Industry Europe – Issue 21.8

Page 1

VOLUME 21/8 – 2011 • €6

The world of European manufacturing






Libyan lessons So the UK managed without a carrier. Does that mean it doesn’t need one?


ometimes, it seems, you really do need a sledge hammer to crack a nut. Or, in the case of NATO’s operations in Libya, the combined, hi-tech sledge hammers of Britain’s RAF and France’s Aeronavale, deploying Tornado, Typhoon and Rafale M attack aircraft to crush the pitiful nuts of Gaddafi’s rag tag forces, which didn’t even have an operational air arm from the beginning. Yet, even with such massive supremacy, it still took 17,000 air sorties and five months. Asymmetric warfare indeed, but not as we usually know it. You can’t help feeling that the Israelis, say, would have had it all sorted before lunch. And though the allies did in the end succeed in pulverising Gaddafi’s assets to the point where the rebels were able to take Tripoli, it seems, as the Duke of Wellington said on a rather more memorable occasion, to have been a damned close-run thing. Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute, claims that the RAF’s stock of Brimstone anti-tank guided missiles, which were widely employed against Libyan forces, was down to single figures. Furthermore, he says that the UK relied heavily on systems such as the Sentinel ground surveillance aircraft which had already been earmarked for retirement. “If it had gone on for too long,” he said, “it would have been much more seriously embarrassing.” Of course, the reason it all dragged on for so long is that the allies let the rebels themselves do all the ground fighting and they weren’t very good at it – without NATO acting as their air force they wouldn’t have had a chance. The only formation that seems to have been effectively organised and armed was the 600-strong Jabal Nafusa force from Libya’s Western Mountains which played a leading part in the taking of Tripoli. The word now is that its leaders will demand a major role in any rebel-led government. What the position of the men from the mountains is on the finer points of liberal democracy remains to be seen.

Still, Britain’s Prime Minister said that UK forces should be very proud of what they had achieved in Libya and that those who had doubted the wisdom of the mission had been proved wrong. Mr Cameron seemed particularly pleased that among the many that got it wrong were “the armchair generals who said you couldn’t do it without an aircraft carrier.” Britain, of course, had just decommissioned its last carrier before the Libya crisis broke and, on the face of it, the timing could not have been worse. While France was able to deploy its carrier, Charles de Gaulle, off the Libyan coast, the RAF began by flying its Tornados on 3000-mile round trips from Norfolk, just to knock out a few tanks and bunkers. Subsequently it was able to operate from the Gioia del Colle base in southern Italy but even from there it was a 90-minute flight to Libya. By the beginning of August France had flown 33 per cent of all the 6745 NATO strike sorties, half of them from its carrier. Mr Cameron claimed that the UK had flown 20 per cent of the strike sorties but figures from the House of Commons Library suggest it was nearer 10 per cent, behind the US and Denmark. So would the UK have been better positioned with a carrier?

Aviation attitudes Air Vice-Marshal Greg Bagwell, commander of RAF No.1 Group (the UK’s fast jets) thinks not. He admitted that French land and sea based aircraft had flown more combat sorties than the RAF but said that most of these had been against pre-planned objectives whereas the RAF had carried out more dynamic strikes, ‘the difficult stuff’. What’s more Gioai del Colle might be quite a way from the combat zone – and RAF Marham even further – but these airfields had been open for business 24/7 while Charles de Gaulle operated its aircraft over two deck cycles, spaced some 12 hours apart. ‘If you want to strike at lunch time or midnight,”

concluded the Air Vice-Marshall triumphantly, “then go to the Charles de Gaulle. But if you want it 24 hours a day, then come to the RAF.” Now the news that senior RAF officers don’t have much time for naval aviation is about as surprising as the revelation that the French take a long time over lunch. But Mr Cameron was as dismissive of ‘bath-tub admirals’ as the AVM, claiming that “because we have basing ability all over the Mediterranean, we did not suffer from not having an aircraft carrier.” But what if Britain found itself engaged in operations beyond friendly waters, where it had no allied bases; might it not need carrier strike capability? The government presumably thinks it might because it is going ahead with the two Queen Elizabeth class carriers, even though it currently plans to keep only one of them. However these will initially deploy only helicopters; their strike aircraft, the F-35C, will not be operational until 2020. So, in essence, the UK got away with it in Libya – just – without a carrier and hopes to get away with it for at least another nine years. It seems a very British way of doing things. However, the Air Vice-Marshal also mentioned, helpfully, that whereas the RAF’s aircraft had operated without interruption since the start of the campaign, Charles de Gaulle had had no fewer than 19 ‘down-days’. In fact, France’s nuclear-powered carrier has had quite a few such days over the years. Launched in 1994, it was not commissioned until 2001 due to little problems like the flight deck being too short and the propellers falling off. Even after a major refit in 2008 the ship was back in Toulon for repairs the following year. So the UK government should really decide whether it needs a carrier or not – and there are plenty of good arguments for spending the money on other assets – and then it should realise that anyone who needs one really needs two. Then, with a bit of luck, you might have one of them in working order n when you need it. Industry Europe 3

Editor Peter Mercer

Production Manager Kamila Kajtoch

Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Administration Anna Chamberlain Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey

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

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

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

CONTENTS Shipbuilding Industry p6

Comment 1 4 5

Opinion Libyan lessons Bill Jamieson Is this it? James Srodes Modest proposals

Shipbuilding Industry 6

European yards look to the future

9 12

High technology and new ship design Shipbuilding news The latest from the industry Realising the dream The new France

News 14 16 18 19 20

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

Industry Europe


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

A Square Root Company

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

Agriculture 24 28 32 36

Back in the family La Leonessa Harvesting the rewards Linamar Corporation Sweet taste of success EID Parry A legacy for the future K+S KALI

Automation 39 44 50 54

Motive power Inci Aku Bouncing back Metallfabriken Ljunghäll A complete service UkrAVTO Glass styling goes green Richard Fritz

Chemicals 60 68

Continuous improvement Russkie Kraski Creative cultures Sigma-Aldrich Fine Chemicals

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

4 Industry Europe

Electrical 72

The power of investment Brush Electrical Machines

VOL 21/8

Above: Tecnogas p78 76 78

Delivering more powerful solutions FG Wilson A new future in household appliances Tecnogas

Energy 82 86

Transforming energy efficiency Sofilec Pioneers of eco-drilling technology RWE Dea

Food 91 94 Above: Linamar Corporation p28 Below: UkrAVTO p50

Quality of life Sodexo Quality and environmental commitment Valio

Forest products 98 102

Above: The Kronotex Group p102 Below: Smart Automation p135

Green credentials Finnish Fibreboard Eco-friendly flooring The Kronotex Group

Heavy vehicles 107 112

International rescue Amdac Carmichael Drive technology specialist Claas Group

HVAC 120

100% Italian made products Ritmonio Rubinetterie


Leading the field in cooling technology Daikin

Measurement & control Below: Finnish Fibreboard p98

127 132 135

Swedish origins – global presence Alfa Laval Dedication is the key Danfoss Command and control Smart Automation

Above: Eurocopter p150 Below: Bridon International p170

Also in this issue... 138 142 146 150 153 158 164 167 170

At the cutting edge Ceratizit Showcasing the future Dilmenler DMS Dynamic ceramics ESK Ceramics Gaining height Eurocopter Probing the future GEA Pharma Systems Poised for expansion Ontex Joining the Plasticos family Plasticos Castella Focused on complex projects MOCHLOS Pulling in the right direction Bridon International

Industry Europe 5




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

Is this it? Has the moment of truth arrived for the euro?


this it? Or near enough to it? By ‘it’ I mean an event or sequence of events of such consequence as to constitute an epochal crisis to trigger a radical reconfiguration of the institutions of the European Union – up to and including a drastic revision of the European single currency. Throughout this year the continuing crises over sovereign country debt and the health of numerous European banks have cast a darkening shadow not just over the prospects for the countries directly affected but also over the single currency itself. Almost every patchwork ‘solution’ agreed at emergency summits of eurozone leaders over the past two years fixed the loss of market confidence for a short time, only to be followed by a renewal of doubts about the ability of heavily indebted countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece to meet their debt obligations. The European Central Bank has intervened with emergency support through a programme of government bond purchases. The rules around the application of the emergency bail-out kitty – the European Financial Stabilisation Fund – have been relaxed. Other changes were loftily announced, but within a few weeks market apprehension returned. Stock markets have been badly hit. There has been concern over a fresh icing-up of wholesale credit markets. And – of particular concern – business confidence has fallen sharply as key measures of economic activity and business surveys have shown a sharp deterioration. Now this downturn is by no means confined to Europe. America is faced with a return to recession, with worrying declines in data ranging from employment through the housing market to consumer confidence. But Europe had, or claimed to have, institutions purportedly working to enhance economic activity and policy cooperation – particularly in the single currency zone. How6 Industry Europe

ever, this is where serious worries over debt obligations have arisen and where, despite all those governmental institutions, effective policy response has been at its most feeble. So far, the priority of public policy has been to support and maintain the institution of the single currency. But ironically, the longer this has been the main preoccupation the greater the crisis of confidence in the euro seems to have grown. The broad reason for this is that the very nature of the single currency project has worked in the opposite direction. Countries in chronic need of devaluation to render them more competitive and to help pull their economies out of debt-soaked recession and slump struggle as this option is blocked. And earlier this summer, just when ultra-low interest rates needed to be maintained, the European Central Bank raised interest rates in response to perceived inflation pressures arising from powerful economic growth in Germany. Germany’s recovery pace has now slackened to a crawl. And the stricken economies of southern Europe find themselves trapped in a monetary union that is impoverishing them. There is another irony here. Germany, the strongest member of the euro chain, may well prove to be its weakest link. Chancellor Angela Merkel has sought to strike a balance between intensifying pressure to agree more euro-wide support for the weaker members, and apprehension among German voters who fear having to pick up the tab for debts incurred by other countries. Moreover, not to put too fine a point on it, the countries in trouble have been characterised by overly generous welfare systems, corruption, tax evasion, political weakness and an inability (or unwillingness) to push through reforms that might improve their productivity and competitiveness.

Which way out? Now there is talk a major revision of the Lisbon Treaty – indeed some would like

to see it scrapped altogether. Others want to see full speed to a fully fledged fiscal union, with the annual budgets of all country members subject to regular inspection and supervision from the centre. Ottmar Issing, former chief economist at the Bundesbank, weighed in with a warning that such sweeping reforms lacked political legitimacy unless they were approved by voters in member countries. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel is in no mood to support the part pooling of sovereign debt through the issuance of euro bonds unless and until a common fiscal discipline is in place across the euro zone. It is this which may now bring matters to a head. Early in September the German finance minister Wolfgang Schaube told a meeting of senior CDU members that a new EU treaty is needed to transfer further economic and financial policy powers to the eurozone level. At the same time, Bundesbank president Jens Widman declared that bond purchases by the European Central Bank had “strained the existing framework of the currency union and blurred the boundaries between monetary union and fiscal policy.” Eurozone bonds, he was saying, are no substitute for sound public finances. The idea of a break-up of the euro is almost unmentionable in official circles but is being increasingly discussed in the markets as a possible outcome. It would not be surprising if, given the financial trauma that would result from a crisis ejection, that one or more countries are working on contingency plans for just such an outcome. Tight secrecy would be needed to prevent a prior run on banks and financial institutions. But in scenario planning terms, this is an outcome for which Europe’s leaders now need contingency. One thing is for sure. The longer that eurozone leaders fiddle around with sticking n plaster, the deeper the crisis will grow.




Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street

Modest proposals President Obama’s plans to boost the economy are focused on reversing the fall in family incomes.


an era when myth too often trumps reality it may be time ask whether US President Barak Obama is really the Keynesian Liberal (with capital letters underscored) his supporters imagined or whether he is an instinctive small-c conservative. Mr Obama recently opened his 2012 campaign for re-election with a much advertised address before a joint session of a visibly hostile US Congress in which he outlined the major economic policy measures he intends to put in place to restart the American economy and bring the nation back to full (that is, five per cent of the workforce still jobless) employment. The trouble is none of the policy initiatives proposed by the White House actually do what was promised in the way of immediately sparking a return to economic growth and a consequent reduction in the jobless rate. The proposals – and they remain that until the hostile Congress acts on them – do promise to improve longer term business conditions over a period of years. Among the proposals most welcomed by American business leaders was a decision to delay the enforcement of government rules to reduce the level of ozone generated by utilities, factories and farms to levels that would have put an estimated 85 per cent of the nation into violation – thereby triggering government sanctions and blocking future expansion efforts. The rest of Mr Obama’s package of help was a mix of hastened infrastruc-

ture construction projects, some tax relief for businesses that hire workers, some mortgage relief for defaulting homeowners, and promises of continued welfare payments for those already out of work. In other words, no Rooseveltian (let alone Keynesian) dramatic initiatives designed to produce visible and immediate results. Or, put more charitably, the Obama plan is a plausible, reasonable, small-c conservative acknowledgement of the reality that in a time of chronic recession, government can best help by providing only aid that helps the private sector regain its footing. The hard truth is that there is not too much else he could have done under the circumstances. The Congress, as it is constituted right now, is not disposed to appropriate more deficit spending for a further round of stimulus. The only thing the lawmakers and Mr Obama’s own staff of economic advisers do agree on is that they all are unable to explain why what appeared to be a fragile but nonetheless visible recovery abruptly stalled over the past summer.

Family income is the key How chronic is the crisis? In advance of the president’s speech, the White House conceded that the US economy over the first half of 2011 averaged an annual growth rate of 0.7 per cent – in short, just eight-tenths of a per cent above actual recession. As for

the official unemployment rate of more than nine per cent, the official forecast predicted that would remain above nine per cent through the election in November 2101. And that is an optimistic view. What Mr Obama’s political strategists know is that there is something more important than the broad economic numbers when it comes to impact on re-election efforts by sitting presidents. The far more important economic indicator is the state of family personal income. The White House is betting that US gross domestic product will be on the rise again, perhaps to near three per cent pace by election day. But personal income levels have been in a steady decline since last year’s mini-recovery. It is to reverse that trend that the President’s proposals of tax relief, mortgage aid and construction projects is aimed. This is a cold calculation but it is also realistic. There are now an estimated four-and-a-half job seekers for every new job opening. By official estimates there are now 14 million Americans out of work, another 9 million part-time workers who want full employment; and another 6.5 million jobless who have given up looking for work. If you are very young – and especially if you are young and black or Latino – the jobless rate is near 50 per cent; if you are 55 or older, the jobless rate is nearly as bad and the decline in wage levels for older workers who have

found jobs can be by as much as 25 per cent in pay cuts. Most demographers argue that in order to reduce the nine per cent official rate of unemployment back to the statistical full-employment rate of five per cent of the workforce it would require the creation of nearly 17 million new jobs. That would imply a monthly pace of jobs creation that is three times the current activity and would be larger by 50,000 jobs per month more than the peak levels of 240,000 new jobs a month that was averaged during the 1990s. So the Obama strategy is to concentrate on where the government can be seen to improve overall personal income levels in the next 12 months. After all, even if a family unit has its principal breadwinner out of work, another member is probably working. If that family’s mortgage burden can be eased, if a local road project provides some temporary income, if the family business can use a tax break to buy a new machine, it may translate into votes for Mr Obama. The President has another thing going for him. It is undeniable that the leading Republican rivals for his job so far are in the main single-issue zealots who are less attractive to mainstream voters than the President they already know and for whom they have some residual affection. Other Presidents have won second terms with less going for him so don’t count Mr n Obama out quite yet. Industry Europe 7

Italy’s Fincantieri has won contracts to build two new cruise ships for America’s Carnival Group, including a two-funneled vessel for P&O Cruises, but two further orders are slated to go to Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Credit: Fincantieri

EUROPEAN YARDS LOOK TO THE FUTURE In the face of ever-growing competition from Asia, Europe’s shipbuilders are exploring radical new technologies and ship types, as Jin Shaw reports.


his past summer, only a few days after announcing that it would have to shut down two of its shipyards and lay off over 2500 workers because of a lack of orders, Italy’s Fincantieri won a major contract to build a new cruise ship for P&O Cruises, part of America’s Carnival group. The order was a lifesaver for the Italian builder’s commercial ship construction unit, which had suffered a 55 per cent drop in orders because of the lingering worldwide recession. Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono was elated. “This order shows that the company, even in a difficult moment...

is resolutely continuing its commitment in a particularly depressed market in order to gain whatever orders there might be.” Bono was again overjoyed when a second contract arrived from Miami-based Carnival several months later, this one stipulating construction of a 132,500gt ship for Italy’s Costa Cruises to be delivered by October 2014. However, there was also a ‘memorandum of agreement’ announced with the Carnival order for two more ships, and the agreement was not with a European builder but rather Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. If finalised, the

A new type of container feeder ship that could be built in Europe would carry up to 1,000 TEUs in an open-hold design and be propelled by a combined fuel cell/battery system. Credit: GL 8 Industry Europe

two-ship agreement will mark a major breach in the wall that has kept large cruise ship construction confined to European yards for nearly eight years.

Asia targets Europe’s cruise leadership Both Japan and South Korea have long been targeting Europe’s hold on cruise ship construction, with Mitsubishi gaining an order for two ships from Carnival in 2001 only to

European yards, such as Germany’s Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, remain competitive for sophisticated ships such as the 2,900-lane-metre Bore Song, a modern Ro-Flex vessel recently delivered to Finland’s Bore Ltd, but Asian builders are now targeting this same market. Credit: Credit: Flensburger

Flettner rotors have already been incorporated into the construction of the wind farm support vessel E-Ship 1, completed in Germany last year. Credit: E-Ship

suffer a devastating fire that delayed one vessel and curtailed further orders. Although the Japanese industrial giant decided to withdraw from cargo ship construction last year, largely due to increased competition from China and South Korea, it has remained interested in building cruise ships. But South Korea has also remained focused on the cruise ship market and has delivered several advanced passenger ferries to European owners, a trade it now wants to expand. South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries, one of the country’s biggest builders, has been marketing an eco-friendly LNG-powered passenger ferry to European operators and it sees the high-technology vessel as a stepping stone to potential cruise ship orders. “We developed the eco-friendly passenger boat to comply with the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) standards for pollutant emissions that will take effect in 2015,” said Samsung vice-chairman and CEO Kim Jingwan. “We are working on diverse eco-friendly technologies that will give us an edge with European businesses, as part of our plan to enter the cruise ship market.”

Examining LNG propulsion Watching this Asian threat with some alarm are a number of European builders, as well as designers and equipment manufacturers who plan to beat Samsung and Mitsubishi to the punch, particularly in regards to LNG development but also in future ship designs. Finland’s STX Europe has already started construction of a new ferry that will operate solely on LNG for Finland’s Viking Line when it

enters service between Finland and Sweden in 2013. Compatriot equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä is providing the duel-fuel engines for this vessel as well as its LNG storage and management system. Such systems are highly involved as LNG must be handled at minus 165°C but Europe has become a centre for this type of technology. Wärtsilä has won three contracts to supply LNG systems to shipowners since the start of this year while Norwegian vessel classification society Det Norske Veritas (DNV), which has certified 21 out of the 22 commercial ships that currently burn gas as a fuel (other than LNG tankers that burn off part of their own cargo as fuel), is overseeing construction of five more. DNV is also assisting in the development of new designs for both container ships and petroleum carriers that will burn LNG. The reason? Lars Petter Blikom, segment director for LNG development at DNV, is predicting that gas will become the ‘dominant fuel source’ for all merchant ships within 40 years.

Designs for the future Taking at hard look at the future, both DNV and Wärtsilä, as well as Germany’s Germanischer Lloyd (GL), have been developing ship designs that could give European shipbuilders a marketing edge. DNV’s ‘Triality’ project envisions a crude oil carrier that would be fueled by LNG while having a new hull shape that would eliminate the need to carry ballast water. Other design enhancements include electrical generators that would be capable of burning LNG and auxiliary boilers that would operate on recovered cargo vapours

drawn from the ship’s storage tanks. These improvements alone would result in a vessel that would use 25 per cent less energy than a conventional ship of the same size. DNV has also been working with German engine manufacturer MAN Diesel & Turbo on a container ship design that would offer many of the same advantages. The 9000 TEU vessel would be capable of holding enough LNG fuel to sail non-stop between South East Asia and the US East Coast via the Suez Canal. Eirik Byklum, DNV business developer, said the design would offer the benefits of dual LNG/ diesel propulsion with no loss of cargo space. Germanischer Lloyd has been looking at a smaller container ship that would use liquid hydrogen (LH2) as fuel to generate power within a combined fuel cell/battery system. Storage tanks would hold 920 cubic metres of LH2; enough to facilitate a roundtrip equivalent of ten full operating days. To facilitate cargo handling the 1000 TEU ‘feeder’ vessel would be of open-top design, meaning there would be no hatch covers to remove or replace.

New ship types While the Germanischer Lloyd and Det Norske Veritas designs represent improvements of existing types of ships – the tanker and container carrier – Wärtsilä is looking much farther afield to see what European yards could be building decades from now. Research to date has been based on two certainties: shipping will remain an important part of the transportation picture and freshwater will become a much more valuable commodity. Combining this with

Industry Europe 9

An algae harvester envisioned by Wärtsilä would feature remote-controlled operation, without any permanent crew members on-board, by using such electronic navigation aids as night vision cameras, radar, ASIS and GPS technology. A dedicated service team would be helicoptered to the vessel to perform required maintenance.

A 100 metre by 20 metre algae harvester would collect algae from the sea for use in biofuel production while all its on-board systems would be powered by using renewable energy sources.

technologies expected to be available over the next decade, Wärtsilä engineers have come up with two interesting possibilities: long distance water carriers and algae harvesters. The Wärtsilä water carrier would be similar in size to a conventional tanker with a carrying capacity of about 150,000 tonnes. To minimise the amount of fuel needed the Wärtsilä ship would be equipped with Flettner rotors, which capture energy from the wind. In addition, frictional resistance would be minimised by pumping lubricating air bubbles through underwater outlets in the ship’s lower hull. Both of these ideas have already entered service. Flettner rotors were installed on Enercon’s wind turbine transporter ‘E-Ship 1’ last year while NYK-Hinode Line’s twin module carriers Yamato and Yamatai, also completed last year, have hull air lubrication systems. However, the Wärtsilä design also incorporates a ‘Fishtail’ propulsion system that will make use of two large horizontal fins. These fins will rotate during each movement to achieve the right angle of attack for incoming water, thus providing a very high level of efficiency. The power to drive the fins will be generated by engines capable of burning either LNG or biofuels.

E-Ship 1

10 Industry Europe

Biofuel beginnings

Terminal decline?

The expanded use of biofuels for marine propulsion could easily generate another possibility for European construction, Wärtsilä’s ‘Algae Harvester’. Such a vessel would collect algae from large basins that would float in the sea by slowly sailing up and down inside the basin while using hinged booms to direct surface water into the vessel. Once inside, the water would be filtered to separate the algae from the seawater. Although considered far-fetched now, the harvester could play a vital role as fossil fuels are exhausted. It would draw most of its power from fuel cells running on biogas stored on board. Additional power would be available from a large solar panel that could be tilted to maximize energy production. There would be no fulltime crew as the ship would be operated from shore using a satellite link. The collected algae would be transferred into two barges stored in recessed openings in the ship’s side. Once full, each barge would be collected by a pusher tug and move ashore for off-loading then returned to the mother ship.

Beyond the algae harvester and water carrier, Wärtsilä has been looking at other potential construction, as have other European designers. These include floating structures, such as floating desalination plants and barge mounted waste-management and recycling facilities, that would be anchored offshore to meet the needs of future mega-cities. Such designs hold potential but it is yet to be determined if Europe’s shipbuilding industry will have the resources needed to act. The recent negotiations between Germany’s ThyssenKrupp and French naval shipyard DCNS considering a possible merging of their naval shipbuilding assets illustrates what could be a growing trend, as does ThyssenKrupp’s plan to exit civilian shipbuilding. Military construction is considered a ‘locked’ industry for European builders because of security concerns but there is no such guarantee for commercial ship construction. The British government recently admitted that the country’s shipbuilding industry, once the world’s greatest, would be in terminal decline without the current and highly expensive programme to build two new aircraft n carriers for the Royal Navy.


New developments in the Shipbuilding industry


Fourth Type 45 arrives in Portsmouth D RAGON, the fourth Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyer built by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy arrived in Portsmouth Naval Base on 31 August to be handed over to the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Paul Rafferty, Type 45 programme director at BAE Systems’ Surface Ships business, said: “DRAGON is the most advanced Type 45 destroyer delivered to date. Working in partnership with the MOD and the Royal Navy, we have incorporated lessons learned from the earlier

build and in-service support of her sister ships. She is the first of the batch two destroyers, which include upgrades to systems onboard in line with technological developments, as we continue to deliver cutting-edge naval equipment to the Royal Navy.” The Type 45s will provide the backbone of the UK’s naval air defences for the next 30 years and beyond. The destroyers will be capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities,

disaster relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting. Visit:

MAN engines to power seismic vessel in Norway

M Navantia delivers first Maritime Action Ship

AN Diesel & Turbo has signed a contract for the supply of 4 x MAN 8L32/40 engines to power a seismic vessel ordered by Sanco Shipping of Norway. The vessel will be built by Kleven Maritime at Myklebust shipyard in southern Norway and is scheduled for delivery by 31 May 2013. The four-stroke engines will be constructed in Augsburg, headquarters of MAN Diesel & Turbo and a fourstroke engine production site in its own right.

The company attributes the landing of the new order to its presence in Aalesund, an important European offshore centre, and focused activity on this significant segment. The order is strategically important to the company in many respects. Sanco Shipping is one of the fastest growing players in the seismic survey business locally and it chose MAN power despite stiff competition. Visit:


he first unit of Maritime Action Ship (BAM), ‘Meteoro’, for the Spanish Navy has successfully finalised the last sea trials and was commissioned on 28th July. These sea trials have tested the perfect performance of the platform and combat systems, as well as evaluating the noise. The ‘Meteoro’ is a moderately sized, high performance ship with great versatility regarding missions, enjoys a high level of system commonality with other Spanish Navy ships and has low acquisition and life cycle costs. Her main missions are: protection and escort of other ships; control of maritime traffic; control and neutralisation of terrorist actions and piracy and operations against drug and people trafficking. Visit:

DCNS to build third Barracuda


rance’s defence procurement agency DGA has placed an order with DCNS for the third Barracuda-type nuclearpowered attack submarine for the French Navy. This order comes under the framework programme contract awarded to DCNS in December 2006 calling for the delivery of

six next-generation SSNs between 2017 and 2028. Barracuda-type SSNs will replace the six Rubis-class boats currently in service. The Barracuda weapons payload will include next-generation type F21 heavyweight torpedoes, SM39 anti-ship missiles and MdCN-type naval cruise missiles. The boats will also be fully

equipped for missions with Nato naval forces and special operations. DCNS is the programme prime contractor. The first-of-class Suffren and second-of-class Duguay-Trouin are under construction at the group’s Cherbourg shipyard supported by DCNS centres around the country. Visit: Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Shipbuilding industry

ULSTEIN SETS UP NEW COMPANY U LSTEIN has established a new company, Ulstein IDEA Equipment Solutions. This company will take over the activities of the former IDEA Heavy Equipment, a Dutch company that ULSTEIN has cooperated with in recent years. Ulstein IDEA Equipment Solutions will be engaged in the development and manufacture of innovative

mission and interface equipment on board vessels, mainly working in demanding markets such as offshore and dredging. ULSTEIN holds a majority interest in the new company and COO Tore Ulstein in Design & Solutions says this establishment is part a part of ULSTEIN’s long-term strategy. Visit:


Wärtsilä wins main engines order for new type of container vessel


osta Crociere SpA, Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s no.1 cruise company, has placed an order with Fincantieri SpA for the construction of a new cruise ship. The new ship, with a gross tonnage of 132,500, 3700 lower berths, 4928 total guests and 1854 cabins, will be the largest Italian cruise ship and the 10th ship ordered from Fincantieri by Costa Cruises in the past 10 years. The new flagship of the Costa fleet and the Italian passenger fleet will be built at the Fincantieri shipyards in Marghera (Venice), for a total ship owner’s all-in cost of approximately €150,000 per lower berth. Delivery is planned for October 2014. The new ship will be an innovative evolution of the ‘Concordia-class’ project, developed by integrating and improving the main features of the latest successful Costa ships entered into service. Visit:

Planning milestone achieved with Vengeance


lanning for the fourth and last Royal Navy Vanguard class submarine Long Overhaul Period and Refuel, to be undertaken by Babcock at Devonport Royal Dockyard on HMS Vengeance, has reached an important milestone with the submission of the tender for the three-and-a-half year refit.

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ärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions provider, will supply the main engines for the first series of eight ‘Bangkok-max’ container ships being built at the Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard in China, thus establishing these engines as the standard for this type of vessel. The ships will serve as feeder vessels in Asian waters. The scope of supply includes eight Wärtsilä RT-flex60C main engines, which will be built by a Wärtsilä licensee, Hudong Heavy Machin-

ery (HHM), based in Shanghai. In meeting the needs of the new Bangkok-max container vessel design, the Wärtsilä RT-flex engine technology offers excellent fuel consumption, exceptional reliability and the possibility to incorporate environmental upgrades at a later date. Furthermore, the compact size of the engine is ideal for the narrow engine room that the vessel design calls for. Visit:

Polar Supply and Research Vessel launched at STX Rauma Shipyard ON

21 July 2011, the Polar Supply and Research Vessel ordered by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs was named and launched at STX Finland Oy’s Rauma shipyard. NB 1369 was named S.A. Agulhas II by director general Mrs Noshipho Ngcaba from the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. S.A. Agulhas II is a multi-purpose vessel that will operate as supply, research and passenger ship as well as an icebreaker among

other things. The core functions of the vessel will be logistic support for South African research bases on the Antarctic mainland, Marion Island and Gough Island. The vessel will also be equipped to conduct oceanographic studies as well as marine geological research. The ice-strengthened vessel will be approximately 134 metres long and it will have accommodation for a crew of 45 and some 100 researchers or passengers. Visit:

The workscope will include fitting Vengeance with the latest reactor core, as used in the new Astute class submarines, and a number of updates and upgrades to her tactical and strategic weapons systems, as well as surveys, hull & structure preservation and overhaul of all the submarine’s major components, systems and equipment. It also includes some first-of-class fits, with the

intention to install main static converters to replace the high maintenance motor generators for essential electrical power conversion, a significant package of work to upgrade the propulsion system instrumentation and a possible upgrade to tactical combat systems. The programme will involve over two million manhours and around 2000 Babcock personnel. Visit:


Vintage motor yacht from Blohm+Voss IN

a history of more than 130 years, Blohm+Voss has built well-known yachts in the finest yacht building quality including legends such as MY SAVARONA. The new B+V 111 MY/ Vintage links the classical hull lines of yachts of the 1930s with state-of-theart equipment and manufacturing techniques. The harmonious outer appearance is marked by traditional sheer and continuing deck, connecting the bow-sprit with the classical shaped cruiser stern.

Characteristic features of an important epoch of yacht design are also the backwards leaning funnels and the sideways arranged air intakes, while the bulbous bridge wings and the forward deck hoods implement modern design elements. The yacht provides a helicopter landing deck, two large tender bays and two on-deck spaces for classical, davit-launched picnic tenders. A special design feature is a viewing platform located up in the aft mast to enjoy a stunning outlook over the yacht and the sur-

rounding scenery. Access to the platform is via a glazed elevator. Visit:

Submarine strategy of the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems group confirmed T

he €2.0 billion order for six U 214 submarine material packages placed with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems by the Republic of Turkey has entered into force with receipt of the advance payment. As a longstanding partner and supplier to the Turkish Navy, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems can now begin executing the order. The order will contribute

to securing employment at HDW in Kiel, as well as at many subcontractors in Germany and Turkey, for the next ten years. The comprehensive solution achieved in October 2010 for Hellenic Shipyards, under which Privinvest Shipbuilding, a major shareholder of Abu Dhabi MAR, acquired 75% of the company’s shares, can also be seen as a mile-

stone for the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems group. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems was able to secure the acceptance of the first U-214 submarine for the Greek Navy and the payment of outstanding debts. As part of the agreement an option was granted for an order for two further submarines at Hellenic Shipyards/HDW. Visit:

Rolls-Royce wins Brazilian order for offshore supply vessels R

olls-Royce, the global power systems company, has won an order to design and equip two UT 735 SE offshore supply vessels for Brasil Supply. The order is worth £15 million to Rolls-Royce. The contract includes vessel design and an integrated Rolls-Royce equipment system including propulsion, deck machinery, bulk handling and vessel control systems.

Gdansk investment plan at midpoint


dansk Shipyard’s restructuring program is in the halfway, as is its investment plan. Almost two years have passed since the Commissioners’ Council accepted Gdansk Shipyard’s restructuring program. The main idea of this program is to base the company’s production on three pillars: shipbuilding, large-size steel constructions

The vessels will be chartered by Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras and are designed specifically for carrying fluids and solid cargo to and from offshore oil and gas platforms. This is the second order from Brasil Supply this summer, and the company now has four Rolls-Royce designed offshore vessels on order. Visit: and wind towers. The first steel constructions (girders) for the new airport terminal in Rebiechowo were delivered in May, and the wind turbine masts for Nordex are waiting for delivery. However, the restructuring program means not only the diversification of production, but also new investment. Over 100 million zlotys are going to investments related to shipbuild-

ing and large-size steel constructions. The latest generation technological lines have been installed. One of the lines serves for fabrication of flat sections, on the other one the micropanels are assembled. Changes also included also the modernisation and purchase of appliances or improvement of industrial infrastructure. Visit: Industry Europe 13

REALISING THE DREAM A French entrepreneur wants to build a ship that will revive the glory of the SS France. Peter Mercer reports.


ll this summer Parisians and tourists alike have been taking time to visit the Musée de la Marine in Paris’ Trocadero to take a trip back to the 1960s. The museum has assembled more than 800 objects that once belonged to the great transatlantic liner, the SS France – the legendary ship that was not only in its day the longest and fastest liner ever built but was also the embodiment of French national pride and a showcase for modern French decorative art. Launched in 1960, the 66,000-tonne France could carry 2000 passengers across the Atlantic in five days and became the favourite ship of the wealthy and famous, not least because of the lavishness of its cuisine – a dinner menu from 1973 lists ten courses. But in a corner of the exhibition is a small model of the machine that sealed the fate not just of the France but of all the great transatlantic liners – the Boeing 707 airliner. The first passenger jet to be commercially successful, the 707 entered airline service in 1958 and by the 1960s was dominating the passenger jet transport market. So by the time it entered service in 1962 the France was already a glorious anachronism, kept afloat only by huge state subsidies. When the oil price boom of the early 1970s pushed operating costs even higher, even the French government had had enough and decided to put its citizens’ money instead into another technological wonder – Concorde. The great liner, renamed Norway, sailed on for another 14 Industry Europe

25 years as a cruise ship but finally met the usual sad end, broken up on a beach in India. Apart from the memories assembled in the Musée de la Marine, nothing remains of her but the prow, which was returned to France and which now stands outside the Paris yacht marina at Port de Grenelle.

Le nouveau France However, in another corner of the exhibition space is a small display of a remarkable project to build a new ship that will be an ‘international ambassador’ for France for the 21st century; that will once again provide its passengers with the best that France has to offer in luxury, refinement and good taste, that will, like the old France, embody the French ‘art de vivre’. Le nouveau France will, of course, be a very different vessel from its illustrious predecessor: a cruise ship rather than a passenger liner, and much smaller – 260m as against 315m – with space for no more than 700 passengers. With a speed of around 18 knots it will also be much slower than the old France (32 knots) but the idea is that cruising doesn’t require high speeds and extra knots come at the cost of energy efficiency. The new France will also be radically different from the huge cruise liners that typify the industry today, giants capable of carrying up to 6000 passengers in what the new ship’s promoter calls ‘floating amusement parks’. It will rather be an elegant cruise

ship that will prioritise quality over quantity, meeting the growing demand for upmarket holidays for people willing to pay up to €7000 a week to cruise the Mediterranean or the Caribbean. “With an overall length of only 260 metres and a capacity limited to around 600 passengers, the new France will give holidaymakers the feeling of being on a private yacht ‘de grand classe’,” explains the promoter, Didier Spade. “For this concept to work it has to be totally different from today’s cruise ships. In place of speed and ‘gigantism’ our new ship will take the way of comfort, of ‘bien-être’ and of friendliness to nature.” Didier Spade, and his company Seine Alliance, are well known in Paris for a highly successful river boat business. At the age of 28 he set up the Compagnie des Bateaux à Roue to operate four paddle boats on the Seine and later founded the Paris Yacht Marina. Then in 2007 he launched the Clipper Paris, a super yacht constructed at Saint Nazaire shipyard which introduced the concept of ‘yachting de luxe’ on the Seine. Big companies and show-business people can hire this boat to entertain clients, staff or friends as if it was their own private yacht. However, even though Mr Spade is the grandson of one of the interior designers of the original France, his experience so far has been entirely in river boats and, as many sceptics have pointed out, it is a big step from those to an ocean cruise liner. But Mr

Spade is confident he can see his project through: “We have already assembled a team of experts to develop the design and to identify the niche market at which we are aiming,” he says, “and building a ship like this is essentially the same process as building my Clipper Paris – we are just scaling up. Nothing is insurmountable, especially since France has a wealth of experts in shipbuilding.”

Defining the design Certainly the project took a big step forward in October 2009, when Mr Spade signed a partnership agreement with STX France shipyard at Saint Nazaire to begin the design layout of the vessel and to establish a more exact estimate of the construction costs. The proposed design was very different from conventional cruise ships; the long hull supports two huge funnel-like superstructures that recall the twin funnels

of the old France and house the main communal areas of the ship – bars, restaurants, casinos etc. Between these two structures is a tropical palm tree garden covering 1500 square metres while at the stern the decks end in a series of terraces, including a swimming pool, that offer a dramatic view of the ocean. The four decks in the hull contain the passenger suites, most with balconies. By May 2010 the first phase of the design process had been completed – 20 metres had been added to the original length as well as the fourth deck and passenger capacity had been increased from 400 to 550. Then in December 2010 a second contract was signed with STX France to develop, in particular, the lay-out and design of the cabins and the technology of the propulsion and energy systems. Project finalisation is scheduled for this year (2011), next year will be devoted to putting in place the global financing of the project, first metal is due

to be cut in 2013 and the first passengers are expected to embark in 2015. Mr Spade’s plan is to finance the estimated € € 300m cost of the project through public subscription; he is counting on the enduring place that the old France seems to have in the hearts of the French people and their ‘engouement’ (fascination/infatuation) with the history of that iconic ship. If two million Frenchmen invested 150 each, we’d be there, he says. Of course, he has now to find them and there has been no shortage of critics who have dismissed the ‘grand projet’ as either a crazy dream or a PR stunt. But Didier Spade is undeterred. “Once the new France sets sail, it will be not just the French who will be eager to discover the new flower of the French ‘art de vivre’; the English, the Italians, the Germans, the Belgians etc. – they’ll all be just as keen. We’ll probably have to set about n building a second ship straightaway.”

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New contracts and orders in industry

Bouygues begins development on the site of the Lannec hospital in Paris

Oden wins three major infrastructure projects



ouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, has launched works on the redevelopment of the neighbourhood surrounding the disused Laennec hospital, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The project, worth approximately €150 million, consists of three distinct contracts. The first contract concerns the construction of a series of buildings totalling roughly 16,400m² for Altaréa Cogedim, for a total of approximately €68 million. Designed by architects Valode & Pistre, the buildings include 191 luxury apartments available for purchase, a gerontology centre, a 50-room student residence and shop units. The second contract concerns an office development of 2000m2 for Altaréa Cogedim, which will consist of two buildings reconstructed to restore the original configuration of the site,

for a total of roughly €15 million. A third contract, signed with Allianz, concerns the renovation of listed buildings to be converted into offices with an area of more than 17,200m2, for a total of roughly €66 million. Visit:

DEN Anläggningsentreprenad AB, a subsidiary of STRABAG, has been commissioned for three new infrastructure projects in Sweden and Finland. Länsimetro Oy awarded ODEN the contract to establish a 1.8km track tunnel with intermediate stations for the metro phase 1, LU1 Matinkylä in Helsinki, Finland. Furthermore, ODEN was assigned to build a part of Sweden’s largest new city district, Norra Djurgårdsstaden, in Stockholm. After starting phase 1 of the project, ODEN was contracted by the City of Stockholm to undertake the works for phase 2. Finally, ODEN has been commissioned by Trafikverket (The Swedish Transport Administration) to build the section Edet Rasta and Torpa of the E45 motorway, a part of the route between Göteborg and Trollhättan. Visit:

Alfa Laval wins SEK 110 Dow Chemical Company and London 2012 to produce London’s Olympic Stadium wrap million heat exchanger he London Organising Committee of the Olym- metres wide – and will help the stadium become T pic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has the visual centrepiece of the London 2012 Games. order in Singapore confirmed that Worldwide Olympic Partner The Dow Installation will be completed by spring 2012.


lfa Laval has received an order to supply Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers to a petrochemical plant in Singapore. The order value is about SEK 110 million and delivery is scheduled for 2012. The heat exchangers will be used in a catalytic processing section for production of mixed Xylenes, which is used for PET bottles and synthetic nylons. “This latest order confirms the continued positive development of the process industry in Asia,” says Lars Renström, president and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group. Visit:

Chemical Company will produce a sustainable, fabric wrap that will encircle London’s iconic Olympic Stadium during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The wrap will comprise 336 individual panels – each approximately 25 metres high and 2.5

In keeping with LOCOG’s goal to stage a sustainable Olympic Games, Dow will repurpose the wrap following the 2012 Olympic competitions. The wrap will include resins made by Dow’s Performance Plastics Division and will require fewer raw materials to manufacture. It will be up to 35 per cent lighter and have a lower carbon footprint when compared to conventional materials. Other sustainable elements of the wrap include UV-curable inks replacing conventional inks to reduce emissions during the printing process and eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOC). Visit:

Invensys Inks Automation contracts with Russia’s TNK-BP

vide comprehensive automation solutions and services to help drive control, environment and safety excellence at TNK-BP’s Saratov oil refinery in western Russia. Invensys will supply its Foxboro® I/A Series® distributed control systems and Triconex® emergency shutdown and critical control systems, as well as Foxboro measurement, instrumentation and control devices for

the refinery’s hydrofining and isomerisation units. The company will also provide project management, documentation development and other services, including engineering, delivery, installation, testing and start-up, as well as a full range of training courses for the systems, covering development, commissioning and maintenance. Visit:


nvensys Operations Management, a global provider of technology systems, software solutions and consulting services to the process and manufacturing industries, has signed two contracts with TNK-BP, the third largest oil company in Russia. Under the terms of the agreements, Invensys will pro-

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Brammer wins major new Tata Steel contract B

rammer, the UK’s leading supplier of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) products and services, has secured a major new contract with Tata Steel UK. The general bearings contract, which is initially for three years, is part of Tata Steel’s Inventory & Stores Optimisation (ISO) project to

Veidekke signs contract for Highway 2


eidekke Entreprenør AS has signed a contract with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to build the first stage of the new Highway 2 (riksvei 2) between Kongsvinger and Slomarka. The value of the contract is NOK 193 million excluding VAT. Highway 2 is to be improved into a four-lane road between Kløfta and Kongsvinger. Work begins with the 17km section between Kongsvinger and Slomarka and this development has been divided into three contracts. The agreement with Veidekke is for building the 4.6km section between Kurudsand and Gulli in Kongsvinger. The new section will follow a new route on the south side of the River Glomma. The new four-lane highway will have a width of 16.5 metres, including central dividing rails and shoulders. Work is planned to start in November and is scheduled for completion by 1 November 2013. Visit:

Rolls-Royce wins £50 million contract for anchor handling vessels


olls-Royce has won a £50 million contract to design and equip two anchor handling vessels for Norwegian company Farstad Shipping. The Rolls-Royce UT 731 CD vessels are designed to work in extreme environmental conditions and carry out operations in water as deep as 3000 metres.

reduce total cost of ownership. Brammer will work closely with Tata end users across all of its UK manufacturing locations, and strategically partner with the market’s leading bearing manufacturers to optimise technical support, operational performance and overall cost over the contract lifetime. Brammer will provide dedicated site-based resources to implement the contract requirements as well as additional resources to support an inventory management project at all locations during the initial months of the contract. In addition, a team of Brammer engineers will assist Tata Steel engineers in the correct choice and application of bearings, working closely with Tata Steel’s preferred bearing suppliers. Ian Ritchie, Managing Director of Brammer UK, explained: “The agreed approach will deliver a strong focus on inventory levels and lead-time management performance, ensuring the right products are in the right place at the right time.” Visit:

AVEVA closes major new contract with Metso


VEVA, a leader in engineering design and information management solutions for the plant, power and marine industries, has announced that Metso Paper, a global leader in pulping, papermaking and power generation, has made a major new purchase of AVEVA technology. A long-term AVEVA customer, Metso’s latest investment supports multi-site collaborative engineering projects with a range of applications from AVEVA’s Plant Portfolio. “When we first selected AVEVA they were delivering state-of-the-art design software. Today they are still the best in the market and we use them for all of our 3D design work,” said Ismo Vaiste, general manager engineering systems at Metso Paper. “AVEVA partners with us by listening to our requirements and evolving its solutions to meet our changing needs. It is important that we have tools that enhance our productivity. AVEVA Global dramatically increases The order includes a fully integrated equipment system from Rolls-Royce, including deck machinery, vessel control systems and a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system. This will be fitted on both vessels to maximise efficiency, reduce fuel burn and cut emissions. Atle Gaas, Rolls-Royce general manager, sales − Offshore Service Vessels, said: “We are extremely proud to continue our strong

our efficiency, making the AVEVA technology an essential component in the success of Metso’s engineering design business.” AVEVA PDMS 3D design software delivers maximum productivity and capability on all types of plant project, from the smallest upgrade to new build projects of unlimited size and complexity. Visit:

relationship with Farstad Shipping by supplying them with additional cutting-edge marine technology. Rolls-Royce support vessels are equipped to meet the future challenges of deepwater offshore operations.” The vessels will be built at the STX OSV Langsten yard in Norway, with delivery between April and June 2013. Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

AkzoNobel to acquire Boxing Oleochemicals


kzoNobel plans to further strengthen its leadership position in speciality surfactants while enhancing its manufacturing footprint in Asia by acquiring Boxing Oleochemicals. Boxing is the leading supplier of nitrile amines and derivatives in China and throughout Asia. Boxing’s activities will be integrated into AkzoNobel’s Surface Chemistry business, a global leader in the manufacture and supply of speciality surfactants, synthetic and bio-polymers additives, used as formulation ingredients and process aids

URALCHEM and Riga Commercial Port to build new terminal on the Baltic Sea


iga City Council has issued a permit for the construction of a terminal for the handling and storage of fertilisers − a joint project between URALCHEM Freight Limited (part of the URALCHEM holding) and Riga Commercial Port (RTO, Riga, Latvia). The total investment level will amount to about $70 million. The launch of the first phase with a capacity of two million tons per year is planned for the third quarter of 2013. For the purposes of implementing the project, the two companies set up Riga Fertiliser Terminal Limited, 51% of which belongs to the URALCHEM holding company and 49% to RTO. Currently the design stage of the project is nearing completion. Construction work is scheduled to begin in September 2011. The facility will occupy 12 hectares of the territory of Free Port of Riga. The terminal will be built using latest technologies and the transshipment and storage of fertilisers will be made in enclosed facilities, providing environmental protection and safety for the residents of Riga. Visit:

Bosch to take over Unipoint Group Taiwan


he Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division is set to take over the Unipoint Group, as well as its affiliated companies and the Unipoint and NSA brands. The company is a key producer of starters, alternators, temperature control parts and wiper blades for the aftermarket. In 2010, the Unipoint Group achieved

18 Industry Europe

in many applications ranging from home and personal care to asphalt road paving. “This is an excellent opportunity which couples with our strategic ambition to accelerate growth in Asia with our commitment to locate production closer to our customers,” said Rob Frohn, AkzoNobel’s executive committee member responsible for Speciality Chemicals. “Boxing’s leading market position in amines will complement AkzoNobel’s growing specialty surfactant business in Asia.” Visit:

EADS acquires Vizada for its Astrium Division


strium, an EADS subsidiary, has entered into an agreement to acquire Vizada from Apax France, a French Private Equity fund and the majority shareholder, for $960 million. Vizada is a leading independent provider of global satellite-based mobility communication services, serving customers across sectors including maritime, aero, land, media, NGO (non-governmental organisations) and government/defence. Via all satellite network operators, it offers mobile and fixed connectivity services both directly and through a

distribution network of over 400 re-sellers. Vizada is present in five continents with over 700 employees. EADS cief strategy and marketing officer Marwan Lahoud said: “Further to the recent acquisitions of Vector Aerospace in Canada and Metron in the US, as well as the ongoing public offering for Satair in Denmark, this acquisition marks a further step towards the realisation of EADS’ Strategy to balance platforms with services, develop business in North America and diversify its workforce.” Visit:

BASF and CSM explore a bio-based succinic acid joint venture


ASF SE and Purac, a subsidiary of CSM n.v., have announced the start of negotiations to form a joint venture for the production of bio-based succinic acid. The companies have been conducting research under a joint development agreement on bio-based succinic acid since 2009. “Until now our partnership has been very successful, and moving towards a joint venture will strengthen our goal to become the leading supplier in the succinic acid market,” said Dr Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the board of executive directors and research executive director of BASF.

The newly developed process combines high efficiency with the use of renewable substrates and the fixation of the greenhouse gas CO2 during the production. This makes bio-based succinic acid an economically and ecologically attractive alternative to petrochemical substitutes. Visit:

sales of USD 124 million. It currently employs around 2360 people at two production locations in mainland China and Taiwan as well as various sales locations. The Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division has acquired the Unipoint Group with the intention of strengthening its position as the leading supplier of starters and alternators, and also views it as an investment in the tem-

perature control product segment. In addition, it adds another Asian production base to the wiper blade business unit. “Our aim is to further strengthen the position of Bosch as the leading supplier of starters, alternators and wiper blades in the automotive aftermarket,” said Robert Hanser, chairman of the divisional board of the Automotive Aftermarket Division. Visit:

LINKINGUP Kerry Logistics acquires two freight forwarding companies


erry Logistics, a leading provider of freight and logistics services, has acquired two freight forwarding companies in the UK: Bergen Freight Forwarding Limited based in Manchester in the North West of England; and Regency Forwarding Limited with its headquarters in Yorkshire. Bergen is a long established company, specialising in sea freight imports from India and the Far East which will help to strengthen Kerry Logistics’ freight forwarding capabilities in the UK and Europe. Regency was established in 1979 and has its

main office in Yeadon near Leeds Bradford Airport. The company offers airfreight, sea freight and international trailer movements for both imports and exports. Regency focuses on imports from the US and Asia and exports to international destinations. “Bergen and Regency will strengthen the Kerry Logistics’ network in the UK and across Europe as well as extending our reach into the UK’s major manufacturing regions in the North of England,” said Gary Wilcock, managing director, Europe. Visit:

Sulzer completes acquisition of Cardo Flow Solutions

S Heidelberg acquires CSAT GmbH


eidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has acquired CSAT GmbH, based in Eggenstein near Karlsruhe, Germany. The company specialises in the development, manufacture and worldwide sales and service of digital printing systems, including consumables for the packaging industry. This takeover expands the existing digital print portfolio of Heidelberg for the packaging sector and widens its customer base in this market segment. “Acquiring CSAT GmbH is in line with the digital print strategy of Heidelberg. Parallel to our digital print activities in advertising printing, we are expanding our portfolio for the cost-effective production of short and variable print runs in packaging and label printing,” says Stephan Plenz, member of the Heidelberg management board responsible for the Heidelberg Equipment division. Visit:

Imerys completes acquisition of Luzenac Group


merys has completed the acquisition of 100% of the Luzenac Group from Rio Tinto. With sales of approximately USD 395 million in 2010, Luzenac Group is the world leader in talc processing. This mineral is used in many technical applications such as polymers, paints,

ulzer has acquired Cardo Flow Solutions, one of the leading suppliers of pumps and related equipment in the wastewater market. Headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, Cardo Flow Solutions is a full-line supplier of pumps and related equipment such as lifters, mixers, aerators, compressors, control and monitoring equipment and services for the wastewater market which accounts for around 90% of sales. With this acquisition, Sulzer enters the highly attractive wastewater pump market and will become a leading player in it. In addition, Sulzer further strengthens its global position as a supplier of pumps and related services in the general industry, including the pulp and paper industry. The acquisition creates a strong platform for further growth, driven by global geographic expansion and continued technological development of complete pumping solutions, good aftermarket opportunities by leveraging Sulzer’s existing service network, and cross-selling opportunities with the combined product offering. The acquired businesses will be fully integrated in Sulzer Pumps and the initial phase of the integration process is expected to take about nine months. Visit: ceramics and paper, in a wide range of end markets (industrial equipment, construction and consumer goods etc.). It will therefore strengthen Imerys’ leadership and product offering. This acquisition has been paid in cash for an enterprise value of USD 340 million (€232 million), representing a multiple of EBITDA in line with historical multiples paid by Imerys.

Luzenac Group will be part of the Performance & Filtration Minerals business group and will be fully consolidated as of 1 August 2011. Current market conditions prevailing, this transaction is expected to create value by achieving a return on capital employed above the group’s weighted average cost of capital from 2013 onwards. Visit: Industry Europe 19



Relocations and expansions across Europe

Go-ahead for extension of the Porsche site W ith the symbolic turning of the first sod, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has heralded the start of the extension of its Research and Development Centre in Weissach (Baden-Württemberg). The site is being enlarged through the addition of a highly modern design studio, a hightech wind tunnel and an electronics integration centre. Porsche is investing around €150 million in this project. The new wind tunnel will enable the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer to cope with technological challenges in vehicle development in future. “Good aerodynamics make a major contribution towards low fuel consumption and high performance – both of which are important aspects in implementing Porsche Intelligent Performance,” said Wolfgang Hatz, board member in charge of Research and Development of Porsche AG. Visit:

New air traffic control tower for Southend Airport M inister for the Thames Gateway, Bob Neill MP, has officially opened the first of Southend Airport’s completed new development projects – an all-new state-of-theart air traffic control tower. Operational since March this year, the control tower marks the first completed project in an impressive portfolio of developments, including a new dedicated train station, new terminal building, runway extension and a new hotel. The tower is 26 metres tall and contains an approach radar control room in addition to the visual control room at the top of the building. This ‘cab’ offers panoramic views of the airfield and wider Thames Gateway area, with air traffic

controllers able to see up to 20 miles on a clear day, with radar coverage over a far wider area. To coincide with the construction of the new building, there have also been significant changes made to airfield instruments and control systems in preparation for future growth at the airport. Visit:

E.ON Russia commissions two new units at Siberian Power Station


.ON Russia has officially commissioned two new units at its Surgutskaya GRES-2 power station. The new efficient CCGT units have a total capacity of 800 MW. At the official ceremony which took place at the power station located in West-

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Audi invests €34 million in new logistics centre


recent years Audi has launched production of more new cars than ever in Neckarsulm: six new models have come off the line at the site since the beginning of 2010. But more cars also means more parts. To meet demand, a new logistics centre costing roughly €34 million has been built, where the handling of small load carriers can now be automated and performed ergonomically.

“The new building provides us with the security we need to ensure the supply of parts,” said Dieter Braun, head of Plant Logistics at the Neckarsulm site. The many production starts and numerous model variations has nearly doubled the number of small load carriers in Neckarsulm since 2008. An average of 1300 containers will be handled each hour in the new automated small load carrier storage facility, known as the AKL. Visit:

Treofan invests in Treo-Pore® capacity


reofan Group, a global leader in high-end BOPP films, is making a significant investment in boosting capacity for its pioneering Treo-Pore® Separator Membrane product line, used in batteries, EDLC Ultracapacitors and Filtration. With this investment, Treofan is aiming to meet a surge in global demand for high-end power transmission and battery applications, especially in the automotive and electrical industries. “We designed Treo-Pore® to reach new performance levels in separator weight, durability, and to cover a wide range of applications and operating temperatures – it’s a dramatic improvement in every way,” said Oliver Dirmeier, global business manager, Technical Films & New Business. “This investment will allow us to produce many times over what we can produce today and is thus a huge step towards becoming the global leader in this fast-growing and demanding industry.” Visit:

Siberia, Dr Bernhard Reutersberg, member of the E.ON AG board of management, said: “Russia has been an important business partner of E.ON for almost 40 years. With the acquisition of the Russian power generator OGK-4 in 2007, E.ON is now one of the largest buyers of Russian gas but also the biggest foreign investor in the Russian power market.”

The new power units use the most advanced technology in Russia today and include the latest steam gas designs. The efficiency of each 400 MW CCGT unit of Surgutskaya GRES-2 is 55.9%, which is more than one third higher than the average efficiency of power units used in the Russian power industry. Visit:


INDUSTRYPEOPLE DEK Solar appoints new Alternative Energy director

DEK New GKN Wheels & Structures global engineering director

Solar, the world’s leading provider of screen printing equipment and processes for fuel cell and solar cell manufacture, has announced the appointment of Alex Kuo as global business director Alternative Energy. Bringing over 20 years’ experience of working with Fortune 500 companies to his role, Alex will be tasked with setting the future strategic direction for the company through leading and further developing the global sales and distribution teams. Alex will report to Michael Brianda, President of the DEK Group and will be based in a new DEK Technology Centre to be located in Suzhou, China.

Benoit Scheen appointed executive vice-president of Europe for France Telecom-Orange


Wheels & Structures has appointed Jules Carter as global engineering director. He will have responsibility for engineering at the company’s manufacturing sites worldwide, with a focus on quality, innovation and best practice to meet customer needs. He brings 16 years’ experience in the development and delivery of complex, time sensitive engineering projects within the automotive sector, workng at Rover, BMW and Tata Motors.


enoit Scheen, currently chief executive officer of Mobistar in Belgium, has been appointed executive vice-president of Europe (excluding France) of France Telecom-Orange as of 1 September 2011. In this role, he will be directly responsible for the group’s operations in Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Luxembourg, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland, which at the end of 2010, represented over 60 million customers and had revenues of 12.5 billion euros. Benoit Scheen brings with him considerable experience in the telecommunications and IT industries across both consumer and business markets.

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services appoints new business development manager


alfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES), one of the UK’s largest mechanical and electrical building services businesses, has announced that Leigh Deighton has joined the company as business development manager for Building Services North division. She will report to acting regional director John Jefferson and will assume responsibility for new business development. Leigh joins the company from VINCI Construction and prior to that worked for Balfour Beatty Construction. She will be based in the Leeds office.

Audi CEO receives ‘Personality of the Year’ award


upert Stadler, chairman of the AUDI AG board of management, was presented with the AUTO TEST e-Car award as ‘Personality of the Year’. The jury acknowledged Stadler’s goal to make Audi the leading manufacturer of electric cars by 2020. In the ‘Concept Car’ category, read-

New head of Volkswagen drivetrain development


Heinz-Jakob Neufler (51) is to take charge of drivetrain development at the Volkswagen brand effective October 1, 2011. Dr Rüdiger Szengel (56), who has been with the company since 1985, is to become deputy head of Volkswagen drivetrain development and continues to hold responsibility for gasoline engine development.

Dr Heinz-Jakob Neufler joined Porsche AG in 1996 following ten years as a scientist and senior executive at FEV Motorentechnik. At Porsche AG Neufler was responsible for various engine development projects before heading engine design from 1998. Porsche appointed him head of drivetrain development in 2001.

ers of the car magazine AUTO TEST voted the Audi A1 e-tron into second place. “This award is a great honour for me and for everyone who works for Audi,” Stadler replied. “Audi is giving top priority to the electric mobility topic. We are pursuing our target of occupying the leading image position in the premium segment with great determination.” Industry Europe 21



Advances in technology across industry

Engineered bacteria mop up mercury spills


The Audi urban concept – a completely new kind of concept car T he Audi urban concept is a 1+1-seat, ultralight car for congested urban spaces that does not fit under any of the conventional categories – the Audi urban concept combines elements of a racing car, a fun car and an urban car into one radical new concept. The Audi urban concept is not based on any previous model – its development is solely oriented on the strict principles of lightweight construction, efficiency and reduction. The result is a concept car with no unnecessary weight, and one that concentrates on the pure essence of sporty motion. The Audi urban concept has a sleek body. The wheels are free-standing, their surrounding protective plates feature blinking strips of LED lights.

On board there is room for two people, their position slightly staggered and at a sporty, low level. All controls and materials are subject to the dictates of ultra-lightweight construction in order to ensure they convey a completely unique, sensory allure. The driver can adjust the steering wheel and pedals to his own body measurements. Entry to the car is via the tailgate. The roof is designed to be manoeuvrable and slides to the rear to open. The cockpit consists of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer, which integrates the undercarriage of both seats. Two e-tron electric motors provide the propulsion – providing the ultra-light Audi urban concept with the ability to accelerate powerfully. A lithium-ion battery supplies the energy – ideal for extended city tours. Visit:

housands of tonnes of toxic mercury are released into the environment every year. Much of this collects in sediment where it is converted into toxic methyl mercury, and enters the food chain ending up in the fish we eat. New research, published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Biotechnology, showcases genetically engineered bacteria which are not only able to withstand high levels of mercury but are also able to mop up mercury from their surroundings. These mercury-resistant bacteria, developed by researchers from Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon Campus, contained either the mouse gene for metallothionein or the bacterial gene for polyphosphate kinase. Both strains of bacteria were able to grow in very high concentrations (120µM) of mercury, and when the bacteria containing metallothionein were grown in a solution containing 24 times the dose of mercury which would kill non-resistant bacteria, they were able to remove more than 80% of it from the solution in five days. Dr Ruiz, who led the research, said, “The inclusion of heavy metal scavenging molecules in bacteria provides a viable technology for mercury bioremediation. This method not only would allow us to clean up mercury spills from the environment but the high accumulation of mercury within the transgenic bacteria also provides the possibility of recycling it for further industrial applications.” Visit:

When atoms are surfing on optical waves


esearchers at the University of Tübingen are working on next generation’s computer: They made cold atoms interact with miniature gold wires as small as a thousandth of a millimeter. Illuminating the wires with laser light in a special way, the physicists concentrated the light field at the surface of the wires and, by that, generated so-called surface plasmons. These are bound light fields which might enable the construction of devices for optical computing and for quantum information. Circuits based on these devices would be much faster and more efficient than present technologies. In order to build an optical computing device the surface plasmons, which are useful for data transfer, must be coupled to data storage ele22 Industry Europe

ments, such as atoms. This is what the research team lead by Dr Sebastian Slama is working on. It has developed techniques which are crucial for positioning cold atoms very close to surfaces such that they can interact with bound light waves. For that atomic gases are cooled in a vacuum chamber down to temperatures as low as a few hundred Nanokelvin. At such low temperature the atoms no longer behave as a classical gas. They form a so-called Bose-Einstein condensate, in which all atoms are in the same quantum state. The condensate can be regarded as a single huge super-atom and can be shifted by external magnetic fields to the surface, where it feels the influence of the plasmon. “We can generate plasmons which

attract the atoms and others which repel them. By structuring the surface we can tailor almost arbitrary potential landscapes for the atoms,” says Dr Slama. Visit: full/nphoton.2011.159.html



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on a scandal in the pharmaceutical industry.


rench pharmaceutical giant Servier Laboratories has been plunged into the biggest crisis in its 55-year history this month after accusations it lied to the government to get a licence for its controversial drug Mediator. The company is facing legal action over claims it presented the product as a drug for overweight diabetes sufferers in order to get it certified for sale in 1979. But it has now been hit with allegations that it hid the fact that the active ingredient in the drug, called Benflourex, was actually an appetite-suppressant and as such could generate much greater profits among the general population. The investigation into Servier – France’s second largest drugs company – was launched earlier this year after an official government report linked Mediator to the deaths of up to 2000 people and heart problems in 3500 more. Paris government scientists said the drug may have caused thickening of the heart valves, fatigue and breathlessness – and had no effect at all on weight loss. Mediator was only banned after a study in April 2009 by lung specialist Dr Irene Frachon, which linked it to scores of patients with otherwise unexplained heart valve problems. But Mediator was so widely used over 30 years by millions of people desperate to lose weight that the fallout could now become the worst health scandal in France’s history. After the government report into the drug last April, the French media alleged there was a campaign of intimidation and disinformation by Servier to keep their highly lucrative product on the market. French daily Liberation said anonymous threats were sent to researchers who criticised another drug called Isomeride, similar to Mediator, which as on sale in the US. The latest threat of legal action comes after French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand

vowed to uncover why his predecessors over the past 30 years failed to ban the drug. In a scathing indictment of Servier’s practices, Professor Jean Charpentier, who analysed the drug for the company before its 1979 launch, said all his references to the fact that it was an appetite-suppressant mysteriously vanished from the instructions and packaging. He told French daily newspaper Liberation in September: “I must confess I was astonished to see that when Mediator went on sale, it was presented as a drug for diabetics.”

“I was astonished to see that when Mediator went on sale, it was presented as a drug for diabetics.” Lawyers across France were now planning to sue Servier for criminal negligence and involuntary murder in a huge medical ‘class action’ case, French newspaper le Figaro said. President Sarkozy added: “The public deserves no less than total transparency in this matter.”

No Internet restrictions – yet French Internet users breathed a sigh of relief this week after industry minister Eric Besson and the nation’s telecoms federation said that the country’s operators would continue to offer packages with unlimited high-speed web access. The statement came after a recent report warned that Internet service providers were considering restricting the amount of date private Internet users could download. French newspaper Le Parisien said the plan, backed by the French telecoms federation, was aimed at improving the flow of Internet traffic as just 5 per cent of very high

consumers currently use up 80 per cent of the available bandwidth. But Mr Besson said at the beginning of this month: “The government isn’t considering any restriction to Internet access.” French Telecoms Federation chief Yves Le Mouel later denied ever having planned to restrict unlimited web access, adding in support of Mr Besson: “The closure of unlimited Internet is out of the question. However it is not improbable that operators will increasingly differentiate their offers, and some may have specific offers for very heavy web users. “But if such changes were implemented, that would only impact those five to ten per cent of consumers who currently account for around the vast majority of the bandwidth.”

Air France-KLM cutting costs French national carrier Air France-KLM is seeking to make cost savings of 700–800 million euros per year to protect its profits in the face of economic uncertainty, French financial daily Les Echos said. The cuts would go beyond this year’s planned savings of 470 million euros, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources. Chief executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon addressed union representatives on September 5 and warned the group would have to cut its growth targets due to an ‘uncertain financial outlook’, Les Echos reported. And in addition to a salary freeze and a cut in capacity growth for next summer, divisional heads had also been asked to come up with additional cost savings by the end of the year, the paper said. A decision over the purchase of around 100 long-haul planes was expected in September, according to les Echos. In response to the report, an Air FranceKLM spokesman confirmed: “The airline is looking at all ways to cut costs and this n work is ongoing.” Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the boom in German investment in the USA.


has returned to America as the booming home economy is once more luring industrial giants to set up plants in lucrative markets abroad. After an absence of more than 20 years, Volkswagen has returned to the US, opening a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. VW chairman Martin Winterkorn said the auto manufacturer’s order books were full when he inaugurated the factory in the spring. “This could be a record year for the company,” he announced, adding that it was “proud to be part of this great car nation.” The Tennessee plant will produce a larger version of the European Passat, a longstanding part of VW’s family vehicle repertoire. Built on American soil and with 85 per cent of components manufactured nationally, the new model is Volkswagen’s chance to finally gain a foothold on the one major market which has so far proved elusive. Winterkorn expects the new car and the Mexican-produced Jetta to boost US sales to around the 300,000 mark this year, increasing to almost treble that by 2018. That makes up around six per cent of the projected US market. In 2009, a year after the economic crash kicked in and the word sub-prime was on everyone’s lips, many German firms pulled out of the US. That year too, 43 per cent of German companies there cut staff due to the financial crisis. Now things look brighter once more for Europe’s export driven economic powerhouse. Renewable energy companies in particular are piling in as America slowly begins to try to wean itself from its oil dependency. Germany is far ahead of the United States in these technologies, and green initiatives by the US government have allowed German alternative energy firms like E.ON Climate and Renewables, based in Dusseldorf, to become major players in the American market. US investments in German green technology are mutually beneficial; while German 24 Industry Europe

firms enjoy increased revenues, the US economy gains manufacturing jobs created by the difficulties involved in transporting the bulky equipment necessary to make alternative energy work. This new found confidence comes after some big German hitters were badly burned in the States; most notably Daimler following its tie-up with Chrysler and Deutsche Telekom. But VW is confident that the lessons of the mistakes of others have been learned.

“Even as German companies make inroads in Asia and the Middle East, their interest in the US hasn’t waned” The biggest hurdles for VW are General Motors and Ford, part of the fabric of American society and both planning smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. But Winterkorn is optimistic he can take them on and win. “The factory is planned so that we can expand without problems,” he said, adding that it could be used to produce other VW models too.

Looking for growth It is an optimism shared by other entrepreneurs. After seeing a significant rebound in revenues in 2010, 91 per cent of German companies in the United States expect positive growth for their operations in 2011, and 69 per cent plan to create new jobs over the course of the year, according to one survey. The German American Business Outlook, an annual survey evaluating transatlantic trade relations and assessing German investors’ projections for the US economy, showed 63 per cent of German firms in the US expect positive growth in 2011, whilst 68 per cent do not deem further stimulus measures necessary to sustain the current recovery.

Total investment by German business in the US reached US$218 billion as of yearend 2009. German companies support and employ 188,000 US manufacturing workers and create over 650,000 American jobs. Another poll by the German Chambers of Commerce in the US found nearly 70 per cent of German US subsidiaries expect to create new jobs in 2011. For Rödl & Partner, a Nuremberg, Germany-based accounting firm that provides services for nearly 650 German subsidiaries through six offices in the US, the land of the free is the place to be. “That really reaffirms our own experiences with our client base just seeing how well they’re doing,” said S.A. de Kock, managing partner of the firm’s Atlanta office, which employs about 85 people. Many German companies in the US are making parts for automotive or other manufacturing industries or supplying factory machinery or components. The export-oriented German economy is ‘firing on all cylinders’ globally. Even as German companies make inroads in Asia and the Middle East, their interest in the US hasn’t waned, Mr de Kock said. “Our impression both from visiting with the parent companies and observing the local subsidiaries is that they are extraordinarily healthy in terms of their backlog at the moment and that the only concern that they have is material supply,” he said. One worry German companies have is that as the economy picks up steam, a surge in demand for raw materials – especially in China and other fast-growing Asian markets – will put upward pressure on prices. “But that is down the line,” said Juergen Busch, a Berlin-based marketer for opportunities for small-to-medium sized German firms to open up shop in America. “At the moment the cheaper labour, less bureaucracy and often non-unionised plants are a lure for Germans wanting to expand. America is the n place to be once more.”

BACK IN THE FAMILY 24 Industry Europe

Headquartered in Carpenedolo, Italy, Brescia province, La Leonessa is a successful global industrial group. Since the 1970s it has been manufacturing slewing bearings, mainly for construction equipment, windmills and marine equipment; and turntables for agricultural equipment. Eugenia Fisusco talks to Tommaso Ghirardi, vice-president of La Leonessa SpA, to find out more about the background and current position of this global industrial group.


the end of the 1950s, Ferdinando Pasotti, Tommaso Ghirardi’s grandfather, started the production of steel wheels and axles for agricultural trailers and equipment in Carpenedolo, his native town, under the company name of FAD. Later, in the 1970s, he established the company La Leonessa to produce turntables for agricultural trailers. It later began producing the slewing rings that make up the company’s core business today. Mr Ghirardi joined La Leonessa in the 1990s, with his mother Gabriella as president (the position she still holds) and under the tutorship of his grandfather who remains active in the company. Today La Leonessa SpA produces 30,000 slewing rings per year, with diameters from 400mm to 3000mm, and is the Italian leader in this market.

Developments in the family activities In the year 2000 the family sold FAD to the English engineering group GKN, which is quoted on the London stock exchange. This was not an easy decision for Mr Ghirardi and his family as it was FAD that had introduced his family and its business activities to the wider world. However, owing to a change in its business strategy, in 2010 GKN decided to divest its agricultural axles business and sell the axles division of FAD. The family was only too happy to seize this opportunity to take back a very important part of its history. Mr Ghirardi explains, “This is very important to me because it has brought back a part of the family. I am immensely proud of this transaction. FAD Assali (this is the name of the new company) will take great advantage of the synergies with the rest of our global group.”

One important reason for the growing success of La Leonessa is the constant allocation of financial resources to investments in stateof-the-art equipment. In 2010 it inaugurated a new milling facility, vertically integrating its production process, and invested in forging and lamination processes to produce the raw rings which are then machined and assembled to make the slewing rings. La Leonessa has thus become the only company in Italy and one of the few in Europe to manufacture slewing bearings starting from the raw material. Today the slewing rings and turntables production is spread over an area of more than 50,000m2, 27,000 of which are under a covered area. The importance of this investment also lies in the particular period of time in which it was made, as Mr Ghirardi underlines: “The last two years have been difficult because of the Industry Europe 25

financial crisis. However, my grandfather taught me that it is good to invest during hard times, because once you are able to survive those you are confident that you will be able to deal with all kinds of problems in the future.”

A global company La Leonessa is selling its slewing bearings worldwide to the most important producers of construction equipment. It is the leader in the construction market for concrete pumps, with customers including CIFA (Italy), Zoomlion (China) and Putzmeisters (Germany).

26 Industry Europe

The company is also present in the marine and windmills markets. As Mr Ghirardi explains, “We basically supply all the companies that are using slewing bearings for the motion of their equipment.” Indeed, FAD Assali collaborates with some of the world’s leading agricultural machinery manufacturers, including John Deere, CNH and Claas. In order to maintain its global credentials, the group is currently investing heavily in its new Chinese company. This year (2011) its new Chinese slewing bearing factory will open in Yancheng, 300km north of Shanghai. The

diameter of the slewing bearings produced there will reach 4000mm. “Our local purchasing structure will take care not only of the needs of Leonessa Yancheng, but also the needs of components for FAD Assali and other companies in the group,” Mr Ghirardi adds. Leonessa also has a subsidiary in the USA, La Leonessa North America, which is located in Hartland, Wisconsin. “From this company we supply to North, Central and South America,” continues Mr Ghirardi, “but we are present in all five continents thanks to a net-

work of distributors and agents. As for Europe, we have customers in every country but we are particularly successful in Germany, France, Holland and the Scandinavian countries.

Research and development and testing equipment Leonessa’s central production facility in Carpenedolo has a state-of-the-art R&D and testing department. Here it carries out all the required analysis and tests on materials, and on the heat treaments of teeth and raceways. Mr Ghirardi says that the company’s R&D department is “always developing new projects in cooperation with customers, universities and suppliers.” He continues: “Concerning the rubber seals, we have established relationships with leading companies in Italy and Europe in this field.” The seals are fundamental for the correct maintenance and long life of the slewing bearings used in windmills, and to keep a clean environment in some applications of

the slewing bearings, such as aseptic bottling equipment. In general, the slewing bearings are considered to be critical parts in most of their applications, therefore their design and development requires long experience, great attention to detail and the capability to innovate through investment in the resources needed to implement the necessary research activity.

Mr Ghirardi concludes on a personal note: “I am very popular here because of my role as president of Parma FA. I wish to gain the same popularity as vice-president of La Leonessa n Group in the next few years.”

Future growth “We believe our production capacity is the key to future growth,” confirms Mr Ghirardi. “Thanks to our recent investments and the widening of our production range up to 3m, we are now able to produce 25 per cent more.” At the moment, La Leonessa is still only operating at half of its actual production capacity because of the economic crisis. However, this excess capacity also means that it will be able to keep growing without the need for further acquisitions in the future. “We hope to double our production in the next couple of years,” he adds. Industry Europe 27

HARVESTING THE REWARDS Linamar Corporation, a world-class designer and diversified manufacturer of precision metallic components and systems, operates three manufacturing plants in Hungary. The OROS Division in Orosháza has 50 years’ experience in agricultural machinery production and has developed the most bespoke product lines in its fields. Edina Beale reports.


hat does it take to build a multinational company with production facilities in 39 locations worldwide, five product development centres and an annual sales figure in excess of C$2 billion in 2010? The first thing is to have a product that people want and need. The second is to have the right person leading the organisation. From the beginning, over 40 years ago, the current chairman, Mr Frank Hasenfratz, has led the way for Linamar. Thirdly your products need to be of the 28 Industry Europe

highest quality at a competitive price. The experience of the company combined with the quality of its products and its ability to research and develop new products to meet changing market demand ensures that you have a brand that is trusted and respected. Linamar has four main groups: Industrial, Commercial & Energy (ICE), Manufacturing, driveline systems and skyjack. The largest section is the manufacturing group. The company manages to stay competitive by following a simple methodology: streamline

the operations, and ensure lean manufacturing processes. This simple but effective solution allows Linamar to maintain its position whilst enabling the development of its global functions.

The OROS division Situated in the town of Orosháza in the south of Hungary, the OROS division specializes in the production of agricultural machinery, industrial equipment and special tracking modules as part of the Linamar

Hungary Nyrt. The plant is ideally situated, logistically, for the EU, eastern European and North American markets it serves. Orosháza is in the heart of farming country which is the perfect environment for identifying changing trends and patterns in the agricultural market. The company has a well-recognised provenance. Established primarily as a centre for maintenance of agricultural equipment in 1948, the first major development took place in 1972 with the introduction to the market of a most significant product, the corn harvesting adapter. This piece of equipment was researched and developed in-house and provided a sound basis for the company to expand its sales to the western European market in 1985. The OROS

Cornado adapter is today’s leading product that provides excellent harvesting capacity and new dimensions for farmers. During the design, Linamar’s aim was to develop a reliable machine that is capable of perfect stalk chopping whilst using less energy. The traditional chain drive has been replaced with a cardan drive, which requires no maintenance during the period of harvesting.

Expansion and consolidation The continued development of this technology placed the company in an excellent position for the changes that were to take place following political reform in Hungary and in 1992 Mezőgép Rt, as the company then was, was purchased by the Linamar Corporation. This new venture enabled

Mezőgép Rt to extend its operations and diversify into new areas including the automotive industry, additional agricultural equipment and precision part manufacturing. The success of these ventures led to the need for expansion. In 1999 the Orosháza Agricultural Division manufacturing facility was increased by 7000m2. This new building allowed for work which had previously been undertaken in smaller workshops to be brought together under the one roof. The change in consumer trends towards healthier cooking oils saw a change in agriculture in the late 1990s. The growing of sunflower seeds for oil and food production increased, bringing with it the associated problems of harvesting this new crop. This was seen as an opportunity by the company to Industry Europe 29

We are specialised in the manufacturing of hydraulic cylinders. Our product range includes a number of cylinder types: - single and double acting cylinder - piston plunger and telescopic cylinder Many of our products have been developed to meet specific customer needs. Our products are distributed in many countries across Europe. HIDRA-SOR Hidraulika Sorozatgyártó Kft. | 6000 Kesckemét Szegedi út 24. Tel: +36 76/487-599 | Fax: +36 76/328-817 | E-mail:

• Euro-Unior Ltd. supplying the machining industry: we are main and long-term supplier of Linamar Hungary. Our co-operation has been based on professionality, flexibility and efficiency in welding, bending and cutting of complex steel units. • Euro-Unior Ltd. in the world of heating technologies primarily as a boiler producer: from gas utilization to alternative solutions of bio renewables our boilers serve our customers with products designed for easy handling and engineered for high efficiency, low-cost and safety characteristics.

With more than 50 years of tradition we now present the market with the above qualities to provide customers safe, warm and professional circumstances. Let’s work on innovation together!

Jankovits Hydraulics Ltd works in the field of automated machines, production lines, individual systems, equipment design, development and manufacturing for industrial and mobile hydraulic components, hydraulic power, cylinders and hydraulic controls. The company is also involved in the design, manufacture and refurbishment of electrical controls, regulators and PLC programming. Jankovits has acquired a significant amount of engineering know-how to add value to each product and service it offers. The company provides distribution service for many European and overseas partners.

Manufacturing | Automation | Dealerships | Sales | Service H-9027 Győr, Ipari Park, Juharfa út 20. Tel.: +36 96 512 060 | Fax: +36 96 419 537 | E-mail:

provide a bespoke solution. The introduction of the OROS SUN, an implement for gathering sunflowers, has overcome one of the major problem for farmers harvesting sunflowers – that of stalk residue. Once again Linamar was leading the way. Quality of product is an important factor for the company: whether it is agricultural machines or automotive parts it is imperative that customers can have confidence in what they are buying. The Company’s two automotive divisions, PPM and Orosháza Automotive division both achieved QS 9000 certification in 2000. In these days of concern for the environment it is unwise for a company not to examine its methods to identify if there are measures that can be taken to make certain that they are as effective as possible. ISO 14001 certification is the recognised achievement for meeting criteria identified to reduce environmental impact and in 2001, following a substantial investment and implementation project, Mezőgép Rt achieved this standard. Another achievement for the company was the award of the ISO/TS 16949 certification which was awarded to two of the company’s automotive divisions in 2002.

Future success Mezőgép Rt changed its name to Linamar Hungary in July 2008. Once again there was a need for expansion and a new 5700m2 workshop was erected on the Békéscsaba site. In 2010, Linamar Hungary Nyrt began a new three year development programme primarily to extend its capacities for the automotive industry. The programme aims to extend the production facilities in Békéscsaba and in Orosháza. It involves a plan to develop a 5600m2 production hall in addition to building a 248m2 storage facility. In Orosháza they plan to extend their production facilities by 4650m2 and build a two-storey office block (2x350m2) on a 700m2 land. In order to facilitate the increased number of staff they are also planning to develop a reception building (800m2) and an office block (800m2) on a 1600m2 piece of land. For the same reason they need to extend their parking facilities of both plants: in Békéscsaba by 1895m2 and in Orosháza by 2075m2. This project creates a significant n number of jobs for people.

Industry Europe 31

32 Industry Europe


EID Parry is a leading Asian agri-business company specialising in sugar-related bio-products and nutraceuticals. Philip Yorke looks at what lies behind the dynamic growth of the company and its latest micro algal and protein supplement products.


ID Parry was founded by Thomas Parry, an Englishman who came to India in 1788 as a free merchant and established the country’s first sugar factory in Nellikuppam in Southern India. In 1897 the company became East India Distilleries (EID) and Sugar Factories Limited. It wasn’t until 1975 that EID Parry became a public listed company and subsequently in 1981 was acquired by the Murugappa Group. As part of the Murugappa Group the company has seen consistent growth through a combination of innovative R&D, acquisitions and joint ventures. Today it employs more than 1750 people and recorded sales of around USD 300 million in 2010. The company is part of the Murugappa Group, which is an Indian, agrI-based industry leader with a turnover of over USD 3.1 billion, whose diverse product portfolio includes abrasives, engineering, plantations, sugar, bio-products, chemicals and nutraceuticals.

Leading the way in microalgal biotechnology EID Parry was the first private sector sugar company to set up its own in-house R&D division. This was created three decades ago to establish an advanced tissue culturelab for sugarcane and to develop a varietal programme for its sugarcane products in India. The key business units at EID Parry are: Sugar, Bio-products and Nutraceuticals and these key divisions operate as separate strategic business units. Since then, Parry Neutraceuticals has become a global leader in Micro Algal Technology and is currently manufacturing Certified Organic Spirulina, natural Mixed Carotenoids and Astaxanthin from algae. The company’s offering of carotenoids is complemented by Lutein Esters and Zeaxanthin, which are produced from marigold flowers, as well as the Lycopene complex found in tomatoes. Recently the company

also launched two new over-the-counter (OTC) products; Pro9 a protein supplement and Pro9D a diabetic variant. In addition, EID Parry has obtained the coveted GRAS status for its Algal Omega3 oil. Currently EID Parry is at an advanced stage in the commissioning of a new facility for the production of Galactomannan, a soluble dietary fibre. Furthermore, EID Parry’s sugar cane research centre is far more than a traditional R&D centre of product excellence; it is also a day-to-day open resource for over 100,000 ‘Parry farmers’ who are constantly seeking sugar cane farming solutions for such things as improving seed quality, technical advice and pest and disease control. Here a multidisciplinary approach is followed utilising every discipline of biological science, from breeding, agronomy, soil science, pathology, entomology, sugar chemistry, tissue culture to bio-control, in order to provide a total solutions package for the needs of the sugar cane farmer.

Industry Europe 33

Over three decades of research and development in micro-algal biotechnology has resulted in the production of many ground-breaking health supplements. These include certified Organic Soirulina, natural Beta Carotene and Astaxanthin, all of which meet stringent world health standards. The company has also launched a number of new speciality products, such as a Tomato Lycopene Complex, Phycocyanin, Lurein Esters, Zeaxanthin and Green Tea Extracts. These advanced bio-products have become an integral part of the product portfolios of several major brands in over 30 countries. The main markets for these products are North America, South East Asia and The Far East. Although a large proportion of EID Parry’s sales are generated through sales to local sugar distributors, the company also supplies several well-known global brands including Pepsico, Coca Cola, Kraft, Britannia and Perfetti.

New bio-plant products driving sales EID Parry’s bio-product research within its sugar division focuses on the development of products and processes generated from natural sources, such as bio-pesticides, bioplant growth regulators and bio-fungicides. These have been specifically developed to ensure that agricultural processes are environmentally friendly and sustainable. In addition to ‘neem-based’ products already on the market, new products in the pipeline include a plant growth regulator developed from a plant source, a twin-pack product for home and garden segments with an enhanced shelf life, as well as a granular plant growth regulator for vegetable crops. Furthermore, the company has developed a bee-attractant to increase the pollination

efficiency for flowering crop plants. This is in addition to the development of two new, natural adjuvants to enhance the effectiveness of organic pesticide formulation, and a water soluble formulation of Azadirachtin for root feeding of tree crops and drip irrigation. Today the bio-products division of EID Parry is focused on producing and marketing organic crop protection worldwide in close technical collaboration with Trifolio-M, Germany. The joint R&D and manufacturing team designed and set up a new Azadirachtin manufacturing plant in Thyagavalli in 1998. Since then, substantial data on physico-chemistry and toxicology profiles of Azadirachtin have been generated through GLP laboratories from various parts of the world. This research included bio-efficacy data generation for more than 30 crops and over 100 crop pests located in 23 countries. The EID Parry bio division also manufactures Neemazal, which is an effective biopesticide, and has recently launched a new organic plant ‘vitaliser’ called AbdA, which is able to offer total protection for rice crops.

want to consolidate our market position in this geography before we start venturing into other markets in a big way. We are also looking to enter into manufacturing products with higher value, such as pharma-grade sugar. “However, our Nutra division predominantly sells in international markets, primarily in the USA. In 1998 our bio division obtained selling registration in Germany through Trifolio-M, which was our marketing partner in Europe and in the USA in 2000. Between us we have the registration for marketing these products in 38 countries including India, USA, Spain, Canada, Netherlands, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea and South Africa. We are currently focused on marketing four Azadirachtin products and four nonAzadirachtin plant vitalisers and spreaders in more than 15 crops of potential importance to n India and the rest of the world.”

Expanding market reach In India the company serves its end users directly through its own retail chains, as well as through soft-drink manufacturers, bakers, biscuit companies, confectionary chains and other companies in the food processing industry that rely on sugar as a key constituent in their products. In addition, the potable alcohol that the company makes is sold directly to IMFL manufacturers in India. EID Parry currently has the largest market share in South India and is looking to expand its dominance in this market. Ravindra Singhvi, EID Parry’s managing director, said, “We 35 Industry Europe

36 Industry Europe

A LEGACY FOR THE FUTURE K+S KALI GmbH is one of Europe’s leading potash producers. The company belongs to the K+S Group, a company that is mining and processing potash, magnesium, sulphur and sodium containing crude salts. K+S KALI manufactures fertilisers containing potash and magnesium for agricultural use as well as products for technical and industrial purposes. Joseph Altham contacted Dr Ernst Andres, member of the board of management of K+S KALI GmbH, to find out how K+S KALI’s fertilisers are helping to create a more efficient and sustainable agriculture.


+ S KALI’s fertilisers help to improve the quality and yield of agricultural crops all over the world. The company’s products are also used in many different industrial applications, including the production of rayon and detergent. In addition, K + S KALI manufactures potassium and magnesium salts for the healthcare and food sector, as well as mineral salts that are used to produce animal feed. K + S KALI is both a mining and a manufacturing operation. The K + S Group company is based in Kassel, in the German state of Hesse, and has potash mines in Hesse, Thuringia, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. Potash (potassium salts) can be found deep underground because it was deposited there millions of years ago as a result of the evaporation of seawater. According to the “bar theory” of the German geologist, Carl Ochsenius, much of central Europe was once covered by an inland sea that was separated from the ocean by narrow straits or bars. Over time, this inland sea became more salty and then entirely evaporated, leaving behind salts that were

then covered over by further geological layers. K + S KALI mines the potash and other rock salts and then turns them into fertilisers. These minerals are essential plant nutrients, and fertilisers give plants more of the potassium and magnesium they need in order to carry out vital functions such as photosynthesis and the transport and storage of carbohydrates.

The experts K + S KALI brands itself as “the authority in potassium and magnesium”, a claim that is based both on the company’s size and on the expert advice it offers to farmers. K+S KALI employs 7900 people and is the world’s fourth-largest producer of potassium products, with a market share of about 11 per cent. Dr Andres stated that K + S KALI has an annual production capacity of about 7.5 million tonnes for potash and magnesium products. “Potassium chloride is the top-selling product,” he said. “This fertiliser, with universal areas of application, is used globally, in particular for major crops such as cere-

als, corn, rice and soy beans. Potassium chloride is directly spread on fields as a granular product or mixed with other straight fertilisers in bulk blends.” K + S KALI traces its origins back to the late-nineteenth century when the German potash industry was born. The knowledge accumulated from more than 150 years in German potash mining shapes the day-to-day operations. This long-lasting experience led to the invention of highly specialised fertilizers.

Markets As well as potassium chloride, the company produces speciality fertilisers containing besides potassium magnesium, sulphur and various trace elements. Korn-Kali®, Patentkali® and ESTA®Kieserite are well-known brands worldwide. K + S KALI carries out intensive research to ensure that its fertilisers contain the right nutrient formula for the crop variety for which they are intended. The company cooperates with universities and is a member of the International Plant Nutrition

Dr. Ernst Andres K+S KALI GmbH

Industry Europe 37

Institute (IPNI). The new joint research institute IAPN (Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition), founded by the University of Göttingen and K+S KALI GmbH in 2010, focuses on practice-oriented research on plant nutrition The company offers expert advice to farmers, helping them to work out a nutrient management plan that takes local soil conditions into account. “Our global network of consultants delivers this knowledge of efficient and sustainable plant nutrition to farmers and growers,” stated Dr Andres. K + S KALI has sales offices throughout Europe and overseas and ships potash as far as Asia and Brazil from its Kalikai terminal in the port of Hamburg. “The business segment achieves slightly more than half of its revenues in Europe,” said Dr Andres. “Here it benefits from the fact that the production sites are very attractively positioned in relation to the customers in terms of freight costs. The business segment also has a significant market position in the southern hemisphere.”

Trends The world’s population is growing at a rate of 80 million people every year. Despite decreas-

38 Industry Europe

ing availability of arable farm land, global production of agricultural products has to be increased because of the steadily increasing world population and changing diets toward higher meat consumption. At the same time, demand for biofuels is rising as oil becomes harder to reach and more expensive to produce. More fertiliser will therefore be needed in order to make more efficient use of arable land, and K + S KALI expects demand for potash to continue to rise. At the beginning of 2011, K + S Group acquired the Canadian company Potash One. As a result, K + S holds several mining leases and exploration licences in Saskatchewan, where it intends to build a new potash mine, a plan known as the Legacy Project which is expected to become operational no earlier than 2015. K + S believes that by acquiring and exploiting these new potash reserves, it can make itself more competitive in international markets. “The business segment will in the future have the possibility to increase its production capacity over the long term by at least 2.7 million tonnes,” stated Dr Andres. “We think we are n well-positioned for the future.”

MOTIVE POWER Inci Aku is a well established brand leader in the manufacture of batteries for the automotive industry and is now expanding into new market sectors. Philip Yorke discovered a company with plenty of options and a strategy for ambitious growth when he talked to Göksel Paker, the company’s CEO.

Industry Europe 39


nci Aku was founded in Turkey by Cedvet Inci in 1984, and with a special commitment to technological development and customer service, the company has seen continuous growth. Highlights include a joint venture with CEAC of France in 1993, becoming partners with Exide of USA by acquisition of CEAC by Exide in 1995, the opening of a major new plant in the Ukraine in 1998, end of partnership and regain of 100 per cent shares to İnci Group in 2005, obtaining a Ford Q1 certificate in 2006 and becoming an ‘A’ class supplier for Volvo Trucks in 2009, opening an R&D centre in 2009. Today the company remains a private, family-owned business and is active on four continents and 67 countries. It is also the original equipment supplier to many domestic and international automotive manufacturers. Inci Aku belongs to the Inci Group which comprises 15 autonomous companies in Turkey and employs approximately 1900 people. 40 Industry Europe

New capabilities Inci Holding began by manufacturing automotive parts including wheels and accessories, before moving into the manufacture of batteries in 1984. The battery company was established at Manisa in Turkey, where the company continues to operate. Currently it has three key production facilities and is building a major new production plant of more than 100,000 m2 in Manisa. It will be an eco-friendly facility with a Breeam Certification. This brand new factory will incorporate a closed area of over 70,000 m2. From this new facility Inci Aku will also produce industrial batteries for both motive power and reserve power applications in addition to starter batteries. Paker said, “We are enlarging our product portfolio in a significant way. Our success has been based on our ability to produce a range of high-quality starter batteries for the automotive market and be flexible enough to meet the challenges of a changing marketplace.

We started producing starter batteries with a licence from an Austrian Company called Barren and subsequently entered into a joint venture with Ceac after the acquisition with Exide. However, today we are moving into the production of both motive power batteries and reserve power batteries. We have already had experience with the production of motive power batteries. As from the 90s, we are assembling motive power batteries. “The demand for these new special duty batteries is coming from our existing customer base as well as from some new customers. We are also increasing our capabilities at our other primary production plants and in particular at our starter battery plant in the Ukraine where we are continuing to invest in order to increase capacity. We have also recently bought a recycling plant in Romania, which will double our recycling capability. Recycling is an increasingly important aspect of our customer service package

SE.R.I. is a Group of companies operating, among others, in the battery field, where it can count on a series of well known brand names, such as LA ITAL PLASTICA s.r.l., I.C.S. s.r.l., SERI RECYCLING s.r.l. and SERI PLANT DIVISION s.r.l.

Strada Provinciale per Gioia,Centro Aziendale Quercete, 81016 San Potito Sannitico (CE), Italy T: +39 0823 786235 – F: +39 0823 543828 – E: –

LA ITAL PLASTICA s.r.l. (formerly PLASTAM S.P.A.) is a company boasting over 50 years of activity in the moulding of plastic containers, lids and accessories for traction and stationary accumulators. From its two plants in Melzo (Italy) and Arras (France) it currently supplies battery industries all over the world. The company directly designs and builds its own moulds, which, together with a well established know-how, represent the technological asset enabling the company to reliably meet new market requirements with top quality products. Via Bruno Buozzi 9, 20066 Melzo (MI), Italy T: +39 02 9541661 – F: +39 02 95416629 – E: –

I.C.S. s.r.l. recently joined the SE.R.I. team, bringing more than 80 years of experience in plastic moulding and moulds manufacturing. The two plants in Italy, Canonica d’Adda and Avellino, are shipping starter battery containers, covers and accessories to Europe, North Africa and the United States. A big portion of the OE/OES batteries in Europe is assembled today with ICS components, for this reason ICS constantly operates in team with battery manufacturers for the development and homologation of its products. Via Bergamo 3, 24040 Canonica d’Adda (BG), Italy T: +39 02 90955511 – F: +39 02 9094165 – E: –

SERI RECYCLING s.r.l. is a leading company in the production of reprocessed polypropylene from exhausted batteries and PP compounds for the automotive industry, with a capacity of more than 18.000 mton/year. It also operates in the market of metal trading, especially crude lead, soft lead and lead alloys.

Strada Provinciale per Gioia,Centro Aziendale Quercete, 81016 San Potito Sannitico (CE), Italy T: +39 0823 786235 – F: +39 0823 543828 – E: –

SERI PLANT DIVISION s.r.l. has a consolidated experience in design, construction and operation of secondary lead production plants from spent lead acid batteries. The company is able to build complete turnkey plants with capacities up to 150.000 mton/year. Strada Provinciale per Gioia,Centro Aziendale Quercete, 81016 San Potito Sannitico (CE), Italy T: +39 0823 786235 – F: +39 0823 543828 – E: –

Industry Europe 41

and we take our responsibilities concerning the environment very seriously at Inci Aku.” With today’s fast-moving technological developments, the need for a more diverse range of power supplies has become evident. Top-of-the-range vehicles with sophisticated electronic systems require more power than ever before, whilst smaller and more standard vehicles require less power. Inci Aku brand provides a range of three basic batteries to meet these demands: Nano Gold, Formul A and Supr A. The company also produces commercial vehicle batteries and manufactures products under licence for its other well-known brands such as EAS, Hugel and Bizzaro.

Expanding global reach Traditionally Ici Aku has focused on serving the Russian CIS countries from its facilities in the Ukraine. However, during the last decade the company has established the Middle East as the main market for its products. This success acted as a springboard for its move into North and South Africa. Adding to its expanding geographic reach, Inci Aku has also become well established in the European marketplace and provides starter batteries for a number of leading European automotive brands. Paker added, “We are planning to grow in different markets with different products organically, but we are keeping our 42 Industry Europe

options open with regard to the possibility of acquisitions in the future. We have our own dedicated research and development centre in Turkey with over 60 specialist engineers working on the development of new products, as well as increasing the performance of our existing range. This is all part of a five year strategic plan to deliver the battery products of the future and to meet our customer’s expectations. “Our strategy for the future includes the development of Scope batteries for electrically

driven cars and we have also been working with lithium batteries for the last four years and have produced prototypes in association with our local producers. Currently there is no competition in Turkey for the manufacture of lithium batteries, but we know that the Japanese are coming to Europe.”

Enhancing distribution and warehousing With its growing portfolio of products and increasing demands for its products, the company has developed a worldwide

network of dedicated distributors. In each of the 67 countries where Inci Aku is operational the company has at least one wellestablished main distributor in place, with many more in the larger, more populous countries. It has also opened a new warehouse in Germany near Dusseldorf to serve its western European customers and plans are well advanced to significantly increase the size of this facility. However, some of Inci Aku’s customers prefer to buy directly from n the manufacturing base in Turkey.

Industry Europe 43

44 Industry Europe

BOUNCING BACK The Swedish firm Metallfabriken Ljunghäll AB manufactures high pressure die cast aluminium components for the automotive and telecom industries. Ljunghäll was hit by the recession, like much of the automotive sector, but demand is now recovering. Joseph Altham spoke to Ljunghäll’s CEO, Hans Linner, to find out why the company is well-positioned for future growth.


rom its base in the village of Södra Vi, Ljunghäll supplies aluminium components to many of Europe’s leading car and truck manufacturers. The company makes aluminium parts using high pressure die casting, and specialises in powertrain and chassis components. The factory in Södra Vi is the largest high pressure die casting plant in Scandinavia, employing around 500 people and with a production floor space of 40,000 m2. Ljunghäll only makes components for other businesses, and its main customers, such as Volvo Cars, Volvo Powertrain and Scania, are located within Scandinavia. However, Ljunghäll wants to build up its business elsewhere in Europe as well. The firm already manufactures components for Audi, Jaguar and Daimler, and aims to increase its sales outside the Nordic countries. “One of our strategies is to grow further in the premium car segment,” said Mr Linner, “and to specialise in complex and difficult parts.”

Quality In the automotive sector, maintaining the highest standards of quality and reliability is vital. Ljunghäll’s quality management system is certified to ISO/TS 16949 ISO 9001, while its environmental management system is certified to ISO 14001. Working for the best names in the industry means that Ljunghäll has to be capable of deliver-

ing the best in terms of design. Customers require strong and durable components that at the same time will be as light as possible and make the most efficient possible use of raw materials. The factory at Södra Vi is equipped to satisfy these demands, with 40 die casting machines, 55 machining units for machining the cast pieces, as well as 100 robots whose job is to load the cast pieces onto the machines. The human factor also counts, and the company’s skilled engineers often work with customers to bring about improvements in the design of specific parts. Mr Linner stated that the Södra Vi plant has built up special expertise in manufacturing thin-wall components. “We focus on thin-wall components with very low porosity. These parts have complex geometry and are trickier to manufacture. The process is not easy, but we have the advantages of long experience and a good knowledge base.”

Telecoms Mr Linner stated that 15 per cent of Ljunghäll’s sales are to the telecoms industry. Ljunghäll makes aluminium parts for the wireless network, and one of the company’s main customers is Ericsson. These aluminium components, such as frames, covers and filters, are designed for radio base stations. Aluminium filters are needed to enable the base stations to transmit and receive the mobile phone signal. Ljunghäll Industry Europe 45

Industry Europe 47

Swedish high quality tool steel improves your daily life Cars, computers, medical equipment and millions of other products developed to improve and simplify our daily life are produced in a mould or die manufactured of Uddeholm tool steel.

The continued growth depends on a large extent on the greater use of die castings in the automotive industry where weight reductions are important.

Uddeholm is the world’s leading supplier of tooling materials, and related services. We produce and deliver high quality tool steel to more than 100.000 customers in almost 100 countries worldwide. The growing Asian Pacific market, are served by ASSAB Pacific, our wholly owned and exclusive sales channel.

Tradition of global thinking Throughout our history, working closely with research and development together with our customers, has been a vital part of our business. Since 1668, Uddeholm has been associated with knowledge, innovative spirit and the special quality of Swedish steel. Generations of skilled craftsmen and professionals have laid the foundation of our present day products.

Frontline of innovation Uddeholm is constantly developing new products and we are known for delivering first class tooling materials with excellent machinability and a complete dimension program. Our drive for development is improved tooling economy. As the tooling cost is, for example in die casting, 10% of the total cost of the finished aluminium die cast product, the validity of paying for high performance die steel quality, resulting in increased tool life, is obvious.

Early on, we established contacts with overseas customers. Our global thinking means that we will always be there wherever or whenever you need us. Our presence on every continent guarantees the same high quality wherever you have your business. It is a challenging process, but the goal is clear – to be your number one partner and tool steel provider.

During the last years Uddeholm has focused on long run die casting production and the importance of a good property profile for the dies.

Richardssons Verktygsservice AB

Toten Metall

Richardssons Verktygsservice AB is Sweden’s biggest

Toten Metall, headquartered in Eina, Norway, was

manufacturer of pressure die casting tools. We have

founded in 1992 and bought by the Norwegian group AS

reached this position by focusing on the most important

Oppland Metall in 2001.

task of all: living up to the trust given to us by our customers during the 50 years we´ve been in business.

Today we are the only producer of secondary aluminium

Richardssons’ overall goal is to be a reliable supplier

alloys in Norway. All our alloys are manufactured on the

with the highest level of quality and expertise.

basis of aluminium recovered from recycling all kinds of aluminium-scrap.

Richardssons make pressure die casting tools in all sizes and levels of difficulty, and we have the resources and

We produce around 13,000 tonnes of foundry alloys each

skills for even the biggest and most complex tools. This

year, all in the form of ingots. Our production takes place

means that we can manufacture tools that weigh from

in two gas-fired furnaces with a capacity of 15 tonnes

500 kg up to a maximum total weight of 25 tons. Thanks

each. The majority of our customers are in Norway,

to our machinery and personnel resources (with our 40

Sweden and Denmark.

employees) and also to our business partners, we can also work on a large number of tools simultaneously. We can thereby offer our customers the maximum possible level of service and help to reduce the number of their subcontractors.

Our largest customer is Metallfabriken Ljunghäll.

makes aluminium components for the 3G (third generation) network. More and more people are using smartphones to access data while on the move, and mobile phone networks have to be continuously upgraded. Ljunghäll therefore anticipates growing demand for its telecoms components in the future.

Čáslav In 2007, Ljunghäll acquired a factory in the Czech Republic in order to obtain a foothold in central Europe. The factory in Čáslav employs 250 people and has 11 die casting machines. The Czechs have a long tradition of car manufacturing and a skilled workforce. At the same time, labour costs are significantly lower than in Sweden. To enable its customers to reduce their costs, Ljunghäll offers them the option of having aluminium components developed

and perfected at Södra Vi for subsequent manufacture at the Čáslav site. The Čáslav factory is helping Ljunghäll to enlarge its European customer base. “To support this strategy, we have decided to extend our Czech plant and to add new die casting machines and additional machining cells,” said Mr Linner. As part of a €15 million programme of investment, Ljunghäll plans to extend its factory in Čáslav by building a foundry with a total area of 6000 m2.

Costs In order to be able to offer a competitive price to Ljunghäll’s customers, Mr Linner has to keep a tight control over costs. Indeed, initially Ljunghäll transferred machines from Sweden to Čáslav rather than buying new equipment for the Czech facility. As Mr Linner explained, it took more than just money to integrate

the Čáslav site with the rest of Ljunghäll’s operations. After the acquisition, the company worked hard to improve systems and processes at the Čáslav site and to introduce a logical way of working where responsibilities were clearly defined. Getting the factory in good shape, he says, was the key to achieving high quality of output. Even though Ljunghäll has emerged from the recession, the cautious approach Mr Linner has taken to his company’s finances is unlikely to change. Overall, the outlook for Ljunghäll is positive, with interesting opportunities in the pipeline from the emerging market economies. “Our main goal is to support our customers in Europe,” said Mr Linner. “In the future, we will see if we can follow them within a global perspective. We are currently looking into how we can support their requirements in China and Brazil.” n

A COMPLETEL SERVICE UkrAVTO is the largest automobile manufacturer in Ukraine. The corporation is also the leading distributor and also the top supplier of maintenance services, spare parts and associated automotive offers.


ased at the Zaporizhia Automobile Building Plant, UkrAVTO is the only auto producer with a full-scale production technology in the country, and it offers the advantage of relatively low levels of fixed and variable costs associated with this. ZAZ domestic vehicles are produced in accordance with all the requirements of international quality standards, so the cars and buses produced by Zaporizhia Motor Works are in high demand not only in Ukraine but also abroad. Through a net-

50 Industry Europe

work of dealerships UkrAVTO sells a wide range of motor cars as well as commercial machinery and busses to individuals, corporate clients and distribution companies. Contributing to its success are long-term cooperative relationships with international partners like Daimler, General Motors, Adam Opel, Nissan, Toyota and AvtoVAZ. The overall business activities include distribution and servicing for ZAZ, Chevrolet, Opel, Mercedes-Benz, Chrylsler /Jeep/ Dodge, Lada, Land Mark, Chery, buses

and trucks, as well as the provision of spare parts and accessories and specialist equipment for service centres. Ukravto’s portfolio also covers a sales and service network with dealers’ centre, service centres and fuel stations.

Summer sales incentives To increase car sales the UkrAVTO network has an ongoing programme of attractive incentives for buyers, for example with a ‘half price bottle-gas machinery’ deal this summer in all

Industry Europe 51

dealerships throughout the Ukraine. According to the terms of the offer every purchaser of a car from brands like Lanos, Chery and Chevrolet has the possibility to buy half price bottlegas machinery from a leading Italian producer. “Because gas is the most affordable alternative to expensive gasoline, clients can save twice, once on the half price deal and then on the vehicle operation” comments Vyacheslav Povroznik, deputy chairman in charge of sales and development of the dealer network. In the summer months another promotional drive was rolled out – not only offering certain car models at special reduced prices, but also giving every car buyer a free certificate for additional equipment.

New service network UkrAVTO Corporation’s extensive service network encompasses more than 200 service stations all over the country. Among them are authorised branded stations and universal service stations, representing more than 300 items of spare parts and accessories from world-known manufacturers. UkrAVTO service centres are equipped with the latest technological equipment, and service technicians are qualified technicians who provide their expertise to one million of satisfied UkrAVTO customers each year.

At a press conference in May, as part of Kyiv International Motor Show SIA 2011, UkrAVTO announced another major step in the development of the servicing and spare parts division. In support of the retail network expansion, the new, advanced sales network is named ZIPAVTO and it is geared to bring positive change and innovation to the service and spare parts operations. According to the deputy chairman for service and spare parts at UkrAVTO the new service can reduce the scheduled maintenance costs for Opel and Chevrolet cars by an average of 20 per cent.

Faster service online Further developments of the spare parts sales include the planned launch of an online shop and a new software product called Aurora. The software improves levels of customer service while saving time providing estimates for car repairs as an online module, so that it is accessible for Internet users at any time and place. UkrAVTO aims to develop Ukrainian motor car production and the local automobile industry overall. In order to increase profits and maximise its competitive position, the group is developing a structure that covers a complete cycle of automobile operation: manufacture of component parts, production, logistics, sales, maintenance, supplying with spare parts, retail

materials and accessories, providing financial services and insurance. Further plans include modernisation and increase in production capacity as well as gaining access to new production distribution markets and the expansion of the corresponding product range in all markets, i.e. EU and CIS countries.

Metropolitan Motor Show 2011 Considered the main centre of attraction for Ukrainian car owners, the Metropolitan Motor Show attracts about 500,000 visitors each year. The show is held in September at the largest Ukrainian dealership, Automobile Centre at Stolychne Road. The UkrAVTO Corporation is developing new ideas, looking for interesting trends and joint working opportunities, in order to make the current show even more striking and memorable, according to the Head of the Organising Committee of Metropolitan Motor Show. Visitors will be able to view many new automobile models from the world leading carmakers: Mercedes-Benz, KIA, Opel, Chevrolet, Renault, Nissan, Toyota, Lada, Chery, Lanos, TATA, and I-Van and the company is hoping to beat the record car sales of over 250 vehicles in only n three days last year. Industry Europe 53

GLASS STYLING GOES GREEN Richard Fritz is a global leader in the automobile window coatings and solutions sector. Philip Yorke talked to Heinz Schmitz, the company’s chief sales officer about the new technology being developed by Fritz and its plans for the future.

54 Industry Europe


he Fritz Group is an international operator that specialises in the encapsulation of side windows for passenger cars with thermoplastics and specialised elastomers. The company has developed logistical and functional module-system solutions for the automobile window sector and provides tailored customer support on a worldwide basis. The world’s most renowned original equipment manufacturers are listed as clients of Fritz including Daimler, Porsche and VW Audi. Expectations for the functionality and design of windows are continually increasing. Today it is not only necessary to provide complex shapes, but trouble-free operation must also be guaranteed over a period of many years, regardless of temperature and weather extremes. Additional functions such as the fixing of decorative strips and panels, electrical connections and assembly aids for driver assistance systems are increasingly

being incorporated. Fritz currently employs more than 1400 specialists at its factories in Germany, Slovakia and Hungary.

Globally matched solutions As a global player, Fritz works continuously to match the demands of its multinational OEM clients. The company is committed to improving its on going production processes and the introduction of new technologies for its automotive glass encapsulation and moulded parts. The Fritz system concept determines its strategy and is based upon its cooperation with designers, technicians and engineers to provide solutions that result in optimal results for its clients. In addition to its major manufacturing facilities in Europe, Fritz has a network of suppliers and partners in the automotive industry. This combination provides flexibility when responding to customers’ requirements

and guarantees the quality of its products whether it is for small or volume orders. This means that Fritz can accommodate its regional customers’ needs without any problems and offers globally matched solutions in collaboration with its partners on a customer-specific basis.

Clear vision Richard Fritz is a leading company in the automotive glass-encapsulation, industry and has achieved this position because of its customer-orientated strategy and long-term vision as a company. Considerations such as specially tailored customer support worldwide and the innovative use of logistical and functional module-solutions are all provided by motivated and dedicated staff. Mr Schmitz said, “These days standard encapsulation is a commodity business and we are planning to stay in it, but we also Industry Europe 55

NMC The companies Richard Fritz and NMC are working together hand in hand. Fritz develops, with automotive customers, the rubber sealing lips of the windshields. On his side, NMC is developing the edge protection profiles with the corresponding internal geometry. This ensures that the glass panels are well protected and are delivered without damage to the spare parts market. Richard Fritz brings not only the rubber lips on the glass discs, but they also pack immediately the windscreens for shipping. This cooperative collaboration between Fritz and NMC helps to save time and money. Sensitive rubber lips need the maximum and optimum protection!

56 Industry Europe

DTR Develop Thermoplastic Resins DTR Develop Thermoplastic Resins is a sales unit of the TPE division of SO.F.TER SPA, one of the biggest indipendent compounders in Europe. The collaboration with the Fritz Group goes back to the nineties, when we started together to develop special thermoplastic elastomers, suitable for the coating of side windows for passenger cars. The high level of requirements to the processability, the elastic properties and the weather resistance, have been met thanks to an intesive research work. Today it is a pleasure to know that some of the most popular car models are equipped with side window gaskets made with our Forprene grades.

provide added-value solutions especially for complex systems which involve encapsulating plastic parts and metal strips. We use specifically designed equipment and moulding presses and all our dies and moulds are product-specific. Every car that is launched today requires a new design and we have to start by developing the encapsulation in an engineering environment and by designing the interface between the glass and the car body”. “Our clients rely on us and are with us for the long term and we partner with them to achieve the best possible outcomes. The four key items concerning glass in a car are: weight reduction to improve fuel economy / operation range of electric cars; environment encapsulating glass is a chemical process; comfort, which is becoming more and more important in terms of noise reduction, again especially true for ‘quieter’ electrical cars; exterior design and individuality relating to the trends in styling and personalisation concerning such items as tinted glass, 58 Industry Europe

infra-red reflective foil and complex curved window shapes. “If you look at the latest Citroen with its big panorama windshield, you realise how important the styling element has become. Complex shaped glass like this must fit perfectly into the car body, which is where we have the knowledge and technology to meet these modern challenges. We see this trend as an opportunity as a leading specialist in this field. Currently we are developing a solution to encapsulate glass without the chemical component, which will go into production later this year.”

Expanding global reach Fritz is attracting new customers in South East Asia and South America and plans to establish joint ventures with selected suppliers that are equally specialised and able to meet the global challenges of the automotive industry. Fritz is currently 100 per cent focused on the automotive industry; however, as new technologies are being developed they can be designed for other industrial

applications. The company has already moved into manufacturing plastic trim parts for delivery covers for the Porsche Panamera, where very close tolerances apply, thus adding value to its product portfolio. In addition, Fritz has also provided the whole glass management and system solutions programme for the Porsche Panamera model. Mr Schmitz added, “We are located where our customers are based to ensure that we provide them with optimal service. We have two state-of-the-art factories in Germany, with one in Slovenia and another in Hungary. In Slovakia for example, we have been working with VW Skoda for the last ten years and we continue to work closely with them to optimise cost-effectiveness, whilst developing innovative, new technology. We offer all our customers custom-made services and high quality standards so that they can concentrate on their core business. We also take care to ensure that we protect the environment in order to provide the best quality n of life for future generations.” Industry Europe 59

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Russkie Kraski (Russian Coatings) is one of Russia’s largest manufacturers of paints and coatings. Valery Abramov is the director general of Russkie Kraski. Here he tells Industry Europe about his company’s latest products and its successful collaboration with DuPont.


usskie Kraski is based in the historic Russian city of Yaroslavl, to the northeast of Moscow. The company was established in 1838, when the merchant A.F. Vakhramejev set up a factory in Yaroslavl on the right bank of the River Kotorosl. Today Russkie Kraski is one of the major manufacturers of paint for industrial purposes, and supplies paints to Russian car and truck manufacturers. It offers one brand of paint, Strela, especially for railway carriages, while another of its well-known brands, Linia, is widely used in Russia to mark roads and the runways of airports. One unit of the company, Yaroslavskie Kraski, makes paint for houses and for interior decorating. Another division, the Yaroslavl Powder Coatings Plant, manufactures paint

for fridges and other domestic appliances. Overall, Russkie Kraski offers the entire spectrum of paint materials covering everything from oil pipelines to auto refinishing. In 2010, the company’s output was 32,300 tonnes and it achieved a turnover of $140.4 million.

Innovation In 2010, Yaroslavl marked its thousand-year anniversary. Russkie Kraski’s paints were widely used in the preparations for the city’s millennium celebrations, which involved extensive construction and restoration projects. “For the thousandth anniversary of Yaroslavl, we developed our Brite paints for architectural use together with a German partner,” stated Mr Abramov. “This coating has highly protective properties and it will serve its purpose

over 10 years without any alteration in its characteristics. Brite paint materials were used to paint the buildings at the river port and the planetarium and the mosque, as well as many residential buildings in the historic part of town.” Russkie Kraski also makes a range of anticorrosion paints that are designed to protect metallic construction materials. The ProDecor anticorrosion paints are used in Russia’s oil and gas industry for protecting pipes and natural gas storage tanks. In addition, ProDecor paints protect bridges from corrosion, which is why they too were employed in Yaroslavl’s millennium preparations. “In Yaroslavl, a new bridge over the Kotorosl is coated with our paint,” said Mr Abramov. ProDecor can protect metallic structures from rust for

up to 15 years. Mr Abramov explained that as a Russian anticorrosion paint that meets stringent international requirements for quality, ProDecor represents an important advance. “Until recently materials of this kind were supplied only by foreign companies, but today we can make them by ourselves.” Furthermore, in 2009 Russkie Kraski established the Guntex trademark and started production of a new line of car refinish materials under this brand. This has already achieved success on the Russian market and is a major achievement for the company in its collaboration with European partners.

Cooperation with DuPont Russkie Kraski’s experience of producing paints for Russia’s automobile industry goes back over 70 years. To this day, paints and coatings for cars remain one of the company’s strategic business lines. Here, Russkie Kraski works closely with DuPont, producing its coatings for Russian customers such as Avtovaz. According to Mr Abramov, the joint venture with DuPont has given Russkie Kraski a real ace to play now that Russia’s automotive sector is starting to recover from the downturn.

“Today we are seeing a growth in sales of OEM materials. The joint venture between Russkie Kraski and DuPont is by no means the least important factor here. Currently we make paint not only for Avtovaz cars, but also for the cars of foreign companies that are based in the Russian Federation. The way the market is structured is that localised products have a share of about 50 per cent of OEM paints sales.” The relationship with DuPont is also proving fruitful in the field of paint for interior decorating. The Yaroslavskie Kraski com-

pany has signed a licensing agreement with DuPont under which Yaroslavskie Kraski has obtained the right to produce and market paints within Russia using the Teflon trademark. “This agreement has allowed us to use the Teflon surface protector technology to create our Brite Hausweiss paint. This paint is designed to be used inside the home and has a high stain resistance, which makes it easier to keep living space clean.”

Conservation Paint helps people to make improvements to the built environment, but Russkie Kraski strives to protect the natural environment as well. “The production facilities of Russkie Kraski are located near the historic centre of Yaroslavl, so the issues of social and environmental responsibility are very important to us,” stated Mr Abramov. Russkie Kraski maintains an environmental management system that is certified to ISO 14001. In 2010, the company was able to reduce its gas emissions by seven per cent per ton of output and to lower its electricity consumption. The company believes in the philosophy of continuous improvement. “We are learning all the time,” says Mr Abramov, “and orienting ourselves towards what is required at the European and international level.” In the Soviet era, the factory was already Russia’s main producer of automotive paints and coatings. In the new era of greater openness to the outside world, Russkie Kraski has successfully built on that inheritance, through innovation and through the formation of constructive ties with European and American firms. In the future, Russkie Kraski aims to manufacture DuPont products for the Russian market in larger quantities, and therefore plans n to expand its production capacity.

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CREATIVE CULTURES SAFC (Sigma-Aldrich Fine Chemicals) supplies the biopharmaceutical industry with essential raw materials for cell culture applications. Joseph Altham spoke to Edward Roullard, SAFC’s vice-president of marketing and supply chain, to find out how SAFC’s products help the biopharmaceutical industry to develop new pharmaceuticals and vaccines.


AFC is a specialist unit within the leading life science and high technology company, Sigma-Aldrich. Sigma-Aldrich’s core business focuses on research, where smaller quantities of a vast array of materials, delivered very quickly sets it apart as a market leader. SAFC, in contrast, focuses on customers moving into development and ultimately commercial manufacturing. “SAFC was developed as a different business unit because the customer requirements beyond research evolve to have different emphasis,” said Mr Roullard. “We serve several different markets, but the largest is the pharmaceutical industry. SAFC works across the pharmaceutical industry supplying contract manufacturing capabilities, raw materials for use in chemical synthesis processes and final formulation, and key components used in biopharmaceutical production. The development and commercialisation of new treatments and vaccines is a long-term process. SAFC works in close partnership with pharmaceutical corporations

to help them bring new therapeutics, pharmaceuticals and vaccines to market. “While we provide some off-the-shelf solutions, much of what we do is custom-manufactured for our customers. The biopharmaceutical industry is particularly strong for us; their evolving needs and our strengths, particularly in powder media and liquid media, make us strong partners. SAFC’s headquarters is in the American city of St Louis, but it has manufacturing facilities in Switzerland, Germany and the UK, as well as in several cities in North America. There is also a special division within SAFC, SAFC Hitech, which works with the electronics industry on improving the capabilities of semiconductors. In 2010, SAFC as a whole had annual sales of $643 million.

Why biopharma? Mr Roullard offered an outline of the way the biopharmaceutical industry is transforming medicine. The pharmaceutical industry has traditionally relied on chemistry for the

development of new drugs and produced thousands of therapeutics over the past 50 plus years. While chemistry approaches to produce “small molecules” continues to be a highly viable approach to preventing and curing disease, “large molecule” (protein) technology has evolved over the past 20 years, and is now the fastest growing segment of the pharmaceutical industry. “One approach is not better than the other, but therapeutic proteins as an approachs means that the pharmaceutical industry has a new way to address disease such as cancer or rheumatoid arthritis. As evidence, virtually all of the largest pharmaceutical companies now employ both approaches. Biopharmaceutical drug and vaccine production is less absolute and predictable than traditional chemistry routes. The manufacturing process includes growth and feeding of mammalian cells to produce the protein product. While much is known about making this process successful and repeatable, living systems are not absolute.

Edward Roullard, vice-president of marketing and supply chain

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So, once a successful approach has been establish, minimizing changes is critical pharmaceutical companies need the stability that comes from working with a reliable partner. “To support a pharmaceutical company, you have to come in at the clinical trial phase, and have the quality systems to ensure that change is minimised, and at best fully characterised,” said Mr Roullard. “If the customer then succeeds in getting the product to market, it is really not in their interest to change suppliers.”

How does the process work? Mammalian cells produce proteins as part of their everyday function in our bodies. Biopharmaceutical processes utilise a bank of cells that have been modified to produce a target therapeutic protein or vaccine. In a biopharmaceutical process, cells are put into a “bath” in which they growth over a period of 1–2 weeks, and produce proteins in the process. SAFC provides the bath to customers either as dry powder or liquid. “It would

be the (complex) equivalent of a consumer buying kool-aid in either dry or liquid form. And the factors for a pharmaceutical company are oftentimes, the same as a consumer. How much space do I have, what are the economics, do I have the ability to hydrate my powder?” There is a significant trend towards using disposable reactors rather than stainless steel reactors for cultivation of cells. The drivers of this trend are reduction in capital expenditure, reduction in required space,

Rathburn Chemicals Ltd Rathburn Chemicals Ltd is an independent company based

exceed the norm. We purify all materials offered, in glass, at

in Scotland. Specialising in the purification of solvents for

our own factory and therefore have full control over quality.

Laboratory use and other exacting applications, we were the first company to offer solvents for HPLC. As well as produc-

Rathburn Chemicals Ltd have been suppliers to Sigma-

ing for our own brand, we are accomplished in manufacturing

Aldrich for many years and we look forward to an excellent

to customers precise specifications, particularly where these

ongoing relationship.

Rathburn Chemicals is a leading supplier of high purity solvents for Chromatography and Residue Analysis. In a business where quality and absolute reliability are essential, Rathburn Chemicals has built a customer base across Europe supplying prestige organisations such as Sigma-Aldrich, leading Pharmaceutical companies, universities and research institutes. We specialise in purification of solvents to customers specifications.

Rathburn Chemicals Ltd. Caberston Road, Walkerburn, Peeblesshire, Scotland, EH43 6AU Tel: +44 (0)1896 870 329/65 | Fax: +44 (0)1896 870 633 E-mail:

flexibility, and reduction in changeover costs. “Disposable reactors are essentially big plastic bags. We ship liquid media to our customers in bags which they can immediately utilize as their reactor.” In Scotland, SAFC recently invested $8m in its Irvine site, establishing a Centre of Excellence for the production of liquid media and reagents. “This investment reflects SAFC’s growth and gives the Scottish facility more capacity for serving the liquid media market,” said Mr Roullard.

In addition to media, SAFC provides the feeds necessary to keep cells alive, buffers to maintain pH, and the processing aids necessary to both manage the production process and isolate and purify the desired protein after it has been produced.

Results SAFC leverages these capabilities in other industries and at further stages in the production process. In addition to human therapeutics, SAFC serves the animal health industry to

produce, in particular vaccines. And it utilises facilities and Gillingham, UK and Arklow, Ireland to produce novel adjuvants (compound which increase the immune response to a vaccine); it was a key supplier of adjuvants to the vaccine industry during the swine flu epidemic. SAFC’s success across all of the industries it serves is built by having a deep understanding of customer needs, assembling the different capabilities described above to meet those needs, and removing the complexities that its customers face. n

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THE POWER OF INVESTMENT British manufacturer of large generators Brush Electrical Machines Ltd has a 50 per cent share of the world’s commercial and industrial market for turbo generators. The company has seen significant positive changes in the past four years which are set to boost this share even further. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to sales and marketing director Richard Guest to find out more.

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stablished in Loughborough in the UK back in 1879, Brush Electrical Machines Ltd was founded to produce generators for the industrial and commercial markets. Originally named the Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation, the aim was to exploit the first electric dynamo, the invention of American Charles Francis Brush. With operations in the Netherlands added in 1999 and manufacturing facilities in the Czech Republic joining the company in

2000 following strategic acquisitions, the company’s dedication to providing generators worldwide was clear very early on and has been consistent since. Today, Brush continues to have operations worldwide, having now added the US, Australia and Japan to its operations and enjoys a more than 50 per cent share of the global market for turbo generators and transformer manufacture in the 30 to 125 megawatt category, which continues to be its main business and core focus. There is also an increasing focus on ecologically responsible power generation solutions.

Best of old and new Sales and marketing director Richard Guest told Industry Europe how the recent changes at Brush have created some very modern updates to this long-established company. He said, “There have been substantial positive changes since a new management team was appointed in 2008, which is pretty recent history for a company that started in 1879. The foundations for change were laid

in 2008 when Brush was acquired by Melrose Plc, who wanted the company to keep the strong Brush brand name and the extensive engineering expertise we have across the company while harmonising both the generator and transformer activities under the Brush name. This constitutes the Brush Turbo Generator division. Since 2008, the investment from Melrose has been considerable. I’ve really noticed it as I have recently returned to Brush following 10 years away.” Mr Guest is clear that the substantial changes at Brush were an important factor in him accepting the company’s offer, with the new and improved Brush a major player on the global generator market. Each of the company’s four manufacturing operations have benefited from Melrose’s commitment to investing in the latest machining, winding and test facilities in addition to sophisticated 3D CAD systems and analytical tools. So now they are all fully stocked with state-of-the-art equipment for the highly experienced workforce to utilise. Mr Guest explained, “All areas of the business in each location have seen investment Industry Europe 73

in recent years and we are really making the most of the opportunities this investment has brought. It’s a very exciting time to be a part of the Brush team because we truly have the best of our history, the best of financial support and the best of potential for continued success.”

All about the service The after market business has also benefited from the investment focus. As Brush is the largest turbo generator manufacturer in the world by some considerable way, it sells its products mainly through turbine

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manufacturing companies – even including its competitors – and its after market service is available to service all its end users. A key element in the growth of this area of the business is the company’s relatively recent acquisition of the American after market servicing and engineering company GMS, which is now Brush GMS. Mr Guest pointed out that the growing need for a comprehensive, reliable after market suited the growth aspirations of the company, with its 356day, 24-hours a day online and telephone support service giving a comprehensive real time service to customers worldwide.

The Brush training academy, based at its Loughborough, UK, head office, is another example of the Brush commitment to building the business for the benefit of its worldwide turbo generator customer base. Mr Guest explained, “Under Melrose the training centre has become almost unrecognisable in its modernity; it’s a world-class facility and we make the most of it. It’s a total transformation, with excellent R&D facilities as well as offering a great working environment; there’s even a new green space right in the centre of our Loughborough site that provides a

naturally relaxing place for our employees to take their lunch break.” With the Melrose ‘investment outlook’ a positive virtual circle that has paid for itself many times over through increased productivity, the Brush workforce is also encouraged to share their suggestions and ideas. The managing director engages proactively with members of each team to discuss ideas during weekly coffee meetings and there is also an elected employee forum where anyone can comment on any aspect of the company. In order to continue to build on the strength of Brush following the considerable investment of Melrose, the future of the company will also look toward greener energy issues. With its current main industrial sectors of industrial power, marine power and oil and gas, its penetration of the renewable energy forms of solar, geothermal and hybrid gas/wind power has recently seen its turbo generation expertise extended into new fields. The hybrid gas/ wind-power schemes include combined-cycle gas fired power units employed as a supplementary support to wind farms to allow the combination to provide base-load power solutions. By entering these markets the company is retaining both its current market share and n penetrating new markets. Industry Europe 75


FG Wilson is a global leader in the design and manufacture of generators of up to 2200kVA. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to set new industry standards and is poised for further expansion.


here must be very few major manufacturing companies in the world that have not heard of FG Wilson when it comes to diesel and gas generators. Established in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s by Frederick Wilson with just six employees, the company quickly grew to become one of the world’s largest producers of gas and diesel generator sets. Following its success, in 1995 FG Wilson was acquired by the giant US corporation Caterpillar. Today with global manufacturing facilities in Brazil, China, India, the USA and its company headquarters in Northern Ireland, FG Wilson produces around 100,000 generator sets per year and provides technical and practical support throughout the entire life cycle of its products. FG Wilson’s diesel and gas generator sets are used throughout a wide range of industries from healthcare and telecommunications, to leisure, retail and for powering special events. The company is operational in more than 100 countries and has a network of over 180 authorised dealers worldwide.

Innovation empowering sales The company is already well-established as a producer of diesel power generators in the popular 26 200 kVA range. However, to extend its market lead still further, FG Wilson has launched a new, completely re designed range that delivers even greater performance, as well as offering improved durability and serviceability. Available in EU Stage 11 emissions compliant and noncompliant variants, the company’s latest 26 200kVA range offers customers outstanding value with a product that delivers increased efficiency and productivity. In order to create world-beating products, FG Wilson utilises the most advanced generator set production facilities, including Europe’s largest fully automated hemi-anechoic chamber, which provides state-of-theart acoustic research and test capabilities. Furthermore, when a customer’s power needs are more challenging than those required for normal specifications, FG Wilson’s Power Solutions Department

provides dedicated, tailor-made solutions that can meet a customer’s most complex power requirements.

Investing in engineering excellence In another move to enhance its production capabilities, FG Wilson has opened a new engineering Centre of Excellence at its manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland. Together with UK government support, over $26 million has been spent on the latest state-of-the-art testing and validation facilities. The company says that this will significantly improve its current validation process and will also enable it to develop more advanced products faster than ever before, thus keeping it one step ahead of the competition. The impressive new facility was officially opened by The Duke of York, the UK’s representative for international trade and investment, and it is not only expected to boost sales, but also the local economy. Dr Mark Sweeney, FG Wilson’s managing director said, “This is an extremely important

investment for FG Wilson. It will enhance sustainability at the company, one of our major corporate objectives, by streamlining the product development process and improving performance and efficiency of our generator sets.”

Delivering new generation controls Recently FG Wilson launched two new, innovative products: the next generation of standard synchronising control panels, the easYgen-2500 followed by an advanced solutions product: the easYgen-3200. Both of these products offer significantly improved system control and flexibility. To achieve this enhanced performance, FG Wilson harnessed high performance technology with its extremely reliable and proven power management systems and controls. These latest products set new standards within the industry and are already being heralded as the leading control systems in n the marketplace today.

A NEW FUTURE IN HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES Mr Younes Zareipour, originally from Iran but resident for over 30 years in the northern Italian town of Udine, where he is at the head of the import-export Continental SpA company, is the CEO of Tecno SpA. He talks to Barbara Rossi about his involvement in the recent Mmd-led acquisition of Tecnogas.

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he Dubai-based Mmd holding has created Tecno SpA as a new company for the acquisition of Tecnogas, which was previously part of the Antonio Merloni group and which had been in special administration for two years. This will incorporate Tecnogas into the directly controlled Iranian Entekhab industrial group. Mmd had already made the $513 million acquisition of Daewoo Electronics, the household appliances manufacturing division of the well-known South Korean company, with 25 production plants globally and a turnover of $1.2 billion,

thus establishing the group’s status as one of the ten major players in the household appliances global market. Furthermore, in mid December the group, through Tecno SpA, made an official declaration of interest in the acquisition of Antonio Merloni itself, presenting a detailed industrial plan to the commissioners, of which at present, due to the requirements of the Italian Marzano law, no further details can be revealed. Antonio Merloni has also been under controlled administration since 2008, as it had been declared insolvent due

to debts in excess of €540 million. Antonio Merloni is not to be confused with Merloni Elettrodomestici, nowadays known as the Indesit Company. Mr Zareipour points out how his group has been the only one among the main groups in the industry expressing an interest in the acquisition of Antonio Merloni, a company with 5000 employees and 5 million yearly manufactured pieces. He thinks that his proposal will give Antonio Merloni, whose last turnover in 2007 before going into administration equalled €850 million, the only realistic

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chance of a strong and successful future. In fact Mr Zareipour thinks that, due to the highly concentrated nature of the sector, the takeover of a company such as Antonio Merloni, whose annual industrial output represents a third of the Italian household appliances market, can only be feasibly carried out by one of the ten leading groups in the industry.

Tecnogas In the case of Tecnogas, the newly constituted Tecno SpA has maintained previous employment levels, keeping on all of Tecnogas’ 450 employees. The new company

officially started on 15 January 2011 and has ambitious plans for the future. Currently there are lines in professional, luxury and extra-luxury products and, while the plan is to remain faithful to Tecnogas’s range of cooking appliances such as the free standing cookers and built-in ovens that it has manufactured since 1952, R&D is working on important innovations. Future product development will concentrate on reduced energy consumption and hybrid appliances, on developing steam ovens and automatic cleaning functions and also on introducing new designs, which will be developed with

Our continuous purchasing of the most innovative techniques for insulating material processing, our consistent thirty year experience in the field and our prestigious and now consolidated number of clients, make ATI Srl a company of sure national leadership in the thermal insulation industrial sector. ATI Srl Via dell’Artigiano 14-16, 47034 Forlimpopoli (FC) T: +39 0543 743473 | F: +39 0543 470871 | E:

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the aid of an external design house, with which an agreement is being drafted. The €7 million of investment is in the pipeline for the next three years, is to be followed by another €4 million in the following two years, amounting to a total of about €11 million of investments planned for the next five years. The targets of these investments will be the development of new models, furthering Research and Development and the optimisation of production processes. Production will be kept at the original Tecnogas production plant in Gualtieri,

in the Reggio Emilia province of northern Italy, where processes will be optimised. In particular, the focus of this optimisation will include reducing time wastage during the industrial process and improving warehouse organisation. Tecnogas was already present on all world markets, with products targeted to a medium–high range of customers. Due to the quality and price of its products the company has historically been stronger on sophisticated markets, rather than on

markets requiring more basic options. The same will hold for the future: in fact the acquisition has been carried out with the vision of strengthening Entekhab’s position on the European market, where the group’s presence is not as strong as it is on other markets, such as The MiddleEast, North America, Brazil and Mexico.

Italian quality Mmd’s decision to invest in Italy has been influenced by the reputation for quality of its

domestic appliance industry. Quality is not seen as being only restricted to large companies, but also to include the numerous small and medium companies, as well as the larger and more specialised ones, working in the supply chain satellite industries. A focus on environmental concerns, especially in terms of the reduced energy consumption of the products mentioned earlier, is seen as a must for a company intending to strengthen its position on more n sophisticated markets.

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Sofilec is a European leader in the design and manufacture of electrical wires and cables for industrial manufacturing applications. Philip Yorke talked to Didier Balsat, the company’s general manager, about the significant benefits of its innovative HF Litz power cable systems and its move into new market segments.


ofilec was founded in France in1986 by three entrepreneurs who decided to buy a company from the receiver that produced insulated electrical wire products. The company began with 25 people and saw consistent growth, so that by 2005 was in a position to buy out its main competitor: Buisin. This strategic acquisition had the effect of more than doubling the size of Sofilec and provided the company with a far more comprehensive portfolio of cable and wire products and services. The purchase also enabled it to offer copper and aluminium winding products for applications both inside and outside of large industrial transformers. Today Sofilec has a turnover of over €60 million, employs over 170 people and offers a diverse range of cable and wire products and services. Its key customers are manufacturers of power and distribution transformers, traction transformers and big industrial

electric motors and generators. Among its portfolio of blue-chip clients are giant global brands such as Siemens, GE, ABB, Alstom, CG Power and Brush. Sofilec operates two major production facilities in France, near Lyon, which supply more than 8000t of copper and 2000t of aluminium per year. The company’s principal markets have traditionally been western Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe. However, Asia and North America are becoming increasingly more important to Sofilec, especially for the company’s speciality wire products.

Custom-made solutions for every application All Sofilec’s products are custom-made to meet the precise specifications of its global customers and none are standard off-theshelf designs. In addition, it offers an infinite variety of conducting and insulating material

combinations. As an independent company, Sofilec is very flexible in its approach to achieving the best outcomes for its customers and can manufacture in both small and large quantities (from 50kg orders to 500 tons). This is in addition to offering dedicated component integration and tailor-made packaging services. Balsat says that Sofilec technicians are committed to finding the ideal solutions for its customers’ changing needs in today’s competitive marketplace. From basic or assembled wires to shaped connections, Sofilec designs, manufactures and shapes its customers’ conductors while taking into account their thermal, dimensional, electrical and mechanical requirements. This can apply to energy transformers, instrument transformers, smoother-reactors and welding transformers. Furthermore, the company offers innovative solutions for PET-mica insulated conductors and insulated cables what-

The ISOVOLTA product portfolio for high-performance insulation systems

Performing together As a global leading manufactuere of electrical insulation materials, technical laminates and composite materials, ISOVOLTA Group offers a comprehensive and proven product portfolio: Mica tapes, flexible laminates and system products for low, medium and high voltage applications, as well as laminates and machined parts for a wide variety of applications. Furthermore we have expanded our product range with materials for the insulation of oil-filled transformers. In addition to the production of standard insulation materials, ISOVOLTA offers customised solutions to meet specific needs.

ever the insulation system, whether it is VPI or Reach resin. In addition to its complete range of insulated conductors, Sofilec also offers a wide choice of HF LItz cable systems, which enable the customer to significantly reduce dielectric losses and optimise the performance of any coil winding system.

Pioneering new materials Sofilec invests a significant proportion of its turnover in research and development at its two primary production plants near Lyon in France. There, a highly qualified team of experts are focussed on research into new insulating materials to enhance the efficiency of cables and to minimise power loss. Mr Balsat said, “Our customers need the best possible efficiency for their wires in order to significantly reduce power losses. With HF LItz, our customers gain by volume and weight and this new research is fundamental to the energy saving and eco-efficiency of the future that is important to us all. We are currently committed to developing the next gen-

eration of insulated products and enhanced raw materials. We bring the best solutions to market to minimise losses at a practical price level to help our customers achieve the best results, and to win market shares. “We are also developing new insulation materials for the oil and gas industry and we work closely in partnership with our customers to help them to explore deeper, whilst at the same time improving weight ratios and saving space. We are leading the field in this area and helping our clients maximise their production potential in each location. In many instances we work as a co-manufacturing partner, which helps to achieve greater cost-efficiencies across the board thus saving our clients’ both time and money.” Mr Balsat went on to say, “The future is definitely to be found in ‘high frequency (HF) Litz technology’ which is transforming the efficiency and performance of insulated cables. There are many possibilities in this area and we are pioneering new and effec-

tive solutions to enhance the efficiency of the equipment manufactured by our OEM clients and partners.”

Sofilec’s record-breaking components Sofilec provides a diverse range of solutions for manufacturing industry’s insulated ‘shaped’ components. Whatever the application, Sofilec technology provides the best outcomes for its customers. From coated and creped Nomex to glass woven fabric and Micapaper, to Polymide film, nylon fibre and glass fabric tape, the company has the technology to meet any specification. Recently ABB Secheron chose Sofilec products to participate in the TGV’s world speed record attempt, which resulted in a new speed record for France’s high-speed train. This futuristic train achieved speeds of up to 574.8 km/h. In another important commission, General Atomic (USA) chose Sofilec Litz cable for new military machine equipment. Sofilec was the only European manufacturer to fulfil n 100 per cent specifications.

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RWE is one of Europe’s leading electricity and gas companies, and its subsidiary RWE Dea AG is responsible for Germany’s biggest and most productive oilfield; the Mittelplate oilfield located off the west coast of the German province of Schleswig-Holstein. Philip Yorke talked to Derek Moesche, RWE Dea’s press spokesman, about the new technology at work to protect this ecologically sensitive area, and the company’s solutions to optimise its off-shore drilling operations.


is the top power producer in Germany, as well as being number two in the Netherlands and number three in the UK, with the market position in central and south-eastern Europe being expanded continuously. Through its subsidiary, RWE Dea, the group is successfully active in the business of gas and oil exploration and production in Europe, North Africa and the Caspian region. In addition RWE Supply & Trading is one of Europe’s leading energy trading companies. Today RWE Dea employs over 1360 people, and in 2010 recorded sales close to €1.4 billion. Since the beginning of the exploitation of the Mittelplate field, RWE Dea AG and partner Wintershall Holding GmbH have produced more than 25 million mt of oil from the Dogger sandstone reservoirs. The hallmarks of the Mittelplate project are its technical innovations and safety concepts

that are unique in the field of oil exploration and production. In the past 23 years, capital spending has reached almost €1 billion.

Exporting unique technology The Mittelplate oilfield is situated in the Wattenmeer tidelands, an area which is one of Germany’s most unspoilt and cherished national parks on coastal tidal flats at the mouth of the River Elbe estuary. It is not surprising therefore that the most stringent efforts have been made to ensure the integrity and natural beauty of this site. RWE Dea’s safety and environmental protection record is second to none. The company’s highly sophisticated drilling, production and transportation concept has been continuously upgraded and employs unique drilling and recovery technology developed especially for the Mittelplate field. Mr Moesche said, “Our expertise in drilling for natural resources dates back 112

years and as a result we are one of the most experienced oil and gas producers in the world. Our unique scour protection structure at Mittelplate made from riprap and mortar is continuously upgraded to meet the challenges posed by the natural shift of a tidal channel. This special location calls for the utmost care in the performance of all our operational activities. Many of the plant’s facilities were developed to provide and maintain reliable, impenetrable barriers to the Wattenmeer tidelands. In May 2010 we were granted an extended production permit for another 30 years. “The drilling island is built as a compact, water and oilproof concrete-and-steel basin on top of the Mittelplate sandflats. From the island we pump the oil through a 10 kilometre pipeline, 7 kilometres to the mainland and continuing onshore for another 3 kilometres to the oil processing plant. Here, the oil is merged with onshore production from Industry Europe 87

GEO-data GEO-data offers mudlogging services and a broad range of know-how around the geological/technical support of all kind of drilling activities. Recording, processing and evaluation of all surface logging data enhances safety and geological/technical understanding, thus leading to drilling optimizations which is our small contribution to the success story “Mittelplate”.

extended reach wells and separated into oil, gas, condensate and water. The hydrocarbons are treated to sales specifications and shipped via pipeline to local refineries.The land station covers 55,000 square metres and is designed to minimise the effects of the treatment facility.”

Multi-lateral well technology For over 24 years and involving the continuous development of numerous innovations, RWE Dea in association with partner Wintershall has optimised drilling and production operations in the Mittelplate field. Twentyfive wells have been drilled into the western, larger part of the Mittelplate oil field since production began in 1987. These wells penetrate to a vertical depths of up to 3000 metres and are deviated in different directions – in some cases running horizontally through the reservoir to enhance production performance. A comprehensive, closed waste disposal system prevents contamination of the North Sea and the Wattenmeer tidelands during drilling operations.

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Mr Moesche added, “We have developed and implemented in our last production well an unique, cutting-edge technology in drilling and completing our first multi-lateral well. This technology allows us to produce several reservoir targets from two branches in one well. The well was successfully put into production in October last year. Today we use our experiences in this innovative technology for our other international drilling projects. Our ‘leak-proof containerisation’ is unique in the world and we are using our shallow water expertise to best effect, e.g. in the Caspian Sea and the Egyptian Nile Delta. We are also utilising this specialised knowledge in other environmentally sensitive areas in our international core regions.” In addition to the successful offshore operations at Mittelplate, the company has also been producing crude oil from the eastern parts of the oil field from facilities based on the mainland, via extreme, extended-reach production wells. These high-tech wells reach drilling lengths ranging from 7727 to 9275m, placing them in the list of the world’s most deviated and longest wells.

Increasing production Mittelplate has a record of more than 23 years’ incident-free production and in addition to the 25 million mt of crude oil that have already been produced, there are some 25 million mt of commercially recoverable reserves still available. As a result, not only is Mittelplate the German oil field with the highest production volume, holding 65 per cent of the national oil reserves, it is also one of the country’s few proven reserves with a long-term future. The initial production rate of around 200,000 mt of crude oil in 1988 has steadily increased, so that by 2003 more than 2.2 million mt of crude oil was produced. In recent years, there has been a moderate naturally occurring decline in production. “Thanks to the sophisticated technologies we employ, we have been successful in countering the effects of this natural decline,” Mr Moesche said. The dynamic development of geophysical processes and drilling technology has opened up new horizons for RWE Dea. n

QUALITY OF LIFE With new initiatives and developments in its drive to offer “quality of life” services, Sodexo continues to expand rapidly in Ireland and the UK. Abigail Saltmarsh reports.

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ealthy workforces and solutions to improve the quality of daily life – Sodexo has a broad portfolio, which continues to expand as its services are increased and its offer improved. As a group, its divisions act as strategic partners for companies and institutions that place a premium on performance and employee well-being across the world. Its aim is to continue to offer a new form of service business that contributes to the economic, social and environmental 92 Industry Europe

development of the communities, regions and countries in which it operates, as well as the fulfilment of its employees.

A world leader The Sodexo group was founded by Pierre Bellon in 1966. By the early 1970s, international expansion had started with a contract in Belgium and then the development of the Remote Site Management business, first in Africa, then in the Middle East. By 2006,

Sodexo was the world leader in food and facilities management services, and was able to look back on four decades of extraordinary growth – growth which transformed a small family business into a global market leader with €15.3 billion consolidated, 380,000 employees and 34,000 sites in 80 countries.

On-site solutions In Ireland and the UK today, Sodexo designs, manages and delivers on-site service solu-

tions for its clients across a wide range of businesses, from corporate offices and factories to schools, hospitals and Ministry of Defence garrisons and prisons. Its solutions include services such as cleaning, security, reception and food-services to building maintenance, laboratory services, space management and technical services. In Ireland, it operates at 214 sites across the country. Its head office in Dublin is supported by branches in Belfast and Cork and it employs about 2000 people.

New initiatives In the UK, developments are also occurring at a pace. Recent moves include Sodexo relaunching its Healthworks offer and launching Horticultural Services, formerly known as Land Technology, which will help establish a stronger position in the market as a specialist provider of all external and internal grounds maintenance. It has also re-launched the Delifresh range its own brand of sandwiches, wraps, sub-rolls and paninis – to include calorie labelling and GDAs (guideline daily amounts) with a traffic light system that reinforces the nutritional value and has developed its first Student Survival Guide App, which is available now to download for iPhones and androids.

New contracts Contracts in both countries are being signed, taking Sodexo’s “quality of life” services to even more people. It has, for example, recently signed a new contract with Altrincham Grammar School for Girls in Cheshire, UK, worth more than £3.5m in total turnover. Sodexo will provide catering services at the school as well as cleaning, which it has been already providing for four years. It has also won a 10-year deal to provide all horticultural services for Gosport Borough Council in Hampshire. This contract is worth more than £8 million.

Working in partnership In another development, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have announced that Integrated Pathology Partnerships (iPP), a joint venture between Sodexo and Labco, is their preferred bidder to help them deliver improved pathology services across the county. The collaboration between the Trusts and iPP, which is in the final stages of completion, will result in a joint venture under which they will deliver the full range of laboratory services together. Clinical interpretation and clinical advice functions will continue to be provided

by the Trusts’ medical staff who will remain employed by the NHS. The partnership is expected to last 20 years. Plans for a multi-million-pound state-ofthe-art laboratory in Taunton to house the new pathology service are already underway. It will be located on a brand new site near the M5 and designed to allow high quality and efficient processing of routine and non-urgent testing.

Long-term success As the drive for growth continues at Sodexo, the company has appointed a new chief financial officer for its UK and Ireland business. Phil Andrew was most recently employed as managing director for Sodexo Justice Services, Sodexo’s prison business in the UK. He will be responsible for leading the negotiation of complex contracts and will have a significant role to play in business and corporate development. Alongside Aidan Connolly, chief executive officer, he will seek further growth opportunities for the company. Aidan Connolly said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Phil to his new role in which he will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the long-term success of the UK and n Ireland business.” Industry Europe 93

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QUALITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT Valio Ltd is the biggest milk processor in Finland and the market leader in all key dairy product groups in its domestic market. Felicity Landon reports.


ood products are rooted in good raw materials, says Valio. And in Valio’s line of business, that means putting the emphasis on healthy and happy animals, high-quality silage, systematic feeding and the right production conditions, in order to ensure good raw milk. “Quality assurance procedures make the dairy farms that produce our milk an integral part of the Valio Group operating system,” says the company. “The milk produced on a Valio dairy farm is of excellent quality, both technically and ethically. Quality is based on the producers’ expertise and the continuous development of the operations of the entire chain.” In total, around 2000 million litres of milk is delivered annually to dairies in Finland – and Valio processes and markets 86 per cent of this volume. The company is owned by about 9200 Finnish dairy farmers and turns over €1.8 billion a year. Its success is based on securing milk production in Finland and the vitality of the nation’s countryside by processing milk into tasty products that promote health and well being.

Strong domestic presence Valio has 15 production plans in Finland. Fresh products – milks, fermented milks, creams, yogurts, sour cream and quark – are processed and packaged at Riihimäki, Tampere, Jyväskylä, Seinäjoki and Oulu. There are a chain of distribution terminals operating in connection with these dairies. Elsewhere, Valio makes cheese in Lapinlahti, Joensuu, Haapavesi, Kaitsor, Toholampi, Äänekoski and Vantaa, and production of butter and spreads is concentrated in Seinäjoki. Milk and whey powders are produced in Lapinlahti, Haapavesi and Seinäjoki, and UHT products are made in Turenki. All 15 production plants follow the same stringent quality control regulations in producing this range of products. In addition, Valio manufactures milk, yogurts and other products for the Baltic markets at its Laeva dairy in Estonia, and cheese in its Estonian subsidiary Vöru Juust. Valio also owns a cheese packing plant in Belgium through its Valio-Vache Bleue subsidiary, and a customer service centre, including production facilities, in Moscow. Industry Europe 95

To give an idea of Valio’s influence at home, the group paid €777 million to its dairy cooperatives for their raw milk last year. It provides employment for about 30,000 people in Finland, which represents about 10 per cent of the entire food industry sector. In large parts of the country, dairy farms act as the ‘engine of vitality’ in the area around them, Valio points out – and the profit from the group’s business operations is paid to its dairy farmer owners. In all, adding together Valio’s purchases of the commodities and services it requires, the milk producers’ purchases, and Valio’s payroll and taxes, the group generates more than €1 billion of income for the Finnish economy. In two corporate responsibility surveys commissioned by Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat in 2007 and 2010, consumers named Valio the most responsible company in Finland. A survey commissioned in 2009 by trade magazine Osuustoiminta 96 Industry Europe

named Valio the number one food industry company for corporate responsibility. But Valio’s influence is clearly not restricted to its domestic market. “Valio produces a wide range of dairy products that are known for high quality and purity – not just in Finland but in 65 countries all over the world,” says the company. Valio International’s main strategy is the supply of products to its neighbouring countries, namely Sweden, Russia and the Baltic States. However, cheese is its strongest export and here Valio is working hard to gain market share in selected European countries and the USA. It has global sales of its food ingredients products and international operations, including licensing, that account for one-third of its turnover.

Award-winning innovation Valio is also recognised for its focus on R&D and new product innovation. In particular, the company has pioneered the develop-

ment of lactose-free technology and analytical methods to determine low lactose levels in foods. Its HPAEC-PAD (high performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection) method is accredited by the Finnish Accreditation Service, FINAS. Valio’s patented and award-winning membrane filtration technology enables the production of a lactose-free milk drink with the taste of fresh milk. This was first launched 10 years ago in Finland; since then, Valio has developed and brought to market a wide variety of lactose-free dairy products. It licenses the technology worldwide and Valio Zero Lactose skimmed milk powder has gained a major market in the food industry as the proven raw material ideal for a variety of purposes. Many food producers value primarily its lactose-free properties but the milk powder has also been taken up purely for its high protein and low fat content, and is used in

a large variety of foods, from milk chocolate to diet products. In milk chocolate, the lactose-free milk powder performs similarly to a standard milk powder but enables producers to respond to a growing market for lactose-free milk chocolate, in Europe in particular. For diet products, the powder is perfect because of its very low fat and high protein levels. The ingredient is used in sports and recovery drinks, muscle building and low carbohydrate diet products. Milk proteins have proved highly profitable in weight management and muscle building applications. Remarkably, as Valio says: “Even pets need lactose free foods!” The skimmed milk powder is suitable for use in the production of all foods – even pet foods; like their human owners, many pets cannot digest lactose.

Committed to sustainability Valio’s commitment to the environment is a vital part of its activities. Its production plants aim to reduce waste water load and volume in proportion to the quantity of milk taken in. Production energy efficiency was improved last year by installing lost heat recovery technology at four plants. More than 80 per cent of Valio packaging for the domestic market was made of material which can be recycled in Finland. And finally, Valio is the biggest distributor of refrigerated goods in Finland – transporting 760 million kilograms of refrigerated foods last year. Special attention has been devoted to the delivery trucks’ degree of filling and route optimisation. And this year (2011), Valio has become the first company in Finland to use a delivery lorry fuelled by waste ethanol. n

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Specialist manufacturer of soft and hard fibreboard Finnish Fibreboard has a strong portfolio of products and a reputation for quality and reliability. Emma-Jane Batey interviewed sales director Peter Jarvinen to learn more about how this is set to continue.


stablished in 1984 following the merger of Enso and Ahlstrom’s fibreboard activities, Finnish Fibreboard has been in the hands of management since 1998, with UPM holding a 17 per cent stake. With state-of-the-art mills in Heinola and Pihlava in Finland, the company has a total production capacity of 180,000m3, making it the largest manufacturer of its type in Europe. Finnish Fibreboard produces and markets a wide range of hardboard and softboard

fibreboard products, with its most recognisable brand the LION hardboard range, which is predominately utilised in the building, door and furniture industries.

Ecologically excellent Both types of fibreboard offered by Finnish Fibreboard are resolutely green. The company is passionately responsible about every aspect of its business, with environmentally friendly processes used at every stage of

production. The fact that Finnish Fibreboard is a Nordic company has specific positive repercussions for its activities. Sales director Peter Jarvinen explained: “Being Nordic means that we need good logistics to get our products to our customers, and also that we are dedicated to operating in an ecologically responsible manner not because it’s fashionable or to fulfil a policy, but because it’s the right thing to do. In Finland there is an environmental

classification standard that goes from N1, N2, N3 and so on, with N1 being the strictest possible way of operating, and all our facilities are confirmed as being N1. That’s even for the boards that go on the outside of houses – they’re almost food grade!” Finnish Fibreboard works with the well-respected PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) standard across its range, which guarantees that all wood timber used is felled in a sustainable and responsible manner. It also adheres to the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification that ensures that the owners of the forests that provide the raw materials used by Finnish Fibreboard are also committed to taking care of the forests. The softboard production is primarily sold to its domestic market, with the majority of Finnish Fibreboard’s hardboard production being exported. Its main geographical markets are the UK, Asia, Middle East, Africa, South America and Australia, with many customers in Scandinavia too. Sales director Peter Jarvinen explained, “Our LION products are particularly successful, with applications in the building industry, where it is often used underneath flooring, and for the construction industry. It is also used in many pre-assembled and flat-pack furniture products. Known for being

clean and safe, our LION brand products have excellent moisture resistance and strength properties, as well as good ventilation and thermal insulation performance, making it well suited to various building uses.”

Established applications The Finnish Fibreboard softboard output is mainly used in Finland for weather shield in the house building industry. Placed outside the house between the walls as a type of final insulation, the softboard has excellent windprotection capabilities. In the UK, softboard is used for domestic applications such as notice boards, pin boards and as a ceiling material. In Scandinavia, the product is also used as a type of covering for accessible areas underneath homes. Mr Jarvinen added, “All these markets and applications are well-established. Every now and then we find new possible applications for our products, and in particular we are finding that the African market is opening up for our products. There, for example, the need for cold weather protection is not as it is in Scandinavia, but we are looking into new ways that our hardboard and softboard can be used.” Finnish Fibreboard does not have a dedicated research and development team, but rather each member of the

workforce is encouraged to listen closely to customers in order to pick up signals for possible new applications. The company has noted that as homes, especially those in Europe, are being built ever more effectively in terms of insulation, its products are in greater demand, and this trend will only continue. Furthermore, the increase in the pre fabricated homes industry means that Finnish Fibreboard is being used by new customers.

Strength in the future With so many positive possibilities presenting themselves to Finnish Fibreboard, sales director Peter Jarvinen is understandably positive about the future. He concluded, “Most of the players in the market were hit by the bad economic situation, with practically everyone downsizing, and we were no exception. The coming year is all about getting back to were we where pre-crisis, which seems to be a goal for everyone in the industry. But beyond this, the potential of working with the many builders of lowenergy homes is very interesting to us, as it’s good for us as a company as well as for the planet, which is something that is incredibly important to Finnish Fibreboard n now and always has been.”

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ECO-FRIENDLY FLOORING The Kronotex Group is a global leader in the design and manufacture of laminate flooring products. Philip Yorke talked to David Hussey, the group’s head of flooring sales, about the company’s latest innovations and its plans for increasing its product mix.


ronotex was founded in Heiligengrabe, Germany, in 1993 and began by manufacturing medium-density fibreboard (MDF) products. The advanced, short-cycle presses that were installed at that time, were used to coat the raw boards, paving the way for the manufacture of laminate flooring with high-density fibreboard cores. Since production of laminate flooring began in 1995, production capacity has been continually increased, whilst at the same time improving product quality and introducing new, innovative products. The company offers customer-focused solutions with eco-friendly wood-based

products. Today Kronotex remains a privately owned family company and is a world leader in its field with a capacity of more than 60 million square metres of laminate flooring per year. In total the company operates twelve plants in seven countries and constantly re-invests its profits to provide its customers with optimal quality and innovative products, supported by a range of comprehensive consulting and support services.

Meeting all expectations Kronotex launched its latest flooring laminates collection recently at the 2011 Domex Trade Fair in January. The company showcased its new portfolio that included

outstanding, trendsetting designs that featured new aesthetics and premium quality, designed to meet all expectations. Attracting special interest were the new Endless Elegance‘ panels, which feature a combination of wood grain finishes and precisel crafted joints to create an elegant sense of grace and space. Mr Hussey said, “Laminate flooring is starting to grow again since the recession hit the industry, which has been helped by our latest ‘glueless’ 5G locking system and the new product and decor development. Overall we are adding value to products by offering greater convenience in fitting, eco-friendly products, the latest designs and

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innovative surface structures. Furthermore, we are constantly updating our ranges, not only with new designs and surfaces but also by offering different sizes and lengths. For example, our top selling Mammut range is now available in lengths 1.8m long as opposed to the industry standard of 1.2m. This means that not only are these panels extra hard wearing and eminently practical, but they also offer the best features of our Robusto, Dynamic, and Exquisite ranges”

Fully integrated company High quality products and innovative designs and production are not the only criteria for success at Kronotex. The company is unique in that it is able to offer every kind of flooring product from those at entry level, to high-end products and products ranging from those for the DIY customer to the volume player. What’s more, all Kronotex products are conceived, developed and manufactured in-house. State-of-the-art manufacturing facilities include factories in Germany, Switzerland, Russia, the USA and Poland among others. Mr Hussey added, “We have a large customer base, across many countries and we can cater for the specific needs of any 104 Industry Europe

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of our customers. We also have our own ‘Innovation Centre’ in Germany so that our customers can trial and test products before rolling them out into their specific markets. We believe that new product development and dedicated customer service is the key to new business. As we are already present in most countries worldwide, our strategy is to increase our market share in these countries by focusing on high service levels, excellent quality and higher value products where our customers can drive margin.

Combining style and practicality As well as setting the trends in design and natural texture finishes, Kronotex also sets the standards in quality, fit and practicality. The company’s Amazone laminate flooring combines conventional beauty with individual fashioning options to make it possible to adapt the final design to suit any individual setting. Amazone floors are narrow and long, which creates a particularly graceful look and also helps to create highly individual floor patterns. 106 Industry Europe

Kronotex also offers Exquisite, a floor described by the company as “Noble and as natural as wood’.’ Its synchronised, embossed grain and matt surface ‘shimmer’ give it an authentic structure that creates a warm, natural finish and a genuine ‘floorboard’ look. However, it is the Mammut range that is capturing the imagination of many customers with its wide-ranging appeal for those seeking a flooring product that can accept extremely heavy loads, yet offer a sophisticated and natural look. Added to this, the Mammut range offers practical benefits in terms of its ease of laying and suitability for a wide range of applications.

Committed to an eco-friendly environment Kronotex continues to lead the way in bringing greater awareness to the need for the protection of the environment. The company recently launched a new brochure focusing on the protection of the environment titled, n “I love my planet”.


As the only UK company producing a full range of firefighting and rescue vehicles, Amdac Carmichael is returning to the market-leading position it has enjoyed throughout much of its history. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to sales director Brian Wiggins about how the company is benefiting from its extensive investment programme.

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mdac Carmichael has been operational in a number of guises for more than 160 years, with a common thread of technical production running through its history. Today, the UK-based global company is working hard to overcome the challenges of a complicated ownership issue during the 1990s and is already seeing very positive results. A producer of a full range of firefighting and rescue vehicles, Amdac Carmichael’s head office is located in Worcester in Central England, where its dedicated customer service department is also based. Until the early 1990s, Amdac Carmichael was a family-owned business, with an excellent reputation for reliable firefighting vehicles developed over years of hard work. Following

a change of ownership, the company saw a series of corporate complications due to new foreign ownership in 2004, which had a negative indirect effect on the implementation of plans for both development and careful maintenance of the strong Amdac Carmichael brand and facilities.

New owner, new focus Although the challenges were much publicised in the industry, sales director Brian Wiggins is clear that the new foreign ownership of the company, which was instigated in 2008 and continues strongly today, is allowing it to steadily return to its market-leading position. Mr Wiggins told Industry Europe, “Our new owner has a majority share, with

the previous owner having just a 25 per cent share and no operational interest. This means that we have the financial investment and the commercial support we need to return Amdac Carmichael to our previous position as the best-known producer of firefighting and rescue vehicles in the UK, with customers in the four corners of the world.” Amdac Carmichael has been able to use the positive benefits of the change in ownership to invest right across the business, with its product development, customer service and technical facilities all gaining considerable funds. The company’s experience of the global recession was largely positive, with it retaining a full order book throughout 2008 and 2009, even though many of its

clients saw a capital expenditure drop of at least 25 per cent. The main sector in which Amdac Carmichael is active is the international airport industry, with many of its firefighting vehicles purchased for use at airport terminals. While the sector certainly took a major knock during the recession, the fact that Amdac Carmichael is also active in the petrochemical and defence sectors, and exports to more than 80 countries worldwide, has meant that its fortunes have continued to rise throughout this difficult economic time.

Mr Wiggins continued, “We found that many airports needed to put resources into security, or simply cut back, so the life expectancy of their fire safety vehicles was stretched. But as we continued to be buoyant in other sectors and geographical regions, we were not really affected.”

Expanding facilities and production The majority of the Amdac Carmichael product portfolio is produced at its well-equipped plant in Worcester, with plans to expand the facilities and production capabilities quite significantly

over the next 12 to 18 months. The best selling product in the range is the Cobra2 airport firefighting vehicle, which is a purpose-built and designed vehicle that is used throughout the airport sector worldwide. The Cobra2 is backed up by a range of second-tier products under the Viper brand name. The standard Amdac Carmichael products are based on renowned automotive brand chassis, with the Cobra2 chassis bought from the company’s joint venture in China following the acquisition of intellectual property from a chassis manufacturing company.

As a specialist in firefighting and rescue vehicles and providers of support products such as aerial hydraulic platforms and airport crash trucks, Amdac Carmichael also supplies products to the industrial petrochemical and defence industries. The company is dedicated to meeting the very strictest of regulations, whether they come from the Civil Aviation Authority or the UK Ministry of Defence, which is a long-term major customer. As Amdac Carmichael continues to benefit from its investment programme and its reputation for excellence in production

and customer service is rapidly returning, the company is increasingly confident in the future. Mr Wiggins concluded, “We expect to see continual, steady, organic growth both in terms of our geographical coverage and our product portfolio. We will be introducing a new airport fire truck within the next two years and we are working to expand further in our current markets of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As our new owner is Malaysian we have already gained a considerable presence across the region, with exciting possibilities to take this even further in the coming months

and years. As a company we’re fighting fit, and have learnt an awful lot about being upbeat and concentrating on meeting our customers’ demanding expectations.” n



A member of the world-renowned Claas Group, Germany-based Claas Industrietechnik is a leading manufacturer of drive technology and hydraulics for a range of industry sectors including agriculture and construction. Victoria Hattersley talks to Thomas Spiering, the company’s sales director, to find out about some of its most innovative and unique products, and plans for future growth.


laas Industrietechnik, unlike the majority of the Claas Group, is not in the business of combines and tractors. Instead, this autonomous member of the group has made a name for itself as a leading producer of unique drive technology systems and hydraulics. And whilst the company supplies its products internally within the Claas Group, ensuring them a steady supply of high-quality, great value drive systems, it also has a number of high profile clients in a surprisingly wide range of industry sectors. A large percentage of its clients are from eastern European countries, such as Russia and Belarus, although it also serves the rest of Europe and occasionally exports as far afield as Australia. 112 Industry Europe

The company is based in Paderborn, Germany, where it currently employs about 600 people involved in the production of its system solutions. The production systems enable Claas Industrietechnik to achieve a highly developed production depth including all key process steps from raw material processing to precise final processing and tested products, thus ensuring high quality and flexibility. In the past few strained economic years, Claas Industrietechnik also invested in infrastructure and processes, such as an environmentally friendly paint shop using water-based painting systems. Last year a new testing bench was installed to further enlarge its testing skills and capacities. In various testing processes Claas

Industrietechnik is checking the function and robustness of the various components and modules and their interaction. “For the future and after the extensive restructuring of the last few years,” adds Mr Spiering, “we are running a 2015 internal factory programme which will further focus on improving operational excellence in different areas. There will be a particular focus on improving logistics systems.”

Markets and clients Whilst it plans to expand its range of markets even more in the coming years, Claas Industrietechnik currently supplies its products to four key sectors: agriculture, municipal, construction equipment and industry

equipment. In the area of agriculture, the company’s key client is still the Claas group itself – although interestingly it is also serving some of the group’s key competitors such as Russia’s Rostelmash, Sampo Rosenlew in Finnland and the German leading producer of potato harvesters, Grimme. In the area of municipal supply, the company offers hydraulic systems and axles, serving companies such as Multicar as well as the AEBI-Schmidt Group. Its construction equipment includes hydraulic systems and power take-off gearboxes (PTOs). “An interesting client for us in this area,” says Mr Spiering, “is the Putzmeister Group, which is producing concrete and material placing equipment, most notably in the Arabic states

such as Dubai where you have many very high buildings which need strong concrete parts and therefore reliable gearboxes.” Finally, in the industry equipment sector Claas Industrietechnik delivers hydraulic systems such as drive components for rail platforms or controllers for large winding drive mechanisms. Its significant clients in this area include such world-renowned players as Thales and Bosch Rexroth.

Terra Trac system From the above, then, it can been seen that Claas Industritechnik’s constant striving to develop ever more innovative and unique products has enabled it to diversify and serve clients across the world in a number

of key industry sectors. So what is it about the company’s core products that make them so unique? One of the company’s biggest selling products today is the globally-known Terra Trac system. This is a rubber track system that runs on large machinery such as combine or potato harvesters. Currently in its third generation (generation two of the product has been successfully established in agricultural applications since the product’s introduction in the 1990s), this system is completely unique to the market. Mr Spiering explains how this latest, third generation offers clients a level of quality and efficiency they will not get anywhere else: “Generation three of Terra Industry Europe 113

Trac includes the latest suspension and control technologies, therefore the combine is able to run in extremely wet conditions and, crucially, will be able to run at 40kph on the road – the fastest combine speed in the world today and a major advantage for our clients. We already have a huge order intake for this product in this business year which is very positive for us. Furthermore, we are looking to increase the volumes and we are very happy that this technology is seeing such success in the market.”

Innovation for the future But whilst Terra Trac is the company’s most important product today, it is by no means the only unique innovation it can offer. The company also produces drive axles for combines, and for these it is focused on three main areas: efficiency, weight and the load of the axle. Because there is a strict vehicle weight limit that the vehicle manufacturer must adhere to, Claas is working on the use of different materials to improve the quality of gearboxes at a lighter weight. As Mr Spiering explains, “A lot of our clients are getting into difficul-

ties regarding new engine regulations, which need more weight, so they will have to reduce the weight of the drive technology somehow. We already have a couple of gearboxes in aluminium, but we would like to expand its possibilities in different applications.” For example, at the 2011 Agritechnica trade fair, Claas Industrietechnik (pavilion 25 stand H13) intends to show a number of other products – one of them is a hydraulic steer-by-wire system, which controls the hydraulic block by wire from the steer so there is no orbitrol needed in the steering mechanism. Mr Spiering explains why this is such an innovative design: “The driver of the relevant machine is just steering by electrical input so he can do drive management and consider some kinds of drive strategies at the same time. This is very important and also has connections with products like GPS. This will be another main product we are showing at the fair, aside from Terra Trac.” The company has also created two new modular mobil-hydraulic families, CL04 (directional seat valve) and CL06 (proportional directional valve), which has been

developed for the variable motion control of hydraulic motors and cylinders through an electrical activation cycle. The two products were created in order to further complete the product range and to be as flexible as possible so that clients could select a hydraulic system and build it up from scratch to their specifications. These products have been on the market for a year and, according to Mr Spiering, have already realised good volumes within and outside the Claas Group. Lastly, looking forward to the next few years on a more general level, Claas Industrietechnik intends to further expand its Terra Trac business and enter the market for new applications, winning new clients in different business areas in order to increase volumes. Mr Spiering concludes: “We would like to develop new solutions in different applications from those used in the Claas Group and come up with some innovations to sell externally, which could then be re-integrated within the group at a later time. That’s why it will continue to be important to enlarge the business and work closely with our clients n on innovations.” Industry Europe 119

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100% ITALIAN MADE PRODUCTS The owner of Ritmonio Rubinetterie Srl, Mr Ritmonio, reveals to Barbara Rossi how his company’s products are entirely made in Italy.


itmonio Rubinetterie started its activity in 1947, initially operating uniquely in what is nowadays called the Industry division, specialised in the production of electrical boiler valves, components for the heating and conditioning industry and manufacturing of brass parts, copper and brazing components. In 1999 there was the launch of the Bath-Kitchen division, dedicated to the design and production of hygienic taps for the bathroom and kitchen areas. The company’s activity is still currently organised around these two divisions. The Industry division customers are major companies in the heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, automotive, coffee machines, household appliances and air treatment industries, which Rubinetterie Ritmonio supplies with brass components and copper circuits designed together with the customers to best fulfil their needs. The Industry division also supplies standard articles, such as safety valves for pressure containers, typically electric and gas boilers, and collectors for finned pack batteries used in heat exchangers. The activity of the Bath-Kitchen division is that of designing and manufacturing hygienic taps for its clients, organised in several product lines, featuring in the company’s catalogue and

able to satisfy the highest quality standards and to respond to market’s requests in terms of design and innovation.

People and facilities Currently Ritmonio Rubinetterie employs more than 150 employees and its main site is in Varallo, near Vercelli, in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. This site extends over 56,000 m2, of which 16,000 m2 are taken up by built structures, and houses both the company’s offices and its main production facilities. It also features the cleaning, galvanic treatment and welding departments and a 1000 m2 warehouse. The company has also a 3000 m2 packaging warehouse at the old production site in Quarona Sesia, 5 km away. Furthermore, there is a copper tube dedicated plant in the Milan province and the company also avails itself of the collaboration of brass printers, located around northern Italy. In terms of production site expansion, very recently, in 2009, the company made two major investments. The first was the extension of the main site by 5000 m2 for production and assembling purposes as well as the acquisition of 40,000 m2, adjacent to the current site, for potential future developments, while the second was the completion of an automated warehouse, allowing the

company to reduce its retrieval times. There are also plans for updating machinery within 2011 and usually annual investments vary within the 4.5 per cent range of turnover.

Italy and the world The company supplies business clients in the private sector, approximately equally divided between Italy and the rest of the world. There are no main differences in the geographical distribution of the products from the two divisions and the company’s distribution reaches every part of the world. Currently it distributes its products in the whole of Europe, the Middle-East, the former Soviet Union countries, including Russia itself, the whole of the American continent, Australia, Korea, India and North Africa. Expansion will be of an organic nature, linked to possible market requests, although future acquisitions of companies or product lines

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could become part of the picture, if suitable opportunities should arise. Ritmonio Rubinetterie is engaged in continuing its growth trend, carrying on meeting the needs of existing clients, as well as acquiring new customers and plans to increase its export activity, with particular attention to the major emerging markets, such as China and India, in which it’s already present. The opening of new horizons will be facilitated by the fact that in 2008 the next generation of the family joined the company.

Eco-sustainability In terms of the Industry division there is constant research into new projects for the satisfaction of current and potentially new

customers, which the company regards as partners. The Bathroom-Kitchen division has just launched a new tap product line called Clé and is working on two new lines, to be launched within 2011, with a focus on eco-sustainable products. The company is involved in a special project linked to its Clé line of bathroom products called “Un villaggio per amico” (A village as a friend), by which Ritmonio takes part in the project of canalisation and irrigation of the fields in Akadeli, in Kenya. This project is supported by the non-profit association “Un Villaggio per Amico-Onlus”. Research is carried out internally, with the cooperation of external laboratories employed

The forging company Lanfranchini has been present on the market since 1951, with its hot pressing activity and a wide range of brass components for taps in general. In-house mould manufacturing, experience and the employment of high technology machines allow it to produce large series of items according to the customer’s design. STAMPERIA LANFRANCHINI Spa | Via Cremosina 2 | 13018 Valduggia (VC) Tel.: +39 0163 48141 | Fax: +39 0163 46140 |

at testing level. Rubinetterie Ritmonio holds patents for some of its products and has received awards in international competitions, such as Compasso d’Oro, Design Plus, Good Design and iDa-International Design Awards. Rubinetterie Ritmonio is rightly proud of the certifications that it has achieved. At the beginning of 2011 it has obtained the renewal of its ISO9001-2008 and can claim to have passed at the first attempt the ISO14001 environmental and the OHSAS18001 safety certifications. Thanks to considerable investments carried out in 2010, it is also one of the first companies in its industry able to claim to have an integrated certification system, covering quality, environment and safety. n


COOLING TECHNOLOGY Daikin is a global leader in the design and manufacture of refrigeration and air-conditioning products. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at the company’s latest innovative products and its ongoing commitment to sustainable production.


aikin Europe NV is based in Belgium and is the sales and manufacturing headquarters responsible for the sale of air-conditioners in Europe and EMEA. The company was founded in Ostend in 1973 and today operates the most advanced air-conditioning plant in Europe covering more than 150,000m2. This extensive, modern facility produces equipment for markets as diverse as Norway and South Africa. The recent addition of two new European production facilities in the Czech Republic has added capacity and optimised lead times for its markets worldwide. The company also has a number of wholly owned affiliates in Spain, Germany, France, Belgium Portugal, Greece, Italy, Poland and South Africa, as well as in Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands.

Innovation and super-efficiency Daikin Europe offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of air conditioning and refrigeration products and systems anywhere in the world. These products cover commercial, residential and industrial applications and include split air conditioners, heat recovery units, sky air units, air and water cooled chillers as well as state-of-the-art VRV systems and packaged units. In addition, the company produces a range of home-heating units, air purifiers and a complete suite of

user-friendly, air conditioning management and monitoring control systems. Diakin has always been a pioneer of heat recovery technology and by combining its new REYAQ-P VRVIII model with an HXHD hydrobox it has become super-efficient, whilst at the same time significantly extending the advantages of the heat recovery process. The resulting free, recovered heat can also be used to produce hot water to satisfy the demand for domestic hot water and the provision of heating to radiators and under-floor elements. The company’s innovative hydrobox includes all the connections, pumps, filters and valves to connect to any water circuit. Furthermore, intelligent control of the water temperature eliminates the need for a mixing valve by producing the exact water temperature required. Daikin places a high priority on maintaining its global reputation for quality and reliability. As a result, quality is implicit throughout its product supply chain and all units are rigorously tested as part of the company’s determination to avoid any possible equipment failure in the field. Compliance with ISO 9001 and EUROVENT product test requirements is supported by 24 hour monitoring under simulated field conditions, which in turn is underpinned by the full, technical backing of the company’s Japanese parent company: Daikin Industries Ltd. It is worth

noting that Daikin is the only air-conditioning manufacturer that produces both its own compressors and refrigerants.

Optimised success Today the company’s focus is on energy efficiency, noise reduction, compactness, ease of installation and simplicity of operation. In this respect, Daikin’s Altherma Flex products are no exception. Building on the success of its Altherma Flex series, Daikin has announced the expansion of the range to cover large-scale commercial applications, where space heating and hot water production are a priority. Thanks to the Daikin Altherma ‘cascade’ technology, large volumes of hot water, with

temperatures of up to 80°C, can be produced reliably and efficiently, making this system ideal for applications where space is at a premium. With water-leaving temperatures ranging from 25°C to 80°C, the system is designed to optimise hot water production for all types of heat emitters, such as radiators, under-floor heating systems, fan-coil units and heat-pump convectors. Typical applications for this product include hotels, fitness centres, spa facilities, hospitals, libraries and schools. The high water-leaving temperatures of the Daikin Altherma Flex type also make it ideally suited for the upgrading of existing heating systems. Furthermore, when used in combination with the inverter control of the compressors and weather-dependent temperature controls, extremely efficient operation can result. For example, running costs can be up to 36 per cent less than with comparable oil or gas installations, with up to 35 per cent less primary energy use and up to 71 per cent less CO2 emissions. Other new flexible, energy efficient solutions from Daikin include its latest water chiller, the new EWWD-H range which boosts CLWT (condenser leaving water temperature) to 65°C reliably and efficiently. A heat pump version is also available for the supply of hot water and this is perfectly suited to geothermal applications. In addition, there is a long

list of optional extras, making these advanced chillers ideal for a broad range of comfort and cooling applications.

Focus on sustainability Daikin’s commitment to energy conservation and sustainability is matched only by its dedication to innovation and quality. The company is a global leader in its field for energy conservation and often pre-empts international and local legislation in these areas. In 1988 it became the first European airconditioning manufacturer to achieve ISO 14001 certification and all its affiliate companies are expected to meet these stringent requirements within the next few years. Geert Opdedrynck, assistant director of Daikin Industries Czech Republic (DICZ), said, “Environmental issues are high on our agenda. DICZ has had the ISO 14001 certification since 2006 as well as holding a number of other environmental accreditations. As a company we are at the forefront in applying all the many environmental regulations, even before they become a legal requirement. For example, our complete range of products was fully compliant six months before the EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) came into force.” Daikin said that they will continue to make significant investments in energy conservation and look to a fully n sustainable future.

SWEDISH ORIGINS – GLOBAL PRESENCE All industries use cooling, heating, flow and separation in their daily operation. Alfa Laval’s engineering solutions have been an integral part of these operations for over 125 years.


lfa Laval specialises in valves and other industrial processing equipment, and there are three main product lines: separation (centrifuges), fluid handling (pumps and valves), and heat transfer (heat exchangers). Its equipment and services are designed to help optimise processes such as heating, cooling, separating and transporting products such as beverages/food, biofuels, chemicals, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. Gustav de Laval, who invented the centrifugal separator, founded the company in 1883 and the Alfa Laval AB group’s head-

quarters are still located in Sweden. The group holds more than 300 patents, and invests approximately 2.5 per cent of sales in research and development, resulting in over 35 new products each year. Customers are found in approximately 100 countries, and include BASF, Bayer, Heineken, Shell and Tetra Laval among others. The company has 28 large production units (15 in Europe, eight in Asia and four in the USA), and 70 service centres. Its 11 400 employees are working in Sweden, Denmark, India, China, the USA and France. Industry Europe 127

According to the company’s interim report in June: “The demand continued to develop positively during the second quarter of the year. The order intake increased 32 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year.”

Alfa Laval in India Alfa Laval traces its presence in India back to 1937 when it was represented there – alongside other Swedish companies – by the Vulcan Trading Company Pvt. Ltd. A few years later a merger resulted in the new name Vulcan Laval Ltd, in ’81 Alfa Laval AB became the majority share holder, and in 1987 the name changed to Alfa Laval India Ltd. Since 1993 the company has been a full subsidiary of the Swedish group, encompassing a registered office at Pune and factories in Maharashra. Alfa Laval India is an established supplier of plate and spiral exchangers, centrifugal separators and decanters as well

as sanitary flow equipment, and for certain models of these products it has the status of Group Manufacturing Unit for the global market. The subsidiary is recognised for its special expertise in process equipment fabrication in SS and other exotic metals. Additionally, Alfa Laval India acts as the global hub for executing Alfa Laval projects

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in distillery and vegetable oil refineries in South Africa, China, Nigeria, Middle East, Turkey, Russia and Bangladesh.

A good year for India Alfa Laval has been present in India for more than 70 years, and the Tata Group has been a customer for half of this time –

almost four decades. Tata Salt was India’s first packaged iodised salt and is today the leading Indian salt brand. Tata Chemicals was the country’s first salt producer to use vacuum evaporation in this process. In September 2010 Tata Chemicals placed an order worth about SEK 60 million for heat exchangers to be used in evapora-

tion systems for production of salt in India. The Alfa Laval heat exchangers will be used to concentrate sea water brine for production of table salt and concentrated brine for caustic soda production. There were two more major orders from refineries. The first, to the value of SEK 50 million, provides Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers for a catalytic process to remove sulphur from refined diesel. The unique Packinox heat exchangers are widely used in the refinery and petrochemical industry as they have an unmatched energy efficiency, well suited for these demanding applications. The second, worth about SEK 110 million, involves the heat exchangers to be used in a catalytic chemical process for mixed xylene which, among other things, can be used for production of PET bottles. “Four out of the five large orders Alfa Laval has received recently have been in India. India became our fourth largest market during the third quarter and I expect it to become number three in the near future”, says Lars Renström, president and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group.

vegetable oil plant in India. The order value is about SEK 65 million and delivery is scheduled for 2012. The order includes a variety of Alfa Laval products such as separators, mixers and heat exchangers and will be used for refining different types of crude oils – e.g. soya bean – into high quality oils. “We continue to see good developments in India,” says Lars Renström, president and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group. “The latest order n confirms this positive trend.”

A ‘healthy’ order volume of SEK 115 million Driven by increased living standards and a growing population, the edible oil industry in India is expected to grow 6 per cent annually, and reach 20 million tonnes of consumption by 2015. Following an earlier SEK 50 million order in February, the most recent order received in June was for a complete solution for a Industry Europe 131

DEDICATION IS THE KEY Turin-based Danfoss Srl distributes electronic components to various industry sectors, such as food and beverage, industrial automation, HVAC and chemicals. Barbara Rossi finds out more about the company’s activities from Mr Aldo Ornaghi, country manager for the drives division.


anfoss Srl is part of the large multinational Danfoss group, headquartered in Denmark. The Danfoss group is subdivided in four divisions: Danfoss drives, Danfoss Heating, Danfoss refrigeration & air conditioning and Danfoss Industrial Automation. The Danfoss Drives division employs about 20,000 people worldwide. As with all the other group companies, it holds ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications and carries out the entire production process, from R&D to design and manufacturing, in-house. Danfoss Srl is the Italian distributor for the Drives division products. Its products include VLT® frequency converters, soft starters, decentralised solutions and power options. Its core products, however, are the VLT® frequency converters, which are mainly produced at the group’s plant in Graasten, Denmark, and also at the in the USA (Loves Park, Illinois) and China

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(Haiyan). VLT® frequency converters are mass-produced variable speed drives for AC motors, which the group first introduced in 1968. Since that year the key word for Danfoss has been, according to Mr Ornaghi, ‘dedication’. In fact, 2000 employees in over 100 countries are dedicated to the development and supply of assistance services and products, specifically for frequency converters and soft starters. Soft starters are also employed in controlling motors and Danfoss manufactures these at different sites around the world. The Danfoss frequency converter technology, which has been employed in piloting motors for different applications since the 1960s, offers an increase in the energy efficiency achieved by the whole production plant, whose motors are controlled by these devices. VLT® frequency converters control the entire AC motor performance, including speed,

torque, acceleration, synchronisation and positioning. VLT® frequency converters are used in various sectors, including food and beverage, industrial automation, water and waste water treatment, refrigeration, HVAC, chemicals and textiles. Currently Danfoss Srl’s main outlet is the food and beverage sector and its main geographical focus is Italy, which is why it has sales offices at other Italian locations including Rome, Bologna and Vimercate.

The VLT® Flex Concept Danfoss has recently introduced a new philosophy: the VLT®Flex Concept, a drive which gives to the user the possibility to decide if centralise or decentralise its plant, mounting drives close or even onto the drive motor, or into a cabinet. This system has already been launched on the market, having been presented at a trade fair SPS/ IPC/Drives Italia, in Parma in May 2011.

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Owing to their special features, including their EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group) certified hygienic design and coating, they are particularly suited for the food and beverage sector. In fact, Danfoss is the only drives manufacturer to offer products with this certification. The VLT®Flex Concept is a system using modern motor technology combined with the most advanced inverter drives and developed as a unified system. It comprises the highly efficient VLT® OneGearDrive combined with a VLT® Decentral FCD 302 Drive or a VLT® AutomationDrive FC 302 frequency converter. This results in higher efficiency, fewer variants, lower training and maintenance costs, flexibility and higher reliability, meaning a reduction in production and manufacturing costs. Danfoss offers the choice between VLT® drives for centralised location in a control room, cabinets or wall-mounted and VLT® decentralised drives for mounting close to or even onto the drive motor. This offers maximum flex-

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ibility in plant design and maintenance, allowing the user to reduce wire connections across the plant and the costs attached to them. Both the VLT® OneGearDrive geared motor unit and the VLT® Decentral Drive FCD 302 meet the most stringent wash-down and hygienespecific conditions, making them the ideal combination for food and beverage plants. Furthermore the high level of energy efficiency of these products combined (up to 90 per cent) reduces the total cost of ownership by up to 25 per cent in comparison with conventional systems. Indeed, one year’s energy savings from Danfoss’s annual of VLT® drives will save energy equivalent to the production of a major power plant.

Dedicated service provider One of the key strengths of Danfoss Srl, as with the entire Danfoss Drives division, is the high level of after-sales service it can offer its clients. In fact, as all the company’s products have been developed according to clients’ needs and suggestions, its qualified technical staff have acquired a vast experience in

maintenance and applications, allowing them to offer support in the installation and running of the motor control product range. In addition, Danfoss also organises technical training courses on the use and activation of its VLT® frequency converters, which can take place either at the main site in Turin or at the client’s own premises. Looking ahead, Danfoss Srl is planning to grow organically, as the group division to which it belongs is undergoing continuous evolution and growth. Any possible acquisition would be decided at global rather than at national level. In particular, the company is hoping to increase its market share in the large building air-conditioning sector (such as for hospitals), while at the same time enlarging its presence in all the other sectors to which it’s already supplying its products. Geographically, Danfoss Srl is not going to expand any further as other geographical markets are already within the scope of other companies within the group. |



round the home, there are many domestic appliances, like the washing machine or the oven, that are electronically controlled. Digital controls are used to set the temperature of the oven and to alert us to when the washing machine has finished its cycle. Smart Automation offers computer systems for controlling and monitoring the activities inside a ship.

Obviously, this type of control system has much bigger and more complex tasks to perform. A marine automation system controls and monitors the ship’s cargo and the ballast, together with the diesel generator, the fire alarm and the CCTV. Smart Automation offers a control and monitoring system for ships called Smart Chief II. With Smart Chief II, all the controls are integrated.

The Norwegian company Smart Automation AS manufactures and installs computer control systems for ships. Joseph Altham interviewed Jan Erik Skog, sales and marketing director at Smart Automation, to find out how the company’s marine automation systems are simplifying the work of ships’ crews all over the world.

“You are able to operate different functions from one location,” Mr Skog explained. “The operator can have an overview of the ship’s machinery, like the generator, the valves for the ballast or the contents of a tank.” Smart Automation installs its Smart Chief II system in all kinds of ships, including fishing vessels, bulk carriers, tankers and even yachts.

Location Smart Automation was established in 1979 and is based on Bømlo, an island in the North Sea near Bergen. The company was formerly known as Bjørge Marine Automation and is a subsidiary of Align, a group which specialises in safety equipment for the gas and maritime industries. “Using electronics to make control systems really started in the late 1970s,” said Mr Skog. “As part of the community on the west coast of Norway, we support the industries of the North Sea. We have long experience of

developing systems that meet demanding requirements for reliability.” Prestigious shipbuilding firms such as the Ulstein Group have installed the Smart Chief system in their ships. The sea is a tough environment for both men and machinery, and Smart Automation works hard to provide crews with a marine automation system that is stable, durable and easy to use. “We buy components that are optimal for marine use. We do not use ordinary PCs. Instead we use a specially developed marine computer.”

Redundancy The computers in the Smart Chief II system are set up to deliver a superior level of redundancy. To engineers, redundancy (otherwise known as back up) is a positive attribute. It means that if there is a technical failure on one computer, vital information and commands will still be stored somewhere else. For example, if one of the computers controlling the ship’s hydraulics fails, the pumps will still carry on working and the ship can safely complete its journey.

A special characteristic of the Smart Chief II automation system is that it avoids the socalled “master-slave” configuration that carries the risk of problems should the back up have to be employed. “With the master-slave configuration, the master normally handles everything,” Mr Skog explained. “So if the master goes out of action the slave will not have been used for some time, and may be faulty. Rather than the master-slave configuration, we have a dual system that is always switching.” As a result, if the back-up computer has to be activated, it has already been updated.

Monitoring Monitoring is a vital part of automation, quickly alerting the captain to any potential problems. One of the features of Smart Chief II, Smart Link, also makes it possible for people to track what is happening inside the ship from on land. “Smart Link allows the service provider to access all types of information relating to the ship. The operator’s head office can obtain reports of fuel consumption and the amount of cargo.” Marine automation systems can also save money for the owner. “Where ships do not have integrated automa-

tion, as is sometimes the case with vessels built in Asia, the pumps and valves have to be operated locally. This needs more labour, and demands a larger crew. More and more vessels are looking into the costs of their crews and installing automation systems for this reason.”

Mobility A lot of Smart Automation’s work is done outside Bømlo. The company has an office in Shanghai that caters for the newbuilding activity in China. Besides China, Smart Automation sends out engineers to Brazil, India, and many other countries around the world, both to start up the Smart Chief system and to do retrofit assignments. “For newbuildings, we would normally just send one or two engineers to commission the equipment. The most common retrofit is when the components have gone out of production and the entire system is out of date.” Smart Automation has a 24/7 service support so its engineers can respond quickly in a crisis. “Our service engineers don’t just spend their time servicing old components. They are used to being involved in projects, which means they are ready to solve unexpected problems as they arise. We work on short delivery times, and we have to be flexible to n fulfil the demands of our customers.”

AT THE CUTTING EDGE Ceratizit is the world market leader in a number of industry sectors for its unique and innovative hard material products, which include wear parts, cutting tools and carbide rods. Industry Europe looks into its operations to discover the reasons behind its success.


eratizit, today a 50 per cent subsidiary of the globally recognised Plansee Group, was established in 2002 as the result of a merger between the two companies Cerametal and Plansee Tizit. As both the companies had common roots and cultural backgrounds, it was felt that a jointventure for the development of carbide as a basis would be mutually beneficial. The company is based in Mamer, Luxembourg, where its advanced machine park includes a milling centre, lathe centre, horizontal milling unit and vertical milling unit. However, Ceratizit is a global player and also has a large production and 138 Industry Europe

sales network stretching across Europe, South America, North America, Asia and North Africa.

Core products Ceratizit’s impressive range of products is divided into several divisions and sub-divisions, and is designed to meet the needs of today’s state-of-the-art tooling technology. The core product divisions are wear parts, cutting tools, wood machining parts, stone working parts and carbide rods. The wear parts include discs, speciality carbide parts, PCB blanks, knives, nozzles, hobs, cold forming tools and fastening tools.

The cutting tools produced by the company are for applications including drilling, turning, milling, threading and grooving. These are destined for a diverse range of industry sectors, such as automotive, aerospace, rail, tooling, petrochemicals and energy. Products specifically for wood machining include carbide blanks for cutting products such as drill bits or planning blades, and semi-finished products such as blanks for profiling, ground rods and strips. In addition to this, Ceratizit is one of the world’s leading suppliers of stone working parts, supplying the industry with literally millions of drill tips a year for masonry drills

and hammer drills. Lastly its carbide rod offering covers both standard rods and special rods such as blanks for gun drills of preformed blanks made according to customer specifications. But it doesn’t end here: Ceratizit also offers a number of additional services to ensure that its clients get the best possible result from its products, and ensure that they choose the right one to meet their specific needs. These services cover online application advice through the com-

pany’s E-Techadvisers, tools to calculate exact production parameters as well as WinTool – a modern tooling information system which provides the customer with additional support when they are choosing and applying machine tools.

A new addition Ceratizit enhanced this range further in July 2011 with the launch of its new carbide hot runner nozzles. These are characterised by their high level of wear resistance and heat

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conductivity, and can substantially increase tool life which saves costs for plastics manufacturers. These nozzles can be applied wherever heat conductivity combined with wear resistance, high toughness and resistance to high temperatures are necessary. Before launching these products on the market, Ceratizit carried out several tests series with various customers. Particularly high results were achieved with glass-

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fibre reinforced plastic materials where wear was patent. For example, tool life was substantially increased which saves costs whilst maintaining consistently high quality. In addition, these new hot runner nozzles are identical in construction to the previous ones available, and can therefore be mounted on existing tooling systems without the user having to invest money in new systems. Equally importantly, Ceratizit

can tailor each product to the customers’ requirements, however complicated or precise their needs. Sonja Stern, product manager for the plastics industry at Ceratizit, commented: “The special thing about Ceratizit is that we do not only offer standard solutions to our customers. We deliver customised tooling solutions, optimised for special requirements. We see ourselves as a

partner to the customer. With our longstanding experience in the field of carbides we create innovative solutions in direct collaboration with the customers. This results in trendsetting carbide product ideas for the plastics industry.”

Consolidation in the USA In February 2011 Ceratizit announced that it would be centralising its US cutting tool

manufacturing operations from Latrobe, Pennsylvania to Warren, Michigan in order, as it said, to “best prepare for the expected economic rebound”. The forecast for the North American market now looks favourable, so in order to take advantage of this situation and meet the growing demand there Ceratizit will be more than doubling the size of the Warren, Michigan site. Furthermore, it will consolidate its

US operations by closing its Latrobe, Pennsylvania location. With this move, it will be consolidating its US operations and realising the synergies of a single location. All the Latrobe facilities – powder operations, hard and soft scrap recycling operations, distribution centre, customer service centre and finance department – will be moved to Warren and all future US growth strategies n will now be focused here.

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Turkey’s Dilmenler DMS is one of the world’s leading textile machinery manufacturers and it has now entered into a new era thanks to a $5 million investment into a new dyeing facility which will also be used as a showroom for its complete continuous wet processing machines. The sales director, Ismail Senguler, talked to Industry Europe.


MS currently produces two main types of machinery: dyeing and finishing machines. Within these two lines, it offers over 110 different types of machinery to suit the different needs of its clients. Industry Europe last caught up with Dilmenler just as the textile industry and other key Turkish sectors were hit by the global

economic crisis and the markets were at a standstill waiting for the uncertainty of the times to dissipate. Many of Dilmenler’s key clients cancelled or postponed their investment plans, which in turn affected the company’s own plans quite drastically. At the time Mr Senguler told us that Dilmenler was planning to go ahead with a large invest-

ment project of its own, knowing that this would give them an advantage by the time the sector started to function more healthily, which he thought was inevitable. It now appears that he was right. After the dismal period of 2008–2009, finally last year the sector started to move again and Dilmenler recorded a 40 per cent growth in Industry Europe 143

production and turnover, Mr Senguler says. He adds that the figures for the first three months of this year are also looking good and that there is every reason for optimism. In a textile industry that is now functioning much more healthily, Dilmenler is also ready to significantly increase its chances of becoming the preferred choice for many more textile manufacturers from around the world. The new showroom factory is key to this effort, and it places Dilmenler in a different category from many of its competitors.

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“Nothing is better than seeing the products in action” Mr Senguer explains the significant advantages of being able to show potential clients how the machinery works in a real production environment. He says it is not just a research and development facility but most importantly it will provide all the answers to the operational questions typically posed by clients considering the purchase of new machinery. It will also give them the opportunity to see the machines

tested and to gauge their capacity before making any commitment to purchase. Previously Dilmenler would have to ask for favours from its existing domestic clients in order to show their machinery in action to potential new clients but they are now able to use their own factory to service the needs of all their potential domestic and international clients. They can also organise training sessions in the facility. The dyeing facility will also set a real example about how best to use logistics

to get four loads every six hours from the machines. This is currently their maximum capacity but often customers cannot achieve it due to logistical inefficiencies. In other words, this factory will also be used to reflect Dilmenler’s know-how in engineering and the importance of logistical systems gained through 30 years of experience. This will help customers to replicate the sample factory in order to obtain the full capacity of the machines. Mr Senguler believes that the functioning dyeing factory will increase Dilmenler’s exposure to potential clients that might not even have heard of Dilmenler before. It will help to eliminate any uncertainty that clients may have against a new provider, or towards a lesser-known brand. An additional benefit of this showroom is that while it will show the machinery, its finished produce will also be marketed to a completely new clientele. He says the production could start in a month or so. For this new market, Dilmenler is in the process of putting together a new team to sell the factory’s high-quality fabrics.

the existing offices which include those in Bangladesh and Pakistan, it has opened in Colombia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. There are plans to further increase the company’s presence around the world with new representatives based in Vietnam, Peru, Equator and Chile. In all, Dilmenler will have representatives in 20 countries throughout hte world. Feasibility studies are also being carried out to open a firm in Brazil with an assembly or production facility that would give Dilmen-

ler the status of a local producer status in the country. This is important as Brazil is known to apply higher import taxes on external manufacturers. Dilmenler is currently preparing for the International Exhibition of Textile Machinery (ITMA) Fair in September 2011, which will take place in Barcelona. They have hired a 450 m2 space, where they are excited to show the full potential of their new dyeing facility and expect to receive a lot of interest. n

A worldwide network Since the crisis, Dilmenler has also been restructuring its network of representative offices around the world and, in addition to

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DYNAMIC CERAMICS Progressive technical ceramics company ESK is utilising its market-leading position and introducing additional advanced non-oxide ceramics and special materials to new markets. Industry Europe spoke to vice-president of sales and marketing, Christoph Nitsche. Emma-Jane Batey reports. 146 Industry Europe


stablished in Kempten, Germany, in 1922, ESK Ceramics is an advanced technical ceramics company with customers in almost all key industries. ESK is well-known for setting the standards of quality and performance worldwide across its ceramics portfolio. A wholly owned subsidiary of Californian-based publicly listed company Ceradyne Inc. since 2004, whose 2000 employees across 12 sites generate over $400 million last year, ESK today has 18 brands and 10 specialised materials. Manufacturing ceramics for nearly 90 years, ESK has steadily built up its reputation for developing and producing high-quality non-oxide ceramics and its range of specialised materials. Primarily silicon nitrite, boron nitrite, boron carbide and silicon carbide, the specialised materials represent many of the company’s well-known brands. ESK’s

silicon nitrite is known as EKasic, its boron carbide is called TETRABOR® and EKasin® is a silicon nitrite.

Strong portfolio Generally, ESK focuses its activities on carbides, nitrites and some borides. Vicepresident of sales and marketing, Christoph Nitsche, told Industry Europe more about the company’s portfolio. He said, “Our core products are our structural ceramics, with the main applications in the mechanical rather than electrical usage. All our products are manufactured at our Kempten site, where we have state-of-the-art equipment and a highly skilled workforce. The ESK name is also widely associated with our longest established product – evaporation boats. This process is used every day across a wide range of applications, from

the silver paper that you get in coffee packets to the aluminium-like shiny paper found on the top of beer bottles.” ESK also produces one special product for the automotive industry. EKagrip shims are very thin metal foils with a diamond particle coating that helps friction enhancement by a factor of three. Used by the automotive industry to increase transmitted torque from the engine to the gearbox, EKagrip is used by virtually all of the major OEM engine manufacturers. As the market leader in silicon carbide for fluid handling, ESK’s products are used for sliding bearings in chemical pumps, as well as a number of other industrial applications. In the boron carbide field, ESK has two main markets, with its ceramics used in bulletproof inserts for armoured vests and in sand -blasting nozzles.

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ESK’s production of boron nitrite represents an important market for the company, with many industry sectors utilising its advanced ceramics. Mr Nitsche explained, “Boron nitrite is a very flexible product for many applications. In the cosmetic industry for example, boron nitrite’s clean white colour and excellent thermal conductivity make it idea for use in colour cosmetics as it helps the vibrancy of the colours. The microstructure of boron nitrite means it’s not hard like other ceramics, but more like chalk, so its small platelets make for a very flattering coverage of the skin that helps hide fine wrinkles and vastly reduces sweating under make-up. In the electronic industry thermo-conductive polymers with boron nitrite fillers are utilised where thermal management is required. The latest ESK advanced ceramic product is called PetroCeram®. The sand-control filter screen has been specially created for the oil and gas industry, particularly for exploration and production.

Growing world of production The company’s product portfolio delivers reliability and quality to its customers worldwide, with the Kempten facilities soon to be joined by an additional production facility in China. Mr Nitsche said, “On 8 August, the new site in China will be up and running. It represents a major investment by Ceradyne, and ESK will have the dedicated use of an area of this large facility for our own manu-

facturing requirements. The Kempten site will continue to focus on development and production for our European and American customers, with the Chinese site primarily working on producing silicone carbide parts for the local food handling industry.” Europe is the company’s main market, with America a close second, and now growth in China is predicted in the coming months and years, particularly as the new site will allow ESK to react quickly to customer requests. The company also has plans to open additional sites, with an increase in its footprint in China as well as a further site in the USA or Mexico. Mr Nitsche says that ESK has ‘very aggressive growth goals’; the company intends to grow by a factor of five over the next ten years. He concluded, “This growth will mainly come from our existing product family, although we are always looking to innovate and develop because this forward thinking has characterised our long history in this business. Our main focus for growth will come from a small shift in our philosophy: we will move from being simply a component manufacturer to more of a system supplier. We already have the capability and skill to do this, and as we introduce new product innovations such as ceramic heat exchangers, micro-reactors and other new products for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in particular, our partnerships with our customers will become even more productive.” n Industry Europe 149

GAINING HEIGHT The global market leader in helicopter manufacture and support, Eurocopter has continued to secure its reputation for innovation and reliability throughout the economic crisis. As the company expands its portfolio and sees clear market improvement, Emma-Jane Batey reports for Industry Europe.


ounded in 1992 following the merger of two leading helicopter divisions of the major global companies Aérospatiale and Daimler-Benz Aerospace AG, Eurocopter enjoys a history of European helicopter manufacturing expertise that is far greater than its own date of establishment. Known as a pioneer in the industry, with many impressive technical firsts throughout its history, Eurocopter today has more than 11,200 helicopters in service for more than 2900 customers operating in over 147 countries. Mr Dominique Maudet, executive vicepresident Global Business & Services for 150 Industry Europe

Eurocopter Group, told Industry Europe how the impact of the global economic downturn affected the helicopter industry, and how the company has secured a strong market position during this challenging time. He said, “The civil and parapublic helicopter markets have been greatly impacted by the downturn, with a particularly sharp decline in orders from the civil market for light helicopters. We have found that governmental orders have compensated for this drop though, which is very positive, and continues to be. Furthermore, throughout this time, our global industrial footprint and comprehensive, innovative product

portfolio has continued to be a real asset, and has allowed the Group to continue to secure our position as the world’s leading manufacturer of civil and parapublic helicopters.”

Great results In 2010, Eurocopter generated an increased turnover of €4.8 billion, which represents a 50 per cent increase over the past five years, with the delivery of 527 helicopters. The Group is positive that this will continue in an upward trajectory as it is seeing slow but clear market improvement, with strong drivers from the oil and gas and utility markets. The O&G explora-

tion market is key as it requires both heavy and medium class helicopters, with encouraging signs also coming from the corporate and EMS sectors. The Group-wide transformation programme undertaken in 2010 has also played a part in its continuing fortunes. Called SHAPE, this programme has already delivered results in terms of new product developments, enhanced customer service, innovation, streamlined organisation and cost savings and is preparing the Group for a future upturn of the civil and military rotarywing marketplace. The global market leader, Eurocopter takes a great pride in its success, which is based on its comprehensive range with a dedication to continual improvement and state-of-the-art technology. According to Eurocopter, “We have already doubled our self-funded R&D budget since 2008 and will continue to increase it year on year, with our aim being to perform each year a first flight of a new product or of an innovation demonstrator. We marked 2010 with the

unveiling of the X3demonstrator – Europe’s newest high-speed, long-range hybrid helicopter, with this concept tailored to situations where operational costs and mission success depend directly on the maximum cruising speed.”

Real innovation In June 2011, the X3 was officially presented at the Paris Air Show, with the rotorcraft helicopter being greeted with technical acclaim. Powered by a five-blade main rotor system and two propellers on short-span wings – a combination that delivers excellent vertical take-off and landing capabilities combined with aircraft-like fast cruise speeds and manoeuvrability – the technology developed for the X3 is expected to offer a wide range of utilisations across the sectors in which Eurocopter is most active. Potential applications include longdistance search and rescue missions, offshore operations, coast guard duties, border patrol missions and inter-city shuttle services. Eurocopter’s innovation and new project commitment will continue. The Group has

officially received the backing of the French authorities for the joint project transfer activities to the city of Dugny, which paves the way for a Greater Paris Aeronautics Centre of Excellence; the company is to move the activities currently based in its site of Paris La Courneuve to the former navy airbase in Dugny, where EADS will equally install a portion of its Innovation Works department. Scheduled for completion in 2014, the new facilities will enable the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer to further modernise its blade production capabilities in particular, and to work closer with its blade balancing activities which are already located in nearby Le Bourget. The industrial international network of Eurocopter gathers production sites in France, Germany, Spain, the USA, Canada and Australia and will continue to expand far beyond Europe as illustrated by recent projects. The latest Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering joint venture agreement marks the Group’s Central Asian expansion, with sales expected across the region. Eurocopter is also building new industrial facilities in ItaIndustry Europe 151

juba, Brazil and in Querétaro, Mexico, which will support its global production network. Eurocopter’s activities are currently a 50/50 mix of military and civil business. The Group shows in particular a 49 per cent share in the civil and parapublic market. With a global workforce of 17,500, Eurocopter’s hopes for the coming years reflect its impressive achievements thus far. Mr Maudet concluded, “Our Vision 2020 is an ambitious yet achievable objective and the three core elements are innovation, internalisation and service, with acquisition being a key aspect in helping us to increase our footprint overall. We continue expanding our added-value portfolio as shown by the acquisition of Vector Aerospace, a leader and independent provider of aviation repairs and overhaul services. ” n 152 Industry Europe

PROBING THE FUTURE GEA Pharma Systems is a global leader in the field of pharmaceutical process engineering. Philip Yorke talked to Griet Van Vaerenbergh, GEA Pharma Systems’ marketing manager for Collette products, about the huge potential offered by new global markets and its latest innovative technology.

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Pharma systems is part of the International GEA Group, which specialises in the provision of systems and process technology for a variety of industries ranging from food and energy, to pharmaceuticals, farm technologies and refrigeration. As an internationally operating technology group, the company focuses on process technology and components for demanding production processes in a variety of end-markets. Currently the group generates 70 per cent of its revenue from the growing food and energy sectors. The company employs more than 20,000 people worldwide and recorded sales of over

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€4.4 billion in 2010. In December 2010 the GEA Group was declared the global market and technology leader in its business areas. One of the group’s fastest-growing business areas is the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and cosmetics sector, placing health and well-being in pole position in the group. Fastmoving demographic developments are turning these markets into major growth sectors. Today in the developed industrial countries, 15 per cent of the population is already over 65 years old, and in the next 20-30 years this proportion will approximately treble. Currently, pharmaceutical manufacturers are investing billions in the improvement of existing products

and procedures as well as in new product development. GEA Pharma is able to bring to bear its significant capabilities in this area with growing success.

Fibre optics lighting the way GEA Pharma’s on going investment in new products has led to some remarkable achievements. The latest of these is its fibre optic probe with fully automated process-interface, known as its Lighthouse Probe™ technology. This globally patented device can be used for real-time monitoring of chemical and pharmaceutical processes and provides in-process window cleaning at any time, as

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well as re-calibration, full CIP (cleaning) of wash housing and seal, and a clear view inside the optic – even under the most difficult conditions. Mr Van Vaerenbergh said, “Our Lighthouse Probe™ interface system is unique and designed for the implementation of NIR and UV spectro-photometry and fibre optic techniques into production equipment. With its constantly clean observation window capability, manufacturers do not need to disassemble their equipment to maintain optimal monitoring and production efficiency. This device effectively brings to an end the costly errors of

the past when random sampling highlighted a production error, often late in the manufacturing process, or even after the batch had been completed. Today we see that pharmaceutical companies are looking towards continuous manufacturing and the online monitoring of processes, which is being driven by continuous European and FDA legislation.” The integration and automation of fibre optical analyser systems is now possible thanks to GEA’s unique Lighthouse Probe™ technology (LHP). The manual operated, semi, or fully automated LHP is remotely operated to enable

its use in sensitive and high-potent processes. Furthermore, it is optimised for a broad spectrum of fibre optic based analytic methods. For full integration with processing equipment, the cleanable LHP system has different options to enable communication with a manufacturer’s existing control systems.

Leading the way in added-value systems GEA Pharma’s revolutionary Consigma™ continuous high-shear granulation and drying system was launched at the Interpack Pharmaceutical Trade Fair in 2008. Industry Europe 155

This unique system provides addedvalue benefits through improved quality and maximum flexibility. It has been well received throughout the industry and satisfies the pharmaceutical industry’s demand for continuous production, whilst providing improved quality, flexibility and consistency during manufacturing processes. One Consigma™ device can run 500g in R&D, but can also run clinical trial and launch size, as well as full production batches. This allows manufacturers to reduce development time dramatically and to reduce costs as well as bring new products to market much faster. Mr Van Vaerenbergh added, “Consigma™ has been a great success for continuous granulation and drying for solid dosage products. It was the first continuous granulation and drying product on the market and sold principally to

pharmaceutical companies. Consigma™ offers high-shear granulation combined with segmented fluid bed drying, tableting and coating and is available in a modular construction to fit in every production room. “The dryer module is based on fluid-bed drying principles and splits the continuous flow of granules in packages of 1.5kg, drying them each in a separate segment of the dryer. In addition, the drying curve of each package is monitored as a fingerprint of the process and controlled to maintain a consistent endhumidity over the whole batch. This drying concept is capable of producing pharmaceutical granules in a continuous manner without the waste involved in start-up and shut-down. “This year at Interpack, we are showing a new version of this product known as Consigma -1. This is designed specifically to work

with very small amounts of product. Process parameters defined on ConsiGma™-1 can transfer one-to-one to the production equipment, again a feature unique to GEA Pharma.”

Advancing single-pot processing GEA Pharma systems also offer a range of products for single pot processing, which includes models for oncology, hormone and high-containment solid-dosage production, those for organic, solvent-based solid-dosage processing and a model for effervescent production. This is GEA’s UltimaPro™ range which is available in a variety of sizes from 10 to1200 and represents the industry’s benchmark for quality and consistency. GEA Pharma’s single pot processing technology can be tested at the GEA Pharma Systems Process Development Centre in Wommelgem, Belgium. n Industry Europe 157

POISED FOR EXPANSION Ontex, Europe’s leading manufacturer of private label hygienic disposable products, is set for further expansion with the acquisition of Lille Healthcare. Felicity Landon reports.


welve manufacturing facilities and sales offices in 11 countries enable Ontex to maintain is leading position in Europe as the manufacturer of hygienic disposables for the private label sector. Last year the company, which produces a wide range of products for baby care, feminine care and adult incontinence care, was acquired by Goldman Sachs and TPG for €1.2 billion − the largest ever private equity transaction in Belgium. Now Ontex, which is headquartered in Zele, Belgium, is poised for a major expansion with the acquisition of Lille Healthcare, a French-based company that operates across Europe and Australia selling incontinence products to institutional healthcare customers under the Lille brand, and private label products to retailers. Lille’s turnover amounted to €76.8 million in 2010. “We have been an admirer of Lille Healthcare for some time and believe that its addition to the Ontex Group will make our offer more attractive in the growing incontinence 158 Industry Europe

market across all the geographies in which Lille Healthcare operates,” says Ontex CEO Michael Teacher. Ontex employs 4250 people worldwide; Lille Healthcare, which has its head office at Lille and subsidiaries in the UK, Spain, Germany, Belgium and Australia, has 340 employees.

Three divisions Ontex has manufacturing facilities in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, the Czech Republic, Algeria, Turkey and China. It operates through three divisions – Retail, Healthcare and Turkey Regional. The Retail division is primarily involved in the development, production and sale to retailers of private label baby care, feminine care and adult incontinence products. It also produces and sells to retailers branded products such as Helen Harper, Moltex and Babycharm. The Healthcare division is primarily involved in the development, production and sale of private label and branded adult

incontinence products to institutional customers – both private and governmental – in the healthcare market. The main brands are ID and Euron. The division also produces and sells private label products to specific healthcare distributors. The Turkey division is rather a different section of the company; it is involved in the development, production and sale of private label and branded products, primarily Canbebe, Canlady and Canped, to customers across all three of its markets, mainly in Turkey and the surrounding countries. Its product range in all three divisions is extensive: baby care includes diapers, baby pants and wet wipes; feminine care includes panty liners, tampons, classic fluff towels and ultra towels; and adult care includes light incontinence pads, pull-ups, belt diapers, all-in-ones, shaped pads, underpads for beds, and rectangular pads. All products are produced both under Ontex’s generic brands and for private label clients.

Focus on R&D “As the leader in private label, Ontex maintains a strong focus on product development and is investing continuously in innovation in order to further improve the comfort, fit and performance of the product,” says a spokesman for the company. The Ontex R&D department is split into R&D centres according to product categories and has teams based in each of the key manufacturing units as well as at the Zele headquarters, from where the entire R&D operation is managed. “The role of the R&D team is to provide the Ontex Group with a flexible and innovative R&D system, which enables the company to work actively on new concepts, changes in product specifications and the validation of new raw materials, as well as contributing to productivity by optimisation of the used raw materials,” says the spokesman. “Our R&D activities are based on a multifunctional and short time to-market principle.” The R&D teams work closely with key suppliers, which are themselves carefully selected in close cooperation with the

purchaseing department. This process is essential for obtaining the desired raw materials and concepts, says Ontex. To ensure that all products are fully validated and well tested before release to customers, each R&D centre has its own laboratory facilities working closely with all the manufacturing units – which also have their own lab testing equipment. “In order to validate the products in all aspects, including safety risks, in-use tests are organised next to lab tests, and this in close cooperation with independent test organisations. Only after positive evaluation, are the products released for production.”

Meeting environmental standards Sustainability is a key topic with products such as those manufactured by Ontex. The group won the Better Environment Award for Industry in 1996, and since then has continued to focus on environmental issues. Ontex specifies that its own activities and those of its suppliers meet environmental codes of practice and codes of fair and ethical conduct. All Ontex factories are introducing an environmental management system Industry Europe 159

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which puts particular emphasis on waste management, electricity consumption, transport efficiency, packaging optimisation and weight reduction in new product design. The group’s two production plants in Belgium, at Buggenhout and Eeklo, are already ISO 14001 certified. Fluff pulp, used to form the absorbent core, is the main raw material in Ontex products. “Product development has enabled us to drastically reduce the amount of fluff used in our production processes,” says the spokesman. As well as reducing the quantity, Ontex only uses fluff pulp from suppliers which subscribe to responsible sourcing programmes such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or the Forestry Stewardship Council. One of its

key priorities is to ensure that only wood from well-managed forests is used, with respect for the applicable regulations, water quality and important habitat elements for wildlife. Ontex says it is committed to maintaining its leading position as the preferred supplier of hygienic disposable products to the retail trade and to hospitals, health authorities and other institutional bodies, with the focus remaining on quality and innovation. “Ontex as a group is passionate about achieving high levels of customer service to help build trust between customers, the company and its employees. This, combined with the competitive pricing of the products, provides the value proposition n Ontex offers to its customers.” Industry Europe 163

Outside picture of the Nagyigmand Hungary plant

JOINING THE PLASTICOS FAMILY Plasticast Hungary has recently joined the Plasticos Castella family, and the strategic acquisition looks set to boost the fortunes of the company and deliver an enhanced service to its growing customer base across Europe. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to plant manager Ms Teresa Castella and project manager Gabor Vendegh to find out more.


one of the leading plastic injection moulding companies in Spain producing thin-wall plastic parts for the European food and beverage industry, family-owned Plasticos Castella is now run by the second generation of the Castella family. Following the careful analysis of potential partners in key locations in Europe, the company acquired the well-established injection moulding company Nypro Hungary, based in Nagyigmand just 60 kilometres west of the capital Budapest.

Ms Teresa Castella, the daughter of the founder, told Industry Europe how and why Nypro Hungary was chosen: “We were interested in Nypro Hungary as we had been carefully looking for local operations in Hungary, but ones which were fresh, innovative and had already built up a strong reputation for quality. We saw there was considerable room for growth, and we found that the personnel and the production values of the company perfectly matched our own.”

Bigger and better Nypro Hungary was acquired at the end of 2010, and the company is now called Plasticast Hungary, with all the employees being retained. Plasticast Hungary has been formed as a new joint venture company, which is 80 per cent owned by Plasticos Castella with the remaining 20 per cent still owned by Nypro. Project manager Gabor Vendegh was keen to point out that being a part of the Plasticast Castella family has already

Newly installed production line for food packaging: Moulding machine, full automation, and high quality In Mould label decoration.

A bird’s eye view of our molding facility.

A well-equipped toolroom for tool maintenance, with ultrasonic cleaning, laserwelding, CNC milling machine and EDM machine.

brought considerable benefits to the company, and continues to do so. He explained, “Plasticos is committed to continual investment and we have already seen the benefits of that in the upgrading of our already-impressive equipment to ensure that we truly offer the very best possible injection moulded plastic products. Our core activity will remain injection moulding, as this is where our particular expertise lies, but we will also be looking to build our company with new customers

and new segments. We don’t see ourselves as just a trade injection moulder, but rather a solutions provider that specialises in injection moulding.” This specialist approach means that Plasticast Hungary is fully committed to delivering its products on time, at the right quality and quantity. Mr Vendegh pointed out that this is a must in the food and beverage industry. “The impressive quality of products and customer service is certainly something which Plasticos Castella and Plasticast Hungary have in

common. We work with some of the world’s leading names in the food and beverage sector, such as Procter & Gamble, Tetra Pak and Fleury Michon, and we produce billions of products a year, so our total guarantee on product quality and reliablility is of paramount importance to our continued success.” Plasticast Hungary’s product portfolio includes plastic lids, screw caps, covers and containers in various different colours, sizes and materials, all of which can be decorated with in-mould labelling according to the

First article inspection in the quality room, with non-contact OGP 3D measurement equipment.

Newly installed production lines for food packaging: moulding machines, full automation, and vision system quality control.

customers’ demands. Primarily focused on the food, beverage and health care sectors, Plasticast Hungary uses the very latest in cutting-edge technology. The company’s continuing dedication to the ecological sustainability of its products is a very important topic, with an ongoing project to reduce emissions and investigate potential bioplastic solutions. The company is proud of its high level of automation which, in conjunction with its highly skilled workforce which is relatively low-cost compared with other European providers, consistently delivers a competitive service.

Excellent automation In addition to the continual upgrading of equipment to ensure that this level of automation remains among the highest in the industry, Plasticast Hungary also works in a

very clean environment, which is ISO 9001 2008 and FDA certified. Mr Vendegh added, “Our low-cost labour and high automation competencies makes us a very smart choice, particularly as we are a true solutions provider for plastic injection moulded products for the food, beverage and healthcare industries. We offer everything from the initial product requirement analysis to the R&D, the building tools, the automation and the logistics services. The support we have from Plasticos Castella and the joint venture with Nypro means that we have a solid infrastructure and sophisticated capabilities throughout the value chain.” In order to continue with this positive upward trajectory, Plasticast Hungary is leading a number of innovative product developments, of which some will be introduced at this year’s Budatranspack

trade exhibition in Budapest in November. The company also predicts considerable growth in and around both its parent company’s Spanish heartland and its Hungarian location, as well as utilising its good coverage across western, eastern and central Europe. Ms Castella added, “We also see new segments joining our activities in North and South America and Asia, and we are actively looking for new acquisitions that suit our growth model. We are also making a strong commercial effort to open new possibilities with our current customers in new locations, and we are more than happy to follow them where they need our plastic packaging expertise. Our potential is excellent, so we are more than a little bit excited about the n future of Plasticast.”

Newly installed production lines for food packaging.

FOCUSED ON COMPLEX PROJECTS MOCHLOS S.A. is a leading engineering and construction group based in Athens involved in a diverse range of major infrastructure and building projects. Philip Yorke talked to Ilias Kessanopoulos, the company’s project manager, about how the company has evolved to take advantage of changing market conditions with greater focus on it’s core competencies: tunnelling works and railway projects.

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OCHLOS S.A. was established in 1973 by Greek entrepreneur and civil engineer Konstantinos Stengos in Patras, a major port located some 50 kilometres from Athens. The company was quick to establish itself and found an instant demand for its services, which included technical projects for the construction industry as well as the manufacture of readymade concrete. Following this success the company was floated on the Athens stock exchange (1994). In 1999 MOCHLOS S.A. was acquired by TECHNICAL OLYMPIC S.A., a broad-based group comprising multiple companies and operating in many business sectors (construction, tourism, energy, etc.).

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More recently, in 2002, MOCHLOS S.A. acquired a number of important Greek companies including ALPHA TECHNIKI S.A., SKORDALOS S.A., ELLINIKES KATASKEYES S.A. and the construction sectors of DIEKAT S.A. and TECHNICAL OLYMPIC S.A., which were purchased in order to provide the company with the chance to gain its registration as a contractor of the highest class (7th) in the relevant registry of the Greek Ministry of Public Works. According to Greek legislation, contractors of the highest class can be awarded and execute projects of any type and of unlimited value. Today the company remains active in all major construction sectors including road building and harbour development as

well as in the construction of residential, municipal and commercial buildings. In addition, it is involved in specialised projects such as underground and complex bridge works. The company employs over 150 people and in 2010 recorded a turnover of approximately €40 million. Such decline in turnover from previous years (during which the company enjoyed average turnovers of over €100 million) is entirely attributed to the Greek financial crisis, which has decreased the Greek State spending for public investments on the one hand and has also dramatically reduced the number of new construction projects being put on tender on the other. Currently, the company remains focused on executing its current projects

efficiently and acquiring a satisfactory profit from them. Until now, it has succeeded in doing so, as its average 3-year EBIDTA remains at over €9 million.

Growth in new market sectors With the Greek economy currently going through a difficult period, the company is building on its success in other markets. Some years ago MOCHLOS S.A. made the strategic move to establish a major presence in Romania, where the government’s investment in new infrastructure projects was scheduled to increase. Kessanopoulos said, “Our decision to focus on the Romanian market has paid dividends as we have been involved in many major motorway and commercial construction projects there since opening our offices in Bucharest in 1997. The company has already completed four major projects (two road, one marine and one residential project) that provided us with a total turnover of over €130 million. “However, today we are also participating in tendering for new contracts in Albania, Serbia and Cyprus, and we have serious plans to extend in selected areas of former Soviet Union countries. Closer to home we are currently completing three major projects for ERGOSE S.A., the Greek National Railways authority, which are worth over €120 million and which will be completed within the next six months. We use a lot of heavy equipment for these major construc-

tion projects and although we own a very satisfactory inventory of construction machinery, it is cost-effective for us today in the current economic climate to hire big items such as heavy lifting gear and earthmoving equipment. “In addition, we have a diverse range of in-house core competencies and many highly skilled technicians who specialise in major tunnel and other underground projects. Others cannot offer the variety of expertise that we have ‘on-tap’, especially in the tunnel sector where there are very few companies able to execute such complex projects. For example, we are in the process of completing a tunnel that is over 3.5 kilometres long for the Greek National Railways and we are now installing the final concrete lining. This €55 million project is taking place in Aigio, located between Athens and Patras. “Again for ERGOSE S.A. we are currently completing the execution of the first phase of the largest cargo railway station in Greece, in the Thriassio area (on the western outskirts of Athens). The majority of that €60 million project was completed in a record time of 18 months, during which we supplied and installed – among other works – over 5500 tonnes of rail, 200,000 tonnes of hard railway ballast and 125 railway turnouts. In another area of operation, we have been awarded the country’s largest engineering project so far this year concerning harbour extensions to the port

of Thessaloniki. This €75 million project was awarded to MOCHLOS S.A. in March with an anticipated date of contract signature in October, and is on schedule to be completed in four years’ time.” “It is projects such as these, for new tunnels, railway projects and marine harbour and port development, that will enable us to maintain our growth and our profits over the next few difficult years. We are also very fortunate in that we are a very strong company financially, with minimal debt and a reputation for reliability and high-quality engineering standards.”

Maintaining positive growth As an integral part of a successful and diverse construction and property group − TECHNICAL OLYMPIC S.A. − the company sees no advantage in acquiring new companies and is focused solely on maintaining consistent growth though organic means. MOCHLOS S.A. also sees its future as being active not only in the Balkan regions, but also in some of the former Soviet Union countries, where infrastructure is becoming more of a priority and where it is less complex to operate than many of the Middle East countries, which currently appear ‘saturated’. For now, though, the largest concern of the company is to pass intact through the current major Greek financial crisis and recession. With it’s strong financial position, it is very confident that it n will succeed. Industry Europe 169


RIGHT DIRECTION As a leading name in the global rope manufacturing world, rope and fibre rope manufacturer Bridon International is enjoying a particularly strong chapter in its long history. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Jonathan Templeman to learn how its five-year investment plan is already reaping great rewards.

170 Industry Europe


stablished in Doncaster, UK in 1925, world-famous rope manufacturer Bridon International has seen a number of industry and economic changes over the years. During the 1960s and 1970s the company was widely appreciated as the world’s leading wire rope manufacturer, but today’s CEO Jonathan Templeman acknowledges that it lost its way during the 1980s when it was under the ownership of FKI. Mr Templeman is well aware that the industry view of Bridon during this time highlighted the fact that Bridon was not meeting the same quality and development standards that had been fundamental in its historical success, and he is excited about driving forward its return to form. He told Industry Europe, “Even during this frustrating time, Bridon was able to hang

on to its great people, who are our most valued asset as a business. Bridon today is doing everything it can to harness their skills, and by maximising their potential we’re restoring our reputation for unrivalled technical excellence. We’ve invested in the areas that were previously letting us down, and now we’ve returned to form we are prioritising innovation and product development, and re-establishing ourselves as global technology leaders.”

Committed to investment That strong form has continued, with the new owners of the company currently in a major five-year investment programme that includes a brand new state-of-the-art facility being built in Newcastle and an upgrade of Bridon’s existing plant in Doncaster. The

company is committed to spending at least two to three times depreciation over the next three years, with specific investments of £4 million in the Doncaster upgrade which will see the plant become the country’s largest wire drawing mill, a several million pound investment in a technical centre alongside the Doncaster plant and a further £4 million spent across the Newcastle and Germany facilities to upgrade production lines. Bridon’s ambitious yet achievable aim going forward is to utilise this period of investment in order to firmly establish its position as a true global technical leader. Mr Templeman appreciates that this goal can only be achieved when it is the view held by the company’s customers and the wider industry, and he feels that the ongoing

Industry Europe 171


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process to revamp the company’s production development processes is a tangible representation of getting closer to the goal. Bridon International has a strong focus on new product development, with its unrivalled understanding of the global rope market, a clear driver for regular innovation. Mr Templeman explained, “In 2010 alone we introduced 11 new products, and we’re aiming for a further 13 in 2011. This portfolio is characterised by innovative, step-changing products, which is a great achievement as the rope industry can often be quite conservative. We are working to change that, without spoiling the parts that work or changing the products that our customers rely on, and we’re confident this leadership will drive the industry forward. It’s about upgrading, redeveloping, refocusing our efforts on wire and fibre ropes that meet the most challenging demands of our custom174 Industry Europe

ers using the incredible resource we have in our people, our partners and the academic institutes we work with.”

High performance ropes Bridon International makes high performance ropes for a wide variety of applications and they are divided into ‘static’ and ‘working’ ropes. The static ropes are primarily used for large-scale building applications. The working ropes are mainly used for lifting applications, such as for open cast mining, deep shaft mining, conveyor belts and trawlers. The core business of Bridon International is its range of heavy duty ropes used for winches and on sea-going vessels, with many of its customers involved with exploration for the oil and gas industry. The company is seeing many opportunities for continued innovation in this field, particularly with regard to its position at the forefront

Jonathan Templeman, CEO

Industry Europe 175

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Pentre We have seen the Offshore Industry grow increasingly safety conscious and risk averse, with a developing requirement for a more rigorous approach to controlling reel design and manufacture. Pentre can offer this service, as required, in the form of detailed calculations, independent design approval, manufacture to a Quality Plan, with welder qualifications and procedures, material traceability, etc. We believe our ability to offer these bespoke services, will become a prerequisite of the Offshore Industry generally.

of development in synthetic ropes, having found that customers are usually looking for ropes which are stronger, longer and lighter. Mr Templeman added, “We are working in ever more demanding applications for ropes which are a combination of wire and fibre, where we can really put our expertise to great use and develop products that can withstand the ravages of salt water and temperatures of –40 degrees. Many emerging markets are characterised by these sorts of harsh conditions, and Bridon’s next generation solutions for withstanding them gives us a scope of geographical coverage that extends beyond our traditional heartland of Europe and North

America – proof that prioritising technology leadership carries clear commercial benefits.” With the future of Bridon International essentially already happening, thanks to it being part-way into a serious five-year investment plan, the company is understandably positive about the coming months. With the industry trend toward consolidation meaning that smaller players are unable to match the type of investment that Bridon is already committed to, the company is interested in careful acquisitions that are not simply for adding volume, but will utilise the unique characteristics of smaller players and n combine them with its own strengths.

Industry Europe 177


H Outside back


H.O. Bostrom Company, Inc.

P 109

Penox GmbH

P 42

A.J. Glassfibre Limited

P 109

Hazard Electric

P 75

Pentre Engineering

P 176

Air Liquide

P 140

Hidra-Tech Hidraulikus

P 30

Perstorp AB

P 66

AJT Equipment Ltd

P 175

Gépelemeket Gyártó Kft

Porin Laakeri Oy

P 100

Alfa Laval SpA-Alonte Site

P 125

Hueck Rheinische GmbH

P 105

Profarb Sp z.o.o.

P 64

Aplix SA

P 160

Huntsman (Belgium) BVBA

P 105

Arista Latindo Ind. Ltd P T

P 162

Hyper Automatika Szerviz Kft

P 30

ATI Srl Atlas Copco AŽD Praha s.r.o.

P 80 Inside Front P 168


I IAC & Böet Stopson

P 77

Imhoff und Stahl GmbH

P 71

R Rathburn Chemicals Ltd

P 71

Richardssons Verktygsservice AB

P 47

Riv.Met Srl

P 122

Internorm Kunststofftechnik GmbH

P 115


Baker Hughes

P 89

Iscar Hungary Kft

P 30

Sandvik Surface Solutions

P 104

BASF Hungária Kft

P 166

Isgec John Thompson

P 34

Sanjivani Casting Pvt. Ltd

P 129


P 66

Isovolta AG

P 84

Sheffield Express Business Travel

P 172


P 66

Siemens AG

P 156

Boliden Commercial UK Ltd

P 176


Siemens NV/SA

P 125

Buckeye Steinfurt GmbH

P 162

Jankovits Hidraulika Kft

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics

P 84

Stamperia Lanfranchini SpA

P 122


P 30



P 116

KCM 2000

P 41


Claas Industrietechnik GmbH

P 114

Kendrion Binder Magnety s.r.o.

P 114

Tafonco a.s.

P 114

Knaack & Jahn GmbH

P 88

TAG Chemicals GmbH

P 100

Koester GmbH & Co. KG

P 162

Toten Metall AS

P 47

Korea DM Co. Ltd

P 52

Kraft Foods Ireland Limited

P 93

D Diehl Metall Stiftung & Co. KG

Inside back


Dilers Ltd

P 47

Dow Europe GmbH

P 63

Dow Europe GmbH

P 65



P 97

La Ital Plastica s.r.l.

P 41

DTR Develop Thermoplastic Resins

P 57

Lackfabrik Rüsche GmbH & Co. KG

P 30


Dupont Bulgaria EOOD

P 62

Liegl & Dachser Szallitmanyozasi

P 57

Valvole Hoffmann

P 144

VDE Institute

P 80

Veneta Nastri SpA

P 80

Victrex Plc

P 84

es Logisztikai Kft


Uddeholm Svenska AB

P 46

Uniabex Alloy Products

P 129

Ernst Müller & Co. OHG

P 175


ESK Ceramics GmbH & Co. KG

P 148

M-I Swaco (Deutschland) GmbH

P 88

Euro-Unior Fűtéstechnika Kft.

P 30

Merck KgaA

P 23


Metric AS

P 136

Wolfgang Schmahl GmbH

Millfield Group

P 172

F Fibre de Berre

P 152

Frenco Srl

P 27


Fuchs Lubricants

P 173


P 56

Fuyao Europe GmbH

P 56

Nyrosten Korrosionsschutzmittel

P 175

GmbH + Co.

G GEA Happel Belgium NV/SA

P 155


GEA Process Engineering

P 141

Optima Packaging Group GmbH

P 161

GEO-data, Gesellschaft für

P 88

Oreatec Oy

P 100

Logging Service mbH Georg Fischer GmbH

P 115


P 176

P 118

Articles inside

Focused on complex projects MOCHLOS

pages 169-171

Joining the Plasticos family Plasticos Castella

pages 166-168

Poised for expansion Ontex

pages 160-165

Probing the future GEA Pharma Systems

pages 155-159

Dynamic ceramics ESK Ceramics

pages 148-151

At the cutting edge Ceratizit

pages 140-143

Showcasing the future Dilmenler DMS

pages 144-147

Dedication is the key Danfoss

pages 134-136

Swedish origins – global presence Alfa Laval

pages 129-133

Leading the field in cooling technology

pages 125-128

100% Italian made products

pages 122-124

International rescue Amdac Carmichael

pages 109-113

Drive technology specialist Claas Group

pages 114-121

Quality of life Sodexo

pages 93-95

Pioneers of eco-drilling technology RWE Dea

pages 88-92

Quality and environmental commitment Valio

pages 96-99

Transforming energy efficiency Sofilec

pages 84-87

Delivering more powerful solutions FG Wilson

pages 78-79

The power of investment

pages 74-77

Continuous improvement Russkie Kraski

pages 62-69

Bouncing back Metallfabriken Ljunghäll

pages 46-51

Motive power Inci Aku

pages 41-45

Creative cultures

pages 70-73

Sweet taste of success EID Parry

pages 34-37

Glass styling goes green Richard Fritz

pages 56-61

A legacy for the future K+S KALI

pages 38-40

Back in the family La Leonessa

pages 26-29

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 22

Bill Jamieson Is this it?

page 6

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 23

Realising the dream The new France

pages 14-15

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17

Industry people Appointments

page 21
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