In an interview with Cornelia Muller, Dr Thomas Grünewald, director of the business area rotary tables, explained FIBROs corporate philosophy and how it has achieved its prime market position.


IBRO, short for the names of the former owners, Fischer and Brodbeck, can look back at 50 years of history. The company has two pillars: It is a manufacturer of standard parts for the construction of tools and mould-making. The second pillar is rotary tables, which we look at more closely. The two business units are fairly independent, the first being based in Hassmersheim close to Heidelberg, and the second closer to Stuttgart in Weinsberg.

Precision, quality and reliability

Both units share the same motto, as Thomas Grünewald put it: “Precision, quality and reliability are key. They give us our leading market position. For rotary tables this is so crucial, because the tools and workpieces rotate during the process, so everything must be positioned in a way that nothing fails and nothing slips or misses. The rotary table is a precision axis or the heart of the machine, and it is our task to keep it going smoothly, be it for

the machining of precision parts, the filling of tooth paste tubes or the welding of wedges.” FIBRO brought the first rotary table to the market in 1962. Today, it is the strongest brand on the European market. According to company statistics, about 50 per cent of production is exported directly. Another substantial share is first supplied in Germany and then exported in fully assembled machines. The company estimates that approximately 80 per cent of its products

are used outside of Germany, although virtually everything is developed and produced at the two manufacturing sites in Germany. “We have the broadest product range worldwide,” Thomas Grünewald said. Many of FIBRO’s tables use the so-called Hirth gearing, which is very rigid and precise. It works on a pure index basis, which gives it additional precision – and thus reliability. Other drives used include NC drives, which are controlled continuously, worm drives offering a high torque, direct drive with a torque motor and an electromechanical drive. Apart from the broad variety of

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drives, FIBRO also sets itself apart with its table diameter capacity: they can be as small as 100 mm or as big as 6 m, and hold as little as only a few grams or as much as 200 tons. This flexibility and span, which FIBRO can achieve thanks to continuous research and advice of the in-house engineering team, gives it a unique market position. Thomas Grünewald said: “When something has to be positioned on a rotary table, we have the solution. We work closely with our customers and offer individual advice to produce the necessary customised solution.”

Economic and ecological sustainability Experience has proven that FIBRO’s rotary tables are highly reliable and gain precision over the course of the years. Thomas Grünewald said: “Many of our clients have confirmed that they install the new rotary table and then do not have to worry about it at all. At regular service overhauls, all that is needed is the routine replacement of wear parts, for example some seals. The machine as a whole tends to be replaced only due to general changes or improvements or increased requirements in the industry. In recent years we have observed that

higher power is required, or load or speed have increased or the tables are built into machines that must satisfy an even higher demand for precision.” A recent addition, which FIBRO brought on the market in autumn 2010, is a rotary table for milling machines with a diameter of 4m and a load capacity of 200 tons. Apart from its extraordinary capacity FIBRO have also introduced rolling bearings instead of hydrostatic bearings. The former are significantly more ecologically sustainable, because they do not require any costly oil lubrication or air con-

ditioning to keep the machine and the rotary table down at operating temperature, which in turn is much more energy-efficient. FIBRO also advocates using direct drives, such as water-cooled torque motors, only when high speed is really crucial, as they produce a large amount of waste heat and consume a lot of electricity. Thanks to its high technological competence it feels confident to suggest the use of alternative drives instead wherever possible. When asked whether FIBRO protects its products with patents or trademarks, Thomas

Grünewald smiled: “They can protect our products only to a certain extent. When you have the necessary technological expertise and can develop the right configuration and structure for a rotary table, this is the most efficient protection in itself. I am sure we have the necessary edge to be far enough ahead with our research and development that our products are copy proof. Permanent innovation is important. If you are complacent in your research, you lose your competitive edge and your credibility on the market.” This also includes regular customer service, customer proximity and regular onsite training. Thomas Grünewald concluded: “The latest trends in the industry have shown that more and more mechanical engineering companies focus on the manufacture of the machines as a whole, and delegate the production of complete components to reliable partners. All of the above, innovation, research, training, precision, reliability and responsibility, have helped us to build relationships of mutual trust with our customers. The more consolidated this relationship is the more it is a win-win relationship. We hope to provide it to more n and more customers worldwide.”

DRIVING BUSINESS FORWARD Fortune 500 company Lear Corporation is a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical power management systems. Emma-Jane Batey spoke with Gideon Jewel, President Lear Europe, Wayne Meyrick, MD Lear UK and Rob Wollaston, Advanced Sales Manager Lear UK.

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ith 242 manufacturing facilities in 33 countries, of which 60 are located in Europe and Africa, leading global manufacturer and distributor of automotive seating and electrical power management systems, Lear Corporation, generated sales of €17.86 billion in 2006. However, with the company’s experience of the recession described by Lear UK MD Wayne Meyrick as ‘absolutely brutal’, it’s clear that its ambitious plans for growth in 2011 and beyond come on the back on some careful consolidation. Gideon Jewel told Industry Europe “Fortunately most industries have seen a recovery from the lowest ebb of the global economic crisis, where the automotive industry was particularly affected. As a leading global supplier traditionally associated with complete systems, Lear has worked especially

hard to re-engage with our clients and be sure to be well-positioned to benefit from the expected growth in the market. One segment that Lear expect to enjoy significant growth in is in the growth of electric and hybrid vehicles.””

Gideon Jewel

Wanye Meyrick

Positive changes

The European automotive industry has certainly taken a major tumble, with 20 million vehicles produced annually prior to the recession and just 14 million since. Wayne Meyrick, MD Lear UK, added, “We’ve had to restructure and lose some people, but we are now seeing strong signs of improvement across the industry, most notably in the electric and hybrid vehicle segment where our battery chargers and smart modules, which are designed to help how the vehicle

architecture works, are a significant growth area. We are increasing our production in these areas, and have started to make investment in additional state-of-the-art facilities in North Africa in order to further increase our capabilities.” North Africa is noted as a location for strategic development as it offers both business potential and economic benefits. Gideon Jewel explained how Lear has invested in technology for the continued development of lightweight products and vertical integration potential as the region offers attractive labour rates and investment opportunities, as well as being a good location for transportation and logistics. The company supplies ‘all the car manufacturers in Europe’ and, as such, has a strong understanding of the changing face

Rob Wollaston Industry Europe 41

42 Industry Europe

of the automotive industry. In addition to its existing European manufacturing facilities, Lear are making significant investments in both North Africa (despite recent turbulence) and Russia. Gideon Jewel, President Lear Europe, said, “We see Russia and North Africa as important geographical areas for business development and they are key areas of investment. We are in the process of investing well over €30m in those markets alone, with funds put into factories for complete seat and component manufacturing, wire harnesses and electronics. Our new investments will give us technologically advanced manufacturing space, with a competitive manufacturing footprint” The two core divisions at Lear Corporation are the seating systems division and the electronic systems division, both of which work closely together to deliver carefully designed and manufactured solutions to the global automotive industry. The battery chargers produced by Lear are designed to offer a viable backup for electric vehicle owners as second and third batteries are needed to sustain their electric vehicle usage. Available in 12, 24 and 48 volts, the batteries represent a key market for Lear now and in the future. Having spent considerable time and resources during the recession in ensurIndustry Europe 43

ing its product portfolio is adapted to the changing demands of the automotive industry, Gideon Jewel is clear that Lear is stable going forward. He said, “We continue to make the exceptional quality car seats and structures, mechanisms, foam, trim covers and electrical components that we have built our reputation on, with all of the European car manufacturers working with us to ensure our partnership is mutually beneficial as the automotive industry picks up. But what we’re especially excited about is our significant growth expectations for our involvement with the electric and hybrid vehicle market, particularly as it sits closely with our on-going commitment to offering environmentally responsible solutions.”

Investing in the future

The positive environmental approach at Lear reflects its future-focused development 44 Industry Europe

strategy. The company continues to make strong investments in new technology and is continually working to track and reduce the emissions and environmental impact of its products both in their manufacture and through the life cycle. Lear Corporation is positive about 2011 and beyond. “The outlook is positive. Our customers have some exciting cycle plans, that we’re positioning both our footprint core products for” added Rob Wollaston, Advanced Sales Manager. Mr Jewel concluded, “We’re feeling very good about our activities worldwide, with our prediction for excellent performance in Europe, Russia and North Africa, with considerable investment in technology and innovation playing an important role alongside our strategic growth in emerging markets and with exemplary industry relationships that guarantee we offer what our customers want, n when they want it.”

STRONG ON THE INSIDE Leading worldwide packaging lacquers developer and manufacturer Schekolin AG places great importance on creating high end coatings for metal, plastic and glass packaging. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to general manager Andreas Singer to find out how the company is positioned for the future.


chekolin was founded in 1932 as a family business, and has continued to stay true to its initial promise of aiming to be at the forefront of hi-tech coatings for the packaging industry through changing trends and technical capability. Today, Schekolin AG is a member company of the FLH Group, which is the largest manufacturer of paints and varnishes in Switzerland, a leading name in packet varnish production in China and one of the top 30 providers in Europe. Having joined the FLH Group, a member of Looser Holdings which is listed on the Zurich Stock Exchange, since 2004, Schekolin continues to enjoy the strategic advantage of being a valuable part of a large specialised group.

Part of the family

General manager Andreas Singer told Industry Europe how this benefits the company’s strategic position. He said, “We have exceptional financial and operational support as a member of the FLH Group, as well as open access to many sister companies in strategic fields in the coating industry. We share technology, sourcing and development information on a worldwide basis which certainly contributes to our leading market position, especially with globally active customers.” Schekolin develops and manufactures high-end coatings for clients with end users in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries. Its coatings are created for both internal and external applications

and meet all of the most stringent laws and regulations in each field. Applications for Schekolin coatings include the packaging of plastic tubes, collapsible tubes, monoblock aerosol cans and two-and three-piece cans. The company also produces some closures, which are primarily bought by clients in the beverage industry.

High value, low migration

The successful long-term Schekolin production focus on high-value, low-migration coatings has proved to be a commercially advantageous one, particularly as it was one of the first companies to offer this. Mr Singer explained, “High-value, low-migration coatings are appreciated because they do not go through into the

substrate, which is usually required by the end user. We are highly experienced in this process now and it represents one innovative practice in a long line, including our abilities in producing BPA-free formulations, high solid formulations and powder coatings. All these and more are available in our varied coatings portfolio and we are concentrating on pushing their applications and capabilities through marketing, technical and innovation-focused activities.” Schekolin is committed to staying close to its customers and developing environmental, user-friendly custom-made solutions that meet their exact needs. The company makes continuous technological and ecological investment to maintain this position, in addition to placing great importance on damage prevention and improvements on all areas of its management system.

turers, or TMOs (trade mark owners) in the cosmetic, pharma and food and beverage industries. We can communicate directly with their local subsidiaries to ensure that their worldwide coatings continuity requirements are met perfectly.” Schekolin currently has a 100-strong workforce, with its employee numbers steadily increasing as demand continues to rise. The company was able to get through the global recession relatively unscathed and its new products were able to be implemented. Proud of its highly innovative products, Schekolin believes in respecting the product lifecycle as well as looking at industry trends, so the fact that it does not manufacture so-called me-too products means that the company is effectively future-focused.

Increasingly global activities

With its ability to utilise the latest technology to produce state-of-the-art coatings, it seems likely that Schekolin will be successful in its aim to grow in Europe at a faster rate than the market and continue to boost its fledgling Middle East and Asia activities. The company is currently deciding on a manufacturing strategy in these new markets which may include local manufacturing hubs to complement its

As a global coatings manufacturer, Schekolin is particularly active in Europe, with an increasing presence in the Middle East and Asia. Mr Singer said, “The different coatings we produce always meet the laws, needs and market trends of their destination industry. We understand these important details through our close contact with the brand manufac-

Ready for the future

European activities with strategically located manufacturing service teams. Mr Singer concluded, “I am excited about the potential for our coatings in the Middle East and Asia as well as the excellent growth we expect to see in our longterm European market, with our dedicated teams making sure that they offer each client exactly the coatings that their products and end users demand. We will continue to be strong in trend technology and highly advanced coating systems such as our UV curable, powderand water-based coatings. We expect to give an extra boost to our research and development efforts to maximize our already impressive capabilities as a technology-led n coatings partner.”


TECHNOLOGY Axel Christiernsson is a global leader in the development of customised lubricant products for industry. Philip Yorke reports on a company that’s seen significant growth and looks at its latest products and its ambitious plans for the future.


he company was founded by Axel Abraham Christiernsson in Stockholm, Sweden in 1888, in order to develop and manufacture lubrication products. By the 1920s the core product was lubricating grease. However, in 1982 the company changed its strategy in order to produce a diverse range of ‘private label’ products from its new high-tech factory in Nol, Sweden. In 1991 it decided to focus its European activities in Heijningen, in the Netherlands, following the acquisition of the Timac grease plant and in 1997 the Axel Christiernsson company was acquired by Fairford Holdings. Major investments followed with a further important acquisition in France that not only strengthened its European presence, but also added new, dedicated production lines for food-grade lubricants. More recently in 2011, Axel Christiernsson purchased the majority of the assets of Jesco Resources Inc. in the USA.

Today the company is seeing rapid growth and in 2010 had doubled its 2002 turnover to reach sales of more than SEK 500 million.

Raising performance at higher temperatures

The great majority of the grease used by industry today is based on a patent that was filed almost 60 years ago. Since then much of the product development has relied on the optimisation of the original formula. However, the latest high-tech grease products are being built on advanced, polymer-based thickeners, which offer many advantages over more conventional products. One particular example of these advantages is clearly demonstrated in the recent field tests of bearings used in wind turbines. These resulted in the bearings benefiting directly from a significant extension in their re-lubrication intervals. In another example, tests

on the bearings of an aluminium rolling mill showed that the new grease offered superior emulsion-resistant properties. The conclusion is that investing early on in more specialised and efficient grease products, can not only prove far more cost-effective, but in theory they will also outlast the components for which they were designed to lubricate. Graham Gow, business development manager at Axel said, “In an attempt to raise the upper temperature limit for multi-purpose lubricating grease, a new generation of socalled ‘complex grease’ products has been introduced. The market share for this type of product has risen dramatically, especially in the USA, but Europe is not far behind”. In addition to an increasing demand for higher-performance grease specifications, the need for more environmentally friendly products continues to grow. The different EU authorities are already starting to implement the new regulations. With this in mind the

GR Produkter AB Axel’s main supplier of grease cartridges in Sweden GR Produkter AB have supplied Axel since 1992 with the high quality grease cartridge named Hugo with a delivery on time rate of over 99%

Ergon Ergon is expanding its marketing efforts of Base Oils, Process Oils and Transformer Oils in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. From its roots in the petroleum industry’s service areas, Ergon has grown into a network of sophisticated companies employing more than 2500 people worldwide. Ergon is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi in the US. The main business segments within Ergon are Refining & Marketing, which consists of Ergon’s two speciality oil refineries, marketing and product distribution. Then Asphalt & Emulsions, which includes the marketing and distribution of Ergon’s pavement preservation, paving and specialty asphalt products. Located in Waterloo, Belgium, Ergon Europe MEA Inc., is an operating division of Ergon Refining Inc., for process, base and electrical oils produced at the company’s naphthenic base oil refinery located in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Ergon has a longstanding supply relationship with AXEL, in Europe and in the US with the recently acquired grease producer JESCO.

52 Industry Europe

company is continuing to invest in semi-synthetic and bio-degradable products. This is reflected in the specific version of Axel grease products developed for wind turbines, which are already based upon a semi-synthetic fluid, but can possibly be made using biologically degradable oil and therefore, would be classed as eco-friendly products.

Unique customer offering

Axel’s customer offering combines two distinct value streams Axel Products and Axel Premium Services. All lubricating grease products from Axel are defined by their unique, dedicated ‘Customised Label’ policy, which means that every product leaving an Axel factory is developed specifically to meet the individual needs of a customer. Axel will never market any parallel brands itself. This consistent and well established strategy is unique and therefore allows customers to partner with the company in complete confidence, knowing that it does not compete at the end-user market. The word ‘consistency’ can also be applied to the lubricants industry, as this is the most important physical property of any lubricating grease and one of Axel’s greatest strengths. The company has transformed itself from being a local manufacturer in Scandinavia

to being a leading supplier to the European business-to-business market with ambitious plans to extend its global reach. A company spokesman said, “Our customers have strong regional or international brands in the lubricants and friction reducing industry. We will continue to satisfy customer demands through our in-depth specialist competences in product development and our reliable manufacturing resources. In this way we can operate as an integral part of our customer’s supply chain.”

Strategic outsourcing gaining ground

Axel Christiernsson has three major production facilities in Europe; one in Nol, Sweden, another in Heijningen, the Netherlands and one in Niort in France. In 2010 the company produced more than 25,000 mt of lubricating greases based upon over 200 different formulations. Axel has continued to invest heavily in its manufacturing facilities in order to expand capacity and to meet the increasing demand for its high-quality products. In today’s economic climate, outsourcing has proved to be an extremely attractive and economical option for many former grease manufacturers, who are now able to put their trust in the hands of Europe’s leading specialist grease producer.

Axel operates a flexible production system with pressurised and open kettles, as well as Stratco contactors in addition to other specialised equipment. The company’s diverse range of equipment and flexible operating solutions means that it is competent to manage any kind of specific n manufacturing technology.

54 Industry Europe

Leading Nordic specialist in polymer technology Teknikum has more than 20 years’ experience in utilising its material know-how for its customers’ best advantage. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Vesa Vihavainen to find out more.


stablished in Finland in 1989, Teknikum Group Ltd has grown to become one of the foremost companies in the region to provide high-quality polymer technology products. The company’s advanced production facilities and skilled workforce, including many specialist material engineers, both work together to allow the company to continually offer market-leading solutions. A privately owned company with three families at the helm, Teknikum is proud of its history of appreciating and cultivating longterm, mutually beneficial relationships. CEO Vesa Vihavainen told Industry Europe, “We are a long-term partner for clients, employees and suppliers. As a family business we value the importance of reliable, honest relationships and we work hard to ensure that this spirit lives on in every area of our business.” This spirit is certainly evident in the fact that Teknikum’s product portfolio is focused on delivering high-quality products that offer

a total cost of ownership that is best for the client. The company knows that it is not the cheapest provider, but it is clear that its products are reliable and long-lasting. Teknikum offers the design, manufacture and delivery of a wide range of products that have a requirement for sophisticated material know how at the core. Its portfolio includes industrial hoses, moulded products, rubber linings, polyurethane and liquid silicone products, rubber compounds and sheets and mats. The company has its own mould design, compound development and process planning capabilities at its Finnish headquarters, which allows it to ensure that it maintains its scientific leadership in the market. Teknikum’s products are concentrated into three capability sectors: wear and corrosion protection, fluid handling and contractor and OEM production. Each of these three areas utilises the company’s vast experience in rubber, plastic, thermo-

plastic and polyurethane processing, and each works to the same customerfocused strategy on a day-to-day basis. Mr Vihavainen explained, “The common thread that runs through all three sectors is the way in which Teknikum can incorporate high-quality material knowledge into small and medium-sized businesses. That is why our slogan is ‘Flexible Technology’, because we are able to transpose our understanding of how materials perform into products for our clients. As a family business, we know the importance of a reliable, good-value solution and we are committed to offering that at all times.”

Popular products

In the wear and corrosion sector, Teknikum’s best-selling product is its flexible ceramic hoses for use with highly abrasive materials for clients in segments such as enrichment plants and the chemical and mining indusIndustry Europe 55

tries. Teknikum is the clear technology leader in this particular niche market and its products have an excellent reputation for holding various different liquids. The company also offers a combination of raw materials, such as plastic, rubber and metal, which can be used together or separately to create the ideal solution for each individual customer. The fluid handling sector sees a number of hoses and membranes for use in pumping various liquids in or out of different places. This could be petrol pumps at garages but also environmental projects such as pumping water in flooded areas of Venice, where Teknikum is involved in a long-term city rescue project. For contractor services and OEM manufacturing, Teknikum has a wide range of clients that are active in this sector. Each client has a specific need for a materialsbased solution, which Teknikum is able to provide following a series of processes. Mr Vihavainen said, “We are involved very early on in the client’s development so that we can generate ideas that support their requirements – sometimes even before they have defined the problem! Our dedicated teams make sure they completely 56 Industry Europe

understand the conditions in which the end product will be used, such as the environment, the humidity and the type of liquid, and they create a solution that perfectly suits the application.”

Total service solution

Geographically speaking, around 60 per cent of the company’s production is bought in the domestic region with the remaining 40 per cent exported worldwide, although Mr Vihavainen explained that actually around

80 per cent of production leaves the country directly or indirectly as many clients buy Teknikum products in Finland and then build solutions using them to then be sold overseas. Teknikum has regularly posted annual revenue of €46–50million, with a workforce of 420 people. The company expects both of these areas to grow in the coming years, with quality being its key driver. Organic growth is expected following heavy investment in Asia, particularly China, and in Australia, Africa and Americas.

Mr Vihavainen concluded, “Much as we are excited about the commercial possibilities in China, Europe remains our strongest market. As a proudly Finnish company that manufactures all our products in Europe, we are well aware that the European mark of quality is gaining appeal worldwide as high-quality products are increasingly valued over ‘fast and cheap’ products. Teknikum is well-positioned to capitalise on this trend and we are very much looking forward to a n positive future.” Industry Europe 57

ADVANCING INTO NEW MARKETS Pier Balloi is the director of Bitron HVAC Systems, the new Bitron group business unit dedicated to the production of systems and components for the HVAC industry. This unit has been recently launched and has plans for an important future expansion, with the objective of increasing its turnover from the current €40 million to €80 million in 2015. Barbara Rossi reports.


he Bitron group was founded in 1955 in Turin, Italy, by Giovanni Bianco. Globally the group has 12 production sites, about 5000 employees, a turnover of €530 million and product distribution at worldwide level. It is a leading company in the development, manufacturing and distribution of systems and components for the automotive and household appliances industry. Every year the company reinvests about 7 per cent of its turnover in research and innovation. In the past decade the company, in order to enter new markets, started producing components for the HVAC industry. In 2004 this activity was extended to the production of complete hydraulic systems for boilers

and in a few years the company became the Italian leader in this field. This led, last year, to the idea of creating this third business division, following the existing automotive and household appliances activities, in order to dedicate resources to HVAC, for which there is increasing demand at worldwide level, due to both a general expansion of the heating sector and also to a need for replacement of older systems with renewable sourcesbased technology. This third division, which aims to become an independent operation, intends to take advantage of the quality focus for which Bitron is renowned in the automotive sector and the competitiveness focus that the group has in terms of household appliances.


Growth will mainly be generated from outside Italy and six extra people are being taken on in order to follow new markets, starting with Europe as a priority, Germany, the UK, Holland, France, Spain and Italy, then followed by Turkey, China and Korea. At a later stage will be included eastern Europe and the USA. All these new markets will be approached both in terms of existing products and through the offering of new systems. Up to now Bitron HVAC systems has exclusively supplied boiler manufacturers, but recently they’ve widened their customer portfolio to include all potential HVAC industry producers, including heat pumps, solar

kits, pump and air cond tioning manufacturers, both in Italy and abroad. Current clients include BDR (Remeha, Baxi), Riello, ATG, BBT, Vaillant, Grundfos, Viessman and many others. In order to reach the highest level of client satisfaction the company works in close partnership with global suppliers such as Wilo Intec, Alfa Laval, Sabic and many other well-known brands. At present the business unit produces the majority of its products at the Collegno site in Italy, but following the Bitron group strategy, there is a willingness to follow clients, which means that potentially there could be the establishment of production in Turkey or China, if there was a local request for products and systems. Some electronic components sold by Bitron HVAC Systems are already manufactured in China. The Bitron group has made an investment to extend an existing Turkish plant, increasing its size from the current 3000 to 7000m2. This site, originally dedicated to the automotive and household appliances production lines, could also potentially be used, in the near future, for the manufacturing of HVAC systems and components.

There has also been the acquisition of 40,000m2 in China for the creation of a large site with the aim of putting together all its existing Chinese production, currently carried out at two other plants. The project should be completed by the end of 2012.

Brand and marketing

Branding and marketing are two key levers to do business today therefore Bitron decided to name the HVAC Division “Bitron HVAC Systems” in order to be well identified in the marketplace. This is the first step towards more branding activities. If you had been to ISH in March you would certainly have noticed a friendly new booth completely dedicated to customers and innovation. A specific new website will also be developed in the coming months and technical articles in professional magazines will be published.

On-going R&D

R&D is crucial and is almost entirely conducted internally, although there are partnerships with some universities for particular

projects, such as for renewable energy products. The company is particularly skilled at designing and manufacturing new products and has a series of procedures and laboratory tests guaranteeing product quality for new market launches. It employs a vertical production model, almost all internal, even at the level of the manufacturing of small components and is the only company which can pride itself in having, among its automated assembly facilities, a hydraulic group assembly line. The HVAC division will focus on hydraulic groups and boiler electronics, both in terms

of user interface and of main boards. The unit research department is also working on new fields such as heat exchange with the aim of developing more system integration, offering systems including several components working and controlled together, and integrating functions to drive costs down. Luca Magnone, R&D director, says: “System integration” is in our DNA and we very often spot what our customers need. For example, we noticed that in some countries the boilers were drained through the safety valve; as a consequence the valve seat was full of dirt and the valve leaked. To solve that problem we made a safety valve with an integrated drain and separated channels – problem solved. Bitron is well known

worldwide for its systems and components for automotive and household appliances and Bitron HVAC systems aims at replicating this reputation. Future growth will be organic or through acquisitions of other companies both for their market share and/or for their technology and know-how. The company holds all relevant certifications, including ISO 9001, ISO TS 16949, ISO 14001. From an environmental view point it has to be noted that its components can be easily disassembled and recycled. In addition to this all its packaging is recyclable and the Collegno site is equipped with a cogeneration system producing both heat and power (3MW).


According to Roberto Cazzola, manufacturing plant manager at Collegno, the main difference between household appliances, automotive and the HVAC Industry is the volumes involved. We talk about millions of components in the first two, while we talk about hundreds of thousands in the third. Eventually when you do both you cannot have two different production methods; that’s why we can be very efficient even for low volumes. The second most important difference is the quality level expected in the automotive and the household appliances – around 10 or 20 ppm. That forces you to really focus on your processes in order to n limit inefficiency to its minimum.

‘BUILT-IN’ SUCCESS Fagor is a market leader in the design and manufacture of domestic appliances and built-in kitchens. Philip Yorke talked to Fabian Bilbao, Fagor’s director general about the company’s latest range, its innovative domestic appliances and investments in the emerging Asian markets.


agor was founded in Spain more than 50 years ago by five student entrepreneurs. Today it is Europe’s fifth largest manufacturer of white goods and small domestic appliances. With millions of consumers already benefiting from Fagor’s products all around the world, it is now extending its global reach with special focus on China and eastern Europe. Fagor Group is a clear brand leader in the Spanish market and the group leader in the French market and has had a major presence in the UK for more than twenty years. The Fagor Group’s overall production exceeds seven million electrical appliances per year. The company has 16 production plants located in Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Morocco and China. In addition the company has 17 subsidiaries spread throughout the world, with products distributed to over 100 countries. Fagor has a wide range of small electrical appliances, and household equipment, kitchen furniture and a heating division. In addition the company markets a broad range of white goods, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, cooking hobs, microwaves

and boilers. If there is one single thing that defines the success of Fagor, it is innovation. Today the company employs more than 8000 people and has a turnover of more than €1.5 billion Fagor is also the founder member of Europe’s largest cooperative group, the Mondragon Corporation Cooperative (MCC), which embraces more than 220 different industrial companies, employing over 80,000 people, with sales of €13 billion.

Innovation driving sales

Fagor is busy building upon its success in the domestic appliance and white goods markets with a brand new range of builtin and free-standing kitchen appliances. These include contemporary designs for ovens and hobs that incorporate a wide range of advanced technologies. Fagor’s latest multi-function ovens offer additional safety and energy saving features in brushed stainless steel, with pyrolytic ovens with 12 preset recipe steam options. Mr Bilbao said, “We cover a huge range of domestic appliances and electrical products and our focus at the present time is on our new, advanced, built-

in cooking appliances. Since our merger with the leading French cookery equipment company in 2006, we have become the number one in induction technology and number one in induction hobs; in fact we were the first company in the world to launch an induction hob. This is also true of our pyrolytic, self-cleaning ovens. As a company we have always placed a high priority on innovation, with particular attention to built-in appliances. “Unlike many of our competitors, we have adopted a positioning strategy that means that we are able to offer three different brand portfolios, ranging from mid-market products to the top and high-end market segments. We are also very much an environmentally focused company and have been awarded the ISO 14001 certification for our environmental operational procedures and sustainability programmes.”

Expanding global reach

Fagor is the fifth largest manufacturer of domestic and industrial appliances in Europe and has around 6 per cent of the total market. It is committed to expanding its geographi-

cal influence in the emerging economies of eastern Europe and Asia. With this strategy in mind it recently acquired a leading Polish manufacturer and in addition established two, state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in China near Shanghai. Mr Bilbao said, “We place a lot of emphasis on innovation and have continued to invest heavily in R&D. We have over 400 people around Europe in our Centres of Excellence & Competence who cooperate with local universities and other research groups. We are developing our production and distribution capabilities in the emerging markets with particular focus on China, where we are seeing strong growth, as well as in other parts of Asia, such as Singapore and Malaysia. We are also growing our business in Australasia and in addition have special, on-going projects in the Middle East. “Today we have 16 manufacturing plants located in six countries, with eight in Spain, five in France, one in Italy, one in Poland and another in Morocco. In addition we now have two production facilities in China. More than 85 per cent of our production output relates to white goods; however it is

our intention to expand our small electrical appliances division and the built-in oven and high-end designer kitchen sector.”

Bringing innovation to industrial catering

Fagor’s industrial division is a market leader in the design and manufacture of commercial catering products, such as ovens, buffets, dish washers, laundries and commercial refrigeration equipment. The company works closely with hotel and catering trade professionals to achieve the most efficient and ecologically friendly products. The industrial division also supplies a whole range of complementary products for both storage and static or dynamic preparation consoles and workbenches. Furthermore, Fagor offers a selfservice product range that can be adapted to suit any kind of catering requirement. Recently Fagor Industrial launched its new and most advanced range of freezer cabinets, branded the Fagor Advance Range, which combines the highest level of efficiency with a significant reduction in energy consumption. These products are

designed to offer a perfect balance between maximum storage capacity and compact size. Fagor has introduced new technology into the design of this range, which makes it possible to reduce energy consumption without compromising on performance, whilst the lateral recessed guides make cleaning the interior chambers a quick and n easy operation.


UNIBEP is one of the most robustly developing construction groups in Poland, employing around 700 staff and operating in the residential, commercial and services, and general construction industry, including public procurement in road infrastructure. The parent company, UNIBEP S.A., holds a very strong position in the largest domestic market, the Warsaw agglomeration, while export activities of the Group focus on Eastern markets, as well as Norway – through activities of the UNIHOUSE branch. Piotr Sadowski reports. 64 Industry Europe

Podlaska Opera and Philharmonic Hall, European Centre for Arts in Białystok

Swietokrzyska Philharmonic Hall, International Cultures Centre in Kielce

Multifunctional Sports and Entertainment Hall in Czestochowa


rading on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 8 April 2008, UNIBEP S.A. and other entities in the Group specialise in carrying out its activities always as a general contractor. In Poland the Group operates mainly in the Warsaw market, north-east Poland and south Poland, predominantly the cities of Czestochowa and Kielce. Through its branch Makbud in Łomza (in which large-scale investments in bituminous mass manufacturing lines were made since its acquisition in January 2009) and the company PRDiM Ltd in Bielsko-Biała (a company bought a year later from the State Treasury), the Group also specialises in the execution of comprehensive road works for the public sector, mainly in north-eastern regions of the Mazowieckie and Podlaskie Voivodships. Another important branch of UNIBEP is UNIHOUSE, a branch which uses the latest industrial technologies for manufacturing of

Aquapark with the swimming pool in Suwałki

modular multi-family houses and residential estates of turn-key single-family houses. “This is an offer specifically targeted for the Norwegian market, with our clients there being local developers,” explains Leszek Gołabiecki, vice president of UNIBEP. “At the end of December last year we signed two further contracts for modular buildings In Norway, one for multi-family residential building in Lillestrom for the investor E.G. Bygg Oslo A.S., and the other for a students’ residence in Drammen for Byggepartner A.S.” In the domestic market UNIBEP specialises in residential works, through daughter company Unidevelopment, and also in commercial and public-utility construction development activities, an area of operations which has recently been strengthened further through an acquisition of a new commercial projects company. In addition to activities in Poland and delivery and

completion of modular buildings in Norway, the Group has been present, independently, for a number of years in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, through daughter companies such as UNIBEP Lviv Ltd and Unibep S.A. representations in Moscow.

Excellent credentials

In recent years UNIBEP recorded robust increases, of up to 11 times, in its turnover. In 2010 the company was on target to reach sales of over PLN 650 million and profits of PLN 22 million. “For 2011 we already have a strong portfolio of orders and expect a significant increase in income compared to 2010 and are very confident that in 2012 we will achieve PLN 1 billion in sales and PLN 50 million in profits,” predicts Mr Gołabiecki. “Last year we celebrated 60 years of operations and we are proud to be working with many long-term satisfied clients. They Industry Europe 65

KLIMAT SOLEC Ltd KLIMAT SOLEC Ltd is a contractor of sanitary systems,

workers who are offered a personal development. Further-

offers especially:

more, the company works according to the standards of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 and is able to

n designing, assembling and servicing new installa-

provide installations of different size and complexity.

tions of ventilation, air conditioning and heating including added facilities and full automatics n repairing, servicing and operating cost optimization of existing installations

KLIMAT SOLEC in its work always goes by ethics, is a member of Polish Ventilation Assosiation and Business Center Club.

n production of full range of ventilation elements. KLIMAT SOLEC together with UNIBEP company executed KLIMAT SOLEC lays particular emphasis on quality of

ALFA Shopping Centre in Białystok and Aquapark in

its products and services and still improves offered

Suwałki, currently executing Podlaska Opera House in

solutions. Thanks to analysing a project and individual

Białystok. A chance of presenting in the article KLIMAT

requirements of a client, till the end of a contract its

SOLEC regards as a confirmation that its work is done

value remains unchanged. The company employs 200

really well in opinion of such demanding client as UNIBEP.

ADIMEX ADIMEX Company is undoubtedly one of the leading partners of the UNIBEP GROUP. It was created in 1996 and since then has been developing through the use of ever-more-advanced technologies. One of the main areas of our specialisation includes the creation of gypsum plasters, concrete floorings and building insulations. In addition we also carry out finishing works on interiors, including painting, stucco, tiling, gypsum-cardboard constructions, using the highest quality building materials from leading manufacturers on the market. We construct buildings “from scratch”, employing specialised teams, while our abilities and knowledge enables us to carry out turn-key finishing of buildings. We always offer professional advice and treat every project as a new challenge, which we approach individually, ensuring that absolute customer satisfaction with the completed works remains our top priority. We guarantee professional completion of works, which is confirmed by the numerous ranks of our satisfied customers and we hope you will join them.

Przedsiebiorstwo Robót Elektrycznych P&P Sp. z o.o. The Electrical Works Company P&P has been operating since 1991. Over those 20 years we have focused on hard work and ongoing development. We have achieved immense experience in cooperation with many renowned business partners, such as UNIBEP. We have delivered many excellent and demanding projects. From the very beginning of our operations we have specialised in carrying out all types of electro-energy and teletechnical works in general and industrial construction sectors. We introduced the ISO 9001 quality system very early on. One of the main assets of our company is our workforce – employees with high qualifications, availability and identification with the policy of the company. We believe that we will continue to hold a strong market position and will successfully carry out our further plans.

Shopping and Services Gallery “Alfa” in Białystok

The “Kaliningrad 750” Business Centre, 4*** Radisson Sas Hotel in Kaliningrad, Russia

Brundalsgrenda, Trondheim in Norway – an example of modular constructions delivered by the Unihouse branch of UNIBEP

include Dom Development S.A., an investor for which we have delivered more than 2000 residential apartments and are currently developing the second phase of the large-scale Saska Residential Estate project near the centre of Warsaw.” It is worth adding that the first phase of the development was the largest residential investment commissioned during the recent economic downturn. Another long-term client includes Turret Development – an investor with whom UNIBEP has been working for a number of years and has just signed an agreement for another phase of a residential estate project in Warsaw, with stage one being delivered as this article is appearing. And last but certainly not least, for TK Polska Operations S.A. UNIBEP is currently executing a mixed residential and services project in Warsaw, which also includes a Swiss-Med hospital.

Wide-ranging projects in Poland…

UNIBEP has to date delivered – and is delivering – a multitude of excellent construction executions, all completed on time and to the highest standards. The projects include an investment by Unidevelopment, which is currently in the final selling stage in the Santorini Residential Estate, totalling 355 flats. In addition, through its project company GN Invest Ltd in Warsaw, UNIBEP is executing a multi-family construction, Point House, for 236 high-standard apartments at Wyscigowa Street in Warsaw. The company also specialises in public-use and commercial investments. The ALFA Shopping and Services Centre in Białystok and the PLAZA

Trading and Entertainment in Suwałki are excellent examples of such activities, as is the recent purchase of land in Warsaw at Grzybowska Street where UNIBEP will execute its own investment and construct a modern office building. In the area of office-dedicated space, UNIBEP can add the Okecie Business Centre near Warsaw’s international airport, an investment commissioned by GTC Aeropark Ltd. The company furthermore specialises in sports-related constructions. “The Aqua Park in Suwałki, whose grand opening took place on 21 December 2010, is a state-ofthe-art swimming and spa facility which we completed as a general contractor,” points out Mr Gołabiecki. “We are also working on a 7,000-seats Entertainment and Sports Hall in Czestochowa, which will be completed in 2012, well in time for the 2014 World Netball Championships that will be taking place in the city. It is one of our most successful investments executed in the ‘Design and Construct’ formula.” As the company’s vice-president points out, UNIBEP has also become a specialist in constructing philharmonic halls, with excellently executed examples of the Swietokrzyska Philharmonic Hall in Kielce and the Podlaska Opera and Philharmonic Hall in Białystok.

Kaliningrad 750, project, which also includes a four-star Radisson hotel with 177 rooms. “We are currently in the process of delivering a mixed hotel and office construction space in St Petersburg, while in Minsk in Belarus we are using the ‘Design and Construct’ formula to execute a brand-new four-star hotel, an investment which will be completed in the beginning of the second quarter of this year,” adds Mr Gołabiecki. “Over the coming years, we will focus on organic growth within the Group, both in Poland and abroad. We also strive to continuously develop the professional knowledge and expertise of our staff, to ensure that young engineers, when employed immediately after graduating from their universities, can find an excellent and mutually-beneficial career n within UNIBEP.

…and abroad

In the sector of industrial architecture the Group completed a medical bioformulations production plant in Ukraine. In Kaliningrad it acted as a general contractor to deliver an impressive shopping and services centre,

Mr Leszek Marek Gołabiecki – Vice President of the Board, Director for Constructions at UNIBEP

Industry Europe 69

TAKING ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOWS TO A NEW LEVEL Inwido is northern Europe’s leading producer of windows and doors and a global leader in the design and development of energy-efficient windows. Philip Yorke talked to Anders Isaksson, Inwido’s chief operating officer, about the company’s latest innovative products and its plans for further expansion. 70 Industry Europe


nwido is a well-established Swedish manufacturer of quality exterior doors and windows, both in wood and wood – aluminium. The Inwido Group has approximately 3800 employees in total, with 3000 in the Nordic region and the remainder located in Russia, Poland, Ireland and the UK. The company is owned by Ratos AB, one of Europe’s largest listed private equity companies. In 2010 the Inwido Group recorded sales of more than SEK 5.1 billion. The group is responsible for

over 20 major brands and enjoys market leader status throughout Scandinavia. After a period of restructuring and consolidation in 2008, which involved product rationalisation and a new brand strategy for Denmark and Finland, the company is now expanding its operations. This has involved investing in new technology at many of its 35 manufacturing plants and subsequently making key acquisitions in Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Innovation driving growth

Inwido operations are divided into four distinct market sectors: Inwido Sweden, Inwido Nordic, Inwido Europe and Inwido Accessories and Components. The company’s branded products are sold directly to consumers or via retailers and wholesales as well as to manufacturers of prefabricated homes and construction companies involved in newbuild developments. The company maintains rigorous quality controls on all its products

from construction techniques and costs to functionality, aesthetics and comfort. Inwido’s in-house R&D facility is dedicated to optimising the energy efficiency and sustainability of its products. For Inwido, this means taking technology to a new level to make it work in harmony with the people who live and work in the building. The company’s R&D department has also developed windows that have very low U-value and in future may even have builtin energy cells.

Mr Isaksson said, “We have always strived to be at the forefront of energy-saving window and door technology. Our windows are designed in such a way that they can be cleaned on both sides from within; these are known as ‘two-in-one’ windows. We have also been working with Pilkington Glass to produce a new range of ‘self-cleaning’ windows and are the first company to market these in Europe. Our success is based very much on the quality of our products and our local presence in the Industry Europe 71


Tecnoform Glass Insulation GmbH

ROLLTECH is one of the leading suppliers of warm edge

Established in 1998, Tecnoform Glass Insulation GmbH (TGI)

spacers for the insulating glass industry. More than 25 years

is today a leader in the production of thermally optimised

experience as manufacturer of spacers in Aluminum, steel

spacers and muntin bars for multi-pane insulating glass

and stainless steel and always in front with optimal solutions.

units. Our unique new TGI®-Spacers are manufactured using stainless steel combined with a high quality plastic

The latest warm edge spacer; CHROMATECH ultra® combines

polypropylene as a strengthening and insulating material.

the best materials to a highly workable solution that will last for decades. A strong 100% gastight austenitic stainless

This creates an energy-saving ‘warm edge’ – a term used to

steel body with an optimal thermal barrier Polycarbonate

describe the thermal interaction between the panes of glass,

top are the key materials in the only combined spacer on the

window frame and spacer at the sealed edge of a window

market that can be bend prefilled.

– in accordance with DIN EN 1279. Our TGI®-Muntin bar creates a thermal bond with the TGI®-Spacer in the ‘window

Sales and distribution channels all over Europe ensures

system’ to satisfy the thermal insulation requirements of

high service, technical support and short delivery time to

clients both today and for the future.

all customers.

countries in which we operate. It is also based on a good understanding of what consumers and contractors need. “If you go back 10 or 15 years you will see that we have worked hard to find out exactly what the end-consumer wants. This lengthy and on going study resulted in the development of more aluminium windows that offer greater security, as well as selfcleaning windows and windows that were more eco-friendly. “What’s more, we don’t just see a window as a window, but all the things that surround it, such as security locks, blinds, safety devices and other practical accessories. Today we are seeing strong demand in the new-build sector and an increasing demand for low-energyconsumption, eco-friendly products. We are also seeing significant growth in the refurbishment and redecoration markets, in which we have been market leaders for many years.”

with leading research houses, architects and designers. For many years the company has held the leading position in the development of energy-efficient windows. Efforts to reduce energy dissipation from windows is a priority for Inwido, along with the ability to greatly reduce the U-value, which indicates how well a window or door prevents heat loss from a building, Inwido’s most energy-efficient windows have a U-value of only 0.7, compared to 1.2 for standard windows. Inwido has also introduced ‘energy labelling’ for windows on a voluntary basis and follows the EU’s classification for household products to help consumers to make educated, sustainable choices. Mr Isaksson added, “Energy-efficient windows are a priority for us and we expect that by 2020 our windows will be achieving almost zero consumption of energy.”

Leading the way in sustainability

In order to extend its market reach and to complement its current portfolio of products, Inwido recently entered into a new partnership agreement with the leading German window systems supplier Schuco. This company’s designer window solutions for architect-designed homes and other build-

Inwido’s ambition is to offer its eco-friendly products to an increasing number of countries and to lead the way in innovative solutions in order to meet the growing eco-challenges facing the industry. It is therefore committed to maintaining contacts 74 Industry Europe

Increasing availability

ings, complement Inwido’s existing range of windows and doors. Initially the two companies will work together in the Swedish market, but the agreement will eventually cover all of Inwido’s markets. Hakan Jeppsson, president and CEO of Inwido said, “For two such important players to sign an agreement at this level is groundbreaking in this industry. It opens up possibilities not only for Inwido and Schuco, but also for our customers. Schuco’s advanced glazing solutions complement our other products as well. Above all, they will strengthen our offering to architects.” The sale of Schuco’s products commenced in all of Inwido’s markets from early 2011; these included Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Ireland and the UK. n

VERTICAL DIVERSITY Kleeman Hellas is a global leader in the design and manufacture of lifts, escalators and moving walkway systems. Philip Yorke talked to Georgios Moshovakis, Kleemann’s export sales manager about the company’s latest innovative products and its ambitious plans for further expansion.


leemann Hellas is one of Greece’s great manufacturing success stories. Founded in 1983 the company achieved its initial growth by licensing-in the technological knowhow of Kleemann Hubtechnik GmbH of Germany, one of Europe’s biggest lift manufacturers. Today the head office of the company is based in Kilkis in Northern Greece and has a turnover of more than €120 million. Consistent growth led to the company being listed on the stock exchange in 1999. With offices located around the world, Kleemann Hellas is a global player with plans for further expansion in the pipeline. In Greece the company is the clear brand leader with over 70 per cent of the domestic market. As a result of its on-going success, Kleeman has formed a group of four wholly owned subsidiaries: Klefer a company that specialises in the manufacture of automatic lift doors, Kleemann Asanor, a sales company located in Istanbul, Turkey, Kleemann Liftovi, a Serbian sales and manufacturing company and Kleemann Liftro, a Romanian sales company. Currently export sales account for more than 50 per cent of Kleeman’s total turnover and cover 55 countries

worldwide. Of these, Germany, UK, Ireland, Russia, New Zealand, Turkey, Holland and Cyprus are considered to be the company’s main markets.

More solutions, higher quality

There are many reasons why Kleeman Hellas continues to grow whilst many others are finding trading conditions difficult in a market that has been hit hard by the global recession. The company has always put safety, reliability and quality at the top of its list of priorities. In addition, it spends a high proportion of its turnover on research and development as well as on a programme that values its employees through a consistent process of education and training. Mr Moshovakis said, “Our employees are our most valuable asset because that is where product quality really starts. Another of our key competitive advantages is that we offer the widest range of products on the market; rarely will you find a company with so many solutions and custom-built experience in one place. We cover virtually all the needs of the market. We can fit lifts into spaces that others can’t. For example our ‘Maison’ range is designed specifically for homes with limited space and head-

room. This is very different from our range of express lifts that are designed for high-rise buildings and can travel at more than 4 metres per second with loads of up to 5000kg. “We also design and manufacture systems for moving walk-ways and conveyors and this is a market segment that is becoming more important to us. This is especially true in major locations such as big shopping malls, hotels, metro systems and airports. We provide a dedicated service for our customers and this is based on our core values, which are health and safety, integrity, quality and innovation. “As a result, our clients remain with us for the long term and keep coming back to us for their new contracts. We have always been a family business and we continue to see ourselves as one – we are also very environmentally aware and have developed ‘green solutions’ in the areas of hydraulics and lift traction that reduce emissions by more than 55 per cent.”

New horizons

One of the keys to Kleemann’s continuing success has been the many innovative products developed by its research and

78 Industry Europe

development department. This department is staffed with engineers with a dedicated scientific background which has resulted in the introduction of new hydraulic lifting systems and advanced ‘scissor type’ mechanisms. The company operates its own advanced testing facilities which include a tower which covers a vertical height of more than 52 metres. This €5 million investment has been purpose-built and designed for testing high-speed and high-rise lifts and hydraulic elevators without pistons. It is this commitment to design technology that has enabled Kleeman to expand its horizons both in terms of products and global reach. Mr Moshovakis added, “We are working from a strong base that enables us to move forward with confidence. We are gaining market share in countries such as the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, the former Yugolslavian countries and the Russian federation. Turkey is one of our strongest export markets but we are now looking at markets further afield. These include North and South Africa and also the Middle East where we have offices in Dubai and will shortly be opening another one in

Abu Dhabi. In addition we have established a holding company in Hong Kong and are already building a structure there with a view to serving mainland China. However, we always make sure that our after-sales support is in place before entering into new markets such as these as our main responsibility is always to our customers”.

The company constantly upgrades its state-of-the-art equipment and owns its own logistics and transportation division. Kleeman Hellas sees itself as a one-stopshop that can provide its customers with a complete lift package, which includes the design, research, documentation and manufacturing of tailor made products. n

GGP (Global Garden Products), a multinational company with headquarters in Italy, is recognised as the leading European manufacturer of lawnmowers.

80 Industry Europe


ased in Castelfranco Veneto, a thriving business region of the north east of Italy, GGP was established under the name of Castelgarden in the eighties. In a very short period of time the company succeeded in establishing itself as an international player. The pivotal moment in the Group’s history took place in the mid nineties when the product range became wider, including not only mowers but also lawn tractors. In 2000 UBS Private Equity bought Castelgarden and gave birth to the GGP Group, which merged four different companies: Catelgarden, Alpina, the British Mountfield and the Swedish Stiga. GGP Italy is the operative holding, controlling all the subsidiaries within the Group, and is the base for the Central Divisions, the CEO and two of the three Business Units of the Group, with the third unit based in Sweden. GGP’s principal markets are France, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Italy. It is also present with commercial units

in Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia and Slovenia. GGP is also present through local distributors in Spain, Austria, Switzerland and other Countries in Eastern Europe, North Africa, Australia and New Zealand. GGP is the European leader in the sector with its 1200 employees, an internal production of over one million machines and a turnover for the year 2009-10 of approximately €400 millions. Among GGP clients are some of the biggest retail chains such as OBI, Leroy Merlin, Castorama, Brico-Marchet, B&Q, Carrefour and Coop together with some strategic clients among the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) division.

The widest range of products in the sector

GGP’s product range is distributed under five different brands. The company focus is on mower products where lawnmowers and

tractors are the highest selling items. Stiga Castelgarden are also very profitable, with a focus on the historical and highly specialised distribution channels. Alpina, Mountfield and all private label products for large scale retailers, generate high revenues, indispensable for fixed cost coverage. Elena Storari of GGP explains the key factors of the Group’s success: “We can count on a swift response to customer needs; we have the widest set of products in comparison to any other competitor; a constant high level of profitability; the ability to build and maintain a consistent presence in every retail channel, by strongly diversifying our commercial strategies. It’s all about growth in volumes and growth in profitability.” The European market is becoming more mature and turning into a ‘replacement consumer market’ rather than a ‘first time purchase’ market. Also customer profiles have changed, from the ‘family man’ to a new kind of customer: women, retired persons

Industry Europe 81

and young families where it is not necessarily the husband who cuts the grass. Also purchase drivers are changing: technical and technological characteristics are the drivers of a high profile and specialised customer who chooses only some very specific market channels. In other channels the drivers are price, design, user friendly, lower noise level, environmentally friendly and new technologies. In light of this, GGP is investing in the development of electric and cordless

84 Industry Europe

products, where automation together with exclusive design features are critical to growth. GGP is launching several new products: electric and cordless items, such as the first cordless Front Mower. In addition to the traditional electric and cordless mowers, GGP has developed a range of tractors and Front Mowers with the same power system. Moreover, and for the first time in its history, GPP has entered the market for automated products with an autocut robot for automatic

lawn mowing, an outstanding product which is able to marry exceptional competitive advantages with a premium product positioning. Significant resources are constantly dedicated to R&D mostly aimed at adapting products and keeping up with new market trends (electric and cordless products, robots, etc.) and improving the key competitive advantages the products can offer (price, design, quality and efficiency). Significant investments are planned in the

development of new technological elements such as new materials, techniques and production technologies, new sources for power and usage.

Coping with the crisis

Last year GGP coped with the global crisis with a new organisational structure that helped the Group to become more focused

and reactive to the new needs of a still uncertain and constantly changing marketplace. “In our sector we are facing a post-crisis stabilization.” Elena Storari explains “We managed to reduce our expenditures while minimising social impacts and taking care of our internal and external stakeholders. Ours is a long-term perspective because we believe that the future can offer a lot to

organisations that are farsighted in crises.” With an eye on the future and the importance of sustainability, GGP has invested a lot on environmentally friendly technologies, with the electric machines and also with the combustion engine ones on which the Group constantly researches methods to reduce noise levels and emissions and to n improve product efficiency.

Industry Europe 85

BUILDING ON GREAT BRANDS Global company Scandinavian Tobacco Group holds a number of market leading positions worldwide. With its recent strategic merger and a sophisticated understanding of the market, the company expects continued success. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to executive vice president of sales and marketing Christian Hother Sorensen to find out more.


a global company with a Danish head office, Scandinavian Tobacco Group is dedicated to the manufacture and sale of cigars and smoking tobacco to adult smokers worldwide. The company employs more than 10,000 people across its network of sales companies and production facilities in 20 countries, and it sells its products in more than 100 countries worldwide. Established as Scandinavian Tobacco Group in 2010 following the merger of the tobacco business of the former Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S and the cigar and pipe tobacco business, not including the US cigar business, of Swedish Match, the history of the company actually reaches back more than 200 years, when three Danish tobacco dynasties joined to launch new products. 86 Industry Europe

Strong global position

Executive vice president of sales and marketing Christian Hother Sorensen explained how the company’s historical markets continue to contribute to its strong position today. He said, “Scandinavian Tobacco is the world’s largest player in the field of pipe tobacco, holds a shared number one position within the world of cigars, and has a strong position within the fine-cut tobacco segment in Scandinavia. We are proud of our history and our profession, and it is our vision to continue that growth based on strong brands and committed employees. We are aware that our products and our business require consideration and responsibility in everything we do.” The merger of Scandinavian Tobacco with Swedish Match during 2010 doubled

the size of the organisation, and it is now concentrated on the three core segments of cigars, pipe tobacco and fine-cut tobacco. The integration of Swedish Match continues to be an important focus for the Group, with both central functions such as marketing, sales and finance and overlapping markets all adding value. In addition to the merger, on March 1 2011 Scandinavian Tobacco acquired Lane Ltd, a US-based company that is the local market leader in the pipe tobacco and finecut segments. This company is now being integrated into Scandinavian Tobacco Group. Mr Sorensen added, “Lane Ltd is a perfect fit with us as it enables us to cover a previous gap in our global portfolio, particularly with Lane’s well-known Captain Black brand.”

Industry Europe 87

88 Industry Europe

Impressive products

Scandinavian Tobacco produces around 2.5 billion machine-made cigars and 115million handmade cigars each year, with about 1800 tonnes of pipe tobacco and 2100 tonnes of fine-cut tobacco produced annually. Although keen to continue its upward market growth trajectory, the company is clear that it only appeals to adult consumers that make the personal choice to smoke. Mr Sorensen explained that the company’s aim is to make adult smokers prefer Scandinavian Tobacco products over its competitors, and it is never its objective to encourage people to start smoking. The impact of the global recession was felt by the company to some extent in that its finecut, or hand-rolling, tobacco saw an increase in sales. Mr Sorensen said, “As the economy is under pressure consumers shift towards a value-based product, and there is also some lifestyle choice in smoking hand-rolled cigarettes. In order to maximise this growth, we are putting considerable resources behind our fine-cut product concepts and we expect to present new high quality products that suit the current trends in the segment.”

Creating new concepts

Scandinavian Tobacco is continually working to develop new concepts that complement its products in response to the demands

of its customers, working within the strict tobacco advertising laws in each of its geographical markets. With some countries, such as Iceland, Ireland and Canada, operating so-called ‘dark markets’, whereby tobacco products can only be specifically asked for by name and given from ‘under the counter’, it can be difficult to introduce and promote new products. The company aims to overcome this challenge by utilising its excellent word of mouth advertising, and by encouraging its trade customers to talk directly to consumers. The latest product launched by Scandinavian Tobacco is the innovative ‘Filter & Flavour’ addition to its well-known Café Crème range. The product has a new packaging style, with a metalised box that is rather like a cigarette packet instead of the classic thin box the brand is known for, with the three new varieties each offering a ‘different flavour sensation’ that is smoother than regular cigarillos. The Café Crème Filter & Flavour is currently in five European markets and will be rolled out to other markets over time. There is also a new concept brand of non-addictive tobacco called Crossroads which Scandinavian Tobacco predicts will have unisex appeal. This product was launched in 2011 and is already being sold in Germany, Spain and Portugal.

Scandinavian Tobacco is certainly positive about its future, with the continued integration of Swedish Match and the upcoming inclusion of Lane Ltd bringing a number of positive synergies both in product development opportunities and new market presence. Mr Sorensen concluded, “We expect to see growth in volume and value, and we have the organisation, plans and people in place to make it happen.” n

Industry Europe 89

LICENCE TO DRILL Bien Air Dental SA manufactures high-quality electric micromotors for dental medicine. Joseph Altham spoke to Edgar Schönbächler, CEO of Bien Air Dental, to find out how the company’s innovative engineering is helping to simplify the work of the dentist.


ien Air Dental is located in Bienne, in the Swiss canton of Bern. The city is internationally renowned for precision engineering, and home to companies like the Swatch Group that make some of the world’s most beautiful and desirable watches. This Swiss tradition of craftsmanship reaches back hundreds of years and flourishes in the healthcare sector as well. Bien Air was founded in 1959 by David Mosimann, an engineer and entrepreneur.

90 Industry Europe

In 2001, two specialist companies were formed out of Bien Air, Bien Air Surgery and Bien Air Dental. Mr Schönbächler is CEO of Bien Air Dental, which employs 270 people. “We are a group of companies with a 50-year history,” he said. “It all started with air turbines, driven by compressed air. Our sister company, Bien Air Surgery, employs the same basic technology to make instruments for ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery. We are a family-owned

company and very much part of ‘Watch Valley’. We are pretty vertically integrated and prefer to do things in-house. We are guided by a long-term vision so we continually invest in upgrading our machining equipment. In terms of supplies we can find almost everything we need from within Switzerland.”

Pulling power

The core business of Bien Air Dental, as Mr Schönbächler explained, is the production of rotative instruments for dentists. “We make the instrumentation for a dental unit, the tablet on a dentist’s chair.” Bien Air Dental believes that precision engineering must always serve a clinical need. “It’s not about engineers showing off! We listen to dentists and put our engineers in front of dentists so they are clear about what the dentists want. Above all, a dentist needs simple and reliable instruments.” A dentist will have one central unit or tablet into which he plugs different types of micromotor depending on the operation he needs to perform. “A dentist needs a strong, reliable motor that can deliver a wide speed range and high torque,” Mr Schönbächler explained. “When a dentist needs to drill a hole and put an implant, he will need a slower speed, around 15 revolutions per min-

Industry Europe 91

ute, but high torque. For that he has a motor which turns at 100 rpm, plus a hand-piece that can reduce the speed by a factor of 20.” Approximately half of Bien Air Dental’s sales are to other businesses that offer electric dental units as a complete package, including the chair. “It’s the same idea as making auto parts for a car manufacturer,” said Mr Schönbächler. “The other half of our turnover comes from sales of handpieces and instruments to distributors around the world.”


A glance through Bien Air Dental’s catalogue illustrates the wide variety of technology at the disposal of the modern dentist. Besides the micromotors, Bien Air Dental offers hoses, sprays and complete implantology systems. Implantology, as Mr Schönbächler Schönbachler explained, is the specialisation within dentistry that involves replacing natural (decayed) teeth with artificial teeth. The company’s Chiropro L implantology system comes complete with LED lighting and irrigation on the contra-angle handpiece, and the machine is pre-programmed to follow the sequence of settings and speeds prescribed under the standard methods of implantology.

Bien Air Dental’s micromotors are designed to be user friendly and to offer the dentist top performance. The micromotors not only offer the dentist a unique combination of precision and power, but also ensure the highest standards of hygiene. The MX micromotors are sensorless, and have no carbon brushes inside. This reduces the risk of dirt building up inside the mechanism and also means that the instruments can be cleaned in an autoclave. Bien Air Dental is able to offer micromotors with a sufficiently wide range of speeds for the dentist to require only two handpieces to cover his needs. “In earlier years a motor had a range of 4000 to 40,000 rpm,” Mr Schönbächler explained. “Back then, a dentist needed a reduction handpiece to perform root canal

treatments, because in root canal treatments you need to go into the channel with 300 rpm. The micromotors we make today go down to 100 rpm, which means a dentist no longer needs a reduction handpiece to perform root canal surgery.”

product on sale in China – extremely cheap goods, and high-end products. As a Swiss company, we position ourselves at the higher end of the market. There are a lot of people around, but Swiss quality is still a plus.” n

Markets and prospects

The main market for Bien Air Dental is Europe. One factor from which the company is likely to benefit over the long-term, Mr Schönbächler believes, is Europe’s ageing population, which has both the need for dental healthcare and the money to pay for it. Meanwhile, China is proving to be a profitable market for the company, just as it is for Bienne’s watchmakers. “In our sector,” said Mr Schönbächler, “there are two types of Industry Europe 93



Trilux is a global brand leader in the design and manufacture of high-tech solutions for commercial and exterior lighting systems. Philip Yorke talked to Dietmar Sack, the company’s export sales director about its vision for the future, its latest LED lighting and further plans for expansion.

94 Industry Europe


rilux was founded nearly 100 years ago in Germany by Wilhelm Lenze, who pioneered research into new lighting technology and specialised in the manufacture of technical lighting products and accessories. In 1948 the company started to develop the first luminaires for fluorescent lamps that captured world markets and resulted in the company changing its name to Trilux. Since that time, the company has stayed at the forefront of commercial lighting technology. Today it remains a family-owned business and maintains its commitment to innovation and products of optimal quality. Trilux is a truly global operator with a major presence in western and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific countries. Emerging markets such as India and South America are also seeing a growing Trilux presence. Currently the company employs over 5,000 people worldwide and in 2010 recorded sales of more than €500 million.

New energy-efficient LED solutions

Trilux divides its operations into two distinct business areas: commercial interior lighting and outdoor lighting systems. The interior

lighting division embraces business sectors such as lighting systems for offices, schools and hospitals as well as for, stores and industrial applications. Outdoor lighting systems include systems for highways, roads, crossings, railway stations and pathways as well as for sports facilities and facades. In all these technological disciplines there is a commitment to creating more energyefficient lighting systems and innovative answers to the changing demands of industry. LED lighting solutions are playing an increasing role in the quest for energy-efficient lighting systems, as Dietmar Sack explained, “Today everyone looks at costs and we answer this with two strategic points, firstly we offer the most energy-efficient lighting systems in commercial use today and secondly we are developing even more energy-efficient and cost-effective systems with our LED lighting solutions. Even in markets such as the Middle East, where energy is not a problem, energy efficiency is still a top priority as these countries are dedicated to reducing their own carbon footprint. “Currently our biggest R&D investment is going into LED products. We are already

looking one step further ahead into the development of new lighting systems for O-LED technology. Organic LEDs work on a different principle: whereas standard LEDs are always very small light sources, O-LEDs are designed to light much bigger surfaces, including those for television sets, shop displays and other items such as mobile phones.”

Growth in demand for medical applications

Trilux entered the medical lighting market in 1963 although it wasn’t until 2010 that it established a fully independent medical division. The company began with hospital room installation systems and today these have been developed to become the industry standard for lighting installations in hospital wards, intensive care units and operating theatres. Mr Sack commented, “We have come a long way since we first entered the medical market. Today we produce special systems for intensive care wards and other specialised medical applications. As in previous years we continue to pioneer the use of LED technology in the medical operating theatres and have pioneered an initiative to

further develop the technology in association with potential cooperation partners in the industry.” The company is also seeing strong growth in its more niche markets and as a result recently acquired a specialist business that catered solely for the architectural market. This company operates at the high-end of the lighting spectrum. In addition, Trilux provides advanced lighting solutions for shops, supermarkets and stores through its dedicated division, Oktalite. Mr Sack added, “Lighting solutions for shops is not a core business for Trilux; however, Oktalite uses the synergy with Trilux to develop solutions

for sales areas, and these are all handled on a global marketing approach and make a much bigger contribution to turnover.”

New horizons

Trilux is a brand leader in Europe and number one in Germany, but it believes that the greatest opportunities for growth lie outside the European Union. The company plans to focus on overseas markets, which are already demonstrating strong growth. These include Russia, India and Brazil. Mr Sack commented, “We are very positive about the future prospects in these fast-emerging markets. Europe will always be important to us,

but it is a mature market and therefore room for growth is somewhat constrained. “We expect that our strong organic growth will continue. However, we keep an eye on the market so that if an acquisition opportunity presents itself which complements our portfolio, then we will certainly consider it” Today Trilux is leading the way to make lighting better and more comfortable for the people who use it, as well as for the environment. This is a clear vision for the future and one that Trilux approaches responsibly with state-of-the-art LED innovation and a continuous commitment to energy conservation. n

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Multinational Romanian oil giant Rompetrol has worked hard to gain its reputation for being ‘dynamic and innovative’ in a challenging industry. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to commercial director for Rompetrol’s petrochemical division, Mrs Dana Viju to see how this has been achieved.


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he global frustrations of 2008 and 2009 were certainly felt by multinational Romanian oil company Rompetrol, but the company expects a positive experience during the following years due to its investment programme and improved products and services, alongside the support of Kazakhstan National Oil Company, the majority shareholder since 2007. With both downstream activities and upstream related services, the Rompetrol Group is truly a global company. Its headquarters are located in Amsterdam, operating in 12 countries and with the majority of its assets and operations based in Romania, France, Spain and south-east Europe. The group is active primarily in refining, marketing and trading, with addi-

tional operations in the oil industry such as drilling and workover and EPCM. Rompetrol has over 30 years’ experience of specialised services of well drilling and workover services for crude oil and natural gas extraction in many traditional markets including the Middle East and Caspian Sea regions and focuses on upstream activities in Romania by controlling exploration and production licences for blocks Satu Mare and Zegujani and exploration for Gresu, Nereju and Focsani. The retail unit operates a network of over 1300 filling station in Romania, France, Bulgaria, Spain, Georgia and Moldova, as well as a number of important depots at the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Modern facilities

Commercial director for Rompetrol’s petrochemical division Mrs Dana Viju told Industry Europe more about the company’s extensive production capabilities. She said, “We have two refineries and one petrochemical plant in Romania, as well the only cryogenic terminal in the Black Sea. This gives us maximum flexibility in the supply chain as we do not have to rely on other refineries and we can store important quantities of polypropylene and ethylene. Our production and storage capabilities are expanding too, with the expectation that we will have 100,000 tonnes of HDPE and about 80,000 tonnes LDPE by the end of 2011.” Rompetrol Petrochemicals has also planned to increase the capacity of the

high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant by more than 70 per cent, by the end of the year 2011, the total amount of the investment being estimated to approximately USD 18 million. Besides this capacity increase, other investments made by Rompetrol Petrochemicals during 2006/2007 were related to restarting and modernising the low density polyethylene (LDPE) – USD 30 million, the high density polyethylene plants – over USD 14.5 million and building of two new automated packaging plants for the LDPE and HDPE plants. The company had successfully completed by the end of 2010 the integration of the automated control of petrochemical plants into the Command Centre of the Industry Europe 99

Petromidia platform. This allows full tracking of operations – the control and protection of technological flows, the collection and online transmission of process data and, implicitly, the reduction of production costs, which is a first for Romania, as well as for the south-eastern part of Europe. Even though the Rompetrol Petrochemicals production units are running at capacity, operating under highest safety, environment and corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards, the company’s strategy to keep secure inventories in stock for its customers without unnecessarily high volumes has been a key factor in how 2010 has delivered such a strong performance. Mrs Viju explained, “Monitoring our customers closely and ensuring we fulfilled their requests enabled us to lock in production volumes, meaning that we had the exact inventory levels. We were able to do this by staying in very close contact with our customers and pre-empting their needs as much as possible using our expert knowledge of the sectors in which we operate.” Mrs Viju is clear that the core advantage of Rompetrol is that, as a mediumsized oil producer, it must add value wherever possible in order to not simply be a producer; that’s why they became a marketer and a partner for its customers. She continued, “ Our vision is to became the most important marketer in the Balkan market and we are very close to achieving

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this aim. We consider the Balkan region our domestic market, a major area for business and growth.”

Growing market share

Rompetrol Petrochemicals also secures products through trading for sales in its active markets, with the company being the most important distributor of PET in Romania. For its petrochemical products, the company enjoys a 70 per cent domestic market share of PP, a 30 per cent share of the LDPE and 20 per cent of HDPE, although this is set to increase. It also has a 17 per cent share of the domestic PET distribution market. Mrs Viju explained, “Starting November 2009, our HDPE production plant was stopped for a whole year, due to technical upgrade needs, causing a drop in our activities in this market. One of our focus areas for 2011 is the recovery of this market and we expect this to happen as we have invested a great deal in the rebuilding of the plant, with the repair project taking eight months. Now we have production facilities that are new and improved, so we can utilise this investment to enable us to expand our presence in the HDPE market. We expect our share to exceed 30 per cent in 2011.” In the first nine months of 2010, the company recorded a turnover of USD 214.2 million and an operating income (EBITDA) of USD 11.5 million, increasing

as compared to the indicators obtained during the similar period of 2009 - a turnover of USD 181 million and a negative operating result of USD 12.5 million.

Pushing forward

Establishing a greater presence in its neighbouring market of Serbia will also be a target for 2011. With plans to ‘copy/ paste’ the company’s successful marketing and business development strategy from other markets, Romania and Bulgaria, Rompetrol is confident that having identified a need for its constantly available petrochemical products in regions where the local provider has a non-constant supply, it will succeed quickly. This tactic will also be used in Turkey, Greece ,Italy and Ukraine in the short to medium term. With a current headcount of 9000 employees and an ambitious plan for expansion, the Rompetrol Group is looking to increase its roll-call of the type of ‘extrovert and dynamic’ people the company is known for, particularly as it sees increasing success in new markets. Mr Viju concluded, “Our main focus is on our marketing strategy, as this underpins our activities, particularly as we have worked hard to have a constant, reliable oil and petrochemical supply for all of our markets. We see competition coming from the Middle East and we will become even stronger in our current target markets n and existing territories.”

Levage cone combustor

EXCELLENCE IN ENERGY French industrial engineering group Fouré Lagadec has teams working worldwide to provide impressive safety and maintenance results for its oil and gas clients. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the chairman Gilles Fournier, to gain an insight into how the company is achieving ‘unwavering dedication’.

Industry Europe 101

Jellyfish reactor operation

Rotor compressor

Exchanger bundle


stablished in 1922, industrial engineering group Fouré Lagadec has strategic locations throughout France, Africa and the Middle East in order to serve its customers in the world’s oil and gas hubs. The company operates in two clear business directions, both of which work well together to offer a comprehensive service as demanded by its global customers. Firstly, the company produces pressure vessels for the oil and gas and other related industries, and its second activity is providing the maintenance of energyproducing plants such as oil refineries and other platforms and stations. Both business areas

have the priority of ‘hazard monitoring and the quest for maximum safety’ – as defined by the mission of the company.

Beating challenges

The fact that Fouré Lagadec serves the O&G industry means that the company has faced some challenges from the global recession, particularly due to a number of plants closing in recent years. Chairman Gilles Fournier told Industry Europe how this diversified approach has enabled the company to deal with the challenges it faced. He said, “We are very much an oil and gas related com-

pany as we are selling products and services to this industry, so our recent main concern has been that changes in European refining trends due to the downturn have seen a number of plants close. Although this is disturbing news for us, our current commercial and management goal is to overcome this in a positive way. We are well positioned to achieve this, particularly as we are experienced in offering added value services where our specific expertise is unrivalled.” The company is justifiably proud of its progressive approach to adding value to its customers’ projects and operations, and it

is this which looks set to guarantee Fouré Lagadec’s positive future. With international and multinational teams of engineering, development and project management teams highly trained to respond effectively to technical issues, this approach is well suited to the more future-focused sectors of nuclear and wind energy.

growing in line with the increased demand in this field. Furthermore, the company is involved with a large project that is in the very early stages, with Fouré Lagadec in the process of investing in local companies in order to be present in suitable locations to this prestigious contract.

Growing presence

As part of its strategy to develop in increasingly important sectors and markets, Fouré Lagadec sets up companies in countries which are seeing a positive development in O&G, such as Russia, the Middle East and Africa, where it has a growing number of locations which all include carefully chosen employees with expert local knowledge. Its second progressive activity is focused on developing its own presence in geographical markets which are presently closed to O&G progression but still show growing interest in sectors that require complementary skills, such as nuclear energy and renewable energy. Fouré Lagadec also produces equipment for the marine industry, such as stabilisers for ships, with clients including a major contract with the Australian Navy. Mr Fournier highlighted that Fouré Lagadec is keen to be involved in such ecologically sustainable projects both from a commercial

Mr Fournier explained how the company is working hard to further build its presence in these arenas. He said, “Our extensive maintenance and fabrication skills for O&G projects enables us to deliver on offshore wind turbine and electric wind energy projects with a terrific understanding of the engineering issues involved. We are also setting up a comprehensive industrial organisation to respond to the demands of the industry and support our position as experts in the field. We have found that by presenting carefully-researched industrial facts and closely associating with complementary companies, including creating commercial and technical agreements, we are able to be in the market exactly where and when we are most needed.” Fouré Lagadec has also worked with EDF for many years on nuclear energy projects, and this positive relationship is currently

Local and global

and responsibility perspective. He commented, “Working on green energy projects is not just a sustainable philosophy, it’s also a strategic business decision. It’s a growing business and one which is set to lead us into the future. After many companies in the O&G sector experienced difficulties during the recession, we have to be practical about the stability of our business just as much as any ecological principles.”

Engaging with customers

In order to ensure that it enables its customers to benefit from the technological advantages provided by the project expertise gained over nearly 90 years, the development strategy at Fouré Lagadec essentially rests on offering diversified services to customers in fields related to its core O&G experience. Mr Fournier concluded, “Our present focus is all about developing the company, so we have already made some acquisitions outside of France to further strengthen our global position. This is actually a strategy that we implemented some time ago, so we are ahead of the game in terms of market research and engaging with potential partners. The coming months will be dedicated to both harnessing new business and making sure we take great n care of our existing clients.”


ased in Gothenburg, Sweden, Cryo AB is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cryogenic equipment for the storage, transportation and handling of liquefied gases, with over 50 years’ experience in this increasingly important industry. A member company of the engineering division of the German Linde Group, Cryo AB offers standard and customised LNG (liquefied natural

With a rapid increase in demand and regulations relating to the liquefied natural and biogas industries, leading manufacture of cryogenic equipment, Cryo AB is well-positioned to achieve its ambitious growth plans. EmmaJane Batey spoke to the managing director Gunnar Lenneras. gas) and LBG (liquefied biogas) fuel systems and is a certified manufacturer of cryogenic pressure vessels with its production activities carried out according to national and international approvals and standards. Managing director Gunnar Lenneras explained more about a typical Cryo customer and how the company’s technical capabilities can meet the most complex demands. He said, “We work with global gas companies, shipyards and customers that are involved in the production, distribution or consumption of LBG (liquefied biogas) and LNG (liquefied natural gas). Our highly experienced teams are experts in their own fields of natural and biogas storage, so together we can offer a complete solution. We have more than 200 engineers and advanced steel workers so we have an extensive knowledge of all aspects of gas storage, which we can then convert into solutions that meet the needs of our customers at every level.”

Decades of experience

Cryo has been installing LNG tanks for shipyards for more than 10 years, with a particular focus on the Baltic and Nordic regions. Mr Lenneras explained how impending restrictions due to be implemented in 2015 will see the value of the company’s gas expertise rocket for shipyards in particular as protected coastal areas in Europe and the USA will require more specific storage of LNG and LBG. Mr Lenneras added, “There are a number of environmental and practical benefits for using LNG and LBG, such as CO2 reduction, no sulphur, no particle outlet and a 90 per cent reduction of nitrogen compounds. The compression means the gases are easier and cheaper to transport too, which brings with it its own environmental benefits.” The cryogenic engineering and manufacturing applications for liquefied cold gases created by Cryo AB all take place at

its 20,000m2 facilities in Gothenburg. The Cryo team also regularly works on client sites across the Nordic and Baltic regions, with one such recently completed €70m project seeing Sweden’s first receiving and distribution terminal for LNG. The company has also taken the first public LBG tank station for heavy vehicles into operation, used among other things for a long term test with a number of trucks from AB VOLVO. Nordic countries do not have a national grid for gas, so LNG and LBG offers considerable logistics benefits as they are easy to transport. Mr Lenneras continued, “Natural gas shrinks in volume by 600 times when liquefied, so it is easy to see why it is beneficial for transportation as the tank can have a lot more energy for the same volume. But this is a highly technical, scientific process that requires a lot of equipment and specialist knowledge, which is where we excel. As the new regulations such as marine diesel

not being allowed come into play, in different global areas at different times, we are perfectly positioned to deliver the solutions needed to stay ahead of the changes.”

Leading the way

Cryo is clearly at the frontline of the industry changes and is dedicated to ensuring it can offer solutions, especially as it is one of the oldest companies in this fast-changing industry. Mr Lenneras describes Cryo’s activities as now being in their ‘third-generation of solutions’, so the company’s profile is increased as the market importance expands. In order to meet these demands, Cryo is investing heavily in its training and equipment, with 2010 seeing a €5m investment in its workshop to increase capacity and efficacy of production through greater automation, and more expected in 2011. Mr Lenneras added, “Cryo is committed to keeping one step ahead of the market

SVT Performance, Reliability and Safety are the deciding factors The evolution of mature technical solutions starts with the recognition of actual requirements. The more complex and unique these requirements are the more important is the choice of the right partner. The main benefits of the LNG loading systems from SVT are advanced technology, efficiency and particular safety. SVT is a world wide supplier offering LNG loading systems in sizes from 2“ up to 20“ with complete technology like ERC-Systems and QCDC-systems from one single source.

both in terms of our plant facilities and the education of our people. It’s an incredibly technical industry so it is imperative that we keep focused on developments. The customer and the market are the drivers for us.” As the official partner with French company Cryostar, the main global manufacturer of cryogenic pumps, for the installation and maintenance of cryogenic pumps in the

Nordic and Scandinavian regions, Cryo is looking forward to continued success across its traditional markets. Furthermore, its plans to follow its customers into emerging markets is already proving to be a successful strategy, with global development in South America, Northern Africa and China already in place. Mr Lenneras concluded, “Having completed projects including a €70m LNG

receiving terminal in Stockholm and the first public tank station that uses biogas, we are excited about the possibilities in our industry. We have the history and expertise that allows us to utilise these opportunities and we plan to continue to strengthen our competence and service organisation even further so we really stay at the forefront of the LNG and LBG industry.” n

3D fully automatic measurement system. We are measuring 100 per cent of all cabin frames and the system is based on camera technology.

Two pairs of robots are welding floors and both side walls for final assembly welding

Waterproof testing

FAST AND FLEXIBLE Maaseudun Kone is a market leader in the design and manufacture of tractor cabins and components. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that spearheads a group of highly specialised manufacturers covering farming, forestry and transportation. Starting point for the 150 metre long assembly line

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End of the assembly line

Factory in Kauhava


or over 50 years Maaseudun Kone has been designing and manufacturing safety cabins for tractors and agricultural equipment. The company is part of the independent Finnish MSK Group and has its headquarters in Yliharma, Finland. Maaseudun Kone Oy employs more than 200 people and is backed up by a wide network of suppliers and distributors. The company has a large research and development department which focuses on designing customized safety cabins for leading Scandinavian brands such as Valtra Tractors and Ponsse Rural Machinery. Since it was founded, the company has led the way in the design of highly efficient, dust-proof, sound-proof, airconditioned and ergonomic tractor cabins. The privately owned MSK Group comprises Maaseudun Kone Oy, Junkkari Oy, Junkkari Muovi Oy and Juncar Oy.

Fully robotised welding

Masseudun Kone has continued to invest in new plant and technology, which has resulted in a factory that is one of the most efficient and modern of its kind. All welding processes are fully ‘robotised’. For example, the first

robotic stage welds the main components of the tractor cabin together to produce the subparts. This is carried out by a pair of specially designed robots. The first bigger robot offers the charged welding jig for the smaller robot to weld the seams and then returns the part back onto the production line conveyorbelt. In the production cell is two pairs of robots for the pre-welding phase. The final welding of the cabin is carried out by another two robots, both served by two high-tech handling devices that keep turning the cabin frame in order to locate the ideal welding position each time. The finishing of the cabin frame and of other components takes place along two painting lines, where pre-treatment is based on a special zinc ‘bonderising’ process. The painting is then executed by two robots spraying the powder onto the surface of the selected parts automatically. The final corrosion- resistant surface quality paint is cured in the production line’s oven at over 200°C. Maaseudun Kone’s CEO, Matti Palo added, “We have an operations management system that meets all the latest standards and manages the plant with optimal efficiency. This cutting-edge system helps us to manage

around 5000 purchased or manufactured components daily and provides constant, updated information on all key production indicators. Throughout our stateof- the-art assembly lines, our dedicated technicians furnish each single cabin with the equipment that the customer has ordered specifically for that particular cabin. “Our lines produce a perfect tractor cabin every few hours, from where it is removed for testing and pre-delivery inspection. The final test stage ensures that the customer will receive a cabin that enables the tractor’s driver to work efficiently and in comfort, come rain, wind or blizzard. In addition, our flexible, automated production methods and advanced product planning techniques, guarantee the fastest possible manufacturing processes and our ability to meet short lead times cost-effectively.”

Professional partnerships

As an integral part of the MSK Group, Maasuedun Kone Oy benefits from the technical and production know-how that exists within the Group. The ‘descriptor’ used across all MSK companies, is: “Partnership between professionals”. In practice this means that Industry Europe 109

Winter time photo of the entrance to factory office

there is a common goal to provide optimised services for customers and a sharing of technological expertise and production know-how. Junkkari Oy is Maasuedun Kone’s sister company and is a leading Finnish designer and manufacturer of agricultural and forestry machinery for sowing, transportation and forestry. The company culture is the same as that of Maasuedun Kone in that its customer-orientated approach relies upon a continuous investment in research and technology, all of which is driven by the requirements of its clients. Listening to the experiences and needs of the farmer is still a fundamental principle of the company’s business culture. Junkkari also employs the latest robotic welding technology and other advanced automation techniques such as laser cutting and computer-aided quality monitoring. As a result, many of Junkkari’s innovative solutions improve the handling and operational convenience of their products in a unique and practical way. Another key player in the MSK Group is ‘Juncar Oy’, which is the largest trailer manufacturer in Finland with over 30 years

experience in the field. Juncar’s boat and car trailers are all top quality products, and attention is paid to the smallest detail in manufacture to achieve optimal results. The steel plates used in its trailers are hotgalvanised dipped, in a continuous process for a durable, corrosion-resistant finish that will withstand the harshest conditions. Junkkari Muovi Oy is the final piece in the MSK company portfolio, which offers advanced injection moulding, reaction injection moulding and mould manufacturing services for the manufacture of subassemblies and individual products. The company has in-depth knowledge of plastics technology and employs a broad network of partners and distributors for its diverse range of high-quality plastic products.

Quality by design

Maaseudun Kone is committed to on going investments in production technology and uses the latest CAD tools in the designs of its tailor-made tractor cabins. The company plans the tools required and the manufacturing processes needed for serial production at the product design stage. The prototype testing

functions and dedicated project management controls ensure that production can commence quickly and flexibly for each tailor-made, quality product. The company is also environmentally focused and is certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001; it was the first company in this field in Finland to achieve these two important quality n assurance certifications.

Novoplastik Novoplastik has more than 35 years experience of Vehicle Cabin Interior trims. This includes Sportcars, Coaches, Minibuses, Tractors, Work machines, boats, Trucks etc. Maaseudun Kone is one of the most important Customers of ours. We have successfully worked with Maaseudun Kone since early 90’s. Newest at Novoplastik is our totally new material which we have developed for 5 years, It’s called Novofrux. It’s 100 % biodegradable nature fiber composite.

Pilkington Automotive Specialised Pilkington Automotive Specialised Transport is the supplier of toughened and laminated safety glass and double glazed units for the vehicle industry and the cabin manufacturers. Core areas are agricultural and construction vehicles, buses and coaches, trucks, trains and trams, micro cars and marine. The product range includes the glasses from flat to very complex big curved parts and can include different kind of assemblies like integrated sliders, hopper windows, etc. Possibility to use wide range of special glass materials help save energy and environment and make the working circumstance more comfortable and beneficial for the driver and increase the travel convenience.

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WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH... Sisu Auto, based in Finland, manufactures robust trucks for civilian and military purposes. Joseph Altham spoke to Timo Korhonen, the president of Sisu Auto, to find out how the company is helping its customers to operate in extreme conditions.

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ild terrain, frozen lakes and snowcovered forests are among the many things that make Finland such a beautiful country. For tourists the scenery is a source of wonder, but for many Finns the forest is their livelihood. Sisu Auto designs and builds trucks for these rough working conditions. The word “sisu” means something like grit and perseverance, the qualities required to make a living in a harsh climate. Sisu began making trucks back in 1931, and, according to Mr Korhonen, the needs of the Finnish forestry industry have always been a powerful influence on his company. “The difficult operating conditions have been a strong driver for us in the development of transportation equipment that is suited for use on difficult roads and in low ambient temperatures.”


The Sisu Timber truck was developed for the forestry industry, while the Sisu Works model is designed for road maintenance. Sisu also produces a dumper truck, Sisu Rock, for transporting rock and gravel. Although Sisu’s trucks have to be strong, their weight is limited by Finnish legislation, which restricts the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of a truck to 60 tons. “This has forced us to develop vehicles that have a high payload but only a low weight of their own,” said Mr Korhonen. This is one of the reasons why Sisu’s trucks have to be built to a high standard, using high grade materials. Another truck, the Sisu Crane, is designed for crane operations, and its crane has a capacity of up to 150 ton-metres. The truck has an especially

designed frame and comes fitted with stabilisers. Mr Korhonen believes that the Sisu Crane has great export potential, particularly to Germany and the Netherlands.


The trucks have to be ready to overcome the challenges of the Finnish winter. “For example,” explained Mr Korhonen, “to start a vehicle after it has been standing for a week in the forest in temperatures of below -40ºC, you must of course have a fuel burning heater to warm up the engine block as well as the oil.” The heater also has to warm up the starter batteries, which must be of a dry cell type. Sisu Auto always sells its trucks ready for use – all the necessary equipment is installed at the factory. The company attaches great importance to producing the right truck for the Industry Europe 115

customer’s requirements. Mr Korhonen says that customers can use Sisu’s Sales Configurator to place an order. “First you indicate the payload you need to transport, then you will be given the choice of axles. Then you indicate your power need and you will get the choice of available engines. You will get everything but at the same time only what you need, and you will not be paying for anything which you do not need.” Mr Korhonen is certainly prepared to go the extra mile for the sake of his customers. “We often meet customers in the field. As a matter of fact, I personally visited one of our customers deep in the forest in the Baikal region of Siberia. After a week’s tour I got a good sense of the particular needs of this customer.” Mr Korhonen’s efforts were rewarded, and in 2008, Sisu sold 91 trucks and trailers to the Russian pulp and paper company Ilim Group for use at its plant at Ust-Ilimsk.


Sisu Auto’s subsidiary, Sisu Defence, makes armoured off-road trucks for military purposes. Since the 1970s, Sisu’s military

trucks have been widely used by United Nations peacekeeping forces. The ETP series of Sisu Defence trucks can be supplied with protection against mines and ballistics according to the specifications of the NATO standard, STANAG 4569. Sisu’s 10x10 armoured truck can even carry a 26 metre pioneer bridge. Mr Korhonen said that development of the ETP series started in 2004. Three years later, the Lithuanian armed forces were able to take delivery of 8x8 ETP offroad trucks from Sisu, supplied with hooklift systems and container handling equipment. Since then, Sisu has sold hundreds of its high mobility tactical vehicles to the Finnish Defence Forces, most recently, 60 8x8 military trucks in 2010.

Daimler and Sisu Polar

In the summer of 2010, Mr Korhonen and the president of Sisu Group, Olof Elenius, took over ownership of the company. The other big event of 2010, besides the management buy-out, has been the establishment of a new partnership. Sisu has concluded a long-term component supply

agreement with Daimler AG, covering the supply of cabins, engines and transmissions, together with other smaller components and parts. Mr Korhonen says the agreement will free up Sisu’s resources to concentrate on the design of the finished product, and make it easier for Sisu to export its trucks. “Now that the main components as well as the system-level components are supplied by Daimler, the normal form of export is possible, since the vehicles can be serviced by the Mercedes-Benz service network.” Sisu has just brought out its new Sisu Polar trucks, which are based n on the Daimler components.


Thermote & Vanhalst Handling (TVH) is a global leader in the supply of forklift trucks, parts and other in-plant vehicles. Philip Yorke talked to Kristof Bolle, TVH’s business development director, about the company’s latest products, its services and plans for the future.


was founded in 1969 in Belgium by two young entrepreneurs: Paul Thermote and Paul Vanhalst. The company initially purchased and reconditioned old military lift trucks for sale on the open market. Today it is a global player in the forklift truck market with customers in 162 different countries. These are backed up by a worldwide distribution network complete with dedicated subsidiaries and affiliates. In addition to providing a global service for forklift parts, the company offers specialist equipment and parts for aerial platforms, scrubbers, sweep-

ers and port equipment as well as a range of other in-plant industrial vehicles. However, the main activity of the group remains the distribution of forklift truck spare parts, as well as those for ancillary equipment. The company’s unique in-depth experience in the forklift truck market has been built-up over many years and today its customers can call on a stock of more than 450,000 spare parts from a database of over 16 million known parts references. TVH remains an independent, family-run business that takes pride in its products, services and its social responsibilities, as Industry Europe 117

well as in the protection of the environment. Today TVH has more than 2000 employees and in 2010 recorded sales of approaching €500 million.

Four divisions, one goal

The company’s diverse range of products and services are divided into four distinct, specialised service sectors. Its commitment to quality and customer service is comon to all and ensures that everything is delivered precisely on time. The four TVH divisions incorporate the Equipment Division which sells new machines as well as used forklift trucks 118 Industry Europe

and aerial platforms, the Parts and Accessories Division, which offers a worldwide spare parts range, which not only offers global product ranges, but an exclusive selection of internal transportation equipment, attachments and accessories. Finally there is the Rental Division and the Service and Repair Division, which are only available to the national domestic market. Bolle said, “We pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop for our customers and our ability to provide a truly in-depth, specialised service. To ensure that our customers receive the optimum service

we have organised a three stage support programme. The first line of support comes from our sales force, which are all specialists and indigenous to the country in which they operate. Then we have a comprehensive customer service and support division which comprises more than 150 people speaking a total of 31 languages between them. Finally we employ over 200 highly qualified technical engineers and product managers who are permanently on call. Furthermore, we have a very efficient and professional warehousing and logistics facility with ‘auto-picking’ at more than 100,000 stock

locations. This is carried out with no people involved in the picking process – the bin is therefore done automatically.” “In addition, our internet facility is available 24/7 and offers instant communications with our customers and is available in 20 different language versions. This means that the company’s internet customers

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benefit from the direct sales of those who prefer to search for parts online. It also has the advantage of reducing our in-house workload as our customers can take over such tasks as order input and printing invoices online, as well as ordering a picture of a part, checking a parts availability and part identification and much more”

New focus on attachments

Last year TVH began a new phase in its global expansion programme when it finalised a worldwide licensing deal to become the sole distributor for attachments of the Italian based company, ‘CAM’ and embraces a comprehensive range of attachments.

Bolle added, “Our new focus at the present time is our entry into the attach-ments market. This latest deal offers us the global distribution of this Italian brand with the exception of Italy and the UK.” For Belgium and Luxembourg, the company also represents many famous brands of new in-plant industrial equipment.

Growing replacement market

Today TVH’s main focus is on the aftermarket, replacement parts sector. Bolle said, “Until recently our geographic focus has been Europe for volume sales, but we are now looking at the big emerging markets

such as China, Asia and Brazil. In addition to this, our new office in Moscow will soon be fully operational, where we have organised all the imports ourselves – that is, we ship and sell on a local basis as a local operating company. This means quicker delivery and full control over our supply chain. We want to be a truly global supplier but evenly spread and in general we are fully committed to maximising customer satisfaction and providing guaranteed delivery systems.”

New internet customers

TVH is recognised as the leading specialist for new and second-hand lift trucks in both

its domestic and international markets. The company represents many famous brands of new ‘in-plant’ industrial equipment. Product availability is unparalleled in Europe with after- sales services for lift trucks and aerial platforms to match. In addition TVH issues a quarterly promotional catalogue online called ‘Jim’s Journal’, which contains a wide range of interesting special offers. Recently, the equipment division introduced a new on-line search engine, MyEquipmentFinder. This invaluable ecommerce tool offers major benefits and time-saving opportunities to customers thanks to the advanced TVH search n function and wide range of options. Industry Europe 121

OFFSHORE EXPERTS A new yard in South America and new orders from Norwegian customers are keeping up the momentum of growth at STX OSV, the specialist in the design and building of vessels for the offshore oil and gas industry. Peter Mercer reports.


his April, STX OSV reached an important milestone in its expansion into the fastgrowing Brazilian off-shore market when its subsidiary, Estaleiro Promar SA, received an environmental licence for the construction of a new shipyard in Suape, in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Project development of the yard, which will join STX OSV’s existing yard in north-eastern Brazil, is to begin immediately and construction is expected to start later this year. The first vessels from the new yard are expected to begin construction

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in 2012 and full operations at the yard are scheduled for 2013. The first ships to be built at the new yard will be eight LPG carriers for Petrobras’ subsidiary Transpetro, the largest oil and gas transportation company in Brazil. When these ships are completed, the company says that the yard will be used for off-shore vessel construction, almost tripling STX OSV’s delivery capacity in Brazil and very significantly reinforcing its already strong position in this dynamic market.

Complex vessels

Headquartered in Ålesund, Norway, STX OSV is one of the world’s leading designers and builders of vessels for the offshore oil and gas exploration and production and oil services industries. As well as its five shipbuilding facilities in Norway and its yard in Brazil, it operates two shipyards in Romania and one in Vietnam and has a workforce of some 9000. STX OSV is a subsidiary of STX Europe, one of the world’s leading builders of cruise

vessels, ferries and OSVs, with six shipyards in Finland, France and Norway as well as the nine yards of STX OSV. STX Europe was established as a company in 2009, when the STX Group of South Korea completed the acquisition of Aker Yards, which had itself been created in 2004 through the combining of the shipbuilding operations of Aker and Kvaerner. The STX Group has approximately 54,000 employees worldwide and has global ambitions not only in the shipbuilding industry but also in shipping

and trade, machineries, plant and construction and energy. The core business of STX OSV is the innovative design and construction of complex and highly customised offshore and specialised vessels, platform supply vessels, anchor handling tug supply vessels and subsea support vessels. The company also produces other specialised vessels such as LNG-powered ferries, naval and coast guard vessels, fishing craft and icebreakers.

Ship of the Year

In the design development of its ships STX OSV combines its long shipbuilding tradition with the most modern and sophisticated techniques to create innovative solutions in close cooperation with experienced and highly demanding customers. A fine example of how the company can respond to such demands is the construction of the deepwater intervention vessel, Skandi Aker, which was awarded the coveted international ‘Ship of the Year’ prize in 2010. The contract for this newbuilding was signed as far back as August 2006 between STX Norway Offshore Soviknes and the owners, DOFCON AS, but during the construction process DOFCON and the operator Aker Oilfield Services asked for major changes to the original vessel. The result was that the hull

and basic outfitting was not delivered from the STX Norway Offshore yard in Tulcea until March 2009. Then, during the outfitting at Soviknes, further changes were implemented. Together these changes make it possible for the ship to singlehandedly undertake several operations that have previously been exclusively assigned to oilrigs. So instead of using a large oilrig, accompanied by a support vessel, oil companies can instead deploy a Skandi Aker type vessel for many tasks. The Skandi Aker is quite a large vessel at 156.9 metres overall length and 27 metres width with a module handling tower rising more than 60 metres above sea level. The ship can accommodate 140 people and is capable of operating at depths of up to 3,000 metres, much deeper than the average 800 metre limits of other existing well-intervention vessels.

2011 orders

This year has seen STX OSV continue to win new contracts for offshore and specialised vessels. In March the company announced an order for the design and construction of a multifunctional platform supply vessel from NorSea Group AS, a leading supplier of base services and integrated logistics solutions for Norway’s oil and gas industry. This vessel will be of STX OSV’s own PSV 08 design. It is

approximately 4000 dwt with a deck area of 880m2 and is equipped with standby rescue, firefighting and oil-recovery functionality. The hull will be constructed at one of STX OSV’s yards in Romania and the ship is scheduled for delivery from STX OSV Brattvaag in Norway in June 2012. Also in March, an order was announced for another platform supply vessel for an undisclosed customer. This vessel will be to STX OSV’s PSV 09 design and, again, the hull will be built in Romania and the completed vessel delivered from STX OSV Norway in 2012. These orders have been followed in April by new contracts for the design and construction of a series of three multi-role vessels (MRV) for DOF ASA. These MRV 05 vessels were designed by STX OSV Design in Ålesund, Norway, and are based on the company’s new environmentally friendly PSV hull shape. They have been developed in close cooperation with DOF to fulfil specific roles in supply service, stand-by service, ROV operations and seismic activities. The hulls of all three ships will be delivered from STX OSV in Romania and outfitting and commissioning of two of them will be carried out by STX OSV Aukra, with the third being delivered from n STX OSV Brattvaag.

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Great Eastern Shipping is India’s largest private sector shipping company. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to outperform its rivals with its vision of the future and a commitment to deliver exceptional value and customer satisfaction.


reat Eastern Shipping (G E Shipping) is India’s most successful shipping service provider and was founded by two families, the Sheths and the Bhiwandiwallas, in 1948. The two families decided to start their own shipping company in order to help expand the reach of their various trading businesses. As entrepreneurs with a clear vision of the future, the company began by purchasing the mothballed ‘liberty ship’ SS Fort Ellis and quickly moved from providing sea-logistic services to diversifying into offshore oil field services and in 1949 became the first Indian company to place an order for construction of ships at the Kobe Shipyard in Japan. G E Shipping has two main business activities: Shipping and Offshore Services. The shipping business is concerned with the transportation of crude oil, various petroleum products and gas, as well as dry bulk commodities. The offshore business provides services to oil companies, which

involve carrying out offshore exploration and production activities through its wholly owned subsidiary, Greatship (India) Limited. The company’s shipping business operates under two main divisions: dry bulk carriers and tankers. A sizeable proportion of GE’s tanker fleet enjoys approvals from oil giants such as Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil and Chevron Texaco among others. Backed by a distinguished clientele, which comprises business leaders, International oil companies and governments, the division has earned the status of being the most preferred shipping service provider. The company is fully accredited to ISO 9001 by the governing body, Det Norske Veritas (DNV) as well as receiving other industry certifications.

Expanding rig capabilities

From the very beginning, GE Shipping embarked upon a strategy to maximise its product and service offerings. The latest investments in offshore drilling rigs include

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the 350ft, state-of-the-art ‘Jack-up-rig’ ‘Greatdrill Chetna’ which was delivered on 2nd March 2011. This KFELS V B Jack-uprig is capable of drilling HPHT wells up to 30,000ft depth in most parts of the world. It is the world’s most advanced cyber-based rig affording operators the latest drilling technology, equipment and systems. With the delivery of ‘Greatdrill Chetna, Greatship (India) and its subsidiaries own and operate four PSVs seven AHTSVs, three MPSSVs and two Jack-up-rigs. The company also has an order book of eight new vessels including two MSVs in India, four ROVSVs in Sri Lanka and two 150 TBP AHTSVs in Singapore as well as one 350ft jack-up-rig in Dubai. In addition Greatship India has also taken delivery of the new ‘Greatship Rashi’ a platform/ROV Support vessel from the Colombo Dockyard Plc. in Sri Lanka. This is a Class II DP vessel and has been built to comply with the new SPS Code 2008 and environmen-

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tal Protection and Crew Comfort notations according to Lloyd’s Register of Shipping and is fully capable of supporting offshore exploration and production duties.

Panamax, three Supramax and one Handymax dry bulk carriers aggregating 2.63 million tons deadweight.

Delivering more value

In 1993, as a tribute to the company’s founder, following his untimely death in 1992, GE Shipbuilding established the Vasant J Sheth memorial foundation to sustain his ideals and philanthropic obligations in relation to maritime education and social and environmental issues. At 29 years of age, Vasant Sheth was the youngest ever president of the Indian National Shipowner’s Association. Furthermore, he was awarded a Norwegian Knighthood in 1988 and posthumously given the Varuna Award in India in 1993. The foundation’s mission is to engage in projects that promote maritime conservation and education as well as the welfare of coastal communities in India. The foundation supports institutions, libraries, reading rooms, museums and various courses and conferences. The foundation also undertakes to assist and support research and training programmes, as well as to award scholarships and to disseminate information and literature to publish books and newspapers. In addition, it helps to establish, maintain and conduct financial assistance for individuals and institutions engaged in the shipbuilding, marine engineering industries and n the conservation of the world’s oceans.

During the last decade GE Shipping has almost doubled its fleet of support vessels and tankers. In February and March 2011 alone the company acquired three new, general and purpose-built vessels in addition to placing orders for other key support vessels and tankers. In February 2011 the company took delivery of its new Kamsarmax dry bulk carrier ‘Jag Aarati’, of about 81,000 tons deadweight and built at STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co.Ltd. South Korea. In March 2011 Greatship (India) Limited took delivery of a new building Supramax Dry Bulk Carrier ‘Jag Rishi’ of about 57,000dwt and built at COSCO (Zhoushan) Shipyard in China. With the introduction of ‘Jag Rashi’ the company’s fleet now stands at 34 vessels, comprising 27 tankers, of which 10 are crude oil carriers, sixteen product tankers and one LPG carrier. In addition the company has seven others including one Capesize tanker, one Kamsarmax, one

A foundation built on excellence


ESAB is a global leader in the field of welding and cutting processes for industry. Philip Yorke explores the secrets of ESAB’s success and looks at its latest ‘breakthrough’ technology.


SAB was founded in 1904 by Oscar Kjellberg in Sweden following his invention of the ‘covered welding electrode’. Since then the company has seen steady growth, constantly improving on its existing technology and production methods. Today ESAB produces a wide range of consumables and equipment for virtually every welding and cutting process and application in manufacturing industry. More than 100 years of continuous research, development and manufacture has made ESAB a world leader in welding and cutting processes, with an unmatchable depth of knowledge and an enviable range of services. 132 Industry Europe

Innovative technology driving sales

ESAB is justifiably proud of its innovative track record, which has helped to define the industry and continues to shape the future of welding and cutting, as new materials emerge and advanced technologies present new challenges. The company offers cutting-edge, innovative technology designed to serve the vast needs of the modern welding and cutting industries. Its commitment to customer service and its energy to deliver results has kept ESAB at the forefront of its industry for many generations and continues to drive it forward today. ESAB offers a complete line of equipment for all types

of processes, as well as a comprehensive range of related consumables, from cored wires to covered electrodes. The company specialises in producing a wide range of cutting equipment from small hand-held plasma units to large gantry cutters used to construct very large structures, such as aircraft carriers. For each discipline, continuous development of methods, materials and technology combine to meet the challenges posed by a diverse range of industry sectors. Every day ESAB’s worldwide customers serving the transport, offshore, shipbuilding, power, process and aerospace industries rely on it

for technical and practical support. A company spokesman said, “Our customers’ experience of our products is key to us and often provides our most valuable source of information, especially when it comes to improving our products’ performance. Our process and application support teams serve our customers at a local and global level. We also employ specialists with a comprehensive knowledge of different welding and cutting processes and techniques as well as their applications. In addition, we work actively with manual, mechanised and automated processes and have robotic cells that are available for any of our customer’s diverse applications”.

Advancing hybrid laser technology

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In April 2011 ESAB completed its purchase of the Master Process Controller (MPC) from Applied Thermal Sciences Inc. (ATS) for use in its hybrid laser arc welding process. This advanced technology provides a patented, real-time control system for laser management involving MIG/MAG welding equipment and the motion system that carries the laser and welding heads. ESAB’s Hbrio TM hybrid laser welding equipment can be used on thicker materials as well as larger work pieces and joints with wider gaps. With its improved tolerance of gap variations, the hybrid laser arc welding process enables customers to reduce the time and costs associated with joint preparation, post-weld operations

and re-working. ESAB’s Hybrio TM hybrid laser technology combines the deep weld penetration and low heat input associated with laser welding, with the excellent weld properties and superior gap tolerence of GMAW. This has created a radically new welding alternative. Laser welding produces very narrow, deep welds at very high speeds. This reduces heat input to the part and the associated weld shrinkage and distortion that can make post-welding fit-up unpredictable and costly to repair. Hybrio TM technology represents the most advanced automated laser welding system available worldwide and is capable of welding at three to ten times the speed of

conventional welding processes. In addition, the process offers a saving of between 80–90 per cent less heat input, which in turn offers a step-change in welding performance. ESAB’s latest Hybrio TM technology is available for use in gantry, robotic and specialised automated systems as well as a diverse range of industrial applications. Furthermore, ESAB’s patented adaptive control system permits monitoring of the weld joint in real time, modifying the process to accommodate gaps and possible mismatch. This next-generation, intelligent control system broadens the welding performance envelope by a factor of five compared

to hybrid laser-welding with conventional controls. This breakthrough in welding control technology enables the use of hybrid welding on large structures and complex assemblies without excessive reliance on very expensive pre-processing, machining and fixturing.

Exclusive US partnership

The North American division of ESAB recently announced a new partnership with a leading US custom motorcycle shop known as ‘Orange County Choppers’ (OCC). ESAB will be the exclusive welding equipment provider for OCC, supplying all the welding and cutting equipment as well

as filler materials used in the shop. Andrew Masterman, president and CEO of ESAB North America said, “OCC is the premier custom motorcycle design shop with a long history of excellence in its workmanship. Like ESAB, OCC has been praised worldwide for its innovation and leadership. Like ESAB, OCC is dedicated to providing top-quality products and exceptional customer service”. The ESAB brand is synonymous with world leading expertise in four key areas: manual welding and cutting equipment, welding automation, welding consumables and cutting systems. n

INVESTING IN A CLEANER FUTURE KCM 2000 is the largest producer of lead and zinc alloys in south-east Europe. Its privatisation in 2000 heralded a new dawn of investment and product innovation. Philip Yorke reports on the transformation of a company that brims with renewed confidence and a positive vision for the future.

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he KCM 2000 Group is headquartered, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and was founded ten years ago as a joint stock company to bring together all the services of the companies that work within the group’s central manufacturing operation – the KCM SA smelter. The KCM Group comprises ten synergistic companies and is one of the biggest industrial groups in Bulgaria. The group is set to become the single most important influence in the economic success story of the country. KCM employs more than 2,000 people, all of whom are focussed on developing system solutions and innovative products in the field of mineral raw materials, process engineering and trade. All KCM 2000 Group companies arecommitted to improving the sustainability and environmental well-being of their diverse operations. Subsequently, the company has been

awarded the quality certifications; ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and BS OHAS 18001 in support of the management of these processes.

From strength to strength

As far as the production of zinc alloy products is concerned, KCM plans to increase capacity from 75,000 tons to 100,000 tons over the next two years. The company manages its own extensive zinc–lead mining facility near Plodiv as well as a large engineering and industrial service company and is a major shareholder in the country’s largest industrial and commercial zone complex. Building on its success over the past ten years, KCM has made significant investments in a number of key facilities. These include a state-of-the-art battery recycling facility, a wastewater termination plant and a zinc roasting and sulphuric acid facility. All of these

make a significant contribution to improving the reduction in the company’s carbon footprint. According to the project objectives, the use of recycled raw materials in the manufacturing processes will be significantly higher as a result of these strategic investments. In the third quarter of 2010, the company also commenced another major investment project costing more than €100 million. This was for the erection of a totally new lead facility that employs the latest environmentally friendly technology. This is in addition to an investment for the upgrading of the company’s zinc manufacturing facility. The key markets for the products manufactured in these plants are batteries for the automotive market and galvanised products for the building and automotive industries. KCM’s domestic market for its smelterproducts is around 10 per cent of total

production, with the majority of the products going for export to Turkey, Greece and other Mediterranean countries. However, with its new production facilities in place, the company is now moving into western European markets for the sale of its zinc alloys. The company plans to produce a wider range of alloys for a variety of applications including those for protection against corrosion. In addition, all types of precious metals are manufactured through KCM’s smelter, including alloys for coins as well as for gold and silver specially treated for banks and ‘rolled’ precious metals for industry.

Focus on Europe and technology

KCM’s non-ferrous metals smelter is dedicated to the recovery and refining of metals and to producing products for customers both in the Balkans and in Western Europe. KCM’s chief executive Nikola Dobrev said, “We will continue to focus on both our local and export markets. However, South

eastern Europe and western Europe are our core geographical markets today, with countries such as Turkey and Israel also becoming increasingly important to us. We are committed to ensuring that our business remains competitive and sustainable and that we will continue to develop new, innovative solutions for our customers.” Building on its substantial experience gained during the company’s restructuring process and the implementation of new plant and technology, KCM is also able to offer a wider range of technological consultancy services. These include conceptual, technical and economic research, specialised high-tech and laboratory testing procedures, the design of new systems and installations using AutoCAD and Inventor Professional 2010 software and the licensed monitoring of equipment. Additional solutions and production know-how are also available in fields such as continuous lead slag fuming, zinc dust

production, the production of zinc and lead alloys, the processing of fluids and the recycling of waste water cooling as well as the recovery of gold from gravity concentrate.

Conceptual investments

KCM’s most important ongoing conceptual investment project is the ‘Process Innovation and Production Increase Project (PIPIP). This was started in 2008 and is expected to be finalised in 2013.The PIPIP’s main objective is to achieve environmentally appropriate and competitive production of non-ferrous and precious metals, alloys and chemical products. The concept includes energy-saving processes and options for the processing of recyclable materials, as well as for the reduction of greenhouse gases and emissions. Cutting-edge technologies have been imported from countries at the forefront of this technology to ensure its success. The estimated cost of this major project n amounts to more than €150 million.

Erik Moe, Managing director

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THE HEART OF THE HOME Norwegian company Jøtul has earned its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of cast-iron stoves and fireplaces through continual development and a passion for making high-quality products. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to managing director Erik Moe to find out how this is being achieved.


stablished in Norway in 1853, Jøtul has gained a reputation for quality with its manufacture of cast-iron stoves and fireplaces under the respected Jøtul brand. As the world’s leading manufacturer in its field, Jøtul has added the sheet-steel-based stoves and fireplace brands Scan and Atra to its offering, with each meeting a particular need in the market. Managing director Erik Moe told Industry Europe how the Jøtul Group is well-placed to deliver a suitable product for various target markets. He said, “We have both modern and classic designs, all manufactured with high-quality craftsmanship to ensure they meet the long-lasting, high quality demands the Jøtul name represents. The Jøtul, Scan and Atra brands are all appreciated for their beauty, reliability and efficacy, with the varied styling carefully developed

to guarantee that every customer can find a Jøtul stove or fireplace which will perfectly complement their home.”

Professional network

The company’s long history has certainly supported its global sales network, as many of its merchants have worked with Jøtul for decades. Mr Moe added, “We have developed excellent relationships with our merchants, which is a key aspect of our continued success as it ensures our customers get the best and most professional advisors and installers. We’re not just trying to sell a stove or fireplace, we’re selling the heart of the home and we want to get it just right every time.” This focus is central to Jøtul’s business development and sales channel activities. Mr Moe explained that as the stove or fireplace burns inside the home, it is imperative that

the end users can totally trust the product and how it is installed so they feel safe and can enjoy the product. The advice offered by the sales people must therefore address any possible customer concerns. Jøtul has its own dealer training school which guarantees that each of its speciality dealers has an advanced understanding of the related installation and fire regulations in each market and for each product, with this provision acting as a valuable sales tool.

Expanding the network

All of the Jøtul products are sold through specialist retailers, with the company enjoying a strong multi-national market share, and particularly in its domestic market where it takes the number one spot. The company’s core markets are the Nordic area, France and the USA, with positive

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SCHOTT The Jøtul group and SCHOTT ROBAX® have been working closely together for many years. SCHOTT delivers flat and bent glass-ceramic panels in different sizes to the whole Jøtul group worldwide. SCHOTT ROBAX® is an extremely heat-resistant, transparent glass ceramic with more than 30 years of history. As the Jøtul group is one of the frontrunners among stove manufactures the designers of the Jøtul and the R&D engineers from SCHOTT ROBAX® have developed a close relationship during the years. One of the latest successes from this partnership is the new Scan 85, a tall and wide glass ceramic. Combined with the modern cast iron design you get an excellent view of the flames while enjoying a cozy feeling of the warmth.

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representation in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Jøtul currently exports to more than 35 countries and although it has no current plans to expand into new areas, it is increasing its roster of distributors and importers. Mr Moe said, “We are always looking at our dealer network to ensure that it is best serving our customers and appealing to potential customers. We invest a great deal in marketing to both end users and dealers, with this mostly achieved through increasing our presence in showrooms, cooperative advertising with our dealers and developing our website to be more user friendly. We are currently working on making the site better suited to our customers’ needs, with a greater emphasis on the products and their advantages.” Jøtul has recently launched the Scan 85, which is a free-standing stove that has the visual appeal and styling of a fireplace. Already well-received in all Jøtul’s European markets, the Scan 85 represents a breakthrough for the company as it is its first large-scale stove that also maintains the famous Jøtul Group appealing contemporary design.

focused on quality and safety, with additional contemporary designs joining its portfolio of classic and traditional products. A vital part of its growth strategy is to continue expand its market share in existing geographical markets and distribution channels through continued product development and R&D, particularly as the Jøtul product range is already highly respected and there is a global trend for responsible and effective use of natural resources while still keeping homes warm and looking good. This means that Jøtul is well-positioned to utilise the opportunities presented in interior design

trends as well as responsible home insulation and energy usage trends. Mr Moe concluded, “We will continue torefine our sales and marketing strategy too, so that we truly have the best of the past with our solid history and respected product range, and the best of the future with an enhanced website, excellent marketing activities and a complete understanding of what various target customer groups want. Above all, we’re always working to improve our efficiency throughout the organisation by applying lean principles that use all our resources – natural, human and financial – as effectively as possible.” n

Well-positioned for further development As Jøtul looks forward to continued success, the long-established stove and fireplace company is committed to staying

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TECHNOLOGY Hermes Schleifmittel is a global leader in the field of coated abrasives technology. Philip Yorke talked to Dr Jan Cord Becker about the company’s ground-breaking ‘engineered abrasives’ and its plans for future growth.


ermes Schleifmittel was founded in Hamburg, Germany, in 1927 and has risen to become one of the largest suppliers of coated and bonded abrasives in the world. Hermes abrasive tools are used to produce precision, functional parts as well as visually attractive surfaces. The company is a market leader in many important industrial sectors, including steel, automotive, furniture, wood and glass. Hermes operates eleven major production sites, as well as numerous sales offices throughout the world. The company is fully represented in all the main industrialised and emerging industrial nations with offices and facilities in more than 100 countries. This international presence guarantees a high level of customer care and service, regardless of where the company’s clients are located.

‘Engineered abrasives’ driving sales

The Hermes Group is dedicated to developing grinding solutions for a wide range of customer needs. These include coated abrasives, nonwoven abrasives and bonded abrasives. At its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, the

company’s R&D department develops new application engineering technology. From this on going commitment to innovation, the company has developed a new generation of abrasives that it calls, ‘engineered abrasives’. Dr Jan Cord Becker, who was appointed chief executive of Hermes Schleifmittel in January 2010 after leaving his role as head of electrics engineering at Airbus Industries’ A380 programme, explains: “We have taken our engineered abrasive tools to a new level with our latest products. There have been three major, innovative developments in our new abrasive technologies. The first is a new development of the well-known ‘Hermesit®’ grinding belt, which performs five times longer than a standard belt and gives a perfectly constant finish. We have designed different versions of this belt with two special grain types. These special abrasive grains are applied to the hollow sphere bodies to ensure a very long grinding life and a consistent, high-quality finish.” For the very popular brush finish business, Hermes developed a cork finishing belt to achieve a brush finish on a wide belt grinder. This cork belt performs like an abrasive brush,

but as a belt, and gives the customer a satin brush finish like a super deburred surface. It is not only the unique surface quality that is a real advantage but the grinding ability is also enormous. It is possible to carry out a brush finish design with a feed speed of 70m/min with this cork belt on a wide belt grinder, instead of 10m/min on a brush roller unit. “Finally, for very high pressure grinding, we have developed micro-crystalline ceramic grain, known as Sapphire Blue®.” The company owns the patent for this special Sapphire Blue® grain type and offers several belt executions with this high-tech grain. Another brand new development is the application of Sapphire Blue® grain to a paper backing, which is ideal for applications such as stainless and titanium sheet grinding. In turn, this product offers a clear price performance advantage for our customers. “It’s premium products like these that are driving the abrasive market. However, in the mature and increasingly in the emerging markets in which we operate, there is clearly an increase in demand for ‘high end’ products such as ‘engineered abrasives’.”

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Multek/Sheldahl Global leadership in the field of coated abrasive technology requires strong technical partnerships. The Sheldahl Materials group patented unidirectional tape technology more than 20 years ago and continues to be the world recognized leading supplier of coated abrasive belt splicing products. Hermes has a rich tradition of producing high quality products. Hermes recognizes that their innovative abrasive belts require the highest quality splicing tapes available. Hermes preferred tape supplier is Sheldahl Materials. Michael R Truax, Product Manager Multek/Sheldahl, 507-663-8363 office, 507-261-0813 cell

Optimising production and workflow

Hermes has invested heavily in product development over the years as well as in its organisation of work-flow procedures. The LEAN production principles that the company has adopted have helped it to see the recent economic downturn as an opportunity to improve production efficiency and rationalise its structure and work-flow. As a result, it has been able to reduce complexity in its production procedures and increase its efficiency significantly. Hermes operates six main production plants in four locations, as well as running another five converting facilities worldwide. As part of its ongoing commitment to LEAN principles, Hermes modified its production plants and derived many benefits and advantages by doing so. The know-how concerning new technologies is being developed constantly at the company’s R&D centre in Hamburg. Dr Becker commented, “In order to produce high-end products, our philosophy is to keep all key production technologies inhouse. Recent notable advances have been achieved with entirely new products, such as our conglomerate grain for long belt life called Mercurit®, our latest non-woven abrasives called webrax® and the expansion of our production capability. We have opened up an entirely new abrasive converting facility in Shanghai, China.

This enterprise gives us the opportunity to achieve fast growth in this dynamic, emerging marketplace.” Besides the traditional markets that Hermes serves, the company is always looking out for new challenges. This applies to new markets, as well as niche markets, such as wind power station producers which have a high demand for finishing paper discs to finish fibre glass and carbon fibre composite materials. For composite sanding, Hermes offers a comprehensive portfolio of advanced products with newly developed, high-performance finishing discs. These discs are developed with sharp aluminium oxide grain and a special non-loading layer that is designed for anti-clogging, long-life sanding and is known as the Longlife brand.

Expanding global reach

Hermes continues to see Europe and North America as its principal markets. In 1980 the company decided to establish a major production facility in Virginia, USA and has since become a market leader in the supply of coated and bonded abrasives in North America. During the past few years the company has also invested in China and in South America and is currently seeing growth in these markets of more than 50 per cent per annum. The fact that Hermes is present in all the main industrial countries today is in itself a clear

advantage for its customers. Dr Becker added, “We will see continuing organic growth in the foreseeable future, with growth coming from the sales of our new, engineered abrasives products and we will continue to enhance our strengths in our R&D applications and in our application engineering technology. “Our technology partnerships with grinding machine builders often lead us to develop new products and new machine systems. This is a service that we offer to customers and demonstrates our willingness to cooperate with all our n partners on a technical basis.”


RESOURCES The Talvivaara Mining Company is a leading base metals provider located in Finland. Philip Yorke looks at how the company is maximising its potential and exploiting new income opportunities in association with other global mining consortiums.

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alvivaara Mining is a major European producer of base metals with a focus on nickel and zinc products. The company’s main asset is its Talvivaara nickel mine in Sotkamo, Finland. Talvivaara’s polymetallic deposits comprise one of the largest known sulphide nickel resources in Europe, with more than 1,121 million tonnes of ore available, measured in indicated categories. This resource is sufficient to support production at existing levels for a further 46 years. The planned annual nickel production is 50,000 tonnes per annum, with by-products of zinc, copper and cobalt estimated to amount to a further 100,000 tonnes of material per annum. Of this total, zinc is expected to represent over 90 per cent of these production volumes. 156 Industry Europe

The Talvivaara Group supplies metal intermediaries to companies with metal refining operations and has recently entered a 10-year off-take agreement with Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy for the entire output of the mine’s nickel and cobalt production at market prices.

Recovery of uranium enhances sales

In February 2010 Talvivaara Mining announced that it was planning to initiate the recovery and exploitation of uranium, obtained as a by-product of other metals in the form of a uranium intermediate known as ‘yellow cake’. The recovery will be achieved through its main leaching process by using safe and technically simple solvent extraction processes, which are currently widely applied to metals recovery operations. The planned investment in the new

solvent extraction plant was estimated at €30 million with annual production costs expected to be around €2 million set against an annual production volume considered to be 350 tons. Talvivaara’s CEO, Pekka Pera said at the time of the announcement, “The current project looks at exploiting valuable metals present in our ore body by-products as provided by the Finnish mining legislation. The development of our solvent extraction method demonstrates the innovative skills of our internal team and our partner organisations and is a perfect fit with our strategy of carefully recovering precious and useful substances from our ore.” Following on from its commitment to make a significant investment in this area, Talvivaara mining has successfully recovered uranium in the form of ‘yellow cake’ from its ore byproducts. This success subsequently led to a

major agreement with Cameco Corporation, a major international uranium producer based in Saskatoon, Canada in February 2011. The Cameco Corporation is one of the world’s largest producers of uranium and its products are used to generate ‘clean’ electricity in nuclear energy installations around the world. Cameco will continue to provide technical assistance to Talvivaara Mining in the design, construction and commissioning and operation of the uranium extraction circuit to be constructed at Talvivaara’s Sotkamo mine. Under the terms of the agreement, Camaco will provide an up-front investment of up to €60 million to cover the construction costs of the uranium extraction facility. The up-front funding for the project means that the company will not risk diluting its strong balance sheet and the sale of its uranium products worldwide will provide a solid, additional revenue stream for the company.

Pera commented, “We are delighted that the second production line has been brought on stream as planned, after a smooth and successful commissioning process. This is a crucial milestone in our ramp-up and gives us the much needed capacity to take our production volumes to their planned levels and strengthens Talvivaara’s position as a growing base producer of increasing global significance.” The company’s current focus remains on the ramp-up to its target of 50,000 tons per annum nickel production rate at the Talvivaara mine. However, the company will continue to assess options to deliver long-term value to shareholders through further organic growth of its assets at its Sotkamo mine. Talvivaara’s unique and proven ‘bioheapleaching’ technology and its large resource base, makes production expansion at Talvivaara a preferred strategic option for the company.

Second production line lifts sales

New zinc streaming project

In the second half of 2010 Talvivaara Mining successfully commissioned a second production line at its metals recovery plant for zinc sulphide precipitation. This was followed by the production of nickel sulphide precipitation a week later and reached its full capacity expectations within a few months of commencing operations.

delivered. This amount is the equivalent to approximately 2 million tonnes of zinc concentrate at a grade of 65 per cent. Based upon Talvivaara’s projections, the company expects to ramp up production to around 90,000 tons per annum of ‘Zinc in Concentrate’ by 2012 with deliveries occurring over a period of between 10 to 15 years. Talvivaara Mining is in good company with Nystar NV. The company is a leading, global multi-metals business, producing significant quantities of zinc and lead, as well as other precious metals such as silver, gold and copper. Nystar is listed on the NYSE Euronext Brussels under the symbol NYR. Talvivaara Mining is listed on the London stock exchange main market and Nasdaq OMX Helsinki and is n included in the FTSE 250 Index.

Early in 2010, Talvivaara Mining entered into a long-term ‘Zinc in Concentrate Streaming Agreement’ with Nystar NV in line with its strategic guidance document delivered in 2009. Under the terms of the agreement, Talvivaara Mining will deliver all its ‘Zinc in Concentrate’ production to Nystar until a total of 1,250,000 metric tonnes has been Industry Europe 159


OF MAGNETITE LKAB is an international high-tech minerals group and the only major producer of iron ore in Europe. Philip Yorke talked to Per-Erik Lindvall, LKAB’s business development director, about the company’s new iron ore fields and its ongoing investment in high-grade pellets for blast furnaces.

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KAB was founded in 1890, however the company’s history dates back to the 1660s when the first known samples of Gallivare ore were discovered in the mountains of Kiirunavaara and Luossavaara in northern Sweden. Iron ore mining has driven the development of this remote area from a sparsely populated mountain region to a modern industrialised conurbation. LKAB has also invested millions of euro’s to improve road and rail links to the harbour at Narvik, Norway, as well as to its harbour at Lulea in Sweden. A new terminal structure for Kiruna has also been completed with loading of ore trains at surface level achieved via two high storage silos and a new receiving facility for additives. In addition, in January 2006 the company began building a new harbour facility that included an extensive storage and discharging centre with additional underground silos constructed in Narvik. The entirely new harbour facility in Narvick was commissioned and inaugurated in 2009. Today LKAB serves iron ore markets in North Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. The company’s industrial minerals are sold

mainly in Europe, but also to growing markets in Asia and the USA. LKAB has around 3700 employees, of which 600 are located outside Sweden.

Three divisions, one mission

The company has three key divisions: the mining division, the minerals division and the special businesses division. The mission for all three is to deliver high quality, upgraded iron ore products and services that create added value for its customers. LKAB’s mining division creates products that make hot metal production more efficient. Lindvall said, “Extracting iron ore from hard rock has its disadvantages; however, our Magnetite SE Fe3O4 iron ore provides more oxygen at source than the alternative Hematite SE Fe2O3, which is more commonly mined elsewhere. We have developed our facilities for the production of iron ore pellets and we see this as our fastest growing market for the future. “Blast furnace managers prefer our high grade magnetite ore in this form as it offers greater efficiency and much lower CO2 emissions. In fact LKAB’s green pel-

lets from magnetite are eight times more efficient than Hematite products when it comes to emissions. This is a major product advantage with the increasing focus on sustainability and global warming. What’s more, we are the only major iron ore producer in Europe and the second biggest in the world when it comes to manufacturing pellets. Currently we are producing more than 26 million tons of Iron ore products per year and this figure is growing year on year.” Today, pellets account for more than 80 per cent of LKAB’s ore sales and represent the company’s most upgraded iron ore product. The LKAB minerals division produces and markets selected minerals, which are adapted to suit a customer’s specific requirements. At the present time, LKAB’s high grade minerals include magnetite, olivine, mica and huntite. For the company’s special businesses division the overall strategy is to support the group’s activities by contributing to improving efficiency and technical development and, where appropriate, it will also develop business outside the parameters of LKAB. Industry Europe 161

Expanding global operations

Since the late 1980s LKAB has run an office in Singapore to promote sales of its iron ore products in Asia. However the company’s main focus today is ChiLindvall explained. “We have traditionally focused on serving our local European markets, but we learned some valuable lessons during the economic downturn when demand for steel in Europe slowed dramatically. We realised that we could no longer rely on the European steel market and had to look to the emerging markets of Asia and in particular China. “We have always had a good understanding of the Chinese market and we sent sales delegates to China to see potential customers. The demand for steel in China is growing exponentially and we now have

Per-Erik Lindvall, LKAB’s business development director

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established a strong presence there. We are also developing our sales networks in Africa and South America as well as in our other established export markets. Looking at the global picture, Europe is still by far our biggest market, with Germany leading the way in terms of sales. Our combined export markets represent around 80 per cent of our overall sales. Our strategy over the next three to five years therefore is to increase our sales volume from today’s 26 Mtpa to 35-40 Mtpa.”

Strengthening expertise through investment

LKAB’s strategy is to maintain its commitment to research and development to become the world leader in the pelletisation

of iron ore. To this end, LKAB invested in an entirely new research facility at Malmberget known as the AggloLab. Future plans also include an experimental pelletising plant (EPP) and together with the existing experimental blast furnace at Lulea, will provide unique conditions for developing processes and products for the future. In addition LKAB has provided a 100 million Kroner donation to the Hjalmar Lundbohm research centre for mining and metallurgy at Lulea University. Activities involve three main areas; sustainable ore production, intelligent pellets and new products. Ten different research projects have already begun and these are conducted in close collaboration with the university’s and LKAB’s own research departments. n

TAKING THE FLOOR Carpet, carpet tile and artificial turf manufacturer Desso centres its philosophy around continuous innovation through creativity, functionality and Cradle to Cradle®. Abigail Saltmarsh reports.

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esso – a leading European manufacturer of carpets, carpet tiles and artificial grass - has always been known for the quality of its products and its commitment to customers, but now the company is moving forward with an even sharper focus on its major objectives. Chief Commercial Officer Alexander Collot d’Escury said that, 80 years after the company was founded, it had identified an exciting and challenging new direction as a Cradle to Cradle® company. “It is very simple,” he said. “We are looking for operational excellence in everything we do – including sales, marketing and customer service. We need to keep asking ourselves whether added value is more than added cost.” He went on: “Our innovation strategy is centered around three pillars; creativity, functionality and ‘Cradle to Cradle®’. We are

also looking at geographical expansion in Latin America and Asia, as well as channel expansion in healthcare and education. The Cradle to Cradle® concept was developed by the German chemist Dr. Michael Braungart and the US architect William McDonough. The concept requires that companies produce their products using ingredients that are safe for human use and can – after their useful life - be easily disassembled for endless reuse within the technical or biological cycles.

Moving forward

Desso’s history goes back to 1930 when a Belgian manufacturer first started producing woven carpets in Oss, the Netherlands, for residential and commercial applications. Nine years later, ownership was transferred

and the name of the company changed to Tapijtfabriek H Desseaux. Desso was introduced as a brand name in the early 1950s, and in 1960 two other companies, located in Dendermonde and Waasmunster, also became part of Desso. In 1993, it was acquired by DLW (Deutsche Linoleum Werke) and removed from the stock exchange. Five years later, it was taken over by Armstrong World Industries Inc. Desso became independent again in April 2007 after a management buyout by the current team at its helm, together with NPM Capital, a Dutch investment company. Today, the company is headed by CEO Stef Kranendijk, together with Chief Financial Officer Tom Francken, Chief Operations Officer Pierre van Trimpont and Chief Commercial Officer Alexander Collot d’Escury.

Prestigious customers

Approximately 80 per cent of Desso’s production is carpet while the remaining 20 per cent is artificial grass, including an innovative combination of artificial and real grass, explains Mr Collot d’Escury. Of the carpet production, half is business carpets and about 88 per cent of that is carpet tiles. Just over 20 per cent of all Desso’s carpet sales comprise residential carpeting, mainly for the Benelux, Germany, Switzerland and France areas. Desso Hospitality, Marine & Aviation (HMA) is an integrated design and manufacturing company, specialising in the production of custom-made carpet products for the hospitality, marine and aviation markets. In aviation, it supplies companies such as such as Virgin Atlantic Airways, KLM and Transavia with revolutionary products including the lightweight DESSO FuelMaster®, whilst in marine it supplies prestigious cruise liners and ferry operators such as Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Within the hospitality segment, Desso has developed a reputation for supplying five star hotels such as Four Seasons, the Waldorf Astoria, Hilton and Sheraton, as well as privately owned hotels and guesthouses.

Stronger roots

Desso Sports Systems is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of sport pitches for soccer, hockey, tennis, American football, rugby and multi-purpose uses. Mr Collot d’Escury said the company supplies across all major sporting areas and to leading clubs. “As well as our artificial grass, we have a fantastic innovation where we can inject artificial yarns into real grass: DESSO GrassMaster. The concept is that the roots grow deep, around the artificial yarns, making the pitch so much stronger,” he said. “We have already installed this at world class stadiums such as Wembley, and at a number of clubs including Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC, Real Madrid and the Green Bay Packers.”

Major innovation

Innovation is present across all areas. Desso has initiated their ‘Circles of Architects®’ platform, which allows them to work closely with leading architects, designers and other specialists in order to anticipate trends and test the textures, colours, patterns and concepts of new products whilst still in the development stage. It also focuses on functionality and has welcomed research that proves that carpet is better for those who suffer from asthma and dust allergies due to it’s ability to

remove fine dust from the air. “With that insight, we have developed the DESSO AirMaster®. This uses patented technology that sees very thin yarns trap and hold on to fine dust,” he said. “This results in eight times less fine dust in the air than with a hard floor, and four times less than with a standard carpet. We have seen interest in this product from health-conscious environments such as care centres and hospitals, but also from commercial offices who seek to reduce the incidence of illness among their staff. It is also ideal for high traffic environments such as airports and schools.” Other innovations include the lightweight airline carpets that dramatically reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions, DESSO FuelMaster, and carpets with specially designed acoustic backing that have sound reduction properties, DESSO SoundMaster®. The company’s ‘Cradle to Cradle®’ strategy is key to stimulating innovation, explained Mr Collot d’Escury. In fact, it was Desso’s radical decision to move beyond ‘mere’ sustainability in producing its carpets and artificial grass, to make fundamental and sweeping advances in its already impressive environmental credentials. “CO2 emissions have been reduced by 41 per cent since 2008, at our production facilities in Waalwijk, the Netherlands and Den-

Dow “The flooring industry is facing ever growing sustainability challenges. At Dow, we develop new products and provide innovative solutions that help our customers and the industry to address these challenges. We are proud to have played an important role in the development of Desso’s innovative EcoBase® carpet tile backing, bringing the Cradle to Cradle® principle to life. This is a great example showing how working together can drive novel innovations.” Enrique Torres, Dow Market Manager Flooring

dermonde, Belgium. We are also using 100 per cent renewable electricity (hydropower) at our production locations in Waalwijk, The Netherlands and Dendermonde, Belgium,” he said. “We continually reuse and recycle our water and when we have finished with it, it goes back cleaner than it was when we first had it.” However, this ‘eco-efficiency’ was not enough for Desso, and they have chosen to become ‘eco-effective’ with their Cradle to Cradle® strategy.

The complete picture

Going ‘Cradle to Cradle®’ resulted in Desso embarking on a mammoth project to analyse, track and trace every single one of its components, ingredients and raw materials, looking at their production methods and toxicity. “After the analysis, we started work on replacing any ingredients that were not acceptable,” he said. EcoBase® is one of the resulting innovations from this Cradle to

Cradle® strategy: a revolutionary new backing which enabled the world’s first Cradle to Cradle® Silver Certification for a complete carpet tile product. The company has also set up a ‘Take BackTM’ programme where, at the end of its useful life, they will collect and recycle any carpet − whether from Desso or from other carpet producers (providing it does not contain PVC). These carpets are then recycled within Desso’s own production processes, and re-used as raw materials for new products, therefore closing the loop of the Cradle to Cradle® technical cycle. He added: “Cradle to Cradle® is the future for us and we have seen a positive impact on the performance of our company as a whole, whereby despite the global economic crisis, we have seen an increase in turnover and profitability in this otherwise n declining market.”

FOCUSED INNOVATION FiberVisions has the broadest global reach of any polyolefin staple fibre producer but the global company continues to look for strong growth through innovation, finding new applications and continuing to push into new markets. Abigail Saltmarsh reports.

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ccording to Karena Cancilleri, global hygiene director of US-based FiberVisions , the company has a strong advantage over its competitors that will stand it in good stead as it moves forward into the future. She said FiberVisions was already a world leader in polyolefin and bicomponent fibres, and had built a solid platform from which to grow further. “Once we have a good idea or a great product, we can internationalise it. That brings us competitive advantage,” she said. “When you look back over the years, you can see that we have grown consistently each year – even during the recession. This is due to the fact that we have a wide range of products and our target is to have more than 35 per cent of revenues coming from new products.” She added: “That is a pretty aggressive target to have but it means we are continually looking for new products and applications. We would like to be able to achieve a growth of between five and ten percent per year.”

polyolefin fibres for nonwovens in hygiene, textile and industrial applications. Its fibres are used in nonwovens made by carding, wet lay and air laid web formation processes and consolidated by thermal bonding, air through bonding, needle punching and spun lacing. The low density of the fibres allows users to either make a nonwoven fabric in the same weight range as competing fibres but with improved coverage, or to make a fabric in a lighter weight range, but with the same coverage and lower material costs. PP fibres give nonwovens with high tensile strength, possess excellent resistance to chemicals, and can be made with a broad range of elongation properties. The bicomponent fibres allow customers to manufacture nonwoven fabrics without using any chemical binders. Bicomponent fibres can also be heat sealable, laminatable to polyolefin-based materials without any binders, and heat mouldable.

A major producer

Different markets

FiberVisions is the world’s largest producer of polyolefin and bicomponent staple fibres. It develops, manufactures and markets 170 Industry Europe

“Our products go to a variety of different markets including the hygiene, textile, automotive and construction industries,”

said Mrs Cancilleri. “We are present in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, and are growing in all those places.” She added: “FiberVisions was born as a hygiene company and hygiene still represents an important part of our business.”

A history

The operation began, in fact, as a joint venture between the fibres division of Hercules Incorporated and the Danaklon group of Jacob Holm and Sons A/S of Denmark in 1997. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Hercules in 1998 when Jacob Holm and Sons sold its interest. It entered into the bicomponent fibres business in 2000 with the formation of ES FiberVisions, a joint venture with Chisso Corporation of Japan (now called JNC Corporation since 1 April, 2011). In 2006, Hercules sold a controlling interest in the company to Snow Phipps Group, LLC (SPG), a private equity firm based in New York City. SPG subsequently acquired the entire company and the transaction has provided FiberVisions with the financial backing to fund additional growth. Today the company has manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China

and, through its joint venture partners, in Japan and South America. It also has marketing and sales support in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, North America and South America.

Ongoing development

FiberVisions has a long history of innovation, said Mrs Cancilleri. “We want to support industry through growth and expansion,” she said. “We have technical staff in Europe, the USA and Asia, and we like to work with the most innovation companies and industry leaders.”

The aim, she stressed, with new product development is to look for improvements in efficiency and for product enhancement. “We have responded to our customers’ needs by developing finer denier fibres that allow the reduction of weight and can enhance products for those customers that want to develop products with a higher softness grade,” she said. She added: “Other issues for innovation include sustainability. We have recently developed biodegradable bicomponent fibres, which we launched at the Index 2011 World Fair in April.”

Positive future

Mrs Cancilleri said these new developments would take the company forward towards growth in new markets. Meanwhile, it would also look for expansion in its existing markets. “Our target of five to ten per cent growth is pretty aggressive but if possible we would like to grow above GDP. Finding new applications will be the driver for this,” she said. And she added: “We are looking very positively towards the future. We see possibilities for organic growth but we will also be looking into the possibility of mergers and acquisitions as well.” n Industry Europe 173

BOARDER APPEAL Dansk Kabel TV A/S is a strong market player in the provision of networks and communications solutions in many segments of the Danish domestic market. Philip Yorke talked to Flemming Hynkemejer, Dansk Kabel’s CEO, about the company’s broad range of innovative telecoms products and installation services and its strategy for future growth.


ansk Kabel TV’s roots can be traced back to the very earliest days of the cable network (CATV) industry in the late 1960s. Dansk Kabel TV is a fully owned subsidiary of the Danish incumbent telco operator TDC A/S, which is one of the top-performing players in the European telecoms market with a range of comprehensive installation services and products. Dansk Kabel TV operates in two key product areas: building cable and telecommunications networks on various technologies for MDUs (multiple dwelling units), landlords or antenna associations and in providing telecommunications services such as broadband and VoIP products. The company has a customer base of around 400 MDUs and associations and covers more than 400,000 households. 174 Industry Europe

Dansk Kabel TV is an integral part of the Danish TDC Group, which offers services ranging from the provision of telephony, Internet, TV and data communications, as well as integrated hosting solutions and related content services. In 2010 the TDC Group recorded sales of more than DDK 26 billion.

A broadening product portfolio

Dansk Kabel has always been committed to providing excellent customer service, based on innovation and to extending its range of customer services. Mr Hynkemejer said, “As such we were one of the first operators to launch VoIP services on cable networks almost seven years ago and, as part of our ongoing investment programme, in May 2010 we

developed and extended our product portfolio to cover more services towards MDUs; these new services include surveillance and security products, as well as facility management and electricity and consultancy services. In addition we have engaged in a cooperation with a capital chain in order to install TV sets etc into people’s private homes. These new services are backedup by our nationwide field force which covers Denmark in full via our eight key, regional offices. The revenues for these new business areas comprised 10 per cent of the total 2010 turnover with only eight months of operation. “One of the big challenges in our industry is to maintain labour force, i.e. skills and competencies, with fluctuating demand. Compared to

2009, 2010 has been smaller with respect to installation business in the market, and this is the same for DKTV. Fortunately we have been able to raise both skills and productivity during 2010, providing increased efficiency with a decreased workforce.

Customer demands

To understand customer demands it is necessary to understand the background of these voluntarily associations. The foundation of this dates back to 1820s where NFS Grundtvig (a Danish cultural beacon) developed his ideas to develop the

backward peasant culture through adult education and cooperative spirit. This spirit formed Denmark and Scandinavia into societies where all kinds of associations grew up, e.g high schools, leisure, sports, and thus into accommodation and local cable networks. The idea is to add benefits for the society as well as the individual, while building on the community (and in this case add purchasing power into the equation). A typical association consists of 100 to 1000 households (members), a network and a board (5–10 of local residents) managing on behalf of all members.

“The use of telco/cable networks has changed dramatically over the past 10 years,” Mr Hynkemejer adds and continues “some 10 years ago cable networks included plain TV services only, and if things were really up to speed, maybe digital TV services such as highpay channels. These days a standard cable network offer include – TV (analogue and digital), services-ondemand (music, feature films, gaming and program archives, etc), broadband and telephony, and this requires a lot more planning for network capacity, spectrum allocations and future network buildouts. This is where Dansk Kabel TV really adds value to

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network owners, in order to secure a long-term plan and all time stable operation. Recently we invested heavily in new central network equipment in order to expand our broadband capacity in the network, as well as in new cars in order to add capacity, for example in fibreoptic cars. We have long-standing relationships with our many local associations, some of which have lasted for more than 30 years. It is important to understand that in the last five years technology and market forces have changed dynamics more than in the previous 25 years. With heavy turbulence in technology and market forces, it is vital for customer and supplier relationships for associations to make the right decisions.”

Consolidation follows acquisitions

As part of a strategy to gain an even greater share of its domestic market, Dansk Kabel TV embarked upon a series of acquisitions. In 2010 the company merged four Danish

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telecommunications companies into Dansk Kabel TV A/S A+, Telelet, Connectpartner and Fascom. This was part of a strategy to extend and broaden the service offerings of the company and to boost the customer base. Mr Hynkemejer added, “In 2011 we will be merging ‘Nordit A/S’, which is a minor regional internet service provider in order to add to our domestic customer base. However, apart form this strategic move, we have no further plans for mergers or acquisitions in the near future.” The company continues to maintain the highest standards in delivering its telecoms systems to customers and relies on the latest Cisco equipment for its cable and broadband network infrastructures as well as Tyco and Cabelcon for fibre and cables and on leading local suppliers such as DKT for connection services.

Challenging the future

It is the ambition of Dansk Kabel TV and its parent company TDC to become

the best-performing telecom player in Europe by the year 2012, measured by value creation, customer satisfaction and employee pride in the company. Today the group is the leading Danish provider of a wide range of telecommunications solutions to the domestic market. In the other Nordic countries, the TDC Group is the main challenger in the diversified business market. “We wish therefore to maintain and extend our position through a sustained focus on the provision of telephony, Internet, TV and data communications as well as hosting solutions and services,” said a company spokesman. Furthermore, the company is determined to maintain a leading market position as the premium provider of communications solutions to the business sector customers in Denmark. Its focus is on improving customer satisfaction through continued simplification n and process optimisation.

VIRTUAL TESTING PARTNERS As pioneers in the field of virtual testing, Netherlands-based engineering consultancy Reden is able to make a valuable contribution to product development in a wide range of industries. Emma-Jane Batey interviewed the managing director, Marco Ezendam, to find out more.


ased in the city of Hengelo in the Netherlands, product testing consultancy Reden offers a range of sophisticated solutions to create virtual models of physical products and then test them to predict their performance. Using tools such as FEM, Abaqus, COMSOL and 20 Sim, the highly skilled teams at Reden can save clients a great deal of time and money by reducing the need for building real models to conduct preliminary tests. Reden, which stands for Research Development Nederland, is well-known as

a consultancy that is passionate, innovative and creative. Managing director Marco Ezendam embodies these qualities, and is keen to explain how Reden can benefit clients. He said, “Perhaps the most important part of my role is to engage with clients and potential clients by sharing with them how we can add value to their offer, while cutting their product development costs. Our impressive hub of modelling and simulation packages allows us to provide a clear, accurate prediction of how a product will behave, without the need to create a physical model

or prototype. It can be hard to explain the process, but I am pleased to say that we have an excellent repeat business and referral rate, which says an awful lot about the value of virtual testing.”

Understanding virtual testing

The virtual testing process starts with a detailed discussion with the client to understand more about the product the company wishes to test. The teams of technical and mechanical engineers at Reden are able to give clear, relevant suggestions that suit the product, even if the client is in the early stages of development. Mr Ezendam explained how the testing continues. He said, “Virtual testing is all about information. By understanding the design parameters of the client’s product, such as the dimensions of a new type of packaging, we can create a formula that transposes that information into a virtual product, which helps the client make informed choices about how the product will behave and any changes that are necessary to enhance its performance.” In practice, the experts at Reden collate the information from the discussions with

the client and then create a virtual product using their development skills and stateof-the-art software, and then see how it works. The very nature of virtual testing is to efficiently and effectively see how a product performs and behaves, so as many predictions as possible are required. The type of performance predictions that are possible using virtual testing can be used to save time and money, particularly within the product development phase, as it allows what could be costly design mistakes to be rectified well in advance of any volume of products being manufactured. Mr Ezendam continued, “We specialise in creating virtual testing for products that are hard to test in practice (for example artificial grass), or where a lot of tests are necessary to find an optimum (for example packaging). As you can imagine, it is expensive and time-consuming to make a prototype machine, for example, so a shorter amount of time spent creating a reliable virtual product simulation is incredibly useful.” The Reden virtual testing is particularly valued by the automotive, consumer goods, energy, medical, industrial equipment and aer-

onautical systems sectors, although the company is able to create a virtual testing simulator for any product. Mr Ezendam pointed out that virtual testing has far greater possibilities for assessing the behaviour of a product, so that even a costly prototype of the known dimensions of the product can be inputted into the software in order to gain information of what the optimum proportions would be for the entire product. This ensures that the product manufactured is ideally suited to its application, with any potential problems changed before ordering or setting up manufacture.

Building the business

Primarily focused on consumer products, Reden is working hard to build its business by introducing the potential of virtual testing to new clients. Mr Ezendam commented, “We have found that attending trade fairs doesn’t really work for us because virtual testing is such a client-specific business. We work directly with each individual client on their exact requirements and that can be in any industry, so we can’t really have a stand at every trade fair! But what we can do is collect a portfolio of testimonials and con-

tact new clients directly. I tend to research which companies or products would potentially benefit a great deal from our technical engineering capabilities and call them. It’s a very personal, proactive approach and it suits Reden perfectly.” The low staff turnover rate at Reden gives the company the added advantage of keeping all the expertise in-house, which certainly supports Reden’s reputation for technical excellence. The company has a close relationship with the nearby University of Twente, and has a high proportion of employees with MScs and PhDs, as well as a number of people that are adept communicators. Mr Ezendam explained how Reden is looking forward to a positive 2011 and beyond as it has plans to grow by

approaching companies outside of its traditional areas of activities, while still maintaining strong ties with its existing customers. With its ability to take away the issue of trial and error from product development,

Reden is keen to help as many companies as possible gain a better understanding of n their products.

SIMULIA SIMULIA is the Dassault Systèmes brand that delivers a scalable portfolio of Realistic Simulation solutions including the Abaqus product suite for Unified Finite Element Analysis, multiphysics solutions for insight into challenging engineering problems, and SIMULIA SLM for managing simulation data, processes, and intellectual property. By building on established technology, respected quality, and superior customer service, SIMULIA makes realistic simulation an integral business practice that improves product performance, reduces physical prototypes, and drives innovation.

HEALTHY PROGRESS As one of the world’s largest subcontractors to the pharmaceutical industry Texor AB has built up a formidable production capability that can meet the most stringent requirements, particularly thanks to its growing cooperation with associate company Zetterströms. EmmaJane Batey spoke to senior managers from both companies to find out more.


he Texor Group is one of the world’s leading subcontractors for the provision of chromatography columns for the biotechnology industry and also an important name in subcontracting and system supplies for the life science industry. The Group posted a turnover of SEK 210m in 2010 and currently has 80 employees. It includes Texor AB and Zetterströms Rostfria AB, based in Lycksele and Molkom, Sweden, respectively, with the two companies enjoying an increasingly strong cooperation that is proving beneficial to both companies and their customers. Josef Alenius, production manager at Texor AB, told Industry Europe how the company’s recent cooperation is already delivering results. He said, “Texor bought Zetterströms four years ago, so our relationship with it is relatively new. It was a strategic decision to acquire Zetterströms

because its skill set and experience perfectly complements Texor AB, as Texor is purely a subcontractor and Zetterströms has its own sophisticated design and production departments.” It is these two balancing provisions that have seen Texor and Zetterströms step up their commercial focus in the past six months in particular. Mr Alenius explained that the partnership is good for customers of both companies because it ensures a smoother total service provision from experts in each field working together on one solution.

Meeting the highest standards

Dan Kullgren, sales engineering manager from Zetterströms, agrees. He added, “Our core business is manufacturing pharmaceutical tanks of the very highest standard, particularly pressure vessels for pharma

manufacturing applications. We excel in designing and creating jacketed pressure vessels with a high demand for documentation and traceability of all materials that come into contact with them. It makes sense that Zetterströms’ technical excellence blends well with the high-quality subcontracting experience of Texor, and we have found that this cooperation has allowed us to continue building our business at the very highest competency level.” The reason that the collaboration between Texor and Zetterströms has been boosted in the past six months is because of a change of management, with the managing director of Texor now also holding the same position at both companies. Mr Alenius continued, “The director of the sales team has also changed, and we have utilised this new opportunity to sell the whole package to our customers.

Carlsson & Möller Swedish masters in engineering plastics Plastic means opportunity. By replacing metal components with plastic ones, products can be made smaller, lighter and more flexible. Carlsson & Möller was an early pioneer in plastics. Established in 1948, today it’s one of Sweden’s leading plastics companies with specialist knowledge of engineering plastics, including expertise in the food, pharmaceuticals, wood, mechanical engineering and heavy industry sectors. “By starting with functionality instead of strict technical requirements, we give products new properties and possibilities,” says Marketing Director, Gunnar Ravika. To ensure optimum quality, all materials and products are classified, approved and traceable with certificates of origin in line with EN 10 204, the EU Directive 2002/72 EC, Germany’s BfR, the FDA Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR), USP VI and 3A Dairy.

We have found that we are working together on larger enquires than we have handled previously and our teams are relishing the chance to prove their extensive capabilities in technical applications.”

over the past 18 months that has seen us build other potentially mutually beneficial working relationships, so although the client names are currently confidential, we are confident of the future.”

mechanism is what characterizes column chromatography, with Texor’s subcontracting capabilities able to add value to competitive projects.

Staying close to the customer

Active in growing markets

Mr Alenius explained that the Texor Group’s aim for the future is to boost its market position by continuing to enhance its knowledge base across the company, and to utilise the exciting opportunities from its activities with Zetterströms. He said, “The two companies together deliver a great complete package for our customers and we are steadily meeting the most stringent customer demands. We have also discussed the possibility of further acquisitions with the clear purpose of adding process knowledge to our skills portfolio, especially as we are already at the top of our game in design and production thanks to our experience and the capabilities of Zetterströms.” n

With Texor working to be able to reach customers more directly, Mr Alenius pointed out that the company has no conflict of interest as it does not produce any of its own products, but can supply Zetterströms-produced equipment if required. Texor has built up a strong long-term relationship with its largest client, GE Healthcare, and the company is continuously working to develop and increase its cooperation. Mr Alenius said, “GE Healthcare is very important to us and we are dedicated to maintaining and enhancing our working relationship wherever possible. We have also embarked on a customer development programme

Texor primarily subcontracts for customers in Asia, with GE Healthcare also using the company for inspecting and testing products before delivery. Most Texor deliveries are destined for Korea, China or India, although its US markets are growing steadily too, with Mr Alenius explaining that Singapore is widely considered to be the global HQ of the medical production industry, particularly for insulinrelated equipment. Texor’s chromatography columns are closely connected to insulin production as they are used to purify individual chemical compounds from mixtures of compounds. This technologically advanced separation

Ready for the future

ENGINEERING EXPERTISE The TBP Group provides engineering services for the paper and pulp and related industries. Abigail Saltmarsh reports


he Austria-based TBP Group is looking ahead to a solid future with development in wood-related areas and hopes of expansion into new geographical markets. Thomas Wimmer, who recently took over as one of the group’s new managing directors, said engineering services-focused TBP was planning to take on more skilled members of staff in order to cope with expected increased demand for its services in the future. “At the moment, we are expanding in our wood and wood-related industries and we have some good developments in Europe. For example, we are developing some new relationships with new clients in wood for furniture,” he said.

Pulp and paper

The group has traditionally focused on engineering consultancy for industries concerned with pulp and paper, Mr Wimmer explained. It takes on independent consulting and deals with tasks of general planning for paper mills and suppliers. It assists customers as a partner from the first planning concept throughout the commissioning of the investment project and provides international customers with a diversity of tools permitting individual planning of investment projects. Pulp production and processing has always been one of the commercial foundation stones of TBP. Especially the sulphite

process on the basis of magnesium was a milestone in the development of TBP. Several pulp mills were equipped with a patented sulphite recovery. However, TBP is also experienced in the sulphate process. It has supported sulphate pulp mills in being refitted to ECF/TCF bleaching and has carried out comprehensive engineering tasks for the erection of new mills. The group is also working on the implementation of a new steam turbine into the existing steam distribution system of a pulp mill in Austria. The project is seeing it working on detail engineering for piping systems for the entire steam plant (steam turbine, reduction and distribution, cooling water, auxiliaries), as well as stress analysis, calculation of piping components, the preparation of pipe classes and structural steel engineering.

New markets

Founded approximately 60 years ago, and based in Linz, TBP also designs industrial plants for the energy and environmental industries. “We also work with related industries, such as the drinking water industry, chemical industries and petrochemical,” Mr Wimmer explained. He added that with the development of the pulp and paper industry being up and down over a period of five years, the group had seen

the necessity for spreading itself out into new markets: “The last two years have seen us focus on this as our main strategy,” he added. Recent projects have seen TBP work on the erection of a glue factory in Radauti, Romania, for Fritz Egger GmbH and CoKG, St Johann in Tirol, Austria. This has a planned start-up date in 2011 and saw the group work on civil guide arrangement, cable tray, tank guide and piping drawings, as well as stress analysis, isometrics and material reports. It also supplied support drawings, worked on procurement engineering for mechanical erection and looked at erection engineering.

Based in Europe

Today, the group’s companies include TBP Engineering GmbH, TBP Interprojekt Sp z.o.o., TBP Paperconsult GmbH, TBP Environmental Consult GmbH and TBP UPCON GmbH. At the group’s headquarters in Linz, some 60 people are employed. TBP also has an operation with 30 more members of staff in Poland, which started as a joint venture, and owns 50 per cent of a German business. “Our main market will remain the European area,” said Mr Wimmer. “We are strongly focused on the German-speaking market but also see development in eastern Europe and Russia.”

But the group has also been looking at projects in China and other areas of Asia. These are through a network of European supplier companies. “We will follow these up if possible,” he stressed. “We are also trying to make connections in North America, cooperating with supplier companies in this area.” One of these could see TBP becoming involved in a project in New York. If this comes off it could be a first step into a new geographical market.”

More diversification

In India, for example, TBP is currently working as a subcontractor for DCPL (Development Consultants Pvt Ltd, India) working on a project for Hindustan Paper. This involves the modernisation and technological upgrade of Assam pulp and paper mills. The planning contract is focusing on conceptual engineering for the rebuild of two pulp and paper mills in the federal state Assam, basic engineering and procurement assistance. The pulp bleaching will be adapted to a more environmentally-friendly technology and the paper production will also be enlarged. “I do think we will see more diversification in our business in the future,” said Mr Wimmer. “As well as working on the larger projects we will work with more suppliers on smaller n projects in different areas.”

PUMPING IT UP With nearly 80 years of success behind it, SKS-Germany is looking forward to a high tech future in high quality pumps. Abigail Saltmarsh reports


or nearly 80 years now, SKS-Germany has been exciting the market with its ground-breaking solutions, delivering pumps for the bicycle market and branching out into other complementary areas. Today, says CEO Michael Beste, the company (also active in the automotive business with parts and devices made of plastic and aluminium) is focusing on ever more high tech products and production as part of its plans for expansion. “Our strategy is to go over to high tech products and production. We want to grow more in the bicycle market and high technology is therefore needed.” he said. 190 Industry Europe

A long history

SKS-Germany’s history dates back to 1921, when Karl Scheffer-Klute founded the company in Sundern, Germany. Pump production first began in 1932 and the company’s key break-through was marked by the first manufacturing of plastic pumps in 1956. Until the beginning of the 90s, mass production for the OEM market dominated the product range. In peak years, up to 50,000 pumps were delivered per day. Today, highquality mini pumps and floor pumps as well as special pumps for ambitious bikers dominate the pump portfolio.

In 1983, the company bought the traditional British brand Bluemels and an entrance into the mudguard segment was made. In 1988, large-scale production of extruded mudguards began. Later on, after taking over the ESGEproduction, these became known as Chromoplastics, a worldwide reference for mudguards.

New pumps

By the 80s and 90s, SKS had, in fact, become a market leader and volume supplier of OEM air pumps, supplying 90 countries worldwide. As many as 50,000 pumps

were rolling off the production line in the fully-automated Sundern plant every day. With the development of the first quickrelease dirtboard-sets for mountain bikes (Shockboard and X-Tra Dry) in 1999, SKS then became a pioneer and market leader in this fast growing segment for accessories. By the turn of the millennium, however, the shift from volume pump supply to high-end after- sales products with a new brand positioning had been completed. With this strategic reorientation of the company, SKS Germany became a sponsor and supplier to successful athletes and professional teams and innovative suspension pumps were introduced in response to new technological concepts, such as the suspension systems in MTB sports. New, extremely rugged, compact MTB pumps, which became the market standard in function and design, made SKS Germany the favourite among mountain bikers. In fact, six times in a row, the readers of Mountain Bike magazine voted SKS Germany as the best brand in the air pump category. In 2003, the production of compact bike tools was introduced as an additional

192 Industry Europe

product division for the aftermarket and then, in 2006, highly innovative chain guards.


The introduction of ground-breaking new products has always been key to SKS Germany’s success, said Mr Beste. “We have recently introduced a new mini pump for which we were awarded the iF Design Award 2011. SKS was given the award for its Diago mini pump. The pump was able to win over the panel of judges with its design, a combination of polished aluminium and shiny plastic.” The streamlined mini pump combines design and function. The use of high quality materials gives it a classy look. The handle lock ensures the pump fits securely in the frame mount. This highperformance pump reaches 10bar/144psi and was designed to be the perfect companion for road bike enthusiasts.

Potential for growth

SKS-Germany sees its products used all over the world but its main customer base is in Europe. The group has a subsidiary in the US and Russia is a growing market.

“We are also starting production in China,” said Mr Beste. “Production there will be for the Chinese market.” He continued: “We are planning to invest in injection moulding machines and measurement machines. This will be completed later in 2012 at a cost of €4 million.” SKS metaplast, together with Blomus GmbH and Schött Druckguss GmbH, currently employs 750 people and sees an annual turnover of €90 million. Mr Beste said it was looking for growth of about 10 to 15 per cent year on year. “We do believe there is potential for growth through high technology and automation,” he said. “We want to grow at a steady rate.” n

Industry Europe 193


EVVA is a European market leader in locking and security technologies. Philip Yorke talked to Rainer Kindelmann, sales director for EVVA in Austria and managing director of EVVA Sicherheitssysteme GmbH about the company’s latest products and how it is meeting the security challenges of tomorrow.


VVA was founded in Austria in 1919 and remains a privately owned family company. Today it is a European brand leader in the design and manufacture of both mechanical and electronic security systems. The company has its headquarters in Vienna and employs more than 800 people, 500 of which are located in Austria. In addition, the company has subsidiaries in twelve countries and is represented further through a network of dedicated distributors located in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

In 2010, EVVA acquired Sibersa AG of Switzerland, a leading Swiss safety and security company, which is now known as EVVA Switzerland AG. The company is also active in Asia but remains focussed on its core markets in Europe, where it anticipates further organic growth. Last year it recorded sales of approximately €100 million.

Increasing demand for system integration

System integration offers the greatest scope for future growth and is the largest market

sector out of EVVA’s three strategic business areas of operation. Private security for the protection of private houses and apartments is another key area, followed closely by commercial property and security. This is where the company provides tailor-made solutions to achieve the most effective and cost-effective outcomes for industry. In addition, EVVA offer a range of consultancy services based upon its well known trinity principle; comfort, organisation and security. Each EVVA security solution takes these three principles into account, which can be Industry Europe 195

translated as system integration, security technology, security surveillance technology and security locking technology. Kindelmann said, “Integrated mechanical and electrical access systems offer us real opportunities for growth, especially in areas such as civil construction, hotels and education and healthcare, where our integrated technology can be used to best advantage. “For example in private parking bays we can introduce a system where our predetermined number plate recognition sys196 Industry Europe

tem will allow staff to park without the risk of losing the space to unauthorised personnel. In schools and colleges we can organise electronic systems that enhance the multifunctional use of the buildings, so that different user groups can enjoy specific facilities after school hours for such activities as use of the gymnasium, chemistry labs or music rooms etc. All other areas can be locked and secured at the touch of a screen. “The consumer market is also growing with an increasing demand for integrated

systems. Private households are demanding more sophisticated solutions such as integrated surveillance systems that can be connected to their PC and put on the same software platform as that used for opening garage doors for example.” Kindelmann went on to say “Furthermore, we differentiate ourselves by being the ultimate quality brand at the top end of the market that guarantees the highest quality products with the lowest returns. This is backed up by short reaction times to

demands from all our core business markets. We have also been meticulous about keeping records of all our products from the very beginning, which means that if a customer requires a part or a replacement to a lock produced 75 years ago, then we can provide a perfect replacement, as we still maintain the old manufacturing processes and machinery. However, I believe that the biggest difference between us and our competitors is our ability to provide a complete and comprehensive range of services, including evaluation, maintenance and calculations services.”

ICS technology driving sales

EVVA’s latest ICS technology is setting new standards in comfort, security and safety wherever it is employed. The ICS (Inner Code System) reversible key system provides the ultimate protection against unauthorised entry thanks to a unique combination of three different ‘blocking’ technol198 Industry Europe

ogies. These are the specially shaped, hardwearing length profile, the time-tested curve system, which scans locking authorisation and the advanced pin-system. This greatly improved system consists of concealed inner recesses on the ICS key body, which is a unique feature not found anywhere else in the world. As a result, it is almost impossible to manufacture unauthorised duplicate sets of keys. In addition, local authorisation is determined by a total of 13 spring loaded blocking pins set in three rows, as well as by the specially shaped length profile. The benefits of EVVA’s three-way blocking technology is foolproof copying protection, due to the concealed scanning features on the key, its modular design and optimum wear resistance thanks to the use of hardened and resistant components. Furthermore, each ICS locking system is unique. Kindelmann added, “We manufacture and quality control everything in-house and can send electronic parts to our assembly

plants throughout our geographic operational regions, which will arrive within 48 hours of ordering. Our advanced security locks are complex pieces of technology and can have more than 160 working parts, even more than a Swiss watch.”

Advancing door security

The need for improved security has never been greater than it is today. EVVA has developed a unique security system for doors which offers the freedom to change authorisations instantly and react quickly when a key is lost or stolen. This ground-breaking new device is called the ‘e-primo’ configurator. The EVVA ‘e-primo’ will fit exactly into the cylinder where the current lock is located if it needs to be replaced. With its intelligent interaction of technology and an advanced memory function embedded into its cylinder, the ‘e-primo’ now offers all the latest benefits of electronic access to a house, apartment or n business building.


FROM FINLAND Olvi Oyj is a major Finnish brewery, and produces many successful beers as well as cider, mineral water, and soft drinks. Joseph Altham caught up with Olli Heikkilä, Olvi’s Brand and Communications Director, to find out about a company that has pursued a policy of expansion while preserving its distinctively Finnish identity.

Mr Heikki Hortling, Chairman of the Board


he town of Iisalmi lies on the shores of Lake Porovesi in eastern Finland. Olvi’s brewery was established in Iisalmi in 1878, and has remained there ever since. Olvi, whose distinctive barrel logo was designed back in 1947, is effectively Finland’s national brewer. Not only is the company Finland’s largest independent brewery, but it is also the only brewery in Finland to have retained its independence since the nineteenth century. According to Olli Heikkilä, Iisalmi has simply proved to be a very good place for brewing beer. “Water is the main raw material for every beer,” he said. “In Iisalmi we have excellent ground water.” With strong roots in the local community, Olvi plays a central role in the life of this peaceful lakeside town. “It is easy here for us to find and keep a good and committed workforce. We have employees whose fathers and grandfathers have worked for us.” 200 Industry Europe

Mr Lasse Aho, Managing Director

Local customs

Olvi always wants drinking to be a positive experience. “We market our alcohol products responsibly,” said Mr Heikkalä, “and we don’t use kids under the age of 25 in our commercials.” Olvi’s beers are lagers, and are made from mainly Finnish ingredients, although the Finnish climate means that the brewery in Iisalmi has to import the hops from abroad. Olvi’s most popular beer is Olvi III. This is a pale lager with an alcohol content of 4.5 per cent and was awarded the gold medal in Barcelona in 1991. Olvi Ykkönen, with an alcohol content of 2.7 per cent, is Finland’s most popular mild beer, and has a market share of over 60 per cent in its segment. One of the company’s most distinctive beers is its Finnish Sauna Beer, created to accompany this typically Finnish form of relaxation. “The recipe is designed to make the beer easy to consume in hot temperatures,” Mr Heikkilä explained. “It’s OK to drink

it when sitting in the sauna. It is smooth and mild without being watery.” In Finland, Olvi’s Sauna Beer is often enjoyed after the sauna as well, and goes well with grilled sausages.

Local heroes

Olvi is committed to supporting Finnish success in sport. The company sponsors the KalPa and Tappara ice-hockey teams and has also been associated with the career of the Finnish champion ski jumper Jaanne Ahonen. Olvi makes a premium brand of beer to honour a Scandinavian hero from older times, Colonel Johan August Sandels, a Swede who fought bravely against the Russians in 1808 at the Battle of Koljonvirta. Olvi first began to produce the Colonel Sandels beer back in 1971. “Sandels was a special man,” said Mr Heikkilä. “He had 600 men under him at the age of 24. Who would be a better person to name a beer after?” Colonel Sandels is Olvi’s main export brand

and Mr Heikkilä says it is proving particularly popular in St Petersburg.

International achievements

Indeed, eastern Europe has been the focus of Olvi’s expansionist ambitions for some years now, and Olvi has breweries in all three Baltic Republics. The company’s Cesu Alus subsidiary is based near the imposing ruins of Cesis Castle. It claims to be the oldest brewery in Latvia, tracing its origins back to 1590. Cesu Alus has been enjoying great success with its

Mitava beer, created in 2008 in association with the Latvian rock band, Prata vetra (‘Brainstorm’). Olvi acquired the Tartu Brewery (Tartu Ölletehas) in Estonia in 1997. Olvi not only gave the brewery a new name, A. Le Coq, but also increased its share of the Estonian beer market from 10 to 40 per cent. “A. Le Coq was a real story,” said Mr Heikkilä. “Mr. Le Coq was a Belgian businessman who moved to London and bought beer from local brewers to export this beer to St Petersburg and to the Rus-

sian tsar himself. London was a long way away and so Le Coq began to look for a brewery nearer to St Petersburg. In Tartu, he managed to find the oldest brewery in Estonia, which was already famous for the quality of its beer. The rest is history.”

New opportunities

Over the past two years, Olvi has invested €30 million in Belarus, and now has a 91.58 per cent stake in the country’s Lidskoe Pivo brewery. Olvi’s aim is to use this acquisition

to build up a strong position in an exciting new market. “In Belarus there are 9.75 million inhabitants,” said Mr Heikkilä. “This is a lot as the Olvi Group has a current total of 22 million consumers. In Belarus we can start new categories such as energy drinks that didn’t exist before at all.” Olvi has already helped its Belarus subsidiary to develop a new product, the Lidskoe Premium beer, which the Lidskoe Pivo brewery advertises as a lager with a real European taste. n

ADVERTISERSINDEX A A.D.R SpA Acla-Werke GmbH Alfred Jonscher GmbH Amest s.r.o. Ankarsrum Motors AB Apollo SpA Aquafil SpA Assa Oem Aven Holmestrand AS

P 82 P 119 P 193 P 32 P 134 P 42 P 167 P 73 P 149

B Belesta AG Blain Hydraulics GmbH Brattvåg Elektro AS Briggs & Stratton AG Brødrene Dahl AS

P 92 P 76 P 124 P 83 P 124

P 50 P 193 P 184 P 19 P 172 P 68 P 27 P 197 P 193 P 177

D Dassault Systemes Simulia Corp Denso Thermal Systems SpA DHL Express Benelux Diehl AKO Stiftung & Co. KG Dieter Rest GmbH Divamin Ltd Dow Europe GmbH

P 181 P 110 P 120 P 63 P 193 P 142 P 167

E Effebi SpA Einar Willumsen AB Emerson Process Management Energy Management Team EAD Ergon Europe Mea Inc Euromin SA

P 77 P 203 P 106 P 142 P 52 P 141

F Fans, a.s FASB Linea 2 srl Finn-Korkki Oy Flakt Bovent Sp z.o.o. FLT & Metals Ltd

P 31 P 82 P 203 P 68 P 138

G G Bonanomi di Lanfranco Bonanomi & C SNC G.A. Lindberg General Plastic Srl Gino Olivares

Inside back P 52 P 72

H Harting Electric GmbH & Co. KG Haver & Boecker HFS Hagener Feinblech Service GmbH Hosta Industries AS Hunger DFE GmbH

P 35 P 184 P 96 P 148 P 76

I IF Trade Ileri Group Indigo Engineering BV Ing. Voith / Traun

P 153 P 112 P 88 P 188

P 27 P 184 P 42 P 196

Jegan JM Baxi Jotul AS Julius Handels GmbH

P 63 P 128 P 148 P 124

K KA Group Klein Metals Klimat Solec Sp z.o.o. Kone Polska Sp z.o.o. Krones Nordic ApS

P 84 P 92 P 66 P 68 P 202

L Linz Textil

P 152

M Maaseudun Kone Oy Magnesia GmbH Mahler AGS GmbH MAS Srl Mec-Meldola snc Meccanica Archetti Srl Meri Environmental Solutions GmbH Metals Chemicals Maastricht Mineco AG Motoral Oy Motoplast Multek Minnesota Munksjo Arches SAS MUT Automotive, s.r.o.

P 111 P 153 P 157 P 26 P 26 P 85 P 188 P 142 P 140 P 113 P 153 P 153 P 43

N Nippon Electric Glass Co. Ltd Nordkabel AS Norsafe AS Novoplastik Oy Nynas SA

P 148 P 177 P 124 P 111 P 51

O Odmet Sp z.o.o. Overeem Groep

P Partner Tech AS Philips GmbH PHU Vici – Dariusz Kulpa PHUS Adimex Pilkington Automotive Finland Pöyry Przedsiebiorstwo Robót Elektrycznych P & P Sp z.o.o.

P 146 P 96 P 68 P 67 P 111 P 158 P 67

R RC Plast AS Remer Srl Rolltech AS Rotage AB Rudolf Wild GmbH

P 172 P 76 P 72 P 149 P 201



C Caldic Nederland B.V Carcano Antonio SpA Carlsson & Möller AB Cascorp Celio Packaging ApS Cemex Polska Sp z.o.o. Cepa Coop Ceratizit Deutschland GmbH Chemie-Plast Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG Cisco Systems Denmark ApS

GL Noble Denton AS GR Produkter AB Grace Davison Materials & Packaging Technologies

P 68 P 96

Samson AG Schenker Dedicated Services AB Schill + Seilacher GmbH Schott AG SEAT Srl Sir Industriale SKF Eurotrade AB SKF Nordic Region – Industrial & Service Division SPS Cryogenics BV Stoeber Trasmissioni Srl Stratco Inc Sulzer Pumpen Oesterreich GmbH Sulzer Pumps Finland Oy SVT GmbH SVT GmbH

P 106 P 133 P 171 P 147 P 85 P 47 Inside front P 163 P 107 P 27 P 50 P 188 P 158 P 106 Outside back

T Tecnoform Glass Insulation GmbH Tecnomesa SAS TNT Express Benelux Tos Varnsdorf a.s. Transcor AG Transland Ltd Tubos Reunidos Industrial, S.L.U.

P 73 P 26 P 119 P 32 P 142 P 142 P 103

U Uljanik Tesu SZZ d.o.o.

P 134

X Xentrys Leuna GmbH Xiamen Lindas Hardware Industrial Co. Ltd

P 166 P 56

Y Yousaf Weaving Mills

P 152

Z Zahnradfertigung Ott GmbH & Co. KG Zoller + Fröhlich GmbH Zwick

P 39 P 189 P 196

Articles inside

Fine beers from Finland Olvi Oyji

pages 201-207

Pumping it up SKS-Germany

pages 192-195

Meeting the challenges of tomorrow EVVA

pages 196-200

Engineering expertise TBP Group

pages 188-191

Making the most of magnetite LKAB

pages 162-165

Focused innovations FiberVisions

pages 171-175

Broader appeal Dansk Kabel TV

pages 176-179

Healthy progress Texor AB

pages 184-187

Exploiting new resources Talvivaara Mining

pages 157-161

Advancing surface technology

pages 152-156

The heart of the home Jøtul

pages 146-151

Investing in a cleaner future KCM 2000

pages 138-145

Offshore experts STX OSV

pages 124-127

Masters of ‘cutting-edge’ technology ESAB

pages 133-137

Charting new horizons Great Eastern Shipping

pages 128-132

When the going gets tough... Sisu Auto

pages 116-118

Excellence in energy Fouré Lagadec

pages 103-105

Fast and flexible Maaseudun Kone

pages 110-115

True energy efficiency Cryo AB

pages 106-109

Matching supply to demand Rompetrol

pages 100-102

LED technology in a new light Trilux

pages 96-99

Building on great brands

pages 88-91

Vertical diversity Kleeman Hellas

pages 77-81

Taking energy-efficient windows to a new level Inwido

pages 72-76

Delivering excellence in all types of construction projects UNIBEP

pages 66-71

Advancing into new markets

pages 60-62

Flexible technology

pages 56-59

Driving business forward

pages 42-46

Rotary tables for the world FIBRO

pages 39-41

Seizing opportunities ALTA

pages 31-35

Re-defining lubricant technology

pages 50-55

Uniting for the future Yaskawa Europe

pages 36-38

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 23

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20

Back on track

pages 8-10

Rail news The latest from the industry

pages 11-13

Fast track to the future TGV speeds on

pages 14-15

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19

Winning Business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17

Bill Jamieson Crisis point

page 6

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 22
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