Industry Europe – Issue 22.8

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VOLUME 22/8 – 2012 • €6

The world of European manufacturing






Swedish lessons It’s not social democracy that has made Sweden successful but free markets and social cohesion.


hat do we know about Sweden? Years ago the picture was pretty clear – the place was an eerily beautiful land of sexual freedom and Lutheran gloom. Frolicking all summer with Monika and playing chess in the winter with the Grim Reaper. Of course, things have changed. If you frolicked too much with Monika these days you might find yourself banging on the door of the Ecuadorean embassy. And, then, we’ve all read Stieg Larsson and know that the place is now full of corrupt capitalists, neo-Nazis, murderous misogynists, sociopathic computer hackers with lots of body piercings and, of course, dedicated and fearless investigative journalists. And everyone drinks an unbelievable amount of coffee. The other thing that everyone knows about Sweden is that it has been for 40 years a shining example of the success of social democracy, proving that high taxes, big government and extensive welfare provision can happily co-exist with economic success and high living standards. It is the example that proves that the ‘third way’ – between capitalism and socialism – works. Although even Swedish politicians were never quite sure how it worked. Former Social Democrat Prime Minister Goran Persson famously compared Sweden’s apparent defiance of economic logic with the flight of a bumblebee: “With its overly heavy body and little wings, it should not be able to fly – but it does.” A new paper from Britain’s Institute of Economic Affairs, however, argues a different case – Sweden’s third way actually didn’t work, the bumblebee didn’t fly. Its author Nima Sanandaji says that Sweden did not become wealthy thanks to social democracy; many of the characteristics that enabled it to become such a successful nation, such as a strong work ethic, very high levels of mutual trust, a strong belief in individual responsibility and family values and an exceptionally homogenous population, have existed for

centuries and were undoubtedly reinforced by the struggle of a community of poor farmers to survive in a hostile climate. What transformed Sweden from an impoverished agrarian society to a modern industrial nation was capitalism. It was secure property rights, free markets, the rule of law and a wealth of well-educated engineers and entrepreneurs that made possible the golden age of Swedish entrepreneurship from the 1870s onwards. It was during this period that so many of today’s world-famous companies were founded, including IKEA, Volvo, Tetra Pak, Ericsson and Alfa Laval. In fact, between 1870 and 1936 Sweden had the highest growth rate in the industrialised world. And all this happened while government was quite limited in scope and taxes were low – as late as 1950 Swedish tax revenues were only some 21 per cent of GDP.

Capitalism without capitalists Although the social democratic era began in the late 1930s it was not until after 1968 that Swedish governments moved sharply left and attempted to establish an economic model between the free market and a planned economy. Taxes increased generally but, more significantly, the new system discriminated severely against individuals who owned businesses. It is estimated that the effective marginal tax rate (taking inflation into account) on profits of privately owned Swedish businesses during this period could reach more than 100 per cent. Public owners of businesses, such as pension funds, did not pay taxes but could make deductions so their marginal rates could be minus 83 per cent. In effect, the vision was of a market economy without individual entrepreneurs – capitalism without capitalists. The effect on entrepreneurship and new business formation was predictably dramatic. By 2004 only two out of Sweden’s 100 highest earning firms were entrepreneurial businesses started after 1970; an extraordinary proportion

of the country’s wealth derived from businesses that had been founded more than a century earlier. Growth stagnated and while the population between 1950 and 2005 grew from seven to nine million, net job creation in the private sector over this period was zero. But did not Sweden’s lavish spending on welfare at least produce one of the lowest levels of income inequality in the industrialised world? Apparently not. It was during the great capitalist expansion of 1870 to 1970 that the country achieved one of the world’s most compressed income distributions. And while Sweden continues to have a very even distribution of incomes, it also has an unusually uneven distribution of wealth, more unequal even than the USA. Around 30 per cent of Swedish households have negative or zero assets. In short, many Swedes are dependent on government safety nets and do not save. Of course Sweden has never been a real socialist state – despite its high taxes and labour market restrictions, it has successfully pursued economic liberalisations in other parts of the economy. From the 1990s it has increased competition in the provision of education (with vouchers), health and care for the elderly and has partially privatised the pension system. And since the election of a centre-right government in 2006 it has even managed to cut tax rates and reduce unemployment and sickness benefits. The result? Unemployment (visible and hidden) fell between 2006 and 2011 by 2.1 per cent, an extraordinary achievement during a period of global economic crisis and rising numbers of refugee immigrants. So while most of Europe is trapped in recession – or, in some cases, something even worse – Sweden’s return to strong growth offers a powerful argument for the effectiveness of freer markets, lower taxes, smaller government and enhanced economic freedom. Oh, and Sweden got another thing right – n it didn’t join the euro. Industry Europe 3

Administration Anna Chamberlain Amber Dawson Kayleigh Harvey

Editor Peter Mercer Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley

Art Administration Tania Balderson

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

Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs Sector Managers Matthew Howe Eniko Kovacs Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo Jesse Roberts Helen Leisi Mac McCarthy Anthony McClintock Ben Snowing Anna Dudek Kevin Gambrill Stephen Moore Richard Thomas Lisa Ackroyd John Cliff Mauro Berini Martin Gisborne Victoria Pease Daniel Sands

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

CONTENTS Comment 1 4 5

Opinion Swedish lessons Bill Jamieson ‘They think it’s all over’ James Srodes The Israeli factor

Shipbuilding Industry 6 9 12

European shipyards face growing crisis Asian competition intensifies Shipbuilding news The latest from the industry

The sea, our planet’s future DCNS sets out its strategy

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


Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: Web:

23 28

A partner with ideas Ljunghäll Spring solutions Lesjofors

Automation & Tooling 32 36

Right on track Bosch Packaging Technology HSC hard machining: Maximum throughput combined with highest precision Röders

Building & Construction © Industry Europe 2012 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. POSITIVE PUBLICATIONS

43 46 50 53

The architect’s tile Royal Mosa Towers of strength Beroa Technology Group Perfecting surface technology Possehl Spezialbau

Solid foundations HeidelbergCement

Chemicals 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: Web site:

4 Industry Europe

59 62 66

Pure sustainability Cargill The colour of success Flügger Group Leader in resins LERG

Consumer 71 74

Branded and private label make-up Bell Championing health, nutrition and sustainability Unilever

VOL 22/8

Above: Lesjofors p28

Electronics 80 83

‘Protection for man and machine’ K.A. Schmersal Group

Everything the industrial electronics company needs ENICS

Heavy Vehicles 88 94 99 104 Above: Röders p36 Below: Possehl Spezialbau p50

Highly specialised transportation Faymonville

Strong partnerships driving growth Lahden Autokori

Fit for heavy duty Ponsse Moving on Crepa

Liquid Handling 108

Above: Lahden Autokori p94 Below: Crepa p104

Continuously optimising its customer’s processes Alfa Laval

Metalworking 112 116 120 125

Technological edge in strip cutting and finishing SALICO The world’s strongest chains pewag A high technology focus Emmegi Rolling out excellence Elval Group

Mining 128

Sizing up MMD

Plastics Below: Bell p71

131 136

In the pipeline Wavin Ekoplastik Connecting perfectly Cera

Above: MMD p128 Below: Tyco p162

Refrigeration 139

Compressor innovation ACC

Telecoms 144

Making connections GN Netcom

Textiles 149

Fabric of life Benninger Group

Also in this issue... 152 157 162

Leading the green way IL Recycling Top team in optomechatronics Wild Safe growth Tyco Industry Europe 5




Executive Editor of The Scotsman

‘They think it’s all over’ Despite the summer pause, the euro crisis has a lot further to run.


all it a flight from reality, or just plain panic exhaustion: for a few blissful weeks this summer European financial markets enjoyed an eerie calm. Markets acted as if the eurozone sovereign debt crisis was a storm on the wane, while investors clung to that reassuring declaration of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that the bank would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro. The voice of the ECB had spoken. It left no room for doubt. The fear gauge fell, stock markets rose and yields on problem sovereign bonds sank back. It was as if, in the haunting words of a football commentator speaking from another era, ‘they think it’s all over’. Unfortunately for those borne along on this surge of wishful optimism, there was no immediate ‘score’ to validate Draghi’s pronouncement. Even assuming agreement is reached on the scale of ECB intervention and the formula adopted – the sliding scale of conditionality – this game is very far from being ‘over’. First, it is unlikely that the sustained opposition of the German Bundesbank to the ECB’s plans to intervene in sovereign bond markets is going to end any time soon. That opposition is deep-seated. It will not be allayed by cosmetic alterations to the phraseology of conditional intervention. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has issued his strongest warning yet that he is opposed to large scale bond market interventions. Even if a modus operandi is agreed, there is a major question mark in the case of Spain over how big the bail-out would need to be. Here the country’s devolution has left considerable doubt as to the total of public debt across its 17 autonomous regions. Valencia has said it will need a bigger bailout from Spain’s central government than it previously expected. It will ask for €4.5 billion (£3.6 billion) more than had been sug6 Industry Europe

gested when it first made the plea earlier in the summer. And debt-ridden Catalonia has also asked for a bailout of five billion euros. Valencia has become infamous for white elephant projects, absorbing large amounts of government spending. For example, Castellon Airport, which cost billions, has yet to have a flight take-off or land.

“The eurozone is in a broadlybased recession. There is clear evidence that the eurozone as as a whole and not just the periphery is in need of policy support.” Spain’s economy overall has shrunk for three consecutive quarters as it wrestles with a property bust. Back in June Spain requested €100 billion of loans from the eurozone’s bailout fund to help support a banking sector brought to its knees by commercial property loans that turned bad. Speculation has persisted that the country will need a full financial rescue.

Out and in? Second, for the ECB plan to work, it will require confidence in a successful outcome and an end to persistent speculation of a break-up of the eurozone and the exit of at least one of its existing members. This seems unlikely, considering that one proposal still doing the rounds as we went into September was a ‘temporary exit’ of Greece. This plan was considered within the German finance ministry to be the most likely outcome and was said to enjoy the support of Finland, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Estonia. The danger here is that a southern European debt crisis would spread out to become a northern European political crisis.

Others have dismissed the ‘out and in’ plan as ‘the stuff of fantasy’, not least because such an exit would still fall victim to the chain reaction and search for the next weakest victim that an outright exit would trigger. Conversely, if a Greek exit and readmission ploy was found to be acceptable to Greece, enabling it to come back into the euro at a lower exchange rate, which other vulnerable countries would be tempted to follow suit? Its very success would surely be the trigger for others to seek the same remedy. Meanwhile, the eurozone’s descent towards recession continues to gather pace and business confidence continues to fall. The European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator dropped again in August, the sixth consecutive monthly decline. “August’s weaker than expected EC business and confidence surveys,” says Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics, “provide further signs that the eurozone is in a broadly-based recession. There is clear evidence here that the eurozone as as a whole and not just the periphery is in need of policy support.” Germany was one of the worst affected countries, with a fall in business sentiment showing how austerity measures striking consumer demand in the eurozone periphery are hitting exports from Europe’s largest economy. German exports to Spain were down 9.4 per cent in the first six months of the year while exports to Greece were down 9.2 per cent and to Italy by 8.2 per cent. Whatever the outcome of the ECB’s deliberations – and whether the its plan will be approved or opposed by the German Constitutional Court – business managers are predicting that production output and order books have further to fall. The school of ‘they think it’s all over’ is set to have its nerves sorely tested in the period ahead. n




Veteran commentator on Washington & Wall Street

The Israeli factor On top of all his other troubles, President Barack Obama finds himself being squeezed politically by the prospect of a war he doesn’t want.


he stalled American economic recovery remains the central issue in this election year and there is little prospect of a sudden revival in growth that might lift Mr Obama back into the White House for another four years. Still, the lacklustre campaign waged thus far by Mr Romney has failed to define him in the minds of most voters as a clear choice to pull the country out of its malaise. Mr Obama’s strategists are counting on the fact that even voters who fault his administration’s performance still view him as a more sympathetic character than his opponent and that might be just enough. While much of political Washington has been away at the conventions, or back in the home precincts mending fences, the level of alarm over an Israeli raid on Iranian nuclear enrichment sites has begun to spread among the defense and security bureaucracy who will have to deal with the threat no matter who is elected on the 6th of November. The question that really alarms is whether the government of Benjamin Netanyahu will even wait for the American election results to make the final decision to attack or not. While a certain level of paranoia is present whenever there is political uncertainty, Mr Obama and his senior Pentagon and intelligence chiefs have been remarkably outspoken in stating

publicly that they do not want Israel to attack Iran and that American commitment to continuing diplomatic and economic pressure on Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions is the path to follow. But what should be a defence strategy dilemma has now taken on a layer of presidential election politics. There is also a layer of personal relationships at work here too. Mr Netanyahu and President Obama have never liked each other; the Prime Minister finds Mr Obama stand-offish and a bit inclined to lecture; the President finds Netanyahu abrasive and resents his use of the powerful community of Jewish Americans within the Democratic Party to pressure the White House. On the other hand, Mr Netanyahu and Mitt Romney have a close personal friendship that goes back to 1976 when both were young strivers at the Boston Consulting Group analysis tank. Moreover, Governor Romney has been clear he faults the Obama reliance on economic sanctions as having failed to move the Iranian regime to cancel its nuclear weapons programme. Romney went a step further during his visit to Israel in July when his top security adviser told reporters: “If Israel has to take action on its own in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the US government would respect that decision,” under his administration.

Win-win, lose-lose But will Israel strike first, and when? Pentagon and White House security analysts are in rare agreement that the Israeli military lacks the logistical capability and the sheer weight of bombing power to launch on its own a single surgical strike against the heavily protected Iranian nuclear enrichment sites. But with the next breath, many of these same analysts concede that Israel has been surprisingly innovative in making military might out of scarce resources and they concede they do not really know what its current capacities are for a limited and focused attack. What has many of these strategists worried is that Prime Minister Netanyahu may conclude he has no option, particularly if he fears the re-election of Mr Obama. The Israelis still recall with some bitterness the embarrassment they, the British and French experienced in 1956 when it was assumed the United States would back their invasion to regain control of the Suez Canal from Egyptian nationalisation. President Dwight Eisenhower refused to support the adventure. One hypothetical view wonders if Mr Netanyahu may not calculate that a quick strike before the November US elections would offer two happier prospects. Faced with an Israeli commitment in Iran, Mr Obama could agree to back the play

lest he outrage Jewish-American voters who make up a large and vocal wing of the Democratic Party. Or, if the President balks at supporting such an attack with US military support and aid, the election could be tipped to Mr Romney, who is on record advocating a more hawkish stance against the Tehran regime. While this might be a win-win strategy for Mr Netanyahu, it certainly would be a lose-lose development for the American economy that would have a profound and harmful impact on the troubled economies of Europe and Asia. Barclays Capital in New York is just one of the many analysts who forecast that the benchmark price of Brent crude petroleum which has been bouncing between $90 and $100 a barrel thus far will likely close above $113 by the end of the year unless the Iran nuclear controversy is settled. And if Israel were to attack, either before or after the elections, that price is forecast to skyrocket to $150 a barrel. While it is true that the US energy scene has been buoyed recently by a boom in natural gas production, most consumers of hydrocarbon energy still rely on petroleum, especially petrol, for motor cars and transport. At $150 a barrel, the fragile American recovery would be snuffed out and neither Mr Obama nor n Mr Romney want that. Industry Europe 7

This past summer Italy’s Fincantieri yard at Monfalcone floated out the largest passenger ship it has ever built, the 141,000gt Royal Princess, but China and Japan have now started construction of similar ships, and cruise ship orders in Europe have been cut in half since the recession. Credit: Fincantieri

Platform supply vessels, such as the recently delivered Evita, completed for Norway’s Ugland Offshore by Kleven Maritime, have been a staple for yards in northern Europe but Japanese, Chinese and South Koran yards are now targeting this sector. Credit: Ugland

EUROPEAN SHIPYARDS FACE GROWING CRISIS Assonave, Italy’s National Association of Shiprepairers and Ship Suppliers (Associazione Nazionale dell’Industria Navalmeccanica), met in Rome earlier this year to discuss the state of the world’s shipbuilding industry. A report presented at the meeting showed that the situation remains critical, particularly for European builders and most specifically for Italian builders. Jim Shaw reports.


ast year 32 million compensated gross tonnes (cgt) of ships were ordered worldwide, an 18 per cent decrease over 2010. In the first quarter of this year orders totaled less than 5 million cgt, down nearly 25 per cent on the same period in 2011. If this trend continues 2012 will go down as one of the historical years when demand for newbuildings hit a record low. According to Assonave the situation has come about for a number of reasons. As a starter, the world financial crisis of the past few years has led to a considerable slowdown in the seaborne trades. At the same time, a high volume of newbuildings entered the market between 2009 and 2011, the result of cheaper prices offered by shipbuilders. This, in turn, led to a general drop in freight rates which has impacted the profitability of many shipowners and hence their ability to order 8 Industry Europe

new tonnage. The slowdown in orders has not only been recorded in the general cargo sector but also in the liquid cargo and passenger sectors, including cruise ships. The sole exceptions to this trend has been sophisticated offshore vessels and gas tankers, technologically advanced ships in which Norwegian and South Korean yards have excelled. Corrado Antonini, Assonave’s chairman, noted that Italian shipbuilding, which is mainly positioned in specialised niche markets, such as cruise ships, has reflected the general trend of the industry. Orders gained last year by Italian builders amounted to approximately 330,000 cgt, much less than the pre-crisis yearly average of 1 million cgt and well below the record high of 2.8 million cgt. Considering that, in the medium term, world demand is not expected to exceed 40 million cgt, and that these volumes will be matched by a production

capacity which has already reached 60 million cgt, the extent of the serious overcapacity situation becomes clear. Within the context of Italy’s own heavy reliance on cruise ship construction, in 2011 the cruise sector counted 19.5 million passengers worldwide. This compared to 18.8 million in 2010 or an increase of 3.7 per cent. However, Antonini underlined the fact that, in terms of lower berths (LBs), the ships ordered last year amounted to approximately 23,000 LBs compared to over 24,100 LBs in 2010. Furthermore, when the cruise ship orders for the four pre-crisis years of 2004–2007 are compared to 2008–2011 the numbers of ships ordered was halved: 51 against 21. Also raising alarm for European builders has been Germany’s Aida Cruises, which has ordered two ships from Japan using financial support offered by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The cost per berth

Germany’s Meyer Werft yard at Papenberg has been completing a series of large cruise ships for compatriot operator ADIA Cruises but parent company Carnival Corporation has ordered the next two ships for the cruise line in Japan. Credit: Meyer Werft

for these 3250-passenger vessels will be €140,000, well under the €150,000 per berth charged by Fincantieri for a 3700-passenger ship it is building for Italy’s Costa group.

Other possibilities Although military construction at European yards has been relatively stable, and a number of export orders won, Assonave raised concern about the continuity of demand from the Italian Navy whose budget, already reduced considerably over the past several years, is to be further cut by recent measures aimed at containing public spending. The gloomy outlook has persuaded Fincantieri, one of Europe’s largest shipbuilders, if not the largest, to look at other possibilities. The most promising is a project called ‘Plasmare’ that would see two prototype sea-borne plants for the treatment of solid municipal waste constructed. The project has been conceived and promoted by Fincantieri through its centre for applied research CETENA (Centre for Advanced Studies into Naval Technologies). Already in an advanced stage of development, the floating platforms to be built under Plasmare would be positioned in a protected coastal area for operation. The first platform would receive solid municipal waste, approxi-

mately 400 tonnes a day, and produce usable gas from it. The second platform would carry a gasification system that would use plasma technology to recover energy from the synthesis gas. Because the various technologies required are at different stages of development, a modular approach is being examined for the project. This would see the waste recycling platform built first, followed by the plasma platform. The project is being put forward by Fincantieri as an environmentally-friendly solution to a number of problems regarding waste management but also because of the current shipbuilding market. As a company official noted: “given the current severe crisis in the shipbuilding industry, building the platforms would bring welcome relief and lead to substantial employment opportunities, both in plant construction and operation.”

Dark days for Germany The situation in northern Europe is just as acute, if not worse. In August, German Chancellor Angela Merkel informed the financially stressed P+S Werften group, which maintains shipyards at Wolgast and Stralsund, that Berlin would no longer consider further financial aid to stave off the company’s insolvency. At a meeting of 1200 workers at the P+S yard in

Stralsund, Merkel acknowledged that it was, indeed, a ‘dark day’ for Germany’s shipbuilding industry. Formed only two years ago P+S Werften advertised itself as ‘among the most modern shipyards in the world’ with ‘2000 highly motivated and specialized staff’. However, Ruediger Fuchs, P+S’s chief executive officer, said an insolvency application would now have to be made. This is because the state government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has also declined to give further aid. The state’s prime minister, Erwin Sellering, acknowledged that the €152.4 million in financial assistance already promised P+S Werften would not be enough to permit continued operations and that a buyer for the firm should be sought. The P+S Werften case closely follows that of the J.J. Sietas yard at Hamburg, which is currently working under insolvency laws as it finishes several ships, including the first German-built offshore wind farm installation vessel. The yard’s insolvency receiver, Berthold Brinkmann, said the shipbuilder’s management has been working “flat out to find an investor” but that they have been unable to secure further investment. The yard has been employing up to 700 workers and still has five vessels to be delivered. Industry Europe 9

Italy’s Fincantieri has launched the new multi-mission frigate Virginio Fasan (F 591) for the Italian Navy but is worried about order cutbacks as the Italian government enacts measures aimed at containing public spending. Credit: Fincantieri

In the meantime, the European Commission has earmarked over €20 million to help 950 workers now out of jobs in Denmark because of the closure of the giant Odense Steel Shipyard at Lindo, once the builder of the world’s largest container ships. Parent company A.P. Møller–Mærsk has gone to Asia for its latest ships, a trend that is also seeing an increased technology transfer take place between Europe and Asia. This has been underlined recently by the delivery of two subsea construction vessels to Norwegian owner Neptune Subsea by China’s Zhejiang Shipbuilding: the first X-Bow ships to be built in China. The X-Bow, developed by Norway’s Ulstein group as a leading-edge design solution for the offshore industry, is also now being built in Brazil.

Asian builders move into higher value markets Of even greater concern for European builders is the announcement that China has begun construction of a 100,000gt cruise ship as part of its $2.63 billion Southeast China International Shipping Centre project. To be operated by a subsidiary of the Shan Hai Shu Group, a Chinese firm currently maintaining a cruise tourism development partnership with Florida’s Royal Caribbean International, the new 2000-passenger vessel is expected to be delivered by mid-2016. The inauguration of its construction follows the awarding of contracts by Germany’s AIDA Cruises for two 3250-passenger ships to be built in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for delivery in 2015 and 2016. South Korean builders, who recently won 10 Industry Europe

Norway’s Ulstein Verft has completed such high-technology offshore ships as the X-Bow platform supply vessel Blue Fighter but other countries are now building the Ulstein-developed X-Bow design, including Brazil and China. Credit: Ulstein

contracts to build new military support ships for the British Navy, are also looking at the cruise sector, with Samsung Heavy Industries vice-chairman and CEO Kim Jing-wan stating that his firm “plans to enter the cruise ship market.” In addition, the Philippines may begin building passenger ships after overtaking Germany last year to become the world’s fourth biggest shipbuilder by deadweight tonnage, behind only China, South Korea and Japan. Yet another problem for European builders is the fact that Asian yards are starting to cut their prices again as the recession in shipbuilding continues, with China’s Penglai Jinglu yard recently offloading two 75,000dwt Panamax bulk carriers for just $23 million each. Asian yards are also begin to build more technologically-advanced ships in order to gain better profit margins. After issuing a profit warning in August, Hong Kong-listed Rongsheng

A ‘Dark Day’ for Germany’s shipbuilding industry as workers at financially stressed P+S Werften, a major European shipbuilder, hear that there will be no further government aid. Credit: P+S

Heavy Industries, builder of the world’s largest bulk carriers and ranked as the world’s third largest shipbuilder, issued a statement noting that it was turning to higher quality tonnage. “In view of lower prices for new vessels and deterioration in payment terms,” it announced, “China’s shipbuilding sector is in desperate need to shift towards the development of high-margin products.” Accordingly, Rongsheng has set its sights on the deepwater oil and gas sector, where northern European yards have long dominated, and has already set up a new sales office in Singapore targeting the industry. n

European builders continue to launch ships but orders are dwindling, forcing a new focus on products that can be built in shipyards, including sea-borne waste treatment plants. Credit: Fincantieri


New developments in the Shipbuilding industry


First BAE ship for Brazil departs UK A

mazonas, the first of three BAE Systems built Ocean Patrol Vessels being delivered to the Brazilian Navy, departed the UK for Rio de Janeiro this August after her crew completed a rigorous programme of Flag Officer Sea Training with the Royal Navy off the south coast. Supported by a team from BAE Systems, the crew’s extensive training programme included navigation and duty watch training, as well as development and familiarisation of operational procedures for safety and security in areas including material assessment of the ship, emergency exercises and machinery breakdown drills. The crew also completed boarding operations and anti-piracy exercises and tactics to ensure Amazonas returns to Brazil safely and fully prepared for the demanding operational role ahead. Nigel Stewart, commercial director of BAE Systems Maritime, said: “Saying farewell to the first ship in the Amazonas class is a significant stage in our ongoing relationship with the Brazilian Navy and is a source of great pride to those who worked on her. We look forward to continuing our work with the Brazilian Navy to deliver the next two Ocean Patrol Vessels Apa and Araguari over the coming months.” Visit:

Aker Arctic to design the first Chinese polar research icebreaker


plan has been organised by State Oceanic Administration (SOA), China, Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAA) and the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) to build an advanced new icebreaking research vessel to meet the increased need of polar scientific research. The new vessel will be equipped with advanced scientific equipment for polar oceans research. The integrated survey systems include marine geological and geophysical equipment, marine biological and ecological instruments. Helicopters with associated systems will also be provided. For

the integrated environmental science programs the vessel will have marine and atmospheric observing and sampling capabilities closely related with climate change monitoring. Aker Arctic has been selected to perform the conceptual and basic design of the new Polar Research Vessel for China. This is the second government icebreaker project in a short time for Aker Arctic and thus a proof of the increasing interest in the Arctic areas and the need for reliable and efficient vessels. The value of the signed contract exceeds €5 million. Visit:

Navantia launches ‘Adelaide’ for the Royal Australian Navy


avantia has launched the second amphibious ship for the Royal Australian Navy. Construction of the ‘Adelaide’ started with the Steel Cutting ceremony on the 2 February 2010. The launch takes place four and half months earlier than the planned date. This early launch provides additional time, until early 2014, to complete

Babcock delivers S-80 weapons handling equipment


abcock has delivered the weapons handling equipment for the first of class, new Spanish S-80 submarine under construction at Navantia’s Cartagena shipyard, marking a significant milestone in the project. The handling equipment is a key component of the overall Weapons Handling and Launch

the outfitting and testing of the ship, when the hull will be transported to Australia for completion and delivery by BAE Systems Australia in Williamstown. The design of the Australian LHDs is based on the ‘Juan Carlos I’, delivered by Navantia to the Spanish Navy last year. Visit: System (WHLS) which Babcock has designed and is delivering for these submarines. Babcock was contracted in 2006 to design and supply the WHLS for the four planned S-80 diesel/air-independent propulsion electric hybrid submarines, being built for the Armada Española (Spanish Navy) by Navantia. Babcock is undertaking the design, development, manufac-

ture and supply of the WHLS to handle and launch the torpedoes, missiles and mines carried by the new submarines. This includes the mechanical, electrical, electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic and software systems, as well as definition of the interfaces with the submarine structure, combat system and weapons. Visit: Industry Europe 11


New developments in the Shipbuilding industry

DCNS continues BPC design modifications for Russia D

CNS is supplying two BPC-type projection and command vessels to Russia under a contract that came into effect at the end of 2011. Three of these vessels are already in service with the French Navy. The design modifications needed to adapt the BPC concept to Russia’s specific requirements are progressing as planned. Russia’s requirements include modifying the BPC design to accommodate Kamov helicopters and other Russian equipment (excluding weapon systems). The vessels also need to be modified to operate under extreme cold, with higher electrical power availability to de-ice part of the flight deck. All the user interfaces and onboard signage also need to be localised into Russian. While the design modifications are being finalised, construction of hull blocks for the first of Russia’s two BPCs has begun at the STX shipyard in Saint Nazaire. Visit:

Fifth ship for Celebrity Cruises leaves Meyer Werft building dock


Going green F

jord Line’s two new international cruise ferries will be powered solely by environmentally friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of the more polluting heavy fuel oil. When MS Stavangerfjord is put in operation in 2013, it will be the first and largest cruise ferry in the world to sail with a ‘single LNG engine’, thus using the cleanest fuel available. “In this way Fjord Line will meet the new, stricter standards for sulphur content in fuels long before the deadline in 2015,” says CEO Ingvald Fardal in Fjord Line.

Fincantieri to build an innovative ferry for STQ


incantieri, one of the world’s leading shipbuilders, has been awarded a contract to build a latest generation ferry by Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ), a Canadian company that operates in maritime passenger transport. The contract, awarded following a public tender

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Fjord Line has two new cruise ferries under construction at Bergen Group Fosen. When both are in service, travelers will be offered daily departures all year round on the routes between Bergen, Stavanger and Hirtshals, and between Hirtshals and Langesund. Now these will also be the ‘greenest’ sea routes between Norway and the EU. While other shipping companies base their natural gas operations on ‘dual fuel engines’, Fjord Line is going one step further by using a ‘single LNG engine’ to reduce emissions and protect the environment. Both the new ships are designed and built to be powered by natural gas. Visit: in which major competitors took part, is worth CAD 148 million. The ferry will be a concentration of technology and innovation, adopting the most advanced solutions in terms of energy saving and low environmental impact. It will be equipped with a diesel electric propulsion system, as on modern cruise ships.

12 August the Celebrity Reflection, the new cruise ship for the US cruise company Celebrity Cruises (Miami), was floated out of the covered building dock II of Meyer Werft. The 126,000-gt cruise ship Celebrity Eclipse is 319m long and 37.40m wide. In 1515 cabins more than 3030 passengers can be accommodated. She can reach a speed of 23 knots. She is the only ship among her four sisters that has 16 decks rather than 15, which increases the number of cabins by another 72, and provides more space in the theatre and in the restaurants. Visit:

The four diesel power generators will be dual fuel and can run on either gas (Liquid Natural Gas – LNG) or marine diesel oil. Two electric propulsion engines will operate azimuth thrusters, each equipped with two counter-rotating propellers, which together with transverse propellers will give the ferry exceptional maneuverability. Visit:


Tognum and Rolls-Royce cooperate in marine business T

ognum, the specialist for propulsion and power solutions, and Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, have won two orders for the supply of marine engines and propeller-rudder systems. Tognum is to supply 12 MTU engines to Brazilian shipping company Camorim for powering six harbour tugs. Another four engines for marine power

generation are to go to Fjellstrand, a Norwegian shipyard. Together, both orders are worth a total of €5.8 million to Tognum. “Winning these first orders confirms that cooperation with our new majority shareholders Rolls-Royce and Daimler is on the right track,” explained Joachim Coers, CEO of Tognum AG. Visit:

MAN GenSet engines to power standby ship in harsh climate


July Zamakona Shipyard SA delivered the 87m long standby vessel ‘Esvagt Aurora’ to the ESVAGT AS company, belonging to the Danish multinational A.P. Møller-Mærsk Group. The vessel

is powered by a diesel-electric set-up featuring, among others, 4 x MAN 6L21/31 engines – 1320 kWm per engine: this is the third vessel the Bilbaobased shipyard has built for the same client. The vessel’s main purpose is to remain on standby and give immediate assistance to offshore platforms in emergency situations. The Esvagt Aurora is specially adapted to the harsh climate of the Barents Sea – north of the Norwegian/Russian mainland and south of the Arctic Ocean – where she will operate for Eni Norge AS, the Norwegian hydrocarbon company, on a 10-year charter contract. Visit:

AVEVA signs major new contract with Ingalls Shipbuilding


VEVA has signed a major contract extension with Huntington Ingalls Industries for AVEVA MARS, an Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) software solution from the AVEVA Enterprise portfolio. Implemented at Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of HII, this new contract will incorporate additional maintenance, services, consultancy and development to further enhance and tailor the AVEVA MARS system to Ingalls’ business processes. Supplying US Naval and Coast Guard vessels, Ingalls has been an important customer of AVEVA MARS since 2006. AVEVA MARS, with modules for Material, Planning and Production designed specifically for the shipbuilding industry, has enabled Ingalls to streamline and improve shipyard and waterfront operations from initial proposals through to commissioning. Visit:

Wärtsilä ship designs and propulsion systems chosen for three new platform supply vessels


ärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions and services provider, has been contracted to supply the ship designs for three new platform supply vessels (PSVs). The contracts have been signed with Kleven Maritime AS, the Norwegian

shipyard that will build the vessels, two of which will be owned by Atlantic Offshore and the other by Remøy Shipping. Both are Norway based companies. All three ships will be operated by Statoil, the partly stateowned Norwegian oil and gas company. The two PSVs for Atlantic Offshore will also feature Wärtsilä power and propulsion, electrical and automation systems,

Rolls-Royce to power high tech drillships


olls-Royce, the global power systems company, has announced orders worth over £70 million to supply large thrusters for offshore drilling vessels. Seadrill has specified Rolls-Royce thrusters again for three drillships to be built by Samsung in Korea. Each vessel will be equipped with six azimuth thrusters, each rated at 4,500kW. A similar thruster order is specified for a drillship ordered by Pacific Drilling, while more powerful thrusters of the same design have been ordered for an Ensco drillship, both to be built at the same Samsung yard. Rolls-Royce thrusters are also to be used on drillships previously contracted in Korea by Rowan, Noble and Fred Olsen at Hyundai and by Attwood, Transocean (Aker) and Vantage at Daewoo. Visit:

including the patented Wärtsilä Low Loss Concept (LLC). The highly redundant diesel-electric system provides additional reliability for continuous operation in various failure modes. Wärtsilä’s equipment deliveries will begin in 2013, and all three vessels are scheduled to be operational by the end of 20124. Visit: www.wartsila.comw Industry Europe 13

‘Gowind’ ocean patrol vessel

THE SEA, OUR PLANET’S FUTURE French naval shipbuilder DCNS believes that the sea is this planet’s future. The company is inventing high-tech solutions to sustainably secure and develop its potential.


he sea always seems to have been a source of power. To confirm this postulate scientifically, DCNS has launched the Océanides project whose purpose is to study, on the five continents and over a period of five millenniums, the relationship there is between maritime power and geopolitical and economic power. More than 300 research workers from all parts of the world will make their contribution to a project which has had no equivalent since the French encyclopaedia venture which dates back to the eighteenth century. This project is part of DCNS’ ‘Vision for the Future’, which encompasses its ambition to achieve world leadership in its core areas of expertise, specifically naval 14 Industry Europe

defence, energy (civil nuclear engineering and marine renewable energy), along with the survey and sustainable development of the oceans’ potential. A further aim is to achieve long-term balance between DCNS’ main business activities, specifically domestic naval defence, international naval defence and ‘new markets’. Introducing the strategy, Patrick Boissier, chairman and CEO of DCNS, explained his own vision of the potential of the world’s oceans. “In 1960, one year before Yuri Gagarin opened the way to space exploration by man, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh were the first explorers to reach the bottom of the ocean on board their bathyscaphe Trieste.

9000 metres down, the pressure cracked an 18cm thick perspex pane on their boat. This did not discourage them from pursuing their odyssey down to nearly 11,000 metres. 52 years later, James Cameron is only the third man to reach those depths. It is fitting to pay homage to those pioneers in the field of ocean depths exploration. “The fascinating adventure of the Canadian film director down in the Mariana trench reminds us that we know little about ocean depths. The sense of proximity that we harbour towards the sea is misleading. The ocean depths are so little known that James Cameron, back from his dive at the deepest place on earth, said he had had the impression of visiting another planet. One of the great-

Tidal stream turbine

est creators of original virtual worlds in the history of film production became aware that at those extreme depths reality goes further than the wildest of fictions. Life takes the form of surprising living organisms which are able to withstand an extremely hostile environment. “And yet a number of the answers that our planet will have to provide to meet the human, economic and environmental stakes of the next few decades are hoarded in the world’s oceans.”

Era of the sea Mr Boissier points out that the oceans play a major part in climatic regulation and represent 97 per cent of the earth’s water, two major parameters to meet the environmental challenges in the offing. And the marine ecosystems are rich in raw materials, minerals and biodiversity, a potential – still largely unexplored – which could help us cope with the depletion of land resources. The sea feeds several billion people and plays a leading role in all international

DCNS Ecoship

exchanges (e.g. freight, telecommunications), two critical factors for the economic development of an ever increasing world population. Worldwide, marine and maritime business represent sales of around €1.5 trillion. Furthermore, the oceans are an inexhaustible source of renewable energy (generated by sea winds, waves, marine currents, tides or the temperature differential between sea bottom and surface waters, and seafloor hydrothermal springs), a major asset to meet the exponential need for clean energy. In fact one-third of the world’s oil and 20 per cent of its gas come from offshore resources; “All this,” says Mr Boissier, “is why, at DCNS, we strongly believe that the 21st century will be sea centred. Naturally, this belief of ours is firmly based on our shipbuilding experience in the defence sector which started in 1631. Today, we dedicate ourselves to the sea in all its dimensions by inventing high-tech solutions to sustainably secure and develop its potential. The era of the sea has come. That era will also be ours.

“We want this ambition to give direction to all activities conducted by DCNS’ stakeholders. Indeed, our business growth is the driving force behind the economic development of an industrial sector which encompasses large and medium-sized companies as well as hundreds of small ones. “More generally, we wish to share our outlook on the major role to be played by the sea in the future of mankind with all those who are interested in the marine universe. That is why we recently launched the social network of the sea, BlooPlanet (www. This is an information and exchange medium that we make available to professionals and the general public alike. “Maurice Blondel once told us, ‘Don’t make predictions about the future, make preparations instead’. The blue planet is today faced with unprecedented challenges. I am convinced that that the most promising solutions n will come from the sea.”

Patrick Boissier and Patrick Chedmail director of the Ecole Centrale de Nates

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New contracts and orders in industry

Veidekke to build homes in Sandnes V eidekke’s subsidiary, Block Berge Bygg AS, has been awarded the contract to build the Nygaardshagen apartment project in Sandnes for Jærtunet AS. Jærtunet AS is owned 50/50 by Veidekke Eiendom and Trend Eiendom. The contract has a total value of NOK 117 million excluding VAT and is a turnkey contract. The project will be located in the centre of Sandnes and have a total area of about 9500m² in two storeys with underground car parking, four blocks of 48 apartments and commercial premises

of 275m2. The building will be well located, a short distance from central Sandnes. The architect is Arkitektkontoret Stav AS of Stavanger. The project will be an energy-efficient building, with façades of load-bearing concrete sections produced at Block Berge Bygg’s factory at Klepp and delivered ready-painted. This will be the third residential project carried out by Block Berge Bygg in this area for Veidekke Eiendom in partnership with local developers. Visit:

RNLl awards Supacat production contract for lifeboat launch and recovery systems T he Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has signed the first production contract with innovative design house, Supacat, to build the first two launch and recovery systems (L&RS) for its new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat (ALB). The first two production L&RS units will support the initial introduction into service of the Shannon class ALB. The L&RS is a 20.2m high-mobility vehicle and powered-carriage system designed and jointly developed by Supacat and the RNLI’s engineering project team. In its most common operating mode it operates as a ‘mobile slipway’ and solves the RNLI’s

unique challenge of transporting, launching and recovering the 18-tonne Shannon class from the lifeboat station over some of Britain’s most demanding beaches to it launch site. Supacat has value engineered the production standard L&RS to provide the RNLI with a costeffective solution. Following prototype development and trials completed in 2010, Supacat rebuilt the prototype L&RS up to the pre-production standard system, incorporating a series of design upgrades to improve performance, reliability and reduce costs. Visit:

Vossloh to supply Chemnitz with light rail vehicles V

Atkins awarded two major contracts in Cardiff re-signalling scheme


etwork Rail has awarded Atkins the signalling and power and distribution contracts for the Cardiff Area Signalling Renewal (CASR) project. The contracts, which will be delivered by 2015, have a revenue for Atkins of £64 million and are a key part of Network Rail’s investment to upgrade the signalling in the

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ossloh has been awarded a contract for eight light rail vehicles including the option for another two by the eastern German public transport operator Verkehrsverbund Mittelsachsen. The eightvehicle contract is worth €42 million. As consortium head, Vossloh Kiepe is responsible for the traction equipment and its engineering, the onboard power inverter including controls as well as

the HVAC system. Vossloh Rail Vehicles’ share is the vehicle bodies, the bogies and the entire interior. The barrier-free train-trams will link the city of Chemnitz with the surrounding areas without passengers having to change vehicle. They will operate electrically as zero-emission trams, outside dieselengine driven on the existing regional rail network. Visit:

Cardiff and wider south Wales area. Under the two contracts, Atkins will design, manage and implement the replacement of life-expired signalling and associated power and distribution equipment across 192 route miles of track between Newport and Port Talbot, covering the Vale of Glamorgan and Valleys areas. Prof Dr Uwe Krueger, Atkins’ chief executive officer, said: “This is another impor-

tant success for our UK business and is a further sign of Network Rail’s confidence in our rail team to help deliver high-profile and technically-complex signalling contracts. The signalling upgrade is fundamental to achieving the increased capacity and service improvements to meet demands in south Wales.” Visit:



inetiQ’s Transceiver, currently in orbit around the Mars on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express, has been monitoring NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) through entry, descent and landing on to the surface of the planet on Monday 6 August 2012. Mars Express Lander Communications subsystem MELACOM

will support the rover during its operational life on the surface of Mars. MELACOM will support the mission on Mars by sending commands to the rover vehicle and relaying science data and pictures back to Earth, alongside the transceivers on NASA’s satellites Odyssey and MRO. During this phase of the mission, recent software enhancements will increase the volume of data that can be transmitted to MSL on the Martian surface. Sanjay Razdan, managing director New Technologies at QinetiQ said: “This is a landmark achievement for the QinetiQ Space Team, and sets a solid base for future innovations. We are also currently developing the next generation of the UHF transceiver, which will be used as the communications system on the Mars landers for ESA’s upcoming ExoMars missions.” Visit:

Atlas Copco Compressors ships largest ever UK designed and built custom engineered package


tlas Copco Compressors has completed delivery of its largest-ever UK designed and built order, comprising instrument and process air compressor modules, worth in excess of £6 million, to Kazakhstan where it will be used as part of a large project in the oil and gas industry. The physical size of the modules, which were custom-engineered at Atlas Copco’s Systems Division in Hemel Hempstead, required the chartering of an Antonov 124, one of the largest freight transporter aircraft in the world. The project, valued at over £6 million, covers the supply of four containerised ‘plug and play’ modules. These include an Instrument Air module, weighing 42 tonnes and containing ZT55 oil-free screw compressors and desiccant dryers combined with pre-and after-filtration units. Three further Process Air modules were also supplied, each weighing

34 tonnes, containing ZT250 oil-free screw compressors, air handling units and desiccant dryers with pre-and-after filtration. All four modules have been specially designed to operate in extreme ambient temperatures of -40°C to +45°C. Visit:

Saab receives order for RBS15 Mk3

“The order for RBS15 Mk3 is important for us in the long-term cooperation with our partner Diehl and for the continued development of the system,” says Tomas Samuelsson, senior vice-president and head of business area Dynamics. “From a broader perspective, it is yet another evidence of our ability to deliver on Saab’s long-term strategy to increase sales outside Sweden.”


efence and security company Saab has received an order from its German partner Diehl BGT for the Surface-to-Surface Missile RBS15 Mk3.The order value is SEK 168 million, and includes options with a total value of SEK 83 million. Deliveries will take place during the period 2014 to 2016.

Sandvik signs major mining systems order


andvik Mining has entered an agreement for the delivery of a large materials handling and crushing system for a copper mine with a customer in South America. The contract will be performed jointly with a local partner; the value of the Sandvik share of the contract exceeds 900 MSEK and will contribute to Sandvik Mining’s business during the years 2012–2013. The order includes the design, supply and installation of a crushing and conveying system, including primary in-pit crushers, overland conveyors, a secondary and tertiary crushing and screening plant including all auxiliary equipment and electrical instrumentation and control systems. “The size and complexity of this system and the fact that Sandvik provides a complete integrated system of Sandvik mining equipment on a complete turn-key solution basis demonstrates Sandvik Mining’s capability to deliver wide-ranging 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:

Saab’s RBS15 Mk3 is a heavy weight Surface-to-Surface Missile system with a range of more than 200km and the added capability to combat land targets. The system has previously been sold to Germany, Poland and Sweden. Saab serves the global market with worldleading products, services and solutions. Visit: Industry Europe 17


Combining strengths

Alfa Laval acquires Siemens and HMK announce new partnership deal Drive Technologies, a division of Ian Welsh, Siemens Drive Technologies, comleading wastewater Siemens Siemens Industry sector, has announced ments: “Extending our long-standing partnership to its strategic partnership with with HMK is testament to its success and our treatment company anHMKextension Technical Services Ltd to cover Siemens drive to ensure our solutions meet our customlow voltage motors and drives. HMK can now offer OEMs a complete drive train solution from Siemens for increased project efficiency. The appointment of HMK, based in Congleton, as an official OEM partner for Siemens low voltage motors follows the existing partnership’s success to date. In the first quarter of 2012, Siemens celebrated hitting £1 million worth of growth for its motion control business as a result of its collaboration with HMK. HMK fully supports the specification and installation of all the solutions it offers from Siemens. This means there is now one point of contact for all OEMs looking for complete drive train solutions.


lfa Laval – a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling – has acquired Ashbrook Simon-Hartley, a leading provider of belt filter presses, which is a complement and alternative to Alfa Laval’s decanter range in the dewatering of municipal and industrial wastewater. Ashbrook Simon-Hartley is headquartered in Houston, Texas, USA, with offices in the UK, Chile and Brazil, and has an installed base in many countries around the world. Lars Renström, president and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group, comments on the acquisition: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to acquire Ashbrook Simon-Hartley. With this acquisition we are adding a complementary and expanded range of products and solutions, further strengthening our offer for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment applications.” The intention is to integrate Ashbrook SimonHartley into Alfa Laval. The company will be consolidated into Alfa Laval from 1 August 2012. Visit:

BASF sells marine biopolymers business to Seagarden ASA


ASF SE and the Norwegian company Seagarden ASA have signed a contract to transfer the Chitosan marine biopolymers business from the former Cognis. Chitosan marine biopolymers are used in personal care products and as pharmaceutical ingredients. The transaction

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ers’ needs in a challenging marketplace.” Visit:

AB Volvo divests Volvo Aero to British GKN


B Volvo has divested its subsidiary Volvo Aero to the global engineering company GKN for an enterprise value of SEK 6.9 billion. The transaction is scheduled for completion during the third quarter of 2012. “GKN is a strong new owner for Volvo Aero,” says Volvo’s CEO Olof Persson. “GKN will provide Volvo Aero with the best possible conditions for continued advancement in its industry.” AB Volvo carried out discussions with a number of potential buyers. “Volvo Aero has attracted considerable interest, but in our opinion, GKN can offer the best conditions for Volvo Aero’s future advancement,” says Olof Persson. “This transaction will improve our chances to further refine and develop our core business in commercial vehicles, while providing Volvo Aero with an owner that has both the drive and the capacity to advance and strengthen the company.”

GKN plc is a global engineering company serving the automotive, aerospace and land systems markets. Based in Great Britain, it has operations in more than 30 countries and around 45,000 employees in subsidiaries and joint ventures. Visit:

is expected to be formally completed by August 2012. The divestment of the Chitosan business from the former Cognis results from the portfolio optimisation following the acquisition of Cognis by BASF in 2010. The Chitosan business, including the production site in Tromsoe, Norway, will be owned by the Norwegian specialist for natural

seafood ingredients, marine bioactives and biopolymers, Seagarden SAS, through its subsidiary Chitinor AS. The customers have been informed accordingly and conditions have been fixed to ensure supply reliability through the transition. Visit:

LINKINGUP DSM to acquire Tortuga to strengthen animal nutrition business


oyal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Tortuga Companhia Zootécnica Agrária (Tortuga) in an all-cash transaction for a total enterprise value of about €465 million (BRL 1160 million). Tortuga, a privately held Brazilian company, is a leader in nutritional supplements with a focus on pasture raised beef and dairy cattle. The company is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil with approximately 1200 employees. Tortuga has three production sites in Brazil. Net sales for 2012 are expected at about €385 million. The acquisition of Tortuga allows DSM to capture value from its extended value chain presence with a broad portfolio of nutritional ingredients for animal nutrition, while leveraging its strong international footprint. The acquisition of Tortuga will broaden DSM’s ingredient portfolio to include organic trace minerals and will allow DSM to become a full animal nutrition solution provider. Tortuga will strengthen DSM’s presence in nutritional supplements and additives for ruminants and is expected to accelerate revenue growth through leveraging Tortuga’s know-how and strong position in ruminant supplements in other ruminants markets in Latin America and around the world. Visit:

Gunnebo acquires the Hamilton Safe Companies


he Gunnebo Security Group has signed an agreement with the main shareholders to acquire all the shares in the US’s second largest producer and supplier of physical security products to banks and government, Hamilton Safe Companies. “The acquisition of Hamilton is very much in line with Gunnebo’s strategic agenda,” says Gunnebo’s president & CEO, Per Borgvall. “First of all, Hamilton is a quality business with an EBIT-margin above Gunnebo’s financial targets. The acquisition is expected to make a positive contribution to Gunnebo’s earnings before

interest and tax, as well as a marginal positive impact on earnings per share, for 2012.”

 Hamilton’s product portfolio includes safes, safe deposit lockers, vaults, vault doors, entrance control systems and point-to-point air transport systems, all produced in Hamilton’s five production units. Sales are predominantly carried out through a well-developed nationwide network of distributors. The purchase price is MUSD 65 on a debt and cash free basis. Hamilton Safe Companies will be consolidated into Gunnebo’s Business Area Bank Security & Cash Handling. Visit:

Per Borgvall

Sagem and MTU Aero Engines create new joint venture


agem (Safran group) and MTU Aero Engines have announced the signature of an agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture, AES Aerospace Embedded Solutions GmbH, to provide safety-critical software and hardware for military and civil aviation applications. The agreement was signed by Philippe Petitcolin, Chairman and CEO of Sagem (Safran group), and Egon Behle,

CEO of MTU Aero Engines, in a ceremony also attended by Jean-Paul Herteman, chairman and CEO of the Safran group. AES will deploy some 200 engineers, primarily from MTU Aero Engines but also some from Safran. Its main products will include control systems for engines such as the TP400-D6 turboprop powering the Airbus A400M military transport, as

well as other safety-critical hardware and software solutions such as controls for landing gear, braking, monitoring and information systems. AES will consolidate its skills and expertise by calling on the Safran Electronics division of Sagem, which will provide its full support and access to its large portfolio of onboard electronics. Visit:

Molecular Profiles and Onyx Scientific form strategic alliance

ship enables the two companies to deliver end-to-end services from initial drug discovery through to early and late phase manufacturing. The newly formed alliance means that customers of both Molecular Profiles and Onyx Scientific will have access to a wider range of services with the added benefit of a consistent team and delivery. The complementary alliance benefits from Onyx Scientific’s specialism in

active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) production and initial solid state screening, combined with Molecular Profiles’ expertise in formulation and analytical development and early phase clinical trial manufacturing.Customers can expect a seamless and fully integrated service throughout the full drug discovery, development and manufacturing process. Visit:


olecular Profiles, a leading specialist contract research and manufacturing organisation, has entered into a strategic alliance with Onyx Scientific, a contract manufacturing organisation offering chemistry services to large and emerging pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide. The partner-

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Relocations and expansions across Europe

Volkswagen opens new vehicle plant in China T

he Volkswagen Group is creating new facilities in the growing market of China. Prof. Dr Jochem Heizmann, member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG, who is to be responsible for the new ‘China’ board of management function, and Dr Michael Macht, member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG responsible for Group production, have inaugurated a new plant for Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW) in Yizheng, eastern China, together with Hu Maoyuan, chairman of SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd. The plant is designed for an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles. Heizmann said, “With a construction period of two years, we are opening our new facility in Yizheng earlier than planned. This is one of the most environmentally compatible plants of the Volkswagen Group. With advanced technologies and new production processes, we intend to continue to play an instrumental role in the future of China as an automobile country,” Visit:

Solvay starts production of speciality polymers compounds in China


olvay’s speciality polymers compounding plant located in Changshu, province of Jiangsu in China, has started to serve the local growing demand for speciality polymers compounds. The plant is mainly serving China’s customers in the electronics, automotive, consumer and industrial applications markets with compounds of Amodel® polyphthalamide (PPA), Ixef® polyarylamide (PARA) and Kalix® (modified PARA).

This plant required an investment of €21 million and is fully adaptable for future expansion of overall capacity as well as production of compounds made out of other high performance polymers. It is adjacent to another speciality polymers plant which is currently under construction for the production of SOLEF® Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF), TECNOFLON® Fluoroelastomers (FKM) and their essential monomer VF2. Visit:

AVEVA opens new office in Finland A VEVA has opened a new office in Helsinki, Finland to support its growing presence in the country and to maximise business opportunities in the power generation industry. The office will offer sales and support for all AVEVA’s products and solutions in both the plant and marine sectors. “AVEVA already has a strong position in the Finnish market so we understand that the demands from these customers are different than those from the other Nordic countries,” Helmut Schuller, senior vice-president Central

and North EMEA, AVEVA. “This expansion will allow us to address the unique market requirements in Finland by offering local service and support capabilities, as well as strengthening our presence across the Northern European region. We are particularly interested in developing new opportunities in Finland’s growing power sector while continuing to serve those customers in our other core markets such as oil & gas, marine, paper & pulp and mining & metals.” Visit:

Tata Steel to invest €12 million in French steel mill

the Lorraine region of north-east France. Heat-treated rail can last up to three times longer than standard rail when used in high wear conditions such as heavy traffic, high axle loads or tight curves. Gérard Glas, head of Tata Steel’s Rail Sector, said: “This investment reinforces our commitment to developing a range of premium rail products suitable for different


ata Steel will invest more than €12 million (£10 million) in new technology so it can produce longer wear-resistant rails at its French steel mill. The new technology will enable Tata Steel to heat-treat rails of up to 108 metres in length at its Hayange facility in

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environments around the world. Investing in a new heat treatment plant will open up new European market opportunities to us. We will be able to meet the needs of customers in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Scandinavia who are demanding longer length heat-treated rail to reduce life cycle costs.” Visit:



New head of Porsche Italy P

ietro Innocenti has been appointed the new managing director of Porsche Italia SpA.The 45-year-old is to succeed Dr Loris Casadei, who will continue to serve the company as a consultant. Innocenti was most recently responsible for Ferrari Middle East/Africa. He previously held various posts in marketing and personnel with Ferrari in Italy and China as well as with Telecom Italia. Felix Bräutigam, director Region Europe, says: “In Pietro Innocenti we have been able to bring in a proven brand expert in order to further strengthen the desirability of our exclusive sports cars during the difficult current situation in Italy.”

Citroën appoints new head New CEO of E.ON Russia appointed of UK Commercial Vehicles M C

itroën’s Scott Michael has been promoted to the position of head of Commercial Vehicles & Business Centre Programme. Scott takes up his new role, which will be based at Citroën UK’s new Coventry head office, after 18 months as Commercial Vehicle Operations manager. Scott (32) is a Business Studies and Spanish graduate of Hull University and has been with Citroën since 2003, when he started as Fleet Analyst. Subsequently, his Citroën career has seen him serve as an Area Fleet Sales manager and as Commercial Vehicle Sales manager.

axim Shirokov has been appointed CEO of E.ON Russia. He takes over the responsibility for E.ON’s business in Russia and in particular will develop new opportunities for the company following the new build power plant program. Maxim Shirokov holds a degree in Oriental Studies and an MBA in Economics and Marketing. Mr Shirokov has international management experience including leading the development of large international projects in Russia. His last position was general director of the Ust-Luga Company which builds and operates the largest Russian Baltics’ seaport.

GM’s Opel names new CFO


eneral Motors’ (GM) European arm Opel has appointed a new chief financial officer as part of an effort to return to company to profitability. Michael Lohscheller started in his new role on 1 September 2012. Lohscheller spent the last four years with VW and helped turn around its loss-making US operations. He has 20 years’ worth of experience in managing finance, IT, purchasing and logistics for companies such as Mitsubishi Motors Europe, Daimler and Jungheinrich – the forklift truck maker.

New director at GKN Wheels Liuzhou Commercial Division


ith more than ten years’ sales and marketing experience in the Asia Pacific automotive, construction and mining machinery markets, Allan Wang has been appointed as commercial director of GKN Wheels Liuzhou in southern China. GKN Wheels Liuzhou has developed into a world class market-leading facility for the

production of off-highway wheels serving the pan-Asian market for mining and construction machinery, harbour cranes, fork lift trucks and agricultural machinery ranging in size from 4” to 63”. Born and educated in China, Mr Wang has led a successful career working with Chinese and international companies in the automotive engineering sector. Industry Europe 21



Advances in technology across industry

Smart software for smart products Sustainable chemical


rom cooking pots to cars and aeroplanes, the products of the future will be increasingly intelligent – able to communicate and cooperate with humans, other devices and their environment. EU-funded research is assisting this smart products trend that promises to make everyday life easier, more comfortable and productive. Dr Daniel Schreiber, head of the Telecooperation Group at Technische Universitaet Darmstadt in Germany, has led the technical development

of innovative software and systems to enable a wide variety of smart products to function. His team developed a set of ontologies and reasoning methods to characterise proactive knowledge and embed it into smart products in order to support context-aware interactions with users and other products. In some instances, knowledge is stored directly in the product, while in other cases a simple RFID chip is used to identify the product and knowledge about it is drawn from a distributed database using an internet connection, for example. The team also developed ubiquitous computing middleware, called MundoCore, that combines different communication methods and ensures interoperability. The technology was integrated in the SmartProducts platform, based on OSGi and Java and designed to provide all essential services and functionality for a wide variety of smart products. Working with consumer-electronics manufacturer Philips, the team applied the technology to kitchen appliances, developing smart chopping boards, cooking pots and a cocktail mixer that guide users on ingredients, recipe preparation, nutrition and cooking. Visit:

Cryostats for XFEL T

he European XFEL, the 3.4km-long X-ray laser project, will open up areas of research that were previously inaccessible. Using the X-ray flashes of the European XFEL, scientists will be able to map the atomic details of viruses, decipher the molecular composition of cells, take three-dimensional images of the nanoworld, film chemical reactions and study processes such as those occurring deep inside planets. Two research cryostats are part of Poland’s in-kind contribution to the XFEL Project. The first cryostat was shipped to DESY research centre on Wednesday, August 8. The other is to be shipped within about two months. Cryostats are among elements crucial for the success of the entire XFEL project. The two hi-tech cryostats will be used to test niobium superconducting 1.3 GHz resonators of the XFEL accelerating structures, the ‘heart’ of the XFEL facility. “Cryostat is a device built to conduct research at temperatures close to absolute zero, i.e. around minus 271 degrees Celsius,” explains Ewa Niec, chairman of Kriosystem, cryostat manufacturer. “I am deeply proud that such a complicated and specialised device was manufactured in Wroclaw,” points out Professor Maciej Chorowski, Mechanical and Power Engineering Faculty Dean at the Wroclaw University of Technology. “The device was designed by Wroclaw University of Technology scientists and manufactured by the Kriosystem company operating within the Wroclaw Technology Park. WTP provided comprehensive technological support for the company and facilitated mutual cooperation of all Kriosystem partners within the cryostat manufacture project.” Visit: 22 Industry Europe

manufacture through industrial biotechnology


he UK Technology Strategy Board ( is to invest up to £2.75 million to encourage the development and commercialisation of innovative processes that will generate high-value chemical products through industrial biotechnology and renewable feedstocks. The aim of the competition is to assist businesses in de-risking new processes and developing projects through to pilot and to demonstrate scale. Projects that consider novel or under valorised biomass sources such as agriculture or marine by-products, as well as those that take a bio-refinery approach to multi-product systems, are encouraged. Projects must be led by a UK business and are open to the inclusion of one or more Norwegian companies; Innovation Norway intends to provide additional funding to Norwegian companies that join UK-led projects. Visit:



France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on foreign car imports (unwelcome) and foreign tourists (welcome).


rance has accused South Korean car giant Hyundai of ‘dumping’ their vehicles on the French market in an illegal attempt to flood the country with cheap imports. Furious Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said the Asian manufacturer was heaping more problems on France’s already ailing motor industry with its bid to massively undercut French carmakers like Peugeot and Renault. The minister said the ‘predatory’ pricing policy by Hyundai and its sister-brand Kia was in breach of the EU-South Korea freetrade treaty because it was a ‘blatant bid’ to eradicate competition from the marketplace. Dumping – which is illegal under World Trade Organisation rules – happens when a company sells a product in a foreign market at a price lower than it normally charges in its home market in an attempt to ‘steal’ customers. The WTO rules state that retaliatory measures can be taken if dumping is proved. But Hyundai swiftly hit back by insisting that half of the cars exported to France were actually made in the Czech Republic, which is a member of the European Union – hence the rules on dumping do not apply. Mr Montebourg told a socialist party rally in La Rochelle in August: “The two brands, Hyundai and Kia, are competing with our manufacturers in unacceptable conditions of dumping. “South Korean car exports to the EU jumped 50 per cent in January and February this year, compared with a year earlier, and the increase is mainly in the segment of small diesel-engine cars, where our French car makers are traditionally strong. “The EU treaty allows us to demand an urgent investigation into any sudden rise in imports to one or several member states, which has clearly happened. We are asking for the EU to take immediate action to reverse this.” Mr Montebourg also reminded his audience that according to European automobile manufacturers’ association figures, Hyundai

and Kia together sold 391,511 cars in the European Union in the first half of this year, up 17 pre cent from the first six months of 2011, while the two brands together increased their market share to 5.9 per cent in the first half of this year, from 4.7 per cent a year earlier. And recent data from the car industry group CCFA showed that sales of French cars fell 14 per cent in the first seven months of the year, while sales from Hyundai Group in France rose 30 per cent from the same period a year earlier, Mr Montebourg said.

“South Korean car exports to the EU jumped 50 per cent in January and February this year, compared with a year earlier, and the increase is mainly in the segment of small diesel-engine cars, where French car makers are traditionally strong.” France’s socialist president Francois Hollande has pledged to plough €1.8 billion in subsidies over three years into the French car industry, where the nation’s biggest car manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroen recently announced 8000 job cuts between now and 2015 and a 2012 first half loss of €819 million. Hyundai Motor Europe’s senior vicepresident Allan Rushforth later told France’s Le Monde newspaper: “We are not unfairly competing with France’s car industry. Nearly 90 per cent of the Hyundai cars registered in Europe during the first half of 2012 were built outside of Korea. “More than half of those cars were made in Hyundai’s assembly plant in the Czech Republic, which is a member of the European Union. A further 19 per cent came from India and 15 per cent from Turkey.” A spokesman for the EU’s Trade Commission told le Monde this week that no decision

on France’s complaint had yet been made. France’s tourism industry also looked like it was heading for one of its worst years on record this summer – until it was clutched from the jaws of disaster by the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The tourist sector was already being hit by the economic crisis and unseasonably wet weather when the Islamic period of daytime fasting, which lasts for 30 days, began on July 20 – meaning many devout Muslims chose not to travel abroad on holiday. Tourism industry figures show that hotels suffered a five percent drop in bookings compared to 2011 over the Ramadan period, before the holy month ended and thousands of wealthy arabs came rushing to France for their summer holiday. From August 18, four-star and five-star hotels saw a new wave of arrivals, mostly from the Gulf states and other Middle Eastern countries, according to a tourism study by consultants MKG. On the French Riviera, the resort of Cannes saw bookings leap by 4.8 per cent and the average price of a room go up 22.1 per cent to €441.50 a night. In Paris, booking soared by six per cent and hoteliers pushed up the average price of rooms by a third from €300 to €400 a night. But the owners of France’s top hotels must also be hoping that their wealthy guests will all pay their bills – unlike Saudi princess Maha AlSudairi, who was caught trying to sneak out of Paris’s luxury Shangri-La hotel with her entourage of 60 servants earlier this year because she couldn’t pay her six MILLION euro bill. But she was caught by hotel staff at 3.30am as her staff were loading scores of suitcases into a fleet of limos in the street outside. Her bill was finally settled by the Saudi Arabian embassy while Princess Al-Sudairi checked into the luxury Royal Monceau Hotel near the Champs-Elysees, owned by ‘family friend’ the n Emir of Qatar. Industry Europe 23



Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the differing fortunes of Germany’s car makers.


erman quality carmakers continue to defy the downward global trend with impressive sales figures that could see 2012 become a record year for profits. Volkswagen has been able to increase its sales in the first seven months of the year, it recently reported. The Wolfsburg-based group, comprising seven brands, reported strong business in all markets except southern Europe. Volkswagen sold 5.19 million cars in the period between January and July 2012 with sales up by 9.1 per cent year-on-year. In July alone, VW saw a 10.3 month-onmonth increase to 734,600 units and was thus able to outshine its major competitors by far. “All in all, we’ve had a successful start to the second half of 2012 and could boost sales even further,” the company’s executive board member Christian Klingler said. Volkswagen reported particularly brisk business in North America, with 457,900 cars sold to the region in the first seven months, up 21.9 per cent from last year’s level. Sales even improved overall in crisisstricken Europe, with 2.23 million units leaving showrooms on the continent between January and July. VW logged a 4.4 per cent increase on its home market, while the volume of cars sold in the whole of western Europe dipped by 5.9 per cent as a result of the protracted debt crisis in many nations. The success story continued at BMW. Despite a slightly lower net profit than in the second quarter a year ago, BMW recorded record sales in the months April through to June. The result raises hopes for bumper earnings this year. BMW’s second quarter net profit slumped 28 per cent, down to €1.28 billion from €1.77 billion, said the world’s biggest luxury automaker. However, revenue rose 7.3 per cent to €19.2 billion on the back of strong demand in pivotal markets in Asia and the United States. 24 Industry Europe

The automaker reported record sales of 475,000 vehicles. Growth was primarily generated in China, up 31 per cent in the second quarter, and in the US, where sales were up 10 per cent. In crisis-hit Europe, sales remained flat at minus 0.1 per cent. BMW Group, which includes the compact Mini and top-of-the-range Rolls-Royce brands alongside core BMW models, maintained its 2012 aim of “exceeding the previous year’s sales volume and pre-tax earnings.” However, the luxury carmaker added that its forecast could only be reached if the global economy did not ‘deteriorate further’ on the back of mounting risks emanating from the eurozone debt crisis and a slowdown of growth in China.

In July alone, VW saw a 10.3 month-on-month increase to 734,600 units and was thus able to outshine its major competitors by far. These combined risks seemed, however, to have already impacted on Germany’s other great automobile maker, Daimler, which produces Mercedes cars. Despite a stunning year so far, July saw the first dip in sales, suggesting a broader economic slowdown in major markets. Sales of Mercedes-Benz cars fell 3.1 per cent to 97,327 vehicles in July, as demand in China slid by nearly one per cent. Even in Germany, western Europe’s largest, most lucrative car market and long a pillar of stability, sales fell by over 11 per cent. Thanks to monthly growth rates ranging from as little as 0.9 per cent in June and as much as 20.3 per cent in February, sales gained 5.5 per cent to 750,251 vehicles in the first seven months of this year.

Nevertheless, 2012 is also slated to be a record year: “Despite many upcoming model changes and difficult market conditions in southern Europe, for the year to date we continue on a path of growth and are well on track for setting a new sales record in 2012 that will get a special boost by our new A-Class, which goes on sale in September,” said Mercedes sales chief Joachim Schmidt.

A different story But it was not the same story in Germany for Opel, the European arm of General Motors. Following years of unprofitable operations, Opel announced in August it will have to reduce staff working hours. Thousands will be affected at two facilities in Germany. “In consultation with the works’ council and the IG Metall labor union, Opel will introduce short-time work at its plants in R¸sselsheim and Kaiserslautern,” the company said in a statement. “It was agreed that 20 working days would be cut between September and the end of the year.” The measure will impact 6800 employees working in Rüsselsheim’s and Kaiserslautern’s production and administration departments. The 7000 employees in Opel’s research and development unit in Kaiserlautern will avoid the cuts. The German carmaker once again proved a financial burden in the first half of the year for parent company General Motors by posting a net loss of €500 million. Sales dipped by another 15 per cent over the same period. Opel has had enormous difficulties to utilise its production capacities to the full, with sales particularly to the crisis-stricken southern European nations continuing to be in a free fall. GM does not allow the German carmaker to seek alternative markets outside of Europe. The ailing German automaker is currently trying to wriggle out of the crisis in cooperation with France’s Peugeot by marketing a couple n of new brands in the next few years.

A PARTNER WITH IDEAS The Swedish company Ljunghäll AB specialises in high pressure die casting and supplies car parts to major motor manufacturers like Volvo and Ford. Joseph Altham reports on a company that uses its design skills to reduce costs for its customers.

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junghäll began life in 1917 as a rural blacksmith’s that made ironwork and shoed horses. Later the company moved into sand and chill casting. In 1963, the company settled in its current location of Södra Vi, a village in the province of Småland. Today Ljunghäll is one of the world’s top manufacturers of car parts using high pressure die casting. The company aims to design parts that are strong, lightweight and competitively priced and that will also cause as little noise or friction as possible. Ljunghäll presents itself as an ‘external engineering partner’. It works closely with clients at the early stage of development to design a new part for a vehicle. If a car company is 24 Industry Europe

looking to make improvements, it can come to Ljunghäll and the company’s engineers will create a better component to replace the old design. Ljunghäll’s advanced thin wall die casting parts enable car-makers to achieve savings on weight. At the same time, because its part designs require a smaller amount of raw material to produce, they can also be made at lower cost. When a new product is being developed, Ljunghäll can even station one of its own skilled engineers with the customer’s design team, ensuring that the project is fully aligned to the customer’s needs. Ljunghäll makes aluminium components for heavy vehicles as well as for passenger cars and the company’s clients include the Swed-

ish truck manufacturer, Scania. Its expertise is also employed in the telecoms industry for important customers such as Ericsson.

Quality and precision Ljunghäll relies on the best production equipment to bring its designs to life. Production is highly automated, thanks to the company’s 120 industrial robots, and standards of quality and precision are high. Ljunghäll maintains a quality management system that is certified to ISO 9001:2009. The company has around 50 state-of-the-art high pressure die casting machines together with 80 CNC (computer numerical control) machines. Ljunghäll also offers a complete range of after-treatment

methods such as machining, washing, assembling and leakage testing. For manual assemblage, the company has for many years followed the Japanese ‘poka-yoke’ system, designed to prevent errors from occurring in the manufacturing process. Operating as a ‘strategic production partner’ to major players in the automotive sector, Ljunghäll combines a reliable service with the ability to be flexible. The company believes in meeting its customers face-toface, listening to their concerns and cooperating successfully with them to create a better part. With decades of experience of this type of work, Ljunghäll is often involved in several different early stage development projects at any one time. Ljunghäll prefers to solve problems for its clients rather than just blindly carrying out their instructions. The company strives to think ahead and to devise innovative solutions that will exceed customer expectations.

Entering the new Europe Ljunghäll is well aware that its customers are always on the lookout for ways to keep costs low. The superior design skills of Ljunghäll’s engineers certainly help 26 Industry Europe

customers to achieve this objective. However, the company has also taken steps to reduce the labour costs of its own manufacturing operations. In 2007, Ljunghäll expanded its production by taking control of Drop Press, a company in the historic Czech town of Čáslav. The acquisition of Drop Press (now renamed Ljunghall s.r.o.) provides Ljunghäll with a valuable base in central Europe from which to serve the flourishing Czech motor industry. The company claims that its Čáslav site can deliver the standards of quality and reliability for which Ljunghäll is traditionally known, but at a lower cost for its customers. One option that Ljunghäll offers is for a new part to be made initially in Sweden with a view to transferring the production to the Czech Republic at a later stage.

lightweight components support the efforts of the motor industry to produce lighter vehicles that consume less fuel. While attuned to the needs of the times, Ljunghäll is still proud of its rural origins as a village smithy. The company also takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and

maintains an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001:2009. In addition, Ljunghäll is careful to ensure that its suppliers are aware of their obligations under the European legislation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of n Chemicals (REACH).

Figures in a landscape As a maker of high tech components, such as filters for 3G mobile phone networks, Ljunghäll is meeting the needs of the 21st century. The emerging economies are now demanding a larger share of the world’s energy resources, meaning that oil prices are likely to remain high. Ljunghäll’s Industry Europe 27

SPRING SOLUTIONS Sweden’s Lesjofors is a market-leading spring manufacturer that produces not only a wide range of standard springs but can also tailor-make other designs to meet customers’ unique requirements. Problem solving is its key offer.


esjofors has been making springs since 1852 although the company itself goes back even further – to 1675, in fact. Today it is an international supplier of a full range of standard and bespoke springs, as well as wire and strip components, with manufacturing operations in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the UK, Latvia and China. Since 1989 the company has been part of Beijer Alma, a Swedish-headquartered international group that focuses on component production and industrial supplies. Lesjofor’s operations are organised in three business areas – Industrial Springs (standard

springs and customised products made from wire), Flat Strip Components (springs and other components made from flat materials) and Chassis Springs (aftermarket for springs for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles). The largest customer segments are Industrial Springs, where it has about 40 per cent of the Nordic market, and Chassis Springs, which account for some 45 per cent of the same market. Lesjofors Automotive produces an extensive range of springs for the European car and light commercial vehicle market; in addition to replacement coil springs, it also stocks market-

leading ranges of gas, leaf and sport springs for supply to parts wholesalers and distributors across Europe and worldwide. Overall, Lesjofors’ products are delivered to some 60 markets across the world.

The right solution Lesjofors believes that its main competitive advantages are its wide product range, its consistently high quality standards and its excellent customer service, as well, of course, as its unequalled experience and its overall technical competence. The company’s spring range has a unique breadth, and its products are well known

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Sandvik Sandvik has a long business relation to the Lesjöfors Group. “Our strategy is to create additional value to our customers”, says Kent-Olof Eriksson Key Accouct Manager for sales of Strip Steels in Northern Europe. Sandvik provides a path to be number one – number one for our customers, number one when potential employees are looking for a new employment, number one for the ones that want to invest in a global company and expect world class returns. Sandvik

Materials Technology is a business area within the Sandvik Group and a world-leading manufacturer of high value-added products in advanced materials, special alloys, metallic and ceramic resistance materials. The company celebrate their 150 years anniversary during 2012 and “we are proud to be a strategical supplier to Lesjöfors AB”, says Björn Mogard, Product Manager for Spring applications of Precision Strips in Sandviken, Sweden.

for their durability, adaptability and variation ability. Lesjofors springs are used in just about every industry sector, from automotive, aerospace and telecoms to power generation, offshore and paper and pulp. Whether the requirement is for a standard spring or for a specially made component, Lesjofors can help its customers to always find the optimum solution. The company’s operations are focused on manufacturing, stocking and distribution. It holds stocks of more than 10,000 standard items for direct delivery; all the standard spring items are available as 3D CAD models. Each of Lesjofers’ 14 manufacturing facilities specialises on specific products ranges and markets. The spring material is selected to suit the application and the demands that will be made on the spring. Cold drawn wire is generally used for uncomplicated springs and normal temperatures while copper alloys are used for contact springs, Stainless steel is used for difficult environments and even tungsten alloys are used for certain medical components.

The material is formed to the correct geometry by special machinery, usually be bending when cold. But stamping and hot forming are also used for appropriate products. Lesjofors uses the most modern machinery and processes, including numerical control and automation.

Worldwide growth Lesjofors has been manufacturing springs in China since 2002 and earlier this year it won an award from the local government of the district of Xingqiao for the second fastest growing company in the region – a recognition of its success in doubling its sales volumes between 2010 and 2011. Mikael Andersson, the business area manager for Lasjofors China, said, “We are very pleased about our progress in China and the award is a recognition of our successful business model.” In June of this year Lesjofors took a major step in strengthening its position in the key German markets with the acquisition of

spring manufacturer Stumpp+Schule GmbH. Stumpp+Schule is based in Beuren, near Stuttgart, and also has a manufacturing subsidiary in Slovakia; its customers are in the automotive and engineering industries and some 60 per cent of its sales are generated in Germany. Germany is by far the largest spring market in Europe and, with this acquisition, Lesjofors will be one of the largest suppliers of springs in the country, with sales of about SEK 500m. The Swedish company already has manufacturing operations in the Ruhr area and this acquisition will also establish the company in the heavily industrialised region around Stuttgart. Kjell-Arne Lindback, CEO of Lesjofors, commented, “This is a key strategic acquisition. We strive for strong market positions in selected markets. Germany is Europe’s largest spring market and this acquisition enables us to strengthen our position there. Furthermore, acquiring access to low-cost manufacturing in another country close to Germany is an n additional benefit.”

RIGHT ON TRACK Bosch Packaging Technology is one of the leading suppliers in the field of processing and packaging technology. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at recent developments.

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has been a good year for Bosch Packaging Technology, according to Friedbert Klefenz, president of the company. Speaking at Achema in Frankfurt he said finances were strong, orders had peaked and the product portfolio was still expanding – now it was time to focus on global presence. “In short, we have been – and still are – right on track,” he said. “Once again in 2012, you can look forward to some exciting news and developments. Internationalisation and diversification are the cornerstones of our strategy.”

Complete solutions Based in Waiblingen, Germany, Bosch Packaging Technology develops and produces complete solutions for the pharmaceutical, food and confectionery industries. Today it has a presence in more than 15 countries worldwide and boasts a comprehensive service portfolio. The company is a division of the Bosch Group, a leading global supplier of tech-

nology and services. Operating in the areas of automotive, industrial technology and consumer goods, the Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and some 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in approximately 60 countries. The original company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861 to 1942) as a workshop for precision mechanics and electrical engineering. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries.

Working together At Achema 2012, Bosch Packaging Technology and Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB) announced a long-term global partnership agreement. SSB is a leading international supplier of equipment and services for the development, quality assurance and production processes of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry. The agreement between Bosch and SSB covers the mutual design and development of single-use filling solutions to be used on

aseptic filling equipment from Bosch for final fill-and-finish operations of liquid pharmaceuticals. SSB will provide Bosch with pre-configured single-use filling transfer sets, consisting of bags, filters, tubing and connectors. Bosch will combine these sets with its aseptic filling and barrier isolation technology to form new systems for aseptic filling, and exclusively market, distribute and service these new filling systems under the Bosch brand.

Plug and play With the new product line PreVAS (pre-validated, pre-assembled, pre-sterilised), Bosch will supply its customers with highly costeffective plug and play tools, which provide additional flexibility for aseptic filling operations backed by comprehensive validation packages, said Joachim Brenner, responsible worldwide for the Bosch Pharma Liquid portfolio and general manager at the Crailsheim plant. “By integrating SSB’s single-use technologies into our aseptic filling systems, we are expanding our product and service

Neuenhauser-Vorwald Neuenhauser-Vorwald is a leading manufacturer of expansion units. If Vorwald holds a leading global position today it is the result of the installation of our machines for their specific applications. Neuenhauser-Vorwald has developed the widest range of products in its sector, suitable for all types of winding and rewinding applications. These include pneumatic and mechanical expansion shafts, expansion couplings, expansion chucks and adapters, friction and knife shafts, shaft handling and safety chucks. A worldwide distrution system and international connections ensure that Neuenhauser-Vorwarld can focus on meeting all its clients’ needs. Its customer base consists of OEM customers and also end-users. Neuenhauser-Vorwald is a strong brand name in Europe for diverse winding applications in the packaging, print, foil, paper and aluminium industries. Several innovative products have, in recent years, been specially developed together with OEM customers.

portfolio in the area of fill-and-finish unit operations by an important component. With our joint expertise, we intend to develop configurable and customised single-use filling solutions and to provide strong validation and technical support.”

Increased sales Mr Klefenz said Bosch Packaging Technology had seen sales of €791 million – up from €717 million in 2010 – in 2011. This increase of about 10 percent was significantly higher than the market average. “We mastered the crisis and emerged with strong momentum. With internationalisation as one of the mainstays, our strategy proved successful. In 2011, we generated some 90 per cent of our sales outside Germany. “We managed to compensate for the crisis-induced declines in Europe and North America with our operations in Latin America and especially in Asia. Following a crisis year, our financial performance in 2010 already showed signs of real growth.”

Continued growth Having increased levels of employees, the division was now aiming for a strong order intake. He hopes to see order books peak at more than €900 million in 2012. “And this is where our second strategic mainstay points to a stable trend – diver-

sification!” he added. “Bosch packaging machines are used in a wide variety of industries. The pharmaceutical industry accounts for 45 per cent of our total business. This sector is even stronger than the food industry and is known for being less prone to economic fluctuations. “All available data indicates continued growth on a global scale. This makes us even more convinced that the high volume of orders points to a stable trend. The first four months of this year confirm that, and for 2012 we can expect an increase in sales by 12 per cent.”

Dynamic development Mr Klefenz continued: “As we gradually expand our product portfolio, we are building our global presence in line with our strategy. According to studies, long-term growth in pharmaceuticals spending is expected to increase from US$856 billion in 2010 to an estimated $1.1 trillion by 2015. “We expect a very dynamic development in Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Latin America and Africa – especially in generics, which will significantly gain importance due to expiring patents of well-known blockbuster products. As a result of this development, the European market, which up until recently accounted for about half of our revenues, now makes up only 43 per cent of our sales.

Nevertheless, like the giant market in the USA, Europe will remain extremely important in the future. Bosch Packaging Technology maintains close proximity to customers across all regions.”

Supporting the professionals He also said that the division could benefit from the rapid development of emerging economies but would only succeed on a long-term basis if it was still there for its customers with support, maintenance and service, after the machines were sold. And he added: “Our presence builds the entire network of our global resources and expertise. This includes cross-cultural knowhow. We primarily work with local employees and learn from them as much as they learn from us. “We have turned this valuable experience into a principle. New trainees with bachelor’s or master’s degrees have at least one assignment outside of Europe. This is our way of raising awareness and understanding for other cultures and markets. “‘Invented for life’ is the slogan of the entire Bosch group. In the pharmaceutical sector this represents a special obligation that we fulfil with high quality products and services that ensure accurate dosing, excellent hygiene standards and therefore support the n daily work of medical professionals.”

HSC HARD MACHINING: MAXIMUM THROUGHPUT COMBINED WITH HIGHEST PRECISION Scrubbing and finishing require very distinctive characteristics of the machining centres used to perform them. So jobs like these are usually assigned to separate entities. This reduces shop flexibility while increasing capital investment and floor space requirements. Further inconveniences are increased expenditure related to transportation and re-clamping operations. A very interesting alternative is now available: a newly developed machining centre with extremely rigid axes and highly precise as well as very dynamic linear direct drives. The new high-precision workhorse presents itself as an all-rounder for any type of job.

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hen we bought the new Röders RXU 1200 three-axis machining centre, our main focus was on the reduction of throughput times for drop forging dies,” says Horst Klein, Managing Partner of Horst Klein GmbH, a CNC machining job shopper in Velbert (Germany). With a workforce of 14 employees, the company produces tools and dies for numerous regional forges, punching shops, plastic injection moulding and aluminium die casting companies. For these customers mainly supplying the automotive industry, the shortest delay requirements with respect to the realisation of new tools as well as for their servicing are daily practice. Similarly, Horst Klein has to meet extremely tough customer expectations with respect to throughput times. The same pressure also applies to cost aspects, putting economic criteria high on the agenda when the acquisition of a new machining centre became imminent. A particularly embarrassing bottleneck comprised drop forging tools with outer dimensions of app. 500 X 600 X 350mm. These were usually machined on two different machines. Scrubbing was performed on a robust machining centre using large milling cutters with diameters of up to 66mm equipped with carbide inserts. Stringent requirements with respect to precision and surface quality then made it mandatory to perform subsequent pre-finishing and finishing operations on a Röders RP 800 HSC machining centre using ball milling cutIndustry Europe 37

ters with diameters between 3 and 6 mm. A further reason for using the Röders plant was an economic consideration: the high dynamism of the drives of the Röders machine was a clear advantage when it came to machining free-formed surfaces. With this process chain, cumulated throughput times typically were 31.5 h per half-tool. This time requirement was virtually independent of the type of job, e.g. whether a new tool had to be produced from bloc material or whether a worn-out die had to be reworked. Given the fact that the shop worked in one-shift mode, these long machine-time assignments made it impossible to produce more than 3–4 tool halves per week, despite the fact that a great deal of care was taken to extend machine utilisation by maximizing unmanned operations over night time and weekends. A further major handicap with respect to the urgent needs of the customer base was the fact that these extended throughput times made it nearly impossible to quickly produce replacement tools in case of an emergency. This bottleneck situation was paramount when, at the end of 2011, the company decided to acquire the new RXU 1200 type milling centre from Röders, which was put into service in February 2012.

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Extremely rigid machine frame “The unique design concept of the RXU 1200 is based on combining the dynamism and precision of the proven Röders HSC technology with an extremely rigid machine frame,” adds Mr Klein. The outstanding characteristic is the massive Quadroguide design of the Z-axis featuring a rectangular cross section fitted with guide rails on all four corners. A total of eight carriages arranged in a cuboid pattern provide for the optimised transmission of loads to the Y-axis, which itself is connected to the extremely massive machine frame by another set of eight carriages. The resulting tripling of the rigidity of the Z-axis enables the machine to muster very high cutting forces. The milling spindle is correspondingly sturdy: it has a power rating of 51kW, reaches the high rotary speed of 30,000 RPM mandatory for finishing operations and is equipped with an HSK F63 tool interface. All other features of the plant are in line with the high-precision technology guidelines typical for Röders machines: all axes are equipped with high-power linear direct drives and high-resolution optical position sensors, and all relevant machine components are thermally stabilised by internal cooling circuits. Thermally induced length

variations of the spindle are recorded using a special sensor and accordingly compensated by the operating system.

Throughput comparison “After only a few trial passes, it became obvious that despite its smaller tool diameter the RXU 1200 is able to scrub material from a die at virtually the same speed as the older machining centre specifically assigned to this task,” explains Mr Klein. Both plants typically need around 3 h to complete the scrubbing of e.g. a drop forging tool half made of 1.2714 hot work tool steel hardened to 48 HRC. Even when performing this extremely tough job, the new Röders plant does not appear to be nearing its limits, but runs astonishingly smoothly. The high loads have no consequences with respect to its lifespan since as a consequence of using linear direct drives instead of ball rolling spindles, the axes have no parts prone to wear and tear. Of course, the milling spindle is subjected to high strains, but this is nothing more than what it has been designed for. The real capability of the RXU shows up during the subsequent operations: scrubbing of residual material, pre-finishing and finishing, where its superior rigidity makes it possible to

virtually halve the machining times previously required. The machining times achieved by Mr Klein using different plant combinations have been visualised in a chart. In this context, it is interesting to note that the heat treatment condition – and thus workpiece hardness – seems to be almost insignificant.

Increased productivity “In our view, one of the most important advances of the new configuration is that thanks to total processing times of less than 24 h, we can now fully take advantage of the ghost shift,” reveals Mr Klein. Since the company operates in single-shift mode, this amounts to a hefty increase in throughput. While formerly only 3 to 4 die halves could be processed per week, the actual number has already grown to 7. The related advantages are not only confined to pure machining times, but also result from simplified in-house logistics and machine downtime requirements. With the new RXU, a tool can be processed from raw square to completely finished die half in a single fixture. This saves having to move the workpiece from machine to machine, which inevitably causes downtimes. Another noteworthy feature results from the fact that workpieces

do not have to be clamped, but are held by magnetic tables instead. The position and orientation of the workpiece are subsequently automatically determined using a sensor fitted to the spindle and taken into account by the control system: the operator thus simply has to put the workpiece roughly accurately on the table and close the machine door: the machine will immediately resume operations. The big machine table with dimensions of 1300 X 1100 mm and two magnetic tables can easily accommodate two of the usual die halves. With a suitably equipped tool magazine, over a weekend the machine is thus able to produce two finished die halves from raw square in completely unmanned mode. Thanks to its good accessibility, even the rear workpiece can be exchanged without having to unfix the front specimen, an important feature enabling the operator to always maintain sufficient job capacity on the table to be processed during the unmanned shifts.

Improved mill cutters “Another decisive factor – apart from the machine itself – was the availability of scrubbing milling tools that were suitable for unmanned operation mode,” adds Horst

Klein. After testing a variety of brands, the company opted for milling cutters equipped with carbide inserts with diameters of 35 and 16 mm respectively, made by Aura Frästechnik. These tools are specifically designed for HSC operation and accordingly exhibit a fine-tuned balance. Tests revealed that these cutters were fully qualified for unmanned operation, provided they are exchanged for a sister tool after completion of a 3 h service cycle. This exchange is automatically performed by the tool management feature of the control system. According to Mr Klein, this success is to a large part also attributable to the characteristics of the machining centre, whose rigidity and low level of vibrations positively impact on tool lifetime. In stark contrast to this, the machining centre hitherto used for scrubbing was not suitable for unattended operation with cutter heads since their carbide inserts were prone to snap breakage. When listening in to the sound emissions emanating from this plant, one can often hear that within just some 30 minutes of service or so, the sound level starts to rise further and further, indicating that an exchange of the tool will soon be necessary. Apart from the outstanding performance of Aura mill cutters equipped with carbide inserts,

Industry Europe 39

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40 Industry Europe

Mr Klein has also experienced good results with the HSC plain tungsten carbide ball point mill tools provided by this manufacturer.

Improved machining software “We are currently in the process of optimising our existing machining programmes in order to take full advantage of the features of the new system to further reduce machining time,” says Mr Klein. To give an example, thanks to its outstanding rigidity and drive dynamics, the new RXU can work with a substantially higher jolt than could be supported by older systems. This programmable jolt influences the speed with which the axes build up or reduce their speed. If handled correctly, this feature makes it possible to take advantage of the high rigidity

of the machine by maintaining substantially higher feed rates than usual, especially in corners as well as everywhere else where abrupt direction changes occur while the tool remains engaged. The company is currently reviewing its existing NC programmes in view of the new features. Horst Klein is confident that by this holistic optimisation of the process chain encompassing the machine, tools and NC software, the main objective – the ability to process a total of nine die halves per week – will be achieved within the foreseeable future.

Precision as an extra bonus “When looking at the results of dimensional accuracy surveys, one can see that deviations seldom exceed more than just a few

microns. This is a welcome extra bonus, says a pleased Mr Klein. Higher deviations only occur in a few areas where the tool is more deflected by steep wall sections. If necessary, this can be easily corrected by adequately adjusting machining parameters. A further advantage of the high accuracy of the plant is the excellent quality of the machined surfaces. For Horst Klein, this level of precision largely exceeding his primary needs represents a valuable extra bonus. For his company, which often has to react quickly and flexibly to all sorts of different requirements, a plant that can deliver productivity just as well as precision is definitely a boon. “Figuratively speaking, we now have at our disposal a Ferrari that we can just as well serve as a lorry,” concludes Mr

Industry Europe 41

Klein. After only a short ramp-up time, the new machine is already fully occupied, and all economic targets have been met. Furthermore, the advantage of the reduced response times now shows its effect: he can now accept bigger jobs with very short delivery times or squeeze in rush jobs between the current job pipelines. The advantages he experienced proved to be so convincing that after just a few months he is already pondering the acquisition of a further RXU 1200. Klaus Vollrath

The Röders TEC RXU product line The RXU 1000 and 1200 machining centres were designed particularly with a view to high cutting performance and precision in die and tool making applications. They are intended for HSC machining of all materials customarily used in such applications with outstanding cutting forces in combination

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with the highest precision. One outstanding feature of the RXU product line is the massive Quadroguide design of the Z-axis, which has a rectangular cross section fitted with guide rails on all four corners. A total of eight carriages arranged in a cuboid pattern provide for its extraordinary rigidity. Likewise, the Y-sledge excels by its very robust layout and is similarly connected to the extremely massive machine base by means of eight carriages. In comparison to a Z-axis with the conventional layout of just two guides, this provides for a tripling of the axis rigidity. The milling spindle is correspondingly sturdy: it has a power rating of 40/51kW, reaches the high rotary speed of 30,000 RPM mandatory for finishing operations and is equipped with a HSK F63 tool interface. Particular attention was paid to highest precision: the inherently rigid machine frame featuring a three-point support layout

is immune against warpage. The Z-axis is equipped with frictionless weight compensation. All axes are equipped with high-powered linear direct drives ensuring the highest dynamism and rigidity. A sophisticated temperature management system, highly accurate spindle length compensation as well as integrated devices for cleaning and control of the tools, together with proven control and monitoring systems, are guarantors of outstanding precision and machining speed. The precision of the RXU product line is so good that it can even be used for coordinate grinding operations. Both machines can also be supplied in a 5-axis version with an integrated rotating swivel table. In the 3-axis base version, the RXU 1000 is equipped with a machine table measuring 996 X 798 mm (RXU 1200: 1,300 X 1,100 mm) and a maximum load-bearing capacity n of 2,000kg.

THE ARCHITECT’S TILE Dedicated to innovation and beautiful functionality, Netherlands-based tile manufacturer Royal Mosa BV is proud to be the world’s first ‘cradle to cradle’ tile factory. Emma-Jane Batey interviewed the technical director, Jaq Laumans, to see how this is being achieved.


ith a history that spans more than 120 years, Dutch tile manufacturer Royal Mosa is well aware of how business cycles impact on its activities. When Industry Europe last spoke to technical director Jaq Laumans, in March 2011, we learned how the company was enjoying positive growth and looking forward to its next chapter.

An independent company entirely owned by Dutch equity firm Egeria, Royal Mosa is as famous for its beautiful tiles as it is for its dedication to delivering a sustainable product. Its wide range of interior and exterior tiles are ideally suited to architects looking to source a functional tile that will enhance the aesthetic of their project, as well as maintaining a high level of ecological responsibility.

Achieving and expanding Technical director Jaq Laumans told Industry Europe how the past 18 months had seen the company move further towards its goals. He said, “When we last spoke, the world was still certainly feeling the impact of the economic recession, with our core automotive and construction markets both badly hit. Even though we only experienced about a five per cent Industry Europe 43

drop, we were keen for the difficulty to pass for the benefit of our customers and their projects. Thankfully, the fact that we’ve concentrated on developing varied geographical markets for some years now allowed us to maintain our market-leading position in many territories throughout the recession. We’ve continued to see exciting growth in emerging markets, particularly as the increased appreciation for good design is evident in new construction and architectural projects.” Headquartered in Maastricht, Royal Mosa exports its tiles to more than 30 countries on four continents, producing in excess of eight million square metres of tiles each year. As it continues to expand in new markets including Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore, the company is both enjoying strong performance in its domestic market – where it has a 30 per cent market share – and seeing ongoing potential outside Europe. 44 Industry Europe

Mr Laumans continued, “Our products are perfectly suited to a wide range of projects. With a large team of in-house designers creating tiles that are classic, vibrant, dramatic – anything a designer or architect could want – we are confident that we can meet any creative brief.” Royal Mosa has recently re-launched a collection of relief wall tiles by renowned industrial designer Kho Liang Ie. Originally offered by Royal Mosa in the 1960s, the company felt the colourful creativity of the designs were perfectly suited to today’s market too. Mr Laumans pointed out, “Much as we love to create new ideas with new designers, we are also very proud of our heritage and the work we have created over the years. We felt it was the perfect time to relaunch Kho Liang Ie’s relief wall tiles as we can deliver a hard-wearing tile that has a unique design identity.”

Tiles and more While Royal Mosa’s tiles are certainly its most famous product, it has also gained a great reputation for its façades and flooring systems. Its façades are the ideal partner to its tiles, offering solutions for design and realisation of projects with a high level of functionality, with its flooring systems providing a wide variety of uses and loads to architectural and construction projects worldwide. Sustainability is consistently Royal Mosa’s key focus in terms of long-term development of products and their transportation. Going hand-in-hand with innovation of design, the company is always looking at new ways to enhance the sustainability of its tiles – from sourcing of raw materials to processing to installation. This is how Royal Mosa devised its famous ‘cradle to cradle’ approach to tile design and manufacture, meaning that it takes total responsibility for

each stage of the process. The company ensures that it understands exactly what happens to the raw materials or products at each step, so that it can guarantee its products are sourced, manufactured and transported in as environmentally responsible a manner as possible. When Industry Europe spoke to Mr Laumans in March 2011, he predicted ten years of strong growth. We asked if he felt the company was on course to achieve this, and he was resolutely positive in his response. He said, “Our ongoing aim is for Mosa to be the first choice when it comes to looks, functionality and sustainability, and I am pleased to say that this is fast becoming a reality. We are still enjoying excellent results in Europe, the USA and the Middle East, with more and more projects in Asia specifying Royal Mosa products. As we continue to look forward, we believe that

our high-quality, high-functionality tiles will keep being specified by the architects and designers that are working on projects that demand the best in terms of performance n and sustainability.”

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TOWERS OF STRENGTH The Beroa Technology Group specialises in the construction of chimneys and the installation of refractory linings for industrial furnaces. Joseph Altham reports on a company that has built up a global network of subsidiaries and is now making a vital contribution to the development of solar energy.


he Beroa Technology Group is a network of 50 different companies and is present in more than 20 countries worldwide. Beroa takes its name from “bero”, the Basque word for heat. Beroa’s main activities are the engineering and installation of refractory linings for furnaces and the design and construction of large chimneys and other tall structures such as concrete silos. The Beroa Technology Group was founded in 1997, but the origins of the

46 Industry Europe

company are much older and go back to the establishment in 1914 of the German firm Karrena. Beroa can therefore draw on decades of experience in the engineering and assembly of refractory material – material that is resistant to heat. Many areas of industry require boilers and furnaces with refractory linings and Beroa works for many different customers. Its refractory linings are used in everything from rotary kilns for the cement industry to boilers

in power plants. Another important business area is providing linings for the anode baking furnaces used in the aluminium industry. The company has successfully lined around 70 anode pit furnaces around the world, employing more than 20,000 tonnes of refractory material for the purpose. Beroa not only installs refractory systems for new furnaces, but also repairs and upgrades older equipment. For example, in Argentina the Group is currently engaged in the

Industry Europe 47

reconstruction of an anode furnace for Aluar. The project at Puerto Madryn involves the installation of 4800 cubic metres of material and requires a labour force of 200 people.

Managing thermal energy Beroa describes its core business as “managing thermal energy”. Heavy industrial applications, such as refractory linings for blast furnaces or chimneys for power generation, account for a large proportion of Beroa’s sales. Back in the 1970s, Beroa built the tallest chimney in Europe, a struc-

48 Industry Europe

ture in Slovenia that is 360 metres high. More recently, Beroa’s German subsidiary, Beroa Deutschland, has won a big order from a steelworks in Duisberg, HKM. HKM has commissioned Beroa to build a new reinforced concrete chimney for the extension of its coke oven plant. Beroa builds concrete chimneys using different types of material, such as steel or ceramics, for the internal flue. Challenging conditions like high winds make extraordinary demands of Beroa’s structural engineers, and the company’s construc-

tion methods have been proved in extreme earthquake regions such as Chile. In 2008, Beroa acquired a controlling interest in Steelcon, a Danish company that builds industrial steel chimneys. Steelcon designs the chimneys according to the special requirements of the customer and makes them at its factory in Esbjerg before erecting them at the customer’s site. Like its parent company, Steelcon supplies total solutions to customers all over the world. Steelcon constructed two sets of chimneys for two district heating

power plants in the Moscow area and would like to take on more projects in Russia in the future.

Solar towers Beroa builds other types of tall structure besides chimneys. Beroa companies have built storage silos for customers including British Sugar and Weetabix. Beroa also builds solar towers and is becoming increasingly active in the solar energy sector. Towers of this kind are positioned in the centre of a solar power complex and surrounded by heliostats (flat mirrors). The mirrors reflect the sun’s rays onto a receiver at the top of the tower. The heat collected by the receiver is then used to produce steam, which drives a turbine and so generates electricity. In 2005, Beroa acquired a controlling stake in the Spanish company, Altac. Altac has built two of Europe’s most spectacular solar energy towers, both located near Seville: the tower for the PS10 plant, which started producing electricity on a commercial basis in 2007, and the central tower

for the Gemasolar power plant at Fuentes de Andalucia. The Gemasolar power station is a 19.9 MW power plant and its solar tower is 142 metres high. The plant began producing electricity in July 2011.

Future possibilities One of the problems with renewable energies is that, unlike a coal-fired power station, they do not provide a constant supply of electricity. Solar power normally only produces electricity when the sun is shining, just as wind turbines can only generate electricity when the wind is actually blowing. The Gemasolar power plant offers a partial solution to this problem by using molten salt heat storage technology. Molten salt, heated by the solar tower’s receiver, is stored in the hot molten salt tank of the power station. This allows the surplus heat accumulated during sunny periods to be retained. The Gemasolar power station can therefore generate electricity without any solar feed for up to 15

hours at a time and can guarantee electricity production for a total of 6500 hours per year. For these reasons, Gemasolar represents an important advance in the commercialisation of solar energy. Beroa still wins large contracts for work on coal-fired power stations. At the same time, the pioneering work of Altac is putting the Beroa Technology Group at the forefront of some of the most exciting developments n in the field of renewable energy.

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Mortar floor


TECHNOLOGY Possehl Spezialbau is a global leader in the development and manufacture of technically perfected surface systems for industrial buildings, roads and runways. Philip Yorke talked to Ton Schellekens, the company’s managing director, about its unique epoxy resin products and move into new niche markets. Mortar floor

50 Industry Europe

Cleanroom floor

ESD floor in printing house

Anti-skid on aircraft runway


ossehl Spezialbau is part of the international Possehl Group which comprises over 140 companies involved in construction, infrastructure and their allied industries. Entrepreneurial diversity is the key to the group’s success, which is exemplified in Possehl Spezialbau, a company that represents one of the nine key divisions within the group. Possehl Special Building Materials was established in 1956 and began by providing maintenance and repair work for asphalt and concrete vehicular-use applications. Today, its special construction surfaces include both the preservation and improvement of surface properties for industrial, manufacturing, traffic and aviation surfaces. This highly specialised company develops technically perfected surfacing systems, which can be optimised to meet any client’s specific requirements. These can range from abrasion resistance in warehouses to conductivity for computer-aided transport systems and to noise-reduction highway surfacing. In addition the company’s products are also designed for anti-aquaplaning and friction-enhancement for airport runways. Possehl offers advanced surfacing systems dedicated to customised, task-specific surface characteristics for all types of working surfaces and pavements.

Developing world-beating cds-epoxy systems For many years Possehl’s extensive cdslaboratory has pioneered the development of superior resin based products that have continued to set new benchmarks for the industry. All the company’s existing products, as well as new developments, are manufactured in its own production facilities in Germany and rigorously tested on-site by special application engineers. Through close cooperation with its clients, customised, highly task-specific solutions are developed which has resulted in Possehl owning one of the largest collections of epoxy-based patented products in the world. These products include waterproof impregnations and sealings and coatings for indoor and outdoor applications. Furthermore, Possehl’s special coating systems enable anti-slip floorings, flexible crack-bridging coatings or sealings to be used against hazardous substances and those which can contaminate a city’s water supply. Mr Schellekens said, “We have a reputation for unrivalled, innovative and high quality surface systems. Our products are unique and task-specific. In 2000 we developed and launched a completely new anti-skid product for aircraft runways that involved a new, flex-

ible epoxy system, which has subsequently been employed at many of the world’s busiest airports. Our surface system products are in continuous use at Schiphol International airport, which is one of the busiest in the world. Here at Possehl in the Netherlands we are responsible for the Benelux market and with special emphasis on airfield and military applications. We also export many of our surface products to South East Asia, Israël and South Africa, as well as more recently to Brazil, which is a strong growth market for us. “Since 1970 we have been awarded preferred supplier status to the Ministry of Defence in the Netherlands, as well as to the Schiphol Airport Authorities, which in itself underlines the integrity, effectiveness and quality of our specialised surface systems. We are currently seeing equal growth in all of our three key areas of activity: industrial, traffic and aviation surfaces. Within each of these areas we are expanding our range of surface system applications. For example, our cds-epoxy systems and flooring materials programme contains various mortars with different properties for restoring and repairing concrete surfaces, joint-edges and kerbstones. In addition, our special products for the installation of high-intensity inset Industry Europe 51

Decorative office floor

flush marker lights for airports are further complemented by our range of special adhesives and coatings for permanent markings for roads, cycle tracks and footpaths. In fact, there is not a single industrial working surface that we cannot improve with our advanced cds-epoxy resin technology.”

Delivering diverse, comprehensive solutions Whether it is for improving impermeability against harmful fluids, optimising chemical resistance or simply to improve aesthetic appeal, Possehl has the surface system solution. In industrial and manufacturing areas in shops, factories, production centres and warehouses Possehl products fulfil the most demanding and diverse range of surfacing requirements. In the area of vehicular-use surfaces, the company offers unparalleled products and solutions for fast, environmentally friendly traffic safety systems. These can include road friction improvement, rolling noise reduction and colour arrangement prod52 Industry Europe

ucts for traffic lane surfacing. Furthermore, slippery surfaces caused by heavy rain, greasy road films, leaves, rubber residues and oil and fuel contaminations put traffic at increased safety risks. To overcome these problematic conditions, Possehl offers a variety of special construction techniques and dedicated surface systems. Possehl has also developed a unique range of products for aircraft-use pavements or runways, which include repair, maintenance and the rehabilitation of runways, taxi-ways and aircraft aprons. The company

has also developed special surface treatments for airfield applications that improve the friction in wet conditions to prevent aquaplaning and to achieve shorter braking paths for aircraft. What is more, these hightechnology products will improve directional stability during cross winds, and improve grip in the presence of slush and ice film. Whatever the surface requirement, Possehl can apply its unique knowledge and expertise to achieve the optimal result. For further details of Possehl products and technology, n contact Possehl at:

HACCP floor

Decorative office floor

SOLID FOUNDATIONS HeidelbergCement is the world market leader in aggregates, and a prominent player in the fields of cement, concrete and other downstream activities – making it one of the world’s largest manufacturers of building materials. A series of capacity expansions and investments have increased its output still further.

Industry Europe 53

54 Industry Europe


eadquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, HeidelbergCement has operations in more than 40 countries around the world. It operates in two core lines of business: cement and aggregates (sand, gravel and crushed rock), in both of which it is acknowledged as one of the global leaders. Even throughout the global financial crisis of the past few years, its turnover has continued to climb. With an already impressive global presence, over the past few years the company has continued to expand its operations throughout Asia-Pacific and the AfricaMediterranean Basin, as well as maintaining its strong position in Europe and North America. In 2010 it restructured its operations to consolidate its global position. It is now divided into six group areas: Western

and Northern Europe; Eastern EuropeCentral Asia; North America; Asia-AustraliaAfrica; Asia-Pacific; and Group Services. Within the Eastern Europe-Central Asia division alone Heidelberg has 18 cement plants, three grinding plants, 28 cement terminals, 70 aggregates operations, 208 ready mix concrete operations and three concrete products plants across 11 countries. In Western and Northern Europe, meanwhile, it operates across 11 countries with 21 cement plants, six grinding plants, three ground granulated burning slag plants, 53 cement terminals, 176 aggregates plants, 39 asphalt plants, 596 ready mix concrete plants, 34 concrete products facilities and 22 brickmaking facilities. With these capabilities in Europe and Central Asia alone, it is easy to see why it remains a world leader.

Strong in cement and aggregates HeidelbergCement’s overall strategy was ‘reoriented’ a few years ago. In order to ensure its long-term position, it adjusted its strategy in order to focus equally on its core business of cement (previously its biggest focus) and its aggregates business. This change in strategy was strengthened by the acquisition of the Hanson, one of the world’s leading aggregates companies, in 2007. This company has extensive raw deposits in North America, the UK and Australia so it has allowed Heidelberg to strengthen its raw material base considerably. Alongside aggregates, cement is one of the essential components of concrete. The company offers various kinds of cement using different additives for a range of applications. These include: white cements; high

Industry Europe 55

sulphate resisting Aquament and Portland cement for hydraulic engineering; anti-sulphate for sewage works construction; microcem, which is extremely fine cement for soil injection and masonry repair; and Depocrete and Procrete for waste dump sealing. The varieties of aggregates cannot be controlled in the same way as cements. Their features as high quality raw material for ready mixed concrete and concrete products depend on the specifications of the quarries from which they are derived.

“CONCRETE PRODUCTS, BRIDGES, VIADUCTS, DAMS AND INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS, AIRPORTS, FOUNDATION MATERIAL, SPORTS FIELDS AND DANCE FLOORS.” As the market leader in the Netherlands; Vliegasunie delivers mineral raw materials to the construction industry. By-products of the production of electricity in Power Stations, such as fly ash, bottom ash and flue gas desulphurization gypsum. Providing an essential contribution to a sustainable building chain and the reduction of the depletion of surface minerals. We focus on reliability, quality and challenging logistic concepts. Our new silo station for the storage and distribution of fly ash in the Moerdijk Harbour in the South of the Netherlands and the new Power Plants under construction assure a reliable and sustainable position; now and in the future. MORE INFORMATION? Vliegasunie BV. The Netherlands. Belle van Zuylenlaan 3, 4105 JX Culemborg | Postbox 265, 4100 AG Culemborg Tel: +313 45 50 99 88 | Fax: +313 45 50 99 80 | E-mail:

SKF At SKF our vision is to equip Heidelberg with our

Through this relationship, the expertise is quickly and

knowledge, which in turn ensures that plants become

conveniently shared between employees, creating new

more efficient, effective, competitive, and profitable.

possibilities to solve and troubleshoot plant problems,

Working as collaborative partners, SKF & Heidelberg

share best practices, and maximize operational effec-

have developed an indepth relationship over many

tiveness and lower overall costs. 
SKF is committed to

years to share ideas and experiences globally. This

helping Heidelberg optimize plant effectiveness and

mutually beneficial relationship provides information

move from “Maintenance & Repair” environment to a

on asset management, maintenance and reliability

“Maintenance & Improvement” environment through

best practices, e-learning training modules and inter-

Life Cycle Management.

active maintenance tools.

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ATD More then fifty years is a long time to be on the job; but that is how long the ATD-Pressure Gas System is specialized in the removal of build-up and cross-sectional obstructions in a wide range of industrial applications. Experience like this teaches you important things. That is how ATD have been able to continually develop new products, new procedures and safety features to make the ATD-System the safest, most reliable and most effective system of its kind world-wide.

24 hours a day, seven days a week our clients have to keep their material moving. But: at every stage of their operation, build-up and chokes can shut them down. Changing raw material conditions and the rising amount of secondary fuel components are leading to more unwanted deposits and build-up. Productions losses and downtimes can be the expensive consequences.

The ATD-Pressure Gas System is especially engineered to reach the requirements for its use during the production with none or minimum shut-down time and feeding reduction; it offers the online-removing of build-up under heat.

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In addition to their function as an essential component of concrete, aggregates are also used for structural fill, road base, railway ballast and others. In addition to these two main areas, Heidelberg offers concrete products such as building blocks, pavers, prefabricated ceilings and walls, and building materials such as limestone aggregates, sand-lime bricks and products and services for waste stabilisation or landfill construction.

Continued investment Heidelberg continuously invests in new plant to improve its capabilities and maintain its position as a global leader. In July 2011 it opened a modernised kiln in its Polish cement plant Górazdze. This involved the expansion of the clinker capacity to 6000 tonnes per day. This has confirmed Górazdze’s position as HeidelbergCement’s most advanced cement plant in Europe. Later that month, Heidelberg opened a brand new cement plant TulaCement, in Great Moscow. Located around 150km south of Moscow in the city of Novogurovsky, the plant has a production capacity of two million tonnes of cement. Invest58 Industry Europe

ment in this facility, which employs around 400 people, amounted to around €300 million. The entire production site is spread over 100 hectares and is equipped with the latest most environmentally friendly technologies. Heidelberg has also constructed several kilometres of road and railway lines to ensure that logistics run smoothly.

Promoting biodiversity Like the majority of globally operating companies today, HeidelbergCement recognises the part it must play in reducing the environmental impact, both of its activities and of other companies along the supply chain. As an example of one of its sustainable initiatives, in September 2011 Heidelberg and Birdlife International became cooperation partners in order to jointly preserve biological diversity at quarrying sites. In fact, the group was the first company in the international building materials industry to issue a binding guideline on biodiversity management. But what will this particular initiative involve? At the signing of the agreement Dr Bernard Scheifele, chairman of the managing board at HeidelbergCement, said:

“Together, we will analyse and optimise our existing work and define new activities in order to promote the preservation of biodiversity at our quarrying sites more effectively. “We will give Birdlife insight into the workings of our quarries and sand and gravel pits throughout the group and implement biodiversity management projects at these sites together. These projects should make our impact on flora and fauna transparent, assess the effects and deliver improved approaches that will allow us to give back to nature more than we have taken.” The cooperation will initially last three years. In the first year the two organisations will jointly develop a biodiversity strategy for the partnerships. The strategy will also include goals for the protection of species and habitats. In the second year, joint biodiversity projects will be formulated in different countries. From the third year, the first pilot projects in Europe will be implemented and documented. This project will hopefully pave the way for a more transparent and streamlined approach to biodiversity across the European building n materials industry.

PURE SUSTAINABILITY Cargill is a global leader in the production of food and agricultural products, as well as in financial and industrial products and services. Philip Yorke talked to Carel van Buchem, the company’s commercial manager for ethanol product, about its advanced automated fermentation processes and his view on the ethanol markets.

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argill is one of the largest multinational companies of its kind. Founded in 1865, this privately owned company employs around 139,000 people in 65 countries worldwide. Cargill is dedicated to helping its customers succeed through collaboration and innovation and is committed to sharing its global knowledge to help meet today’s complex economic, environmental and social challenges. In fiscal year 2011, Cargill had $119.5 billion in sales and other revenues.

Wider applications for high-purity, natural ethanol Long before Cargill acquired the Royal Nedalco’s ethanol business from its parent company, Royal Cosun, it was operating ethanol plants in North America. However the acquisition certainly added significantly to Cargill’s product portfolio and its capabilities in Europe as major supplier of grain and grainbased food and industrial products. In Europe the majority of Cargill ethanol production is committed to the UK, Ireland, Germany and the Benelux countries. Today Cargill produces and commercialises ethanol for an increasingly wide range of industrial applications for use in products such as solvents, extractants, anti-freeze and intermediates in the synthesis of a variety of natural chemicals. This includes natural ethanol in a wide range of qualities, either with or without

the use of denaturants. Applications for the company’s ethanol products include adhesives and binders, paints, coatings and inks, as well as those for the chemical and bioindustrial industries. In addition other important applications are the alcoholic beverages and food industry supplied by the high-purity potable and grain-based ethanol product range. In this sector, Cargill’s high quality ethanol is the main ingredient for the production of premium products such as vodka, gin, cream liquors and aniseed spirits, due to its exceptionally high purity and neutral organoleptic characteristics. Last but not least Cargill also specialises in natural ethanol for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics applications. In that perspective ethanol can be used as carrier in deodorants, perfumes, aerosols and as an excipient to the production of medicines. Mr Van Buchen said, “We are proud of our heritage and the premium, high quality products that leading global companies rely on. We produce two main grades of ethanol: the first is 96 per cent ethanol which has 4 per cent water content; and 99 per cent ethanol which has maximum 1 per cent water content. Our products are used throughout the alcoholic beverages industry, the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as well as the technical industries. For these markets we specialise in the manufacture of natural ethanol. Our natural ethanol gives our customer advantages

against synthetic ethanol, which is not allowed for human consumption by law. We aim to produce sustainable and green products for all applications. As far as our future growth is concerned, this will be based upon our ability to strengthen our position in Europe. “Cargill is an important player on European ethanol markets overall, but we enjoy a greater position in certain markets where we have been well established for many years. These are countries such as the Netherlands and the UK, Ireland and Germany for example. We also have a strong growth opportunity for our products in many areas where synthetic, oil-based derivative ethanol is currently used. In particular, this relates to the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries where our natural, fully sustainable and high-purity products contribute to the care of the planet and have a much more attractive image than that of its synthetic alternative.” Mr Van Buchem added, “It helps that since the acquisition our customers benefit from the Cargill skills and network. We have also invested heavily over the last five years in improving automation in our distillation plants, which makes us highly efficient and a very competitive supplier. In addition, it guarantees our customers optimal quality and consistency which is vital to many of them, especially those in the spirits industry. We are a high quality premium company in

all aspects of our business and offer the best facilities available anywhere in the world – we are therefore the natural alternative.”

Perfection in personal care For personal care applications, Cargill’s ethanol products, ‘Alcohol Absolutus 99.9 per cent’ and ‘Alcohol Fortior 96 per cent’ are highly purified products of agricultural origin. These entirely natural ethanols are produced by the fermentation of sugars, using yeast, with the sugars derived mainly from grain or molasses. These products, which can be denatured according to the customer’s needs, are used broadly

in the manufacturing of products such as anaesthetics, antiseptics, drugs, lotions and tinctures. They are also widely used in disinfection products, and for cosmetics such as deodorants, soaps and shampoos. In addition, this perfectly pure, sustainable product can also be used as an important process aid in the manufacture of colourants, flavours and aromas for the food and cosmetics industries and naturally complies with all international regulatory standards. For certain applications organoleptics are key to the success of the end product. Cargill has a large and very professional panel of noses who tests the various grades of ethanol against

strict requirements. This way Cargill is able to provide the best and most stable product which will enhance the end product. In addition, Cargill’s technical agricultural ethanol products are also highly purified and have a clean, characteristic and constant odour. This range of speciality Cargill product is used in the industry as an ethylating agent, cleansing agent and as a solvent for gums and resins. Other applications include solvents for ink ingredients, insecticides, antifreezes and polishing mediums. Furthermore, Cargill is able to denature its technical agricultural ethanol to suit individual, tailor-made n conditions and applications.

Logistics at the heart of the Netherlands Van Appeldoorn offers a broad range of logistics services to manufacturers and firms trading in hazardous and non-hazardous goods. Services include transportation of liquid chemicals and packed goods, storage, drumming and other services. Our guiding principles are safety, reliability, sustainability and flexibility. This solid foundation serves as the basis of our commercial operations.

Tel: +31 (0)33 2859070 Fax: +31 (0)33 2859071 Email:

THE COLOUR OF SUCCESS The Flügger group is one of Scandinavia’s largest producers and suppliers of paint products. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at its growing operation.

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EO of Flügger, Søren P. Olesen, is looking for growth within the group’s existing markets by strengthening its operation where it already has a presence. The group, which produces and markets a full range of architectural paint, wood stain, wallpaper and painting tools, is one of Scandinavia’s largest producers and suppliers of paint products. Danish owned, and with some 1500 employees, the group has its own production facilities and a chain of 300 retail stores. It also supplies more than 300 franchise operations. “We are looking for growth in our existing markets – Scandinavia, the north Atlantic, Poland, the Czech Republic and China,” he says. “We are looking for organic growth through the optimisation of our markets, which means opening more stores.”

Flügger was established in 1783, by Johan Daniel Flügger. It remained in the Flügger family through four generations until 1973. In 1975, the Flügger chain of shops was founded and in 1983 the group went public. Between 1984 and 1985, it then bought Fiona, Denmark’s largest wallpaper factory, and Dansk Smergelfabrik, Denmark’s only manufacturer of abrasive materials. Both factories later merged with Flügger A/S. In Sweden, the company bought Stiwex AB and Forsbergs Børstefabrik, paint brush and paint roller factories, which later merged under the name Stiwex AB.

A market leader In the 1990s, the Swedish platform was expanded. Flügger bought HP Färg & Kemi, Sweden’s third-largest paint and varnish

factory that later changed its name to Flügger AB, and it established a new central warehouse in Gothenburg with room for 11,500 pallets, in order to serve the Swedish and Norwegian markets. In 2004, Flügger bought HarpaSjöfn in Iceland – making Flügger the market leader in the North Atlantic region. The acquisition was made to follow the strategy of development in the Nordic countries. Since then, Flügger has grown as an international business. In 2010, it opened Scandinavia’s largest online paint shop and established its chain of shops in the Czech Republic. “Today, approximately two-thirds of our production goes to professional painters and the remaining one-third to end users,” explains Mr Olesen. “Our core business is to

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distribute and market a wide range of paints, decorative products and tools.” Flügger produces a range of brands but its own is its largest. Now the extensive range of products includes paint, wood stain, filler, wallpaper adhesive, wall coverings, abrasive materials, brushes, tools and cleaning products. “We have seven production sites in total and we still have plenty of capacity. All the sites produce for their local markets,” he adds.

A variety of specialist areas In Denmark, the factory in Kolding manufactures around 20 billion litres of water-based paint, wood preservation and

64 Industry Europe

wall paper adhesive every year. When this factory was modernised, it was also decorated by artist Poul Gernes, who is famous for his systematic work with colour. Also in Denmark, in Fåborg, some 10,000km of wallpaper and wallcoverings are manufactured annually. In Sweden, there are factories in Bollebygd, Bankeryd and Bodafors. The factory in Bollebygd manufactures water-based and solvent-based paint, wood preservation, cleaning products, and filler while at Bankeryd brushes and rollers are made. At the factory in Bodafors, plastic handles for brushes, rollers and filling knives, as well as

other plastic components, such as lids and packaging, are manufactured. The newest Flügger factory is situated in Gdansk. This is the most modern wallpaper factory in Europe. “We also have a factory in Shanghai, China, where we manufacture water-based paint, primer and wallpaper adhesive. Here, production, which began in 2009, has nearly doubled since the first year,” he says.

A better understanding The group’s retail chain, Flügger Décor, has approximately 600 shops across Scandinavia, eastern Europe and China. Flügger owns about half of these stores. The shops have maintained their core focus on professional quality, and this concept has proved its viability in a wide array of markets, says Mr Olesen. “As opposed to traditional retail shop chains, we develop, produce and sell our own products. This provides us with an important knowledge about our customers,” he adds. We believe we have seen such success because we have this distribution network that allows us to be close to our customers. This also means we n understand them very well.”

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LEADER IN RESINS LERG, from Pustków in Poland, is a renowned manufacturer and exporter of synthetic resins used in diverse industrial sectors. The company attaches the utmost importance to maintaining the highest quality standards and continuing to adjust its production profile to emerging customer needs, in Poland and abroad. Piotr Sadowski reports.


ERG manufactures resins using a number of base raw materials, such as urea, methanol, phenol, melamine, glycols and styrene. The resulting products serve a variety of industrial sectors and for that reason seasonality occurs, whereby different resins tend to be in higher demand than others. “In recent years the strongest area of our activity has been the production of polyester resins and novolac,” explains Agnieszka Kozubek-Bespalenko, the vice-president of the board at LERG. “According to IHS Chemical Research, we are the leading manufacturer of unsaturated polyester resins in central and eastern Europe.” The company’s turnover is currently PLN 400 million and has been steadily growing over the years. LERG also owns 63 hectares of land, which offers it excellent opportunities for further expansion of its production infrastructure.

Diversified offer The company’s annual volume of sales exceeds 100,000 tonnes and every year, depending on the different groups of resins, LERG undertakes significant investments in modernising and innovating. “We invest in cutting-edge solutions for measuring and dispensing of raw materials,” explains Ms Kozubek-Bespalenko. “Bearing in mind such high sales volumes, it is also important to continuously develop our storage facilities. Furthermore, when erecting new installations, we use the highest-quality materials as this ultimately enables a fully reliable production of resins. As a result of all such activities, our production capacity is constantly expanding, and in the case of certain product groups dedicated installations are operating at near 100 per cent capacity. We are also gaining new customers

every year which gives us additional incentives for further expanding our production plant.” With such strong manufacturing abilities, it is not surprising that LERG occupies a leading position in delivering a wide variety of resins, selling to a total of 29 countries worldwide. In addition to the before-mentioned polyester and novolac resins the company produces alkyd resins (which meet the relevant VOC environmental norms), phenol and urea resins for plywood or fibreboards. LERG also enjoys a

strong share in the European market for resole resins for rock wool and especially in Germany there is a strong demand for the company’s phenol resins for impregnating paper or plastic panels. “As a company that is highly flexible in its cooperation with business partners, we are always ready to modify our existing products as well as introduce new ones,” confirms the vice-president. “Using our own and external research facilities, we introduce around 100 new products every year.”

Working across many markets LERG offers its products to customers throughout Europe and its clients include large, international consortia, leaders in their own industrial sectors. The company’s resins are used in the production of tyres, rock wool, sewage pipes, laminates, boats, fluid tanks, break pads and many other items. LERG’s customers thus include companies whose names are familiar throughout the European continent. “We export 50 per cent of our

SKAMER ACM SKAMER ACM has 25 years of experience in broadly defined industrial automation. Our scope of business includes: • Design, software, installation, consulting, starting and servicing • Sales of the automation components, electrical equipment and industrial fittings • AUTOMATION CATALOG is IT system (, which automates the flow of technical and commercial information between SKAMER and cooperating companies. The system allows you to: compare the products with similar characteristics from different manufacturers; create specifications, offers and orders; participate online in training and exhibitions. Our group of customers includes virtually all plants from the southern part of Poland. LERG SA Pustkow is one of our key customers. We have cooperated with them for many years, during which we have proved to be a reliable partner in implementation and application of automation. In recent years we have accomplished the modernization of instrumentation for raw materials storage facility as well as control system for loading and unloading raw materials. Earlier, we installed instrumentation for the aminoplast line and modernized the set for novolak resins production.

Solvadis polska sp. z o.o. Solvadis polska sp. z o.o. has been present on the Polish market

has been awarded several prestigious ‘Gazela Biznesu’

for almost 20 years. Several years of experience and continuous

awards, awarded by the most popular business magazine in

growth have stabilized our position in the industry making us

the country Puls Biznesu to the most dynamically developing

one of key business entities involved in distribution of chemi-

companies in Poland. The ISO 9001:2008 Quality Certificate

cal raw materials as well as industrial and specialist chemistry

confirms that solvadis polska meets the quality manage-

including base chemistry.

ment requirements for sale, distribution and marketing in

The company’s main distinguishing feature is an exten-

trading chemical substances. The company is also a holder

sive and diversified portfolio of technologically advanced and

of the Highest Quality Certificate awarded by the Wielkopol-

continuously improved products such as chemistry of plastics,

skie Quality Research Association under the auspices of the

products for paint and varnish industry, building chemistry, bio-

Ministry of Economics and the Company President - Elisabeth

fuels and oils, washing and agents for food industry and agricul-

Lürenbaum has been awarded the title of the Highest Quality

ture, disinfecting agents, oils, lubricants and base and organic

Manager. Obtaining the REDcert Certificate for application

chemistry cleaning agents. Solvadis polska provides complex

of sustainable development policy in production of bio-fuels

customer service ensuring professional technical assistance and

meeting the UE standards is one of the most important com-

after sale support.

pany’s recent achievements. The company aims at market-

The company is actively engaged in the industry as a

ing chemical products used in more ecological production

member of key organisations gathering leaders in the

processes and product managers are involved in educational

chemical market such as The Polish Chamber of Chemical

activities offering their customers more environment friendly

Industry or The Polish Aerosol Federation. Solvadis polska

alternative solutions.

products and the largest foreign market for us is Germany,” adds Ms Kozubek-Bespalenko. “Our western neighbour is then followed by the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Italy and Spain, and, as many of our clients are international market players, this means that our resins are effectively also used outside of Europe.” The company sees potential in continuing to expand its activities in the export markets in which it currently operates. It plans to further develop sales of polyester resins in Germany and for that reason will be exhibiting its products at the Composites Europe Trade Fair in Düsseldorf, which takes place at the beginning of October 2012. Also this year, LERG is planning to launch cooperation with a trading partner in Germany,

which would become the company’s direct distributor for that market, supplying LERG’s products to smaller customers in the country.

Ongoing growth Polish legislation in the area of resin manufacturing means that any investment process takes a long time. Despite this, LERG has already started working on expanding its current offer to include products never before manufactured by the company. If all goes according to plan, innovative offerings for a new group of customers will be available from 2014 onwards. “In addition to organic growth, we are also seriously considering acquisitions in order to further expand our business, par-

ticularly as competition is currently somewhat weaker,” admits Ms Kozubek-Bespalenko. “Nevertheless, we approach any major growth decisions with the safety of our customers being our number one priority. Recent times have been rather unfavourable for producers of resins and while sales volumes have been high, financial results were not so good. The crisis is evident and so investing in different directions might be risky. What is certain, however, is that LERG will continue investing in new production lines in its factory and expand its distribution channel in Germany. We are recognised as a highly reliable and financially stable company and so the clear message which we want to send to our customers is that we are a stable n partner in these difficult times.”

BRANDED AND PRIVATE LABEL MAKE-UP For over a dozen years Bell PPHU has been the undeniable leader among Polish make-up producers. Manufacturing under its own brand, as well as providing a private label offering for customers in Europe and beyond, the company delivers products of the highest global quality standards. Piotr Sadowski reports.


fter successfully gaining a strong market position in Poland, for a number of years now Bell has been dynamically developing its sales across European and global markets, both in terms of selling its own branded products and delivering private label services. “Our operations are driven by constant growth and expansion of our manufacturing and packaging capacities,” explains Krzysztof Pałyska, owner of Bell. “We recently opened a second plant at our headquarters, to which we moved the

entire packaging operations. This has meant that we are now able to produce more of both make-up and packaging. In fact, in 2011 our production for private label customers increased by 200 per cent. It is also worth noting that our third branch, located in the Polish lake district of Mazury, in Galiny, is not only involved in manufacturing store display furniture for use with our products, but also acts as an excellent conference centre. Thus, across the three companies in the Bell group we employ 350 people, of

which 200 are involved directly in manufacturing make-up. We produce two million different make-up items every month.”

Ongoing growth Bell is currently implementing three major EU-funded projects, which are supporting the company’s strategy for development. One of them focuses on training staff at all levels of the company; the second is a strictly technological investment, while the third contributes to further developing the business and

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Collcap Packaging, supplying premium colour cosmetics, fragrance and skincare packaging throughout Europe. An outstanding reputation for providing bespoke and standard primary packaging for the mass to prestige markets. Collcap offers: ◦ In-house technical development ◦ Project management, from concept to market ◦ An established sourcing network to provide local and specialised expertise ◦ Regular face-to-face contact with all customers ◦ An unparalleled product range Quality-assured, cost-effective packaging solutions alongside a dedicated, personal service.

LCW Polska Sp. z o.o. | 61-749 POZNAŃ | ul. Św. Wojciech 10/1 Tel: +48 061 855-09-10 | Fax: +48 061 851-36-22 | E-mail:

its capacity. The second and third projects themselves are very large and are estimated at a value of PLN 8 million. “These are very vital initiatives which are aimed at facilitating the growth of our company, our brand, and expanding our activities both in Poland and across export markets,” confirms Mr Pałyska. “Now in 2012 we are focusing very much on further modernising the company, as well as introducing new types of make-up and improved packaging. We are very committed to the highest quality production and that is why we attach so much importance to using modern technologies and the best available components for make-up.” In addition to manufacturing, Bell also runs its own technological laboratory, where specialists constantly work on ensuring that the make-up does not only looks good, but also has a beneficial effect on the lips, eyes and faces of its users.

Excellent products for global markets Bell closely tracks the emerging trends from around the world in order to create fashionable collections. For many years now the company’s strongest products, offered under its own brand, have been lipsticks (for example “Classic Lipstick Bell” ) and lip glosses (such as “Glam Star” line of lip 72 Industry Europe

Tel: +44 (0)1538 388344 E-mail:

enlarging lipgloss). Other products include eye shadows (including the ‘DIAMOND EYES’ mousse eye shadows or the “Fashion & Mat” line of talc-free deep colour, eye shadows) or mascaras which enlarge the volume of eyelashes (the ‘PUSH UP’ line). “Looking at our private label offering, on the other hand, the strength of a particular product line very much depends on the orders coming through from our clients,” explains the company’s owner. “Both areas of our activities are nevertheless very popular with clients and consumers, and we are indeed very glad that this is the case not only in Poland, but also abroad.” When analysing Bell’s export activities, it is interesting to note that they are steadily growing year-on-year and the company is continuously adding new geographical markets to its scope of operations. Its private label offerings are estimated to generate up to €7 million in sales abroad, of which €5 million is made up of activities in Bell’s largest export market, namely Germany. It is followed by the Netherlands, France, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, as well as Russia, the USA and Mexico. “Our own-branded products in turn are currently present in over 30 different countries, offered through distribution partners who supply them to retail chains,” says Mr

Pałyska. “Russia is very important, generating around €4 million of income, but so is France, Spain, as well as brand new destinations, including UAE, Kuwait, Syria and Pakistan. Such positive developments prove that our products – whether offered under private label or our own brand – meet the needs of consumers across the world.”

Plans for the future The company is forecasting that its growth will continue to be generated through organic development and sticking with its core business of make-up manufacturing. In addition to increasing exports, Bell is also enjoying a growing presence in cosmetic retail networks in Poland – in fact, apart from the Rossmann chain, its products are offered in almost every other retail chain specialising in cosmetics. “Among many new additions to our product offer, in 2013 Bell will also be introducing a range of brand new packaging for our products, created using the latest technologies, thus ensuring much better storage conditions of the make-up product itself within the packaging,” concludes Mr Pałyska. “Output capacity will be increased, quality will continue to be strengthened, new technologies will be introduced into the company – in fact I predict we will continue n to grow successfully on all fronts.”

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Unilever is a global market leader in food, hygiene and personal care products as well as in most other FMCG sectors. Philip Yorke looks at the company’s exemplary commitment to sustainability and its dedication to helping to improve the quality of life for those in the world’s poorer nations.


nilever is one of the world’s longest established, premier blue-chip companies with more than 400 brands focused on health and well being. To put things in perspective, every day over two billion people use Unilever products to help them look good, feel good and get the most out of life. The company was founded in the early 1890s and today its product portfolio ranges from nutritionally balanced foods to ice creams, soaps, organic shampoos and everyday household care products. Among its many world-leading brands are Dove, Blue Band, Walls, Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lipton and local brands such as Pureit and Suave. In 2010 Unilever launched its own ‘Sustainable Living Plan’, which set out a range of targets designed to help the company deliver its key objective of growing its business whilst minimising its impact on the environment. The plan commits the com-

pany to a ten-year journey towards sustainable growth. What makes this plan different from others is that it applies right across the value chain. This means that it not only takes responsibility for its own direct operations but also for those of its suppliers. Thus in order to embed and instil sustainability into every stage of the lifecycle of its products, Unilever is working closely with its suppliers to support responsible approaches to agriculture as well as to all its other aspects of production and manufacturing. Furthermore, Unilever believes that innovation is the key to achieving its goals, and through cutting-edge science it is constantly enhancing its brands’ appeal by improving their nutritional properties, their taste, fragrance and functionality. Currently Unilever invests more than €1 billion every year in research and development and has established laboratories around the world,

where its scientists explore new thinking and production techniques and then apply this new expertise to Unilever products. To underscore Unilever’s success and leadership in this area, the company recently came top once again in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index which evaluates how companies perform against a wide range of sustainability-led criteria. This year Unilever led the Food Producers sector with an overall score of 81 per cent, substantially ahead of the average sector score of just 45 per cent.

Constantly improving the value chain Unilever is one of the world’s true global giants, with over 200,000 employees and facilities in more than 80 countries. In the UK alone it has annual sales of over €2.5 billion. The volume of sales in this one European marketplace alone is remarkable. For example, over 35 million cups

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of PG Tips Tea are consumed every day along with over one million tubs of Flora. In addition, one billion Wall’s ice creams are consumed every year in the UK, and four Pot Noodles are sold every second of the day. Unilever’s personal care products enjoy similar levels of popularity, as do all their well known household care products. This outstanding success is not only due to the high quality of its products and R&D, but also to the close collaboration that it shares with its suppliers in order to optimise efficiency and savings throughout the entire

value chain. Innovation and sustainability remain at the heart of its strategy to constantly improve the value and quality of its diverse range of FMCG products worldwide. In further support of its goals, Unilever has created policies and guidelines to ensure that it always acts responsibly when it comes to health and nutrition. The ingredients that Unilever uses, the formulations and the way that it markets its brands, can potentially make a big impact on global health. Some of the measures taken by Unilever include the development of a range of low fat, low sugar,

low calorie alternatives as well as more ‘active health’ products such as Pro-activ. In addition it encourages a balanced diet with the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals as well as helping people to understand the nutritional benefits of its products.

Launch of the Unilever Foundation At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Unilever announced the launch of the Unilever Foundation, which is dedicated to improving quality of life through the provi-

sion of hygiene, sanitation, access to clean drinking water and basic nutrition, as well as enhancing self-esteem. In order to help achieve the foundation’s mission, Unilever has formed strategic partnerships with five leading global organisations that are committed to creating sustainable change worldwide. These include; Oxfam, PSI, Save the Children, UNICEF and the World Food Programme. The key objective of the Foundation is to help more than one billion people improve their health and well-being, and in turn create a sustainable future for all. Keith Weed, chief marketing and & communications officer at Unilever said, “We live in a rapidly changing world. One where populations

are growing, water is becoming increasingly scarce, and where food security is a growing issue. Unilever is committed to addressing the un-met social needs that our business can play a unique role in helping to solve. This is especially true in developing and emerging markets where we have deep roots” Unilever also says that the challenges of the 21st century are becoming increasingly complex. For example, over one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and more than 3.5 million children under the age of 5 die annually from infections due to poor hygiene and lack of water. In addition, over 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation and an esti-

mated one billion people suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition. Mr Weed added, “Two billion times a day, someone somewhere uses a Unilever brand. Our global reach and scale, coupled with a deep understanding of what triggers consumer behaviours that can lead to a sustainable future, uniquely enable us to drive long-term scalable and systematic change.” As a footnote to these activities, the Unilever Foundation is also working with other organisations worldwide by providing a combination of direct funding, expertise, products and employee support that help to address country-specific needs that are primarily aligned with the Foundation’s mission. n

‘PROTECTION FOR MAN AND MACHINE’ The K.A. Schmersal Group is a world leader in industrial safety. The PR & communication manager, Steffen Hönlinger, told Julia Snow about investments, innovations and growth strategies.

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he Schmersal Group develops and produces the largest range of safety switching appliances and systems worldwide – totaling about 25,000 different switchgear and control devices. The family enterprise, which is now led by the second and third generation, actively contributes to the enhancement of industrial safety, by minimising risks and dangers wherever contact is established between man and machine – in industrial plants, in elevators and on mobile machinery. With about 1250 global employees the company achieves a turnover of ca. €180 million.

Dynamic growth The company’s roots go back to 1945, when brothers Kurt Andreas and Ernst Schmersal started to build components used in the production of lifts in Wuppertal, and shortly afterwards added mechanically operated electrical control devices to their production. A number of international subsidiaries and the takeover of Elan Schaltelemente GmbH & Co. KG in 1997 marked the dynamic growth of the group, and in 1999 a manufacturing

location in Shanghai, China, began to produce control devices for East Asian markets. In 2008, the Group took over Safety Control GmbH and its subsidiary Safety Protec GmbH located in Mühldorf/Inn, thus extending its safety-related optoelectronics product spectrum with high-quality and practical series. Both companies, which make up the Centre of Competence for Optoelectronics of the Schmersal Group, are now operational under the name of Schmersal Safety Control GmbH.

Innovative product range The product portfolio of the Schmersal Group ranges from micro-switches and sensor technology based solutions to safety-related electronic components and heavy-duty switching devices: There is the field of safety switchgear and safety control systems, then the area of industrial switchgear (electro-mechanical and non-contact), and finally the switchgear and positioning systems specifically for the lift industry. “Our range of roughly 25,000 products is constantly increasing,” says Mr Hönlinger. “At the moment, there are several impor-

tant developments and product launches – for instance we have a new program of compact safety control systems which can be adapted to individual needs just by “drag and drop”, without the need of programming (PROTECT SELECT). “We are also introducing a new line of safety interlocks which will offer significant advantages for the machine manufacturers as well as the operators of the machine; details will be revealed at the SPS/ IPC/ DRIVES show in November 2012. In addition we have new product lines of safety switchgear with integrated ASi safety interfaces.”

Investing in production sites “Schmersal is continually investing,” says Mr Hönlinger. The headquarters in Wuppertal is currently seeing the construction of a brand new logistics centre which will centralise the logistics for all European markets in early 2013. The site in Wettenberg today acts as a competence centre for control and monitoring swtichgear, saferty relay modules, programmable electronic systems, wireless safety technologies and explosion-proof

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switchgear, while Mühldorf is the location of the optoelectronic safety systems. Schmersal has around 250 employees in the Boituva plant in Brazil, which was established in 1972, and which is currently receiving new buildings for administration and offices. As for the fast-growing site in Shanghai, China – established in 1999 – Schmersal is erecting a completely new plant to replace old facilities and expand the capacity significantly. In April 2012 building works started on a sixth production site, this time in Ranjangaon, near Poona in India, featuring 4000m2 production and storage space on 20,000m2 of land, where safety switchgear and elevator switchgear will be manufactured for the Indian market.

Specialists in safety solutions “Although we are in a position to serve all industrial markets, we have implemented a targeted strategy,” explains Mr Hönlinger. “We defined several industries for which we have developed specific products, systems and services, and made these the focus areas for growth. They are packaging, food production, and the lift industry.” Schmersal is also deeply involved in the European legislation process for machine safety (machine directives and EN norms). “Machine safety is a rather complicated field,” Mr Hönlinger explains. “Machine build82 Industry Europe

ers need more than just products, they need comprehensive support and advice, and this is exactly what we can offer.”

Expanding the service offer on a global scale “With subsidiaries in around 20 countries and representations in 30 more countries our reach is already global,” says Mr Hönlinger. “We are therefore strategically expanding our already comprehensive range of products and systems step by step, by creating an application centre for customerspecific software development.” Further growth will be achieved by “pushing our in-depth systems approach further, through new products that are currently

under development, and by intensifying the relationships and product range for the target industries mentioned.” Schmersal is set for further organic growth, based on a solid financial position, but keeps an open mind about interesting acquisitions. The company will maintain its position as a “one-stop-shop” supplier for machine safety with an extremely wide offering of products, technologies and services: “Our Strategy 2015” is based on a healthy annual growth. As the importance of machine safety is increasing world wide, our market is growing. With the current investments in China, India and Germany, we are well prepared to fulfill the increasing demand n for best-in-industry safety solutions.”

EVERYTHING THE INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS COMPANY NEEDS Electronic solution provider ENICS Malmö uses its 40-year knowledge of global industrial electronics to deliver a full life cycle service solution to its customers worldwide. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the general manager, Rose-Marie Reimer to see how this is being achieved.

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eadquartered in Zurich and active worldwide, ENICS Group is a leader in global electronics manufacturing services, or EMS, also known as contract manufacturing. With more than 40 years’ experience, ENICS is proud of its unique focus on industrial electronics with full life cycle service solutions at its core. The general manager, Rose-Marie Reimer told Industry Europe how the company’s dedication to clients in the global industrial electronics and medical business sectors is at the heart of its continued success. She said, “We are a reliable partner for professional electronics companies in a variety of fields, such as energy and industrial information. As part of a large worldwide business group we can offer our clients a complete service solution that meets all their most exacting needs. Essentially, we help industrial companies improve the value chain, decreasing the time-

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to-money cost of ownership. Together with the other plants in the group we can support our customers with best solutions based on our specific EMS expertise throughout the product life cycle, where Malmö stands for low volume and high mix.” At Group level, ENICS generates around €400 million turnover each year, with around €40 million of that achieved by the 200plus employees based at ENICS Malmö. The Group has eight plants worldwide, with its most recent in Suzhou just outside Shanghai and a further plant in Beijing. The remaining six plants are all in Europe, with two in Sweden and one each in Finland, Switzerland, Estonia and Slovakia.

Continued expansion Ms Reimer continued, “We are planning to expand our existing business further in Europe in the coming years, in addition

to continued global expansion. We have a ‘follow the customer’ strategy, which is what has seen us expand in China. We have many customers in the region and they are pleased that we are present there too. This strategy is what will prompt our expansion into new markets too, with India and South America our most likely next locations.” With the majority of ENICS’s customers active in the field of industrial electronics, it operates in segments including energy, productivity, safety and security, power, elevator, and building automation. The common denominator in all these areas is the necessity for electronics, which is where ENICS’s extensive know-how can really add value. The company works closely alongside its customers, ensuring that it understands their precise business in order to provide the best technical solution. ENICS does not manufacture any of its own products,

NCAB Group NCAB Group is a leading European Integrated PCB Producer. Our ongoing goal is to help our customers achieve the best possible time to market and competitive advantage by producing PCBs at the lowest total cost. We serve customers internationally in 40 countries through 12 local sales companies. This local presence enables us to provide support and technical expertise in the very early stages of the product lifecycle. Through our Factory Management organisation in Shenzhen, China, we closely integrate with our factories in Asia. Supervisors and engineers on site in China enable us to fully oversee production, quality and delivery accuracy.

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but rather is dedicated to manufacturing whatever its customers want it to produce. Ms Reimer said, “With no standard products owned by us we can produce according to order and be totally focused on our customers’ needs. We don’t keep any stock and we manufacture a very broad range of specialist technology with wide applications.” ENICS is a broad EMS supplier with the core in the manufacture of printed circuit boards, or PCBs. PCBs are used in many different types of machinery and equipment and are the internal ‘green card’. Produced at ENICS in sizes from 1cm2 up to 120cm2, applications include cameras for the smaller PCBs and big industrial equipment like power units for the larger sizes. The long-established competence in PCBs at ENICS has enabled the company to gain an excellent reputation for reliable production that is the result of ongoing discussion with the customer.

Prepared for growth Its ability to deliver technically advanced PCBs and other professional electronics as well as System Assembly is where Ms Reimer appreciates the company’s future also lies. She continued, “Industrial electronics is a growing industry worldwide and we have more than 40 years’ experience in this field already, so we are perfectly positioned to deliver our total solutions to new and existing customers wherever they are in the world. If we do not already have a competence centre near to where the customer is located, we will always consider establishing one to suit their requirements. We like to make sure that working with ENICS is as easy as possible.” As the company continues to grow, its team of dedicated account managers for local and global businesses are perfectly prepared to bring its unique EMS capabilities to enhance their value chain. With plans for both organic growth and strategic acqui-

sition on the horizon, ENICS’ financial goal as a group is to reach €1 billion by 2015. Ms Reimer concluded, “We will need both organic growth and acquisitions to reach this target, but as the world has an increasing need for engineering competence, our ability to work with our customers on prototypes, on integrating EMS to offer a total service solution worldwide means we will be able to benefit from the boom in India, China and South America, as well as continuing our n strong position across Europe.”

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TRANSPORTATION Faymonville is a world leader in the development and manufacture of customised trailers designed to transport exceptional loads. Philip Yorke talked to Arnold Luxen, the company’s sales director about its latest modular trailer systems and growing global reach.


aymonville was founded in the early 1960s in Rocherath, Belgium, by Berthold Faymonville. It was here that he established a plant to manufacture and sell forestry vehicles, and by the end of the decade, had developed the company’s first semi-trailer. The success story continued with the development of Faymonville’s first low-bed semi-trailer designed specifically for the transportation of glass. Subsequently, Faymonville became a leading specialist in the production of customised trailers for the transportation of exceptional loads and has since grown to become a world leader in this highly specialised business sector. Today the Faymonville Group remains a private company and operates four distinct business units employing more than 500 people in total. In 2011 the company recorded sales of over €120 million. Faymonville produces special, purpose-built trailers with payloads ranging from 20 to 2000 tonnes in Bullange, Belgium. Furthermore, the company has a major facility at Lentzweiler in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. In 2005, Faymonville also invested in a new manufacturing plant in Goleniow, Poland. When it comes to the after-sales service for Faymonville trailers, customers are

supported by a comprehensive network of agents and service centres throughout Europe, Scandinavia and, more recently, the Middle East and South America.

Latest ‘Modulmax’ concept driving sales Faymonville’s unique ‘Modulmax’ concept enables the user-company to assemble modules of 2,3,4,5, or 6 axle lines and has been developed in recent years to operate in conjunction with the modular products of other trailer manufacturers. The ‘G-module’ and S-Modules offer almost unlimited combinations of modules comprising between 2–6 axles, and designed to carry payloads ranging from 80 to over 1000 tonnes. The Modules are also available as the ‘Split type’ concept. This means, in addition to the two-file combination, the customer can split the modules and operate in three files. “When combination length becomes a problem, we go wider!” The modules can also be operated side by side in four files, meaning they are coupled together. In this way, it can increase a customer’s options further as the system enables the transportation of very heavy and compact loads without having to use any kind of load spreading structures. This three-file

combination can represent an optimal solution for the movement of heavy and bulky transformers. Mr Luxen said, “Our latest modular systems such as our Modulmax G-Module and S-Module offer 100 per cent compatibility with more than 80 per cent of existing trailers on the market and this development is unique to Faymonville. Our customers come to us with their ideas and with their special heavy or large structures to be transported and we develop the optimal solution together with them. We are also extending our global footprint geographically with orders now coming in from North Latin and South America, where more than 100 special trailers are developed for the transportation of large wind farm components. We are also seeing interest from other parts of the world in our customised trailers including the Middle East and North and South Africa, mostly for the transportation power station and refinery components.” Mr Luxen added, “In developing our presence in eastern Europe, the strategy behind our move to Poland was a simple one, it was becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified welders here in the Benelux. At our location in Golenoiw, Poland, we are

Goodyear GOODYEAR is again the main tire brand to be mounted on FAYMONVILLE trailers this year. Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 53 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. Goodyear Dunlop Europe’s range of tires for commercial vehicles, buses and coaches includes more than 400 different tires covering in excess of 55 sizes. For more information on Goodyear and its products, visit

close to a Welding Academy and close to the major shipyards there, so finding highly qualified welder is possible. At the moment, in Poland we are only welding the chassis of semitrailers. Those are transported to Luxembourg and finished there. In Luxembourg we also carry out steel construction and final assembly. Our modules are built in our main plant here in Bullange, Belgium, where we have a complete range of manufacturing facilities as well as a fully equipped tooling centre. In Belgium we now have more than 50,000m2 of production facilities with another 25,000 in Luxembourg and

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another 10,000m2 at our plant in Poland. This is being further augmented by another 10,000m2 of capacity at this moment. There our new brand MAX TRAILER will be completely built. “Our main customers are those involved in the haulage of oversized, heavy and bulky loads required by the big building and mining companies that need to move excavators and heavy earth-moving equipment. This is in addition to companies such as those involved in the transportation of major structures for off-shore drilling rigs etc. In the renewable energy wind farm

sector for example, we have developed customised, modular trailers for the transportation of very long and heavy loads. So as you can see, most of our growth is coming from the demand for more product-specific modular systems.”

Increasing demand for ‘Powermax’ self-propelled trailers In 2010 Faymonville worked in close partnership with two of the world’s top specialists to develop a revolutionary, self-propelled axle system that could be used on-road.

The partners were SAF, a company well known as a leading supplier of axles, and Poclain, a global leader in the production of heavy-duty hydraulic motors. The three partners pooled their expertise to develop an optimised system that was reliable and easy to operate. The unrivalled international service networks of Faymonville, SAF and Poclain were also combined to provide global technical support and the re-supply of spare parts. After its successful debut at the Bauma trade fair just over two years ago, Faymon-

ville’s latest ‘Powermax’ self-propelled trailer system has captured the imagination of many global companies, including that of Courcelle of France, which used Faymonville’s S-Modules and the Powermax trailer system to transport a 130 tonne transformer from the port of Sete to Narbonne for EDF, a major European energy provider. The three-axle self-propelled Powermax trailer was used in combination with a four-axle S-Module in order to transport the heavy transformer to its destination at the EDF n electrical sub-station.

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DRIVING GROWTH Third-generation family company Lahden Autokori Oy is one of the major bus body manufacturing companies in Finland. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the sales director, Peter Sandin, to learn more about its strong partnerships, growing European presence and excellent after-sales provision.

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ounded in Lahti, Finland in 1945, Lahden Autokori Oy is today managed by the third generation of the Saario family, who acquired the business from the founding share holders soon after its establishment. The sales director, Peter Sandin, explained how this setup was popular in Finland at the time, and how it has continued to be good for the business. He said, “After the Second World War it was common in Finland, and indeed across Europe, for small industries with strong capabilities in different materials to flourish as there was a great deal of rebuilding to be done. Lahden was set up to rebuild trucks, trailers and other damaged vehicles by four handicraft workers, and in 1947 they rebuilt their first coach. Now, with more than 60 years’ experience in building coaches and buses under our belt, we have experience in our industry that is second to none.”

Building better bodies Lahden Autokori has remained a relatively small business, with its vehicle building capability in the 1960s standing at 60–80 units each year and around 250–300 today. It employs a dedicated workforce of highly skilled coach builders, engineers and sales people to ensure that the family philosophy is continued throughout its day-to-day activities, with many of its staff working for Lahden throughout their entire career. The company’s product range is centred on its expertise in vehicle body construction through modern production engineering. Mr Sandin explained how its portfolio has developed over the years. He said, “Our deep knowledge of buses and coaches has enabled us to make great products for many years. We have a strong cooperation with the leading Scania brand, whereby we provide the

bodywork and body developing for the Scania Commercial Vehicle business. We work with them to produce three Scania-branded vehicles – the OmniExpress 3.20, 3.40 and 3.60. Together we are a very strong partnership as we have complete knowledge of the passenger experience and Scania excels in axle and gearbox technology. Scania is our main partner and an important ingredient in our continued success.” In addition to these three vehicles, Lahden is also working in partnership with Scania in producing for its Scala brand, which offers city buses. These urban transportation vehicles are primarily sold in Finland and Sweden, with some active in Denmark. The partnership also produces the OmniExpress brand of coaches, which are available across Europe and the Asian part of Russia.

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BUS, TRAIN AND METRO DOORS Oy Tamware Ab Head Office: Yrittäjänkulma 5, FI-33710 Tampere FINLAND | Tel. +358 3 2831 111 | Fax +358 3 2831 500 Factory: Industrivägen 6, FI-66100 Malax FINLAND | Tel: +358 6 2802 800 | Fax +358 6 3651 703 Email: |

TAMWARE - THE FORERUNNER IN ELECTRIC DOORS Acknowledged partner to train and bus companies worldwide, Oy Tamware Ab is heading for sustained growth and continuity in a developing market. “There is a strong trend towards electrical doors in the bus market and we have wellproven technology and flexibility to meet this demand with well-proven solutions” says Tamware’s Sales & Marketing Manager, Jarno Halme. “What is more, we have invested in research and development massively during last five years – and results can be seen now: new generation electric doors have been launched and interest from the markets is great.” Production in state-of-the-art facilities ensures maximum efficiency, and continuous testing guarantees proper functioning and durability of Tamware door systems over the entire lifespan of a vehicle. The company’s products have to pass a continuous testing cycle of over 1, 5 million times of opening and closing without faulting and are exposed to harsh weather conditions of -40°C and +70°C to prove their operational reliability in any country. Own weather room at Tamware Knowledge Center allows temperature tests from -50°C to + 80°C! There is no bus running beyond these temperatures! All door types are available as electric doors; inswing, outswing and sliding plug doors. All of them have been developed in Tamware’s own test facilities. Not forgetting long time field tests in co-operation with local operators. New generation electric doors have been developed keeping the green values on top. Most components are made from recyclable materials. Constructions are light and what is best; energy consumption is extremely minimal compared to current solutions with pneumatic door systems. This is value which no one on markets can ignore. What next from Tamware Mr. Halme? “We have put efforts for replacing the glass with lighter material. Replacing large door windows with plastic might be closer than someone might expect”.

Mr Sandin continued, “OmniExpress coaches are bought in volume by multinational operators, as well as smaller operators that may only require one or two vehicles. Used in a variety of industries across Europe, this diverse portfolio of vehicles has enabled us to stay strong throughout the global economic crisis as we have a broad range of clients across industry sectors. As we’re not reliant on any one sector we have been able to maintain a positive performance.” Lahden Autokori has two main locations in Finland, with factories in Villähde as well as its latest state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Jokimaa, outside Lahti, which was completed in 2007.

Optimising opportunities In order to maintain and enhance its partnership with Scania, Lahden is committed to continued investment in its facilities and the ongoing training of its workforce. The company has access to Scania’s sophisticated after-sales network and its various dealerships, as well as its own Bustop branded body repair and maintenance facilities in Helsinki and Villähde. Mr Sandin added, “We are certainly keen to exploit the opportunities available by taking advantage of the wide European coverage that Scania has as this is good for both parties, but we are also well aware that we have an important part to play. As a huge part

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of our success is repeat business, we know that the salesmen – in this case the Scania salesmen usually – sell the first and second vehicles, and it is the workshop that keeps the subsequent sales coming. So our sales offices and our repair workshops are integral to our ongoing business.” Even though loyalty, longevity and reliability are all buzzwords at Lahden, it is also strongly focused on growth. The company predicts a steady rise in its annual production as demand continues to increase across its product range. Its Scania-branded products currently represent around 65 per cent of its annual sales, with the rest attributed to Scala vehicles, but Mr Sandin expects this figure to rise. He said, “The Scania partnership is being strategically developed. We will continue to

invest in our facilities and in our capabilities to guarantee that the OmniExpress 3.20, 3.40 and 3.60 are commercially attractive. We already have a wide variety of different options available for the end client to ensure that their vehicle is exactly as they want it, with regional and sector variations.” Such variations include general options such as right-hand drive vehicles for sale in the UK, which represents an important growing market for Lahden, and technically advanced variations such as individual flat screens embedded into the seat in front. The company is also seeing a strong demand for vehicles produced with the specific demands of disabled passengers in mind, and this represents an exciting n growing market.

FIT FOR HEAVY DUTY Leading Finnish forestry equipment manufacturer Ponsse Oyj has introduced a range of powerful eightwheel harvesters to join its respected product portfolio. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the sales director, Juho Nummela, to find out more.

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ounded in 1970 by forest machine entrepreneur Einari Vidgrén, forestry equipment supplier and manufacturer Ponsse Oyj is still located in the same Finnish city, Vierema, where members of the Vidgrén family continue to be part of the company. Over the last 42 years, Ponsse Oyj has grown considerably. It is now a global corporation with subsidiaries in France, the UK, Hong Kong, China, Brazil, Russia and Uruguay, and in 2011 it generated net sales of €328.2 million with a workforce of 970. Active in the production, sales and maintenance of high quality forestry products, Ponsse Oyj’s machines are known for their durability, earning the company its strapline of ‘A logger’s best friend’.

New products keep strong Industry Europe last spoke to Mr Nummela two years ago, when much of Europe was firmly in the grip of the economic crisis. Since then, the company has continued to build on its reputation and has been working hard to add new products to its roster. Mr Nummela said, “Since our last interview we have been particularly active in the field of new product development. 2011 and 2012

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have been increasingly good years for us, with all our products and markets working well. In actual fact, 2011 was a year of high volumes for us, with 2012 not far behind with a few months to go. Even though the situation in much of Europe is still tough, we have been able to remain strong. Our Q2 figures have just been released and they show that we are performing well.” The new product development at Ponsse Oyj was initially instigated at the end of 2009, with two new models now released. The new Ergo and the Fox are both eight-wheel harvesters, with their capabilities developed specifically to handle the conditions in northern Europe, where many of Ponsse’s customers conduct their forestry activities. Mr Nummela explained, “Following cooperation with our customers, we have looked closely at what additional products would complement our existing offer, and I’m pleased to say that our two most recent additions – the eight-wheel Ergo and Fox models – are already gaining excellent feedback. Both models perform exceptionally well in the type of soft ground generally found in northern Europe, and indeed other territories, with great climbing ability on steep hills. The Ergo and the Fox are also

better for the environment in terms of power consumption, yet still with the characteristic toughness of a Ponsse machine.” With core clients in Sweden, Finland, Germany and Russia buying from Ponsse Oyj, the company’s ongoing focus on developing forestry machines that are ideally suited to these terrains is certainly an important aspect of its continued success and marketleading position

Investment in equipment Ponsse Oyj has also invested considerable sums in its Finnish factory – the corporation’s main production facility. Mr Nummela continued, “We’ve invested in the advanced automation and the machining capabilities of our flagship Vierema facility. We have a state-of-the-art factory that is unrivalled in the forestry machines industry, and we have the highly skilled workforce that is more than capable of using the equipment to its best advantage. We have also extended our factory, with a further 1,200m2 assembly space now available.” Further investment is also set to be made in Ponsse Oyj’s service network. The company appreciates that in order to maintain its market-leading position its

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infrastructure needs to be as advanced and customer-focused as its product range. Mr Nummela said, “This essentially represents a complementary shift in our investment strategy as we are spending large sums on product development and infrastructure development concurrently. We are building additional service centres for spare parts and maintenance of our machines, where customers can either get the parts needed for repairs to be made on site, or machines can be brought in, if appropriate for their location. As we aim to have service centres in strategic locations close to our core customers, this is a very effective and reliable service. Don’t forget that our machines are huge! So we have to make it as easy as possible for our customers to get the service they

need so they can continue to operate their business. After all, it is our job to ensure Ponsse machines enable them to operate their businesses as efficiently as possible.” New products soon to be launched will include a range of stable cranes and additional eight-wheel machines that offer excellent ergonomics for the driver. Ponsse Oyj understands that the comfort of the driver is paramount as they are often in the middle of a forest, sitting in the vehicle for up to eight hours. Mr Nummela concluded, “We look at the forestry machine 360 degrees. Comfort for the driver, efficiency in the forest, ease of maintenance for the business...we work with our customers every step of the way. As we continue to grow in Europe and beyond we will continue to bring this dedication to our n customers worldwide.”

Exide Technologies Exide Technologies is a global leader in stored electrical energy solutions. With operations in more than 80 countries, Exide is one of the world’s largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. The company provides a comprehensive range of stored electrical energy products to meet customers’ needs for industrial and transportation applications.

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MOVING ON Crepa BV is one of the larger providers in the Benelux market of forklift trucks, warehouse trucks and warehouse equipment. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at recent developments at the company.

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Crepa BV the plan is to build its business slowly and to make the most of its vast knowledge and know-how in forklift trucks, warehouse trucks and warehouse equipment. Tom Broeder, sales manager, says that the company, which is the central organisation for Cat® forklifts in the Benelux, and will soon be introducing Robonizer®, has ridden the economic crisis by taking a number of careful steps and through its reputation for customer service. “We survived the first crisis and the past year has actually been our best ever

in operational terms,” he says. “I think we made some good choices when it came to considering costs. “This was not only in our sourcing processes but also in aftersales care of fleet vehicles. We have restructured our aftersales department, which has allowed us to regulate our speed and processes.”

A strong business Crepa was founded in 1954 and is today one of the larger providers in the Benelux market of forklift trucks, warehouse trucks and warehouse equipment. With five bases across the

area – one of which has recently relocated – its aim is to provide a high quality service and excellent geographical coverage in the region. It offers total solutions in its field. Its costeffective and solution-oriented thinking has led to reliable results and an established reputation, says Mr Broeder. Crepa Control™ has evolved over the years into a service that manages material handling machines. Crepa is also a distributor of Cat® forklifts in the Benelux, offering a full product range in the field of trucks and warehouse trucks, where strength, durability, longevity, ease of operation and optimum

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ergonomics are key factors. Besides trucks and warehouse trucks Crepa also provides all kinds of racking for warehouses.

Automatic guided vehicles From July 1, the company will also be launching a new partnership, he continues. “We will be working with Robonizer®, one of the first VNA trucks (very narrow aisle), which optimized a dual drive+function. These are AGV (automatic guided vehicle) driven,” he explains. “These kinds of AGV trucks are important for many companies as they increase the numbers of pallet locations you can get and the space you can use. They no longer need wide aisles.” 106 Industry Europe

Crepa has provided and maintained AGV systems since the 1980s. Due to the enormous development these systems have gone through, there are now more applications than ever for these pieces of equipment. Through state-of-the-art navigation systems, there is much greater accessibility for vehicles. They can reach up to heights of more than 10m and still maintain excellent performance.

More operational hours Crepa’s AGVs are as standard as possible, making them easy to maintain and flexible to changes in layout. They are navigated by means of laser reflectors in transponders or in the concrete floor. The control system knows exactly where the vehicle is located and will meticulously execute the commands. The AGVs can have the option to return to a charging point and their computers start the charging process automatically.

Automatic change of batteries is also a possibility, making the machine effectively operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Differentiating the business “One of the things we have been focusing on particularly in recent times is products with special purposes,” says Mr Broeder. “One of these, for example, was an electric train, which can carry up to 140 tonnes of concrete. At the moment we are dealing with increasing demand from the concrete market.” He goes on: “We are aware that we do need to become more of a specialist. Specialising differentiates you from your competitors. You are able to sell added value to your customers because you can give them exactly the right support and advice.”

to focus on AGVs, making sure that they are ever more precise, efficient and functional. “Customers need efficiency in materials handling and we have to continue to work with them to see it keeps improving,” he says. “For some companies everything has to turn on the moment of sale but for us it is much more than that. “We believe it is about building something together and much longer lasting with n the customer.”

Added value As the company moves into the future, it does plan to specialise more. It will also continue

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CONTINUOUSLY OPTIMISING ITS CUSTOMER’S PROCESSES Alfa Laval is a global leader in separation, heat transfer and fluid handling technologies. Philip Yorke talked to Richard Kelly, the company’s UK managing director, about its new comprehensive operations centre in Aberdeen and two recent strategic acquisitions, strengthening Alfa Laval’s position in the Environment and Marine markets.


lfa Laval is a Swedish engineering company that has remained a pioneer in its field since it produced and patented its first product, the ‘de Laval Cream Separator’ back in 1877. This laid the foundations for the company to become the global player it is today. These days, Alfa Laval applies innovative thinking and engineering know-how to all types of process-led activities relating to their core technologies of separation, heat 108 Industry Europe

transfer and fluid handling. These provide the wherewithal to heat, cool, separate, pump and control the flow of liquids and semiliquids throughout the process cycle. Alfa Laval’s worldwide organisation continues to provide high quality products and services to its customers in more than 100 countries worldwide in order to help create better everyday conditions for people. The company operates 37 major production facilities internationally with 20 in Europe, 12 in Asia, four in the

USA and one in Latin America and employs just under 15,000 people worldwide. This is further complemented by the company’s extensive network of technical support through its locally based service engineers.

Delivering innovative new products Alfa Laval’s products are particularly topical in today’s world, where increasing focus is being placed on identifying ways to save energy and protect the environment. This

involves treating water, reducing carbon emissions and minimising water and energy consumption as well as heating, cooling, separating and transporting fluids – all areas that impact us all in various ways. Alfa Laval products are used extensively in the food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, starches, sugars and ethanol industries. In addition, they are also employed in nuclear power, shipping, engineering, mining and the refinery industries, as well as for treating waste-water and creating comfortable climates within homes and offices.

Innovation remains at the heart of Alfa Laval’s business culture and it’s for that reason that Thompson Reuters named the company as one of the world’s top 100 innovators in 2011. To that end, Alfa Laval continues to make major investments every year in R&D, all designed to strengthen and develop the company’s global market leadership position. Currently Alfa Laval holds more than 300 patents and invests more than 2.3 per cent of its sales in research and development annually, resulting in the launch of between 35 and 40 new products every year.

Richard Kelly said, “We are a true example of a global company with a local presence and knowledge. The UK and Ireland operation is a prime example of how we are dedicated to providing quality, ‘lifetime’ service and support for our customers. We have two comprehensive workshop/service centres in the UK with the most recent one being opened in Aberdeen in June this year. By increasing our service centre capability with this new, purpose-built facility, we can provide a more dedicated service to our customers in the local markets. Furthermore, it will reduce the

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transportation distances and in turn minimise the time and cost required for equipment that is currently coming to our facility in Camberley Surrey. In addition, this will improve turnaround times and provide local support for industries such as those involved in the oil and gas, distillery, brewery and marine markets that operate in the Aberdeen area.” Mr Kelly added, “We will mainly be servicing companies involved in the mud-cooling and drilling operations in and around the North Sea area. These products are required

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to consistently perform under very high pressures and who rely on our advanced heat exchanger systems to maintain operational working temperatures.” In a separate strategic move the company has made two acquisitions over the last 18 months. Aalborg Industries, a Danish company that is a leading manufacturer of marine equipment, and Ashbrook SimonHartley, an American company with UK roots specialising in water and waste water treatment solutions.

Aalborg is a very successful, global company which supplies the marine industry with all types of boilers and employs more than 2,000 people. This important addition to our group has resulted in the establishment of a new Alfa Laval division: Marine and Diesel Division. This newly acquired expertise fits in well with our growing ambitions in the marine and offshore oil and gas industries.” Ashbrook Simon-Hartley is an international organisation headquartered in Texas employing 230 people globally, 90 of whom are

in the UK. The UK operation includes two manufacturing sites and a HQ office in and around Stoke. This acquisition enhances Alfa Laval’s existing technology within the water and waste water treatment division for Environmental applications, and it will see the UK becoming one of the Alfa Laval manufacturing sites for these solutions globally.

its customers to optimise their manufacturing processes and extend life-cycle performance. This is based upon its unparalleled practical experience and industry know-how. The company is able to advise its customers on how to get the most from its installed equip-

ment. In addition, upgraded equipment from the company not only introduces the latest technology and software to its customers’ processes, but can also increase production capacity and significantly reduce energy costs n in the process.

Optimising life-cycle performance Alfa Laval has a well-earned reputation for unmatched reliability, optimal performance and sound operational economy, as well as for the ease of availability of its products and support services. Minimising equipment down time is a priority at Alfa Laval and the company’s timeliness when it comes to the fast delivery of spare parts and prompt on-site assistance from its specialised service engineers, sets it apart from its competitors. Today over 50,000 unique spare parts are readily available through the company’s strategically located distribution centres around the world. Furthermore, Alfa Laval has for many years helped

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SALICO, formerly SALMEC, of Spain, is renowned in the industry for being a reliable supplier for the engineering, manufacturing, delivery, start-up and service, throughout their entire lifetime, for slitting lines, cut-to-length lines, tension levelling lines, cleaning and packaging lines for metal strips. Piotr Sadowski reports.

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December 2011, the Gerbolés family, majority shareholder in SALMEC, took a 25 per cent stake in the Italian Group SALICO. After this transfer of shares, the ownership of SALICO SpA in Italy became divided in four equal parts belonging to the Italian families Salvioni, Colombo and Molteni, and the Spanish family Gerbolés. José María Gerbolés, formerly chief executive of SALMEC, became the CEO of SALICO, while Carlo Salvioni remains as President of the Board of Directors. “We also furthermore decided to change our Spanish company’s corporate name from SALMEC to SALICO HISPANIA,” explains Mr Gerbolés. “It was a decision based on our agreement that it is much better to market just one, strong brand, SALICO.” As a result of these important developments, the SALICO Group of companies is now composed of a number of entities. SALICO HISPANIA, S.A., in Madrid, is the mechanical engineering office, which is further strengthened by an automation company SALMEC AUTOMATION, set up three years ago. “At the beginning of June this year we launched a new engineering and production plant here, with 1000m2 of covered manufacturing space,” says Mr

Gerbolés. SALICO SpA in Molteno, Italy, acts as the headquarters and also operates a mechanical engineering office and a construction plant. Another automation plant with an office, called SISTEL, a similar set-up to the one in Madrid, is located in Cremella, Italy. A further business entity is FUMAGALLI in Barzago, also in Italy, a mechanical construction plant for small items, including spare parts, which operates on just-in-time basis and is dedicated to service activities. In addition, a UK-based mechanical engineering company focuses on cleaning lines mainly for aluminium strips. All in all, over 180 highly qualified professionals offer top technology and service to SALICO customers throughout all areas of the operations.

Strong R&D activities and exports For SALICO it is absolutely clear that in order to survive in the market and effectively compete with other players, R&D is crucial. “We have a dedicated R&D budget and a specifically allocated team which works on exploring new technologies and developing cutting-edge products,” explains Mr Gerbolés. “R&D specialists at SALICO work very closely with our customers so as to

ensure that our solutions fully meet their needs.” This strong focus on delivering the best possible products has, over the decades of its operations, allowed SALICO to gain a much respected position on the market for slitting lines, cut-to-length lines, tension levelling lines, cleaning lines, blanking lines and packaging lines. With these products the company supplies customers who deal with aluminium, carbon steel and stainless steel, and in turn ultimately supply the automotive industry (including the largest names such as PSA, VW, Renault Nissan and Mercedes), the construction sector and the aluminium sector (particularly in the area of packaging). While the company’s sales in Spain and Italy, its domestic markets, are only small, export activities are major. “We export 90 per cent of all of our products,” says the SALICO CEO. “They are distributed very widely, all across the world. We are very active in South America, particularly in Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina; in the Far East, in Indonesia and India; in Northern Africa, in Egypt; also in Europe where, amongst many other activities, we are currently involved in big aluminium plant projects in Romania and an automotive plant project in Germany. We Industry Europe 113

have three main new export targets as well: they include China, where we have been attending many trade fairs and engaging in exhibitions, Russia and the Anglo-Saxon market – the US, Canada and the UK.”

Products One of the strategic objectives of SALICO is to supply its customers with technical solutions tailored to their needs, targets and resources, to ensure an optimum yield from their investment. The highest quality equipment manufactured by SALICO ensures low breakdown rates, ease of maintenance and,

most of all, safe and ergonomic operation. Its offer of slitting, cut-to-length, tension levelling and cleaning and degreasing lines for metal strips (made from carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium and other non-ferrous materials) is aimed at rolling mills and service centres. Slitting lines are processed within a thickness range from 0.1 to 20mm, width up to 2500mm and speed up to 800m/min. Cut-to-length lines on the other hand are processed within a thickness range from 0.1 to 25mm, width up to 2500mm and speed up to 120m/min. In the tension levelling lines offer, these are processed within a thick-

ness range from 0.08 to 4mm, width up to 2500mm and speed up to 400m/min. SALICO’s cleaning and degreasing lines, in turn, are processed within a thickness range from 0.15 to 6mm, width up to 2200mm and speed up to 300m/min. “There is a wide range of cleaning technologies available and their selection depends upon the characteristics of entry strip and requirements for output product, mainly in terms of productivity, oil and metallic fines content,” explains Mr Gerbolés. “Particularly for aluminium strips, there is a clear difference between strips produced in a hot mill or by means of continuous

casting process and even among different alloys to be processed. Taking into account parameters such as entry dirt content, productivity and exit cleanliness requirements, to be defined by customers, our technicians will propose the solution that will best suit each situation.” In the sector of blanking lines, these are mainly supplied to the automotive industryoriented service centres. Typically, strip thickness ranges from 0.4 to 4mm, maximum width being 2000mm and speed up to 100m/ min. SALICO also supplies packaging lines for

complete coils, slit coils or packages of sheets either as final section within a new or existing slitting or cut-to-length line, or as independent stand-alone facilities.

Ensuring further growth Most of the company’s future development will be coming from organic growth and a strategic expansion into the three new export destinations, China, Russia and the Anglo-Saxon market. SALICO expects to be fully operational there, in terms of supplies, in the next three to five years. “In July we

aquired KCS HERR VOSS UK, who are based in the West Midlands in the UK” concludes Mr Gerbolés. “R&D will continue to be most crucial for us, so that we are able to develop new technologies that effectively compete with solutions coming from lowcost regions of the world. The only way to n survive is to innovate.”

THE WORLD’S STRONGEST CHAINS pewag has established itself as the ‘technological innovator’ in the high quality chain business. Marco Siebel spoke to pewag Austria GmbH’s managing director, Dr Joachim Haidacher.

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ewag Austria GmbH has its headquarters in Graz, a city in southern Austria, and is one of the oldest chain manufacturers in the world - its history can be traced back to the 15th century. The following timetable gives an interesting overview of the most important events concerning the origins and development of a company rich in tradition: 1479 the first documented references of a forging plant in Brückl; 1787 the foundation of a chain forgery in Kapfenberg; 1803 the foundation of a chain forgery in Graz; 1912 saw the production of the first snow chain worldwide; and finally 1923 the merger of plants in Graz

and Kapfenberg, establishing the company’s current name ‘pewag’. The general public knows pewag for its snow chains and do-it-yourself products, while the professionals associate pewag with highly reliable chains and their accessories such as forestry chains, hoist and conveyor chains, lifting and lashing chains and tyre protection chains.

Leading in technical chains The brand pewag stands for innovation, quality and service and has been a leader in technical chain manufacturing for 100 years.

pewag Austria focuses mainly on technical chains, particularly for lifting purposes. It offers a number of high strength round steel and profile steel chains for hoists and chain drives. A particularly significant innovation developed by the company was the use of chains with an intelligent and stiff cross profile in the hoist technique. Pewag employs over 1000 people worldwide, and has recently expanded one of its Austrian production facilities. Joachim Haidacher says, “pewag has hundreds of years of experience in the manufacturing of chains and their components. Today

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the brand name pewag stands for wellengineered state-of-the-art quality products. So we decided to add a new product line to those that our customers are already familiar with: pewag lifting points.”

PLGW/profilift gamma winner pewag has introduced a worldwide novelty on the market: a patented tool-free lifting point called pewag winner profilift gamma. It is a lifting point for the tool-free anchorage, which can be tightened and aligned manually. It is 360° rotatable, contains a patented and interchangeable special screw, which is 100 per cent crack-tested as well as covered with a chromate VI-freeprotection against corrosion and marked with WLL and thread size. Each lifting point is marked with an individual serial number, that allows traceability. pewag profilift gamma is optionally also available with a UNC-thread. Besides that, pewag offers a lot of other lifting points such as the PLAW, PLBW, PLE, and PLDW (see Most of those items have features which make them a little bit better than those which are currently on the market. Innovation, dependability and service are three main points that pewag uses to convince customers to use its products.

Future expectations pewag has built itself a reputation by producing most of the world’s best engineered industrial chains and chains accessories. From the auto industry through the mining and shipping industries to the defence industry, pewag has a proven track record which it is confident it can maintain in the future. Joachim Haidacher says: “As existing markets grow (the USA, for example) and

new markets emerge, the demands for highly dependable industrial products will rise. The fact that people attach the label ‘dependable’ to the name pewag enables us to develop and launch new products, either at the request of customers, or on our own initiative, as with the launch of the pewag lifting points.” Europe may be slowing, but the rest of the world is growing, and pewag has managed to be as strong as the chains it is n famous for.

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Headquarters Emmegi at Limidi di Soliera (Modena) – Italy

A HIGH TECHNOLOGY FOCUS Emmegi is an Italian company engaged in aluminium, light alloy and PVC profiles processing equipment. Barbara Rossi spoke to the strategic marketing director, Marco Bellucci, to find out more about its hi-tech products and global presence.


he Emmegi Group’s main site is based in Limidi di Soliera, in the Modena area of northern Italy, where it was established in 1970. Its activities have constantly evolved and in 2006 it has added a line of machines for the processing of PVC profiles to its existing range of aluminium and light alloy profile processing equipment. The company offers both individual machines and turnkey systems and also produces all the software necessary to control them. The range of products includes automatic systems, working centres, cutting machines, copy routers, drilling machines, PVC welders, corner cleaning machines, handling

Curved curtain walls

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and assembly solutions, automatic storage units, painting systems and office and workshop software. Emmegi has a range of standard products, but is also able to offer a significant degree of customisation, which means that it is able to fulfil most clients’ needs. Most of the company’s products are destined for the door and window manufacturing industry, but Emmegi also supplies other industries, such as the furniture, lighting, pneumatic, rail, truck trailer and oil platform sectors. All PVC products are supplied to the door and window industry, as well as around 70 per cent of the aluminium and light alloys, while

Building shell and window wall realisation

the remaining 30 per cent of the metal range is supplied to the other industries mentioned above. The company is continuously evolving all its product lines, either by upgrading existing products or by launching new ones, as maintaining high levels of technology is central to its production.

Production sites Emmegi has three production sites in Italy, a production site in China and a series of commercial offices. The company’s main site in Limidi di Soliera covers an area of 42,000m2 and manufactures the entire PVC range, a wide spectrum of aluminium and light alloy profile processing machines. On the other hand the Ponte dell’Olio site, near the northern Italian town of Piacenza, is dedicated to the production of CNC working centres for the processing of aluminium and light alloy profiles. The third Italian site is located in Pesaro, on the Adriatic coast of central Italy, and houses the PVC research and development centre, as well as manufacturing prototypes for the PVC range (aluminium and light alloy R&D takes place at the Limidi di Soliera site). The Chinese site is based in Suzhou and is concerned with the manufacture of all the low technology products, such as small single head saws, assembly benches, bar trol-

Comet T6, CNC 4-axis machining centre

Quadra L1, CNC 12-axis through feed machining centre for light alloy profiles

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Precision T2, twin-head cutting-off machine for Aluminium and PVC bars or profiles

leys and ordinary pantographs. The production of low technology products is gradually being moved to China in its entirety, but this is not expected to impact in a major way on the percentage of production taking place in Italy, as the core of Emmegi’s output is composed mainly of high technology machines.

Hub centred distribution In the last few years Emmegi’s main investments have been channelled into establishing the PVC machines production, setting up the Chinese production plant and considerably enlarging the presence of its commercial branches worldwide. Last year, Emmegi made considerable investments into opening its Brazilian commercial site and expanding the German branch, which had been set up in 2007. Emmegi has numerous commercial branches and distributors. Up until last year most of these were supported by the Lugano site. Now the main commercial offices act as real hubs, dealing with both the geographical market in which they are based and with those of bordering countries. Each of these hubs is equipped with showrooms, and sparepart warehouses, which are therefore able to offer a full technical service. For instance, the German site, as well as taking care of the German market, is also responsible for the eastern European countries, while the Swedish branch takes care of the whole of Scandinavia. The Swiss branch is also respon-

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sible for Belgium and Holland, while the US site also covers Canada, the Spanish branch also oversees North Africa and Portugal as well as Central and South America where a few dealerships have been established, apart from Brazil where Emmegi has its own branch. The UK branch also looks after Ireland, and the Turkish branch also covers Iran. The Chinese branch is also responsible for a few Far Eastern markets. Although Italy is the biggest single market for Emmegi, it accounts for significantly less than 50 per cent of turnover (in the past it accounted for about 35 per cent of turnover, but now exports are of increasing importance). Emmegi is present in all the western European markets, as well as in some eastern European countries such as Poland, followed at some length by Russia, and then by Slovakia and the

Headquarters Emmegi, Interior design

Czech Republic, as well as by Hungary, Ukraine and Byelorussia. Its network of distributors covers other countries worldwide such as the Middle East, India, Australia, South East Asia, South America and some African countries. Mr Bellucci stressed how Emmegi intends to grow in India and Turkey, and plans to widen its presence in South America particularly thanks to its new Brazilian branch. Future growth will be of an organic nature but, as Mr Bellucci pointed out, acquisitions or joint ventures cannot be ruled out. The future growth in terms of products will be driven surely by the aluminium and light alloy range which represents the core business of the group but also by the newer PVC lines where the completion of the range is foreseen. Mr Bellucci said: “Complete workshops and turnkey systems will be the basis of n our future expansion.”

Marco Bellucci Marketing Director Emmegi Group and MD Emmegi Suisse

ROLLING OUT EXCELLENCE The Elval Group is a global leader in the development and manufacture of flat rolled aluminium engineering products. Philip Yorke looks at how the company is optimising its productivity across a broad range of industrial applications and at its strong growth in the field of rigid packaging.


he Elval Group is the aluminium processing and trading division of the international conglomerate, Viohalco. The company was founded in Greece in 1973 and is now one of the most important aluminium rolling industries in the world and the only group in Greece that is focused exclusively on this business activity. The company’s success is compounded by its diverse manufacturing facilities, its built-in flexibility and its powerful presence worldwide. This is notwithstanding its global distribution network and strategic partnership with other world-class players in the aluminium industry. The extensive manufacturing base of the Elval Group includes 12 state-of-the-art production plants located throughout Greece, Bulgaria and the UK. Their combined expertise is utilised across a diverse range of manufacturing industries such as those involved in shipbuilding, food, automotive, construction and printing. The Elval group comprises four main subsidiaries: Elval Colour specialises in the production of coated rolled aluminium products for composite aluminium panels and corrugated and perforated sheets; Etem focuses on the manufacture of aluminium profiles and components for the construc-

tion sector; and Symetal is active in the production of aluminium foil and flexible aluminium packaging for the tobacco and food industries. In addition, Bridgnorth Aluminium, based in the UK, is focused on the production of lithographic sheets and semi-finished coils and is among the world’s leading litho sheet manufacturers. The company has grown significantly over the past four decades from a medium-sized regional manufacturer to a true global leader in its various fields of aluminium engineering expertise. The company puts its success down to its continuous programme of improvement, its ongoing investments in the latest technology and its diverse range of innovative products created by the group’s world class research and development facilities. Today the Elval Group is present on all five continents and in more than 60 countries, including the USA, China, the EU, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and the Middle East.

expertise on the development of alloys that offer advanced mechanical properties with improved weldability and corrosion resistance. The extended use of magnesium as an alloying element, with additional modifications to the remaining chemical composition and production procedures, has led to a breakthrough, which offers remarkable results combined with excellent durability and corrosion resistance. These latest high-strength, premium aluminium products are ideal for the construction of fast ferries, yachts and general shipbuilding applications, as well as land transportation vehicles such as trains, trucks, trailers and road tankers. Elval’s high-magnesium family of products consists of aluminium sheets and plates in AA5083, 5086 and 5454 alloys. The company’s alloy known as Poseidon is particularly suitable for marine applications and all offer elevated mechanical properties, such as high yield strength and optimal tensile strength as well as supreme corrosion resistance and optimal weldability.

Increasing demand for high-strength components

Endless creative options

The growing global appetite for more lightweight, high-strength aluminium products has led the Elval group to focus its combined

When it comes to achieving awardwinning architectural designs, the product of choice is high-strength aluminium, as it offers flexibility, low-weight/strength

ratios and proven durability. The addition of Elval’s alloy strengthening composition makes it the optimal choice for an infinite variety of building and construction applications. These advanced aluminium materials provide architects and designers with endless options for achieving high aesthetic values and energy savings. This has been clearly demonstrated by its success in the winning of several coveted Architectural Imagination Awards. Elval offers premium coated aluminium sheets and coils which are designed specifically for building and architectural purposes in plain, corrugated and stucco finishes. Following the pre-treatment of the metal substrate, a liquid-based paint is applied to the coil ensuring homogeneity of the coating film. Polyester, polyurethane and PVDF systems are also available according to individual customer specifications. Elval’s special coil coating process has been proved to result in the achievement of an optimal, even, colour finish as well as maximum durability.

In addition, Elval offers aluminium sheets, coils, circles and tread plates of premium quality for a diverse range of industrial applications from construction and electronics to cookware and the automotive sector. The group’s latest state-of-the-art machinery enables the company to produce the most exacting tolerances, which in turn results in materials with excellent properties and workability. Elval has obtained global recognition for its premium, flat rolled products used for general engineering applications, and all its products are produced to EN and AA/ ASTM standards or to a customer’s specific requirements. Elval customers can rely on immediate delivery through their access to the company’s off-the-shelf ‘Eurostock material’ which is available in sheet form in a range of various alloys and standard dimensions.

Demand for rigid packaging driving sales The rigid packaging operations of the Elval Group show no signs of slowing down. Combining their latest high-tech manufacturing processes with their in-depth knowl-

edge of the can making process has meant that Elval can offer the very best quality in the production of metal for beverage cans, food cans and closures. The company’s new 6hi, extra wide cold rolling mill guarantees optimal efficiency in the can making lines, combined with its own proven ability in ‘lightweighting’ aluminium processes. In addition, it has recently installed an advanced lacquering line, which produces coated aluminium for ‘Easy-Open-Ends’ and tabs. Furthermore, PVC-free, Badge-Free and Solvent-free water based lacquering systems can be easily applied to any individual customer requirements. Elval also produces pre-treated and precoated coils or straight-cut sheets for the production of pilfer-proof caps. The material used is of the highest non-earing quality and is suitable for one- or two-step drawn caps. The company’s main end products in this sector are caps for carbonated or non-carbonated beverages, closures for alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks and pharmaceutical products. n

SIZING UP MMD prides itself on its efficient, high capacity, in-pit crushing and conveying systems. Abigail Saltmarsh finds out more about its plans for growth.


he MMD group of companies, which focuses on sizer technology solutions, is pushing out further into global markets. Deputy chairman Clive Spencer explains that the group’s business in China has grown so rapidly that a second facility has been required, while in India, plans are underway for the creation of a brand new plant. “We are a company that started off from very modest beginnings,” he says. “But we have created a worldwide network and we would like to see that substantially expanded and reinforced. Not only are we expanding production facilities in our overseas locations, but we are also in the process of consolidat-

ing the purchasing of goods and materials for the whole group from our head office in the Isle of Man. This should enable us to take full advantage of the economies of scale whilst sourcing from a global marketplace.”

Going mobile The company’s history goes back to 1978, explains Mr Spencer, when it was known for its range of twin shaft mineral sizers for the underground coal mining industry. An independent company that remains focused on sizer solutuions, MMD has for over 35 years been working with its customers to develop systems adapted to their needs,

with installations for the production and processing of over 70 different minerals in more than 50 countries around the world. In more recent years it has moved into the design and construction of in-pit crushing and conveying systems. “What has happened most recently, however, has been that we have launched the third generation of our high capacity mobile sizer. This happened at the 2009 China Coal and Mining Expo, and it went on to be the winner of the 2010 Mining Magazine, Bulk Materials Handling – Capital Equipment Award,” he says. “What is happening is that despite the recession, there remains a grow-

ing demand for raw materials and energy and so the mining of fossil fuels for energy and base materials is still booming. “Unfortunately, however, because so many of the most favourably situated deposits have already been mined, open pit mines are becoming deeper. This means the distance from the mine face to the edge of the pit and the processing plant is increasing. This is happening at the same time as traditional methods of moving and carrying materials are proving costly because of the increasing price of diesel – and there have also been shortages of truck tyres. All this has led to mining companies looking for other methods and solutions.”

New solution The fully mobile sizer station is a new, costeffective engineering solution, which enables excavating, sizing and conveyor haulage processes to take place in unison, along the mine face, advancing as the mining face progresses. In a typical application, the sizer station would be positioned between the mine face and overland conveyor, and the sizer stations hopper directly fed from the face with run of mine material by an excavator or mining shovel. Material is then drawn up the variable speed MMD apron plate feeder, and discharged into the MMD sizer, reducing the material to

a definable product size suitable for efficient long distance conveyor haulage. Material is subsequently discharged from the sizer station via the discharge conveyor and into a hopper car that travels along the overland conveyor. The sizer station and the shovel move repeatedly back and forth along the mine face until the entire mine has been excavated. “We are anticipating significant growth in this area in the future,” says Mr Spencer. “As demand for raw materials increases and the mines become deeper, solutions like this will only become more and more in demand.”

New facility The MMD group of companies’ original manufacturing base is located at Somercotes, in Derbyshire, UK, where research, development and design also take place. It also has manufacturing in South Africa and China, as well as sales and service facilities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, the USA and Vietnam. “We have been in China for a few years now and that has been a rapidly expanding market,” he explains. “There has been such a demand that we have had to open a second facility to give us additional capacity. “Our first facility is in Beijing and the new one in Zhangjaikou. This is a larger plant, where we will be able to build the mobile

IPCC systems. Initially, the site will be supporting the existing one in supplying the local market, but eventually, once they have met their own demand, we are looking to be supplying equipment to other MMD companies and the rest of the world from there.”

Future growth A further exciting development at the group has been the decision to expand our operations in India. MMD is currently in the process of buying land ready for construction to take place. “This new facility is planned to be completed within the next 18 months,” he says. “We see the Indian market as a huge growth area in the future.” Expansion has also taken place in the UK, where major investment took place a little over a year ago, and capacity was doubled.

“MMD has grown substantially within the last five years,” he adds. “We have seen 100 per cent growth and hope to continue to see double-digit growth over the coming years.” Customers are varied and based worldwide, he continued. At least half of MMD’s business is currently with the coal industry and the remainder with customers working in other minerals. “A particularly active area for us at the moment is iron ore in Western Australia,” says Mr Spencer. “We anticipate further growth here as well.” Currently employing some 500 people across the globe, the group anticipates all future growth to be organic. “We fully expect this to happen,” he says. “And as it does, our business will become a truly global organisation, allowing us to better support our customers in sizing minerals n around the world.”

IN THE PIPELINE WAVIN Ekoplastik s.r.o., based some 20km north of Prague, is a dominant producer of polypropylene (PP) plastic piping systems for pressure and/or hot water (heating) distribution in the Czech Republic, and ranks among the leading European manufacturers in its sector. The company now seeks to strengthen its position in its export markets. Romana Moares reports.


avin Ekoplastik s.r.o. is the largest producer of polypropylene (PPR) pipe-work systems for pressurised liquid distribution in the Czech Republic. The most typical areas for the use of the Ekoplastik PPR system are distribution networks for drinking and hot water, and hot water heating. Nevertheless, the system is also suitable for many other uses, such as coolant distribution,

compressed air, gases and liquids. It also has applications in agriculture and in horticulture. The greatest advantage of the Ekoplastik PPR system is that when correctly installed (using polyfusion welding) it forms an entirely homogenous closed system made entirely of plastic. Polypropylene is entirely inert, which means that, when used for drinking water distribution, perfect hygiene is guar-

anteed, and in contrast to other technologies available it offers zero susceptibility to the organoleptic properties of water. Its other advantages include longevity, resistance to corrosion, low thermal conductivity, low hydraulic friction and higher liquid flow speeds, lower mass and simplicity of installation. And it goes without saying that it leaves a minimum environmental footprint (very low production energy requirement and complete recyclability).

Stronger than ever Ekoplastik was founded in 1990 and was one of the first Czech companies to be active in plastic processing. In a very short time it became the leader in its field, winning a major share of the market. Until 1997 Ekoplastik was able to cover all its requirements (manufacturing and sales) from relatively small premises in Měšice not far from Prague. As a result of business expansion, a modern manufacturing plant was constructed in Kostelec nad Labem.

In November 2004 the Wavin multinational took a share in the company, which led to a name-change to Wavin Ekoplastik. As a result of the ever-increasing interest in the company’s products, in 2007 Wavin Ekoplastik constructed a modern logistics centre in Horní Počernice, close to Prague, to which pipe production was also transferred. The main milestone recently was the founding of a joint venture with Ostendorf to service the Czech market, where Wavin

Osma s.r.o. covers distribution and customer service for the Wavin, OSMA and Ekoplastik brands. This allows the company to focus on foreign markets and continue its expansion. In 2011 its turnover reached around 1.5 billion Czech crowns.

An integral system Ekoplastik PPR makes up an integral system consisting of pipe-work, fittings, valves, taps and other specialised elements. The core business is the pipes themselves, which can be divided into plastic, multi-layer, Stabi and Fiber (with a layer of aluminium, or glass fibre, to achieve lower heat dilatation) and Therm Plus (with an additional 100 per cent oxygen barrier). The pipes are available in PN10, PN16 and PN20 pressure series and in diameters from 16 to 125mm. The range is supplemented by fittings. These are divided up into plastic (extension pieces, elbows, T-pieces, reduction joints, blind flanges and cross pieces) and combined with brass nickel threads for thread connections (direct transfer, elbows, t-pieces, wall

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mounted elbows, a complete range of fittings for plasterboard, transfer pieces with nuts fitted). The company also makes fittings for flange-mounted connections, direct plastic valves with brass covers or handles (classic and under plaster), plastic ball taps and metal covers (classic and under plaster) and a series of other tools and parts. The Ekoplastik brand is well known for its supreme and uncompromising quality. This is matched of course by its manufacturing technology but also by the scope of equipment for quality control (in many aspects better than that of the leading accredited laboratories).

Recent investments Wavin Ekoplastik continues to invest in its development. “Our aim is to maintain sufficient top-quality manufacturing capacity to meet all of our customers’ requirements,” says Ondřej Krebs, the company‘s marketing manager for export. “We invest a lot of resources into quality control of our products, such as on-line ultrasound measurement of pipe-wall thickness, on-line monitoring of the pipe production process, expansion of the pressure testing facility and the gasifying furnace with microprocessor for the analysis of composite pipes. “Our investments in production have included new extrusion lines for manufacturing multi-layer composite pipes and new injection presses for fittings production,”

he continues. “And of course there are investments in environmental protection, especially in reducing the energy demands of production. Recently this has meant investment in replacing water being cooled mechanically with free cooling.”

Focus on export The market for pipe systems for internal distribution is, of course, very closely linked to the growth of the overall construction market. Growth in recent years has a single common denominator – the financial crisis and the

subsequent global recession. At such times, it is clear that construction investment will be limited. “We have felt the decline very painfully, just like every other company in the industry,” admits Mr Krebs. Wavin Ekoplastik is strongly exportoriented. Over ten years ago, the company entered the markets of Ukraine and Russia and maintains its leading position there. In addition to these key markets, products are exported to Chile, Bahrain, Japan and Singapore. Overall export sales make up approximately 80 per cent of production.

Plans for the future are clear, says the manager: “Continuing to satisfy our customers’ needs with the highest quality products, to innovate (in the near future we will be bringing to market an innovation which will fundamentally and finally change the market for polypropylene pipe systems), to expand geographically and to strengthen our position in those markets where we already operate. And finally, of course, to spread the good name of the Czech Republic as a country where products are made which can beat global competitors,” n he concludes.

CONNECTING PERFECTLY Already well known for connector systems for insulating glass profiles, Cera is branching out into new markets globally. Julia Snow reports on a company that has been dedicated to offering innovative plastics solutions for 38 years. 136 Industry Europe


era specialises in developing, producing and selling precision injection moulded parts and high-end products for international customers with the highest demands on quality. Thanks to optimised production processes, state-of-the-art manufacturing and in-house tool construction, the company is a leading expert in this market segment today. Cera’s high levels of experience, dedication and creativity result in exceptionally versatile and innovative products.

All under one roof The company has its headquarters and single production site in Ruderatshofen-Immenhofen, located in South Germany around 70 miles south-west of Munich. The location was a new-build in 2010, and with its cutting-edge machines and maximum output capacity it counts among the top three most modern production facilities of its kind in Europe. “It’s fairly easy to be at the top, given that we built it to our own specifications only two years ago. We were able to create everything exactly as we wanted, with optimised machine layout

and everything under one roof,” says the deputy managing director, Mrs Rafeld. All new machines are controlled by a main computer in the production hall, and the extra capacity helps to increase the output of complicated custom-made products for individual requirements. Items of the highest quality can be produced quickly, reliably and in large quantities. Thermoplastics are processed using 12 injection moulding machines from the leading brand ARBURG. But investments have not come to a halt with the new location, says Mrs Rafeld: “In the last six months we bought two new machines, and our injection moulding machines are subject to investments on an ongoing basis anyway. With over 1000 different parts they require constant replacement and improvement of tools.”

Products “Our core products are the connectors for insulation glass profiles,” says Mrs Rafeld “but we can produce parts of up to 200g for any industry or application.”

Under the brand name CERA CONNEXX the company offers angles, connectors ranging from 6 to 20, muntin bars and accessories. The product line represents a highly complex connector system for all conventional profile systems as required by the modern building industry. Whether they are inserted in the profile, close off the end of a frame, block the molecular sieve or allow it to pass through, plastic is an easy-toprocess material in addition to its first-class thermal insulation. “We are also increasingly getting involved in leisure and sport. Our plastic horseshoe is already used most successfully in competitions worldwide, and it has won us the IF Design Products Award which makes us very proud.” CERA ENDURANCE PRO is a unique plastic horseshoe that is very light and withstands the highest impact through its resilience and excellent damping properties. And there are more opportunities in the growing leisure sector: “We produce gear levers for a Swiss manufacturer of luxury mountain bikes – a perfect match for us.”

Cera is 100 per cent committed to production in Germany, owing to the superior quality and innovation that is guaranteed by the flexibility and speed of its in-house product development team.

Constant innovation “We always start with the customers’ ideas – and then try to turn these into a reality. We advise on the process technology or costing, but we are not just a reliable and high quality producer; rather we are a development partner for the design requirements of our customers.” Cera is highly experienced in the characteristics of special plastics and their areas of applications. The expert knowledge of the highly trained staff is combined with a pleasure in taking on new challenges, so that usually

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only a short time is needed between the initial idea to the successful market launch. “Due to ever-changing thermal insulation regulations there is a constant need to improve the properties of windows and doors. Everybody is searching for even better, even more insulated products,” explains Mrs Rafeld. “We are part of this culture of continuous improvement and this benefits our other products too.”

Growing markets worldwide Currently Cera’s export rate stands at 50 per cent, which is spread out across Europe but also includes the horseshoe business in Australia, says Mrs Rafeld. “We’ve got some very enthusiastic customers out there who have really helped to establish us in the market. In the USA we are seeing the

introduction of insulated houses, as there is a clear change in attitudes there after decades of indifference about energy use. And in the UK we have insulation regulations that apply to all newly built houses.” If orders remain as positive as they are now, another expansion may be on the cards, she adds. “Although we planned generously two years ago, we are already working to full capacity. Luckily we still have some land left if we need to increase our footprint. As traditionalists, we make long-term plans for steady growth and we have just announced very positive annual results. We are looking back on many years of experience, but are also really looking forward to our future development over n the coming years.”


INNOVATION ACC is Europe’s largest producer of household refrigeration compressors and domestic electric motors. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that was founded only ten years ago, and has since succeeded in launching a number of innovative, environmentally friendly products and confirmed its position as an industry leader.

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ppliances Components Companies (ACC) was founded in 2002 with the objective of becoming a worldleading group of companies manufacturing components for household and industrial appliances. The continuing evolution of the household appliances market has focused ACC’s attention on the domestic refrigeration business in order to strengthen its leadership in the broader European market and to consolidate its position in the appliances industry market worldwide. ACC operates three major manufacturing facilities which are strategically located in Europe and China. The choice of these locations was driven by the need to combine its technological heritage and its strong R&D potential with a close proximity to its customers worldwide. The European plants are located in Italy and Austria, while the Chinese facility is based in Tianjin. These state-of-the-art plants produce different product platforms in order to satisfy the diverse needs of its global customers and to guarantee optimal quality and performance throughout its product portfolio. The company is also a major producer of electric motors for oil and gas burners.

Production for these products is centred on its Oldenberg facility in Germany. ACC’s growing network of customers includes the world’s most important brands and best-known producers of domestic appliances worldwide.

Setting new standards Since ACC was founded in 2002, it has been committed to an ongoing programme of investment in R&D and product innovation. The company focuses its strategy for growth on setting new standards in product performance and technological solutions. ACC’s global R&D structure explores and develops new and existing technologies with an eye towards the future requirements of domestic electric appliances and anticipating future market trends and opportunities. A company spokesman said, “Our extensive R&D network applies the most advanced research methods to support our operations in the development of production technologies, design concepts and the next generation of domestic appliances. Our key strategy is to develop the product and the production process simultaneously, thereby taking full advantage of enhancing synergies among each ACC research facility. Further-

more, by working closely with our own customer’s R&D centres, we can provide them with the optimal solutions for their business, while participating locally in their industrial product and process engineering.” ACC is fully committed in all its processes and business activities towards promoting the development of safe, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly appliances. The company gives special attention to the development of eco-friendly production lines, respecting the environment. In addition, all ACC plants are ISO 14001 certified and materials used in the company’s products and processes are in full compliance with international legislation in order to minimise their environmental impact.

Award-winning innovation In 2011, against a field of over 600 submitted projects, ACC won the Austrian National Award for Innovation. ACC’s R&D team was recognised for the development of its latest, small energy-efficient “Delta” compressor. The project was characterised by the systematic research in many fields of knowledge and in close collaboration with ACC customers and suppliers, as well

as local universities, which has resulted in a number of patented innovations being granted. “With the ‘Delta’ compressor the team at Furstenfield has succeeded in setting new standards in the household compressor and refrigerator industry. With approximately 50 per cent less weight, the new ‘Delta’ compressor clearly distin-

guishes this latest innovation from conventional compressors and therefore is setting a new benchmark in efficiency and the consumption of resources through the use of less material and lower transport costs,” said a company spokesman. The ‘Delta’ compressor is ACC’s new innovative product designed specifically for domestic refrigeration applications. The company’s new ‘Delta’ range introduces ground-breaking solutions that address the need to provide customers with a concept that offers significant product advantages. This is particularly in terms of energy efficiency, performance and eco-friendliness.

This latest offering from ACC is an extremely compact and top-performance product that expresses the company’s consolidated experience and its commitment to protecting the environment. In another first, ACC has launched the latest addition to its range of Kappa-VSD compressor products. This variable speed driver compressor represents a further technological advance in motor efficiency and is controlled by an all-new generation of inverters. With its two additional models, the HK70 VSD and HKK95 VSD, on the Kappa platform, the company offers the best compressor solution to obtain A+++ energy class on domestic appliances available on the market today. Full-scale serial production of these new compressor models commenced in February 2012 and they have already been widely acclaimed in the industry. All ACC products pay particular regard to energy efficiency and ozone-friendly operation and the company offers the most compact, quiet and competitive compressors in the industry. ACC is also a leading European producer of electrical motors for a diverse range of industrial applications and these offer the same levels of energy efficiency and low noise n levels as the compressor range.

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GN Netcom is part of the GN Store Nord group, supplying headsets and other equipment under the Jabra brand. Abigail Saltmarsh finds out more about its latest developments.


hile GN Netcom prides itself on its ever increasing business on the office side of its operation, it is also seeing significant growth in its mobile products. Leo Larsen, the company’s chief technology officer, says that a number of exciting products are being launched in response to growing trends in both consumer and professional items – wth more on the way. “We are starting to really address these trends and as a result I think these new products will drive growth for us,” he says. “On the consumer side, these are mobile and communication products in the areas of music and fitness. Also, more and more people are trying to be more flexible and to have the option of working in different locations. They therefore want products that will enable them to do so.”

A global operation GN Store Nord’s history goes back to 1869 when the Great Northern Telegraph Company was founded. Initially functioning as a telegraph company, it today focuses on headsets, through GN Netcom, and hearing instruments and audiological diagnostics equipment company, through GN ReSound. GN headsets are marketed globally under the Jabra brand whereas GN’s hearing instruments are marketed under the ReSound, Beltone and Interton brands. All products are largely manufactured in China. The total work force comprises around 4100 employees of which approximately 900 are in Denmark. The group’s headquarters are in Ballerup, just outside Copenhagen.

“We sell our products worldwide and are seeing growth everywhere,” says Mr Larsen. “We are starting to see some nice growth in Asia, in particular.”

Streaming sound Mr Larsen says that one of the big developments for GN Netcom in the areas of music and sports is that technology has moved much further in supporting music streaming. And as demand has grown and technology improved so the company has developed more complementary consumer products. “One significant product is the Jabra Halo and another is the Jabra Clipper,” he explains. “Also, for music and sport, we have developed the Jabra Sport, which is ideal for running or riding a bike.” The Jabra Halo con-

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nects easily to a mobile phone through Bluetooth and enables the user to stream music and to take calls wirelessly. A corded option can be used if the player of choice doesn’t support Bluetooth Stereo/A2DP. The Jabra Clipper gives the wearer wireless stereo music and calls, in one small Bluetooth clip. Its in-ear headphones block external noise, which enhances its clear, vibrant music and calling quality. It also automatically switches between music and incoming calls to the phone. “These are not the first wireless music or stereo products we have launched but streaming music has now really taken off,” explains Mr Larsen. “A lot of things have happened in wireless streaming of music content, which have been triggers. These have included Apple’s support on the iPhone and the development of the smart phone for streaming. He adds: “This is an area we will continue to develop. There will be more products coming out.”

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Unified communication Another area of continued success for GN Netcom is Unified Communication. Today office communication takes place via different devices and media types. These include telephone landlines, mobile phones, video conferencing, email and soft phones – and employees can feel stressed and overwhelmed trying to juggle all the different channels and still work effectively. “Unified Communication (UC) brings together all these devices and interfaces into one single integrated application,” says Mr Larsen. “In short, UC makes it easier for people to connect, communicate and work together. The result is more productive employees and smoother inter-

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actions. This is another big growth area for us and will continue to be so. It also sees the convergence of professional and mobile products, as people increasingly work in different places.”

Looking ahead The office products side of the business continues to expand as well. Products such as the Jabra Speak 410, a small speakerphone that offers a hands-free solution for the office, for example, are proving particularly successful. “I think the overall shape of the company will remain the same for the next two or three years but hopefully we will have gained a bigger market share with these new products,” Mr Larsen says. “We are still focused very much

on our professional users, developing wireless products for call centres, but I do believe that expansion over the next years will come in these areas of sport and music for the consumer market. And Unified Communication for the office market.” n


As a leading machinery partner to the global textile industry, Benninger Group delivers both high-end equipment to its customers and a total service solution. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the sales director, Josef Kleinheinz, to find out more.


wiss-based machine supplier to the global textile industry Benninger Group has been serving this established yet ever-changing sector for more than 150 years. Over this time, the company has built up a reputation for delivering high quality machines that support its customers’ commercial aims. Divided into three core business areas, Benninger offers textile finishing machines for woven and knitted fabrics, machines for the tyre cord industry and automation solutions for both its own and third-party machines. All the required bleaching, dyeing and finishing can be conducted on Benninger machines. The sales director Josef Kleinheinz, told Industry Europe ho,w these three core business areas have developed over time to ensure that Benninger is providing its customers with the best possible technical equipment and service. All Benninger machines are tailor made for the customers’ exact demands, using a modular system of parts that can be

adapted and customised as required. He said, “Over our long history we have gradually built our offer to clearly reflect the changing needs of our customers. We have certainly had plenty of time to get to know what they want! By carefully listening to our customers we have seen our offer change in tune with the market needs, but always while drawing on our exceptionally strong history and knowhow in the worldwide textile machine sector.”

Complete solutions The Benninger core business is its activities in the textile finishing sector. Dedicated to supplying its machines and complete solutions to leaders in the field, the company’s products are both expensive and state-of-the-art. Mr Kleinheinz added, “They are expensive for a reason – they are the best available machines that enable our customers to deliver the best possible service to their customers. We supply to vertically integrated mills as well as dye

houses and finishing companies worldwide. These can be in different fabric segments such as cottons like shirting or bed linens, or more technical applications such as washing and de-oiling fabrics. Other high-tech applications include a number of automotive air bag manufacturers and companies producing fabrics for filtration and screening.” For the tyre cord industry, Benninger supplies direct to multi-national brands including Dunlop and Pirelli, as well as certain cabling and other heat setting and treatment applications. As various threads can also be used in Benninger machines in addition to fabrics, the customer base is as broad as the applications. The Benninger automation division represents its “biggest chunk of turnover”. Providing all the required controls, drives, programming and software necessary for its machines, the division employs some of the most technically experienced members of the workforce. Growing rapidly thanks to the clever introducIndustry Europe 149

tion of automation for third-party machines, Mr Kleinheinz explained how customers can come to Benninger without really knowing what automation solution they need and come away with a complete solution. He said, “We work out how to transpose the client’s problem into a solution. They can just say ‘we need something but we don’t know what or how’ and we work it out. We do this on a contract basis and it’s a very rewarding part of our service.” Benninger is also active in the knit line segment, where knitted fabrics are finished. Its machines offer a great customer advantage in this field as they cut production costs by between 10 and 15 per cent.

Worldwide opportunities With production sites in Switzerland and Germany and subsidiaries in both India and China, Benninger is not currently planning to expand, however it is open-minded to new manufacturing opportunities that would benefit the company and its customers. Its main geographical markets are currently India, China, Brazil, central Europe, Turkey, Pakistan and South East Asia. While the company has a worldwide customer base and is able to supply all its products and services on a global basis, it is seeing particularly strong growth in emerging markets. Benninger’s strong global client base for its customers sees it defines them as ‘A, B 150 Industry Europe

or C’ customers in order to guarantee that it is addressing the very particular needs of its target audience. By Benninger’s definition, an ‘A’ customer is one which supplies to a certain level of customer itself. An example of an ‘A’ customer would be one which exports internationally to certain quality-focused brands and chains. A ‘B’ customer is active in its domestic market yet still highly focused on quality products and practices. A ‘C’ customer can also be a large-scale manufacturer but one which tends to be led only by low-cost decisions. In accordance with this ‘A, B or C’ definition, Benninger has recently identi-

fied the need to utilise its R&D capabilities to produce machines that retain the high standard it is known for whilst opening up the possibility of working with ‘B’ customers. Mr Kleinheinz said, “We are not interested in working with ‘C’ customers as our machines are essentially over-engineered for their purposes. But we do want to appeal to ‘B’ customers as they appreciate high quality textile machines. However, we know we must address the cost issue in this market, but we want to do this without losing the high quality reputation we have worked hard to establish, or indeed to lose our valuable ‘A’ customers.”

In order to address this, Benninger is working on machine concepts with a lower break even price to appeal to the ‘upper B customers’ while still meeting all the needs of its ‘A’ customers. Mr Kleinheinz concluded, “This is where we see the most exciting growth and it’s global. Benninger is a great brand, so as long as we stay true to our high quality machinery experience and know-how yet deliver a new machinery solution, that is more cost-attractive to all our customers. We are selling a process as well as a product, so by delivering our customised solutions to both ‘A’ and ‘B’ customers, we are growing while still keeping true to n our reputation for quality.”

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LEADING THE GREEN WAY IL Recycling is a Swedish recycling company with operations in Sweden and Poland. It has been working to supply manufacturers in various industries with raw materials for 60 years. Marco Siebel talks to Markus Ocklind, the company’s head of Raw Material Sales & Trading, about its latest investments and expectations for the future.


you look back in time 60 years, most things were very different. In 1951, the western world was busy with the task of reconstruction after the Second World War. The old had to make way for the new. Resources seemed endless, so they threw everything away and manufactured new things.

They were happy to throw things away in nature – after all, the forests and lakes were so vast that they could easily hide a few rusty oil barrels, old tractor tyres and other scrap. New products were manufactured preferably using oil, which seemed to exist in inexhaustible volumes. Nowadays, awareness of scarce resources and the

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consequences of environmental destruction looms large, and we view resources and the environment in an entirely different way. Since its establishment, IL Recycling has grown into one of the world’s largest full-service recycling and waste management companies, handling virtually all kinds of materials. Markus Ocklind says: “IL Recycling has four owners, all Sweden-based paper mills. They are Fiskeby Board, SCA, Smurfit Kappa and Stora Enso. We were originally created by our paper mill owners to provide them with recycled fibre – but for some recycled products, the best sales opportunities are to be found outside Sweden. In that case we make sure that we find suitable customers abroad and arrange transport. For example, we export high grade fibres to Germany, Italy and Spain.”

Expertise covering different fields IL Recycling’s 700+ employees have expertise covering the entire recycling process, from analysis, collection and transport of residual products to sorting, processing and delivery of recycled raw materials to industry. IL Recycling provides the vessels and containers for sorting and recycling, and handles the transport from the collection points to the recycling plants. IL Recycling

also has the very latest technology in place, enabling it to offer the smartest solutions for efficient and above all profitable recycling.

More than just recycling Another important activity for IL Recycling is trade in raw materials on both the Swedish and the international market. The raw materials it trades are recycled fibres, metals, scrap, plastic and others. IL Recycling is part of an international network of leading trading companies in the recycling sector, which enables it to reach customers all over the world. Another field of activity is the confidential processing of sensitive or secret material such as paper documents or worn-out hard disks. This confidential service, operating under the name of Reisswolf, has the highest security level in the industry.

Financial results

The recycled paper market and the metals market were characterised by relatively high volatility, but when prices fell during the autumn of 2011 in dollar terms the effect in Swedish kronor was smaller owing to the strong dollar. The demand for recycled fibre from Swedish and foreign paper mills was good throughout 2011.

Markus Ocklind says: “During the year 2011 we saw good organic growth in most areas, but in particular in the scrap and metal business area, as well as in the one for various fuel fractions.” Turnover for 2011 rose by 7 per cent from €225 million to €240 million and is expected to grow by at least the same percentage for the current year, 2012.

Growth in Poland With 16 plants in Sweden and four in Poland, IL Recycling is the leading operator on the Swedish recycling market, and expects to become the leading operator on the Polish market. Its core activities in Poland are primarily paper and plastic, although other kinds of material are also processed via business partners. Markus Ocklind continues: “At IL Recycling we believe that there are major possibilities of contributing to increasing recycling in Poland. IL Recycling Polska is striving to lead the way and to drive continued development, and sees good opportunities for growth in this dynamic market. Another field in which we expect growth is the energy sector, with energy plants. It is currently our fastest growing field, with an expected growth rate of 10 per cent for 2012.”

Investments During 2011, IL Recycling introduced the collection of biological waste for the production of biogas in large parts of Svealand, (southcentral Sweden) and opened a new scrap metal plant in northern Sweden. The company also plans to replace three smaller plants south of the capital Stockholm by one single bigger plant, north of the n city, by the end of 2013.

TOP TEAM IN OPTOMECHATRONICS The Austrian company Wild GmbH is a leader in the development and production of sophisticated components and systems for medical and optical hi-tech applications. Julia Snow reports on the latest successes and innovations.


ounded in 1970, WILD can look back on over 40 years of experience in systems, equipment and components for the optical technology precision mechanics, electronics, medical, and plastics technology sectors. The company offers precision parts, injection moldings, press and follow-on composite tools, electroplating, painting products, and assemblies, as well as providing comprehensive after-sales services, repairs, and value analysis services.

Headquartered in Völkermarkt, Austria, the WILD group offers a wide spectrum of performance with its five components of Wild GmbH, Photonic Optische Geräte GmbH & Co KG, WILD Elektronik u. Kunststoff GmbH & Co KG, all based in Austria, Solar Semi GmbH in Germany, and finally WILD Technologies s.r.o. in Slovakia. The production facilities have been certified to ISO 9001, 13485 and 9100, and cleanroom production is fully compliant with class 1,000 and 10,000. All

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FILTROPTM FILTROP™ is a world-wide operating supplier of highest quality coated opti-

exclusively for such coatings. Optical, mechanical and environmental perfor-

cal components such as: narrow- and wide-band AR-coatings, reflectance

mance of films is optimized by energy input directly into the growing films in

enhanced and protected metal mirrors and all-dielectric mirrors for various

interactions with activated states as well as by deposition of and bombarding

precision optical apparatus, laser systems and medical devices. Furthermore,

with energetic particles in order to eliminate physico-chemical deficien-

all sorts of interference systems, neutral- and dichroic-beamsplitters, edge

cies inherent in conventional reactive evaporations. Among the various

filters as longpass and shortpass, but also more monochromatic bandpass-

possibilities to perform such coating quality ion plating, particularly reactive

and multicavity Fabry-Perot-line-filters. Metal oxides are applied nearly

low-voltage ion plating RLVIP, is chosen as the best available technology.

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together the group currently employs more than 300 people and has a production capacity of 250,000 hours per year. Last year was highly successful: WILD not only won one of the world´s most renowned awards in the area of medical technology - the “Medical Design Excellence Award 2011” in New York for the VeinViewer® Vision, but a turnover of €66.3 million (up 8 per cent) made 2011 a record year. With €3 m, medical technology contributed the biggest share as well as the biggest overall contract from a well-known German producer of diagnostics systems.

The strongest growth however, came from the optics technology division, due to the positive trends in laser and laboratory technology as well as in photogrammetry.

Two main markets In medical technology Wild GmbH can offer the specific know-how, highest precision, absolute reliability and flexibility required by customers. Services and products offered include diagnostic systems, therapy systems and prosthetics. In the field of optical technology, the combination of precision mechanics, optics

and electronics give the company a special edge. Activities here range from laboratory technology and metrology to photogrammetry and products for the semiconductor industry, including photovoltaics.

UltraCam revolutionises Aerial Photography With the UltraCam Eagle, Wild has introduced a digital revolution that sets completely new standards in aerial photography: the first large-scale digital aerial image camera with interchangeable lenses. Named UltraCam Eagle by development partner and Microsoft

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subsidiary Vexcel, it is the first with a sensor head that has an interchangeable lens system with two different focal widths. This enables aerial photography companies to have enormous flexibility regarding aircraft altitude and resolution on the ground. The unit boasts a modular construction, with separate or integrated computer units, so that the UltraCam

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Eagle can be considerably more compact than previous models, weighing 70kg instead of 140kg – suitable for use in single and twin engine aircraft, as well as jets. The camera can store 3.3TB per storage unit, or 3800 pictures, and the choice is between 8 or 16 bit colours and the formats PAN, RGB, CIR and RGBI.

Good advice around CE-certification Medical technology is one of the most strictly regulated markets worldwide, and any product within the EU requires the CE-Certificate. While the mark stands for patient safety, it also represents high costs and high barriers to market entry, especially for smaller producers. Any delays around the certification process can

RS - the world’s distributor of choice RS Components is the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products. With operations in 32 countries, the company offers more than 550,000 products through the internet and catalogues to over one million customers, shipping more than 46,000 parcels on the same day the orders are received. The products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronics, automation and control, test and measurement, electrical and mechanical components. Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2012 had revenues of £1.27bn.

prove costly, so WILD is offering a specialist advice service to customers who are entering the medical sector, using its 40 years of experience with quality systems in the medical sector to help others prepare and complete the documentation and certification process.

Pure Perfection WILD has also introduced a brand new precision cleaning facility. Both the demand for and the demands on precision cleaning have risen enormously – whether in medical technology, in analytics or in the production of lasers or semiconductors, manufacturers require parts that are absolutely free from particles or other production residue. WILD has reacted to this and has created a new, manual facility for precision cleaning. This facility allows a variety of working cycles, according to customer demands, that guarantees residue-free cleaning, even with difficult geometric parts.

Founded in London more than 70 years ago, the Electrocomponents Group now operates on every continent and has more than 6,300 employees. Its strategy is based on high service quality exceeding customer expectations and an unrivalled product range to meet all the requirements of customers. With more than 500,000 customers across Europe and 36% of Group revenue, RS now brings in a turnover of £456.3m in Continental Europe. Founded in Austria 1980 as Verospeed and renamed 1992 into RS Components Ges.m.b.H., the Austrian subsidiary of the Electrocomponents plc. is present since three decades Austria.

In the new cleaning facility parts are processed through an eight-phase cleaning cycle, containing seven heated ultrascan containers with alkaline cleaning agents to clean, rinse, neutralise and final rinse in purest water up to 0.055µS. The 60l containers can accommodate parts of up to ca. 400X400X400mm.

The positive 2011 results and the large number of successful recent product innovations give reason for an optimistic view of the future. The turnover target for 2012 is €74 m and investments to the tune of €1.7m are in the pipeline to support continued growth n with new products and customers.

The advantages of WILD A privately owned company that responds proactively to market requirements – this mix of continuity and openness for new things has been the basis for WILD’s success. High levels of customer loyalty – the average cooperation with clients is more than 8 years – proof that WILD can offer added value: because large parts of the value chain are covered in-house, customers benefit from the convenience of a one stop shop and very short times to market. The company’s comprehensive development capacities also allow an early integration in the development processes of clients.

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SAFE GROWTH Global conglomerate Tyco is rapidly expanding into emerging markets in order to achieve its goal to be the market leader in each of the segments in which it is active. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Laurens Swennhuis, managing director of the Fire Products & Services division, to see how this is being achieved.

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ith more than 100,000 employees and activities in 60 countries, global conglomerate Tyco is truly present worldwide. Its three main segments are Fire Products & Services, Flow Control and Electronic Security, with all segments able to utilise the clear benefits of being part of a globally operating group. Industry Europe spoke to Mr Laurens Swennhuis, managing director of the Fire Products & Services segment for the EMEA region. Here, the company designs, develops and manufactures products for the fire protection industry, with the worldwide distribution and worldwide manufacturing capabilities that are a common thread throughout Tyco as a whole. Mr Swennhuis explained how being part of the Tyco conglomerate offers considerable benefits to his segment and to its customers. He said, “Our infrastructure is incredible – we can meet our local and global customers’ needs wherever they are in the world. We understand the specific needs in each market too, including the very particular legislative requirements of each territory, so that we can maintain the very highest standards of safety.”

Safety is certainly a key issue for Tyco. Mr Swennhuis continued, “Our first priority is always saving lives. Yes, we are a successful commercial operation, but we are also in the business of fire protection and we take that very seriously. We are all continuously focused on protecting property and lives, so the quality of our products and the security our protection offers always comes first.” The Tyco Fire Products & Services core products are categorised in four areas. Water-based products are generally related to fire extinguishing systems, such as automatic sprinkler systems, and are usually installed in commercial and residential locations. The fire detection and alarm products are a sizeable production line for Tyco, with three different lines meeting the global standards – one for the US market and two for European standards. The third product area comes under ‘mechanical’ and is not directly related to fire protection, with steel connection systems, HVAC applications and other mechanical applications. Lastly, Tyco has a special hazards product area. Special hazards refers to all fire protection prod-

ucts such as portable extinguishers, foam systems such as those used in refineries. Mr Swennhuis explained, “We have an extensive product portfolio. All four areas are continually being assessed to ensure they meet the changing demands of our customers worldwide, and of course that they meet the strictest safety standards.”

Manufacturing worldwide Tyco has an equally diverse manufacturing capability, with the history of its numerous sites just as varied. With production sites worldwide – 12 in Europe, 15 in the USA and a further eight across the Asia Pacific region – Tyco has a truly global mix. Some sites were picked as they were greenfield sites in locations where the company needed more capacity, with others joining Tyco following strategic acquisitions. Mr Swennhuis continued, “Our European sites are in Sweden, Spain, Czech Republic, three in Germany, two in Italy and four in the UK. As a rule, we manufacture for our local market as the teams are totally in tune with the local demands, but as a global products manufacturer we do have to consider the most cost-effective solution

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for our customers. So our manufacturing in the cost-effective locations in Asia gives us more flexibility to offer competitive pricing in some product segments.” As some of the more mature markets such as western Europe and North America are struggling, Tyco is particularly enjoying organic growth in emerging markets. Mr Swennhuis pointed out that this is not just the experience of Tyco, but with the company’s customer base dominated by vertical markets and the oil and gas industry, it has exciting potential in Asia, Brazil and eastern Europe. He continued, “Africa is a very strong future market for us. We are slowly investing here and have been getting into position for

a while, so that when the opportunities present themselves, we are perfectly prepared to utilise them.”

Exciting new markets In addition to its long-established oil and gas customer base, Tyco is increasingly supplying products and whole systems to commercial vertical markets such as hotels, shopping centres and office complexes. Another fast-growing area is the multi-residential sector, particular in countries such as the USA, Canada and Scotland, where there are strict regulations for sprinkler systems in such ‘multi-family homes’. Mr Swennhuis concluded, “This commercial market will certainly be a strong area for us in

the future. We also expect our geographical reach to expand even further, with our latest offices in Turkey, Moscow and Africa an illustration of our intention. As we are already the market leader in the field of fire detection products in the water segment, we aim to maintain this position and increase our hold on the fire detection segment too. We have the capability, the products and the expertise, so now it’s about ensuring we are in contact with the customers that will benefit from our products and services. Our 15 dedicated R&D centres worldwide are always working to upgrade existing products and develop new products to guarantee that wherever we are in the world and whatever product we are offering, it’s safe n and reliable.”

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A Asso Produkter AB ATD-Abbausysteme GmbH

K P 86 P 57

Kindlimann AG

P 150

L B Baier + Koppel GmbH + Co Botti Technosystems Srl

P 93 P 122

Lahntechnik GmbH Lanxess Deutschland GmbH Lapp Group LCW Polska Sp z.o.o.

P 40 P 65 P 40 P 72

C C.R. Cuscinetti a rulli Srl Calderys Deutschland GmbH & Co. OHG Calderys Deutschland GmbH & Co. OHG Clean Burner Systems Ltd Collcap Packaging Ltd Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro Continental Benelux B.V.B.A. Cova Praha

P 115 P 49 P 54 P 111 P 72 P 79 P 90 P 132

D Defo s.r.l. Delle Vedove Adelchi Snc Drache Umwelttechnik GmbH DSM Food Specialties BV Durapart Industries AS

P 122 P 141 P 127 P 77 P 97

P 41 P 158 P 118 P 102

P 147 P 154 P 30 P 146

T Tai-Saw Technology Co. Ltd Toten Metall AS Tyco Fire Protection Products

P 147 P 27 P 164

M Metalwo MGM Srl Mida Murata Electronics BV

P 86 P 143 Outside back P 85

U Uddeholm AB Utensiltecnica Srl

P 25 P 123

V N NCAB Group Sweden Neuenhauser Maschinenbau GmbH Nova Stilmoil SpA

P 85 P 34 P 122

Van Appeldoorn Chemical Logistics BV Vipa SpA Vliegasunie BV Voestalpine Austria Draht GmbH Volvo Trucks

P 61 P 122 P 56 P 118 P 154

O OMD Officine Rasera Srl Oxytop Spolka z.o.o. Oy Tamware AB

P 30 P 142 P 68 P 96


P 102 P 90 P 154


E Eaton Electric GmbH Elra-Antriebstechnik Vertriebs Ges.m.bH Energie Steiermark Exide Technologies Oy

Sun + Lynn Sutco RecyclingTechnik GmbH & Co. KG Suzuki Garphyttan AB Synergy ScienTech Corp

Webasto AG Weidmann Electrical Technology AG Woodtai Enterprises Ltd Worlee NaturProdukte GmBH

P 101 Inside front P 147 P 78

P Parker Hannifin Oy PPG Industries Presona AB

Yamato Scale GmbH

P 34

Z F F.lli Branca SpA Filtrop AG Förarmiljö I Sverige AB

R P 76 P 160 P 102

G Goodyear Dunlop Tires

P 97 P 123

I IKS Klingelnberg GmbH ILAB Container AB ISAC Srl IWS Ingenieurgesellschaft Weiner & Schroter mbH

P 76 P 90 P 158

S P 91

H Hella KG Hueck & Co. HSD SpA

Romana Chimici SpA Rothe Erde GmbH RS Components

ZTA Lamination

P 115 P 155 P 122 P 106

Sandvik Stal Forsaljnings AB P 30 Schurter Nordic AB P 86 Segro Poland Sp z.o.o. P 134 Shenzhen Goodyear Printing Co. Ltd P 147 Sipac Sverige AB P 155 Skamer-ACM Spolka z.o.o. P 68 SKF Eurotrade AB P 54 Smurfit Kappa Elcorr BV P 45 Solvadis Polska Sp z.o.o P 69 Stern Hidraulica SA P 115 Stiegelmeyer Inside front Stubai KSHB GmbH P 118

P 142

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Articles inside

Leading the green way IL Recycling

pages 154-158

Top team in optomechatronics Wild

pages 159-163

Fabric of life Benninger Group

pages 151-153

Making connections GN Netcom

pages 146-150

Compressor innovation ACC

pages 141-145

Rolling out excellence Elval Group

pages 127-129

Connecting perfectly Cera

pages 138-140

In the pipeline Wavin Ekoplastik

pages 133-137

A high technology focus Emmegi

pages 122-126

The world’s strongest chains pewag

pages 118-121

Technological edge in strip cutting and finishing SALICO

pages 114-117

Fit for heavy duty Ponsse

pages 101-105

Continuously optimising its customer’s processes Alfa Laval

pages 110-113

‘Protection for man and machine’

pages 82-84

Everything the industrial electronics company needs ENICS

pages 85-89

Highly specialised transportation

pages 90-95

Championing health nutrition and sustainability Unilever

pages 76-81

Leader in resins LERG

pages 68-72

The colour of success Flügger Group

pages 64-67

Pure sustainability Cargill

pages 61-63

Right on track Bosch Packaging Technology

pages 34-37

Solid foundations HeidelbergCement

pages 55-60

The architect’s tile Royal Mosa

pages 45-47

A partner with ideas Ljunghäll

pages 25-29

Towers of strength Beroa Technology Group

pages 48-51

Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris

page 23

European shipyards face growing crisis

pages 8-10

Linking up Combining strengths

pages 18-19

Technology spotlight Advances in technology

page 22

The sea, our planet’s future

pages 14-15

Bill Jamieson ‘They think it’s all over’

page 6

James Srodes The Israeli factor

page 7

Winning business New orders and contracts

pages 16-17

Moving on Relocations and expansions

page 20
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