VOLUME 21/6 – 2011 • €6
The world of European manufacturing
BE GROUP ADDING VALUE IS THE KEY BOMBARDIER ITALY DELIVERS SUPERIOR HIGH-SPEED SOLUTIONS CEMTAS QUALITY STEEL FROM TURKEY
STRONG YEAR FOR EUROPEAN CHEMICALS
All for one In the face of the Greek crisis the euro countries will have to hang together, or they’ll hang separately.
hat to do about Greece? You can’t help but think of the Dubliner’s reply to the tourist wanting directions to O’Connell Street – “Well, now, sir, if I were you I wouldn’t start from here.” ‘Here’, of course, is Greece’s membership of the eurozone. If the country still had its own currency, it would not only be able to devalue and price its products back into competitiveness but could print drachmas day and night to fund its budget deficit and just put up with the inflationary cost. And, even more fundamentally, if it hadn’t had the euro, it wouldn’t have had German-style hard currency and low interest rates so it wouldn’t have been able to borrow, in the first place, all those billions that it now has no hope of repaying. But, alas, we are not there but here. It hardly takes hindsight to see that Greece should never have been allowed to join the euro. If the Germans and the French really couldn’t live without the land of Sophocles, Plato and Aristotle in their united Europe, they could have stopped with membership of the EU and left it to open borders and free trade to lift Greece’s boat. And they should have done the same with Portugal and Ireland. There were plenty of people at the time (at least in the UK and the US) who pointed out that the proposed eurozone was a million miles away from an optimum currency area and that monetary union without much closer fiscal and political union was not, come the first shock, going to work. Just hoping for convergence and encouraging fiscal prudence was never going to be enough. What we got was increasing divergence and wildly irresponsible borrowing and spending. Greek sailors and Irish farmers making merry with Germany’s credit card. Before its accession to the EU Greece was not that far from a Third World economy, with its political nepotism, widespread corruption and a long tradition, probably nurtured during centuries of Ottoman rule,
of not paying taxes. It had little industry and not much more agriculture. Shipping and tourism made up most of its GDP. But when the Greeks traded in their drachmas for euros in 2000, it was, like in Ireland, party time. A wave of cheap borrowing (at not much more than German rates) created the illusion of wealth for almost everyone. Imports of consumer goods – and of military hardware – rocketed. Eric Kraus, a correspondent of the Moscow Times, reported that the Athens’ taxi fleet, made up mostly of late-model Mercedes, was more modern than Frankfurt’s. Now, after the bust, Mr Kraus observes that, like Russia in 1998, Greece is faced with a severe debt crisis, an inflexible currency regime and a largely unreformed economy with a dysfunctional tax system.
“It hardly takes hindsight to see that Greece should never have been allowed to join the euro.” Unlike Russia, however, it can’t devalue, it has no deep internal market or vast industrial infrastructure and no oil or gas to export. So if Greece defaulted on its debts it would be quite unable, like Russia, to continue to function within its own borders; its banks would collapse and it would be unable to pay for essential imports. It wouldn’t be able to pay the wages of all those government workers either.
Bail-out or bust
Plenty of people think, however, that Greece will, in the end, default, no matter how many bail-outs it gets from the EU and the IMF or how much austerity it tries to impose on its
enraged people. The country is insolvent, it can never pay back its debts and an exit (preferably orderly) from the euro is inevitable. There is no doubt that a eurozone without Greece – and without Portugal and Ireland too – would be much more stable but the fear is that getting there would bring catastrophic instability to all of Europe. It’s not just that French and German banks hold so much Greek debt; it’s that if Greece were to default the contagion effect that we saw in the aftermath of the Lehman collapse would take hold even more viciously. After Greece would go Portugal, Ireland and even Spain. Another global crisis would swiftly follow. So while an on-going bailout of Greece is going to be horribly expensive, it seems that allowing the country to go under would be potentially ruinous. The German government will do whatever it can to placate an electorate that is outraged at the thought of prudent, hard-working Germans paying indefinitely to keep Greeks in the style to which they have so rapidly become accustomed (real wage rises of 40 per cent in a decade) and will threaten private investors with haircuts and Greek workers with decades of austerity but, in the end, it will do whatever it must to keep the eurozone on the road. It is, no doubt, particularly hard for Germans to accept that, having been squeezed for a decade to pay the huge costs of the unification of their own country, they should now be asked to pay whatever it takes to keep inside the eurozone countries that should never have been in it in the first place. But that always was the logic of the euro project, even if their politicians didn’t bother to tell them. A currency union always did imply a transfer union, a fiscal union and, ultimately, a political union. The prosperous centre was always, in the end, going to have to permanently subsidise the poorer periphery. They all wanted a united Europe. Now n they are going to get it. Industry Europe 3
Editor Peter Mercer
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Opinion All for one Bill Jamieson What community spirit? James Srodes Out of chips
Chemicals Industry 6
Strong year for European chemicals
Rising demand, strong prices Chemicals news The latest from the industry
Cutting the cost of capturing CO2
The DemoCLOCK project
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Driving onwards GST AutoLeather A one-stop solutions provider KLN Ultraschall Driving the tyre industry forward Herbert Maschinenbau
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Managing thermal energy Beroa Deutschland Building bridges Maltauro Top taps Mofém Tiles fit for a king Mosa Construction experts Swietelsky Hungary
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Refining sustainable growth INA Group Energised engineering Borsig
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Pick of the crop Pick Global brand with a regional flavour Lambertz Group
Above: Lumene p62
100 Value-added reseller Bechtle Direct 106 Solutions for storage Tandberg Data
110 Offshore experts DOF 116 Leading the way in containerhandling technology Eurogate
Measurement & Control
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Fluid Automation Systems
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124 More with metal BE Group 131 Stainless steel long products Ugitech
134 Pioneering process flexibility Myriad
138 The new Bronze Age Omco 142 Investment adds value Cemtas Celik
145 European base for global leader Shinwa International Holdings
148 Leaders in stretch film and packaging solutions Manuli Group 152 Fibreglass solutions P-D Glasseiden
Transport Below: Bombardier p158
155 On the roads of Europe Elmar Group 158 A new sense of speed Bombardier
Also in this issue...
163 Growth of a global leader EMAK 168 It all comes down to safety
Above: Manuli Group p148 Below: Scott Safety p168
172 Chemical ambition Cheminova 177 Functional and decorative solutions in glass SCHOTT Flat Glass
182 Hard at work on the slopes Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug
187 The fabric of flexibility Textil Santanderina
190 Flexible converting solutions Comexi
195 A cleaner world Tennant Company Industry Europe 5
Executive Editor of The Scotsman
What community spirit? Despite all the drama, Core Europe is enjoying an encouraging recovery. Pity about the periphery.
et aside Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, ratings agency warnings, credit default swaps, the single currency, the euro crisis summits, the grumbles in Germany, the True Finns, and the riots in Athens. It could fairly be said to be a pretty good year for Europe so far. There is a recovery story. But who’s been listening? Or who’s been able to listen? Continuing good numbers out of Germany and France speak to an upturn altogether more credible and robust than the figures coming out of America and the UK of late. But then there’s been the euro-mess. In the course of this it was revealed that senior eurozone officials have been working on a colour-code system to indicate the level of financial stress or ‘crisis’ facing banks and governments. Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, left no-one in any doubt as to how serious he thought it was. The eurozone debt crisis could, he said, be categorised as ‘Code Red’. But this is the same Jean Clause Trichet who also signalled at the height of the Greek drama that the ECB was in “strong vigilance mode” to raise interest rates a second time. Clearly the ECB felt that the growing strength of recovery in the eurozone as a whole merited action to contain inflation pressures. So that was a ‘Code Red’, too – though one flashed in the opposite direction. How that plays in Ireland, Spain and Portugal can only be imagined. In Athens it may not have been noticed amid the tear gas, but it speaks to the enormous gulf that now exists between the northern countries of the eurozone and its southern members. Their economies are struggling to gain any traction at all. An interest rate rise at this time, never mind a series of them, is the very last thing they need – the response of a central bank on another planet. It is interesting that while Germany has staged strong growth in the past year – 6 Industry Europe
mainly led by exports but with some signs of a recovery also in domestic demand – this does not appear to have made the country any more magnanimous in its view of the Greek debacle. There is no sense of eurozone community spirit or that ‘we’re all in this together’. Surely the Germans could have afforded to cut their southern neighbours some slack? There is a pragmatic argument that the crisis and its immediate aftermath provide the perfect opportunity for the eurozone to take an epochal leap forward and for a single tax and fiscal union to be established. This would formalise the eurozone as a transfer union, with the wealthier countries providing much needed support in times of crisis for their weaker brethren.
“Clearly the ECB felt that the growing strength of recovery in the eurozone as a whole merited action to contain inflation pressures.” But keen though officials in Brussels may be to seize this moment, voters in the more prosperous areas of northern Europe show no sign at all of warming to it. Germany in particular has deep misgivings over its participation in the Greek bail-out. This may be one reason: it is struggling itself with near-bankrupt municipalities – hundreds of mini Greeces. Those in areas of long-term industrial decline have been particularly hard hit. In three federal states – Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate – bail-out programmes for municipalities were set up last year. In other states such as North-Rhine Westphalia and Hesse, they are being discussed or are in the offing. Rating agency Fitch estimated overall municipal debt at around €115 billion for 2009 and warned it would rise to ‘a very big figure’ in 2010. Municipal finances were
described as ‘completely threadbare’. Many in Germany will sorely question the legitimacy of federal government support for bail-outs to Greece when the plight of the country’s own municipalities deserves at least equal consideration.
Global recovery is the key
How long Greece will be able to sustain the illusion of meeting and enforcing the required austerity measures is moot. The country’s political fabric is about as bankrupt as its economy. So Europe as a whole will be on tenterhooks for the rest of this year and beyond. Is this an environment in which economic recovery can be sustained? Bank finance for companies in Germany and France may be less forthcoming if tighter capital ratios are required to deal with a solvency crisis in a eurozone member state. However, so long as Asia Pacific, and China in particular, continues to grow, these are critical export markets for the likes of Audi and Renault. And there is also the prospect of continuing weakness of the European single currency, which should help exporters. Set against this, however, are those cryptic pledges of support from China, clearly keen to continue acquiring key assets and companies in Europe. The Chinese have an interest in seeing the survival and recovery of the euro as an insurance counter to its huge holdings of US treasury debt. The euro as an alternative investment currency has appeal. For the moment, however, it is a strengthening global recovery that we need. Eurozone exporters will be anxious to ensure the recent weakness is just a soft patch and not something more serious. It is the health and vigour of the global economy more than Greece that will really determine whether Europe’s export recovery will continue in the period ahead. n
Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street
Out of chips President Obama and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernancke are making a long-shot bet on recovery.
ashington: What both the White House and Fed are gambling on is that this summer’s setback in the US economic recovery will move back into positive territory come autumn and that by this time next year Mr Obama will be able to claim the kind of economic success he is claiming now for America’s military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet what if the recovery itself is in question? What if the ‘double-dip’ recession increasingly being forecast is actually underway already? What if the statistical signals which now appear to be stuck in neutral have already turned negative and just aren’t being recognised for that they are? What then are Mr Obama’s odds of an autumn 2011 revival and a 2012 reaffirmation of his stewardship by the voters? Earlier this year the Administration was quick to claim vindication of its stimulus programmes when its statistics showed the American gross domestic product had expanded during the October–December 2010 quarter by an encouraging 3.1 per cent annual rate. But then, later, that expansion slowed to a 1.8 per cent annual rate for the January–March 2011 quarter. Still, the White House said, that was positive growth. Or was it? Revised data now shows that the fourth quarter growth of last year was artificially inflated by the residual effects of the various
stimulus efforts to boost home buying and motor car sales. And two-thirds of the 1.8 per cent expansion for first quarter of this year really was inventory build-ups by businesses rather than purchases by consumers or other final sales buyers. That means, when strict accounting is applied, that real gdp growth in the January to March period of this year was a minuscule 0.15 percent, well within a statistical margin of error for no growth at all. But there was worse yet to come. By April and May things had started to turn south in earnest. US factory orders shrank by 1.2 per cent in April; motor car sales slumped by 10 per cent in May. A respected index of manufacturing activity as a per cent of industrial capacity dropped to 53.5 per cent in May from 60.4 per cent in April, to the lowest level since September 2009. Median home prices fell to a new low as well, to the lowest level since 2003. This latter data is particularly ominous. Not only is there nearly a year’s supply of already-built, but not sold, new houses overhanging the market, but the percentage of existing homes that are worth less than their mortgage debt is growing at such a pace that banks are unable to process the paperwork to institute foreclosure; the result is an increasing number of occupants who have simply stopped paying on their mortgages at all and are content to
wait for foreclosure. At which point they will move into rental properties and declare bankruptcy. It may be five more years before this part of the economy regains its footing and starts to contribute growth – and allimportant jobs – to the recovery. Not surprisingly then, the government’s official measure of unemployment crept back up to 9.1 per cent; but when that data is parsed to include job seekers who have given up, along with workers who have endured pay cuts and shortened work schedules, fully a quarter of the adult labour pool has been adversely affected. Small wonder then that consumer spending has shrivelled.
This leaves both President Obama and Chairman Bernancke in something of a bind. They were roundly criticised for the unprecedented size of their stimulus efforts during 2009 and 2010. Subsidies and tax incentives to buy motor cars and new homes gave a temporary lift to the statistical gauges but no lasting impact on either the car industry or home construction. Yet while they were blamed for the size of their largesse at the time, now they are being criticised for not being stimulating enough. It turns out that the decline in aggregate demand was far greater than the stimulus. Household wealth shrank at a pace that caused consumer spending to shrink by more than $500 billion
in 2008. The housing contraction cost GDP another $200 billion. But the Obama stimulation programmes added a maximum of $400 billion last year which would not have been enough. So not only did the stimulus not help, it may have made things worse. The American national debt is now nearly 70 per cent of GDP this year, up from 40 per cent in 2008. The impartial Congressional Budget Office predicts the debt-to-GDP ratio will reach more than 85 per cent by 2020 and that, as we have noted before, counts only federal government indebtedness. Nearly all of the 50 state governments and hundreds of municipalities are in deficit and an obvious response is for them to shed government workers as fast as they can. It is against this backdrop that the wrangling over raising the federal debt limit going on in the US Congress takes on an extremely ominous tone. The White House and Fed have to stand pat because they have no more chips to ante up. Worse, Washington has just woken up to the fact that by long-standing agreement the Fed is committed to providing dollar loans to the European Central Bank should the Greek debt crisis start to spread to other eurozone economies. Thus there is a danger that the United States government might not only default on its own debt obligations, but may also renege on its obligations to its n major trading partners. Industry Europe 7
© All images credited to press photo BASF
STRONG YEAR FOR EUROPEAN CHEMICALS Most chemical producers in Europe have enjoyed a remarkably good twelve months of strong prices, margins and profits, as Nigel Davis, Insight Editor, ICIS, reports.
ome parts of the chemical industry have remained under pressure as European demand has recovered only slowly following the 2008/09 financial crisis and deep recession. But inventories have re-filled and supply chains become much more robust. The key driver for many products has been emerging market demand. China particularly has sucked in imports of chemicals and polymers. China’s stimulus programme has driven demand as has the money pumped by governments into economies in other parts of 8 Industry Europe
the world. And as China has boomed, so chemicals demand growth has rebounded strongly in countries like Brazil and India. The combination of returning domestic growth and rapidly expanding overseas markets has pushed up sales and helped lift earnings. Chemical firms in Europe, and indeed globally, coped well with the downturn. Production plants were shuttered at the end of 2008 and in the early part of 2009. Companies hunkered down, cut costs and stocks as they sought to reduce the demand
for working capital. Only slowly did capacity come back on-stream dictated by recovering downstream markets. By 2010, most players in the sector found they were responding to better times. The first half of the year was good and while demand growth in Europe appeared to level off in the third quarter, the year produced record results. Industry giant BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, posted record 2010 financial results and entered 2011 in confidence. The situation was similar across the sector. Match-
ing output to demand had paid dividends. Upstream, particularly, producers were on a roll. Demand for commodity chemicals had surged as China and some smaller fast growing markets sucked in more volumes. China’s imports of polyethylene, as just one example, increased by more than 50 per cent between 2008 and 2010. Worryingly, the rate of growth of imports has declined markedly in 2011. Prices in Europe were successfully pushed higher to cover rapidly increasing oil-based raw material costs. Pricing power remained largely with the upstream producer. But, that having been said, even downstream, in market segments for more specialised chemicals, booming demand – into fast growing Asia electronics and automotive markets, for example – was helping lift prices to cover costlier (chemical) raw materials. Recovery was stronger than many had dared hope. Particularly important in polyolefins and some of the high volume ethylene chain derivatives was the fact that the expansion of supply had matched demand growth. The industry has fretted for long about the addition of significant new low-cost production plants in the Middle East – in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. But large-scale units based
on cheap gas have not always started up on time or run at planned capacity. Saudi Arabia’s reduced oil output – of 8m bbl/day in 2010/11 – has reduced the availability of ethane gas feedstock for ethylene and polyethylene production for example. China’s demand for polymers has helped soak up output from some of the new facilities. Not having been depressed by a wave of new capacity, petrochemical and plastics markets have recovered strongly. European producers of ethylene have been able to match output to demand and cover higher oil-based feedstock costs – their primary feedstock is naphtha from the oil refinery. The Brent crude price rose from $75/bbl to more than $110/bbl from the start of 2010 into mid 2011. European naphtha prices climbed as a result. Upstream chemicals prices marched upwards with the price of oil. The sharp recovery in chemicals produc tion is shown in the official EU statistics. European chemicals production grew by 10.1 per cent in 2010 following the 11.3 per cent year-on-year decline in 2009. The data includes all chemicals sub-sectors apart from pharmaceuticals. Petrochemical production, or output, increased by 8.1 per
cent in 2010 while that of inorganic chemicals, some of the most basic chemicals used in industry and commerce, rose by 13.1 per cent, Production of plastics was 15 per cent higher and of speciality chemicals 6.5 per cent ahead. Petrochemicals, plastics and inorganic chemicals, many of the building block materials for the rest of the sector and for important big industrial end-use markets, have clearly led the way out of the downturn. Benefiting at first from strong demand from China and other parts of Asia and to a lesser extent from other emerging market economies, they improved in the latter part of 2010 and the first half of 2011 alongside European manufacturing industry. And while there was some concern in the third quarter of 2010 that a slowdown was imminent, the output from these sub-sectors continued to grow in the second half and into 2011 as European and North American inventories filled.
Growth continues in 2011
When industry economists came to make forecasts for production growth at the end of 2010, the outlook for 2011 was muted. The European chemicals trade federation Industry Europe 9
Cefic, for instance, forecast EU chemicals production growth of only 2.5 per cent for the coming year. Concerns about the possible rate of European economic growth hung heavy in the air. As it turned out, however, EU chemicals growth expanded much more strongly in the first half of 2011 than initially expected. Industry forecasts are for annual production growth for the year of 4.5 per cent. EU statistics show a slight slowing of growth in April but the strength of the manufacturing rebound in Germany and other chemical industry in good stead. “Strong orders from EU durable goods manufacturing, especially light vehicles and machinery and equipment, have led to bottlenecks that now appear in chemicals subsectors as demand outstrips supply,” the chemicals federation said in a statement on 23 June 2011. “Construction, an important chemicals customer, remains depressed but shows early signs of turning the corner,” it added. Chemicals output in the EU is not yet back to its pre-crisis peak but is expected to reach that level in 2012. The industry clearly, however, has had to contend with rising oil based raw material costs and with higher energy costs over the past year. Petrochemical producers particularly, however, have been able to manage output to demand extremely well through the period and pass on upward movements in the naphtha price and that of other crude-related feedstocks. For the majority of companies rising demand and still healthy prices have helped buoy profits and margins. Many producers also benefited from still strong export demand driven by the fiscal stimulus packages still in place in China and indeed, the US. China demand remained particularly strong for most of the period until steps were taken by China’s government in the spring of 2011 to curb inflation and tighten controls on easy credit. The draw of China’s demand and that from India, for example, was not confined to petrochemicals and the primary plastics. Export demand for speciality and other chemicals helped drive top line growth and profits for producers across the sector upstream and downstream. Following a strong first quarter Europe’s chemical companies were more convinced that growth had returned to the sector although that confidence wasn’t always apparent in firms further down long chemical chains and those much closer to end-user markets. 10 Industry Europe
Companies upstream talked of improved market conditions although they remained concerned that new capacity additions could work to depress margins later in the year. Midstream chemical makers, the producers of specialities, coatings and other products reliant on petrochemical feedstocks, eyed recent price rises with some concern even though most of them had produced good first quarter financial results. And many companies expected the economic recovery to remain fragile while acknowledging their reliance on strong Asian demand. But a company like Dow Chemical, a diversified chemicals maker and the largest chemicals producer in the US, was able to talk about demand growth returning in developed world markets. Strengthened consumer spending in electronics, appliances and automotive markets was lifting chemicals demand. Demand growth was returning in developed markets, with strengthened consumer spending in areas such as electronics, appliances and automotive. These positive developments were offsetting weak construction market demand and sovereign debt issues in southern Europe. Germany based chemicals giant BASF saw little to be too concerned about although it acknowledged that geopolitical uncertainty could have a negative impact on business later in the year. The second quarter appears to have been just as strong, if not stronger, for some firms although concerns are growing at the end of June 2011 that the end of quantitative easing in the US and China’s efforts to curb inflation
will have a very real effect on business in the second half. Eurozone instability, the still high oil price and the unknown China conspire to make outlook particularly uncertain That market uncertainty has not stopped chemical companies taking advantage of the improved situation to make the strategic merger and acquisition (M&A) and capital investment decisions that will characterise the future shape of the sector. BASF, for instance, said in May 2011 that it would build the world’s largest single-train polyurethane intermediate TDI plant in Europe. So much investment has flowed to Asia in recent years that the decision was particularly welcome. In the first quarter, Belgium based chemicals and plastics maker Solvay said it intended to acquire France’s Rhodia in a deal that had the sanction of the Rhodia board. The intended acquisition is seen as a good strategic fit and one that will enhance the competiveness of important parts of the European chemicals industry. Having emerged from an extremely difficult period Europe’s chemical companies remain cautious but optimistic. The coming quarters could be difficult as economies globally continue to struggle with the aftermath of the financial crisis. Chemical producers too have to contend with the longer-term trends related to the de-industrialisation of Europe and the rising global importance of new competitors from the Middle East, South, North and South East Asia. Burdened with high costs and a difficult regulatory environment they have to develop robust strategic models to compete successfully in an increasingly n global business environment.
New developments in the chemicals industry
Rhodia and SIBUR joint venture in Russia and CIS
hodia and SIBUR have signed a letter of intent to create a joint venture in speciality surfactants. This strategic alliance will be focused on creating a leader in the CIS market where speciality surfactants are used particularly in home & personal care, and oil & gas industries, with the surfactants sector growing at more than 6 per cent per year. Rhodia, as a worldwide leader in speciality surfactants, will provide its expertise in surfactant technologies, its knowledge of formulations and market applications and its customer network, including global key accounts with a strong presence in this region. SIBUR, the leading petrochemical company in Russia, will contribute its raw materials, production and logistics capabilities. With its longstanding experience of the Russian petrochemicals market, SIBUR will also support the development of the surfactants business in oil & gas markets in Russia and the CIS. It is expected that the new 50:50 joint venture will site a local production in Russia at Dzerzhinsk, near SIBUR’s petrochemicals operations, 400km east of Moscow, and is expected to be operational in 2013. Visit: www.sibur.ru
Novel polyimide film for solar cells
uPont™ Kapton® colorless polyimide film, a new material currently in development for use as a flexible superstrate for cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules, has enabled a new world record for energy conversion efficiency. A team at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, has demonstrated a conversion efficiency of 13.8 per cent using the new colourless film, leapfrogging their previous record of 12.6 per cent and nearing that of glass. Because Kapton® film is over 100 times thin-
Kerling to acquire Tessenderlo’s European Chlor-Vinyls Business
erling Plc has agreed with Tessenderlo Group (Brussels) to acquire its chlorvinyls business and assets in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The transaction will strengthen Kerling’s position as a leading manufacturer of PVC and caustic soda in Europe.
Kerling will acquire all of Tessenderlo Group’s PVC activities as well as the VCM, caustic soda, caustic potash and parts of its OCD (Organic Chlorine Derivatives) businesses including: n the chlor-alkali, vinyls OCD assets at the site in Tessenderlo Belgium. n the site in Maastricht (the Netherlands) with a benzyl alcohol plant
ner and 200 times lighter than glass typically used for PV, there are inherent advantages in transitioning to flexible, film-based systems. “Rather than transporting heavy, fragile glass modules on large trucks and lifting them by crane onto rooftop PV installations, one could imagine lightweight, flexible film-based modules that could simply be rolled up for transport, and easily carried up stairs,” said Robert G. Schmidt, new business development manager, Photovoltaics – DuPont Circuit & Packaging Materials. Visit: www.empa.ch n the sites in Beek (The Netherlands) and Mazingarbe (France) with PVC plants. n approximately 850 employees Kerling CEO Chris Tane says: “We have previously announced our growth intentions to the market and our investors, and I am therefore delighted that we can now announce the next step in this strategy.” Visit: www.ineos.com
Industry Europe 11
New developments in the chemicals industry
Shell and Cosan biofuels JV
one of the biggest biofuels deals to date, Shell is combining its extensive retail experience, global network and research in advanced biofuels with the technical knowledge of producing biofuels on a large scale of Cosan, Brazil’s largest private group. Raízen will produce and
sell over 2 billion litres a year of the lowestcarbon biofuel commercially available – ethanol made from Brazilian sugar cane. Raízen will distribute biofuels and over 20 billion litres of other industrial and transport fuels annually through a combined network of nearly 4500 Shell-branded service stations. In Brazil it becomes the third largest fuels company. The sugar-cane-to-ethanol process used by Raízen is the most efficient in turning biomass into fuel. Brazilian sugar cane yields 7000 litres of ethanol per hectare of cane compared to, for example, 3800 litres for a hectare of corn in the USA and 2500 litres for a hectare of wheat in Europe, according to Unica, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association. Visit: www.shell.com
Total Petrochemicals to manufacture a new range of polymers for the insulation market
2013 Total Petrochemicals will start manufacturing a new generation of expandable polystyrene (EPS). The new polymer, whose formulation has been developed by Total Petrochemicals research teams, has technical and insulating properties that are significantly better than those of conventional white EPS. Following the acquisition, in August 2010, of two polystyrene lines with a combined capacity of 160,000 tonnes per year located at the Total Petrochemicals Feluy production site (Belgium), it was decided to modify one of the two lines in order to manufacture this new expandable polystyrene. The new line is scheduled to start up in early 2013.
SABIC and Mitsubishi Rayon announce new joint venture in Saudi Arabia
audi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and Mitsubishi Rayon Company (MRC) have announced the formation of a 50/50 joint venture company to build and operate two plants – one for Methyl Methacrylate (MMA), and the other for Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) – at one of SABIC’s manu-
12 Industry Europe
This investment, and the subsequent launch of the new EPS range, will ensure the longterm continuation of styrenics production at the Feluy site. Visit: www.totalpetrochemicals.com
facturing affiliates in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The MMA plant will be the largest ever built, with a 250,000-metric-ton annual capacity. It will use Lucite International’s (LI) Alpha technology, which was first commercialised with its Alpha 1 plant which began operation in Singapore in November 2008. LI is a subsidiary of MRC acquired in 2009. The PMMA plant will be based on MRC technology and will
WACKER commissions silicone rubber compounding plant in India
he Munich-based chemical group WACKER has commissioned a compounding plant at its joint venture site Wacker Metroark Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. near Kolkata, India, for the manufacture of ready-to-use silicone elastomers. The plant is designed for an annual production volume of several thousand metric tons and can be expanded in stages as demand requires. It is intended to supply India’s strongly growing economy with high-quality silicone compounds faster and more flexibly. Several million euros are planned for investment in this plant. “India is one of our fastest-growing sales markets,” says Dr Bernd Pachaly, head of WACKER’s Engineering Silicones business unit. “The new SILMIX facility is constructed according to WACKER standards and will produce silicone compounds for the Indian electronics, automotive and medium- and high-voltage insulator market as well as for other industries.” Visit: www.wacker.com have an annual capacity of 40,000 metric tons. Commenting on the partnership deal, Koos Van Haasteren, SABIC executive vice-president, Performance Chemicals, said the joint venture operation will be the basis for a strategic entry into the acrylics business: “We will be building on a breakthrough technology, with a strong partnership and integrated feedstock.” Visit: www.sabic.com
CHEMICALSNEWS BASF and INEOS Industries to combine their global styrenics businesses
SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, and INEOS Industries Holdings Limited, Lyndhurst, UK, now have EU clearance to combine in Styrolution their global business activities in styrene monomers (SM), polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene-butadiene block copolymers (SBC) and other styrene-based copolymers (SAN, AMSAN, ASA, MABS) as well as copolymer blends. Pro forma sales of the combined businesses were €6.4 billion in 2010. Expandable polystyrene is not part of this transaction. BASF and INEOS will retain their respective businesses. With Styrolution, BASF and INEOS will establish the leading company in the global styrenics market. Styrolution has an excellent global position with production sites in Europe, Asia and North America. Styrenics are mainly used for household and office products, for electrical and communication devices and for packaging. Styrene-based copolymers are thermoplastic resins based on styrene and acrylonitrile. They are mainly used in automotive and technical applications as well as for many everyday products. Visit: www.basf.com
Innovative polyolefin solutions reduce weight
the 2011 Société Française des Ingénieurs des Plastiques’ (SFIP) Congress, Borealis and Borouge, leading providers of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, presented their latest innovations for the automotive industry aimed at reducing vehicle weight. Designed to aid Tier One suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) meet the market’s current trends and challenges, Borealis and Borouge industry solutions can lower overall production costs through improved handling, reduced overall energy consumption and the elimination of manufacturing steps. In under the bonnet applications, for example, VW became the first automotive OEM to switch from glass reinforced polyamides to Borealis’ high-performance PP for air intake manifolds (AIMs) thereby reducing weight up to 15 per cent. And in exterior applications DAIMLER selected Borealis’ innovative PP and PP high flow for body panels in their Smart Fortwo model (PC/PBT replacement) achieving a 15 per cent weight savings Visit: www.borealisgroup.com
AkzoNobel forms partnership in China
kzoNobel has entered into a partnership in China with Guangxi CAVA Titanium Industry Co. Ltd for the production and supply of titanium dioxide (TiO2), one of the most important raw materials in the production of paints and coatings.
The collaboration – which includes the construction of a new TiO2 plant in Qinzhou – will help to secure AkzoNobel’s growing titanium dioxide raw material needs for the Asian market. Rapid growth is expected within the global coatings and paints market and most of this demand growth will occur in Asia, especially China.
“By entering into this partnership with CAVA, we will be enhancing security of supply in Asia for this critical raw material,” explained Werner Fuhrmann, AkzoNobel’s executive committee member responsible for supply chain and sourcing. Visit: www.akzonobel.com
Industry Europe 13
CUTTING THE COST OF CAPTURING CO2 A project funded by the European Union and led by SINTEF, the Norwegian research organisation, with ten other European partners aims to demonstrate a cost-effective CO2 capture technology that could herald a new generation of power-generation plants with integrated CO2 capture.
ower generation based on fossil fuels is one of the major contributors to global CO2 emissions. Measures have been taken at both national and European levels to reduce CO2 emissions from power stations as we move towards a low-carbon future. The DemoCLOCK project, with a budget of €8.2 million, is based on a special version of a technology called Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC). This new CO2 capture technology is believed to be cost-effective and has already been tested in the laboratory with promising results. “CLC itself is believed to be on the verge of becoming one of the most cost-effective ways of capturing CO2 from power plants. DemoCLOCK aims to demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of implementing a packed bed-based chemical looping combustion (CLC) concept in large-scale power plants. This version of CLC is even less complex and more compact than the original CLC concept,” says Dr Shahriar Amini of SINTEF, who is the project coordinator of DemoCLOCK.
Building a test reactor in Spain
All the partners in the DemoCLOCK project will work towards the proof of feasibility: the medium-scale demonstration of a 500kW packed bed CLC reactor in the Elcogas company’s Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant in Puertollano in Spain, the largest IGCC power plant in Europe. SINTEF, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) will test the materials to be used in the reactors. Céramiques Techniques et Industrielles (CTI) will undertake large-scale fabrication of 14 Industry Europe
the materials; SINTEF will lead the conceptual design phase and collaborate with TU/e to deliver an optimised reactor performance; Array Industries will take care of the detailed engineering design, construction and integration of the demonstration plant in Puertollano, which will be operated by ECN and Array Industries. In order to ensure that all health, safety and environmental aspects are taken into account in the design, construction and operation of the reactor, the Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas (IEIA), Verbia Nano Technologies and VITO will perform environmental impact and waste management assessments. The implementation plan will be led by Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with Foster Wheeler Italiana, in order to confirm the technical and economical feasibility of integrating the process into large-scale power generation. The commercialisation phase will be led by Foster Wheeler Italiana, and the entire project will be coordinated by SINTEF.
The original CLC concept
Fossil fuel power generation is based on burning fuel with oxygen from the air, just as we burn wood in a fire. The resulting CO2 is diluted in large amounts of nitrogen left over from the air, which makes it very difficult to economically separate, capture and store. CLC overcomes this problem by never allowing direct contact between the air and the fuel, so that the CO2 does not mix with nitrogen in the first place. Two reactors, an air reactor and a fuel reactor, are used in the CLC process, and an oxygen carrier in the form of metal oxide granules is circulated between them. In the air reactor, oxygen from the air is transferred to the oxygen
(DemoCLOCK: Demonstration of cost-effective medium-size Chemical Looping Combustion through packed beds using solid hydrocarbons as fuel for power production with CO2 capture) n SINTEF, Norway n Politecnico di Milano, Italy n Verbia Nano Technologies, Spain n Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Belgium n Elcogas, Spain n Energy research Centre of the Netherlands, (ECN), the Netherlands n Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas (IEIA), Poland n Foster Wheeler Italiana, Italy n Céramiques Techniques et Industrielles (CTI), France n Array Industries, the Netherlands n Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the Netherlands
carrier in a process called oxidation, producing lots of heat and a harmless stream of oxygen-poor air. The resulting oxygen-rich oxygen carrier is then transferred to the fuel reactor, where it provides the fuel with oxygen in the total absence of nitrogen. Fuel reacts with the oxygen carrier in a process called ‘reduction’ and produces an exit stream of only CO2 and H2O. Capturing the CO2 from this stream is very easy because it only needs to be cooled down for the H2O to condense out, leaving a stream of pure CO2. The oxygenpoor oxygen carrier can then be transported back to the air reactor to repeat the process. As in any other fossil fuel power generation system, the heat generated in the reactors can be converted to electricity by means of turbines.
The DemoCLOCK version of CLC – ‘packed bed’
In packed bed CLC, the oxygen carrier material is fixed in a reactor and alternatively exposed to fuel gas and air streams. This arrangement essentially creates the fuel reactor and the air reactor alternatively in a single reactor and therefore has all the CO2 capture advantages of the standard CLC process described above. Another major advantage of this setup is that the oxygen carrier material no longer has to be transferred between the two reactors. This greatly simplifies the process and is expected to speed up its commercialisation. The packed bed CLC concept was originally developed by a research group at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands (formerly at the University of Twente in the Netherlands).
The packed bed CLC will be used to convert gasified solid hydrocarbons (syngas) into hot streams of CO2 and oxygen-poor air which can potentially be used for electricity generation. Packed bed reactor technology thus opens up the prospect of using various types of fuel (e.g. coal, petcoke, biomass). “In comparison with currently available CO2 capture techniques, our concept will reduce power generation energy losses and do so in a cost-effective way,” says project coordinator Shahriar Amini. The project aims to modify the current energy generation system to make it more sustainable and less dependent on imported fuels. This will help to address pressing challenges of security of supply and climate change, while increasing European industrial n competitiveness.
Industry Europe 15
New contracts and orders in industry
Veidekke to build more flats at Rodeløkka
eidekke Entreprenør AS has been awarded the contract from Veidekke Eiendom AS to build stage 2 of the Konfektfabrikken housing project at Rodeløkka in Oslo. The contract comprises building 50 new flats with a total sales value of more than NOK 150 million excluding VAT. In December Veidekke started building the first stage of the housing project consisting of 84 flats with a total sales value of NOK 260 million. In April 2011 the sale of the 50 flats in stage two started. As of 31 May 2011, 112 of a total of 134 flats in stages 1 and 2 have been sold with a total sales value of NOK 333 million. “Building of stage two has just commenced, and the flats are to be ready in December 2012,” says project developer Tor Nordstrøm of Veidekke Eiendom. Four building stages are planned with a total of 253 flats, with an estimated sales value of more than NOK 900 million. Stage 3 is expected to be put on the market in the autumn of 2011, followed by stage 4 in the spring of 2012. Visit: www.veidekke.com
Alstom unites business processes with ENOVIA Version 6 collaborative platform
assault Systèmes has announced that Alstom has selected its Version 6 PLM platform to improve end to end business processes. As a first step in this major transformation, Alstom Transport will leverage Dassault Systèmes’ ENOVIA Version 6 to unify its different sites under a unique, worldwide platform enabling its employees to efficiently collaborate on customer projects. Alstom is consolidating its PLM system in
order to streamline information sharing, increase its manufacturing capacity and reduce time-tomarket. Looking for maximum efficiency and ROI, Alstom chose Dassault Systèmes’ ENOVIA Version 6 for its flexible, open PLM backbone providing the unique ability to implement the ‘Design Once, Manufacture Anywhere concept’ across business lines, as well as its multi-disciplinary collaboration capabilities. ENOVIA Version
6 will be deployed to 3500 users. “We are pleased that Alstom has chosen to consolidate its investment in Version 6,” said Sylvain Laurent, executive vice-president, PLM Enterprise Business Transformation, Dassault Systèmes. “Alstom will benefit from a single platform for intellectual property management, improved internal and external collaboration.” Visit: www.3ds.com
Bouygues Construction signs contract for the new French Defence Ministry
ouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France and Exprimm, forming part of Opale-Défense, have won a contract to finance, design and construct the
MTL Group awarded major offshore renewables contract
Group, one of Europe’s leading project manufacturing companies, has been awarded a multi-million pound contract to supply 97 boat landing systems to a leading European foundations manufacturer for a German offshore wind farm in the North Sea.
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French Ministry of Defence at Balard, in southwest Paris, along with operation and maintenance of the complex for 30 years. Under the terms of the contract, Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France will coordinate the design and construction, for a total amount of €745 million. For Exprimm, the facilities management subsidiary of ETDE (the Energies & Services division of Bouygues Con struction), the contract is worth €534 million. The new ministry will accommodate the Minister of Defence and his special advisors, the office of the joint chiefs of staff, the offices
of the chiefs of staff of the three armed forces, the French defence procurement agency and other military departments and administrative services. In all there will be roughly 9300 people spread over a total surface area of 320,000 m2. As consortium leader, Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France will be the guarantor of the entire designbuild operation (building and systems). Exprimm will be responsible for operating and maintaining the buildings for 27 years from the date of handover. Visit: www.bouygues.com
Specialising in batch fabrications with the ability to manufacture structures up to 400 tonnes in weight, MTL Group is one of the fastest growing project manufacturing specialists in the metals sector and is the UK’s leading secondary steelwork supplier of boat landing systems who also supply working platforms, plate beams and nodes.
Dr Henry Shirman, managing director, said: “This is a major breakthrough for us in the European offshore wind market.” 25 MTL employees will be working on the project at the group’s advanced manufacturing facility in Rotherham. Work is due to commence in July 2011 with the final delivery of boat landings to be delivered by March 2012 Visit: www.mtlgrp.com
WINNINGBUSINESS Spheros secures contract from South Korea
erman bus climate specialist Spheros has been awarded a contract by South Korean bus manufacturer DAEWOO for the supply of 150 new Twister PowerCooler type air conditioners. The units are to be installed in natural gas-powered DAEWOO city buses destined for Bangladesh. The Twister rooftop air conditioner – specially conceived for Asian markets and featuring a high degree of functionality, reliability coupled with competitive procurement and operating costs – is a completely new addition to the Spheros product range. The 150 units will be delivered from here to DAEWOO in South Korea, where they will be installed in the BS 106 standard city bus. The buses are to be delivered to the final customers BRTC (Bangladesh Road Corporation) in DhakaVisit: www.spheros.de
GE Capital Aviation Services signs order for 15 ATR 72-600
Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric and European turboprop manufacturer ATR, has announced a new order for 15 ATR 72-600s, plus 15 options. The deal is valued at approximately US$680 million at list prices, including options. Filippo Bagnato, chief executive officer of ATR, declared: “We are proud to associate such a prestigious brand as GECAS to the ATR family. This deal underlines the increasing interest of leasing companies for ATR aircraft, as they eye the success of our aircraft and, particularly, the increasing business opportunities they provide. ATRs feature low operating cost profile and high level of reliability and value retention. In the last three years, the number of ATRs in operation that belongs to leasing companies has doubled.” ATR’s new ‘600-series’ will offer airline operators improvements in performance and passenger comfort, including the new Armonia cabin developed by Italian designer Giugiaro. They also feature technology enhancements such as a new avionics suite, while offering a very high standard of commonality with ATR’s current products. Visit: www.atraircraft.com
Cargotec receives a port crane order from Russia C
argotec has agreed to deliver one Kalmar ship-to-shore (STS) crane and one Kalmar rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) crane to JSC NEVAMETAL, a division of OAO Severstal, operating at the port of St Petersburg. This will be Cargotec’s first STS crane in Russia, further strengthening the company’s presence in the country. The Russian stevedore opted for a Kalmar STS crane capable of serving Panamax vessels in twinlift operation with a 36-metre outreach, 16-metre backreach and 28-metre hoisting height. The unit will feature optimised hoisting speeds that deliver
accuracy and efficiency with very little energy consumption. The crane will operate without hydraulics requiring less time for maintenance and eliminating the potential for oil leakages. NEVA-METAL’s Kalmar STS crane will feature an onboard electrical power generation set enabling regenerative energy flows. Due to the crane’s innovative design, the diesel power generator is kept very small compared with traditional diesel powered STS cranes resulting in significantly less fuel usage. Visit: www.cargotec.com
Alfa Laval wins breakthrough solarpower order
“We are very proud to be part of such a ground-breaking project in the important area of renewable energy,” says Lars Renström, president and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group. “It is a unique order in many ways; it includes a unique product and will to be used in the world’s largest solar power plant.” The Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers, specifically developed for this application,
lfa Laval has received an order in the US to provide Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers to the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant. The order value is substantial and well in line with the largest reported over the past 12 months. Delivery is scheduled for 2012.
will be the heart of the thermal storage system where heat from solar power is stored in molten salt, thereby enabling electricity production even on rainy days or at night. The solution will allow the plant to operate for additional 6 hours on stored energy – an increase of about 50 per cent over normal daytime solar power production. Visit: www.alfalaval.com
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SSAB becomes full owner of Tibnor
Fortum and Lukoil sign agreement on technology collaboration
is becoming the full owner of the steel and non-ferrous metals distributor Tibnor. This is taking place by SSAB, which currently owns an 85 per cent stake in the company, acquiring Outokumpu’s 15 per cent minority stake. Tibnor is a leading steel and non-ferrous metals distributor in Sweden and the rest of the Nordic region, and also has a subsidiary in Latvia. “Tibnor is an important channel for reaching our customers on our Nordic domestic market and we see that the company possesses good development potential,” says SSAB’s president and CEO Martin Lindqvist. SSAB is paying €44 million in cash for Outokumpu’s 15 per cent stake. The sale is not expected to impact on customer relations between Outokumpu and Tibnor, which markets and sells products from many different suppliers. Visit: www.ssab.com
ortum and the Russian energy company Lukoil have signed a technology collaboration framework agreement. The agreement covers collaboration in the areas of operation, maintenance and capacity upgrades of power plants and heating networks, among others. The companies also agreed on research and development collaboration aiming to improve energy efficiency. The agreement is based on Fortum’s long experience in providing operation and maintenance services to Russian energy companies. Fortum, for example, performs efficiency and productivity optimisation audits at Lukoil’s power plants. “Collaboration with Lukoil provides us with even better opportunities to develop energy-efficient electricity and heat production in Russia,” says Fortum’s president and CEO Tapio Kuula. Visit: www.fortum.com
Wärtsilä and Versa Power to jointly develop fuel cell technology
ärtsilä, the leading provider of power solutions to both the marine and energy markets, and Versa Power Systems (VPS), a leading developer of environmentally friendly, high-power solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), have announced a cooperative agreement to develop and integrate
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Versa Power’s SOFC technology into Wärtsilä products. A key target of the agreement is to develop commercial Wärtsilä fuel cell products that generate power and heat for various applications in the distributed energy and marine markets. The agreement allows Wärtsilä to integrate VPS fuel cell stack modules, especially for larger power
Vallourec strengthens its local presence in Saudi Arabia
allourec, world leader in premium tubular solutions, has reached an agreement to acquire Saudi Seamless Pipes Factory Company Limited ‘Zamil Pipes’, the first seamless OCTG processing company in Saudi Arabia. Located in Dammam, Zamil Pipes is close to Vallourec’s new VAM threading plant which is currently under construction and due to be commissioned in H2 2011. In complement to this project, the acquisition of Zamil Pipes will provide Vallourec with ready-to-run heat treatment capacity and threading facilities of up to 100 kt of pipe per year. With these two operations, Vallourec will reinforce its local presence in the Kingdom, through additional finishing capacities and reduced lead-times, to serve the premium OCTG market in Saudi Arabia. Philippe Crouzet, chairman of Vallourec’s management board, stated: “With local heat treatment and premium threading facilities, Vallourec and Zamil Pipes will enjoy an unmatched competitive position. The combination of Vallourec’s expertise in VAM premium OCTG technology and Zamil Pipes processing facilities will strengthen the local offer to serve Saudi Aramco and other customers in the Middle East.” Visit: www.vallourec.fr range products. For VPS, the agreement provides a dedicated partner with the ability to commercialise fuel cell products in large markets around the globe. Offering customers environmentally sound and sustainable energy production technologies is an essential part of Wärtsilä’s strategy. Visit: www.wartsila.com
LINKINGUP Bentley announces new partnership in Sweden with Autoropa
entley has opened a new door into the Scandinavian market. The British carmaker announced its partnership with the Swedish company Autoropa, which will be responsible for the market and will open a dealership and showroom in Malmö. Whilst sales commence immediately, a new Bentley sales and service facility including a workshop will open in Sep-
tember. Under the leadership of general manager Filip Larsson Bentley Motors looks forward to a successful foothold in the Swedish market. Autoropa is a company with a long and rich history, specialising in representing and showcasing Europe’s premier automotive companies. In May this year, the company opened its stunning new headquarters in Malmö where the new
Bentley showroom will be located. Thomas Kiesele, operations director Europe for Bentley Motors, says Autoropa is ready to meet the challenge. “We have chosen this Swedish partner because of its luxury car expertise, professionalism, many years of experience in the Swedish market and its strong marketing.” Visit: www.bentleymedia.com
Hill & Smith acquire ATA of Sweden for SEK 100 million
he Board of Hill & Smith has announced that the group has completed the acquisition of ATA of Sweden for SEK 100 million in cash. Formed in 1967, ATA is a family-owned distributor of road safety barriers and manufacturer and distributor of road signage to the infrastructure market in Sweden. The business operates from four depot locations in Sweden and has headquarters in Stockholm. ATA’s product portfolio comprises permanent road safety barriers, a temporary road safety barrier rental fleet, crash cushions and road signs, includ-
ing variable message signing. ATA’s temporary road safety barrier rental model is similar to that of Hill & Smith’s ‘Varioguard’ product in the UK. This acquisition allows the group to enter a strong infrastructure market with a leading distributor and supplier that has an established and complementary product portfolio. ATA also provides the group with potential for expansion in Sweden and into other parts of Scandinavia, consistent with its strategy for international market and earnings growth. Visit: www.hsholdings.co.uk
VTG purchases the Railcraft group of companies
Aktiengesellschaft has taken over the Railcraft group of companies with offices in Espoo, Finland, Moscow, Russia and Tallinn, Estonia. Railcraft rents out its own and leased rail tank cars for mineral oil to customers in the CIS and the Baltic States, in particular in Russia and the Ukraine. “For us, the Railcraft takeover opens up an operations gateway into the CIS and Baltic markets. This purchase enables us to continue expanding our broad gauge wagon hire business,” explains Dr Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. As early as the late 90s, VTG had already developed rail tank cars capable of travelling on both the Russian and the western European railway network. The resulting know-how can be incorporated into the new business. In addition, Railcraft’s transport agreement with the Russian Railways will in future also enable VTG’s Rail Logistics Division to offer freight rates within the CIS and the Baltic without needing to resort to intermediaries. Railcraft’s own fleet comprises more than 560 wagons. Visit: www.vtg.com
STRABAG grows in Sweden through acquisition of NIMAB Group.
TRABAG SE, central and eastern Europe’s largest construction company, has announced the 100 per cent acquisition of five subsidiaries of Sweden’s NIMAB Group. These are NIMAB Entreprenad AB, NIMAB Support AB, NIMAB Anläggning AB, NIMAB Fastigheter AB and Linnetorp AB.
With the acquisition of the five companies, STRABAG bolsters its presence in southern Sweden. Currently STRABAG’s activities in Sweden are limited to large-scale infrastructure projects and real estate development. With the acquisition of the NIMAB Group, the company aims at acquiring smaller and medium-sized infrastructure projects as well as projects in the field of building construction.
Dr Hans Peter Haselsteiner, CEO of STRABAG SE, commented: “The market in Sweden is dominated by a few large construction companies and many small family businesses, most of which do not qualify for an acquisition. The sale of the NIMAB Group therefore represents a rare opportunity to drive forward our planned growth in Sweden.” Visit: www.strabag.com
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MOVINGON BMW Group invests in UK manufacturing operations
Relocations and expansions across Europe
New E.ON combined cycle gas turbine plant in Slovakia E.ON
he BMW Group has announced an additional £500 million investment in its UK production network over the next three years and confirmed that the UK will be a production location for its next generation MINI models. This takes the company’s investment across all its UK operations to more than £1.5 billion since 2000. “We have started preparing our UK plants for production of the next generation MINI and this investment underlines that the UK will remain the heart of MINI production,” announced Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, during his visit to London on Thursday. “The MINI brand has made a significant contribution to BMW Group’s success in markets around the world and we anticipate that this will grow further in the future.” The BMW Group has been producing MINI at Plant Oxford since 2001. In that time nearly two million vehicles have been produced at the plant and more than 1.5 million MINIs have been exported to customers in 90 different countries. Visit: www.bmw.de
Wärtsilä expands its services in Poland
ärtsilä Corporation has opened a new workshop in Gdansk, Poland. Located close to Polish shipyards and ports, the workshop further strengthens Wärtsilä’s presence in the Baltic area and its
20 Industry Europe
has inaugurated a modern combined cycle gas turbine plant at Malženice in Slovakia with a capacity of 436 megawatts. The plant, representing an investment of €400 million, marks a key milestone in Slovakian power generation as it has an efficiency of more than 59%. Due to its great flexibility it is making a substantial contribution to compensating for the fluctuating production
of electricity from renewable energies, thereby keeping the power grid stabile. Jørgen Kildahl, member of the board of E.ON AG responsible for the global generation business, said, “The new Malženice power station is our biggest single investment in Slovakia so far. With its high efficiency it contributes to making the country’s power generation even more climate- and environmentally-
friendly. CO2 emissions for instance are about 25% lower than at existing plants in Slovakia.” Visit: www.eon.com
AkzoNobel opens fire protection R&D facility
Rolls-Royce opens new dealership in Montreal
olls-Royce Motor Cars has opened a new dealership in Montreal, the third franchise to be established in Canada. The move heralds a return to Quebec for Rolls-Royce after an eight year absence. Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: “North America is Rolls-Royce’s largest market. With the addition of our new Montreal franchise, partnering our Toronto and Vancouver dealerships, we can now serve our customers wherever they may be in Canada.” Visit: www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com position as the leading services provider for shipping customers visiting Poland. The new facilities enable advanced servicing and repairs of engine components, as well as enhanced re-machining capabilities. Included among the new activities that will be undertaken
are the overhaul of fuel pumps, fuel valves and air coolers, and overhauls of bow thruster units. “Our customers will benefit from the increased range of services we now can provide,” says Wojtek Wlodarczak, president and service manager, Wärtsilä Polska. “We now can handle
kzoNobel has opened a €7 million state-of-the-art fire protection laboratory at its Felling site in the UK, part of a major €10 million investment in research, development and innovation (RD&I) which will create around 40 new jobs. The lab will be operated by the company’s Marine and Protective Coatings business, which is the leading supplier of fire protection coatings used to protect steel structures such as buildings and oil and gas installations. The global market is growing rapidly due to increasingly stringent fire protection regulations worldwide, with forecasters expecting demand to double by 2018. Visit: www.akzonobel.com very large engine assemblies. The new facilities also enable us to carry out engine repairs and overwhauls using the very latest technologies, and to further expand in areas such as propulsion equipment and electrical and automation services.” Visit: www.wartsila.com
INDUSTRYPEOPLE New head of finance at DEUTZ
hristian Krupp has taken over as head of finance and investor relations at DEUTZ AG. Christian Krupp (43) had already served as head of Corporate Development at DEUTZ in Cologne from 2005 to 2007. In 2008 he was transferred to the American subsidiary DEUTZ Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as CFO until 2009, when he was promoted to the position of president & chief executive officer of DEUTZ Corporation.
Carlos Tavares appointed chief operating officer at Renault
arlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer, has appointed Carlos Tavares as chief operating officer for Renault. Under the leadership of Carlos Ghosn and working with the group executive committee which is evolving, Carlos Tavares will oversee the implementation of the Renault 2016 – Drive the Change programme, which will ensure that the group accelerates its growth in all international markets and increases its presence in new technologies, particularly electric vehicles. Carlos Ghosn said, “The appointment of Carlos Tavares is a first step in strengthening Renault’s management. Carlos Tavares knows the automotive industry in all its dimensions: design, engineering, production, marketing, sales and international deployment. His talent and experience will be key strengths for Renault and for all its employees.”
Flexitallic appoints new sales director F
lexitallic UK, part of the FDS Group, a global leader in the manufacture and supply of high quality, high value industrial static sealing products, has appointed Jonathan Brough as its news sales director. Said Jonathan: “Flexitallic has an innovative product and service offering, and a global reach that supports its customers completely.
Fortum appoints vice-presidents in corporate relations and sustainability
ortum Corporation has appointed Ms. Joanna Hofman, MA, international relations (with emphasis on Russian affairs), as vice-president, Corporate Relations & International Affairs. Prior to her appointment, Hofman served as the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Finland during 2007–2011. Fortum Corporation has also appointed Ms. Helena Aatinen, MSc (Econ), as vice-president, Corporate Communications as of 1 August 2011. She will be responsible for Fortum’s financial communications as of mid-September 2011.
David Woolley appointed president and CEO of Concentric
of August 1, 2011, David Woolley, currently head of Haldex Hydraulic Systems in Europe, will succeed Ian Dugan as president and CEO of Concentric AB, the new company spun out
The opportunity to work for such a dynamic company and help it sustain its market growth and its competitive advantage is a great opportunity.” As well as delivering a global sales and marketing strategy, Jonathan will also manage the company’s commercial integrity to develop and manage relationships with key global accounts.
Stabilus appoints Dietmar Siemssen as CEO
tabilus GmbH, the world market leader for gas springs and hydraulic vibration dampers headquartered in Koblenz, Germany, has appointed Dietmar Siemssen (47) as new chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director of the company. Dietmar Siemssen is a renowned industry expert with extensive experience in the automotive industry. He has a long-standing track record and a broad range of expertise in the development and management of businesses at international sites, especially in the growth market of Asia.
from the former Haldex Hydraulic Systems Division. David Woolley, 49, has extensive experience of the company’s operations, having joined Concentric in 2002 as a member of the group’s management team. He was previously head of engine pump operations in the UK and India and
is currently in charge of operations in Europe. David brings to his new role 12 years experience in the automotive sector, including Serck Heat Transfer, where he was a member of the buyout team and, subsequently, Alstom and Honeywell where he worked in general management roles.
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Advances in technology across industry
The ‘card’ that could save your life
looks like a credit card – it slips into a wallet or purse – but it could mean the difference between life and death in a medical emergency. The MyCare Card stores personal medical data (e.g. information on existing medical conditions, allergies and medication being taken) and plugs into a laptop’s USB port, enabling the data to be accessed in just a few moments. This working prototype has been developed by City University London and Coventry University, with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Although patient-held electronic health record cards have been trialled in some parts of the world, the MyCare Card has a number of unique features: n The software underlying the system is written in a portable way using Python programming language, meaning it can be ported easily between different computers and different computer operating systems. n The software is very modular and easy to extend, which means it is simple to add new features and database record types.
n The MyCare system has been developed on an open-source basis, enabling a wide range of people to be involved in reviewing and contributing to the development process. Visit: www.epsrc.ac.uk
Closing the circle in waste management Developing aviation biofuels A L dvanced Plasma Power (APP), the UK-based waste-to-energy company and Group Machiels, the global waste management firm, have announced a major joint venture in order to undertake the first enhanced landfill mining project in the world – involving an investment of hundreds of millions of euros. The Closing the Circle concept is being implemented in the project at the landfill site of Remo Milieubeheer NV in Houthalen-Hechteren, Belgium, a subsidiary of Group Machiels. More than 16 million tons of waste is stored at that landfill site. The type,
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amount and location of the waste stored is well documented, allowing its effective and efficient mining. Around 45 per cent of the stored waste can be recycled as material. The recycling residue can be processed through APP’s patented Gasplasma® technology, Europe’s first truly sustainable waste-toenergy application of this kind. The joint venture aims to construct an energy plant using up to five Gasplasma® units, with a net electrical power of 75 to 100 MW – this is equivalent to the energy required to power 100,000 homes.
The energy produced by the Gasplasma® units will be fed into the national electricity grid in Flanders. The Gasplasma® process is a gasification and plasma conversion technology that converts the waste stream into a clean hydrogen-rich syngas and a vitrified recyclate product called Plasmarok® that can be used as a building material or replacement aggregate. The Gasplasma® process destroys harmful gases leaving the high quality syngas to be used to generate clean, renewable, local energy. www.advancedplasmapower.com
eading German research institutions, enterprises in the aviation field and bioenergy producers have founded the association Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany – aireg. Because energy sources such as hydrogen or batteries still require decades of development before they can be used in aviation, a promising interim solution lies in ‘drop-in’ capable fuels from renewable raw materials which possess properties equal to or better than Jet A-1 kerosene and are seamlessly deployable in the existing global aircraft fleet and the associated ground infrastructure. To date, however, these fuels are available only in small quantities, so the sustained industrialisation of production is a key task of industry and research. In this context, it must always be ensured that vegetable-based biofuel production does not compete with food production. Currently, the potential of the jatropha nut and microscopic algae, for example, is being investigated. Energyproviding plants of this kind offer the possibility of avoiding competition with food production for available space.
France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on a new outbreak of economic patriotism.
olitical pressure is mounting on Air France to grant its multi-billion euro order for new aircraft to European manufacturer Airbus in favour of US rivals Boeing. The French national airline is set to award a contract worth up to €20 billion for around 100 new jets at the end of July, with the aim of renewing its fleet over the next decade. Toulouse-based Airbus, owned by European conglomerate EADS, and American planemaker Boeing are both vying for the lucrative deal which could secure thousands of jobs in both companies for years to come. But a group of French MPs is pushing Air France-KLM – which is 15.7 per cent owned by the French state – to hand the contract to Airbus as a gesture of ‘loyalty to European industry’. French analysts believe the Air France board is leaning towards splitting the order between the two manufacturers – a move that would give the airline a competitive advantage of pitting one planemaker against the other to get a better deal. The French MPs, led by Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party deputy Bernard Carayon, have drawn up a petition calling for Air France to choose the Airbus and invited Air France boss Pierre-Henri Gourgeon to a meeting with junior trade minister Pierre Lellouche in the coming weeks. Mr Carayon told the French press in June: “We try to encourage economic patriotism. Air France isn’t Air Boeing, and US airlines traditionally favour their own domestic plane manufacturer.” Mr Lellouche added: “The French government helped Air France a lot when it ran into problems with EU regulators, and we expect the carrier to return the favour.” But Air France have refused to reveal where they will place their order, with a spokesman only adding: “We are a private company, but Mr. Gourgeon frequently talks
to parliamentarians and other government officials when they request meetings.” Meanwhile, the French airline announced plans in June to start powering planes with ‘cooking oil’. More than 200 flights between Amsterdam and Paris would begin running on a blend of traditional fuel and waste oil from the start of September, Air France said. Camiel Eurlings, managing director of Air France partner KLM said: “In November 2009 we demonstrated that it was technically possible to fly on biokerosene. Now, a year and a half after our first demonstration flight, a new phase has been entered around the world and authorisation will soon be granted to operate all commercial flights on biofuel.” Air France-KLM’s biofuel initiative is part of a global effort by airlines to reduce carbon emissions. The International Air Transport Association set a target in 2007 to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from air travel by 2050. But Mr Eurlings said the price of producing biofuel was still a barrier to 100 per cent sustainable energy. He added: “The costs of biofuels need to come down substantially and permanently. This can be achieved through innovation, collaboration and the right legislation that stimulates biofuel in the airline industry, but with an eye on honest competition.” Biofuels are made from animal fats, vegetable oils and cooking oils and, when blended with traditional kerosene, can be used in planes without any modification to the jet engine.
Burqa or no burqa
Meanwhile in Paris, French travel industry leaders have said fears that the recent burqa ban could deter wealthy Arabs from visiting France and harm the lucrative luxury retail industry have not materialised. Experts said despite new laws in April making it
illegal to hide one’s face in public, there had been no dip in travel bookings from rich Muslim nations. Around 215,000 Middle Easterners visited Paris last year, and although they account for just three per cent of the eight million foreigners to visit France, they spend up to ten times more per head than non-Arab tourists. The Hotels.com website said it had even seen a 219 per cent increase in the number of searches for France from its Arabic Middle East site since the burqa ban came into force. Searches for Belgium, which in 2010 passed a bill banning any clothing that would obscure the identity of the wearer, had also increased by 300 per cent, the website said. A spokesman for the Saudi-based Al Tayyar Travel Group added: “France is the capital of fashion and ladies will never give up going to France, whatever they may or not be allowed to wear over their faces.” The French law makes it a criminal offence for anyone to hide their face in public, including streets, shops, restaurants and behind the wheel of a car on a public road. Under the rules, women can be fined 150 euros for wearing a burqa while men who force their wives to wear the garb can be fined up to 25,000 euros. Repeat offenders who refuse to pay up can be sent to prison. French president Nicolas Sarkozy has described the burqa as a ‘sign of debasement’. His immigration minister Eric Besson called it ‘a walking coffin’. Senior police chiefs have called the ban ‘unenforcable’ and said officers were too busy fighting serious crime to go ‘burka-chasing’. And leaders of Al-Qaeda’s North African network wrote on an Islamic extremist website: “We will seek dreadful revenge on France by all means at our disposal, for the n honour of our daughters and sisters.” Industry Europe 23
Germany ALLAN HALL reports from Berlin on the cash that’s trapped in trash.
ermany has embarked on a unique quest that may wean it – and eventually the world – off some of its reliance on raw materials by recyling mountains of trash. According to a report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) around 40 million tons worth of electronics end up in the trash annually. As the demand for metals used in the manufacture of electronics continues to boom, raw materials decline, become rarer and their costs boom. Now export leader Germany is looking to reduce its reliance on imports by exploiting the metal that is thrown away. The world’s largest recycling facility for complex precious metals is in Hoboken, a section of the Belgian city of Antwerp. This dump of unwanted things of the past is, believes Germany, the way of the future. In dozens of bays at the plant lie the twisted, broken remnants of televisions, computers, mobile phones – around €3500 worth of waste gold weighing 100 grammes in each ton of waste. Given that a ton of gold-bearing ore will yield no more than five grammes, the Hoboken facility is a veritable Klondike. And gold is only the beginning. Other metals lying in the thrown-away components of the throwaway society are rare gallium – a key ingredient in solar cells – and rhodium, which is used in catalytic converters. The metals industry, warning of dangerous bottlenecks, is searching for new sources, and suddenly garbage of this sort has been upgraded to ‘valuable resource’. While Germany achieves recycling rates upwards of 80 per cent for glass and paper, the majority of electronic devices are lost as sources of raw materials. Electric shavers, hair dryers and toasters gather dust in cabinets and drawers or are simply thrown in the general rubbish bins and end up in waste incinerators to go up in smoke. 24 Industry Europe
For every ton of mobile phones disposed of in an incinerator, 150kg of copper, 5kg of silver and about 100g of palladium are lost. With recyling rates for most precious metals around zero, this is a new boom waiting to happen. Experts say the current collection of waste metal and electronic items in Germany at present is both wasteful and haphazard. “We have a collection problem,” says Hubertus Bardt, an expert on natural resources at the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. The German government is considering a special waste container for recyclable materials. It is expected to be introduced in households by 2015. This would not only be profitable but would go a long way into denting the trade in illegally shipped waste
“Germany is now on the path to lead Europe in what has been termed urban mining.” to places like Nigeria and Ghana where child workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals as they deconstruct electrical devices with their bare hands. Another scheme under consideration is to give vouchers to all mobile phone users which can be redeemed for cash or prizes if they recycle their phone at special collection centres. Currently, just one in four mobile telephones are recycled. If all were, at least €100 million in precious metals could be harvested annually.
There is also a plan to re-open old landfill sites across Germany to claw out of the earth the throwaway objects of yesteryear. Stefan Gaeth, a waste and resource management expert at the University of Giessen, estimates that household garbage dumps contain enough “metallic raw materials to
cover the entire German demand for a year.” The professor suspects that abandoned landfills contain about €30 million to €50 million worth of scrap material. The problem is finding an economic way to get to it. “Every year we export 100,000 tons of electronic scrap and this is crazy because it is like filling a container with 500 euro notes and sending it off to a wasteland in Africa or China to be burned,” said Volker Lenz, a recycling industry analyst. “Germany is now on the path to lead Europe in what has been termed ‘urban mining’ – the extraction of money from scrap from the past. As the country which recycles the most in Europe, this is the natural way to go. “Business based around the recycling of electronics is getting increasingly lucrative,” says the German Association for Secondary Raw Materials and Waste Disposal (BVSE). “Many European recycling firms have figured this out and have profited from recent high prices for metal.” Some €5 billion in palladium and gold could be clawed back for European economies each year in recycling electronic products, which is why the German government has made it a priority issue on a par with phasing out nuclear power. Consumption of valuable raw materials is increasing steadily, while the mining yield decreases. In the years 2000 to 2008 the volume of German imports of raw materials increased from 54 to €127 billion. In particular, the so-called technologies of the future are resource-eaters on a massive scale. Each wind turbine requires up to eight tons of copper; for the construction of an electric vehicle it is about 100 lbs – about twice as much as a conventional midsize car. “This is why getting the new from the old is so critical,” added Lenz. “We have to stop taking out the trash and n begin using it.”
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With GST AutoLeather’s acquisition of Seton Leather earlier this year, two very strong and identifiable brand names came together in automotive leather and are ready to take their new products and services into the fast lane. Abigail Saltmarsh reports. 24 Industry Europe
January 5, 2011, GST, a leading global supplier of automotive leather, announced that it had completed the acquisition of Seton’s automotive leather operations in Europe and South Africa. According to Dennis Hiller, president and CEO of GST and Seton AutoLeather, the name of Seton AutoLeather will remain in Europe and South Africa. The combining of the two companies has enhanced both operations and serves to strengthen the company’s product offerings as the new business moves forward. “The completion of the acquisition of Seton AutoLeather comes after two years of discussion and diligent work. I am extremely pleased that both companies recognised the advantages and merit of bringing these two industry leaders together,” he said. “Legally, this was an acquisition but, practically, it was the seamless coming together
of two equally sized companies. We believe that our operational, development and product quality strengths provide us with unique capabilities that will benefit our customer’s world wide,” he said.
With the move, two very strong and identifiable brand names came together, he explained. The initial phase of the acquisition of Seton’s global leather business was finalised in early September 2010 and included GST’s acquisition of Seton’s North America, China, and Korea operations. In recognition of its employees and customers around the world, GST will continue to market its products as GST AutoLeather in North America, China, Japan and Korea. The second phase, which included Europe, happened at the start of 2011.
With the completion of the acquisition, GST has now been successful in realising several of its key strategies, including having global operations, development capabilities, and sales facilities and resources in North America, South America, China, Korea, Japan, South Africa, Germany and Hungary.
European manufacturers have a presence today,” he went on. “We have three locations there and some 700 plus employees. Our business there was fairly substantial but the Seton acquisition has given us even more business in China.”
Low cost manufacturing footprint
Bringing Seton AutoLeather into the business has also seen low cost tanning, retanning, finishing and cutting facilities, employing approximately 1,300 people, in South Africa, become part of GST AutoLeather. And European operations in Hungary are also now part of the family. “That leaves Germany, where we have two operations: one for retanning and one for finishing. We employ 350 people in Germany, and we want to maintain our presence there. It is critical that we be close to the German
Seton AutoLeather designs and manufactures its products to meet the needs of the automotive market, said Mr Hiller. In 2004/2005, a decision was taken by GST to move all its manufacturing from the US to Mexico. Now the company has some 3,000 employees at five different plants across three locations. “Since 2003/2004, we have established a significant business in China for the evergrowing Chinese market in which all of the
Staying in Europe
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Rotopress “Rotopress” is a very well known trademark in leather ironing and embossing field, active on the market with its famous models since the Sixties and up to today has developed new solutions aiming to obtain the perfect pressing for an ironing that guarantees maximum brightness and softness of the leathers and an embossing at low and high pressures, all these operations managed by high level of electronic very reliable and easy to use. The steadiness and reliability of Rotopress through-feed ironing and embossing machines are the main qualities of more than 1000 presses working all over
car manufacturers due to the special high quality of German auto leathers. Today you can find these leathers in German, French, Japanese and Korean vehicles.” he added. According to Thomas Bee, General Manager of Seton AutoLeather in Europe, and Florian Schrey, Director of Design, the acquisition has given rise to even more opportunities for product development and new launches. Among those currently 26 Industry Europe
the world. In addition to the usual range of production the last machine developed for the worldwide market is the new Rototransfer RTT that offers a perfect combination for ironing and foil coupling, purposely made for very soft skins. The Rototransfer RTT can operates at very high performances up to a linear pressure of 250 kg/ cm and constant working temperature of 140 °C at a speed over the 20 mt/min., with this machine is possible to obtain all kind of foil application needed to satisfy the most exigent customer that is in constant search of best quality achievement.
breaking new ground is Corinova, an eco-friendly leather using renewable natural ingredients. “All of our automotive leathers are ecofriendly and all hides tanned by us come from farmed animals that are grown for the meat market,” explained Mr Schrey. “But this goes even further. We have developed this in a very balanced way to minimize the damage to the ecosystem.”
All the ingredients used at every stage of production have been chosen carefully to ensure they come from creditable, traceable, and where possible renewable sources. They also have to ensure a minimal C02 footprint for every element of raw material right through to final product. “This has now been introduced and can be used in any environmentally friendly car concept,” said Mr Bee. “For the moment it will
remain a niche product and its future in a wider market will ultimately depend on the willingness of customers around the world to place value on an environmentally friendly product.”
The road ahead
The coming together of GST and Seton’s automotive leather operations has been hailed as a good move for Europe by Mr Hiller, Mr Schrey and Mr Bee. “We do hope to expand in Europe,” said Mr Hiller. “We would like to add business there and if that happened it would justify expanding production.” He added: “With our customers in Europe, we will continue to focus on service. They need suppliers who are reliable and easy to work with. We need to earn our customers’ business in Europe and elsewhere each and every day. If we do that, there will be opportunities to grow. The automotive business is recovering and the acquisition of Seton Leather and our new products are further steps towards our participating in our customers’ growth on n the road ahead.” 28 Industry Europe
Special cleaning equipment for hard-metal tooling
Vibration welder with integrated infrared preheating system
Multifunctional plastic parts in modern cars can require up ten different welding technologies in the production process – so, can the solution come from one single provider? Yes, if you choose KLN Ultraschall AG, says managing director Dr Natrop. Julia Snow reports. Industry Europe 29
Germany, KLN headquarter
very single modern industrial product contains plastic parts, which have to be embedded by means of welding or riveting. KLN Ultraschall AG is a leading European manufacturer of machines and equipment for the welding of plastic parts, as well as a specialist in ultrasonic cleaning. Founded in 1947 by the physicist Dr Lehfeldt, the company initially offered ultrasonic technologies for cleaning procedures in the medical industry. “With the growth of plastic in the 1960s, welding was added to the expertise – and ultrasonic continues to be the most popular welding technique due to low costs and high versatility,” explains Dr Natrop. “Over the years we added more welding techniques, which in turn led to improved machine building expertise.” While the company still offers a wide range of environmentally compatible welding systems, the business today achieves 80 per cent of turnover with its welding activities. In Heppenheim and Fürth, a team of 180 highly skilled experts are working on highly sophisticated projects, totalling an annual turnover in the region of €20-25 million. A 30 Industry Europe
major investment of €6 million was undertaken about three years ago, with the construction of a modern, high-tech production environment in an industrial estate constituting the first move from the company’s traditional city centre location. KLN is part of the global Crest Ultrasonics Corp., New Jersey, which has over 1000 employees at 20 different production sites situated in 12 countries. All members of the Crest group are working under the same philosophy, exchanging resources and expertise and adapting techniques to individual specifications and national standards. “All Crest members work together seamlessly for the benefit of our customers, providing installation and support services for each other. We also buy and sell components between the group members.”
Everything needed for plastics welding and ultrasonic cleaning
In the field of plastic assembly techniques, KLN Ultraschall AG concentrates on six main procedures: ultrasonic welding, vibration welding, hotplate welding, spin welding,
thermal procedures and infrared welding. For all these procedures, customers are offered complete product lines, including standard machines, special equipment, tools, tooling exchange cells, robotics automation, as well as periphery devices. The company also offers ultrasonic cleaning systems, which provide an inexpensive solution for the aqueous cleaning of parts, which can be applied in all industrial areas and for every kind of contamination. The components can be arranged individually and complemented by all other cleaning bath systems. Advantages offered are the optional combination of cleaning, rinsing and drying units.
In the driving seat
Today automotive customers represent KLN Ultraschall AG’s biggest business share, with 60 per cent of turnover. “We work for OEMs direct as well as with a number of tier one and tier two suppliers. Given the global character of companies like Johnson Control or Bosch, they need the same equipment all over the globe,” explains Dr Natrop.
Full automatic working cell for I-panels
“Other customers come from white goods, medical and electronics; altogether we have over 1000 customers on our books.” The challenges presented by design developments are calling for ever more complex and sophisticated solutions. “Our customers don’t come to us with a specification for the type of welding machine they want. They are experts in the products they have worked with for decades, so they show us the product they want to produce with it. Our trained project engineers can advise on the technology depending on the dimension and material of the product in question, as well as the degree of automation required; our machine construction is incredibly versatile.”
like the recent €1–2 million project for an OEM.” The dividing line between standard and tailored solutions is fluid because “often we only have 6–8 months to complete a solution, and this is only possible by using some standard components. We’ve got 30 well-trained people in our mechanical and electronic construction and design workshops here. Tooling is done in-house. “Customers want to be assured that we produce here in Germany,” he continues. “Sixty years of engineering expertise matched by the same know-how in suppliers and partners is just not something that can be easily matched.”
From standard applications to one-off projects
Strong growth is expected in Asia, and with a 100 per cent subsidiary production facility in Shanghai, KLN Ultraschall AG is well placed to serve this local market. As true problem solvers for clients, the
“I’d say that we have 40 per cent standard and 60 per cent tailored solutions,” says Dr Natrop, “but this can vary with large projects,
Focusing on the future
company is determined to stay at the cutting edge of innovation. The most recent example is the new contactless infrared technology − showcased successfully at industry exhibitions last year – that can be integrated into the existing Toolmaster range of appliances. “We want to remain competitively priced, so we use purchasing power and the standardisation of components to reduce costs,” says Dr Natrop. “In the slow European market we still benefit from the fact that plastic is continuing to replace other materials like metal, especially in automotives. Plastic is lightweight and it allows the integration of many functions into one part: this is where our sophisticated technologies come in. Machine construction for these multi-stage welding processes is complex, and we can provide solutions that work with only one instead of multiple interfaces with n existing machinery.”
Ultrasonic multi-head machine Industry Europe 31
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DRIVING THE TYRE INDUSTRY FORWARD Herbert Maschinenbau is a global leader in the design and manufacture of moulds for tyres starting with the size for passenger cars up to the largest size for earth movers. Philip Yorke talked to Martin Grosch, Herbert’s managing director about the company’s continuing investment in automation and its plans for future expansion.
erbert Maschinenbau was founded in Germany in 1905 in Frankfurt/Main by Leonhard Herbert for the purpose of producing tyre moulds. Later the company moved into the manufacture of vulcanising machines for tyres and tubes and subsequently into the production of prefabrication machines and tyre vulcanising presses. After a number of takeovers in the late 1980s the company was acquired by Mr M Walter in 1991 and a new programme of investment began. Today it has two major business sectors: tyre moulds and containers, and machines and equipment manufacturing.
Meeting new global demands
With the increasing globalisation of the automotive and truck markets, Herbert continues to extend its network of worldwide branches and service facilities. This is to ensure that the company’s customers will continue to receive dedicated support globally and products within the shortest possible time frame. In addition, Herbert has developed a process
of standardisation to the point that its global network of branches perfectly matches the high standards set by its headquarters in Huenfeld, Germany. The company says that nowadays the time factor is the most decisive criteria for its customers next to quality and precision: Herbert is able to offer both with its state-of-the-art production methods. The company’s manufacturing facilities utilise engraving and eroding machines as well as multi-axle milling and CNC lathing machines. Grosch said, “We are constantly developing new tooling and moulds to extend our manufacturing capabilities. The difference is that in the old days, say 15 years ago, moulds were made of cast aluminium and when you cleaned them with powder or chemicals it would reduce the life of the mould. Nowadays we make moulds out of steel and our moulds will last as long as the customer requires. Furthermore, our range of tyres today is enormous compared to the range offered just a few years ago. What’s more, we are in the process of moving into
other areas and recently took over a mould shop in Ohio, USA for passenger car and truck tyre moulds. “However, our customer base is small compared to the one of other manufacturers and includes the world’s most famous brands, such as Michelin, Pirelli and Continental. All the smaller manufacturers have been swallowed up by the big players. Today the emphasis is on providing faster services and clients expect to start a project immediately and have a mould back in the press within four or five days. Lead times for new products for passenger car moulds, motorbike tyre moulds and truck moulds have all shrunk significantly. We have adapted our workflow and management systems accordingly and meet these new deadlines without compromising quality. “Also, we are the only manufacturer in the world who can offer customers the entire manufacturing process from the design to the final product for the complete range of tyre sizes, whereas our competitors are Industry Europe 33
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only structured to produce either moulds or containers, or if both, then only certain sizes and not the complete range of sizes.”
Strategic alliances strengthen global services
Herbert is an international company that has always been customer-focused and as a result ensures that it is always located in close proximity to its client’s manufacturing centres. The company’s quality policy objective is to ensure that its customers receive top quality, reliable and cost-effective products on time. Grosch added, “In order to further strengthen our customer service focus we have entered into a strategic alliance with BPS Engineering Tennessee, with offices in the USA, to extend our manufacturing capabilities for tyre building tooling. They were searching for a partner to cover the EU and Asian mar-
kets. In return they have taken over our sales in the US markets and we in turn took over their sales in South America, Europe and Asia. “Today we are facing competition from a range of niche players, but since we are able to do everything in-house, we can guarantee secrecy and confidentiality. However, we know how strong China is, so we have to be careful. We have also entered into a strategic alliance with an Argentinean supplier and recently took over a leading tyre mould shop in Russia, which employs more than 160 people. This new facility became fully active for us on the first of April this year and we consider Russia as a very interesting growth market.”
Leading the way in moulds and equipment
Manufacturing tyre building equipment has always been a major business sector for
Herbert and a contributor to the company’s enviable reputation in the tyre industry. This is in addition to providing a significant contribution to its global sales performance. The company manufactures a wide range of tyre manufacturing products, from advanced curing presses to tyre building drums and transfer rings. In the tyre curing sector alone, Herbert offers a wide range of products to meet a variety of application-specific solutions. These include hydraulic frame-type tyre curing presses, hydraulic column-type curing presses and hydraulic curing presses for truck L/T tyres. Herbert’s range of moulds is equally diverse with moulds with cast tread patterns, bladder moulds for longer bladder durability, moulds with engraved tread patterns, moulds with inserted tread ribs and sipes and ‘puzzle’ moulds, which provide a completely smooth n surface directly after curing.
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Blast furnace hot repair with robot shooter
Beroa Deutschland GmbH is based in Ratingen and designs, supplies and builds chimneys and refractory linings. Joseph Altham interviewed Ivan Fernandez, CEO of Beroa Deutschland, to find out why the company is feeling confident about its growth prospects in Europe and beyond.
MANAGING THERMAL ENERGY B
eroa Deutschland is part of the Beroa Technology Group. The group’s companies and subsidiaries serve the energy, cement, steel, chemical, petrochemical and glass industries, among others, and cover most of the world market. Today the company has over 40 branches worldwide, employs more than 3500 people and enjoys an annual turnover of more than €300 million. Beroa Deutschland was formed in September 2010 as a result of the amalgamation of two companies within the Beroa Group, Karrena and Burwitz Feuerungsbau. Both companies have a long history. Burwitz was founded in 1949, while Karrena dates back to 1914. Karrena has worked on many large-scale projects in Europe and all over the world, from reinforced concrete chimneys in Poland to municipal waste incineration plants in the Far East. Burwitz, a refractory engineering company, is particularly strong in the field of maintenance and repair work. Mr Fernandez says the merger is a good fit, allowing the two companies to combine their respective strengths. “The goal is to give a comprehensive service to our customers by combining Karrena’s experience in the project field with Burwitz’s experience in the maintenance field. The merger allows us to supply our customers with the complete package.” 36 Industry Europe
In industry, refractory linings ensure that industrial chimneys and furnaces remain strong enough to serve the purpose for which they were built. “Refractory linings are ceramic linings installed in furnaces that operate at high temperatures, up to 1600ºC,” Mr Fernandez explained. “They have the capacity to contain molten metals and compounds such as glass, steel, tin, pig-iron or lead. They may also have to withstand chemical attack as a result of the compounds used in an industrial process. In the petrochemical industry, refractory linings protect the steel structure that surrounds them. In boilers, they protect steel tubes from corrosion, while allowing as much heat as possible to pass through.” The lining of chimneys does not always need to be refractory, so other types of material can also be used. “A chimney may not get all that hot, so many chimneys will have a steel or borosilicate lining, or be lined using fibre reinforced plastic (FRP).”
Projects not products
Beroa Deutschland is an engineering and construction company and can offer customers a wide range of services. These
include the design and installation of linings for chimneys and furnaces and repairing refractory linings. Beroa Deutschland is capable of undertaking major commissions for clients and will adopt a turnkey approach to delivery, handling every aspect of the work from start to finish. In general, Beroa Deutschland sees its business as the provision of services rather than the manufacture of products. “We have offices and warehouses, not factories,” said Mr Fernandez. “Our knowhow ensures reliable engineering project management and a high level of service. We only have a small refractory production facility in East Germany and one in Vietnam to supply our own projects.” Shortly before it became part of Beroa Deutschland, Karrena designed and built a reinforced concrete chimney for GDF Suez’s new coal-fired power station at Wilhelmshaven. The chimney of this 800 megawatt power plant, on Germany’s North Sea coast, is 180 metres high and is lined with FRP. The whole chimney, from the 130 piles of the foundations to the aircraft warning lights, took 16 months to build and the new power station is expected to go into operation in 2012.
Cooling tower construction
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Refractory lining of a fluidized bed boiler
Safety meeting Beroa Technology Group GmbH
INTOCAST INTOCAST, being one of the main refractory suppliers with 16 locations in Germany, Europe and the world, and BEROA Germany (former Karrena) are both located in Ratingen, Germany. Both companies run longtime business relationships in the power plant, steel and iron industry. Their cooperation is based on the high respect and knowledge of the partner´s expertise and experience in its traditional industry and is steadily explored by the implementation of customized technology and engineering in the interest of our customers. The inevitable progress of technological developments in a merging world is the challenge that both parties are willing to take together.
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“We do the engineering and design, lay the foundations and manage the construction,” explained Mr Fernandez. “With chimneys, we take care of the whole project.” At the same time, much of Beroa Deutschland’s daily business is on a smaller scale. “A lot of our work is on small and medium-sized projects,” said Mr Fernandez. “Having offices all over the world means we can stay close to our customers.”
Refractory lining for petrochemical industry
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Turnkey supply of test ovens
Beroa Deutschland is pursuing innovation in line with technological advances and market trends. The environment has become a key consideration. “Energy-saving issues are getting more important and there is a need to reduce waste,” said Mr Fernandez. “We install equipment for waste incineration, to make use of waste products for energy. In coal gasification, there are new technologies that can improve efficiency.” Beroa Deutschland is also moving into renewable energy and the company is spearheading the development of the solar tower. “The construction techniques and structural engineering for solar towers and for chimneys are similar,” said Mr Fernandez. “We are closely following the new developments in solar energy as well as in CO2 capture.” Cooling towers are another type of tall structure in which the company specialises. “We have developed cooling towers for the Polish market,” stated Mr Fernandez. Overall, eastern Europe represents a growth area both for Beroa Deutschland and for other German engineering companies. Mr Fernandez explained why: “Investment in heavy industry is happening more in eastern Europe than in western Europe. In eastern Europe, they have to modernise and to invest in their buildings and infrastructure. When they build roads and houses, they need steel and cement.” The merger is likely to place Beroa Deutschland in an even stronger position to take advantage of these n favourable conditions.
BUILDING BRIDGES In one respect Maltauro fits in perfectly with the Italian tradition of entrepreneurship: it is still owned by the founding family. In its business strategy, however, it seems to have emancipated itself from the typical conservatism of the building sector. Diversification, acquisition and innovation have been the key strategies of the group, and they appear to have been effective as it has been constantly growing at a remarkable pace. CEO Enrico Maltauro explains how that happened.
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ince 1921, when the Maltauro building company opened its first plant in Recoaro Terme, near Vicenza in the north-east of Italy, a lot has changed. At that time, Maltauro was just a new building company. Developing as a general contracting company, both in the private sector and in the public sector building roads, hydraulic plants and infrastructures, it has been able to cope with commitments of any kind and dimension. Now the group has a leading position in the construction sector and, through the Maltauro Holding Group controls a number of other companies whose businesses range from extraction activities to technological and environmental services. The first big diversification to change the profile of an already established building company took place in the early 1960s, when it became one of the first companies in Europe
to make prefabricated buildings. That decision was quite well timed, given that the sector was growing fast during those years.
An international supplier
Another successful decision for Maltauro was opening its business up to the international market through Delma SpA in 1976. Over the years the group has worked in Libya, a long established partner, Albania, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and more. Right now it is active internationally on many construction sites in Africa, including a purification plant in Al Abyar, Libya, the construction of Al-Jifara University Complex (Tripoli), a rehabilitation of a road in Fogo Island (Capo Verde Republic) and the rehabilitation of the road leading from Maai Mahiu to Narok, Kenya. Relying almost exclusively on public infrastructures when working outside Italy,
the Maltauro group can boast competitive prices and a good reputation. But you always “have to find a balance between being cautious and being ambitious,” warns Mr Maltauro. Innovation, for example, is something the company is very keen on investing in, but it has to be careful. No matter how firmly it believes in going ‘green’, it has to be realistic and listen to the demands of the market. A good example of this is the energy-saving technologies that have recently been introduced in the sector. Since most of these technologies are still too expensive, “it’s pretty useless for us to invest in this sector at the moment, because our customers simply don’t request them,” admits Mr Maltauro. Italy remains the main market for the group. Here too, public infrastructure is its biggest sector, which certainly has the
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Over the years Contract Coiver has consolidated its presence in the construction market thanks to its expertise in contract interior finishing, mainly aimed at the shipbuilding sector and particularly focused on establishing a continuous and fruitful relationship of trust with customers and partners. The main areas of activity are: shopping centres, services, hospital buildings, accommodations, infrastructures and residential areas. Coiver Contract is a reliable partner for the creation of standard and custom oriented interior finishing; Coiver Contract is the leading company of Coiver Group with which it shares its philosophy mission: Great attention to professionalism, to research and development and in the application of innovative technologies. ISO certified UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 (SC-09-2287/EA 28) Coiver Contract has been operating in the realization of the most significant construction success of recent years in Italy. Coiver Contract represents the made in Italy at its best as regards high quality finishing, solution implementation always designed and manufactured with the necessary care for details in order to create unique commodities. Colver Contract S.r.l. Sede e Stabilimento Via Bizzozzero. 93 - 20032 Cormano (MI) - IT Tel. +39 02 6630 1899 - Fax +39 02 6630 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org - www.coiver.it
WE’VE BEEN PROVIDING YOU WITH WATERPROOFING SYSTEMS FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS. We operate throughout Italy and in all EU countries with the most important Italian and foreign companies. We provide residential and industrial waterproofing, sheet metal roofing, metal deck, foundations in groundwater, reservoirs and canals, containment for liquids, tunnels, drainage treatment, removal and disposal of asbestos roofs and sheet metal, roof gardens and photovoltaic “turn-key” plants; we are also able to provide support to preliminary design or execution, the completion of all administrative procedures for obtaining incentives related to energy account.
SERVICE QUALITY AND WARRANTY GRUPPO TMC Srl provides a scheduled maintenance routine of roofs and equipment, which includes: semi-annual or annual inspections of the waterproof package, checking and cleaning of drains and sealing, checking of the general condition of the works, after which a report is released on which are reported all the necessary adjustments and the instructions in order to restore an optimal situation. The company also provides a maintenance service for “emergency” for which is guaranteed service within 12 hours from the call. Gruppo TMC Srl is certified to ISO 9001:2000 certified.
GRUPPO TMC srl Via Monviso, 26/28 , 10029 VILLASTELLONE (TO) , ITALY Tel: +39.011.9696360 | Fax: +39.011.9696362 | Email: email@example.com TORINO-MILANO-ROMA-BARI
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advantage of not having been particularly badly affected by the global economic uncertainty. Apart from traditional building sites in various regions of the country, such as the construction of the Art Faculty for the University of Trento, the extension of a dam in Sardinia and the renovation of three hangars at the Aviano US military base, it is also active through other group branches in other sectors. Basalti Verona, established in 1927, extracts and supplies basalt. The Maltauro group also sells residential, commercial and educational buildings and units. Diversification is a long practiced strategy at Maltauro. It has even created a separate company completely dedicated to innovation and technological services: Integra deals
with technological plants, maintenance, facility management, investment plans, alternative energy solutions and cogeneration.
Taking everything into consideration, this looks like an effective combination of strategies. If we take a quick look at a few figures, we can see that the value of production was under €200 million until 2006, then it rose to €500 million in 2009. The number of employees also increased significantly: from under 1000 up to 2005 to over 2800 in 2009. If you ask Mr Maltauro what it is that makes his company different from the competitors, the answer is “our style, as well as our mission, which is satisfying the needs
of our customers while meeting deadlines.” The importance of style is not uncommon among Italians, but Mr Maltauro uses the word in a broad sense. “Having style,” he explains, “means having respect for the world in which we live. This means that the environment and quality are also important for us.” In addition, Mr Maltauro likes to point out that his group is ‘people-oriented’. By this definition, he means that the safety of his employees is a pivotal concern for his company, as well as satisfying the needs of the customers while meeting deadlines. It looks like we are talking about a stylish ethical bridge here, bringing countries across the n Mediterranean together.
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TOP TAPS MOFÉM Zrt in Hungary has been playing an essential role within the international TEKA group since 2009 when the Hungarian plant was selected to become the European production and distribution centre for the TEKA Sanitary Systems Division. Edina Beale investigates the changes that have taken place within the company’s operation since.
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stablished in 1900, MOFÉM Zrt is today the market-leading sanitary products and industrial valve producer in Hungary. Since 1994 the company has operated as part of the internationally recognized kitchen and bathroom equipment specialist, TEKA group, which has production facilities and subsidiaries worldwide. The main production plant of MOFÉM Zrt is situated in Mosonmagyaróvár, north-west Hungary, on a 12 hectares site. Today the company employs 190 people and its net turnover exceeded HUF 6 billion in 2010.
MOFÉM manufactures bathroom and kitchen taps as well as industrial valves including ball valves, bottle valves and thermostatic radiator valves. The company produces a wide assortment of mixer taps under the MOFÉM brand. Its stylish and trendy single lever mixer family ranges include the Junior, Trend, Inka, Mambó and the most recently developed Junior EVO and Mode, whilst among the two handle mixer tap assortment the traditional Eurosztar is the most popular range. MOFÉM has also been producing ball valves for over 30 years, and the majority
of Hungarian apartment blocks have been fitted with MOFÉM radiator valves since the 1970s. In the industrial taps segment, the company’s latest development is the Flexum ball valve range, suitable for gas, water and heating applications. In 2010 MOFÉM introduced its newly constructed thermostatic radiator valves range, which was a great success. This range offers a perfect solution for energy saving and heating modernisation for blocks of flats. MOFÉM Zrt also distributes a wide variety of Teka branded products. In addition to Industry Europe 49
mixer tap family ranges including the Vita and Aura range, and shower systems and parts, the company now also distributes stainless steel sanitary systems including sinks, drinking fountains, utility and bucket sinks, urinals and toilets. “Two years ago a Spanish and a Norwegian company joined the Teka Sanitary System division which led to this new extension of our product portfolio,” explains Mr János Luka, managing director of MOFÉM Zrt. In Hungary, MOFÉM is a market leader in its segment, but the company has also
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acquired a competitive position mainly in Eastern and Central Europe. “Our firm has a great advantage being not only a distributor but also a producer – it allows us to be flexible and deliver large orders just-in-time,” says Mr Luka. “Our 110 years of history and good reputation also strengthened our position in the domestic market. In addition, being part of an international group means that our company is backed by international knowledge and financial stability. When we have to compete with prominent large companies, it is a very important aspect.”
Last year over 30 per cent of sales were made though exports, the most significant markets being Russia, Baltic countries and Belarus, but the company has other markets includiwng the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Germany and Austria. “In the future we see potential for growth in our export actitivities. We have not exploited all our markets yet, not even in the surrounding countries including Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovenia and Macedonia, or more distant countries
such as Kazakhstan. We are working on these opportunities at the moment,” says Mr Luka. Continuous product development was an important strategy for the company to pull through the recession and to maintain competitiveness. It aims to develop at least one or two new family ranges every year as well as modernizing its existing range. MOFÉM works in close cooperation with the other development centres within the division to meet current customer needs and to produce the highest quality products.
In the past two years investments were also made to improve the efficiency of production processes. The company bought two CNC cutting machines and improved the facilities of its assembly units where most employees work. MOFÉM also invested in quality management including the electroplating process and upgring the measuring room to current requirements. “As part of the Teka group, our opportunities lie within logistics and production for the long term. It is in our plans to build a new logistics warehouse at our current plant,”
reveals Mr Luka. “In the short term our aim is to increase exports. That could be seen in this year’s sales figures which are very similar to our record export sales in 2008. In the domestic market we intend to exploit new opportunities provided by the energy sector and the government’s energy saving construction programmes. In addition, we will continue to develop new added value products and to provide services that meet with the interests of our company owner, and aim to stay competitive within the group to strive n for new business success together.” Industry Europe 51
TILES FIT FOR A KING
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Leading design-focused tile manufacturer and supplier Koninklijke Mosa BV offers products with the looks, functionality and sustainability that performance-conscious architects demand. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to technical director Jac Laumans to find out more.
oninklijke Mosa BV was established over 120 years ago in Maastricht in the Netherlands, where its main production facilities and head office operations are still based. With ‘Koninklijke’ meaning ‘Royal’, the company has a proud history of designing and producing high quality, stylish tiles for a demanding customer base which includes many leading architectural firms and a number of high-profile automotive clients who have used Mosa tiles in their head offices and showrooms. Mosa has made a conscious decision to locate its core operations in Maastricht, with the rich history of the company present across the site, enabling the design teams to capture the spirit of Mosa in every new design. Technical director Jac Laumans told
Industry Europe, “We distinguish ourselves by design; we are very Dutch in our sleek, stylish designs in a way which is clearly different from the more flamboyant tiles from Italian or Spanish manufacturers. The majority of our tiles are designed and produced here, with our influences evident in our classic and latest designs.”
Upbeat about growth
While Mosa did see a decline during the global economic downturn in a clear reflection of the slowing down of the building and construction industries across Europe, its increasing focus on export sales has helped to support its expected success in 2011 and beyond. Mosa is already active in Germany, the UK, France, Benelux, Scandina-
via, Austria, Switzerland and the USA, with advanced plans to expand. The company predicts a 2011 turnover of €120m, which has been its constant result for the past few years, with 2012 onwards predicted to see a steady increase. Mr Laumans added, “We actually only saw around a five per cent reduction in sales, which was very good considering the dramatic slowdown of our core construction and automotive markets. We’re already seeing a clear pick-up across our main geographical markets, as well as an exciting increase in markets we’ve serviced over the past few years, namely Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong, where the commercial design projects are perfectly suited to our hardwearing, beautiful tiles.” Industry Europe 53
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Mosa has a 30 per cent share of its domestic Dutch market and has built a solid reputation for the quality and performance of its stylish tiles.
Design that makes the difference
The Mosa design team has ten designers dedicated to new development of tile designs and styles, all maintaining the ‘Mosa USP’ of real ceramic tiles that offer great functionality. Mr Laumans explained, “We offer designers tiles that contribute optimally to the intended architectural result both functionally and aesthetically. We have a vast range of colours, finishes and sizes for both indoor and outdoor applications, so it is more than probable that we already have what the designer or architect wants, and if not we can custom-make small batches too. All our tiles are guaranteed to deliver great quality and dimensional stability, as well as a reliable flatness that enables them to be installed to the highest possible 56 Industry Europe
finish. We only make real ceramic tiles rather than any kind of ‘false material’ tiles that look like wood or leather or whatever. Our tiles are always true ceramic.” With the ‘less is more’ philosophy that underpins the Mosa design approach, the company offers ‘restrained, colourful, geometrically formal or polymorphous mosaic’ tiles in its vast portfolio, all of which can be used to create the exact look and feel the designer specifies. Mosa products have won a number of internationally recognised design prizes, including a recent IF Award and the prestigious Red Dot Design Award. In order to continue this achievement, innovation plays an important role at Mosa. It was one of the first companies to produce tiles consisting of a body and top-layer of differing compositions, and it has continued to be a pioneer in the tile industry ever since. The introduction of the minimalist Xtreme range of tiles in 2000 saw glass and steel
added to the famous Mosa ceramic, which enables LED lighting to be incorporated while still retaining the traditional methods of tile making in the Mosa quality-led range.
Passion for sustainability
As Mosa looks forward to a future of predicted success, its commitment to sustainability comes into even sharper focus. The company has long been a passionate advocate of responsible production and, as an independent operation that is owned by Dutch equity firm Egeria, Mosa is clear that this ecological dedication will continue. Mr Laumans concluded, “As we continue to see strong growth in both our traditional European markets and the Middle East and USA, we are keen to reach more architects and designers that will specify our tiles. The aim is for Mosa to be the first choice when it comes to looks, functionality and sustainability – a position we’re fast approaching!” n
Framamosaici Framamosaici, European leader in the industrial production of mosaics,is a partner of the most prestigious ceramics industry, ceramics industry. The company spread the made in italy with two new eco sustainable products, GREENGLASS, made of 100 per cent recycled glass,and ETNALAVA, an etna basalt worked exclusively with the strength of fire without the addition of chemicals. These products, with high technical and aesthetic value, are already available on the market. For information visit the website: framamosaici.com
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CONSTRUCTION EXPERTS Swietelsky Hungary Kft employs over 700 people and its operations cover the whole of Hungary with branches established in a number of regions. The company is able to offer the full spectrum of construction services which generates approximately HUF 42 billion annual turnover. Edina Beale reports.
wietelsky Gmbh is one of the most significant players in the Austrian construction industry, operating a number of subsidiaries and employing more than 6000 employees across Europe. Swietelsky entered Hungary in 1991 and established two subsidiaries: one involved in public utility construction projects and surface engineering, the other purely concentrating on road construction. The rapid development of the company began in 2004 when the two companies joined forces and soon became a leading construction company in Hungary. Today Swietelsky in Hungary continues to generate some of its income from road construction. The company established asphalt mixing plants across the whole country to enable it to participate in the major infrastructure projects conducted in recent years. The extension of this operation will continue in the future. Currently a new plant is being built in Szarvas which will supply asphalt for several regions including Békés, Csongrád and Jász-Nagykun Szolnok in south east Hungary. The road construction division recently completed the preparation work for the new M43 motorway between Szeged and Makó and currently is carrying out the construction of a 3 km road link between Zemplénagárd (Hungary) and Nagytárkány (Slovakia). At the same time, the company is part of the consortium that is responsible for large road maintenance pro-
jects in the Komárom, Esztergom, Fejér and Veszprém regions in addition to other regions in the western part of Hungary.
Swietelsky Hungary is the main building contractor of the Metro 4 project in Budapest and is required to construct all planned tube stations for the capital’s new tube line. The company has also successfully conducted general construction projects including a college building in Baja and an education and sports centre in Törökbálint, a project that is worth over HUF 4 billion. The company has resumed the construction of the Laurus office block in Budapest’s X. district, a project that was put on hold temporally after the recent recession. The seven storey building complex consists of three individual building blocks with a total floor area of 3500m2 and will be handed over in September this year. The Swietelsky-Közgép consortium has recently started the construction of the ANS3 air traffic control centre in Ferihegy airport; this project is worth HUF 3.6 billion. Swietelsky has acquired special technologies that enable the company to win tenders not only in Hungary but in the neighbouring countries. It is due to finish a construction project in April this year in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. Here the company is required to build a five level underground car park with a total area of 18 800 m2.
In addition, Swietelsky has many years of experience in property development. In Hungary the company develops its own properties of various types mainly including newly constructed luxury apartments, and offers them for sale (www.relaxhome.hu, www.harmathaz.hu, www.balazshazak.hu).
The company’s Environment and Water construction division has been reorganized in recent years and has taken on additional staff – mainly highly-trained water construction engineers and experts – to provide a wide range of services including water site construction, water plants, docking stations, construction of sewage plants, pipeline construction and flood protection. The company
SWIETELSKY Magyarország Kft
Épületgépész Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. Vas Tibor managing director, Tel +36 20 9426 573, 1131-Budapest, Faludi u. 20, Hungary Telefon, fax: +36 1 232 1430, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vasfi.hu
We produce and assemble • Heavy steel structures including large halls and roof structures; • Railings for stairways and balconies as well as windows and doors; • Porch roofs, pergolas, courtyard lightings, unique staircases, traditional and rustic railings, fences and electric gates; • Stainless steel railings and overlays.
KÓD MŰSZAKI ÉS KERESKEDELMI KFT H-5100 Jászberény, Nagykátai út. 9. Tel: +36-57-505-600 | Fax: +36-57-505-601 E-mail: email@example.com | www.kodkft.hu
also offers environmental underground construction and complex technologies, drainage and guttering services, cabling, waste site construction and reconstruction, public and industrial water supply, and canal reconstruction. The division has recently completed the reconstruction of the Veszprém and Zirc sewage plant and is currently carrying
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out drainage construction developments in Hatvan and Rózsaszentmárton. Over the years, Swietelsky Hungary Kft has also gained extensive experience in industrial construction projects. Since 1989, the company’s underground construction division, VIZÉP Territorial Directorate has been continuously taking part in the
implementation of the industrial and environmental investments carried out by MOL Dunai Refinery and in special reconstruction projects that were undertaken without closing the operation of the refinery. Swietelsky Railroad Construction Kft, part of the Swietelsky group in Hungary, employs the most modern technologies
that meet the highest European standards. This has enabled the company to be part of the consortiums involved in the reconstruction of the railway line between Tárnok and Székesfehérvár. This HUF 20 billion project is expected to be completed in 2012.
Highly trained staff
Despite the fragile market conditions due to the recession, Swietelsky managed to maintain its lead in Hungary. In order to stay competitive it is essential for construction companies to provide excellent quality of
service whilst meeting deadlines. Swietelsky does this by investing heavily in the training of its staff not only to extend their knowledge and expertise but to prepare them for work in special and unexpected circumstances. Thanks to this approach Swietelsky has been able to compete with strong rivals throughout the years and won several tenders that required special expertise. One of these challenging tasks included the construction of the EUROPEUM hotel and shopping centre; the company was required to carry out the construction work whilst protecting the old
building front and handling the undesirable geotechnical attributes of the ground. Similarly, the construction of Budapest’s only six level underground car park required professional expertise in this field. In the future Swietelsky Hungary intends to maintain its position in the domestic market and exploit new opportunities in the surrounding countries. The company’s high quality and cost effective solutions together with its highly trained workforce and special technologies will enable Swietelsky to face up to the future n challenges of the construction industry.
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BEAUTY FROM THE ARCTIC Lumene Oy is Finland’s market leader in cosmetics and skincare products, and uses plants and berries from the Arctic to make its creams and make-up products. Joseph Altham reports on a brand which has put the environment at the heart of its thinking.
inland is famous for the beauty of its lakes and forests. The Finnish cosmetics company Lumene is named after Lake Lummenne, a peaceful, clear lake that is located in the Central Finland region. Lumene’s cosmetics range was launched in 1970 with the aim of providing Finnish women with beauty products that could meet the demands of the harsh northern climate. The company decided to make use of the unique properties of the natural ingredients available in the far north. Lumene’s beauty products are made from the wild berries native to Scandinavia, such as cranberry and cloudberry, which are, for instance, excellent sources of antioxidants and have many proven benefits for skincare. Because of its detox properties, Arctic cloudberry can give skin a brighter look, so Lumene uses cloudberry to make its Vitamin C+ Pure Radiance Day Cream. Lumene’s products use many 62 Industry Europe
other Arctic ingredients, and its Premium Beauty skincare line contains Arctic sea buckthorn oil which promotes skin renewal and protects the skin against free radicals.
While Lumene holds a strong position in its home market, sales have been growing internationally as well. Total net sales in 2010 were €83 million, and around half of that figure came from sales outside Finland. Lumene’s main export markets are the other Scandinavian countries, together with the United States and Russia, in each of which Lumene has its own subsidiary. In the United States, Lumene’s skincare products are now available nationwide from well-known grocery chains such as CVS, Walgreens and Ultra – a total of 11,000 stores. In Russia, Lumene products are sold in approximately 1500 shops around the
country, for example through the perfume and cosmetics retailer Rive Gauche, which has 120 shops throughout the country. The two main owners of Lumene are the private equity funds CapMan and Langholm Capital. CapMan recently sold a 48 per cent stake in Lumene to Langholm Capital. As a result, Langholm Capital now owns a controlling share (79 per cent) of Lumene, with CapMan retaining a 13 per cent share of the business, and the remaining 8 per cent in the hands of management and other shareholders. Langholm Capital, which is based in London, aims to invest in consumer-oriented companies that can take advantage of changing patterns in consumer behaviour. Langholm Capital was impressed with the high level of brand recognition Lumene has built up in Finland, and believes that Lumene has the capacity to take advantage of its international network in order to boost future sales.
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Lumene’s Natural Code skincare products are made from Arctic plantain, which for centuries has been recognised as having healing properties. The Natural Code Face Scrub can deep clean the skin, while at the same time refreshing it. In general, nature is the source of Lumene’s raw materials. Already, Lumene’s skincare products contains over 80 per cent natural ingredients, and even the make-up range provides products with a high precentage of natural ingredients. The company therefore has an obvious interest in protecting the environment. The cloudberry grows in the wild in arctic bogs, and Lumene has been working together with the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation to protect Finland’s bogs and peatlands, improving water management and thereby safeguarding the biodiversity. At the same time, respect for the environment is built into Lumene’s daily operations. Lumene maintains a system of environmental management that is certified
to ISO 14001. The company does not use animal testing and favours recyclable materials, such as glass, paper and recyclable plastic, in its packaging.
For Lumene, with its emphasis on natural, locally sourced raw materials, water is of special importance. The company uses Arctic spring water as an ingredient of its skincare treatments and its Arctic Aqua Deep Hydration eye gel has won an award from Cosmopolitan. In 2010, Lumene launched a new green initiative with the objective of making more efficient use of water and highlighting the environmental importance of water resources. Between 2006 and 2010, Lumene succeeded in reducing its water consumption by 30 per cent, through improved production methods and with the aid of modern technology. Under Lumene’s WaterSmart® programme, the company is aiming to make further improvements in the water efficiency of its operations.
The Lumene WaterSmart® programme will see Lumene continue its cooperation with the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation on the protection of bogs and peatlands. As part of the WaterSmart® programme, Lumene also encourages customers to use water responsibly, offering tips on reducing water consumption in the home. The evidence suggests that the WaterSmart® initiative is in tune with the attitudes of Lumene’s Finnish customer base. In a survey carried out by the company, seven out of ten people who replied said that they saw water as important to Finland’s environment and a unique natural resource. There are also strong signs from the other Lumene key markets indicating that there is a growing interest in natural ingredients in general and in clean water specifically. Consumers today expect more from business in terms of sustainability. By developing products that harness the natural benefits of local plants and berries, Lumene has undoubtedly succeeded in differentiating n itself from the competition.
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TOUCHING PEOPLE’S LIVES Unilever is a global market leader in health, hygiene and beauty products, as well as in other FMCG sectors. The company’s recent acquisition of the Sara Lee Corporation enhances and extends its portfolio in the personal care segment and in particular the bath and laundry market. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at the Unilever success story and why this latest acquisition is good for both the company and the consumer. 66 Industry Europe
t the end of 2010 Unilever were given the green light by the EU Competition Authorities Commission to proceed with the purchase of the personal care division of the Sara Lee Corporation. The deal was worth €1.2 billion in cash. The brands involved generated sales of more than €750 million in 2009. The addition of such well known brands as Radox, Duschdas and Neutral brings market-leading bath products into the already diverse portfolio of Unilever’s personal care products. These brands now will sit comfortably alongside other Unilever iconic brands such as Dove, Impulse, Lux, Sunsilk, Sure and Timotei.
Improving the value chain
Unilever is a true global giant with almost 200,000 employees worldwide and in the UK alone records sales of more than €2.4 billion. The volume of products sold every
day in the UK market is staggering. For example, 35 million cups of PG Tips tea are consumed and over 1 million tubs of Flora are produced every day. In addition, one billion Wall’s ice creams are eaten every year and four Pot Noodles are sold every second. Unilever’s Personal Care products are produced and consumed on a similar scale. So why did Unilever want to add the Sara Lee brands to its already highly successful list of brand leaders in the Personal Care sector? Doug Bailie, Unilever’s president of Western Europe, summed it up like this, “We are pleased to have received the green light from the European Commission for this deal and look forward to adding important brands to our business. Home and Personal Care is a key growth area and we are acquiring a number of leading brands that fill gaps in our portfolio, improve the shape of our overall European
portfolio, while offering significant potential for development in other geographies” The company also said that the acquisition of these market-winning brands complements Unilever’s existing categoryleading portfolio of global brands such as Axe, Dove and Rexona. With this extended range, the business can cover a wider spectrum of price points and better meet the demands of more consumers in more markets. As a result, Unilever expects to be able to stimulate further growth in an intensely competitive market. In addition to Radox, Duschdas and Neutral, the deal includes local category leaders such as Biotex in Laundry, Zwitsal and Fissan in Baby Care and Prodent and Zendium in Oral Care. The company says that together these brands will enhance its category mix and deliver breadth and depth to an already successful product portfolio.
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SUPPLY SOLUTIONS FOR THE INDUSTRY Anhydrous sodium sulphate from our mine directly to your plant. Our high quality natural products perform vital functions in the detergent, enzymes, paper, glass and textile industries, among others. Efficient logistics brings them to you at usage point.
María de Molina, 37-28006 Madrid-SPAIN phone +34 91 4113045 fax +34 91 5620603 www.crimidesa.es
Unilever devotes close to one €1 billion to research and product development every year. A significant proportion of this goes into improving the sustainability of its products and reducing its environmental footprint. This is another valid reason why the Sarah Lee Corporation deal is good news for the consumer. Not only will the products become purer in content, but the manufacturing will embrace new technology to reduce their environmental impact.
To underscore this, in November 2010 the company launched the ‘Unilever Sustainable Living Plan’ in which the company commits to three positive outcomes by the year 2020: To halve the environmental footprint of the making and use of its products; to help more than a billion people take action to improve health and wellbeing; and to source 100 per cent of its agricultural raw materials sustainably. These core values underpin Unilever’s approach to sustainability and its overriding culture of consumer care.
When it comes to health, hygiene and beauty, Unilever aims to help people to feel good, look good and get more out of life. At the heart of this mission is hygiene – and health through hygiene. The desire to be clean, active, healthy and energetic is common to everyone. However to billions of people in the developing world, health is simply a matter of the absence of illness.”Without good hygiene, consumers are vulnerable to a wide range of infectious diseases that not only have the potential to severely undermine
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the quality of their lives, but even to end their lives prematurely” says Steve Miles, Unilever’s Global Vice President Health Brands. Today Unilever is helping to set improved hygiene standards in the emerging nations through education and practical support. For example, by providing educational grants, such as the one for the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene, as well as practical suggestions for local communities, which can be as simple as recommending that a gel might be more appropriate than a bar of soap in regions where there is little running water available. The future now looks greener and healthier for Unilever’s consumers and n the world at large 70 Industry Europe
LEADER IN WELDING SOLUTIONS Lincoln Electric is a well-established company with 116 years of experience of market operations. It has American roots but it is also growing rapidly and investing in Poland, where it already has four factories. Piotr Sadowski reports.
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ur company employs only the leading experts in welding activities – they are specialised professionals fully engaged in solving problems and tackling challenges in individual areas of the welding industry,” explains Marcin Kołodziejczyk, Commercial Director Eastern Europe at Lincoln Electric Europe. “Lincoln Electric possesses exhaustive knowledge about the market and its mechanisms, which enables it to rapidly and effectively react to all changes taking place.” Every client that approaches the company is offered a wide choice of solutions and can choose from four brands: Lincoln Electric, Bester, Spawmet and Harris. It is also important to note that the enterprise not only delivers products, but also technologies. Furthermore, the reliability of solutions provided by the company is also confirmed by the fact that 70 per cent of appliances come with a three-year guarantee.
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Lincoln Electric has a very clear sales strategy and is also a very responsible supplier, with absolute loyalty assured to its customers. It offers a widely-established distribution and service network – in fact, 63 per cent of guarantee repairs are carried out within 48 hours. To further support its customers, Lincoln Electric has created a specialist training and technological centre, called Weldtech. The company also delivers cost-reduction programmes in order to help its customers to cut their costs. “Customer service for us does not just stop with the purchase of a product,” points out Mr Kołodziejczyk. “In fact, it is just the beginning of a common journey. We operate with passion and always strive to keep our promises.”
Most recent developments
Lincoln Electric has launched an investment in a new facility, the Electrode Production Factory WSSE Dzierżoniów, thanks to which it will increase its electrode manufacturing
capability by 100 per cent. The company is carrying out further investments in additional production lines in its Flux Cored Wire Company and is also investing in a new laboratory for comprehensive testing of welding appliances. Finally, it is modernising production lines in its transformer and assembly departments, particularly for inverter appliances. By constantly developing, Lincoln Electric has gained strong advantages over other market players. “What makes our company more attractive than the competition is our highly specialised and well-educated team of employees,” points out Mr Kołodziejczyk. “Through our Weldtech technological centre we also offer a modern training facility where we equip clients from across Europe with new skills and knowledge. Our R&D Department offers access to the most modern welding technologies in the world. We also have a well-established sales team which has access
• Products made from gum
23, Wodna Street
• Injection machines up to 1000g
• Film rolls
Phone: +48 74 645 31 56
• Presses up to 100T
Lincoln Electric Europe The “ZUHP Janicki” company has been operating on the market for over 20 years. Its headquarters are based in Bielawa, while production takes place in a brand new manufacturing hall in Dzierżoniów. The company cooperates with several businesses in Poland, including two largest producers of welding equipment: LINCOLN ELECTRIC BESTER and OZAS-ESAB. It is a crucial and long-term partner of
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LINCOLN ELECTRIC EUROPE. The company offers a modern “ARBURG” machine park with weight of 1000g and clamping force of 300T, “Ponar-Żywiec” injection machines, hydraulic presses (with pressure up to 100T) and film machine. It manufactures detailed objects from plastics, as well as from gum, PE film (width of roll up to 800mm) and objects from melamine.
to the entire portfolio of products, ranging from the simplest electrode to the most advanced robotic and mechanised welding stations. Our aim is to be a company which delivers complete solutions and not just individual appliances and materials. All in all, what differentiates us from our competitors is technology, advanced engineering and solutions, knowledge and skills in sales and marketing.”
Robust scale of activities
Lincoln Electric has four factories in Poland, which makes it the largest welding material and welding appliances production centre in the country. It is also very much focused on innovations which drive its development and growth. The company was recently awarded
the first prize at the Expowelding Trade Fair which took place in Sosnowiec in Poland for its welding parameters monitoring system called ‘Production Monitoring 2’. Last year Lincoln Electric Europe also introduced to the market a brand new generation of ‘Powerwave’ appliances, equipped with programmes for impulse welding and an Ethernet card. “Furthermore, over the last 12 months we also introduced over 100 new products, including materials for the needs of the energy sector and LNG gas processing industry,” adds Mr Kołodziejczyk. The robust scale of operations of Lincoln Electric Europe is also reflected in the fact that the company delivers its products to every single market across the continent. Solutions are
targeted at four key industrial sectors: energy, automotive, steel constructions and the building industry. As the Commercial Director Eastern Europe points out, Poland is of course one of the most important markets for the company, but at the same time Lincoln Electric continues to ensure that its products reach customers across the width of Europe. “In the near future we will be focusing on a number of areas to guarantee further robust growth,” concludes Mr Kołodziejczyk. “We will be carrying out significant investments in the energy sector, further develop networks for sending LNG gas, expand in steel constructions and infrastructure and last but certainly not least, we will also focus on developing renewable n sources of energy.”
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VingCard Elsafe provides electronic locking systems, in-room safes and energy management systems to the hospitality industry worldwide. Felicity Landon reports.
SAFE AND SECURE E
xpansion and innovation are the two words that best sum up VingCard Elsafe’s recent and ongoing activities. A global expert in electronic locks and electronic locking systems, VingCard Elsafe has a huge reputation for its guestroom locks, with both mag-stripe and smart card lock technology, and its electronic in-room safes. “Since 1979 when we invented the first card lock for hotel rooms and the first electronic in-room safes, at VingCard Elsafe we have constantly pioneered and shaped the industry with new innovative and technologically advanced solutions,” says
Gard Gabrielsen, VingCard Elsafe’s global director of product marketing. “Since the mid 2000s, the introduction of the modern Signature lock range and electronic locks for hotels, where functionality, design and minimalism are coming together to form the most popular electronic lock for hotels in the market, has been a major success. And in 2009, Elsafe’s new complete safe range was launched, setting higher standards in security, adaptability to in-room requirements, and functionality in management of in-room safes.” In other innovations, VingCard Elsafe has developed the most advanced wireless
online platform for both electronic locks and in-room safes. ‘VISIONLINE’, based on the highly secured and open ZigBee standard, offers wireless online locks which provide a new array of benefits – not only the security aspect but also from the point of view of overall management and improved hotel operations efficiency, says Mr Gabrielsen. “At the same time, by adding on more products into the same wireless VISIONLINE online platform, hotels can better manage other inroom devices, like our wireless online safes or intelligent energy management solutions.” Taking a totally new direction with its technology, VingCard Elsafe has recently launched a complete new product range – Orion, an intelligent energy management solution that provides hotels with a powerful tool to save in-room energy and costs, ensure guest comfort and improve their ‘green hotel’ performances. Orion is an intelligent thermostat and energy management system that, by determining the physical guest presence in the room, offers energy saving when the room is empty and ensures comfort when guests return to their rooms.
Across the world
Part of the global ASSA ABLOY group, VingCard Elsafe has long-established production facilities in Norway, and has invested heavily in its new production facility in China. 76 Industry Europe
SAFE AND SECURE Industry Europe 77
VingCard ABnote, the premiere and trusted provider of plastic technology cards and other secure printing, has valued the business relationship with VingCard Elsafe since 1997. VingCard’s need for access control cards has grown from over 400,000 cards in 1997 to almost 1,500,000 key cards in the past six months. ABnote meets VingCard requirements for the highest quality keycards with exacting specifications for art to personalization to shipping conditions. As our partnership with VingCard continues, we look forward to providing solutions to the emerging evolution of card/access technologies to the world’s leading hotel door lock manufacturer.
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Precision Tool Making Plastics Products www.banshing.com Tel: 86 21 67681033 Fax: 86 21 67681022
NO: 8A/8B Shen Xu Road, Xin Qiao Town, Song Jiang District, Shanghai, 201612 P.R.China
SAFE AND SECURE “This investment is to ensure we guarantee the high-quality standards for which our products and company have been known for years, and also to improve the efficiency of all our operations,” says Mr Gabrielsen. Every day, VingCard hotel door locks and Elsafe in-room safes are being used by thousands of guests in more than 39,000 international properties, from small country inns to lavish cosmopolitan resorts. That equates to more than 6.5 million hotel rooms. The company says that every working day, five new hotels are being secured with VingCard Elsafe solutions. VingCard Elsafe also supplies minibars, under the brand PolarBar, to hotels. Among recent major orders, the company installed its Signature RFID contactless electronic door locks with NFC cell phone compatibility and Xtra II by Elsafe in-room safes at the Holiday Inn City of Knowledge in Panama City. The 137-room hotel hosts travellers from all over the world, from business travellers visiting Panama City’s nearby
banking district to tourists. Because of the hotel’s heavy guest traffic and its multiple access points, owner Bern Hotels & Resorts sought a locking solution that guarantees the highest security while also providing maximum efficiency for hotel staff. VingCard Elsafe also recently completed installation of its Signature door locks and Sentinel II by Elsafe in-room safes at the NOW Hotel in Santiago de Cali, Colombia. Located in the centre of the Zona Rosa business district, this 19-room hotel has spectacular views of the Cali skyline and is noted for using its lobby space as a gallery for new and contemporary artists and sculptors. The hotel opted for Signature electronic door locks for the ultimate in security and peace of mind. The range of distinctive designs and choice of designer handles were also major considerations. VingCard Elsafe is mainly focused on the hospitality market but as its products are suitable to provide security and peace of mind whenever and wherever people
sleep away from home, the company also has a very strong presence in other market segments, including student accommodation, assisted living, hospitals and corporate buildings. Its markets are worldwide. As Mr Gabrielsen says: “VingCard Elsafe is the only true global provider of security solutions to the hospitality market. Our customers are global – so are we. We provide local sales and technical support in more than 166 countries.” Geographically, VingCard Elsafe follows its customers in order to provide them with the service they expect, he adds. “Therefore, wherever there is a hotel that needs a security solution, VingCard Elsafe has the structure to provide them with the solutions they need.” n
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A HIGH-TECH ITALIAN
SYSTEMS PROVIDER The Gemmo Group is a leading provider of technological systems such as electric power systems, electronic surveillance systems and integrated electronic management systems.
emmo’s main offices are located in Vicenza, Italy, where it has been operating for over 80 years. From this original single location, the Gemmo Group has expanded, and the company now has branches in Rome, Milan, Naples, Bologna and Buenos Aires. In total, the company has annual sales of over €180 million and more than 2000 employees worldwide. Over the years, Gemmo has accumulated valuable experience in the international marketplace as well as in its home country. 80 Industry Europe
Gemmo not only provides the initial installation of the system to their clients. They can also provide services such as maintenance, training and after-sales assistance. In fact, Mauro Gemmo, the company’s president, insists this is a benefit Gemmo has over the competition. He says, “As a provider of technological systems, our most important feature is definitely our ability to manage fully integrated projects. This basically means that we are able to take care of the needs of our
customers from the first stages of development of each project to the final installation. But we are able to go even further thanks to our facilities management and after-sales assistance services.”
Expansion is the key to growth
Mauro Gemmo is the third generation of the Gemmo family to lead the company. Under his leadership, Gemmo has strengthened its position in the Italian market by focusing more on the public infrastructure sector.
The company has also focused on design and engineering services activities. As part of this focus, Gemmo has introduced many environmentally friendly technologies into the systems that they provide. To achieve this expansion into the public infrastructure sector, Gemmo looked to external companies as a target for expansion. In the past decade, they have made some important acquisitions that have allowed them to expand at a faster rate than would have necessarily been possible. Some of the well-
known companies that Gemmo has acquired are as follows: Teknogest, Compagnia Elettrotecnica Italiana and Tekno. Gemmo has also established a cooperation with ENEL, the national electric energy company of Italy.
Success in the home market
Although Gemmo has operations outside of Italy, approximately 70 per cent of their sales come from within their home country. The company is proud of its achievements within Italy. Industry Europe 81
Mr. Gemmo commented, “One of the things we are most proud of is that we’ve contributed to building some of the most important public infrastructure in our home country, such as the Malpensa airport and the Mestre hospital.” Gemmo also participates in many industry activities and conferences within the Italian market including the Expo Italia Real Estate or EIRE. EIRE is an international event of the Italian and Mediterranean real estate market. It aims to attract investments to develop the region further.
Investing in innovation
Gemmo makes sure that it concentrates on innovation. The company sees this as an area where it must be at the forefront because most of the areas it operates in are dependent on technologically advanced solutions. Two areas that Gemmo is particularly investing in are renewable energies and innovative solutions that will be used in hospitals.
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According to Mr. Gemmo, “One of our most important strategies is offering the newest applications for each of the fields we operate in. This obviously means that we have to invest a lot in R&D.” Mr. Gemmo is quick to point out that the company could not achieve all that it has and all that it plans to in the future without its talented staff. Gemmo sees investing in its employee’s skills as critical for the success of the company. This investment will be particularly important since the company plans to grow in the future. Mr. Gemmo said, “Since innovation is so important for us, we can’t afford to have our people fall behind. That is why we’ve made a number of investments in the specialistion of our employees, which is completed through vocational courses and experience n in the field.” www.gemmogroup.it
REFINING SUSTAINABLE GROWTH The INA Group is a significant European oil and gas producer with a leading position in Croatia and neighbouring countries. Philip Yorke examines the benefits to the region of the company’s major investments in new plant, which have been designed to improve production efficiency and the sustainability of its refining processes.
he Rijeka oil refinery in Croatia began its operations in 1883 with an annual refining capacity of 60,000 tonnes. The same year the company constructed a deep water petroleum harbour, which was able to meet one third of all the oil products demanded by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Over the years, continuous construction and upgrading resulted in a technological peak being reached in the mid 1980s when the refining capacity rose to 6.7 million tonnes. Today INA d.d. is a joint stock company owned by the Hungarian Oil Company MOL (47.26 per cent, the republic of Croatia (44.84 per cent) and private and institutional shareholders (7.9 per cent). Since 2006 INA shares have been listed on the London and Zagreb stock exchanges. Over 16,000
people are employed by the INA Group with a further 10,000 employed by INA d.d., which was established on 1 January 1964 when the Naftaplin Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Company, merged with the oil refineries in Rijeka and Sisak in Croatia.
Meeting highest EU standards
INA has two refineries in Croatia, located in Rijeka and Sisak. The refinery in Rijeka is located onshore, allowing access to the port for deep drawing vessels and the pipeline system of JANAF. The refinery’s advantageous location makes it suitable for market supply not only to Croatia but also to southern parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro and other Mediterranean countries. The Rijeka refinery
processes around 3 million tonnes of oil annually and manufactures a number of key petroleum products for its domestic and foreign markets. INA’s commitment to its modernisation programme has meant that the upgraded plants not only meet the highest EU standards but also protect the environment and significantly improve the sustainability of the company’s refining business. The current production programme of INA’s refineries includes liquefied gas, virgin naptha, motor gasoline, kerosene, aviation turbine fuels, fuel oil, bunkers and liquid sulphur. The refinery at Sisak is 50 kilometres from Zagreb, which has the highest consumption of petroleum products in the country. This refinery’s location makes it convenient for
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the supply of petroleum products to Croatia as well as North Western Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Eastern Slovenia and Western and Northern Serbia. The Sisak refinery processes domestic petroleum produced by INA in addition to Russian oil imported through the oil pipelines ‘Druzba 1 & 2’ . Petroleum spirit can also be supplied from the Mediterranean Sea by the oil pipelines of JANAF. The refinery has nine oil storage tanks with a total storage capacity of 365,000 tonnes and processes more than 2 million tonnes of oil every year.
High purity hydrogen on tap
The completion of the first phase of a major modernisation programme was celebrated recently at INA’s Rijeka refinery, when a special ceremony was held to commemrate the commissioning of the first phase of the plant, which cost close to €400 million. The ceremony was attended by Croatia’s prime minister, Ms Jadranka Kosor, the deputy prime minister as well as state secretaries and other distinguished guests. The Rijeka plant’s first phase modernisation programme includes three facilities within a hydrocracking complex, as well
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as other supporting facilities and installations. The main facilities include a mild hydrocracking and hydrogen unit as well as a desulpherisation plant. The strategic goal is to increase the overall efficiency levels and ensure sustainable development through ecologically acceptable processes. In addition, the investment in modernisation will help strengthen INA’s position in its existing markets and those on its doorstep. Through the hydrocracking of heavy hydrocarbons the company will achieve lighter products, and by the hydro-desulpherisation of these lighter products, Euro V fuels will be produced. The plant’s hydrogen unit is designed for supplying high purity hydrogen and, in addition, the plant also produces high pressure steam that is used for the generation of electricity. This re-modernised plant is now able to isolate at least 98.8 per cent of the sulphur present in the total input. Zoltan Aldot, the President of the management board of INA said, ”Our key tasks will remain the improvement of business efficiency, development of our local and foreign capacities in exploration and production, further modernisation of refineries and revi-
talisation of our petrol stations network. Our goal is to make INA the leading oil company in South Eastern Europe.” Aldot also said that it was important for INA to continue the investment cycle, as it was the only way to make the company prosperous in the long term.
Growth in retail sector
INA has a long established reputation in the retail sector with around 500 petrol stations located in Croatia and neighbouring countries; Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Montenegro. INA is the clear brand leader in Croatia and its strong visual identity makes it a dominant and recognisable brand at the point of purchase. The demand for petroleum products has continued to grow in Croatia and as a result, INA has invested heavily in its retail network, which is constantly expanding with the construction of new, state-ofthe-art petrol stations. The latest sites are primarily to be found along Croatia’s newly built motorways. The company is also investing in the reconstruction and upgrading of existing, well located sites and the expansion of their retail product mix. n
Galil Engineering Ltd The new 6000 bpsd capacity Isomerization unit built by Galil Engineering Ltd. on lump sum turn key EPC basis. Galil utilized process simulation program in their design, developed 3D piping model and applied Delta V programming. Local contraction companies on all engineering disciplines were hired by them. Detail engineering executed at Galil’s home office and approved by INA technical team. Galil Engineering Ltd. is a multidiscipline engineering company providing EPC and EPCM services to various industries. They utilize modern engineering tools in their design activities. They can handle projects from conceptual design to startup applying QA/QC and HES strategies in order to fulfill customers requirement, they are also ISO 9001 certified. With their experienced
engineering and management team they are active in Oil and Gas, Power, Renewable energy, Water and WWT plants design and execution. The companies policy “One team- One Goal”, applied in INA’s Isomerization project with remarkable client-contractor relation. Our project was on time and on budget. While Galil do not represent any equipment supplier, they selected the best and most suitable equipment and systems for our project, we have seen this as an advantage along the project. Their project execution team issued the required reports on time and we were informed on continuous basis about the project status.
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Well-known for its ‘best in class’ German engineering, technology solutions company BORSIG is more than prepared for the next chapter in its story. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to MD Konrad Nassauer and Steffen Gast, director of the BORSIG ZM Compression division to find out how.
he Berlin-based customised engineering solutions company BORSIG Group is a member of the KNM Group Berhad and offers customised solutions for pressure vessels, heat exchangers, membrane technology, compressors and boiler and power plant technology. Its comprehensive industrial services add value to the Group’s offer, and also play an important part in its continued success. In the 10 years since BORSIG’s previous interview with Industry Europe, the company has undergone extensive strategic changes, both prior to and since the global economic downturn impacted on the industries in which it is most active. Managing director Konrad Nassauer, described by the director of the BORSIG ZM Compression division as ‘the driving force behind the BORSIG Group’, told us: “In 2002 we restructured the whole company and created a Group structure. We were running into insolvency and needed rescuing, so it was imperative
that we acted quickly and effectively to harness the skills, experience and goodwill that we had developed over the years. At that time I was the director of the heat process exchanger division and was proud to lead the company’s restructure; today I am the MD of the Group and have seen the Group bloom thanks to the changes.”
A complete family
Following the restructure in 2002, the BORSIG Group now comprises five operating companies that each deliver a ‘harmonious professional service’, with the holding company providing the back-office functions. BORSIG Process Heat Exchanger GmbH, BORSIG Membrane Technology GmbH, BORSIG ZM Compression GmbH, and BORSIG Boiler Systems GmbH are all supported by the BORSIG Service GmbH division, with the BORSIG name in each of the divisions synonymous with quality, reliability and optimum technical implementation in their respective activities.
The strategic restructure has ensured that BORSIG can now reliably operate as a single-source supplier of leading technology, making it a ‘competent partner for the future’ for its clients. Mr Nassauer continued, “Each of the five divisions operates separately, so there are the relevant competencies and skills housed in each division. The BORSIG headquarters offers activities such as PR, financing and IT, leaving the other units to focus on what they do best. We have found that this works well for our customers as they know that each unit is entirely centred on its core activity.”
Leaner and smarter
The BORSIG Group restructuring has allowed it to be more competitive and effective, with the addition of products and services as well as the centralised business support functions. Mr Nassauer explained how the Group structure now made it simpler and more practical to add
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services to the portfolio as the common functions allowed new divisions to work within this established method. The new generation BORSIG has restructured and upgraded its manufacturing facilities to ensure it is as up to the minute as its operating model. Mr Nassauer said, “We’re concentrating on our core competencies in our manufacturing processes, so we’re as lean as possible whilst still delivering high-quality engineering solutions.” BORSIG Process Heat Exchanger GmbH for example buys some technical parts from its carefully-selected network of suppliers and then makes the complete assembly and tests the products at its Berlin centre. The company concentrates on its core technology and the relevant components, which centre on the manufacture of waste heat recovery systems, which includes the parts and
components that require a high degree of technical manufacture. The BORSIG Group employs 550 people, with a strong focus on specialists including engineers, welders and machine operators. State of the art CAD programmes are used across the Group, as well as thermodynamic layout equipment. The Group exports its portfolio of products and services worldwide, with clients most prominent in the oil and gas, petrochemical, power generation and chemical industries.
Ready for action
Mr Nassauer explained how the restructure has enabled the company to further develop its offer by providing its support services worldwide. He said, “We are already extending our service activities in the Far East and Middle East in addition to our established European
business. Our reputation for excellent German quality underpins our added value concept, and as we are especially experienced in the oil and gas market, it makes sense for us to expand in these geographical areas.” With the last 10 years being ‘very hard work but an exciting challenge’ for the BORSIG Group, the figures speak for themselves. Going from a €57million turnover with 450 employees in 2002 to €250million with 540 employees in 2010, Mr Nassauer and his team’s dedication is certainly paying off. He concluded, “We’re perfectly positioned to really go for it! We have the experience, the facilities and the portfolio to serve the most demanding customers, and our reduced overheads and reduced fixed costs have made our business processing slimmer and more effective. We will continue to internationalise the BORSIG Group and expand across our five divisions, particularly in n the Middle East with our compressors.”
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PICK OF THE CROP Pick, Hungary’s biggest meat processor, was first established in 1869 when Mark Pick founded the predecessor of Pick Szeged Zrt. For a company to maintain a high profile in a tough market takes something special. Edina Beale investigates how Pick manages to do just that.
ith an annual production of 45 000 tonnes, Pick Szeged Zrt is the leading Hungarian meat processing company, with 30 per cent of the Hungarian market. Since its establishment over 140 years ago, the underlying principle for the company has been to provide consistently high quality in all of its brands and product ranges. As part of the Bonafarm group, the country’s largest integrated agricultural and food processing group, Pick Szeged Zrt has the great advantage of using the highest quality raw materials supplied by the group’s animal husbandry and crop farming divisions. Customers buying Pick products can be sure of consistently reliable quality the provision of excellent quality products and maintaining traditions whilst constantly innovating and developing new products are the two key aspects of the company’s core values.
Headquartered in Szeged, in the south of Hungary, Pick currently operates production plants in four locations throughout the country and subsidiaries and sales offices worldwide. The company carries out all meat and salami processing in Szeged, whilst in Baja, ham and paté products are produced. The factory in Pécs is responsible for boning and cutting processes, and in Alsómocsolád, dry sausages are produced. Pick Szeged Zrt today employs around 2800 people and in 2010 generated more than HUF 58 billion.
The leading product segment of the company is dry products including salami and dry sausages; however, ham, red meat products, paté and bacon are also produced in large volumes whilst the company supplies various meat products as well.
The company’s most important brand is ‘Pick’, the most well-known and well loved Hungarian brand. Its leading product, the Pick Téliszalámi (winter salami) is a true Hungaricum. The uniqueness of this product is achieved by a secret recipe with the finest ingredients and a 100 day long curing process. Délhús, Ringa and Herz are other popular brands the company has acquired in its recent history. The company’s newly developed products achieve recognition every year in food exhibitions and among consumers. Its biggest challenge at the moment is to complete the repositioning of the Herz brand. Herz is one of the oldest and most popular Hungarian brands, recreated by Pick to become a fresh and trendy trademark whilst still maintaining the values of a traditional Hungarian brand. After an absence of two years the Herz brand reappeared on the shelves in
modern packaging, with well thought out product ranges, whilst staying loyal to its traditional flavours. Besides its traditional dry products, the Hertz assortment was extended to include Mediterranean-type and herb-coated salami products. In order to lengthen the shelf life of the new Herz products, Pick Zrt introduced a new fresh box packaging method to maintain the juiciness and flavours of salami for longer.
Award-winning business and products
During its 140 year history, Pick Szeged Zrt has picked up many awards including the gold and bronze medal in the World Fair held in Paris in 1900 and in 1935, and in 1958 in Brussels. The National Quality Award received in 1999 demonstrates the undiminished commitment of the company to provide excellent quality products for its customers. This dedication was also rewarded by the Hungarian Agricultural Quality Award received in 2009. The Excellent Hungarian Food Product award is further evidence of the premium quality of Pick products. The company again received recognition in 2010 for a number of its products including the Pick liver paté, Míves sausages and Spicy Rákóczi salami. The Hungarian Product Award is also taken by Pick every year – in 2010 Pick’s Rákóczi product range won this award. Among the quality 96 Industry Europe
brands the Superbrand award has been won by Pick every year since it was introduced in 2004 and the company also won the newly created MagyarBrands award last year.
Focus on export
Pick Zrt currently exports around 30 per cent of its total production. Last year it exported nearly 8000 tonnes of processed meat products, which was 1000 tonnes more than its export volume in 2009. As domestic demand is much lower since the recession, the company sees current opportunities for growth mainly in export activities. Currently Pick not only targets its traditional
markets such as Germany, Sweden and Austria but is also exploring opportunities in Asia, where meat consumption is expected to grow. The company has already made progress in Japan and is currently exploiting opportunities in China. The ultimate goal is to balance the export-import ratio whilst maintaining the level of domestic sales and therefore stabilizing the company’s market-leading position in Hungary. As for the long term future, the company’s 140 year history, its professional expertise and commitment to providing high quality products will enable it to continue to n be the ‘pick of the crop’.
GLOBAL BRAND WITH A REGIONAL FLAVOUR Traditional German family biscuit maker, the Lambertz Group, is considered to be one of 250 reasons why we should love Germany. It seems the international confectionary company has become something of a national treasure with a reputation for blending traditional values with continuous, and profitable, innovations in its product line.
stablished in 1688, Lambertz is not only the oldest brand in the country’s economic history but is also something of a national institution. This traditional family bakery business has also used its expertise to garner international success in the bakery business. In 1820, Mr Henry Lambertz decided to add sugar to the company’s original biscuit mixture and then cut it into rectangular shapes. In doing so he created the company’s first range of ‘Printe’ – a traditional form of German pastry originating from the city of Aachen. Within a few years the Printe were manufactured in a variety of forms that included coating in chocolate, almonds, marzipan and the like. What was a regional seasonal business today employs some 3,450 people and is the world market leader in seasonal baked products, as well as being one of the largest German year-round baked goods manufacturers.
Tradition and innovation
The Lambertz Group may well have cornered the global market for traditional German bakery specialities as the largest manufacturer of seasonal autumn bakery products, but it has also Industry Europe 97
extended and strengthened its position above and beyond that of the domestic market. Its focus remains on the two pillars of growth – maintaining and defending its dominance of its home grown market to preserve the rich tradition of a family owned and centuries-old company, while at the same time acting as a dynamic and innovative confectioner that doesn’t rest on its laurels. Today it remains at its ancestral home in Aachen operating its subsidiaries Weiss – the southern German gingerbread manufacturer – Kinkartz and Haeberlein and Metzger, which incorporate the wellknown brands of Ferdinand Wolf, Türmer, Heeman, Feinbackerei Otten and Otto Scharschmidt Marzipan. The group’s offering is pretty comprehensive and includes everything from
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biscuits and fruity baked products to lightly baked puff pastries, soft sugar-glazed doughnuts, marzipan and nougat pralines covered in milk chocolate, crispy mint flakes and Quark cakes with fruity fillings.
Over the years Lambertz has developed from a small niche supplier of gingerbread and ginger biscuits to one of Germany’s top bakery producers, which achieves 60 per cent of its annual revenue from sales of its year-round goods rather than its seasonal range. Not only that but the company’s track record at innovating new bakery products sets something of an example for competitors to follow; in fact, today Lambertz achieves more than 50 per cent of its turno-
ver from items that were not even in its range 10 years ago. Just one of the many success stories in the last 10 years has been its Fine Lemon Pastry, which is known and loved throughout Germany. Meanwhile product developments in terms of its winning seasonal range include the first Christmas praline Baccione, which is made from nougat, marzipan, chocolate and almonds, and Omas Gewurzgeback a, baked festive product with Christmas spices. One of the reasons behind Lambertz’s success in the last 20 years, it seems, has been its decision to move from the manufacture of Printe into the entire gingerbread market. Up until 1978 Lambertz had been just another manufacturer of Printe, sharing a market in which there didn’t seem to be any real brand leader to speak of. Lambertz knew it could
make the difference and, at a time when its annual turnover was something in the region of €8.2 million, the company took the initiative and invested some €3.1 million in a new domino manufacturing system. It knew it could fill the gap in the market by delivering another household brand name, and in this it was proved to be right. In 2007, the company introduced its ‘Nussparade’ range of products, and this, combined with the growing popularity of its pastry mixes and mono pastries brought about a significant increase in sales.
As well as achieving greater penetration with its own branded products, Lambertz also undertakes private label work and is collaborating with some of the biggest retailers in the business. Its international business is rapidly expanding, and today the confectioner is exporting its baked goods to more than 40 countries with its year-round product lines, in particular, reaching a wider international audience. In fact, one of the group’s focuses for the
future is to expand its international exports, and indeed the company is making great progress in the US market, for example, where sales are continuing to increase. It has a sales centre in this market and has also established permanent listing with several large US retailers. Here it markets its year-round bakery products under the labels of ‘European cookies and German cookies’. In addition to the US, Lambertz has also established a strong presence in China, Japan and Africa. Lambertz’s export business has been improved by the establishment, in 2008, of a storage facility in Nuremberg with a storage capacity of 12,000 pallets. It has also expanded its distribution centre at Würselen to improve the flow and movement of goods from its factories to customers throughout the world.
Perfect for eastern Europe
Another of the most exciting areas for the company in the future, and also one where the company has considerable success in the past, is in the neighbouring market of Poland
where Lambertz’s range of baked goods have sold particularly well. In fact the company’s penetration of the eastern European markets is another reason why Lambertz has been able to increase its turnover by so much over the last decade. Today its subsidiary Lambertz Polonia is selling to the Czech Republic, Romania, Ukraine, Latvia, Russia and Hungary as well as Poland. Indeed the company’s bulging manufacturing portfolio provides further evidence of its success in Poland. As well as its six factories in Germany, Lambertz also produces in Poland, for the Polish and eastern European markets, and it is this site that has been the subject of investment recently in a bid to increase capacity. The demands of the market have led the company to invest in inaugurating two new baking lines at its Polish facility. As well using the capacity at the Polish facility, demand is such that Lambertz also utilises its German manufacturing sites to meet the need in the Polish market. It has also added several new products to its eastern European line over the past five years. n
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VALUE-ADDED RESELLER Leading European IT reseller and pioneer of e-commerce, Bechtle direct, has been at the forefront of the industry for decades. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to managing director of Bechtle direct in the Netherlands, Jean-Paul Bierens, to learn more about its 2020 vision for the future.
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pioneer of e-commerce, particularly in the IT products sector, Bechtle direct sells a vast range of products from wireless networks to monitors, and is dedicated to keeping its finger on the IT pulse. Part of the German Bechtle AG, Bechtle direct has offices in 13 countries across Europe and has a portfolio of more than 44,000 products. Bechtle AG is a company with a unique business model, divided into system houses and IT e-commerce operations. There are more than 60 system houses, or system integrators, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Within the IT e-commerce operation, Bechtle has subsidiaries in 13 European countries and includes its three main e-commerce brands, ARP, Bechtle direct and Comsoft direct.
Jean-Paul Bierens is the managing director of Bechtle direct in the Netherlands, where four of the subsidiaries are located. He told Industry Europe, “We are one of the subsidiaries, and we each have our own management and profit and loss. We’re run as separate companies while still having the support and collective strength of the Group. This gives our customers the best possible situation as we are small enough to give a great service with products at a great price.”
At the two Bechtle direct sites in the Netherlands, both new business development and account managers are able to ensure that all customers and potential customers are well looked after. The company values long-term
relationships and has a strong reputation for delivering products quickly, which is a key factor in its continued success. The company is entirely focused on business-to-business customers, with companies with more than 50 IT workplaces being the core business target. As an IT reseller, Bechtle direct sells more than 44,000 products from around 300 different vendors. Mr Bierens continued, “We have a wide range of IT solutions available, with hardware, software and supplies. We don’t produce anything ourselves, but we source the products we sell very carefully so we can guarantee their quality and performance. As the boom in internet shopping has made people far more comfortable with buying even high value
items online, our business has gone from strength to strength, particularly as customers can research a product and then buy it online as we make it very easy for people to use us – we’re quick, reliable and good value, with a huge range of products to choose from.”
Bechtle direct uses several sales channels in order to reach its customers, with its multi-channel strategy including telephone sales, a 700-page catalogue which is sent
Networking DataCenter Virtualization Collaboration Security Mobility
out biannually, customer-focused mailings and its popular webshop. The webshop is the backbone of the Bechtle direct offer, particularly as the company was one of the first to really utilise this medium. Customers can order standard products on the site as well as the ‘e-procurement e-portal for customers, called bios®, or the Bechtle Information and Ordering System. bios® gives customers a range of added value services including order tracking, workflow support and purchasing statistics. Mr Bierens explained how bios® gives Bechtle
direct more opportunities to connect with its customers through XML, EDI and other sales processes. Bechtle direct employs around 1000 people across its European sites, with Mr Bierens clear that it is a ‘people business’. He said, “We don’t subscribe to the business development strategy that our sales people should be driving around from appointment to appointment. You can do maybe three appointments a day that way. We do the vast majority of our business development and sales contacts over the phone, where our sales people can make thirty active calls in a day. This gives us the strength to be there for our customers, to build the business, and stops anyone from wasting time – and it’s far more environmentally friendly!” The sales strategy at Bechtle direct includes a commitment to giving good advice. As ‘trusted advisers to our customers’, the account directors work in combination with the informative bios® system to save customers money on buying IT
products as much of the research process is automated. This makes it easy for wperformance, with the average saving at least 30 per cent, and a 60 per cent saving not uncommon on more unusual requests. Bechtle direct will continue to see strong results in Europe as the company’s presence grows particularly in Central Europe. Having recently started a new subsidiary in the Czech Republic and planning another in Hungary, it expects to expand into nonEuropean countries in the coming years. Mid and South America could be potential options. Characterised by its ‘Vision 2020’, Bechtle direct is looking to further develop its e-commerce activities beyond its current locations, particularly as the global potential of its webshop has yet to be exhausted. Mr Bierens concluded, “We are well-positioned to continue to be at the forefront of e-commerce in the IT reseller market, and our excellent reputation and long-term leading place in the market is the perfect referral n for new customers.”
Managing director Jean-Paul Bierens
FOR STORAGE Tandberg Data develops and manufactures data protection solutions for small and mediumsized businesses. Felicity Landon reports on a company with global presence – and ambitions for growth.
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andberg Data has more than 30 years’ experience in providing data storage protection for businesses around the globe. However, the history and roots of the company go back much further, to the founding of the Tandberg Radio Factory in 1933. This legacy fostered a culture of engineering innovation leading to Tandberg Data’s breakthrough in magnetic recording technology and, in particular, the development of the Tandberg SLR (Scalable Linear Recording) tape storage product platform.
Tandberg Data was established in 1979 as a standalone data division when the Tandberg Radio Factory was dissolved into separate entities. At this time, several other organisations were established carrying the Tandberg name, each pursuing different business opportunities. In the 1990s, the company expanded its worldwide presence by setting up subsidiaries in Japan, Singapore and the UK and, around this time, it incorporated LCD video projectors into its product portfolio. The diversification ended in 1996, when Tandberg
Data shifted to a 100 per cent focus on information storage products. Today, Tandberg Data is a leading global supplier of data protection solutions and the majority of its revenue comes from tape drives, tape automation and media. “We have sold more than four million tape products since the company started,” says Graham Paterson, senior vice president of sales and marketing for EMEA. “In the past five years, Tandberg Data has also invested in the development of removable disk as well as disk-based network-attached solu-
tions that include deduplication software technology, broadening its product spectrum.” Tandberg Data is the market leader in RDX removable disk technology, he adds.
A good start
The first two months of 2011 represented an excellent start to the year for the company. In January, it was confirmed that Tandberg Data’s AccuVault RDX-based Data Protection Solution had been selected as a finalist for the 2010 Storage Magazine/ SearchStorage.com Products of the Year
Awards, and in February it was announced that the product had gained a bronze award in the Backup Hardware category. Also in January, Tandberg Data launched the industry’s first removable disk library for SMB data protection. The versatile multi-cartridge RDX QuikStation blends the removability, durability and economy of tape with the random access, performance and reliability of disk. Tandberg Data’s corporate headquarters are in Dortmund, Germany, and the company has subsidiaries in the United States, France, Norway, Hong Kong, Singapore and
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The Solid Systems Group has been delivering World Class third party multi vendor support for major IT manufacturers and multinational organizations over the past 35 years. The Solid Systems Group is a privately owned organization, HQ in Derby, committed to delivering solutions that improve the reliability and performance of its customers’ infrastructure and products. With our experience in Storage and Migration consulting, support services (7x24 On-site, depot Repair, Logistics and Technical Helpdesk / Remote support), which services are the core foundation of our business, Solid Systems can help organizations lower their costs, optimize revenue and manage risk within their IT infrastructure. Solid Systems / Connexion Point MVS have a service presence in 92 countries Worldwide, providing direct support through our own team and through seasoned and professional long standing partners. We have direct presence in the UK, Ireland, France, Benelux, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, India, Singapore and Brazil With expanding opportunities, we recently added our new regional office in Singapore supporting our offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, India and Hong Kong. Our unique Worldwide reach, allows current and potential Multinational clients a means of outsourcing their Worldwide service delivery needs through one organization. Simple to manage and to control, minimizing management intervention and allowing one single point of contact to contract and manage across the World. Connexion Point MVS became part of the by Solid Systems Group at the end of 2010 and have moved to new bespoke offices at Trinity court in Wokingham, Berkshire, within easy distance from Heathrow in the M4 corridor. The new state of the art 3,500 sq ft office space, provides an excellent location to support the growth plans for the company in 2011. These new offices encompass dedicated storage facilities, a state of the art technical laboratory and its sales and administrative teams. For more information please contact the SSCS office in your country France: +33 148178540 | UK: +44 118 9070164 | NL: +31 654722603 | Germany: +49 32221079850
Japan, as well as affiliates in India and China. Its main manufacturing facility is located in China, outside Hong Kong – the acquisition of this facility being one of Tandberg Data’s most important recent investments. All of Tandberg Data’s data protection solutions are supported through a worldwide service and support network, which has been recognised for its outstanding levels of service. The solutions themselves work with all major operating systems and software applications, and are designed to meet the growing storage requirements of small and medium-sized organisations, with scalability,
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reliability and backward compatibility features that ensure cost-effective operation and longterm investment protection. As Tandberg Data says: “No one wants to back up data. It’s done because there’s the ever-present chance of a data failure, and then a restore is needed. That is when your data backup solutions become critical. They must perform or data can be lost.”
Marketing of all its solutions is through a global channel of qualified resellers and distributors. Tandberg Data also partners with
major server OEMs, including Apple, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Maxwell, NEC and Toshiba. “We sell 100 per cent through the channel on a global scale; we have had a global presence for years,” says Mr. Paterson. “We see huge growth opportunities in APAC, but Europe and the US are our strongholds.” Tandberg Data mostly serves companies in the SMB/SME arena – it is not targeting specific sectors, as its products are relevant to any business. The company’s wide selection of business-grade storage solutions includes disk-based appliances, tape drives and tape-based solutions, autoload-
ers, libraries, removable disk systems and libraries, media, and robust deduplication software for backup, restore, archiving and disaster recovery applications. Its solutions range from the RDX QuikStor removable disk system, the DPS2000 NAS Series, the AccuVault Data Protection Series, and the new innovative removable disk library RDX QuikStation to automated tape solutions such as the Tandberg Data StorageLoader and StorageLibrary Series. Tandberg Data also offers tape drives, based on the LTO, DAT, SLR and VXA tape technology platforms, and media.
“Tandberg Data solutions are supported by AccuGuard, a robust, easy-to-use deduplication software. A worldwide service and support network, recognised globally for its outstanding levels of service, underpins all our solutions,” says Mr. Paterson. “In addition to a standard warranty and support, Tandberg Data provides customers with upgrades for onsite service, giving customers further peace of mind.” Investment in R&D and innovation is central to Tandberg Data’s operations, of course. There has been particular focus on the introduction of new disk-based
and removable disk appliances in recent times. R&D is also seen as critical to future growth: “We will grow through new product introductions/R&D,” says Mr. Paterson. Tandberg Data has opportunities to grow its business through new product introductions in the broader data protection segment – especially introducing more disk-based appliances and services, he says. But, in addition, the company is looking at acquisitions to support future growth. Building a strong geographical presence in all regions n is also a key target. www.tandbergdata.com
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OFFSHORE EXPERTS Owner and operator of a modern fleet of offshore and subsea vessels, the Norwegian group of companies DOF AS is looking forward to continued success in 2011. Emma-Jane Batey interviewed managing director Mons Aase to find out more.
Mons Aase, managing director
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ounded in 1981, today DOF AS is a group of companies which owns and operates a fleet of technically advanced vessels for offshore and subsea activities. DOF’s distinctive bright red vessels represent its diversified fleet which has been carefully developed to meet the exacting needs of its operational purposes. Since Industry Europe last spoke with managing director Mons Aase, the global economic downturn has impacted on the majority of industries, with the offshore and subsea industries no exception. However, as we see signs of recovery, Mr Aase is positive about the coming year. He said, “I have mixed feelings about 2010, but overall it has been a successful year for us. The last quarter has been a turning point and so the year has ended better than expected, which is a great position to be in as we start the New Year. A particular success story has
been the fact that we won a number of new long-term contracts, so our new business acquisition has been excellent.”
The largest new contracts won by DOF in 2010 have been four eight-year contracts for a major anchor handling technical supplier, which has been collectively valued at more than NOK10 billion. The company will start these projects in 2011 and will continue well into 2013, and this marks a
record high for long-term contract acquisition in one year for DOF. Another important milestone in the recent DOF story is the new flagship for its Brazilian fleet, the Skandi Vitoria. Ordered a few years ago, the exceptionally advanced vessel represented a technical challenge for the company. Mr Aase explained, “We took delivery of the vessel in early October and it was a really big day for us. Our business has been growing rapidly in Brazil for some time, so adding such an advanced vessel to our Brazilian fleet is a
great opportunity for us to continue to expand our activities in the region.” DOF has a fully integrated business in Brazil, including at least five dedicated vessels on long-term contracts and a further 20 vessels in demand, with this figure expected to increase to 30 in the next 12 months. Mr Aase added, “We offer all the necessary shipping and services from our Brazilian operation, and we are always looking to employ more staff. Brazil is our fastest growing market and will continue to be our main focus in 2011.”
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OFFSHORE EXPERTS Other increasingly important markets for DOF are the North Sea, Asia and Australia, with the company having a large set-up in Perth that is active in developing new business. Although the North Sea market had suffered during the recession, it is showing excellent signs of recovery.
Keeping ahead of trends
Trends currently affecting the offshore and subsea industries include a demand for accessing deeper waters, which requires more advanced technical development. Mr Aase continued, “We are seeing an increased investment in the subsea and large anchor industries and this will also translate into the need for transit of larger equipment. We are already in the advanced stages of planning to meet these growing trends in order to maintain our market leading position and reputation for delivering the latest solutions on our vessels.”
Although Mr Aase was not able to comment on specific levels of investment or planned acquisitions, he did say that DOF is aiming to focus on organic growth for the near future. A key factor in its operational development is the group-wide importance placed on the ecological sustainability of its activities. He said, “Although shipping is not known as the most environmentally sound industry, DOF is committed to developing our operation to be as sustainable and responsible as possible while delivering the level of service required by the market. We have always been at the forefront of the ecological aspect of our industry, and in 1996 we took the pioneering step of investing in the Skandi Marsterin, a supply vessel that consumes over 30 per cent less fuel than a standard vessel.” DOF is now building all its vessels with ecodesigned solutions for reducing emissions
and cutting fuel consumptions, including the installation of catalysts and a number of other innovations as standard. The company has enjoyed positive industry recognition for its efforts by winning the coveted Ship of the Year award in Oslo in October for its futurefocused Skandi Arka vessel. With 2010 finishing on a high note with this award and the strong signs of recovery boosting its already-strong pipeline for 2011, DOF is preparing for another successful year. Mr Aase concluded, “We hope to continue to grow steadily, keeping our focus on environmentally-innovative solutions for our customers in the offshore and subsea industries. We expect to further penetrate the West African market in addition to seeing excellent results in Brazil and our historically-strong markets in n the North Sea.” www.dof.no
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LEADING THE WAY IN CONTAINER-HANDLING TECHNOLOGY
Eurogate is Europe’s leading container terminal and logistics group. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to bring innovation and technology to the container industry and looks at its latest achievements.
association with Contship Italia, Eurogate operates major sea terminals in the North Sea, the Mediterranean region and the Atlantic. Along with container handling, the company provides a full range of ‘box-related’ operations, from cargo-model services, to container depot services, as well as container servicing and repair. Other key services include intermodal transport and logistics management solutions for IT logistics and specialist engineering services. Eurogate became a major player in the container industry when a traditional company based in Hamburg called Eurokai joined forces with BLG Logistics of Bremerhavem to form Eurogate. The new company established its head office in Bremen and dynamic growth followed the merger of the two companies. However different Eurogate’s parent
companies may be, they have both grown out of traditional port businesses whose history stretches back to the end of the nineteenth century. Bremer Lagerhaus Gesellschaft (BLG) was founded in 1877 by Bremen merchants for the purpose of importing cotton. Eurokai has always been a family business and is now in its fifth generation and was founded in 1865 in the port of Hamburg by Cordt Eckelmann as a sailing barge line. Together their combined experience and modern container facilities are put to work for the benefit of all Eurogate customers. Today the company operates nine major terminal locations handling more than 12.6 million TEU’s, (Standard Containers) making it Europe’s largest terminal operator. Two new container terminals are currently under construction in Wilhelmshaven, Germany and in Ust–Luga, Russia.
Each of the companies in the Eurogate Group offers high productivity levels and optimal coordination of working processes, supported by the most modern terminal handling technology and are backed up with a dedicated team of more than 4,500 professionals.
New deepwater terminal on show in Asia
In February 2011, Eurogate presented its new deepwater container terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, to shipping and logistics companies in Tokyo, Japan. In August 2012 Germany’s only deepwater container terminal is scheduled to become fully operational. With no draught restrictions, the new terminal can accommodate the world’s biggest container vessels. Therefore this new Eurogate conIndustry Europe 117
tainer terminal creates significant added value for Northern Europe’s seaports. Shortly Eurogate technology and logistics expertise will be presented throughout Asia via Tokyo to Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore among other key locations. Since the world’s biggest container vessels operate mainly on the Far East – Europe trade routes, Asia is the key market for the new Eurogate container terminal. The new terminal will appeal to shipping companies, Asian exporters and importers, as well as forwarders and logistics providers, all of which have been invited to participate. In addition, Russia’s leading container terminal operator NCC and Eurogate’s partner in the Ust-Luga project will also be involved. 118 Industry Europe
Eurogate has a 20 per cent stake in the UstLuga container terminal which is expected to start operating in the first quarter of 2012.
An additional factor that relates directly to the success of the company is its flexibility and readiness to make strategic alliances whilst maintaining its long-standing client relationships. In Bremerhaven Eurogate is involved in two major joint ventures; the NTB North Sea Terminal, which is a business owned jointly with Maersk Line, the biggest shipping line in the world, and MSC Gate, which is another important joint venture that involves the world’s second biggest shipping line, the MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. Further-
more, the company is involved in a number of other key international projects including the new Wilhelmshaven deep water terminal and the Ust-Luga project near St Petersburg.
German ports visit South America
In April 2011 Eurogate participated for the first time in the ‘Intermodal South America Logistics Trade Fair’. The South American container market is growing rapidly with ever
larger vessels calling at of European ports every day. The Eurogate container terminal Wilhelmshaven therefore offers an interesting alternative for all those companies that are operating the trade route from Europe to South America. What’s more, Eurogate is the only container terminal operator that is active at all three German seaport locations. The company supports cooperation between the three German
seaports in an effort to promote Germany as a business and an excellent port location. “Each of the seaports has its own strengths. Pooling this expertise and their container facilities is the only way to effectively counter competition from neighbouring countries. Joining forces to present these combined strengths under the umbrella brand of ‘German Ports’ is therefore a logical step forward” said a Eurogate n company spokesman.
OPTIMISING SOLENOID VALVE TECHNOLOGY Fluid Automation Systems is a global market leader in miniature solenoid valve technology. Philip Yorke talked to Peter Matton, the company’s CEO about its move into new niche markets and its ambitious plans for future growth. 120 Industry Europe
luid Automation Systems (FAS) is a dynamic global engineering company and part of IMI plc’s Norgren Group. Since the company was founded in Geneva in 1971, it has grown consistently to become a world leader in miniature precision solenoid valve technology. Innovation and an engineering driven co-development model with world leading OEMs have established FAS as the ‘supplier of choice’ in 8mm, 10mm and 15mm size precision solenoid applications. Today FAS delivers a wide range of innovative engineering solutions to leading global companies in clearly defined niche markets across resilient global sectors. The company produces precision solenoid valves for critical gas and fluidic control applications while serving OEM customers in more than 30 countries worldwide.
As the global demand for greater miniaturisation of precision solenoid valve products continues to grow, the FAS division provides the optimal engineered solutions for an increasing number of critical function and control OEM applications. These range from the medical device and bio-pharma and analytical markets within life sciences, to rail, printing and environmental monitoring. However, the fastest growing and most demanding sector with the greatest scope for FAS is the life sciences sector, where innovative technology developed by the company is making a significant difference to the quality of life of thousands of patients in both hospital and home healthcare environments. Additionally, the growth in health screening and testing as preventative measures has led to several new opportunities across the bio-pharma and analytical instrumentation and diagnostic instrumentation markets within the life sciences sector. Matton said, “Our latest two- and threeway miniature precision solenoid valves have now been in production for four years and this advanced technology has helped us to move into the ‘sub-miniature’ market. These
precision miniature solenoid valves help reduce the overall power consumption and size of OEM devices, enabling the OEMs to achieve design objectives with innovative hand-held, ambulatory and portable devices, and gain more market share whilst reducing their ecofootprint. These sub-miniature solenoids have a tangible value proposition and real differentiation for healthcare applications where devices today are required to support a patient in the transition from the hospital to their home. These patient therapy and respiratory support devices have to be smaller and operate with the lowest power consumption to achieve long battery life (when required) and have absolute reliability. Whether the OEM application is designed for operation in a home healthcare environment, for continuous monitoring purposes, to provide the highest accuracy tests for water quality or printing applications within the food and beverage markets, FAS has an established brand for co-developing innovation and OEM specific engineered solutions. Furthermore, as each new or emerging niche market is identified and developed around the world, we are well positioned to commit and leverage our considerable OEM application experience and engineering capabilities to meet the challenges.” “Our latest co-developments with life sciences OEMs have resulted in the development of the two smallest transport ventilators available on the market today. These are specifically designed for ambulatory medical and patient therapy applications. Other new customer projects in the pipeline will set the precedents for new possibilities in treating and managing patients with respiratory diseases. These revolutionary portable products will accompany patients 24/7 and will change the shape of the market for many years to come.”
staff. Furthermore, the management team consists of nine nationalities and the engineering team has an average of 8.5 years of relevant precision miniature solenoid valve experience. The company’s direct sales and logistics are located in Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland. The global Norgren regional structure is present in the US, UK, Brazil, the Nordic region and 37 other countries. However FAS already has representation in the key and target geographical markets and it’s these that the company intends to build upon in the years ahead. Rob Howard, FAS’s international sales and marketing director commented, “Our strong brand and leadership in sub-miniature precision solenoid valve technology is helping to pave the way for us across the primary resilient global sectors, as well as in the emerging markets where Asia and China in particular will provide sustained and long term growth in the foreseeable future. We confidently expect to double our turnover over the next three years in these specific regional markets within the resilient global sectors and niche critical control OEM applications within all 16 of the recognised global sectors. We are executing our plan to be the world’s leading provider of precision miniature fluid control products, technologies and solutions while securing market share in each targeted niche OEM application. Unlike our competitors, we are not a one-size-fitsall company, we are a high-mix, low volume producer offering OEM application-specific precision functionality and control. As part of the IMI Norgren Group we have adopted the IMI Way and focused on becoming a growth engine and making our company lean as well as optimising energy saving and overall production efficiency.”
Expanding global reach
Market-driven research and engineering driven solutions lie at the heart of FAS’s expertise. The company’s mission is to create a technological edge for its customers through co-development and providing engineered solutions to complex problems,
FAS is an international enterprise, but with ambitions to significantly extend its global reach. It is also a dynamic company in terms of its personnel with 29 different nationalities and an equal split between male and female
Putting customers and performance first
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FAS WAS AWARDED the 2010 Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award for its continuous commitment to its customers. Please contact your FAS representative today to determine eligibility in receiving up to a 50% credit for Non Recurring Engineering costs - Valued at €10,000. NOTE: This promotion for a “50% credit” requires a customer commitment and prior non-recurring engineering payment with the credit being allowed with the first serial product purchase order and redeemed as actual serial product costs. This offer expires December 01, 2011.
For more details, visit www.fas.ch or call us +41 22 775 10 00
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thus leveraging OEM application expertise and emerging valve technologies. Having gained an intimate knowledge of its customers’ needs, operating environments and regulatory requirements, FAS can act as a co-development partner to save valuable time and resources in an OEM development cycle. The FAS portfolio includes a wide range of precision products that are used as platforms for OEM application specific product modifications or extensions. Products such as the Chipsol 8mm solenoid valve, featuring the performance of a 10mm solenoid
valve in an 8mm body, are ideal for integration in portable devices. With its industry leading flow to size ratio, 0.5W power consumption, cartridge mount and excellent repeatability, it is one of FAS’s most advanced product platforms. The new Picosol 10mm precision miniature solenoid valves combine small size and low power with high flow, high repeatability and long life. They are well suited to be customised to OEM specifications. Another core product platform is FAS’s Flatprop 16mm valve. Featuring flat spring and plunger design for frictionless opera-
tion, the Flatprop is a high-resolution precision miniature proportional valve. Highly repeatable over 100mio cycles, Flatprop has excellent control characteristics in closed loop applications. The FAS Microsol 15mm solenoid valve is extensively used in diverse OEM applications. Originally developed as the world’s first 15mm face-mount solenoid valve, this solenoid valve is highly modular and can be engineered to meet a wide range of OEM application specifications. It set the industry standard for 15mm valves and has won numerous design and technology awards. n
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MORE WITH METAL MORE WITH METAL 124 Industry Europe
With over 100 years’ experience in adding value to its customers’ businesses using steel, stainless steel and aluminium, BE Group Sverige AB has established a solid reputation that is as forward-thinking as it is traditional. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to MD Stefan Eklund to find out more.
stablished in Sweden in 1885, the BE Group has long focused on adding value to its customers’ businesses using expertise in steel, stainless steel and aluminium. BE Group Sverige AB is the largest member of the Group, with 300 of the Group’s total 900 employees, and nine sales offices and two warehouses across Sweden.
The Group is renowned for its products and services in steel, stainless steel and aluminium and is a leading trading and service company throughout the Nordic region, with an increasingly strong market share in Central and Eastern Europe. MD of BE Group Sverige AB Stefan Eklund told Industry Europe how the Group’s long history gives it a solid foundation. He said, “We
have always been dedicated to delivering a customer-orientated product range, and this is the BE Group’s mark of confidence to our customers. Our products and services are cleverly designed and executed to save our customers time, costs and capital in order to improve their competitiveness, and it is this vision that has driven the company for more than 100 years.” Industry Europe 125
Tata Steel Tata Steel (formerly Corus) is part of the Tata Group, a diversified global company with operations in every major world market. Over the last ten years the group have acquired many major brands, including Tetley Tea and Jaguar Land Rover.
By working closely together throughout the supply chain, both the BE Group and Tata Steel have established strong market positions across Europe by ensuring that production and logistics run smoothly to final delivery to BE Group’s customers.
Tata Steel is proud to have been a key partner to the BE Group for over 40 years supplying a full range of premium quality Hybox 355® cold formed hollow sections and Celsius 355® hot formed hollow sections.
We look forward to continuing our collaboration in the future.
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An independent company, BE Group is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and posted a 2009 turnover of 4308m SEK. Justifiably proud of its successful history, Mr Eklund explained how the Group’s particular strength in distribution and material handling adds a valuable advantage to its offer. He commented, “Although our business has evolved over the years, our core business has not changed, so our incredible knowledge of using materials, handling materials, distribution…it all adds up to an incomparable service.”
Building strong relations
With many clients in the building construction and engineering industries, BE Group has built up an enviably strong customer base, with a 128 Industry Europe
mutually-beneficial understanding of customers’ needs and changing demands. The resolutely customer-orientated product and service offer is delivered from the strategically-located sales and production locations, with a further state-of-the-art production unit currently under construction in the west of Sweden. A clear representation of how the longestablished BE Group is also future-focused is its recent progression further into the value chain. The Group is increasingly making more products itself, rather than its previous sole dedication to providing and delivering the metals, and this is proving to be a very positive move. Mr Eklund said, “As a direct result of our close communication with our customers, we’ve been steadily moving further into
the value chain by doing more things with our materials and making semi-products for industry. We found that the competition for simply providing material was getting more intense, particularly as the market contracted following the global economic downturn, so we are using our experience advantage and reducing the pressure on margins this way. We’ve also found that providing more into the value chain has enabled us to build even closer relationships with key customers, so it really is a win-win situation.”
A growing portfolio
This growing aspect of the BE Group portfolio is already proving successful in Finland, with further growth predicted in Sweden and
Central and Eastern Europe, and Mr Eklund is clear that the move deeper into the value chain is an important commercial advantage, particularly as it suits both existing customers and potential partners. Mr Eklund continued, “We’re not guessing what our customers want. We engage with them so we understand their needs implicitly, and this is how we approach working with new customers too. Many customers prefer to outsource more now, so we can fill that role perfectly, particularly in the building, construction and other heavy industries where we have such a strong history. Customers are really appreciating that they can gain the same level of quality and commitment from 130 Industry Europe
us that they’re used to with metal products and processes, but now with our addedvalue production service too.”
The BE Group production service, or semi-products, portfolio is a key part of the company’s predicted future success. Although Mr Eklund said he’d love to see the market climb back to 2007 and 2008 levels, he is clearly confident that the Group is more than capable of utilising its strong market position and growing capabilities in order to continue its solid financial results. The Group is aiming to ‘take back’ some its market share follow-
ing the economic downturn, with a number of carefully-devised programmes in place to support that aim. Mr Eklund concluded, “There is certainly a lot of new competition coming in, so by capitalising on our unique history and valuable experience, the BE Group is more than capable of beating the competition with value adding products, services and now production services that save our customers time, costs and capital. We have an excellent geographical footprint, can follow our customers wherever they go and can provide high quality materials at competitive prices, so it’s no wonder that we’re on n target to reach our ambitious aims.”
STAINLESS STEEL LONG PRODUCTS Ugitech produces and sells a wide range of stainless steel long products. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at recent developments at the company. Industry Europe 131
JACQUES AZOUBEL 29, rue du Roule 42350 LA TALAUDIERE
Phone: +33 (0)4 77 53 29 92 Mobile: +33 (0)6 10 84 20 30 Fax: +33 (0)4 77 53 03 64 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ccording to the CEO of Ugitech, Patrick Lamarque d’Arrouzat, the key to future success in the company’s stainless steel products is to follow market trends much more closely. This means for example, focusing more on quality and control of production, moving further towards smaller sizes, or offering faster delivery. There are also moves to look further towards markets outside Europe and to ensure products become even more sophisticated.
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“We are more and more focused on technical products,” he explained. “A part of the market is still looking for commodities but our customers are also requesting more highly valued products and services.”
Part of the Schmolz and Bickenback Group, the world’s largest manufacturer, processor and distributor of special steel long products, Ugitech produces and sells a wide range of
stainless steel long products, including bars, wire rods and wires. Over 100 years old, it has a highly developed research and development centre and sells around 200,000 tonnes of products every year. Today, the company’s brand names include the famous Ugima®, Exhaust F1, Ugipure and Ugigrip, processed in plants in France, Italy and Germany. Its products are used for many applications in a diverse range of industries, including the automotive, aerospace
and nuclear industries. Among others, the company also supplies customers in oil and gas equipment, chemical industries, foodprocessing and construction.
One recent move that has helped Ugitech in its drive to offer more added value has been the acquisition of a manufacturer of chromiumplated products. “Eurothal is a small company but they are very good at developing different applications that have chromium surfaces for niche markets” said Mr Patrick Lamarque d’Arrouzat. “Under the Ugichrom and Eurothal brand names, we can now bring more added value to our customers.”
Smaller sizes and control
He said bringing as much added value to the customer was a vital part of focusing on what the customer really wants. This means looking at both products and services. “We see the market going more and more towards smaller sizes,” he explained. “Electrical or electronics appliances, and engines in general are requiring smaller sizes of wires and bars. We need, therefore, to develop more products below half an inch (12 mm). “Before, because of our capacity, we were limited as to what we could do in this area. Now we have expanded, and invested in our plants to be able to produce for these smaller demands.”
Control production is also a key area, he went on. A few years ago, only the aerospace, nuclear and medical industries required high levels of control. “Now this is becoming more popular elsewhere as well, with surface and internal control,” he said. “They are required more and more by the automotive market as well as for the process and chemical industries.”
Visibility in orders
Yet developing services, he said, is as important as concentrating on products. Ugitech is continuing to develop its real time service for customers. “This gives our customers real time information on their orders,” he explained. It is an E-service, available via the internet, which allows them to track their orders.
“We started it a few years ago with a very basic service. Now we’ve improved it and give our customers a much more precise visibility.” He said another desire of customers was for faster delivery. “The 2009 economic crisis put all industrial supply chain actors in a very difficult cash position,” he explained. “They now do not want to hold stock but want quick delivery instead. “For us this not only means supplying them when they need us to but also working with them to try to forecast their needs better. We need to be able to make their deliveries within a few weeks rather than a few months.”
Ugitech has always been a very European company but, said Mr Patrick Lamarque d’Arrouzat, that is starting to change. Emerging markets elsewhere are now offering strong potential for growth. “There are certain areas outside Europe that are really becoming much more interesting for us now,” he explained. “These include of course Asia but also Latin America and Africa.” And he added: “We expect lots of challenges in the future. We need to expand our sales force outside Europe using the Schmolz and Bickenback network with new people from those regions. We need to train them and to give them more of a background in stainless steel. That way, there will be more potential for growth.” n
PIONEERING PROCESS FLEXIBILITY Myriad France is part of the global Tata Steel group and is the biggest steel coating manufacturer in Europe. Philip Yorke talked to Jean-Christoph Coffier, Myriad’s marketing director, about the company’s uniquely flexible production technology and its plans for future growth.
yriad Steel is part of the Tata Steel Group (formerly Corus), which is Europe’s largest steelmaker with operations in the UK and throughout mainland Europe. Tata Steel Europe has a crude steel production of 20 million tonnes per annum and supplies long and strip products to the construction, automotive, packaging, aerospace, engineering and energy industries worldwide. Myriad plays an important role as an integral part of the Tata Steel group’s activities in Europe, with a turnover of more than €300 million and the production of over 400,000 tonnes per year of organic, coated steel. This is produced for an infinite variety 134 Industry Europe
of industrial applications and the company employs more than 600 people at its manufacturing sites and offices in France.
Leading by example
Tata Steel Europe makes carbon steels, which gives it a competitive position in the construction and automotive sectors. It also makes engineering steels and is developing new, advanced high strength steels for industry. The company is organised under three distinct operating divisions. These are the long products division which supplies plate, wire rod and semi-finished steels, and the strip products division (Myriad) which sup-
plies hot-rolled steel strips, cold-rolled and metallic coated steel, as well as light-gauge coated steel and pre-finished steel products. The third division is the distribution and building systems division, which oversees service centres and supplies steel and aluminium products along with a range of specialist consultancy services. Myriad delivers a unique, customised valueadded range of tailor-made solutions and it leads by example when it comes to flexibility and customer service. Coffier said, “In Louvain we have two pre-finishing lines capable of more than 100,000 tonnes per year each, where we can produce customer specific
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products and apply zinc coatings and paint on the same line. With the construction market still affected by the economic crisis in Europe we have developed a focus on serving more general industrial companies. We are a very service-orientated company with more than 650 customers and we offer over 6000 different colour coated options and combinations. We can manufacture almost any colour and match them perfectly to our customers’ own specifications. “We can also offer better lead times than others because of our flexible systems and advanced manufacturing processes. We are also able to supply small quantities of products for individual companies, which is a new offering on the market. Our combination of two continuous production facilities enables us to run small order quantities with ease and make frequent colour changes. However, I believe the big difference is that we offer truly tailor-made services which are backed up with full technical support and advice. We work in close partnership with our customers to produce the best outcomes at the best possible price and in the shortest possible time. I am responsible for the technical teams and customer sup-
port programmes and this individual service is very much appreciated by our customers, especially those who are involved in manufacturing for niche markets.” For each of its customers, Myriad provides support and advice through an account manager who specialises in the customer’s individual field of expertise. In addition, the company provides a commercial assistant to help deal with day-to-day concerns and an advisory engineer, who can be called upon for recommendations regarding the most appropriate solutions.
World class solutions
Myriad provides a wide range of products and its classic brands include ‘Myriacolor’, which is a galvanised steel product with a 15 micron coat of Polyester paint; ‘Myrialac’ which is also a galvanised steel coated with a 25 micron painting system that consists of a primer and a tough polyester finish; and ‘Myriaplast’, a galvanised steel coated product with a 100−200 micron painting system, which consists of a primer and a smooth PVC ‘plastisol’ finish. The company also offers a range of ‘specials’ as well as films and ‘ready-to-go’ products.
Every item manufactured is produced with an eye to the increasing demands for industrial flexibility. To enhance the process, Myriad’s in-house finishing department offers world class solutions and is able to supply slit coils, sheets and blanks to a customer’s individual measurements and then adapt them to suit a particular fabrication process. This in turn helps to shorten a customer’s commercial response time to market. Myriad also offers world class standards in its manufacturing processes. The company manufactures hot-rolled, cold-rolled and metallic coated steels for a diverse range of industries. These include automotive and transport industries, building and construction, consumer appliances and electronics as well as those for general engineering companies. Myriad’s strip products are also used in packaging, household appliances and yellow goods. Myriad also supplies speciality businesses with colours for pre-finished steels, steel building systems and aluminium building systems. Furthermore, the company produces lightgauge steel for packaging and non-packaging applications as well as plated precision strip n products with specialist finishes. Industry Europe 137
THE NEW BRONZE AGE OMCO is a global leader in the manufacture of moulds for the Glass Container industry. Philip Yorke talked to Peter Dean, the company’s international sales director, about Omco’s latest aluminium bronze products and its move into new world markets.
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mco was founded in Aalter, Belgium in 1964 and as a result of consistent organic growth and acquisitions is now Europe’s leading mould manufacturer for the glass container industry. The Omco Group now has seven major production facilities in Europe and a Head Office in Belgium. In 1974 it acquired a foundry in Hamme, Belgium in order to supply in-house castings to a very high standard in varying grades of cast iron and bronze. In addition, the company acquired a second foundry in Slovenia in 2001; this enhances the group’s needs for speciality castings. The Omco Group has achieved several other milestones since 2001 with the foundation of Omco Istanbul (a 50/50 joint venture with the Sise Cam Group), the establishing of Omco Romania and most recently EMCO in the USA. Today the BMT/Omco Group has a turnover of €270 million and employs
approximately 3200 people. The Omco glass mould division represents approximately one third of the group’s turnover and human resource capability.
Meeting new demands
Omco offers products for the hollow glass industry based on specially developed castings in grey flake and nodular iron as well as in aluminium bronze. The company supplies globally to the glass container producers whose key markets are food, beverages and pharmaceuticals. While glass container producers face tougher demands from consumers as well as rising energy costs and increased competition from alternative packaging, Omco has evolved to provide its customers with higher quality products and shorter lead times, whilst at the same time offering increasingly competitive price levels. Peter said, “The biggest market sectors being served by our customers are food and beverages, the beverage part of the business is high volume for the soft drink, wine, beer and spirit markets. With Omco’s customers needing to save energy at every stage and compete with alternative packaging the demand for lightweight glass without any loss of integral strength became crucial. As a result of these changing market forces, we assisted our customers process changes with the introduction of special ‘aluminium bronze’ moulds with an expensive copper based material which increases the mould life and allows the glass bottle maker to increase his productivity. “The quality of the basic material that we use is key to the quality of the final product, which must be polished to a mirror finish.The latest ‘Individual Section’ (IS) machines can produce in excess of 600 hollow glass bottles a minute and one single mould can manufacture up to one million glass containers. We apply a nickel
coating to protect the cavity edges so that no ‘break-away’ occurs during the production process and creating an ease of repair. “However, despite the enormous advances in modern manufacturing techniques, there are certain critical elements that often require old fashioned craftsmanship. For example, on the Johnny Walker spirit bottle, the striding man logo is also depicted in the shoulder of the bottle. This image is created by our highly skilled craftsmen to form part of the final mould. To achieve the highest standards of mould manufacture we invest heavily in the latest state of the art CNC machinery sourced in the main from Japan.”
Continuous investment programme
Whilst the ongoing demand for advanced, high-tech glass products grows, many bottle makers are experiencing strong growth. In answer to the surge in demand for glass packaging products, partially caused by the need to use sustainable and 100 per cent recyclable materials, Omco has announced further expansion at three of its European facilities Croatia, Romania and the UK. In addition, it has entered into a new joint venture with the leading Indian glass container producer, Hindustan National Glass (HNG). This joint venture will be a 50/50 shareholding arrangement with the first major manufacturing facility operational by the autumn of 2011. This follows a significant investment in advanced foundry technology and the latest CNC mould-making equipment. Initial production is expected to reach over 4000 ‘cavities’ per month, along with their ancillary parts. The company’s largest investment will be at the Iasi plant located in Romania’s second city, which will provide an increase in manufacturing capacity of more than 25 per cent. As global bottle manufacturers strive for lighter, stronger containers and faster machine speeds, Omco has added a varia-
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tion to its tried and tested aluminium bronze (OMX) for cavity production only. With its continuous commitment to research and development, Omco is working closely with industry partners to explore the potential benefits of laser hardening for some of its critical components. To underscore its dedication to quality, the Omco Group achieved ISO 9001 certification at all seven of its mould-making facilities in 2010.
Increasing global reach
Omco International and its subsidiaries are part of the BMT Group, which is active in a diverse range of industries. These include the glass mould-making division, which is comprised of nine companies in eight coun-
tries; the industrial gears and transmissions division, which is present in four countries with four companies; the aerospace division with three companies in three countries; and the glass engineering division which includes three companies active in two countries. Peter added, “The investment we are making in India will ensure our high European standards are maintained for the Asian market. We have become truly global with in excess of 100 customers including the emerging markets. In Russia for instance we are now the biggest supplier. In 2011 we will invest over €9 million in new equipment to increase our manufacturing capacity and meet the growing global demand for energy n efficient, recyclable glass containers.”
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stablished in 1972 in Bursa, Turkey to supply the growing demand for steel in the country, Cemtas Celik Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S has continually expanded to become an important player both locally and internationally. As a manufacturer and marketer of steel and steel products, joint stock company Cemtas Celik is a subsidiary of Bursa Cimento Fabrikasi A.S. Metal producer and integrated steel producer Cemtas Celik offers products in two key areas from its steel plant, rolling mill and test laboratory all located in Bursa. The products are defined by the manufacturing process they require, with the steel melt shop process and rolling process able to deliver items including structural steels, carbon steels, flat steel bars, hexagonal steel bars and square steel bars.
General manager Nuri Ozdemirel told Industry Europe how the company’s product range has continued to allow it to enjoy a strong
market position. He said, “We have maintained our excellent reputation by ensuring that we listen to our customers and deliver products in accordance with their demands. The steel industry is not static, and we are committed to staying ahead of the changing regulations and requirements in Turkey and other markets where we are active to guarantee that Cemtas Celik always has the steel products our customers require.” In order to support this, the company is keen to highlight its list of industry certificates, including being ISO 9002 accredited since 1994, with regular upgrades, and holding the respected ISO/TS 16949:2002 as well as a number of Turkish and European standards. Cemtas Celik delivers around half of its 150,000 tonnes annual production of steel and 200,000 thousand tonnes of rolling mill production to its domestic Turkish market, with the other half exported, primarily to Germany. The company sells material for forging purposes to customers in Spain,
Leading Turkish steel maker Cemtas Celik is consistently meeting the challenges of supplying steel and steel products to the domestic and international market. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to general manager Nuri Ozdemirel to find out how this is being achieved.
Portugal and Romania, with its spring products popular in Brazil and northern Europe. The company’s financial results reflect its continued positive position in its active markets, with a 2010 turnover of €150million posted. Its 300 employees are all carefully trained and highly skilled in order to maintain and indeed exceed these strong results.
Power of the people
Mr Ozdemirel continued, “We take investment in people and investment in machinery very seriously as we know these are the two key areas that support our ambition for continued success. Our qualified manpower certainly helps to set us apart from the competition and we work hard to ensure that we listen to our employees and empower them to share their views with us so that the business benefits from their expertise wherever possible.” The investment in machinery and equipment is clearly evident from the continual upgrading across the Bursa sites, particularly in relation to steel production for the Industry Europe 143
automotive sector. Most recently, Cemtas Celik has invested €4million in the very latest production equipment to enable it to sell directly to automotive customers as it now produces steel torsion bars. All cars, vehicles and trucks have at least one torsion bar, with the future-focused electric and hybrid car market also using torsion bars, so the company is well-placed to benefit from this growing demand.
Cemtas Celik has also invested a further €2.5million in a special Ladle Heating furnace and bought a German built Peeling Machine in 2010. Mr Ozdemirel added, “It has been a major focus for us to invest in
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training and equipment in order to use our high quality materials and add value to them by producing the end product rather than just selling the steel. We see this as an integral part of our successful future and we are enjoying excellent feedback from our new and existing customers. Until recently we were solely focused on producing and selling round bars and forgings, but now we’ve committed to taking those materials and adding value, such as actually manufacturing the stabilisers for automotive customers.” The future for Cemtas Celik looks bright, particularly as the automotive industry is improving and it is well-positioned for the growing electric and hybrid car market. Mr Ozdemirel pointed out that although
the automotive sector is ‘increasing and improving’, with an expected five per cent growth in the market each year, concerns over the potential rise in global petrol costs could make an impact. He concluded, “We have been careful to invest across our steel production facilities so that we are not reliant on any one sector, although we see the future auto industry as something we will be involved with heavily. Our skills and dedication to adding value to our steel production puts us in an excellent position, and the solid infrastructure in Turkey means that we are also in a strong geographical position to n service our clients worldwide.” www.cemtas.com.tr
FOR GLOBAL LEADER In 1998 the Japanese company Shinwa International Holdings Ltd built its first and only European production site, Shinwa Precision Hungary Ltd, in the industrial town of Miskolc, north-east Hungary. Edina Beale examines the unique position of the Hungarian subsidiary within Shinwa’s global network and reveals the company’s winning strategy to bounce back after the recession.
he Japanese Shinwa group is a leading manufacturer of audio/video subsystems including mechanisms and pickups for the home and automotive markets. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the group established several manufacturing plants in China as well as a number of sales offices across the globe. In Europe, Shinwa opted for Hungary to establish its first manufacturing unit which also operates as a European sales and logistics centre to distribute radio/ CD player subsystems produced by other
Shinwa units in China. However, the core activity of the Hungarian subsidiary differs from the other Shinwa plants which are mainly engaged in manufacturing mechanisms. Shinwa in Hungary is the only manufacturing plant to produce high precision plastic components for car radio/CD player front panels. The company is mainly a Tier 2 supplier for Mercedes cars but also manufactures parts for VW, Skoda, Audi, Renault, Toyota and Hyundai cars, and now provides Industry Europe 145
products for the new Opel/Vauxhall Zafira. The factory in Miskolc is totally independent of its parent company in relation to product development. The company’s skilful engineers design and develop the products with their direct partners — well-known electronics manufacturers including Panasonic, Delphi, Continental and Flextronics — whilst constantly liaising with the end users. This
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process enables Shinwa Hungary to meet the specific needs of its clients and provide the highest quality.
Recovery from the recession
The recession in 2009 hit all players in the automotive industry hard. Shinwa Hungary was forced to reduce its staff numbers by nearly 120 people and its management had
to concentrate on surviving. “There were two possible strategies to follow,” recalls Zsolt Bottyán, deputy factory director (DFM) of Shinwa Hungary. “It was either to focus on careful cost management or make dynamic steps forward - i.e. finding the gaps where we could be better than our competitors or perhaps acquire new markets. We chose the latter option.
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“I believe that the old saying of ‘Big fish eat little fish’ should be replaced with ‘Fast fish eat slow fish’, as having the necessary speed to move to possible markets and the flexibility to adjust to market needs are the crucial elements to staying competitive nowadays. As a result of this strategy we were able to strengthen our market position despite the unfavourable conditions, and it will also allow us to continue our progress in the coming years.”
Leading the field
Today Shinwa Precision Hungary is among the best in its field. In the domestic market the company is leading the way, whilst in Europe it has acquired a strong position in its segment. While the company’s mechanics division is slowly being eliminated, the main focus instead is on the component manufacturing. Mr Bottyán confirms: “This segment is continuously increasing. In the beginning of 2010 we had two projects on the table. By the end of the year we were working on 20 different projects, some of which are already being produced, and others of which will start in 2011. We expect that in 2011 our turnover will be more than double what we achieved in 2009.” In order to execute the new projects, Shinwa Hungary made significant investments
in human resources and new assets last year. At the beginning of 2010 the company employed 359 people, and this number rose to 460 by the end of the year. It also invested USD 5 million into improving productivity and meeting current market needs. “We purchased six new injection moulding machines and bought a state-of-the-art €2.5 million dying machine that has unique technology not only in Europe but worldwide. In 2011 we will continue our investments: amongst other things we plan to purchase a new laser engraving machine for USD 4.5-5 million.”
Shinwa Precision Hungary is a unique and significant member of the Shinwa group that has not only survived the recent
recession but has progressed dynamically in the past year. The company’s current USD 13 million turnover generated by manufacturing plastic components is set to rise to USD 20—21 million next year. The firm aims to reduce its costs by using more domestic suppliers, as they offer competitive prices and more flexibility because of their proximity. Shinwa Hungary also continues to offer excellent working conditions for its staff as it follows the Japanese corporate values of creating a friendly and productive atmosphere for workers. The company’s strategy of adjusting quickly and efficiently to current market conditions has proven to be a successful formula which will enable it to thrive n in the coming years.
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LEADERS IN STRETCH FILM AND PACKAGING SOLUTIONS 148 Industry Europe
While Manuli Group’s origins date back to 1935, Manuli Stretch was the first pioneering European company to produce linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), a 100 per cent recyclable stretch film, in the 1970s. Today the company is the world-leading manufacturer of pallet wrap and agricultural sileage films, in terms of quality and volumes, and continues its expansion through its steady organic growth and some recent acquisitions that perfectly match with its constant investment in technology, quality, innovation and environmental initiatives.
ith its headquarters in Milan, the Manuli Group owns seven fully automated and computerized plants located in Italy (Aprilia and Pozzilli), Germany (Schkopau/Leipzig), the UK (Corsham), the USA (Shelbyville/TN), Argentina (Buenos Aires) and Brazil (Curitiba/Paranà). In addition to this manufacturing infrastructure, the company’s success has widened thanks to the development of an ever growing distribution network, that serves more than 17,000 customers in more than 70 countries. Thanks to this network, that also includes direct staff, agents and authorized distributors, Manuli Stretch has been able to consolidate its leadership in the market by distributing, along with its own manufactured films, a series of packaging consumables such as stretch hoods, cling and food films, polypropylene films for flexible packaging
lamination and direct food contact and a wide range of packaging machineries. Manuli Stretch, whose turnover in 2010 exceeded €300 million, serves a broad industrial spectrum that includes, among others, businesses in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, construction and paper industries.
Quality, innovation and the environment
Manuli’s success is the result of the company’s special focus on research into quality, innovation and environmentally friendly solutions. In addition to that, the ever-increasing production diversification as well as the development of its distribution network has allowed the company to consolidate its leadership in the packaging industry. Excellence is the core principle that guides the company’s corporate mission. Because of this, the Manuli Stretch Group has focused on providing the best total Industry Europe 149
The company RIGENERA deals with the regeneration of waste pre-consumer polyethylene or polypropylene. The determination and tenacity of the management has led RIGENERA to impressive results in terms of market share and product quality, if compared to virgin resin. The company covers a total area of 12.000m2 and has a fleet of vehicles that can guarantee a quick service. If you are interested in the sale or purchase of industrial waste or clean regenerated granules, please do not hesitate to contact us.
RIGENERA di Cosimo Damiano Sfrecola Sede Legale: Via Foggia, 127 - 76121 - Barletta (BT) Tel: +39 0883/529010 Fax: +39 0883 510761 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org P.I. 05748550729 - C.F. SFR CMD 73C17 A669D
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quality to its customers, including pre- and post-sale customer support. Constant attention to customer satisfaction, investment in its own workforce and a rigorous corporate code of ethics are all contributing to the great success the company has enjoyed throughout the years. When it comes to developing new products, Manuli Stretch places innovation and respect for the environment at the centre of its production, warehousing and sales process activities. The group is seriously committed to improving its ecological practices by reducing the amount of waste created, reusing plastic and other materials, minimizing the use of non-recyclable raw and other generic materials and therefore limiting the exploitation of natural resources. Following those policies, Manuli Stretch has provided the market with a series of ecofriendly and innovative products such as Manustif® , Manunature and Manuessence®, always offering to its customer the best price-quality ratio packaging solutions.
for this year. In addition to this, the Fitasa acquisition will allow Manuli Stretch to gain industrial and commercial synergies – particularly with the Argentinean plant in Buenos Aires. Since its inception in 1996, the Fitasa Group has been mainly marketing stretch films. However, it also serves the Brazilian market with a wide variety of products that include tapes, strapping bands, packaging machines, material converting and printing. Fitasa’s main office is located in Curitiba and it also has commercial branches in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. A national leader in its field, the Fitasa Group has experienced con-
siderable success in recent years. In 2009, it doubled its previous three-year period turnover with revenues that exceeded €27 million. The group has more than 4000 customers mainly concentrated in southern Brazil. With the Fitasa acquisition and its focus on quality, innovation and the environment, the future is more than promising for the Manuli Stretch Group. Along with this approach to business, corporate ruling provides the organization with a clear strategy that will most likely allow the company to continue building the reputation it already enjoys in the n packaging industry.
The Fitasa acquisition
Manuli Stretch is growing its business through both organic expansion and valuable acquisitions. On 4 August 2010, the group acquired control of the Fitasa Group, Brazil’s main packaging materials distributor. Considering the significant growth experienced by Fitasa in the last few years and the overall performance of the Brazilian economy, Manuli Stretch expects a 25 per cent increase in its American business Industry Europe 151
SOLUTIONS P-D Glasseiden GmbH has a long history in fibreglass manufacturing and processing but, according to company managing director Stefan Jugel and group managing director Joeran Pfuhl, there are still markets that hold great potential for growth. Abigail Saltmarsh reports.
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ith a new facility in Russia, room for growth in the boat building and automotive markets, and great potential in waste water and wind, Germany-based P-D Glasseiden GmbH is looking for organic growth. According to company and group managing directors Stefan Jugel and Joeran Pfuhl, it is looking for “step-by-step” expansion, cementing its position in established markets and steadily making a name for itself in new areas. “We will always have our own production facilities but in addition to that, we will always have a processing section of our operation that is much larger. This means we will always be able to process more than we produce – and that capacity will allow us to move forward,” said Mr Jugel.
Focus on fibreglass
The company itself was originally founded in 1960, in former East Germany. It moved into the fibreglass market in 1967 and became part of the Press-Daimler group in 1993. “The whole portfolio of the company changed in the 1970s and 80s,” explained Mr Pfuhl. “This was when it really started
the business of producing just fibreglass.” Today, the product range at the group varies from textile yarn, mat and roving to chopped glass, complexes and mesh. The main business is fibreglass production and its processing. “In 1993, we started to focus on our reinforced products portfolio at the Oschatz site,” he said. “Yarns and lightweight fabrics were moved to our sister company in Latvia and are now made there. This was a good decision at the time. The company then carried out a great deal of investment at Oschatz. Where it had formerly operated with a number of small furnaces, it moved to using one large one.”
Chopped strand mats
Key markets for the company include automotive, motor sport, transport, electronics, sport and leisure equipment, architecture, industry and wind power. P-D Glasseiden is known for all its products but is considered a leader in the field of chopped strand mats in Europe, said Mr Jugel. “We have customers based all over the world but our target market is really
in Europe,” he stressed. “Boat building is a big market for us, as is automotive (car liners) and trucks. Our aim is to try to grow with our customers. We are doing this particularly in the area of chopped strand mats, which was why in 2007 we decided to build the factory in Russia.”
The factory in Russia was launched with a joint venture partner, Tatneft Oil AG, and enjoys optimal access to raw materials and the associated cost potentials in energy. With P-D Glasseiden GmbH contributing scientific and technical know-how to the joint venture, work began in July 2008 on construction of what was to be the most modern fibreglass plant in Russia. The project saw €85 million of investment and the creation of 300 new jobs. The site will produce 21,000 tonnes of fibreglass every year. It will largely serve the needs of the Russian fibreglass and fibreglass fabrics market. “We would like to strengthen our position in the market. This is a region where we see a lot of potential,” said Mr Pfuhl. “Over the next Industry Europe 153
five years we expect to expand our business there by at least 70 per cent. We already have a significant market share in the Baltics and Easten Europe.”
Products for infrastructure
Mr Jugel went on: “Europe is still our strongest reinforcement market, where we have a significant market share. There is a lot of activity, for example, in the infrastructure market, in waste water. The relining market is a growing market. We are delivering a special fibreglass liner that is really becoming popular.
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“We started doing this about 10 years ago but it has really been in the last two or three years that we have seen significant growth here, as governments are moving further into improving infrastructure. This is one of the few markets that has seen double digit growth in recent times.”
Quality and value
The plan for the P-D Glasseiden group is to grow organically. Currently with eight plants and 1,600 employees, it sees an annual turnover of about €200 million, with Oschatz
contributing €80 million. “The market as a whole expects to see expansion by approximately five per cent over the coming years,” said Mr Jugel. “We expect to see growth through our new factory in Russia and, stepby-step, elsewhere. “We are in a position to be able to make decisions without having to worry about shareholders and so can really move forward. We will keep an eye on the market with regard to the competition and will always be prepared to offer our customers n significant value, as well as quality.”
ON THE ROADS T
Elmar Group of Poland is a leading transport company with operations throughout the whole of Europe. The enterprise has achieved international success in its business activities during a period of only 15 years. Piotr Sadowski spoke to Henryk Salwa, the company’s Transport Director.
he roots of the “Elmar” Marian Glita company date back to the mid 1970s. From the very beginning the business was a private enterprise managed by its founder, Marian Glita from Jedrzejów (a town located 80 km from Kraków). Set up in 1975, the company initially focused on furniture production, but the business profile changed at the beginning of the 1990s when Elmar turned to international sales of clothes. These activities continued until the middle of the decade, following which the company decided to undertake sales of alcohol and transport services. “International transport services were developed in 1995 – while involved in international clothes sales, we realised the need to acquire a fleet of vehicles for the delivery of products. Using external transport providers turned out to be too expensive and so Elmar’s board decided Industry Europe 155
to purchase 20 delivery trucks. From this point onwards we were buying 20 additional vehicles every year. Today, the company’s headquarters in Jedrzejów carries out complex international transportation services. We have a transportation base and a shipping office, together with a customer service department,” explains Mr Salwa. The company’s central office is also involved in the sale of alcohol, for which purpose it operates a separate customer services office, a main warehouse and a fleet of delivery vehicles specifically designated for this particular area of operations. Alcohol is also sold outside of Jedrzejów from the company’s 13 branches. It is important to note that Elmar has a leading position amongst the top three companies operating in the Polish sector of wholesale alcoholic drinks. 156 Industry Europe
In 2000 Elmar launched its Elmar Plus unit, followed by additional business entities, Elmar BIS and Elmar DUO. This led to the creation of the Elmar Group in which all individual companies are managed by Marian Glita’s family members (Elmar Plus, managed by his son, Mariusz, and Elmar BIS, run by another son, Tomasz, are both involved in international transport, while Elmar Duo, headed by daughter Katarzyna, owns a fuel station but also deals with international transport). On 1 February 2008 Elmar was transformed into a new business entity, ELMAR “S” Ltd, owned by Marian Glita. On 15 February 2010, following the reorganisation of ELMAR “S”, two new business units were created, ELMAR TRANSPORT Ltd and ELMAR HANDEL Ltd, the first of which continues the transport activities of ELMAR “S”, while the second carries out
wholesale operations. In the same year, on 29 July, Marian Glita founded a further company, ELMAR LUX s.a.r.l. with headquarters in Luxembourg.
Fleet of vehicles
The company carries out transport services using 250 IVECO Stralis delivery trucks and trailers (from Wielton, Koegel, Schwarzmuller and Schmitz) which range in their type and load capacity, to suit the transportation needs of diverse customers. “All of the vehicles are fully reliable,” confirms Mr Salwa. “None of them is older than three years. Every truck undergoes regular checks carried out by authorised service stations. Every three years our fleet is replaced with brand new vehicles. In addition, all trucks meet the strict ecological requirements of the European Union and have EURO5 certificates. Every driver has access to a mobile phone and is thus able to contact
the headquarters of Elmar at any point in time. Elmar also introduced the use of GPS technology which enables us to monitor the movements of our trucks 24 hours-a-day. At the same time, our clients are able to log in to our website to track the status of their order.”
agreement, the enterprise guarantees to insure the transported goods up to the value of USD 300,000. If the value of the load is higher, the company purchases additional insurance to match the full value of the carried goods.
range of domestic and foreign forwarders we are continuously present in most European countries, with the main focus being Germany, UK, Italy, France and Spain.”
Delivering everything, everywhere
In 2007 the company’s President of the Board decided to further expand the business and open a network of forwarding branches. As a result there are now 10 such units responsible for sourcing clients and providing them with services; they are located in Warszaw, Wrocław, Kraków, Sosnowiec, Łódź, Lublin, Poznań, Szczecin, Gdańsk and Grudziądz. The company and its units ensure that transport and forwarding services are not only of the highest quality, safety and timeliness, but also offer an individual and flexible approach to each and every client and their needs. “We are fully aware that absolute customer satisfaction, resulting from the services provided by us, is more important than any award we might receive. Client satisfaction is the key to our even greater successes in the future,” says Mr Salwa. “Thanks to cooperation with a
The company ensures customers’ interests are always put first by providing professional services, timely completion of orders and ongoing monitoring of transport activities. The enterprise’s strength certainly lies in the highest quality of services rendered. Two main factors contribute to the exceptionally high standards of transport services carried out by Elmar: the quality of vehicles and the quality of the company’s employees. The unique quality guaranteed by Elmar is confirmed by numerous regional and national awards. Amongst many of them, the company is the only transport business to have, so far, received the Promotional Emblem “Poland Now”, which is one of the most well-known and prestigious quality awards, and recognises the best companies, their products and services, so that they are seen as examples to be followed by n other market players.
Elmar Group is one of the largest transport companies in the country. It employs 850 staff. In Poland there are over 20,000 international transport enterprises but only a few of them have a fleet of more than 100 vehicles. Annual income of the Group reaches PLN 800 million. Mr Salwa explains that 90 per cent of the company’s services are carried out in the EU. “In the past we specialised in transport from and to Poland only, but since joining the EU Elmar began offering international transport services from and to any geographical point in the EU.” Elmar’s vehicles carry all kinds of industrial goods. The company cooperates with over 100 clients, amongst which there are consortia such as TNT, Bosch, Fiat, Toyota and Opel. In accordance with its Civil Responsibility of Road Transport Company policy and the CMR
Focusing on quality
We are forwarding company Trans Team Logistics s.r.o. from Bratislava – Slovakia and we are specialists for GMP + 4.1. bulk material transport. Our services include in particular the bulk material transport, FTL and the Groupageservice in the local and the long distance transport – all GMP certificate. We offer professional personnel and business partners of highest quality. We provide support in German, English, Italian, Slovak and Czech language. Technical know-how, personal commitment and passion for business and customers sets us apart, trained staff is evidence of quality and guarantees of the basic care services with consideration of all your requirements. We work that everyone benefits from the advantages: our customers and suppliers, all employees and therefore the whole company! TRANSPORT OF BULK GOODS email@example.com | www.ttlogistic.eu
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With 1700 locomotives built in its historical plant at Vado Ligure since 1905, and with its know-how in the high and very high-speed sectors, Bombardier is today the leading producer of electric locomotives in Italy. Agnese Bresin talks to Roberto Tazzioli, Bombardier Transportation Italy’s president and managing director.
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The Very High Speed train V300ZEFIRO in partnership with AnsaldoBreda
A NEW SENSE OF SPEED IN
the near future there will be trains travelling across Italy at speeds of up to 360km/h. This is in large part owing to Bombardier’s dedication to hightech innovation, which helped it achieve a revenue of over €300 million in 2010. The company has been active in the rail sector for over a century and is determined to maintain its world-leading position. Bombardier Transportation Italy is part of the Bombardier Transportation Group. Based in Berlin and chaired by André Navarri,
the company currently has the biggest rail fleet worldwide – around 100,000 vehicles produced to date. Bombardier Italy itself has around 800 staff who are employed over its two sites in the country. The first is in Vado Ligure, in the province of Savona, Liguria, where locomotives have been produced since 1905. In 2007 the Vado Ligure unit became the first European technological pole of excellence for the production of TRAXX DC locomotives for the transportation of goods. The other unit is located in Rome and is called ‘Rail Control
Solutions’. This is an engineering centre dedicated to the development of a wide range of control systems, from railway control through to signalling and traffic management. Bombardier Transportation Italy serves the biggest rail operators in Italy. Trenitalia, the Italian state-owned and primary operator of trains in Italy, regularly purchases Bombardier locomotives for regional and national transport routes. In 2010 Trenitalia ordered 50 V300ZEFIRO trains produced in partnership with Industry Europe 159
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AnsaldoBreda, which are very high-speed trainsets operating with a combination of Bombardier’s Zefiro technology and AnsaldoBreda’s V250 technology. .
Zefiro in Italy and around the world
Zefiro is the most widely-used technology in the worldwide locomotive industry today. The V300ZEFIRO version of this was entirely developed in Italy, designed by the famous Italian automobile designer Bertone and produced in the regions of Liguria, Tuscany
and Campany. It is set to become the ‘Italian train for Europe’. As a group, in 2009 Bombardier Transportation agreed to supply the Chinese Ministry of Railways with 80 ZEFIRO380 trains – an order worth over one billion euros. ZEFIRO380 trains will be able to reach the highest commercial speed in the world – up to 360km/h. Further countries set to purchase Bombardier trains and transport solutions in the near future include India, where the company is going to build the Mumbai
underground system; Brazil, where it is set to construct the biggest monorail worldwide, capable of serving 500,000 commuters each day; and Saudi Arabia, with the construction of a monorail.
More space with Spacium
V300ZEFIRO is not the only groundbreaking product from Bombardier Italy. Spacium 3.O6 is a train that has been specifically designed for commuter traffic in the large urban areas of Europe and is currently circuIndustry Europe 161
lating in the metropolitan area around Paris. There are a few things that make this model unique: the first is its size, as the carriages are shorter, articulated and wider – allowing a 100m train to carry nearly 1000 people, many more than the regional double-decker trains currently used in Italy. In addition, the doors are bigger and provide greater accessibility, shortening the jump-on/jump-off time by a third compared to traditional trains. Finally, Spacium is a high-tech transport solution, with its video surveillance system, Wi-Fi connection, LCD screens, LED light system and a smart air conditioning system that regularly adjusts to the number of passengers on board – thus significantly reducing energy consumption. Mr Tazzioli describes it as “a concentrate of technology and comfort.”
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Trains vs airplanes
Mr Tazzioli, himself an engineer, has a broad vision of the development of the transport sector in the future: “Mobility is growing, connection among cities is becoming a key factor and the demand for high-speed is enormous,” he explains. Apparently high-speed rail lines might reach 70,000km by 2025. “Trains are becoming more and more competitive with airplanes,” he continues. Statistics say that for a three-hour train journey, 80 per cent of the passengers choose to travel by train rather than by airplane. “It is a rather understandable choice if you calculate the door-to-door travel time.” The fact that it produces both trains and airplanes gives Bombardier the flexibility to effect a technology ‘crossover’ between
the two sectors: i.e. technological solutions designed for airplanes can be applied or adjusted to trains and vice versa. From this point of view, Bombardier can certainly offer n ‘a new sense of speed’.
GROWTH OF A GLOBAL LEADER The Italian company EMAK is a leading European manufacturer of machinery for maintaining gardens and woodland. With two plants in Italy and another two in China, as well as eight commercial branches distributed between Europe, the US and China, it operates in 95 countries, across five continents and from 25,000 sales points. Ümit Hussein spoke to Giovanni Masini, EMAK’s marketing director, to find out more.
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MAK was established in 1992 following the merger of two companies: OleoMac, founded in 1972 by Ariello Bartoli; and Efco, created in 1978 by Giacomo Ferreti. Oleo-Mac specialised in chainsaws, while Efco excelled in the manufacture of brushcutters during a period when there was an increased demand for these machines. The executive decision to combine the know-how of these two companies to their mutual advantage led to the creation of EMAK. Today the company has 1000 employees, 400 of whom are in Italy, while the other 600 are distributed throughout its other plants. In 2009 it generated an income of €195 million.
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Products, sectors and brands
EMAK principally serves the gardening, forestry and small- and medium-scale agricultural sectors. Its customers are home gardeners, semi-professionals and professionals, including contractors, landscape gardeners and farmers. It has a wide range of products which are constantly being renewed. It is particularly renowned for its high quality and innovative lawnmowers in the gardening sector, as well as the brushcutters and chainsaws it produces for the forestry sector. Its key products for the agricultural sector are its rotary tillers, motorcultivators, pumps and mistblowers. EMAK’s high quality machinery is sold under four different brand names: Oleo-Mac,
Efco, Bertolini and Nibbi. Oleo-Mac products are sold to servicing dealers operating in the gardening and forestry business, while Bertolini and Nibbi (for these two trademarks the product portfolio is limited to tillers, cultivators, cutterbar mowers and transporters) are distributed through dealers more focused on small agricultural equipment.
Markets and investment plans
Because of its continuous pursuit of quality, EMAK is present in all of the world’s principal markets. A large proportion of its business is in Italy and Europe, including eastern Europe, namely Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Poland. Other significant business areas are represented by Latin America and the
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Far East. EMAK has now set its sights on conquering the North American market. As far as any major or minor investment plans for the near future are concerned, Mr Masini assured me that his company does indeed have plans for some “very important” investments, but that they are, as yet, “confidential.”
A turning point
When asked if he could name a moment in the company’s history that he regards as a key turning point, Mr Masini replied without hesitation: “When we decided to go to China.” This momentous expansion took place in 2004 and marks a crucial point in the company’s development, as it allowed EMAK to introduce more competitively priced products to its range without compromising its high standards and quality. As a consequence of this enterprising step it was able to penetrate ‘price sensitive’ markets.
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Every company has its own formula to which it attributes its success and I was curious to know what Mr Masini considers to be the secret behind EMAK’S triumphs. “Being able to offer continuously new products,” he replied. EMAK launches between eight and ten new products each year “in order to stimulate the demands of the market.” Mr Masini also believes in the importance of controlling the market and creating other structures as a means of establishing control “on a worldwide scale.”
The gardening and forestry sector generates fierce competition and EMAK defends its place in the market against some serious rivals, both national and international. Its principal competitors are the German company Stihl, the Swedish company Husqvarna, and GGP, which is also Italian.
EMAK does, however, have its strategies namely imposing a level of stringent quality in line with that of its more powerful competitors. This is in addition to offering “more competitive prices.”
Socially responsible and ethical
EMAK places both the environment and the wellbeing of its employees at the top of its priorities, on a par with the high standards it demands from its products. For this reason it is 9001, 14001 and SA 8000 certified. Inevitably, EMAK has been affected by the current global crisis, although the good news is that it has now emerged from the worst of these effects. On a worldwide level its profits were reduced in 2009, but, starting from 2010, it is making a rapid recovery, owing to “very healthy accounts management,” indicating that EMAK will continue to be a key player on the world market for many years to come. n
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IT ALL COMES DOWN TO SAFETY Scott Safety, a world-leading manufacturer of respiratory and personal protective equipment and safety devices, is reinforcing its reputation in 2011 through a total rebranding exercise. Felicity Landon reports.
sk business development director Gary Storey what Scott Safety brings to the market place and he doesn’t hesitate: “Innovation and quality and experience,” he says. The company, which is part of the global Tyco group, has a long-standing reputation for innovative respiratory and other personal protective equipment and safety devices, for firefighters, industrial workers, police forces, the military, nuclear workers, miners, homeland security forces and rescue teams. So why the rebranding exercise, which includes a complete new website, especially as the name remains unchanged? Scott became part of Tyco ten years ago but has not taken the parent’s name. “We are aiming to create more brand awareness in some countries and really push home our focus on what we do for our customers,” says Mr Storey. “The exercise includes re-launching our brand at FDIC (Fire Department Instructor Conference and Exhibition), the major fire show at Indianapolis in the US, so everything ties in to what we are trying to do.”
Scott Safety, to use a cliché, does exactly what it says on the tin. “We pride ourselves on safety,” he says. “That means keeping our own people and other people safe. From general industry to fire-fighting, oil and gas to construction, we recognise our clients need to have zero harm in their operations, something which can only help their business. That is what we start off with; it is all about safety.” Scott’s core product range is respiratory equipment. It designs and manufactures breathing apparatus and negative and positive full-face masks. Based in Skelmersdale in the UK, Scott has six manufacturing facilities across the globe. The UK site focuses on breathing apparatus and is a centre of excellence, also with a separate, secure area for manufacturing equipment for the military. A second European site, at Vaasa, Finland, mainly focuses on filters for the respiratory products. In the US, the company has a large factory in Monroe, North Carolina, which also acts as a major test facility for that market,
and there are further production facilities in Singapore, Australia and China serving those markets. “We are always investing,” says Mr Storey. “At Skelmersdale we have a state-of-the-art laboratory where we test all of our products before they go out – and we have invested heavily there. We have also invested heavily in developing state-of-the-art equipment for the military. We will not stop investing in our factories because it is key to what we do.” The product range includes Supplied Air (equipment used to protect the respiratory system from atmospheric hazards by providing the user with a supply of clean, breathable air from a cylinder or external air source) Air Purifying (respiratory protection equipment used to remove or filter contaminants through use of filter, cartridge of canister); Head & Sensory (the Protector PPE range includes products to protect head, face, hearing and eyes, all designed to be simple and comfortable to use); Accountability (systems or equipment used by rescue workers, firefighters and others to track personnel, find victims and
Fenton Precision Engineering was founded in 1970 for the manufacture of plastic injection moulds and high pressure aluminium dies. Backed up with moulding facilities which at present range from 30 - 360 tonne machines. With our purpose built CAD-CAM extension and 3 PC based machining centres, we can offer our customers a full service from conception to the manufacture and trialling of production injection moulds. We also offer the services of 3D machining of jigs and fixtures, die components and electrodes. CMM checking of components and dies is used to give full dimensional and ISIR reports. Our moulding facility houses 13 machines specialising in short or medium sized batches giving a high degree of flexibility leading to excellent customer service. Tel: +44 (0)1536 723488 Fax: +44 (0)1536 726642 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carclo Technical Plastics Carclo Technical Plastics, a division of Carclo plc is an engineering based company led by Engineers coupling industry standards with a Six Sigma culture specialising in injection moulding and contract manufacturing in the Medical, Optics, Electronics, Safety and Surveillance industries. With ISO9001, TS16949, and ISO13485 certification, Carclo operates from facilities in the Europe, US, India, and China. The synergy of Carclo provides our customer base with an extensive list of technical capabilities and global facilities meeting the increasing logistical and cost requirements of tomorrow.
manage resources); and Instruments (portable and fixed-point detection instruments for monitoring, detecting and measuring toxic or combustible gases, oxygen concentration and/or the presence of flame). Constant product development is critical, of course, including developing and adapting products to meet varying approval requirements from country to country around the world.
Fire-fighting is a very important customer sector for Scott and, among recent innovations, the company has developed a telemetry system called Alert, which is designed to aid fire-fighters. “If you can imagine fire-fighters going into a burning building, the Alert system can monitor how long they have left of their air supply so they can evacuate if necessary. Signals are sent out from the breathing apparatus telling those on the outside what the conditions are and how the work is going. So someone on the outside can see that maybe the fire has taken hold more aggressively in the roof, with danger of collapse, and they can evacuate the fire-fighters. This is the next generation in
terms of fire-fighter safety – it’s a major development for us and it has involved huge work.” The Alert system is due for official launch in April 2011, after some major trials in Cornwall in southwest UK. The system does represent a major investment for users but it is exactly the kind of product fire services are looking for as they endeavour to keep their employees safe, says Mr Storey. Dealing with the stripping of asbestos is another major area of work for Scott, whose Phantom Vision protective face masks are much in demand for workers in this field. “Asbestos is a massive part of our business and very high on the agenda,” says Mr Storey. “There is still a lot of asbestos around, even in the UK and parts of Europe – it hasn’t gone away. Asbestos fibres can be absolutely catastrophic to health. We pride ourselves in providing protection for the people working in this area.”
Scott serves the EMEA market from its European facilities, employing about 270 people at Skelmersdale, 60 at Vaasa, and more than 30 in its sales force. It is expanding into France and southern Europe, and has also taken on
more people for its sales force in Russia. “Eastern Europe is a target market for us,” says Mr Storey. “There are plenty of opportunities there and we are trying in particular to expand into Russia. We are excited by the opportunities there; having established our sales office there, we have gone from strength to strength.” India is also important for Scott, which is in the process of setting up an office for telemetry and the next generation of products. Environmental issues are on the agenda for Scott just as with any manufacturing firm. There is a real focus on being ‘green’ and this helps to cut costs too, he says. Tyco has a specific department looking into production and other processes and how to makes these more sustainable, and Scott has its own business excellence department at Skelmersdale: “We have four people looking at how we can cut costs and do things better, and how we can perhaps source products in a more environmentally friendly way, including using less packaging,” says Mr Storey. But everything always comes back to that one word – safety. This is, says Mr Storey, a fantastic area to be involved in. “Working in safety is very varied and there is always something new. You are constantly learning.” n
CHEMICAL AMBITION Danish fine chemicals manufacturer Cheminova AS has enjoyed considerable growth in recent years thanks to a refocus of its product portfolio and a clear business strategy. Emma-Jane Batey interviewed president of communications Lars Erik Pederson to find out how this is being carried forward.
the three years since Industry Europe last interviewed Danish fine chemicals manufacturer Cheminova AS, the company has transformed its product portfolio and achieved a growth of 28 per cent. Well known for its production of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides for crops and pests, Cheminova now employs around 800 people in Denmark and 1200 abroad, a steady increase of more than 10 per cent from the figures in 2008. The company’s financial figures also show a comfortable comparison to the heights of 2008, with the 2010 figure of DKK 5.6 billion above the DKK 5.2 billion posted in the strong market of 2008. 172 Industry Europe
President of Communications Lars Erik Pederson is clear that the company’s continued strength is as much to do with careful strategy and a skilled workforce as its transformed product portfolio. He told Industry Europe, “Over the past three years Cheminova has worked hard to keep our product portfolio relevant, competitive and customer-focused. Previously we were rather dependant on glyphosate, so our product reorganisation is now significantly more balanced, which we have achieved through the development of and growth from new products. The revenue from new
products is more than DKK 1 billion and accounts for more than 60 per cent of our sales, so we know that our transformation strategy is a successful one, particularly as it was executed during a period of difficult global economic conditions.” With broad-spectrum systemic herbicide glyphosate now only accounting for 15 per cent of Cheminova’s revenue compared with 33 per cent in previous years, the company is well-positioned to continue to move away from glyphosate dependency and toward more niche weedkiller products. Cheminova AS is based in Lemvig, Denmark, and has its main business area
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within plant protection products. Cheminova products are available worldwide thanks to its 20 subsidiaries in key countries and an expansive network of distribution partners.
The new product focus has further helped the company to expand its geographical market share, which Mr Pedersen appreciates is a key element in its continued success. He added, “We have created and continue to create a more balanced and differentiated product
portfolio which is contributing to improving our margins across the range. We have a solid presence with an enviable global market share, which we have created through careful partnerships with our distributors and strategic maintenance of our 20 subsidiaries.” Sustainable growth is also a hot topic at Cheminova, with sophisticated analysis of conditions which can affect its growth such as agricultural developments, climate issues and the development of the global economy all playing a part in its strategic development.
All these factors have been taken into consideration with the Cheminova ‘Five in Fifteen’ strategy. Mr Pedersen explained, “We have ambitious future targets that will see us build on our successful history. We are committed to moving forward wherever possible while always staying close to our fine chemicals roots. The ‘Five in Fifteen’ business strategy has been devised to outline our plan to grow by five per cent by 2015, which will be a doubling of our global market share. We will achieve this
A world of logistics Danish logistics group, IAT, experiences great success with their one-stop-shopping services. IAT offers transportation and logistics services for packed and bulk cargo by road, rail, air and sea. IAT has a full scale program for transportation and handling of liquid chemicals in tankers within Europe. IAT offers supplementary services to the chemical industry such as tank cleaning and tank farm for storage, mix
and tapping of chemicals. This makes IAT the most complete transport company within the liquid chemical trade in Denmark. Based in Esbjerg, Denmarks no. 1 offshore city, IAT holds an offshore base offering offshore supplies to the oil and gas fields at sea. Also the wind energy sector, on- and offshore, is served with the same high scale knowledge as supplied to the oil and gas industry.
through economies of scale which will significantly contribute to improving earnings and further value creation for the benefit of all our stakeholders.” The concept of sustainable development and the ‘Five in Fifteen’ strategy incorporates several other activities in order to meet this target. Cheminova plans to continue its long-term dedication to product development, maintaining a highly trained, skilled and loyal workforce, and staying close to the market. Mr Pederson pointed
out that understanding the changing needs of its customer base is integral to achieving the commercial aims of the company, as well as its commitment to delivering a responsible and reliable service. One such example of the ever-changing demands of the global fine chemicals market is the recent vote by EU member states to allow malathion back on the market. This non-systemic crop insecticide has been out of the European market since December 2008, and now it can be re-
introduced Cheminova has a good platform for its malathion EW formulation in Europe over the next three to five years. Mr Pederson concluded, “Our parent company Auriga offers us the strong infrastructure we need as well as access to considerable investment when needed to boost our fine chemicals production capabilities, and the Cheminova history and expertise means that investment is carefully utilised to deliver the best possible return for our company, our n shareholders and our customers.”
FUNCTIONAL AND DECORATIVE
SOLUTIONS IN GLASS
SCHOTT Flat Glass, a business unit of SCHOTT AG, specialises in glass solutions for home appliances, such as glass panels for ovens, gas cookers and refrigerators. Joseph Altham spoke to Astrid Rotarius, Global Account & Marketing Manager at SCHOTT Flat Glass, to find out how the company has been moving into new markets around the world.
CHOTT AG was founded by Otto Schott in 1884, and has more than a century’s worth of experience in special glass applications. The company is based in Mainz, Germany, has worldwide sales of €2.85 billion, and provides glass for many complex requirements, from optics to solar energy. The main activity of SCHOTT Flat Glass is to produce glass for kitchens, and its most important products are glass panels for oven doors, refrigerator shelves and front panels as well as glass hob tops for
gas cookers. Ovens with glass doors have the great advantage of allowing the chef to watch the food as it cooks. All glass panels made by SCHOTT Flat Glass are thermally toughened, and panels on the inside of the oven door are usually glass with a coating to reflect the heat back into the oven cavity. “There are different requirements,” said Astrid Rotarius. “The outer glass gives design. The coated inner glass sold under the name SCHOTT® Energy serves the function of decreasing energy consumption Industry Europe 177
SAATILENE HIBONDplus Saatilene HIBONDplus is a high modulus, low elongation monofilament polyester screen printing fabric with a proprietary surface treatment. Saati’s unique surface treatment offers increased printing productivity and cost savings! Benefits: • No degreasing pretreatment step prior to stencil processing. • Superior stencil adhesion, resulting in less stencil breakdown on press, delivering longer print runs far beyond other conventional treated fabrics. • In special cases, shorter exposure times for finer detail with no compromise in stencil durability (halftones, fine lines etc.).
Microsection of fabric surface (AFM microphoto) from conventional fabric (A) and Saatilene HIBONDplus (B)
Other Advantages: • Safe under exposure with all emulsion types, Photopolymer, Dual-Cure, Diazo and Capillary Films • Excellent performance of virgin fabric • Excellent for use with abrasive printing conditions, inks and pastes • Helps reduce ghost imaging
Shadow area with stencil dots missing (A); stencil on Saatilene HIBONDplus (B)
SAATI S.p.A. - Via Milano, 14 - 22070 Appiano Gentile (CO), ITALY Phone +39.031.9711 - Fax +39.031.933392 - www.saati.com - email@example.com
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Pemco International is a leading global supplier of high performance enamel coatings. Driven by innovation and a commitment to sustainability, the company is dedicated to the research, development and manufacture of high quality glass frits, enamels for metal and glass substrates and conductive inks. Serving five key business segments, Pemco tailor-makes products for a variety of end-use applications. These include household appliances, glass processing, metal processing and the solar energy sectors, as well as a range of specialty applications. For over 30 years Pemco has been producing glass enamel coatings and inks. The company is today recognized as one of the leading international suppliers of high quality enamels for automotive glazing, appliance glass, architectural glass and hollow glass, sold under the VITROMAIL brand. Activities are coordinated from the centre of excellence for glass enamels located in Filago near Milan, Italy. Market Unit Manager Fabio Gioffreda explains Pemco’s success in the appliance glass segment: “Our Italian home market has always been a key market for domestic appliances and the glass oven doors, hob tops and display panels used by manufacturers. With the switch to environmentally friendly lead-free technology in the middle of the last decade, we have become the leading enamel supplier in this segment and the preferred supplier of Schott Flat Glass in Europe. Our success is based on the right combination of product quality, innovation and technical service.” In the future Gioffreda sees a continued trend towards sophisticated surfaces colours and effects and the increased use of enameled tempered glass into the wider kitchen space. “Working in close collaboration with customers like Schott we will remain at the forefront of the industry. At the same time we are planning to set up regional production and laboratory facilities in Asia and North-America to be able to service these markets efficiently.” In 2011 Pemco is celebrating its centenary anniversary. For over 100 years the company has been a dynamic innovator in enameling technology, partnering with customers and suppliers around the world to introduce breakthrough products and efficient processes that make a lasting impression on end users.
Pemco - delivering today, developing for tomorrow
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and reducing the outside temperature of the oven door. All our glass is safety glass. The glass is tempered and impact-resistant.”
success for us, since our customer Bosch won the award with our innovative glass solution,” said Astrid Rotarius.
the local producers and to the big international manufacturers. The market is growing, and we are investing to meet the growth.”
Trends and prospects
Because consumers want a look as well as an oven, SCHOTT Flat Glass has to take aesthetic as well as safety considerations into account in its product developments. One of the new products is SCHOTT SatinPlus® — a special type of glass which combines a matt satinated finish with the clear glass surface. “This was a joint development with the home appliance manufacturer Bosch and the kitchen manufacturer Alno. We work closely with our customers on such joint developments,” said Astrid Rotarius. “The customers are always looking for new designs and SCHOTT SatinPlus® offers a new look for the kitchen. The transparent window allows the cook to view the oven cavity and is also used for displays in the control panel, whilst at the same time the matt surface of the rest of the glass harmonises with the overall style of the built-in kitchen. Bosch won a prestigious award for this particular series of kitchen appliances – the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany 2011. This was also a great
SCHOTT Flat Glass is very much a global business. “With around 3000 employees and 16 production sites in 12 countries we are ’At Home – Worldwide” says Astrid Rotarius. “We produce in all regions (Europe, North and South America and Asia) to serve our global home appliance customers worldwide.” In recent years, SCHOTT Flat Glass has built up two new factories in eastern Europe. One is strategically located in the town of Valasske Mezirici, in the Czech Republic. “Our major customers have been moving east,” said Astrid Rotarius, “and our Czech site is close to the Polish border where they are located.” The newest factory of SCHOTT Flat Glass is located in Russia, near Nizhny Novgorod, and started production in 2007 to serve the growing home appliance market in Russia. Beyond Europe, the opportunities are especially promising in Brazil, where Schott set up a factory as far back as 1996. “People in Brazil now have more money for consumer goods,” said Astrid Rotarius. “In Brazil, we sell both to
As well as being the Marketing Manager at SCHOTT Flat Glass, Astrid Rotarius is also Sales Director for Asia. The Far East, she says, is a big market, and SCHOTT Flat Glass is continually investing in its factory in China. This factory in Suzhou, near Shanghai, was established in 2001 and serves the entire Asia Pacific region. Different cultures have different cuisines. As Astrid Rotarius acknowledged, the demand for baking ovens will inevitably be lower in China than it is in Europe. However, SCHOTT Flat Glass also produces glass hob tops for gas cookers, and these are proving to be successful in the land of the wok. “We have been making glass hob tops for over 30 years,” said Astrid Rotarius. “They are popular because glass is easy to clean, and we can offer a variety of printing and design possibilities.” Glass in other home appliances such as refrigerator and dishwasher fronts is developing as a major trend and underlines that glass is becoming more and more popular n in the kitchen and home.
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HARD AT WORK ON THE SLOPES Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug’s PistenBully all-terrain vehicles and BeachTech machines can be found hard at work on the world’s ski slopes and beaches. Felicity Landon reports.
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istenBully will have a wide range of its all-terrain vehicles on show at Interalpin 2011 in May. The market leader in the design and manufacture of vehicles for ski slope and trail preparation, in the past few years Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug has expanded significantly by buying and integrating two competitors. Further acquisitions are more than likely as the group continues to look for growth. The PistenBully made its debut more than 40 years ago, produced in 1969 by Karl Kässbohrer Fahrzeugwerke Ulm, at that time Germany’s largest producer of motor coaches and truck trailers. The 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo were a breakthrough event for Pisten-
Bully and within 10 years of the first model being produced, more than 2000 PistenBully vehicles had been sold in 35 countries. Headquartered in Laupheim since 2002, today’s company produces top model ski slope and cross-country track grooming vehicles, as well as its BeachTech vehicles for beach cleaning and grooming, and other vehicles for environmental and naturerelated applications. At Interalpin, Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug will be showing off technical innovations such as the PistenBully EQ.2, the PistenBully 100, which now has a more powerful engine, and the PistenBully 600 W Polar, now even stronger and safer, thanks to a new 4.5-tonne
winch which makes working on steep slopes easier. Meanwhile, the PistenBully 400 Park, the Formatic 350 and the PistenBully Paana reinforce the fact that Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug can offer the right vehicle for any application and any budget, says marketing manager Michael Hemscheidt. Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug is also the only vehicle manufacturer to offer a navigation system for snow groomers. SNOWsat is installed in the PistenBully during production, and is also easy to retrofit in older vehicles.
“We provide our customers worldwide with slope grooming vehicles, the PistenBully, for almost any job you have in mind when preparing slopes in skiing areas,” says Mr Hemscheidt. “Our second brand, BeachTech, is a range of beach cleaning equipment which has proved to be a reliable product not only in cleaning ‘normal’ dirty beaches but also in cleaning oil-polluted beaches – for example, the Mexican Gulf coast last year.” While the company is not launching any ‘brand new’ products, it continues to work on future technologies such as dieselhybrid and diesel-biogas drives, he says. Industry Europe 183
wproduced at Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug’s production site and head office site in Laupheim, near Ulm in southern Germany. The group also has sales and service subsidiaries in Austria, Switzerland and Italy, and daughter companies in France, Finland and the USA. There are also small production lines in Finland and the USA. “We have made steady investments in our locations and of course we invest a lot in design and
development of our products,” says Mr Hemscheidt. Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug’s customers are basically in the tourism industry. Some 95 per cent of production is for export; the PistenBully range is sold in 68 countries worldwide and the BeachTech range in more than 70 countries. “There are no major geographical markets which we do not serve,” says Mr Hemscheidt. “And, as there are basically no
Kässbohrer Our complete relationship with Kässbohrer is based on logistics and mutual trust – or just the other way round. Honolds responsibility is about steering out the complete procurement by JIT process for the production of those beautiful “high end” vehicles as well as the distribution of important spare parts European wide by a combination of overnight express, national premium solution and a high individual solution for all international transports. All together with one target – being on time at all destinations - making people happy.
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new skiing areas, we have to grow through acquisitions and, of course, always being the first in ideas and developments.”
The launch of SNOWsat – offering ‘GPS for precise slope grooming’ – was a key achievement for Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug. This is an integrated system for guiding and real time monitoring of snow groomers and snowmo-
Luhn & Pulvermacher Luhn & Pulvermacher – Dittmann & Neuhaus GmbH (LP-DN) with the experience of many decades has best competence in the manufacturing of high quality, high strength torsion bars. The variety of bars starts at a shaft diameter of a few millimetres up to 90 mm. LP-DN’s torsion bars are not only used in Kässbohrer’s PistenBully vehicles; you can also find them all over the world in tracked and wheeled military vehicles like battle tanks or troop carriers and, assembled with levers at the ends, as anti-roll bars in railway trains being it high-speed trains, regional trains or subways. Besides torsion and anti-roll bars as well as heavy coil springs for defence, railway and other industries LP-DN produces stabilinks, stabilizer bars, parabolic leaf springs and air links for trucks, light commercial vehicles and buses.
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biles. The system uses GPS data to produce a cartographical image of the slopes, including all cable car poles and snow guns, as well as any potential danger spots. The position of the vehicles is conveyed to headquarters in real time. SNOWsat can also be set up to measure the depth of snow. The integrated solution supports the driver’s work, optimises quality control of the work performed and improves safety for people during work, says Mr Hemscheidt. “SNOWsat offers improved productivity: through time savings thanks to easy positioning and independence from weather and visibility conditions; drive assistance using different colours for already prepared areas; optimisation of work flows; coordination of the whole fleet’s work; and measurement of snow depth,” he says. “It also offers more security and safety: through an alarm in the base station and in the vehicle if the connection is lost or the vehicle goes into a danger zone; the display of obstacles,
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danger zones, other vehicles’ positions and winch vehicle cables; real time positioning of the specific vehicle to an accuracy of one metre; and traceability of operating conditions, for example, in the event of legal problems.” Other advantages include prompt communication, with data conveyed during work via an interactive menu, and efficient management, through comprehensive analysis of the data and work performed and a simplification of work using computer-supported planning. The PistenBully EQ.1 set the bar high for environmentally friendly, resource-preserving, cost-effective driving; extensive tests on the PistenBully 600 with hybrid drive showed that fuel consumption was reduced by up to 25 per cent, with knock-on emissions and cost reductions. The diesel-electric drive also means that attachments previously powered hydraulically can now be powered electrically. The drive also turns the PistenBully into a mini ‘power station’, providing enough power to operate
external tools for repair and other work. The EQ.1 has been redeveloped over the past few months and its successor, the EQ.2, is being unveiled this year. Proving its worth at the other end of the weather scale is the PistenBully 300 GreenTech, a year-round machine that can work on steep slopes and extremely sensitive terrain alike. GreenTech vehicles are ideal for moving silage in biogas plants, for forestry work on remote terrain, for mowing and mulching work on ecologically sensitive ground, or for work on wetlands. The flexible PistenBully vehicle concept allows diverse attachments, such as dung spreaders, plant hole drillers, trench cutters and many more. With the variety and versatility of its range, Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug is looking for further growth: as Mr Hemscheidt puts it, “We are looking forward to the same stable development we achieved n through the past few years.”
OF FLEXIBILITY Textil Santanderina has played an integral role in developing the Spanish textile industry over the past half century, with its influence reaching worldwide in recent years. EmmaJane Batey spoke to CEO Juan Pares to find out how this success has been achieved. Industry Europe 187
stablished in Cantabria, Spain, in 1959 following the merger of two local textile companies, Textil Santanderina has grown to become a leading name in high quality, innovative textile solutions. With a long-term commitment to providing value to the customer, the company has created a strong business that is appreciated by customers worldwide. Textil Santanderina offers a varied product range of more than 500 items, created at its state-of-the-art 80,000m2 production facilities in Cantabria. The value focus is clearly evident in the product portfolio, with Textil Santanderina’s two core promises influencing its everyday activities, and its plans for the future. CEO Juan Pares explained, “Continual improvement and innovation is very important to us, with our main promises being that that the quality of our products and our service will always be the best it can possibly be. Our customers have come to rely on us in these two areas particularly, and we are proud to say that we always meet their needs.”
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In terms of products, Textil Santanderina’s offer is focused on two areas; fashion and technical, with each area offering both garments and materials. The fashion division represents around 70 per cent of the company’s activities, with clients worldwide and especially strong performance in Europe, the USA and China.
Importance of quality and creativity
Mr Pares explained how the fashion division is dedicated to quality and creativity. He said, “It is most important that we stay close to the market so that we are always offering exactly what people want in terms of colours, finishes, textures and performance. We have a great team of creative people that are in regular touch with customers that buy both the fabrics and the finished garments, in order to guarantee that Textil Santanderina continually offers the right product at the right time.” The technical products provided by the company have a greater demand for innovation, and 40 per cent of its staff are
employed in R&D. Textil Santanderina is well-known for combining nano-technology and getting enhanced comfort into the more risky aspects of fabric performance, such as the requirements of clothing for protection against fire or chemical agents. Comfort with maximum safety is a key driver for this division, and remains an important market differentiator. One overriding aspect of Textil Santanderina’s operation across both its fashion and technical products divisions is its respect for the environment. The company has implemented a wide range of ecologically responsible actions for the past 30 years. Mr Pares said, “Social and environmental responsibility is very important for us and always has been. We have a waste water treatment plant that is able to reuse water, even though we are careful to use as little as possible in the first place. We are also continually focused on reducing CO2 emissions and energy usage … it’s a mentality that’s ingrained in our company and one that we seek in our people as well as our suppliers. The ethics of Textil
Santanderina are so much a part of our business vision that we totally believe it’s all related – how our people act, how we look after the area around our production site and the suppliers we choose.”
Serving the world
The company has a formidable sales network with locations in 15 countries and representatives worldwide, allowing it to provide a complete service anywhere in the world. With quality of service such an important factor in the company’s vision, it comes as no surprise to note that it has strict quality targets across its departments. Mr Pares pointed out that Textil Santanderina is particularly strong in understanding what the definition of quality are to different customers, and how it ensures the expectations of each customer is met, if not exceeded, by appreciating their individual concept of quality. Members of the development team
are focused on the market trends, including close communication with suppliers, customers and end users to maintain a tight relationship between the company’s product range and the market demands. As Textil Santanderina looks forward to the next chapter in its history, Mr Pares is clear that its innovation and quality promise will enable the company to utilise the great potential in the worldwide textiles market, with surprising examples of how textiles are used such as in Astroturf for football pitches and the fact that today’s aeroplanes are 30 per cent made from textiles. He concluded, “Textiles have no limits like perhaps steel or copper. The textile industry is always changing and there are always new possibilities for using textiles. With our strong experience in integrating technical performance into fabrics and staying at the forefront of fashion fabrics, we are well n positioned for continued success.”
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FLEXIBLE CONVERTING SOLUTIONS As a leading global supplier of converting solutions to the flexible packaging industry, the family-owned Spanish company Comexi is on a constant quest for excellence. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Business managing director Albert Negre to find out more.
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ocated in Girona in northern Spain, flexible packaging machinery supplier Comexi is a 100 per cent family-owned business with a successful history that reaches back more than 50 years. This status gives Comexi, and its holding company Comexi Group, the unique position it enjoys in the market. Business managing director Albert Negre is clear about how this translates on a dayto-day basis: “We have long been focused on providing solutions for our customers and our company history gives us a solid foundation from which we continue to grow. As a family company we can be nimble, flexible and totally reliable in providing answers to our customers’ requests.”
With its broad range of machine manufacturing capabilities for the flexible packaging industry, Comexi’s core business is flexographic presses, with laminators and slitters also available for its predominately flexographic converter customers. Mr Negre continued, “Our business is to sell confidence to our customers, so we are not simply a supplier, but rather a flexible packaging partner as we help them to earn money by using our equipment. Consequently, it is imperative that we provide excellent advice on what Comexi machinery to use, how to use it and how to maximise the machinery’s potential. By meeting these demands, we will continue to grow and achieve in line with our core values.”
Focus on family
The core values of Comexi certainly reflect its family-owned status, with a clear focus on maintaining mutually-beneficial customer relationships. With reliability, simplicity, high technology, fidelity and leadership in converting all playing an important role in Comexi’s daily activities, it seems as though that ‘selling confidence’ promise is justified. Furthermore, these values have allowed Comexi to grow with its most valued customers as it follows them to new markets in order to maintain their flexographic machinery requirements as they expand. As a machinery supplier, Comexi has built up its reputation as a trusted partner and continues to develop its strategy as a Industry Europe 191
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global supplier, so this strategy of following the customer has long proved successful. Mr Negre said, “The global recession did see our market freeze for a while as most customers decided not to invest in new equipment. We noticed that customers reduced stocks and filled their production capacities with their existing equipment. However, since the second half of 2009, confidence has returned and access to funding is more available, therefore we are finding that movement across the flexible packaging industry is increasing too. We see this translating to greater requirements across our client base, both in new and existing markets, and as always we are ready to provide solutions to our converting clients worldwide.”
New and improved
In order to maintain this answer-driven position, Comexi invests a great deal in product innovation, around three per cent of its annual revenue, and employs a strong team of engineers and developers. Being at the technical forefront of the flexible packaging machinery industry is also part of the company’s strategy, so investment in new technology is a must. One recent product development that is already making waves in the industry is Comexi’s flexo printing with electron beam. Offering an environmentally friendly way to print without solvents, the 194 Industry Europe
FlexoEB innovation, developed along with its partners, will continue to be promoted in the market over the coming years. The latest product presented from the Comexi R&D team is an upgraded flexo press that is perfectly suited to short runs, making it a cost-effective solution that perfectly complements customers’ existing set-ups. Mr Negre explained, “We launched this flexo press in the summer of 2010 and it is already proving to add value by reducing production costs for our customers. It’s still an eight colour flexo press mainly driven by the concepts of mid-web, short run, quick changeover, small repeat, operator friendly and completely tool-less.” Comexi’s core business is in flexographic printing machines, but it also offers the manufacture of some gravure machines, laminators and slitters, and these areas have been steadily growing in recent months. In particular, Comexi’s partnership with Indian manufacturer Pelican, who have gained the licence to produce Comexi’s smallest laminator model, the Nexus One, purely for the increasingly-successful Indian market.
Ready for anything
As Comexi continues to build its business in its European heartland and enjoys the Pelican partnership, the company also expects to see continued growth in the rest of the world. Asia and the Middle East is an
interesting market for its flexographic printing machinery, with Russia and the former Soviet countries seeing strong growth over the past two years. Even though India and China are predominantly gravure markets, Comexi is able to provide gravure solutions but is also well-positioned to take advantage of the expected trend for flexographic printing presses. Mr Negre concluded, “We are already the leader in the Brazilian market, where we have our own plant with 70 people to complement our 400-strong workforce in Girona. We have also recently purchased ACOM, an Italian company that specialises in gravure manufacturing which will further enhance our offer in this area. Our dedication to responsible, customer-focused growth is clearly evident, and our product diversification is an illustration of our long-term goal to offer the right product for each segment in every global market where n we see potential value.”
A CLEANER WORLD At Tennant Company, the aim is to create cleaner, safer environments. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at some of its latest groundbreaking green products.
he green light is on at Tennant – and the company is forging ahead with its latest range of environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. The company, which is known for its industrial and commercial sweepers, scrubber-dryers, coatings, carpet cleaning equipment, vacuums, floor machines and burnishers, is once again leading the way with new chemical-free and other sustainable cleaning products and systems. Martijn Oechies, customer development director, said the 140 year-old company was currently seeing high demand for its products, resulting in strong growth. “Innovation is a key element for us in achieving organic growth,” he said. “Overall, the position we are looking for is to differentiate ourselves through innovation and offering chemical-free and sustainable solutions.” Industry Europe 195
A world leader
Minneapolis-based Tennant grew out of George Tennant’s vision for a frontier-town sawmill in the 1870s into one of today’s most successful floor care operations. Today it is a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, healthier, safer world. Its products include equipment for maintaining surfaces in industrial, commercial and outdoor environments. Tennant’s global field service network is the most extensive in the industry. It has manufacturing operations in Minneapolis and Holland in the US, Uden in the Netherlands, Falkirk in the UK, Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Shanghai in China. It sells products directly in 15 countries and through distributors in more than 80 countries.
Environmentally friendly technologies
“Our groundbreaking ec-H2O™ technology was launched in 2008,” explained Mr Oechies. Tennant’s ec-H2OTM technology eliminates 196 Industry Europe
the need for most floor cleaning chemicals by converting water into a superior cleaning solution and uses up to 70 per cent less water than conventional scrubbing. “It works by passing water through electrified screens inside an oxygenation chamber, splitting it into positively and negatively charged streams. The charged water then has the attributes of a general purpose cleaner that breaks down dirt. After approximately 45 seconds, the charged water begins to recombine into normal water.” This technology can also reduce environmental impact compared to traditional cleaning chemicals and methods. “There are no other raw materials, no packing or transportation costs.” he said. “Because tap water is used and disposed of afterwards there is no chemical residue—just dirty water.” Third-party studies show that scrubbing with ec-H2OTM can remove more bacteria than scrubbing with detergents, and
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because ec-H2OTM technology leaves no chemical residue, floors retain a polished look, reducing burnishing and strip or recoat cycles. Sparked by the success of ec-H2O™, in 2009 Tennant Company established its advanced technology arm, the Orbio Technologies Group, which is developing and licensing products under the Orbio® brand to help pursue Tennant’s vision to become a global leader in chemical-free and other sustainable technologies that create a cleaner, safer, healthier world.
Through its licensing partnership with Activeion Cleaning Solutions, LLC, Tennant offers its ec-H2OTM technology on a variety of handheld spray devices including devices that incorporate Orbio®-E technology. When used as directed, the ionatorEXP and ionatorHOM kill the 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Influenza A virus and more than 99.9 per cent of most harmful bacteria (E. coli, VRE, Salmonella). These devices are marketed under the Activeion® brand.
Groundbreaking street cleaner
Another recent groundbreaking sustainable technology development was the launch of the company’s 500ze, all-electric vacuum street sweeper. With its Lithium-ion powered battery pack, this heralds a significant step in the drive for reduced carbon emissions and improved air quality. Its clean air and near silent operation is ideal for enclosed or crowded pedestrian areas such as city centres. Key features of the 500ze include zero emissions – no exhaust fumes or CO2 − and low noise and reduced dust. The annual carbon output of a standard 2m3 sweeper, currently used in many city centres, is approximately 50 tonnes. The 500ze is zero, thus saving the equivalent of the carbon output of 40 cars annually.
It is also virtually silent in transit and has an integrated battery management system to optimise cell performance throughout the battery’s lifetime. It offers powerful suction that is suited to even coarse debris and has fewer moving parts and advanced diagnostics which can lower maintenance costs. “We are rolling these out at the moment,” said Mr Oechies. “There are test models in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, London and Paris.”
Making a difference
“Future growth at Tennant Company will come through continued innovation and ground-breaking product launches like these,” said Mr Oechies. “We are 140 years old – we are not a young company,” he said. “We are traditionally perceived to be a very good player in industrial environments. We are known for our reliability. With more and more contract cleaners out there now, our customers are much more diversified than they were five or six years ago. We want to make a difference and to transform the industry but we need to do it with our customers. “We believe we are the most innovative company in the industry. We want to be number one and we want to see solutions that are n more sustainable and chemical free.” Industry Europe 199
ADVERTISERSINDEX A A.Llopis SA AB Note North America ABB AS Abicor-Binzel – Kurt Haufe Schweisstechnik GmbH & Co. KG Airtec Controls GmbH Akzo Nobel GmbH Albéa Aliva Srl ASI Technologies, Inc. Austria Metall GmbH AVT–INC
H P 98 P 79 P 112 P 73 P 34 P 147 P 64 P 47 P 197 P 126 P 192
B Ballerstaedt & Co. OHG Banshing Precision Engineering Co. Ltd Bronswerk Heat Transfer BV
P 64 P 78 P 90
C Calderys Deutschland GmbH & Co. OHG Carclo Technical Plastics Cime SpA CMF Technology Coiver Contract Srl Coloronda s.l. Comstor Europe ContiTech AG Creasefield Ltd
P 40 P 170 P 83 P 54 P 46 P 55 P 102 P 185 P 171
D Dunamenti AKA Kft DyStar Hispania, S.L.
P 60 P 188
E E. Affolter Ltd Egersund Net AS EnerSys – Hawker Motive Power ESBO – Edelstahl GmbH Exide Technologies BV
P 123 P 115 P 197 P 31 P 197
F FASB Linea Srl Fenton Precision Engineering Ltd Ferramenta Bresciana Fitre SpA Fluid Automation Systems Frama Mosaici Srl
P 165 P 170 P 161 P 82 P 122 P 54
G Galil Engineering Ltd Gape Due SpA Geka GmbH Ger Elettronica Srl Giovanni Bozzetto SpA Grafisk Tryk Greif Denmark AS Grupo Industrial Crimdesa, S.L. Gruppo TMC Srl
P 87 P 55 P 64 P 26 P 69 P 175 P 175 P 68 P 46
Heinz-Glas GmbH Hewlett-Packard Nederland BV Hoch GmbH Oblatenfabrik Hochtief Solutions AG Höganäs Honold International GmbH & Co. KG Hydro Aluminium Sverige AB
P 65 P 104 P 99 P 119 P 140 P 186 P 127
P 94 P 94 P 178 P 150 P 70 P 27 Inside back
IAT AS Industry Coal Ingram Micro BV Inkspec Intocast AG
P 174 P 144 P 102 P 193 P 39
K Karcoma-Armaturen GmbH Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG Kód Kft Koninklijke Mosa BV KSO-Textil GmbH
P 167 P 185 P 60 P 54 P 154
L Logflex GmbH Luhn & Pulvermacher – Dittmann & Neuhaus GmbH
P 150 P 184
S.P.E. Elettronica Industriale P 198 S.T.P. Srl P 165 Saati SpA P 178 Sacel Srl P 167 Saint Gobain Savoie Refractaires P 41 Sharon Lee Ltd P 170 Shiuh Sheng Elect Co. P 23 Siecab Srl P 161 SKF Nordic Region – Inside front Industrial & Service Division Slovarm a.s. P 50 Smurfit Kappa Elcorr BV P 57 Sniap Srl P 160 Solid Systems Computer Services Ltd P 108 Solvent Zrt P 95 Südpack Verpackungen GmbH & Co. KG P 95 Swissfeed AG P 74
Mapei SpA Margen Srl Messer Benelux NV Metalbrass Srl Metinox Industrie SAS
P 44 P 83 P 140 P 50 P 132
N Nuova ‘Hermes’ Import – Export NV PMDS SA Nynas SA
Raps Hungaro Kft Red Arrow International LLC Rehau AG + Co Rigenera Di Cosimo Sfrecola Romana Chimici SpA Rotopress Srl Rudolf Wild GmbH
P 50 P 140 Outside back
O Oclap Srl Olab Srl OSM Crew Management AS
P 160 P 161 P 114
P Pemco International PG Marine Group – Ing Per Gjerdrum AS Praxair Surface Technologies Switzerland Proizvodnja Filtara Halapir d.o.o. Promens Deventer BV Przetwórstwo Tworzyw Janicki
P 179 P 114 P 192 P 87 P 198 P 74
Tata Steel Tubes Europe Tech Data NL Techcrystal Industries Ltd Tecnopress Srl Telast SA Texpart Handels AG Tir Air Cargo Srl Tradex 2002 Kft Trane Italia Srl Trans Team Logistic sro Trasfor SA Tucai SA
P 129 P 103 P 78 P 165 P 123 P 122 P 150 P 94 P 82 P 157 P 160 P 50
V Valbruna Nordic AB Vasfi Kft VC999 Verpackungssysteme GmbH Verhoeven Pallets & Recycling Viskase
P 126 P 60 P 94 P 198 P 95
W Waberer’s Network Kft Wendt Boart SA
P 147 P 180
X Xstrata Zink GmbH