Industry Europe – Issue 22.5

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VOLUME 22/5 – 2012 • €6

The world of European manufacturing

NEW CHALLENGES FOR THE RAIL EQUIPMENT INDUSTRY BODYCOTE - EXPERTS IN HEAT TREATMENT CAMPINE INNOVATES IN ANTIMONY PRODUCTION WARTSILA POWER FOR THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY



OPINION

PETERMERCER

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In search of lost times How do we get the growth we need? Not the French way.

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ell, that’s a relief. The G8 summit has come out in favour of growth. Mr Obama declared that there was now a clear consensus that everyone must do more to create growth and employment in the EU although this had to be achieved, of course, in the context of budgetary and structural reforms. “Growth was at the heart of our discussions,” claimed France’s new president Mr Hollande, “je n’etais pas le seule.” But who isn’t in favour of growth? Who’s that at the back there? Oh, it’s just the Greens. They’re not really in favour of economic growth because it upsets Mother Earth; they’re sure we’d all be happier living in subsistence economies, busy gathering grubs while the trees and the flowers and the little furry animals and the wind farms flourish in the sunshine. But everyone else wants it desperately. Indeed it’s hard to see how the southern EU countries can ever climb out of their pit of despair without it; if their economies continue to contract, their debt burden will grow ever heavier and that light at the end of the tunnel really will turn out to be an oncoming, Japanese-made, train. We all know we need growth; the problem is how to get it without running up a yet greater mountain of unsustainable debt. Not that the likes of Greece could get anyone to lend to it anyway. But what about the Germans? They’re not in favour of growth are they? It’s their insistence on endless austerity that is driving Greeks, Italians and Spaniards on to the streets and the euro to destruction. Well, actually the Germans are quite keen on growth, so keen, in fact, that they’ve actually got some. Admittedly it’s only 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 but most EU leaders would kill for that. And in some export sectors German growth is startling; car sales to the USA are up by 25 per cent, to Russia by 23 per cent and to China by 9 per cent. In fact German high-end motor manufacturers such as Porsche, Mercedes and BMW have had their best quarter ever.

And how have they achieved such a miracle when the rest of Europe is in meltdown? Years of (comparative) austerity have had something to do with it. Germany saw the need to confront the trading onslaught from low-cost Asian producers more clearly than the rest of us and has spent years now holding down wages and freeing up its labour market (ie making jobs less secure) to maximise its productivity and competitiveness. And it did all this while Greece, Italy, Spain and Ireland were dancing the night away in the great debt-fuelled euro party. So you can hardly blame the Germans for their reluctance to supply endless bail-outs to countries such as Greece that insist they want to stay in the euro but don’t want to obey the rules. It’s true, of course, that the eurozone rules have been continually bent and waived from the beginning – or Greece and Italy would never have qualified to join in the first place – but no doubt Berlin now deeply regrets agreeing to all that. It’s also true, however, that another reason for Germany’s export success is that it enjoys a significantly undervalued currency while nearly all of the other euro members are suffering from a hopelessly over-valued currency, some catastrophically so. One size really does not fit all and the politicians who drove the great euro project in defiance of economic common sense have much to answer for – and may have more. But, unless the whole eurozone breaks up, allowing national currencies to return to realistic levels, there is nothing that countries trapped inside it can do to regain competitiveness other than internally devalue (drive down wages, reduce government expenditure etc.) and try to free up their economies so that they become at least a little more like Germany’s. That could take years and many may never make it. Sooner or later Germany may have to accept the logic of the whole project and agree to a fiscal and political union in which it will subsidise the weaker members – and that means almost everyone else – indefinitely.

Forward to the past But, in the meantime, with output and employment falling fast across the continent, you would think that governments would at least do everything they could to claw their way back towards a measure of competitiveness. Italy and Spain are trying but France, under its new president, seems to have just given up the rather little effort it had been making; it has allowed itself to be persuaded that there is a painless path to growth. Apart from his headline-grabbing 75 per cent top income tax rate, Mr Hollande proposes a higher minimum wage, higher taxes on companies and wealth, increased employment protection and putting the retirement age (for any French worker unfortunate enough to have had to start work at the outrageously early age of 18) back down to 60, where Nature, Reason and the Rights of (French) Man require it to be. He also intends to boost demand by kicking off a few big infrastructure projects (hopefully paid for by the EU) and by hiring 60,000 new teachers and, maybe, 5000 more police. He might need the police sooner than he thinks. Mr Sarkozy’s promised ‘rupture’ may not, in the end, have come to much but at least he recognised the need for France to confront reality. Mr Hollande is comforting it with the delusion that it can return to a cosy past that is actually unrecoverable. French industry and commerce is full of energy and innovation; given the right conditions it can deliver growth again but not with higher taxes, tighter regulation and even more public spending – more of what got the country in the mess in the first place. If France were not already mired in debt there might well be traditional ways to stimulate demand and growth but it is and there aren’t. It’s likely, of course, that reality – in the shape of the financial markets – will impose itself and these panaceas will soon be dumped. But for now, as The Economist puts it, France has n lurched into dreamland. 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

Industry Europe

CONTENTS Comment 1 4

Opinion In search of lost times Bill Jamieson A moment of truth for the euro

(another one)

5

James Srodes Repeating history

Rail Industry 6

9 12

In search of lost times Europe’s struggle to maintain dominance in rail manufacturing Rail news The latest from the industry High speed through the Alps New Alpine rail link set to cut transit times

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

Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom

Agriculture

Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: photos@industryeurope.net adcopy@industryeurope.net Web: www.industryeurope.net

Automotive

© 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.

24 28

32 35 40 42 46

Traction for global growth SAME DEUTZ-FAHR The sower and the seed Väderstad-Verken

Cool performance MAHLE Behr Record growth and more to come BMW Group Precision and flexibility APAG Elektronik The open road Hymer Taking emission-testing technology to a new level Maha Maschinenbau

Consumer Goods POSITIVE PUBLICATIONS

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

4 Industry Europe

50 54

Combating the counterfeiters Imperial Tobacco Nature’s beauty secrets Oriflame

Construction 58 62 66 70 74 78

Taking energy-efficient windows to a new level Inwido

Construction chemical solutions KREISEL Flexible solutions Market Up on the roof Palram Industries Firm foundations Penta Scandinavian strength Veidekke


VOL 22/5

Above: Sia Abrasives p130

Marine 82 86 90

Complete solutions for mooring and lifting Franklin Offshore

Where oil travels first class Stena Bulk Pumping Caspian oil Wärtsilä

Material Handling

Above: BMW Group p35 Below: Inwido p58

97 100 104 108

Going up HMF Group Heavy lifting Bolzoni Global material handling specialists Movomech At home and abroad Specma

Metals & Metalworking 112 116 120

Above: HMF Group p97 Below: Jotul p152

Catalyst for change Campine Expertise in perforated metals Dillinger Group Global reach for design and manufacture MTL Group

Surface Treatment 125 130 134

We can take the heat Bodycote Sanding and grinding on a global scale Sia Abrasives

Magnetic materials Becker Vertriebs

Textiles 137 140

Below: Veidekke p78

A reputation for quality Stahl Strength in sustainable flooring Armstrong

Also in this issue... 144 148 152 158 162 166 170 174 177 180 183 186

The great innovator Emerson and Renwick Optical focus FISBA OPTIK A passion for warmth Jotul Adding value to forestry raw materials

Above: Kremsmueller p162 Below: esco p180

Karl Hedin

Fifty years of plant building expertise Kremsmueller

Perfect casting OMCO Digital instrumentation of the future Wika Inspection, testing and certification SGS Italia Dynamic growth SOR Libchavy Number one in salt esco The right solution for every need Gewete Advanced magnetic technologies Vacuumschmelze Industry Europe 5


COMMENT

BILLJAMIESON

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Executive Editor of The Scotsman

A moment of truth for the euro (another one) Business confidence and investment will never recover until this uncertainty is ended.

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hich is the more unpleasant experience – a visit to the dentist’s for root canal treatment, or keeping up with news from the eurozone? Having recently been through a course of treatment I would say that visits to the dentist’s are preferable. The anaesthetic is effective, the technology of treatment ever improving and the hit on the wallet, though acute, wears off after a time. It is unpleasant. But the discomfort is finite. Not so the eurozone. We are now into the third year of acute and throbbing pain. There is no anaesthetic to speak of; the treatment – the subject of endless bickering and dispute among the surgery staff – has proved useless. The agony is getting worse and there seems no end to it. As for the bill, it is colossal beyond measure. Week after week, month after month, nothing has more sapped business confidence across the Western world than the deepening crisis of the eurozone and the ever more worrying prospects of bank credit downgrades, a mass banking panic, a default by Greece, a knock-on effect on Spain and a most disorderly exit from the single currency zone. Indeed, the other day I heard it seriously argued that the best prospect for the survival of the euro would be the most disorderly Greek exit conceivable, thus scaring the remaining member countries into a state of rigid compliance with the fiscal stabilisation pact. This is what now passes for a ‘solution’. The outcome of this crisis is impossible to predict. But what we do know is that the longer it continues, the greater the economic damage. A massive hit is being felt on business confidence across Europe generally and thus on business investment and recovery. Europe’s corporates have already amassed big cash balances as investment and acquisition plans are put on ice and purchasing orders deferred. Exhortations by politicians to invest fall on deaf ears while the fate of the European single currency is 6 Industry Europe

now fought out between paralysed eurozone leaders and national electorates now in growing revolt against austerity economics. The ‘eurozone crisis’ has now become the defining event of our time. Even if, by yet more fudge and nudge patchwork, its resolution is deferred for another few months, its impact on the course of European economic history will be profound.

The outcome of this crisis is impossible to predict. But what we do know is that the longer it continues, the greater the economic damage. Tough questions This debacle has brought deeper questions to the fore. Can modern liberal democracies cope with periods of government spending reductions for any length of time? Has high welfare spending brought such a sense of right and entitlement that debt and deficit reduction cannot be undertaken with any degree of consensus? And what are the means by which economic growth can be achieved that does not involve a continual ratcheting up of debt? For all that Europe has grown top heavy with governmental and political institutions attended by an elite of comfortably well off advisers, regulators and analysts and officials numerous enough to fill football stadia, this huge machinery of governance is no nearer to understanding, still less creating, the sources of economic growth. The working assumption for a generation has been that ever rising government spending

and borrowing would keep economies on a growth tack and bear down on unemployment and social ills. Grafted on to this was a conviction that a politically determined common currency would speed both political integration and economic efficiency. The very opposite has proved the case. The eurozone has now come to the brink of collapse because of deep flaws inherent in the ‘one size fits all’ approach across 17 different economies and national tax and spend policies. This entire approach is now in ruins. Eurozone policymakers scramble to keep the crumbling edifice intact as the prospect of a Greek exit widens the cracks in Spain’s tottering banking edifice. But they lack both the will and the means to act decisively and effectively. It took the US administration weeks to put together the famous Hank Paulson ‘bazooka’ to staunch a financial meltdown in 2008. The eurozone is now in its fourth year of an endless series of crisis summits, patchwork solutions, fudged deals and grandiose proclamations of successful resolution before markets are back on the slide. In this worst of outcomes for the disastrous single currency project there are two glimmers of hope. The first is that, confronted with the spectre of financial and economic collapse, there will be a long overdue recognition that endless rises in welfare spending cannot continue and that it is enterprise and innovation that provide the best hope of meeting the Asian economic challenge. The second, related to this, is the importance in the southern European countries of the informal economy and the income and employment generated by businesses out with the formal economy. Any new economic disposition in Europe will have to give greater recognition of the dynamics of this sector and less – far less – on the maintenance and upkeep of a eurozone governmental hierarchy n that has become utterly overblown.


USA

JAMESSRODES

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Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street

Repeating history Is Barack Obama following in the footsteps of Herbert Hoover?

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ust as the American economy was showing flickering signs of recovery Mr Obama’s apparent failure of political will risks sending the prospects for growth plunging over a cliff that is entirely avoidable. Already a summer of discontent looms as business executives rein in plans for new hiring and expanded production lines in the face of uncertainty that Washington is about to slam the brakes on growth simply because of political gridlock. And so it was 80 years ago with Herbert Hoover. Like Mr Obama, Hoover started out as the beau ideal of American Progressives. He had become internationally loved for his efficient programmes that brought food and medicine to Europe as it crawled out of the wreckage of World War I. Then he had been the very model of a modern cabinet officer for two successive presidents, instituting far-reaching policies that sparked the development of air and ground transportation, radio communications and standardisation of business products. By 1928, the campaign slogan, ‘Who but Hoover?’ reflected the general acclaim of his rise to the presidency. Quite unfairly, Hoover was blamed for the stock market panic of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. He was no more responsible for that global financial meltdown than Mr Obama was for the Great Recession that came on the heels of his inauguration three years ago. Indeed, Hoover began plans for a number of financial reforms

– including reconstruction finance for infrastructure, the outlines of what became the Social Security pension system, and new rules to curb speculating on Wall Street— ideas later claimed as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. But like Mr Obama now, Hoover suffered a failure of will. He shrank from spending his political capital to get a recalcitrant Congress to enact his reforms. Worse, he gave his assent (despite his disapproval) when Congressional protectionists enacted the notorious Smoot-Hawley tariff increases that brought world trade to an almost complete halt. His faltering not only cost him a second four years in office but prolonged the Depression needlessly.

Tax-mageddon In Mr Obama’s case the catastrophe he faces is both obvious and avoidable. The crisis is being called ‘taxmageddon’ and there are signs that business and investment planners are already trying to scale back expansion plans for next year in the face of the coming fiscal train wreck. Unless Mr Obama can find a working majority in the Congress between now and the end of the year, roughly half a trillion dollars in tax increases will hit the recovery hard. This disaster is the result of multiple policy changes all set to hit at the same time. Big tax-cuts enacted during the George W. Bush era are scheduled to expire in December, along with a temporary payroll

tax holiday passed by Mr Obama to jump-start the economy two years ago. To further complicate matters, the failure of both Congress and the White House to reach an agreement on the level of federal government indebtedness led Congress to pair a debt limit increase with $1.2 trillion in across-the-board government spending cuts over the coming decade which would go into effect as of January 1. In all, more than 100 targeted tax cuts will expire while a dozen new taxes to pay for the Obama health insurance mandate will go into effect unless some compromise is reached. Tax rates on estates, on capital gains, and on a minimum income tax levy on middle-income earners will all rise sharply. The new taxes target the cost of medicines and health insurance and may cost employees of small businesses their existing health insurance coverage paid by their employers. Worse, there is every sign that the root cause of Washington’s drag on the economy – the federal deb – will exceed the legal limit of $1.6 trillion (more than US gross domestic product) soon after ‘tax-mageddon’ occurs. No sector of the US economy will be spared: part of the mandatory spending cuts set into motion are sharply reduced payments to hospitals that care for the elderly, universities with science research projects and major defense industry firms. In just the area of government spending on defense technology, industry

estimates are that more than one million jobs will have to be culled by the shrinking budgets. In such a reversal can the United States escape a second down-grading in its international credit rating such as the one touched off by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s a year ago? Clearly, American CEOs are bracing for just such a downturn. If nothing is done, as appears more than likely, between now and December, the impact of the higher tax levies is estimated by most business economists to cost between 2 to 4 per cent of GDP growth. Since that growth rate has recently between reduced to a 2.2 per cent annual rate in the first quarter of this year (from an anaemic 3 per cent) there are signs that a further downturn is already in the works. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, which tracks manufacturing activity on the American Atlantic coast, reported the first contraction in eight months in general business activity during May. The net result could be to topple the economy back into its second recession in five years. For the moment, Mr Obama appears to be gambling that not only will the voters return him for a second term in the November elections but will also overturn the Republican majority in the House of Representatives and give the president a Democrat-controlled Congress for 2013. Mr Hoover tried the same thing. n Industry Europe 7


In late April, Italian open access operator NTV began operating high-speed services between Naples, Rome, Florence and Milan using a new fleet of Alstom-built high speed trains.

Tendering of local services in Germany has prompted heavy investment in new rolling stock. This is Bombardier’s Talent multiple-unit.

GOING EAST Europe struggles to maintain dominance in railway equipment manufacturing. James Abbott reports.

2

010 was a watershed year for the railway equipment manufacturing industry. The axis of production has shifted from west to east, with China assuming predominance for the first time. This is no huge surprise: it has, after all, happened in many other industries – the interesting point is that the shift has taken so long to arrive in railway equipment. Railway equipment manufacture is one of those sectors cherished by the European Commission as it is one of the few in which Europe has retained predominance over the rest of the world. Thus it was something of a shock when this year’s annual survey of the industry by the German consultancy SCI Verkehr revealed that Chinese state-owned manufacturer CSR Corporation had overtaken Bombardier to become the world’s largest rolling stock firm by turnover during 2010. Bombardier, with its corporate headquarters in Montreal but with its railway equipment HQ in Berlin and most of its capacity in this sector in Europe, had long been at the top of the tree. Not only was CSR in the number one slot, but fellow Chinese firm CNR was in the 8 Industry Europe

number three position, pushing the other traditional members of the top troika, Alstom of France and Siemens of Germany, into the fourth and fifth positions respectively. Sixth came Transmashholding of Russia, with CAF of Spain, Hyundai Rotem of Korea, Kawasaki of Japan and GE Transportation of the US with roughly similar revenues behind the top six. China’s pre-eminence is based on the country’s massive home market, with investment monies being poured into a fast-expanding high-speed network and rapidly-multiplying city metro networks. The Chinese rolling stock market is booming on the back of that infrastructure spend. While the domestic market has roared away, thus far Chinese penetration of the export market in the railway equipment sector has been limited – at least compared to the predominance we have seen in some other industries. CSR and CNR have made sales to neighbouring countries in southeast Asia, and in a symbiotic relationship the Chinese have supplied wagons for hauling

ores to the Australian mineral companies that keep the Chinese industrial engine supplied with raw materials. But the Chinese tentacles are spreading, with for example the first Chinese-built train to enter service on the South American continent making a debut in March when the first of 34 electric multiple-units being built by CNR Changchun for the suburban operator Supervia began operations in Rio de Janeiro. As for Europe, Chinese success thus far has mainly been limited to peripheral countries such as Belarus and the country seems to have reined back on ambitions to penetrate the western European core, scaling back marketing efforts of late. Here, the concerns of the traditional manufacturers are more focused on another Asian competitor: Japan.

One way door While there is a measure of openness to the Chinese market, with the big western firms having joint venture agreements with domestic Chinese manufacturers, the European firms argue that there is no openness in Japan,


which is to all intents and purposes a closed market to outside suppliers. This is what irks the European industry when Japanese firms come knocking on their local customers’ doors, with some degree of success. The first high-profile penetration of the European market was Hitachi’s contract for Class 395s on the UK’s High Speed 1 route. These electric multiple-units will be taking centre stage this summer, when they will be operating the high-speed shuttle from St Pancras in central London to the Olympic Games site in Stratford in east London, a role for which they are being tagged ‘Javelins’. Now, much to the chagrin of Bombardier and Siemens, who clubbed together to put in a competing offer, Hitachi is preferred bidder for a contract for Inter-city Express Programme (IEP) trains for the UK. But this contract has not been without its problems: not only has the credit crunch of recent years complicated financing of the deal, it has also shrunk as the list of duties earmarked for IEPs has been edited. The prime role of the IEP fleet will be to replace 1970s-era diesel

High-Speed Trains on the line between London Paddington and Bristol that is being electrified, but some semi-suburban routes for which IEPs were intended are now likely to see existing trains refurbished instead. We have seen the number of vehicles in the putative order sink below the 685 that is said to justify a European assembly plant, which provisionally would be located at Newton Aycliffe in the north-east of England. The UK Government is considering underwriting extra vehicles to get the factory investment off the ground. The UK has long been considered the most open of the European Union countries and is the traditional first port of call for outside manufacturers seeking to expand their export base. But Hitachi has further aggravated the European manufacturers by discussing an order for new trains for the Hamburg S-Bahn with Deutsche Bahn (German Railways). The firm told local media that if it won the contract it would build an assembly plant in the area, but it is very unlikely that Hitachi would need two European plants.

In the face of the Japanese incursion the EU Commission is now proposing new regulations that would allow contracting authorities in EU countries to exclude non-EU bids for contracts above €5 million where those contracts are not covered by existing international agreements. The proposal is designed to ensure a degree of reciprocity in market opening.

Not so cosy The way the domestic European manufacturers have traditionally been protected in their home markets has been by tightlydrawn specifications that can most easily be met by domestic suppliers. But some of the cosy relationships have been upset of late as operators have sought to take advantage of the Commission’s EU-wide tendering rules to vary their choice of supplier. Last year Alstom was angry when Eurostar, in which SNCF (French Railways) is the majority shareholder, placed an order with German rival Siemens for new Velaro highspeed trains – to the extent of questioning the Eurostar decision in the British courts. Industry Europe 9


Eurostar has selected the Siemens Velaro for its next generation of high-speed trains. A mock-up of the new train was erected close to the Albert Memorial in London.

The French manufacturer only agreed to drop its action in the High Court in London when it was mollified by SNCF taking up an option for more double-deck trains for the French high-speed network. Meanwhile, Franco-German rivalry persists in the railway operating field as well as in manufacturing, as DB and SNCF and their offshoots seek to take advantage of EU open access rules to expand their presence in other countries. DB, in particular, has used infrastructure subsidies from the German state to hoard cash to spend on foreign acquisitions. This policy has attracted some criticism at home as German voters have been displeased by technical problems on the Berlin S-Bahn and elsewhere and many argue that DB should be concentrating on its domestic operations. Nevertheless, the policy has seen DB expand to become the major rail freight operator in Europe. DB’s purchase of Arriva, the one child of UK rail privatisation to make a major effort to expand on the European Continent, has enabled the German state operator to increase its presence in the passenger market in other countries as well. The EU competition authorities insisted that DB divest itself of Arriva’s German operations when it bought the company, but these have gone to an offshoot of the Italian state operator. Meanwhile, NTV, a new inter-city operator in Italy taking advantage of EU open

Artist’s impression of Hitachi-built IEP for the Great Western route in the UK.

10 Industry Europe

access rules, has begun a bold venture with new Alstom-built trains operating over high-speed lines in competition with the state-owned FS. While some Italian private sector money is involved, SNCF is a major shareholder in NTV. And Keolis, a French company in which SNCF is the main shareholder, is one of the main contenders for concessions and franchises for local railway networks across Europe. So it can be seen that most of the competitive activity in the railway operating field on the European continent is between rival state-owned groups rather than private sector companies. But not all. One new contender in the difficult German inter-city market, where DB’s overpowering muscle makes open access operations a daunting prospect for new entrants, is Hamburg-Köln Express (HKX), which seeks to establish regular services between Hamburg and Cologne. HKX is majority owned by Pittsburgh-based Railroad Development Corporation, in which the charismatic Henry Posner III, a veteran of railway privatisation battles across the globe from Guatemala to Estonia, is the driving force. He is being assisted by Michael Schabas, a Canadian who helped establish transport links to the new financial centre in London’s Docklands in the 1990s and then went on to make money in the UK rail privatisation, along with German investors. HKX hopes to start services this summer.

Optimism Of course, the backdrop to all this is the wider European economy and the railway operators, like other companies, are holding their breath on what will happen to the eurozone. Rail freight in Germany, the engine of the European economy, has bounced back after being savaged in the post-2008 recession, but whether this will hold up with so many of the country’s export markets in difficulty remains to be seen. But experience with the post-privatisation passenger operators in the UK does give some cause for hope. Rail travel in the UK has boomed, with passenger numbers climbing to approach levels not seen since the 1920s. The statistics were scarcely dented by the post-2008 recession, raising hopes that the age-old linkage between Gross Domestic Product and rail transport demand might finally be weakening. Certainly, the high prices of petrol and motor insurance have helped and in many countries rail is facing an optimistic outlook. The derived demand for railway equipment is rosy as a result, with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants estimating growth of between 1.5 per cent and 2.0 per cent over n the next decade. The author is Editor of Modern Railways magazine and Technical Editor of European Railway Review

European expertise in signalling and control systems is widely respected around the world. Invensys, rumoured as a possible bid target for acquisition by the Chinese, installed this control centre on the Oslo metro.


NEWS

INDUSTRYNEWS

New developments in the Rail industry

40 additional Euroduplex train sets for SNCF

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atrick Kron, chairman and CEO of Alstom, has declared his great satisfaction at the SNCF’s signing of the contract option for 40 additional double-deck Euroduplex very high-speed trains. The 40 trains are in addition to the firm tranche of 55 Euroduplex train sets currently under construction, the first of which entered commercial service on 11 December 2011 on the new Rhine-Rhòne high speed line with the last units being delivered mid-2015. The additional train sets will be delivered from 2015. Their manufacture will contribute to the workload of Alstom Transport’s La Rochelle site which builds the passenger cars as well as the workload of other sites in France: Belfort (locomotives), Reichshoffen (end cars), Le Creusot (bogies), Ornans (traction systems), Le Petit Quevilly (locomotive transformers), Tarbes (electrical units and traction equipment) and Villeurbanne (electronic control systems). Visit: www.alstom.com

Bombardier wins order to supply trains for northern Germany

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ombardier Transportation will deliver 16 BOMBARDIER TWINDEXX Vario multiple units to Deutsche Bahn AG for operation on the KielHamburg and Flensburg-Hamburg railway lines. The order is valued at approximately €160 million and is part of a framework agreement between Bombardier and DB AG from December 2008.

DB AG has already ordered 135 of the variable double-deck coaches for intercity transport as well as 18 intermediate coaches and three doubledeck power cars for regional services. “Bombardier’s innovative TWINDEXX Vario trains have proven themselves over many years of service,” said Michael Clausecker, chairman of the management board, Bombardier Transportation Germany. “With this order, we will be supplying Deutsche Bahn with the 2000th of these modern double-deck coaches. Their variability in length, configuration and interior design is one of the key reasons for our trains’ great success.” Visit: www.bombardier.com

HS1 LTD and Network Rail agree new deal

Arriva Danmark extend rail contract in Jutland

A

rriva Danmark has extended its contract to operate the Vestbanen train operation in western Jutland. To help attract new passengers from outlying areas the Region of Southern Denmark has invested DKK 47 million (€6.3m) on upgrading the railway line and DKK 58 million (€7.8m) on two new Lint 41 trains which will be painted in Arriva livery. As part of the contract Arriva Danmark is responsible for maintaining the tracks, signals, platforms and station buildings and traffic management. Arriva Danmark managing director Thomas Øster said: “It is a very forward-looking agreement. For the first time we can explore using our Vestbanen train fleet more effectively to complement our existing rail services in central and western Jutland.” Visit: www.arriva.co.uk

H

S1 Ltd, the owners of the UK’s first and only high-speed railway, and Network Rail have signed a new deal, extending Network Rail’s contract to operate and maintain High-Speed 1 until at least 2025. Nicola Shaw, chief executive, HS1 Ltd, said: “We conducted an extensive market review and knew that we had alternatives. However the quality of delivery from Network Rail (CTRL) has been good over the last few years and this deal offered real benefits to us and to our customers. We’ve now got a decade of certainty on which to work together to improve the line even further and to welcome more growth.” Visit: www.networkrail.com

Vossloh’s order backlog at all-time high

BY

the close of fiscal 2011, demand for the Vossloh Group’s products and services was higher than ever. In an operationally difficult year the group reached a record order backlog of around €1.5 billion. Especially buoyant was demand for locomotives and the

new light rail vehicles. Werner Andree, Vossloh AG’s CEO, says, “2011 has been a challenging year yet 2012 will see Vossloh back on the growth track. This and next year sales and earnings are set to resurge. With our tall order backlog we have laid the groundwork.” In 2011 and after years of above-average growth, the Vossloh Group suffered

setbacks in sales and EBIT. This was mainly due to project delays in China, a suspension of shipments to Libya, and weak demand from several European markets. Year-on-year sales fell 11.4 per cent to €1197.2 million, the decline at the Rail Infrastructure division being somewhat steeper than at the Transportation. Visit: www.vossloh.com Industry Europe 11


NEWS

New developments in the Rail industry

Siemens train delivered to Russia S iemens has delivered the first of 38 Desiro RUS regional multiple-unit trains to Russia. The passenger service of the first Desiro RUS trains will start in Kazan and Sochi in 2013. During the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in February 2014 the trains will transport the athletes and spectators to the various sporting venues in the mountain area quickly and safely. Production of the Desiro RUS in the Siemens factory in Krefeld, Germany, started in April 2011. Nine months later, at the end of January 2012, Siemens and RZD signed the release for the shipment of the first train. “With the embarkation of the first Desiro RUS we have passed another major milestone for this contract,” commented Hans-Jörg Grundmann, CEO of the Siemens Rail Systems Division. “By 2013 we will deliver another 37 complete trains of this type. From 2013 we will manufacture another 16 vehicles on the basis of increasing localisation e.g. in Yekaterinburg, where we are currently investing around €200 million in the construction of a factory.” Visit: www.siemens.com

First major step for Euro Carex E

uro Carex has achieved a major first: the first test of a high-speed freight train between Lyon St Exupéry airport and St Pancras International Station in London, travelling via Paris Charles De Gaulle airport and the Channel Tunnel. This test demonstrates the efficiency, speed and environmental benefits of an intermodal transportation system combining air containers and high-speed

rail network. The Express Rail Euro Carex operation could, in time, be connected to the trans-continental distribution network for next-day delivery with a lower carbon footprint lower than air and road transportation. The express freight business could also be complemented by traditional freight and road freight. Visit: www.eurocarex.com

Shortlist for Bank station upgrade L

ondon Underground (LU) has announced the four bidding groups who have been shortlisted to go through the new Innovative Contractor Engagement (ICE) procurement process for the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade project. The Bank and Monument Tube station complex is located in the heart of the City of London financial district and is the fourth busiest interchange station on the Underground network with 96,000 customers during the morning rush hours, which is set to increase. The upgrade project will, by 2021, deliver increased capacity at Bank station and a step-free route between the Northern line platforms, DLR and street levels. The bidders are BFK Joint Venture (BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial SA & Kier), CVC Joint Venture (Costain, VINCI Grand Projets & VINCI Construction), Dragados SA and MBA Joint Venture (Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty & Alpine Bemo Tunnelling) Visit: www.tfl.gov.uk

Merhaba Türkiye

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13 April 2012 the first intermodal ‘Company’ Train for the BSH Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group started out from Germany to Turkey. The train is operated by Rail Cargo Austria and logistics service provider ExpressInterfracht (EXIF) in cooperation with BSH, Europe’s leading home appliance manu-

12 Industry Europe

facturer. From Giengen the train travels around 2200 kilometres to Cerkezkoy in Turkey with BSH appliances from different locations in Germany, using 45’ high cube containers specially provided for BSH, before coming back again. 34 containers are in transit in each direction. The departures will be taking place every weekend from now on in both directions.

Traction power in Austria and Hungary is provided by the in-house operations of Rail Cargo Austria and Rail Cargo Hungaria. By 2013 at the latest, all EXIF intermodal traffic will be carried by Rail Cargo in-house operations across Romania to the Turkish border. Visit: www.railcargo.at


INDUSTRYNEWS

Virgin Trains scoops another award

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irgin Trains has won another prestigious award, being voted the top long-distance franchise operator for 2012 by leading industry experts. The Institute of Transport Management placed Virgin Trains at the top of the industry, beating UK operators and SNCF-owned Eurostar. The ITM based its award on areas including price, frequency, punctuality, health and safety, comfort and cleanliness. Tony Collins, CEO of Virgin Trains said: “We pride ourselves on customer service and independent surveys and awards repeatedly recognise the efforts made by our staff. We are delighted to win this ITM award ahead of competition such as Eurostar and we will continue to work hard to provide the best possible service.” Visit: www.virgintrains.co.uk

ECR and Gefco Group Gevrey inaugurate marshalling yard

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uro Cargo Rail (ECR), France’s premier private railway freight operator, and the Gefco Group, Europe’s leading automotive logistics company and a world leader in logistics for manufacturers, have inaugurated a new railway hub dedicated to the transportation of PSA Peugeot Citroën group vehicles. The new railway hub, located in Gevrey, near Dijon, France, will support the strategic organisation of flows of PSA Peugeot Citroën vehicles to the Gefco Group’s 15 distribution centres in France and Europe.

More than 500,000 new cars from the PSA Peugeot Citroën production plants will be marshalled every year at Gevrey, before being prepared and shipped by ECR in collaboration with other private French rail operators on Gefco’s behalf. A total of 55 trains every week: a record for the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary Euro Cargo Rail, which has become the leading private rail freight operator in France in just seven years. Visit: www.eurocargorail.com

Eurostar reports continued growth Russian stations to be modernised IN E urostar has reported a good start to the year with continued growth in sales revenues and passenger numbers. In the first quarter of the year, sales revenues rose by 7% from £197 million to £211 million. Passenger numbers also saw an increase to 2.24 million in Q1 2012 from 2.15 million in the same period last year. The growth over the last three months has been driven by an increase in leisure travel with business travel in the first quarter of the year remaining broadly flat compared with 2011. Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said: “Our core destinations continue to be a

VR is 150 years old

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inland’s VR is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. 17 March 1862 was the date when regular rail services began between Helsinki and Hämeenlinna. “We look back with pride at our long, splendid history, during which the railways have played a key role in the development of Finnish society,” states president and

big draw for passengers but we have also seen particularly good take-up of our Amsterdam fares as passengers are increasingly keen to try out new leisure destinations by high-speed rail.” Visit: www.eurostar.com

2012, Russia’s Directorate of Railway Stations plans to reconstruct, modernise and commission nine station complexes: Leningrad, Paveletsky, Savyolovsky and Riga railway stations in Moscow, as well as stations in Samara, Saransk, Rybinsk, Atkarsk and Padunskie Porogi. The work involved includes a whole series of measures, with the implementation of architectural, artistic, structural, functional, technological and engineering solutions aimed at improving energy efficiency and the operational performance of the station buildings and increasing the range of passenger services. Visit: eng.rzd.ruw

CEO Mikael Aro. “At the same time we look to the future with confidence, for we intend to transport passengers and freight for at least another 150 years. We are building VR Group into a modern, international service company, for which the most important goals are improving service, open dialogue and satisfied customers.” Visit: www.vr.fin Industry Europe 13


HIGH SPEED THROUGH THE ALPS Crossing the Alps has always posed a challenge. Constructing the new alpine rail link was no exception, as Robert Williams reports.

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he Alps have remained a cultural and trading barrier across Europe for centuries. Switzerland, at the crossroads of Europe, has seen the barrier diminish and traffic continue to grow. A motorway construction programme and the opening of the Gotthard road tunnel in 1980 greatly encouraged the movement of freight by road. But growing environmental concern about increasing numbers of lorries was joined by the shock of the multiple fatalities in the Gotthard and Mont Blanc road tunnel accidents. The Swiss are among the most enthusiastic rail users on the planet: the average Swiss person travels roughly two thousand kilometres by train each year. One reason why the construction of a new line through the Alps has special significance is that rail14 Industry Europe

ways have always been a factor in national cohesion, bringing the different language regions closer together. The hope is that the new alpine railway crossing will safeguard the environment and improve people’s quality of life, promoting the transfer of heavy goods traffic from road to rail and offering a real alternative to journeys by car or plane. The new rail link will lead to significantly shorter travel times, cutting an hour off the current three-and-a-half hour trip from Zurich to Milan, and will partially accommodate the projected increase in passenger and freight traffic through the Alps. The Sfr20 billion tunnel construction is led by AlpTransit Gotthard GA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Swiss Federal Railways. At the heart of the project are two ‘base’ tunnels, the Lötschberg, (34.6 km/21.5 miles long) and the

St Gotthard (57 km/35.5 miles long). Because they go through the base of the mountain and do not need to climb, the line can be much straighter than in the current tunnels.

Longest in the world The Gotthard Base Tunnel connects Erstfeld, in the Swiss canton of Uri, with Bodio, in the Swiss canton of Ticino. It consists of two parallel tunnels deep under the mountains, 40 metres apart. At two emergency stops inside the tunnel, travellers can leave the train in the event of any problems. The tunnels are 57 kilometres long, constituting the longest railway tunnel in the world. The two tunnels are connected every 320 metres by a cross passage. The two parallel tunnels allow for faster excavation and the shortening of the construction time by two to three years. The


construction time was also shortened by digging several access tunnels, permitting construction to be conducted on several sections simultaneously. At a maximum altitude of 550 metres, the base tunnel is about 600 metres lower than the present line’s summit and overall renders the Gotthard route no more challenging than many other parts of the Swiss Railways network. By avoiding the climbs, curves and spirals of the original Gotthard, the project will shorten the route by around 40 kilometres. In the drilling of the tunnels, workers relied on eight gigantic, 3000-ton tunnel drilling machines simultaneously. An 800 metre-long shaft was drilled vertically into the mountain, for example, so that workers could begin working in the middle of the tunnel. Workers removed fully 23 million tons of rock in the drilling of the tunnels. If the length

of all the tunnels, including the cross tunnels, were added together, they would extend for 153 kilometres. Up to 2600 people worked on the project, battling with the dust, noise, humidity and temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius. Eight workers tragically lost their lives in the construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. During the construction of the old Gotthard Tunnel in the 19th century, the total was close to 300. The progress of the boring and construction works allowed the second main phase of the project to begin at the end of June 2010: the installation of the railway infrastructure, including the railway tracks, power supply, telecommunications and safety systems. The final breakthrough in the east tube of the Gotthard Base Tunnel happened in October 2010. It took 14 years and around 2500 workers to connect the two ends of

the tunnel. This final breakthrough in the west tube was completed in March 2011. The old railway line will be retained for local passenger services, for general capacity and as a diversionary route: a noted part of railway tourism, it also provides an interchange with the east–west metre-gauge network via Göschenen. Planners have included in their calculations advances in freight vehicle technology to allow for speeds up to 160km/h (100mph) through the tunnel. Longer trains and more of them will double the present freight capacity on the Gotthard route, much of which will be intermodal services, with Alp Transit setting the amount at around 40 million tonnes annually. The Gotthard tunnel is Switzerland’s largest-ever construction project and is scheduled to become operational at the n end of 2016.

Industry Europe 15


NEWS

New contracts and orders in industry

Aker Solutions wins Svalin umbilical contract

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ker Solutions has been awarded a contract by Subsea 7 for the design and fabrication of a control umbilical for Statoil’s Svalin C project on the Norwegian continental shelf. Contract value is undisclosed. The scope of work includes a six kilometre long control umbilical, connectors, engineering and project management. Management, engineering and procurement of the umbilical will be performed at Aker Solutions’ headquarters in Fornebu, Norway. Manufacturing will take place in Moss, Norway. Svalin is a fast-track oil field project located in the middle part of the North Sea, about eight kilometres southwest of the Grane field and 185 kilometres west of Haugesund. The water depth is approximately 120 metres. In December 2011, Statoil awarded Aker Solutions the contract for engineering, procurement and construction of the subsea production system for the Svalin project. The contract value was approximately NOK 400 million. Aker Solutions’ contract party is Aker Subsea AS. Visit: www.akersolutions.com

Saab receives contract extension from Airbus

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efence and security company Saab has received a contract extension with Airbus for the A320-family Aileron for the life of this programme. Based on the current Airbus order backlog for the A320-family the initial contract is valued at 701 MSEK. Further Airbus sales will lead to additional orders and thereby increase the total contract value. Saab has delivered ailerons for the wings of the Airbus A320-family since 2000. Saab has carried out extensive work aimed at reducing product costs through innovative new design and manufacturing processes for these composite ailerons. Saab has developed new state of the art

CFRP (carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer) monolithic technologies and the concept have reduced the number of parts on the ailerons by over half. “We are very pleased to have received this contract which further strengthens the partnership between Saab and Airbus. The renewed contract shows that we have been successful in our efforts of reducing production costs through innovative design and manufacturing processes in our previous deliveries,” says Kjell Johnsson, senior vice-president and head of Saab’s Aerostructures operation within business area Aeronautics. Visit: www.saabgroup.com

ANDRITZ to supply new recovery boiler to Mondi Frantschach

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nternational technology Group ANDRITZ has been selected by Mondi Group to supply a 1200 tds/d recovery boiler for Mondi Frantschach at its mill in St Gertraud, Austria. The boiler is scheduled to start up in the second half of 2013. ANDRITZ PULP & PAPER will deliver the entire boiler plant, with auxiliaries, as instrumentation and electrification for the boiler. The scope of supply also includes a process control system for the boiler island, including the safety system and integration to the existing mill.

Rolls-Royce awarded $598 million V22 engine contract

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olls-Royce has signed a $598 million contract with the US Department of Defense for 268 AE 1107C engines for US Marine Corps and Air Force V-22 aircraft. In the first year, Rolls-Royce will deliver 70 engines valued at $151 million. The contract includes four additional option years,

16 Industry Europe

The modern ANDRITZ recovery boiler design will replace two old boilers and will incorporate the vertical air combustion system to ensure the lowest possible emissions. Steam values for the new boiler are designed for an operating pressure of 87.5 bars(a) and temperature of 480º C. For possible future needs, a space allocation is made for a chloride and potassium removal system. Visit: www.andritz.com

with deliveries expected to total 268, including spare engines. Rolls-Royce is the sole manufacturer of the engines for the V-22. Patricia O’Connell, Rolls-Royce, president Customer Business – North America, said, “Rolls-Royce continues to be the world leader in tilt-rotor engines and this long-term contract reflects the confidence our customer has in our expertise and our technology.”

The Rolls-Royce turbo shaft engines help provide the unique capability for the V-22, allowing the tilt-rotor aircraft to take off and land like a helicopter, and to rotate its engines forward to fly like an airplane. The V-22 aircraft can carry more troops, fly faster and has greater range than the helicopters it will replace. Visit: www.rolls-royce.com


WINNINGBUSINESS

Cargotec lands a deal to supply Europe’s leading cargo handler C argotec has received an order to deliver 13 Kalmar reachstackers and four Kalmar empty container handlers to Europe Container Terminals (ECT), supported by a five-year maintenance agreement. The order has been booked for the first quarter of 2012. Scheduled for delivery at the end of April 2012, the new models – Kalmar DRF 450-60S5 reachstackers, Kalmar DCF 100-45E7 and DCF90-45E6 empty container handlers – will be serviced at one of Cargotec’s service stations.The Kalmar reachstackers are fitted with the latest Volvo diesel engines which use Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to deliver near-zero NOx and harmful particulate emissions. This achieves compliance with the 2011 EU stage 3B and EPA Tier 4i emission regulations set for all off-road equipment powered by engines of 129kW and above. Visit: www.cargotec.com

Alfa Laval to supply fresh water generators to oil platform

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lfa Laval – a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling – has won an order to supply fresh water generators to an oil platform in the North Sea. The order is worth approximately SEK 50 million. Delivery is scheduled for 2012. The Alfa Laval fresh water generators will convert seawater into potable water, for consumption onboard an oil platform in the Norwegian part of the North Sea. The fresh water produced will also be used as process water onboard the platform.

The oil platform is one of many operating the Greater Ekofisk area and this particular platform is being upgraded to prolong the ‘lifetime’ with another 40 years. “On an oil platform it is essential to maximise uptime and use equipment as efficient and compact as possible. This order confirms our ability to meet these high demands from the oil and gas industry,” says Lars Renström, president and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group. Visit: www.alfalaval.com

Aura Light delivers sustainable street lighting to City of Stuttgart

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he lighting company Aura Light has signed a delivery contract with EnBW (Energie Baden-Wüttemberg). The contract is for delivery of Long Life street lighting to City of Stuttgart in Germany. The chosen lamps for the street lighting are HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lamps in Long Life version. The delivery started in January 2012 and the lamps range from 50 to 400 Watt. “We are happy that Energie Baden-Württemberg chose Aura also for the street lighting in Stuttgart. Together, we will strive to make Stuttgart a greener and more sustainable city. Aura Light helps to reduce the costs and CO2 emissions,” says Frank Veldhoven, regional manager Aura Light Central. Visit: www.auralight.com

NCC to build green offices in Oslo

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CC Construction Norway has been commissioned to construct an environmentally certified office in Oslo on behalf of WatriumEiendom. The project, in an amount of about SEK 255 million, will commence in the summer and will be registered among orders in the second quarter of 2012. The office is to be eco-classified in

accordance with the BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’. It will also be constructed to achieve an energy classification of ‘A’ and meet all the requirements for a passive building. The office will have features such as energy wells with heat pumps and solar cells on the roof, and will be constructed using material that is thermally inert, thus reducing the need for heating and cooling.

Sandvik Mining signs major project orders S

andvik Mining has signed three major materials handling contracts with customers in Latin America and Australia.
The combined value of the contracts exceeds 1600 MSEK and will contribute to Sandvik Mining’s business during the years 2012 until 2014. The orders include design and supply of continuous mining equipment for a fully truckless In-Pit Crushing and Conveying (IPCC) system and two waste lines for a surface mine in Latin America. For Australia the order includes design, supply and installation of materials handling equipment for iron ore stacking and reclaiming for a surface mine. “The importance, size and complexity of the systems and the impressive performance data demonstrate Sandvik Mining’s capability to provide high-tech solutions in the area of continuous mining and materials handling systems for surface mining applications,” says Gary Hughes, president of the Sandvik Mining business area. Visit: www.sandvik.com

NCC has utilised Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) in the project planning process, which is a method whereby 3D models are used to visualise, integrate and automate the various components that are implemented during a construction project, such as project engineering, costing, production scheduling and purchasing. Visit: www.ncc.se Industry Europe 17


NEWS

Combining strengths

Joint venture created between Asteelflash Group and Adetel Group

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steelflash Group and Adetel Group have decided to form a joint venture contracting company, EDMAA, in order to meet the requirements of their customers and offer a comprehensive package ranging from product design to turnkey manufacturing. With over 500 engineers, Adetel Group specialises in the design of onboard systems in the aerospace, defense & security, rail and medical sectors. With 5000 employees and production sites on four continents, Asteelflash Group focuses its expertise on electronics manufacturing and industrialisation services for manufacturing on a worldwide level. “The nature of this partnership allows us to offer an expanded package, thanks to the know-how of our two companies, which in turn enables us to meet the expectations of our respective customers,” confirmed François Sébès, CEO of Adetel Group. For Gilles Benhamou, CEO of Asteelflash Group, this is an opportunity to “offer a complete design-to-cost package in key sectors, thereby outsourcing products as a whole, which is an option that some of our customers are seeking.” Visit: www.asteelflash.com

ENGEL Austria and Plastisud: joint venture for China MAN Diesel & Turbo takes

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meet the specific needs of the Chinese market more effectively in future, the mould manufacturer Plastisud has joined forces with ENGEL Austria, the producer of injection moulding machines, to form a joint venture. Under the name of Green Cap, they are offering turnkey solutions for the production of sealing caps for water and soft drinks containers in China. Around the globe, demand for caps and closures is expanding by around 5% per year – and China is the world’s largest market in terms of volume. The world’s most populous country is imposing increasingly stringent requirements on packaging

Veidekke acquires Swedish construction company Brinkab AB

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a stage in the Veidekke group’s focus on the Swedish market, Veidekke Entreprenad AB has acquired the company Brinkab AB, which operates primarily along the Norrland coast to the Stockholm area and in Kiruna. Brinkab AB is a wellestablished company in the construction 18 Industry Europe

products and their manufacture: the weight of packaging needs to be reduced, quality needs to be raised and uncompromising performance must be delivered with maximum energy efficiency. “The Chinese market is very demanding. Chinese customers request nothing but the best,” emphasises Walter J. Jungwirth, director new business development at ENGEL Austria in the Austrian town of Schwertberg. “Green Cap is the best way for us to address this trend. We are offering maximum output and quality while optimising the cost structure for our customers.” Visit: www.engelglobal.com

sector with activities that primarily comprise new construction, renovation, remodelling and extensions and service for industry. The company’s annual turnover is around SEK 140 million and it has 130 employees. “The acquisition of Brinkab strengthens our construction activities and is perfectly aligned with our strategy related to growth and expansion in prioritised

over Kappel Propeller Designs

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he board of MAN Diesel & Turbo have approved the company’s takeover of Kappel propeller – including designs, software, and intellectual property together with continued cooperation with Mr Jens Julius Kappel. Mr Kappel said: “We have had a good cooperation with MAN Diesel & Turbo for almost 10 years. I hope that MAN will get the most out of the Kappel technology. Our cooperation does not end here – it will in fact become more intense.” Compared to conventional designs, the Kappel propeller blade designs offer fuel savings by up to 6%. Both new sales and the retrofit after sales business will benefit from the now MAN owned technology. In retrofit installations, especially in situations where ships undergo a changed operational profile with slow-steaming and de-rating of main engines, MAN Diesel & Turbo will be able to deliver superior propulsion solutions including state-of- the-art propeller designs offering even larger fuel savings. Visit: www.man.eu areas,” says Per-Ingemar Persson, CEO for Veidekke Sverige AB. “Veidekke wanted to strengthen its heavy construction expertise and capacity towards industry. We achieve this through the acquisition of Brinkab and enter the private construction market.” says Erik Alteryd, managing director of Veidekke Entreprenad AB. Visit: www.veidekke.com


LINKINGUP

AUDI AG acquires Ducati Motor Holding SpA A

UDI AG is acquiring from Investindustrial Group the Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding SpA, which has its registered office in Bologna. Ducati is known worldwide as a leading brand in motorcycle manufacture, with outstanding expertise in engine development and lightweight construction. Alongside the traditional Italian brands Lamborghini and Italdesign, Ducati is now a third pillar for AUDI AG in Northern Italy. Another building block in the company’s growth strategy thus falls into place. Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management of AUDI AG, declared: “Ducati is

known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles. It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world’s most profitable motorcycle manufacturers. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi.” The progressive control systems and special combustion chamber process of Ducati engines, their resulting sporty character and Ducati’s extensive know-how in lightweight construction thus offer great potential for AUDI AG and the Volkswagen Group. Visit: www.audi.com

INCJ, Hitachi Construction Machinery and Nissan to integrate forklift businesses

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nnovation Network Corporation of Japan (‘INCJ’), Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (‘Hitachi Construction Machinery’) and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (‘Nissan’), have signed a definitive agreement to integrate their forklift businesses, which are operated by subsidiaries of Hitachi Construction Machinery and Nissan (TCM Corporation and Nissan Forklift Co. Ltd, ‘the Subject Subsidiaries’) into a new company, UniCarriers Corporation, to be established and operated mainly by INCJ. All issued shares of the Subject Subsidiaries will be transferred to the new company, and a total of 30 billion yen of growth capital will be injected by INCJ into the new company. The voting shares of the new company will be held as follows: 53.3% by INCJ, 26.7% by Hitachi Construction Machinery and 20.0% by Nissan. The new company aims to start operations under the new administration within 2012. Visit: www.nissan-europe.com

STRABAG SE takes over Brandner Wasserbau

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he publicly listed construction group STRABAG SE has acquired 100% of Brandner Wasserbau GmbH based in Wallsee, Lower Austria. The family SME has been active in the fields of hydraulic engineering, sand and gravel mining, and hydrography for more than 200 years.

Brandner Wasserbau employs some 40 people. Most of its revenue was generated in the field of hydraulic engineering with an extensive fleet of ships and specialty maritime equipment. The company also has access to raw material resources that are important for hydraulic engineering on the Danube, including a quarry and a gravel pit directly on the riverbank.

ASSA ABLOY acquires Traka Plc

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SSA ABLOY has acquired Traka Plc in the UK. Traka is a leader in the fast growing segment of intelligent key cabinets and asset management solutions. The sales are evenly split between the UK and export markets. The company has a strong track record of innovation and growth. “I am very pleased to welcome Traka into the ASSA ABLOY Group,” says Johan Molin, president and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. “With the addition of Traka we will add advanced locking technologies and solutions to our strategic global product portfolio.” “Traka’s leading technologies and solutions will provide us with access to new markets in the UK where we are not active today and will enhance our offering in other regions. Traka brings to ASSA ABLOY an attractive product range and an excellent team,” says Tzachi Wiesenfeld, executive vice-president of ASSA ABLOY and head of the EMEA Division. Visit: www.assaabloy.com With the acquisition of the hydraulic engineering firms Möbius and Ludwig Voss in the past few years, STRABAG has become the hydraulic engineering market leader in Germany. The acquisition of Brandner now allows the group to also work this business field in Austria using its own equipment and personnel.

 Visit: www.strabag.com Industry Europe 19


NEWS

MOVINGON

Relocations and expansions across Europe

E.ON expands renewables capacity in Poland E

.ON is stepping up its activities in the Polish wind sector after giving the green light for the construction of both phases of the Wysoka onshore wind farm. The €80 million-project is E.ON’s largest wind farm in Poland, and will be built about 100km south of Szczecin, near the German border. After commissioning in late 2013, the 22 Nordex wind turbines, each with a capacity of 2.5MW, are expected to generate over 125GWh of electricity annually, enough power to supply roughly 40,000 homes. In the process, around 120,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided. The wind farm has two sites (Wysoka 1 und 2). Construction has already started at Wysoka 1; the first turbines are to come on stream by the end of the year. Visit: www.eon.com

Butcher’s Pet Care opens new factory B

utcher’s Pet Care has officially opened a new £38 million headquarters in the UK village of Crick, its home for the last 25 years. The 260,000 sq ft state-of-the-art complex incorporates both the company’s central office and its core manufacturing facility. The new facility is a key part of the Northamptonshirebased business’ goal of achieving significant growth in the next 20 years and beyond. The new factory will enable Butcher’s Pet Care to meet the growing demand for its products both in the UK and across Europe, providing the company with up to 50 per cent extra capacity and allowing production of five million cans a week. Visit: www.butcherspetcare.co.uk

Titan invests in new facility in Turkey

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itan Europe’s Turkish operation, Titan Jansta, has proved to be a highly successful addition to the group’s manufacturing capability. Titan Jantsa, based in Aydin, manufactured over 135,000 agricultural wheels in 2011. Now new investment by Titan Europe will include a new purpose built facility at Aydin Ortaklar OSB, a newly established industrial zone where the company has purchased 60,000sqm of land. Mike Akers, chief executive, said: “It has always been the intention of the Board of Titan Europe to further invest in this region and to develop our wheel manufacturing in Turkey – the group sees this region as an excellent base from which to expand its low-cost production facilities.” Visit: www.titaneurope.com or www.titanjantsa.com

Audi to build production plant in Mexico

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UDI AG’s board of management and supervisory board have approved plans to build a North American plant in Mexico. The exact location for the new plant, which will manufacture an SUV model starting in 2016, will be chosen by AUDI AG later this year. 20 Industry Europe

“As an established car making location, Mexico offers an excellent economic basis for Audi production operations,” declared Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management of AUDI AG. Mexico is one of the world’s top ten automotive locations and offers a blend of tradition and experience. The group parent Volkswagen already has an automotive plant in Puebla and an engine plant in Silao.

New Bavarian innovation hub

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he Bavarian International Campus Aerospace & Security (BICAS) ha been given the go-ahead. BICAS will develop into an international innovation hub for science and business over the coming years. The aim is to enable researchers and companies from around the world to work together at the high-technology site situated in Ottobrunn. The partners in the BICAS consortium are EADS and IABG along with the Technical University of Munich, the Bundeswehr University Munich, the Munich University of Applied Sciences and Bauhaus Luftfahrt, with the Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt DLR (German Aerospace Centre) as an additional partner. “Ever since it was founded, EADS has had strong roots in Bavaria, with its more than 15,000 employees at seven locations – including in Ottobrunn,” said Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus. “EADS is now underlining its long-term interest in Ottobrunn, a high-technology site with one of the richest traditions in Germany.” Visit: www.eads.com

“Good infrastructure, competitive cost structures and existing free trade agreements played a significant role in the choice of Mexico,” emphasised Stadler. “This trailblazing move will help us safeguard our position on the world market. Our German locations, too, stand to benefit from it.” Visit: www.audi.com


NEWS

INDUSTRYPEOPLE Balfour Beatty Engineering Services appoints new director of Modular Systems + and Site Services

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teve Tovey has been appointed to the position of director of Modular Systems + and Site Services at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES), one of the UK’s largest mechanical and electrical building services businesses. Steve has been with the company for 34 years and during this time has held a number of key

roles within the business including operations director for health and design and build operations manager. Steve was involved in the initial conception of BBES’ off-site manufacturing facility and will bring excellent operational knowledge to Modular Systems + which will be key in the continued growth of the facility.

Changes in the management of Mitsubishi Electric

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itsubishi Electric Europe B.V. has appointed Kei Uruma to the role of president and CEO of the company’s European operations. Based at Mitsubishi Electric’s European Corporate Office in Uxbridge, UK, Mr Uruma’s new responsibilities include leading the European sales company Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., as well as the role of head representative of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in Europe. Mr Uruma, who has been with Mitsubishi Electric for 30 years, initially joined the company in 1982 working for the Factory Automation division at the company’s Nagoya works in Japan.

Changes at esco

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obham plc has announced the appointment of Robert (Bob) Murphy as chief executive officer of Cobham with effect from 25 June 2012. Bob is a seasoned Aerospace & Defence executive with a successful track record spanning more than 25 years working in the Civil, Commercial & Defence sectors of the industry. He is a member of the executive committee of BAE Systems plc and currently executive vice-president with responsibility for the global operations of the Product Sectors business for BAE Systems, Inc.

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ith effect from 1st April, 2012, Mr Matthias Mohr was appointed Managing Director of esco – european salt company, for Production, Finance and Administration. Mohr joined the K+S Group in 1995 to work in the controlling and strategy area. He was appointed Head of Corporate Development in 2003 and became a member of the Management Team of Sociedad Punta de Lobos (SPL), a subsidiary of K+S, in Chile in 2006. In 2009, Mohr was appointed General Manager (CEO) of SPL.

GKN Wheels sales appointment

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KN Wheels has appointed Simon Harvey as global sales & marketing director. Drawing on an extensive track record in the engineering and automotive industries, he brings experience in technical sales, general management and working with development teams on a global scale.

Cobham appoints new chief executive officer

Simon comments: “I am joining GKN Wheels at a very exciting time for the industry. We want to change the way engineers and designers think of wheels and explore with them the ways in which they can optimise vehicle performance. We believe this is critical in addressing the operational challenges faced in some of the world’s harshest vehicle environments.” Industry Europe 21


NEWS

TECHNOLOGYSPOTLIGHT

Advances in technology across industry

Atomic clock comparison via data highways

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ptical atomic clocks measure time with unprecedented accuracy. However, it is the ability to compare clocks with one another that makes them applicable for high-precision tests in fundamental theory, from cosmology all the way to quantum physics. A clock comparison, i.e. a comparison of their optical frequencies, has proved to be challenging so far as the few existing optical clocks around the world are not readily portable due to their complex nature. A team of researchers from the Physikalisch-TechnischeBundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig and from the Laser Spectroscopy Division at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching have now demonstrated an optical frequency transfer with high stability through a standard telecommunication optical fibre network. The optical fibre connecting the two institutes was installed below ground and had a total length of 920 kilometres. This demonstration enables the ability to compare optical clocks located far apart from each other and to transmit their stability to distant laboratories where the signals can be used for high precision experiments. At first, fundamental research will benefit from this, e.g. in the precise determination of natural constants, tests of the validity of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity or for predictions in quantum electrodynamics. Visit: www.ptb.de

A cure for concrete cancer

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elf-healing’ concrete is being developed by researchers at Northumbria University, UK, which could see cracks in concrete buildings become a thing of the past. Dr Alan Richardson, a senior lecturer in Construction in the School ofthe Built and Natural Environment, is using a ground-borne bacteria – bacilli megaterium – to create calcite, a crystalline form of natural calcium carbonate. This can then be used to block the concrete’s pores, keeping out water and other damaging substances to prolong the life of the concrete. The bacteria is grown on a nutrient broth of yeast, minerals and urea and is then added to the concrete. With its food source in the concrete, the bacteria breeds and spreads, acting as a filler to seal the cracks and prevent further deterioration. Visit: www.northumbria.ac.uk

Novel UK zero emission technology

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EVS26 (Electric Vehicle Symposium) in Los Angeles in May 2012 the Dearman Engine Company presented its novel engine technology. The technology is a zero emission engine that runs on liquid air; a safe, non-combustive/non-flammable, easy to manage and easy to store zero emission energy vector which can be readily produced from wind, solar or traditional generation. The engine exhaust is cold air. The Dearman Engine took a big step towards commercial reality earlier this year when Ricardo concluded an independent technology review and feasibility evaluation. The Ricardo engineering team is confident that, given its projected performance, there are numerous practical applications for the use of Dearman Engine in the future marketplace. Visit: www.dearmanengine.com 22 Industry Europe


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on jobs going and jobs to come (perhaps).

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he spectre of thousands of job cuts is looming over France’s banking industry in the wake of the election of new socialist president Francois Hollande – the selfdeclared ‘enemy of finance’. Cuts are threatened in both the retail and investment sectors as banks brace themselves for a regulatory clampdown and rocketing corporation taxes, and grapple with a slowing economy and weak capital markets. The predicted wave of lay-offs also comes as the new French employment minister Michel Sapin warned that the left-wing government would do ‘everything in its power’ to prevent banks from streamlining their operations and boosting their share prices with mass firings. In line with Mr Hollande’s belief that governments and large companies should give up austerity and ‘spend their way out of debt’, Mr Sapin said: “We want to make it extremely expensive for firms to make staff redundant. Instead, they should be investing in their workforce, hiring more staff, growing and feeding their wealth into the economy.” But the minister’s words are expected to go unheeded by any wealthy bank bosses that actually remain in France after the introduction of Mr Hollande’s promised top rate income tax hike to 75 per cent for millionaires. Stephane Rambosson, managing partner at executive search firm Veni Partners, said banks had held off from large scale sackings during the election for fear of harming the campaign of finance-friendly Nicolas Sarkozy. But now that he had been ejected from office, the gloves were off and cull was set to begin, Mr Rambosson said. He added: “They’ve been waiting until after the election because they didn’t want to alienate their friends in Mr Sarkozy’s UMP party. Most of these guys are pretty close to Sarkozy and they didn’t want to have any negative effect on his election campaign.” France’s biggest bank BNP Paribas has already announced plans to lay off 1400

employees, while its rival Societe Generale is cutting roughly 1600 jobs. Up to 4000 more redundancies are expected at the French branches of foreign banks, particularly at UniCredit and ING. Christophe Nijdam, an analyst with Paris-based research firm Alphavalue, said: “Smaller lay-offs that began last year are now being viewed as insufficient and they look set to go a lot further in 2012. It will probably then take a full year for the French banks to get their act together again regarding their new business model.” While most French banks’ attention has been on their corporate and investment banking arms, a downturn in the French housing market and the ensuing mortgage slowdown could also mean cuts in retail banking staff, he added. More sackings also look certain in other industrial sectors in the coming months, with Air France-KLM saying it needs to make deep labour cuts and retailer Carrefour threatening to fire 3000 to 5000 French staff, unions have said. A car industry plagued by overcapacity and a telecoms sector stung by competition from low-cost operator Free Mobile may also make cutbacks.

Tax and spend In contrast, Mr Hollande has vowed to boost already huge government spending by hiring 60,000 extra teachers, 5000 extra police and subsidising 150,000 ‘jobs for the future’ for young people. He is also committed to lowering the right to retire to the age of 60 for people who started work at 18. A special surtax on banks, hiking corporation tax from 30 to 35 per cent, repealing a range of tax breaks for companies and households, increasing wealth taxes, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and income tax are all part of the plan to fund his 100 billion euro spending programme.

Despite his pledge to create an extra 80,000 jobs in the civil service, Mr Hollande has said the overall number of public employees will not rise, but he has not yet said where cuts will come from to offset his job pledges. When he does, he may find like many recent presidents before him, that the French ‘fonctionnaires’ unions, fresh from their two-month long summer holidays, decide that – socialist president or not – the autumn is the perfect time to dust off their banners and take to the boulevards of Paris. In fact, Mr Hollande already had the first little noticed public protest of his presidency just a week after winning the election on May 6. Eighteen erotic dancers from Paris’s famous Crazy Horse cabaret got dressed and staged a three-day demonstration on the Champs-Elysees protesting that their meagre €2000 a month wages were not enough to take account of the fact they had to work in the nude. The striking strippers appointed 24-yearold spokeswoman Suzanne Durand, who told France’s RTL radio: “Our work is exceptional because we get entirely naked on stage, and this alone should be taken into account in our pay. “Being nude every night is not an easy thing from either a moral or physical point of view, and to be paid this salary makes it seem vulgar, as if there’s no difference between a Crazy Horse dancer and some cheap girl working in a peep show.” After forcing the cabaret to cancel shows on three consecutive nights, they are now celebrating being awarded a €300 a month pay rise. French daily France-Soir said: “They have the right to fair pay for hard work like any other French person, and they have every right to go on strike to demand that. “Their protest ended quickly, probably much to President Hollande’s regret, as we are sure this is one strike that he would have n loved to be involved in.” Industry Europe 23


EURO-REPORT

FOCUS ON...

Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the business of disposal of wartime bombs.

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nyone in Germany who wants to build a factory, repair a road, renovate a school playground, put an extension on the house or lay the foundations for a shopping mall has to think of WW2 and what may lie lurking just beneath the surface. For the millions of tons of bombs dropped on the country by the British RAF and the American Army Air Force which failed to detonate remain a potent threat – one which is growing, not diminishing, as the duds left behind grow ever more unstable with each passing day. While this is a problem for many, it has also become a niche business for a few enterprising companies. Companies like Siemens, with sites in Krefeld, Nuremberg, Hamburg and other major targets of Allied saturation bombing, have to use the services of bomb-finding experts when plant is expanded, demolished or renovated at factories that were targeted seven decades ago. The multi-million pound construction of the Allianz stadium in Munich was held up in 2004 when two bombs were discovered on the building site. The following year three more bombs were found at former factory sites and near the railyards at the main station. In Berlin it is estimated that there are a minimum of 25,000 unexploded bombs buried beneath the city. Private companies locate buried and unexploded bombs to avert the risk that construction workers set them off accidentally during building projects, using old air reconnaissance photographs and bombing maps from the time. Hans-Georg Carls is the chief Sherlock Holmes of the unexploded bomb. Carls’ company, Luftbilddatenbank – German for ‘Aerial Photo Databank’ – has a database so extensive that scholars studying history to geography access it. But its main purpose is to help businesses large and small which are embarking on construction work 24 Industry Europe

to see if there is the slightest chance they will strike a buried WW2 bomb. The maps and photos he accesses in the first place are stored in an Edinburgh archive. As an estimated 50 per cent of the ordnance dropped on German manufacturing sites and population centres failed to explode, Carls has a job that is recession proof.

An average of 15 bombs per day are unearthed across Germany - but age has made them increasingly unstable. An average of 15 bombs per day are unearthed across the country – but age has made them increasingly unstable. Major construction projects are sometimes moved to other sites once the RAF maps, and post-bombing reconnaissance photos, are analysed. Dozens have died in recent years in Germany from old bombs. Last last year 45,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Koblenz – the largest peactime forced movement of people – after a huge RAF bomb was exposed on the Rhine riverbed due to falling water levels. It was removed without mishap. In Berlin alone an estimated 15,000 bombs remain beneath buildings. The sandy soil on which the city is built meant many of the bombs flipped upon impact and now lie buried tail-down with their nose-cone acid fuses

being corroded by the day. Plastic timers are also degrading to the stage where the slightest vibration can set off the sleeping killers.

Critical evidence The photos Carls’ firm uses show before and after views of a raid with images taken hours, days or weeks apart. Wartime analysts used machines called stereoscopes to look at the images in 3-D; Luftbilddatenbank technicians use digital software to spot craters – an indication that a bomb exploded – and dark pinpoint holes that suggest a dud might still be buried. “When people are spending billions of euros to build a pipeline, a consulting report isn’t a big deal,” Carls said. “What property owner or businessman wouldn’t take the extra step to make sure nothing went wrong? “Before, we had eyewitnesses, but they are dying. With no one left alive who remembers where the bombs fell, the evidence from wartime photography is even more critical.” Carls’ company has earned praise for its work from its main supplier in Edinburgh. “They’ve created a very impressive resource,” says Allan Williams, curator at the National Collection of Aerial Photography in the city. The Edinburgh collection holds tens of millions of photos. Williams says 95 per cent of the archives’ work involves bomb disposal, mostly in Germany, Austria and Holland. But in the age of Google Earth, more and more researchers are tapping the Edinburgh archive’s aerial photography collections, for everything from history documentaries to landscape archaeology. “Aerial photography is a means of looking at history in a completely different way than people are used to. People are always amazed at how much aerial photography survives.” Carl’s measures his success not in the number of bombs found but by the lack of complaints. “All it would take is for us to miss one,” he says. “But we haven’t had n any complaints.”



TRACTION FOR GLOBAL GROWTH The SAME DEUTZ-FAHR group is one of the world’s leading makers of tractors and combine harvesters. New products and global investments are powering the company’s growth, as Julia Snow reports.

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eadquartered in Treviglio, northern Italy, the company is known for the globally renowned brands SAME, DEUTZ-FAHR, LAMBORGHINI, HÜRLIMANN and GRÉGOIRE. In 2010, the company employed some 2450 people worldwide and recorded sales turnover of €855 million. The group holds a 26.7 per cent stake in DEUTZ AG, an independent and world-leading manufacturer of diesel engines, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The acquisition of the French Grégoire SAS at the end of last year completes an outstanding offering for the specialist range, providing solutions for the most demanding wine and oil producers.

From a workshop in Italy to a global group The company has developed dynamically since Francesco and Eugenio Cassani built the first diesel engine specifically for tractors in 1927. SAME was founded in 1942 and ten years later the world’s first four-wheel-drive tractor left the Treviglio workshop. In 1971

24 Industry Europe

SAME acquired Lamborghini Trattori, followed by the purchase of Hürlimann in 1979. The group began operations in Poland in 1992, and acquired DEUTZ-FAHR, the agricultural division of Kloeckner-Humbolt-Deutz in 1995, changing its name to SAME DEUTZ-FAHR (SDF). 1996 brought the market entry in India through a joint venture, which was turned into a fully owned subsidiary, SAME DEUTZ-FAHR INDIA, in 2002. Activity in Eastern Europe came with the acquisition of a Croatian company in 2005, which is known as SAME DEUTZ-FAHR COMBINES.

Internationalisation and innovations The company pursues a dedicated internationalisation strategy, combining decentralised production with a sales and service network providing extensive coverage of all key markets. Sales, after-sales service and parts distribution are handled by 14 subsidiaries, 141 importers, and 3000 dealers located in all parts of the world. Currently the company’s production is based in four plants in Europe (Italy, Germany,


Industry Europe 25


Plastic materials moulding and mould manufacturing ALFAPLAST S.p.A. started its activity in 1983 and its legal and operational site is located in Via 1° Maggio n. 4, in the industrial area of Missaglia (Lecco). ALFAPLAST S.p.A. occupies an overall area of 34,000 m2, with a covered area of 25,500 m2, which includes 3,500 m2 for thermoplastic moulding of small and medium components, 1,200 m2 for assembling and pad printing, and a new 5,800 m2 site for the moulding of large components. Moreover, Alfaplast has a 15,000 m2 department for Telene painting and moulding. ALFAPLAST S.p.A. is able to carry out co-design projects, developing projects for making moulds suitable for the manufacture of both thermoplastic and Telene components and is able to directly supply subgroups assembled according to client’s requests. ALFAPLAST S.p.A. has a machine fleet for thermoplastic moulding ranging from 40 tonnes to 3,150 tonnes with associated accessories, and a staff of 50 employees. The Telene painting and moulding department employs 45 people. We have a diversified production in several sectors: tractors, motorbikes, cars, household appliances, heating, pharmaceutical, furniture, and others. We are ISO-9001:2008 and ISO /TS 16949:2009 certified. We are expanding our quality system, working towards UNI EN ISO 14001:2004.

26 Industry Europe


France and Croatia), plus locations in India, Russia and China. In Bandirma, Turkey, SDF produces tractors from 50 to 70 h.p. in cooperation with a local partner. In 2006, SDF opened a dedicated R&D centre, focused on key areas including transmissions, system electronics, ergonomics and exhaust emissions. Cooperation with leading universities and international supply partners contribute to the high levels of innovation and excellence. A significant success was the in-house development of the special CVT transmission for SDF’s mid-range tractors. The current tractor range with CVT transmissions goes from 100 to 260 h.p. and will be extended up to 440 HP in the next two years. SAME DEUTZ-FAHR produces eight different classes, including tractors with a power range from 30 – 270 h.p. as well as combine harvesters from 120 – 400 h.p. and various custom built versions. This is most comprehensive range of special and standard tractors available in the market today, including compact tractors, openfield tractors,vineyards and orchard tractors and crawler tractors as well as complementary products such as telehandlers or frontloaders.

A whole field of product innovations At the Cereals 2011 Exhibition Deutz-Fahr launched their new Agrotron TTV 4 cylinder range, which now completes the TTV range

from 100 to 260 h.p. The 6040 combine ideally suits the smaller farmer wanting the benefits of a new machine but needing a smaller more manageable capacity, together with performance, reliability and efficiency. SAME’s top-selling Iron 220 tractor received some significant updates, including the S-Class cab which sets new standards in operator comfort. Equipped with the new Deutz six-cylinder turbo-diesel commonrail engine and a maximum output of 220 h.p./162 kW, high constant torque and low fuel consumption, the engine is a showcase of innovative Deutz manufacturing. Joining the SAME Silver series are two CVT models – the Silver 100 and 110 Continuo, both equipped with the exclusive CVT-gearbox. SAME’s FRUTTETO orchard tractors have undergone a complete redesign with a number of added innovations and powered by SDF TIER III engines. They are offered in threeand four-cylinder turbo and turbo intercooled versions, and combined with the electronic engine management. At the Agritechnica in late 2011 Lamborghini introduced three new models to its R6 VRT continuous variable transmission range, which will expand the range to include models from 120 h.p. up to 222 h.p., all eqipped with the latest fuel efficient 4-cylinder Deutz-turbo-diesel engines from the Series 2012. Earlier this year Lamborghini

completely redesigned its range of orchard and vineyard tractors, enhancing performance and efficiency. The new RV, RS and RF range reveals a brand new look and provides fruit farmers and wine growers with a selection of compact models for performing row-crop work with precision. Each model is available in three different track widths. The RV/RS/RF series offers a minimum track width at the rear axle from 880mm (RV) up to a minimum track width of 1.05m (RF).

Investing in China Following the dynamics of the global economy and the emergence of new markets, SDF is currently investing heavily in Russia, India and – most recently, in China. A joint venture in the Linyi/Shangdong province was announced last October, representing an investment of €60 million. The newly-formed company Shandong Changlin DEUTZ-FAHR Machinery CO., Ltd will manufacture and distribute tractors ranging from 25 to110 h.p. under the SH DEUTZ-FAHR brand and from 110 to 300 h.p. under the DEUTZ-FAHR. The Joint Venture will utilise the existing Changlin network of 490 dealerships, and aims to sell over 30,000 units on the Chinese market in 2015, all produced in the new factory that will be built on a total area of 260,000 m2, providing a capacity of n 50,000 units annually.

Industry Europe 27


28 Industry Europe


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.

Industry Europe 29


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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 anni-

versary, 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 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.”

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.”

Eastern Europe

Prospects

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

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.”


COOL PERFORMANCE MAHLE Behr Industry GmbH&Co. KG is a global leader in the development and manufacture of thermal management systems for a wide range of non-automotive and industrial applications. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at the innovative products that are shaping the industry’s future and the opportunities created by the company’s investment in new plant and the launch of its new MCC cooler platform.

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AHLE Behr Industry is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany and is one of the world’s leading original equipment manufacturers. The company develops advanced engine cooling and air-conditioning systems that are used in a wide variety of vehicles, engines and transmissions. MAHLE Behr Industry provides complex cooling and air-conditioning systems for railway and special vehicles, ships, buses, construction and agricultural machinery. This is in addition to cooling systems for large engines, generators, wind and solar energy systems and high-performance electronics, as well for the aviation industry. For many years now MAHLE Behr Industry has been the number-one brand in Europe with a market share of more than 70 per cent in cooling systems for railway vehicles as well as for cooling systems for special vehicles. In recent days the thermal

management for renewable engery source like wind turbine is becoming more and more important.

Delivering technical innovation MAHLE Behr Industry has always been at the forefront of progress and innovation in engine cooling and air-conditioning technology. Today the company has major manufacturing facilities in Mylau, Reichenbach, Freiberg and Schwäbisch Hall in Germany, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA and since 2010 in Tianjin, China. The company also operates sales offices in France, England, Korea and Italy and has a worldwide network of representatives. Currently, further expansion is being actively pursued in Brazil and India. Innovation and quality form the basis for MAHLE Behr Industry’s success. With its well-established management system, it sets the standard for company-wide project


Industry Europe 33


quality management programmes. Consequently it is an innovation leader in the international market for engine cooling and air-conditioning systems for off-highway applications. MAHLE Behr Industry has the advantage of developing and manufacturing all its key components in-house. These include components such as, air coolers, fans and fan drive units, as well as readyto-assemble modules. The company is also fully committed to a programme of sustainability in line with the stringent EU legislation coming into force in 2014 and as a result, it predicts improving prospects for sustainable growth in the years ahead. Dr Michael Loehle, managing director of MAHLE Behr Industry, said, “As a consequence of the new tier IV final exhaust gas legislation, heavier demands have been placed on engine cooling systems and components. Exhaust gas cooling and the increasing complexity of cooling systems for large engines lead us to expect sustainable growth in this area. The same applies to engine cooling and cabin air conditioning in construction and agricultural machines. Increasing demand and growth in alternative power generation, such as thermal management in the combined heat and power generation from gas

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and diesel engines, as well as wind power and solar plants, have resulted in new opportunities for growth.”

New modular core concept MAHLE Behr Industry is a thermal management specialist and in this respect provides complete engine cooling and air-conditioning systems and cooling modules, as well as well as air-conditioning modules. This not only includes all main heat exchangers, such as coolant coolers, charged air, exhaust gas, fuel and electronic coolers, but also system components such as fans, fan drives, thermostats, pumps and piping. Mr Loehle added, “Today we are also developing and industrialising a large number of new products in order to fulfil our customer’s future requirements competently, flexibly and costeffectively. One such example of this is our new MCC (Modular Core Concept) cooler platform. Even in small quantities, coolant coolers, charge air and oil coolers based on this new platform can be flexibly adapted as fin-andtube coolers. These can be optimised for cost and weight considerations, in order to meet our customers’ installation constraints and requirements. New exhaust gas coolers contribute to compliance with strict requirements of the Tier

IV Final Exhaust gas legislation. At the same time we are constantly developing and optimising our product range.” “We expect our company to grow in a clear and sustained manner, and the expansion of our activities into non-European markets will be a major contributing factor.”

Increasing global production capacity MAHLE Behr Industry not only continues to invest in new technology and innovation, but also in production facilities to meet the growing global demand for its products. At the present time, the company MAHLE Behr Industry has six production plants and the company also utilises other locations worldwide of the parent companies MAHLE Behr and as well as from strategic partners throughout the world. This enables MAHLE Behr Industry to supply its customers using local manufacturing facilities whenever and wherever appropriate. For example, this could be in Russia, Brazil or India. The company continues to invest in new production facilities and is planning the construction of new plants in a number of additional locations in order to meet the increasing global demand for its innovative, high-performance n and compact heat exchangers.


RECORD GROWTH AND MORE TO COME The BMW Group achieved record sales in 2011 for all three brands – BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce – and the number-one premium car company automotive giant is forecasting a further increase in sales in 2012. Felicity Landon reports.

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MW is expecting to grow ahead of the total market this year, and it’s aiming for a balanced distribution of sales between the Americas, Asia and Europe. “With our sales momentum and our youngest ever product portfolio – only 2.3 years – we started 2012 with a solid foundation for strong growth,” says a corporate spokesperson. “We expect to grow faster than the total market, assuming that the total global automobile market will grow by 4 per cent in 2012.” Of course, this depends on there being no further deterioration in economic conditions,

he adds. “We expect to experience growth in virtually all regions of the world once again in 2012 and we expect growth trends in the emerging markets to continue in 2012. Above all, we aim for a balanced distribution of sales between the Americas, Asia and Europe.” Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management, has described 2011 as ‘the best year in the BMW Group’s corporate history’, with record sales volumes, revenues and earnings as the group exceeded its targets for the year. Group revenues rose 13.8 per cent to €68.82 billion, and pre-tax profits were up by

52.1 per cent to €7.38 billion. The total number of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand cars delivered to customers increased by 14.2 per cent to a new record of 1,668,982.

Global growth in sales While sales of BMW vehicles are stable in Europe, there is significant growth in Asia, particularly China, and the Americas. Regarding purchase choices in these regions, BMW says: “Customers purchase high-end models like the BMW 7 Series, 6 Series and X5/X6 in China, which is our biggest market for BMW 5 and 7 Series sales. If you consider the rest Industry Europe 35


of Asia, the BMW 5 and 3 Series are in highest demand and sales are on a similar level for both vehicles.” While BMW’s core buyer groups in Asia remain focused on the traditional concept of saloon, coupe and convertibles, the group is seeing a definite market potential for new body concepts such as the BMW X1 (a crossover concept) and the all-new BMW 1 Series (hatchback), says BMW. “In the Americas, meanwhile, the BMW 3 Series is very clearly the strongest-selling 36 Industry Europe

model. There is also strong demand for the BMW 5 Series, as well as Sports Activities Vehicles.”

Strong production network BMW has a ‘highly flexible, highly efficient’ network of 25 production facilities in 14 countries, and that is clearly a vital part of the group’s global success. “Despite the steadily growing number of different models, our production network is so flexible that each plant can build different

models and variants,” explains BMW. “Global growth is being met by increasing capacities in various regions, including the USA, China and India. We are also investing some €2 billion in our German production sites throughout 2011 and 2012.” As for any expansion of the production network, particularly in eastern Europe, BMW says: “Our guiding principle has always been that production should follow the market. That is why we have had local production in Russia since 1999. Russia is one of the


attractive growth markets for the BMW Group and we intend to further expand our activities in the Russian market over the long term. We are involved in constructive dialogue with our partner Avtotor about our further involvement in the market.” Elsewhere, BMW is in talks with the Brazilian authorities about building a plant in Brazil. “We have to wait until they decide how favourable conditions will be for foreign automakers to bring production to the country, before we make a decision,” says a corporate spokesperson.

Are protectionist measures, especially in China, of concern for BMW? “Overall, in many growth markets, we are seeing an increase in measures aimed at increasing local value creation and the localisation of automobile manufacturers,” he says. “In such cases, we aim for constructive dialogue with the respective government agencies. In China we are not perturbed by the situation and are expecting continued growth in retail this year.” Meanwhile, other investments continue. BMW is to further expand its plant in South Carolina, in the USA, where the X range is

produced – reflecting confidence that there is a growing market for premium SUV type vehicles worldwide. In Europe, an investment of €400 million is planned at the Leipzig plant to produce the new BMW i electric and hybrid vehicles. “Leipzig will be our competence centre for the production of emission-free electric cars. We have ambitious goals when it comes to environmental protection and conservation of natural resources: to reduce energy consumption used in the production of each vehicle by 50 per cent and water consumption by 70 per

Industry Europe 37


cent. We also intend to obtain 100 per cent of the energy used in the assembly process from renewable energy sources. Electric and hybrid vehicles play an integral role in our strategy for sustainable mobility, alongside the continual improvement of our combustion engines,” says BMW. In parallel to record car sales, BMW Motorrad delivered more motorcycles than ever before last year, increasing its market share by more than 12 per cent in the segment above 500cc. This year has started well, with sales up 5.6 per cent in the first two months. “Our plant in Berlin will remain our motorcycle production facility. We are continually investing there to accommodate the produc-

38 Industry Europe

tion of future models, as well as to improve efficiency. The production capacity is currently sufficient (a maximum of 600 vehicles per day) but, depending upon further growth, we will consider if further investment is necessary,” says BMW.

New vehicle concepts Meanwhile, BMW continues to lead the way in its new vehicle designs. It says the new 3 Series Sedan, the sixth generation of the world’s best-selling premium vehicle, ‘sets new benchmarks in terms of sporting prowess, elegance and comfort’. “It possesses an even more dynamic and elegant design than before and is now also

available in a trio of trim and equipment variants – the Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line,” says BMW. “Each presents its own individual take on the character of the sports sedan, with exclusive, high-quality material combinations and unbeatable build quality underlining the premium ambience of the new range.” All engines in the new BMW 3 Series are equipped with the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and all engines can be combined with an eight-speed automatic gearbox; BMW is the first carmaker to offer an eight-speed automatic gearbox in the premium mid-size segment. BMW ConnectedDrive offers an ‘unmatched’ combination


Automotive Innovation made by Dräxlmaier As an international systems partner in the premium segment of the automotive industry, the Dräxlmaier Group works closely with leading manufacturers such as BMW. We focus not only on innovation, but also provide a company philosophy that is oriented toward sustainability, high-quality interiors and our overall expertise: from the initial development through to the manufacturing. And we are located where our customers are: worldwide. Because we have the same goal: shaping the future of the automotive industry. With an approach that is individual, sophisticated, and of course, environmentally sound.

of driver assistance technology and mobility systems for the new BMW 3 Series range. “Quite simply, we believe that this is the best BMW 3 Series Sedan we have ever built,” says BMW.

Cooperation with Toyota At the end of 2011, BMW signed an MoU with Toyota Motor Corporation for mid-to long-term cooperation on next-generation environment-friendly technologies. The two companies will collaborate on basic research in the field of lithium-ion battery

technologies and have also agreed to look at other possible projects for cooperation. In addition, the BMW Group and Toyota Motor Europe (TME), Toyota’s European subsidiary, have agreed for BMW to supply 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre diesel engines to TME, starting in 2014. The engines will be installed in certain Toyota-brand vehicles sold in Europe. “Toyota plans to use these engines to expand its European line-up and increase sales of fuel-efficient, low CO2-emission vehicles. With this move, we are combining

our resources to advance development of environmental technologies and promote our innovation leadership in the respective segments. The delivery of our efficient, dynamic diesel engines to Toyota is part of the planned expansion of our marketing of drive systems,” says a BMW Group spokesperson. Manufacturers today are essentially in constant discussion with one another, he says. “Technical challenges must be mastered in parallel.” n www.bmw.com

Industry Europe 39


PRECISION AND

FLEXIBILITY

APAG Elektronik s.r.o. based in Pardubice in the Czech Republic is a subsidiary of the Swiss APAG Elektronik AG. Its core business is the production of printed circuit boards using the SMT and THT technologies, and the production of electronic systems for the automotive sector. Executive director Ladislav Hrdý spoke to Romana Moares about the history of the company in the Czech Republic and its future prospects.

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he company was established as Bohemiatech s.r.o. in 1993 and only three years later APAG Elektronik AG became its biggest customer. In 2007, the company was taken over by the Swiss manufacturer and became its fully owned subsidiary. APAG Elektronik AG was founded in 1975 to produce and sell electronic measurement and control devices, to major European customers, such as electronic modules for the automotive sector, consumer products, power tools, building automation industries and general industrial applications. Today the company employs 180 staff (50 of which are in product development) and has several operational facilities in Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The Czech subsidiary is based in Pardubice in north-east Bohemia (some 100km from

40 Industry Europe

Prague) and operates on a 3000m2 site (of which 1000 m2 are production halls). Despite the recession, it has grown steadily: in 2011 the company employed over 140 people and achieved a turnover of €10.5 million. Forecasts reflect a positive market trend – it is estimated that the figure will rise to €13 million in 2012.

Fast and flexible In the beginning the company supplied to other sectors, but since it became part of APAG 100 per cent of its components are sold to the automotive industry. “Prospects in Europe are good,” says Ladislav Hrdý, the executive director of the Czech plant. “We supply to German car manufacturers such as BMW, Audi, Porsche, VW and Bentley which are in excellent shape. On top of that, most of our customers make

the upper market end cars, the sales of which are forecast to increase in the next few years. This is our advantage,” he claims, but does not exclude the possibility that in the future his plant will again supply to other sectors as well. The Czech manufacturer’s competitive advantages include long-term experience in the sector (tier 1 and tier N), a profound knowledge of specifications within the automotive industry, the achievement of ISO/TS 16 949 and ISO 14001 certificates, first-class production technology (SMT, AOI / X-ray lines, a nitrogen atmosphere for wave and reflow soldering). To improve its production process, the company has recently implemented iTAC software for traceability and for production synergy. “We are a relatively small company so we can provide a flexible and fast response to customer requirements,” adds Mr Hrdý.


Three product groups APAG Elektronik s.r.o. focuses on the production and sale of electronic systems developed in its Swiss parent company, but it also manufactures components based on its customers’ product developments (EMS). The electronic systems may be divided into three parts: door handle lighting, supplied mainly to BMW (the company is already making the fourth generation of the product); overhead consoles (Audi) and electronic control units (Porsche, Audi, VW, BMW). This portfolio will remain unchanged for the next few years as the projects run for at least five to ten years, explains Mr Hrdý. SMD components are printed on two fully automated production lines. The modules are soldered in lead and lead-free processes within a protective nitrogen atmosphere.

All printed modules are checked on AOI testers, whilst the soldering of critical parts (e.g. BGA) is checked using X-ray technology. DPS cutting from the panel is done on guillotine-type cutters. If customers require it, the products can be protected by means of silicone against dampness. Although the company sells some products to the Czech-based Continental, an overwhelming majority of its output goes to its customers abroad, mainly in the EU countries.

Further growth Over the past five years the company has invested a considerable amount in new technologies and machine upgrades. Airconditioning was introduced to the production hall as well as soldering under a nitrogen atmosphere, and many new machines were

automotive@nichia.eu

purchased to satisfy rising demand. Last year (2011) another massive investment was completed when a second production line was commissioned. Investment in IT improved the production process control. “Our capacity currently meets the customer demand but this will not be the case for much longer,” says the executive director. “This year we want to increase the production area by another 1000m2 and also extend the warehouse. This is fully in line with the forecasted growth of our customers – the projects are up and running and will be completed regardless of another potential recession, which many fear. We certainly hope that the new investment planned for the next three to four years will secure more work and the future growth of n our company,” he concludes.


THE OPEN ROAD A leading manufacturer of caravans and motor homes, Hymer AG, is committed to maintaining its production of top-quality, innovative vehicles. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the export sales manager, Mauro Degasperi, to find out more.

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idely appreciated as one of the most important manufacturers of caravans and motor homes, German-based Hymer AG has been producing top quality products for 55 years. Its first production of the Eriba-Touring range started in 1957 and this brand is still going strong. Mr Hymer produced the first caravan under the Eriba name in 1957. The first Hymer motor home was produced in 1962, making 2012 the 50th anniversary of this iconic product. Export sales manager Mauro Degasperi told Industry Europe how the company is both steeped in tradition yet totally in tune with the very latest demands of its customers. He said, “The name Hymer today is synonymous with

42 Industry Europe

top of the range motor homes and caravans. Hymer is considered one of the best available on the market and we are continually striving to ensure we live up to this high expectation. To do this, we are always looking at ways in which we can meet our customers’ changing expectations of what caravans and motor homes should be, and staying true to our promise to make high-end products.” One of Europe’s most successful and innovative caravan and motor home manufacturers, Hymer produces more than 8000 units each year, of which around 5300 are motor homes and 2700 are caravans. All are produced at the company’s state-of-the-art factory in Bad Waldsee, Germany.


Investment in facilities The Bad Waldsee site has enjoyed considerable investment in recent years. Mr Degasperi commented, “In 2006–2007 we spent a great deal of money building a new production hall – more than 24000m2. It was one of the largest investments the company has ever made and the result is a fantastically modern facility that is capable of manufacturing up to 15,000 vehicles every year. The only slight issue is that we invested in this

increased capacity just before the economic crisis began, so we have yet to truly utilise this potential.” With the current annual production standing at around 8000 units, Mr Degasperi is focused on developing new business and expanding existing markets to ensure that capacity grows as much as possible. The caravan market is less buoyant than the motor home sector, particularly as it is more seasonal, but the company expects this to

be boosted from May onwards, with Easter a known turning point for caravan sales. Innovation and top-quality products have always been Hymer’s calling card. By both following and leading market trends for caravan and motor home interiors, features and facilities, Hymer is well aware that it can gain market share even if the market is dropping, as long as it has the right products and the right pricing policy. It sees increased demand in smaller vehicles with more sophisticated

Industry Europe 43


Euramax Euramax is a premium coil coating company with production facilities in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
State of the art technology enables us to supply the widest range of pre-coated aluminium coil and sheet materials,
available in widths from 30 up to 2630 mm and thicknesses from 0.30 up to 2.00 mm. Colour, creativity and design consultation are the core competences for which we are appreciated. Our special coated finishes offer inspiration for a multitude of applications such as architectural building components, roller shutters, domestic appliances, parts in automotive/transport and various other products in which flat strip materials are being used.

44 Industry Europe


facilities integrated inside, which certainly presents a challenge for the design and engineering teams, but it’s also continues to cement Hymer’s market leading position.

Challenges and opportunities Hymer mainly sells across Europe, with France its largest market for motor home sales, followed by Germany. Italy has previously been a key market but it is currently suffering from the consequences of the economic crisis. Mr Degasperi continued, “The market in Italy is still dropping. This year alone the motor home industry is down 35 per cent and the caravan market down 40 per cent. This has obviously had a knock-on effect. Different countries have very different pressures, with the various governments trying to help move balance sheets in the right direction, but tax pressures and the price of fuel is certainly having an impact on the caravan and motor home industry. We don’t expect this to pick up dramatically any time soon so we are concentrating on building other markets. In other traditionally strong European markets such as Austria, Switzerland and Belgium

we are still positive – there is no real growth but still a good performance.” Hymer is seeing some signs of growth across Scandinavia but this is not really enough to compensate for the rest of Europe’s current situation. However, the company’s performance outside Europe is looking positive. For many years Hymer has sold to Japan, and

it also has an active dealership in China, one in Mongolia and an increasingly strong network in eastern Europe and Russia. He added, “We will also strongly consider appropriate strategic acquisitions to boost our local presence in these markets as it can make a real difference to the speed at which we can n be introduced to new opportunities.”

Industry Europe 45


46 Industry Europe


TAKING EMISSION-TESTING

TECHNOLOGY TO A NEW LEVEL Maha Maschinenbau Haldenwang is a global leader in brake and emission testing technology. The company continues to set new standards in accuracy and innovation throughout its product portfolio. Philip Yorke looks at the company’s latest innovative products and its move towards sustainable production.

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aha is a brand that is synonymous with quality and innovation in the field of motor vehicle testing and workshop outfitting. Founded in Germany over 40 years ago, the privately owned company has seen consistent growth, and today operates four major production facilities, three in Germany and one in the USA. The company’s product portfolio consists of motor vehicle test lanes that include sideslip testers, shock absorber and suspension testing equipment, roller brake and headlight alignment testers and surface-mounted lifting gear. From Maha’s headquarters in Haldenwang its 1000 employees manage and coordinate the movements of more than 45,000 brake testing installations currently operational in auto-dealerships, test stations, workshops and test agencies, to ensure the safety of cars, commercial vans, motorcycles and special vehicles around the globe.

The company’s services not only include the realisation of complete concepts for vehicle testing programmes but also stand-alone solutions for individual, single workshop outfitting. Maha customers also receive optimal service back-up from its worldwide locations which are supported in turn by subsidiaries and partners in more than 130 countries, to provide technical support around the clock.

Pioneering high-tech laser technology Today everyone is aware of the dangers posed by vehicle exhaust emissions to health and to the well being of humans and the environment. Vehicle exhaust gases contain some of the most dangerous components of particulate matter and only by employing highly sensitive measurement methods can essential reductions in particle emissions be achieved. As the pioneer of innovative vehicle testing solutions, Maha has developed the

most practical, innovative and accurate solutions. The company’s second generation Opacimeter is the logical development of its well-known predecessor. In the field of diesel emission measurement technology Maha relies on its highly accurate laser-scattered light measurement technology, which can identify even the most microscopic soot particles, which diesel engines with direct-injection systems tend to emit. The company’s latest MET 6.3 emissions tester is capable of measuring turbidity value and particle concentrations. These evaluations exceed the standards laid down for official emission testing and the testing of particle filters. Development is at an advanced stage and full approval of the company’s first advanced laser scattered-light measurement device is expected to be granted during the last quarter of 2012. Maha is also committed to sustainable development in all its production proIndustry Europe 47


...more than Packaging! Products that set Standards Packaging problems are opportunities for us The Müller Group of companies consists of TRICOR Packaging & Logistics AG and TRANSCOR Logistics GmbH with approximately 450 employees and annual sales of €145 Mio euros. TRICOR Packaging & Logistics AG runs five highly specialised production sites for packaging made of corrugated cardboard. One additional location serves in the area of full product range, system logistics and decentralised warehousing services. TRANSCOR Logistics organises the internal and external transport and storage logistics of the company group with its own fleet of 110 vehicles and three high-bay warehouses. TRICOR Packaging & Logistics AG is specialised in packaging made of heavy-duty corrugated board. Our quality and product range includes all established grades of corrugated board. We offer you products and services pan-european and worldwide. Our know-how gives our customers product and process security. Our quality assurance guarantees them continuity and transparency. Years of experience in the automotive, automotive supplier, chemical and investment goods industries have defined our competence in production, service and logistics.

TRICOR Packaging & Logistics AG Haselbacher Straße 32 DE-87745 Eppishausen (Germany) www.tricor.de For information, please contact: Thomas Biendl (Head of International Key-Account) Phone: +49 172 8289283 Email: t.biendl@tricor.de


cesses and all its environmental management systems are soundly based on ISO 14001 certification. This serves to guarantee sustainable environmental compatibility throughout its business activities, products and processes. In addition, it offers an economical tool to achieve sound environmental production throughout the company’s manufacturing processes.

has set new global standards in functionality and in the performance testing of vehicle emissions. Maha’s exhaust emission analysers for diesel and petrol engines have gained approvals in all the world’s leading markets as well as in many of the fast-growing, emerging trading nations.

Full service provider

Since December 2011 Maha Maschinenbau Haldenwang GmbH has been certified in accordance with the new DIN EN 16001:2009 standard, which makes it one of the very first companies in the industry to introduce a concerted energy management system based on stringent European protocols. As a result, Maha’s unique Greenline product line emphasises the involvement of the workshop outfitter for improved environmental protection. By the year 2020 the federal government wants to reduce CO2 emissions in Germany by 40 per cent compared to 1990 levels. This can only be achieved through a more efficient use of energy. Klaus Burger, Maha managing director said, “With the latest certification in accordance with DIN EN 16001:2009 we are continuing down the path already set of pursuing a sustainable environmental policy. Again we are setting important trends in the industry and meeting the demands that leading automobile manufacturers place on their suppliers.” This latest quality certification has also had a beneficial effect on a range of Maha products such as its innovative tester series MET6.x in which both choice of materials and reduced electrical consumption levels n have been enhanced.

Maha is a full service provider in every sense of the word and offers its customers everything from professional consultation at the design stage to the production of equipment and full after-sales service support. Virtually all Maha products are manufactured in-house at its four modern automated production sites. Projects can range from new concepts and solutions for the implementation of individual test lanes up to nationwide vehicle test systems with advanced e-communication networks. Maha’s diverse portfolio consists of motor vehicle test lanes of every description, but the company has also moved into the development of an entirely new generation of tyre changing and wheel balancing equipment. The company’s latest wheel alignment robot, the Lastron has already been described as a ‘revolutionary’ innovation by the automotive trade press. The company continues to set new world-class standards in other market sectors too, such as in its emission and performance dynamometer division. Maha’s innovative AIP (Automotive Industry Projects) sector dominates the market in the emission testing field and its latest LPS 3000 performance dynamometer

Setting new standards in energy management

Industry Europe 49


COMBATING THE

COUNTERFEITERS “Imperial Tobacco Polska is one of the largest manufacturers of tobacco products in Poland. The company complies with the highest standards of business and puts great emphasis on excellence in production and sales,” says Agnieszka Świergiel, the president and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Polska SA.

50 Industry Europe


I

mperial Tobacco Polska SA (ITPL) is a part of Imperial Tobacco Group, the UK-based leading international tobacco company, which manufactures and sells a wide range of cigarettes, loose tobacco, rolling papers, cigarette tubes and cigars. In Poland the Imperial Tobacco Company consists of a modern factory in Jankowice near Poznan, one of the largest units throughout the Group, and a trading division located at the same spot. The group also comprises Imperial Tobacco Polska Manufacturing SA in Radom, which has a tobacco factory. Corporate social responsibility is one of the company’s priorities. “As part of our CSR policy, we have been carrying out a number of campaigns and projects designed to benefit our employees, local communities and the environment. For all of its activities, and above all for its great economic results, growth in exports and charitable activities, the company received the Golden Statuette of the Polish Busi-

ness Leader 2011,” says Ms Świergiel. “Furthermore, we received many other prestigious awards and honours, including the Certificate of Top Employers Poland for the highest quality personnel policies and campaigns designed for employees.”

Problems with the illicit tobacco market The tobacco industry in Poland is facing many challenges. One of the most serious is the illegal trade of tobacco products: smuggling and counterfeiting. “The size of the illicit tobacco market in Poland is estimated at about 15–20 per cent, which represents about PLN 3–4 billion in losses. Since 2004 there have been more than 40 illegal tobacco factories closed in Poland,” Ms Świergiel observes. Imperial Tobacco Polska has been cooperating for years with all government agencies in combating crime within the tobacco market. It has held professional trainings for customs officers and police officers from economic

crime departments all over the country. The company also acceded to the Programme of Cooperation for Rights Protection, created by Allegro auction website. “The problem of the intellectual property rights violation is a priority for Imperial Tobacco Polska SA,” remarks Ms Świergiel. “Our participation in the programme is aimed at providing the most effective protection against a possible violation of intellectual property rights for all those who buy and sell our products on the Allegro website.” In order to raise awareness of the public and decision-makers about the scale of risk resulting from market presence and consumption of illegal, counterfeited tobacco products, the company has organised two nationwide information campaigns. The first one, named “Stop Fake Cigarettes”, was conducted in autumn 2010. Its aim was to warn consumers against the dangers of counterfeit cigarettes, whose composition and method of production ignore health and safety standards. An important objecIndustry Europe 51


tive of this action was to draw public attention to the problem of losses and damages that the state, commerce, employers and employees of legitimate companies suffer from illegal cigarettes. The second campaign, named ‘Stop Counterfeit Loose Tobacco’, was conducted in autumn 2011 and was aimed at alerting internet users against buying fake products labelled as brands owned by the company. Ms Świergiel continues: “To eliminate the uncontrolled circulation of raw tobacco, it is necessary to have effective regulation, which would enable the complex control of the cultivation and sale of raw tobacco. There is also a need for clear rules on the mandatory destruction of tobacco manufacturing equipment seized at illegal factories. Now it

is back on the market, as the Treasury sells it off through bidding procedures after a court orders confiscation.”

EU proposals are ‘detrimental to Poland’ In 2010 the European Commission launched a public consultation on changes to Directive 2001/37/EC. According to Ms Świergiel the EU proposals would have serious adverse consequences of an economic and social nature for the Polish market, for workers employed in the tobacco sector, and for the state budget. “The proposals are excessive and disproportionate,” she asserts. “They are not supported by credible scientific arguments, nor do they take into account the serious economic and social consequences for Poland. In our opinion, all adjustments

should be preceded by thorough analysis and supported by scientific evidence showing that the solutions would be effective for public health, and they wouldn’t lead to further development of a grey area at the expense of legitimate companies. The

CLIP Logistics CLIP Logistics (member of CLIP Group) is a Polish logistics company that has been operating for Imperial Tobacco for three years. Since then both companies have realized many common projects, such as the implementation of customs clearance under simplified procedures. In two ‘A’ class warehouses CLIP Logistics provides high and reliable KPI’s level according to the ISO and AEO requirements. As a result, and thanks to the operational synergies and particular emphasis CLIP Logistics puts on the biological CLIP Group is a developer and logistic service provider of warehouses and industrial facilities, and owner of the most attractive investment land for sale in the area of Poznań. About 80 ha of CLIP investment land in Swarzędz (10 km from Poznań) were included into the Kostrzyn-Słubice Special Economic Zone. The companies operating on CLIP investment land employ the total of about 3000 people. In January 2011 CLIP opened Intermodal Container Terminal. Thanks to the Terminal, CLIP and its customers may benefit from railway transports along the second trans-European railway corridor E 20 (Paris-Beijing), and profit from the proximity of the A2 motorway. In May 2012 a regular train connection between CLIP Terminal and the Rotterdam port was established. See also : www.kssse.pl, www.clip-group.com

52 Industry Europe

security of tobacco, at the end of last year Imperial Tobacco centralized all of its warehouse operations in one place, which is the multimodal logistics centre of CLIP Logistics. about

Center for Logistics and Industrial Investments Poznan


proposed changes can worsen the financial situation of more than half a million Polish citizens involved in tobacco cultivation, and production and trade of tobacco products.” One of the Commission’s demands is to prohibit or significantly limit the use of additives in tobacco products. Such a ban is a threat to 40 per cent of tobacco growing in Poland (Burley variety), as lack of additives makes it impossible to use. Burley tobacco is a key component of the American Blend tobacco mixture that is used in virtually all cigarettes sold in Poland. “A drop of 40 per cent of national cultivation growing can cause deprivation of the livelihoods of thousands farmers and their families,” explains Ms Świergiel. The changes will also have implications far

beyond the realm of cultivation and production. Standardised packages of cigarettes, virtually indistinguishable from the original packages, will become much easier to forge. “Poland will be inundated with illegal goods, exacerbating the state budget losses coming from lost revenue from excise duty,” Ms Świergiel claims. Currently, revenues from excise taxes and VAT on tobacco are estimated at about PLN 20 billion annually, which is approximately 9 per cent of total receipts of the state’s budget.

High excise tax rate drives smuggling Under EU law, Poland is obliged to achieve a minimum level of cigarette excise tax of €90 per 1000 cigarettes. However, it was granted

a transitional period to achieve this minimum level by the end of 2017. “Although we still have five years to achieve a desired level of taxation, the excise tax increases, both this year and last, were much higher than necessary,” says Ms Świergiel. Decision-makers forget that Poland is a special country in the EU due to its eastern border, which is also the EU outer border. The level of cigarette smuggling across this border still remains high, and the illicit manufacturing of tobacco products has been developing in Poland. The increase in prices, which is a consequence of the excise duty rate growth, is a key factor driving the development of illicit production and trafficking. Increases in excise duty should be n gradual and mild.”

Agnieszka Świergiel, President and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Polska Agnieszka Świergiel took over as President of the Board and Director General of Imperial Tobacco Polska in January 2010. She is the first woman as president of ITP and its first Polish president. The company’s decision was an expression of appreciation for her knowledge, long experience and management competence. Agnieszka Świergiel has been working for Imperial Tobacco in Poland since 1995, occupying a number of positions in the Financial Division. Agnieszka Świergiel combined her extensive experience with substantial creativity, entrepreneurship and unique skill in building internal communication and social engagement. In a short time it led to a significant strengthening of the company’s market position and its wide recognition. For her charitable and social sensitivity Agnieszka Świergiel received in 2011, the Social Solidarity Medal. She also took the first place in the ‘Businesswoman of the Year 2011’ contest in the corporation category, won the fifth place in the ranking of “100 Women in Business 2011”, and was recognised by the daily newspaper ‘Rzeczpospolita’ as one of ten rising stars in business.

Industry Europe 53


NATURE’S BEAUTY SECRETS 54 Industry Europe


Oriflame Cosmetics offers a wide range of high-quality beauty products that are sold in more than 60 countries worldwide. The company, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, believes in using natural extracts of herbs and plants as the basis for its cosmetics and skincare products. Joseph Altham spoke to Johan Rosenberg, Oriflame’s executive vice president global marketing and R&D, to find out how this philosophy has helped Oriflame to succeed in emerging markets.

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hen Sweden’s Oriflame started to make beauty products in the 1960s, the company adopted an approach that has proved to be very popular with consumers. At the outset, Oriflame created a range of beauty products such as skin creams and mascara that used natural Swedish ingredients like birch extract. From the earliest days, the company always followed a strict policy of avoiding testing on animals. Another distinctive feature of Oriflame’s operations, which has been part of the company’s business concept from the very beginning, is its reliance on direct sales. Rather than selling through retail outlets, Oriflame operates through sales consultants who can make money for themselves by selling Oriflame’s products. Many of these 3.5 million sales people deal in Oriflame’s wares as a sideline, but for some, becoming a sales

consultant for the company is an opportunity to make a complete change in their lives and to build a new career. “Our business is built on independent sales consultants,” said Mr Rosenberg. “For these people, Oriflame represents an income opportunity. Our products offer value for money, which is an important consideration nowadays, and we have a strategy which enables our sales consultants to take their business online.”

Natural ingredients Oriflame’s range runs to around 1000 products and the company brings out almost 500 new items every year. “Innovation is important to us. We are introducing new products all the time to excite our sales consultants and capture the interest of our customers.” Oriflame has just released a new fragrance for men, the Fuse eau de toilette.

This masculine fragrance has notes of sandalwood, cypress and cedar. The fragrance also contains an unusual ingredient, rock crystal extract, and the bottle is designed to look like a shard of rock crystal. “Right now we are at the point where we have just launched our Valentine’s offering. As well as the Fuse eau de toilette for men, we have brought out a new fragrance for women, Ultra Glam, together with another new fragrance for women called Paradise.” Fragrances are only one of Oriflame’s business areas, which also include Colour Cosmetics, Personal and Hair care, Skincare, Accessories and Wellness products. In skincare, Oriflame has created a new range of eco-friendly products, Eco Beauty, based on natural ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil. “Respect for the natural world is in our heritage and close to our hearts.

Industry Europe 55



Natural Alcohol – making quality alcohol naturally Cargill is an international producer of food and agricultural products. Its high quality alcohol for food and industrial uses is made from natural resources. Cargill’s alcohol offers constant superior quality and stable organoleptics: its purity and neutral characteristics make it an essential raw material for a wide spectrum of applications, such as spirits, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and body and face care products. For the cosmetics and personal care industry, Cargill provides various grades of undenatured and denatured ethyl alcohol. Leading perfume and cosmetics brands place their trust in Cargill’s alcohol because of its excellent and constant neutral odor.

We have developed the Eco Beauty range in cooperation with leading certification bodies like EcoCert, the Forest Stewardship Council, Fairtrade and the Vegan Society.”

Production values Oriflame is a large-scale operation, employing 8300 people and with annual sales in excess of €1.5 billion. The company manufactures around 60 per cent of its merchandise in its own factories, outsourcing the remaining 40 per cent of production. In Sweden, where Oriflame was founded, the company has a highly automated factory just outside Stockholm for the production of toiletries. Oriflame’s largest factory, in Warsaw, manufactures over 350 different products and opened in 1995. “Poland was the first of our eastern European markets where we established a factory. The factory is well run and we have been able to build up a strong knowledge base.” A pioneer in eastern Europe, Oriflame was also quick to move into the emerging economies, and now has factories in China and India. “We operate a similar quality standard in all of our factories. In China, the output is purely for local consumption, but some of the products from our factory in India are intended for the global market.” Production is supported by Oriflame’s strong research R&D capability. “We have a

big development centre in Dublin as well as a skin research institute in Stockholm. In Dublin we conduct tests on whether the consumers like the product. We also verify that the claims we make for the product are accurate, so any claims we make for our antiageing cream have been tested and validated on real consumers. As we introduce so many new products every year, testing is very important to ensure their quality.”

potential for working also online using the same principles as traditionally. The entire business model is based on recommendations and that is also what consumers trust and look for online – this is a great opportunity for us and the industry.” n

Market opportunities Oriflame has been particularly successful in Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States, the countries of the former Soviet Union). Oriflame already has a factory near Moscow for the production of lipstick and lip gloss and will soon have another production site in Russia as well. “This will be a big complex, containing a warehouse and distribution centre as well as a manufacturing facility. The justification for this investment is that Russia is our single biggest market and the CIS as a whole is our largest sales region. We moved into Russia at an early stage. Our products are well positioned for the Russian market, where Oriflame is a trusted brand.” The company also identifies great potential to develop business through the medium of the internet. “Direct selling is a social business and hence we see a great Industry Europe 57


TAKING ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOWS TO A NEW LEVEL Inwido is northern Europe’s leading producer of windows and doors and a global leader in the design and development of energy-efficient windows. Philip Yorke talked to Anders Isaksson, Inwido’s chief operating officer, about the company’s latest innovative products and its plans for further expansion. 58 Industry Europe

I

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

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


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

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

Mr Isaksson said, “We have always strived to be at the forefront of energy-saving window and door technology. Our windows are designed in such a way that they can be cleaned on both sides from within; these are known as ‘two-in-one’ windows. We have also been working with Pilkington Glass to produce a new range of ‘self-cleaning’ windows and are the first company to market these in Europe. Our success is based very much on the quality of our products and our local presence in the Industry Europe 59


TECHNOFORM GLASS INSULATION Innovation requires the City:
 More efficiency in
development and project work

 December 8, 2010 Founded Projectplace as an innovation center in the TGI group.

 Projectplace place the necessary resources and capabilities available for implementing development projects and facilitates effective project work in addition to ongoing operations.

 Project Place also has access to an experimental room that makes it possible to implement the relevant product tests, such as DIN EN 1279 and EN ISO 4892-2 UV resistance. This facility enables us to devote the necessary attention to the increased demands and developments in the market regarding our products and to ensure speedy implementation.


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

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

Leading the way in sustainability

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

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

Increasing availability

ings, complement Inwido’s existing range of windows and doors. Initially the two companies will work together in the Swedish market, but the agreement will eventually cover all of Inwido’s markets. Hakan Jeppsson, president and CEO of Inwido said, “For two such important players to sign an agreement at this level is groundbreaking in this industry. It opens up possibilities not only for Inwido and Schuco, but also for our customers. Schuco’s advanced glazing solutions complement our other products as well. Above all, they will strengthen our offering to architects.” The sale of Schuco’s products commenced in all of Inwido’s markets from early 2011; these included Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Ireland and the UK. n Industry Europe 61


CONSTRUCTION

CHEMICAL SOLUTIONS KREISEL Technika Budowlana, one of the most prominent manufacturers of construction chemicals in Poland, has recently introduced its new ‘Crystal Deluxe’ plaster. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports on this latest innovation and other recent developments at the company.

62 Industry Europe


C

rystal Deluxe plaster is one of the latest products from KREISEL. It is a combination of KREISEL thin plaster in the form of ready-to-use plaster mass with the original crystallised Swarovoski Elements. The plaster has been produced on the basis of selective resin dispersion, with mineral fillers, water-proofing agents and other additives that enable the application of crystals and pigments. The plaster does not contain ammonia or organic solvents, and once hardened it is waterproof. The high quality of KREISEL plaster with Swarovski crystals makes it perfect for use in conference rooms, public areas or anywhere in which a good impression is to be made. According to the company, “This fascinating material transforms the world, inspires people and enriches their art and culture in all spheres of life.”

Six plants, four laboratories and one mine KREISEL Technika Budowlana has been operating on the Polish market since 1993. The company produces construction chemicals, including adhesives for ceramic tiles, mortars, plasters, self-levelling underlayment, primers and isolating mass, facade paints, plasters, finishing systems, building insulation, and renovation and repair systems for concrete. The company has six production plants – in Poznan (its headquarters), Bedzin, Ujazd, Kaliska Kujawskie, Rogowiec and Ostroleka, as well as four research and development laboratories. In addition, since 2005 it has been operating EuroKrusz, an aggregate and sand mine in Nowe Miasto nad Pilica. A new plant, in the town of Ostroleka, has been planned for quite a while, but the economic downturn forced a delay in this PLN 20 million investment. The plant was

finally opened in 2010. It includes a 4000m2 production hall, while the actual physical land area surrounding it is more than four hectares. The production capability is impressive: 500 tonnes of gypsum products per day, with an additional capacity to calcinate 240 tonnes of gypsum each day recuperated from the power plant in Ostroleka.

Surviving the crisis When KREISEL last featured in this magazine, the European and global economy was in the midst of an economic downturn. Nevertheless, thanks to factors such as effective management and a carefully targeted product offer, KREISEL has managed to perform relatively well. The company was able to survive the crisis thanks to the support of its parent company, FIXIT Trockenmoertel Holding, headquartered in Germany.


The FIXIT GROUP has been the umbrella organisation of the four building material specialists KREISEL, FIXIT, HASIT and RÖFIX since September 2007. In this way, many years of experience in heat insulation, ecological renovations and building chemical solutions are combined through a common organisation. Cross-national projects and tasks are coordinated by the employees of FIXIT GROUP and KREISEL benefits from the effects of this synergy. The company has performed well in recent years, despite the fact that the crisis hit the construction sector particularly hard. Many people in the domestic construction market decided to delay their decision to build a new house and instead focused on renovating their current flats or houses. The strong demand from the domestic market for construction products used in renovations and modernisations has therefore been very important for KREISEL during this time. Moreover, there is a good chance of further development for the company as, following 64 Industry Europe

the years 2009–2010, a difficult period for the construction chemicals industry, 2011 saw the beginnings of recovery in the area of large building construction – the primary recipient of construction chemicals.

Constant innovation KREISEL’s current strategy is to develop in terms of offering a wider range of gypsum facade plasters as well as products incorporate nano-technologies, both of which are growing in demand. These nanoproducts are the technology of the future, as they use thickening chemical particles which help to prevent facade plasters from getting dirty. In addition, other ingredients such as silver ions are becoming increasingly popular as they have antibacterial characteristics. When added to a façade plaster, silver ions make the product particularly safe. The company is also thinking about a number of other possibilities for growth, including the potential for renovating historic buildings.

Crystal Deluxe is not the only new product recently developed by KREISEL. Another new product is TURBO Z-SA, an innovative insulation system designed to operate in low air temperatures. It is designed for the thermo-renovation of existing buildings, both in single- and multi-family buildings and in industrial construction. KREISEL and its products have received many economic and consumer awards, for example: Polish Promotional Emblem ‘Teraz Polska’ (‘Poland Now’ – received twice), ‘Market Leader’ BUDMA MTP Gold Medals, the ‘BCC European Medal’, and the Zloty Herkules (Golden Hercules) for outstanding achievements and maintaining an established position in the construction industry. Dr Szczepan Gawłowski, the president of KREISEL, was also named the best entrepreneur in the Wielkopolska region. He received this prestigious title for the contribution KREISEL has made to the development and promotion of the Wielkopolska region, and thus the region’s n economic success.


Industry Europe 65


FLEXIBLE SOLUTIONS

66 Industry Europe


Hungarian building contractor Market Zrt has acquired a key position in the Hungarian domestic market by fully meeting the requirements of its customers in the field of structural construction and building services. Since its foundation in 1996, the company has always been determined to provide high-quality services and to operate smoothly whilst strictly adhering to deadlines and customer requirements. Edina Beale reports.

IN

recent years the construction industry has faced many challenges all over the world and it takes a company with real abilities to not just survive but to thrive in these difficult financial times. Mr Sándor Scheer, CEO of Market Zrt, is the first to acknowledge the problems faced by the industry in general and Market Zrt in particular.

“Looking back over the past two years, we get a sad picture of the construction industry since it is the biggest loser of the recession. In this difficult period Market Zrt has maintained its market-leading position in structural construction in Hungary by responding to the rapidly changing market needs and by making firm decisions accordingly. During the reces-

sion, the extensive organisational development of our group and the review and rationalisation of our internal processes was an important task. We bring clear and plain regulations to provide a background for our operations that also ensures our stable position.” It is clear that this company has met the challenges of the recession head on. Like a


military operation it has monitored intelligence, identifying areas where demand is falling, but more importantly areas in which there are opportunities to expand. This business model has given Market Zrt the flexibility to meet these rapidly changing demands, and the management style has ensured that new areas of business are as well served as the traditional work streams. Market Zrt currently employs 155 people, although the total head-count of the group,

including its subsidiaries, is 281 staff. Its consolidated annual turnover reached HUF 51 billion in 2011.

Retail therapy Market Zrt is involved in a wide range of projects in a variety of its industry segments. Shopping centres play a major role; current tasks in this field include the extension and redevelopment of the Árkád shopping centre in Budapest and the development of the

Hegyvidék shopping mall. The company has gained extensive experience in the construction of manufacturing facilities and logistics centres. It is currently developing the Givaudan food producing facility in Makó, whilst the second phase of the development of the DÜP logistic centre in Budapest has also recently begun. Market Zrt has acquired an enviable reputation for its excellence in hotel developments. A string of projects including the development of V83 Hotel in Budapest, Som-


Engineering & Installation in Industries over 2,000m2

WE TAKE CARE OF YOUR IDEA AND ENVIRONMENT QUALITY - TIMING - VALUE ENGINEERING - RELIABILITY

www.ensi.hu

ogy Udvar Hotel in Szeged and the five-star Buddha Bar Hotel in Klotild Palace, Budapest have added to this prestige. Market Zrt also puts great emphasis on environmental protection and invested large sums to recycling its waste on its construction sites. “In the past few years we have introduced selective waste collection and have begun to recycle our inert waste.” All inert waste created during the process of construction or demolition is collected by the company and reused for future construction projects. “Following the appropriate milling and assortment process, recycled inert waste provides an excellentquality base material for road structures and other foundations.” With this recycling process the company is able to significantly reduce its costs.

Despite the turbulent economic situation affecting the industry, Market Zrt has managed to increase its market share and has become the market leader in the structural construction industry in Hungary. “Our competitiveness is mainly due to our strategy of focusing on consistent, efficient and high-quality work. We are one of the most efficient companies in the industry, thanks to our flexible and dynamic operations which have characterised Market Zrt since our foundation in 1996.”

Stronger than ever “Unfortunately the recession is still affecting this industry. The market environment is more unreliable than ever before, and therefore we believe that the company’s internal stability and its firm operational background are extremely important. We are determined

(since:1994)

to maintain our corporate values, the unit of Integrity, Strength, Unity and Prosperity, which we adhere to every day.” Market Zrt is in a much better position to face the future than many companies in the sector. Its ability to cope with the ups and downs of the current situation whilst keeping focused on the key objective of maintaining a viable business have ensured it is ready to continue going from strength to strength. The last word has to go the CEO of the company, Mr Scheer: “Our short-term objective is to maintain our market position and so we will step into competition with our rivals to win all available projects that fit into our portfolio in the domestic market. We also plan to challenge ourselves in the foreign markets in the short and long term, which is necessary thanks to n the narrowing markets in Hungary.”


UP ON THE ROOF Global manufacturer of semi-finished extruded thermoplastic sheets and finished products Palram Industries offers a total service provision. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the marketing director, Mr Hanoch Goldman, to find out more.


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stablished in Israel more than 45 years ago, Palram Industries is a publicly owned multinational company that specialises in the manufacture and supply of thermoplastic sheets and finished products in polycarbonate, PVC and PMMA. With a $300 million annual turnover that saw an eight per cent rise in 2010 –2011 despite the global recession, Palram’s continued growth is expected in 2012 and beyond. With eight state-of-the-art production plants worldwide, and a number of sales and marketing offices in strategic locations, including Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia, Palram is keen to highlight its considerable achievements as a total service supplier. It has nine warehouse locations in Europe alone, making it very quick to deliver products to customers wherever they are based. Marketing director, Hanoch Goldman, told Industry Europe how Palram Industries has developed significantly during its nearly half-century history. He said, “The secret to our success is two-fold: continually investing in the latest technology to ensure that our products are of the best possible quality; and keeping in close contact with

our customers so that we can tailor our offer of products and services to meet their ever-changing demands. This has been the power behind Palram for decades.” Manufacturing a wide range of semifinished extruded thermoplastic sheets and finished products means that Palram can develop, deliver and install products for a wide range of applications across a number of commercial industries. Its core business is in DIY, construction, architecture, advertising, agriculture, glazing and fabrication, with the common thread between these industries a requirement for strong, flexible, performancedriven extruded thermoplastics.

Quality as standard Mr Goldman continued, “Even though our thermoplastics have a broad range of applications, they are all joined by the fact that they offer each market a high-quality solution. For example, in the USA we are the sole supplier of extruded thermoplastic sheets to the major DIY chain Home Depot and our products can be used for a number of domestic and construction-based applications.” One particular industry sector in which Palram’s strong sheets are utilised to their

fullest potential is in the building of sports and entertainment stadia. Its products have most recently been included in the development of some sites for the London 2012 Olympics, and are also prominent in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Palram is also proud to be involved in the construction of 13 different construction projects in China Olympics, with its polycarbonate sheets used for roofing, advertising signage and skylights. Mr Goldman said, “There are two main uses for our polycarbonate sheets in the building of stadia. The sheets are used in the construction of the roof in many cases as they provide a light, clear, UV-filtered material and our uniqe IR-filtered material that allowed us to block the heating under the roof. They are also used in the large signs used to advertise either sponsors or the name of the stadium with a special formulation designed for light box.”

Totally skilled The building of roofs and skylights from polycarbonate sheets is a key skill for Palram Industries. As the only company in the world that is able to get high light transmission and parallel to get cooler atmosphere


under the roof in stadium environments, it is keen to highlight its capabilities in this area. Mr Goldman pointed out, “This is a very big market and it is growing in importance for us as our achievements and capabilities reach new clients and potential clients. The bottom line is that we can match any profile to any kind of roof, and our engineers from technical support department, support their applications so that the whole aspect of the construction project runs smoothly. We don’t just sell sheets; we’re committed to delivering full solutions.” This total service provision is helping Palram Industries to stand apart from the


competition. Its ability to match any kind of roof with any kind of sheet application is certainly helping to expand its involvement with architects and construction teams, particularly as the Palram teams know the extensive potential of their products inside and out, and take great pride in passing this expertise on to customers. Printing with foamed PVC is also an important market for Palram, with its vast range of signing solutions and with the unique anti bacterial sheet valuable for hospitals, hotels and large-scale canteen-type environments. The PVC used rejects a huge number of microbes,

making it a very hygienic solution for such applications, so much so that it has already been installed by Palram in a number of hospitals in the UK, the Netherlands and Iraq.

Roof on the world Around 50 per cent of Palram’s current business is gained from customers in Europe. Mr Goldman is clear that this will continue to be an important geographical market for the company, although he points out that in terms of growth potential it will be focusing its new business activities in Asia, Brazil and Africa. It is already present in the USA,

Canada, Mexico, Asia and Australia, and these regions are expected to see continued growth for the company in 2012 and beyond. Mr Goldman concluded, “Europe will remain our priority as we have developed excellent working relationships with many customers, but we also see exciting opportunities in emerging markets, so we will certainly be kept on our toes! Our sales and design teams have strong experience of working with customers across sectors and across geographical regions and we are passionate about bringing our total service solution to n large-scale projects worldwide.”


FIRM FOUNDATIONS In the last 20 years Penta Kft has developed from a small family-type business to become a mediumsized enterprise that specialises in a wide range of civil engineering activities. Despite the fragile market conditions in the Hungarian construction industry the company’s professional reputation, skilled workforce and up-to-date technology ensure its steady growth. Edina Beale reports. 74 Industry Europe


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stablished by a small group of fellow workers in 1990, Penta Kft today occupies a stable market position in Hungary by offering specialised civil engineering activities. The company carries out utility projects, offers road construction and repair services, waste landfills and sewage works and installs and maintains wired telecommunication and cable television networks across the country. Over the last 15 years, Penta has completed many reconstruction works for the

FCSM Zrt (Budapest Sewage Works). The company gained a professional reputation when it was required to reconstruct the capital’s 100-year-old sewage system without interrupting its operations. Since then Penta regularly carries out sewage reconstruction works for FCSM Zrt as well as being responsible for their system maintenance. Owing to its specialist expertise in this field, Penta was recently appointed to construct a complex wastewater system which consists of

a 70 km long main sewage tunnel and 30 km long side tunnel. This development improve the quality of lives of ten thousand people living in six different villages in and around Kál, in Heves county. “We will start the construction at many different points along the planned route as we have to complete this job within one year, which is a relatively short time considering the size and complexity of this project,” says Mr Gábor Nagy, the managing director of Penta Kft. Similar sewage construction work will be Industry Europe 75


carried out in Vésztő, Diósd and Füzesgyarmat and the company is also required to develop sewage plants in many other locations. In another segment, Penta will soon start on one of its most challenging projects, the stone-cladding of the Buda Castle in Budapest. “We will have to build in beautiful natural stones in the castle environment in accordance with the relevant historic period whilst making sure that we do not disturb the tourist flow,” explains Mr Nagy. There are also several difficult projects in the pipeline that may be smaller in value but require real expertise in its field. “Some of our sewage reconstruction projects are like that. In addition to being expected to reconstruct a sewage system whilst it is continuously operating, we are often required to work 6–7 metres deep under the ground.” The construction of the Szabadság square with its funky interactive fountain in the 5th district of Budapest brought Penta into the lime light again due to the site becoming a bit of a 76 Industry Europe

tourist attraction. With the help of its sensors people are able to walk through this fountain whilst staying dry as the system shuts the relevant hidden nozzles. When the nozzles are turned on they create an exciting vertical water wall around the square-shaped area. A significant share of Penta’s annual turnover of HUF 8–10 billion was achieved by the company’s division for telecommunication network installation. Since the 1990s Penta has played a major role in the development of the Hungarian telecommunication sector. The company initially installed traditional telephone and television cable networks only in the surrounding areas of its location, but the division now provides coverage for a much larger geographic area. “We had to make the most technological investments in this area of our business. We are determined to be one step ahead of customers needs,” adds the managing director. “Although the number of traditional landline users is decreasing in Hungary in line with the increasing number of mobile

telephone users, the demand for technologies providing cable television and broadband internet service is growing.” In addition to this, Penta is required to construct more and more fibre optic cable networks for digital use.

Competitive edge Due to its specialist equipment and state-ofthe-art technologies Penta has always stood out from its competitors. Penta’s aim is to maintain this advantage by regularly updating its tools and equipment whilst providing adequate training for staff to acquire sought after expertise in the relevant sectors. “Especially projects received by our telecommunication division require professional staff with up-todate knowledge on the latest technologies,” adds Mr Nagy. “We frequently visit industry related exhibitions and expos, where we can try out the newest technological developments and tools.” In addition to technological investments, Penta has recently modernised its asphalt


mixing facility in its production site in Göd, 24 km away to the north of Budapest. Whilst implementing new machinery the company has also increased the capacity of this facility in order to cope with larger road construction projects and asphalt laying works. In regard to the company’s future Mr Nagy says: “Unfortunately we cannot be too optimistic looking at the current state of the Hungarian construction industry. We have to stay competitive against rivals that often offer irrational prices and at the same time the market is still not growing. Moreover, our cost is continuously increasing; you only have to think of the price of petrol that increased by 20 per cent within the last year. Our objective is to maintain our current position; we do not expect significant movements either in the headcount or in turnover. Our aim is to keep our highly trained professionals whilst we further improve our technologies that provide us with a competitive edge so that we can sustain our position in the more profitable markets requiring special expertise.” n

KK Kavics Beton Kft today employs over 50 staff. We provide our customers with extensive product range of high quality concrete, structural elements and paving. Our KK Kavics Premium products not only meet the highest standards but offer solutions for special customer requirements too. Our company has taken an active role in two of the committees of the Hungarian Standards Institution, and is also a member of two committees of the Hungarian Concrete Association, as well as supporting the work of Hungarian Construction Material Association. Central Office: 1053 Budapest, Ferenciek tere 2. Tel: +36 (1) 483-35-50 Fax: +36 (1) 483-35-45 E-mail: info@kavicsbeton.hu

Sales: Tel: +36 (29) 547-281, 547-282, 547-283 Fax: +36 (29) 547-285 E-mail: megrendeles@kavicsbeton.hu

Industry Europe 77


SCANDINAVIAN STRENGTH Scandinavian construction company Veidekke brings its high-quality projects and unique company culture to clients across the region. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the communications manager, Helge Dieset, to find out how this is being achieved.

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ounded in Oslo in 1936, Scandinavian construction company and property developer Veidekke has continuously utilised its professionalism, honesty and enthusiasm to generate what it calls valuecreating partnerships. A proudly entrepreneurial company, Veidekke is active throughout Scandinavia. Holding the number one position in construction and property development in Norway, this represents its core market, where it provides road building and maintenance as well as property development and construction. In Sweden, Veidekke holds the number four

78 Industry Europe

position for these sectors, and in Denmark, where it is number five in the market, it solely focuses on construction projects. Communications manager Helge Dieset told Industry Europe how the company’s geographical presence has enabled it to maintain impressive financial results. He said, “We work well in this region; it suits us and our business. While we are keen to grow within our current markets by continuing to deliver on high-quality building, construction and road projects, we do not aim to move into new geographical markets. Not only does the shared Scandinavian language enable clear

communication between us and our clients, but the culture, political conditions and short delivery distances all add up to promote our stable, long-term business plans.”

Understanding the region Mr Dieset also pointed out that the similar geology of the region means that Veidekke’s extensive experience in large-scale construction projects allows for faster, more effective execution. He added, “When it comes to projects such as tunnel building, we have many of the same rocks across Scandinavia. We know these rocks so well! We work with


Industry Europe 79


TESS TESS was established in 1968 and is Norway´s leading supplier of

with a tailor-made solution (so-called ConTESS) for the customer.

hoses, fittings, MRO and related services. The company coordinates

Throughout the years TESS has formed joint ventures with several

more than 100 service outlets. In addition, around 50 fully equipped

major industrial clients to establish integrated supply services on

TESS Mobilservice vehicles play a central role in the service portfo-

long term. The services are supplied through integrated shops,

lio. These mobile workshops and their trained technical personnel

with a TESS-developed concept, offering locally adapted ranges

support customers all around Norway. The MRO activities include

of goods. TESS is recognized as a reliable supplier of high quality

welding equipment, cleaning machinery, hand tools, transmissions,

products and services for more than 40 years.

protective clothes and much more. TESS also delivers containers

the geology and don’t waste any time in the preparation stage. Some competitors from overseas can find this stage difficult, particularly in winter when the rocks and surfaces behave in specific ways, whereas we know exactly how to get the best out of them. We work well staying in Scandinavia, especially as there are so many opportunities for growth within the region.” As a company with a strong financial position, Veidekke’s entrepreneurial approach is also extended to its fully committed workforce. With the company having celebrated its 75th 80 Industry Europe

anniversary in 2011, it has only had three CEOs in its history and its staff has an average service of 20 years. Mr Dieset believes this is largely thanks to the fact that this stable company promotes its unique active stock programme, with more than half of its 6100 employees, of which more than 4500 are located in Norway, holding shares in the company. He explained, “Many of us essentially ‘own’ the company. Veidekke has been listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange since 1986 and we have substantial ownership of the company by our employees. The company has always

enjoyed good returns as we have always operated in profit – no red numbers. We have a policy that at least 50 per cent of the profits should be given back to the owners and, as that is us, we are all motivated to ensure that Veidekke is the best it can be.”

Building and growing With more than 80 per cent of Veidekke’s business coming from repeat customers, it is clear that its Scandinavian strategy is working well. Active across the whole of Norway and Denmark, its Swedish activi-


ties are primarily focused on Stockholm and other major southern cities. Veidekke carries out around 60 per cent of its work with private customers, with projects including new-build shopping centres, homes and offices. The company’s own offices are certainly illustrative of its impressive capabilities. Its 40 per cent public work includes road maintenance and asphalt laying, and building municipal buildings, schools and hospitals. As Veidekke looks forward to its next chapter, the desire to continue to grow within

Scandinavia is set to be enhanced by its aim to acquire complementary partners as well as enjoying organic growth. The company expects its short- and medium-term future to be successful in its present locations and is aiming to enhance this further by adding further skills and manpower through acquiring carefully selected companies. Mr Dieset concluded, “Our target is to be much bigger by the end of 2015. As the market is very good here, having largely avoided much of the economic recession that

has affected the rest of Europe, we expect to acquire a couple of Scandinavian companies that will continue to allow us to add value to our private and public customers. We also intend to employ some highly skilled professionals in specific fields in our organisation. We certainly feel that there is a possibility in the future for growth across Europe, but for now we will keep focused on our region and our present markets as we know them so well and are proud to deliver excellent projects n and services to our local customers.”

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COMPLETE SOLUTIONS FOR MOORING AND LIFTING Franklin Offshore has grown from its origins in South East Asia to become a global provider of lifting and mooring equipment and services to the offshore oil and gas industry.

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ranklin Offshore was established in Singapore in 1984 to supply lifting and moving services and equipment to the offshore oil industry in the South East Asia region. Today it is a leading supplier of integrated mooring and rigging services to the offshore oil and gas industry not only in South East Asia but also, through subsidiaries and associated companies, in Australia, Indonesia, the Netherlands, South Korea, the USA, Qatar, Malaysia and Azerbaijan. The company offers total solutions to the mooring and rigging requirements of its customers and maintains its leading position in the market through global investment in strategically located service centres, supported by products and equipment that are specifically designed for the international offshore exploration and construction industries.

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Franklin Offshore’s principal manufacturing facilities are located at its Singapore headquarters, where it also has 210 metres of waterfront to support the wide range of its activities. Franklin Offshore’s mooring services involve the fastening and anchoring of offshore rigs, platforms, vessels and other structures to the ocean floor to ensure that they remain stationary during exploration and production operations. These mooring services include both temporary and permanent mooring. Its temporary mooring services include the installation, retrieval and reinstallation of mooring systems for mobile offshore drilling units such as semi-submersibles and floaters as they are moved from one well to another during the oil and gas exploration and development phase. Over the last ten years Franklin has completed over 50 such temporary mooring projects.


The company’s permanent mooring services involve the one-time installation of mooring systems, typically for a floating production or storage vessel and for the entire duration of the production phase of a well. Since 2008 Franklin has completed five permanent mooring projects. Franklin’s mooring services also include the sale and leasing of mooring equipment such as anchors, anchor lines, mooring chains, buoys and deepwater swivels as well as the sale of oilfield equipment. In fact, Franklin Offshore acts as a single source for virtually all of the equipment and services required to develop, install and operate both temporary and permanent mooring systems. It is able to supply most

of these services and equipment entirely in-house; permanent mooring projects, however, are usually carried out through a combination of in-house and sub-contracted services and equipment.

Rigging solutions Franklin Offshore’s rigging services consist of the lifting and securing of a wide range of equipment, machinery, vessels etc, both onshore and offshore. They include the lifting of heavy production equipment and structures onto oil and gas platforms as well as the sea-fastening of cargo and the towing of vessels. The company generally provides all the rigging equipment required in these lifting operations. Other rigging services include

inspection, load testing and spooling and termination of steel wire rope. Franklin also sells and leases rigging equipment such as drill lines, pendant wires, shackles, cable-laid slings, crane hoist ropes; it also sells oilfield equipment. In addition to these mooring and rigging services, Franklin also provides its customers with design and fabrication services, in particular for customised pieces of mooring and rigging equipment. The company also provides some vessel chartering services.

Expanding fleet Franklin Offshore currently operates a fleet of nine vessels, including two crane barges, four transportation barges, two test barges

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and one pipe-lay barge. At the end of 2011 the company took delivery of a new accommodation and construction work barge, the Franklin Victory. This 12,200 tonne vessel is equipped with a 520 tonne capacity revolving crane and a heavy-duty storage deck and has accommodation for up to 240 people. There is also a helipad for helicopter logistics support. The addition of the Franklin Victory to the fleet significantly enhances the company’s ability to provide turnkey solutions for offshore permanent mooring installation projects. Other major vessels in the Franklin fleet include the Isamigo No 3, a shallow-draft barge with a 200 tonne capacity revolving crane that supports projects such as marine salvage, the lifting and transportation of oilfield equipment and the deployment of mooring and riser systems. The Wakaei Maru No 8 is another shallow draft work barge with a 100 tonne revolving crane that is used for similar operations. As well as a shallow water pipe lay barge (the Tekkai) and a test barge (Franklin 2001),

Franklin also operates a range of heavy duty transportation barges that provide logistics support for its mooring and rigging operations. These barges can be equipped with additional project-specific equipment such as hydraulic piling hammers, diving support systems and cross tension winches.

Inspection and logistics

Franklin Offshore’s expertise has been recognised across the world. It was awarded the Enterprise 50 award by Accenture and The Business Times in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and by KPMG and The Business Times in 2008. This award recognises Franklin as among the 50 most enterprising private companies in Singapore. Indeed, in n 2008 Franklin was ranked No 1.

Franklin Offshore’s other operations include expert inspection services of all lifting and mooring equipment in the oil and gas exploration and construction industry. From a small shackle to a heavy lift crane, Franklin’s engineers can verify that the equipment is safe for continued use. The company can also provide logistics support on both a short-term, project-specific basis and on a long-term total support basis. From its marine logistics water front support base in the Singapore yards at Pandan and Pioneer, it can provide a total logistics package to enable customers to reduce operational time and cost, and increase efficiency. Industry Europe 85


WHERE OIL

TRAVELS

FIRST CLASS This year Swedish tanker company Stena Bulk celebrates 30 years of successful business. Peter Mercer looks at its continuing tradition of innovation in tanker operation and design.

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E

stablished in 1982, originally with a single employee, current president and CEO Ulf G Ryder, Stena Bulk AB is today one of the world’s leading tanker shipping companies with a fleet of some 100 vessels, totalling 9.5 million tonnes deadweight, and offices in Gothenburg (its headquarters), Houston, Rio De Janeiro, Singapore, Athens and Beijing. The company works with some of the world’s largest oil and chemical companies and is an industry leader in the development of new and unconventional vessel designs that increase efficiency and add value for both Stena Bulk itself and its long-term customers. Ulf G Ryder was recruited by Stena in 1982 specifically to build up the company’s tanker and bulk business. Stena was already well-established as an operator of ferries and Ro-Ro carriers on the routes between Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany and had begun developing a fleet of offshore maintenance vessels to serve the fast-growing North Sea oil and gas industry. In fact, the timing of the decision to move into the tanker business was not very good since at the time the world tanker market was in poor shape but the up-side was that prices for second-


hand tonnage were very low. So after waiting a year Stena was able to buy six tankers at very advantageous prices followed in 1984 with the purchase of its first VLCC (very large crude carrier), the 265,000 ton Stena Atlantica, at a record low price of $3.6m (five years later she was worth $40m). In the same year Stena’s management set up a new company, Concordia Maritime, to hold the assets of the bulk operation on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. All the vessels (except one) in the bulk fleet were transferred to the new company which continues to this day to work in partnership with Stena Bulk in buying, selling and chartering tonnage. Stena Bulk manages and mans these ships as well as the vessels it owns and charters itself. Stena Bulk grew steadily over the following years and by 2007, its 25th anniversary, it had a turnover of some SEK 3bn and a fleet of some 70 ships. In 2008 it continued to expand with the $250m acquisition of 35 per cent of the Greek shipping company Paradise Tankers, which gave the company control of three newly built Panamax tankers and two dry-cargo bulk carriers, and the SEK 1bn purchase of three MR product tankers from an Italian shipowner.

The ‘new’ Stena Bulk The next year, however, brought huge challenges. “In 2009 freight markets fell to unheard-of low levels and our financial results plummeted,” said Ulf G Ryder. “Nevertheless, we prevailed and through foresight and tactical moves we managed to limit the long-term impact on the company. Unlike many other operators, Stena Bulk had no expensive newbuildings from the past on its books and we had sold off (and chartered back) the majority of our fleet before the market went into free-fall.” To help to navigate the recession Stena Bulk also restructured its organisation. Its Moscow office was closed, new offices were opened in Helsinki and Rio de Janeiro and partly new organisation were established at it London, Singapore and Houston offices. “The launch of the ‘new’ Stena Bulk in January 2010 marked a milestone signalling that we are now ready to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead of us,” said Mr Ryder. “We have vast commercial ability, technical expertise and strong client relationships. Our in-house-developed innovative MAX tankers have been extremely successful, with all of them awarded long-term

charters with major oil companies and traders long before the vessels were even close to being completed at the shipyard.”

The MAX concept The Stena MAX concept is the latest product of the company’s constant drive for innovation and unconventional solutions in the design of new ships. Launched at the beginning of the new millennium, the MAX concept has been a huge success; these innovative, wide-body tankers, designed in-house by Stena Teknik, have a much larger beam than ships in the same size class, enabling them to operate in waters and ports with draft limitations; typically they can carry 30 per cent more cargo than traditional ships with the same draft. Their unique safety approach features a full double hull, two engine rooms with full fire and water integrity as well as double propulsion and manoeuvring systems. So far, Stena Bulk has designed and built three vessel types within the MAX concept: V-MAX, P-MAX and C-MAX. V-MAX is a design in which relatively small changes increase cargo intake by 20–40 per cent compared with conventional VLCCs and

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by 70–100 per cent compared to Suezmax tankers (the largest ships capable of transiting the Suez Canal). In effect a V-MAX vessel such as the Stena Victory or the Stena Vision has the shallow draft of a Suezmax and the length of a VLCC so that ports that have been limited to Suezmax tonnage are now open to VLCCs, with their huge economies of scale. Stena Bulk’s P-MAX designs are MR (medium range) vessels that incorporate numerous features for minimising the risks of incidents and accidents. They are built with double hulls, two engine rooms, double systems for propulsion and manoeuvring and an integrated bridge layout to ensure safe navigation in narrow waters. P-MAX vessels also feature tank cleaning systems that enable them to carry clean products as well as crude oil. The C-MAX is a 10,000 DWT coastal tanker that is a direct conceptual spin-off from the V-MAX design, featuring the same shallow draft combined with larger cargo intake and optimised safety and manoeuvrability. The first two C-MAX tankers have been designed specifically for the Caribbean clean-products trade; they are capable of carrying 17 fully segregated grades of products as well as two pressurised deck tanks for LPG cargoes.

Continuing innovation Now Stena Bulk is developing the MAX concept to produce a vessel that will be optimised for the transportation of Russian crude oil through the Baltic Sea. Exports of Russian crude have, of course, boomed, from 12 million tons shipped out from ports in the Gulf of Finland in 2001 to around 120 million tons in 2012. The B-MAX is being developed in cooperation with the state-owned Russian shipping company Sovcomflot to have the usual MAX features of shallow draft, high capacity, double hull, double main engines, double rudders, steering gear, propellers and control systems. With a cargo capacity of 200,000 tonnes of crude, it will be able to load twice as much cargo as the Aframax tankers currently serving the route and will be, in effect, a ‘floating pipeline’ between the port of Primorsk in the Gulf of Finland and Rotterdam.

The commitment to innovation at Stena Bulk continues: two radical new ship designs are underway. AirMAX is a project aimed at reducing the water resistance of a ship and thereby dramatically cutting its fuel consumption. Stena has built a 15 metre model that is an exact replica of a 180 metre P-MAX tanker but with an air cushion on the bottom of the vessel and a patented bulbous bow. “We expect energy savings of 20 to 30 per cent when the technology is ready to be built into full-size ships,” says Ulf G Ryder. The E-MAXair takes Stena Bulk’s focus on environmental challenges one step further. This tanker will run on pure LNG, giving it emissions of CO2 and NOx of 35 per cent and 90 per cent lower respectively than today’s tankers. With its optimised hull design, slow-rotating propellers and engines running on LNG, the Stena E-MAXair will probably be the greenest tanker in the world. In addition to the MAX concept, Stena Bulk has also developed ultra-modern standardsized ships made for a more demanding market in regards to lower fuel consumption and better overall performance. A good example of this is the Suezmaxes they are now taking delivery of. These vessels are the most energyefficient Suezmax tankers ever built, with about 20 per cent better performance than a tanker built ten years ago. These ships marry well with today’s straitened market conditions, with fuel prices currently well above 600 dollars per tonne. There are also rumours that Stena Bulk is on its way to developing a Handysize product tanker along the same principles as it employed when the Suezmaxes were developed. Ulf G Ryder claims that this is just one of the many projects Stena Bulk is looking into

right now, but at the moment it doesn’t have the highest priority. In 2011, Stena Bulk made its most capitalintensive investment ever when it acquired three LNG tankers from a company in financial distress. The demand for natural gas transportation is expected to remain strong and to increase by around 10 per cent over the next 10 years, and capacity utilisation of Stena’s existing vessels is at a record high. It takes around three years from the order date for the technologically advanced LNG tankers to be delivered, and only a few vessels will be delivered over the next few years from the limited number of shipyards capable of building this vessel type. The shortage of tonnage in the medium-range perspective is also being reflected in the bullish market. Stena Bulk’s tankers have been signed to long-term charters generating a good return on the investment. At the same time, Stena Bulk is exploring further investments in order to secure profitable operation in the long term in the LNG segment. Finally, Ulf G Ryder says that even though 2010 and 2011 were challenging years for most shipping companies, Stena Bulk has continued to strengthen its reputation as one of the strongest and most innovative tanker companies in the world. One of its major strengths is its strong financial position, which allows it to act when opportunities come up. In 2012, intelligent energy management is expected to have a big impact on the tanker industry. It will be yet another challenging year, but Stena Bulk is both confident and enthusiastic about its prospects. The company is stronger than ever before and will continue to transport oil, products n and chemicals in first class.



A Wärtsilä gas power plant

PUMPING CASPIAN OIL The Finnish company Wärtsilä is a world leader in power solutions such as engines for ships and power plants for electricity generation. The company is also a major supplier of heavy-duty engines for the production and transport of oil and gas. Joseph Altham spoke to Tomas Rönn, Wärtsilä’s director, Oil and Gas Business, to find out how the company’s technology is helping to bring the world’s oil to where it is needed. The BTC pipeline stretches from Baku in Azerbaijan to Ceyhan in Turkey

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A Wärtsilä engine driving a compressor at an underground gas storage in Hungary

O

il does not emerge from the ground as if by magic. Oil and gas have to be extracted from under the ground or from under the seabed, and oil production therefore demands power. At the oilfield, power is needed for drilling, pumping and processing. Many oilfields are situated in remote locations and cannot be connected to any power grid, so oilfield sites have to be capable of generating power for themselves. “You need electricity for everything that you

do,” said Mr Rönn, “not only for the processing equipment but also for the lighting and the facilities for the crew.” Wärtsilä produces power plants for oilfields, engines for crude oil pumping and compression solutions for gas gathering and processing. As a means of power generation, Wärtsilä’s engines provide a higher level of efficiency than traditional alternatives. “Compared to gas turbines, our engine technology is very efficient. A 10MW gas turbine has a 30

per cent electrical efficiency, but a 10MW unit from Wärtsilä gives you an electrical efficiency of about 45 per cent.”

Technology In the oil and gas industry, the consequences of a fault can be ruinously expensive. Wärtsilä’s engines are therefore designed and built for continuous reliability. Production is based at the company’s factories in Vaasa and Trieste. “We supply the whole world from these

A pumping station along the BTC pipeline

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GEA Westfalia Separator Group

SHW Casting Technologies

GEA Westfalia Separator Group is a leading supplier of system

Established in the year 1365, SHW Casting Technologies

solutions for liquid fuel treatment for power generation. With

is the oldest industrial company in Germany. With this

its comprehensive portfolio of fuel treatment and conditioning

long tradition, SHW Casting Technologies is engaged for

solutions GEA Westfalia Separator Group has a unique experience

his partner WARTSILA in producing large enging blocks

in the field of power generation delivering high quality process

and cylinder heads in sustainable quality.

engineering and innovative technology to meet the growing energy demand.

With high-precision manufacturing technologies, high

The engine of the sustainable success of GEA Westfalia Separator Group is the ability to supply customized system solutions that are able to fulfill the requirements of engine manufacturers.

quality castings and functional, customized design SHW Casting Technology is market leader in Europe for large engines up to 100 tons. All products can be delivered ready for assembly.

For many decades, GEA Westfalia Separator Group has been working in very close partnership with the Finnish engine

SHW Casting Technologies is part of the CT-Group, a

manufacturer Wärtsilä to jointly develop and provide integrated

strong foundry cooperation with four plants in Germany

solutions tailored to meet the needs of the power industry

and one in the USA.

contributing to a future-proof energy supply.

factories,” said Mr Rönn. “We developed the first heavy fuel oil engine back in the 1970s. We continue to develop the technology of our engines in order to improve their ability to run on complex fuels.” The acceptance of complex fuels is one of the key advantages of Wärtsilä’s engines, which are designed to use the fuel from the well. “The engines can run on different kinds of fuels, both the crude oil from the well and the associated gas.” Wärtsilä’s engines function in desert temperatures as well as in cold climates and can be powered by a combination of liquid and gaseous fuels. Because an oil well’s output is variable, Wärtsilä offers engines that can be adjusted to burn gaseous and liquid fuels in different ratios. “The quality of the fuel changes over time but with our technology the engines will cope with these changes.”

BTC pipeline Although thousands of articles have been written on the subject of ‘pipeline politics’, the engineering behind the pipelines is seldom appreciated. Pushing oil along the pipeline takes power and Wärtsilä’s engines for pumping play a vital role in oil transporta-

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Tomas Rönn and Bent Svensson, the Program Manager of GGFR, at the signing ceremony when Wärtsilä became a partner of GGFR.



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A Wärtsilä generating set ready to be delivered to a customer from the factory in Vaasa, Finland.

tion. In Ecuador, Wärtsilä’s pumping units are employed in the heavy crude oil pipeline that carries oil from the oil receiving terminal in Lago Agrio to the port of Esmeraldas. In Turkey, Wärtsilä delivered the pumps and drivers for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. The pipeline, whose total length is 1820 kilometres, transports oil from the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to the port of Ceyhan on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The BTC pipeline has a maximum capacity of one million barrels of oil per day. The operators of the pipeline, the BTC Consortium, awarded the construction contracts to three different companies, one for each country. In Turkey, the job was given to the Botas Petroleum Pipeline Company. Botas, in turn, employed Wärtsilä to supply

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the pumps for the project. The Turkish section of the pipeline is the longest and runs for 1076 kilometres. Part of the Turkish section is through mountainous regions and the four pumping stations in Turkey are at altitudes of between 1600 and 2140 metres. “We made the engines that drive the pumps and our advisors helped the main contractor. High up in the mountains it is essential that the combustion engines do not lose output. The engines run on natural gas, as there is a natural gas pipeline nearby. The pipeline requires a lot of power and the engines generate nearly 100MW.”

Flaring Thanks to the BTC pipeline, oil can be shipped in tankers from Ceyhan, which relieves at least some of the congestion in

the Bosphorus. Meanwhile Wärtsilä is working to reduce the incidence of gas flaring on oilfields. Gas flaring is when the natural gas associated with oil production is simply burnt off at the site. This not only adds to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere but also wastes a valuable resource. Wärtsilä has joined the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership, which helps oil-producing countries to find worthwhile uses for this gas. One possible answer would be to use Wärtsilä’s engines to generate electricity but Mr Rönn is the first to admit that there are circumstances where another option might be more suitable. “Flaring is a huge global problem. The GGFR partnership brings governments and oil companies together and we are all cooperating in the search for a solution.” n


GOING UP One of the world’s leading manufacturers of loaders, Denmark’s HMF Group A/S, is dedicated to providing ‘the power to lift’ to customers with heavy demands. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Ove Trankjaer to find out more.

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IN

the three years since Industry Europe last spoke to HMF Group A/S (HMF), the world economic crisis has had a wide-reaching impact, and continues to do so. HMF’s CEO Mr Ove Trankjaer is pleased to point out, however, that ‘there is always a demand for lifting’, so thankfully the company has been able to get through the crisis largely unscathed. Mr Trankjaer said, “We know that 2008–2009 wasn’t really a good time for anyone in particular, but the markets picked up in 2010 and we are now back to our pre-crisis levels. Even though we certainly felt some impact due to customers having tightened budgets and projects being 98 Industry Europe

pulled or delayed, we are proud to have continued to achieve good results throughout this difficult time. Our business is at the same level as in 2011 and we expect 2012 to show a small growth.” Well aware that the market is still fluctuating on an almost day-to-day basis, the fact that HMF has a broad geographical client base and a reputation for reliable, solid products will help achieve this growth. Furthermore, its two-pronged strategy of aggressive product development and a stringent focus on reaching new markets will take this small growth to a more impressive level in the coming years. A 65-year-old Danish company that started out as a bicycle repair shop, HMF

has steadily grown to become a leading global player in the manufacture and supply of heavy loading vehicles. Exporting to more than 50 countries worldwide, HMF is well-known for its innovative solutions and hard-wearing products.

Sharing the power Specifically producing cranes and vehicles for customers with heavy demands, HMF products all come with the company’s promise of ‘the power to lift’. Essentially the mission statement that underpins the whole organisation, this highlights its long-term, on-going focus on high safety, high quality and total reliability.


Mr Trankjaer continued, “It is a very important statement for us. ‘The power to lift’ is visible across our marketing, our website and our products. We passionately believe that we are providing a service to our customers and they need to be able to trust us 100 per cent. It means that we are giving them the power to lift and that they can trust in us and our products.” The aggressive product development plans at HMF are already underway, with two new product ranges launched in 2011. The new T-Boom cranes have been specially designed for motorway breakdown applications. Compact and lightweight, the T-Boom is available in seven different models. HMF has also created 12 models in the Knuckle range. These cranes are also small and compact and have been designed for smaller building and construction applications. Mr Trankjaer added, “As you can see from our new product ranges, we are totally in tune with the continuing trend for small, lightweight loaders that are more economical and ecologically responsible to build, yet perform just as well. Compact vehicles are perfectly suited to urban applications too, which makes them ideal for the booming construction sectors in emerging markets’ city centres.”

In order to reach new markets, HMF has made a conscious decision to focus on countries with booming economies in order to balance out the more challenging European markets. It is in the process of establishing a new distribution centre in Brazil to meet the needs of the South American market, and is also developing active locations in China and India. HMF sells the same products worldwide, with Mr Trankjaer clear that all markets have the same desire for high-quality loading equipment, especially as safety and reliability in loaders is universal.

Investing and expanding This expansion into new markets will see HMF grow considerably over the coming years. The company does not currently intend to make acquisitions in order to grow, but rather to continue to expand its product range and ensure that it is meeting the needs of each territory. Ongoing investment in R&D of new products is imperative to this strategy, and Mr Trankjaer appreciates that this goes hand in hand with investment in equipment and employees. He continued, “Every year we introduce new products to our existing ranges, always following feedback from clients or a close understanding of market trends. We

have also recently invested in new welding robots and equipment for modern assembly, making our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities the best they can possibly be. Our 430-strong workforce receive a great deal of training to ensure that they can maximise the potential of the equipment, and we are also committed to staying one step ahead of the safety demands of our industry.” With HMF performing well in the building material supplier, machine handling, ‘grab’ and energy supply sectors worldwide, its plans for continued growth look set to be achieved. With its guaranteed ‘stability on the truck’ mobility monitoring coming as standard on all its loaders and an evergrowing portfolio of customer applicationfocused products, HMF’s ‘power to lift’ will n keep reaching new heights.

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HEAVY LIFTING Based in the northern Italian city of Piacenza, Bolzoni has established itself over 60 years as not only the largest lift truck attachment producer in Europe but also a world leader in its field, writes Beverley Young.

F

ounded in 1945 and family owned until the 1970s, Bolzoni began its European expansion by opening branches in Spain, France and the UK. In 2001 Bolzoni acquired Auramo, a Finnish company, forming the Bolzoni Auramo group. This growth then continued in 2006 when the group acquired Hans H. Meyer GmbH, merging the high quality products of two leading companies to provide the best product range on the market for forklift attachments. With seven production plants and 18 companies, Bolzoni employs more than

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700 people, and its recent investments in China guarantee its future growth. It now has branches throughout Europe and on every continent and turned over around €115 million in the year ending 2011, representing a healthy 25 per cent rise in revenues. But Bolzoni was not completely immune to the economic downturn of the past years as marketing director Carlo Fallarini explains: “2009 was, without doubt, a difficult year in our sector as forklift sales dropped to less than half that of the previous year as companies cut back on investment. Fortunately

things began to pick up in 2010 and this has been further consolidated in 2011 which can definitely be seen as a year of recovery. 2011 also saw other success stories for Bolzoni and its reputation as a well respected industry, and one which its city of Piacenza is proud of, can be seen when, in July 2011, Chairman Emilio Bolzoni, was appointed President of Confindustria for Piacenza. Confindustria is Italy’s leading organization for the representation of its manufacturing and service industries and is present both locally and nationally.


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“Our present growth,” continues Mr Fallarini, “has been mainly linked to our traditional markets, Europe and the USA, Germany being our biggest market while Asia and China are an investment for the near future.” So how did Bolzoni react to the downturn? “By looking to new, future markets in Asia and by innovating our products.” states Mr Fallarini.

Future expansion 2012, in fact, will be an exciting year for Bolzoni, the year in which their two new factories in China will open. The first, 200km outside Peking, is for the production of forks,

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and the second, 150 km from Shanghai, will produce more specialised equipment such as positioners, clamps, push-pulls, etc. These factories, which have been built at a cost of €10 million, will serve not only China but far eastern countries such as Singapore, Korea, Taiwan - all those countries in which Bolzoni foresees a major future expansion. I asked Mr Fallarini about this project. “While Asia is already giving us positive results the two new sites we are completing in China, which will be operative in the spring and summer of 2012, are seen as a strong future investment for Bolzoni. It’s worth pointing

out that the Chinese forklift industry is bigger than the European and American industries combined and as their industries develop and ‘refine’, needing more specialised equipment, so too will the sales of our forklift attachments.”

Constant innovation and research To maintain its position as leader in its field, Bolzoni has constantly invested in research and technology, renewing and improving its lines continuously. “In the last two years,” continues Mr Fallarini, “we have up-dated approximately 60 per cent of our range and we are particularly proud of our latest innovation, the


i-MOVE (intelligent move). With this attachment – known as a white goods clamp – we have successfully improved an electronic system we introduced 15 years ago making it even more sensitive and able to handle extremely fragile loads, such as electrical appliances, without the risk of the slightest damage.” When asked if he could pinpoint the reasons for Bolzoni’s success Mr Fallarini had no hesitation: “Our success stems from two fundamental aspects of our enterprise. The first is the high quality and technical characteristics of our product and the wide range of equipment we produce, fulfilling every industrial need as far as forklift attachments are concerned. This is proven by the fact that we are the official and exclusive supplier for the world leaders in fork lift production. The second aspect which has led to our growth and success over the years has been our ability to cover all the main global markets for forklift production. Our extensive network means that we can serve our clients in over 40 countries not just with our range of products but also with aftersales support which is second to none.” Where forklifts are used, then, Bolzoni’s presence is n almost always guaranteed.

Since 1992 we are manufacturing mechanical precision components with hard competition, combining the advantages of cooperatives with those of professional level. We follow the drowing of ours clients to make various mechanical components using: lathe and mill C.N.C. and welding machine (TIG-MIG). Our cooperative gives jobs opportunity to those who are in need.

CONTACT Phone: 0039 0372 76345 Fax: 0039 0372 769084 E-mail: ilcalabrone.tecnico@fastpiu.it

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GLOBAL MATERIAL

HANDLING SPECIALISTS Movomech AB and Movomech International, both headquartered in Kristianstad, Sweden, specialise in material handling solutions for a range of applications in various industry sectors. The companies’ activities complement each other perfectly, and today the Movomech Group is also increasing its overseas business in markets such as India and South America. Victoria Hattersley reports.

M

ovomech AB and Movomech International are both members of Swedenbased Sunnex Group, which brings together a number of companies operating in the sectors of lighting, industry, medical systems and lifting. Established in 1986, both Movomech AB and Movomech International specialise in advanced material handling equipment although, as we shall see the former focuses more on standard solutions, with the latter being more special-project-based. In addition to the production facilities in Kristianstad, there are sister companies in France, Germany, USA and Finland which focus on sales. The products of both com104 Industry Europe

panies have applications in a wide range of industry sectors, particularly automotive but also areas such as packaging, glass production, food production and HVAC.

Standard products Movomech AB produces all the standard Movomech material handling products in-house, and sells these products internationally through local distributors. Its product portfolio includes a wide range of lifters, manipulators, cranes, rail systems, profile systems and transport systems. Kristian Paulsson, sales manager of Movomech AB, explains a little about the com-

pany’s standard range. “We have everything here in-house, from the grippers to the end effectors, but we tend to make most of the standard components here. A particularly popular product is our lightweight aluminium rail system named Mechrail, and then you have the manipulators to go with this. “We also, I think, have one of the best range of vacuum lifters on the market today, and this is something we will be focusing on more and more. We have identified that there may be an issue with meeting energy requirements in the future, as these lifters do take a lot of energy to operate. To tackle this issue head on, we have solutions such


as an automatic turn-off function after for example (adjustable) five minutes. We are seeing huge demand from the logistics industry, with major clients such as DHL, UPS or Fed-Ex.”

Special projects Movomech International works on more client-specific projects, as Martin Alesmark, the company’s sales manager, explains: “We have a standard line but we are more project-based than Movomech AB. We have a workshop for customised production, where we develop and manufacture special products such as new lifters, or customised end effectors, for example.” Movomech International is well prepared to take on any project. It has two full-time staff focusing solely on the creation of new lifters and components, or perhaps customised end effectors, for specific clients. The company employs the latest in CAD design systems for its product development, including CATIA from Dassault Systèmes.

Mr Alesmark continues: “The majority of our clients, around 90 per cent, are within the automotive industry. In the auto industry, when you mount the car you have to have a way to lift the doors, chassis etc, so typically we will install the rail system, lifter and the end effector, either as a manual or automatic system. The early stages of production, such as building the chassis, tend to be automated today, but the final assembly is more of a skilled job so it will usually be carried out manually to allow for final checks etc.” Aside from the automotive industry, Mr Alesmark describes one project Movomech International has ongoing: “As soon as there is a lifting problem we are there. As an example, we are currently working on a one-off project for a lifting solution for big industry refrigerators weighing around 200 kilos. We are building a lifter to pick up the refrigerator to turn it around to enable assembly. Next week it will be something different, and so on.”

However, whilst Movomech International will always adapt a product according to clients’ needs if required, Mr Paulsson explains that in general the Movomech companies prefer to sell the standard range wherever possible. “Movomech International will sometimes even completely customise a product from start to finish, but in an ideal world we make it as standard as possible because it makes it easier in terms of production, keeping costs lower, after-sales service, documentation etc. It means we don’t have to be ‘reinventing the wheel’ all the time. The automotive industry always demands customised solutions according to the specific production situation.”

Global solutions provider Movomech has a strong client base throughout the world in all the sectors it serves. In automotive alone, it works with customers such as Volvo, Scania, Ford, Nissan, Volkswagen, General Motors, Audi and Jaguar. The company’s strategy for global expanIndustry Europe 105


sion is to follow its clients wherever they go and then establish new business relationships and distribution partnerships on those markets. As an example, it is currently in the process of establishing an after-sales facility in India, with production also expected to start up there in the near future. Mr Paulsson explains how this strategy works: “We were working on a project with Ford in India, who was already an existing client of ours, and because of this we began working with Indian distributors. We then achieved a breakthrough on this market by winning a contract with Tata Motors, which we would never have done if we didn’t already have the partner in India. Big customers like Tata would never buy Movomech equipment 106 Industry Europe

if we couldn’t show them we have support in India.” The company feels that India is an important market to break into because many of its core European clients are setting up production in lower-cost areas further south. Movomech has also been working with Ford in Chihuahua in Mexico, as well as Scania in Brazil. Furthermore, it has followed its clients to China and Russia and, as Mr Paulsson says, it is gaining a strong foothold in the Turkish market as well. “In Turkey they are rapidly increasing their industrial production so there is a growing demand for our products. We have just started up in this market but I can see that our business is going to increase there in the coming year.”

The company’s ability to form and maintain business relationships in markets further afield is partly owing to the advanced online technology it uses in its workshops, which enables clients to follow the progress of the work. Mr Paulsson explains: “Some of our customers in Europe like to come and inspect the work during customer trials, but for the ones who are farther away this is not always possible. Because of this, we now have online cameras in the workshop which they can log in to and manoeuvre themselves, asking us questions on speakers if they want to. This technology demonstrates that we are well prepared for clients on a global scale. It’s a good way for us to maintain a level of contact


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with them and it’s always nice for them to see us in action if they can’t physically see us more than once or twice a year.”

Moving forward Having fared better during the global financial crisis than many other companies, owing in part to its having won its biggest contract to date with Ford in Mexico just before the market crashed, Movomech is optimistic about the future. Both Movomech AB and Movomech International have a lot of work lined up for the coming year. The upgrading of existing lines of products to meet demand from customers also continues to be a strong focus for Movomech. The companies have, for example,

upgraded their Pro-Series of manipulators to make it easier for clients to handle their products. In terms of completely new products, Movomech AB has been working on a pneumatic wire balancer which is currently in the client testing phase and, following feedback, is expected to be on the market sometime this year. When asked about the growth strategies for both Movomech companies and the Sunnex Group as a whole, Mr Paullson tells us: “For Movomech, growth will be organic but for the group as a whole there may well be acquisitions of companies that will complement our existing activities. We are constantly expanding and our turnover is increasing, so we see the n future in a very positive light.” Industry Europe 107


AT HOME AND ABROAD Specma Oy is the Finnish arm of the Specma Group, a maker of hydraulic systems and components. Joseph Altham spoke to Jussi Niiniaho, managing director of Specma Oy, to find out about a company whose activities are becoming more closely linked with the group’s worldwide network of subsidiaries but which remains a strong presence in its local market.

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T

he Specma Group is one of Scandinavia’s most important manufacturers of hydraulic systems and components. Specma, established in Sweden in 1920, specialises in application-based hydraulic systems. In heavy lifting equipment such as bulldozers and cranes, hydraulics channel the power that the machine needs to do its job. On a ship, hydraulic systems are used in winches, cranes, ramps and propulsion systems. The Specma Group, with headquarters in Gothenburg, employs around 800 people. The group divides its activities into three areas: the System division, the OEM (original equipment manufacturing) division and the Component

division. Specma Oy is the group’s subsidiary in Finland and has around 80 employees. “The main difference between the OEM division and the System division is that the System division tends to develop tailor-made solutions,” Mr Niiniaho explained. “Hydraulic power units for marine applications are a typical System division product. The main customers for our OEM division are makers of tractors and other kinds of mobile equipment, and the orders are typically bigger in size. In Finland, significant share of our sales comes from the Component division, which mainly serves distributors and the end-users of hydraulic equipment via our Hydropiste chain.”

Improved R&D In Finland, Specma produces hydraulic hose assemblies for OEM customers in four production units and has a central warehouse in Espoo. Specma Oy supplies hydraulic components to Finnish manufacturers of tractors, container-handling equipment and mining machinery. The company serves the needs of local customers, offering them a combination of flexibility and expertise. “We want to be seen as a technical and engineering company, rather than simply as a dealer and distributor. We understand how a tractor works and can provide engineering services. We are considered to be

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a reliable supplier with a good command of logistics.” To achieve the high standards of production that its customers demand, Specma has recently acquired new pipe-bending equipment and CNC (computer numerical control) machinery. In addition, Mr Niiniaho stated that Specma Oy is stepping up its research and development capability by investing in computer-aided design (CAD) software. “We updated our organisation in November 2011 so that we now have a full-time R&D resource here in Finland. This involved investment in engineering tools such as CAD programmes and hydraulic simulation software.”

International links Beyond Scandinavia, the Specma Group now has subsidiaries in the USA, Poland, China, Brazil, Russia, Denmark and the UK. The Specma Group mostly sells hydraulic equipment to Europe-based customers. However, as Mr Niiniaho explained, several of the OEM customers of the Specma Group are Scandinavian companies that have set up factories in China or Brazil. “The Specma Group has units in various countries. As a result, Specma Oy can cooperate with the group’s strategically located subsidiaries elsewhere in the world.” One example is Specma’s subsidiary in Shanghai, which was established to serve

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Specma’s Scandinavian customers in China. Some of the Finnish customers of Specma Oy have now moved their production out of Finland but they have still kept an engineering department in their home country. Specma Oy is better prepared to support the engineering activities of customers like these thanks to its enhanced R&D capabilities. At the same time, the Internet allows Specma’s engineers in Finland to cooperate on projects with Specma’s subsidiaries in China and Brazil. “These subsidiaries are expanding fast and our new R&D capability will help us to support them. Designs can be created in one country for customers in another.”


Local potential Increasingly, European companies are shifting more of their production to China, and the Specma Group as a whole is ready to adapt to this trend. Jussi Niiniaho worked for Specma in Shanghai before becoming the managing director of the company in Finland and is especially conscious of Specma’s international role. However, Mr Niiniaho also has ambitions to increase the sales of Specma Oy to customers within Finland. “Our customer base is in Finland and there is still big potential for us here. We also have a strong local market among small and medium-sized companies that have no intention of moving to China. Businesses like these produce agricultural and mining machinery for the local economy and for export markets as well.” The Component division of Specma Oy includes a substantial retail operation, as Specma owns four shops in Finland that sell spare parts. “In northern Finland, where the mining industry is strong, we recently opened a new shop as a result of an acquisition.” n

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CATALYST FOR CHANGE Campine NV is a European leader in the field of fire retardants and lead recycling. Philip Yorke talked to Geert Krekel, the company’s managing director, about its response to changing market forces and its recent investments in new production capabilities and innovative new products and services.

C

ampine NV was founded in Beerse, Belgium in 1912 when it established its chemical plant on the canal DesselTurnhout-Schoten. This is still the same site from which the company operates today, exactly 100 years later. Initially antimony metal produced by the company was used as a hardener for lead but in later years it focused more on the application of antimony oxide for flame retardants and PET production. Following an intensive programme of tests and process improvements, in the late 1990s a special team developed a range of new catalyst grades known universally today as Campine C grades. The Campine group consists of three business units: Antimony, Plastics and Lead Recycling. In 2002, the company was split into two divisions, Campine NV and Cam-

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pine Recycling NV, with all the assets and services relating to lead recycling activities transferred to Campine Recycling NV. Today this is a fully owned subsidiary of Campine NV. The company’s BU Antimony transforms non-ferrous metal sources into products designed to improve the performance of consumer and industrial goods in the area of flame retardants, pigments and catalysts. In its Plastics business unit Campine NV produces ready-to-use flame retardant master-batches and compounds for the plastics industry. These masterbatches are supplied in granular form for easy and dust-free dispensing at customer premises. In addition, the company’s BU Plastics also installed a modern and highly efficient twin-screw plastics extruder in order to increase capacity and productivity as well as to improve its product

range. Campine Recycling NV processes spent lead batteries and lead-containing waste such as cable sheathing, roofing and old pipes. From this waste Campine Recycling NV produces a whole range of useful applications such as lead alloys and soft lead. Campine NV is a member of the Hempel Group of Germany, which is involved in the area of commodities in traded metals, alloys and cast iron in Europe and worldwide. Today the Hempel Group has a turnover of more than €700 million and is represented throughout Europe and on the Asian continent.

Efficiency and sustainability As one of the world’s leading semi-integrated companies involved in the production of antimony oxide mainly used as a synergist for the flame retardant industry and as a catalyst


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Shengyuan Metal Co. Ltd was established in London in 2004, as the UK based of China Guangxi Metal & Minmetals Group Co. The latter has a history reaching back more than 60 years. Our company specialises in minor metal, mineral and chemical products, including: Sb, Sb2O3, Cu, Zinc, Lead, Mn Flake /Lumpy, SiFe, chemical grade Barite, White Barite, Barium Sulphate and Tale. We are members of CBBC (China-Britain Business Council) and MMTA (Minor Metal Trading Association). Our core objectives are: Equality and mutual benefits, Resource sharing, Professionalism and credibility.

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for the PET industry, Campine NV takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. Mr Krekel said, “During the last ten years we have worked hard to bring the company to a new level of efficiency and sustainability, enough to see us through the next 100 years of production and trading. We have made significant improvements in site infrastructure, operational processes and facilities that put us in place to further develop our innovative chemical processes and move towards optimal sustainability. Today our antimony processing plant is the biggest in the world outside of China and we plan to maintain our leadership position in this area. Our antimony business depends on world market prices which have gone up dramatically in the last five years so we can’t look at sales in financial terms alone.” “Antimony production is the largest business sector in our group and although our Lead division processes more than 45,000 tons of products every year and our Antimony division processes only 12,000 tons per year, the turnover for the Antimony division is much bigger.” Mr Krekel went on to say, “Our plastics unit makes master-batches for industries and creates further commercial synergy within

our sphere of business activities. Our main customers are in the PVC industry for flame retardants and also for other flame retardant applications such as the construction industry and for infrastructure projects. This is in addition to our other customers whose main focus is the automotive, packaging and transportation industries. We also supply companies involved in the electronics industries who produce cables and other electrical components. We develop special products with unique properties for more than 50 per cent of our customers and this figure is growing as more and more of our clients require custom-made products. We have our own testing facilities inhouse and work in close collaboration with the research departments of leading universities in Belgium, Germany and other countries. “Our customer base is spread worldwide and we are achieving better representation in key areas such as South East Asia and the Middle East. We have a network of partners, many of which have been working with us for over 40 years, who are able to provide products and services that meet the local needs of our customers. So we are, as they say, a globally focused company but with local expertise and services. In addition, sustainability is very much a priority for us, as it has been in Bel-

gium for many years now, and our production processes are being continuously monitored and upgraded in order to meet our ongoing programme of environmental improvement.” In the area of recycling, the company produces a full range of lead alloys and soft lead products manufactured from residues. By doing so, the Campine Recycling NV division works to keep the environment safe from discarded and scrap batteries and other spent lead residues by recycling them with best available technology into new applications such as batteries, cable sheathing, roofing, n sanitary products and glass.

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One of the leading manufacturers of perforated metals in Europe, the Dillinger Group offers customers a wide product range from perforated standard sheets to complex architectural and industry components. Elisabeth Skoda spoke to the sales director, Frank Regitz, to find out more.

EXPERTISE IN PERFORATED METALS

F

ounded in 1895 in Dillingen (Germany), the Dillinger Group, has more than 100 years of experience in the manufacturing and processing of perforated plates. Together with its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, the Dillinger Group employs more than 350 people, 200 of whom work at the Dillingen location. “The group consists of eight companies – six production companies and two sales offices – situated in six different countries, with the mother company, Dillinger Fabrik gelochter Bleche GmbH, located at Dillingen itself. Affiliate companies Dillinger Edelstahlverarbeitung and Preziehs GmbH are also situated there,” Mr Regitz explains. Also part of the group is Perfox, the biggest manufacturer of perforated sheets in the Netherlands. In addition, there is DF Bulgaria, close to Sofia, and Netto in Denmark. Dillinger Products are sold in more than 30 countries all over the world, but the core focus is on the European market. “In the future we are also looking towards the eastern European market, France and

the Scandinavian market together with our partners. Dillinger offers a wide product range, from perforated standard sheets to very complex components for all industry branches that allow for the installation of solutions with further processing possibilities,” says Mr Regitz. The year 2011 was a successful one for the group. “Overall group turnover was €70 million. For 2012 we expect an increase of up to 10 per cent, and we are well on track to achieve this,” says Mr Regitz. The company has established its position in the European market, and therefore the group has managed to return to the same level it had achieved before the economic crisis in 2009.…. “Due to new investments, we are very strong and competitive for the future,” adds Mr Regitz. The year 2011 also brought a range of interesting projects for the group, one of the highlights of which was the Audi terminal facade projects. “Audi car dealerships have a new homogeneous appearance throughout the whole world: the Audi terminal. As a

contract supplier for Audi, Dillinger received orders for more than 90 Audi terminal projects in total up to now. A total of over 40,000m2 of perforated, bent and anodised aluminium panels provided by Dillinger were used for these Audi terminals. The biggest individual projects are Frankfurt (6600m2) and Berlin (5000m2),” Mr Regitz explains. The Dillinger Group delivers a complete range of perforated sheets. One of its core competences is the further processing of perforated sheets and plates into complete components ready for installation. The products range from very thin plates with micro perforation up to perforated plates with a maximum thickness of 30mm. In addition, there is a range of perforated small screen tubes with a seven millimetre diameter up to ready-to-install screening drums for large preparations as well as screening installations up to 3000 mm diameter and 15,000 mm length. Our products then are delivered to all major industries. Working closely with the customers is key for Dillinger. “We are working on new develIndustry Europe 117


opments as well as optimisation together with our customers on a daily basis. Sometimes it takes months to optimise a solution in collaboration with the customer before series production can actually start,” says Mr Regitz.

Flexibility is key “There are no fixed standard products at the DF Group, besides the perforated panels for storage, which have standard dimensions. Everything is produced exactly to the customers’ needs and requirements on the base of the very modern machinery equipment. “The products are completely manufactured from one source; this is our strategy and gives the customers the best synergy and benefits,” Mr Regitz explains. Dillinger Group has a wide range of customers from various industries (chemical, electronics, food, recycling etc). Major 118 Industry Europe

customers are companies such as Nokia Siemens, for whom Dillinger deliveres components for electronical cabinets. In the field of architecture, Audi is a major customer of the present like mentioned above. Other projects include the BMW World in Munich together with a major façade building general supplier. “Dillinger Fabrik delivered the entire facade, containing 22,000m2 of perforated stainless steel panels.” Dillinger Fabrik is a regular participant at trade fairs. “Our target is to participate in one of the major fairs in Germany per year in with a bigger stand. In addition, we intend to participate in special fairs in some other countries with a smaller stand. The aim is to introduce the DF Group in other countries,” says Mr Regitz. One example of this was the BUDMA trade fair in Poland in January 2012. Indeed, Poland is an interesting potential future market for the group.

Energy saving Energy efficiency and green technology are of key importance in the field of perforated metal. The use of alternative energy sources, saving energy and environmental protection are of major significance. “In the field of energy savings within buildings, perforated plates and sheets have an increasing significance in modern architecture. Adjustable light and sun protection panels made from perforated metal reduce the energy consumption in cooperation with air conditioning and heating,” Mr Regitz explains. “Depending on the angle of solar radiation, the perforated panels are automatically adjusted to find the optimum angle.” Dillinger products also play an important role in environmental protection. The perforated filter tubes manufactured by the group are used in the preparation or recycling of water, in the food industry, and in the filtra-


tion process of oil and fluid amongst other things. Other uses include the filtering of harmful gases in large industrial equipment, big recycling drums and equipment for separating recycling into waste and useable parts. Dillinger also manufactures ready-toinstall recycling drums.

Ready for the future “Further investments are planned to renew and modernise the machinery park, particularly in the field of all across-presses and

sectional-presses. A few months ago, we bought a fourth heavy sectional-press to increase our capacity and to reduce delivery times for our customers,” says Mr Regitz. “Our aim is to stabilise and expand our market position as one of the leading perforators in Europe. We want to expand into new markets, such as eastern Europe and France. We are ideally situated to do the latter as we are right near the French border and already have our daughter company Dillinger France Perforation in place.”

So in order to remain strong in the future, the company will continue its successful strategy. “We want to offer not only flat, easy-to-produce perforated sheets like many other manufacturers in the field of perforating companies, but also to offer complete solutions to the customers. That means working alongside customers to develop optimised solutions, and delivering ready-to-install components which give them the optimum benefit and synergy,” Mr n Regitz concludes.

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GLOBAL REACH FOR

DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE Henry Shirman, managing director

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MTL Group is one of the fastest-growing manufacturing companies in Europe. Philip Yorke talked to Dr Henry Shirman, the company’s managing director about its latest technology and move into new market segments.

M

TL Group is a leading UK contract manufacturing specialist in the metal sector. Since the company was founded in 1995 it has steadily grown to become the partner of choice for many of the world’s major OEM’s. The company’s head office is based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, and occupies more than 28,000m2 of manufacturing space set in over 12.4 hectares of private land. At the company’s second major site in the UK at Blyth, Northumberland, dockside fabrication facilities are located in a modern assembly plant where the company is able to produce fabricated metal assemblies of up to 300 tonnes and ship them directly from the deepwater port of Blyth. The core business sectors that MTL serves include the defence industry, recycling, construction, quarrying and mining equipment, rail and the fast-growing renewable energy industries.

Optimising steel fabrication technology MTL has invested in eight high-tech laser cutting systems that combined have a capacity of over 1200 hours per week. The company’s wide range of state-of-the-art laser machines means that it is capable of handling every conceivable size and type of job, from carbon

steels to aluminium, with around-the-clock working of 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The company’s recently installed Messer laser cutting machine is the largest of its type in the UK and capable of cutting both chamfers and weld preparations of up to +/- 50 degrees, which greatly enhances cutting efficiency and productivity. This in turn significantly reduces costs and lead-times for its customers. The new Messer machine can cut parts up to 20m long and 3.2m wide and up to 25mm thick. “We have invested more than seven million pounds sterling recently in manufacturing equipment including the latest laser cutting technology, two new plasma cutting machines with large cutting beds and advanced bevel capability,” Dr Shirman said. “In addition, we have installed a robotic plasma tube-cutter which can cut tubes up to 40mm thick. This machine is supporting MTL’s recent success in winning several multi-million-pound contracts in Europe for offshore wind energy farms. This is in addition to installing the world’s most advanced water-jet cutting equipment and processes. Today, water-jet cutting is the fastest growing method of profiling. For example, when cutting armour plate, the material’s properties can be altered by the heat

generated in the process, whereas with our water-jet technology there is no heat-affected zone. Furthermore, we have a large press brake, which provides more than 640 tonnes pressure and is serviced by a robot capable of lifting 600kg, which together form the largest installation of its type in the world.” Taking a closer look at MTL’s advanced water-jet cutting machine, it is a four head, 12m x 3m Bystronic cutter and offers the most advanced and efficient operation of any water-jet cutter available on the market today. This unique machine is capable of cutting exceptionally thick materials of up to 200mm thick. In addition, it is able to cut through the hardest materials including armoured steel used on defence vehicles.

Adding value through Design for Manufacture MTL’s Design for Manufacture service adds value to its customers’ relationships. MTL’s design and engineering division takes the OEMs concept and makes recommendations that will make the product lighter, stronger or reduce the cost of manufacture. MTL is working closely with several global armoured vehicle manufacturers to improve the design of vehicle floors. In one example the original design of the Industry Europe 121


floor was made from 7 pieces and subsequently welded together; MTL’s Design for Manufacture review resulted in the floor being produced in one piece, eliminating the need for welding which reduced the cost whilst increasing the protection level of the armoured vehicle.

Expanding into new geographical market sectors Traditionally, MTL’s most important market has been Europe. However, today the picture is changing and the company currently exports its products to over 35 countries worldwide. Dr Shirman added: “We are increasing the sales of our exports to the Middle East, the Far East, North America and South Africa. However, our focus is increasingly on the BRIC countries where we see a lot of potential in the future, especially in Brazil. As far as our future growth is concerned, we plan to maintain our strong track record in terms of both organic growth and through acquisitions where the appropriate synergies exist. We also intend to 122 Industry Europe


SSAB SSAB has provided quality materials and service to the MTL Group for over 15 years. SSAB manufacture and supply world leading flat steel products. Hardox® wear plate, the world’s most specified wear resistant steel. Weldox® and Domex® high strength steels, used globally in applications which require increased strength or reduced weight. Working together, both within the Hardox Wearparts network, and at the design stage with engineers and technicians, SSAB and MTL will continue to focus on ensuring that our customer’s end-products will be lighter, stronger and more sustainable than they would be by using standard materials.

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develop our global manufacturing footprint in other world regions. Looking to the future, we have also established our own welder training school and recently hired a further 17 apprentices who will complete a traditional three-year apprenticeship in conjunction with our local technical college. “Today more than one third of our business comes from the defence sector with the balance evenly spread between the construction, renewable energy, quarrying and mining, recycling and rail industries. We see strong growth in power generation and are targeting the nuclear power and off-shore renewable energy sectors where we are now a global supplier of secondary steelwork.”

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Advancing armour-plate protection capabilities As one of the world’s leading armour-plate protection specialists, MTL is pioneering new lightweight solutions for defence ministries. The company showcased its latest add-on armour products, which are branded ‘IMPAS LITE’ and IMPAS ADVANCE” at the AUSA Trade fair in Washington DC in the USA last year. The new IMPAS product stands for ‘Interchangeable Modular Perforated Armour System’ and offers a cost-effective, lightweight alternative solution to composite and ceramic add-on armours, with greater flexibility and better multi-hit outcomes. MTL’s defence sales manager, Simon Hurst

said, “IMPAS is an innovative state-of-theart product which is ideal for both RHA and aluminium hulls. One of the key benefits is that the solution provides low-cost, lightweight armour that can be rapidly fitted to any vehicle platform.” MTL’s armour plate stock is comprehensive and the company holds and processes more than 8000 tonnes of quenched and tempered steel every year. MTL is also one of Europe’s largest stockists and suppliers of armour-plate products. In addition, the MTL Group specialises in the supply of components for blast applications that range from cut and formed parts, up to fully n finished fabricated vehicles.


WE CAN TAKE THE HEAT As the world’s leading supplier of thermal processing services, UK-based Bodycote is proud to support a large number of multinational businesses and niche players across industry sectors. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the central and northern Europe president, Jan Elwart, to see how the company is geared up for continued success.

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E

stablished in 1923 and based in Macclesfield in the north of England, Bodycote has steadily grown to become the world’s leading provider of thermal processing systems. Initially founded as a textile business in the heart of the UK’s flourishing textile industry, the Bodycote family utilised their entrepreneurial skills right from the start. Its strategic development toward the increasingly vital industrial requirements of the region and the country came in 1979 when the company decided to focus more on industrial applications, with tactical acquisitions including a heat treatment company and huge investment boosting its overall capabilities. In the past 40-plus years, Bodycote has continued this dedication to industrial applications and indeed its appreciation of the necessity of investment in order to stay at the top of its game. central and northern Europe president, Jan Elwart pointed out, “We have grown to become a global business with more than 170 facilities in 27 countries worldwide, so there are very few territories where Bodycote does not have a strong presence. We have long seen the 126 Industry Europe

value of investment in order to maintain and enhance our impressive market-leading position, and we provide a vital link in the manufacturing process for virtually all sectors.”

Leading the way Today, as the world’s leading supplier of heat treatments, metal joining, hot isostatic pressing and surface technology, Bodycote has extensive experience in supporting large multinational customers and their supply chains, as well as working closely with a number of niche local specialists. With a strong presence across a range of industrial sectors, the bulk of Bodycote’s activities (42 per cent) come from what it describes as ‘general industry’, which includes construction, mining and medical requirements such as implants, drills and tools. A further 26 per cent comes from the automotive industry, 20 per cent from aerospace and the remaining 12 per cent from the energy industry. In terms of projected growth, both the automotive and energy sectors represent clear positive targets for the company. Mr Elwart explained, “We expect the growth rate for the automotive industry in 2012 to

be tremendous and, as a valued supplier of heat treatments to the industry, we will be able to benefit from that growth. One key reason for this is that new technologies and new legislation regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions for new vehicles will continue to be a big task for the industry, but while the focus has perhaps been on developing and manufacturing small ecoefficient cars up until now, many factors are pointing towards a growing trend for larger, more practical family cars that are also meeting these strict rules on emissions. Heat treatment is an excellent tool for the required technological manufacturing on such models, so we are in the perfect position to utilise the boom.” In terms of the expected growth in the energy sector, Bodycote will also use its experience and know-how to add value to this burgeoning industry. Mr Elwart added, “There is a continuing growing demand for cleaner, greener types of energy. Many countries, particularly in Europe, are seemingly moving away from nuclear energy towards other forms of renewable, sustainable energy, so our strong presence in the heat treatment



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of wind towers is very interesting, both for us and for investors. In terms of alternative energy technologies, we are also present in the solar power and fuel cell industry, so we are happy to say that our experience, investment and projected growth are all carefully balanced across a number of stable and expanding industries worldwide.”

Ready to benefit from growth Stable growth is also achieved from the aerospace industry, particularly as it has such long lead times. With Bodycote’s sales benefiting from the fact that the

aerospace industry orders new planes around three to five years in advance, this also represents a valuable stability for the company’s capacity. Future growth for Bodycote will come from both organic expansion and strategic acquisitions. Some years ago it established a joint venture with a respected automotive heat treatment company in a former German city in Romania and recently this has become a wholly owned subsidiary; new facilities are planned for the USA and Asia in the coming months, joining a new location in Mexico which opened in 2011.

Mr Elwart is justifiably positive about 2012 and beyond. He concluded, “Bodycote is in a very healthy financial position and we have bounded out of the recession of 2008 with renewed vigour. Our client base includes some of the world’s leading multinational organisations in their fields and we know that our expertise and knowhow are second to none. Together with our strategic understanding of the growth markets and our valuable position within those markets, we are confident that 2012 will bring steady growth and a solid return n on our investments.” Industry Europe 129


SANDING AND GRINDING

ON A GLOBAL SCALE

Sia Abrasives, headquartered in Switzerland, is one of the world’s three leading suppliers of innovative abrasive systems. Sia Abrasives, which belongs to the Bosch group, has subsidiaries in 17 countries and has representatives in more than 80 others. Barbara Rossi reports.

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ia Abrasives develops, manufactures and markets complete abrasive systems, tailored to specific requirements and applications, for the surface treatment of every type of workpiece. Thanks to its products, Sia turns sanding and grinding into surface technology. The company, part of Bosch since 2008 and belonging to the Bosch Power Tools Division, is specialised in coated, bonded, non-woven and foam abrasives. Its roots go back to 1867, when it was established as a chemical factory in Frauenfeld, where it is still based. Over the years, the company started to develop abrasives and converted into a stock corporation. Since the turn of the twentieth century, Sia Abrasives Industries AG has been the only Swiss company making coated abrasives. In more recent years Sia has expanded into non-woven abrasives, with the acquisition of Fibral Ltd, a UK-based company, and into abrasive-coated foam products, thanks to the acquisition of another UK company, Abrafoam Ltd. In the last 40 years Sia Abrasives has increased its workforce from 150 people to more than 1250 worldwide. Sia exports more than 90 per cent of its production to over 80 countries.

Sia Abrasives’ product lines include coated abrasives, non-woven abrasives, foam abrasives, micro abrasives, and bonded abrasives. The coated abrasive division manufactures classic coated abrasives and abrasive systems for conventional surface preparation and finishing on all kinds of materials. This range of products is manufactured by Sia Abrasives Industries AG, originally established in 1914, and employing about 650 people. The company is now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of coated abrasives and it manufactures and converts coated abrasives for metalworking, automotive paint and bodywork, woodworking specialists and panel producers. Fibral manufactures non-woven abrasives for surface preparation, cleaning and structuring, primarily for use on metal. Production takes place in the UK, specifically in Greetland, west Yorkshire, where Fibral Ltd is based. Fibral, with its wealth of experience in the manufacture and development of non woven abrasive systems, is an ideal complement to Sia Abrasives’ systems solutions. Its non-woven products are manufactured using an innovative continuous treatment

technology able to offer many benefits over traditional alternatives, particularly the fact that non-woven abrasives are highly conformable, able to ensure a consistent cut and finish throughout their lives, feature an open structure able to significantly reduce clogging, and can be used wet, dry, with solvents or with cutting fluids. Foam abrasives are the field of expertise of Abrafoam Ltd. The company, based in Derbyshire, UK, where it was established in 1946, joined the Sia group in 2005, employs a workforce of around 100 people and is a world market leader in quality abrasive foams. The quality of its products, which are exported all over the world, is renowned at a global level. Its integration into the Sia group has endowed Sia with new opportunities and its range perfectly complements Sia’s range of products. The company is also at the forefront in its field in terms of commitment to the environment. In fact its in-house manufacturing process already recycles most of the waste foam, turning it into reconstituted products. In addition to this, Abrafoam Ltd is investing heavily in a totally solvent-free manufacturing process,


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and, in recent years, has won government awards for innovation and for its contribution to the environment. Micro abrasives are marketed through the Microtec brand, launched by Sia Abrasives several years ago to market these products for finishing applications in conventional and high-tech markets. These are products made of special polyester film, elutriated or electrostatically coated with abrasive particles, and then manufactured and converted at the Frauenfeld headquarters. Sia employs CR-Finishing® (constant result finishing), an efficient method in which every finishing

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task is considered part of the entire process and which ensures that the required surface results are achieved first time. The bonded abrasives line offers precision cutting discs for optimum cutting performance and efficient grinding discs for a wide variety of metalworking applications.

Quality, innovation and the environment Several years ago Sia decided to focus on products for the metal, wood and automotive industries, although alongside those types of products, it also produces a range of products suitable for other industries.

Sia, which is totally committed to product quality, carries out ongoing investment. Currently it is investing in a new facility for manufacturing coated abrasives. The purpose of this new facility is to set the stage for sustainable growth, while also ensuring a technological lead. The location of this new building will be the Sia Abrasives Swiss site. Film sanding belts are products recently developed by Sia, a premium product for perfect polish sanding, which offers an efficient ultrafine sanding of high-gloss varnishes, economical stationary polish-


ing preparation with long/cross belts, and removal of varnish flaws such as trapped dust and orange peel effect, thanks to perfect flatting. Innovation is crucial for the company, as it needs to develop products able to finish the continuously evolving products that appear on the market. Reducing product development time is a must for Sia, so as to be able to keep pace with, or even anticipate, customers’ needs. Alongside quality, Sia has a total commitment to the environment, trying to continually reduce its environmental impact. The company employs low-phenol and watersoluble bonding agents in manufacturing, and has state-of-the-art systems to filter exhaust air, as well as using environmentally sound waste disposal methods. It also repeatedly recycles packaging materials, conserving energy and resources. The company, whose production still takes place in Switzerland, from where its foreign subsidiaries receive large jumbo rolls of product, which they then convert, has core values emphasising authenticity, honesty and frankness, as well as the importance of the individual. For this reason it assists and promotes its staff in the building of their careers in an environment of mutual respect and tolerance. Sia’s growth has historically being achieved thanks to organic growth, as n well as to acquisitions. Industry Europe 133


MAGNETIC MATERIALS Could the next technological age be the ‘magnetic age? Becker Vertriebs is already providing precision finished magnetic materials.

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o increase our efficiency we need to increase our precision. In times of everincreasing speed, ever-smaller components and increased demands on efficiency, magnets have a very important role to play. Hardly any electronic or mechanical assembly can work without magnets or magnetic forces, whether it is in wireless energy transmission, alternative energy sources or in fact any modern technology. In every modern car without hybrid or electric drive there are over 100 magnets, working together and independently. Becker Vertriebs GmbH is acting in this very field, concerned with precision and efficiency. This leading idea has always been a central part of the Becker enterprise, even in times when the company was processing precious stones and synthetic gemstones.

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This work was the basis for today’s specialisation in the precision-processing of ultrahard materials, in particular the full range of magnetic materials: Neodym magnets, Samarium-Cobalt magnets, ceramic permanent magnets from ferrous materials, AlNiCo, etc. As diverse as the materials are the applications and different options of finishing processes. A large number of high-tech markets are demanding fast and equally efficient manufacturing and finishing methods.

Precision finishing Becker’s core offering is precision finishing; in addition, there is a strong emphasis on the continuous research and development of innovative and creative processing possibilities. Prominent manufacturers of magnets, such as Vacuumschmelze Hanau, appreciate the flexible, manifold and comprehensive manufacture and finishing capabilities – as well as the realisation of precise special designs that Becker can offer, always on the basis of the well-thought out and monitored work processes. In addition the company offers a range of surface treatments such

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as polishing, pickling, chemical cleaning and coating. Before products get their final approval from the quality assurance department, they are pre-magnetised if customers require this, before they are moved on – either in specific in-house produced magnetising packaging or straight for customer delivery. Becker Vertriebs GmbH is involved in two business areas, one being the manufacture

and processing of ultra-hard materials and permanent magnets and the other one – served by Becker Tools GmbH – is the production of product-specific PS/PET packaging and special mechanical engineering. In order to maintain optimum precision performance, the company constantly invests in the most reliable and optimised work processes, for the security and implementation

of tightly monitored performance. The issues of environment and sustainability are becoming more important all the time, and the management is integrating these considerations into the strategies and aims of the company. Packaging that can be reused and recycled has become a reality, and as such they have triggered a range of investments in optimised production processes.

Expanding markets The company’s main markets are the global automotive industries, as well as those customers who are active in the fields of communications and IT technology, consumer goods, military, aviation and space markets, and medical technology. In order to satisfy future market demand a high degree of production flexibility is required. The global markets for magnets are growing steadily, and this makes business activities in all dimensions and materials for magnets highly attractive – for example in AlNiCo and hard ferrite. Which finally brings us back to the question of how much magnets actually are influencing n the current and future industrial age. 136 Industry Europe


A REPUTATION FOR QUALITY Stahl is a customer-focused company, headquartered in the Netherlands, that specialises in providing high-quality chemicals, dyes and coatings for leather, as well as flexible and non-flexible substrates for performance coatings, textiles and related products. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at its operations.

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or many years now Stahl’s products have been well-recognised internationally. Today they maintain their reputation for quality, and the group prides itself on its ability to innovate and its high level of technical service to customers. “Our objective is to achieve the highest customer service level,” said a spokesman. “Our aim is to do this through on-time delivery of innovative quality products and processes while operating safely and in harmony with the environment.”

“Our products are applied in automotive, upholstery and fashion items, as well as in industrial applications and we operate through divisions, which focus on leather finish, performance coatings and automotive leather finishes”, explains John Fletcher, managing director of the company’s Leather Finish unit. “Approximately 70 per cent of the group turnover is related to chemicals sold into the leather supply chain, with the remainder of sales attributed the performance coatings sector,” he says.

A focused approach

A complete range

“Stahl operates eight manufacturing sites and some 30 strategically located technical service laboratory facilities world-wide. It employs approximately 1250 people in more than 28 countries, many of whom are engaged in basic research and development of new products and processes.

Although Stahl’s Leather Finish business unit works closely with the group’s Wet End division, it is a separate entity, reporting to the CEO. It produces reactive chemistry and is a specialist in blending and processing advanced formulations. The company also has proprietary process technology for

the manufacture of certain polyurethanes, cross-linkers and acrylic-urethane hybrids. “We offer the complete range of chemicals needed for the finishing of leather, inclusive of basecoats, topcoats, pigments and crosslinkers,” Mr Fletcher says.

New products “Traditionally, Stahl has been considered a leader in high performance topcoat technology for (automotive) upholstery, and a specialist in fashion products, such as patent or college finishes. This is now being modified with additions to the product line, which will address the current trend towards natural finishes. We are launching a new series of higher-performing water based pigments and completing an update to our wax and oil product portfolio. We also recently introduced a new series of chemistry dedicated to upgrading leather, which is distinct

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and has advantages over traditional cationic technology”, Mr Fletcher elaborates. “During 2012, Stahl will also be launching a brand new technology which offers significant weight savings to the leather industry, along with technology aimed at improving anti-soiling and anti-staining for leather goods and upholstery applications,” he adds.

Dominating markets “Stahl’s Performance Coatings business has traditionally been derived from its leather operations, providing coatings to

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manufacture leather-like artificial materials,” says Uwe Siebgens, business director of the unit. “This is still one of our major segments. Because vinyl is one of the key substrates in this industry, we have built a strong know-how on coatings for vinyl, which has helped us to dominate markets such as vinyl coated fabrics, for instance for tarpaulins and other technical textiles,” he says. Also deriving from its leather business, Stahl is a leader in flexible polyurethane coatings. Stahl Performance Coatings has

the advantage of having in-house polymer and crosslinker capabilities in combination with a strong compounding background.

Working with partners Stahl offers a great variety of coatings, from abrasion-resistant, noise-reducing automotive interior lacquers, to inkreceptive coatings for digital print media, and from soft touch laptop coatings to the latest technology to produce materials for soccer balls. However, what is special, insists Mr Siebgens, is that it works with


partners throughout the whole value chain, which means it not only speaks to the user of coatings, but also to the specifier of the product, where the coating is finally applied. “For instance, in the automotive sector, we speak to tier one, tier two and tier three, but also to the OEMs. The same applies for shoe and garment manufacturers. Stahl helps the big brands of this world to improve their product quality for coating-related articles and is an exciting partner to create new features. “We not only have the technical knowhow, but also have fashion specialists that keep a very keen eye on the latest trends and developments in this huge industry,” Mr Siebgens says. “To improve quality for the products of our customers, we utilise the biggest share of our global R&D capacity. There are dedicated and shared resources for the Performance Coatings division within our R&D department.”

Enhancing performance Stahl’s Performance Coatings division recently launched a set of new products to enhance the performance of flexible floorings. Its next big launch will be flock adhesives for automotive sealing, a market,

John Fletcher, business director, Leather Finish

where its patented PermaQure® chemistry will bring added value. “Another example is lightweight car interior seating and trim materials that will help the car manufacturers to reduce the weight of the vehicle and, as a result, their carbon emissions. Those are close to introduction with our customers and partners,” he says.

Sustainable future Both divisions are looking for international growth. The company will launch Stahl Africa during the summer of 2012, based in Ethiopia, and will use the new application and distribution centre to better serve the growing market in equatorial Africa. It also aims to increase its presence in China, Brazil, Russia, the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Both also plan to continue to focus on sustainability. “Our customers are striving for products that last longer and maintain their value and function,” says Mr Siebgens. “Stahl not only supports these efforts, but also makes sure that products are produced in harmony with the environment and, as far as possible, avoid emissions in transportation. In our R&D, we pay special attention to ingredient selection and sourcing and are constantly on the look-out for better substitutes.”

The future of Performance Coatings is in water-based technology, he goes on. “This is mainly driven by REACH legislation and similar activities in Asia, but also because of increasing pressure on reduction of VOC-emission for example in China. Also the big automotive, furniture and fashion brands have clear targets to reduce VOCs until 2020. Stahl is well prepared for this future because we have been leading this development in our segments for more than four decades already.”

Global reach Stahl’s Leather Finish business is one of the few leather chemical companies in the world that can offer global reach, advanced chemistry and the right balance of technology and fashion, says Mr Fletcher. “We are a leather chemical company first and foremost, but with a fast-growing performance coatings activity, and we fully intend to continue to reliably serve both regional and international customers in the future, with the products and services needed to maintain and grow our market position. We can say there will be an increase in the level of technology and fashion offered to clients in the coming year, as Stahl continues to attract the very best talent within the industry.” n

Uwe Siebgens, business director, Performance Coatings

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STRENGTH IN SUSTAINABLE FLOORING Armstrong World Industries, Inc. is a global leader in the manufacture of ceiling systems and floor coverings for commercial and residential applications. Philip Yorke talked to Charles Irving-Swift the company’s CEO for floor products Europe, about its recent award-winning innovations and move into new, ‘sustainable product’ market sectors.

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rmstrong World Industries, Inc., headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, is a global leader in the manufacture of ceiling systems and flooring products, with sales in 2011 of $2.9 billion, generated at 32 manufacturing plants in eight countries. The worldwide flooring products business, with sales of $1.5 billion, produces a wide range of resilient and textile floor coverings, including linoleum, vinyl, designer tiles and fibre-bonded floorings for commercial and domestic applica-

tions. The European operations trace their origins back to 1882, when they were founded in Bremen in Germany. Today Armstrong Europe specialises in modern flooring solutions for healthcare, education and retail environments as well as for office buildings. Armstrong has been actively investing in improving the sustainability of its products and works closely with the relevant certification bodies in the industry to provide guaranteed sustainability ratings for all its DLW floor coverings.

Armstrong works closely with architects and designers to produce products that reflect the latest trends, styles and specifications that are shaping the future of the industry. The company’s resilient range of floorings is factory finished with the ‘PUR Eco-System’, a surface coating technology that guarantees quick and easy cleaning, in addition to offering low maintenance costs and a reduced environmental impact. This advanced system also makes


floorings more durable, as well as abrasion resistant and less susceptible to marks, scuffs and scratches.

Outstanding products offer a sustainable future For the last two decades, the flooring industry has been meeting the challenges posed by escalating manufacturing costs and lifecycle ratings. In response, for many years Armstrong has been working intensively with all the relevant certification issuers and is therefore qualified to make reliable statements concerning the sustainability ratings of all its DLW floor coverings. This in turn is very helpful to architects and other specifiers, especially in the early planning phase.

DLW’s linoleum floor coverings meet high construction and ecological standards by the very fact that they are made from natural, sustainable raw materials. They are therefore the product of choice to meet the architecturally challenging buildings built to recognised ‘sustainable’ criteria. Irving-Swift said, “Over 50 per cent of our portfolio of products is linoleum-based with the balance manufactured in vinyl. The linoleum range is completely recyclable, being made from materials such as linseed oil, jute, resin and woodchips which are all organic. We are committed to continuing to work towards improving our green credentials even further in both our linoleum and vinyl ranges. We listen carefully to our customers who are mainly

architects, designers and distributors and support them at the many trade shows that we attend. We also offer training sessions to our installers, which not only improves their professional efficiency, but also brings us closer to them and introduces them to other new Armstrong products. “Our main growth drivers today are our innovative materials, developed by our own in-house R&D department, and our increasing commitment to the development of sustainable, high-quality products. Our strategy for the future is to focus on our core strengths in R&D and in our manufacturing operations and to make our German plants Centres of Excellence in their respective fields, serving both Europe, North America


Coldec – Innovation in decoration Vaassen, the Netherlands – Starting as a specialist in coloured particles in the last century, Coldec has grown to be a leading company in the development of decorative finishers. Supplying the leading European companies in the field of paints, wallpaper and cushion vinyl with decorative raw materials, it is no big surprise that DLW Armstrong and Coldec found each other in a strong cooperation. Specifically for DLW Armstrong, Coldec developed a very durable colourflake, containing a high content of mineral fillers. The flakes are supplied in a wide range of colours which have been carefully selected by colourists of both companies. To be able to meet the demands of the final floor, Coldec had to adapt the properties of the flakes during the process of development. Not an easy job, but very satisfying as the hard work resulted is one of the best products in this field. For more information, please visit www.coldec.com, mail to info@coldec.nl or call +31 578578525.

Armstrong’s key supplier for speciality adhesive tapes.

www.schuy-klebetechnik.de, info@schuy-klebetechnik.de We are a global supplier and converting specialist for technical self-adhesive tapes including products from well-known brands. With our flexible machinery equipment we produce rolls, spools, die-cutted, kiss-cutted and laminated components on demand according to customer’s requirements. We analyse your manufacturing process and provide the right solution for you.


and markets further afield. Our focus on growth is also about how we can leverage our cost base to greater advantage and build on the opportunities that present themselves in higher growth markets in eastern Europe and Russia, where we have recently opened a distribution centre. We are also expanding our sales team in the Middle East – we see great opportunities in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

Promoting ‘green dialogue’ At the beginning of 2011 Armstrong initiated a Europe-wide ‘Green Dialogue’ in order to distribute a wide variety of information on sustainability with special emphasis on sustainable flooring products. By doing so, Armstrong provides professional assistance

where it is needed most: at the fingertips of architects and planners worldwide. At www.armstrong.eu/sustainability there is a dedicated section where the relevant product certificates can be found, as well as references, information on environmental management and PVC recycling. The company has also published a new, comprehensive brochure on ‘sustainable construction’ which covers every aspect of the subject. Furthermore, Armstrong is a member of ERFMI which represents the interests of manufacturers of elastic floor coverings. They have developed a tool which can create an environmental product declaration for a floor covering throughout its entire lifespan in just a few simple steps. This special EPD calculator is available as a free tool at www.erfmi.com

Award winning products Two Armstrong flooring collections have recently been awarded the prestigious ‘IF Product design award’ in the public design/interior design category. The first is Lino Art, a collection that embodies the timeless beauty of precious metals. The company’s ‘Scala’ collection, with its fresh designs and exclusive embossed textures, has also been awarded this most coveted prize. This year’s ‘IF’ product design award winners were selected from 4322 submissions by 1605 participants from 48 countries worldwide. Among the international jury’s evaluation criteria were design quality, workmanship, choice of materials, degree of innovation and functionality. n www.armstrong.com


THE GREAT INNOVATOR Emerson and Renwick is a leading manufacturer of production machinery. Abigail Saltmarsh reports on its reputation for engineering excellence.

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ith 90 years of engineering excellence behind it, UK-based Emerson and Renwick has every intention of staying at the front of its game for another century, according to the commercial director, David Hargreaves. He says the company has developed three clear fields where it continues to push ahead to develop production machinery that is cutting edge in its technology and offers simplicity of design and reliability. “We are known as an innovator and we have a history of developing new products,” he says. “We focus on design and research. Our technologies will keep us out in front – in all the areas we work in.”

Market growth Founded in 1918 in Lancashire, England, Emerson and Renwick has grown and developed in line with market changes. Today it focuses on production equipment in wall coverings, heat exchangers and nanotube technology. At its base in Accrington, it employs some 130 people. The company also has an operation in the USA, where it employs 12 people, and it has recently opened a service centre in Shanghai. “We see that as a very important step for us. The wallcoverings industry, in particular, is extremely fast growing in China. The market for wallcoverings used to be 15 to 20 million

rolls used each year. Within five years, that has increased to 130 million and it is still a growth area,” he says.

New products Growth in all areas is driven by new product launches, Mr Hargreaves stresses. Emerson and Renwick has recently brought in a new production technology in its machines for producing wallcoverings. “This was patented about two years ago. It is an innovative process for infinity printing and it has given us the market edge,” he says. “Along with the weaker pound it has helped with our exports.”

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Erhardt + Leimer Erhardt + Leimer has been a partner to Emerson and Renwick for many years, supplying web guides and tension monitoring systems in order for the machine to function in the most efficient way. Our local office in the UK is able to fully evaluate the best system for the application, whilst our global presence provides local support wherever this is required. We provide the latest technology as it is developed in all our various products, and have recently extended our vision systems to include some exciting cameras to include 100% print inspection, video monitoring and surface inspection.


He adds: “We have another prototype in this area and we hope to make the equipment in about three months’ time, and launch it at the end of the year. Here our focus will be on reducing energy and web length in the machine significantly.” Other recent innovations include a new winder, which was launched in summer 2011. The company has already received five orders for the machines.

Making waves In the heat exchanger market, Emerson and Renwick serves the automotive sector. Here many of the tier-two manufacturers use its equipment and the company’s new developments are also making waves in the industry. “Our latest equipment relates to the twin screw, which is a patented process,” he explains. “This is about reducing machining and labour costs, and saving material.” In these machines, the independently driven twin screws are capable of synchronised or independent rotation, offering the ability to faultlessly insert tubes at a rate of up to five tubes per second and then transfer a complete batch of tubes for seamless, multi-fin insertion.

Teaming up “Our third market segment is even more specialised,” Mr Hargreaves says.

“We are working on nanotube and emerging technologies. In nanotube technologies, we are working with a Finnish company on some developments. We very much see this as an area of focus for the future.” One exciting development has seen the team develop a new material that can hold liquid yet remain dry on the surface. With any number of applications, one of its major uses would be in maternity hospitals, he suggests. “One square metre of this material can hold 20 litres of water, and it still remains dry on the surface,” he says. “This is ideal for the hygiene market as it can be incinerated afterwards.”

to push new product launches and to make a name for itself in new technologies. “The whole point of this company is research and development – and that will remain the same,” he says. “We have been here for 90 years and will continue to be here n for another 90 years.”

Looking ahead He explains that it is vital for the British company to continue to push ahead in wallcoverings, heat exchangers and nanotube technologies at the same time. “Each of these areas can be cyclical. For example, the automotive business has been through a dip but is now starting to come back again. The idea is that the market will always be strong in at least one of our areas of focus,” he says. With plans to expand further in China, Russia and eastern Europe, where the company is considering opening a service centre, Mr Hargreaves is optimistic about the future. He says Emerson and Renwick will continue Industry Europe 147


OPTICAL FOCUS The beauty of micro-optics

As the world’s leading specialist optical components developer and manufacturer, Swiss-based FISBA OPTIK AG is bringing its high-quality optical solutions to customers worldwide. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Werner Kruesi to find out more.

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ounded by a senior optical designer and an entrepreneur in Switzerland in 1957, world leading optical components specialist FISBA OPTIK has grown to become the most respected company in its field. Based in the Swiss business university city of St Gallen, FISBA OPTIK offers a comprehensive range of optic solutions from design to manufacture, from simple lenses to complex

Precision molded lenses (aspheres)

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optical systems including laser modules, micro-optics and advanced optical components for various industrial applications. With Swiss quality and precision still at the heart of the company, this privately owned organisation proudly works in the ‘spirit of partnership’. CEO Werner Kruesi explained, “The ‘spirit of partnership’ is our motto as it perfectly illustrates our continuing

commitment to working as a true partner for our customers. We are proud to say that at least 90 per cent of our turnover comes from about a dozen customers and we work primarily with leading systems integrators and other first-class companies. We are not a company that is constantly looking for new business as we protect our existing business and support our customers and their prod-


FISBA Beam Twister™ (FBT) for symmetrisation of diode laser beams

ucts throughout their whole life cycle. It’s a very demanding business but one which we have steadily developed to ensure we offer the best possible quality of optical solutions for our demanding customers worldwide.”

Strong presence worldwide With around 370 employees and an annual turnover of more than 50 million Swiss francs, FISBA OPTIK is active all over Europe and has an increasingly strong presence worldwide. All of its production is finally sold outside of Switzerland, although some of its customers purchase by their subsidiaries in the country. A dedicated R&D office in Berlin supports the

Micro-optics: fast axis collomitor for laser diodes

Swiss head office, where all the optical components, sub-assemblies and micro systems are designed, developed and manufactured by highly skilled employees using ultra-modern and state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. Mr Kruesi continued, “All our business is export-driven. As our customers are primarily system integrators of advanced optical systems, they expect the very highest standard at every step of their dealing with us, so we ensure that we meet these high standards wherever our customers are in the world. We sell directly to customers in the USA, Asia and Europe with all our activities industry-to-industry.”

FISBA OPTIK has three main product lines, each one carefully developed to meet the same high standards on which the company’s reputation has been built. Firstly, its advanced optical components are suited to sophisticated customers, with the high-end products able to be produced economically in large numbers. Secondly, it produces optical micro systems, also known as photonic micro systems, which can be made smaller than one cubic centimetre if required. The third product category is the macro optics systems, which are also all developed and fabricated in-house. In each area, all the products and components are all tailor-made for each client, although some of

Quality control with a looking glass

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Satellite camera lens (Rosetta mission)

Half-automated assambly work station for mounting micro optic systems (positioning and bonding accuracy smaller than 0.0005 mm.

the more standardised items can be used by more than one client. Mr Kruesi added, “As our work is so highly specialised and technical, we must make each product and component to the exact specifications of each client, although we will use any technology cross-over as long as it is perfectly suited to the individual application in order to make the product as cost-effective as possible.”

Understanding advanced demands A range of industries purchase optical components and sub-assemblies from FISBA OPTIK, with the most prevalent being the medical technology and biophotonics sectors. The company is also active in the semiconductor- printing- and defenceindustries. Mr Kruesi explained that the

Micro optic lens system (4 lenses, lens diameter 1.0 - 2.7 mm, center thickness 0.15 - 0.3 mm, external diameter 3.6 mm)

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medical technology and biophotonics sectors are likely to deliver the biggest growth in the next few years, thanks to an expected expansion in the sectors in general. He said, “We expect to enjoy greater market penetration in all our active sectors, with a 5–10 per cent growth predicted. Photonics is a very exciting area for us as it’s really growing and we’re already active here, so we are well established in this future-focused industry.” The predicted growth for FISBA OPTIK will also be supported by the company’s continued investment in processes and the latest equipment and machinery for advanced technologies such as precision glass molding, optical design and system engineering as well as in manufacturing, assembly and inspection of micro components and systems. Investing in product development,

research and training is also imperative to the company’s ‘spirit of partnership’ motto, as it regularly stays in close contact with its customers and leading research institutes to ensure that the products and processes it is developing meet their needs both today and in the future.

Looking to the future Mr Kruesi concluded, “We are primarily focused on organic expansion in each of our three main product areas, with an especially high growth predicted across the photonics provision. We do not rule out strategic acquisitions though, particularly if we are made aware of companies with similarly professional ethics and technically advanced optical products that would complement our n respected product range.”



A PASSION FOR WARMTH

Norway’s Jotul manufactures stoves and fireplaces with a focus on quality, safety and timeless design.

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otul AS is a world-leading Norwegian manufacturer of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, offering a complete range of traditional and contemporary designs. Its business is firmly based on the traditions of Norwegian craftsmanship, high quality and consistent use of excellent design. Indeed Jotul believes that it is its commitment to good design that has been a key element in its success in remaining a market leader in the fireplace, stove and insert business since it was first established in 1853. The company’s origins lie in the establishment of a cast iron foundry, Kvaerner Jernsto-

beri, near Norway’s capital, which at the time was called Kristiania. Cast iron stoves were the most important product of the foundry and in the years up to 1900 it became the largest stove producer in the country.

Continuous adaptation By the 1960s Jotul was still the largest stove foundry in Norway although the fact was that there were very few left as oil, paraffin and electricity started to replace traditional room heating methods. However the 1970s saw a complete turnaround as successive oil crises led to an enormous increase in the

demand for wood stoves in many countries. Ever-increasing exports to the American continent and to Europe meant that wood burning stoves became once again the most important segment of Jotul’s product range. Over its long lifetime the company has been marked by both highs and lows, but the highs have undoubtedly been predominant. The company has at the same time exhibited a unique ability to resurrect itself in difficult periods. Much of its success has been due to the will and ability of the various owners to focus on the new and the long term, whether it was new products, new production tech-


Nippon Electric Glass Co., Ltd. NEOCERAM N-0 Super Heat-resistant Glass Ceramics “NEOCRAM N-0” • High visible light and infrared ray transmittance • Excellent thermal shock resistance of T=800°C with reliable continuous use up to 700°C • High mechanical strength Nippon Electric Glass has provided valued customers with transparent Neceram N-0 as an ideal material for fireplace and stove windows for more than 30 years, and continues to offer the best quality of products throughout the world.

SCHOTT ROBAX® The Jøtul group and SCHOTT ROBAX® have been working closely together for many years. SCHOTT delivers flat and bent glass-ceramic panels in different sizes to the whole Jøtul group worldwide. SCHOTT ROBAX® is an extremely heat-resistant, transparent glass ceramic with more than 30 years of history. As the Jøtul group is one of the frontrunners among stove manufactures the designers of the Jøtul and

nology or new market strategies. This is the reason why Jøtul is still viable and thriving as a stove foundry, while almost all other Norwegian manufacturers have long since fallen by the wayside. Through continuous adaptation to new market needs, and also by creating new markets, Jøtul has always managed to win continued support for its activities. This also explains why Jøtul is the only manufacturer of stoves and fireplaces in the world today that sells more than 2/3 of its production outside its own domestic market.

the R&D engineers from SCHOTT ROBAX® have developed a close relationship during the years. One of the latest successes from this partnership is the new Scan 85, a tall and wide glass ceramic. Combined with the modern cast iron design you get an excellent view of the flames while enjoying a cozy feeling of the warmth.

Jotul today During the last ten years the company has enjoyed strong growth, with average annual sales growth of 10 per cent. Its current market share in Scandinavia is around 25 per cent and its global market share is just under 10 per cent. Jotul stoves and fireplaces are manufactured at plants in Fredrikstad and Halden in Norway, Portland in USA, Motz en Chantagne in France, Gdansk in Poland and Vissenbjerg in Denmank. The company’s products are




sold in 35 countries on five continents and it operates its own sales companies in Norway, USA, UK, France, Spain, Poland and Italy; other regions are served by local importers. The jotul Group sells its products under five distinctive brands: jotul, Scan, Atra, Ild and Warm. In 2919 the Group’s turnover was some £95 million. In 2006 the Swedish private equity company Ratos acquired 62.5 per cent of Jotul; 22.5 per cent was retained by the company’s former owner Accent Equity and the management of the Jotul Group also has a stake in the business.

Award-winning designs Jøtul has recently launched the Scan 85, which is a free-standing stove that has the visual appeal and styling of a fireplace. Already well-received in all Jøtul’s European markets,

the Scan 85 represents a breakthrough for the company as it is its first large-scale stone stove that also maintains the famous Jøtul appealing contemporary design. At the end of 2011 Jotul’s wood burning stove the Jotul F 163 won silver in the Best Heating Product category in the annual awards of the UK magazine House Beautiful. The Jotul F 470 won the same award in 2010. The product was judged on criteria including heating efficiency, innovation, design and value for money. Jotul F 163 has large side glasses that give a great view of the fire. The glass keeps especially clean thanks to a special reflective coating that increases the temperature on the inside of the glass. An efficiency of more than 80 per cent, combined with very low particle emissions make this stove on of the most efficient and clean-burning ever produced.

Well-positioned for further development As Jøtul looks forward to continued success, the long-established cast iron stove and fireplace company is committed to staying focused on quality and safety, with additional contemporary designs joining its portfolio of classic and traditional products. A vital part of its growth strategy is to continue expand its market share in existing geographical markets and distribution channels through continued product development and R&D, particularly as the Jøtul product range is already highly respected and there is a global trend for responsible and effective use of natural resources while still keeping homes warm and looking good. This means that Jøtul is wellpositioned to utilise the opportunities presented in interior design trends as well as responsible home insulation and energy usage trends. n


ADDING VALUE TO FORESTRY RAW MATERIALS K

arl Hedin is a family-owned business and one of Scandinavia’s largest sawmill operators and specialist wood packaging companies. The diverse forestry trading group has manufacturing facilities in Sweden and Estonia. Its raw material division supplies its Swedish sawmills with timber and the sawmills subsequently supply the packaging factories and planing mills with sawn timber. In turn, the company’s planing mills supply builders’ merchants with construction, impregnated and primed timber products. 158 Industry Europe

The Karl Hedin Group was founded at the beginning of the 1900s and has grown to become one of Sweden’s largest and most respected forestry products companies with over 750 employees and a turnover of more than SEK 2.4 billion. The company also has a chain of 27 builders’ merchants located throughout Sweden. In addition, it has also been involved in sawmill production in the Baltic States since the 1990s. Today the Karl Hedin Group operates five specialist packaging plants in central Sweden with its main focus on the produc-

Karl Hedin is a Nordic leader in the manufacture of specialist wood packaging and forestry products. Philip Yorke looks at how the company adds value to the timber it processes at its five modern saw and planing mills in Sweden and Estonia, and how it utilises the latest technology to improve productivity and efficiency for its customers. tion of pallets for the forestry industry. The company also supplies pallets and boxes for the steel and manufacturing industries, where it has the capacity to produce both large and heavy packaging items.

Combining in-depth experience with modern technology Karl Hedin has always strived to get as much value as possible out of the timber that it processes, which is one of the reasons why forest owners stay so loyal to the company. Over the years Karl Hedin has accumulated


extensive experience in the forestry sector and its knowledge stretches back many generations. The company’s strength lies in its ability to combine old forestry knowledge and principles with new knowledge and technology. In addition Karl Hedin has its own team of designers, and it plans to strengthen these further as well as its sales organisation with more design competence and drawing capacity. The company also offers its cus-

tomers a range of IT connections for more efficient ordering and invoicing. The company produces a wide range of timber products and by-products. This includes roof trusses which are produced at its Rattvik factory where a number of standard designs are produced although specially designed roof trusses can also be made to order at the plant. Construction timber plays a big part in the company’s product portfolio

with joists of varying sizes as well as tongue and groove products being manufactured, all of which are planed by AB Karl Hedin. The company’s impregnated assortment includes a large number of decking boards and all these products are pressure-treated with a solution that does not contain either the traditional harmful chrome or arsenic constituents. Internal and external panelling is another product that is manufactured by Karl Hedin

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STRENGTH - FLEXIBILITY - COMPETENCE In 1978 Krylbo Verkstader AB started out as a small machine shop with three people working there. Today, our skills in machining, welding and assembly as well as our specialities in stainless and high carbon steel are appreciated by such major concerns as ABB, Andritz, Atlas Copco, Atlas Secoroc, Outokompu, Dellner Brakes, Ericsson, Hedins Trä, Metso Minerals, Metso Paper, Ovako Steel, Stora Enso, Voith Paper, Sandvik and SSAB amongst others. These companies appreciate our flexibility, workmanship and quality - we are certified to ISO-9002. They know that they can rely on us, and you can too.

Speciliality: lifting equipment - pressurised vessels - furnace equipment

Tel: +46 226-61925 | Fax: +46 226-10310 | Mob: +46 70-6279240 | E-mail: info@krylboverkstader.se | www.krylboverkstader.se

Ingenjörsfirma Gösta Hedlund AB Log handling equipment worldwide

Ingenjörsfirma Gösta Hedlund AB

Box 89 • 822 22 ALFTA SWEDEN Tel: +46 (0)271 55410 • Fax: +46 (0)271 55734 Email: info@ingfahedlund.se • www.ingfahedlund.se

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and production is carried out in accordance with strict Swedish building standards with a wide range of profiles available. An important by-product made by the company is stable litter, which is clean and dust free and made from wood shavings collected from its planning mills. This product is packed and sold in bales.

Diversity in sawmill production AB Karl Hedin operates three dedicated sawmills in Sweden at Karbenning, Krylbo and Sater. Here they have the means to deal with the whole tree-handling operation for both small and large diameter logs. In Sater the company processes large pine logs of the highest quality and in Karbenning it processes both standard pine timber as well as spruce for construction timber products, whilst in Krylbo it processes pine and spruce blocks in smaller dimensions

of up to three metres wide, which are also used for construction applications. As a result of its wide product mix, the company can maximise the timber yield and therefore increase forest owners’ returns compared to those harvesting timber only for wood pulp production purposes. At its specialised sawmill in Toftan, Estonia, the company specialises in pine timber and processes all lengths of pine up to 400mm in diameter. Production totals at this plant are 190,000m3 wood products produced from 1.45 million logs. The key products manufactured include joinery timber, glue jointed goods and construction products for both its domestic and export markets.

Flexible wood packaging products AB Karl Hedin is one of Sweden’s largest manufacturers of specialist wood packaging products and operates five modern plants

in central Sweden. At its Skultuna packaging plant the company produces packaging products made of wood, cardboard and different types of laminate. Two of the main products manufactured are barrier bags and ply-boxes. The barrier bags are made of laminated plastic either alone or in combination with aluminium. The Skultana factory uses VCI-based material, which is a material that provides excellent protection against corrosion. This forms a perfect barrier that provides the protection that guarantees that the product will reach the customer in the same condition as when it left the factory. The company’s ply-box product is made of plywood and comes folded for easy mounting for the packing or shipping of products. The plybox is available in different styles, from composite to moveable sides or ends and with n a thickness of six or eight millimetres.

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FIFTY YEARS OF PLANT BUILDING EXPERTISE

Steeped in tradition yet passionate about utilising the latest technological and engineering solutions, industrial plant solutions provider Kremsmueller Industrieanlagenbau is celebrating its first 50 years and is looking forward to its next 50. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the managing director, Gregor Kremsmueller to find out more.

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stablished in 1961 in Steinhaus, near Wels in upper Austria, a region famed for its extensive engineering capabilities, Kremsmueller Industrieanlagenbau, or Kremsmueller Industrial Plant Construction KG, has been supporting, planning and implementing complex industrial projects for just over half a century. Starting out as a provider of highly skilled personnel for industrial projects, the business rapidly grew to include capabilities to offer project handling from a technical perspective too, including total responsibility for the supervision of the project. This foundation has proved valuable for the company. Managing director Gregor Kremsmueller told Industry Europe, “From the 1970s onwards, Kremsmueller also started to manufacture equipment and apparatus suited to the types of projects

we were working on, including the pressure vessels that we have become known for, with practically all our products made specifically for individual customers. We still rarely make anything twice, and certainly not three times.” The company’s core business is industrial construction, with Kremsmueller Industrieanlagenbau representing the largest and most important company of the Kremsmueller Group. Offering the construction of industrial plants, its skills include instrumentation and control, services and projects such as programming automation of specific plants and the delivery and installation of switch cabinets. A recently completed project saw Kremsmueller install 80 switch cabinets in a Sibirian cement and steel plant and includes the ongoing support and plant start-up requirements.

Past, present and future Kremsmueller is widely appreciated for the value it places on tradition, including traditional skills, customer service and dedication to quality. Yet it has also built a well-deserved reputation for keeping a position at the forefront of the industry’s trends and changing demands. Mr Kremsmueller considers this balance an important ingredient in the company’s recipe for success. He said, “We are unique in that our experience, our customer relationships and our facilities have been built up over 50 years. This puts us in a strong position, particularly as we have a tradition for following our customers wherever they may need us in the world.” While Kremsmueller is active worldwide, it does not simply analyse markets and industrial structures in order to open a new branch or subsidiary, but rather it starts with

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Excellence Made in Germany With an experience of more than 80 years, KÖNIG + CO GmbH is one of the worldwide leading manufacturers of dished heads, cones and special pressing parts. KÖNIG delivers especially the oil and gas industry with the complete range of dished heads fulfilling the specific requirements of this industry. Visit us on our webpage!

www.koenig-co.de König + Co. GmbH, 57250 Netphen/Germany

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a project request from an existing customer and expands accordingly. This approach means that Kremsmueller is primarily predicting organic expansion over the coming years, with potential acquisitions in niche skill areas if required. This ‘follow the customer’ approach is largely how Kremsmueller has grown in recent years. With one of its oldest and biggest clients being the Austrian oil company OMV, a valued partner for nearly 50 years, it has long had a stable foot in the petrochemical industry. Mr Kremsmueller continued, “As a result of OMV’s acquisition of Romania’s largest oil refinery and requesting our support in bringing the plant up to European standards, we established our own Romanian subsidiary. Consequently we have been responsible for the entire instrumentation and control and now employ more than 400 people in Romania alone. It’s a continuous process and one which perfectly illustrates how our business has grown in a sustainable manner.” As a proud ‘universal supplier’, Kremsmueller is open to working with industrial clients in any sector. While its core business traditionally lies in the petrochemical sector, it is also

involved in many other sectors like the pulp and paper, building materials and food sectors, particularly in light of the fact that the global recession has highlighted the importance of not being too reliant on any one sector. Mr Kremsmueller said, “We are also increasingly active in the building and servicing of petrol stations. This is one area where we can utilise some product standardisation and we have acquired a small software company in order to facilitate this. The company’s core product is specialised business software for petrol stations and we intend to offer custom applications for our industrial clients too. It’s a new direction for us and one that holds many exciting opportunities and projects.”

Mr Kremsmueller expects the company’s growth to continue in its proven ‘follow the customer’ strategy as well as working on increasingly technologically driven projects. He concluded, “We want to ensure that we are utilising our extensive experience to the best of its advantage, both for us and for our customers. We believe that high-end technological projects such as those using exotic materials will make up a growing portion of our future projects. We also expect to be more involved with sustainable projects, such as the recent major tender we’ve participated in for a large hydroelectric power plant.” n

Interesting opportunities In order to continue to create new opportunities and meet the demands of existing customers, Kremsmueller regularly invests in the facilities at its headquarters. With state-ofthe-art equipment, technological facilities and research capabilities gaining investment as well as continual training of personnel, the company has spent more than €20 million on a big upgrade project over the last few years. Industry Europe 165


PERFECT CASTING Headquartered in Aalter, Belgium, OMCO has been manufacturing glass moulds for industry since 1964 and today it is one of the global leaders in its sector. Industry Europe looks at what has made this company such a long-standing success.

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he Omco Group has seven major production facilities in Europe with offices located in all major European countries, including Austria, the UK, Romania and Turkey. In 1970 it acquired a foundry in Hamme, Belgium in order to supply in-house castings to a very high standard in both cast iron and bronze. This is where the biggest company of the group. OMCO International, is still based today. In addition, the company acquired its second foundry in Slovenia in 2001, which specialises in ‘grey casting’ and was purchased to enhance the group’s speciality castings sector. In 2001 the group expanded with the establishment of OMCO Istanbul, followed by OMCO Romania in 2005 and finally EMCO USA in 2006 to serve the North American market. The group’s glass moulds account for around a third of its overall turnover, but

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it also offers products such as neckrings, plungers and tableware moulds. OMCO International and its subsidiaries are part of the BMT Group, which is active in a diverse range of industries. These include the glass mould making division, which is composed of nine companies in eight countries; the industrial gears and transmissions division, which is present in four countries with four companies; the aerospace division with three companies in three countries; and the glass engineering division which includes three companies active in two countries.

Production processes OMCO’s products for the hollow glass industry consist of specially developed castings in grey and nodular iron and aluminium bronze. Its biggest market is food and beverages although

the pharmaceutical sector has also come to be increasingly important. It also serves the cosmetics and tableware markets. OMCO’s business is built around five key ‘steps’, as it outlines on its website: engineering, foundry, manufacturing, quality assurance and moulds. OMCO has a multinational group of engineers to support its customers throughout the world and uses PRO-E based software systems for product design and programming. Secondly, its foundry division, OMCO Metals, has locations in Belgium and Slovenia with a flexible supply of its cast iron and aluminium bronze castings. With regards to the third step, manufacturing, the group is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art CNC and robotic machinery. Quality control is the next stage and includes a statistical process control (SPC) on the shop floors as well as a final quality control


after the completion of the production process. Finally, OMCO is able to offer the equipment for any shape of mould its customers might require, using a variety of welding techniques to increase the life of the mould.

Saving energy Recognising that its clients are looking to reduce their environmental footprints as far as possible, OMCO has been focusing increasingly on developing lighter glass packaging products, which will use less energy in transit. This means thinner glass which is capable of maintaining the same level of strength and product protection. To meet this demand, a few years ago OMCO added a special

aluminium bronze mould to its portfolio. In addition to saving energy costs and usage, OMCO is able to manufacture with a great deal of speed and efficiency. Its Individual Sector (IS) can produce over 600 hollow glass products per minute from a single mould, with each mould having the capacity to manufacture up to one million glass containers. The company also applies a nickel coating to protect the edges of the mould so there is no break-away.

Continuous investment programme The increased pressure for sustainability has meant that there is a great demand for glass products, which are 100 per cent recyclable.

This has enabled it to expand at three of its European facilities. Furthermore, last year (2011) it established a new joint venture with Hindustan National Glass (HNG), the leading Indian glass container manufacturer. The two companies have set up mould manufacturing facilities in India under the name OMCO HNG Engineering Ltd. The plant is equipped with a state-of-the-art foundry and CNC machines. Expansion has also been taking place at OMCO’s Romanian, Croatian and UK production sites. Last year alone it invested over €9 million in new equipment to increase its manufacturing capacity and meet the growing global demand for energy-efficient, n recyclable glass containers.

Messer investing in its customer’s comfort December last year, Messer Benelux opened its new state-of-the-art filling plant for cylinder gases in Zwijndrecht. In one single weekend we moved from Machelen to Zwijndrecht without having any supply shortages. With a filling capacity around 500.000 cylinders a year for industrial and medical gases, our customer is sure about on time delivery. Messer, a brand leader in the Benelux, knows that reliable services bring maximum comfort. We worked with our customers on cylinder management and we developed a unique barcode traceability system to find ‘lost’ cylinders. We can now all trace them, no matter who returns them and we deduct the cylinder from the correct customer’s stock.

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DIGITAL INSTRUMENTATION

OF THE FUTURE Wika is the global leader in mechanical pressure and temperature measurement technology products. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to deliver ground-breaking products and is moving into new niche-market sectors.


IN

1946 Alexander Wiegand founded Wika Gmbh, together with his former employee, Philipp Kachel, in Klingenberg, Germany. The first two letters of each of the founder’s family names formed the new company name ‘WIKA’. Thereafter, the company consistently grew and prospered as it continued to invest in new plant and new technology. By 2008, the company had a turnover of more than €500 million and had achieved the status of a true global brand leader in its field. Today the company can draw on its unparalleled pool of experience and specialist knowledge, which in turn is supported by over 7000 highly qualified employees. Wika is one of the market leaders in pressure and temperature measurement systems and is committed to utilising only the highest-quality components, developing comprehensive measurement solutions. This is done in close partnership with its customers, as Wika then integrates the products into their existing production-line processes. Currently the group operates a range of modern pro-

duction facilities in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Brazil, South Africa and the USA and is present in more than 75 countries on five continents. In 2010 the company recorded sales of more than €650 million and delivered over 43 million products to its customers worldwide.

Diverse product portfolio and customer base The Wika group serves an infinite variety of industries and has an extensive and diverse product portfolio to match. Companies involved in the production of power and renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petrochemical products and the automotive industries are all more efficient thanks to Wika instrumentation. The company has a comprehensive product mix that covers pressure measurement, temperature measurement and calibration, and provides the relevant high technology accessories for all three product divisions. Among the company’s hundreds of topdrawer customers are BASF, Siemens,

Dow, DuPont, GSK, Bayer and Nestle, as well as countless medium and smaller companies that it partners with throughout the world. Wika has established a global quality process and management system which involves the complete supply chain. The company not only has the highest-quality specialist suppliers, but also highly trained staff with a large proportion of them qualifying for Six Sigma black belts to supervise quality standards for vendors and supply-chain contributors. The company’s goal is to achieve continuous improvement and sustainability throughout all of its manufacturing processes. As one would imagine, it has a truly global business focus, which is supported through its sustained global production capabilities, sales, logistics and worldwide service infrastructure.

Developing the products of tomorrow One of the Wika Group’s key strengths is its ongoing commitment to research and development and its investment in new technology. Every year the company


launches many new and often groundbreaking products and 2011 was no exception with the announcement in April of a new family of electronic switches designed for the global industrial market – including the high-performance PSD-30 pressure switch, the TSD-30 temperature switch and the LSD-30 level switch. These are designed to measure and control the measurement parameters, pressure, temperature and level and were developed with the specific needs of the machine-building

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industry in mind. As such, they offer several key features which set them apart from comparable products. For example, they have an easily readable, robust display; an intuitive and fast set-up; and easy and flexible mounting configurations. In December 2011, the company celebrated ten years of its successful system partnership with Neumo and Muhlberger. The companies came together in 2001 in order to co-market specialised measuring systems for sanitary applications and included the fitting of Wika pressure and temperature measuring instruments at their respective manufacturing plants. These products included a range sterile connections and housings which were optimised using advanced Neumo BioControl® and BioConnect® systems. Even more recently, in January 2012, Wika acquired one of the world’s leading companies in the field of calibration technology: Scandura of Italy. The company was founded in the 1950s and quickly established itself as

an international manufacturer of specialised calibration equipment. Scandura’s portable calibrators are brand leaders in the area of critical applications for the process industry. Along with its advanced calibration software, Scandura will be integrated into Wika’s calibration technology division to bring even greater product diversity together for its customers and to strengthen its already dominant position in the marketplace.

Meeting any challenge Whether it’s the pharmaceutical industry, the automotive industry, the food and beverages industry or the construction industry, Wika can meet the challenges of each individual industrial sector with confidence. The company continues to serve customers in new niche markets throughout manufacturing industry. However, some industries represent bigger challenges than others. The chemical and petrochemical industry is one such case, as it demands the most stringent standards, many


of which are subject to strict international and European guidelines such as REACH. In the chemical and petrochemical industries, high-precision electronic and mechanical measuring instruments are required for general applications as well as for those in potentially explosive areas. These must also operate effectively in some of the world’s most aggressive environments. The standard material used in these extreme and hazardous conditions is stainless steel, and for high-pressure measurement applications, high-strength alloys are used. In addition, for chemical processes involving highly aggressive media and in combination with the appropriate diaphragm seals and gauges, a range of chemically resistant materials is used. Today, Wika is justifiably proud of its ability to meet any challenge, in any industrial sector, and sees itself as a strong partner in producing tailored technical solutions and sustainable outcomes based on its track record of n unrivalled expertise and dependability. Industry Europe 173


INSPECTION, TESTING AND CERTIFICATION SGS Italia SpA, part of the global SGS group, has been active in Italy since 1915 as an independent provider of service and system inspections, testing and certifications. Barbara Rossi speaks to Peter Mazzei, SGS’s marketing and communication director for Italy and south east Europe, about his company and its recent acquisition of Sertec.

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he SGS group is the world leader in its sector and is established in all continents, with 67,000 employees and 1250 offices and laboratories. Headquartered in Geneva, it commenced its activity in 1878 and offers its wide range of services to all market sectors. SGS Italia SpA, part of south east Europe area, driven by Mr Duilio Giacomelli, which


replicates the group’s offer at national level, is headquartered in Milan where it employs around 150 people. Furthermore, the company has a good coverage of the whole Italian territory thanks to its 21 offices and 8 laboratories, located in Bari, Brindisi, Cagliari, Genova, Livorno, Milano, Napoli, Novara, Padova, Palermo, Pescara, Portoscuso, Ravenna, Roma, Savona, Siracusa, Torino and Venezia. This network not only provides SGS with good geographical coverage, but also with the potential for coping with an increase in demand, without the need for new or expanded facilities. At the national level SGS has around 1000 people. SGS Italia SpA offers its services only to the Italian market as export markets are within the scope of their respective SGS national companies. While the market segments served by SGS are varied and include industries such as agriculture, consumer testing, the environment, government and institutions, the industrial

sector, life science services, minerals, oil, gas and chemicals and system and services certifications, the main recipient of its services is the industrial sector. For this reason the acquisition of Sertec, a leader in workplace health and safety testing and assessment, which took place at the beginning of 2011, has been of particular importance. In fact, thanks to this acquisition SGS has been able to extend the range of services it offers to the health and safety testing field. Now the SGS portfolio also includes emergency plans, safety assessments, fire safety practices and risk assessment documentation. While these services are targeted to any type of company, for obvious reasons the industrial sector remains the main beneficiary.

Wide range of services SGS offers a full range of services, which, due to their interconnections, are often difficult to separate. Its core services are those concerning inspections, testing and analysis, to which

other services such as certifications and the growing area of environmental services have been added. The company carries out a wide range of inspections, testing and assessments, including quality and quantitative inspections, as well as inspections concerning environmental issues such as emission measurements, indoor environment quality, acoustic emission testing, asbestos and general environmental impact assessments. It also deals with custom documentation checks and sample testing, as well as internal quantitative and qualitative checks. As mentioned, alongside this it offers several certifications including the ISO range, HACCP, BRC, the Climate Change Program, SGS Sustainable Forestry, CE Marking, the Forestry Certification Program, OHSAS 18001 and many others. SGS is also engaged in carrying out testing on the quality of goods exchanged in commercial operations and in checking the quality of goods or processes within

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Service and Solutions for your Office

COPYTELL S.r.l. - Viale E. Stefini 5 - 20125 Milano - Tel: +39 02690 01503 - Fax: +39 02690 00098 - E-mail: sales@copytell.it - www.copytell.it

production plants. It also offers outsourcing services, whereby it will run and manage a company’s quality control laboratory as well as offering training services to companies in all the sectors it serves, both with regard to managing systems and to methods of improving the quality of a finished or semifinished product. For instance, in the oil and mineral sector it has helped its clients to understand product issues and how the product could be improved. Indeed, SGS’s scope of activities is so wide that it has even be involved in awarding the seven stars to the Seven Stars Galleria hotel in Milan, the first independently certified seven-star hotel in the world.

Because of this, it is always in search of new services to offer as long as they are within the company’s scope of expertise. He also explained how, in terms of future development, SGS may employ both an organic growth and acquisition strategy and is interested in examining different growth sectors. Currently SGS sees

its future macro areas as being those of services for the industrial and renewable energy sectors. Interesting developments are also taking place in the area of environmental services, in which the company carries out services including refuse disposal testing and assessments, as well as land n reclamation ground assessments.

Mr Duilio Giacomelli (chief operating officer for south east Europe)

Mr Peter Mazzei (marketing and communication manager for Italy and south-east Europe)

Future potential Mr Mazzei stressed how, despite the differences in current volumes, no service area is seen as being predominant and that SGS is interested in maintaining a 360-degree range. 176 Industry Europe


DYNAMIC GROWTH With its headquarters in the village of Libchavy near Ústí nad Orlicí, SOR Libchavy s.r.o. is the secondlargest bus manufacturer in the Czech Republic. SOR Libchavy offers modern types of buses, trolleybuses and electrobuses in more than 30 models and with bespoke versions as required by the customer. It currently manufactures buses in 8.5m, 9.5m, 10.5m, 12m and 18m lengths, with specifications for urban, regional and long-distance operations. Buses are also offered with compressed natural gas (CNG), electrical and hybrid power as alternatives. SOR Libchavy s.r.o. is currently the number-one seller of buses in the Czech Republic.

Industry Europe 177


“WE

manufacture medium-class buses from 25 to 51 seated passengers, so the customer can choose a bus according to his needs while retaining uniform parts requirements for the type of bus. All buses are manufactured according to their own designs. Provision of warranty and post-warranty service, including spare parts, is automatic.

178 Industry Europe

The company has held the ISO 9001 quality certificate since 2001. SOR buses are updated regularly both in terms of function and design, always bearing in mind the needs of both customers and the need for continuously improving standards of safety and comfort for passengers. In 2011 we produced 559 buses, generating a turnover of CZK 2.5 bn, while employing 650 staff.

Last year we also sold 40 trolleybuses and we currently have six electrobuses in operation”. says sales director Jindřich Chudý. At the beginning of January 2011 SOR obtained confirmation from the Ministry of Trade and Industry of a further grant as part of the Business and Innovation Operational Programme, the aim of which is to improve vehicle manufacturing efficiency. A vehicle air-


tightness testing facility was brought on-line, as well as a CNC station to make rotational and fixed shaped parts using chip machining. Updating the production line with new and more up-to-date technology has created the conditions for greater streamlining and precision in manufacturing and an increase in production capacity. Investment is also going into the laser sheet-cutting facility and the robot chassis parts welding operation.

Two decades of intensive development

tion in consumption is approximately 14.5 per cent. We can also claim a higher per unit performance for our vehicles,” the sales director adds.

Brand strength All buses produced by SOR are fitted with disk brakes on all axles as standard. To improve corrosion resistance, the under part of the chassis is made of stainless section and casings on the bodywork from plastics. The power units meeting EURO V EEV limits are from IVECO.

“Of our export markets the most important is Slovakia. Of other countries we export to we might mention Poland, the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia, as well as Serbia, Russia and more recently Denmark. In the past the company has exported its products to Moldavia, the Ukraine, Belgium and the Netherlands.” “Our most successful bus models include regional buses 10.5 and 12 metres in length, including low-access versions, as well as low-access 12 and 18 metre n urban buses.”

SOR Libchavy was founded in 1991 as a successor to the engineering company of the same name, with the strategic aim of developing, producing, selling and servicing smaller buses. The company’s founders opted at the beginning for the development of a 7.5 metre bus which would use bodywork and chassis of their own design, together with components from top-class world manufacturers. The introduction of this bus in 1993 started the story of a new automobile manufacturer in the Czech Republic. “The main competitive advantage of SOR buses is clearly their lower fuel consumption, a result of the lower tare weight, which is on average some 2t less than for competitive vehicles of a comparable type. The reducIndustry Europe 179


NUMBER ONE IN SALT With salt production plants in five European countries, Germany’s esco supplies salt products for all imaginable uses.


E

sco is the biggest salt producer in Europe, operating three rock salt mines, two solution mines and several vacuum salt plants in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. With an annual production of around six million tonnes of salt, the Hanover-based company offers its international customers a full range of highquality salt products, from a variety of food grade salts to salt for chemical and industrial applications, for pharmaceutical products and for the de-icing of winter roads. esco employs a total of some 1300 people at its 19 production, distribution and sales operations across Europe and has annual revenues of around €400m. esco is part of the business unit Salt of the K+S Group and takes care of the European salt business of the group. The K+S Group is one of the world’s leading suppliers of standard and speciality fertilisers. Employ-

ing more than 15,000 people K+S also offers a comprehensive range of goods and services for agriculture, industry and private consumers. Its salt business comprises, as well as esco, the Chilean Sociedad Punta de lobos and the USA based Morton Salt. Its annual production capacity of around 15 million tonnes of salt makes K+S the largest salt producer in the world. Salt is, of course, familiar to all of us as a foodstuff and as an essential product for keeping winter roads open but many of its uses go undetected even though they are all around us. Salt is present in textiles, in glass and plastics as well as in detergents and cleaning agents, ceramics, leather goods and cellulose products. It is also found in cosmetics and pharma products. esco offers a comprehensive range of salt products for all of these uses, and many more. Its product range includes rock salt,

evaporated salt, sea salt and brine. The quality, granulation, processing and packaging of all these varieties of salt are specifically tailored to customer requirements.

One hundred years at Braunschweig In August 2011 esco’s BraunschweigLuneburg salt mine celebrated its 100th anniversary. The first shaft at the mine was sunk in 1911 and extraction of potash and rock salt began in 1913. Potash production ceased in 1922 but the mine continues to be the biggest source of rock salt products within the esco group. In fact the mine is the only one of the many ancient mines in Lower Saxony to survive to this day, thanks to the exceptional purity of the Grasleben rock salt deposits. The mine fields of the Grasleben plant cover an area of 108 km2, reaching from Wolfsburg in the north-west to Schwanefeld in the south-east. The crystal salt produced

Industry Europe 181


in the mine has an average purity of 99 per cent sodium chloride. The Grasleben plant can supply up to 1000 tonnes of packaged goods and up to 6000 tonnes of bulk product per day. Its range includes everything from small packages and 25 and 50kg bags to one ton bigbags and industrial and deicing salt in bulk. In winter the plant can load up to 300 trucks per day with de-icing salt. The end of 2011 also saw the setting up of an additional production facility for lick

blocks at the Braunschweig-Luneburg plant. Lick blocks play an important role in modern livestock farming as simple and cost-saving feed supplements for cattle, horses, sheep, goats and pigs. They deliver the vital sodium chloride as well as other elements such as magnesium and calcium and the trace elements zinc, cobalt, iron, iodine, selenium and copper. “On the basis of the strong increase in the overall demand for lick blocks for animal nutrition, we decided in favour of this investment in 2010,” said Elke Riedel, esco’s Product Manager for animal nutrition. “The addition of another high-performance lick block press to our production lines at Grasleben will enable us to react to customer demands even faster and with increased flexibility.”

Looking eastwards At the beginning of 2012 esco significantly expanded its position in eastern Europe through the acquisition of the Czech salt processing company Solne Mlyny a.s.. The Czech company is a major supplier of salt products in the Czech Republic as well as in other European markets. It has a table

salt brand which is well-known in its home market and also supplies a wide range of food grade, industrial and de-icing salts. Solne Mlyny sells around 100,000 tonnes of its salt products per year and, until its acquisition, has been one of esco’s customers in the Czech market. The latest news from esco is the appointment of a new senior manager. On 1 April 2012, Matthias Mohr became the managing director for Production, finance and administration. An economics graduate, Mr Mohr joined the K+S Group in 1995; he was appointed head of corporate development in 2003 and has most recently been CEO of K+S’s Chilean subsidiary, Punta de Lobos. Erich Krug remains the managing director for marketing, sales and logistics at esco. Underlining the importance of esco’s Czech acquisition, he said, “With the purchase of Solne Mlyny we have taken an important step in our eastern Europe strategy. The company is well-established on the market, works costeffectively and has a direct rail connection as well as major storage capacities. All this will be a crucial contribution to strengthening our n position in the eastern markets.”


THE RIGHT SOLUTION

FOR EVERY NEED

Gewete is a global leader in cash machine handling technology with a special a focus on the gambling and leisure industries. Philip Yorke talked to Aristidis Tsikouras, the company’s CEO, about its latest high-tech cash changers and the move into new retail market sectors.

G

ewete was founded in 1993 and is part of the famous Gauselmann Group of Germany. It is a world leader in the design and manufacture of money-handling machines for a diverse range of leisure and retail applications. Paul Gauselmann founded the group more than 50 years ago and his innovative amusement and prize machines quickly brought the company success and recognition. In 2011 the group employed more

than 6000 people and recorded sales of more than €1.7 billion. As an important subsidiary of Gauselmann, Gewete benefits from the technological expertise and financial strength of the group and applies the same flexible, innovative approach to product development. Gewete is renowned for the exceptional build-quality of its machines and the higher the security level demanded, the more secure a client’s money is against unauthor-

ised access. Today the company designs, develops and manufactures money changing machines, cash machines and payment machines. This is in addition to machines dedicated to the growing retail market, such as ticket machines, entry control systems and machines which provide automatic cash handling solutions. Gewete’s key market sectors include casinos, arcades, banks, retailers, water parks, public facilities and museums.


Unique, one-stop-shop service One of the main advantages that Gewete has over its competitors is that all its design and manufacturing competences reside under one roof at Mechernich, near Cologne. This enables the company to be extremely flexible - it can cater for every conceivable need that a customer may have. This one-stop-shop approach sets it apart from its competitors along with the reliability and quality of its extensive product portfolio. Mr Tsikouras said, “Traditionally our core business has been the supply of cash changing machines and systems for the casino and gambling industry. However, today we are moving more towards cashless systems and expanding our portfolio of retail products, which are all PC based.

We also have machines which accept debit and credit cards. Our best sellers currently are our ‘Maxi Cash Recycler’, `Cash Recycler and our ‘Mini Coin Recycler’ models. In the past it was enough to provide facilities for simply changing notes etc – but now for casinos and arcades it is very different and important to reduce the level of cash in the system. During the last five years we have seen significant growth in the gambling sector as German market leader. In addition to our success in the German gambling sector, we successfully could establish our product range in the area of ticketing, access control, cash handling and projecting by means of new developments, so that a large part of our turnover results from this sector.”

Mr Tsikouras added, “Our comprehensive facilities offer our customers a unique combination of expertise and practical facilities for prototyping and testing new products. We produce highly specialised ‘back office’ and ‘front office’ software and also develop new programmes with our customers on a joint venture basis. Another thing that makes us special and differentiates us from our competitors is that unlike them, we also work outside the gambling industry. Our focus on these other areas helps us to create more innovative products and broadens our product portfolio, which in times of economic downturn is a major advantage. Currently, our main turnover comes from gambling related cash handling products. By


developing new products and acquisition of new customers in other fields than the gambling sector, these solutions achieved an important part from our yearly turnover, which considerably will be expanded in future and will gain greater importance for our company.”

New horizons Currently Gewete’s biggest market is Germany, with the Nordic countries representing the second biggest market. However, the company also installs its cash handling machines in a further 25 countries with most of them located in Europe. These are countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, UK, Turkey (for ticketing only) and Finland. But in the near future the plans are to expand business in eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America. Much of this growth will come from sales networks already in place, but Gewete is also generating global interest in its products at major international trade fairs. In the next 12 months the company will be showcasing its products at a large number of fairs dedicated to the industries that Gewete serves. These include, a gam-

ing Expo, in Belgrade, in May, as well as the Arena Expo in Bucharest, the Balkan Entertainmants Trade Fair, the Evo attraction show and the SAGSE International Trade Fair in Argentina.

receipts, statistics print-outs and vouchers. In addition this model offers modern PC and databank technology, with remote dial-in, remote read-out and remote adjustment features n

Innovation driving sales Gewete’s innovative cash handling technology keeps it ahead of the competition. The company’s latest cash-centres, coin-recyclers, ticket machines and canteen systems set the standards for the industry. A recent example of Gewete’s lead in this sector can be seen with its recent introduction of the Maxi-Cash-Recycler, which offers maximum coin and note stock with optimal security. After the successful introduction of the Gewete ‘Cash Centre’ a couple of years ago, the company has launched the new, Maxi-Cash-Recycler, which makes central cash management possible in modern casinos and amusement arcades. The outstanding features of the MaxiCash-Recycler, is its large 15 inch touch display-screen and the recycling of banknotes and coins. However, it is also equipped with a reader for credit and debit cards as well as offering a printer for Industry Europe 185


ADVANCED MAGNETIC

TECHNOLOGIES

Vacuumschmelze GmbH, a manufacturer of advanced magnetic materials and related products for the automotive and many other industry sectors besides, continues to expand its range of world-leading products.

E

stablished in 1914, Hanau-based Vacuumschmelze GmbH has seen continuous expansion and a long-term dedication to staying at the very forefront of innovative materials development, resulting in annual sales of €325 million and over 3800 employees in 50 countries. Although particularly well-known for its materials for the automotive industry, many multi-national industry sectors use Vacuumschmelze products as an integral element of their optimised production. The magnetic alloys that are melted in VAC’s main production facility in Hanau are used in communication and medical technology, the space industry and for clocks and watches. The company’s product range is divided into semi-finished products in the form of tapes, strips, round rods and wires that can then be further processed by the customer to create cores, components and perma-

nent magnets. The company also produces winning products for optimised production such as the innovative adhering varnish VACCOAT 20011, which represents a completely new coating and manufacturing process for segmented sintered neodymium iron boron magnets, also known as NdFeB magnets).

Continuous product innovation Furthermore, Vacuumschmelze has increased its development and manufacture of new products and solutions to guarantee that it is able to quickly respond to the increasing demands of greater environmental compatibility for its clients’ needs. As the global economic crisis took hold, Vacuumschmelze was working particularly hard to instigate, perfect and introduce new products to the market to stay one step ahead and the company is now selling better than ever.

The crisis brought about innovations such as the DURACON 17A alloy, characterised by its excellent conductibility and malleability, and the VACODYM rare earth permanent magnet. Also, recognising the growing trend in the automotive industry towards eco-friendly and future-proof drive systems, e-mobility will be a focus over the coming years. At the ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturer’s Association) trade fair held in February this year, the company presents its advanced conductors and EMC components which are designed to meet the most sophisticated demands of the automotive industry.

The green revolution With each new development, Vacuumschmelze is compounding its commitment to offering ‘Advanced materials – the key to progress’ – its vision and marketing slogan that is present across its website and literature.


As the company leads the way in developing, manufacturing and distributing green technologies for the benefit of its wide-ranging client base, its technical know-how and continuous innovation is clearly evident. Many materials and semi-finished products originating from Vacuumschmelze have already proven their excellence in the field of renewable energy, particularly as the new current sensors used in solar inverters have been created at Hanau. These sensors help to monitor the output alternating current from solar systems in the power supply and the direct current element. Compared to typical Hall element

compensation sensors, the many advantages of the VAC current sensors include a very small offset current with negligible temperature drift and barely measurable long-term drift along with exceptional accuracy. In February this year Vacuumschmelze participated as both a sponsor and exhibitor at the 27th Photovoltaic Solar Energy Symposium at Bad Staffelstein, Germany, where it presented its innovative nanocrystalline materials. These are used for numerous passive components that deliver outstanding reliability, precision and energy efficiency for today’s solar inverters.

Expansion across the global market sectors it serves will also continue to be a priority for Vacuumschmelze. Its production sites in Germany, Malaysia, China and Slovakia are able to draw on the economic benefits of each location and its dedicated R&D team at Hanau gives the company a clear operational definition. Looking ahead, the company will continue to diversify its product range to support its plans for further global expansion. Participation in trade fairs will also continue to be an important part of its n promotional activities.


ADVERTISERSINDEX

A ABB Oy AFE Cronite AGM Beton Zrt Akzo Nobel Chemicals Alfaplast SpA Andrénverken AB Asset Recovery BVBA Auto-Color spol s.r.o

G P 95 P 127 P 77 P 65 P 26 P 107 P 114 P 178

B B-Folio GmbH & Co. KG BASF Polska Sp. z.o.o. Becker Vertriebs Benefit-3000 Kft Bernecker Umformtechnik GmbH Buhlmann Rohr - Fittings Stahlhandel GmbH & Co. KG Burgdorf GmbH & Co. KG

P 179 P 110 P 92 P 34 P 160 P 182

Haggie Steel Wire Rope Heap Dawson Limited Hoisting Equipment NV

P 128

K

P 57 P 52 P 142 P 103 P 176

Kafrit Industries Ltd KK Kavicsbeton Bt Konepaja Hakkinen Oy König + Co. GmbH Krauss Maffei Technologies GmbH Krylbo Verkstäder AB

P 84 P 146 P 115

R

P 111

P 72 P 77 P 94 P 164 Inside back P 160

L E Eloxal Landau GmbH ENSI Kft Erhardt+Leimer Ltd Eternal Win Metal Ltd Euramax Coated Products

P 119 P 69 P 146 P 114 P 44

F Firma Adam’s Adam Skrzyniarz Fisba Optik AG Frankstahl Rohr und Stahlhandelsges mbH Fritz Dräxlmaier GmbH & Co. KG Fritz Stiefel Industrievertretungen GmbH

P 52 P 151 P 164

L-3 Communications Linde Gas GmbH

P 89 P 164

M M Bruck GmbH & Co. KG MEI Group UK Mélyépítő Labor Kft Messer Benelux Millfield Group MTH GmbH

P 119 P 185 P 77 P 169 P 84 P 128

N&P Engineering Services Ltd Nichia Europe BV Nippon Electric Co.

P 123 P 41 P 156

P 73 P 122 P 65 P 133 P 60

Ravago Plastics NV P 114 Rembrandtin lack GmbH Nfg. KG P 154 Rofin Baasel Lasertech P 173 GmbH & Co. KG RPC Group Oustide back

S Schaeffler Sverige AB P 30 Schott AG P 155 Schuy Klebetechnik GmbH P 142 Shengyuan Metal Co. Ltd P 114 SHW Castings Technologies GmbH P 94 Söderhamn Eriksson AB P 160 SSAB EMEA P 123 Synthesia P 138

T Talaris P 185 Techno-Matic AS P 99 Technoform Glass Insulation GmbH P 60 TESS AS P 80 Traficator International AB P 107 Tricor Packaging & Logistics AG P 48

Z Zschimmer & Schwarz

N P 36 P 48

P

P 122

I IMM Hydraulics SpA

P 146 P 69 P 27 P 169

Palram Industries Ltd Peter Copsey Engineering Ltd Pinova AG Platex s.r.o. Press Glass SA

H P 44 P 56 P 187 P 77 P 34 P 164

C Cargill Starches & Sweeteners Europe CLIP Logistics Sp. z.o.o. Coldec BV Cooperativa II Calabrone Copytell

Gall s.r.o. Gates Europe GEA Mechanical Equipment Gebrüder Schürer GmbH Gösta Hedlund AB Greif Flexibles Germany GmbH & Co. KG Guys Coatings Ltd

Nortex International Novoferm Hungária Kft NSK Italia SpA NV PMDS SA

Inside front




Articles inside

Advanced magnetic technologies

5min
pages 188-192

The right solution for every need Gewete

5min
pages 185-187

Number one in salt esco

6min
pages 182-184

Inspection, testing and certification SGS Italia

4min
pages 176-178

Dynamic growth SOR Libchavy

3min
pages 179-181

Digital instrumentation of the future Wika

5min
pages 172-175

Perfect casting OMCO

5min
pages 168-171

Adding value to forestry raw materials

6min
pages 160-163

Fifty years of plant building expertise

4min
pages 164-167

A passion for warmth Jotul

5min
pages 154-159

Strength in sustainable flooring Armstrong

6min
pages 142-145

Optical focus FISBA OPTIK

5min
pages 150-153

The great innovator Emerson and Renwick

5min
pages 146-149

A reputation for quality Stahl

6min
pages 139-141

Magnetic materials Becker Vertriebs

3min
pages 136-138

Sanding and grinding on a global scale

5min
pages 132-135

We can take the heat Bodycote

5min
pages 127-131

Expertise in perforated metals Dillinger Group

6min
pages 118-121

Global reach for design and manufacture

6min
pages 122-126

At home and abroad Specma

4min
pages 110-113

Global material handling specialists Movomech

7min
pages 106-109

Catalyst for change Campine

5min
pages 114-117

Heavy lifting Bolzoni

4min
pages 102-105

Going up HMF Group

5min
pages 99-101

Pumping Caspian oil Wärtsilä

7min
pages 92-98

Firm foundations Penta

5min
pages 76-79

Flexible solutions Market

4min
pages 68-71

Where oil travels first class Stena Bulk

9min
pages 88-91

Scandinavian strength Veidekke

5min
pages 80-83

Complete solutions for mooring and lifting

5min
pages 84-87

Up on the roof Palram Industries

5min
pages 72-75

Construction chemical solutions KREISEL

4min
pages 64-67

Taking energy-efficient windows to a new level

5min
pages 60-63

Nature’s beauty secrets Oriflame

5min
pages 56-59

Combating the counterfeiters Imperial Tobacco

8min
pages 52-55

The open road Hymer

5min
pages 44-47

Taking emission-testing technology to

5min
pages 48-51

Precision and flexibility APAG Elektronik

4min
pages 42-43

The sower and the seed Väderstad-Verken

4min
pages 30-33

Record growth and more to come BMW Group

7min
pages 37-41

Cool performance MAHLE Behr

4min
pages 34-36

Traction for global growth SAME DEUTZ-FAHR

6min
pages 26-29

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

4min
page 23

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

2min
page 22

Rail news The latest from the industry

9min
pages 11-13

Winning business New orders and contracts

7min
pages 16-17

Moving on Relocations and expansions

3min
page 20

Linking up Combining strengths

6min
pages 18-19

Bill Jamieson A moment of truth for the euro

4min
page 6

High speed through the Alps New Alpine rail link

4min
pages 14-15

In search of lost times Europe’s struggle to

9min
pages 8-10

James Srodes Repeating history

4min
page 7
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