VOLUME 22/3 – 2012 • €6
The world of European manufacturing
AZO - EXPERTS IN AUTOMATION ‘PURE GOOD FOOD’ FROM FINDUS SVERIGE ZML INVESTS IN A WIDER PRODUCT RANGE
CONSTRUCTION - STILL WAITING FOR THE DAWN
Bonjour richesse Europe’s economies may be in crisis but the luxury goods industry has never had it so good.
e’ve had the drumming gorilla. We’ve had meerkats in smoking jackets. Now it’s a globe – and time – trotting leopard. Maybe commercial videos really do say something about the times we live in. But if the infamous ‘You’re never alone with a Strand’ cigarette ad said it all about how we felt in 1959 – in an old raincoat on a wet London street with nowhere to go but trying to look like Frank Sinatra anyway – what does Cartier’s extravagant celebration of massively priced bling say about us today? You know the one. A fabulously bejewelled leopard – or panthère, as the French prefer to say – in a Paris shop window springs to life and crashes through shining fragments of glass to embark on a glittering odyssey through Cartier’s exotic 165-year history. It pads silently through the snows of St Petersburg, where Cartier was a jeweller to the Tsars, and where the wheels of a carriage turn magically into golden rings, through which it leaps to the mountains of China where a gigantic articulated golden dragon erupts from beneath an avalanche of rocks. A cave then leads mysteriously to an Indian palace filled with jewelled birds, snakes and crocodiles; a doorway opens on to the back of a huge elephant which appears to be carrying the palace through the dusty plains. Unfazed by these improbabilities, the panther hops on to the tail of a passing flying machine which is piloted by the intrepid Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, for whom Cartier made one of the world’s first wristwatches in 1904. Back in Paris, it’s down on to the roof of the Grand Palais before slinking across the Place Vendôme and up the staircase of a magnificent ‘hôtel’ to be languidly caressed by a supermodel in a slinky red dress and a tasteful selection of Cartier jewellery, including a 13.4 carat solitaire diamond ring and a platinum panther bracelet encrusted with onyx, emeralds, diamonds and a 51.58 carat green beryl. The three and a half minute film took 60 location crew and 50 post-production tech-
nicians two years to make and is so dripping with glamour that it makes Baz Luhrmann’s 2004 romantic fable for Chanel with Nicole Kidman look like gritty social realism. What, however, are the French supposed to make of all this flaunting of baubles for the mega-rich when their economy is stalled, their public debt is huge, unemployment is heading for three million (10 per cent) and they now have to wait until they’re 44 (or whatever it is) before they can retire? And, in any case, despite the splendour of the public face of Paris, the French have always been rather sniffy about individual displays of conspicuous consumption. That’s why Sarkozy is still in trouble for his early image as ‘president bling bling’, his holidays on the yacht of an industrial tycoon and even his celebratory dinner at Fouquet’s after his election victory In 2007. Although one can’t recall Chirac or any other president snacking that often at Quick. On the other hand Paris remains in a class of its own for impossibly expensive haute couture, exquisite perfumes and, indeed, opulent jewellery so maybe extravagant luxuries are acceptable as long as they’re lavished on women. After all, as L’Oréal keeps reminding us, they’re worth it.
Boys’ toys Men, however, are expected to be sober citizens. The first thing any chap who’s made his first million does in any other country is go out and buy a Ferrari, a Lamborghini or at least a Porsche. Not in France. Égalité requires a Citroën or, at most, a mid-range Mercedes. Indeed a striking feature of the French car industry, which has been far more successful in surviving than Britain’s, is that it hasn’t produced a single luxury or super car since the end of the Facel Vega in 1964. Maybe the fact that Albert Camus died in a FV 3B put everyone off fast cars; you wouldn’t want anything to do with luxury goods that killed intellectuals.
In Britain in the ‘50s and ‘60s, however, everyone who could rent a garage seemed keen to have a go at producing a sports car and the number of luxury car makers remained strangely large for a country in more-or-less permanent economic crisis. None of them made any money, of course, and none would still be around today had it not been for the takeover of the most prestigious brands by foreign companies. But thanks to the Germans and the Indians, British supercars are now roaring ahead. You can’t buy a Bentley, for example, for less than £133,000 yet the VW owned company saw global sales rise in 2011 by 37 per cent, to more than 7000 cars, and it has just launched a luxury SUV concept. A Rolls-Royce will set you back even more – entry price £165,000 – yet the marque’s owners BMW report a similar rise of 31 per cent, to 3538 cars last year. Jaguar Land Rover has also seen spectacular growth since it was taken over by India’s Tata Group in 2008 and is now heading for annual sales of 300,000, with exports to China alone growing at over 80 per cent a year. Now it plans to build a £700,000 supercar in cooperation with Williams F1. Aston Martin is expanding its range and selling around 4000 cars a year while McLaren has invested £50 million in a shiny new factory to produce its £170,000 MP4-12C supercar. This year should even see the launch of a new Jensen Interceptor. Meanwhile, far away from Cartier’s boutique on the Rue de la Paix, PSA workers marched in protest over the threatened closure of the old Citroen plant at Aulnay-sous-Bois and the axe hangs over GM’s UK factory at Ellesmere Port. Volume car production in Europe is in serious trouble. So is this the future? The Chinese, the Koreans and the rest make affordable consumer goods for us while we make luxury goods for the world’s super-rich. Look out for the next mega-ad – ‘You’re never alone with a Bugatti’, perhaps. Well, you probably wouldn’t be. n 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 Leisi Mac McCarthy Anthony McClintock Ben Snowing Kevin Gambrill Stephen Moore Richard Thomas Lisa Ackroyd John Cliff Mauro Berini Martin Gisborne
Art Director Gareth Harrey Art Editor Rob Czerwinski Designers Leon Esterhuizen Paul Abbott Claire Bidle Web Development Neil Robertson IT Support Jack Everson
CONTENTS Comment 1 4 5
Opinion Bonjour richesse Bill Jamieson One gargantuan kiss of life James Srodes Credibility gap
Construction Industry 6 9 12
Delayed recovery Another year to wait Construction news The latest from the industry Tunnel visionaries The Crossrail project
News 14 16 18 19 20
Winning business New orders and contracts Linking up Combining strengths Moving on Relocations and expansions Industry people Appointments Technology spotlight Advances in technology
Reports 21 22
Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin
Aerospace & Defence 24 28
A clear vision Opticoelectron Group Phonak flying high Phonak Communications
Agriculture Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.industryeurope.net
© Industry Europe 2012 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
34 38 42
Made in Germany FELLA-Werke The sower and the seed Väderstad-Verken On track for growth Valtra
Automotive 46 50 54 58 62
Bridging the hybridtechnology generation gap Amphenol Lighter, stronger, better Gebauer & Griller Cutting-edge tooling solutions Liebherr-Verzahntechnik
The future of eco-friendly transport Oerlikon Graziano
A window on success Trakya Cam
Solutions for sustainable productivity Atlas Copco
Consumer Goods A Square Root Company
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: corporate@USIToday.com. Web site: USIToday.com
72 76 80 84
Electrical 87 90
4 Industry Europe
Private label leader McBride Where the heart is Poggenpohl Moving into global markets Willi Schillig Delivering innovation to global contract markets Ekornes
A bright future Philips Lighting Investing in power SPARKY GROUP
Energy & Utilities Above: ZML Industries p165
95 98 102
Optimising the world’s most precious resource Ovivo Renewable power generation Babcock & Wilcox Group
Highlighting ‘wavelength transmission’ efficiency Specialized Technology Resources
Food & Drink 106 110
Lightening the load Sanpellegrino The fresh approach to frozen food Findus Sverige
Marine Above: Phonak Communications p28 Below: Valtra p42
115 118 122
Northern star Scana Sailing ahead Bavaria Yacht Bau Delivering safer semi-submersibles Prosafe
Above: SPARKY GROUP p90 Below: Sanpellegrino p106
Material Handling 126 134
Automation experts AZO Moving solutions Cargotec Corporation
Measurement & Control 138 142
Actionable information Hexagon Delivering easy-flow solutions ITAB
Metals & Metalworking 145 150 154 158 162 165 170
Below: McBride p72
Manufacturing with confidence Andritz Turning up the heat Ferromatix Long-term partners HERZING+SCHROTH Belts and braces Sandvik Forging ahead Hámor Several divisions, one ambition ZML Industries Special plate solutions Industeel
Transport & Logistics 175 178 182
A renewed focus on shipping Willi Betz Pioneering multi-functional logistics Nippon Express
Above: AZO p126 Below: Morpho p196
A complete package, a customised service Partnerspol
Also in this issue... 185 188 192 196 200 204
Quality, technology and the environment Cartiere del Garda
Steering new technologies forward Backer Group
The future’s golden Chelopech Safeguarding identities Morpho Top quality from Šroubárna Kyjov Šroubárna Kyjov
Unlocking ammonia’s potential Amixo Industry Europe 5
Executive Editor of The Scotsman
One gargantuan kiss of life Whatever else may be said about the efforts of the European Central Bank to unfreeze interbank lending markets and blow some life into the eurozone economies, no-one can accuse it of half-hearted effort.
February the ECB made a further €530 billion of low-cost loans available to European banks under its Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO). Added to the €489 billion for which the banks bid in December, the ECB has made close on €1 trillion available. This is a colossal sum, one without precedent. But then the situation in which the eurozone has found itself is without precedent. Those hoping for some instantaneous spasm in the patient, a dramatic jerk back to consciousness after this Zeppelin balloonsized kiss of life, will have been disappointed. The evidence from latest Purchasing Managers Index and business and consumer confidence surveys remains mixed at best. Indeed, the eurozone is on course to have tripped into recession with a further economic contraction likely in the first quarter of the year. Added to the 0.3 per cent fall in the fourth quarter of last year this would make for two successive quarters of falling output, thus fulfilling the technical definition of recession. However, despite the painful economic shrinkage underway in Greece and other southern eurozone countries, it looks more like a grazing encounter with recession rather than a headlong plunge. And the view in official circles is that the eurozone may now be past the worst of the financial crisis. Fears of a systemic banking seizure have eased. And there is a sense that at least precious time has been bought. But for how long? And time to do what, exactly? There is an overwhelming expectation that the crisis in Greece, far from being cauterised by final agreement on the second bail-out, will be unable to withstand yet more austerity. Indeed, there is a widespread expectation that Greece will be forced to apply for a third bail-out in a few months – at which 6 Industry Europe
point Germany and other northern eurozone members are likely to bring matters to a head. The patience of German voters and many in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own party has already been stretched to the full. The country’s constitutional court continues to question the legality of further expansion of the eurozone’s bail-out fund and an application by Greece for more without evidence of an underlying upturn in the economy and its public finances cannot but trigger calls for a default and exit from the eurozone.
There is an overwhelming expectation that the crisis in Greece, far from being cauterised by final agreement on the second bail-out, will be unable to withstand yet more austerity. The question now being anxiously discussed is whether the ECB’s re-liquefaction of the banking system has done enough to prevent a Greek exit having a domino effect, with other stricken eurozone member countries choosing to attempt an exit. If it is deemed the best way for Greece to secure the prospect of long-term recovery out of her appalling state, why can’t others follow suit? In truth, little has been resolved. And it is continuing apprehension that the final act of the Greek crisis has still to come that remains the single greatest obstacle to a recovery in business and household confidence.
Spluttering along For the moment, Europe’s economies continue to splutter along under this menacing cloud. Germany, for so long the motor economy, continues to remain the best prospect for recovery, but even here the evidence of
a sustained upturn is patchy. Retail sales in January fell 1.6 per cent month on month, with big ticket items such as furniture, cars and IT equipment down by between 1.7 per cent and 3.3 per cent. Set against this, consumer confidence has been on an upward trend and machinery equipment orders showed a 2.4 per cent rise month on month in January. For the eurozone as a whole, the picture is also mixed. Manufacturing new orders fell back 1.4 per cent at the start of the year. Retail sales, however, rose unexpectedly in January with a gain of 0.3 per cent month on month (and were up 0.7 per cent across the EU overall), though a separate survey has indicated economic activity remains weak. And February’s eurozone purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for services and industry showed activity in these sectors contracted in February. The composite PMI reading fell to 49.3 in February from 50.4 the month before. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction. Feeding in this PMI data suggests that eurozone GDP in the first quarter of the year could be minus 0.1 per cent. This would reinforce the view that the worst in terms of economic momentum could now be over. But that is not the same, however, as a sustained and self-feeding upturn. And it is the prospect of an extended period of low growth that will pose formidable social and political problems for the single currency area. Unemployment may be tolerable in Germany at 5.8 per cent. But in other eurozone countries the jobless picture is dire: 7.4 per cent in Belgium, 10 per cent in France, 9.2 per cent in Italy, 14.8 per cent in Ireland, 14.8 per cent in Spain and 23 per cent in Portugal. The eurozone’s problems are by no means behind it, and it would be foolhardy for those regular attendees at euron zone summits to pretend otherwise.
Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street
Credibility gap The President pledges to boost US exports – but how?
he late President Richard Nixon’s enemies used to jibe at his image of shifty untrustworthiness with the quip, “Would you buy a used car from that man?” President Barack Obama has none of the questionable record of personal ethics, yet he has run into a similar credibility problem with his recent pledge to restore the United States economy to its manufacturing preeminence in the world marketplace in just four years. Both in his State of the Union address to the Congress and in campaign appearances more recently, Mr Obama has specifically pledged to double US exports of manufactured goods to the rest of the world by 2015. The implications are clear: more exports mean more new jobs at home. The pledge invariably wins him applause from the audience. As he told workers at a Boeing aircraft plant near Seattle recently, “If we want an economy that’s built to last, we have to do everything we can to strengthen American manufacturing and make it easier for companies like Boeing to create jobs at home and sell their products abroad.” Lost in the applause are some important questions. Not the least of the questions is who will be buying the estimated six trillion dollars worth of additional US products over the next four years in a global marketplace where America’s main customers (China, 19.5 per cent; Canada, 14.2 per cent; Mexico,
11.8 per cent; Japan, 6.3 per cent; and Germany, 4.3 per cent) already are glutted and facing problems of their own. More pressing perhaps is how the President plans to reverse a gap between what America already exports and the products it imports. The latest trade data show that as of the end of 2011 the US trade deficit rose to its highest annual level since before the global recession shrank the marketplace in 2008. Year over year, the trade gap rose 11.6 per cent to $558 billion. Surely that gap has to be closed before any positive gains from increased export sales will begin to create economic lift and that means potentially adding another two trillion dollars worth of new sales to the four-year Obama export programme’s goals. Even though US exports did expand during 2011, the yearly gain was 14.7 per cent, slightly off the 15 per cent per year gain Mr Obama needs each year to reach his goal. And for December, the expansion was an anaemic 0.7 per cent. There is a broader long-range problem with the ambitions the President has for US manufacturing as an export driver. The economists of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently issued a study that argues that “the changing composition of the products traded internationally and the diminished share of US gross domestic product (GDP) in global output” stand in the way of that revival.
“The US market share of world merchandise exports has declined sharply over the past decade. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, approximately 12 per cent of the value of goods shipped globally originated in the United States. By 2010 the share had dropped to only 8.5 per cent,” the Fed economists noted. Nor are these losses being offset by dollar sales of US service industry sales, as is commonly assumed. While the manufacturing sector was losing approximately one third of its global market share, exports of services fell from its initial value of about 25 per cent of exports to just above 5 per cent.
Hi-tech decline While Mr Obama was being cheered at the Boeing aircraft plant for his pledge, at least part of the dilemma was at that very factory. The president has repeatedly stressed his emphasis on boosting both the American aircraft and computer industries – the high-tech employers which are supposed to be the future. The Fed economists noted that while every export sector lost ground, “The sector that contributed the most to the overall decline in share was machinery and transportation equipment, which alone accounted for half of the decrease in US export share over that period. This large contribution in part reflects the fact that machinery and transportation-related products represent almost half of US
exports. Within that sector, the declines in the US share of office machine and computer exports are particularly striking, dropping from about a third of world total sales to just under one-tenth.” Perhaps the most fatal flaw in Mr Obama’s export-boosting agenda is his personal conviction that he can better pick those manufacturers who are going to lead an export boom than can the global marketplace itself. There have been a series of embarrassments over the last two years where the Administration has funneled millions of dollars into high tech and ‘green technology’ ventures that sank without a trace. Another political cloud on the President’s horizon is that some American corporations are starting to object to the government boosting one sector of the economy without considering the impact on other sectors. The huge ($52 billion) export subsidies provided to Boeing may help foreign airlines buy the big new jetliners but major US air carriers have begun to protest that those subsidies then put them at a loss in the international market. Some critics have rather unkindly pointed to the coincidence that Boeing’s CEO W. James McNerney Jr. also chairs Mr Obama’s White House export advisory panel. So far, Mr Obama has managed to avoid his export plan turning into an election year issue for his opponents. Time n will tell, however. Industry Europe 7
Exploratory work is currently underway on the new Brenner Tunnel, the final base tunnel (at valley floor level) envisaged under the Alps as part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) project.
DELAYED RECOVERY The eurozone debt crisis will delay the recovery in Europe’s construction market for at least another year. Chris Sleight reports.
orecasts for the construction industry made 18 months ago were confidently predicting a rebound in activity in 2012, following the recession that began at the end of 2008 with the global banking crisis. However, the high national debt levels that followed on from the crisis and pushed the eurozone to the brink of collapse towards the end of last year look certain to delay the recovery in construction. Unlike the broad European economy, which bounced back into growth in 2009 and is now tipping back into a mild recession, the construction sector never got its head above water. So it would be inaccurate to say it has seen a double-dip recession, but with negative growth for four straight years, including the crushing falls of 2009 and 2010, the industry could be said to be in a depression. But as ever, a broad headline figure for Europe hides a huge range of different national dynamics. The most sickly construction markets are of course the southern and other peripheral countries that have the worst debt 8 Industry Europe
problems. In contrast, Germany, the Nordic region and parts of central Europe are showing respectable growth. Specialist forecasting body Euroconstruct says overall construction activity in Europe will shrink 0.3 per cent this year. This contrasts to the 1.3 per cent growth the group expected in its summer 2011 outlook, before the debt crisis really hit home. This follows on from the 0.6 per cent contraction seen last year – more or less what was expected without the sovereign debt issues. The expectation now is for a return to growth in 2013, with a 1.8 per cent increase in activity. An moderate acceleration in 2014 should see the value of the market return to about €1300 billion, so even if this recovery does materialise, the absolute value of the market will be a big step below what was seen half a decade before. As one may expect in the current climate of austerity across Europe, it is the publicly funded parts of the industry that are seeing the biggest cutbacks. First and foremost this
means civil engineering work, a segment that stayed afloat well throughout the recession thanks to government stimulus spending. In addition to infrastructure projects, the market for publicly funded buildings such as schools, hospitals and municipal structures is also looking weak. Growth prospects for both the residential and private non-residential markets are far from spectacular, due to the atmosphere of economic uncertainty that the eurozone crisis has generated. However, the weak prospects of the new-build sector are contrasted by a relatively bright outlook for repair & maintenance activity.
Chinese interest In terms of talking points, it has been a long time since there was an issue such as the saga of Chinese state-owned contractor COVEC’s ill fated attempt to break into the European market. COVEC won a contract to construct a 50km stretch of the A2 motorway in Poland in 2009, a high-profile project,
The PGE Arena Gdansk in Danzig, Poland is a 44000-seater arena built for this year’s Euro 2012 football championships.
which was due for completion ahead of this summer’s Euro 2012 football championship. To say the win was controversial would be a huge understatement. COVEC’s bid was less than half the client’s target price, and was lower than all other bids by a huge margin. The reasons given for this – cheaper materials and equipment sourced in China, along with cheaper design costs – were suspicious, and so it proved, when COVEC was thrown off the contract in June last year for various breaches of contract, including non-payment of sub-contractors and dubious claims. For its part, COVEC said it was its own choice to terminate the contract, but hasn’t elaborated on why. When the A2 work was originally awarded, there was a genuine fear in the European contracting community that it was a sign of things to come – that state-subsidised Chinese contractors would start to undercut them in their own markets to buy share. However, since the summer, the message has been, “We told you so.” The A2 contracts have since been re-let to European consortiums, but it remains to be seen if the road is ready to bring fans to the Euro 2012 Football Championships. As
well as damaging COVEC’s reputation it has left the client, Polish roads authority GDDKiA, looking foolish and naive for accepting the bid in the first place. It has been a disastrous episode from the Chinese contracting fraternity’s point of view. The intention three years ago may have been to establish a credible European presence; COVEC’s bungling has done untold damage. It will be a brave public authority that awards a cheap construction project to a Chinese contractor in the near future. In contrast to this, China’s construction equipment manufacturers are making headway in Europe through a string of acquisitions. The first of these came in 2008, when Changsha, Hunan Province-based Zoomlion acquired concrete mixer, pump and placing boom manufacturer Cifa. Although Zoomlion already made many of the same products as Cifa, the acquisition was justified in terms of adding a premium brand and extensive global distribution network to the Chinese manufacturer. The start of this year has seen Sany, which is also based in Changsha and competes head-to-head with Zoomlion in many products, acquire German manufacturer Putzmeister.
Putzmeister makes almost exactly the same range of machines as Cifa, but is reckoned to have a larger market share. Its acquisition by Sany, for an undisclosed sum, creates an undisputed number one in the sector, with a global reach and a range of premium products (made in Germany) to appeal to developed world contractors, as well as mid-range Chinese machines for emerging markets. Another significant acquisition has been earthmoving equipment and crane manufacturer Liugong’s purchase of Polish dozer manufacturer HSW. Like the Sany and Zoomlion deals, this has several strategic strands. First, it adds a new range of products to Liugong’s portfolio; second, it adds a European manufacturing plant; third, and perhaps most significant in crowded markets like Europe and the US, it adds a well-established network of distributors and an after sales and service infrastructure.
Competition issues The issue of anti-competitive behaviour never seems far away when it comes to the construction industry, and over the last decade or so there have certainly been some significant cartels exposed in Europe. The worst of these have been among materials suppliers, Industry Europe 9
Preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is providing a construction bonanza. Pictured is a model of part some of the new venues and Olympic village in the coastal region.
where a relatively small group of companies have been able to collude in various ways to keep prices high. And cartels have been exposed in the much more fragmented contracting sector, most notably in the Netherlands a decade or so ago, when virtually every contractor in the country was caught up in a series of pricefixing scandals. The last year has seen a few more anticompetition cases exposed around the region, but nothing on the scale of those seen in previous years. There have been a handful of cases that have focused on the asphalt production and laying industries in Scandinavia, and a similar case in Spain. There has also been an issue in Finland, where competition authorities have taken the unusual step of blocking a merger, again in the asphalt sector. The UK presents an interesting case in point about how anti-competition issues have shifted. First the much-vaunted case brought by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) several years ago against a large group of contractors has been rumbling through the various stages of appeal. The upshot has been that fines have been dramatically reduced from the huge £100 million+ penalty initially trumpeted by the OFT. Kier for example, one of the most heavily penalised companies, went to a competition 10 Industry Europe
tribunal in March last year and, along with other guilty parties, successfully had its fine reduced by 90 per cent. Overall, the group of six contractors saw penalties cut from an initial £42 million to just £5 million. This reflects the fact that the offences they were found guilty of – mostly cover pricing – are not the most serious forms of anti-competitive behaviour. The practice involves submitting a high bid for work to make sure it is not won. Companies have been known to do this when they are too busy to take a job on, but don’t want to be ruled out of future tenders. Arguably, the client still gets the cheapest price available on the market. Although cover pricing is illegal, a statement from the appeal tribunal shows authorities do not feel it is too serious an infringement: “The penalties imposed by the OFT on each of the appellants for ‘simple’ cover pricing were excessive given the fact that the practice was long-standing in the industry and widely regarded as legitimate,” said part of the ruling. But that is not to say the OFT does not have a role to play in the construction industry. It is currently scrutinising a proposal from Lafarge UK and Tarmac UK, which would see the two businesses roll-up their British interests into a 50:50 joint venture. However, the view from the OFT is that this would reduce competition too much in the aggregates and
cement sector, and it has provisionally ruled against the deal. It may still go through, but if it does, some divestments will be required. In terms of industry prospects, the European construction sector is in for a tough few years. Publicly-funded work will continue to be scarce as austerity measures bite across the region, and the general economic ill-health will mean growth will be elusive. However, it is always a mistake to just look at overall figures for Europe. Some countries will continue to offer good opportunities and, in the case of major markets like Germany, n those could be significant.
In construction terms, the major challenge in getting Sochi ready in time is the 50 km combined road and rail link from the coastal Olympic Village up into the mountains where downhill events will take place.
New developments in the Construction industry
BAM Nuttall wins major contract for Olympic Park
lympic Park Legacy Company has awarded BAM Nuttall (the UK civil engineering company of Royal BAM Group NV) contracts to ‘Clear, Connect and Complete’ the Olympic Park. BAM Nuttall has won two separate contracts to deliver €90 million (£76 million) of improvement work in the North Park and South Park areas of the site. The contract includes removal of several temporary venues, such as a warm-up track, a basketball arena, water polo pool and spectator stands and the Athletes’ Training Centre at Eton Manor. BAM Nuttall will also connect the surrounding communities to the heart of the Park with new footways and cycle paths. This will require the reconfiguration of 30 Games-time bridges and underpasses to improve public access. Several facilities will be converted for alternative use. For example, the Press and Broadcast Centre will be prepared for incoming tenants after removing the catering village and gantry and BAM Nuttall will create the Velopark including the addition of a 1.6km outdoor cycle circuit and a 6.5km mountain bike trail. Visit: www.bam.eu
Astaldi wins new contract HOCHTIEF sets up joint venture for the Jonica National Road for offshore wind farms 1
staldi Group, as leader of the Astaldi SpA-Impregilo SpA joint venture (in which Astaldi holds a 60% stake), has been awarded the general contracting project to construct Mega-Lot 3 of the Jonica National Road (NR-106) in Italy, worth a total of €791 million. The project will consist in the works to upgrade the section of the Jonica National Road running from the junction with National Road 534 (NR-534) to Roseto Capo Spulico, measuring a total of approximately 38 kilometres. The planned total duration of activities is 7 years and 8 months, 15 months of which for design activities (final and executive design) and activities needed prior to the start-up of works, and the remaining 6 years and 5 months for the construction phase. Visit: www.astaldi.com
Mostosal wins waste plant contract
he City of Sosnowiec, Poland, has awarded Mostosal a contract for the construction of a Municipal Waste Processing and Treatment Plant. The contract, worth almost PLN 60 million, will be carried out in consortium with Acciona Infraestructuras SA.
OCHTIEF Solutions and Ventizz Capital Partners have set up a joint venture for the development of offshore wind farms. The two partners each hold a 50% interest in the company HOCHTIEF Offshore Development Solutions Srl. The partners are aiming to tap further earnings potential in the high-growth market for offshore wind energy. Plans include, for example, to acquire and develop wind farm concessions and capitalise on the resulting value growth by selling them on before construction begins. The new company will focus on readying the subsequent construction of the wind farms in a way that significantly reduces the risk of cost overruns and delays. This will benefit the companies that later go on to construct and operate the wind parks at the sites concerned, avoiding risks seen on projects currently in progress. The company will thus help advance the German government’s target of 10,000 megawatts of installed capacity in the German offshore wind power market by 2020. Visit: www.hoctief.com
The goal of the project is to upgrade the existing plant in Sosnowiec to meet the appropriate Polish and EU requirements and ensure that the city of Sosnowiec will be able to further treat waste in an environmentally safe manner for many years to come. The scope of work covers construction and assembly works, supply and assembly
of technological equipment. Mostosal will build green waste composting installations, a bulk waste dismantling station, a hazardous waste warehouse, a construction materials warehouse and chambers for waste containing asbestos. It will also be responsible for training the plant team. Visit: www.mostosal.waw.pl Industry Europe 11
New developments in the Construction industry
Bouygues Construction to build new Paris Law Court complex
he Arelia consortium and the Etablissement Public du Palais de Justice de Paris (the governing body of the Paris Law Courts), acting on behalf of the French Government, have signed a contract for the financing, design and construction of the new Paris Law Courts complex, and the provision of maintenance and upkeep services for a period of 27 years. Under the contract, Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France will be responsible for design and construction, for a total of €575 million. Exprimm, a subsidiary of ETDE (the Energy and
Services division of Bouygues Construction), will provide facilities management services for the complex for an annual sum of €12.8 million. The future Paris Law Courts building will unite five facilities currently spread all around Paris in a single location. Located in the Batignolles urban development zone, it will house the Paris regional court, the police court and the public prosecution service. It will also include the district courts attached to each of the capital’s arrondissements. Visit: www.bouygues.com
Better concrete testing C
ostain is the first company in the UK to receive formal approval to use new concrete testing technology that is quicker, safer and more environmentally friendly to use than the traditional method of testing. The new lightweight single use cylinders are used to take concrete samples for strength testing. Developed and tested in collaboration with Innovation Technologies, a company based in Surrey, Costain Environmental Services was
given formal accreditation by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) after trialling the technology for nine months. While already widely used in the US and Europe, the lightweight cylinders are relatively new to the UK. Due to their reduced size and weight, they are easier to carry and can be transported in bulk, which cuts carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the amount of trips needed to transport them. Visit: www.costain.com
NCC to build out Oslo Gardermoen Airport
Impregilo subsidiary awarded new motorway concession in Brazil
coRodovias, of which Impregilo International Infrastructures NV holds joint control, has won the BR 101 motorway concession bidding process in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil. The contract strengthens the Impregilo Group’s international positioning in the
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CC Construction Norway has signed an agreement with Oslo Lufthavn AS for foundation engineering and concrete work at Gardermoen Airport for a total of approximately SEK 475 million. Gardermoen is beginning to reach its capacity ceiling and will be expanded with a new pier, thus expanding arrival and departure halls to increase capacity. NCC’s contract pertains to the expansion of the Sentralbygning Vest (Central Building West). NCC secured the construction contract on the basis of several criteria, of which NCC’s extensive expertise in concrete work was central, together with a reliable and realistic schedule and excellent proposals for technical execution, as well as its solutions for logistics and cooperation with other contractors during the project. Visit: www.ncc.se
concessions business, and in motorways in particular, where it now manages approximately 2600km of infrastructure in Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. The BR 101 is a 476km highway linking the state of Rio de Janeiro with the state of Bahia. The initiative requires the operator to improve and expand the motorway doubling the present carriageway and
installing new toll stations. With the acquisition of the new BR 101 motorway concession, Ecorodovias, which is listed on the São Paulo stock exchange, now manages an infrastructure network of approximately 1900km in Brazil, as well as important logistic terminals and intermodal platforms in the south and south-east of the country. Visit: www.impregilo.it
STRABAG wins Polish Expressway contract R
epresentatives of Poland’s General Directorate for National Roads and Highways (GDDKiA) and STRABAG subsidiaries HERMANN KIRCHNER Polska as well as STRABAG Sp. z o.o. have signed an agreement to build an approx. 40km section of the Expressway S8 with a contract value of about €254 million. Work is set to begin in January and is expected to last 27 months. In addition to the construction of the four-lane expressway using concrete technology, the 19km section of S8 between Walichnowy and Zloczew, situated approx. 240km south-west of Warsaw, comprises construction under traffic of a junction to the busy National Road 45 as well as of 16 bridges. The extremely difficult geological conditions require the subsoil to be strengthened with a total of 60,000m of piles and 700,000m of geotextiles. The construction works will be carried out by the group subsidiaries HERMANN KIRCHNER Polska, STRABAG Sp zoo and HEILIT+WOERNER Budowlana Sp zoo. Visit: www.strabag.com
Transportation infrastructures project in Poland the construction of 106km of A2 Motorway between Nowy Tomysl and Swiecko.
Veidekke to build office building for Diligentia in Malmö V eidekke Entreprenad has started work on building the first of Diligentia’s new commercial buildings in the new Masthusen city district in Malmö. It will be an office building with space for around 100 employees with shops on the ground floor. The value of the contract is approx. SEK 110 million excluding VAT. “We are currently developing the new city district of Masthusen in Malmö’s Västra Hamnen. It is to become a city district that is alive around the clock. The assignment of building the first commercial
building requires a professional project group. That was why we chose Veidekke,” says Andreas Ivarsson, market area manager for Diligentia in Malmö. The office building is to be heated using geothermal heat, and will have a floor area of approx. 9300m, whereof approx. 7000m are offices and 1800m shops. The building will be six storeys high and have a dark brick and limestone façade. Takeover will take place in December next year. Visit: www.veidekke.se
YIT expands its residential production into a new city in Moscow region
IT has won the auction for the sale of lease rights to a land plot in the city of Lytkarino, Moscow region. This means that the geographic scope of YIT Moskovia’s activity will include one more city in Moscow region. Lytkarino is located close to Moscow 15km away from the Ring Road and has the status of a ‘green zone’ adjoining the large Tomilino forestpark. The Moscow River flows close to residential
districts, and there is a unique man-made lake with a sand beach which is a favourite place for local citizens and visitors from Moscow. Construction of the new residential micro district is planned to be launched by YIT Moskovia in 2012. The plan is to construct in different phases seven modern high-rise houses of about 79,000m2. Visit: www.yitgroup.com
GDF SUEZ, VINCI and CDC Infrastructure to build and operate wind farms off the coast of France
GDF SUEZ, VINCI and CDC Infrastructure are bidding on four of the five zones identified by the State as holding potential: Courseullessur-Mer (Calvados), Dieppe-Le Tréport (SeineMaritime, Somme), Fécamp (Seine-Maritime) and Saint-Brieuc (Cótes d’Armor). GDF SUEZ, VINCI and CDC Infrastructure will combine their complementary expertise in renewable energies and the
DF SUEZ, VINCI and CDC Infrastructure have submitted their bids to the French Government to develop offshore wind energy, further to a call for tenders covering an expanse off the coast of France, encompassing 3000 MW of wind energy, from 2015.
construction of major infrastructures, to put forth the best bid. Xavier Huillard, CEO of VINCI, stated: “VINCI provides its partners with comprehensive know-how in finance packaging, fully-mastered technical solutions to address the complete range of operating conditions underwater and on the ocean floor.” Visit: www.vinci.com Industry Europe 13
The construction of Crossrail is the largest infrastructure project in Europe and London’s first new railway for over 20 years. It will provide for the first time direct links from Berkshire in the west and Essex in the east into Heathrow, central London and Canary Wharf. Robert Williams reports.
rossrail will provide a new underground line through central London, running 118km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west through 21.5km of new twin bore tunnels through central London and on to Canary Wharf, Woolwich, Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east. There will be new underground stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel. The new railway is designed to initially accommodate 10-carriage trains, but construction is making provision for longer trains in the future, which may well be necessary as it is anticipated that over 200 million passengers will use Crossrail in the first year of operation. Proposals for the construction of a new East-West rail link across London are not new. They were first drawn up shortly after the Second World War. Since then the idea resurfaced from time to time, but nothing 14 Industry Europe
happened until the late 1980s, when the original Crossrail scheme was developed. Meanwhile, London continued to grow, both economically and physically, placing everincreasing demands on its infrastructure. Crossrail is in many ways identical to the Réseau Express Régional (RER) lines in Paris. It will bring passengers in from the suburbs to the heart of the city and continue out to the other side. RER lines absorb many passengers who might otherwise board congested metro lines, which can then more readily accommodate shorter city journeys without high volumes of commuters loading and unloading at each main line terminus. Crossrail is the biggest engineering project in Europe. Main construction works for Crossrail began in 2010, and some preparatory work was carried out in 2009 at the major stations including Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon and Paddington.
At the heart of the project is the construction of a new 21.5km (12 mile) tunnelled route across London. This includes the branch of the eastern end to Shenfield and Abbey Wood. Portals for the main tunnels have been built at Royal Oak to the west of Paddington and in the east at Custom House and Pudding Mill Lane. All of this adds up to 42km of bored tunnels located below the busy streets of London. The tunnels will weave their way between existing underground lines, sewers, utility tunnels and building foundations from station to station at depths of up to 40m. The first two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are about to start out on their journey from Royal Oak towards the west of Farringdon station. The TBMs, built in Germany, each weigh 1000 tonnes and are longer than a football pitch. In March, the first of eight of these giant machines will start burrowing under
central London. They were built in Schwanau, Germany, by Herrenknecht. When the TBMs start work, they will operate 24 hours a day, grinding through the London clay at a rate of 100m a week. The six million tonnes of earth they will remove will be transported to Wallasea Island in Essex, where they will be used to create a new nature reserve. As the machine bores out the tunnel, it lines it with concrete segments. Production of those segments is at a purpose-built factory in west London. Each weighs almost three-and-a-half tonnes and takes a month to set solid. Two more factories will be built, and between them they will produce a quarter of a million concrete segments to line the Crossrail tunnels. Each TBM will be operated by ‘tunnel gangs’ of 20 people working in shifts. Those working underground are being trained at a new Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy at Ilford in east London. Later in the year two further tunnel boring machines will be put to work in Docklands. They will head under central London towards
the east of Farringdon. Further shorter tunnel drives will take place in the Royal Docks and east London
New stations Teams of dedicated construction workers will be working 24 hours a day to complete the tunnels for Europe’s largest civil engineering project with thousands of others employed to upgrade the existing rail network and build major new stations along the central section of the route. The new stations need to cope with large numbers of passengers throughout their life, be easy to navigate and able to endure wear and tear. There will be new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and the Isle of Dogs. The station platforms will be 250m in length to accommodate 200m trains that will pass through each station, as well as enabling longer 240m trains to operate in the future as passenger demand increases. Crossrail is following in the footsteps of the Paris RER lines in other ways. When routes
were built, planners always sought to cater for future growth. This is partly why city centre tunnels and stations are being built to the generous dimensions of the RER, with long, wide platforms. Because headways between trains in the city centre are very tight and the station dwell time is very short, high-capacity trains will be used, with the ability to load and unload passengers as quickly as possible. Stations are also designed to ensure that passengers can move to and from street level or interchange with other transport modes quickly and safely. Crossrail’s brief is to provide the transport capability to cope with London’s forecast population and economic growth. With Crossrail services taking over from many of the trains routed into the main line stations, capacity will be freed at existing termini such as Liverpool Street and Paddington. The first service trains are expected to run in 2019, effectively adding 10 per cent to the capacity of London’s public transport. For those used to sardine-like conditions on the Tube, the first trains can’t come n soon enough.
Industry Europe 15
New contracts and orders in industry
Funkwerk AG wins landmark contract for Alister interlocking system
fter substantial restructuring measures over the last few months, Funkwerk AG has now taken a decisive step in setting the future course of its operations. In a landmark contract for one of the company’s primary core products, the efficient Alister interlocking system, Deutsche Bahn AG has commissioned Funkwerk under the existing module agreement to modernise the signalling equipment on the Bremen – Bremerhaven section. The interlocking systems are scheduled for operation in October 2013. The order volume ranges in the mid-single digit millions. The development of the Alister platform for electronic interlocking systems has reposi-
tioned Funkwerk AG in the signalling equipment market. Contrary to previous solutions, the system produced by the company’s Traffic & Control Communication (TCC) segment is based on standard industrial components, can be individually adapted and has a discretionary safety standard. This trendsetting concept minimises the costs for the user. The latest rail contract has given Funkwerk a breakthrough in the important public transport sector (ESTW-R) and opened up a market that holds significant growth potential – the European railway infrastructure is largely outdated and in dire need of modernisation. Visit: www.funkwerk.com
Kvaerner wins Luno jacket EPC contract L
undin Norway AS has awarded Kvaerner an EPC contract of approximately NOK 1.1 billion for delivery of a steel jacket to be located at the Luno field, production license PL338, offshore the Norwegian North Sea. “Jacket structures are core business for Kvaerner and I am very pleased that we have won this important contract in an international competitive bidding process,” says Nina Udnes Tronstad, executive vice-president in Kvaerner responsible for the jacket business. The contract will be executed by Kvaerner’s yard in Verdal, and
includes engineering, procurement, construction, load-out and sea-fastening of the jacket and associated piles. The jacket will have a total weight of approximately 14,500 tonnes. Detailed engineering starts immediately, while fabrication in Verdal will commence in fourth quarter 2012. The project will reach its peak manpower of more than 400 persons in first quarter 2013. The Luno jacket will be delivered in the spring of 2014, and will then become number 41 in the series of jackets delivered by Kvaerner. Visit: www.kvaerner.com
Alfa Laval wins SEK 120 million power order in Russia
lfa Laval – a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling – has won an order to supply Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers to a nuclear power plant in Russia. The order value is approximately SEK 120 million and delivery is scheduled to start in 2013 and be completed during 2015. The Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers will be used in the reactor island cooling systems, where some of them will
Rolls-Royce wins $210 million order from Air Pacific
olls-Royce, the global power systems company, has won an order worth $210 million, at list prices, from Fiji’s national carrier Air Pacific for Trent 700 engines to power three Airbus A330 aircraft. This is the first time Air Pacific has selected RollsRoyce engines and the contract includes
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operate in the system that cools down the main reactor in case of any shutdown. “This order confirms our strong position in the Russian power market,” says Lars Renström, president and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group. “In fact we have supplied equipment to all nuclear power plants in operation in Russia today.” Visit: www.alfalaval.com
long-term TotalCare® service support. Announcing the order at the Singapore Airshow, Dave Pflieger, managing director & CEO, Air Pacific, said: “The A330s will be our first new widebody aircraft, so the Trent 700 engines represent an exciting and significant investment in leading-edge operational technology and support service for the future of our business. These engines will provide
high-quality environmental performance, with low emissions, noise and fuel burn- something our company and customers value.” The Trent 700, the only engine specifically designed for the A330, is the market leader for the aircraft, with more than 1400 either in service or on order. It has won more than 75% of new orders over the last three years. Visit: www.rolls-royce.com
Lion Air signs contract for 27 additional ATR 72-600s
ndonesia’s fast growing carrier Lion Air and the European regional turboprop manufacturer ATR have signed a contract for the purchase of 27 additional ATR 72-600 aircraft. Once these aircraft are integrated into the fleet of Lion Air’s regional subsidiary Wings Air, it will become the largest operator of ATR aircraft in the world, with a total fleet of 60 aircraft (20 ATR 72-500s and 40 ATR 72-600s). Wings Air introduced its first ATRs in January 2010 and currently operates a fleet of 16 ATR 72-500s across its domestic network in Indonesia. The airline plans to receive its 60th ATR 72 by the end of 2015. The signature for these 27 additional ATR 72-600s, valued at some US$ 610 million, took place at the Singapore Airshow. Since early 2010, Wings Air is significantly contributing to the development of regional air connectivity across Indonesia, using its ATR 72s to create new routes from main and regional airports, adding frequencies into most popular routes and feeding Lion Air’s B-737-900ERs operations at its hubs in Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, Medan, Batam, Makasar, Ambon and Menado. Visit: www.atraircraft.com
DHV consortium wins consultancy contract for Vietnam’s Delta Plan
he Dutch government’s NL Agency has awarded a contract for the provision of consultancy services for the Mekong Delta Plan in Vietnam to a consortium headed by consultancy and engineering firm DHV. Other members of the consortium include Royal Haskoning, Wageningen University & Research Centre, Deltares, RebelGroup and UNESCO-IHE. With its 17 million inhabitants, the Mekong Delta is one of the world’s most densely-populated regions. It is also one of Vietnam’s most productive agricultural areas. However, the Mekong Delta is increasingly being confronted with the effects of climate change.
The Viet Nam-Netherlands Strategic Partnership Arrangement on climate adaptation and water management provides for cooperation between the Netherlands and Vietnam in developing the Mekong Delta Plan. Together with Cees Veerman, former members of the Dutch Delta Committee 2008 and Vietnamese working parties, the DHV consortium will help to shape the Delta Plan process. The DHV consortium will advise on the water system, land usage, scenario development and water governance. The consortium will also advise on the process of developing a Delta Plan. Visit: www.dhv.com
Major contract for Veidekke at City Lade in Trondheim
eidekke Entreprenør has been awarded the contract to remodel and build an extension for the City Lade shopping centre in Trondheim for Trondos SA. The project is for a total of 44,000m2, and is a turnkey contract. The value of the contract is NOK 342 million excluding VAT. The project comprises a new parking cellar, in addition to a new building 10,000m2 in size over two floors. The new structure will built of prefabricated
Wärtsilä to supply power and positioning system for Statoil’s two new offshore drilling rigs
ärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions provider, has been contracted to supply the power and positioning system for two new drilling rigs ordered by Songa Offshore AS, the Norwegian arm of the Cyprus-based offshore drilling company.
concrete with brick façades. The existing retail areas will be refurbished, and a new mezzanine floor will be established. Following the expansion, the centre will have 70 retail outlets. Assuming official permission, groundwork will start at the February/March turn of the month, with handover of the extension in September 2013. The remaining areas will be handed over in September 2014. Visit: www.veidekke.com
The contract for the power and positioning system was signed in November 2011 and calls for Wärtsilä to supply for each rig a total of six 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 32 engines in V-configuration with ancillaries, and six Wärtsilä FS3500 main steerable thrusters, as well as the integration of the entire system. Delivery will begin in 2012 and the first rig is scheduled to be operational during
2014. Wärtsilä has an option for two further rigs. The semi-submersible rigs are custom designed for efficient year-round drilling, completion, testing and intervention operations in harsh environments and arctic conditions. They will be operated on the Norwegian Continental Shelf by Statoil, the international energy company headquartered in Norway. Visit: www.wartsila.com Industry Europe 17
ASSA ABLOY acquires Securistyle in the United Kingdom
SSA ABLOY has acquired Securistyle Group Holdings Limited in the UK. Securistyle specialises in window hardware and its product offering includes high performance friction hinges, handles and window locks. “I am very pleased to welcome Securistyle into the ASSA ABLOY Group,” says Johan Molin, president and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. “This acquisition strengthens our position in the UK, as part of our strategy to add complementary products and segments to our offering in the mature markets.” “Securistyle is an exciting addition to ASSA ABLOY UK and to EMEA as a whole,” says Tzachi Wiesenfeld, executive vice-president of ASSA ABLOY and head of the EMEA Division. “Securistyle will give us access to the important market of window hardware and locks which is complementary to our UK multipoint locks business, and will bring us a very experienced team.” Securistyle was established in 1978 and it is based in Cheltenham, UK. The company employs 205 people. 75 per cent of the products are sold in the UK, while the remainder is sold in various export markets. Visit: www.assaabloy.com
Braj Binani Group takes over Europe’s 3B Safic-Alcan acquires Necarbo
afic-Alcan, an international distributor of chemical specialties, has acquired Necarbo, a Dutch-based chemical distributor belonging to PPG group. With this acquisition, Safic-Alcan has further enhanced its market position in the distribution of coatings & inks and water treatment. Necarbo, based in Beverwijk, Netherlands, employs 59 people. Over the years Necarbo has developed its ‘home made’ Nebolabels range of products (Nebores and Neboplast resins, as well as pigments under the Nebotints and Nebochips labels). In addition, Necarbo has developed partnerships with a large number of leading chemical producers. In 2010, Necarbo achieved sales revenues of €63 million. This acquisition will strengthen Safic-Alcan in the coatings & inks industry and more specifically in Benelux, France, Germany, Middle East and Malaysia. The Nebolabels will enlarge its existing portfolio of private label products on a worldwide scale. Visit: www.safic-alcan.com
inani Industries Limited, the holding company of USD 1.6 billion Braj Binani Group, has announced the acquisition of 3B – The Fibreglass Company (‘3B’), a Europe-based major in fibreglass products and technologies. Binani Industries Limited is one of India’s leading global diversified business houses, with interests in cement, zinc, glass fibre, composites and ready-mix concrete. The Braj Binani Group has acquired a 100 per cent equity interest in 3B from Platinum Equity. Headquartered in Battice, Belgium, 3B is Europe’s leading manufacturer of fibreglass for reinforcement of thermoplastics and thermoset polymer applications, and is a preferred supplier to global leaders in industries including automotive and wind energy. This acquisition is part of Braj Binani Group’s strategy to expand its footprint in the global fibreglass market. It further augments the group’s technological and marketing capabilities in the fibreglass business. Visit: www.binaniindustries.com
Addtech acquires BioNordika Group
ddtech Life Science, a business area in the Addtech Group, has acquired all shares outstanding in BioNordika Holding AB. BioNordika Holding AB is the parent company of the BioNordika Group, which has subsidiaries in Denmark, Estonia, Fin18 Industry Europe
land, Norway and Sweden. The BioNordika Group markets reagents and instruments for biomedical research, mainly in the pharmaceutical industry and at public institutions. The group has a strong position in the Nordic market and represents leading suppliers in areas such as cell and molecular biology as well as immunology and diagnostics. The BioNordika
Group has 24 employees and sales of around SEK 80 million. The BioNordika Group will very effectively complement Addtech’s operations in the Diagnostic business unit. The business unit focuses on sales of reagents and equipment for healthcare laboratories in the Nordic region. Visit: www.addtech.com
Borealis acquired PEC-Rhin SA from GPN B
orealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions and a major player in fertilisers in central Europe, has acquired PEC-Rhin SA (Ottmarsheim, France) in its entirety from GPN. GPN, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Total, owned a 50 per cent interest in PEC-Rhin SA and exercised its pre-emption right for the remaining 50 per cent stake originally owned by BASF SE. This process has now been completed and approved by the relevant antitrust authorities. Pec-Rhin is a producer of nitrate fertilisers as well as ammonia, ammonia water and nitric acid for industrial use. “Pec-Rhin with its assets on the border between
France and Germany on the Rhine river is certainly most complementary to our current fertiliser business, which is mainly focused on the Danuberegion,” says Mark Garrett, Borealis chief executive. Borealis will now investigate how to best integrate the new site and its activities without disrupting the current business and production processes. “With the fertiliser season coming up it is important the customers continue to be supplied without interruptions. LINZER AGRO TRADE, the Borealis fertiliser organisation, will be the sole distributor of the products,” says Markku Korvenranta, Borealis executive vice-president Base Chemicals. Visit: www.borealisgroup.com
ABB to acquire Thomas & Betts A
BB, the leading power and automation technology group, and Thomas & Betts Corporation, a North American lewader in low voltage products, have announced that both companies’ boards of directors have agreed to a transaction in which ABB will acquire Thomas & Betts for $72 per share in cash or approximately $3.9 billion.w The complementary combination of Thomas & Betts’ electrical components and ABB’s low-voltage protection, control and measurement products would create a broader low voltage portfolio that can be distributed through Thomas & Betts’ network of more than 6000 distributor locations and wholesalers in North America, and through ABB’s well established distribution channels in Europe and Asia. “Because our products are complementary, we’ll go to market with one of the broadest offerings in the industry. That creates strong growth opportunities for both ABB and Thomas & Betts, and gives customers and distributors one-stop access to one of the widest ranges of low voltage products,” said Joe Hogan, ABB’s CEO. Thomas & Betts, combined with ABB’s North American low-voltage products business, will become a new global business unit led out of Memphis, TN, under the leadership of Pileggi. Visit: www.abb.com
Feintool sells IMA Automation Berlin to Mikron
eintool has reached an agreement with Mikron on the sale of automation specialist IMA Automation Berlin GmbH, based in Berlin, Germany, to the Swiss industrial group. All 71 employees will transfer to Mikron. The deal will be finalised once the responsible competition authorities have given their approval.
Subject to the approval of the responsible competition authorities, the sale will take place retroactively with effect from 1 January 2012. Feintool and Mikron have agreed not to disclose the price. “In Mikron we are delighted to have found a buyer that is a good strategic and operational fit for IMA Berlin” said Heinz Loosli, Feintool CEO, commenting on the sale.
Outokumpu confirms agreement with ThyssenKrupp to create a global stainless steel leader
utokumpu has reached an agreement in principle in its negotiations with ThyssenKrupp to combine Inoxum, the stainless steel unit of ThyssenKrupp, with Outokumpu under the operational leadership of Outokumpu. The agreement reached with the German labour representatives overnight marks a significant milestone in the negotiations. Specifically, it covers the following areas: • Closure of the Krefeld meltshop by end of 2013. • The melt shop in Bochum will be preserved until the end of 2016. • No compulsory redundancies in German production sites until end of 2015. • Planned total reduction of 850 jobs in Germany of which ThyssenKrupp has committed to offer alternative jobs within ThyssenKrupp for up to 600 of current Inoxum employees. Visit: www.outokumpu.com
“This will safeguard the site’s continued development over the long term. Feintool regards the sale as a further step in the process of focusing on its core businesses. We are particularly pleased that we can offer all 71 affected employees and apprentices good perspectives in the Mikron Group.” Visit: www.feintool.com Industry Europe 19
Relocations and expansions across Europe
Audi invests in new production site
he Audi site in Ingolstadt has been growing for years – but the space available is limited. In order to relieve the plant structurally, Audi has purchased a site measuring around 40 hectares at the Münchsmünster industrial park. The Ingolstadt carmaker will start by developing around 27 hectares of this. Alongside a press shop with transfer presses and production lines for formhardened body parts and facilities for machining
chassis components, an aluminum die-casting foundry will open there from 2013. “The strategic investment in Münchsmünster is part of our growth strategy. It allows us to free up capacity at existing plants and to use sites in the surrounding area for future technologies,” says Audi Production Board Member Frank Dreves. Visit: www.audi.com
QinetiQ and Hyperbaric Test Centre opened
January 2012 Commodore Henry Parker RN opened the new Diving and Hyperbaric Test Centre (DHTC) on the QinetiQ site at Haslar in Gosport, Hampshire. QinetiQ operates the centre in support of the Ministry of Defence and commercial organisations providing assurance that diving equipment is safe and effective in use. QinetiQ experts working in the DHTC use the facilities to help avoid human casualties and in the past have set world records for hyperbaric activities. The newly
refurbished facilities within the DHTC includes some of the UK’s leading hyperbaric testing chambers and tanks and have been restored to the very highest standards. When located on the QinetiQ Alverstoke site a range of diving and hyperbaric test facilities were used to support the development and testing of military submarine escape and rescue systems, diving equipment and decompression procedures. These facilities are now located in the new Centre. Visit: www.QinetiQ.com
Opening of Bentley Lyon W
ith sales of Bentleys bouncing back to pre-recession levels, the British carmaker is looking to broaden its presence not just in new markets, but in established ones as well. Bentleyís new showroom in Lyon will be responsible for both sales and after-sales and will be operated by the successful Passion Automobiles Prestige dealership group owned by the SOGESA Group. Welcoming the partnership with SOGESA, Guillaume Chabin, Bentley’s Regional Director Europe commented: “Undoubtedly the power, performance and luxury of our models are a key part of our success but so too is the authenticity of the Bentley name. We look forward to working with the team at Bentley Lyon, whose understanding of the prestige sports car market makes them ideal partners for us.” Visit: www.bentleymotors.com
New AVEVA office in Italy
VEVA has opened a new office in Genoa, Italy to support the growing Italian market. The office will offer sales and support for all AVEVA’s products and solutions, as well as hosting training courses and customer events. Fredy Ktourza, senior vice-president West EMEA said, “Genoa has a long tradition in 20 Industry Europe
BASF inaugurates sodium methylate plant in South America
ASF has officially inaugurated its new world-scale production plant for sodium methylate in Guaratingueta, Brazil, its largest site in South America. The plant has a capacity of 60,000 metric tons per year and is supplying the regional market. Production started at the end of 2011 and the plant has been continuously delivering excellent product quality. It is the first BASF plant for this product in South America and the second in the world, in addition to a plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Capital expenditure for the project was in the low double-digit million euro range. “We have invested in a new production plant to further strengthen our competitive position in the fast-growing market for biodiesel in South America,” said Stefano Pigozzi, president of BASF’s Inorganic Chemicals. Visit: www.basf.com
the power, metal and shipbuilding industries and is an ideal location. It supports our drive to continue winning market share against our competitors and it will allow us to play a much greater role in the Italian market.” AVEVA has over 120 customers in Italy including major owner operators and EPCs in industries such as power and shipbuilding. Visit: www.aveva.com
INDUSTRYPEOPLE New head of Exterior Design at Bentley
nternationally acclaimed designer David Hilton has been appointed head of Exterior Design for Bentley Motors Ltd. After 12 years running his own successful design firm, Hilton moves to Crewe in the UK, reporting to Bentley’s director of Design and Styling Dirk van Braeckel. Hilton has over two decades’ experience within automotive design, having worked with a wide variety of global companies. Award winning projects for a range of European and Japanese brands established his reputation and helped the companies attract new customers. Prior to this, Hilton worked at Ford for many years in both Detroit and Germany as well as a spell with Mazda in Japan. A former chief designer at Ford Racing, he also has experience within the Volkswagen Group having been a designer at VW Autolatina in Brazil.
Jon Gibson joins Crimson & Co
rimson & Co, the UK’s leading independent end-to-end supply chain consultancy, has continued its recruitment drive with the appointment of Jon Gibson as Principal. Jon brings a wealth of experience and best practice in logistics to the company. With over 20 years of experience in the field of logistics, working for companies such as Carlsberg, Shell, River Island and DHL, Jon has worked on a range of projects, both on a global and local perspective, to improve logistics operations affecting the supply chain as a whole. Jon joins Crimson & Co from Shell, where he was part of the leadership team responsible for managing a transportation and storage budget of $1.9 billion, across 40 countries.
Markus Rauramo appointed as Fortum’s new CFO
arkus Rauramo (43), MSc, Political Sciences, has been appointed as a new chief financial officer (CFO) at Fortum Corporation. He will be a member of Fortum Management Team and report to Tapio Kuula, president and CEO of Fortum Corporation. Fortum’s long-time CFO, Juha Laaksonen, will retire according to his terms of employment in the beginning of 2013. Markus Rauramo will join Fortum from Stora Enso, where he has held various managerial and leadership positions since 1993. His latest position was CFO. Markus Rauramo will start at Fortum in August 2012 and as a CFO as of 1 September 2012.
Alcoa sales manager in the UK and Ireland
lcoa Wheel Products manufacture forged aluminium wheels for trucks, trailers and buses and are by far the market leader both globally and in Europe. The European manufacturing facility is located in Székesfehérvár, Hungary and the service and distribution centre in Paal, Belgium. To strengthen its position in the UK, Alcoa has hired a UK sales manager: Chris Edwards. Chris brings 15 years of experience in the transport and automotive industry.
New head of Retail Operations at Volkswagen UK
an Plummer has been appointed head of Retail Operations for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. He took up his new role at the company’s UK headquarters in Milton Keynes on 1 February 2012, and replaces Alex Smith who recently became director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
Ian joins Volkswagen from Renault, where he has worked for the past 15 years. During that time he has held a wide range of roles at both the company’s head office in Paris and in the UK. He has a strong retail background having been managing director of Renault Retail Group UK before becoming the director of Commercial Operations for Renault UK. Industry Europe 21
Advances in technology across industry
Irish antibacterial tiles kill MRSA K eeping surfaces free from potentially harmful micro-organisms can often require detergents, elbow grease or expensive UV light. But the technology developed by the CREST team at Dublin Institute of Technology could do the job at the flick of a light switch and could help in the fight against infections such as MRSA. The clever coating reacts to light by generating tiny molecular species called free radicals,
which blitz micro-organisms at the surface. To make it work, the semiconductor titanium dioxide has been engineered to be activated by indoor light, which is less expensive and more practical than using UV light. The semiconductor coating is applied to a ceramic surface by spraying it onto a product, then heating it. Once in place, if light falls on the coating, the movement of electrons in the
activated material and interaction with moisture in the air results in the creation of free radicals at the surface. These highly reactive species are like molecular chainsaws that can damage organic molecules and structures in micro-organisms. Ceramic manufacturer VitrA Ireland is now licensing the technology from DIT on an exclusive basis for use on its products worldwide. Visit: ec.europa.eu
How wings really work I
EADS scientists combat ice and flies
erospace and defence group EADS recently inaugurated iCORE, its new Icing and Contamination research facility at its German headquarters in Ottobrunn near Munich. At the core of the facility is a laboratoryscale cryogenic wind tunnel which combines the various elements that create icing conditions. The main purpose of the new research facility is to find ways to minimise or even prevent the build-up and adhesion of ice on the plane’s surface, thereby reducing energy consumption for inflight de-icing. EADS IW scientists are studying the use of coatings and tailored surfaces to counter the accumulation of ice from supercooled water droplets – a common condition of meta stable water encountered during flight in the atmosphere and in cloud. The coatings are expected to support the use of new-generation on-board de-icing systems that respond to the increasing evolution of electric aircraft. The applications for these solutions range from airliners and helicopters to military unmanned aerial vehicles. The planned research activities in the new facility will address laminar flow technology. The effect of insect contamination on flow characteristics will also be investigated in this context. Insect contamination has no impact on flight efficiency today. When the laminar flow technology currently under development goes into use, however, this situation will change: minor turbulence may occur due to insect contamination. This would jeopardise the goal of fuel savings through turbulence-free airflow. Visit: www.eads-video.com 22 Industry Europe
t’s one of the most tenacious myths in physics and it frustrates aerodynamicists the world over. Now, University of Cambridge’s Professor Holger Babinsky has created a 1-minute video that he hopes will finally lay to rest a commonly used yet misleading explanation of how wings lift. “A wing lifts when the air pressure above it is lowered. It’s often said that this happens because the airflow moving over the top, curved surface has a longer distance to travel and needs to go faster to have the same transit time as the air travelling along the lower, flat surface. But this is wrong,” he explained. “I don’t know when the explanation first surfaced but it’s been around for decades.” To show that this common explanation is wrong, Babinsky filmed pulses of smoke flowing around an aerofoil. When the video is paused, it’s clear that the transit times above and below the wing are not equal: the air moves faster over the top surface and has already gone past the end of the wing by the time the flow below the aerofoil reaches the end of the lower surface. “What actually causes lift is introducing a shape into the airflow, which curves the streamlines and introduces pressure changes – lower pressure on the upper surface and higher pressure on the lower surface,” clarified Babinsky, from the Department of Engineering. “This is why a flat surface like a sail is able to cause lift – here the distance on each side is the same but it is slightly curved when it is rigged and so it acts as an aerofoil. In other words, it’s the curvature that creates lift, not the distance.” Video can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/UqBmdZ-BNig
France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on the thriving French film industry.
has taken a movie in which no-one speaks a word of French for France to finally scoop its first ever coveted Best Picture Oscar in the 84-year history of the Academy Awards. The victory of The Artist is a near unique achievement in itself, with only one other silent, black and white film – the First World War epic ‘Wings’ – receiving the same accolade at the first Oscars ceremony in 1929. But the success of The Artist is being seen as much more than a one-off fluke chosen for its quirky contrast to its glossy, big budget, English-language rivals for the award. Amidst deepening economic turmoil in France and a recent EU warning of shrinking GDP, it is being hailed as a rare sign that one French industry is still managing to thrive in an increasingly gloomy climate of lay-offs, profits-warnings and bankruptcies. Even without the global critical acclaim for The Artist, the film helped make 2011 the French film industry’s most successful financial year for 44 years, with ticket sales topping €216 million, the highest figure since 1967. Just over two-thirds of all French people went to the movies at least once last year, and more than two-fifths of all seats sold were for French-made movies, including other box office smashes like Les Intouchables (The Untouchables) and Rien a Declarer (Nothing to Declare). The film industry boom is also an advertisement for the often-criticised policy of public investment in French film-making, with a 12 per cent tax on cinema tickets being ploughed back into the industry which is now the third largest in the world, receiving an annual €1.5 billion from the state and churning out more than 260 movies a year. Florence Gaustaud of the French Guild of Authors, Directors and Producers said: “Right now is a magic moment for French
cinema. The mix of creative financing and tax breaks has meant TV companies are investing in independent productions, and this has given rise to a new generation of film-makers and unprecedented levels of commercial and critical success. “We now produce around 260 films a year and we are the second-biggest exporter in the world. Each year, we present to foreign bidders a varied mix of some 30 films, so when there is a major smash hit like The Artist, that’s great PR for the rest of the movies out there.” But the success has also brought harsh criticism from some directors, who claim the current batch of French movies have abandoned the once high-brow, independent French cinema culture to ‘ape American and British trash’. Film-maker Matthieu Kassovitz wrote recently: “There is a new uninspiring middle ground of French comedies, thrillers and rom-coms that are simply lazy and predictable. France’s tradition of experimental, ground-breaking films by independent writers and directors is being sacrificed at the altar of cash.”
Sparkling sales When it comes to commercial success, another French ‘luxury goods’ industry is also bucking the current trend of the increasing economic chaos in other sectors. Sales of Champagne also soared by seven per cent last year, driven by strong export demand, especially in new markets such as China. The drink’s industry group, the CIVC, said around 323 million bottles of Champagne worth €4.4 billion were drunk in 2011, with most of the sales growth in the most prestigious brands selling at above 50 euros a bottle. CIVC spokesman Thibaut Le Mailloux said: “It was a very satisfying year because
it was sales by value, more than by volume, which gave us the growth. It is exports which are driving the growth in Champagne, especially with the emergence of new markets which are taking up the slack in old established markets.” In 2011, the US market jumped 14.4 percent to 19.4 million bottles, with Japan up 6.7 per cent and sales in Australia rocketing by a massive 32 per cent to 4.9 million bottles, Mr Le Mailloux said. Exports to emerging economies also made a significant contribution, with Russian sales up 24 per cent, Brazil gaining 7.0 per cent and sales to China – where a fast growing middle class is eager to improve its standard of living – up 19 per cent at 1.3 million bottles. Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore took 20 per cent more at 1.3 million bottles, South Korea gained 31 per cent to 480,000 while India drank 290,000 bottles, up 58 per cent. The United Arab Emirates – where drinking is banned in many states – still accounted for 1.4 million bottles, up 18 per cent and nearly five times more than 10 years ago. Sales in western European nations were all up by between three and nine per cent with the only blot on the figures being in France itself, where 1.9 per cent less Champagne was sold. Mr Le Mailloux added: “The prestige brands and the best vintages did especially well overseas where Champagne remains a luxury symbol. “Sales were down marginally in France as a temporary effect of the eurozone crisis, but that said, they still accounted for a third of the total global sales of Champagne of more than 320 million bottles a year. “So that surely shows that no matter how tough things get, we French still don’t mind forking out on the world’s finest tipple to cheer us up during these n bleak economic times.” Industry Europe 23
Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the growing threat from Chinese auto makers.
nce upon a time western businessmen took their factories, their money and their expertise to the orient where cheaper labour and less-stringent regulations meant everything from apple juice to zinc smelters could be made more cheaply. But that is long ago and far away in the new age of globalisation. In February German automakers watched with a mixture of awe, suspicion, fear and wonder as China opened up their first car plant in an EU country. The Chinese manufacturing beachhead in Bulgaria serves as both a warning shot and a wake-up call to European motor car makers in general – and Germans in particular – that the fight for market share is being brought ever closer to home. The Great Wall company’s new factory in the northern Bulgarian village of Bahovitsa is to be operated jointly by it and the Bulgarian firm Litex Motors. For years carmakers like Volkswagen have established large joint ventures in order to gain footholds in the Chinese market. Now the boot is laced firmly on the other foot. “Stepping on the European market is our strategy,” Great Wall CEO Wang Fengying said at the opening festivities. Within three to five years, the company plans to produce an entire line of models in Bahovitsa to be sold in Europe. Test assembly of the Voleex C10 and the Steed 5 pick-up truck, which sell for €8200 to €12,800, started back in November. In the mid-term, Great Wall plans to assemble around 50,000 automobiles per year at the 500,000 square metre plant. The number of workers is expected to grow from the current total of 120 to 2000. Initially, the company plans to sell its vehicles primarily in Bulgaria and neighboring eastern European countries like Serbia and Macedonia, but it later plans to expand into other EU countries. Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest country, is attractive as a labour market because it has cheap wages and low taxes. Workers are well 24 Industry Europe
educated and the country is ‘ideal’ as the site for a company like Great Wall. Given that wages for factory workers have risen considerably in China in recent years, assembly sites abroad have become increasingly attractive for Chinese manufacturers.
New rules The news comes on the back of a new policy in China that ends preferential treatment for global players like VW, Daimler and BMW, all of whom have massive investment in the country. At the end of last year, the Chinese government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) approved a new industrial plan that could have a devastating effect on German car manufacturers.
Beijing doesn’t just want to catch up with companies in Germany – it wants to surpass Germany technologically in a quest to become the world’s preeminent producer of hybrid and electric vehicles. All have worked to make China one of their most important and successful foreign markets. In the first 11 months of last year, VW alone sold more than 2 million vehicles there, up more than 15 per cent from 2010. But now Beijing is promoting a brand of protectionism with the NDRC removing car manufacturing from the list of industries where it encourages foreign investment. The reason is simple: to build up domestic car manufacturing enterprises which have been left behind in the wake of the foreign invasion. The activities of foreign carmakers will still be allowed in China, and for certain components – engines, automotive electronics and transmissions – Beijing will still allow foreign investment. But when it comes to building new factories the new rules may prove to be
restrictive because local communist party officials will be tasked with interpreting them. “A number of provinces have their own local carmakers, and they have little interest in allowing foreign competitors into their regions,” noted German news magazine Der Spiegel. “The situation could become particularly difficult for brands such as BMW, Ford or Mazda, which have so far only worked with one partner and depend on their further cooperation.” Market watchers say that China is working to ‘take the gloss’ off foreign automobiles in a bid to get its citizens to buy domestic. And Beijing doesn’t just want to catch up with companies in Germany – it wants to surpass Germany technologically in a quest to become the world’s preeminent producer of hybrid and electric vehicles. “It may be some way off,” said an analyst, “but its plan has already worked in one field – it now dominates solar power in Germany – and so German carmakers are worried.” Industry analyst Max Warburton predicts sales volumes and earnings expectations dipping across the sector by up to 40 per cent for most of the European auto companies in 2012. “We believe the most serious ‘known unknown’ is Chinese premium car sales, “Mr Warburton said. “No one really has a clue – which means earnings forecasts for German car stocks are based on finger-in-the-air guesses,” Mr Warburton said. China accounts for a large chunk of profits, particularly at BMW and Volkswagen. His comments mirror predictions from JP Morgan, Barclays and HSBC, which stated that the profile for the sector is getting worse and lowered their respective market forecasts. The sleeping tiger sleeps no more; today, worry the bosses, it’s Bulgaria, tomorrow China itself. Then the car industry, responsible for so much of Germany’s manufacturing buoyancy in difficult times, really might be headed down a one way street with no n room for turning around.
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A CLEAR VISION Innovative optomechanical and optoelectronic devices specialist Opticoelectron Group JSC is leading the way in high-quality, technically advanced products and systems. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the commercial director, Mrs Tsvetana Donova, to find out how this is being achieved.
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ounded in Bulgaria in 1999 as the successor of the state-owned company Opticoelectron, which was established in 1971, Opticoelectron Group JSC is a private joint-stock company. The biggest Bulgarian producer of optomechanical and optoelectronic devices and systems for the defence, medical, device-building and machine-building industries, Opticoelectron today enjoys a strong footing in both military and civil applications worldwide. Located in the Bulgarian city of Panagyurishte, 90km south-east of the capital Sofia, Opticoelectron is primarily focused on, the export of its products, with more than 97 per cent of its production sold outside its domestic market. Commercial director Mrs Tsvetana Donova told Industry Europe, “We sell our products worldwide, but we have a strong focus on central and western Europe. We also have strong activities in the Near East and the USA, with all these markets and others representing positive business development for the future.” The Opticoelectron product range sees a range of optomechanical and optoelectronic devices and systems designed and manufactured to the highest quality. Its core products are anti-aircraft and ground artillery sights for firing both in daytime and nighttime, day and night optical sights, laser rangefinders, laser target designators, optical systems for armoured vehicles, video observation and surveillance systems. All the products which are used in military applications adhere to the incredibly strict NATO standards, including the ‘NATO Secret’ certification of registry.
Mrs Donova continued, “It is imperative for the continued success of Opticoelectron that all of our customers – which include some very high profile yet discreet organisations – can rely totally on every aspect of our equipment. We have been ISO9001:2000 certified since 2001 and certified according to the NATO Standard AQAP 2110, and we are fully committed to maintaining total control across our design, development and manufacturing processes.” This total control is well supported by Opticoelectron’s closed cycle of production a process which utilises the company’s advanced technology for design and manufacture as well as giving customers valuable peace of mind regarding the privacy of their requirements.
Mrs Donova explained, “The closed cycle of production starts right from the research and development phase up to the production process and through to marketing, promoting and trading the finished products. We have our own industrial park which is 260,000m2, of which 108,000m2 is dedicated to our production facilities.” Opticoelectron has seven production plants, with each one dedicated to a certain production facility. There is a plant for mechanical parts, a plant for optics, a plant for tooling and equipment and one for the assembly division, which all work together to deliver the high quality, carefully designed and manufactured optomechanical and
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optoelectronic devices and systems that carry the respected Opticoelectron brand. In order to maintain this respected reputation for excellence, the company is continually investing in its activities and facilities, with its latest improvements including advance testing equipment, climate chambers for climate tests, laminar boxes, coating machines and metal processing machines. Such investment will certainly play a part in enabling Opticoelectron to meet its ambitious growth plans over the coming years. Mrs Donova added, “We are specifically aiming to expand our market share in North America as we believe this represents a key market for us going forward. We know there are considerable opportunities for existing and potential customers to benefit from our technically advanced product range so we are focusing our business development activities in this region. We also see strong possibilities for continued growth in Asia and across Europe, particularly central Europe, so we intend to utilise our excellent sales team in order to bring our products to new customers.” With Opticoelectron’s growth strategy highlighting its intention to expand organically, it looks as though it will gain new market share worldwide and expand its customer base in Europe and the USA, as well as increasing output per customer. With the demand for such high-tech devices and systems predicted to continue with its upward trend,
Opticoelectron is likely to perform well in 2012 and beyond. The continually growing product range is well-supported by a strong team of highly skilled employees with backgrounds ranging from defence specialists to electromechanical engineers, all of whom work closely together to create and build brand-new products that not only showcase their talents but also keep Opticoelectron at the top of its game worldwide. Mrs Donova concluded, “We will add new products to our already extensive
range in the near future too, as our R&D teams are constantly working on creating new devices that meet the exceptionally demanding applications required by our customers. Our idea is to develop new products based on our newly invested machines and to see a return on our investment. We believe all these actions together will enable us to achieve our goal of winning the coveted prize of ‘The Most Innovative Company of South-Eastern n Europe 2012’.”
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PHONAK FLYING HIGH Market-leading miniaturised communications specialist Phonak Communications offers a broad range of custom-moulded solutions for the aviation industry, as well as intelligent hearing protection systems used by workers across all types of industry. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the managing director, Evert Dijkstra, to find out more.
ounded in Murten, Switzerland in 1992, Phonak Communications is the technology and market leader in the development, design, production and worldwide distribution of ultra-miniaturised wireless systems. Its sister company Phonak meanwhile is the global hearing aid manufacturer. As such, Phonak Communications occupies a unique position, benefitting from its development team’s acoustics expertise and industry experience, while also being able to tap into its wider group’s extensive hearing knowhow.
Foundation of knowledge The managing director, Evert Dijkstra, told Industry Europe how this knowledge plays a key role in the company’s ongoing success. He said, “Having grown from focusing solely on creating hearing aid solutions, we know a lot about hearing, noise and comfort. These are three issues that we take very seriously, as we know what a major impact their positive management can have on people’s lives, especially when their livelihoods depend on it. We believe that our success is largely thanks to our ability to build on this hearing knowledge and combine it with our own ongoing research and development to create a full range of commu-
nication and hearing protection systems that meet the needs of our customers, whatever their field of operation.” Phonak’s technologically advanced systems are suited to a range of commercial and industrial applications, including the aviation and other transportation industries, steel mills and even the entertainment industry. The company’s current focus is on the aviation industry through the launch of its new FreeCom range of pilot headsets. Designed for use by both professional and amateur pilots, these three solutions are already enjoying considerable success. Mr Dijkstra continued, “Our FreeCom pilot headsets are currently in phase one of a global roll-out, selling already in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Denmark. We have designed FreeCom to be the most comfortable aviation headset on the market and it is available in three core configurations, depending on the needs of the individual user.” The three FreeCom headsets in question – FreeCom 7000, FreeCom 5000 and FreeCom 3000 – offer pilots unbeatable wearer comfort thanks to their ergonomic custom-moulded in-ear shells and featherlight system weights.
The FreeCom 7000 is the most advanced system as it offers built-in dynamic (active) hearing protection. As such it is able to filter out certain noise frequencies and intelligently vary the sound insulation it offers the pilot as the surrounding noise levels change. This highend functionality makes the FreeCom 7000 ideally suited to pilots of very noisy aircraft such as helicopters and small planes, situations in which it is imperative that the pilot understands every radio message received while also being protected from the dangerously loud noise around them.
Benefits of the FreeCom family Mr Dijkstra added, “Like all of the FreeCom family, the FreeCom 7000 is a premium product and there is no similar headset available on the market. A great benefit is that the pilot can keep wearing their FreeCom 7000 even if they change system or airplane as it can be simply unplugged and reconnected thanks to the full range of connectors we have available for all types of desks. And even though its ear shells are custom-moulded, it is still very competitively priced. FreeCom was launched in October last year and Mr Dijkstra says the company has
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already received highly positive feedback from enthusiast and commercial pilots alike. He remarks, “Many are telling us it’s the most comfortable headset they’ve ever used, and as a result we’ve received worldwide requests for orders.” The FreeCom 5000 meanwhile is a passive protection headset, which offers a static level of noise reduction as opposed to the varying attenuation offered by the FreeCom 7000. Featuring a noise-cancelling microphone yet still lightweight and offering all-day comfort, this system is primarily targeted at customers who
fly planes that are still very noisy but do not require the level-dependent, fluctuating noise benefits of the FreeCom 7000. The FreeCom 3000 is an even lighter single-sided headset that features a single in-ear shell and the same quality noise-cancelling microphone, making it perfectly suited to quieter cockpits. Mr Dijkstra explained why the qualities of the FreeCom family are so important for all pilots, whatever type of aircraft they fly. He said, “With our hearing loss and amplification knowledge, we are well aware of not only the type of support that is required in these high-volume
settings, but also the dramatic impact that hearing loss can have on a person’s life. Hearing loss is known to result from being exposed to noise of at least 85 decibels for more than eight hours a day, so for pilots this can be a regular occurrence. By investing in custommoulded headsets that are so comfortable to wear that they never need to be removed, this is drastically reduced, with the added benefit of enabling enhanced performance due to crystal-clear communication.” Wider applications of Phonak’s hearing protection technology, such as that built
Evert Dijkstra, Managing Director
inside its Serenity products for industry, span any workers that are exposed to 85 decibels or more on a regular basis. At airports for example this includes ground staff such as baggage handlers, refuellers and so-called ‘pushback’ teams. Across wider industry sectors, Serenity is used by everyone from construction crews and tunnel builders to plastic and steel producers, road workers, police and firefighters. The individualised comfort of Phonak’s customised hearing protection systems is considered a key selling point for all users, with the irritation and pressure often attributed to earmuff-style solutions simply not experienced with Phonak’s products, thanks to their ergonomic design and its careful use of clinical nylon. Phonak predicts continued strong demand in the coming months and years, particularly as legislative changes across USA and the EU are expected to place a tighter focus on safety and prevention. With more than five million workers in Germany alone exposed to 85 decibels or more for eight hours a day and China recently passing a law that makes hearing protection mandatory for those in work in noise above a certain level, Phonak and its FreeCom and Serenity products are well-placed to enjoy a n profitable future.
MADE IN GERMANY The name FELLA has been a byword for innovative agricultural machinery for over 90 years. Fresh investment from the parent company and plans for market extension spell an energetic future for the company, as Julia Snow reports.
ELLA-Werke GmbH is based in Feucht, near Nuremberg in the Franconia region of Germany. The company currently holds a top position in the specialist green forage harvesting machinery sector. With a comprehensive range of drum and disc mower units, tedders and rakes, FELLA has been enjoying solid growth on the world market. The company’s single location in Feucht employs 170 staff, with teams responsible for sales and
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administration, research and development as well as the assembly of all machinery. “We are very proud of the fact that our machines continue to be truly ‘made in Germany’, with all assembly and quality control taking place here in Feucht,” explains Mr Reinhard Brunner, the general manager for FELLA. In March 2011, FELLA was fully incorporated into the AGCO Corporation and as such will continue to drive forward the
specialisation of harvest technology for them. The Feucht site, near Nuremberg, was declared AGCO’s centre of excellence for green forage harvesting in Europe.
Stronger with AGCO FELLA’s strong market position has attracted the interest of the international AGCO Corporation, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and providers of tractors and
agricultural machinery. In 2011 AGCO expects record sales of nearly €6.6 billion. AGCO’s full range includes tractors, combine harvesters, forage harvesters and seed drills, fertiliser spreaders and soil tilling implements. AGCO has the sector’s most powerful sales network – including more than 2600 independent dealers in over 140 countries of the world. “John Deere and Case New Holland are the other top players in the agricultural industry sector,” says Mr Brunner. FELLA’s production plant will benefit from some very ambitious expansion plans in the next years, based on AGCO’s announced investment of up to €20 in expanding facilities and creating a group-wide ‘Green forage harvest Centre of Excellence’ in Feucht. “We see this as a huge
opportunity for us, as it will guarantee jobs and the stability of our location. We’re already taking the first steps in securing land for the redevelopment and expansion.”
More products for large scale harvesting “We are absolutely committed to our core sector, which is the agricultural industry with a specialised focus on green forage harvest machines mainly for dairy farming and biogas,” adds Mr Stefan Sprock, export director for FELLA. “But additionally we are looking to extend our product range over the next years in order to increase our offering specifically for large farms and for harvesting subcontractors.” While FELLA already has
some business with large-scale farms the intention is to multiply the presence in this growing and highly profitable segment by closing any gaps in the product portfolio and by introducing more specially adapted models for these particular customer needs. FELLA’s R&D team is organised in product groups and work closely with customers and third-party research institutes, utilising cutting-edge CAD software to develop solutions that push the boundaries of performance and efficiency.
New markets on the horizon Traditionally FELLA supplies machines to dairy farms in countries across Europe, Northern America, Australia and New Zea-
land. In addition to these core customers the company will increasingly target larger commercial farming enterprises as well as harvesting contractors in these areas. Through its own sales and service network FELLA covers the western European home market of Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux and Italy, where many important clients are located. Recent strong developments in countries like Poland and North America have promoted FELLA to strengthen distribution networks further afield. Now, with the additional sales reach of the AGCO Corporation, even more markets have become easier to access
including Russia and South America. Future growth is expected to come from incremental growth in line with the growing distribution networks and the additional sales channels provided by the AGCO partners. Further acquisitions may lead to new members of the AGCO family – bringing even more synergies to the table. “AGCO has a great track record in company acquisitions in its 20 year history,” Mr Sprock says, before adding: “They buy a brand and instead of swallowing it they develop and protect the brand identity very successfully – the proof for this are names like Fendt, Massey Ferguson, Valtra, Challenger and Laverda, all members of the
AGCO Corporation. We believe that this success story is only beginning for FELLA and we are confident that we can look forward to the same long and prosperous future for the FELLA brand.” Joining AGCO Corporation has not changed any of FELLA’s core strengths – the company still has the widest product portfolio in the green fodder segment, it still offers quality made in Germany and there is still the strong dealer network and the unique, specialised Alps range of machines. But the company’s targets for the future surely reflect a boost in confidence, as FELLA intends to double its turnover n within the next five years.
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THE SOWER AND THE SEED
The Swedish company Väderstad-Verken AB produces machines for soil cultivation and drilling. Joseph Altham spoke to Väderstad’s deputy managing director, Johan Orrenius, to find out about an innovation from Väderstad with a genuine claim to be groundbreaking.
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äderstad is a village in southern Sweden, near Linköping. The Väderstad company was founded in 1962 by a farmer in the village, Rune Stark. In the beginning, the firm made tine harrows that were suitable for the heavy clay soil of the surrounding landscape. Back then, the firm operated out of a workshop on the farm. Today Väderstad employs 700 people on a large factory complex and offers a wide range of durable machines for soil tillage and seed drilling. The company has held on to its instinctive understanding of what farmers want, together with a knack for devising new machines that can meet their requirements. Väderstad sells to 30 different countries its most important markets being Sweden, UK, Russia, Germany and France. Crister Stark, who is the son of the founder, serves the company as its chairman.
In 2011, King Karl Gustav awarded Mr Stark the Seraphim Medal for his contribution to Swedish industry. However, Väderstad is certainly not resting on its laurels. To coincide with its 50th anniversary, the company is bringing out a new machine, the Tempo, which is designed to enable precision planting at high speed. The Tempo is the result of the largest research and development project in Väderstad’s history. “Crister Stark is a bit of an inventor himself,” says Mr Orrenius. “He really enjoys the early stage development of a new machine.”
Tempo The Tempo is designed for the precision planting of maize, cotton and sunflower crops. “This is a new business segment for us. From contact with our customers in
Germany and central Europe, we have seen a growing need for this type of machine,” says Mr Orrenius. Sunflower and maize have to be planted in a different way from grain, at a greater distance apart, so that there will be no more than 10 seeds per square metre. They must also be planted at the right depth. “When these plants are placed at uneven distance, they will mature at different stages due to the uneven competition. This slows down growth and means the plants are not mature enough at harvest time.” Väderstad’s Tempo machine provides the farmer with the even germination that is necessary to maximise yield. Another advantage of the Tempo is that it can do the job much faster than rival planting machines. This is because the Tempo is equipped with a pressurised seed meter and seed tube, enabling Industry Europe 39
control over the planting of the seeds to be much more precise. “Other machines have a vacuum system that is sensitive to vibration, meaning that at higher speeds you lose control of the movement of the seeds after they have been dropped. The problem for farmers was that if they tried to plant more quickly, there would be a loss of
precision. To solve the problem, we developed a pressure system to control the movement of the seed from the hopper into the soil.” The Power Shoot technique prevents the seeds from bouncing around inside the tube under the impact of vibration. As a result, the Tempo remains accurate even at high speeds. “The Tempo can retain precision at
speeds of 15 or even 20 kilometres per hour. The way people view this type of machine is about to change.”
Eastern Europe The development of the Tempo was a five-year process and involved extensive field trials in Hungary and Ukraine. In Ukraine, the Tempo
has been tested on a farm near Poltava, where it was used to seed 333 hectares of maize and 110 hectares of soya. The large farms of Ukraine require a planter with a big capacity. As well as a large fertiliser hopper, the Tempo has a seed hopper that can hold 70 litres, enough to seed around 20 hectares without refilling. During the trial, it operated at an average speed of 14.8 kilometres per hour. It also managed to sow 121 hectares of maize in a single day, with variations in the seed placement of no more than 0.3 centimetres. “We are a strong presence in eastern Europe. We have been in Russia since the 1980s and we have an assembly unit near Voronezh. In Russia and Ukraine, agricultural land is a valuable resource, and the big farm sites need high quality machines that will last a long time.”
Prospects To make the Tempo, Väderstad needs more manufacturing capacity and is building a new production hall. “Over the past three years we have invested a total of €20 million. Two years ago, we set up a new building for component production.” As a business specialising in the manufacture of agricultural machinery, Väderstad can afford to feel confident about its future. “Population growth is a huge challenge for agriculture. Biofuels are another important trend, as more farmland is being used to produce ethanol. We plan to stay focused on our core business and to continue as an independent player. The owners of Väderstad are the four children of the founder. They all work hard in the business and are coming up n with plenty of good ideas.”
ON TRACK FOR GROWTH Valtra is a leading manufacturer of tractors in the Nordic countries and South America. Philip Yorke spoke to Mikko Lehikoinen, the company’s sales and marketing director, about its new generation of advanced ‘eco-tractors’ and its unique, customised approach to the market.
altra develops and manufactures a wide range of tractors for the forestry and agricultural industries. The company is based in Finland and is the brand leader in Scandinavia and the second most popular brand in Latin America. Valtra has manufactured tractors since 1951, but its roots can be traced back to 1832 and today it operates some of Europe’s most advanced factories at its plants in Suolahti, Finland. Today, Valtra tractors are sold in more than 75 countries worldwide and represent
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the global brand of the AGCO Corporation of America, a fortune 500 company that is the world’s third largest agricultural equipment manufacturer with sales of around $7 billion.
More power and cleaner engines Valtra has always been committed to leading the field when it comes to investing in new technology and the development of cleaner, more efficient engines. As a result, the Valtra S-series was the first agricultural tractor in the world in 2008 to feature AGCO e3 SCR
(selective catalytic reduction) technology. The latest S-series has now entered its third generation, all of which feature higher torque ratings and a reduction in cab noise levels. The SCR engines on the latest models also benefit from the use of AdBlue, which is an additive that is sprayed into the exhaust to clean the emissions still further in the catalytic converter. Furthermore, engine cooling has been improved to allow Valtra S-series tractors to be used to work with even bigger loads and in extremely hot conditions.
Mr Lehikoinen said, “We have been investing heavily in new technology for many years to meet the new emissions legislation. This commitment has resulted in a big increase in value for our customers, due to the extra versatility offered and significant savings of up to 10 per cent on fuel costs. Our thirdgeneration tractors are ‘best in class’ and feature our unique SCR and EDR technology. Valtra’s SCR technology treats the downstream exhaust gases with a special additive AdBlue which breaks down the emissions into harmless nitrogen and water vapour. This treatment significantly extends the lifespan of our engines, as consequently they are able to run at cooler temperatures and work more
efficiently. These latest, 3rd generation tractors with our SCR technology, were showcased recently at the Agritechnica Trade Fair in Germany to wide acclaim from the trade press and customers alike.” Valtra’s A-series tractors are also renowned workhorses designed for heavy work in fields and forests, and they have moved into the high-tech age with electro-hydraulic shuttles and other advanced features. In addition to this they offer hydraulically controlled multidiscclutched two-speed PTOs, which form an integral part of the latest A-series models. Operating comfort has also been significantly enhanced in the A-series, with the cab having undergone a considerable transformation. As
a result, the new models offer reduced noise levels, increased comfort and a larger foot-well and wider doors to make cab access easier, as well as greater flexibility and range regarding steering wheel and seat adjustments. In addition, the latest A-series can be equipped for forestry operations as well as for field work with a rear accelerator pedal and rear window designed for crane hydraulic valves. A low roof version is also available and although the new series has countless new features it still remains one of Valtra’s most cost-effective, reliable, light and versatile tractors. Also showcased at the Agritechnical trade fair last November was Valtra’s latest N series N163 Versu and Direct models, which are the
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world’s strongest 4-cylinder tractors. These tractors offer even more power and torque than before with new software and revised transmission design. The N163 stands out as the most powerful four-cylinder tractor in the world, developing 163 horsepower as standard and up to 171 horsepower with added, Valtra Power Boost technology.
Innovation and customised equipment driving sales Valtra is the only tractor manufacturer in the world that builds tractors on the basis of individual customer needs. This unique selling
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We are a family company founded in 1971. We are operating from city of Vasa in Finland Our main market is Scandinavia including exports and imports. For our customer Valtra AGCO we are taking care of all their transports to Norway on door to door basic.
proposition is backed by the most advanced tractor technology, and is a powerful combination that has proved a major factor in increasing demand globally for Valtra tractors and accessories. Mr Lehikoinen added, “We are seeing strong growth in all of our major markets as a result of our innovative technology and unique service offering. We have been in Brazil since 1959 and are the second biggest brand there. Traditionally we have always been strong in the Baltic countries too, where today we have over 18 per cent of the market. Our market share is also growing
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in Russia where we are attracting sales in the forestry and municipality sectors. “In other key regions such as in our EMEA countries we are also enjoying strong, consistent growth. By increasing the horse power and versatility of our latest series, we have extended their use and versatility to a point where they can be used for all-round tasks, in areas such as dairy and general trailer work. Our ‘individual customer concept’ meets all our customers’ needs in the best possible way, added to which we have an after-sales service that n is second to none.”
Industry Europe 45
BRIDGING THE HYBRID-
TECHNOLOGY GENERATION GAP Amphenol is a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced interconnect systems and safety devices for the automotive industry. Philip Yorke talked to John Treanor, AutoMotive Group’s general manager, about the company’s latest products being developed for the evolving hybrid car industry and its expansion into new geographical markets.
he Amphenol Corporation is a global technology company that is present on every continent and with a turnover of approximately of $4 billion. The Group’s Automotive Division, is based in Germany and is a global supplier of advanced, interconnect systems for the automotive industry. The company’s expanding portfolio of niche, on-board automotive electronics products covers a wide variety of applications ranging from communication, navigation, entertainment and telematics modules to advanced engine control sensors, actuators and lighting systems. In addition, Amphenol has developed groundbreaking solutions for hybrid electric vehicles and their drive systems, and is working with leading global automotive manufacturers to integrate these advanced interconnect products into the next generation of automobiles. A recent example of Amphenol technology at work can be found in India where dramatic steps are being taken to offset increased pollution levels and traffic congestion. This has led to the promotion and adoption of hybrid electric vehicles in India, and Amphenol’s highly engineered products for hybrid vehicles form part of that country’s solution.
For the last 12 months, Amphenol’s local engineers have worked together with Tata Motors to develop innovative, high-power interconnect systems for India’s first hybridelectric bus.
Innovation and acquisitions driving sales Amphenol’s electronics division, dedicated to serving the automotive industry, represents a fast-growing sector within the Amphenol Group. The company operates three core business units: interconnect systems for safety applications, automotive cabling for use in hostile environments where high temperatures and vibration are issues, and Connectors and Assemblies for the Hybrid/Electric and Fuel Cell Markets. Mr Treanor said, “There are two market forces that are contributing to our strong growth in automotive safety technology. In the emerging economies of the world and in particular in India and China, we are seeing more and more vehicles being produced with safety devices such as air bag systems, thanks to government legislation. In another effect, the latest models being produced by the world’s leading OEMs can have as many as 16–18 air
bags per car. This means a growth in complete air bag systems, which is an area where we already have a significant market share and where we are seen as industry leaders in this technology sector.” Mr Treanor added, “When it comes to innovation, we are blazing a trail as one of the first companies to invest heavily in the development of interconnect systems specifically for electric and hybrid vehicles. In fact, our pioneering technology has already been integrated in a number of new vehicles. We work in close partnership with every major OEM and tier-one supplier in the world and have located our manufacturing facilities close to our customers to increase customer service and efficiency. We will continue to grow organically and also through acquisition. We completed one purchase in April 2011 and expect to be acquiring several others within the next 18 months. We also strive to make our manufacturing plants as independent as possible, such as in Tunisia for example, where we have implemented new resources in the fields of testing, quality control and customer service to ensure the shortest route to market for our customers.”
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Setting new standards in connector technology Amphenol’s safety restraint systems are the most advanced in the world thanks to its ongoing investment in product development and its innovative approach to providing automotive system solutions. The company also produces a wide range of high-power automotive Radsok based connectors and cable assemblies, as well as standard hybrid/electrical vehicle connectors and dedicated vehicle systems. In addition, Amphenol specialises in the design and development of multiple use electrical harnesses for lighting, sensor and steering wheel applications. At its Markt Lusteneau plant in Germany, the company produces high temperature exhaust gas cable assemblies and harsh environment engine-bay cable assemblies. Recently, Amphenol developed a unique overmoulded RADSOK™ cable assembly system for high power automotive applications. These cable assemblies feature an environmentally sealed connection system. This latest design creates a more robust solution and broadens the scope of applications suitable for the company’s RADSOK ™ technology for use in harsh environmental applications. Mr Treanor commented, “Our focus has always been on the development of products that help our customers to meet the challenges
of tomorrow. Typically we like to be engaged in new product development at an early stage and support our customers in the development process and to be seen as an extension of their own R&D department. We like to develop customer-specific and application-specific products, on demand for our clients whenever they require our technological support.” Amphenol also works with its customers to produce specialised LED systems for vehicle lighting. The approach is to provide a simple mechanical mounting system that is scalable
according to the specific requirements of the customer, thus providing a low-cost, massmarket solution to what has traditionally been a high-cost option on luxury cars only. This approach also applies to other electrical harnesses for gearbox transmissions and diesel engines as well as for many other applications. In fact, it would appear that there is no limit to what can be achieved technologically, with the resources that Amphenol has at its disposal when it comes to developing automotive interconnect systems. n
LIGHTER, STRONGER, BETTER 50 Industry Europe
Leading Austrian cable manufacturer Gebauer & Griller has gained a formidable reputation for its forward-thinking approach to product development, particularly in the field of aluminium battery cable harnesses for the automotive industry. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the managing director, Helmut Koelmel, to find out more.
ased in the Austrian capital of Vienna, cable manufacturer Gebauer & Griller was established over 70 years ago. The company continues to perform to its highest technical and service capabilities in accordance with the initial principles of the founders, making it a well-respected cable manufacturer in Europe. Gebauer & Griller develops, designs and manufactures high quality cables for a range of industries, with its market-leading position in
the automotive industry allowing it to work with many of the sector’s key players, e.g. Audi, BMW, Daimler and FIAT. Managing director Helmut Koelmel told Industry Europe how the company’s strong foundation continues to enable it to build a positive future. He said, “Even though we are a long-established cable manufacturer, our key focus is always on the future. By that I mean that we make sure we keep all of our customers satisfied – both new and existing –
by developing innovative products that meet the changing needs of the sectors in which we operate while delivering our existing portfolio too. It’s a strategy that allows us to have strong relationships with our customers and keeps us on our toes!”
Application focused portfolio Gebauer & Griller manufactures cables for elevators, escalators, high-speed data communication in addition to its core
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automotive applications. The company is a European key player in car antenna and data transfer cables such as those used for driver assistance applications. Mr Koelmel continued, “Our focus on innovation allows us to stay at the forefront of what is a fast-changing industry. With practically all car manufacturers keen to reduce the weight of their vehicles whilst enhancing the performance, premium car brands need to be even more impressive than their mid-end competitors. We support that quest by encouraging our highly skilled engineers to create cable solutions for weight reduction so that our products are more attractive from a supplier point of view.” The long-standing Gebauer & Griller promise to find the most appropriate solution to the customer’s need while keeping the highest possible production and performance standards can be illustrated using the company’s product developments.
Future perfect alternative Gebauer & Griller also offers an aluminium cable as an alternative to traditional copper cables, as this material is considerably lighter. Mr Koelmel added, “Using aluminium saves up to 40 per cent in weight as compared to cop52 Industry Europe
per, which is very appealing to auto manufacturers as they work hard to reduce the weight of their vehicles for fuel-saving and environmental purposes. Cars demand an awful lot of power in their electric steering systems for example, and aluminium offers a weight and
cost benefit. It’s a big advantage, especially as the Gebauer & Griller promise means that high performance comes as standard.” At the company’s primary production facility based at Poysdorf (located 60km in the north of Vienna), it offers more than 125,000m2 of
state-of-the-art technical capability. In 2008 it installed a technical engineering centre which has promoted its considerable technical potential and also acts as a hub for its shared developments with resident engineers from BMW in Munich and Daimler in Stuttgart. Its
headquarters are located in Vienna and a metal plant is operated in Linz. In the Czech Republic it has a complete site for high quality cable harness manufacturing. In 2010, Gebauer & Griller opened the doors of its brand new production site in India, which
is its first outside its European heartland. The activities are particularly focused on the manufacture of cable harnesses for the international elevator and escalator industries, including such leading names as Otis and Kone. The total investment of the Gebauer & Griller group is about €24 million, which is a considerable sum from its annual €310 million total group turnover in 2010. Mr Koelmel added, “We plan to add a further international site in the USA soon; the plan is to capitalise on the opportunities in the NAFTA area. We will have a sales and development centre in the auto-focused city of Detroit, with a production site in the south, perhaps Carolina. We already have a solid cooperation with Fiat. Therefore the joint-venture between Fiat and Chrysler gives us a good opportunity to supply harnesses in the USA.” As Gebauer & Griller looks forward to the next successful chapter, the company is excited about the international possibilities with new facilities. Its work with automotive manufacturers in reducing weight is making Gebauer & Griller perfectly positioned to enjoy a solid future as a valued and reliable partner to the automotive industry and other n cable-using industries. Industry Europe 53
CUTTING-EDGE TOOLING SOLUTIONS
54 Industry Europe
The machine tools manufacturer Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH is a leading supplier of gear cutting technology, offering CNC gear cutting machines and automation systems for the automotive industry and a number of other sectors.
iebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH is a worldwide leading manufacturer of gear cutting machines, gear hobbing machines, automation systems and handling technology. Part of the Swiss Liebherr Group, it is a supplier to leading players in the global automotive industry. The company is based at Kempten in Germany and has a workforce of around 900 people. In July 2011, after almost two years of construction, Liebherr-Verzahntechnik
has now increased its capacity with a new production hall in the north of the factory premises. The new hall covers an area of around 16,700m2 and houses, in addition to near gear cutting machines, a test and demonstration centre. It also has facilities for customer support as well as training and seminar rooms. The value of this investment amounted to around €30 million. About 70 per cent of its business is with automotive companies and, as the sector
has globalised, Liebherr-Verzahntechnik has followed in its trail. The business in Kempten is complemented by production facilities in Germany, Italy, the USA and India.
The Liebherr Group The Liebherr Group itself was founded in 1949 by Hans Liebherr. He built on the firm’s early success with an affordable, mobile tower crane to establish Liebherr not only as a leading manufacturer of construction machinery
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but also as a supplier of a diverse range of products and services. Over the years, this family-run business has grown into a group of over 120 companies. As well as machine tools, the Liebherr Group supplies an extensive range of construction machinery, cranes for cargo handling, interlinked machine systems, aviation equipment and transport technology, and domestic refrigerators and freezers. Liebherr-Verzahntechnik itself was established in 1952. The group has adopted a highly decentralised organisational structure of company units operating independently with operative
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management of the production and sales for individual product segments in the hands of divisional control companies.
Highest quality products At Liebherr-Verzahntechnik – and throughout the Liebherr Group – great importance is attached to maintaining control of its key technologies and competences. The corporation avoids outsourcing, instead choosing to develop and manufacture major sub-assemblies in-house. Liebherr-Verzahntechnik produces an extensive portfolio of gear cutting machinery for its customers. A wide range of gear
hobbing machines in a production series of up to 6000mm workpiece diameter are available, using a modular concept separated into four different size segments. The latest HSC-dry cutting technology is offered which increases productivity and – because coolant is no longer required – provides a more environmentally friendly process. LiebherrVerzahntechnik pioneered this technology – a prime example of the firm’s success in bringing innovation to the market. The gear hobbing machines are a universal platform for shaping machines and for generating and profile grinding technology. The gear cutting machinery activities are
also complemented by a range of automation and handling systems including gantry robots, automatic loading and unloading equipment for machine tools, and manifold transport products. Customers for these products are mainly from the automotive industry.
Continued focus on innovation Liebherr-Verzahntechnik is always aiming to build on its reputation for innovation and quality. Research and development activities are
focused on optimising customers’ production processes in areas such as reducing changeover times for workpieces. Building greater flexibility into the machinery is a key factor, because his customers are constantly being asked to produce smaller and smaller batches. The company is also concerned with economical production using pallet handling systems, having given a presentation on this issue at the MAV Innovation Forum in 2010. Here it discussed the increasing importance
of production coordinated to meet demand, especially in light of the continuing economic situation and the global pressure for sustainability. Pallet handling systems such as those offered by Liebherr can help customers reduce warehouse stock and unit costs. As just one of a handful of firms competing to supply the relatively small global market for gear cutting machinery, Liebherr-Verzahntechnik is looking to the future with confidence despite facing challenging market conditions. n
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THE FUTURE OF ECO-FRIENDLY TRANSPORT
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As a major player in the field of power transmissions with a wellestablished worldwide presence, Oerlikon Graziano, with more than a decade in the automotive market, today is giving particular emphasis to the zero emissions sector. As the company has a longstanding tradition of successful innovation, it is not surprising that excellent results have also been achieved for electric vehicles.
erlikon Graziano’s origins date back to 1951 when its first plant was set up near Turin, dedicated to the production of gears for the agricultural sector. Following a major business expansion, the company has grown from a small family-run business to an internationally renowned group manufacturing components for power transmission. In the 2007 the merger into the Swiss OC Oerlikon Group, one of the world’s most innovative industrial firm, which provides its customers with innovative solutions and cutting-edge technologies in a wide range of sectors, including textile manufacturing, thin-film coating, drive systems, precision, vacuum, solar energy systems and advanced nanotechnology.
Oerlikon Graziano customers are major manufacturers of passenger cars, agricultural equipment, construction machines, industrial vehicles and vehicles for special applications.
Key strengths Thanks to its global presence and locations in Europe (Italy, Russia and the UK), Asia (India and China) and North America, Oerlikon Graziano is able to satisfy its customers’ requirements by improving the efficiency and performance of its vehicles and delivering, at the same time, excellent results in terms of both efficiency and costs. The core of its success rests on three key pillars: innovation, state-of-the-art technol-
ogy and manufacturing excellence. All its innovative and cutting-edge solutions have been developed thanks to its extensive R&D activities, dedicated and well-trained workforce and a world-renowned team of talented engineers.
Fully electric taxi With 20 years of experience and valuable know-how in electrical driveline systems as well as single gearing components, Oerlikon
Graziano has developed a wide range of products starting from the very first golf/ utility transaxle to the latest transfer case designed for light commercial electric vehicles. This includes the latest applications of the increasingly popular ‘fully electric’, ‘zero emissions’ city cars. Having seen the excellent opportunity to promote its system supplier know-how, the group is now determined to explore the cutting-edge control software and electronic
hardware design skills of its controlled company VOCIS Driveline Controls. Jointly designed and produced by Oerlikon Graziano and Vocis, the new gearbox for the e-Vito Taxi is ideal for inner city transport. Not only does it contribute to reducing both CO2 emissions and environmental noise, but it also allows its users to save a significant amount of money, thanks to lower energy costs compared to petrol. From a technical point of view, this new gearbox is coupled with a 70kW
front transverse electric motor and has been developed with a two-stage reduction, thus featuring a reduction ratio of 1:8,29. Thanks to this revolutionary gearbox ratio, vehicles can now reach a maximum speed of 120 kph at a maximum motor speed of 8000 rpm. This new project has been developed thanks to the participation of Oerlikon Graziano and Vocis in a consortium of companies funded by Advanced West Midlands (AWM) and led by Zytek Automotive. Its main objective was to convert a diesel Mercedes ‘Vito’ van into a fully electric taxi prototype. In order to develop the electric taxi, AWM awarded the Zytek consortium a grant for collaborative research and development through the Advantage Niche Vehicle Programme, which started in July 2009 and was completed in January 2010. Since it meets the requirements laid out by the Public Carriage Office, it is licensed for use as a ‘London Taxi’. In February 2010 it was demonstrated in front of an audience including MP Ian Austin, AWM and selected members of the press. The vehicle is currently undergoing tests at the Zitek premises, where both its software and hardware are also being upgraded.
Of course, this programme has not brought benefits to Oerlikon Graziano and Vocis only. Each member of the above-mentioned consortium can make the most of this experience to improve the promotion of the fully electric vehicles sector, and to use the vehicle for customer demonstration purposes. Also thanks to the excellent results
of this project, Oerlikon Graziano has now consolidated its position as a Europe-leading supplier of electric vehicle transmissions with a wide product range, from 90Nm to 350Nm single speed units and an extended customer portfolio. Its development of innovative solutions may revolutionise the public n transport sector for the benefit of all.
A WINDOW ON SUCCESS Established by the Şişecam group in 1978, Trakya Cam ranks among the top six flat glass companies in the world and is in the top four in Europe in terms of its production capacity. It currently produces a variety of glass products for use in the building, automotive, solar energy and home appliances sectors. Trakya Cam’s chairman, Teoman Yenigun, talked to Industry Europe about the company’s current positioning and its operations.
he Şişecam Group, whose own establishment dates back to 1935, is known to have pioneered the production of flat glass, tempered glass, automotive glass, mirror and insulation glass from 1967 to 1976 in Turkey. When Şişecam set up Trakya Cam, it became the first company to deploy float technology among any east European, Balkan, Middle Eastern and North African countries and had its first fully operational float glass line in 1981. Today it operates seven float glass lines and is among the top glass suppliers in the world. Mainly the automotive glass and home appliance glass products are designed
62 Industry Europe
for the specific needs of clients. This means that the company must establish very close relationships with clients from the inception of projects to the start of serial production. In addition to the domestic market, Trakya’s major markets are the Balkans and central Europe, the Middle East and Russia.
New investments in progress The company is headquartered in Istanbul and currently has plants in three cities in Turkey. It is in the process of constructing a new flat glass plant in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, in order to meet the rapidly increasing demands of the
Turkish market. It also has production facilities abroad, one of which is located in the city of Targovishte in Bulgaria. Additionally, as a result of a joint venture established with Saint-Gobain in 2009, it has a production facility in Ain El Sukhna, Egypt. Mr Yenigun states that further investments in flat glass, mirror, coated glass and automotive glass will also be realised in Russia in partnership with Saint-Gobain. He continues by explaining that Trakya Cam is also investing in another production complex in Bulgaria. He highlights the successful collaboration with Saint-Gobain and says, “We believe that our
Industry Europe 63
partnership with Saint-Gobain has been a successful collaboration. We believe that strategic cooperation and ventures in collaboration with other companies will play a key role in Trakya Cam’s future.” The company aims to expand and penetrate the markets they are involved in, mainly with its value added products.
An environmentalist future According to Mr Yenigun, energy conservation and environmental protection have become the focal points of every nation, considering the robust growth of energy demand and the increasing CO2 emissions going into the atmosphere. Because of this fact, he says, products that consider the need for energy efficiency and renewable energy production have become the driving force for growth in the flat glass industry. As a result Trakya Cam is paying special attention to diversifying its products that will have a great importance within the context of sustainability. “Trakya Cam puts emphasis on research that focused on products in the renewable energy area and multifunctional glass systems which decrease energy consumption and are environmentally friendly”, Mr Yenigun says. Within this framework, Şişecam and Trakya Cam conducted research projects and developed new multi-functional products for architectural applications and managed to achieve successful production trials for some of these products.
Mr Yenigun expects that coated glasses for use in various climates within a wide range of performance will have a major growth in the construction sector. He adds that in the renewable energy area, various glass products for solar energy systems, including low-iron glass and glass with anti-reflective coatings have vast growth potential. He also draws attention to the incentives in the European automotive industry which are mostly provided for environmentally friendly technologies. He says that some applications have rapidly gained importance, such as reducing CO2 emissions as well as reducing the weight of vehicles, lowering the energy usage required for cooling, saving fuel and using lead-free materials for this purpose. He states that in line with this objective, in 2010 and 2011, Şişecam and Trakya Cam have carried out various research and development projects in the field of automotive glasses. As part of this project an original heat-reflecting car wind shield was developed and its initial trial productions were completed successfully.
Proactive approach against the financial crisis When the global financial turmoil hit the sectors where flat glass is used, Trakya Cam decided to pursue a proactive policy to adapt to the new circumstances. It intensified its regional operations to have wide access to
the Turkish market and to raise the number of its customers and thus penetrated extensively into all market segments through product diversification. Regarding the strategies pursued in the export markets, Mr Yenigun states: “The serious turbulence in European and Russian flat glass markets was largely compensated by market share gains and increased sales in markets in the Middle East, Central Europe, the Balkans and North Africa, in line with our company’s market development activities.” Mr Yenigun also outlines the fact that the company’s 2010 figures presented an uptrend in flat glass demand which had contracted in 2008 and 2009 due to the financial crisis. He points out that the recovery of the economy and specifically of the glass sector has been ongoing for some time and has been reflected in Trakya Cam’s operations, with the company experiencing a 17 per cent increase in sales n revenue during 2010.
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With a new business area structure, a continuing process of strategic acquisitions and a focus on product innovation, Atlas Copco is helping customers all over the world to improve their productivity. Peter Mercer reports.
arlier this year the Atlas Copco Group decided to modify its business area structure to strengthen its focus on specific product and customer segments. The company’s divisions for portable compressors and generators, road construction equipment and construction tools joined together in a new Construction Technique business area. The divisions for underground and surface drilling products as well as crushing, loading, hauling and exploration equipment now work under the umbrella of Mining and Rock Excavation Technique. The Stockholm headquartered global group is thus now organised in four, more tightly focused business areas, in place of three. Its Compressor Technique area is now focused on stationary equipment for air and gas related services – industrial compressors, gas and process compressors, air and gas treatment equipment etc – while Industrial Technique continues to specialise in high-quality industrial power tools and assembly systems for the automotive and aerospace industries as well as for general industry. “With more focused business areas, each will have a strong platform from which they can develop the offering for their customers,”
said Ronnie Leten, president and CEO of the group. “The modified structure also allows us to better capture the sales and service synergies between our construction businesses and capitalise on the future growth of construction projects around the world, especially in emerging markets.”
Global reach, local service Atlas Copco is a company with a global reach – its activities span more than 170 countries – and in 2010 it had 33,000 employees and revenues of SEK 70bn. Its Construction Technique business contributed SEK 11.2bn of this total and has product development and manufacturing units in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, China and Brazil. It supplies compaction and paving equipment to civil engineering contractors across the world as well as light construction tools such as breakers, cutters, drills and handheld compaction equipment to trade contractors and rental companies. Its portable compressors and generators are used to provide power in all kinds of construction applications. “The new structure will enable us to combine product families so we can pre-
sent customers with a greater and more integrated service and at the same time have fewer people facing those customers. So our service will be more productive, more efficient and more distinct from that of our competitors. But we won’t at all reduce our ability to offer local services, through our many component businesses; we deliver global solutions but we will still leave it to local managers to decide what suits their markets best.”
Quality counts The new Construction Technique business area faces, of course, a global market that has seen continuing uncertainties over the last three years but Mr Gaar says that while the total volume of business in this market has declined, Atlas Copco’s market share has grown – and continues to grow. “Our mission is to help customers increase their productivity with more efficient products and equipment and this is even more important for them when times are hard,” he explains. “Customers come back to us because they need quality products and first-class service. In developing markets especially, there are big opportunities for Atlas
Making Your World A Quieter Place
Victaulic® innovation began in 1925 with the first grooved-end mechanical pipe joining technology. Since then, they’ve been striving to give a single source solution to the rigorous demands of the piping industry. Active on different markets, such as commercial buildings, fire protection and maritime.
CDM has specialised in the design and manufacture of vibration isolation and sound insulation products for the Building, Rail and Industrial markets for over 60 years.
Victaulic works closely with facility owners, engineers, OEMs and contractors to make pipe joining faster, easier and more economical. In order to achieve this, Victaulic is highly focused on research & development and product innovation and helps its customers compress schedules, reduce onsite risk, improve productivity and facilitate system maintenance and expansion.
Machines, such as compressors, pumps, generators and loom equipment are often located close to noise sensitive spaces within buildings and so the noise and vibration levels from these machines have to be carefully evaluated and managed. Since 2003 CDM has worked with Atlas Copco to develop a range of bespoke isolated fixings which decouple the vibrating elements of their machines and significantly reduce the emitted levels of noise and vibration.
Copco construction tools as customers in Russia, India and China explore how to replace old equipment with new, high-quality products that will increase their productivity. They are just as capable as our European customers of seeing the difference between low-cost and high-quality products.” Michael Gaar adds that Atlas Copco is also continuing its acquisitions strategy, looking for companies that will help it to strengthen its local presence all over the world. Last July, for example, the Group acquired the Spanish generator manufacturer Gesan. Based in Zaragoza, Gesan supplies generators to more than 85 countries, and Europe, Russia and
Africa are its most important markets. “Gesan complements Atlas Copco’s generator business very well geographically. We also expect synergies in sales, service, purchasing and manufacturing,” said Ronnie Leten. Atlas Coco will keep the Gesan brand name and the business will operate within the Portable Energy division of Construction Technique.
Continuing innovation “We will continuously review potential acquisitions to add new technologies,” said Ronnie Leten, “but it is even more important that we remain focused on product development and innovation.” In fact, Atlas
Copco was named last August in a Forbes magazine list as one of the world’s 100 most innovative companies. An excellent example of this innovative spirit is the new conceptual battery-powered asphalt roller that has been developed by Dynapac, the Swedish compaction and paving equipment manufacturer that has been a member of the Atlas Copco group since 2007. The Dynapac CC900E is not only emissionfree; it is also very quiet in operation and offers the same compaction performance as its diesel-driven counterpart, the CC900. For normal tasks this electric roller will work for a full day on one charge and can be recharged
overnight. Thanks to its low noise level and emission-free drive the CC900E is ideal for indoor operation and work in noise-sensitive environments. It is currently being evaluated by customers in the field prior to full production.
Growth potential Atlas Copco continues to develop markets all over the world but it sees the greatest current potential for growth in China
and the USA. At the beginning of 2011 it announced an investment of SEK 60m in a new research and development centre in Nanjing, China. The new centre will provide customers within the Chinese mining and construction industries with specialist engineering services, laboratories and testing facilities. In the USA, Atlas Copco has recently acquired the compressor distribution busi-
Rotational moulding specialists
SKF: Strategic Partnership
PLASTIGI, located in Belgium, is a specialist in rotational moulding, with over 45 years of experience; from design up to the final product, for small series as well as for series of more than 100.000 items.
A strong and long-term partnership that has lasted for over 30 years, enabling both Atlas Copco and SKF to fully reap
the benefits of innovation, R&D, product development and
Plastigi Belgium has a flat organisational structure and is, as such, able to respond quickly and efficiently to your needs.
High-tech... Plastigi disposes of the most modern machines on the market today. As a result we can deliver the highest quality for a lower cost-price.
ness of the Tencarva Machinery Company, a long-time distributor of the Swedish company’s products. The acquisition brings it closer to its customers in Tennessee, Virginia, Mississippi, Maryland and Delaware. Michael Garr said, “but we now have the right people there, we have good logistic systems and a growing network of dealerships. We see the USA as a market with a very high potential for Atlas Copco.” n
Tel: Fax: Email:
+32 (0)14 28 58 30 +32 (0)14 28 58 35 firstname.lastname@example.org
The SKF five-platform model offers an advanced solution and services supporting the total life cycle of asset management.
PRIVATE LABEL LEADER With 20 factories in 11 countries, McBride is a global leader in the manufacture of household and personal care products for the private label market. And it is a market that continues to grow.
Bride is Europe’s leading provider of private label household and personal care products, with more than 5000 employees and a turnover of around £800 million – well over twice the size of its nearest competitor. Currently the company supplies more than 95 per cent of Europe’s top 50 retailers, including Auchan, Carrefour, Tesco, Metro, Rewe, Aldi, Wal-Mart and Sainsbury’s. It is the number one in private label household and personal care products in the UK, France, Italy and Poland. Founded in Manchester in 1927 to supply chemical processing products to Lancashire’s cotton industry, McBride moved into washing-up liquid and fabric conditioners in the 1960s, following the growing demand for supermarket private labels. The growing company was acquired by BP in 1978 and was established in its present form in 1994, following BP’s decision to sell its Consumer Products Division. The late 1990s saw rapid expansion of the product range and geographic reach, with acquisitions in the
UK, Holland, France and Poland. Recent developments have included the 2007 acquisition of Dasty, an Italian producer of private label household cleaning liquids, and of Henkel’s European private label household products business and, in the following year, the acquisition of the production assets of Darcy Industries at Warrington and the former Remploy household and personal care products facility at St Helens. Also in 2008, McBride commissioned a Greenfield manufacturing facility in Zhongshan, China, for the production of specialist air fresheners. In 2009, the company acquired the Limelite and Frish brands in the UK and bought the manufacturing assets of Budelpack Roosendaal in Holland. McBride’s global expansion continued in 2010 with the acquisition of Fortlab in Malaysia and Newlane Cosmetics in Vietnam as well as of a skincare business in Brno, Czech Republic. The company currently operates five factories in the UK, 10 in western Europe, two in central Europe and one each in China, Vietnam and Malay-
sia. Its production technologies include powders, liquids, tablets, soluble sachets, triggers, aerosols, creams and lotions as well as specialist air fresheners.
Two categories Despite this ambitious acquisition strategy and continuing strong organic growth, McBride remains completely focused on its two chosen product categories of household and personal care. In the household cleaning sector it manufactures laundry products, dishwashing products, household cleaners, toilet cleaners and air care products. Every year 220 million bottles of household cleaners alone are filled at the company’s Ieper (formerly Ypres) factory. Recent investments in end-of-line automation, PET bottle-blowing and filling capacity has made this Belgium factory one of the most efficient in the Group. In the UK, McBride’s new bleach filling machine at its Middleton, plant can produce 100 million bottles per year and in Europe the company currently produces
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more than 2.5bn dishwasher tablets. The company employs soluble film technology in five factories to produce laundry liquids, household cleaners, dishwasher tablets, laundry powders and super-absorbent sachets. Trigger cleaners are one of McBride’s core growth categories, with output growing since 2007 to more than 4 per cent of the world’s capacity. In the personal care sector McBride manufactures baby care, hair care and body care products, bath and shower products as well as products for men’s grooming, oral and skincare. Its production facilities include three personal care liquids factories – in the UK, Belgium and Poland – two personal care aerosol factories in the UK and France, a specialist skincare facility in the Czech Republic and personal care and skincare factories in Malaysia and Vietnam.
A growing market Private label is a business that is growing across the world; recent data from Euromonitor shows that in 2009 private label household products were ranked No.5 globally, behind Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Reckitt Benkiser and Henkel. Indeed, while all of these four leading manufacturers lost global share in that
year, private label increased its share of the global household products market from 6 to 6.4 per cent. In Personal Care private label is now ranked in 10th place globally, with a 2.4 per cent share of the market – a position which provides significant opportunities for future growth. In these circumstances, McBride believes that its clear leadership in both household and personal care private label products gives it excellent prospects for continuing growth, particularly in eastern Europe, where private label penetration is still relatively low. The size of its global operations gives the company obvious advantages but it is also committed to continuing innovation so that its customers can deliver better value and performance products to consumers and grow their own brands. McBride also puts sustainability at the top of its product development agenda, constantly seeking to reduce the environmental impact of all its products.
Other operations Although McBride’s core business is private label it also has a growing portfolio of its own brands within the household and personal care sectors. These brands are
particularly important in emerging markets where private label is in its infancy, and they also provide an opportunity to develop and test new ideas, products and packaging which are subsequently often adopted by private label customers. McBride also supplies contract manufacturing services to brand owners in household and personal care. Typically brand owners turn to the company when they have a short or medium-term capacity issue or where they need a second manufacturer to spread the risk. In other cases brand owners may be looking for long-term partnerships or they may be purely marketing organisations with no manufacturing capabilities of their own. Whatever the need, McBride’s expertise in production, formulation and logistics means that it can deliver whatever level of support is required, from purely manufacturing to the entire process, from concept to packaging and delivery. McBride plans to continue to seek further acquisition opportunities to enhance both its earnings growth and its geographical scope. In particular it will invest further in growth regions and categories to further leverage its capabilities and to maintain and expand its support to major retailers across the world. n
WHERE THE HEART IS The world’s best-known kitchen brand is nearly 120 years old, but is as committed to keeping ahead of industry trends as ever. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the managing director, Lars Voelkel, to see how Poggenpohl is winning awards and expanding its portfolio.
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stablished in 1892, Poggenpohl Möbelwerke GmbH was the first German kitchen brand and remains the world’s best known in its field. Famous for its highquality, design-led kitchen designs, Poggenpohl continues to be a byword for stylish kitchens. In 2010, the company achieved a turnover of €111 million, and grew faster than the German kitchen industry in 2010. It is also continuing its steady, strategic global expansion, with a 1000m2 studio opened in Mumbai in September 2011.
Managing director Lars Voelkel appreciates how the Poggenpohl brand is increasing its global presence. He said, “The Mumbai studio has 11 display kitchens and is one if the biggest and most prestigious studios worldwide. We are especially proud of how it is able to clearly convey our latest kitchen designs alongside our best-selling ranges to the everincreasing Indian market, which looks set to be an important addition to our activities. We are active in more than 70 countries worldwide and we are continually expanding.”
Expanding portfolio The product portfolio of kitchen designs from Poggenpohl is also expanding, with 2011 characterised by the launch of its innovative +Artesio range, which is now on display in more than 100 high-end studios across the world and which gained the coveted “reddot: Best of the best 2011” award. Described as a completely new concept, the +Artesio has been designed in collaboration with Hamburgbased star architect and designer Hadi Teherani. Unlike other fitted kitchens available in the industry, the +Artesio is an all-embracing solution that fuses furniture design, wall, floor and ceiling.
Having recently joined Poggenpohl, Lars Voelkel is keen to highlight his aims for the coming years, in order to build on the company’s strong reputation for quality, design-led kitchens. He explained, “I am still very much learning from our customers and employees, and I intend to continue to do so for many years to come. Our key business objective is to improve our profitability sustainably through stable, organic growth and continuous improvements in our productivity. By focusing on these ideas, I believe we can harness the incredible history, experience and future potential of Poggenpohl.” Poggenpohl is dedicated to staying ahead of industry and domestic kitchen design trends in order to meet the changing demands of its customers, yet it is also committed to maintaining the high quality standards it is famous for establishing across its product range. Mr Voelkel told Industry Europe how the latest trend is for living and cooking to be in combination in the home, with kitchens becoming more of a communal area for families, couples and friends to share time together while preparing food. Industry Europe 77
What people want He said, “Kitchen furniture has lost its traditional, functional look as people want their kitchens to be a place that feels welcoming. Open cooking, dining and living areas can merge into one to create an area where people can sit and cook together, make a cappuccino and enjoy it in the same space. We are seeing more of a demand for modern designs such as handle-less drawers and cabinets, as well as sophisticated lacquered finishes. These
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styles not only make the kitchen look ‘presentable’ but can also be something of a ‘business card’ to be proudly presented to family and friends. Poggenpohl has played an integral role in developing and serving this trend, which we see continuing for some time.” The company’s award-winning +Segmento and +Integration ranges are perfectly suited to this trend, as well as the +Artesio brand, thanks to their support of establishing the kitchen as the ‘centre of communication’
of the home. Under the motto ‘we develop complete concepts, not just kitchens’ the Poggenpohl Plusmodo design line has also played a part in transforming the architecture of the kitchen with its new interior system and new pull-out design that is made of lightweight yet sturdy aluminium, echoing the modern, sleek trend. With all Poggenpohl’s kitchens produced to the highest quality standards at its plant in Herford, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany,
the company is active worldwide. Beside Germany the most important markets are the UK, the USA and the increasingly active eastern European countries, Russia, China and India. Mr Voelkel added, “The fact that Poggenpohl’s revenue stream is not dependent on any one or two countries alone gives us a great stability, which is particularly important in light of today’s unstable global economic climate.” Poggenpohl’s future success is expected to come from stable, organic growth with a continued improvement of its revenue margin. Having launched a new concept product range every two years, its reputation for groundbreaking design will maintain its position as an extremely strong kitchen brand, present worldwide. Mr Voelkel concluded, “We have a great future ahead of us. With our diversified revenue stream, our strong brand, great kitchen concepts and a continuous improvement focus, not to mention our excellent global team of highly committed and talented colleagues, we have all the ingredients for a sustainable market share growth. Added to that the fact that the luxury market has continued to perform well through the economic crisis, we are certain that Poggenpohl will continue to be a strong design partner to the n kitchen industry.” Industry Europe 79
.SCHILLIG is based in Ebersdorf, near the German town of Coburg, and has been making furniture since 1949. W.SCHILLIG claims to make only the finest leather furniture, and the company’s sofas typically sell for between €2000 and €3000. Consumers are willing to pay this much for traditional German attributes like well-thought-out design, solid construction and first-class workmanship. “Our core competence is our extreme reliability,” says Mr Stammberger. “If you look at the market where we operate, you will find very few
sofa makers who sell worldwide. It is German quality and reliability that has helped us to achieve our percentage of export sales.”
Comfort W.SCHILLIG’s upholstered furniture undoubtedly looks classy, but the styling is always in harmony with practical considerations. The number one priority is comfort. “A sofa is a key piece of furniture. It is the centre of the living room and a place where people want to feel at their ease.” Comfort is built in to the design of, for example, the “enjoy” and “brooklyn” sofas
Willi Schillig is famous for its stylish and comfortable leather furniture. Joseph Altham interviewed W.SCHILLIG’s CEO, Erik Stammberger, to find out about a company that has applied German engineering to the manufacture of sofas. that the company showed 2011 at the international furnishing show, imm Cologne and the Hausmesse. The “enjoy” sofa is equipped with adjustable arms and back, and the seat depth can also be altered. The USA is W.SCHILLIG’s largest export market, and sofas like “relaxx” and “humphrey” evoke the timeless appeal of classic American design. In general, W.SCHILLIG’s furniture tends to have what Mr Stammberger calls a “cosmopolitan look” that can be appreciated as much in Hong Kong as it is in New York.
Willi Schillig Polstermöbelwerke GmbH & CO. KG Am Weinberg 20-22 96237 Ebersdorf-Frohnlach Telefon +49(0)9562 / 37 - 0 Telefax +49(0)9562 / 37 - 5 00 E-Mail email@example.com Internet www.schillig.com
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Insisting on the best A large proportion of the manufacturing at W.SCHILLIG is still done by hand. According to Mr Stammberger, this is the only possible approach if the company’s high standards of quality are to be maintained. “There are important processes like sewing and cutting that have to be done manually. Making a high-quality sofa demands both attention to detail and the best possible raw materials. For making the frames we use kiln-dried beech wood, which is strong but flexible and causes no problems with humidity.” Leather is one thing that differentiates a luxury sofa from a cut-price alternative. W.SCHILLIG always makes sofas from natural leather and often needs as many as four cowhides to produce a single sofa. “If you buy cheap leather, it will be scuffed and split, but we use only the best rawhides. As a rule we obtain them from Brazil or Italy, which has a strong tradition of tanning. Right now we are using about 2000 cowhides per day.” A W.SCHILLIG sofa is built to last. To prevent the seat of the sofa from sagging, W.SCHILLIG uses nosag and coil springs rather than elastic webbing for the lower sus-
pension. The hardwood frames of the sofas are constructed for optimal stability. “A lot of firms will just staple a frame together, but our sofas are double doweled, glued and stapled.” Sofa and chair covers are stitched together by the company’s diligent seamstresses. “We do a lot of contrast stitching, like baseball glove stitching, which stands out through the use of heavy threads in contrasting colours. This only works visually if the seam is really straight, so our seamstresses have to be very good.”
Going global W.SCHILLIG remains firmly rooted in Ebersdorf, but the company now has factories in the Czech Republic, Hungary and China as well. W.SCHILLIG is enlarging its Hungarian factory near Lake Balaton, with the aim of increasing production capacity by 50 per cent. “In Hungary we produce furniture for more price-sensitive target groups.” Mr Stammberger was himself responsible for establishing W.SCHILLIG’s factory in China. His experience suggests that if they have the patience, even medium-sized companies can open up opportunities for themselves in emerging market economies.
“Because of its infrastructure and legal system, China is certainly a complicated environment compared to Europe. In order to set up the new production site, I was spending one week of every month in China over a period of five years. All the same, building the factory was a wonderful experience.” Around 40 per cent of W.SCHILLIG’s sales are for export, with over 20 per cent of output now going to countries outside continental Europe. As it seeks to internationalise both production and sales, Schillig is following a distinctive strategy. “Our factory in Shenzen makes furniture for the American market, but the furniture that we sell to East Asian countries comes from our German factory because ‘made in Germany’ is what the Asian customers really want.” According to Mr Stammberger, there is a growing demand for high-quality sofas from the Asian middle classes. “At this point the Chinese middle class is just starting to make money. In countries like China, Malaysia or South Korea, our cosmopolitan designs appeal to people who have enough money to pay for a high-quality product but who still want something that n represents good value.”
Ekornes is a leading manufacturer of quality furniture for both the consumer and contract markets. Philip Yorke spoke to John Terje Drege, managing director for the contract division, about its success in expanding niche markets and its innovative new products.
DELIVERING INNOVATION TO GLOBAL CONTRACT MARKETS
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kornes is the largest furniture manufacturer in the Nordic region and a global leader in ergonomic design, with famous brands such as Stressless®, Ekornes® and Svane®. The company’s ergonomically designed recliners, sofas and beds are sold throughout the world through its global network of wholesalers and retailers. Ekornes’ seven state-of-the-art factories are all located in Norway between Oslo and Trondheim on the west coast, and since the company was founded by J.E. Ekorne in 1934, it has built for itself a solid reputation for quality, innovation and dedicated customer service. Today the same is true of its fast-growing contract furniture division, which was founded on the same, well-tried principles about ten years ago. The Ekornes Group’s production facilities are organised according to specific branded product areas: Stressless® (recliners, sofas, armchairs, tables and accessories), Ekornes® Collection (sofas) and Svane® (matresses). In addition to producing high-quality products
for the consumer market, the company is also focused on supplying a wide range of products for the hotel, shipping and cruise markets, and engaging selected sub contractors as partners for the planning and implementation of its varied interior design projects.
Customising and special solutions Ekornes’ contract division primarily addresses the shipping and hotel industries, as well as the cruise and office furniture markets. Within the shipping and offshore sectors, Ekornes Contract Division cooperates closely with both the shipyards and the ship-owners and is able to provide everything from single furniture orders to total project and design solutions. In the hotel sector, the company supplies products and design services direct to the client, whilst with office furnishings, Ekornes operates a broad network of more than 85 dealers throughout the Nordic region. The cruise market is a new one for Ekornes and it’s making lots of sense so far. “In April
last year I visited Fort Lauderdale, Florida and saw the cruise ship Oasis moored there, which accommodates over 6800 people and more than 2800 crew members. That represents a lot of seating and mattresses in one project and we want to position ourself to bid for future projects of this scale,” Mr Drege says. Customising furniture to meet the specific needs of its customers is a growing trend for Ekornes’ contract division, which offers a flexible approach in order to achieve optimal solutions. Mr Drege said, “We have a wellestablished R&D department with 22 people working on new products and designs, which we showcase at international furniture trade shows and large internal trade venues. We are also committed to an on going investment in new technology for more efficient and sustainable production techniques. We have a fairly advanced production lay out today. For example, we use more than 25 large robotic arms to handle time-consuming operations which ensure we are not only profitable but also very
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reliable and flexible when it comes to high volumes and consistent quality. We manufacture about 1500 seats every day and utilise more than 8000 complete hides every week. Large projects are not a challenge for our set up. For the contract market our advantage is the high quality of our products combined with a modular and scalable concept which makes the interior design process easy and effective.” Mr Drege added, “For more than 10 years our contract division has been working closely with the offshore industry. Today we are also focused on serving the growing cruise line sector and the office furniture market. Our contract market turnover is increasing steadily year on year and we see the new markets offering us further opportunities for growth. Over 80 per cent of all our products are for export markets. Currently Germany is Ekornes’ biggest single market and our Stressless® and Svane® brands are among the best-known brands in the country. We see USA, China, India and South America as being the potential drivers for growth in the future. In addition,
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we are designing new products to appeal to a younger audience with fresh opinions on environmental and social responsibility as well as functionality and comfort.”
‘Innovators of comfort’ For many years now the company has used the words ‘innovators of comfort’ alongside its logo, and this sums up its commitment to ergonomics and functional design. The company’s famous Stressless® brand was first introduced in 1971 and was the first recliner chair designed to meet the body’s need for movement and support when seated, which resulted it in being an instant success worldwide. It subsequently became known as the ultimate recliner and over 40 years later has achieved worldwide sales of more than four and a half million units. Ten years ago the Stressless® recliner concept was extended with the introduction of another unique product from Ekornes: the Stressless® reclining sofa. Despite many of its competitors trying to copy the concept, the Stressless® sofa recliner remains the original
and the most successful product in its class on the market today. In addition, the company’s Ekornes® collection of comfortable, fixed back sofas offers a wide range of designs and combination options, and the famous Svane® brand of mattresses was the first trademark to be registered in the Norwegian furniture industry. This features a distinctive white swan on a blue background. The connection between a comfortable mattress and a good night’s sleep did not escape the attention of the company’s founder when he introduced his first, revolutionary fully sprung mattress in 1937. Today the same culture of innovation and improvement lives on and can be seen and experienced in all the Svane® product ranges on the market throughout the world. Furthermore, as a company that is committed to efficiency and sustainability, Ekornes has a long-established environmental management programme that is continuously reviewed and upgraded to ensure that it follows best-practice, environmental procedures relating to all its production operations. n
A BRIGHT FUTURE Sustainability, simplification and the shopping experience – Philips Lighting is switching its customers on to its complete solutions. Abigail Saltmarsh reports.
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hilips Lighting is about far more than just supplying lights and controls – it is about finding business-building solutions. Pierre Van Lamsweerde, general manager of retail and hospitality professional lighting solutions, at the company, said its strategy was to help its customers to grow. “We used to be about the manufacture of lamps but now we are a solutions provider. We have had a very positive reaction to the change and good feedback from customers who have taken our advice.”
A deep understanding Philips is a proven global leader in developing innovative and environmentally progressive lighting technologies for retailers, he went on. The company’s solutions enable new and more efficient uses of light that can transform retail outlets and hotels both visually and practically, offering a consultative approach for retailers looking for lighting solutions that can set them apart from the competitors. In retail, he said, the company had a deep experience and thorough understanding of consumers’ habits, coupled with knowledge of what retailers needed. It had used this 88 Industry Europe
“We have three business proposals that we work towards as a solutions provider,” he said. “These have been proven to work, to help retailers achieve maximum impact through meaningful and valuable shopping solutions, while reducing energy output and keeping running costs low.” The first area is sustainability, he said. The company’s high-quality, efficient, price-tiered solutions open the door for brands to benefit from sustainable practices, which can stimulate the shopping experience. “But it has also been proven that improved lighting can be a revenue generator as well,” he stressed. “A recent example is a supermarket that changed its lighting and saw an increase in average sales of 1.9 per cent per customer.”
Philips Lighting, carried out the 21-week field research project in the Netherlands. Using different LED-based lighting scenarios, the study was designed to measure the impact of light on the buying behaviour of customers. The system used the AmbiScene lighting concept designed to use different settings to enhance the shopping experience by introducing lighting to create specific atmospheres. Results also showed that customers spent more time in the areas lit with warmer light settings than cooler ones. “As well as that, of course, there are cost saving solutions by changing to more energy efficient lighting. Supermarkets, for example, can make savings of up to 70 per cent, which is quite considerable.” He added: “There are also great savings to be made in hotels. Some examples have been Hilton and Accor, where we replaced all the halogen lamps and each one saved about €55.
Increase in sales
A leader in lighting
Working together to determine how consumers respond to different in-store lighting scenarios the supermarket PLUS, and
Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips has 119,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of €25.4
knowledge to work with a variety of leading brands globally offering tailored solutions to each and every one.
PARTS USED ON TRAIN SEATS
PARTS USED FOR LIGHTING ROADS
PARTS USED ON ENGINES
billion in 2010, the company is a market leader in cardiac and acute care and as home healthcare, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure. It is also a leader in energy-efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, and has a with strong leadership position in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. As the world’s leader in lighting, Philips provides advanced energy-efficient solutions for all segments: road lighting, office and industrial, hospitality and home – and has been instrumental in enhancing sustainability through innovations in lighting technology. “We have about 53,000 employees globally in lights,” said Mr Van Lamsweerde. “We produce in Europe but we also produce regionally. We believe it is important to be flexible for our customers.”
One recent LED success story was in freezers, with supermarket Tesco. Tesco wanted an LED solution to not only make significant inroads in reducing its operating costs but also support their commitment to provide customers with a better place to shop. Philips deployed Affinium LED freezer modules replacing the interior fluorescent lighting of Tesco’s freezer cabinet estate in more than 750 stores, reducing its freezer lighting energy by around 60 per cent, while at the same time ensuring excellent light quality. The Affinium
Via Don L. Sturzo, 14 20832 - DESIO (MB) Tel. +39 0362 306144 - 307883 Fax +39 0362 638009
LED freezer modules offer Tesco virtual zero maintenance and the initiative is assisting in Tesco’s targets to halve carbon emissions in its existing stores by 2020. The future, Mr Van Lamsweerde stressed, is in LED and digital lighting: “There are huge savings to be made out there, and there are so many environmental benefits. “If all retailers moved over to energy efficient solutions 79 million tonnes of CO2 would be saved. There are still a lot of changes to be made out there, n and Philips is leading the revolution.”
Looking ahead in LED Philips is also a leader in shaping the future, with exciting new lighting applications and technologies, such as LED, which, besides energy efficiency, provides attractive benefits and endless new lighting solutions. Industry Europe 89
Leading power tools manufacturer SPARKY GROUP is enjoying the benefits of its considerable investment in equipment and resources in recent years. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Stanislav Petkov to see how this investment is good for business.
stablished in Berlin, Germany in 1990, SPARKY GROUP is the majority shareholder in two state-of-the-art factories in Bulgaria, both listed on the Bulgarian stock exchange. One of the well-positioned professional power tools brands, SPARKY also manufactures power tools and components for OEM customers, as well as welded parts and machinery.
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In the five years since Industry Europe last spoke to SPARKY, the company has invested some €27million in ensuring its facilities are the best they can possibly be. CEO Mr Petkov explained why this considerable investment has been made, and explained more about the ways in which the money has been spent: “We are investing all the time in developing innovative new products and
training our staff, but this major investment programme was primarily focused on making sure our two production facilities were fully equipped with the very latest technology.”
Spending wisely The first Bulgarian factory received €16 million of the €27 million investment, which was spent on upgrading its power tools manu-
facturing capabilities. This factory produces high-quality power tools for the professional industry sector and for the DIY sector, with at least 85 per cent of the €16 million used to purchase new equipment. The remainder was used to ensure the facility’s infrastructure could support and integrate the new equipment, and that the workforce was trained to utilise its capabilities. The second Bulgarian SPARKY factory benefited from an €11 million investment. This factory focuses on manufacturing steel components including welded machines and steel parts. The steel parts produced at the SPARKY site are primarily supplied to major producers in the fields of construction, cranes, agriculture and railways, with SPARKY being a globally recognised name in the OEM sector.
In addition to enhanced production capabilities and global competitiveness, another reason behind SPARKY’s extensive investment programme was to mark its 50th anniversary in 2011. Mr Petkov explained, “We felt very strongly that we wanted SPARKY to be more than prepared for our next 50 years in business. We wanted to stake our claim at the forefront of power tools manufacture and so our €27 million investment was a statement of intent. I am proud of how this huge amount of money has been carefully and cleverly spent to ensure the best possible return, both for us and for our customers. Our facilities are truly second-to-none, with the most advanced manufacturing equipment and very highly trained workers able to use each machine to the best of its potential. We can continue to develop new products using our equipment
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and can also implement the most effective processes for using the equipment. It’s a very exciting time at SPARKY right now.” Both of SPARKY’s factories are accredited to the widely recognised ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards. The investment and these certificates illustrate the importance that SPARKY places on keeping all aspects of its business up to date with the
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latest requirements of a competitive market, particularly as it is rapidly increasing its global reach in terms of its customer base.
Always improving Mr Petkov added, “It’s all about continuous improvement at SPARKY, whether that’s investment in equipment, developing new models or ensuring that our environmental practices
are as responsible as possible. We are always asking ourselves how we can guarantee that our customers are satisfied with what we’re delivering by putting ourselves in their shoes and understanding what they want.” A perfect illustration of this philosophy is shown in the 17 new models introduced in to the SPARKY catalogue in 2011, all of which were developed in close coopera-
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tion with feedback from customers and an appreciation of the changing industry trends. In the last three years, SPARKY has introduced new products including a line of heavy-duty power tools for industrial clients, a range of angle grinders, new rotary hammers and dry wall sanding machines. The customer feedback for these new products shows that the investment has been well received. Mr Petkov said, “These latest products have been selling very well and have quickly and positively been accepted by customers. We are not surprised at this as we have increased the durability of many of our core products by up to two or three times compared to previous series, and have introduced many new features that meet the changing needs of our customers.” SPARKY intends to continue to upgrade and improve its product ranges as technology develops and production allows. Mr Petkov pointed out that it is imperative that the company maintains its market leading position and regularly delivers new-generation products to retain its reputation for innovative quality. One such area where newgeneration products are being introduced is
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the cordless machines market, with SPARKY excitedly creating a number of products for both the professional and DIY sectors. With customers all over Europe and a marketing department that is embracing social media in order to engage with exist-
ing customers and connect with potential customers, SPARKY’s current customer base, which also includes customers in North Africa, South Africa, South America and the Middle East, is set to grow further n in the coming years.
OPTIMISING THE WORLD’S MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE Ovivo is the new global force in providing dedicated water and waste-water management solutions around the world. Philip Yorke looks at the company’s remarkable vision and its bold strategy for preserving and treating the world’s ultimate finite resource: water.
vivo is part of the giant Canadian water businesses group GLV that is involved in providing technological solutions in water treatment as well as technologies for paper and pulp production. The worldwide group operates in more than 30 countries and has around 2500 employees. The company’s shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and in 2011 the group recorded sales approaching $1 billion.
Ovivo’s priority is to create value in water technology for both industrial and municipal business sectors alike. The company works closely with its clients to ensure that it not only meets but exceeds their individual, specific requirements. Ovivo is dedicated to bringing the latest technologies and the most advanced knowledge to the municipal and industrial water market sectors around the world. Today it can call on more than 200 years of experi-
ence and, at its global centre of excellence in Canada, field the best-known brands and best brains in the business. Ovivo is driven by a single goal: “To create value in water through innovation, creativity and expertise.”
A new strategy for water management Just over one year ago in Montreal, Canada, an event took place which was to change the perspectives and the future of the world’s
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water industries. It was then that GLV announced that it was merging all its many diverse water businesses into one global brand name: Ovivo. GLV’s new brand name is built around the Latin word for life, of which water is a fundamental element. This bold step and the consolidation of it businesses followed the acquisition of ‘Christ Water Technology’ of Canada and a nine month review of its core business activities. As a result, Ovivo is able to cut a swathe through the international water market by being the first and only global pureplay water company in the world. Furthermore, it is recognised that as society and the global economy demand more and more from water, there is an urgent and growing need to develop even more specialised applications to manage the world’s clean water resources. This is in addition to creating efficient water process systems to treat wastewater, to extract energy from waste-water and to champion the re-use of water. “Today water is in the spotlight,” said GLV’s president and Chief Operating Officer, Richard Verreault. “Water is now fundamental to good govern96 Industry Europe
ance as the true cost of managing water is being recognised around the world. Scarcity, rigorous legislation and corporate social responsibility combined with the increasing recognition that water is a key business issue, provide very interesting growth opportunities.” Ovivo, unlike many of its competitors, specialises only in water technologies and focuses its attention upon the specific industrial and municipal applications for water. The company’s role is to manage the cost of using water and to help its clients to achieve the maximum value of the water they depend upon for their core manufacturing processes. Wherever Ovivo touches water, it seeks to add value and to create an appreciation for the value of water. The company plans to double its business turnover from 2011 to 2015 through acquisitions and projected innovative strategies for its future growth.
Optimising value in water treatment Ovivo can demonstrate how it can create value in every aspect of its waste-water and de-watering solutions. Among many of the
countless examples of the company’s ability to deliver and create added value for its customers, is its new MBR system installed at the Mangalore petrochemical refinery in India. As part of a major expansion to the existing plant, a new waste-water treatment plant was required and Ovivo’s MBR (Membrane Bioreactor) system was chosen for its operational flexibility, low energy consumption and lowest constructed cost. This advanced MBR effluent treatment plant is probably the largest to date installed in India and thanks to the company’s strong process and engineering support, project contractor ‘Paramount Ltd’ has been able to secure ‘Code 1’ approval from consultants ‘Engineering India Ltd’ (EIL) for its membrane Bioreactor package. In another part of the world altogether, Ovivo was selected to develop and install a high-capacity water treatment plant in Nigeria to dramatically reduce turbidity in surface water at the Heineken breweries plant at Ibadan. The main purpose of this 126m3/h capacity plant is to remove particles, suspended solids and colloidal
InterApp InterApp has for many years provided quality solutions and services to Ovivo (CWT), mainly into the Semiconductor (UPW), Power and Municipal Waste Water industries, with a world-class technical knowledge base and product line. The integration of InterApp into the AVK Group of companies will solidify the relationship, level of service and support on
matter. Due to the high raw material turbidity found in Nigeria in the rainy season, water treatment there requires a two-stage process. This means that lamella separators are required to remove the bulk of the dirt followed by continuously operating sand filters with a special polishing function. Waste backwash water from the sand filters is returned to the inlet of the lamella separators to minimise water loss thus providing a perfect recycling process.
a global basis to Ovivo’s water management solutions. Our continuous technological development and innovation will strengthen InterApp’s solutions provision to Ovivo’s current and future strategy in our traditional industry sectors as well as other applications, i.e. Desalination, Food & Beverage, Chemical, Petrochemical, Photovoltaic and Metal treatment.
electricity each day, which translates to a saving of about12.15kWh per day per kW consumed. In addition, the new VSD-controlled ultra-pure water plant prevents water hammer
and pressure fluctuation. Olivo’s consultancy has not only saved its clients significant costs, but also greatly reduced their energy n consumption in the process.
Aftermarket monitoring Olivo’s aftermarket consultancy, based in Shanghai, China, has saved one of its industrial clients several million Renmimbi (RMB) in operating costs and dramatically reduced energy consumption, whist ensuring smoother, trouble-free operation. Ovivo’s Shanghai team was commissioned to monitor performance and recommend the case for changing its client’s 55kW filtered water pump from soft starter, to variable speed drive (VSD) control. By doing so, Ovivo demonstrated that a 55kW motor pump could save 668.16kW of Industry Europe 97
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The Babcock & Wilcox Group is a USA-based provider of design, engineering, manufacturing and construction services to the energy and power industry. The company has a strong base in Europe with its Danish operation Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S – a company dedicated to converting household waste and biomass into thermal energy.
abcock & Wilcox (B&WV), headquartered in Baberton, Ohio, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and technologies designed to serve the global power generation industry, including nuclear, renewable and fossil power. Today it has many high-profile customers throughout the world, both industrial and government. Its products find application in a large
number of sectors, including construction, fossil power, nuclear, pulp and paper, and industrial power. At the core of the company’s business is its production of a wide range of boilers. It offers chemical recovery, marine, heat recovery steam generator and waste-to-energy boilers, amongst many others. Alongside this, its service includes a full range of boiler
replacement parts and auxiliary equipment in order to keep its clients’ equipment operating at optimum levels.
Nuclear power services In the area of nuclear power the company’s range of products covers commercial nuclear plant components, including reactor vessels and recirculating steam generators. It is also
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currently in the process of deploying its B&W mPower™ reactor – a scalable, modular, passively safe, advanced light water reactor system. It is capable of generating capacity in 180 MWe increments to match its customers’ specific load growth projections. It is expected that the reactor will help reduce the risks associated with deploying nuclear power and become a cost-effective solution to US energy needs whilst also lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The group has won many high profile contracts in the area of nuclear power. For example, in 2010 its subsidiary Babcock and Wilcox Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. won a $2 billion contract for the manufacture of nuclear components to support the US defence programmes, including the manufacture of naval nuclear power systems for submarine and aircraft carriers. The second release of this order, for $600 million, was received in January 2012.
Environmental activities Babcock & Wilcox is also dedicated to greener energy solutions, integrating environmental protection into its new boiler and 100 Industry Europe
power system design processes as well as helping clients develop their existing plants to meet the ever-tougher global environmental regulations. Its environmental products include solutions for, amongst other things, carbon dioxide control, emissions monitoring, mercury control and nitrogen oxides control. The company also has a strong base in Europe in the area of converting household waste and biomass into thermal energy. Headquartered in Esbjerg, Denmark, and 100 per cent owned by The Babcock & Wilcox Company, Babcock & Wilcox Vølund (B&WV) offers its customers an exceptional degree of multinational synergy, namely over 140 years of thermal energy production in North America plus 75 years of experience in Europe. The two businesses, however, are not images of each other. B&W in the USA is a world-famous boiler manufacturer for the power and utility industry, while Vølund is concerned with waste related plants, and to some extent, biomass combustion systems. In addition to dedicated waste combustion systems, B&WV has developed a second line of technology for use in the
combustion of biomass, providing either full systems or components if they are required by other companies. Biomass can be described as fast-growing crops such as different types of wood, straw etc, or it could be more exotic items such as nuts, agricultural by-products such as rice husk, the remains of cotton plants after the crop has been picked, and so on. In Finland and Sweden the forestry industry also produces a considerable amount of biomass as a byproduct of its normal operations. As an example of the company’s work in this area, in 2011 B&WV was awarded a contract worth more than $30 million to design and supply a boiler, combustion system, emissions control components and other equipment for the expansion of a waste-to-energy, combined heat and power plant in Lidköping, Sweden. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2013.
New developments Babcock & Wilcox is continuing to diversify and expand its portfolio of products and services. In December 2011 it announced the acquisition by one of its subsidiaries of
Anlagenbau und Fördertechnik Arthur Loibl GmbH (Loibl), a privately held Straubing, Bavaria, Germany-based manufacturer of material handling equipment. Loibl is a German-based supplier of material handling products, serving a variety of power generation and industrial markets in Europe, which will be complemented with the introduction of Allen-Sherman-Hoff’s fly ash and bottom ash handling technologies.
Brandon C. Bethards, president and CEO of B&W, commented at the time: “Loibl’s outstanding reputation, advanced technology and more than 50 years of experience will be valuable additions to B&W’s portfolio of products.” R&D will also continue to be an important focus for B&W in its development of new products and services, as it has been since its founding in 1867. From the initial
improvements of Wilcox’s original safety water tube boiler to the first supercritical pressure boilers, and from the first privately operated nuclear research reactor to today’s advanced environmental systems, innovation and the new ideas of its employees have placed B&W at the forefront of safe, efficient and clean steam generation and energy n conversion technology. www.babcock.com Industry Europe 101
HIGHLIGHTING ‘WAVELENGTH TRANSMISSION’ EFFICIENCY Specialized Technology Resources is the global leader in manufacturing of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) encapsulant materials for the photovoltaic, solar energy market. Philip Yorke talked to Susana Florez, the company’s marketing and sales director in Europe, about its latest high technology products and the market forces that are shaping the industry.
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pecialized Technology Resources (STR) is a global leader in the manufacture of advanced EVA products for solar panel encapsulation, with major manufacturing facilities in the US, Europe and Asia. STR has its headquarters in Connecticut, USA and covers the demands of the American market from its extensive facilities there. In Spain the company operates another major production site designed to supply the needs of Europe, Africa and the Middle East countries. In Malaysia, too, the company operates a large modern facility to satisfy demand in the fast-growing Asian markets. In order to maintain its pole position as a strong and reliable partner and supplier in this region, it has committed itself
to establishing a new state-of-the-art facility near Shanghai, China, which is due to become operational in 2013.
Enhancing the entire PV supply chain In 1975 STR was the first company within the photovoltaic (PV) industry to develop an encapsulant devoted specifically to PV applications. The company’s trademark for this material is Photocap®, offering standard-cure EVA encapsulants, fast-cure, ultrafast-cure and mega-fast cure EVAs. Today, Photocap® 15455P/UF has the fastest curing kinetics of any commercial EVA encapsulant in the world and delivers more than 25 per cent reduction in lamination cycle time.
As the leading supplier of EVA encapsulant products to the Photovoltaic industry and as a result of its pioneer work in the development of encapsulant materials, the company is not only the supplier of choice in its field but has become a reference point for solar module manufacturers and anyone involved throughout the entire PV supply chain. To endorse this, the company has launched a campaign called ‘STR Protected’, which is designed to highlight the company’s relevant core values, such as bankability, durability, expertise, advanced R&D, engineering excellence and global reach. Today more than 10 Gigawatts of STR Protected modules are operational in the field worldwide, all of which offer unsurpassed long-
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term optical performance and maximum power output. As a result of the bankability of these products, investors in the solar industry are gaining a better understanding of how to calculate the actual returns on their investments. Ms Florez said, “STR has been the pioneer and the driving force in the development of encapsulant products for the PV industry
since we entered the market in 1975. We continue to lead the field in this area and today we are talking about increasing durability and productivity as well as the PID (potential induced degradation)-resistant materials that are being marketed. When summarised, this simply means that solar modules suffer power loss due to a diverse range of electrical field
conditions. In response to this, STR’s Photocap® 15455 P/UF is proven PID resistant and is an encapsulant with the fastest lamination cycle time on the market. The company is also developing new test criteria for PID resistance in all new encapsulants that will be introduced in the market “In addition, we have now launched a High-Light Transmission Encapsulant (HLT) which offers greater efficiency and extra value as it allows more ‘energy photons’ to strike the solar panels. This extra value is created by the instance of lower UV cut-off, which allows more high energy photons to react with PV device.” Ms Florez added, “As far as future sales are concerned, a lot depends upon the policies of individual governments. Our main partners and customers are PV module manufacturers worldwide and we provide the same dedicated service and attention to our small independent clients, as we do to our large multinationals. Apart from the close relationship that we enjoy with our customers, we bring to the table in-depth technical expertise, know-how and support throughout the whole supply-chain operation.”
Enhancing module durability The quality of PV solar panel components is vital to the durability and efficiency of the module. Our encapsulant touches every
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single component of the solar module and therefore it must be chemically and physically compatible in order to guarantee, long-term module durability. Encapsulants are critical elements of every solar module as they protect cells from the destructive elements, bond the multiple layers together and provide essential electrical insulation. They must also provide high optical transparency and stability. This is in addition to providing strong adhesion to the module materials and sufficient mechanical compliance to accommodate stresses induced by differences in thermal expansion. STR continues to invest a high proportion of its net sales in developing products
to meet the challenging market demands for greater efficiency, increased output and lower prices per watt ratios.
Pioneering High Light Transmission encapsulants STR is the driving force in the EVA encapsulant market and continues to develop ground-breaking products that enhance productivity and durability. The company’s High Light Transmission EVA Encapsulant product is no exception. Currently grid parity is the point at which renewable energy is equal to or cheaper than grid power. The target is to obtain grid parity and reduce the cost of solar energy
to the point where it is competitive with conventional grid-supplied electricity. Grid parity is gained by reducing cost per watt, and to achieve this, STR’s new High Light Transmission EVA encapsulants allow the maximum transmission of wavelengths above 300mm to reach its solar cell, thereby significantly increasing the Pmax (photon maximisation) absorption rate, allowing for reducing cost/watt at the solar panel level. Today, STR’s polymer scientists remain dedicated to the development of even more advanced formulations and product configurations, which are based upon its high manufacturing standards and a strong commitment to n customer relationships.
Choosing the right solar encapsulant to protect the longevity of the solar module is the single-most important decision a developer or project owner will make.
STR Manufacturing Locations: STR España, S.A. STR, Inc. Parque Tecnológico de Asturias, 24 Scitico Road Parcela 36 Somers, CT 06071 USA 33428 - Llanera, Asturias Spain Phone: +1 (860) 763-8252 Phone: +34-985-73-23-33 STR (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Fax: +34-985-73-23-32 Plot 20, Jala n Tanju ng A/3 Port of Tanju ng Pelepas STR, Inc. 81560 Gela ng Pata h, Johor 18 Craftsman Road Malaysia East Windsor, CT 06088 USA Phone: +607-507-3186 Fax: +607-507-3 STR Corporate Headquarters 1699 King Street, Suite 400 Enfield, CT 06082 USA Phone: +1 (860) 758-7300 Fax: +1 (860) 758-7301
Specialized Technology Resources, Inc. (STR) is the global leader in encapsulant technology for the solar module industry. STR has been manufacturing encapsulants for more than 30 years with zero field failures. Our products offer distinct competitive advantages that increase the bankability of our customers’ modules. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) has been the primary material used in solar encapsulants for the last few decades. STR PHOTOCAP® EVA is the only encapsulant technology with a proven track record of maintaining durability, adhesion, stability and transparency after more than 25 years of field exposure. STR not only offers encapsulant with proven superior performance, but we work directly with our customers to improve their lamination processes and in turn, improve the quality of their modules, increase yield and reduce costs.
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LIGHTENING THE LOAD
Sanpellegrino, part of the Nestlé Group, is the leading Italian producer of mineral water, as well as being present in almost every possible area of the beverage sector. Now, thanks to the fact that it’s the first mineral water company to introduce coating technology, it will also be at the cutting edge in terms of product performance and environmental friendliness. Barbara Rossi reports.
anpellegrino started its activity in 1899, bottling the water from sources at the foot of the Alps in the Brembana valley of northern Italy. The activity was expanded and diversified over the years and today is made up of seven mineral water brands, as well as other beverage products such as iced tea and soft drinks. In 1998 Sanpellegrino merged with Nestlé, a move which has allowed it to achieve further growth and establish its current status as a leading national and international player. In 2010 Sanpellegrino achieved a turnover of around €917 million, selling 3 billion bottles. Its current product portfolio includes: Sanpellegrino, Acqua Panna, Levissima, Nestlé Vera, S. Bernardo, Recoaro and Pejo (mineral waters); Aranciata Sanpellegrino (orange drink); Chinò Sanpellegrino, Vera and Limonata Sanpellegrino (sparkling drinks) amongst other varieties of soft drinks and iced teas. There are also non-alcoholic aperitifs, namely Sanbittèr (in its standard and Fruit Sensation versions) and Gingerino. The core business is still centred round mineral waters, but non-mineral water products are of increasing importance. The product range is also
comprehensive and diversified in terms of packaging and price range, in order to suit every consumer need and way of life.
Sourced in Italy, delivered globally Whilst some of its brands are for the Italian market only, others are also exported. With its international brands Sanpellegrino (water, soft drinks and aperitifs) and Acqua Panna, the Sanpellegrino group is present in over 120 countries. After Italy, the major markets are the USA, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the UK, Belgium and Australia, but the products can be found almost anywhere in the world, either through Nestlé Waters’ branches or distribution partners directly managed by the Milan head office. The Sanpellegrino mineral waters are bottled at the group’s several plants, all located close to mineral springs in northern, central and southern Italy, and offer different minerals and trace elements thought to be beneficial to human health. In terms of soft drinks and aperitifs, the Sanpellegrino group offers a wide range of flavours whilst always maintaining its high quality thanks to the
natural ingredients it uses and its tried-andtested production processes. Integrity and fairness have been among the core values for Sanpellegrino since its beginnings, helping to make it become a major player on the Italian and international markets. For some time the group has been actively pursuing a process of socially responsible growth-oriented principles in terms of environmentally sustainable logistics, energy saving, water culture, attention to the consumer and valuing its own staff. These principles are encoded in two important documents produced by the group: its code of ethics and its code of business conduct. Product quality, purity and safety are all priorities for the group, as they are the standard by which millions of consumers choose Sanpellegrino every day. All of its products undergo the tests required by current regulations. In addition to this, each plant has a self-control system, employed on a daily basis, which exceeds legal requirements. Significant resources are dedicated to research focused on innovation, continuous improvement of products and the development of more Industry Europe 107
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environmentally friendly solutions. Research follows the guidelines of the Nestlé Group, to which Sanpellegrino belongs. The group’s research centre has achieved worldwide recognition from the scientific community as one of the most important centres for nutritional and food research.
R&D focus Sanpellegrino plays an important role in the group’s research in two areas of expertise: packaging and formula. The Sanpellegrino research deals with product packaging, both in terms of primary (bottle and cap) and secondary packaging (packaging materials), as well as dealing with the choice of ingredients for the production and improvement of new and existing products, always complying with current legislation.
Sanpellegrino is always looking for the most balanced and nutritional formulas, offering the best possible health benefits, while in terms of packaging it was the first company in the mineral water sector to introduce coating technology, which will allow it to reduce the weight of the Sanpellegrino water 0.5-litre PET bottle by 17 per cent over the next three years. This innovation is the result of two years of testing, an investment of €8 million and a commitment towards cutting-edge technological solutions. As well as achieving a lighter bottle weight, this technology will also ensure the maintenance of a constant level of water carbonation, even in situations of transportrelated stress, as well as ensuring the bottle will remain 100 per cent recyclable. Sanpellegrino’s intentions are to extend this technology to other formats over the coming years. n
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THE FRESH APPROACH TO FROZEN FOOD
Global frozen food products manufacturer Findus’ Swedish activities have not only a long history in the region but also a clear focus on offering products that meet the demands of today’s consumers. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Findus Sverige AB’s sales director, Patrik Niklasson, to find out how this is being achieved.
ounded in 1941 in Bjuv, Sweden, Findus Sverige AB is a key part of the global Findus Group, a leading frozen food and groceries provider with both retail and foodservice presence. Alongside other strategic Findus locations in the Nordics, UK and southern Europe, the Swedish operation is carefully developed to deliver a reliable local service that meets the needs of its local customers, while still adhering to the strict quality standards of the Findus Group. Sales director for Findus Sverige AB Patrik Niklasson appreciates how the various locations of the company work together
to deliver the best possible service and product quality. He told Industry Europe, “The Findus Group is based in London and the international offices work in clusters so that we can be targeting the local audiences. Findus Sverige is active within the Nordic region cluster alongside the UK cluster and France/Spain and we can all share information that is relevant across the cluster and have our own locally specific trends and profiles. As such, we can deliver a varied product range that addresses the individual tastes and preferences of our local audiences while still utilising the Group
power of Findus, which gives our consumers the best of both worlds – wherever they are in the world!”
Plenty of choice The Findus product range includes frozen food such as ready meals, vegetables, fish and bakery, and groceries including mayonnaise, soup, pasta sauce and jams. Findus is perhaps most famous for its frozen fish, offering both fish portions and fish in various flavoured sauces and coatings. Mr Niklasson added, “A key part of our strategy is to ensure that we continue to offer freshly frozen fish and
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vegetables which can either be used for people to cook from scratch, such as individual portions of frozen fish or high-quality frozen peas, or products which have been carefully created to make cooking at home easier, such as fish in a tasty sauce. The healthy aspect of Findus’ products is a major ingredient in its sales and marketing communication, not least because frozen products often contain considerably more nutrients than poorly kept fresh products, particularly vegetables. Mr Niklasson continued, “Our fish is frozen as soon as possible, which retains all its nutrients as well as keeping it wonderfully fresh until the consumer wants to cook it. Here at Findus we are committed to sharing the benefits of frozen products as they are sometimes seen as ‘second to fresh’ whereas actually they can be tastier,
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healthier and often cheaper. Our corporate policy “Vision Zero” also plays a part in this as it highlights our work towards delivering products without additives. Also, our frozen food is without preservatives since freezing is the natural way to preserve food. We’re bringing this message to the consumer to make sure that frozen food products get the credit they deserve.” Findus also works actively with purchasing raw material from sustainable sources. Findus was first with introducing climate certified vegetables on the market in 2011 and aim to have 100 per cent MSC certified fish in its range 2012. The cost-effective benefit of buying frozen food is also clearly evident when it comes to the reduced waste. With Sweden ahead of even the wasteful UK when it comes to throw-
ing away food, the message from Findus is clear – frozen food is not only often cheaper to buy in the first place but it is also very effective in reducing food waste as you only cook what you need and keep the rest frozen. Mr Niklasson said, “Frozen food represents great value – you can happily store food in your freezer for 12 months when you know it has been frozen as soon as it was caught or picked. We are also careful to manufacture our ready meals and ready-to-cook prepared frozen products just as you would at home – our mashed potato for example is just potatoes cooked in hot water with a little salt, then mashed with butter and milk. So we help our consumers save time while giving them complete peace of mind that we’re giving them food that’s just as nutritious and carefully prepared as though they’d made it themselves.”
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Positive outlook after a challenging market With Findus Sverige experiencing a challenging market for fish and vegetables during the global economic downturn, Mr Niklasson is confident that the steady increase is set to continue, particularly as the company has made a concerted effort in its marketing to highlight the cost and nutrition benefits of frozen products. While the FMCG sector in general has seen issues in 2011 – the first reduced sales in the sector for many years – the company’s latest introductions to its portfolio address the current demands of its customers, such as more one-portion meals and additional lighter choices. Mr Niklasson concluded, “We expect 2012 to be a positive year, with our new products sitting neatly alongside our famous offer of frozen fish and vegetables. We are confident that consumers are coming back and optimistic about our organic growth thanks to our ‘pure n good food’ promise.”
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The Scandinavian company Scana Industrier ASA produces steel forgings and castings, gears and propulsion systems for ships and components for the oil and gas industry. Combining long experience and the latest technology, Scana’s marine business is active in the world’s major shipbuilding regions. Joseph Altham reports on a company whose Norwegian expertise in seafaring is winning business in Asian markets.
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he oldest company within Scana, Scana Steel Booforge, was founded in Sweden more than 350 years ago. This company learned to adapt, and its core business today is producing arms for forklift trucks. Overall, Scana is a collection of many different companies operating in three main business areas: steel, marine and oil & gas. The group is more than the sum of its parts, and the different entities within it can support each other. For example, Scana Steel Stavanger produces special steel and high alloy steel for use in marine and oil and gas applications. Meanwhile, within the oil and gas business area, Scana Subsea, which supplies risers to the oil and gas industry, can draw on the technical capabilities of Scana’s various steel companies. The headquarters of the group are in Stavanger, a city with a strong tradition of shipbuilding that has become the home port for Norway’s offshore oil and gas industry. The group’s marine and oil and gas business areas complement each other well and sometimes overlap. For example, within the oil and gas area, Scana Offshore Vestby assembles and installs unloading systems for FPSOs (floating production, storage and offloading vessels). Likewise, within the 116 Industry Europe
marine business area, Scana Skarpenord’s hydraulic valve control systems have been installed in oil rigs as well as in ships. Scana may be a Nordic company, but its vision is global. With almost 1800 employees, the group is a major exporter to the Far East and Latin America. Beyond Scandinavia, it has production facilities in Poland, China and Korea.
and ensure the lowest possible level of noise and vibration. Scana also manufactures propellers and gears in Poland, where it has a subsidiary, Scana Zamech. Located in Elblag, Scana Zemech has a maritime tradition going back to the nineteenth century and was acquired by the group in 2009.
A feel for the sea
In the other part of the marine business area, Scana Skarpenord is a world-class supplier of valve remote control systems for the shipping industry. The main demand for Scana Skarpenord’s hydraulic valve systems comes from builders of larger ships such as cargo ships and tankers. Valve control systems are used to handle liquid and dry cargo and so are needed in oil and chemical tankers. Scana Skarpenord produces valve control systems to suit the customers’ specifications. The valve control systems can be operated from the ship’s main automation system or from a computerised touch screen panel. Hydraulic control systems fulfil a vital function on cargo ships, and in Scana’s view, the technology is likely to remain relevant for a long time to come. Scana
Scana’s marine business specialises in equipment for the shipbuilding industry. The business area supplies two kinds of products: propulsion technology, including propellers, gears and tunnel thrusters; and valve control systems. Scana Volda, located in western Norway, has been making propellers for fishing vessels for nearly a century, supporting the country’s important fishing industry. The company develops controllable pitch propellers adapted to the requirements of the customer. Using data from model tests of the vessel, it can tailor the design of the propeller blades to the type of work for which the ship is intended. With its extensive knowledge of cargo ships and offshore vessels, Scana Volda builds propellers that deliver optimal fuel efficiency
Valve control systems
Skarpenord has already delivered more than 2000 of these systems to customers, and the factory at Rjukan provides a high level of after-sales service. For the last 30 years, Scana Skarpenord has kept careful records of the installations it has carried out, and is therefore well prepared to assist with future upgrades.
Breaking new ground in Korea Much of the world’s shipbuilding industry is now located in Asia. Indeed, China and Korea are Scana Skarpenord’s main
markets. In China, Scana Skarpenord has an office in Shanghai, while in South Korea, the group supplies valve control systems to the local shipbuilding industry through its joint venture, Scana Korea Hydraulic Ltd. Established in 1998, Scana Korea has managed to obtain a 25 per cent share of the Korean market for remote valve control systems. Scana Skarpenord makes the key components for Scana Korea back in Norway. The responsibilities of Scana Korea, which employs around 50 people, relate to engineering, assembly and testing.
Scana Korea’s clients include the big names in the Korean shipbuilding industry, such as Hyundai, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung. Besides bulk carriers and tankers, Scana Korea also supplies valve remote control systems for FPSOs. In December 2011, Scana Korea won an order from Samsung for an exciting new FPSO project. The owner is Shell and, according to Scana Korea, the project is for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) FPSO which will be the n first of its kind in the world. Industry Europe 117
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SAILING AHEAD Germany’s largest yacht builders, Bavaria Yacht Bau has worked hard to establish a perfect balance between the latest technology and utilising its highly skilled workers to create a range of quality sailing yachts and motorboats. EmmaJane Batey spoke to the Head of marketing and PR, Alexander Knesewitsch, to find out more.
stablished in 1978 in Giebelstadt, Germany, Bavaria Yacht Bau has become synonymous with designing and manufacturing high-quality motorboats and sailing yachts. A wide range of boats are on offer, with new features and designs being launched every year to ensure that Bavaria Yacht Bau continues to maintain its position as Germany’s leading and largest yacht builder. Head of marketing and PR, Alexander Knesewitsch, told Industry Europe how the company is committed to retaining its impressive reputation. He said, “Our boats are known for their impressive price-toperformance ratio, with their solid and lasting qualities appreciated by our customers worldwide. As well as being Germany’s largest yacht builder, we are also a major presence in the global yacht building
market as we are the world’s second biggest builder of yachts in our sector. We know that we have been able to earn this position through hard work and continually delivering reliable, beautiful boats that offer good value for money.”
Continual investment A family-owned company for many years, Bavaria Yacht Bau is now part of the Anchorage & Oaktree portfolio. As the world’s second biggest builder of yachts between 28ft and 55ft, Anchorage & Oaktree is steadfast in its continued investment in order to develop new yacht designs and offer various upgrades to the existing portfolio. Mr Knesewitsch continued, “It is imperative that we stay close to and ahead of the industry’s changing trends in order to continue to meet our customers’ needs. A
key aspect of achieving this is the fact that our production capabilities are second to none – our highly skilled employees are able to interpret the latest design concepts and create fabulous yachts that impress even the most demanding customer.” With more than 80 per cent of its production exported, global customers are important to Bavaria Yacht Bau. Rather unusually for the yacht building industry, the company produces all the parts for its yachts in-house at its Giebelstadt yacht building yard, which helps maintain the high quality standards. This total control practice is a proud USP for Bavaria Yacht Bau, and supports the high-end production values of each of its 1500 yachts manufactured each year. Mr Knesewitsch explained how this practice works well alongside the invest-
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ment, the production facilities and the skills of the 600-strong workforce. He said, “Our total control is also about total quality – we see every aspect of our yachts as they’re built and so can guarantee that each and every part is of the highest quality. We have a very strong combination of the latest CAD/CAM software, high-precision robots and very skilled employees all working together on our yachts, which not only means that our yachts are all of the highest quality but also that they are affordable compared to comparable quality yachts. In this luxury products market customers still want good value for money, particularly in a challenging economy such as the one we’ve all been experiencing for the past few years. We never compromise on qual120 Industry Europe
ity and this has enabled us to stay strong during the recession.” The yacht production at Bavaria Yacht Bau is divided into 60 per cent sailing yachts and 40 per cent motorboats, with the company building more than 30,000 yachts since 1978. With yachts ranging from 28–55ft, the production at Bavaria Yacht Bau is focused on high quality design, build and finish at every stage.
Meeting global demands The domestic German market is certainly strong for the company, although it is also
very active across Scandinavia and present globally. It has also achieved notable success in the USA, when in November 2011 the prestigious SAIL Magazine honoured the CRUISER 45 in its Best Boats Award 2012 in the category ‘Cruising Monohull Under 50 Feet’. Furthermore, it sees great opportunities for the coming years in the BRIC countries. The dealer network is also integral to Bavaria Yacht Bau’s continued success. The company has steadily established a global network of dealers that have the requisite showroom facilities and suitable
infrastructure such as cranes and mooring places that allow customers to see the yachts in a positive setting. As Bavaria Yacht Bau looks forward to the next chapter in its development, Mr Knesewitsch is clear that continued growth is on the cards. He concluded, “Even though the market is insecure for all of us at the moment, we are confident that we will grow both in terms of increased sales and new market development over the coming months and years, particularly as we have an improving product portfolio to support n our ambitious plans.”
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DELIVERING SAFER SEMI-SUBMERSIBLES
Prosafe is the world’s leading owner and operator of semi-submersible accommodation and service rigs for the offshore oil and gas industry. Philip Yorke looks at how the company is pioneering the construction of the world’s most advanced and efficient harsh environment accommodation rigs and its ongoing commitment to sustainable development.
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rosafe has an outstanding track record for safety and efficiency gained from its demanding oil and gas operations worldwide. The Norwegian company is headquartered in Larnaca, Cyprus, and owns 11 semi-submersible accommodation and service rigs and one accommodation/ jack-up rig. Furthermore, it is developing the world’s most advanced harsh environment semi-submersible accommodation rig, which is currently under construction at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore. Prosafe’s rigs typically provide accommodation for 139-812 people and offer highquality welfare and catering facilities, as well as workshops, offices, medical services and deck cranes. In addition, each rig provides a comprehensive range of lifesaving and firefighting equipment. The company’s specially constructed rigs are positioned alongside
their host installations and are connected by means of a telescopic gangway in order that rig personnel can freely walk to work. Furthermore, all Prosafe’s activities fall within the latter part of an oil field’s life cycle, which is the most robust sector in terms of its relationship to oil price fluctuations. With six dynamically positioned units, five anchored rigs and one jack-up rig, Prosafe’s fleet of semi-submersibles is versatile and able to operate efficiently in almost all offshore environments. It is currently the clear leader in the provision of offshore accommodation and service vessels designed for harsh and semi-harsh environments and, in particular, in hurricane regions such as the Gulf of Mexico. The company has unparalleled experience in the oil and gas field industry ranging from operating gangways connected to fixed
installations, to FPSOs, TLPs, semis and spars. Existing offshore operations are located in waters around Norway, the UK, Denmark, Tunisia, West Africa and the Philippines. This is in addition to offshore operations currently active in the USA, Russia, north and south west Australia, the Gulf of Mexico and more recently Brazil. Today, Prosafe employs almost 500 people and is listed on the Oslo stock exchange, and in 2010 the company posted an operating profit of USD 221.1 million.
Pioneering harsh-environment service rigs Towards the end of 2011, Prosafe entered into a unique turn-key contract for the design and construction of what will be the world’s most advanced and efficient harsh environment accommodation rig. This is
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being built to the GVA 3000E design standard and equipped with a DP3 (dynamic positioning) system as well as incorporating a 12 point monitoring arrangement. This advanced design will allow for operations to take place in harsh environments in both DP and anchored mode, thus providing optimum cost-efficiency and flexibility. This new, cutting-edge unit will have the capacity to accommodate 450 persons in fully furnished single-man cabins. The Jurong shipyard in Singapore, where Prosafe’s new harsh environment rig is being built, is one of the world’s leading constructors of semi-submersible rigs. To date the Jurong yard has delivered 13 semi-submersible DP vessels and currently has three on order. Prosafe selected the Jurong Shipyard due to its well demonstrated capabilities in this specialised area and its strong commitment as a high quality, reliable rig builder. Delivery of the new rig is scheduled for the second quarter of 2014 and its all-in cost, including yard cost, owner furnished equipment, project management and financing is
estimated at USD 350 million. Prosafe’s most advanced rig has been ordered on the back of a positive market outlook. With the addition of its new harsh environment rig, Prosafe reinforces its leading position in the high-end accommodation rig segment and strengthens the company’s ability to meet its clients’ needs related to increasingly complex operations in an expanding oil and gas market.
Sustainable development brings long-term success Prosafe’s long-term commitment to sustainable development and the protection of the environment gives it a competitive advantage. As a socially responsible company, Prosafe is committed to maintaining high ethical, social, environmental and governance standards, as well as creating environmental values for the benefit of clients, shareholders and humankind alike. The company sees sustainable development as meeting today’s energy requirements without destroying the opportunities for future generations to fulfil their own needs. For Prosafe, the word ‘sustainability’ also
stands for viability, which means the balance between economic, environmental and social objectives. Subsequently the company integrates these elements into its daily business activities and decisions, in order to ensure long-term, viable development for all concerned. A company spokesman said, “We believe that excellence in social responsibility will give us a competitive advantage and will contribute to our long-term success. It helps us to attract and retain the best people and maintain successful working relationships with our clients, suppliers and the authorities. It also enables us to build on our track record for goodwill and to support the countries in which we have ongoing operations. We also comply fully with local and international governmental laws where rules and regulations are applicable to our business. In addition, we are committed to operating in accordance with responsible, ethical and sound business principles. Our corporate citizenship is built upon transparency, stakeholder dialogue and integrity, in the conduct of our everyday business.” n
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AUTOMATION EXPERTS AZO GmbH & Co. KG designs and produces machines for the automatic handling of bulk goods and powders. AZO’s systems for automated raw material handling are used in the food sector, in the plastics and pharmaceutical industries and by manufacturers of chemical and cleaning products. Joseph Altham spoke to AZO’s group manager, Christian Krolle, to find out about a company that continues to innovate and is gaining ground in Asian markets.
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ood and pharmaceutical companies rely on AZO’s machines to ensure the efficiency of their production processes. Within the production process, the equipment that AZO supplies covers many different functions, including screening, conveying, dosing and weighing. When bulk goods are delivered to a factory, AZO’s machines are used to screen out contaminants. On the factory floor, AZO’s suction weighing systems transport bulk quantities to a predetermined point in the
process and precisely weigh the ingredients that have to be added to the recipe. To meet the needs of its customers in various industry sectors, AZO is organised into four different divisions: AZO Food, AZO Vital (which serves the pharmaceutical industry), AZO Chem and AZO Poly (for plastics manufacturers). What happens inside a chocolate factory or a pharmaceutical plant is a complex business where a ‘one size fits’ approach cannot succeed. For this reason, AZO works in
close cooperation with its clients, giving them carefully considered advice on the best way to automate their processes. “We produce systems that provide reliable automation for production processes,” stated Mr Krolle. “Most of them are tailor-made for our customers.”
A tradition of innovation AZO, based in the German town of Osterburken, is a family company, established in 1949 by Adolf Zimmermann and his wife, MariIndustry Europe 127
The international world of processing consists of a variety of industries and companies. DMN-WESTINGHOUSE have been designing and manufacturing rotary valves, diverter valves and other related components for the bulk solids handling industry for more than 40 years. Being an independent company with no involvement in system design, our sole activity is the development, manufacture and sale of these components.
amixon® sets the trend in the development and construction of processing equipment for the processing industry. The construction of sterile equipment which fulfils high, even the highest, requirements in terms of hygiene is a key area. In this context there are innovative mixing devices and discharge processes for complete discharge available.
DMN-WESTINGHOUSE offer tailor made solutions to the global food, dairy, plastics, (petro)chemical, pharmaceutical, mineral and power/biomass industries. Due to our years of experience and long term relationships we are a major supplier to some of the most reputable multinational companies and system integrators like AZO.
The product range includes powder mixers, paste mixers, vacuum dryers, reactors, cone mixers, single-shaft mixers, twin-shaft mixers, vacuum mixers and container mixers. In recent years continual innovation has enabled amixon® to make marked improvements in productivity and the standard of hygiene of this processing equipment. Many detailed solutions are protected by patent.
anne. AZO’s original headquarters was an old sheep shed but the firm now has a turnover of €135 million and employs 920 people. The breakthrough came when Adolf Zimmermann created a flour-sieving machine for the breadmaking industry, released onto the market in 1952. This ‘Pyramidal’ grain-cleaning machine was the forerunner of a concept, the cyclone screener, that AZO still sells today. The cyclone screener is a kind of automatic, industrial-sized sieve that can be used as part of a continuous production process. When powder is
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thrown against a screen, fine particles are small enough to pass through it, while unwanted, coarse particles like contaminants or agglomerates are too big to get through the screen fabric and are discharged. “The cyclone screener is still a top-selling product,” said Mr Krolle. “It is used as part of a system for quality control of ingredients.” As early as the 1980s, AZO saw the potential of information technology, which enables an industrial process to be controlled from a computer screen. AZO’s subsidiary company, hsh-systeme for process-IT, installs computer systems on production lines to support such tasks as manual weighing and batch tracking. “Computer controls are essential for handling automated processes. They are especially valuable for track-and-trace purposes, where a large amount of data has to be collected.” In the event of a problem at a food factory, AZO’s Kastor software package, which precisely documents product quantities, will identify the contaminated batch, ensuring that any affected customers can be warned as early as possible. 132 Industry Europe
AZO’s ShuttleDos system for super fast batch automation was developed by the company in 2005 and is proving very popular with customers. “We have continued to develop this concept, which has attracted a lot of interest in the market, particularly over the last couple of years,” Mr Krolle explained. “The ShuttleDos system’s main advantages are high throughput, lower dust levels and superior hygiene. The ShuttleDos system is especially suited to applications in the food sector, but could be installed for customers of any one of our four divisions. “Each recipe will have a dedicated container. During the production process, the shuttle system moves the containers from one dosing station to the next. By moving the container within the production system, the shuttle makes it possible to bring in more containers for weighing and dosing. Previously the weighing scale caused a bottleneck because it had to go through the whole system. With the ShuttleDos system, the containers move around, and instead of the travelling scale, there is a fixed scale under each container.”
Demand for AZO’s services is growing. In 2010 the company built a new production hall in order to increase capacity. The source of the demand is global. Outside Germany, AZO has sales companies not only in Europe but also in emerging economies like China and Thailand. Mr Krolle, who spent over four years in charge of the Thailand office, believes that Asian countries represent a big potential market for AZO. “People in Thailand are looking for a higher quality of life. Even while I was there, I noticed that people were becoming more concerned about food quality. Indonesia is another big market with great potential. The growth in the Asian population means that the food sector will require new production capacity. In international markets, nothing is guaranteed, so incoming raw materials must be checked to prevent contamination. Asian consumers now attach more importance to food quality. Automation and track-and-trace technology will be needed in order to satisfy n their expectations.”
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MOVING SOLUTIONS Finland headquartered Cargotec Corporation provides cargo handling solutions, including onroad load handling equipment, container handling equipment for ports and terminals, heavy industrial material handling equipment, marine cargo flow and offshore solutions. Barbara Rossi reports. 134 Industry Europe
he Cargotec Corporation has been formed through a series of mergers and acquisitions during the last couple of decades. Specifically it was formed in June 2005, when the Kone Corporation demerged, giving birth to two companies, namely Cargotec and New Kone. After the demerger, Kone Corporation’s load handling (Hiab), container handling (Kalmar) and marine cargo handling (MacGregor) businesses became part of Cargotec. Despite the corporation being only seven years old, the businesses within Cargotec have much longer histories, during which their know-how, product offering and
customer relationship have been built. They are in fact recognised leaders in cargo and load handling solutions around the world. In 2010 Cargotec’s sales reached €2.6 billion, it employs 11,000 people worldwide, and the corporation has been listed on the Helsinki stock exchange since 1 June 2005, as well as being now present in more than 160 countries. The corporation has production units located in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Poland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, the USA, China, India, Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. Moreover, part of Cargotec’s manufacturing has been outsourced to
partner plants based in Asia. Cargotec serves customers globally, either through its own sales companies or through distributors. There are, in fact, few places in the world without a Cargotec presence of some kind. Key customer groups include ship owners, ship and port operators, shipyards, distribution centres, fleet operators, logistics companies and truck owner operators, as well as the defence forces of various countries. In addition to those, there are other major customers in heavy industry, terminals and municipalities. Each of its brands – Hiab, Kalmar and MacGregor – has a different field of special-
ism. Hiab provides solutions for on-road load handling, Kalmar for container and heavy material handling, while MacGregor is specialised in the marine business area, offering solutions utilised in the maritime transportation and offshore industries. The Cargotec mission is that of improving the efficiency of cargo flows, and its vision encompasses being the world’s leading provider of cargo handling solutions. A fundamental element, alongside its customer focus, enabling the company to turn these aims into reality, is R&D. In fact, many of the solutions that Cargotec offers were unimaginable some
decades ago, while today they represent industry benchmarks. Cargotec has research facilities in both India and Italy, respectively based in Pune and Massa, with the Indian researchers focusing on design, structural analyses and software development, while their Italy based colleagues work on concept planning of new products and design of new features for existing Hiab and Kalmar products. Furthermore, in order to stay at the forefront of technological development, as the corporation often works with customers who are runners in the field, Cargotec is also involved in R&D partnerships. Industry Europe 135
The company has a real customer focus, and for this reason, understanding the industry and the needs of its customers is central to its research and development. This ability to understand customers’ applications is one of Cargotec’s most significant competitive advantages and allows it to be able to provide its clients with optimal solutions. The company offers extensive services close to its customers to ensure the continuous usability of the equipment.
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Environment, health and safety In terms of strategy, the corporation aims to grow faster than the industry average, expanding its presence and offering, especially in emerging markets and in the service business. However it won’t lose its focus on the balanced development between financial results and the well-being of people and the environment, which it has already achieved, by implementing the best possible practices, taking into account local circumstances. This
ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified company employs its own code of conduct and has safety and well-being as its top priorities, as well as being committed to environmentally responsible practices, of increasing importance in recent times, due to strict requirements and fuel costs. For instance, in terms of product safety for users, Cargotec has developed applications decreasing the possibility of human error. This has now extended to monitoring suppliers’ management prin-
ciples with regard to the environment, health and safety. Among its commitments, there is the pledge to reduce the fuel consumption of its machines by 10 per cent over the next few years, as well as having produced, as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, the first straddle carrier featuring hybrid technology. Furthermore the corporation has developed the Future™ mark in 2008. This mark is awarded to environmentally friendly equipment that passes criteria in energy efficiency, power source, emissions, noise pollution and recyclability. With the help of these solutions, customers can genuinely develop more sustainable operations and reduce fuel consumption. The new previously mentioned Kalmar straddle carrier using hybrid technology is an example of this. Other Pro Future™ products include the variable speed rubber-tyred gantry (RTG)
crane, automatic stacking crane, battery-driven forklift truck and ship-to-shore crane with a regenerative energy source. With regard to latest developments, Cargotec has secured MacGregor RoRo equipment orders for two of the French Navy’s Mistralclass ships. Cargotec, which has previously delivered similar MacGregor RoRo access equipment to three Mistral-type vessels, will deliver the design, hardware and installation of MacGregor RoRo’s equipment, as part of this recently signed contract with STX France, which will undertake the construction of the ships under a subcontract with French yard, DCNS. The previous Mistral-type vessels for which Cargotec has provided similar MacGregor RoRo access equipment were also built by STX and DCNS, respectively in 2006, 2007 and early 2012. n Industry Europe 137
ACTIONABLE INFORMATION Hexagon is focused on providing its customers with the most innovative design, measurement and visualisation technologies to help them stay one step ahead in a fast-changing world.
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ounded in 1975, Sweden’s Hexagon is a leading global provider of design, measurement and visualisation technologies that enable customers to increase productivity, enhance quality and make better operational decisions that save time, money and resources. With Hexagon technologies they can design, measure and position objects and process and present data in ways which make possible what the company calls ‘actionable information’. Following ten years of rapid growth, Hexagon now has over 12,500 employees in more than 40 countries and net sales of around €2200m. Its products are used worldwide in industries such as surveying, power and energy, aerospace and defence, safety and security, construction and manufacturing. Hexagon has achieved its present leading position through a strategy of aggressive acquisition; since 2000 the Group has implemented some 70 acquisitions while at the same time divesting around 50 noncore businesses. The company continuously monitors large numbers of acquisition
candidates, which are regularly evaluated financially, technologically and commercially. Every candidate’s potential is determined on the basis of synergy simulations and implementation strategies. In mid-2010 Hexagon made one of the most significant acquisitions in its history with the purchase of the US-based software company Intergraph. Headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, and employing some 4000 people in 34 countries, Intergraph is a leading global provider of enterprise engineering software and geospatially powered solutions that enable customers to visualise and manage complex data. The acquisition has enabled Hexagon to seamlessly connect the real world with maps or drawings. With Intergraph it can now cover all aspects of the design, measurement and visualisation technology market, from capturing three-dimensional data from ground, air and space, through processing that data to creating, managing and delivering information via GIS and CAD solutions. Commenting on the acquisition, Ola Rollen, the president and CEO of Hexagon, said,
“With Intergraph’s technology Hexagon can add a market-leading software platform to its offering. In combination with our global resources and competencies, the opportunities for creating innovative new client solutions are virtually limitless.”
Three divisions The Measurement Technologies business unit of Hexagon operates through three applications areas: Geosystems, Metrology and Technology. The systems offered by Geosystems capture, reference, analyse, process and store geographical information, allowing this data, in many cases, to be presented as 3D images. These solutions are used by customers involved in essential infrastructure projects such as the preparation, execution and monitoring of roads, bridges, railroads, airports and ports. Geosystems’ solutions include a wide variety of laser measuring tools and equipment for the construction industry as well as specialised software and fleet management services for the construction, road maintenance and piste maintenance industries. It operates
through eleven companies, including many, such as Leica Geosystems, Cable Detection, GeoMax and Mikrofyn, that are well-known to the construction industry throughout the world. Hexagon Metrology supplies systems for manufacturing evaluation, process qualification and final parts inspection. Customers use these systems to boost productivity and enhance efficiency by measuring exactly every step in the manufacturing process in order to reduce or eliminate defects. They are thus able to fully control manufacturing processes that rely on dimensional precision to ensure that products manufactured conform precisely to the original product design. Hexagon Metrology’s leading brands, which include Brown & Sharpe, Cognitens, DEA, Leica Geosystems (Metroloogy Division), Leitz, m&h Inprocess
Messtechnik, Optiv, PC-DMIS, QUINDOS, ROMER and TESA, represent an unrivalled base of millions of coordinate measuring machines, portable measuring systems and hand-held instruments as well as tens of thousands of metrology software licences. Hexagon Technology provides enterprise engineering software and geospatially powered solutions as well as the industry’s most comprehensive line of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) products. Among its member companies, Erdas, for example, creates geospatial business systems that transform data on the earth into business information while NovAtel produces precision GNSS components and subsystems, including receivers, antennas, enclosures and firmware. Its applications include surveying, GIS mapping, precision agriculture machine guidance, port automation as well as in the mining, marine and defence industries. NovAtel’s reference receivers are also at the core of national aviation ground networks in the USA, Japan, Europe, China and India. Intergraph is now also a member of the Technology business area. Its software and services enable customers to build and operate more efficient plants and ships,
create intelligent maps and protect critical infrastructure around the world. In 2011 Hexagon acquired the Brazilian software and services company Sisgraph, which has been providing sales, consulting, implementation and training services for all Intergraph products in Latin America since 1980. Ole Rollen said, “For our Power, Process and Marine business we see many opportunities related to the exploration and production of Brazil’s massive offshore oil reserves.” Hexagon is continuing its search for companies that can add new technologies and know-how to the Group. At the beginning of 2012 it acquired the leading Canadian surveying and mapping software developer MicroSurvey. Headquartered in British Columbia, MicroSurvey provides innovative software solutions for the land surveying, construction and forensic markets. “The acquisition of MicroSurvey expands Hexagon’s product offerings and software development capabilities for several of our key markets,” said Olla Rollen. “The ability to offer such comprehensive, market-leading and innovative solutions will undoubtedly benefit both current and future customers n of Hexagon.”
DELIVERING EASY-FLOW SOLUTIONS ITAB Shop Concept AB of Sweden is Europe’s market leader in the design and delivery of check-out systems and interior shop solutions. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at the company’s futuristic ‘selfcheckout’ technology and its strategy for further growth.
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TAB designs, manufactures and installs shop fitting concepts throughout Europe, the Nordic countries and the Baltics. The ITAB Group is one of the largest of its kind in the world with sales organisations in 18 countries and 14 major production facilities. The ITAB Group has seen dramatic growth since the turn of the century through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. ITAB is also the market leader in Europe for the design, manufacture and installation of advanced check-out systems and solutions for both food and non-food supermarket retailers. ITAB can count amongst its customers many of Europe’s largest supermarket retailers. Today ITAB Shop Concept AB has over 1,500 employees and is listed on the OMX Stock Exchange in Stockholm. In 2010 the ITAB Group recorded sales of more than SEK 2.7 billion.
World first ITAB’s commitment to investing in innovative new technology has resulted in it achieving a world ‘first’, a fully automated check-out system that is able to identify products without the need of a bar code. The ITAB EasyFlow™ advanced check-out system, uses break-through technology that will soon be showcased at the forthcoming ‘Euroshop’ Trade Fair in Germany in February. ITAB’s, EasyFlow™ system has an accuracy of more than 99 per cent. This futuristic technology is based on a unique combination of six different technologies, including image processors, weight assimilators, object sensors, and spectroscopy scanners. The various methods of recording information are processed and converted into nine distinct classifiers, where each has a unique, optimised algoritham for the identification of each product. The
entire identification process takes less than a second to complete. Furthermore, EasyFlow’s unique technology is able to identify and differentiate between products such as fruit and vegetables and is able to calculate the weight and price of any loose product without the need for weighing machines. This advanced system can even identify different varieties of the same fruit. EasyFlow is fully compatible with existing POS (Point of Sale) systems and its first shop installation is scheduled for summer 2011. ITAB is the clear market leader in Europe for check-outs, with more than 20,000 units being delivered to its customers each year. The company manufactures equipment in wood and metal and provides design, development and project management, as well as installation expertise and services. ITAB’s diverse product range includes all forms of
display equipment, shelving, entrance systems and trolley parks, as well as store protection and peripheral equipment.
Value-creating acquisitions Whilst the ITAB Group continues to see strong organic growth, it is also looking to accelerate it further through strategic acquisitions. With a firm commitment to enhance its product offering to its customers and to further strengthen its comprehensive range of services, the company recently acquired a leading shop lighting company, the Nordic Light Group. This high technology group develops and manufactures quality lighting systems for the food and non-food retail industries. With its two large factories in Suzhou and Shenzhen in China, the acquisition will enhance ITAB’s strategy for the growth and development of its production and logistics operations in Asia. This latest acquisition is fully in line with ITAB’s strategy to offer a complete, one-stopshop service. That service includes lighting, shop fitting, check-outs, installation and project
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management. Ulf Rostedt, ITAB Shop Concept Group’s CEO said, “This acquisition strengthens both ITAB’s and Nordic Light Group’s complete offer. Together we will be able to meet our customer’s increasing demands for a complete concept service from one supplier”.
Growth in the food retail sector ITAB is continuing to see significant growth in its provision of installation and project management services to Europe’s largest retail food outlets. In the UK, ITAB has secured a long-term contract with the country’s leading supermarket chain, who decided to select ITAB as its main supplier and project leader for their on-going expansion programme. According to ITAB, the contract was signed because this customer required a strategic, reliable and flexible partner as part of its store expansion plans. This ‘blue-chip’ contract includes production, logistics, installation, project management and product development services and is estimated to be worth more than SEK 500 million during the years ahead.
Another UK retail giant, Sainsbury’s has also signed an agreement with ITAB as its main supplier for shop fittings and the project management of its new construction and renovation programmes. ITAB will be the main supplier to Sainsbury and has already supplied almost half of the retail chain’s interiors in recent years. This latest contract with Sainsbury is expected to increase the company’s order volume by over SEK40 million. In the Nordic region, the Swedish Coop Store and Supermarket chain, CBS, has signed an exclusive agreement with ITAB as its main supplier for a pilot scheme involving the installation of new store check-out systems. Initially the order from CBS includes the delivery of 10 MoveFlow™ units for two of its premier stores and is a test installation before a larger roll-out programme. The company confirmed that this agreement is of strategic importance and ITAB considers it a milestone, as it is its first self-checkout order to n be installed in Sweden.
CONFIDENCE Due to continuously increasing demand for larger capacities, year by year there is ever more need for better productivity at the specialised manufacturing company, Andritz Kft in Tiszakécske, Hungary. In order to meet customer expectations and growing market demand, the company has gradually increased its staff numbers, enlarged and updated its technical equipment and built new production halls and facilities.
rom the start, the parent company of Andritz Kft, Andritz AG, headquartered in Graz, Austria, saw significant potential in the Hungarian machine factory and has continuously made investments for developments to the enterprise since the takeover in 2007. Andritz Kft today is a bespoke machine factory mainly specialising in manufacturing components for power generation and other large and heavyweight high-quality
products. The product portfolio of the factory is constantly increasing due to the frequent reorganisation of product production within the group. As a result, the production of various key products including generator frames, parts for machinery used in the paper industry and equipment used in hydro-power plants have been transferred from other Andritz European production plants to the Hungarian subsidiary in Tiszakécske. Activities cover the whole range from incoming material inspection to welding, heat treatment and final machining, surface finishing and distribution. The factory therefore is capable of producing and delivering complete, fully assembled, insulated
components ready for connection to other completed units at erection sites. Within the company’s second largest industry, the paper industry, the most strategic product is the Yankee dryer cylinder. The steel version of this product is pioneering in its field and it was developed jointly by the parent company and the professional team of the Hungarian subsidiary. By replacing cast-iron with steel, Andritz created a high-precision drying cylinder that ensures excellent drying rates at low specific costs. The product allows highly efficient drying by using special material alloys and has the ability to increase the length and diameter of the drying cylinder so that larger size paper can be produced. Extra size
cylinders developed by Andritz included a 5.5 m diameter and a 7.3 m length Yankee cylinder. Currently the factory is engaged in the parallel production of three Yankee cylinders, and expects to receive orders for further 6–8 similar cylinders next year.
Enlarged capacities Investments are continuous at Andritz Kft; in 2008 the steel structure manufacturing facility was extended with another hall so that the company is now able to move around structures weighing up to 150 tonnes compared to the previous capacities of 120 tonnes. A new painting box and two blasting cabins that meet the highest
European requirements and standards were also installed. Investments are continuously made to modernise all machinery which enables the factory to increase its productivity and capacities. In 2009 €1 million and in the following year another €3 million investments were made by the group in Hungary. In 2011 Andritz planned to invest €5 million in the factory, and the company received a €1 million fund through the economic development programme of the Hungarian government, the new Széchenyi plan, to realize the investment project. This investment will enable the company to extend and modernise its machines; it will include the purchase of a horizontal boring mill with a 100 tonnes round table and the extension of the lamella production hall built in 2008. The transfer of a 12 m diameter vertical turning lathe opens up new opportunities for the company in the field of machining as the maximum capacity so far was only 6.3m diameter.
Steady growth The Andritz group is a global market leader for customised plant, systems and services for hydropower, the pulp and paper, steel and other specialized industries including environment and process, and biofuel. Backed by the parent company’s strong capital base, Andritz Kft is making con-
tinuous progress and the number of its employees is steadily increasing. Whilst in 2007 the company employed between 350–370 staff in the Tiszakécske plant, 2011 the number of employees increased to 430 people and next year staff number is expected to reach 500. In order to manage the company’s expansion and cope well with the need for staff supply, Andritz Kft actively supports and provides professional training opportunities as well as aiming to recruit well-qualified professionals with language skills. Sales figures for Andritz Kft also show a healthy increase. Whilst in 2008 the company turned over €24 million, in 2011 sales is
about €30 million. Currently almost 100 per cent of production is distributed to foreign markets, mainly in the European Union. Main markets include Germany and Austria, but occasionally the company serves markets from outside of the EU – this year one of the Yankee cylinders was exported to China and another one to Indonesia. Andritz Kft is proud of its achievement to become a vital member of the international Andritz Group. The company is determined to maintain its high quality operation so that it can provide stable employment for its staff and aims to fully satisfy its customers in regards to both quality and delivery time. Despite the current economic situation this
company is leading the way overcoming all problems, to emerge as a larger, more effective player in this industry. n
Andritz Kft. Dózsa telep 69. 6060 Tiszakécske, Hungary Phone: +36-76-542-100 Fax: +36-76-542-199 email@example.com www.andritz.hu
TURNING UP THE HEAT After doubling its capacity recently, high-precision iron foundry Ferromatix is expanding its activities. Abigail Saltmarsh reports.
he past year has seen the results of great investment at high precision iron foundry Ferromatix in Belgium. Since doubling its capacity, the operation has decided to expand its activities and to focus firmly on the future. Head of sales, Wim Vandendriessche, says the move has set the foundry on track for full recovery to getting back to where it was before the economic crisis by 2013. Then Ferromatix would be well-positioned for achieving growth rates of between 15 and 20 per cent year on year after that. “This has very much been an investment for the future,” he says. “We have invested
in the foundry and we have been investing in people. We are offering quality in design, development and production and we hope to have got back to where we were by 2013 – and then to continue to grow from there.”
A solid history Ferromatix’s history goes back to 1953, when it was an integrated foundry activity within NV Michel Van de Wiele. In 1978, the foundry activity was divested and it became an independent company. In 2000, a €14 million investment was made in an automated FMS-foundry. A total integration of shop floor control and quality control
saw the creation of one MES-system. Then in 2009, another €14 million investment was made, this time in a new automated moulding and melting department for large moulds. Today the company manufactures a range of high-precision castings in grey, ductile and vernicular iron, as well as ADI cast iron and special alloyed cast iron (SiMo). Parts are made for gearboxes, wind turbines, turbochargers, compressors, pumps, diesel and gas engines and other machinery.
Specialist areas Since doubling its capacity recently, the high-tech foundry, which is part of the Van de Wiele group, has decided to expand its activities by also casting shipbuilding parts - in particular, critical parts such as cylinder heads and motor units. And after the successful validation of its prototypes and at sector’s request, Ferromatrix was tested by several specialised classification societies. And this spring it was granted
certifications by the classification societies Germanischer Lloyd and Det Norske Veritas. “We are diversifying into some new, very specialised markets,” says Mr Vandendriessche. “These are small market applications for engines and some hydraulic parts.”
Increasing output The most recent investment saw the creation of an ultramodern moulding line for castings of up to 5 tonnes (maximum weight of the filled flasks
38 tons), flasks with maximum dimensions of 4000mm by 3000mm – a furan sand mixer 100 tonnes per hour with several recipes. Mr Vandendriessche explains that by 2007, output levels at Ferromatix had reached 13,000 tonnes. Then came the economic crisis and this figure was halved. “But by 2012 we should be back up to 8000 tonnes and by 2013, we expect to have seen growth levels of 60 per cent – to get us back to where we were. The investment and the new focus should help us do that,” he says. “We are just a small company and we have made these big €14 million investments. In between, we have made other, smaller investments in equipment. “The investments will continue – in services and in research. We can continue here, as we are, until we reach 18,000 tonnes. Then by further enlarging the equipment, if we need to, we can produce up to 22,000 tonnes. However, because of the economic situation we think this is unlikely.”
Ready for growth Ferromatix plans to maintain its customer base in Europe. It will continue to nurture its relationship with companies in northern and western Europe. “In the beginning, until the investment in 2000, we served customers in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. After that, however, we opened up and began working with customers in places like Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Spain, Finland and Sweden.” He goes on: “There are values that we can bring to the products here in Europe. These include time-tomarket and offering advice from concept right through to design and production. We have the new material qualities and a wide range of grades.” As part of the Van de Wiele group, the foundry also has strength and support. And he adds: “It is a big company but it is also fairly dynamic. “We feel we have taken the right steps – and our team is ready for the future.” n
LONG-TERM PARTNERS Leading family-owned metal forming company HERZING+SCHROTH GmbH u. Co. KG (H+S) has been actively supplying the global automotive market for more than 70 years. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the managing director, Steffen Schroth, to find out how the company is ensuring it continues to flourish.
Disc carriers, clutch housings for dual clutch transmissions (DCT)
Detail view on a disc carrier for a wet dual clutch transmission (DCT) with oil holes and two snap ring grooves
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CEO Steffen Schroth (left) CFO Knut Zimmer (right)
Trimming of height, punching of oil holes and snap ring groove at disc carriers
Welding operation of splined part to hub
ounded in 1933 in Obertshausen near Frankfurt, family-owned metal forming company H+S has steadily grown to its present size, with more than 550 employees and two state-of-the-art plants which are dedicated to the automotive industry, and one non-automotive production all of which are located in Germany. The H+S Group is made up of three companies, with HERZING+SCHROTH GmbH u. Co. KG (H+S) sitting alongside HELiCA Fordertecnik GmbH, a non-automotive production facility which is focused on the machine build industry and makes production parts for material handling machines, and a third company, SCHROTH Antriebselemente GmbH (SAE), which is located in the former East German county Thuringia and which is automotive like H+S. All of the shared main functions for the Group are located in Obertshausen, with the development, technical department, sales and management all based here. A further sales office is located in Detroit.
Family dynamic Managing director Steffen Schroth told Industry Europe how the family-owned status of the company has continued to
offer a solid foundation for three generations. He said, “We have been able to utilise the long-standing reputation for excellence as, for more than 70 years, H+S has been synonymous with delivering high-quality metal forming for vehicle power trains. I am particularly proud of the fact that the company has continued to stay at the forefront of the automotive industry while retaining the family values that set us apart from the competition. It’s a strong mix of old and new and family and commercial, and a mix that will see us continue to achieve our goals for the next years.” The core product portfolio offered by H+S is centred on sheet metal forming, with its well-equipped production sites using transfer presses, progressive die presses, cold forming and flow forming, punching and trimming to manufacture high-quality metal components for vehicle power trains. The core technology is then usually combined with secondary processes, such as heat treating or laser welding, in order to offer a finished product to customers. Mr Schroth continued, “We have a very high level of component quality which, coupled with excellent technological capabilities, means that we offer an unrivalled
complete service to our customers. Our European customers are all in the automotive industry and are primarily OEMs and module or systems suppliers, and primarily first-tier suppliers. It is imperative that we maintain a consistently high quality of metalformed components as our clients rely on us to maintain their own high standards, often across a number of international sites.” One important element in maintaining this quality promise is H+S’s commitment to ongoing investment, with the company adding new equipment every year. The latest addition includes brand new, top-ofthe-range metal forming technologies and machining lines, with the next major investment set to be a big transfer press which will considerably increase capacity.
Better by design The ongoing investment programme at H+S is certainly geared towards meeting the automotive industry’s changing trends, with the company keen to ensure that it is consistently the first choice supplier for its customers. Mr Schroth said, “The automotive industry has seen many changes in the past few years and this looks set to continue, so our long-established underIndustry Europe 155
HAFNER One key success factor for Herzing & Schroth is the high level of quality of their components. To ensure this high level of quality Herzing & Schroth and HAFNER Fertigungsmesstechnik established a strong partnership that exist for more than 30 years. HAFNER is a specialist for customized production measuring technology, particularly for dimensional measurement. Their measuring devices are located directly on the shop floor. Due to the sturdy construction HAFNER machines achieve high functional capability and measuring accuracy. This makes a significant contribution to the high quality level of Herzing & Schroth and on the other hand allows Herzing & Schroth to accuracy assess their production processes and achieve high levels of productivity.
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View into a transfer press operation – in die splining of a disc carrier
standing of the changing demands of our customers keeps us in our market-leading position. At the moment, we are seeing the trend for increased automation continuing, which certainly suits our specific skill for metal forming for vehicle power trains, so we are suitably increasing our applications for areas including auto transmission, torque vectoring and hybrid vehicles.” A mega trend which H+S is in the process of investigating is the continued development of manufacturing in China. As the company sees a rapid increase in demand
from across Asia it is looking to create a suitable manufacturing hub in the region where its present global customers can request a supply base and local production facilities in order to respond to very specific demands. With future development expected to come from both organic expansion or strategic ventures, H+S’s position as a reliable long-term partner for its global automotive customers is on course to continue in a strong manner. As a company that is driven by technical advancements and that offers high tech products, its unique position is
that very few companies can offer the same quality and range of products, so H+S is proudly prepared to maintain its strong position as a leading metal forming company. Mr Schroth concluded, “We are in a perfect position to exploit the development in further automation of power trains and hybrid vehicles as well and the increase in demand from Asia. Our unrivalled product portfolio is over and above what our competitors offer in terms of quality and technical competence, so we are looking forward to the next n chapter in our story.”
Cooperate Plant HERZING+SCHROTH (H+S) in Obertshausen, close to Frankfurt/Main
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As an integral part of the global Sandvik engineering group, Sandvik Process Systems is dedicated to developing and sharing its steel-belt-based knowledge to add value to its customers’ processes. EmmaJane Batey spoke to global marketing manager, Staffan Karlsson, to find out how this is being achieved. 158 Industry Europe
BELTS AND BRACES S
wedish-based engineering group Sandvik employs more than 47,000 people worldwide and achieved annual sales in 2010 of nearly SEK 83 billion. Since January 2012 the company has been divided into five business areas instead of the previous three, giving it more scope to focus on specific product areas and skill sets while still retaining its core commitment to steel belt manufacturing, tooling, materials technology, mining and construction. Global marketing manager Staffan Karlsson explained why this reorganisation has taken
place and the benefits it is set to bring the company and its worldwide customer base. He said, “The steel mill on which the whole Sandvik operation has been built celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and we decided to take this important milestone as the driver for making sure that all aspects of the business were operating as smoothly and effectively as possible. Each of the five business units is equally as important as the others in order to secure the continuing success of the group as a whole, so the reorganisation has allowed us to clarify each area.”
Focus on technology Divided into Sandvik Mining, Sandvik Machining Solutions, Sandvik Material Technology, Sandvik Construction and Sandvik Venture, the Group delivers expertise across all aspects of the business areas’ applications. The mining unit is focused on all underground requirements, the machining unit primarily creates carbide tools for machining solutions to the aerospace and automotive industries, the materials technology unit is related to the traditional steel activities of manufacturing stainless products such as straps, tubing
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and razor blades, and the construction unit focuses on transporting ore and bulk goods for heavy industry. Sandvik Venture is the business unit where Mr Karlsson’s Sandvik Process Systems is located, and it is also where all of the other Sandvik activities which do not fit another unit are based. Consequently, this unit includes such disparate activities as medical technologies such as steel hip implant manufacturing, some hard materials activities and diamonds which are made with steel technology. Mr Karlsson added, “Part of our strategic reorganisation will see some aspects of Sandvik Venture sold to suitable buyers in order to allow the remaining elements to flourish within the Sandvik family. There are a number of different technologies within Sandvik Venture and the immediate plan is to trim this down to guarantee that only the most relevant, technologies remain.” Sandvik Process Systems has been a part of the original Sandvik production flow since 1901. With its core offer of steel belts and steel belt solutions for the process industry, Mr Karlsson pointed out that it is hard to find an industry where it is not already present. This varied client base is in opposition to its clearly defined product and knowledge base, but the 160 Industry Europe
Competens Learning Center Sverige AB
two complement each other perfectly, particularly during such challenging economic times as we are currently experiencing.
Continued strong performance Mr Karlsson explained, “We have continued to perform well during the financial crisis as we are not reliant on any one industry. We have clients across practically all industry sectors with our processing systems adding value at every step of the value chain.” Around 60 per cent of Sandvik Process Systems’ activities come from the woodbased industries, such as boards, panels and laminated products, with the food industry, particularly major industrial bakeries and confectionery producers, representing a further 15 per cent. Chemical freezing and cooling industries also provide around 15 per cent of its business, with sectors such as oil and gas, film sheet casting, rubber tyre production, transport of food and dehydration making up the remainder. One challenge that such a varied customer base creates is the ability to deliver a cohesive marketing and sales strategy, but Sandvik Process Systems is facing this in a positive manner. Mr Karlsson said, “We
approach our marketing on an industry-byindustry basis so that we can ensure that we offer our clients the right product and service for their needs. With global blue-chip clients like Shell, Nestlé and Kraft all using our belt processing systems to add value to their offer, we know that we are wellpositioned to continue to deliver high-quality solutions as long as we also continue to stay close to our customers and listen to their changing demands.”
belts for most of the major confectionery producers. When times are good, people invest in property and DIY; we work with many global construction and building companies. When times are really good, people invest money in expensive cars; we provide the belts for the wind tunnels for Formula 1 cars for clients including Ferrari and Red Bull. We’ve got all bases covered so we’re n ready for anything!”
Time for growth With strategic global locations including Germany, the USA, China, Japan, Korea and Brazil alongside its major production plant in Sweden, Sandvik expects to maintain its market-leading position by continuing to perform well in these regions and also to expand in the growing markets in Africa. The company as a whole has very aggressive growth plans for the coming years and makes no secret of the fact that it expects to double its sales, even against the backdrop of the economic climate. Mr Karlsson concluded, “We have new geographical markets as well as new sectors to keep us on top. When times are hard people buy more chocolate; we provide the Industry Europe 161
FORGING AHEAD It is a challenging time for businesses: the current financial situation is affecting every sector, and uncertainty is the theme running through the commercial world. With this in mind, how does a long and wellestablished forging company in Hungary face these difficulties and still manage to move forward? Edina Beale finds out.
ámor plc has a long and distinguished history. Despite previous changes that have transformed the face of Europe this company has not only survived but adapted to meet the new challenges head on. Whilst many companies are struggling to come to terms with the current situation in Europe, Hámor plc is using its previous experience to ensure that the company maintains its acquired positions. Since its inception in the 19th century this company has produced products ranging from armaments and railway rolling stock components through to today’s exciting product range. With just one production hall and a two storey office block located in Miskolc, northeast Hungary, this company is managing to meet and exceed its customers’ requirements and expectations. Today its core products are rings, spindles, bars and discs in various weights and sizes.
Bespoke products for targeted industries Hámor reviewed its operations with a critical eye to identify in what areas it had the advantage over competitors and which sectors would benefit from those advantages. Managing director Mr Ádám Brindza explains: “Competition in the forging industry is strong in Europe – however, our company has many advantages to stay competi162 Industry Europe
tive. Flexibility is our number one advantage; we react fast to customer enquiries and deliver our products promptly keeping to deadlines. Our prices may not be the lowest but they are competitive. Fast information flow is very important and that is what we are very good at.” This is not the only area in which Hámor has the advantage. The ability to identify emerging markets is key to the continued success of such a well-established company, whilst the sudden proliferation of wind-generated power alone has led to opportunities in that sector. Although the new wind turbines are an emerging area, Hámor also recognises the importance and opportunities provided by more traditional industries including the oil and gas industry, chemical industry, ship building industry, paper and machine industry, and a small demand for medical tools. The company’s ability to forge products which are very large or very small provides another competitive advantage. It is able to forge items from 6kg to 6 tonnes, to bespoke requirements. Quality is no longer jusy a selling point, but instead is an essential component of the process. Mr Brindza provides an explanation: “Quality is of course a fundamental base of any manufacturing operations. The recession swallowed all European forging
firms that could not provide the required quality products and therefore we do not see ‘high quality’ as an advantage any more – rather it is an essential criterion for operating in this business.” Whilst the need for quality is now a basic fundamental, there is also a need to ensure that the company has the relevant certification to prove that quality. Hámor’s products are approved by numerous quality certification companies including TÜV, Det Norske Veritas, Lloyd’s Register, Geranischer Lloyd, Bureau Veritas and the American Bureau of Shipping. “Today we have all the necessary quality assurance certificates that a forging company can be in a need of,” says Mr Brindza.
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Cast iron foundation In the current climate it is understandable for businesses to be cautious and reluctant to experiment. But Hámor has been here before, as recession and political change are problems it has faced previously and emerged even stronger than ever. Whilst it is not expanding at present, the company is continuing to invest €300,000 a year into maintaining and updating its technologies to remain competitive. Currently, 75–80 per cent of the company’s production is for export. The main market (accounting for 35 per cent) is Scandinavia, including Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark, whilst the other 35 per cent is the eastern part of Europe including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia and Poland. Then 15–20 per cent of exports go to Germany and the remaining 10 per cent is to other European countries, including Italy, Spain and France.
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Over the past five years many companies have struggled with the changing requirements of the markets and the loss of some key players. Hámor has managed to ensure that it has achieved a steady turnover of €20 million annually in the last five years. This steady performance and a proven track record have put the company in a strong position. Mr Brindza is realistic in his assessment of the future for the company: “Our main objective is to maintain our position and to keep our current workforce of 205 people. We do have plans for future investment; however, the future of the whole world is uncertain at the moment and therefore we do not dare to go ahead with these plans just yet.” Hámor is once again experiencing a period of great change, but its long history and cautious approach should ensure that it continues with its steady growth in the n years to come.
Mr Bordin, CEO of ZML Industries SpA, talks about the recent developments and the future of this aluminium, cast iron and copper wire company. Barbara Rossi reports.
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he roots of ZML Industries SpA go back to the late 1960’s, when the company started manufacturing components for the household appliances industry. ZML, started by the Zanussi group, was acquired by Electrolux in 1984 and then in 2002 a further ownership change took place with ZML being purchased by an American investment fund. Finally, in 2006, ZML was wholly acquired by Mr Valduga, head of the Cividale group, whose core business is steel production for the oil and gas sector, and which employs 1500 employees and has a turnover of €360m. The Cividale group is presently led by the heirs of Mr Valduga, the Valduga and Bernardino families. Since 2002, ZML has increased its diversification, especially towards the automotive sector. Nowadays ZML Industries SpA, which has 580 employees and a turnover of €167m, is subdivided into three divisions: aluminium, cast iron and copper wire. Currently the activity of the aluminium division is entirely for the production of components for the automotive industry, supplying all major European car manufacturers, with about 70 per cent of this production for the car industry and the remaining 30 per cent for industrial vehicles. The cast iron division is more diversified, with 45 per cent of its products supplying the automotive industry, 40 per cent the household appliances sector and the remaining 5 per cent the mechanical industry. The copper wire division produc166 Industry Europe
tion is channelled towards the automotive industry for 60 per cent of its output and the household appliances for 40 per cent. The global crisis hasn’t affected the company as badly as it affected foundries working for other sectors, and the ZML product quality has meant that the company has been retained as a supplier by clients, even during the difficult economic times. In addition to this, in production terms ZML has very quickly recuperated from the recession.
A time for new projects All production takes place at one site, where ZML has a large 300,000m2 plant, divided into three separate factories. Now the company is reconsidering a pre-crisis project, which had been temporarily put on hold and which will require considerable investments, consisting in the creation of a new €12m cast iron production line. At present ZML is the Italian leader in cast iron and the purpose of this project is not an increase in production volumes but an optimisation of production costs and a widening of the range of products offered, especially in terms of new materials, in order to allow ZML to be in the best possible position in comparison to competitors in other countries, such as Turkey, Spain and Germany. This investment will allow ZML to add spheroidal cast iron to its current grey cast iron production. This is particularly important as this new type of cast iron is able to offer a performance similar to that of steel
and therefore is in demand from not just the automotive industry but increasingly also from the household appliances sector. This new line will be ready by spring 2012. Investment will also be directed at the copper wire division, in which the company doesn’t cast copper, but cuts and enamels it. In view of the fact that copper prices are at their maximum historical value, clients are increasingly interested in substitute materials. For this reason in the last two years ZML has developed and introduced in its range of products enamelled aluminium wire. The second tranche of the aluminium wire production should be implemented within the year. The aluminium division will not undergo significant investments and will mainly be concerned with developing new product design with clients, but logically there is the intention of keeping up with the market in terms of new products. Research and development is carried out by internal technicians, aided by external universities, such as Trieste and Padua. ZML holds regional and ISO certifications, such as ISO/TS and ISO 14001:2004. Furthermore it is working towards shortly becoming OHCS 18001 certified. All the new production lines will be at the cutting edge environmentally as well as productively. The company has important achievements to be proud of in the environmental field, such as having halved its water consumption in the last three years, with the objective of
Ferrous and non-ferrous waste trading – industrial demolition Active in reclamation activities for 80 years – materials selection and recycling The De Anna company has been operating for 80 years. Set up in 1930, the company has acquired a leading position in its field, working in all the Triveneto area. Thanks to the experience gained, the company is able to offer skilled services, namely ferrous and non-ferrous waste storage, industrial scrapping, waste collection and transport with own means, container hiring, and land reclamation and environmental cleaning services, available to small, medium, and large firms. Its collection and storage centre is one of the largest in the Pordenone area and is even able to collect large quantities of materials, which then undergo a selection, sorting and volume reduction, to then be delivered to companies which carry out recasting. All activities are carried out in compliance with work safety regulation and current environmental protection laws. DE ANNA AMBROGIO SNC Viale Venezia 123 - 33170 PORDENONE - Italy Tel.+39 0434 541518-541164 - Fax +39 0434 537053 - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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L.M.& P. Srl has been operating in the field of injection mould production for light alloy die-casting since 1973. Today L.M.&P. Srl is an ISO 9001 certified company able to manufacture heavy moulds up to 15 tonnes.
LM&P srl - Mansuè Treviso Italy - Via delle Industrie, 4 Tel: +39 0422 741197 | Fax: +39 0422 741718 E-mail: email@example.com | www.lmpstampi.it
Tel: +39 0427 700 540 Fax: +39 0427 701 336 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PROFESSIONAL POWER TOOLS
Drills, cutters, circular saws, sanders, grinders, screwdrivers, milling machines...
• Work clothing • Skf distributor • Manual tools • Pneumatic and hydraulic tools • Ladders • Bolts • Locks and related devices
MANUAL TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT Screwdrivers, spanners, lamps, pliers, cutters, shears, tube benders, riveters, gauges, dies...
• Workshop furniture • Forza Blu – Bosch reseller • Van fitting • Ironmongery • Health and safety equipment • Maintenance products
Wholesale and retail of: • Ball and roller bearings; • Pneumatic tools; • Non-ferrous metals; • Linear transmission devices and systems;
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• Manual and electric tools; • Cutting tools; • Screws and ironmongery; • Technical, industrial and health and safety equipment;
Sede legale e Punto vendita
Sede amministrativa, Punto vendita e Magazzino
33170 Pordenone Corso Garibaldi, 21 Tel. 0434.520068 R.I. PN/C.F./P.I. 01248860932
33170 Pordenone Via de la Comina, 19 Tel. 0434.551094 (2 l. r.a.) Fax 0434.553589
lowering it by another 30 per cent in the next two. The ultimate objective is that of a nil waste policy, with consumption reduced to a minimum. ZML subscribes to the European Foundation for Quality Management excellence model (EFQM), seeking to implement the best possible practices at various in-company levels. ZML’s intention is that of eventually reaching level 5 of EFQM, the highest level. So far 70 people have been trained and 4000 hours of courses have been implemented to this purpose.
The future is in export Export markets are crucial to the company’s activity, with 70 per cent of output exported,
mainly all over Europe (98 per cent of export) and on a smaller scale to South America (2 per cent of export). Export has been growing since 2006 and now foreign markets, especially in German-speaking countries, are very substantial. This is partly due to the fact that ZML, based near Pordenone, in the Italian north-eastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, is geographically close to them, making their supply easy in logistical terms, but also the fact that in the post-economic crisis era foreign markets are growing at a faster pace than the Italian market is having a bearing on this. Specifically 80–85 per cent of aluminium production is for export, along with 65 per cent of the cast iron output and 65 per cent of the
copper wire produced. Export could grow by another 10 per cent, for the reasons previously mentioned, but also because of the shorter payment terms encountered outside Italy. ZML has no intention of diversifying its core business to other market segments, but wants to widen the range of products on offer which could, as in the case of the new cast iron line, bring new clients. The company plans to optimise its activity, without necessarily searching for large volume growth, requiring substantial investment. However, as Mr Bordin pointed out, times of crisis may also bring new opportunities, especially in the steel and cast iron sector, therefore future acquisitions could n be possible.
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SPECIAL PLATE SOLUTIONS Special steel plate manufacturer and supplier Industeel offers a fully integrated service, with the added support of its global leading parent company. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the commercial director, David Farias, to find out more.
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wholly owned subsidiary of the ArcelorMittal Group, the world’s number one steel group, Industeel manufactures and supplies a wide range of special steel plates. The leader in special markets for alloyed plates, including oil and gas, nuclear, cryogenic and specialised distribution markets, Industeel’s three production sites all deliver a long tradition of metallurgical know-how. With one site in Charleroi dating back to 1863 and two sites in France, in Le Creusot and Chateauneuf, Industeel production capacity currently stands at 400KT plus 100KT semis, making it a considerable contributor to the European demand for special steel plates. Industeel’s commercial director, David Farias, told Industry Europe more about how the company’s European sites work together to provide a complete service to its customers. He said, “Each site concentrates on its strengths, with Industeel as a whole operating the synergies between the sites.
We have found that this is the best possible way to ensure that we can bring to the market the most comprehensive service as we utilise the individual skills of the three mills and tie it all together with the overall expertise and customer understanding of the whole group.”
Integrated activities Each of the three sites is fully integrated, so even though the histories of the sites are long and illustrious, they have been carefully maintained to ensure that they are operating with state-of-the-art technologies and equipment. Each site has its own steel shop, plate rolling and plate finishing facilities, all specially designed to guarantee the highest quality steel plates. Mr Farias explained more about the production capabilities. He said, “We respect the values of reproduction, balance, cleanliness and homogenisation as these qualities are what support our position in the world’s leading steel group. All of our production
facilities work to the strictest standards of the Environment Charter of the ArcelorMittal Group and all of the necessary safety conditions, both for the benefit of our customers and our workforce.” A recent investment at the Chateauneuf plant has seen its capacity increase by 30KT, with a particular focus on production of very heavy, thicker plates of up to 100T unit weight. This investment consisted of a new 4000m2 bay equipped with a flattening press, two heat treatment furnaces and additional equipment, all of which has been carefully chosen to meet clients’ increased demands in energy markets. The broad range of special steel plates in Industeel’s product portfolio includes cryogenic steel, mould steel, stainless speciality plates, alloyed heavy pressure products, jack-up rig legs and alloyed abrasion items. It also offers an extended dimensional programme. At least 65 per cent of Industeel’s sales come from meeting the project demand from source to Industry Europe 171
Since 1948, Engetil S.A. has been a specialist in the provision of refractory linings, both for maintenance and for new projects. We offer solutions for brickwork, concreting and the laying of ceramic fibres. We also provide anti-wear and acid-resistant protection. Our SHOTCRETING division is linked closely to our current activities, allowing us to offer our clients a complete range of refractory and civil engineering solutions. s.a. ENGETIL Rue des Fabriques 12 B-6220 FLEURUS Tel: +32 (0)71 47 04 41 Fax: +32 (0) 71 47 07 11 E-mail: email@example.com www.engetil.be
end user, with the remaining 35 per cent from the special distribution request of its branded products.
Close to customers With all of its sales, the Industeel commitment to being close to its customers ensures that its quality products and services meet their exact demands, quickly and effectively. Mr Farias added, “Our sales network is located worldwide, with dedicated teams in each main territory we serve. Coupled with our ability to adapt products and services to meet each specific need, we find we are able to deliver a reliable, comprehensive service to our customers wherever they are based. And by staying close geographically to our customers we can make sure we stay close in terms of demand too, as we listen to them carefully and appreciate how their businesses need to use our products. As we market our products in 70 countries worldwide and have almost 40 subsidiaries or sales offices acting locally and thinking globally, we are always close to our customers.” Over the past 15 years, Industeel has seen its core business move steadily from its western European heartland to the Middle East 172 Industry Europe
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and Asia. Today, these fast-growing regions represents more than 50 per cent of its export activities, with NAFTA countries continuing to be present although with reduced activities due to delocalisation and Asian imports.
Meeting changing demands Industeel appreciates that modern industry needs to meet the increasing demands of reliability and efficiency while often dealing with
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challenging raw materials and complex production processes, such as the pressure vessels used in the oil and gas industry. With the growth in demand for gas as a clean source of energy requiring significant investment in gas storage and transportation solutions, Industeel’s continued investment in its range of nickel-alloyed steels especially produced for cryogenic applications meets this trend. It has also developed duplex stainless steels and
HIC resistant materials suitable for flow lines, risers, separators and scrubbers, as well as a range of special Cr-Mo grades for high-tech gas-to-liquid plants. As Industeel continues to maximise its opportunities in growing markets, the company expects its future to feature an increased volume of niches, new applications and new grades, all thanks to its dedication to R&D and n investment across its sites.
A RENEWED FOCUS
ON SHIPPING Willi Betz is an international forwarding and transport group based in Reutlingen, Germany. The company has recently divested one of its group companies in order to focus more on its shipping and transportation services, as Industry Europe reports.
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stablished 64 years ago as a one-man business run by Willi Betz, the company Willi Betz is now an internationally renowned forwarding and transport organisation with around 6000 employees in 50 locations throughout the world. Its transport fleet includes 2800 trucks and around 4000 semi-trailers. A flexible, fast decision-making process, coupled with a strong transportation network allows Willi Betz to compete directly with major global players such as DHL, Exel and UPS. Improvisation and decisiveness are key elements to success. The company is divided into three business units. These distinguish Willi Betz from
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the competition and also provide a cushion against problems or constraints in any one area. The biggest division is the Transportation and Freight Forwarding unit, accounting for 60 per cent of turnover. The unit offers a full range of specialist vehicles to meet any eventuality. These include tankers, refrigerated trucks, oversized load carriers and so-called ‘intermodal transports’ that is, waterborne vessels and railway trucks designed to take containers where this is deemed more effective and cheaper than road transport. The second unit is the Trade Business Unit. The third division is Contract Logistics, which brings in 25 per cent of revenue.
A new focus In December 2011, Kajo Neukirchen GmbH and M Cap Mittelstandsfonds GmbH & Co. acquired the successful logistics provider LGI from Willi Betz. With this divestment, Willi Betz is planning to focus on and intensify the expansion of its shipping and transportation activities in eastern Europe. Commenting on the move, Wolfgang Bisinger, a board member of the Willi Betz shipping division, said: “LGI has an excellent market position in the logistics sector with durable potential for further international expansion. The focus of Willi Betz, however, is the expansion of the transport and shipping activities in eastern Europe which
we now want to pursue more energetically than ever. Contract logistics currently offers few synergies which would justify the division remaining within the group. LGI has always been a very independent company without being enmeshed in the group’s other divisions.”
Two-way traffic Reverse logistics is a growing market. Conventional logistics means having a distribution facility, bringing goods in, storing them and then sending them to the consumer or end-user. Reverse logistics is the other way round. Offering clients a holistic service of this nature is a lot more complicated than booking a one-off delivery by road. First, the client’s logistics needs have to be analysed and defined. Then a process needs to be designed to match those requirements. This means discussing with the client the type of process they would like to have and the key performance indicators whereby the success of the process can be measured. Once that’s done you need to look at implementation, ensuring that all aspects of the operation work together and dovetail seamlessly, avoiding the trap of having a collection of ill-fitting strategies that have to be run on a daily basis. The whole thing needs to be simple as well as sophisticated
if it is to be 100 per cent reliable. The company achieves that simplicity through running a lean, tight operation of its own. For example, Willi Betz only uses a few makes of truck. The vast majority of the thousandstrong vehicle fleet are Chryslers. Specific servicing and maintenance is indispensable when it comes to safeguarding a constantly high degree of reliability. The Betz group has a demand-oriented network
of repair garages with state-of-the-art equipment along the major traffic routes. Qualified staff continuously trained to keep up to date on the latest technical developments look after the complex fleet, and ensure that it is always ready for operation. Spare parts warehouses keep a broad range of original parts and accessories for when the need arises. All service stations are integrated through modern IT and communications facilities. n
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FUNCTIONAL LOGISTICS Nippon Express is the world’s premier global logistics solutions provider and one that continues to lead the field. Philip Yorke looks at how the company is pioneering new technologies and sustainable logistics systems both in Europe and throughout the world.
ince 1937, when Nippon Express was founded in Japan, the company has grown to become the largest and most successful in the logistics industry and operates the world’s biggest global logistics network. Today the company is established in over 380 key locations in 37 countries worldwide and employs over 15,000 people, all of which are supported by state-of-theart IT infrastructure systems. Nippon Express offers tailor-made customer services that perfectly match their client’s individual needs at every stage of the logistics journey. Customers of Nippon Express have over the years come to rely on an exceptional level of service and dedicated support wherever they may be in the world. With its European headquarters centred in the Netherlands, the company focuses on a number of core business areas, such as Air Freight Forwarding, Ocean Freight Forwarding and Third Party Logistics (3PL). Since 1977 Nippon Express has developed a strong logistics base at Rotterdam, which provides it with the largest ocean gateway in Europe. Nippon Express also operates from other key installations in the Netherlands
at Schiphol South, Schipol Rijk, Nieuw Vennep, Venray and Maasvlakte. These modern sites provide the company with more than 120.000m2 of warehouse space for handling the diverse logistics needs of many of Japan’s biggest companies.
Multifunctional logistics for Thailand Unlike many other logistics companies, Nippon Express prefers to grow organically, rather than taking over their competitors and then having the problem of managing an often costly and lengthy integration process. Louis Vitalis, the company’s European general manager said, “We develop clones. Whenever we open a new warehouse site or office, it operates in precisely the same way as all the other Nippon Express business units – right across the globe.” Nippon Express does things ‘steadily’ and in a ‘stable’ way he added. This highly successful business model and proven company strategy has been enshrined in the company’s latest flagship development at the Laem Chabang Logistics Centre in Thailand. Thailand’s development as one of South East Asia’s
more advanced industrial countries has been accelerated by the automotive and electronic equipment industries. Nippon Express’s subsidiary, Hi-Tech Nittsu (Thailand) Co. Ltd is constructing a modern, dedicated warehouse complex and logistics centre at Laem Chabang that was due to become fully operational in February 2012. This purpose-built facility features two warehouses that together offer over 50,000m2 of space, as well as a 7500m2 all-weather multifunctional work area at the centre of the site. All vehicles will have direct access to this area, and the warehouse’s raised and flat loading docks will enable all types of cargo to be handled with precision. In addition, the new facility has a separate marine cargo container stockyard to facilitate container arrangements in line with the needs of its customers. In a separate development, Nippon Express has established a local corporation in Istanbul, Turkey, which is one of the Vist’ and Next Eleven countries following hard on the heels of the BRIC countries. Turkey has been called ‘Europe’s factory’ due to its booming exports of automobiles, household appliances and other goods. Here Nip-
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pon Express is creating consolidated truck transport service products that will provide stronger logistics links between Europe and Turkey. The new company is headquartered in the vicinity of Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, and plans are already well advanced with the building of a new storage and distribution facility in the Tuzla district of the city. This is designed to meet the growing demand for logistics services in the area and is close to where many Japanese companies are setting up operations.
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Technologies to counter global warming In July 2011, Nippon Express and Fujitsu were awarded a major project from the NEDO to promote technologies to counter global warming. The objective: to harness Japan’s advanced low-carbon technologies and products outside Japan in order to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions in other countries. By targeting the CO2 emissions of trucks operating in Asian countries, the project meas-
ures the reduction in CO2 emissions. This is achieved through a vehicle operations management system that utilises vehicle-based terminals and cloud computing applications. Through this new cloud computing technology, Fujitsu collect data on mileage and fuel consumption from the terminals built into Nippon Express’s trucks and develop cloud applications for calculating and analysing the reductions in CO2 emissions in ways that are measurable, reportable and verifiable. This project is part of a broader
programme that underlines the company’s commitment to sustainability and the protection of the environment
Next-day transfer service cuts time to Europe Nippon Express (Nederland) BV recently opened a new ‘European Cross-Dock Centre’ as an import/export ocean-going CFS facility in the Maasvlakte district of the port of
Rotterdam. This modern terminal provides a next-day transfer service for small-lot ocean cargo that has been shipped from Japan and Asia to Europe. The option of next-day transfer for ‘arriving cargo’ to locations throughout Europe, means a one- to three-day reduction in transport schedules for operators. The Dutch government has also given priority to measures aimed at developing the port of Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte district and it is expected
to set up Europe’s largest container terminal there to make the district the new Open Gateway to Europe. Furthermore, in the future, collection and distribution runs will be made between Nippon Express’ air cargo locations at the Netherlands’ air gateway of Schipol Airport and the new centre. This will then provide one-stop, high-speed service handling for n both air and ocean cargoes.
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A COMPLETE PACKAGE, A CUSTOMISED SERVICE Poland-based Partnerspol Group is a leader in high-quality logistics services, customised to the needs of its customers. The company is able to offer a complete service, as Barbara Rossi finds out from Mr Giulio Baioni, its deputy general director. 182 Industry Europe
artnerspol offers a range of services, ranging from national distribution and international transport to storage, comanufacturing and labelling, as well as repacking, co-packing, completion and custom duty services. Alongside these services, the company can offer, thanks to partnerships with other firms, sea and air transport. Italian-owned Partnerspol Group has been operating in Poland since 1997 and, since then, it has been experiencing a growth trend, holding its ground even in the last two or three years of the world economic crisis, during which Poland has not stopped experiencing its boom phase. The company employs 300 people in Poland on a permanent basis and another 1000 people seasonally. Its head office is in Warsaw and it also has three 20,000m2 operational sites in Lowicz, Rawa Mazowiecka and Tarczyn, plus another two smaller transit points for loading and unloading goods, another office and small warehouse in the north of Poland and a representative office in Belarus. Overall the company has a storage space of about
75,000m2 and a fleet of 500 refrigerated and curtainside lorries. Partnerspol has hundreds of clients, belonging to different sectors and, among those, three particularly large clients are Ferrero (food sector), Indesit-Merloni (domestic appliances) and Sofidel (paper and tissue products), to which it offers domestic and international transport services, as well as stocking, co-packing and pre-assembly with just-in-time deliveries. In terms of transport services the company is active in both domestic distribution (within Poland) and international transport. During 2011 Partnerspol Group has been carring out about 10,000 international transport services, and this business area has been experiencing a growth trend of 15 – 20 per cent a year. In this activity the company is engaged in full trucking shipments between Poland and other European countries (and beyond), including the former USSR states. In terms of international transport, in the last two years, Partnerspol Group has added the offer of groupage services mainly for Italy and other countries, such as Germany, UK, France, Spain and the Baltic
states. With regard to domestic transport, it carries out partial and full loadings with around 90,000 deliveries a year, from parcel to full truck orders. Another area that Partnerspol Group is developing is co-packing, in which most of the company’s seasonal staff are engaged, working over two or three shifts, and which employs both manual and automatic packing systems and also includes, as well as co-packing as such, re-packing, product segregation, labelling and promotional sets packaging (for instance Christmas products and Kinder surprise confectionery). Partnerspol Group’s storage services can be provided in temperature and humidity controlled areas, therefore making them suitable to both packaging and raw materials.
Expanding services As well as investing in new machinery to further improve its co-packing and pre-assembly services, Partnerspol Group is investing in advertising its new international groupage services. As well as expanding co-packing Industry Europe 183
and the recently launched groupage international services, Partnerspol is interested in entering the niche logistic sector and, although the service is yet to be launched, is nurturing the idea of supplying a niche logistical service for the distribution of stationery and other products to banks and other financial institutes. The company is also in the process of acquiring its own office premises in Warsaw, as it is currently renting its facilities. In addition to this, there are also plans for building or buying its own storage and co-packing premises in Lowicz, in the centre of Poland. Should the need arise for a further expansion of the current operational facilities in other areas of Poland, this could easily be achieved by renting premises, as Poland has an excess of available warehouse buildings. Partnerspol’s focus on quality is further proven by the certifications that it holds, namely IFS – International Food Standard, ISO 9001:2008, HACCP and ISO 14001:2004. Furthermore, the company is working towards obtaining AEO (authorised economic operator) status, linked to customs duty procedures, 184 Industry Europe
which should have been achieved by the end of 2011. The company is involved in socially minded initiatives, such as supporting an organisation involved with nurseries, schools and children’s homes, as well as sponsoring ‘No Stress Motorsport’. It has been nominated ‘European Company 2007’ by the Media Partner Group, and is a member of the elite Business Gazelle club, host of the most dynamically developing firms in 2010, and has a high position in the top 500 annual Euro Logistic ranking as one of the most effective logistics firms in Poland.
An individually tailored quality service Mr Baioni sees the company’s future in terms of organic growth, achieved through its existing clients and the acquisition of new customers. Because of the background, culture and links of the Partnerspol Group’s management, Italy is undoubtedly an important market, offering scope for growth, but the company also intends to develop the business carried out with other countries. In terms of future development Mr Baioni says: “Poland is a country which has been undergoing a strong
growth phase. Because of this, inevitably, the growth margin will diminish. Quality has been, is and will carry on being our focus. Unlike some competitors, which offer a general service, we offer a quality and customised service, tailored to the client’s needs. For us each client is important and unique. Also we are able to offer a complete service and are able to cater for various volumes, including n smaller quantities.”
QUALITY, TECHNOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT About 50 years ago, an entrepreneur started a new venture, Cartiere del Garda, with one production line and 100 people. Nowadays this is one of the most respected paper mills producing wood-free coated products in Italy, commercialised on both the domestic and the international markets. Industry Europe’s Barbara Rossi finds out more.
he company, which as its name suggests, is located by Lake Garda, in northern Italy (specifically the company is based in Riva del Garda, located within the Trento county), where both the headquarters and the paper mill can be found, has belonged to the Lecta Group since 1997. The Lecta Group, as well as owning Cartiere del Garda, also comprises France-based Condat and Spain’s Torraspapel, and is an international paper manufac-
turer ranking second largest in Europe for production of coated wood-free paper. Cartiere Del Garda’s tenets are quality, environmental friendliness, social responsibility and technological innovation. In fact, Cartiere del Garda, which produces wood free coated paper sheets and reels with excellent printability, offers products of high quality standards at a competitive rate, a factor which has led to its success on the market. The main technologi-
cal feature is blade-on-blade coating, creating matt and gloss papers with an extremely smooth surface and high printability. The range of products on offer includes GardaMatt Art, mainly used for top-quality publishing and advertising work, GardaGloss Art mainly used for advertising and publishing work, GardaCover Hi-Fi mainly destined for top-quality magazine covers and commercial printing, and GardaPat 13, a unique product which Industry Europe 185
combines high thickness with a velvet surface to provide excellent printing performance. On a par with quality, service is regarded by the company as being of high importance in order to fully respond to customers’ needs, as proven by its extremely loyal clientele. The company’s strategy is that of specialisation, as well as of continuous investments in R&D. The attention that the company pays to innovation has brought the implementation of fully automated processes, resulting in increased flexibility, productivity and efficiency, while at the same time maintaining productivity levels, with the outcome of an all-round improved service for the customer. With regard to this, the company is particularly proud of its logistics centre, the result of a significant investment it covers an area of 22,000m2 and, alongside 186 Industry Europe
the Autostore (for the storage of daughter reels) and Jumbostore (for the storage of mother reels), offers high efficiency levels.
An industry model The important role that technology has for the company is also reflected in the mill itself, which has become a model in terms of technological innovation and productivity. Here the manufacturing process starts with raw materials coming from certified or properly managed forests and plantations, thanks to which Cartiere del Garda can offer a premium environmental product. The paper machines employed in the manufacturing process are another excellent example of technological evolution. The coating process, carried out using calcium
carbonate and clay pigments and binders, is based on blade-on-blade technology, with the purpose of perfecting the paper surface, endowing it with uniformity. The various mixes employed in the process are prepared in the coating kitchen, a highly computerised room, dedicated to the weighing and blending of chemical components. There is also the finishing department, where the paper is cut and packaged, and it is then transported in pallets to the finished paper warehouse, ready to be shipped to clients. As mentioned, Cartiere del Garda has a strong focus on environmental friendliness and social responsibility. Because of this, the company is involved in the Alto Garda Power Plant, a project approved in 2006 for the replacement of the thermo-electric power
ELECTROMOTOR S.r.l. was established in 1979 and through constant development and hardwork, today it has become one of the leading service industry in repairs and rewinding of electric motors and spare parts sales. Presently with a team of experienced technicians, the company is able to work on different types of electric motors (AC / AD / variable frequency motors, transformers etc.) from 0,5 up to 5000Kw. All repairs and rewinding are carried out on site giving the customers the opportunity to on the job progress.
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plant with a new, more efficient and technologically advanced plant, both in terms of fuel consumption and of reduced atmospheric emissions. This has resulted in the foundation of a new company, called Alto Garda Power, in which Cartiere del Garda has an 80 per cent share, while the remaining 20 per cent is held by the local municipal energy authority, Alto Garda Servizi (AGS). Alto Garda Power is a cogeneration combined cycle power plant which supplies Cartiere del Garda’s electrical, thermal and cooling energy, as well as supplying, through AGS, the district heating system for the Riva del Garda community. The company has also a wastewater management system, which uses a first physicalchemical process for the separation of solid particles, and a second, aerobic biological
+39 0331 877522 +39 0331 877525 firstname.lastname@example.org www.electromotor.it
process, and is a model for the entire Italian paper industry. Cartiere del Garda is also engaged in controlling noise levels, as well as in sorting its waste, so as to be able to recover and recycle it in line with current legislation. A new sludge dewatering system, to which significant investment has been devoted, is currently being put into place. Cartiere del Garda, which holds several certifications, namely ISO 14001:2004, EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme), FSC, PEFC, and is currently adopting a safety management system conforming to OHSAS 18001, is active in various initiatives grounded in its local territory, such as the sponsorship of the GS Riva Basket sports club, a partnership with the Adamello Brenta Park, support given to MART (the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and
Rovereto) and the Museum of Riva del Garda, as well as its contribution to MAGI (International Association of Medical Genetics). n
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STEERING NEW TECHNOLOGIES FORWARD The Backer Group is a global leader in the development and manufacture of advanced electronic heating components for industry. Philip Yorke looks at how the company has stayed at the forefront of its sector through innovation and the ability to deliver highly efficient element technologies.
he Backer Group was founded in Sweden in 1949 by Christian Backer, and is headquartered in Sosdala, Sweden. From here it manages its 28 manufacturing sites and global sales and service networks covering Europe, Asia and North and South America. The company has grown consistently since its inception, and in 1989 this success came to the notice of the International NIBE Group, who acquired the company in order to expand its product
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range and to take advantage of Backer’s expertise in areas such as resisters, open coil elements and thick film elements. Today the group continues to expand despite the difficult economic climate and in 2010 recorded sales of more than SEK 1.7 billion. Developing new technologies for emerging industrial sectors such as high-speed rail and wind power has helped to keep the company ahead of the field, with particularly strong growth coming from the Chinese and South
American markets. This expediential growth reflects the success of the strategic decision by Backer to invest in the acquisition of new plant in China in 2005 and in Mexico in 2008.
Customised products for optimal efficiency The continuing success of the Backer Group can be attributed to three simple business values: innovation, quality and dedicated customer services. Furthermore, although the
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company operates on a global basis, it has a strong local presence wherever it operates and is committed to strengthening its customers’ competitiveness at all levels. This is achieved through the development of cuttingedge products designed specifically to meet their individual requirements. Backer operates one of the world’s most advanced R&D centres at Sosdala, which was purpose-built in 2005 and offers the latest humidity chambers, as well as special cameras for heat transfer control and sound proof rooms and test facilities. This state-of-the-art complex allows the
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company to develop the most advanced and efficient heating solutions for its customers in such areas as electronic regulation, element technologies, resistors, heating cables and heat control steering units. In addition, the company provides active support for its clients in the development of new products. As an innovative and preferred business partner, Backer’s clients do not need to carry out costly introductory trials when a new product is on the drawing board, but can simply rely on Backer to undertake all new product testing procedures for them.
New products and innovation driving sales The Backer Group delivers its heating component products to a wide range of industries, including the manufacturers of industrial ovens, white goods, electrical goods and to energy providers such as Siemens and ABB who require different kinds of heating components in order to deliver energy. Among its extensive portfolio of blue chip clients are companies such as Atlas Copco, Alstom, Electrolux, ABB and Baltic cable. In the white goods sector the Backer Group
includes Fagor and Antonio Merloni among its key customers. Today the company’s range of products for heating and temperature control continues to serve a broad range of industrial sectors, such as automotive, rail, food preparation and refrigeration. And in addition to producing advanced band heaters, cabinet heaters, cable sets and cartridge heaters, the company has recently added heating cables to its portfolio of customised products. New products are regularly being developed and launched by Backer. One of the latest to be announced is its Electronic Terminal Box: K31E. This is an advanced and highly efficient unit that offers electronic settings for all desired temperatures and hystereses with a precise control via NTC. The display on the box shows the current temperature and with its flashing light, the operating status of all heating elements. The new terminal also offers the possibility of remote, external control either via a thermostat placed in the nearby surroundings, or via a central control unit. In addition, there is the possibility to add specific operating alternatives and a delayed on/off switch feature. This state-of-the-art
terminal box is also equipped with an integrated frost guard which can be activated whenever it is required. Yet another product recently launched by Backer is its latest compact cabinet and anti-condensation heater. This has been specifically developed for climate control and prevention of condensation and freezing, both for indoor and outdoor applications. The compact dimensions of this unique cabinet heater does not mean that it is compromised on providing maximum power for a wide range of applications. These include use in petrol pumps, engines/drives, offshore and shipping applications, airports, energy, surveillance cameras, process industries, aerospace and for equipment utilised in an Arctic environment.
These certificates were recently updated to the new international standard ISO 9001:2008. All companies in the Backer Group have long established quality control systems in place and some of its subsidiaries have supplementary certifications relating to the needs of the automotive industry. In its own everyday work routines, Backer takes protective and preventative measures to ensure that its operations do not endanger either human health or the environment, and are committed to a programme of continuous improvement to reduce consumption and pollution. The company’s excellent record on health and safety is a testament to its commitment to this important area of its operations. n
Customer and environmental focus The Backer Group has always been committed to offering its customers complete satisfaction and to minimise any environmental impact of its production processes. Since 1992 these goals have been endorsed by the ISO 9001 quality certification and more recently, the ISO 14001 accreditation for environmental protection.
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THE FUTURE’S GOLDEN Bulgarian copper and gold mine, Chelopech, is utilising its investment in exploration to ensure that its mine is environmentally and economically sustainable. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the general manager of Chelopech Mining EAD, Nikolay Hristov, to find out more.
ne of two Bulgarian subsidiaries of the respected international mining group Dundee Precious Metals, Chelopech Mining EAD operates a copper and gold deposit 70km from the capital Sofia. Alongside Balkan Mineral and Mining EAD, Chelopech has gained considerable investment from Dundee Precious Metals since it was acquired by the group in 2003, which has allowed the mine to continue its impressive upward growth. Chelopech’s general manager, Nikolay Hristov, told Industry Europe how this solid
investment programme has allowed the mine to reach its ambitious goals. He said, “Dundee took up the challenge to invest in Bulgarian mining when the overall sector was not enjoying a good image or reputation and the Chelopech mine was in a dire financial situation. The considerable investment from Dundee has allowed the mine to flourish, and today Chelopech is a profitable and efficient mining operation doing business on a global scale. In the period from 2003 to 2010, we introduced some of the most advanced mining technology available and we made significant
improvements both on the surface of the mine and underground. The mining sector is very different now as it’s more positive, with Chelopech in particular developing rapidly in terms of environmental protection and the sustainable development of local communities.”
Utilising investment As one of the largest mineral deposits in Europe, Chelopech is mining copper and gold ores using an underground method and then it processes the ores into finished products, creating a copper, gold and silver concen-
trate. This concentrate is currently processed further by the Dundee-owned Tsumeb smelter in Namibia, turning it into black copper. This represents the mine’s core product, which certainly utilises the investment in new equipment, improvements to the working environment and various additional safety systems. The steady investment has also seen Chelopech upgrade its goals for performance across the company. Mr Hristov explained, “Our efforts are primarily focused on continuous
improvements to our work efficiency and for increased ore and concentrate throughout. We have a number of large-scale projects already underway to enable us to implement these goals, and as we continue with further exploration of more mineralised zones, we believe we will positively contribute to further extending the life of the mine by identifying opportunities where our skills and raw materials are valued.” As the Chelopech mine is considered a major part of the Dundee Precious Metals port-
folio, the most recent investment programme is set to double the mine’s ore throughput to 2 Mtpa by 2012. The ongoing expansion project has a large-scale upgrade of the process plant as well as the optimisation of the mining processes, with a total of USD 150 million invested across the project. Mr Hristov said, “The upgrade of the process plant has resulted in automated ore processing, and new high-tech facilities have also already been commissioned,
including a new SAG mill and high capacity floatation machines. The expansion project will also see our Chelopech Tailings Management Facility upgraded so that we have total compliance with the most stringent modern safety standards.” With more than 1000 professionals employed across various disciplines, Chelopech’s future success is also strongly supported by its skilled workforce. Employee training is also a key recipient of steady investment, making sure that all aspects of the mine are operated by highly skilled workers.
The role of gold While the gold mining industry is often referred to in relation to the price of gold, particularly during times of global economic uncertainty, Mr Hristov pointed out that this precious metal is also used in many other industries, such as electronics, medicine and various processes that impact on our everyday life. He said, “Gold mining itself is a very important
economic factor in many national economies. The mineral raw materials sector is crucial for the Bulgarian economy in particular and it is estimated that it accounts for up to five per cent of the GDP, offers direct employment for some 30,000 people and indirectly for a further 120,000.” The future of the Chelopech mine looks set to cement the positive development that the company has enjoyed since 2003, with the ongoing investment and expansion project expected to realise the mine and its employees’ great potential. With the acquisition of the mine by Dundee Precious Metals allowing many of its young Bulgarian workers the opportunity to visit world-class mines and learn from their experienced workers, the implementation of best practice throughout Chelopech has certainly contributed to its ongoing success. Mr Hristov concluded, “We will continue to invest in new technologies, environmental stewardship, occupational safety and
employee training. We have clear access to an excellent deposit, and we have motivated, professional employees that can utilise this opportunity. We will also continue our goals to be an efficient and profitable mining operation, and to ensure that Chelopech becomes a leading mining operation not only in Bulgaria n but also worldwide.”
Morpho, part of the Safran group, is through its e-Documents Division one of the world’s most important manufacturers of payment cards and identity documents. The company supplies passports and driving licences to governments all over the world and makes credit and debit cards for leading European banks. Joseph Altham spoke to Christopher Goulet, head of sales for central and eastern Europe, payment and ID documents, within Morpho’s e-Documents Division, to find out some of the ways that Morpho is helping to fight crime.
he improvements that have been realised in telecommunications and information technology have made banking and payment more convenient all round the world. At the same time, these changes have given rise to new threats by opening up new opportunities for the criminal. The employees of Morpho’s e-Documents Division are the locksmiths of the digital world and work for the benefit of consumers and governments to stop confidential information from being stolen or misused. Morpho makes sophisticated identification documents such as passports that are designed to prevent forgery. For banks, Morpho’s comprehensive range of Visa and MasterCard products have built-in high security features that protect consumers from card
fraud. In the digital environment, Morpho fights identity theft with techniques such as encryption and the use of one-time passwords, thereby helping consumers to feel comfortable about making online transactions.
Chip and PIN By consistently investing in research and development, Morpho has established a strong position in the payment card market. In the 1990s Morpho was involved in creating the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) specifications for credit and debit cards, which are the global standard for the industry. Occasionally, credit card holders fall victim to a crime known as ‘skimming’. A typical example might be a waiter in a restaurant who steals a customer’s credit card details when the customer pays
the bill. The waiter then sells this information to someone else who uses it to make fraudulent transactions. Across Europe, the chip and PIN (personal identification number) system of payment has lowered the incidence of skimming by making this type of fraud harder to commit. “Morpho was a pioneer in chip and PIN technology,” stated Mr Goulet. “Germany has been used to chip and PIN technology for more than 10 years and it provides a high level of security.”
Passports A criminal who wants to evade justice or to cross a border unnoticed needs a fake passport. Governments therefore aim to provide their citizens with passports that will be difficult to forge. Morpho’s factory in the Dutch city
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of Haarlem specialises in the secure printing techniques that are required to achieve this objective. As Mr Goulet explained, while forgeries are more easily spotted with a magnifying glass or under a microscope, there are situations when passports have to be checked using the naked eye. “On the street, when a policeman wants to verify someone’s identity, a visual inspection of the document is the only possibility.” This is why Morpho believes that passports should have what Mr Goulet calls “very strong first-line security features” which allow an official to make checks without the need for any special tool. As Mr Goulet explained, the simplest way for criminals to travel using a false passport is to use one that has been stolen. “The days when criminals could easlily print their own passports from scratch are long gone. Criminals would not be able to reproduce the hologram feature or get hold of the top secret inks that are used.” Instead, they resort to photo substitution. “The counterfeiter will apply and transfer a clear foil over an authentic document on which
he will print his own photograph in such a way that it will match the authentic photo, eye to eye, mouth to mouth, nose to nose.” Morpho offers a number of solutions to counter photo substitution. “One of the strongest features you can use to tackle this overlaid foil is a tactile structure on your ID document. So when you are checking the document, you have to take it in your hands. You either immediately feel the structure, or you don’t. If the document has been overlaid with a foil, then the feel will be completely different.”
Innovations A more advanced solution to the problem of photo substitution is for the passport to include a 3D photo of the holder. The image can be seen without the need for special 3D spectacles. Morpho has patented this innovation, which relies on a lens structure to protect the document. “A very fine lens structure on your photo area is applied during production of the document. With personalising, a stereo photo is laser-engraved
into this lens structure. When someone examines the document, he will be able to see the 3D portrait of the passport holder. It would be very hard for a counterfeiter to reproduce this in the same way.” A criminal always looks for a weakness that he can exploit. Technologies change all the time, so Morpho is engaged in a constant search for new security solutions in order to frustrate the criminal’s ambitions. “It’s a race between the good guys and the bad guys. This is how the n industry keeps moving.”
TOP QUALITY FROM SROUBARNA KYJOV Over the years, Šroubárna Kyjov has become the largest specialist manufacturer of fastening materials for railways in Europe. Nowadays, it also focuses on higher value-added products for use in the automotive sector and in engineering. Its answer to today’s unpredictable market situation is simple – innovation. Romana Moares reports.
200 Industry Europe
hen the former state enterprise Šroubárna Kyjov was set up in 1950 with screw manufacturing as its core business, its founders could not have predicted that they were starting the development of the important company that Šroubárna Kyjov has become today. Their task at the time was to develop an industrial concern in a mainly agricultural area. Production from other screw-making factories was then gradually transferred to Kyjov. By concentrating the production of fastening materi-
als in the Kyjov factory the foundation was laid for its key manufacturing programme, using heat-forming technologies as well as applying modern technical approaches, mechanisation and production automation. With the change in the political system in Czechoslovakia after 1989, Šroubárna Kyjov was privatised with 38 owners, all of them employees of the firm. In 1997 Štěpán Holešínský became the sole owner, and with his arrival the process of transformation and restructuring began. In order to meet
its strategy for production integration, the companies of the TŘINECKÉ ŽELEZÁRNY, a.s. group became the new owner in 2008. “In the Moravian-Slovakia region Šroubárna Kyjov is one of the oldest and largest industrial companies and also one of the largest employers,” says managing director František Červenka. “Our responsibilities are a key commitment both to the present generation and to future generations.” In 2010 the company, which employs 300 people, manufactured 25,000 tonnes
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tel.: +420-569 430 950 fax: +420-569 624 217 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.roboterm.cz
COMPLETE EQUIPMENT FOR INDUCTION HEATING • Development, design, manufacture, repair, reconditioning and servicing • Induction heating billets and bars for forging • Induction heating for special applications • Induction furnaces • Contactless measurement of temperature • Static frequency converters 20 2000 kW, 0,2-25 kHz • Sorters of heated billets with the temperature record
of product to achieve a turnover of €30.5 million. Approximately 80 per cent of its output is absorbed by export markets.
A reputable manufacturer The company’s portfolio includes products for the railways, mining industry, construction sector, engineering and car manufacturing industries. Its core activities are represented by the manufacture of sleeper and clip bolts, construction bolts and special bolts for rail tracks. Another important programme is the manufacture of nuts and
202 Industry Europe
forgings, whilst a third group of products includes mining clamps and special-use parts such as rivets, tighteners, anchorage bolts, isolator hooks and so on. All the company’s engineering equipment and technology is located at its only site. For hot forging, special automatic forging lines are used, which manufacture products from steel wire or bars using electric midfrequency heating. Threads are produced cold by cutting or rolling, both internal and external, but also hot on special lines of the company’s own design. As a result of
the expansion of its range of products, the company is modernising its manufacturing technology by acquiring a new line for forging and annealing forgings for bearing rings.
Quality for world’s railways According to the latest research, the outlook for the railway industry and the production of bearings, a target for Šroubárna Kyjov’s products, is good and is forecast to grow continuously over the next few years. Worldwide, both freight and passenger rail traffic is expected to grow. “At the same
time the global demand for bearings is great, and relates to the automobile and engineering sectors,” says the managing director. “On the other hand, one should add that the competitive environment in these sectors is very demanding and Šroubárna Kyjov must muster all its forces in order to be competitive.” The company is certified according to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO TS16949 standard by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance. In the railway products sector it is one of the group of premium suppliers to German Railways DB AG (a Q1 supplier). A number of products are also approved by other European railway networks, such as Spanish RENFE, Swiss SBB, French SNCF and British NETWORK RAIL. “Through our major German customer Vossloh Fastening
System, Šroubárna Kyjov supplies its railway product range throughout the world,” František Červenka states.
Innovation – the route to the future Šroubárna Kyjov, like most industrial concerns in Europe, is now feeling the global economic recession and facing competitive threats from the East. “Dealing successfully with this difficult situation is one of the main tasks which the management and employees at Šroubárna Kyjov must take on board. No one else can do, or will do, it for us!” the managing director stresses. Šroubárna Kyjov has worked its way up to being one of the leading European fastenings companies with a specialist focus on railway products. In order for the company to survive the global recession, it must put a great deal
of effort into maintaining its technical lead in the production of fasteners for rail tracks. “That is the current number-one priority for our company,” František Červenka confirms. “Our second priority is innovation in our product range, including the further development of bearing ring production and finishing. Our third priority focuses on staff training.” Šroubárna Kyjov’s management sees the current market situation as a challenge. “The presence of unpleasant barriers to successful business is a reason to make a deeper assessment of their causes and to seek out advantageous and effective ways of overcoming them. This can best be done through successful innovation. If a company’s management wishes to secure its future, it must start preparing successful innovation right now,” n concludes František Červenka.
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Amixo´s new ammonia storage, 3 × 60 tons
UNLOCKING AMMONIA’S POTENTIAL 10” container with two MaxiTanks 204 Industry Europe
54 tonne railway wagon, deliver to storage
The Swedish company Amixo AB is based near Örebro and supplies ammonia for various industrial purposes. Joseph Altham spoke to Amixo’s CEO, Torbjörn Kjellner, to find out about the company’s plans to manufacture ammonia solution, a product which is used to lower emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from power plants.
Tank trailer of 24 tonnes for Premium 3.8
Torbjörn and truck driver Denny Brännström at Stora Höberg
mixo began in 1989 as a supplier of ammonia fertiliser to Swedish farmers. The company is a family-run concern, and Torbjörn Kjellner comes from a farming background. “Although I’m happy to be described as a country boy, fertiliser is only a small part of what we do at Amixo today.” Indeed, soon after it was founded Amixo moved into selling ammonia to different industries. “We realised that industry was a better market. Our first customer was Bodycote, which uses ammonia for metal treatment. We found three or four new customers every year from within Swedish industry. The market was small in the beginning but has grown rapidly since.” In the 1990s, Amixo started to sell ammonia for refrigeration. The company now supplies ammonia as a refrigerant to many different businesses, from abattoirs to ice-rinks. It can deliver ammonia both by rail and by truck. The company’s road tanker carries up to 24 tonnes of ammonia. For smaller quantities, it will deliver ammonia in cylinders. Amixo’s ‘maxi tanks’, large cylinders each holding 520kg, are another popular option. While the majority of Amixo’s sales are within Sweden, the company also has many custom-
ers in Norway and Denmark, and exports are increasing. “We are finding new markets for our Ammonia Premium 3.8 throughout northern Europe. Some deliveries have already been made to Finland, Poland and Germany.”
Industrial applications Amixo currently sells two kinds of ammonia qualities: Premium 3.8 and Standard 2.8. These are both anhydrous ammonia. The difference between them is in their level of purity. While the Standard 2.8 ammonia has a concentration of 99.8 per cent, the Premium 3.8 has a higher concentration of 99.98 per cent. “The Premium 3.8 has a very low water content, of no more than 200 parts per million,” Mr Kjellner explained. The most important applications for Amixo’s ammonia are the heat treatment of steel and refrigeration, where the low water content is vital. “When ammonia is used in metallurgy, water would have a bad effect on the process. With refrigeration, the water content of ammonia must be kept to a minimum because excess water would cause corrosion as well as undermining the capacity of the system.” In metallurgy, Amixo supplies ammonia for the nitriding of steel. This heat treatment pro-
cess, whose function is to harden the metal, is widely used for the production of car parts. Amixo also supplies ammonia that is used in metallurgy as a source of hydrogen. “Customers want large quantities of hydrogen in the oven. The hydrogen is needed to stop scale from building up on the surface of the steel as a result of oxidisation.”
Strategic location Amixo bought its current site in Kvarntorp in 2007. The location has the advantage of excellent road and rail connections. “We are close to the main road to Norway. Most of our
Torbjörn Kjellner, managing director
Industry Europe 205
Amixo´s safety adviser Krister Emanuelsson with focus on safe transports
deliveries go by rail and we are only 10 kilometres from the railway junction at Hallsberg.” A railway links the Kvarntorp site to Hallsberg, allowing Amixo to deliver directly by rail. Amixo buys its ammonia from the Norwegian chemical company, Yara. It stores the ammonia in big tanks with a storage capacity of 180 tonnes. The company created a new Ammonia Terminal in 2009, involving an investment of €1.5 million. As part of this investment, it extended the railway track by 200 metres to bring the line right into the site.
plants around the world has accelerated during the last decade, not only because of standards and claims from the authorities but also from the companies’ own environmental policies. NOx gases are harmful to the environment because they cause acid rain and pollution of the air which damages forests. Ammonia solution reduces the level of NOx in the smoke by reacting with the NOx gases and forming harmless nitrogen and water.
Mr Kjellner also believes that carbon capture could represent yet another exciting market for his company. “We have won the first contract in Scandinavia to deliver Premium 3.8 ammonia for use in the capture of CO2. Technology is making new advances every day and ammonia will offer a way to cut the CO2 emissions from different types of combustion n plants all over Europe.” Read more about Carbon Capture Systems at Amixo’s homepage: www.amixo.se
Lowering NOx emissions Hitherto, Amixo’s business had been limited to the distribution of ammonia. However, this situation is about to change since the company plans to produce ammonia water (ammonia solution). According to Mr Kjellner, there is an increasing demand for ammonia as a means of lowering emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from power plants. “We are now waiting for permission to produce ammonia water and expect to begin production in October 2012. This is an investment of around €500,000. Once production of the ammonia water has started, we expect to triple our turnover within three or four years. This will be the biggest step in the company’s history.” The reason Mr Kjellner sounds so confident is that demand to reduce the emissions of NOx from different types of combustion 206 Industry Europe
Left to right: Jan Johansson, Anders Persson, Åsa Broström Molin, Torbjörn Kjellner, Helena Sevón and Krister Emanuelsson
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